In this Long Yak, Anisa & Paroma discuss why Anisa dropped Sisyphus, our love for Vincenzo despite the show’s problematic morality, the poignancy of Hello, Me, and the 2017 gem Go Back Couple. Plus, we compare the Korean remake of A Love So Beautiful to the Chinese version.
00:01:39 Sisyphus: The Myth
00:55:33 Hello, Me
01:14:39 Go Back Couple
01:18:20 A Love So Beautiful
Read Anisa’s Drama Addict Diary where she discusses Hello Me, Go Back Couple & A Love So Beautiful
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This episode was edited by Anisa.
2 thoughts on “94. The Long Yak – Sisyphus | Vincenzo | Hello, Me | Go Back Couple | A Love So Beautiful”
My experience of A Love So Beautiful was on quite a different pathway to yours. The Chinese drama was based on the novel To Our Pure Little Beauty (or To Our Innocent Little Goodness) by Zhao Qianqian, who was also a screenwriter for the drama. I don’t know what the relationship of the novel to the Started With a Kiss manga and adaptations is – I hadn’t heard of them until now. I came to the drama after reading the novel, which is available online in a fan translation.
The novel has significant differences to the drama: it starts with Xiaoxi’s (the Shin Sol-i character) father being hospitalised, and all the school stuff is in flashbacks, with the result that the relationship feels tormented from the get-go. The second couple aren’t in it. As an adult, Jiang Chen’s (Cha Heon) behaviour is little better than it was when he was at school – he comes across as entitled, because he regards the break-up as a mistake on Xiaoxi’s part. But what really struck me about the novel was that Xiaoxi is just as bad as he is: yes, she never misses an opportunity to say how much she likes Jiang Chen, but beyond that she never communicates what she wants out of the relationship. For example, she never explains why she broke up with him, and she seems to give up on every minor misunderstanding between them.
So the novel summarises to me as: school sweethearts get together, after a while they break up, then they decide to get back together despite having apparently learned nothing from their earlier toxic behaviours. It was just so frustrating. What’s not clear to me (and I don’t think I can bring myself to go back and re-read) is whether Zhao intended the novel to be a cautionary tale about the triumph of desire over love, or a light romantic comedy that I somehow misread.
Anyway, the dramas are rather milquetoast after that. They are better in one sense, because the characters do mature, but they also lose the possibility to be something altogether darker which, while I undoubtedly wouldn’t have enjoyed watching them, would have provided more to talk about.
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This is excellent. I hadn’t read the novel, so I wasn’t sure if the relationship followed the same path in the original story. The reason I compare it with the ‘It Started with a Kiss’ adaptations is because it follows the same relationship tropes of a friendly, creative girl with bad grades developing a crush on the class genius with little empathy, and how the two bridge the gap between them as they grow into adulthood. I think the Kiss adaptations look a lot deeper into the differences between them instead of just skating over them, especially the Taiwanese version. But both the ALSB versions are a lot more concerned about getting to the happy ending and their conflict isn’t very well fleshed out or explored. So, yeah, I totally understand why you’d find them dull in comparison to the novel, if the original story was so much more dramatic. And perhaps the author did mean to hide irony inside a cute romance. It just wouldn’t have sold if it had been too obvious. XD
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