So something pretty surprising happened lately. I – who previously hardly ever (like, seriously, ever) checked out Taiwanese dramas – have been on a Taiwanese drama kick.
I’m not even talking about being mildly-to-moderately interested, and simply adding Taiwanese dramas as one more option to my drama plate. I’m talking about full-on back-to-back episode binge-watching, to the exclusion of everything else. Including kdramas.
Gasp! What in the world..? Right?!? 😛
And this, when the dramas themselves weren’t even all that good. Like this one.
OST ALBUM: FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE
Here’s the OST album in case you’d like to listen to it while you read the review.
WHY TAIWANESE DRAMAS, ALL OF A SUDDEN?
A big part of the reason, I think, is coz Chinese drama Nirvana in Fire (so wonderful and so brilliant. Such a masterpiece!) ignited in me a never-felt-before interest and affection for my mother tongue.
Instead of filing Mandarin away in a corner of my brain as a language that I happened to understand, suddenly, I became very interested to hear more of it, and get better at it too (now who says dramas can’t be life-changing?? XD )
Plus, I loved Taiwanese drama Bromance, flaws and all, as well as Baron Chen and Megan Lai in it, so much so that I even went on to watch their first project together, Because of You (2010).
(Short verdict: It was ok. Nothing to shout about, but it gave me more Baron+Megan. I must say, though, Baron’s wayy sexier in Bromance.)
At the same time, it just so happens that I haven’t been all that interested in the various new kdramas coming to our screens. I don’t know what it is, but so few of the newer kdramas actually make me curious enough to want to watch them.
(Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be diving back into kdramas soon!)
Also, Real Life’s been (very) hectic lately and Exhausted Me was in need of some fun fluff to unwind to.
Taiwanese dramas seemed like a good place to dive in, since (in my head, anyway) they’re known for being boppy illogical fun. As a somewhat unexpected bonus, I find that I often don’t actually need to read the subs, since I already know Mandarin. Win!
WHY THIS DRAMA?
I confess I went into this one relatively blind.
I’d happened to come across a blog post that listed a bunch of Taiwanese dramas that the blogger had enjoyed (sorry, I can’t for the life of me find that post to link to).
Among the shows she’d listed, this one sounded like it had a cute premise. I found the idea of a rich genius ending up in a love triangle with himself quite amusing, and was intrigued enough to want to find out more.
Plus, I remembered that my dear friend Eleanor had once spazzed enthusiastically over Aaron Yan. I couldn’t remember if it was this show that she’d been watching (turns out it was), but I figured this was as good a time as any to experience his charm for myself.
Jumping in, I was pleased to find that this show was full of Cute, and even though there were enough lapses in logic and gapey characterization to make one’s eyes glaze over, I was enamored enough to keep on clicking on the next episode, and then the next, every time I reached the end of one.
So, my brain was effectively off on vacation, I was quickly coming around to Aaron’s charms, and I was marathoning a drama again. What’s not to love, right?
..Turns out, quite a lot. 😛
WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE
There are two separate sets of downsides in my head, when I think about this drama.
Not great, but worth overlooking for the Cute
In this category, I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff, like:
1. Coincidences abound,
..particularly in setting up our drama world. And stuff gets cheesy, particularly in the “heartfelt” advertisements that OZ creates.
2. Complete suspension of disbelief is required,
..around male lead Lu Tian Xing’s disguise as Xiao Lu. It’s like Superman, basically. A different hairstyle and a pair of glasses, and everyone quite easily buys that they’re two different people.
3. The broad-stroked, uneven characterization of our male lead,
..who exhibits completely contrary behaviors as Tian Xing and Xiao Lu, so much so that this show sometimes felt like a drama about a guy with a split personality instead.
I mean, one minute, Xiao Lu could be crying over how much he’s hurting female lead character Tao Le Si (Tia Li), and the next minute, Tian Xing’s saying mean things to her.
Like, whut? It just doesn’t make sense.
4. Tia Li is serviceable for the most part,
..but her delivery – and therefore her character – comes across as rather flat at times.
5. The OTP chemistry isn’t great, unfortunately.
Shows serves up a good amount of skinship and kisses, which add to Show’s squee factor, but the lack of OTP chemistry dampens the squee by a fair bit.
The truly bad stuff
Up until about the halfway mark, Show was still a fun enough watch, in spite of the downsides I just talked about. Unfortunately, it feels like the writers ran out of story and decided to turn this show into a Very Dramatic Melodrama.
Suddenly, all the fun fizz was gone, only to be replaced by lots of tears, scheming and screaming.
Once Show had our leads in a place where she’d forgiven him for his deception, it seemed like the writers decided to spend the remaining screen time creating dramatic tension by whatever external means possible, rather than exploring the relationship dynamics between our lead characters.
Suddenly, second female lead Huan Huan (Beatrice Fang) loses her ability to walk thanks to a (very stupid) freak accident.
With constant brainwashing and goading from her power-hungry brother Lance (Gao Ying Xuan) and misguided doting mother, she then simultaneously uses the Illness and Guilt cards to blackmail Tian Xing into marrying her, while getting increasingly crazy and screamy.
In the meantime, in response to the nastiness dished out to them by the Crazies, all our “good” characters become saintly, self-sacrificial and forgiving to the extreme. This narrative cycle gets put on rinse-and-repeat, all the way to the very end.
Show effectively went from Fun Fluff to Tedious Drag, which was a very sad turn of events indeed.
WHAT KEPT ME GOING TO THE END
There are a couple of reasons I stuck with this show through to the bitter end.
