I was very anxious to see One Percent of Something. It’s a remake of a Kdrama I had seen but hadn’t given a glowing review to, One Percent of Anything. I guess I wanted to see how true this new show was to the original and if it was any better than the first one. Well, it’s very true to the 2003 version and, happily, I liked the 2016 one much, much better than its 13 year old predecessor.
While out in the school yard with her students, Kim Da-Hyun hears something. She goes on a hunt to see what is making the noise and finds an injured old man lying in a remote wooded area. She quickly calls an ambulance and accompanies him to the hospital. When she overhears he will be turned away because he has no guardian she volunteers for the position and even pays his bill when they leave. She gets him a taxi, pays the driver, and that’s that – or so she thinks. What she doesn’t know is that she just came to the aid of Lee Gyu-Chul, a multimillionaire and the chairman of SungHyun Group. He finds out who the kind teacher is and, in hopes of making her his granddaughter-in-law, adds her to his will. Lee Jae-In, his nasty tempered oldest grandson, is the one Lee Gyu-Chul wants her to be with. He thinks Jae-In’s “crappy personality might improve” by observing Da-Hyun’s kind and generous way of dealing with people. However, the will states that if a romance doesn’t work out with Jae-In the second grandson gets a chance to woo Da-Hyun. Although Jae-In has no intention of marrying the plain teacher he agrees to at least date her for six months in the hopes of that pacifying the old gentleman. Da-Hyun decides to go along with the idea but wants a few things in return. So, a dating contract is drawn up and the fake relationship begins. But are their feelings still artificial when the contract comes to an end?
Lee Jae-In is a serious, hardworking young man who wants to earn his own fortune not just inherit wealth from his grandfather. He owns and runs a fancy hotel and wants to show everyone he can succeed on his own. Despite his hot temper and abrupt way of dealing with people, he does have a kind side to his gruff personality. He was engaged to a girl three years earlier but she called off the marriage, refusing to sign a prenuptial agreement.
Da-Hyun is a sweet elementary school teacher who donates her free time as a volunteer at an orphanage. She is also the fan club president of an aspiring Kpop idol whom she also tutors. She is selfless and has a tender heart, although she does stick up for what she knows is right and doesn’t let people take advantage of her.
I wasn’t familiar with anyone in this drama besides Kim Hyung-Min who plays Lee Jae-In’s cousin, Min Tae-Ha. I had seen him in I Need Romance and was in awe with how sexy his sweet character was. All the other folks in this drama are a first for me, aside from two – Ha Seok-Jin (Lee Jae-In) who was in Hello! Miss. Although I have seen that drama I don’t remember Ha Seok-Jin at all. Jeon So-Min, who’s character is Kim Da-Hyun, had a cameo appearance in a drama I saw a while back, Baby Faced Beauty, but I can’t recall anything about the character she played in that show.
So let’s compare the two dramas…
1. I was surprised that the same person, Hyun Go-Woon, wrote both shows. The 2016 version only has 16 episodes, each around 40 to 50 minutes long compared to the 2003 version which lasts 26 episodes. Cutting ten hours out of the show was an excellent idea that really helped move things along.
2. Since the 2016 version is shorter it sticks to just one couple (Jae-In and Da-Hyun) whereas the 2003 show brought in a second couple early on and even a third close to the end.
3. The 2003 Jae-In/Da-Hyun couple fight a lot. It was a stretch for me to believe a couple that argued so much could actually fall in love. The 2016 couple see things differently and debate their ideas and opinions but it isn’t all out fighting so I didn’t have a hard time believing they liked each other.
4. The 2003 Da-Hyun lives at home and has siblings. The 2016 Da-Hyun is an only child, independent and on her own.
5. There’s still orange juice in the 2016 version just not as much as the 2003 show had.
6. Lots, lots more romance and real kisses in the 2016 version.
7. In both versions Da-Hyun’s parents are opposed to her marrying into a mega rich, high profile family. I liked the fact that her parents could see a down side to money and wanted their daughter to avoid that particular pitfall.
The music in this drama is fantabulous! One Percent of Something has the best soundtrack of all the dramas I’ve watched this year – the best by far! Every voice, every melody, every instrument, every rhythm – perfect. Hands down the best soundtrack of 2016. If you’re only going to spend your money on one Kdrama soundtrack this year, this is the one to buy!
The scenery is just right for the story. Jae-In’s house is on the modest side of wealthy and Da-Hyun’s rooftop apartment is small but nice. The hotel Jae-In owns is quite ritzy, probably the most classy in the area and definitely not one I could afford to say in, even for one night. The school Da-Hyun teaches at is in a rural community. It’s nice but nothing fancy, in fact they don’t even have enough money for a school bus. Jae-In takes Da-Hyun on a date to the beach so we get to see the lovely ocean for a while. Just plain old scenery that fits into the storyline just right.
Just like its 2003 antecedent, One Percent of Something is about handling the difficulties life throws at us. It’s about making decisions and dealing with their consequences. It’s about the journey to love and all its ups and downs. It’s about friendship, family, and the discovery of what’s really important. It’s… very much worth watching.
Great romance and kisses
Best Kdrama soundtrack of 2016
A million times more entertaining than its predecessor