Lately, there has been much talk about 49 Days in comparison to Secret Garden, primarily because of the soul factor that plays a large role in both of these dramas. Both of these dramas bear resemblances to each other but yet they also go in different directions.
The biggest similarity of these two dramas is obviously the fact that there’s a soul entering another person’s body. These dramas are drifting away from what I would deem as realistic since souls don’t really go into random bodies of other people…right?
Yet, although the crux of 49 Days and Secret Garden is this whole curse or mission theme with the whole soul part, these dramas differ dramatically in their styles and the way that events are presented.
Let’s start with Secret Garden. The highlight of this drama is the great chemistry between the two leads. Hyun Bin and Ha Jiwon just click perfectly in this drama – it’s like the couple was meant to be. From the hugs to the kisses and the other random acts of affection, Secret Garden hit the jackpot with all the love that came out of it. Also, this drama, while it was very dramatic near the end, also had a bit of comedy embedded in it, especially during the first soul switch. I found myself laughing hysterically because of the situations that the characters were put in, causing them to almost reveal themselves. To sum it up, Secret Garden is a drama of blooming love and it has certainly hooked viewers through all the eye candy and the cute scenes.
49 Days is a different story (well, I guess it should be, since it’s a different drama). There aren’t those cute scenes with the cappuccino kisses like there are in Secret Garden, and there definitely aren’t those laugh out loud funny scenes. Instead, 49 Days consists of more intense situations and events. It starts out with uncovering a scandal involving the main character’s best friend and fiance. Then it unfolds into a mission where the main character tries to get 3 tears so that she can live. Unlike Secret Garden, this drama is also more risky with the concept of the soul going into a body, because as the drama progresses, more people start finding out about the soul, and the situation becomes very dangerous for the main character. The plot is much more intense here than it is in Secret Garden (not to say that SG wasn’t, it was).
There are two different plots, two different sets of main characters, and two different results that arise out of changing souls. One creates hilarious mishaps while the other causes us to hold our breaths to see if the main character’s cover will be blown.
On some various blogs and forums, I’ve seen comments by fellow drama viewers comparing the two dramas. It would be plagiarism for me to just copy and paste these comments, so I’ll be quoting them instead. (I only edited them a bit so that they would be grammatically correct and I took out parts that weren’t necessary.)
“I loved Secret Garden but that ran on chemistry and crack. 49 days runs on some amazing storytelling. It really feels like the writer has it all planned. How is it that at episode 14, it still hasn’t lost any steam, but in fact is more energetic and thrilling than ever?” –asianromance
“I have to admit I was pretty obsessed with Secret Garden. It was a major success in Korea and had super high ratings from start to finish, but nothing beats an awesome storyline, good pace, awesome acting, an unpredictable factor…the list goes on and on!” –Godislove
What more can I say? The two comments above managed to sum it all up pretty well. I personally loved Secret Garden and 49 Days is just as good. Both are very different, yes, but who says that I have to pick one over the other? I also became addicted to both dramas very early on. I’m not a huge fan of soul switching, but it does present an interesting twist to a drama, as many of them are becoming very cliche these days.