As sometimes is the case, they aren’t very much, but it was enough (ok, sometimes barely), to keep me hanging on.
1. Aaron Yan is handsome
I concede that Aaron Yan did more than just look handsome on my screen.
In fact, I thought he had the strongest delivery among our leads, and I didn’t realize until after, that acting isn’t his only job, and that he’s also a member of Fahrenheit and sang most of the songs on this show’s OST.
However, I confess that what kept me going was Aaron’s rather unusual and very appealing brand of handsome. It did take me a little while to get on board, but once I saw the light, I was very quickly mesmerized.
Such strong brows, such sensuous lips, and such a sharp jawline. His all-around pleasing bone structure added up to such a beautiful profile too.
Add on the honey-toned tan, and I was toast. Very happy toast.
Show knows that the Aaron Handsome is its strength, and plays to it often, even serving up multiple shirtless scenes as fanservice.
I.. don’t have any complaints whatsoever about that, since Aaron’s hot bod is of the very lean, very lithe, and very sculpted variety. Ahem.
No matter how eyeroll-worthy the story got, Aaron’s brand of gorgeous was a constant that I held onto, throughout this show.
2. Butler Fu is cute
Butler Fu (Chen Bo Zheng) is adorable as Tian Xing’s wingman and affectionate father figure, and I enjoyed the two’s shared scenes a lot.
I particularly loved how enthusiastically Butler Fu helped Tian Xing create and maintain his alternate identity as Xiao Lu; he was like a little boy in grown-up clothes, savoring a Very Special Adventure.
It’s unfortunate that Butler Fu enjoyed less screen time and plot presence as the show got into its later episodes, but I continued to have a soft spot for him all the way to the end.
3. The tailored menswear is gorgeous
It’s true that some of the menswear that Tian Xing sported was of the more outlandish variety (those giant bows, seriously!), but thankfully, that was mostly limited to the early episodes of the show.
The rest of the time, the tailored menswear we got to see on Tian Xing as well as Lance, was beautifully fitted, and looked to be of serious designer quality.
Lance’s wardrobe was the simpler, plainer one between the two, but the quality cut and fit was unmistakeable, and I couldn’t help admiring his clothes anyway.
Tian Xing’s wardrobe had the same gorgeous fit, but also often boasted interesting textures and details. Like that shot above, where his blazer is part leather; a small but very luxe detail that I liked a lot.
The fact that Aaron Yan looks just as good in his clothes as he does out of them *cough*, also helps take it all to the next level.
All drama long, I couldn’t stop gazing in appreciation, which definitely helped to distract me from the terrible direction the storyline was taking.
4. The music is catchy
The music in this show was definitely one of its bigger strengths. I love me a good OST, and the breezy, catchy tunes from this show sweetened my watch experience by a lot.
5. I just wanted to know what happened [SPOILERS]
I was very frustrated with the show by the last couple of episodes.
Everything felt slow and draggy. But, I kept going because I really wanted to know how Tian Xing planned to solve the big problem of being forced into marrying Huan Huan. The big question on my mind was, What’s the Plan?
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
Unfortunately, the ending was very, very underwhelming, for me.
For one thing, the “baddies” all experience rather sudden turnarounds.
The most unbelievable one, for me, was Huan Huan’s mother’s awakening. She runs out crying to a park somewhere, and who should appear in front of her, but Tao Le Si. Who then goes on to tell her to take it out on her, if it makes her feel better.
As if that’s not bad enough, Tao Le Si then takes her home to have a meal, and everyone welcomes her with open arms and hokey dialogue about family & warmth. Which then wakes Mama Li up to what she’s done wrong. So unbelievable, seriously.
The only thing worse than the sudden turnarounds by the “baddie” characters, is the smilingly saintly responses of all the “good” characters.
Forgiveness is given quickly and easily, and nobody holds a grudge against anybody. I mean, I’m all for forgiveness, but this was wayy beyond the boundaries of believability. The actions and reactions didn’t seem even faintly human-like, to me.
The biggest offender for me, though, was the fact that Tian Xing really didn’t seem to have a Plan, after all. I mean, what if Huan Huan hadn’t changed her mind and offered to give him to Tao Le Si? (Such a hokey scene, I can’t even.)
After all the insinuation that he had a Plan, I was aghast to realize that there was no Plan. Worse, after making Tao Le Si cry so much, we don’t see Tian Xing apologizing to her at all.
We only see them holding hands, looking into each other’s eyes, and smiling. And then getting married and living happily ever after.
Even with the convenience of everyone pairing up and getting a happy ending (except Lance, who decided he’d had enough of this nonsense), this ending felt spectacularly weak and far from satisfying.
When all is said and done, this show is quite the disappointing watch. If only the writers had decided to stick with the fun and fluffy, instead of derailing into Wincingly Melodramatic territory. Sigh.
Still, Aaron Yan’s so impossibly beautiful to look at in this, that in a small way, my fangirl heart feels like this was time well spent.
My brain disagrees, of course. But you already know that. 😉
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Cute, until Show went Crazy. On the upside, Aaron Yan’s very handsome in this.
FINAL GRADE: C+
Just finished it and agree……110%…..and why ask looney pants if she was sure she was ok with giving up her fake marriage…..Aaron kept me watching!!….After Oz was giving back ……take sky rider as hostage and divorce looney toons!
