Monday, January 12, 2015

DramaQueen pick: My favorite Taiwanese Idol drama

Title: The prince who turns into a frog

Year of broadcast: 2005

Starring: Ming Dao and Joe Chen

Summary: Shan Jun Hao (Ming Dao) is a spoilt, ruthless and cold-hearted heir to a large hotel chain. Ye Tian Yu (Joe Chen) dreams of marrying into a rich family. She is somewhat a schemer and a "gold digger". A car incident cause Shan Jun Hao to lost his memories. He became a totally different person after that incident. Tian Yu family took him in for their own benefits. They gave him another name called Dang Ou. He is loving and kindhearted. This period of time, love blossom between the two of them. What will happen if Shan Jun Hao suddenly regain his memories?

What I like: Ming Dao! He has a princely charisma and the way he carries himself is so sophisticated. I like the black tuxedo that he wears and the manly look when he put on his watch. Ming Dao is so convincing as the handsome Prince, that you can never fault him at all. No matter how he flips from nasty to nice and vice versus, he can easily fit into either role. He is pretty good in playing both Dang Ou and Shan Jun Hao. 

Joe Chen acting is pretty good too. She protrays her character very well. Her comedic timing with Ming Dao is so good. Their chemistry is evident throughout the drama. It became so natural that this couple is compatible with each other. Love is in the air, despite their denial. 

Dislike: The pace within the drama itself is sometimes too slow. One moment is serious, the next moment is comedic. I also dislike some characters in the drama such as the irritating Tian Yu stepmother. Other "irrelevant" characters and unnecessary situations makes the drama draggy at times. The supporting casts Sam Wang and Joyce Chao were moderately good in their roles but it just seems not enough to get me engaged in their acting. 

Title: MVP Valentine

Year of broadcast: 2002

Starring: Jonnie Yen, Angela Chang, Tony Sun

Summary: Duan Cheng Feng (Jonnie Yen) accidentally hits and paralyze Angel. Although he wins the MVP player at the basket ball match, he felt guilty for this. Therefore, he felt that it was his responsibility to take care of Angel. Xiao Xi (Angela Chang) who is Duan Cheng Feng loving girlfriend, was heartbroken because of this matter.

What I like: Angela Chang doe-eyed innocence and the theme songs. To be honest, none of the cast members are really strong performers in this drama. The only person that caught my eyes is Angela Chang. This story is a remake of the Japanese popular manga Slam Dunk! While I like the manga, the storyline can be too exergerated for my likings. 

Dislike: Everybody trying too hard to act cool. With their short height such as Tony Sun, how can they act as basketball players? I suppose everyone except professional player Jonnie Yen are just a piece of joke. 

Title: Magicians of Love

Year of Broadcast: 2006

Starring: Ming Dao, Joanne Zeng, Sam Wang

Summary: Three top hairstylists in town, Artz (Ming Dao), Riche (Sam Wang) and Fernando (Jacky Wu) opens the Neo-image hair salon just opposite the traditional barber's shop run by Xiao bei (Joanne Zeng) and her father. 

What I like: Ming Dao again! Yes, he is the only magic in this otherwise boring series. These were the prime years of Taiwanese idol drama. The early 20s were fascinated by the charm of these lead actors. Indeed, after the prime years everything flops, before the Korean wave begins. 

Dislike: I don't have anything that I particularly dislike. If I really have to point out anything,  it will be the impracticality of the drama. That itself does not really bothers me since taiwanese drama were somewhat the same. Anyway, the story is simple and the limelight were as usual on 183 club, Ming Dao and Joanne Teng. That is all. 

Title: Meteor Garden

Year of broadcast: 2001

Starring: Barbie Hsu, Jerry Yen, Vic Zhou

Summary: The story centers around a poor teenage girl named Shan Chai (Baribe Hsu), who at the insistence of her parents goes to a university for rich people. The university is dominated by Dao Ming Si (Jerry Yen), Hua Ze Lei (Vic Zhuo), Mei Zhou (Vanness Wu) and Xi Men (Ken Chu). They are the rich, handsome and arrogant students collectively known as "F4" in short for Flower four.

What I like: Of course F4! Actually, I am not amazed by their good looks, since to be honest there are better looking guys elsewhere that we have seen. Rather it is the charisma and the wow effect behind these flower boys. Frankly speaking, the only person that stole the show is Barbie Hsu who protrays her role convincingly well. The rest of the cast were just "meh". 

Dislike: F4 are the "Prince crown" that they wear on their heads. Actually, they are just a fantasy to many girls. When you wake up from this dream, there goes the bubble "pop"! 

Title: Devil beside you

Year of broadcast: 2005

Starring: Mike He, Rainie Yang

Summary: The story begins with Qi Yue (Rainie Yang) confessing her liking to basketball team captain Yuan Yi (Kingone Wang). Being a careless person that she is, she has made her confession to the wrong person, who happens to be the school's devil Ah Mon. What complicated the love triangle further is when Qi Yue mother marrying Ah Mon dad. Therefore, Ah Mon and Qi Yue will be step brother and sister. What are the lovebirds going to do? 

What I like: The chemistry between handsome Mike He and cutie pie Rainnie Yang. They are so comfortable with each other that I really thought that they were a perfect onscreen couple. They are nicely casted in their respective role.

