K-Drama Review: What Distinguishes ‘Today’s Webtoon’ From the Original Drama?

Today’s Webtoon review

Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Yu Jin Kim

Todays Webtoon review
Credit: SBS

The Korean remakes of foreign dramas have not been so successful in the past. Except for a few shows like The World of the Married, most rebooted dramas have garnered poor ratings and were criticized for not properly adapting the original work. Despite unsatisfying outcomes, many remakes are still happening thanks to the unique themes and engaging storylines of their original works.

Just recently, SBSToday’s Webtoon made headlines for being the Korean remake of the popular Japanese series, Sleepeeer Hit!. The drama follows the story of On Ma Eum (played by Kim Se Jeong) and her co-workers at a webtoon company named Neon. Will the new drama be able to become one of the few popular remakes and steal viewers’ hearts? Without further ado, let’s take a look at the key takeaways of Today’s Webtoon and the differences it has from its original work, Sleepeeer Hit!.

The difference between ‘Sleepeeer Hit!’ and ‘Today’s Webtoon’

The biggest difference between Today’s Webtoon and Sleepeeer Hit! is the story’s setting. Today’s Webtoon revolves around characters in the webtoon business, whereas Sleepeeer Hit! follows people in the comics business. Though they may sound the same, the difference is quite big. The Japanese version portrays the joys and sorrows that people go through in the publishing industry, while the remake focuses on people in the IT industry with webtoons as its centerpiece. With the tweak, the Korean version sheds light on office politics and the struggles a contractor has to go through.

The appearance of new characters, including On Ma Eum’s family and her co-workers, is also very interesting. There is a scene where it captures the possible fling between Goo Jun Yeong (Nam Yoon Su) and a beautiful webtoon writer. As the 10-part Japanese series was remade into a 16-part drama, the show attempts to include various elements original to the Korean version. The drama spices up its story with the addition of villain figures who try to get rid of the webtoon editorial department. All of these efforts set the show apart from its original work and transformed it into more of an office show.

Todays Webtoon review
Credit: SBS
Less Focus on the Main Subject

Although it brought in an exciting subject, the drama has failed to utilize webtoons in its story. The Japanese series revolves around the idea of “One comic book can change many people’s lives” and focuses on passionate comics editors and the positive effects that it produces. However, Today’s Webtoon does not depict people’s affection or passion toward their profession despite having a very intriguing subject that they can work on.

Unlike the original drama, Today’s Webtoon doesn’t put its emphasis on portraying how Goo Jun Young regains his passion for what he does. The camera only captures him regaining his motivation while working with On Ma Eum. The role that Sakaguchi Kentaro played in the original work, who gets inspired by the comics he needs to sell, is nowhere to be found in this new remade series. Although it’s too early to be concerned, there is a possibility that the whole work could just become a bland office drama if they continue to deal with its central subject.

Kim Se Jeong’s Outstanding Performance

Kim Se Jeong’s outstanding acting is what made viewers stay tuned in the drama despite some of its letdowns. Just like how she showed her brilliant role in Business Proposal, Kim Se Jeong showed her outstanding talent in acting by portraying her bright and energetic character in the series. On Ma Eum is a kind, diligent and friendly character with a strong spirit she gained from her previous judo experience. Although her character’s overly optimistic personality raised concerns among some viewers, she nailed her role in her own bright and delightful way.

Kim Se Jeong successfully depicted the worries and difficulties a contractor may experience at her work and the work life that wasn’t portrayed in the original series. In its third episode, the way she speaks about her life philosophy to the full-time worker Goo Joon Yeong fascinated viewers. Kim Se Jeong gives a persuasive speech about the value of putting one’s best effort forward while including sensitive topics like youth employment, and successfully rendered the character into a more realistic individual than what the Japanese drama has.

Another way to enjoy this drama is to observe the actress’s improving acting along with her character’s growth in her work. We wish that Kim Se Jeong could break the chain of remake dramas’ failures, and that is why we all root for Today’s Webtoon’s success despite leaving plenty of room for improvements. (6/10)

Editor Hwang Hong Sun: A Korean movie buff who wishes that the warm messages in good works will warm up this world at least by one degree Fahrenheit.

 

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