One worth remaking: Liar Game

Liar Game is the first Asian drama I’ve watched that I think could easily be successfully adapted as a remake for American TV. Yep, I am all about the Liar Game universe right now.

Currently I’m watching both the original Japanese and the Korean versions of the show. The Korean Liar Game is 12 episodes and is just about to end. It slightly alters the original Japanese manga storyline by making Liar Game and reality TV show that’s broadcast and emphasizes the psychological aspects of gamesmanship. The Japanese show has two 13-episode seasons and a movie. It’s far more creepy and mysterious because Liar Game is not happening in public, but being run by a (so far) nameless organization operating in the shadows, toying with the desperate or greedy participants.

Whenever I hear of a western network or production company planning to do a remake of a K-drama or a J-drama, I’m always skeptical or flat out adamantly against it. Mostly I’m against these remakes because some of the things K-drama fans enjoy about the TV shows and some of the conventions unique to them just don’t work for an American audience. For example, when the jokes or story hinges on use of formal and informal speech, or other customs specific to South Korea and it’s key to moving the story along…it just doesn’t work well. Liar Game doesn’t have anything culturally specific driving the story so that’s a huge issue removed. It would be cool to blend the scariness of the Japanese show and the reality TV show take from the Korean version. I’m picturing a crazy Orphan Black vibe.

I would be really excited if Liar Game was remade for BBC America. Hey, BBC America let’s make this happen!

Side note: So far the following Korean dramas have been acquired by American networks or production companies to remake:

  • Nine Times Travels
  • Good Doctor
  • Reply 1997 (as Answer Me 1999)
  • 3rd Hospital
  • Vampire Prosecutor

There was an attempt to remake Boys Over Flowers late last year by a small production company, but lack of funding caused it to crash and burn. I applaud the earnestness and the passion the company had for the show, but without Gossip Girl type funding and a solid plot, it was doomed from the start.


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