All About Love Stories: By Ele!

In case you missed it, we have yet another guest post series to enjoy, this month!

Unlike our previous guest post series, this one was kind of an accident, almost. I have Ele to thank for this one, because it was her innocent question about something, that made me casually talk about the off-the-top-of-my-head, hypothetical possibility of a guest post series on love, in the month of February, in honor of Valentine’s Day.

So many folks on Patreon responded enthusiastically to this idea, that I felt that it would be remiss of me, not to actually make it happen, come February.

And so, here we are. This month, we will enjoy a total of nine guest posts from patrons on Patreon, on the topic of love stories. The brief is pretty flexible, in that, each writer is free to go deep, or go wide, on anything around the topic of love stories in Dramaland. I feel like we have a lot to look forward to, this month! 🥰

You can check out our earlier posts in the series as follows: Uyen, Jaco_4950, and Kate.

Today’s post is brought to you by Ele, whom I always find to be such a bright, sparkling source of energy, here on the blog. I’m so grateful that Ele’s taken time out of her busy schedule – a big chunk of which involves taking care of a baby (Ele’s a very young grandmom!) – to write this very fun post for us. Thank you, Ele! 😘

You might also like to visit Ele’s website, where she talks about art and writing.

I hope you guys enjoy!

~ KFG ❤️

Fangirling Jane Austen Style

Introduction

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

And so begins one of the most famous stories ever told – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, first published in 1813 and adapted into countless TV shows and films ever since – even one that includes zombies. And my go-to when I need a pick me up. It is, for me, a comfort blanket – and I’ve discovered, so too is kdrama.

Romance is blossom trees: Soo Ye-ji and Kim Soo-hyun, It’s Okay to not be Okay

Now, a confession: I’m a romance addict.

When I say romance, I mean the swoony, will-they-won’t-they, and they really should as they’re perfect for one another, sort. Ah, the Jane Austen type with a fleeting glance over the fan, a scant touch of hands, a longing, lingering utterance of their name. The sort I can squeeeeee over (and I do a lot of squeeing).

Just as I adore Jane Austen stories, I, too, find a cosy kind of comfort in kdrama, in the restrained but powerful story of love.

There are the familiar tropes to make me swoon: a beginning, set in a beguiling world far removed from my own; a misunderstanding that sets the One True Pairing (OTP) on opposing sides; a throwing together through unusual events; a falling out; a truck (or horse and carriage) of doom; an interfering grandmother or aunt; and then a final happy – gloriously sweet and chaste and heartfelt – ending!

These tropes are what my brain craves. Does yours too?

Well, with Jane Austen in mind, I figured what better way to delve into some of the best kdramas of the romantic sort, than via the aid of Pride and Prejudice. Who’s with me? Let’s go!

Setting

Yongin Daejanggeum Park, filming location for many Korean dramas, such as Empress Ki

Kicking off things, as all good stories should, is a beautiful setting.

Like Mr Darcy’s grander than grand home of Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice, kdrama makes good use of its filming locations to take our breath away.

From its recreated historical buildings (Empress Ki), to its modern architecture (The Greatest Love – the lead male’s cool house is in fact a museum), to its sweeping landscapes (Mr Sunshine), to its blossom trees (any drama filmed in spring) and snow (any drama filmed in winter), yep, kdrama has its gorgeous settings down.

Pretty Korea: Mr Sunshine

Costume

Beautiful clothing: Soo Ye-ji, It’s Okay to not be Okay (designer Minju Kim)

Shopping for ribbons, doffing top hands, who doesn’t love a well-dressed OTP?

Whether it’s modern and stylish (Crash Landing on You) or fairy tale theatrical (It’s Okay to not be Okay) or period sageuk (Queen for Seven Days), the outfits are invariably eye-catching.

Original Soundtracks

Kim Ha-eun as Seol-hwa playing the Haegeum, Chuno

While Elizabeth’s piano playing would not be “at all amiss, if she practiced more”, and Mary’s playing “delighted us long enough”, perhaps Lady Catherine de Burgh sums up my thoughts on music best when she says: “There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, or a better natural taste. If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.”

Quite. The proficiency of original soundtracks in kdrama is very high indeed, with many a romantic, dramatic, and heart-breaking moment enhanced by an invariably extremely catchy tune.

From the chirpy ‘Paradise’ by Tmax (Boys Over Flowers) to the powerful ‘Orbit’ by Hwasa (The King: Eternal Monarch), to the punchy Auditory Hallucination by Jang Jae-in featuring NaShow (Kill Me, Heal Me).