Hahaha! Indeed, if it weren’t for the Aaron Handsome, I wouldn’t have made it to the end of this one. The ending was just ridiculous! 😆
Hello Fangirl, I started to watch this show when Netflix gave me a recommendation . Unfortunately I watched Tia Li in Office girls and I was not impressed by her portrayal in that show. I decided to drop it after watching it after the first episode :(. But when I watched Office girls (this is my first attempt at Taiwanese Drama), I decided to drop it after 10 episodes . I am not sure what happened to me as I was disillusioned with romance genre in general . i did a mini rant in one of my comments as well. But i went back to watch office girls when I woke up on the right side of the bed :). Just as you fell in love with Aaron. I fell in love with Roy Qiu/Chiu in Office girls. He was my eye candy although office girls is superior to this drama. His chemistry with everyone is amazing and in particular with Alice ke is fantastic. One of my favorite onscreen couple of all times. I watched them in Marry me or Not (just 15 episodes) and they have scintillating chemistry. Even when the writing is weak they rise above the script and give us believable characters. This is my first time after a very long time possibly in 15 yrs that I am drooling over a guy so much that I observe everything he does. May be I hit my mid-life crisis. Usually if the drama is bad I tend to ignore the lead however good looking he might be. But Roy chiu is handsome, fantastic actor and a very dreamy guy. His portrayal of rich spoiled brat to a responsible guy is natural. He shares wonderful chemistry with every character he comes in touch with. Please do check out office girls. Although it has terrible second lead and typical mother in law, the show never ceases to be warm thanks to the leads and supporting cast. In the meanwhile, I will be dreaming about my eye candy – Roy Chiu . The only gripe I have about him is that he played only romantic dramas. I wish he gets to play varied characters in dramas possibly in a thriller or mystery. Because of your description regarding Aaron it is only fair that I check out Aaron as well in ‘Just you’ which is available in Netflix 🙂
I have to admit that I rarely watch TW dramas these days, but I did enjoy Just You in spite of its exaggerated tone and execution. The Aaron Handsome didn’t hurt, of course – though no amount of Aaron Handsome could save Fall In Love With Me! 😝
Thanks for the recommendation on Office Girls. I haven’t seen that one, but I did see Marry Me Or Not. I didn’t love the show as much as everyone else did, but I did enjoy Roy Qiu in it, and I also did think the early stretch of the show was good. 🙂
I couldnt agree more on this review! What was disappointing is that i felt until halfway through it was fascinating to see how xiao lu and tian xing are different and i was looking forward to seeing how after it’s revealed as the same person he incorporates the two and matures into a balanced man that Le Si needs. Instead we have her cry about xiao lu leaving for several episodes, finding out it’s tian xing and randomly deciding hes important to her without any reason!
I also disliked how Le Si starts as someone who wants to further her brother’s dream but towards the end just loses the whole company! I was looking forward to her growth into a stronger female and all we got was her crying all the time. Such a disappointing show.
Right there with you, Klaudia! I was so disappointed in Fall In Love With Me! 😭 It had the potential to be an interesting, satisfying watch, but ended up so frustrating instead. The only thing that tided me through was the Aaron Handsome, seriously. (Good thing he’s that handsome, ha)
I quite agree with you. I just started watching this series (2 days ago, to be exact) and now on episode 26.
At first, I was really drawn in with the cute and fluffy stuff. However, as the show progresses, it was beginning to be very painful to watch. The consistency of the characters vanished. Tao Le Si….was portrayed meek and borderline stupid towards the end. Tian Xing lost the fire…(like seriously, how can you not call out someone for their bullsh*t? He just stood there, while Huan Huan acted like a total, bratty, c*€t). Moreover, it is almost sickening to watch that all of these are happening because they are too afraid to give some slapping to Huan Huan…who by far, had always been a brat, entitled…and never did any good for Tao Si.
like seriously…huan huan needs major psychological help. She is borderline psychotically obsessive (Girls, don’t be like Huan Huan. Don’t chase after someone who will never love you back and be desperate)
Idk if I actually want to watch the rest of the episodes. Though I do know that I fell in love with Aaron Yang.
I am overall very disappointed so far.
Maybe I have come to see whether someone agrees with me as well.
Your post says it all 👌
Ah, this show was quite the disappointment for me too! The characters made so little sense to me, as I got deeper into the episodes. If you’d like a shot of Aaron Handsome that is actually cute and fluffy (and doesn’t turn into crazytown like this show did), you could check out Just You. I liked that one quite well, and Aaron shares excellent chemistry with his co-star Puff Guo. I didn’t think he had much chemistry with his leading lady in this one, tbh. 😛
Thank you @kfangurl for introducing Aaron Yan here. He surely is a fine looking man. I binge-watched on his dramas the past days like Alice, Just You and this one FILWM. I fast forwarded most of the parts of these dramas and just enjoyed the pretty. Boy, oh boy I really indulged on this amazing looking man. I am on his Refresh Man now where he has come to full form in terms of his built and beauty. But the story is another rehash of all other Taiwanese office romances. If you haven’t yet, you may try to check on his MV with Selina Jen’s “To the broken heart.” He’s just soooo gorgeous there.
Hi there!! Indeed, I must agree that Aaron Yan is one fine-looking man <3 Thanks to multiple suggestions in favor of it, I marathoned Just You recently, and liked it better than FILWM, even though I do think that Aaron looks better in FILWM. Good to know that Refresh Man is delivering on the Aaron front! I'm saving that for later, since I realize I have a tendency to want to marathon when it comes to Aaron's shows! 😉
Thanks too, for the suggestion on the MV.. I will definitely look it up later today. And will probably end up watching it more than a few times, for the Aaron Handsome 😉
How an earth did I miss this post!? Well, better late than never, eh.
