9 K-Drama Remakes That Are More Popular Than The Originals

Remakes are a risky and ambitious undertaking, even for something as popular as K-dramas. Where original series such as squid game and we are all dead have the advantage of offering something new and exciting, remakes have to find a way to engage viewers with stories that have already been told verbatim most of the time.

There is a long list of popular K-drama remakes that continues to grow, including the upcoming Korean version of Money theft. Despite the repeating storylines in the remakes, many are better known than the original stories they’re based on, proving that revamped material can be just as exciting with a few tweaks, twists and turns.

9 Boys on the Flowers (2009)

Geum Jan-di and Gu Jun-pyo sitting on the floor and smiling in Boys Over Flowers

The South Korean series follows Geum Jan-di, a working-class girl, who gets a scholarship to attend a prestigious school for the elite. On his first day, Geum Jan-di clashes with Gu Jun-pyo, leader of the famous F4. He goes to great lengths to make his time at school miserable, but she proves her resilience each time until the hatred between them begins to evolve into something else.

The series is a remake of a Taiwanese drama, meteor garden, which was an adaptation of a Japanese manga titled, Hana Yori Dango. This was later adapted into a Japanese drama before the South Korean version was released. The Lee Min-ho-directed drama has also revived interest and popularity in K-dramas, despite unpopular opinions on the genre as a whole.

8 Playful Kiss (2010)

Oh Ha Ni And Baek Seung-Jo Wear Uniforms And Stand Outside In Playful Kiss

In playful kiss, Oh Ha-ni’s crush on Baek Seung-jo forces her to write him a love letter. Unfortunately, he doesn’t feel the same for her and her rejection breaks his heart. Fate intervenes when Oh Ha-ni’s house collapses, leaving her and her father to seek refuge with Baek Seung-jo and his family.

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playful kiss is one of many remakes of the 1996 Japanese manga, Itazura na Kiss, one of the first adaptations being the 2005 Taiwanese television series, It started with a kiss. The original manga wasn’t finished as the creator died before finishing it, so most adaptations took the liberty of creating an ending they preferred.

7 The Suspicious Maid (2013)

Han-kyul and Eun Hye-kul having breakfast in The Suspicious Housekeeper

After the tragic loss of his wife, a father welcomes the help of a housekeeper to run the household and help his children. Although the governess is shrouded in mystery, she carries out her duties in the house perfectly, following every order she gives. With her presence, the family begins to heal and broken bonds are mended.

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The Suspicious Housekeeper is a remake of the original Japanese series, Kaseifu no Mita. Where the original focused primarily on family and their struggles, the remake tweaked the plot to add a bit more drama and mystery.

6 A Witch’s Romance (2014)

A witch’s story is the story of Ji-yeon, a career-focused woman who has lost faith in true love after a past disappointment, and young Dong-ha. Despite a huge gap between their ages, the two connect over the things they have in common, including their broken hearts.

The remake is based on a 2009 Taiwanese drama, My queen. The stories are similar and both dramas are popular, however, the romance in the remake unfolds more naturally due to the great chemistry between the protagonists highlighted by steamy scenes in the K-drama, which makes it a bit more endearing than the original.

5 You are my destiny (2014)

Lee Gun and Kim Mi-young behind a wooden fence look shocked in You are my Destiny

you are my destiny (also called Dedicated to love you) is a 20-episode drama about a good-natured office worker and her vacation one-night stand with a handsome, charming, wealthy stranger who turns her life completely upside down.

The drama is a remake of a 2008 Taiwanese drama titled Destined to love you. While both versions were popular in their time, the remake gained recognition due to the popularity of lead actress Jang Na-ra.

4 Moon Lovers: Scarlet-Hearted Ryeo (2016)

IU and Lee Joon-gi in Moon Lovers

A near-death experience takes Go Ha-jin back in time to the Goryeo Dynasty period in Hae-soo’s body. She becomes entangled in palace politics, which eventually leads her heart to the dark and seductive 4th Prince.

Before the release of the Korean drama, China had scarlet heart, a 2011 adaptation of the novel Bu Bu Jing Xin. Scarlet-Hearted Ryeo may owe its success to the popularity of the drama’s protagonists, Lee Joon-gi and IU, and the amazing chemistry between them.

3 Rich Man (2018)

Suho as Lee Yoo-Chan in Rich Man

A rich man uses one of the most common tropes in K-dramas of the love story between a rich man and a poor woman. In this drama, Lee Yoo Chan is the wealthy CEO of an IT company that every young professional aspires to work for, and Kim Bo Ra is one of those professionals. When their worlds collide, everything changes in their lives.

The original drama this remake is based on is Rich man, poor womana 2012 Japanese series. Although both versions use the rich man and poor woman trope, they provide a unique angle that makes the story a bit different from the others.

2 Mother (2018)

Kang Su-jin and Kim Hyena kiss in Korean drama Mother

Mother is the story of an elementary school teacher who discovers that one of her students is being abused by her family and sets out to save the little girl. She kidnaps the child and takes on the responsibility of being his mother.

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The K-drama is a remake of a 2010 Japanese drama of the same name and the two share a similar plot with an incredible emotional journey and an exquisite look at motherhood and the unconditional love at its heart.

1 The smile has left your eyes (2018)

Shared Image: Moo-young and Jin-kang in The Smile Has Left Your Eyes

In The smile left your eyes, Kim Moo Young falls in love with Yoo Jin-Kang despite her brother’s reservations about her. As a detective, he doesn’t hesitate to investigate Yoo Jin-Kang, but the harrowing plot of what he uncovers reveals a shocking connection between them.

The original 2002 Japanese drama is called A hundred million stars in the sky and the remake closely followed the original script with some adjustments in the plot and of course, the character names.

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