For me though, it’s the sublime lament of ‘Lovers’ played on the traditional Korean instrument, the haegeum, and the whole of the original Chuno soundtrack that best demonstrates how music can lift an exceptional drama into an epic one. You might like to play ‘Lovers’ while you read on…

Korean Pops Orchestra Concert (2020)

OTP Misunderstandings

Playing with gender: Yoon Eun-hye and Gong Yoo, Coffee Prince

No romantic kdrama would be complete without a misunderstanding or ten.

Just as Elizabeth Bennett mistakes Mr Darcy’s pride as “a propensity to hate everybody,” and he, her prejudice as “wilfully to misunderstand” from bad first impressions, the ensuing drama never fails to deliver.

Probably the most well-worn of them all is the female lead dressed as a boy From Sungkyunkwan Scandal, to Love in the Moonlight, to Shine or Go Crazy, to The King’s Affection, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that kdrama’s leading females must first appear as men and confuse everyone. Kudos to The Tale of Nokdu for reversing the role.

Far and away for me the greatest of them all, and the most wonderfully handled, is Coffee Prince.

Always a Happy Ending

Happily ever after: Ji Chang-wook and Nam Ji-hyun, Suspicious Partner

Perhaps the thing I like best in romantic kdrama – as in all of Jane Austen’s books – is that they end happily.

Jane Austen had her reasons (her own unhappy romantic ending) just as Korea has its (a painful country division), that perhaps explains why the successful coming together of our OTPs gives comfort to all who’ve suffered heartbreak.

Even when the ending veers into realism (Suspicious Partner) or tragedy (Mr Sunshine), it still leaves the heart with hope.

The Cast

Great characters played by great actors: Jang Hyuk, Chuno

Where would any story be without flawed, brilliant characters? And where would kdrama be without its stellar actors?

Chuno just wouldn’t be as compelling without (deafening squeeeeeeee) Jang Hyuk playing Lee Daegil.

It’s Okay, That’s Love without Jo In-sung’s heartfelt portrayal of Jang Jae-yeo wouldn’t make the fantastic OTP half so glorious.

Heartfelt OTP: Jo In-sung and Gong Hyo-jin, It’s Okay, That’s Love

Pride and Prejudice, Kdrama-style

With all this in mind, I thought it might be fun to cast Pride and Prejudice with the very best and, to me, most fitting kdrama stars. Feel free to suggest your own!

Female Lead: Elizabeth Bennett

Park Min-young as Chae Young-shin, Healer (2015)

Elizabeth Bennett: Park Min-young, Healer

“You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.”

To make our Elizabeth Bennett, I’d like to combine aspects of many characters Park Min-young has played (Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Her Private Life, Queen for Seven Days) with the single-minded, slightly off-beat but extremely likable, Chae Young-shin in Healer.

Always bright, charming, astute and playful. She also scores bonus points for having, as Mr Darcy affirms, “very fine eyes”.

Male Lead: Mr Darcy

Hyun Bin as Captain Ri Jeong-hyuk, Crash Landing on You (2020)

“She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me.”

Stiff, buttoned-up, outwardly awkward, but, in fact, loyal, upstanding, warm-hearted; who better than Captain Ri in Crash Landing on You to be the eponymous Mr Darcy?

Oh yes, and he’s very good looking to boot – bonus!

Second Female Lead: Jane Bennett

Gong Hyo-jin as Gu Ae-jung, The Greatest Love (2011)

Jane Bennett: Gong Hyo-jin, The Greatest Love

“‘Tis too much!’ she added, ‘by far too much. I do not deserve it. Oh! Why is not everybody as happy?’”

Kdramas never have just one romance going on at once (think of how much we cared about Seo Dan and Gu Seung-jun in Crash Landing on You).

Austen gave her secondary leads an easier time of it than some, though forbearance is the word that sums up both the Bennett’s eldest daughter and also any role Gong Hyo-jin plays, most especially evident in The Greatest Love, but also, in Thank You too.

Never has one woman forgiven so much wrong. Elizabeth Bennett tells her sister: “you are too good”, and goodness, that was never truer than for Gu Ae-jung.

Second Male Lead: Mr Bingley

Lee Seung-gi as Cha Dae-woong, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (2010)

Mr Bingley: Lee Seung-gi, My Girlfirend is a Gumiho

“He was lively and unreserved, danced every dance, was angry the ball closed so early, and talked of giving one himself.”

Affable, but also easily steered in the wrong direction, Mr Bingley is immediately drawn to “the prettiest girl in the room”, Jane Bennett – just as Cha De-woong is drawn to Gu Miho (Shin Min-a).

I mean, who wouldn’t be? Sure, she’s a supernatural nine-tailed fox, but if Mr Bingley can forgive Jane Bennett’s brash mother, Cha De-woong can get used to a few moonlit tails.