I feel for you, I just marathoned all 82 episodes of ‘Sweet Sweet Bodyguard’ few weeks back! XD I’ve no idea what possessed me, LOL! Guess the recent kdrama drought has me grasping at straws. It wasn’t actually too bad, considering the length but it took forever for the OTP to get together and it did get veeeery draggy towards the end. There was also a rather stupid accident induced forced separation, that I just rolled my eyes hard at.
Unfortunately most TW idol trendies tend to have this ‘Fun Fluff to Tedious Drag’ shift. It’s especially marked in the longer dramas that go to 20-30+ episodes. Also, the totally unnecessary angst at the end run gets annoying as hell. ;P Just goes to show what happens when the scripts don’t have enough material to cover the whole run of the drama. Shorter TW dramas are usually better.
Still loving ‘Back to 1989’ – it’s been uncommonly sweet, down to earth and angst free so far but there is still 10 epis left, so anything can happen. Another drama I’ve become sort of addicted to is ‘Wind Chime’, though that’s from mainland China. I like that it’s a bit different from everything else I’m watching right now.
Is ‘ToGetHer’ already on your list of TW dramas to watch? It’s not perfect but has less of the annoying features than most and I really liked the trajectory of the OTP – a washed out idol superstar and and a shy otaku. Annnd it’s only 12 epis! 🙂
OMG, an 82 ep marathon?!? WOW. You marathoned way harder than I did, Timescout! XD Especially since the show turned draggy at the end! 😛 Good to know that Back to 1989 is still keeping you happy, though – YAY! I’m still faithfully downloading episodes as they come out, but I’m hesitating to jump in just yet coz I’m afraid I’ll run out of episodes, heh. I mean, given how I marathoned FILWM like there was no tomorrow, I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry! XD
I’m sad to hear that this downturn into angst is rather common in TW dramas – boo. But I’m still holding out hope that there are better ones out there! Bromance gives me hope, since I liked that one very well in spite of its weakish ending. 🙂
‘ToGetHer’ wasn’t on my list – but now it is, thanks Timescout! 😀 It sounds pretty cute! *Googles furiously to figure out how best to watch it*
I didn’t realise it was 82 epsiodes before I was well into watching it, so I just decided to go with the flow. LOL! That said, I was this close to dropping it when the draggy, angsty part started to overstay it’s visit. So in the end I ff’d through most of the 40+ later epis. The episodes were ca. 30 min each, so not actaully quite as bad as it sounds. Guess it’s a TW daily.
There are TW dramas that handle angsty bits better and where conflicts actually stem from situations more real and usually get solved pretty quickly. The Pursuit of Happiness was one of those.
I only rememeberd once I’d posted my reply that Jiro Wang, the male lead in ToGetHer was Aaron’s group mate in Fahrenheit. Serendipity? Jiro is rather sweet but not the best actor around by a long shot. The role of the superstar Mars really suited him though, maybe because he was mostly playing a version of himself. He and Rainie Yang had a lovely, effortless chemistry as the OTP. I also loved many of the side characters and Mars’ bromance with his friend/manager was sweet and fun. The OST is very nice as well.
Viki has ToGetHer, btw. 🙂
Ah, 30 minute episodes does help! That cuts down the commitment by a lot! XD But it’s still longer than a typical trendy, so I can see why you’d use the FF through the angsty second half! 😛
I’ve got Pursuit of Happiness in my collection now, thanks to your glowing recommendation. I will definitely get to it at some point. Just, so many shows to check out, now that everyone’s offering lots of suggestions! It’s a happy thing, to feel like I’m spoilt for choice! I’m one ep into Just You at the moment. I’m not quite settled into it yet. Aaron’s not as compelling or as beautiful as in FILWM, and I’m still getting used to Puff’s tendency to shout her lines. Pressing on, though, since many people liked it a lot!
Thanks for the tip on Viki, you so awesome! 😀 I don’t often turn to Viki as a drama source, coz so few dramas are licensed in my region. Out of the shows I’ve searched for, more than half aren’t available here, which sucks. BUT, Nirvana in Fire IS available here, AND, so is ToGetHer! I wouldn’t have thought to check if you hadn’t mentioned it, THANKS TIMESCOUT! <3 How cute, that the male lead in ToGetHer is Aaron's group mate. I'm sure I won't be able to not compare their acting chops! XD
I’ve now got a longish list of TW and mainland dramas to check out myself, ha. Even though some of the tropes are quite familiar from kdramas, they still manage to be somewhat different in execution, so I’m finding them less annoying at this point. Appart from the shoved in angst and totally silly misunderstandings. TW dramas especially don’t generally have annoying parental units but rather loving and supporting ones. I’ve often ended up loving the family dynamics, e.g. the parents of the heroine in ‘Back to 1989’ are awesome and I like the kid bro too. 🙂
I watched bits and pieces of ‘Just You’ too but it didn’t grab me enough to watch the whole show. From what I remember, it did have a pretty good OST though. Fun fact; the opening theme song and many of the insert songs are by Huang Hong Sheng aka Alien Huang, who was the male lead in that 82 epi daily. Alien was also one of the leads in another Aaron drama, Pi Li MIT/Mysterious Incredible Terminator/The Clue Collector. *g* The Taiwanese acting pool is not all that big so I’m pretty sure everyone ends up acting with everyone else at some point.
