The news of a Korean remake of the massively popular American legal drama Suits had people around the world collectively losing it.
When our bae Park Hyung Sik and legend Jang Dong Gun were cast as the leads, we knew it wouldn’t disappoint. The first two episodes have been a wild ride of familiar funky music, to die for fashion, and surprisingly sexy legal jargon. All the characters can be easily matched with their American counterparts, but instead of just being carbon copies they have small distinguishable differences. This is a remake that we can definitely get behind.
Here are some of the ways the Korean Suits sets itself apart from the original.
Warning! Spoilers ahead!
Violence, blackmail and everything in between
While there was some pretty shady stuff happening in the original American series, the Korean remake has taken it to the next level. It’s only been two episodes, but we’ve already witnessed a chase scene, someone getting smashed in the head with a brick, and intense beating up. All of this physical violence is related to Yeon Woo’s (Park Hyung Sik, the Korean Mike Ross) not very good friend and his dealings with shady gang members.
The bad stuff isn’t just isolated to Yeon Woo though; Kang Seok (Jang Dong Gun, the Korean Harvey Specter) is also involved in some morally dubious activities. Pretty sure coercing someone to sign a legal document, and then using that to blackmail their father, isn’t exactly the most ethical thing to do. In this regard, though, the drama isn’t too far from the original.
Conglomerates, chaebols and connections
The business landscape in South Korea is distinctive from the American one, in the sense that there are more family-run conglomerates, which are known as ‘chaebols’.
For all those experienced with K-dramas, you’ll know that chaebols are often the focus of drama plot lines, whether it be in the form a classic rich-boy-poor-girl romance or intense company politics. In Suits we’re faced with your classic rich chaebol kid who parties excessively, does illegal stuff, and acts above the law because of their family’s connections.
Watching Korean dramas truly feels like witnessing art in action sometimes, what with all the poetic sayings that are woven into the episodes and the way they link seemingly unrelated events to reveal a web of interconnected relationships.
While there were little hints of this in the original Suits, they didn’t come close to the Korean version. Rich guy who tries to frame Yeon Woo turns out to be the key to helping Kang Seok subdue his client, Yeon Woo splashes mud on Kim Ji Na who then turns out to be in charge of his orientation at work – see what I mean?
There are also lots of beautifully poetic sayings and metaphors used in conversations which makes things seem infinitely more philosophical and deep, not to mention all the motifs they’ve already established. Cards, dice, fate – I’m feeling a common theme here…
The end is nigh
The original American Suits is ongoing – that’s right, 7 seasons out so far and still going strong. This may seem kind of crazy to all of us who are used to roughly 16 to 20 episodes of emotional destruction and then the black void of trying to recover from dramas.
Luckily for us, the Korean version seems to be working towards a definite end goal. We’ve already seen a glimpse of a future point in the drama, complete with cool time reversal visual effects and everything. Yeon Woo is apparently in prison, and everyone looks distressed in some way – how did he get there, what has been put in jail for, is he going to get out, and is it better to experience 7 seasons of stretched out conflict and drama or 20ish episodes of intense drama that might completely blow our minds?
One of the most beautiful bromances to bless legal dramas ever
The bromance in the original is pretty great, but is it as great as the bromantic relationship we got a glimpse of in these two pilot episodes of the Korean remake? Maybe it’s me, but K-dramas just do bromances so well – they take things to a whole new level with all those special bro looks and back-and-forth dialogue. Every time Kang Seok and Yeon Woo are in a scene together, the growing bromance between them is palpable.
What other differences were you able to spot in the first two episodes?
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