The “villains”

No kdrama would be as angst-inducing without its share of antagonistic forces.

Often internal, such as personal tragedies (Hometown Cha Cha Cha) or mental health issues (It’s Okay, That’s Love and Kill Me, Heal Me), kdrama can also throw in a stubbornly snobbish grandmother or a prickly ex-girlfriend, just to make our leads’ romance even bumpier…

Mr George Wickham

Jang Hyuk as Kwon Oh-joon, Robber (2007)

Mr George Wickham: Jang Hyuk, Robber

“He is, beyond all comparison, the most agreeable man I ever saw.”

Merciless and single-minded, Mr Wickham manipulates Elizabeth with as much ease as fellow ‘seduce-them-for-their-money-then-dump-them’ Oh-joon, in the oftentimes difficult to watch, Robber.

No stranger to manipulative, ruthless characters (see also Money Flower and My Country: New Age), Jang Hyuk knows just how to play a less than scrupulous character, while simultaneously gaining our sympathy – or in my case, enduring (squeeeeeeing) devotion. 

Lady Catherine de Burgh

Kim Young-ok as The Grandmother, Coffee Prince (2006)

Lady Catherine de Burgh: Kim Young-ok, Coffee Prince

“I take no leave of you, Miss Bennett. I send no compliments to your mother. You deserve no such attention. I am most seriously displeased.”

As forthright as only a secure, wealthy woman-of-a-certain-age can be, The Grandmother in Coffee Prince is as acerbically friendly to our heroine, as Mr Darcy’s aunt, Lady Catherine de Burgh, is to Elizabeth Bennet – until, of course, she gets wind that romance is afoot and then all claws are out.

I can almost hear Kim Young-ok spitting: “Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?”

Miss Bingley

Baek Jin-hee as Tanshiri, Empress Ki (2014)

Miss Bingley: Baek Jin-hee, Empress Ki

“‘I beg your pardon,’ replied Miss Bingley, turning away with a sneer. ‘Excuse my interference. – It was kindly meant.’”

Snobbish and acidic, Mr Bingley’s sister is quite the opposite to his affability, just as Empress Consort, Tanashiri, in Empress Ki is dogged in her determination to poison anyone looking likely to steal her throne.

OK, Baek Jin-hee’s character takes things a tad further than Miss Bingley’s proprietorial interference, but you get my drift.

Comedic characters: If there’s one thing I personally find ‘difficult’ about kdramas, it’s the comedic characters. Often extremely loud and over-the-top, they are – now I think of it – not so very different to the comic relief characters in Pride and Prejudice…

Lydia Bennett

Ji Sung as Ahn Yo-na, Kill Me, Heal Me (2015)

Lydia Bennett: Ji Sung, Kill Me, Heal Me

“‘And we meant to treat you all,’ added Lydia; ‘but you must lend us the money, for we have just spent ours at the shop.’”

Loud, extrovert, thoughtless, and a fangirl (of soldiers in uniform), the youngest Bennett sister, Lydia, is every bit a modern selfish teenage girl.

Who could be more fitting to be her than the loudest of Cha Do-hyun’s multiple personalities in Kill Me, Heal Me, Yo-na, idolising over Oppa and squealing as only Lydia Bennett can – oh, OK, and me too.

Mr Collins

Sung Dong-il as Ban Do-hong, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (2011)

Mr Collins: Sung Dong-il, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho

“I am happy on every occasion to offer those little delicate compliments which are always acceptable to ladies.”

If Mr Collins were any more ridiculous, obsequious, or vain, he’d be comedic – oh, wait, he is funny in his pomposity, and I give credit to Sung Dong-il for making the often cringeworthy film-director-in-shades in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, hilarious too.

For likeable cringe, see also: Cha Seung-won as Dokko-jin in The Greatest Love.

The Ensemble: What would Pride and Prejudice be without all the Bennett sisters? The balls would be a lot quieter, that’s for sure, just as a kdrama without its ensemble cast would lose some of its greatest charm.

Kdramas excel at creating ‘villages’ of family (think of the Gonjin residents in Hometown Cha Cha Cha, the ahjumamas in Crash Landing on You, the crazy shop owners in Vincenzo). 

Miss Charlotte Lucas

Shin Se-kyung as Dam, Tree with Deep Roots (2011)

Miss Lucas: Shin Se-kyung, Tree with Deep Roots

“I am not romantic you know.”

Left on the shelf aged twenty-seven (properly ancient), Miss Lucas makes the seemingly mad decision to marry the charmless Mr Collins and secure her future.

