There were two main reasons why I thought I would enjoy Meet Me @ 1006.
The first one was, several of you spoke fondly of this drama, which piqued my interest. So I looked up the show online, and saw lots of other positive comments from other viewers as well. Which made me think, hey, I might like this one too.
The second one was, I’d watched C-movie How Long Will I Love U on a flight, which sounded like it had a somewhat similar premise, and I’d found it warm, sweet and funny. Which also made me think, hey, I might like Meet Me @ 1006 as well.
Sadly, after 10 episodes of this show’s 26, I’m gonna hafta say, I’m just not feeling this one, I’m afraid.
MY OVERALL TRAJECTORY WITH THIS SHOW
I had a bit of a jerky start with this show, but decided to keep going because I thought the premise was intriguing and promising, and well, I’ve learned that some shows just need a bit of time to settle.
Over the next 10 episodes of my watch, though, I found myself trying – but failing – to really get sucked into this one. Essentially, I liked the idea more than the execution, with this show. I found logic rather lacking as a general rule, and the characters, rather inconsistent and, to be honest, rather hard to like as well.
Personally, I did not enjoy the writing in this show, and would count it as one of this production’s weaker links. Having said that, however, I guess I should state for the record that lots of fans loved this one, and, many of those fans are of the opinion that the writing in this show is pretty stellar.
Which, I suppose, boils down to this: if you like this one, you’ll know it pretty fast, and if you don’t like this one, it won’t take long for you to figure it out either. I’d say that isn’t bad?
STUFF I LIKED
Given my personal trajectory with this show, I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is the shorter list. Here’s the quick spotlight on the things that I did manage to enjoy, during my watch.
1. Show has a polished feel to it
The production values in this show are pretty high. I thought the stuff in relation to the time-meshing was nicely done, and I found the split-screen treatment of the parallel timelines particularly effective. It made me feel like care and effort was put into creating this show, which I liked.
2. The timeline-meshing hijinks can be quite funny
Drama humor can be a hit-or-miss thing for me, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself giggling at my screen on occasion, during my watch.
Here are 2 instances when I found myself genuinely amused by Show.
E2. Jia Le’s (Nikki Hsieh) encounter with Zhen Yu (Lego Li) in the tub is cringy and hilarious. Given that Zhen Yu thinks she’s a ghost, I can only imagine how he must’ve felt, when her foot crept up his leg, lol. Also, Lego Li’s reaction faces in this scene are pretty great, and that helps to up the entertainment factor.
E7. I find it amusing that Zhen Yu is so annoyed with his past self, as his memories get refreshed, but has no control over what his past self does. Hee.
STUFF I DIDN’T LIKE SO MUCH
As you’ve probably gathered by now, there was a fair bit that didn’t work for me, during my attempt to watch this show. In the interest of keeping things fairly concise, here’s what didn’t work for me, in four broad categories.
1. I didn’t find either of our lead characters very likable
To be honest, for a good chunk of my watch, I didn’t find either of our lead characters very likable.
Essentially, I felt Zhen Yu is portrayed as too aggressive and too abrasive as a general rule. There’s a hard edge to Lego Li’s vibe which I found a bit too OTT than was called for, which didn’t help. Generally, I feel like Show is making Zhen Yu abrasive just to show how edgy and fierce he can be as a successful lawyer, but it’s too much for my taste.
On the other hand, Jia Le is shown to be a volatile combination of emotional and illogical, which means that she often jumps to unnecessary conclusions, and then gets overly defensive about said conclusions, to the point of being pig-headed. I found this particularly unimpressive, since Jia Le is supposed to be a reporter. [SPOILER] In episode 6, when Zhen Yu tells Jia Le that Cheng Hao (Ryan Kuo) gets killed after his wedding, Jia Le refuses to even entertain the thought. I thought this was unnecessarily stubborn and shortsighted. I mean, if there’s even a remote possibility that your good friend is going to be murdered, maybe give the guy from the future the benefit of the doubt? Ask him for proof, perhaps? But she does neither, and I found this frustrating to watch. [END SPOILER]
By episode 10, Show takes this down a notch; Zhen Yu finally shows more of his softer side, and Jia Le finally stops accusing him of lying. However, for me, this was too little, too late. I still found it hard to like or root for these characters, and the odd narrative choices (which I’ll talk about next) didn’t help.
2. The writing leans odd, to me.
When I say this, I’m referring more to characterization and relationship development, rather than the murder in our main story, since I didn’t get far enough for Show to reveal the real details around the murder and how and why it happens.
Basically, I found the development of the relationship between Zhen Yu and Jia Le oddly paced. We spend what was, to my mind, a disproportionate amount of time with them at bickering odds, with Zhen Yu trying – and often failing – to get on Jia Le’s good side, so that she can help him reverse the events that lead up to the murder.
The way Zhen Yu is shown trying to get into Jia Le’s good books is also oddly creepy. I mean, stalking her on Facebook and making her crème brûlée because that seems to be her favorite dessert, then serving it with a forced, overly bright smile, seems like a strange and suspicious tangent to go off on, when you really just need her to have a reason to trust what you’re saying. If I were in Jia Le’s shoes, I would be suspicious, too.
