My reactions to the news of the “My Love From Another Star” and ABC deal.

Hello. This is AKIA Talking writing from Korea at the moment. Recently, the news that ABC is remaking the recent Korea drama “My Love From Another Star” has had the Korean drama fandom peeing its pants. Among the overreaction within the community, there is an evident lack of any kind of understanding of the inner-workings of the US television industry. So, I am here to force the fandom into an ALS challenge with tons of ice water.

This does not mean anything!
This does not validate your status as a member of a niche community.
And needing one’s ego stroked and constant foreign validation is a KOREAN thing!

Let’s see what is actually happening. According to Hollywood reporter, ABC has given out a script commitment with a penalty. What this means that ABC is paying for a pilot script to be made and just that. Nothing more.  Before pilot season, dozens of script commitments are made. The penalty clause is a little unique but not unheard of. A lot of pilots which are actually filmed are not aired with penalty clauses. In the case of “My Love From Another Star”, the penalty clause can be thought to be a product of having the production done outside the studio.

Just looking at this agreement, there is a not so small chance that not a single second of digital tape would be used in filming this show.

Do you still used digital tape or am I just showing my age?

 Even if it does go into production, it is more than likely it would not last a single season which is the norm for recent new shows on US TV networks.

What I mean is that there is no reason to change one’s underpants just yet. At this point, it is more likely to be premature than the reverse.  Since I got that out of the way, let’s talk about whether the show warrants a US remake. My answer is no.

“My Love From Another Star” is an example of the fact that you just need to nail one thing to become popular.

Dream sequence

“Why are you so negative?” said the villain of the show as he barges in.

I say “The story of “My Love From Another Star” is basically a scrap book of generic plots lifted from other better sources.”

“What other sources?” he asked as if he really had no idea of what I was mentioning.

“The bad remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still”
“The time traveler’s wife”
“The total library of vampire and immortal books”
 “Superman comics”
“There is so much that I cannot recall all of them.”

The villain suddenly get defensive.
“Nothing is truly original!”

“Even so, if it was well executed, I would have less of a problem. What is more of a problem is that those plots of glued together with just spit and cheap chewing gum.  Characters and plot lines go nowhere!

I point at the villain.

“That includes you, you low rent joker!

I kick him out.

The only thing that works in the show is the chemistry between the two leads and that was enough to propel the show to its current lofty heights. But the truth is that it does not matter thatMy Love From Another Star” is not a good show.

Some people but mostly Koreans view the US market to be the big league in which the crème de la crème rise up to. While this does happen occasionally, it is more of an accident rather than by design. It is just a different market with the emphasis on different. The bigger part is just part of the different.

For an example, the reason why Korean actors are having a difficult time getting into and staying in Hollywood is not because their acting talents are less although this could and have been the case. It is because the US market does not need or want them. It barely has room for more than 3 major African American actors at the same time. With Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman talking most of the roles, there is barely any room for a new up and coming youngish African American actor to break into mainstream movies.

Hollywood and US TV will try their hands on anything that has the possibility of making them money and lessor the risk the better. This is the case for “My Love From Another Star”. The interest in “My Love From Another Star” is not evidence that mainstream US is catching on with the whole Korea drama thing that the readers of this will already have. You are not be reading this if you had not caught the bug.

Can you feel the ice cold water now?

While the show may be popular in Korean drama circles in the US, no one in the mainstream US audience knows about the show. No one! There is no brand recognition with the mainstream US audience which is the target of non-cable networks like ABC. If ABC wanted to do a story like “My Love From Another Star”, they could just do their own take on it since the plot is so generic. As a side note, ABC’s interest in this type of story is rather odd if you consider their lineup. What shows do they have?

They have many reality show including the long running “The Bachelor”.
They have broad procedurals or cop shows including “Castle”.
They also have ensemble soaps which include shows such as “Grey's Anatomy” and “Scandal”
Then they have sitcoms.
All these shows are very broad appeal shows. The only shows that seem to be out of their wheelhouse are “Once Upon a Time” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”. These are only in the roster because of the networks parent company Disney. 