Sensible – if not romantic – Dam, too, chooses to follow her photographic head, and help King Sejong create Hangul in Tree with Deep Roots, rather than run off into the sunset with Ddol-bok (played by, squeeeee, Jang Hyuk) – and, yes, I’m left as askance by the decision as Elizabeth Bennett was of Miss Lucas’.

Mary Bennett

Kang Han-na as Yang Hye-sun, My Roommate is a Gumiho (2021)

Mary Bennett: Kang Ha-na, My Roommate is a Gumiho

“Far be it from me, my dear sister, to depreciate such pleasures. They would doubtless be congenial with the generality of female minds. But I confess they would have no charms for me. I should infinitely prefer a book.”

Speaking her mind when entirely unwanted, is Mary’s fatal flaw, but also her genius – just as it is for Yang Hye-sun, the 700-year-old gumiho-turned-human, in My Roommate is a Gumiho.

I am a fan of the literal, and both Mary and Yang Hye-sun only ever speak what they literally mean.

Kitty Bennett

Shin Min-a as Kang Joo-eun, Oh My Venus (2015)

Kitty Bennett: Shin Min-ah, Oh My Venus

“‘And you are never to stir out of doors, till you can prove, that you have spent ten minutes of every day in a rational manner.’ Kitty, who took these threats in a serious light, began to cry.”

Despite being older than Lydia, Kitty “will follow wherever Lydia leads” – so that would be hurrying after her to throw handkerchiefs at soldiers, or, as in Joo-eun’s case in Oh My Venus, chasing So Ji-sub to help her get fit.

Kitty’s enthusiasm is as infectious as Shin Min-a in everything she does. See also Arang and the Magistrate, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Hometown Cha Cha Cha. It’s the dimples!

Mr and Mrs Bennett

Im Ye-jin as Na Gong-joo and Ahn Suk-hwan as Geum Il-bong, Boys Over Flowers (2009)

Mr and Mrs Bennett: Im Ye-jin and Ahn Suk-hwan, Boys Over Flowers

“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. – Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”

Kdrama excels in bickering couples who seem on the brink of divorce, just like the Bennetts who are as ill-matched as a gat with a rah-rah skirt.

But like Mr and Mrs Bennett, underlying the squabbles is love. So even as Jan-di’s mother pushes to marry her daughter off to a wealthy man in Boys Over Flowers, they pull together when facing hardship.

Closing words

As our OTP rides happily away in their palanquin with blossoms falling, with the cast of supporters cheering them on, I should perhaps leave you all with a final quote from Pride and Prejudice, spoken by Mr Darcy in answer to Elizabeth’s question of when he fell in love with her:

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew I had begun.”

And so it is with kdrama; I was watching Romance is a Bonus Book – my fiftieth kdrama – before I knew I had begun. Reader, I give you fair warning.

~ Ele

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Su San
Su San
7 months ago

Love your post, but especially grateful for the link to the Haegeum solo in Chuno! I’m very familiar with the sound of Chinese Erhu but not so much with the Korean Haegeum. When I heard that haunting piece in Chuno I meant to find it on Youtube but you were so kind as to post it. Thanks, again!

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Su San

Thanks, Su! I totally love the piece too – and that particular performance of it is gorgeous. xx

Elaine
Elaine
7 months ago

So fun, Ele! And written in a light, bright and sparkling tone reminiscent of Miss Austen herself. Pride and Prejudice has a special spot in my heart, not only was it one of my A Level Literature texts, but I also watched and rewatched the Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle BBC version many times. Indeed K drama romance is so chivalrous and chaste compared to Western ones, love the looks of longing and squee moments of restrained tenderness!

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Elaine

Thank you so much, Elaine! I’ll take that compliment and run 😅 Yes, I agree that’s it’s the restraint and earnestness, so sorely lacking in Western dramas, that makes kdrama (and Jane Austen) so feel-good and squeeeeee-worthy. Ah, bliss 😍

Shahz
Shahz
7 months ago

I cannot tell you Ele how much I loved and chuckled through your post. Pride and prejudice is my favourite book💕💕. Thank you so much this post gave me so much joy

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Shahz

Oh, Shahz 🥲 How amazing to have given you joy! Especially as a fellow Pride and Prejudice fan! Thank you. xx

Karen
Karen
7 months ago

Great post!!!

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Karen

Thanks, Karen!

KS
KS
7 months ago

Wow, what a fun post it was, Ele !!

I, myself, am a die hard romantic and a big fan of Jane Austen in general, and Pride & Prejudice and Emma in particular. Never thought of reading snippets from Austen on this forum.
It’s a nice idea to have a Korean version of P&P.

Btw, what is your favorite screen adoption of Pride and Prejudice ?
Mine is 1995 BBC version starting Colin Firth and Jenifer Ehle. Loved it. 😍

Shahz
Shahz
7 months ago
Reply to  KS

That is also my favourite adaption!

