Naughty/Playful Kiss- First Impressions

For those of you who don’t know, the new Korean drama “Naughty Kiss” (or “Playful Kiss” depending on which translation you go with) is a remake of the popular Taiwanese drama “It Started With A Kiss”.

So far it seems “Naughty Kiss” is following the same plot (actually, some of the shots and scenes are identical too). It’s about a girl who is in love with the extremely smart and good looking top student in her school. She is from the “Dumb Class” who score the lowest in every test, and isn’t particularly bright herself. One day her friends talk her into confessing her love for him, which goes horribly wrong when he turns out to be a cold jerk as well.

The girl has just moved into a new “Western Style” house with her father (her mother is dead) when suddenly there is an earthquake and the house collapses (no other houses on the street even show signs of there being an earthquake, a similarity the Korean and Taiwanese version hold). On a news report about the incident an old friend of the father’s sees him again and immediately goes to him. The two were close in college but fell out of touch and are ecstatic to see one another again. The man immediately insists he and his daughter move in until they can have a new home built.

You can guess what’s coming, right? The man has two sons of his own- the eldest being that smart and cold jerk the girl had the crush on. As they are now house-mates the two begin to fight more and more, and sometimes he aids her in studying or just lives to watch her squirm. Over time they fall in love.

Now I say these are my first impressions of the show- and know that I REALLY mean first impressions, I’m just finishing up the first episode when I’m done typing this.

Compared to the Taiwanese version this one is falling pretty short. The Taiwanese version is slightly over-the-top in parts, but it’s largely believable and the cast is brilliant. The Korean version though is beyond over-the-top, to the point where it feels more like you’re watching a show intended for toddlers. I hope it matures a bit as the series progresses, but so far I’m really disappointed.

The casting is another issue I have. Forgive me for not knowing his name, but the male lead (Formerly of SS501, and I say formally because now like half of them are part of different companies, so you have to face it, they aren’t coming back any time soon) was really great in Boys Over Flowers. He was rough at the beginning, too quick in emotional transitions and kind of patchy, but he really picked it up by the end. Well, so far he’s right back to old tricks. I know the character is supposed to be a blank wall, but there is something in the expression he holds that just doesn’t sync with the rest of the show. And the lead girl so far is falling short. She seems too fidgety and kind of acts like someone used to filming more outrageous characters in sitcoms or such.

All in all I’m kind of disappointed in the Korean version so far. But you have to give a show at least 3 episodes to make any real decisions, so I’ll stick through and watch more, then decide if I like it enough to keep going.

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