I cannot remember the last couple focused melodrama show that was not a 20 minute sitcom aired by ABC. Even most of their soaps are more ensemble type of show.

This all means that “My Love From Another Star” is an odd fit considering the concept of the show listed by Hollywood reporter.

The show will be an “epic supernatural love story about a world-famous actress, Lark, and her anti-social neighbor, James, who happens to be from another planet. Disillusioned by the pettiness of human nature, and a resident of Earth for the past several hundred years, James has a centuries-old rule that he will never use his abilities to intervene in the lives of the people around him. But when he gets a premonition that the infuriatingly self-centered but compelling Lark is going to be murdered, James finds himself drawn into her chaotic life and falling deeply in love — just as he finally has the chance to return to his home in the stars.”

The first thing about this description I noticed is that it is a very CW type of show. This is not surprising as the writers, Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, were writers on CW shows. (CW's The 100, 666 Park Avenue, The Vampire Diaries, Dollhouse). It is an odd choice for ABCs audience which tend to skew much older than CW’s audience.  I just imagine the show feeling similar to the “beauty and the beast” remake on CW which got canceled last year I think.

The second thing that came to my brain was that ABC may turn the show into a more episodic story show which they tend to prefer as those shows do well for that network. Then, the show will basically be similar to their new supernatural procedural show “Forever”.

So, why is ABC going for this remake? I can guess that it is because of foreign sales and financing. Making a show in the US is expensive. It is not cheap in Korea also. A Network will not make any money if the show is not either a huge hit in the US or the network doesn't owns the show. The former is iffy and in the case of the latter… HB Entertainment owns the show.

In many cases, the only way this type of show gets aired is through foreign sales and financing. The network is not required to fork over all the cost of production. Niche shows such as “Hannibal” is only being aired because the foreign sales and financing pay for most of the show’s cost.

One thing is sure about “My Love From Another Star”. It will recoup most of its cost from the Asian regions considering the Korean drama’s popularity. So, the network can just take a risk. I also estimate this is the case for most of the Korean dramas being talked about for a remake in the US.

This is the reason for my lackluster response to this new. This is not evidence that Korean dramas are catching on in US. It just means that the ridiculous popularity of Korean dramas in Asia can pay for a remake. We already knew that.  


  1. Well now I'm drenched and freezing. J/K. But I was a little enthused, but not jumping for joy and wetting my pants. The American 'version' will change it so much it won't even be recognizable as my love from another star. Which will have netizens/fans angrily commenting how they 'ruined' it. ABC also had an alien series called "The Neighbors" that aired for 2 seasons. About aliens living in the suburbs, with the 'politically correct' family of white, black, Asian. Hollywood has done alien shows forever. Not sure, but I think "My Favorite Martian" was one of the first in the fifties. Loved that. Since then you had a ton. Like Alien Nation, Alf, 3rd Rock from the Sun. They would probably turn the K-drama idea into a half-hour series, with friends and maybe alien acquaintances popping up. If they want to keep the show going. Unless they want it to be all serious like Beauty and the Beast. I think they might go for that.

    The news about 'Good Doctor' coming to the U.S excited me more, because I like actor Daniel Dae Kim, not sure if he's going to be in it, he should. I could see him as the mentor/head surgeon - the Joo Sang Wook role. But DDK may only be producing it. Hollywood is a little enamored with 'Savants' right now.

  2. I do not know why people keep thinking and comparing
    “My Love From Another Star” with sitcoms. At the best, it was a dramady. It is really a basic light melodrama. Somewhere between romcom and boring thriller

  3. True! Keep forgetting about that pesky serial killer part. :p Then definitely not a sitcom. And I think it would fit better on CW too.

  4. You are such a good writer. This blog post was engaging and funny at times. I read it even though I chose not to watch "My Love From Another Star" and I'm a Sci-fi lover. You seem to really know TvLand. Bravo.