Totally predictable, but I re-watching parts of ToGetHer yesterday. XD Definitely not a masterpiece but it has surprisingly thoughtfull and introspective moments. Lot of heart as well and like someone @ the Viki reviews wrote: “Unlike many dramas about guys who stop being jerks, this time his (hero’s) growth felt real and lasting and also worthwhile.” I’d say Aaron is probably the better actor these days.^^
You’re right – the tropes are similar and I recognize them, but the slightly different execution and the fresh context helps to keep things interesting for me.. And you’ve got a great point about the parents in TW dramas!! I’ve only seen 2 TW dramas so far, and both featured very supportive parents! I hadn’t realized that this was a Thing in TW dramas! But since it does seem to be a Thing, what a great Thing it is to have. I’ve always found it bemusing that there are so many bad parents in kdramas. Not that there aren’t nice parents, but the number of characters with bad parents is startlingly high. This IS a refreshing change indeed! 🙂
I’ve been recommended Pi Li MIT, so it looks like I will be acquainted with Alien Huang at some point! (What an odd choice of name tho 😛 ) And that comment about ToGetHer is very encouraging indeed! So many kdramas I’ve seen don’t tease out character growth in a believable fashion, so much so that the show becomes bemusing rather than entertaining to watch. I’m not quite ready to ditch kdramas – I’ve loved them for far too long to just drop ’em now – but it’s just really cool to suddenly find myself in fresh new waters with so much to explore! ^^
Pi Li MIT isn’t too bad but it is kinda silly and acting is all over the place, Alien (yup, the English names of TW and mainland thespians can be rather hilarious) overacts like a boss and Aaron is… stiff. 😉
I’m not aiming to drop kdramas either, just waiting for one that’ll truly hook me.
Hehe.. thanks for the insight into Pi Li MIT, it’s always good to manage expectations! You made me laugh at “overacts like a boss” HAHAHA! XD It sounds like a good dose of nonsensical, from what I can tell so far.
Kdrama-wise, I’m looking forward to the season of youth sageuks headed our way. I’m hoping for some SKKS-esque magic – I LOVED SKKS! <3 <3
…it’s Aaron Yan that’s why for me!…lololol…haven’t stream this yet but i checked some episodes….seriously the shirtless kiss!…Aaron Yummmmmm!!!…
Evez!! <3 YAY that you could stop by! And, I totally feel ya. Aaron Yan is so hot in this, I almost feel like it was worth wading through the second-half angst, just to see more of his glorious beauty! XD
Ah ha ha… That’s the last one I checked out – you can see my pinterest page for the list of ones I’ve seen, but if you are following Yalun then maybe try Love Buffet or PiLiMIT. Alice in Wonder City is a little moody and Lara’s acting isn’t good, Yalun had to kind of carry that one, along with JieKai. It’s kind of different, I guess. Love Buffet is cute – they actually had to re-film most of it when QiaoQiao had to bow out. It ended up okay – the chemistry is so-so, but it’s one of those where he’s second lead. PiLiMIT was kind of fun when I watched, a few twists in plot that were surprising. I never watched Gloomy Salad Days, heard bad things.
Maybe now that you’ve started into TW dramas, you can put ISWAK on your list. Yalun is in it, too, but it’s a minor role. I wasn’t even aware of Fahrenheit yet when I watched it. It’s manhwa based, worth giving a try 🙂 The second season is deeper. (TKA)
I’m still watching Nice Guy (Song Joong Ki) so I haven’t touched Bromance yet.
Tee hee. I think out of all the people I know, you’re probably the one who’s likely most surprised by my sudden TW drama fascination! I totally remember how hard you tried to get me on board with ISWAK (I think that’s the one?), and how my efforts never ever got me through even E1!! Look at me now! You’re probably like a proud mother hen right now? XD
Thanks for the recommendations – I’ve decided to add Love Buffet AND PiLiMIT to my list, and am downloading both shows as I type this. I will avoid Gloomy Salad Days, since you heard bad things. I’m.. keeping an open mind on Alice, for now, coz I’ve heard some good things about it. But, a moody show and a female lead who can’t act well sure doesn’t entice me to check it out! 😉 I’ve put ISWAK back on the list, but for now, it’s somewhat low on the list. So many other shows to check out! That’s the great thing of suddenly developing an interest in something – I’m such a noob with TW dramas that there are literally a TON of shows to choose from! 😉
How’s Nice Guy going for you? I imagine Bromance will be a nice way to switch it up afterwards, since Bromance is so light and fluffy. <3
This looks cute tho! I haven’t watch any of Aaron’s dramas before 🙁
And omg same. Just this year, I’m into TwEntertainment mode! Mostly because I fell in love with the movie Our Times 🙂 Currently watching the last episode of Bromance, I loved it so much 😛 haha
Hi5, Yani! I also recently watched Our Times and enjoyed it very much! I’m not sure if I will write a review for it.. I’ve still got so many other reviews that I want to write as well! 😛 And, I really enjoyed Bromance as well, flaws and all. Baron & Megan are SO cracky together! Not to mention Baron’s smolder. Melt~ I am on my second watch of Bromance, happily FF-ing through all the secondary arcs that don’t interest me. ^^
As for FILWM.. It IS cute, until it goes wonky. And Aaron is seriously glorious to gaze at, in this. You could consider watching just half of it? Just enjoy the Pretty while the going is fun and fluffy, and then drop out once the angst hits? Aaron is so gorgeous in this (more gorgeous than in his other shows, imo) that it’d be a pity to miss the Pretty! ^^
Do write a review for, I’ll wait for it! :)) I recently recapped the movie and I ended up babbling quite a lot hahaha.