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  KS

Aw, thank you KS! I pretty know the quotes by heart – read lots of times and also, of course, watched. I couldn’t not include them – especially when they’re so witty!!
Yes, I agree with your favourite; Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in the BBC series is the very best. He gets it so right. The whole thing is excellent.
I do also have a soft spot for the more modern way Kiera Knightley plays Elizabeth in the 2005 film. She has a sparkly energy that’s a bit less prickly than Jennifer Ehle’s portrayal.
I actually don’t think I’ve seen a single adaptation I’ve not enjoyed (from zombies to Bollywood, to Austenland, to Bridget Jones’ Diary – which, I have to say, is thoroughly excellent!) I wonder if it’s just one of those stories that can withstand a good degree of retelling, either faithfully to the book, or off on a tangent. That’s why Kdramaland NEEDS to adapt it! They can’t fail 😅

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
7 months ago

I absolutely smiled from the beginning to the end of your delightful post, Ele 😊😊😊 The great aspect to Jane Austen’s writings, they are great fictional works in their own right – she changed the face of how books were seen – from mindless trash to great works of art that actually had something to say about the world.

I agree with your choices of who would play who in the Kdrama version – magical stuff indeed. Of course, they would make the zombie version as well 🤣 And that quote by Mr Darcy is sublime – because that’s exactly how it is with those Kdramas that drag us in.

Here is to definately hearing more from you, Ele. I doff my hat to thee 🎩

Last edited 7 months ago by seankfletcher
Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

How lovely to have made you smile! Am chuffed 😊 and duly bob a curtsey to you, kind sir 😌

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
7 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

And, I agree with, phl, your website is wonderful 😊🎩

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

🥰 Another curtsey and a demure smile to you, kindly gentleman 😅

Natalia
Natalia
7 months ago

What a clever idea for a post, Ele! I’m even a little sad it’s not real casting for a real show…
All your choices are excellent but I think the Bingley siblings are genius.

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

Oh, thank you Natalia! I was so worried everyone would strongly disagree with my selections and have way better choices! Although I’ve seen fifty kdramas, I think compared to many this is meagre pickings 😊

Trent
7 months ago

Since Ele dropped Jane Austen and P&P into the conversation, I thought I would share this link to an amusing-but-serious “review” of P&P, from a point of view critiquing Wickham as a sexual predator. It’s written in the style of a law review article (and appeared in the Michigan Law Review), but is eminently readable if you’re at all familiar with the book’s plot.

The author, in addition to being (now) a romance novelist, was in a previous career a judicial law clerk and then law professor, and several years ago provided public statements and testimony that were instrumental in a powerful federal judge resigning his judgeship due to allegations of sexual harassment (that’s context for the last half page or so of the review):

https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol119/iss6/3/
(from that page, click on the “download” button to get the PDF of the article)

(Just to give a taste, the latter half of footnote 28 made me laugh out loud. I put it here behind a spoiler tag):

speculation on what Jane Austen might have said to herself…
“I sometimes wonder if Jane Austen tore her hair out writing Pride and Prejudice trying to figure out how to bring some sense of vaguely optimistic resolution to her serial-child-predator plot, muttering to herself about why on earth she had to make her plot ‘serial child predators oh my god the tonal shift is horrific’ before finally saying, “fuck it, I’m making Lydia a ditz who doesn’t care and never grows up; if she doesn’t mind, the readers won’t, either.” Obviously, she would use slightly different language.”

j3ffc
j3ffc
7 months ago
Reply to  Trent

And Dong Hoon (My Mister) would have found himself in agreement with Miss Austen.
“You are the one to decide. If you consider it to be no big deal, then it is no big deal.”

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
7 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Trent – the footnotes are something altogether unique.

Trent
7 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

That actually really is the form and style that regular law review articles appear; lots of footnotes citing to sources, etc.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
7 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Trent – 😆 I should have been more clear. Unique in its verbiage, not form. It is something else to read what these footnotes have to say.

Trent
7 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Ah, gotcha. Yes, some interesting little nuggets there, like say about certain legal circumstances and conditions in Regency England…

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Ah, yes, he is the most problematic of all her villainous men – then and now. I don’t think it was by accident that the Kiera Knightley film of Pride and Prejudice pushed his role back almost out of existence. I feel horrible casting literally my favourite actor ever in the role 😭 but Wickham is so very like Kwon Oh-joon at the beginning of Robber, he was the best fit. And picturing Ji Sung’s Ahn Yo-na as his lifelong partner gives me some satisfaction that he’d not got off easy 😅

j3ffc
j3ffc
7 months ago

Ele’s post and the enthusiastic commentary to it exemplify how universal human nature really is, insofar as how a modern and insightful observer of human nature, but nonetheless one writing at the beginning of the 19th century, suggests characteristics, behaviors, and even appearances of characters that can be so very easily translated into 21st century Korea.