There’s more of this flawed logic at work in our story, which I’ll talk about in the next section, but for now, I just want to say that Show spends too much time on this kind of bickering, and then suddenly shifts gears in episode 10, where we get tropey rom-com moments and giggly hearts-in-eyes between our leads. I personally felt some narrative whiplash, with that one.
What made it worse, is that in episode 10, Zhen Yu and Jia Le decide to work together to prevent the murder, which is due to happen in 10 days, in Jia Le’s timeline, and the plan they come up with is, to put it bluntly, really lame. Instead of coming up ideas on figuring out who Cheng Hao’s killer is, and working to get to the root of the problem, they decide to intercept Cheng Hao on the actual day of the murder, so that the planned events do not take place. But uh, the killer could just kill him the next day, amiright? Headdesk.
After feeling satisfied with this “brilliant” plan of theirs, our leads proceed to get all flirty with each other, complete with bashful daydreams and blushing giggles. I mean. This feels highly inappropriate to my eyes, because they don’t have that great of a plan, and they’re both trying to prevent their loved ones from catastrophic events. Who in their right minds would be in the mood for flirty coquetry, right?
I just found it all very weird.
3. Logic in this drama world is inconsistent and iffy
I found that one really needs to suspend disbelief with this show, and by that, I mean, beyond the fantastical time-mesh premise. There were more than a few times when I found myself feeling puzzled over why characters behaved the way they did, or why things were written a certain way. Clearly, the narrative choices were made in service of prolonging bickering between our OTP, padding up our story, &/or paving the way for certain events to happen, but.. that didn’t make them any more believable, unfortunately.
Here’s a handful of examples, just for the record.
E3. Why is Mu Si Ming (Xie Da Kun) handling Zhen Yu’s case of faking evidence? That seems weird?
E3. There’s a flaw in Zhen Yu’s logic. There’s no need to get Jia Le to like him before she’ll help him. As long as she knows that Cheng Hao is at risk – and Zhen Yu can easily provide evidence of that – she’d help. Zhen Yu doesn’t even need to know that she and Cheng Hao are close. He knows that they are connected through judo, as 师哥 and 师妹, or as they say in kdrama, sunbae and hoobae. That would be enough for her to want him to not die.
E4. There are so many things that could be avoided if Zhen Yu would just be more direct with Jia Le. For example, when he saw Cheng Hao’s picture on her laptop, he could’ve just said, “Hey, that’s the victim in the case that ruined me,” and that would’ve gotten her attention real good. Instead, he makes up this whole story about how he needs Jia Le to bring Ji Rou (Aggie Hsieh) to the apartment so he can explain some misunderstanding to her.
E6. It would’ve been so easy for Zhen Yu to prove that he was telling the truth to Jia Le about Cheng Hao. Just pull up the case on his phone. Instead, Jia Le accuses him of lying, and all he can do is look helplessly at her.
E8. Special collector bottles of wine would not be kept on the kitchen counter, so it’s not at all realistic that Zhen Yu left that box of wine in the kitchen, only to be seen by Ji Rou.
4. The legal/court stuff seems questionable
I’m far from a legal expert, and I am not at all familiar with how court proceedings are carried out in Taiwan, but a lot of the legal / court stuff seemed unconvincing to me. Almost every time Show served up a court scene, I found myself struggling to connect with what Show was trying to do.
Here are just two examples that stood out to me extra.
E5. It annoys me that all the legal stuff in this show is so emotionally driven. People talking out of turn in court, people accusing the defendant without concrete evidence, outbursts from everyone, and an interview to sway public opinion. Really?
E7. The law stuff is just so out there. The court scene was obviously padded up to amp up the drama, but was so.. lame, in the end. There was no need for all the left-handed / right-handed stuff, since Zhen Yu had video footage to prove that a third person entered the room and killed Xiao Wei, and then left the room. Also, that whole guitar tangent was ridiculous, and it was also unrealistic for the prosecutor to have relevant left-handed articles about the defendant on hand, given that he didn’t know that Zhen Yu was going to bring it up during the hearing. All of it is so bizarre.
Over the course of my watch, I found that I was not very compelled by anything Show had to offer; neither the murder cases nor the OTP connection. The logic stretches bothered me too.
At the episode 9 mark, I’d toyed with the idea of dropping the show, but because the episode 10 preview indicated that Zhen Yu would soften up, I decided to hang in there to see how that unfolded. As I mentioned earlier in this post, I was unconvinced by the sudden overt feelings between our leads in episode 10, and rather weirded out by the general narrative handling of characters and events.
As a silver lining, my various recent failed attempts to love dramas that others loved have honed my dropping instincts at least somewhat; I could sense that I was never going to love this show as much as everyone else. And I’ve decided that that’s ok.
To all of you who loved this one, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to love this one too.. Please love Show extra for me, ok?