As nearly everyone who has ever heard me talk about dramas knows, my favorite drama is You’re Beautiful. 말도없이 (Without Words) is why I started learning Korean. I went to Seoul in 2012 and the timing was so that I could see a live production of You’re Beautiful. (I’m still waiting for someone to bring it to Broadway or at least Viki.) I also take the photo comic books with me to the dentist as a distraction & a way to practice reading Korean.
I’ve seen the Japanese version (Ikemen desu ne)and the Taiwanese version (Fabulous Boys) as well. I just rewatched Fabulous Boys on viki and I’d started I’d do a showdown or review or something. I know very little about Taiwanese dramas so bear with me. Also, I wasn’t planning on writing this when I watched Fabulous Boys and I haven’t rewatched YAB in a while so I might be fuzzy and skip some stuff.
Spoilers for both.
- Park Shin Hye as Go MiNam/ Go MiNyu / Cheng Yu Xi as Gao Mei Nan/Gao Mei Nu
- Jang Geun Suk as Hwang TaeKyung / Jiro Wang as Huang Tai Qing
- Jung Yong Hwa as Kang ShinWoo / Hwang In Deok as Jiang Xin Yu
- Lee Hong Ki /Evan Yo as Jeremy
My 2 Cents
I believe that Cheng Yu Xi Mei Nan is just as good as Park Shin Hye’s MiNam. They both have their strength’s and weaknesses. One obvious difference is FB allows you to see the “real” Mei Nan, he even participates in several key scenes. My gut says that PSH couldn’t pull off playing an real man instead of a former wannabe nun pretending to be a man. Or maybe she didn’t want to do it. But that is something I had wanted to see so in FB you can.
Tai Qing is less arrogant (he’s plenty arrogant – don’t get me wrong) and more emotionally available then TaeKyung. His emotions are more believable. He’s also gentler (his eyes especially). I like him better then TaeKyung.
I’m sure acting wise Hwang In Deok could get Jung YongHwa a run for his money, but emotionally, I have to go with ShinWoo/YongHwa. There is one scene in particular I didn’t like – somehow Xin Yu found out who Mei Nan’s mother was. I don’t see how that is even possible considering he wouldn’t have found out until after the big disclosure/fight. Maybe he’s a gangster/PI in disguise?
Jeremy. There’s only one Jeremy. That is the super adorable HongKi. (Adorable as in: he reminds me of my nephew when he was 6. I def. “don’t think of him as a man” 😀 ) The YAB Bus Scene always make me tear up. But I felt nothing during the same scene in FB. Part of it could be he didn’t sing that well – HongKi’s singing thru his tears is what tears a hole in my heart; every single time! also FB Jeremy didn’t have funny hair styles & clothes 😉
In some aspects, Fabulous Boys is a clone of You’re Beautiful. Some scenes are almost identical. But FB is 20 eps versus YAB 16, so stuff has been added. I don’t think the additions hurt the plot too much (except for Xin Yu being a PI). One of the crucial additions is the Mei Nan helping at an orphanage. It’s believable that she would want to give kids a good Christmas. Tho the compulsive knitting is a bit weird – but sure, fine, whatever.
In some ways, Fabulous Boys is funnier then YAB. For instance, during the fight over the phone – Mei Nan licks it to keep Tai Qing from touching it and then threatens him. That’s hilarious! She uses his Monk tendencies against him.
Something I didn’t like – the hair clip was even smaller and plainer then the bow. It was also a star. Everything was covered in stars.
I really like that Mei Nan & Mei Nu meet up (at the airport scene) After Mei Nan plays the angry big brother part with the reporter, they get to hug. Mei Nan is even supportive of Mei Nu & Tai Qing’s relationship. His take was never given in YAB. However, you’d think that people not in on secret would start wondering when Mei Nan’s hair keeps changing. (when Mei Nu played him again). Also, the total change of personality (but that applies to both versions).
I like the actual ending of FB boys better – but I don’t like that he sings her dad’s song and announces it’s for the most important person in his life and she is still walking out! It’s also cute that the fans around them when they meet – are the ones you see in the first episode etc.
The music in FB was OK – but I think Still was the only song from YAB – and I love “Without Words.”
I’m running out of steam, but I recommend watching Fabulous Boys.
BTW – one of these days I’m going to do proper screenshots and maybe even learn to make gifs (used to know how a long time ago) – so, sorry my posts are text heavy.