Remember when I first got sucked into the Aaron Handsome while watching Fall In Love With Me? That show had lots of pretty going for it, but was, er, lacking in some pretty major ways.
The Aaron Handsome – and his (mostly) gorgeously sharp wardrobe – saw me through the entire watch, so it wasn’t a complete wash-out.
When I told you guys about the experience, and about my appreciative, er, appreciation of the Aaron Handsome, many of you – really, so many! – told me that I would do well to check out Just You, which you all agreed added up to be a much better show.
The advice came with a caveat; essentially, that Show would take a while to settle, but if I would give it about 4 episodes, that Show would become a pretty fun watch.
Well, guess what – you guys were absolutely right. This one was a lot funner than Fall In Love With Me. Which is why I thought it was important to come out and share the love. 😉
STUFF TO OVERLOOK
So yes, there is a bunch of stuff that one needs to take in stride as part of this drama’s territory, in order to enjoy this show. For ease of reference, and effective management of expectations, I’ve split this section into 2 parts.
The initial stretch
1. Female lead Puff Guo has a tendency to shout her lines, at least in the first couple of episodes, when her character Liang Liang is extra bristly at the arrival of male lead Qi Yi (Aaron Yan).
Every time she started shouting her lines, I cringed. But importantly, the character calms down several episodes into show’s run, and stops being so shouty.
2. Because Liang Liang is so upset with Qi Yi and keeps shouting her lines at him, all OTP scenes in the inital episodes become cringeworthy due to the excessive shoutiness.
This can be an early turn-off, since you might not be able to imagine yourself rooting for this couple. Hang in there, it gets better (refer to point 1).
3. The setup phase takes a couple of episodes too, and it can get a bit (or a lot) bemusing at times.
Coincidences abound, flimsy conflicts are inserted, and hare-brained schemes are hatched. But once you accept that these form the construct of this drama world, the watch experience gets better.
The whole stretch
Once the setup episodes are complete, there are another couple of things that would be helpful to adjust your expectations around. Here’s a quick list. My advice for the lot? Just roll with it.
1. The writing is not at all elegant, so this often results in connect-the-dots type of storytelling, where pretty random things happen just to get our characters to certain points.
2. Sometimes the secondary characters feel like caricatures in their simplistic (& periodically exaggerated) reactions and approaches to things in general. Thinking of this as a manhwa-esque world helps.
3. Somewhere along the way, Crazy Second Female Lead (Lyla Lin) appears, and she is Extremely Annoying. On the upside, she doesn’t easily get what she wants. For the record, I did roll my eyes at her scenes. A lot.
4. Along with the emergence of Crazy Second Female Lead, there is some amount of Noble Idiocy that rears its head. Along with the Noble Idiocy, there’s a bit of sadness and drag. Take heart, coz it doesn’t last (that) long. And it does go away eventually.
WHAT MADE IT WORK FOR ME
1. The Aaron Handsome (of course)
Ha. You guys so knew this was coming, since this is what started it all, for me. So let me just get it on record, that the Aaron Handsome is very nicely in place, in this show.
Sure, the styling and wardrobe isn’t as fabulous as it is in Fall In Love With Me, but the gorgeous strong brows, strikingly sculpted profile, laser-sharp jawline, and that delicious honey-toned tan are all firmly in place, and that’s what matters, heh.
Smallish issues with his manga-hair aside, I dig the Aaron Handsome very well, and thoroughly enjoyed gazing at him in this show. So just coz I can, here’s a handy collage of the Aaron Handsome.
Isn’t that profile just glorious? <3
Of course, Show took care to also include a couple of shirtless scenes, of which I have zero complaints. 😉
As a bonus, I actually liked his character a lot. I often found Qi Yi to be the perfectly reasonable one, in the face of other upset characters.
Add on the fact that beneath the aloof surface, Qi Yi’s a decent, loyal, caring kinda guy who doesn’t shy away from asking a girl why she’s upset, and I was quickly a fan.
2. Puff Guo as Liang Liang really grows on you
I totally didn’t expect just how much Liang Liang would grow on me, particularly given her shouty tendencies in the early episodes. But grow on me she did, and by Show’s end, I liked her a whole lot.
It’s true that there were times when I found her slightly unreal in how understanding and forgiving she was, but Puff made Liang Liang feel like a real person, and I grew to accept that such a pure-hearted, generous and considerate person really existed.
Which, if you think about the ludicrosity of some of Show’s plot points, in combination with Liang Liang’s unreal nature, is no small feat.
