Ossan's Love review: Hong Kong's faithful remake of the Japanese boys' love drama

The Hong Kong remake of Ossan's Love stars Edan Lui (left) as Tin and Kenny Wong as KK. (Photo: ViuTV)
The Hong Kong remake of Ossan's Love stars Edan Lui (left) as Tin and Kenny Wong as KK. (Photo: ViuTV)

Cast: Kenny Wong, Edan Lui, Anson Lo, Stanley Yau, Rachel Kan, Colin Chan
Language: Cantonese with Chinese subtitles

Streaming on ViuTV from 28 June

3.5 out of 5 stars

This review covers the first three episodes of Ossan’s Love.

Ossan's Love (which literally means Uncle's Love), the first boys' love drama series from Hong Kong, is a remake of the popular Japanese drama of the same title. The Hong Kong remake stars Edan Lui as the protagonist Tin, Kenny Wong as the uncle KK, and Anson Lo as the love rival Muk.

Despite living alone, Tin is hopeless at doing household chores, and often relies on his sister to help him. He meets Muk at a gathering, who later turns out to be his new colleague. A stark contrast to Tin, Muk is great at cooking and cleaning.

However, Tin’s life starts to spin into chaos after his boss KK, who is a married man, confesses his feelings for him. To make things worse, Muk also tells him he has feelings for him. Tin has only liked women before, and becomes torn between the sudden choice he has to make.

One thing to applaud is the remake’s faithful adaptation. The drama, thankfully and luckily, did not suffer under the hands of censorship — intimate scenes were re-created as per the Japanese version. In fact, Tin and Muk locked lips as quickly as in the second episode! If the Hong Kong remake continues their faithful adaptation, we should see even more of such scenes, which are often cut away due to censorship, in the later episodes.

Furthermore, the Hong Kong remake even re-created small but essential details like the heart-shaped bokeh effect that is synced to KK’s feelings. Effects like this are really fun to catch (you’ll have to pay attention to the background), and add more colour to the characters they are painting.

The only regrettable part is the casting. Edan Lui takes the same role as Kei Tanaka from the original drama, who did a great portrayal of the confused and overwhelmed feelings of the protagonist. Tanaka has been in the acting industry for more than two decades, and is one of the top actors in Japan. In contrast, Lui only debuted in 2018 and does not have as much acting experience. His portrayal, although not entirely bad, still lacks a certain depth and nuances.

Ossan's Love. (PHOTO: Viu)
Ossan's Love. (PHOTO: Viu)

As for the role of KK, it was originally played by Kotaro Yoshida, who was able to showcase the character’s masculine attributes as the boss of a company, yet also the feminine attributes of being in love with a male colleague. In a way, Yoshida could not only look smart and cool, but also become cute and lovable, which makes people want to root for him. However, perhaps because of the manly and mature image Kenny Wong has and the lack of familiarity with such characters, he could not really bring out the feminine aspect naturally, which becomes awkward to watch sometimes. But at least, Wong’s portrayal still helps to hold up the comical element of the drama.

The casting for Muk is better. With a pretty face, Anson Lo fits the image that Kento Hayashi has given to the character, if not better. Lo was able to portray a good househusband, and could also show his aggressiveness in an epic fight for Tin with KK in the third episode. Although the Japanese version makes it difficult for people to choose between the two potential lovers, Muk may look like the obvious choice in the Hong Kong version.

All in all, the Hong Kong remake of Ossan’s Love is unexpectedly a great and faithful adaptation, but could do better with its casting, especially for the role of the uncle.

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