Aaaahh, I don’t want Bromance to end!! 😀 The OTPs in this drama are all perfect (Zihan and Ah Chao most especially HAHAHAHA) and all the boys are eye-candies, thank god 😛
Aww, that’s sad to hear 🙁 Any other Aaron Yan shows you can recommend?
Hee! I just wrote a quick review for Our Times – you can check it out here. It’s on the brief side, but it’s a Flash Review, which is supposed to be short. I don’t often actually succeed at making it short, so this time I’m somewhat successful? XD Anyway, hope you enjoy the read!
Oh, I didn’t want Bromance to end either! I found Zihan and Ah Chao amusing, but I mostly had eyes for Baron’s smolder, and Zifeng’s arc with Yanuo. <3 <3 Have you finished it yet? I'm wondering how you found the ending. You might've seen from my Bromance review that I was a little bit underwhelmed with the ending. :/
As for other Aaron Yan shows, lots of folks have been recommending Just You, which Aaron did in 2013. I’ve just started on it, and it looks quite promising. I will say, though, that Aaron looks significantly hotter in FILWM. I guess I just prefer him leaner and older. Yum. <3
Ohhh, I’ll check it out! 😀
Baron Chen is so perfect for the role! It’s easily the best bender gender drama I’ve seen so far 🙂 Also, I hate myself for discovering Baron this late. I personally think he’s a pretty awesome actor 😉 I only have one more episode before the finale 😀
Noted on this! Heee. Taiwanese Entertainment makes me so happy this past month, lol.
Baron Chen IS so perfect. But Zifeng’s a great character as well.. I LOVE that he’s powerful AND nice! <3 And Baron fleshes that out really well. And those meaningful gazes.. Swooonn~ <3 Like I said in my review, I went back and watched Because of You, which Baron did with Megan in 2010. It's cute, he's cute, but seriously, he's just way, wayyy hotter in Bromance. 😉
Hee, I’m drowning in TW entertainment these days. With these reviews coming out, everyone is happily giving me more TW titles to check out, so I feel like I will never ever run out of shows to check out – which is great! XD
I agree! It’s refreshing to see male leads who are nice! We are so used to assh*les and jerks so I love love love his character!
YESSS. We are too used to seeing jerks as leads, so much so that I sometimes find myself expecting jerkwad behavior from the male lead as a matter of course. And that’s just wrong. Usually the only nice male leads in dramas are Beta males who have no status or power. I LOVE that Bromance proves that a male lead CAN be powerful AND nice. <3 <3
hehe … now you know what to expect from any t-drama. 🙂 imo they’re worth watching for the fun factor. there’s always something crazy/funny/exaggerated in them … and that’s a nice change after watching a (teary) k-melo. now i’m really curious about “My Amazing Boyfriend” … but i’ll have to wait for it to end and then i’ll be able to compare it to “My Love From Another Start”.
Really, ANY TW drama?! Oh noes.. I was hoping that there were more TW dramas that wouldn’t slump in the second stretch from manufactured angst. 😛 I’m still gonna watch some of the highly recommended ones.. They ARE more fun than I thought they would be. And you’re right, sometimes a bit of fluff is exactly what we’re looking for.
I’ve heard good things about My Amazing Boyfriend – that it’s not quite a remake, and is its own thing. Apparently the female lead is also very likable, even though the male lead could be better acted. I randomly poked into an episode earlier today, and I like what I see. The look and feel is very kdrama-esque, but in this case, I consider that a good thing. I’ll be keeping my eye on that one too. 🙂
well i’m old and old people often think “aha …” when young people think “omg! it’s the end of the/my world!”. for example, after watching “My Loveable Girl” with my wife, we both smiled at the theory “it’s wrong to (fall in) love the younger sister of your dead ex-love”. think about it: the dead sister supposedly loved her younger sibling and, while alive, probably wanted her to have a good life … so, from the dead sister point of view, who’s the best to accomplish that if not the one she chose for herself while alive? therefore don’t be disappointed with t-dramas, watch them for the parts you enjoy … i can assure you: you (and anybody else) won’t be able to smile “too much” in a lifetime. 🙂
on a side-note, maybe it’s just my limited perception but since they don’t seem to have as many actors as the koreans, the acting is imho constantly improving with each new t-drama. (you know) i’m not the worshipping fan type but i’m still able to be happy for others (aka witnessing the progress actors and staff make doing their job). in the end, money/pay aside, it’s supposed to be a rewarding experience for them too.
Ooh, you make an intriguing point, INTJ. I didn’t finish My Lovable Girl, but I’m familiar with the premise, and you do offer a pretty interesting perspective! If the sister really loved her, then why wouldn’t she give her blessings, right? Hm.. I suppose it sort of stems from the Hallyu concept of Fated First Loves.. like, they are fated for not just this lifetime, but for every lifetime that they might ever live (assuming there are multiple lifetimes, of course). In that sense, I can sort of get why the idea of falling in love with the younger sister of your dead girlfriend feels wrong. 😛
Also, YES, you’re so right about the actors deserving a rewarding experience too! After all, if they’re serious about their craft, then the mastery of it – or at least, the journey towards mastery, since you probably never do achieve total mastery – ought to be a fulfilling one, over and above things like fame and money. I haven’t seen enough TW dramas to have an informed opinion about it, but I do notice that Aaron Yan has improved. Comparing this drama to the other ones that I’ve poked around in while trying to decide my next watch, I do think he’s better in this show than in his earlier ones. And, I’ve read other fans comment similarly, that he’s improved a lot over the various projects that he’s done. That pleases me a lot, since this means good things for him, and for us as an audience. Win-win! 😀
“they are fated for not just this lifetime, but for every lifetime that they might ever live (assuming there are multiple lifetimes, of course)” … so, basically, it boils down to possession, the old “if i can’t have it no one should be able to have it” … not even the ones i really care for (aka younger sibling), not even for a very short time span (considering multiple lifetimes). oh well, in the end everybody has to carry the weight/burden of his/her own decisions … and, while we’re taking a break doing that, all we really can do is watch others doing it (for real, in real life or imaginary, in dramas/movies), of course, the best part is watching others taking a break too … ;-D
Aaron Yan isn’t the only one worth watching. i especially enjoyed Chen Bo Zheng’s acting in all the t-dramas i saw him because he’s been able to make all the characters he played come alive/feel real.