Thanks to Puff really engaging with her character, I fully believed Liang Liang’s emotions, and that helped me to feel right along with her and root for her, all the way to the end of the show.
3. Sparky OTP chemistry
This one’s a biggie, and is arguably one of the most solid strengths of this show. The chemistry between our leads is warm, cracky, and very believable.
I loved that the forced co-habitation setup gives our OTP heaps of shared screen time. Sure, the fact that he’s her boss as well means that they get to interact at work too, but honestly, the scenes at home were the ones that I found the most fun to watch.
Coz home is where they get to know each other the most, and that’s also where they start to lean on and take care of each other, in the most personal ways.
I really enjoyed that Show takes care to tease out their appreciation for each other, and that they start caring for each other first as human beings, and then as family, while romance creeps into the picture along the way.
That familial core of their connection gave this OTP bond a dimension of depth that I really liked.
Aaron and Puff look equally comfortable with each other whether Qi Yi and Liang Liang are laughing together (above), or getting up-close-and-cozy-personal with each other (below), and that just takes the OTP connection to a pretty special place.
I loved watching these two together, so much. <3
4. Dean Fujioka is pretty cute too
I’m beginning to realize that this is a bit of a Thing in Taiwanese dramas – this is the second time I’ve seen a Japanese actor featured as a major character in a Taiwanese drama, and I haven’t even watched that many.
Dean’s oddly accented Mandarin took some getting used to, but props to him for learning (what I feel is) a very difficult language, and being good enough at it, to actually act in it.
Dean the character is a pleasant addition to our main cast, since he doesn’t actually create a true love square with the other leads, and mostly shows up purely as an encouraging, helpful sort of presence. Because of that, he grew on me very nicely over the course of the show.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Dean’s pretty easy on the eyes as well. In fact, don’t you think he looks kinda like a young Jang Hyuk??
5. Nice people (mostly) all-around
Basically, there are no evil people in this show. From main cast to supporting characters to even the odd cameo character, the inhabitants of this drama world are all essentially nice people. Even Crazy Second Female Lead is eventually humanized and given a measure of redemption.
Sure, that does contribute to a very pat sort of ending (more on that in a bit), but it really does also make for a pleasant watch experience where, as a general rule – rather than exception – people have loving parents and caring friends & colleagues. I rather liked that.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
The ending of this show is the treacly-sweet sort of thing where everyone – including our OTP, of course – gets a happy ending, and everything is tied up in a neat bow.
Almost everyone is paired up with a significant other, and to top it off, there are so many weddings and engagements that you almost start to lose track.
With so many bows to tie up, the finale does sort of feel chockablock bursting at the seams with happy events and comic moments to the point of feeling a bit much at times.
But, to Show’s credit, it does feel organic to the drama world that it’s created, so I found it pretty easy to sit back and just take it all in.
I guess my only beef with the ending is that Dean is left still flying solo.
I mean, we see him smilingly happy, and back to his habit of charming the ladies, but I would’ve much preferred if we could’ve at least seen a girl making a strong & promising impression on him, before the closing credits.
I mean, if we’re going to give almost everyone a happy-ever-after significant other, what’s one more, right?
And maybe that girl could’ve been Mei Mei (Zeng Yun Rou), whom I loved (so much!) for being fiercely adamant about not falling for any of Ou Lai En’s (Lin Jun Yong) courtship tactics. Heh. I think that would’ve made the ending just that little bit more satisfying, for me.
Overall, though, I have to say the finale left me with a firmly feel-good blanket of the warm fuzzies, neat bows, cheese-fest and all.
With its fluffy feel-good tones, cheery color palette, breezy soundtrack and strong OTP chemistry, it’s relatively easy to forgive Show its flaws – even when said flaws include an Annoying Crazy Second Female Lead. In fact, I can totally see myself reaching for this one again, when I’m in the mood for a dose of easy, fun fluff.
Or, when I’m in the mood for some Aaron Handsome. Y’know, since that’s a perfectly valid reason to watch anything. 😉
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Illogical a lot of the time, but the OTP chemistry & Show’s heartfelt core make this pretty cracky. Aaron Yan is very handsome in this. As always. 😉
FINAL GRADE: B
This is the Official MV for Unstoppable Sun, and doesn’t feature scenes from the show. Upside? It’s non-spoilery, features Puff & Aaron together, and Aaron is unabashedly, gloriously shirtless. Win, win AND win! You’re welcome. 😉
WHERE TO WATCH:
You can check out this show on Viki here.