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

We all think we’re so terribly modern but, meh, we’re just the same as our ancestors – which is both sad but also somehow rather reassuring.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
7 months ago

Ele – Brava! Wonderful post and I so enjoyed reading this. I imagined the scenes in my head as I was reading. As j3ffc said, a very clever take on KDrama!

Also, I loved the link to your site where I just spent a good hour enjoying looking at your works. Delightful! My favorites are Tangled Trees (yes, we must all look up every day), Harry’s Eyes (cats!) and George (at 12) 💖. Might I say that Dad’s Cold Storage Beach (a soul’s journey) and Mom’s Arrival of the bees (the color is alive and breathing) are moving. Sister’s nude (charcoal?) is deeply moving indeed and has such an emotional depth. Ah, what a wonderful way to grow up, surrounded by art and creativity. Love your videos as well. A stunning body of work with so many more waiting to be created! Thank you for sharing your lovely works. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 👏👏👏

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Oh wow, phl1rxd, that’s really lovely of you to take the time perusing my website – and my family’s! George (at 12) is where it all began 😊 I notice they use art a lot in kdrama – hey, maybe my next blog! And I do love cats. Now, is there a way to combine kdrama and cats? Anyone?!

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
7 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Ele – there are many of both KDrama and CDrama with a cat in a leading role. I have 3 cats myself so I get the ‘cat love’. 💖

I always notice and appreciate art as I am also an artist – I started in fine art (graphic art degree was not available back in the 70s) at Moore College of Art. Life took over and my parents strongly encouraged me to drop out and concentrate on making money instead of following my heart. I did however, get the opportunity to be creative, albeit 40 years later, for which I am grateful. I loved the art on yours, and well as your family’s sites. I am so happy that you are able to do what you love in life. Your dad’s painting spoke directly to me. Please let him know I love it.

Last edited 7 months ago by phl1rxd
Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Cats in a leading role?! I need titles 😅
I’m glad you got back to art – do you have a website? I wonder if the painting you mean is by my brother? My dad used to paint but, similarly to you, had to earn a living instead of pursuing it. We have a couple of his paintings but don’t think any of us have posted them on our websites. My brother lives in Boston, USA, and paints lots of sea pics!

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
7 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Ele- Ah, I thought it was your Dad. His work is very nice. I do have a site but it is photography/graphic art work. Back in my day there was no internet, so cataloging your painted work was not an option. I did help paint a mural 11 years ago which I have a photo of – I assisted a fellow artist to draw and paint this. Design all his. Not all of the painted characters are mine just Yoda, Leia, ET, Frankenstein – Boris – Marty Feldman, Up, B/W Dug (yes Sean, this is why I love Dug), MIB and Lego Land. I assisted with Tron and Gadget. I had an absolute blast with this mural. Please note that I had to stitch this together (where Leia is) from two photos, and due to using my fish eye lens on both, this was a real challenge. I am off at the bottom near the Inception wave 🌊😏 and the billboard.

Cats in Dramaland – https://mydramalist.com/article/top-12-dramas-for-cat-lovers-011015387 and https://mydramalist.com/list/r1xkGXd4 and more…

2011 Mural.jpg
seankfletcher
seankfletcher
7 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

That mural sounds awesome, phl. I have overseen the painting of many community murals over the years. One of my favourite projects is the header here: https://www.carnarvon.org.au/see-do/carnarvon/art-culture

Our grandson decided he wanted to watch Up again last weekend. So, I got to see Dug in action once more – he is awesome!

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
7 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Sean – I love to see communities embrace their artists. That is quite a nice site and I have been on this already a few times enjoying the works there. I noticed that mural header right away as, after all, I live in the ‘City of Murals‘ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1NDtGkNcSA&t=330s. I have several favorites, but I will tell you that when you are standing in front of the Julius Irving (Dr. J) mural (1:06 in video) you may experience a moment of nirvana. We even have mural tours.

Dug! 💥

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
7 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

I actually got goosebumps watching this video, phl. What a great place to be a part of. That’s how wonderful the City of Murals is. I can imagine undertaking a mural tour – just stunning, full of meaning and the aims of the various programs I found extremely uplifting. Here is a link re our mural trail on grain silos in WA, which is part of a national mural art network: https://youtu.be/BNinlq4gB2A All of these places we have lived in or been a part of and I even had administrative responsibility for one of the towns shown.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
7 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Sean – I am in love with these silos. They are all stellar! 👏👏👏 Murals bring such pride to the community. What an excellent idea. If I ever get to WA that would be one of the first things I would go to see.

