Get ready for a delightful K-drama experience with “Doona!,” set to premiere on Netflix on October 20. This series is an adaptation of the beloved South Korean webtoon “The Girl Downstairs,” and it’s one of several webtoon-based K-dramas coming to the platform in 2023.
The Alluring Premise of “Doona!”
“Doona!” follows the story of Lee Doona, a former K-pop idol, portrayed by the talented Bae Suzy, who herself was a member of a K-pop girl group in real life.
After reaching the pinnacle of her K-pop career, Doona takes a surprising step by leaving the industry and moving into a sharehouse in a college town. Here, she encounters Lee Wonjun, a 20-year-old freshman who resides in the same building. However, Wonjun barely recognizes her, setting the stage for an intriguing and complex relationship.
A Promising Plot with Unexpected Twists
Their initial meeting takes an unexpected turn when Doona, typically known for her public sweetness, accuses Wonjun of being a stalker. Despite this rocky start, Doona soon finds herself drawn to him, and their shared meals and growing companionship provide a unique backdrop for their evolving connection. Wonjun learns that Doona, with her life spent in the limelight, is just beginning to comprehend the complexities of the real world.
Across nine engaging episodes, these two characters navigate their mutual attraction, personal struggles, and emotional journeys. Doona faces a significant decision about her future as an entertainer, while Wonjun strives to secure a job and provide for his family, all while dealing with the re-emergence of a past love from his university days.
Exploring the Challenges of K-Pop and the Entertainment Industry
Bae Suzy’s portrayal of Doona has personal resonance, drawing from her own experiences as a K-pop idol with the group Miss A under JYP Entertainment from 2010 to 2017. The series delves into the often harsh and competitive world of K-pop, where young talents face tremendous pressures and deal with mental health-related challenges. Doona’s character brings to light the struggles of trying to meet the public’s ever-mounting expectations while grappling with personal failures.
From Webtoon to Live Action: Adapting “The Girl Downstairs”
The source material, “The Girl Downstairs,” is a widely popular webtoon written by Min Song-a. With over 41 million views on the WEBTOON platform, it gained a substantial following since its inception in 2019. The webtoon spans over 150 episodes and has been translated into eight different languages. The original webtoon adopts a longer format and includes meet-cutes, confessions, and multiple romantic tensions, leading to what it humorously describes as a “heart-throbbing” and “heart-aching” love story.
In the transition from webtoon to live action, the plot of “Doona!” has been condensed to focus on the central characters, Wonjun and Doona. While the webtoon retains a more comical and extravagant tone, the series offers a slice-of-life approach with a greater emphasis on developing the romantic dynamics between the two leads. The result is a series that captivates viewers with intimate and tender moments.
“Donna!” promises an emotional and entertaining journey as it brings a beloved webtoon to life on the small screen. Get ready to be swept away by the romantic allure of this K-drama when it arrives on Netflix.