Asian Drama Fever

Fact: It’s been a year since my last post.

Fact: It’s also been a year since I’ve been tempted to complete an Asian drama series. That said, I have thoroughly enjoyed this Taiwanese drama – so much that I’m motivated to post again and encourage everyone to check it out.

In Time With You features veteran actress and one of my favorite female leads, Ariel Lin. We last saw her in a classic Wuxia piece, Legend of the Condor Heroes, where she played a bubbly but mischievous young girl with magical powers. In this new piece, she is a 30-year-old modern career woman who’s both parts romantic and cynic.

The main character, You Qing, struggles with singledom at age 30 and seems to have an almost belligerent attitude toward romance. The plot slowly introduces the audience to You Qing’s relationship with the male lead, Da Ren, who’s her best friend and silent admirer. Episode by episode, it becomes obvious the best and possibly only person for You Qing may be her closest confidant. So what’s keeping them apart for 13 episodes? Well…

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Logistics: I haven’t posted in a while but here we go. If I’m a roll, I’ll write a new post for each new drama that I’ve enjoyed since my last update. Someone suggested that I put a grade for each of the drama I review. I really like the idea and hopefully it will help you guys decide what to watch next.

So the drama I’m writing about is one that’s got my wednesday and thursday night schedules in a mess. I basically stay up waiting for new episodes to be translated and released on Viikii.net at midnight. I usually like waiting for an entire series to be completed before I start watching in order to maximize instant satisfaction but I couldn’t keep myself away when it’s… a KOREAN REMAKE of It Started With A Kiss (恶作剧之吻).

To sum the entire series in one word: it’s Adorable! You’re not going another cuter couple in the entire Korean drama universe. You’ll find that the handsome male lead also played Rui in the Korean Boys Before Flowers. The female lead also appears in Bad Boy as an over-privileged and rebellious teenage girl.

Oh Ha Ni essentially has a six-year crush on her classmate, the world class genius Baek Seung Jo. Unfortunately, she is clumsy and not (by far) the brightest of the bunch. However, higher powers at play help her out a little when her father’s house collapses and they move in with Seung Jo’s family.

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shining-inheritance

Gorgeous people, Cinderella like storyline, what’s not to love?

Well, a long 28 episode and slow pickup at the beginning are the only things I’m going to complain about. I enjoyed the rest as much as I can for a Korean drama. It has the usual long scenes, internal dialogues, and repetitive flashbacks but overall this was a good drama.

The main character is incredibly innocent, and her silent-lover/protector is the perfect brotherly hero. Her male counterpart is always pissed and proud. To round out (or square out hehe) the typical love rectangle, you have the girl who is completely dedicated to the male lead and will do anything to have him. I’ll leave it to you to figure out who’s who in the picture.

After finishing the drama, I’ll have to say the best parts were by the step-mother who has been left off of the poster. She made a wicked amazing villain! Always calculating her next move and hardly ever falters from the setbacks caused by heroin’s good luck.

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knock-knock-loving-you2Good or bad? That’s a tough question for this drama. It definitely had it high points but the plotline never went the direction that I had wanted.

I watched almost all the episodes, skipped most of the scenes between the two major characters and prayed that Guan Xi (Ming Dao’s character) would be successful. The major downfall of this drama is basically that they hired two models who can’t act as the lead.

Xue Ge as a character was simply pitiful. I felt no pull toward this person. He makes mistake after mistake and has almost no idea what’s going on to people around him most of the time. Couple the weak character with a bad actor, I was of course rooting for the other guy.

Guan Xi was another story. This was a person who knew what he wanted and went after the girl with the suave and tactical moves of a male lead. Ming Dao perfectly portrayed  confidence mixed with a bit of cockiness.

Maggie Wu just got on my nerves most of the time. In the drama, she had the whiniest and nasal-est voice ever! I realized that this was not her real voice from watching her on other shows but they really messed up her voice. It drove me crazy in some scenes. Now this is her first major role but her performance was not up to par. Her body is amazing so I think they should keep her in the modeling industry. But give her some acting lessons before you put on the screen again!

Maybe some of you were more receptive to the new actors and tolerant of the plotline, let me know if you totally disagree with me or if you know where I’m coming from. Despite all my complaints, I did finish the series. One last complaint, terrible ending!

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black-and-white

Why am I deviating from my usual romance-based drama? Because Black & White’s got Vic Zhou (Zai Zai) and hot new guy (Mark Chao). I think these two are reason enough. From the first two episodes, the action shots are very well directed. This is definately a high budget show. Will elaborate when more episodes come out!

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together

Cutest drama I’ve seen in a really really long time. The three major characters can all be described as cute. Even the English name of the drama: To Get Her = Together. Adorable!

As for the main players, I like the fact that Rainie’s character is very solemn. I’m usually not a fan of her upbeat/hyper personality but as the character of Chen Mo Mo, she is forced into a quite role. I love it! She is much more lovable when she is solemn (i.e. her older music video for Ideal Lover).

George Hu as Jia Sen is quiet hilarious. Even when he is trying to be serious or when he’s upset, his character still cracks me up. Jiro is also very funny… Read the rest of this entry »

timestoryIt’s long (54 episodes) and it has way too many major characters (31 just look at the poster!) but it’s one of the best real life stories I’ve seen in a while. The story starts in the 1960′s in a small community in Taiwan. The drama is revolves around the lives of several families who are closely tied to each other. It begins when most the major characters are still children and follows them through their rebellious age, their first crush, their growth into adults. It is truly a story of “laughter and tears”. Their childhood and young adulthood is filled with innocent mischief, and the bonds between friends are amazing.

‘Story of Time’ is also filled with history. Many of the family are filled with retired soldiers who left their families in mainland China. They are banned from returning in the ’60s and starts a new life in Taiwan. I’m not clear about the actual history if that period but this drama is a great way to get a taste of life in that period.

Episodes 1-20 | Episode 21-40 | Episodes 41-54

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