K-drama plots are capturing a global audience with several of the popular K-drama series being adapted locally for audiences in Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines
If you’re into the Hallyu frenzy, then you must have watched Korean dramas of different genres. The beautiful and unique plots that these shows have are loved by fans and viewers and some have resonated beyond Korea.
With high viewer ratings and a cult following, some countries have created versions of their own. So, which shows have become franchises?
My Love from the Star
The South Korean fantasy-romance television series was a massive hit with 21 episodes and ran from December 2013 to February 2014. Its storyline about a romance between an alien named Do Min-joon (played by Kim Soo-hyun), who came to Earth in the year 1609, and Cheon Song-yi (played by A-list Hallyu actress Jun Ji-Hyun), garnered several awards and positive reviews from critics and viewers.
The K-drama was also a hit overseas. The love the drama received in the Philippines prompted local broadcasting network, GMA Network, to produce their own adaptation. The 55 episodes ran from May to August 2017, starring Jennylyn Mercado as Steffi Chavez and rising star Gil Cuerva as Matteo Domingo.
Support from Thailand was no different as the drama was adapted in 2019, airing from September to November, by Channel 3 and lasted 16 episodes. Thai stars Nadech Kugimiya and Peeranee Kongthai led the remake as Achira and Farada, but it didn’t receive as much positive response as the original drama.
Crime drama Criminal Minds ran from July to September 2017 and followed the story of intelligent profilers from the NCI (National Criminal Investigation) team who solve criminal cases. If the name struck a chord in your memory, this show is an adaptation of the 2005 CBS show of the same title. The American series ended with its 15th season in February 2020 and tackled various cases, unlike the Korean version whose plot revolves around one straight storyline which involves police officer Kim Hyun-Joon (played by Lee Joon-gi) and NCI team leader, Kang Ki-hyung (played by Son Hyun-joo).
Descendants of the Sun
Broadcast across Asia, the well-loved military-romance drama aired on KBS2 with 16 episodes from February to April 2016, and three special episodes that showcased behind-the-scenes footage, production highlights and the epilogue. The show starred Song Joong-ki as Captain Yoo Si-jin, and Song Hye-kyo as Doctor Kang Mo-yeon.
The drama has also been adapted internationally. Its Vietnamese remake was aired in September 2018 and although its production value was praised, viewers criticised the medical inaccuracies and the bad acting. Netflix later bought the rights to the adaptation and condensed the 48 episodes down to 24.
The Philippine version has been airing on GMA Network since February 2020 and has since received praise from fans of the Korean drama. To prevent inaccuracies, the network even partnered with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to correctly represent the country’s military forces.
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