Dislike: What's up with the silly storyline? Is that a somewhat copycat version of Korea drama? Have to stop this "incest relationship" because of their parents? Well done scriptwriter.. Is there better ideas? 

Title: Corner with love 

Year of broadcast: 2007

Starring: Show Luo and Barbie Hsu

Summary: Xin Lei (Barbie Hsu) is a pretty and intelligent girl, who has never known a day of hardship. On the other hand, Qin Lang (Show Luo) is a penniless guy who has the aspiration to become an artist. The rich and pampered lady and the hardworking poor man met each other at the corner of the road, and begin a beautiful romantic story. 

What I like: The down-to-earth personality of Qin Lang. The bickering between Barbie Hsu and Show Luo were interesting and funny. There were some heartwarming moments that Qin Lang had done a lot without the knowledge of Xin Lei. He is actually a really sweet and nice guy and Show Luo nailed it for me. 

Dislike: It is another fairytale story about rich and poor. Either side of the main characters must be very rich or very poor! Since we can predict the outcome of the story, the process before they achieve happiness are the important component to draw in the audiences. I think both Show and Barbie were consistent in their acting, therefore that became the only reason that keep my interest for the drama strong.  

Title: It Started with a kiss

Year of Broadcast: 2005

Starring: Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin

Summary: A adaptation of Japanese Manga Itazura Na Kiss. The original live version was shown in 1996. Yuan Xiang Qing (Ariel Lin) is a intellectually challenged girl, naive but optimistic high school girl. Ever since she met Jiang Zhi Shu (Joe Cheng) at the freshman orientation, she's been in love with the genius with an IQ of 200.

What I like: I have always been a fan of Itazura Na Kiss since the 1996 version. Both Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin were good in protraying their characters. This is the only drama that kept me engaged and rooted for their love since the beginning of the story.

Dislike: I can't help but compare with the first japanese live version of Itazura Na kiss starring Takashi Kashiwabara. It is not easy to compete with my first love afterall. However, if I were to comment on this drama itself, i would say that this version is a more complete version that is more in-dept with the story development. 

Title: They Kiss again

Year of broadcast: 2007

Starring: Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin

Summary: It was a sequel to It started with a kiss. The story follows the odd couple life after the comedic wedding. Both of them became doctor and nurse respectively.

What I like: Finally we can continue to watch the live version of Itazura Na Kiss sequel after their wedding. That was a great difference between the original Japanese drama Itazura Na Kiss and the Taiwanese version. While the first version did not explain about many things, the Taiwanese did a lot better with the storyline and really satisfied the Itazura Na Kiss fans. 

Dislike: Ariel Lin stop whining!!! Yuan Xiang Qing is too silly for me to really appreciate her. At least Sato Aiko protray Kotoko as a brave girl that dares to challenge Naoki. Both are equally silly but Sato Aiko provide a little more edge to her character for me to appreaciate. Despite that, Ariel is overall still pretty good in her protrayal of Yuan Xiang Qing (Kotoko).

Title: Fated To love you

Year of broadcast: 2008

Starring: Joe Chen, Ethan Ruan

Summary: Chen Xin Yi is an unfashionable office lady, who has the desire to tie down her boyfriend. She plans and pays for a romantic love cruise,  hoping to lose her virginity and thus keep her boyfriend. On the same cruise is Ji Cun Xi (Ethan Ruan), who is the sole heir to a soap and cleaning product company. The both of them accidentally spend a night together, only to find out the next day. 

What I like: The storyline that strengthens towards the middle and the end of the drama. There were many comedic and heartbreaking moments that engaged me till the end of the series. I like the growth of the two main characters as they experience life, which in turn transformed them into a better person respectively. You know that the drama has succeed when the audience can relate and sympathize with each character. Therefore, making it a must watch Taiwanese Idol drama for the fans. 

Dislike: The naivety of Chen Xin Yi when she was clearly being taken advantage of by practically everyone. Thankfully, she grows up and learn to stand up for herself. I am frustrated that she has been allowing people to step all over her. 

Title: Endless Love

Year of broadcast: 2010

Starring: Wilber Pan, Sandrine Pinna

Summary: Liang Jing Hao (Wilber Pan) and Song Rui En (Sandrine Pinna) falls in love despite social difference. However, their happy union was shattered when he discover that her philanthropic father was the driver who killed his mother in a hit and run years ago and the cause of his father's suicide on their wedding day. The devastated Jing Hao chose to disappear rather than exposing the crimes that her father had committed. Years later, Jing Hao resurfaced. What will happen to the couple? 

What I like: The lovey dovey couple -Liang Jing Hao and Song Rui En. Initially, I do not like Song Rui En because she appears to be arrogant. However, she begins to reveal her cute personality shortly after. I watched this drama mainly because of Wilber Pan. I thought that Sandrine Pinna is a newcomer and her expressions were weird initially, but she seems more comfortable with the camera after a while. Despite that raw element, she did pretty well as a newcomer in Taiwanese idol drama.

Dislike: The non existent punishment for Song Wan Ji (Rui En father). He committed a hit and run crime!! Lin Yo Wei convincing protrayal of a irritating doctor named Li Min Suo. There were still some flaws in this drama, such as the unaccounted "evidence" for the hit and run incident. How did Song Wan Ji know that Liang Jing Hao was aware that he was the culprit behind the hit and run incident? 


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