Hehe.. Not quite a possession thing, at least in my head. In my head, this whole Fated First Love thing is a little bit like a jigsaw puzzle, where the One who’s Meant To Be, is meant to be for a lifetime (and for multiple lifetimes). Just to be clear, I’m sort of taking some creative license in pronouncing it to be for multiple lifetimes. Even though some shows articulate it that way, not all do. But I’m articulating it that way, just to bring out the magnitude of that feeling, if you will.
So to choose someone else in light of that, feels like a sort of betrayal. When I think about it, in the case of My Lovable Girl, it’s really not the sister who objects to the romance (she’s dead and has no say, really). It’s the left-behind boyfriend who feels too guilty to move on, and it compounds the guilt, to fall for her sister. Anyway, I didn’t finish that drama, but I’m guessing that the left-behind boyfriend and the younger sister do find a happy ending together, so I suppose that worked out? ^^
Oh yes, I LOVED Chen Bo Zheng in FILWM! He’s delightful, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of him on my screen. <3
Lolol . I love this review (as usual) essentially you totally stayed for the eye candy. But instead of writing a one line review u broke down how delicious that eye candy was, like a true fangurl. I won’t be checking this out but im glad I have a justification now . Its been popping up in my Viki selections and I was tempted, becuase like you my kdrama pickings have been slim. But thanks for the heads up. Ill check Aaron Yan out in another show (maybe).
HAHAHAHA!! XD Y’know, I saw your comment on my phone while at a stoplight, on my way home. You made me giggle the rest of my way home, I tell ya! XD You are SO RIGHT. I stayed for the eye candy. And when that eye candy is as exquisite as the Aaron Handsome, and packaged as beautifully as they did in this show, a one-liner about eye candy just does not cut it, y’know? 😉
I’ve been poking around in his other shows a little bit, just to see if I’d like to add them to my list. AND, also to assess the quality of the eye candy (ahem). And I hafta tell ya, Shountz, Aaron looks most beautiful in this show. He’s somehow leaner and sexier, and the styling is so on-point and gorgeous so much of the time (except when they make him wear giant bows, that doesn’t count!). So much so that I’d say it’s worth taking a half-ride on this one. Just jump in for some mindless fluff and lots of Aaron Handsome, and then drop it like a hot potato once it starts going downhill. That way, you won’t miss out on the beautiful, beautiful eye candy. 😉
This drama was so crazyyyy, I’m not even sure how I managed to get through it. Aaron carried the drama but otherwise this drama was actually quite horrible to watch.
Lol. This did get very crazy in the 2nd half!! I question my judgment for marathoning it through to the very end, as in, I kept right on watching multiple episodes at a time, even when I wasn’t having a good time! It probably had something to do with the pace I’d gotten into with the early eps, which were completely illogical, but quite fun to watch. That, and the Aaron Handsome. Where all other logic fails, the Aaron Handsome explains everything, when it comes to this drama. He’s why I stuck it through, he’s why I was distracted enough from the bad writing, to just keep going! XD
I have heard too much about this one already to jump in. T-Dramas have so much potential, but I find that they are almost universally way too long for the story they are telling. Yes, it is also true of about 75% of k-dramas who are stretching 14 episodes to 16 but T-Dramas are stretching even more. I was happy to see a recent drama (Marry Me or Not …I think is the name) with only 15 episodes. So I will not start watching a T-drama until its run is complete because I want to see the reviews and know how much filler and silly is gonna happen and then I find I often can’t give it a go. The odd thing is I often think the Japanese dramas could use one or two more episodes to flesh out the characters some more so maybe it’s just me !!
You’re very right about the stretching thing, Kat! I haven’t seen many TW dramas myself, but this one definitely felt like it ran out of story to tell. The entire 2nd half felt manufactured purely to fill screen time. I enjoyed Bromance a lot more, even though I had little interest in the secondary arcs, and found the ending a little less satisfying than I’d hoped for. If you haven’t watched Bromance yet, you might want to consider giving it a go? It’s got a lot going for it, in spite of its flaws. 🙂
I haven’t watched a J-drama in a while, but I’ve been told that Emperor’s Cook (Tenno no Ryoriban) is fabulous. As in, beautiful and reminiscent of Gaksital. I’m intrigued by that description and have put it on my list. Hopefully it will flesh out the characters more ably than the ones you’ve seen? 🙂
You should definately watch Just you and refresh man both aaron yans and both great actors witj chemistry:) and i totally feel you the kdramas this season are so Meh. Hopefully as summer comes the writers give us something worth remembering and watching
Both are on my list now, Lana! Thanks for the recommendations! I’ve just started on Just You, and so far, so good. I confess I do think Aaron looks better in FILWM.. Leaner, older, and sexier. And the gloriously fitted menswear just takes it to a whole other level. Swoon. <3
Also, YES, the kdramas these season just don't interest me much. I plan to check out Entertainer & Oh Hae Young Again, but I'm definitely looking forward more to the summer of youth sageuks. THAT sounds way funner! ^^
i went on an aaron yan marathon some time ago & this was one of them! haha! totally agree with you on everything, and i made it to the end for the same reasons! ^^ tia li was pretty underwhelming here tbh. my favorite ay show thus far remains alice. for a tdrama its in its own league but it’s far from perfect, as well.