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Yessss!!! Dean Fujioka and Jang Hyuk share some kind of resemblance. Actually, I’m a huge Dean fan and j-dramas are my first foray into drama territory. Watched this one just for Dean, so failed to appreciate Aaron handsome. Stumbled on your review and it makes me want to watch this one again, just to drool over Aaron.
Now I’m firmly in the k-drama world and recently finished you are my destiny. Was actually thinking how Jang Hyuk resembles my first drama hero Dean and was surprised to see that you also noticed the resemblance.
Ahh! Thanks for validating my observation that Jang Hyuk and Dean look quite alike! 😀 Hi5, Vaish! 😀
Just finished this on netflix. And came to say I agree with everything. But also dean is just the freaking cutest!!! I love his character. I want a spin off of him finding love again. He’s just so refreshing as a love triangle character that doesn’t actually try to do any damage.
Hi there Pandamay! 😀 Hi5 that we feel similarly about this show! 🙂 And yes, Dean is really sweet. I would totally support a spin-off of him finding love! <3
I loved Aaron Yan’s acting in Fall In Love With Me even though the show was… moderately terrible. This was no exception and, as you said, Qi Yi was a genuinely lovely man despite his brusque exterior. The acting combined with the character was great. As for the drama itself…
There’s a scene somewhere in this show where Qi Yi starts a conversation with Liang Liang’s goldfish. He then expresses disbelief that he’s talking to a goldfish and then *apologises to the goldfish for treating it like it’s just a goldfish*. Basically, if the entire show had been like that this would be one of my favourite dramas ever. I could easily have watched 20 episodes of this couple walking their goldfish in the park (!) and pretending they’re not already in love. Dean’s amused meddling and good-natured flirting would have been the icing on the cake.
Instead the drama took a detour to crazy town and for far too long. Jia Yu’s character was ridiculous and annoying and almost ruined this drama for me. Add to that Laing Laing’s insane Noble Idiocy and a good chunk of this was strictly for fast forwarding.
I’ve only watched a few Taiwanese dramas but I’ve found almost all of them have some light, fun, very shallow rom com premise and then a bazillion episodes to fill. They nearly always end up in Makjang territory to try to stretch the story long after the premise has run its course. This wasn’t as bad as Fall in Love with Me, which completely forgot what it was supposed to be about in the first place. But it got pretty bad. Jia-yu should have just gotten the psychiatric help she needed early on and we could have gotten back to the fun.
Heh. Can’t argue with you on that one, Dame Holly! The degree of Liang Liang’s noble idiocy was pretty out-there, and Jia Yu really was a piece of work. I would’ve definitely enjoyed this one more if Show had concentrated on the fun stuff instead. Still, I thought the OTP chemistry was very natural and sparky, and I liked that.
Have you watched TW drama Bromance yet, by any chance? I thought it was one of the better ones, in the sense that Show focused a lot more on the OTP cute, and was angst-lite most of the way through. You can check out my review here, if that helps! 🙂
I have seen Bromance and, while I had issues with it, I did think it was far more focussed than other Tdramas. In fact, I might meander over and comment on that review…
Of all the Tdramas I’ve seen, I think Murphy’s Law of Love is the best overall. It also got a bit weighed down by the number of episodes but was the best in terms of characterisation, originality and consistency.
Ah, thanks for the recommendation! I haven’t had Murphy’s Law of Love mentioned to me yet, in terms of TW dramas. I’ve put it on my list, and will try to hunt it down sometime! 🙂
I was searching for another Aaron Yan’s drama because I cant get over with his looks , charm , nice body, sexy hands(LOL) and everything in Fall in Love With and I think Ive already fallen for him already hahaha Thanks for this review! Ive read mixed reactions to Refresh Man so Im gonna start watching Just You now coz your review made me excited haha
Hey there Rainnix, glad you decided to give Just You a chance, I really did like this one, cheesiness and all. How has it worked out for you so far? 🙂 I did dip my toes into Refresh Man, but haven’t managed to get through E1 yet, because Aaron’s character does some stuff which I find rather rude and not very acceptable, like invade the female lead’s personal space etc. I haven’t quite given up yet, but I definitely have better vibes from his character in Just You! 🙂
I accidentally came across your blog while googling ‘Splash Splash Love’ (it is a a favourite of mine). And then I saw your banner pic of one of my biases, Lee Joon Gi. SQUEEEE! I’m hooked.