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
7 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Phl – I’m glad you appreciated the artwork – I never tire of the cleverness of such creative human beings 😊

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

That mural is BRILLIANT!! I have an especial fondness for Lego too. Mural painting is so hard!

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
7 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Thanks Ele! There is an initial moment of absolute panic (where am I?) when first drawing. It has to be tamed down to workable sections.Scaffolding is meant for more than construction.

Again Ele, good job you!

MC
MC
7 months ago

Ahhh! I spazz so hard coz I love Jane Austen and P&P and S&S! I’ve not read some of her other works but you really inspire me too. What a clever article and I love your writing – just everything about this made me smile. Thanks so much for something fun on a dreary work day.

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  MC

Aw, MC, thank you for making me smile 🥰

kate
kate
7 months ago

Ele omg *squeals in delight

I‘m at work so a more detailed reply has to wait a bit but I enjoyed your post so much 😍🥰

Fellow Jane Austen fan here and agree on so many of the points you make!!

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  kate

SQUEEEEEEEEE!!! Glad you approve!

Trent
7 months ago

So I’ve been idly turning casting possibilities about in the old noggin, and although I’m nowhere close to filling out the entire roster for any particular book, here’s a few possibilities that popped into mind:

P&P: Elizabeth–Lee Se-young (she has the wit, independence, and sparkling personality to nail it, I think). Jane–Kim Tae-ri (in her Mr Sunshine mode; she projected such a proper lady image). Mr. Darcy–Yoo Seung-ho (he can do proud and stand-offish and smoldery romantic both). Mr. Bingley–Jung Ji-hoo aka Jun (hear me out! He did such a good job as the eager to please golden retriever puppy type in the just released Love and Leashes movie. He’d be a great Bingley!). Mr. Wickham–Lee Joon (he was such a suavely irresistible villain in Bulgasal). Lydia–Lee Yu-bi (a bit old now, but her ability to project unselfconscious self-regard is perfect for the part). Mr. Collins–Ahn Jae-hong (he could really dig into the comic potential in the role,I think).

S&S: Elinor–Kim Go-eun (she’s got the chops to handle this). Marianne–Chae Soo-bin (c’mon, she’d be perfect). Edward Ferrar–Ahn Bo-hyun (give these two their happy ending!). Colonel Brandon–Lee Sun-kyun (The Voice as the steady, good-hearted Colonel? Yes, please).

Persuasion: Anne–I like uyen’s suggestion of Won Jin-ah, I think she’s be great as Anne. Wentworth–Lee Jin-wook (you need a plausible tough guy/military officer, who can also manifest the sensitive side when suitably prompted; I think Wentworth would be right up LJW’s alley). Alternate Wentworth–Namgoong Min.

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Your kdrama cast knowledge is much wider than mine, Trent! Re Sense and Sensibility (I need this show, kdrama producers everywhere!) I like your choice of Kim Go-eun as my namesake Elinor. She has a sense vibe, doesn’t she? I don’t know Chae Soo-bin for Marianne but just looked her up and she’s cute as anything so tick! Ahn Bo-hyun is popular! He is a sweetie for sure. Lee Sun-kyun as Colonel Brandon? Did you read my mind?! Or did I post somewhere that he so reminds me of Alan Rickman (who played Colonel Brandon in film) Argh! I need this to be made!!! But who would be Willoughby?!

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
7 months ago
Reply to  Trent

A big Yes! for Lee Sun Kyun as Colonel Brandon!

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
7 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

And Chae Soo Bin as Marianne is also perfect.

maj
maj
7 months ago

This was charming..thank you. I’m also a Persuasion fan..am daydreaming a cast it with my favorites…

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  maj

Thank you, maj! I think we could spend the next year casting!!

j3ffc
j3ffc
7 months ago

Ele, what a clever post; Miss Austen would surely approve. It was hands down the most entertaining thing I’ve read in a while and just perfect for Valentine’s Day itself (as it was today here in the States). Your casting was nonpareil! I’ve only seen Park Min-young in two episodes of Healer, but even so I am already seeing her a Elizabeth Bennett (you did pick the perfect photo to make your point). 

When I wasn’t ROTFLing, I was really struck by how many of your characters came from our various group watches. I’m not sure how many of those you have seen outside of that format (I’m guessing Healer is one), but those shows are really creating a shared vocabulary along with what I like to think of as our own little repertory company. You sure picked a lot of my favorites.

Thanks for sharing.