i think if he followed wallace huo’s lead & did more mainland stuff it would be rewarding, i think he has the chops for it! that said, there is something fun about these twdrama vehicles and i would miss them too.
Hee, hi5 on the Aaron Yan marathon!! XD He really is so lovely to gaze at, especially in this show. He totally helped to take the edge off the bad writing! Thanks for the recommendation on Alice – that one wasn’t even on my radar. Will add it to my list for later.. I’m starting on Just You, and plan to then move on to Refresh Man. See, I’ve got my Aaron fixes all lined up in a row! XD
I do think Aaron’s a solid actor (I’m not familiar with Wallace Huo yet), so I do hope he gets better roles to showcase his acting chops AND fabulous beauty! 😉
uh oh, be warned….if you watch one Wallace Huo gig you will be marathoning for quite some time! He’s in a lot! He is also absolutely 100% beautiful, like Aaron lol ^^
Ooh, thanks for the warning!! I actually have Love Me If You Dare on my watch list, so it looks like I’m going to be knee-deep in Wallace Huo stuff sooner than later! XD But if he’s as beautiful as you say, then it’s definitely something to look forward to! 😀
I was going to check this out at some point (mainly for Aaron Yan ^^”) but I might give it a miss now… I would recommend “Just You” though, Aaron Yan was great in that one and it was pretty adorable :3
You could consider checking out just the first half of this one, hayleigh. I mean, the show as a whole is disappointing, no doubt about it. But Aaron is so freaking beautiful in this, that it would be a pity to not gaze upon the gorgeous, at least for a bit. 😉
Thanks for recommending Just You, I’ll be watching that one for my next shot of Aaron. Have watched part of E1, and conclude that the female lead is relatively better than in this one, and also, Aaron is definitely more beautiful in FILWM. 😉
My bitter rage at what this show could have been… I watched it as it was airing and stayed on the trainwreck until the end, tearing out my hair and cursing the sheer stupidity of the leads as Huan Huan played out her ridiculous fantasy. But you are right in that the eye-candy of Aaron Yan equals a lot of forgiveness. Show at least gave us a lot of fanservice there! I’m liking his new show a lot so far (though am keeping a wary eye out as Taiwan dramas often have the curse of starting out awesome and then doing a 180 halfway through by adding a random cancer plot or stupid melodrama / birth secret)
Aw, I’m sorry you suffered this one live, Rebecca!! That must’ve made it extra painful, and considering how only 1 ep is aired per week, that would’ve drawn out the angst even more. 😛 Show really did bend over backwards to give us more Aaron Handsome though. Every time he took his shirt off, I wanted to giggle, purely from how frequently he was required to take it off. His dual identity came in really handy for that, I must say. Xiao Lu needs to become Lu Tian Xing = shirt off! Lu Tian Xing needs to become Xiao Lu again, just a couple of minutes later = shirt off, again! Hahaha! That definitely helped to keep things interesting for me! XD
I’ve got my eye on Refresh Man as well.. Crossing my fingers that it will be good, coz I would like to be able to enjoy a show for more than just his beauty. Am starting on Just You, since most folks seem to like that one. I must say Aaron’s more beautiful in Fall in Love With Me though!
‘Just You’ is super cute fluff! It’s kind of tooth-ache sweet in a few bits, but I enjoyed it a lot. Some other Taiwan and China dramas I liked recently were:
‘Marry Me or Not’ because the couple have mad chemistry and the writing was really good (there are only has 2 episodes of annoyance and even those are pretty good)
‘Someone Like You’ which is ridiculous plot-wise and requires a truckload of suspension of disbelief as it brings all the tropes to the yard (you can play tropes bingo with this one), but it’s really quite charming and was a guilty pleasure.
‘Shan Shan Comes to Eat’ was delightful from beginning to end and I have re-watched it because I loved it so much and I adored the wardrobe that the male lead had. Unlike a lot of mainland dramas it’s not dubbed either! It’s too cute to live and is also really funny.
‘Love Me If You Dare’ fabulous production values and a great plot – kind of like criminal minds with serial killers and profilers. I’m biased because I liked the web novel a lot. If you can get past some of the iffy English parts (just glaze over them, they’re not too terrible) this was a great series.
Ahh! THANKS, Rebecca!! 😀
I’ve had most of the titles mentioned to me, as shows I ought to check out, but you’ve given me great little overviews that help me manage my expectations, which is SO important, seriously. THANK YOUU~! <3
Even better, Shan Shan Comes to Eat wasn't previously on my radar, and now that I've checked out the synopsis, it sounds freaking adorable!! 😀 Plus, I do love me a heroine who eats well (part of the reasons I enjoyed the Let's Eat series, heh). I'm in the process of acquiring a copy of the show, and it's definitely shot to a pretty high spot on the watch list! 😉