LOL! I loved your review of ‘Just You’. I am currently watching it. It’s my second Aaron Handsome (I love this!) drama. I sat through ‘Refresh Man’ even though I thought it lost its momentum after the halfway point. All because of Aaron Handsome.
I have read about Puff and Aaron’s chemistry so, apart from Aaron Handsome’s presence, I am watching this series for said chemistry. Puff’s character is growing on me and I am enjoying the show.
I also love the end credits song. So swoony. And that music vid. Dang, Aaron. *whispers* I can be very superficial sometimes.
Hee. I’m very pleased that you found me, tuktuu! (May I call you that?) I loved Splash Splash Love too – and as you know by now, Lee Jun Ki as well. We do have a good bit in common! 😀
I’m glad you are enjoying Just You! It’s not an elegantly-written show by any means, but the easy fluffy feels are just the thing to unwind to after a long day, I find. And the chemistry between Puff and Aaron is pretty excellent. And the Aaron Handsome is 😍😍😍, of course. Heh.
Glad you enjoyed the MV too – the levels of shirtless fanservice in that one is pretty darn high, eh? 😂 And seriously, who cares about superficial when you can drown in the shirtless Aaron Handsome?? 😍
Oh, I enjoyed this show. I think of it as comfort food. I even enjoyed hating the crazy 2nd female lead because she was SO annoying and really didn’t get her way at all. Aaron is completely scrumptious, but I thank the show for introducing me to Dean. I’ve watched other dramas with him now because of it. Hapi Mari is being subbed now, too.
Also, Just You has a really good OST overall.
Yes, it IS excellent comfort food! 😀 I was in a particularly busy period in RL when I watched this, and I really enjoyed unwinding to this one. Qi Yi and Liang Liang inching closer to each other in spite of themselves was so cute that I inhaled this one in multiple-episode chunks whenever I could. I loved the Aaron Handsome (of course), but yes, Dean was definitely a bonus. He rocks the goatee and lopsided smile very nicely indeed. 😉 And I do enjoy the OST as well – so breezy, and so perfect for this breezy world. <3 So glad this review brings back memories for ya! 😀
I love most of what he is in^.^ refresh man was so good too!
Hi there Ren! (May I call you Ren?) Glad to hear that you enjoyed Refresh Man! I’ve been hearing mixed reactions to that one, so your positive response to it gives me hope that I’ll enjoy it too 😉 It’s on my list, and I plan to check it out fairly soon. 🙂
Opps! I didn’t know my comment posted twice O.o of course that is my name 🙂 I personally think the two main characters have good chemistry. The storyline was good and had sort of a lesson to it. The ending wasn’t what I expected. Those are my 3 main reasons why I like this show ^.^
Thanks for sharing more about Refresh Man, Ren! Sounds pretty promising – my hopes are lifted a little more now, I hope my watch experience of Refresh Man is as positive as yours! 🙂
PS: No worries about the re-post.. sometimes WordPress doesn’t load right, and that’s why you probably didn’t see your first post when the page refreshed. Happily it doesn’t happen very often!
I think I enjoyed most of what Aaron yan is in. Refresh man was really good too 🙂
Thank you for the walk down memory lane 🙂 I miss these two so much!
They are very endearing, aren’t they?? I didn’t expect to like them this much, but they really are an OTP that I would go back to. Glad you enjoyed this one too!! 🙂
AH! I’m glad you think so too, zhaoul!! I found myself reaching for this one a lot as a fun one to unwind to, when things were particularly busy. Worked like a charm! 😀
PS: Don’t you think Dean looks a lot like a younger Jang Hyuk?? As a serious Jang Hyuk fan, I’m wondering if you see the resemblance! 😀
He does now that you mention it. I also really love Dean. He’s one of my Japanese actor crushes. This was the first drama I saw him in.
Really! Hee, in that case, it seems you have a “type” since he does resemble Jang Hyuk! 😉 I find that Jang Hyuk’s got way more presence & charisma, of course. But they could pass for brothers or cousins, I think! 😀
Yea…. I guess I do have a type. Lol
You’re not alone – from reading the blog, people have told me that I have a distinct type too. Someone said I like strong beastly men. HAHAHA! XD I think at least partly coz of my post on Jang Hyuk, who melted my knees off, as Dae Gil. Who is forever strong, beastly & so uber sexy <3
He has a nice body, but I think it’s his face that mesmerizes me the most.
I love his eyes – so expressive! Of course, I’m helpless against the smirk too. So yes, it’s not just the hot bod!