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Aw, thank you so much j3ffc! Yes, I did think around our group watches. It is so lovely, as you, to have a shared vocabulary of characters and shows 😊

uyen
7 months ago

Ele!! I loved your format using Pride & Prejudice – I loved Jane Austen’s works before I started watching dramas haha. P&P is a classic, but Persuasion is my fav – I’m forever a sucker for the second chance stories. After seeing Lost, I would totally want to see Jeon Do Yeon as Anne, or even if we’re leaning on the younger end, Won Jin Ah. Haven’t quite landed on a Wentworth though, too many options!

Totally loved your casting and busted out laughing at Sung Dong Il as Mr. Collins. I can totally see Lee Seung Gi as Mr. Bingley but also think he could be a Wickham too, but that’s just because I don’t love his characters pre-character growth lol. Agreed with Medea below that I see Kang Ha Na as Miss Bingley or Lydia.

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  uyen

Persuasion is a good-un – and I like your choice of Won Jin-ah! Hmm, Wentworth…

Medea
Medea
7 months ago

Aaaaahhhh! I love Jane Austen! I never thought I’d see Lady Catherine quoted on this blog but here we are! I’ve actually thought about my ideal Pride and Prejudice casting in dramaland for ages now, and our choices are actually eerily similar! The only differences are that I would cast Park Seo-Joon for Mr.Bingley and Kang Han-Na as Miss Bingley. Also, I never thought of Sung Dong-Il as Mr.Collins, but that’s actually kind of genius. Fun fact, there is actually a K-drama called Pride and Prejudice, and it includes Baek Jin-Hee. However, it’s an intense legal drama that’s not really my cup of tea.

Just for funsies, here’s my casting for Emma:
Lee Sung-Kyung as Emma
Eric as Mr. Knightley
Kim Yoo-Jung as Harriet
Kim Gab-Soo as Mr.Woodhouse
Kwon Yuri as Jane Fairfax
Kim Mi-Kyung as Miss Bates
Ahn Boh-Yun as Frank Churchill
Choi Woo-Shik as Mr.Elton
UEE as Mrs.Elton
Im Si-Wan as Robert Martin

uyen
7 months ago
Reply to  Medea

I love this casting, Medea, I can totally see Lee Sung Kyung as Emma

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  uyen

I almost chose her as Miss Bingley because of her character in It’s Okay, That’s Love!

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Medea

Thanks, Medea – and thank you for casting Emma! I don’t know Eric but just looked him up and he definitely has the right look! Ah, Kim Mi-Kyung is a great actress – maybe too feisty for Miss Bates?! Anh Bo-hyun – yummy! Choi Woo-shik is inspired! Yes to him as Mr Elton indeed 👏

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
7 months ago

What a cool post, @Ele! I am sure Jane Austen is smiling. I am also sure she would have liked Korean dramas.

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Aw, thank you Snow Flower! Yes, I have a feeling she would have liked kdrama too 😊

JJ
JJ
7 months ago

@Ele – What an utterly delightful post!!! I enjoyed myself thoroughly and of course I hung out in the OST a bit longer before moving on to finish your post 🙂 YAY for Orbit! One of MY FAVES!

Swoon for Hyun Bin as Mr. Darcy 🙂 Can you just picture Hyun Bin in the tails with the ruffled collar and a top hat, too!

Shin Min A as Kitty! Love it!!! Its totally the dimples 🙂

Who knows your casting might become a reality since Trent shared the news over on Patreon that we will have a Kdrama remake of Little Women. 🙂 Is there a casting agent out there reading this post??!! Or a producer!

*SQUEAL* for Romance is a Bonus Book!!!!!!

Loved your post so much, I smiled the entire time I read through your wonderful casting of Pride and Prejudice. Let us know how it goes 😉

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  JJ

SQUEEEEEE, wouldn’t it be something to see Hyun Bin all dashing 🥰 I’m swooning already! I mean, Bride and Prejudice was ace so I really think the storyline would suit Korea too.

Trent
7 months ago

Ele! As a huge fan of Ms. Austen, I say: what a delightful idea for a post! The Pride and Prejudice–Kdrama cross-over we never knew we needed until there it was. Brava!

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Trent

We totally need it, Trent! I actually can’t believe they haven’t done it.

Leslie
Leslie
7 months ago

What a brilliant post, Ele! Witty! Erudite! Smashing! Well done, you! Thank you for a fun read! ♥️ (As I channel a weak attempt at some Britishisms. 🤣)

Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Leslie

Thank you, Leslie!! Ah, do I sound very obviously British 😆 I actually live very close to where Jane Austen used to live – I guess you can’t get much more British…

Leslie
Leslie
7 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

@Ele – Not so obviously British, but I remembered that you live in England, and, well, Jane Austen. So I went for it – especially Well done, you! One of my favorites.