Annie Liu, Taiwanese Entertainment

Convincing Couples: Part I

I must admit that I have not been feeling that strongly toward a couple in recent dramas–possibly because of numerous co-stars to choose from and how I would want to open up all possibilities for each artist, not wanting to rob myself of possible discoveries. Or maybe just that the plot was not convincing at all. Or was it the factor that they were trying too hard to make it work by throwing in random scenes? Everyone has to agree that chemistry is what makes a couple work, right? But everyone has a different definition on that factor, leading to disputes among fans. I won’t get into that battle in this post so don’t worry about that.

What I want to talk about today is the collaboration between Blue Lan Zheng Long and Annie Liu Xin You. I must say that they have a very good chemistry in I Do and L-O-V-E (Hua Shan * 24). It’s not just ‘very good’ but indescribably addicting to watch because of their interactions in all their scenes together. I think that I Do wouldn’t be as successful if it wasn’t for them. (Though the ratings showed otherwise, but it was very popular among fans–or those who actually took time to watch and discover many things about it.) Their chemistry was convincing because they did not try too hard. But it just seemed so natural when they were interacting in their scenes. It made me excited again–like I was once was about pairings. It was like it was okay to be stubborn about this pairing and not support other co-stars. (But not to the extent of bashing of course.)

What made I Do different from other typical dramas of the prince and the poor girl was that it had some element of unpredictability to it. Not to mention the seriousness of how it addressed marriage. It let us have it all in one package with meeting, getting to know each other, marriage, and then the whole trying to make marriage work. It did not let on the element of paradise or happily ever after feeling–though that was implied at various times of how many couples wanted to get married.

Another thing that I Do spared the audience of was the silly and senseless humor. There was humor but it was realistic enough so that we could relate to. It was the subtleness of those daily moments and the friendship different characters shared that made it more colorful.

Though its only fault was the whole ‘crazy girl’ thrown into the formula to spice up the drama some more. (However, we could not blame the creators too much since they have to maintain some sense of excitement to keep viewers hanging on the edge of their seats.)

What made the story real was the characters involved. No one was perfect yet they were perfect for their significant other. What was more promising was that almost everyone had their head pinned down to earth so they did not seem like they lived in the clouds half of their lives.

Summer–though was supposed to be the poor, hard-working girl but we could see that she was NOT that poor to the point that she was glad to be rescued. She was not praying to be rescued. She used to be a princess too once upon a time when her father was still well off with his business. She had suffered through the whole incident of ‘ground giving way under her’ after knowing her father’s business was done for, but learned to be strong after meeting Hao Zhe. However, she did not dwell on being rescued–like said before. She just kept making a living and continued on with life–whether she could find her significant other or not. She was very practical. She knew what was like to live with wealth and without wealth. (Though her father’s business failed years before but he still had some sort of business running so they could not be called poor either–but could be mistaken as so.) She stayed carefree and optimistic, not dreaming of a possible getaway from it all either. She was satisfied with what she had and how she was still able to survive after all that had happened.

Hao Zhe, on the other hand, was well off but was not happy due to family conflicts. It drew out a typical picture for his character–the poor little rich guy. Also, the guy who seemed arrogant on the surface but had a good heart below all that tough exterior. However, it was not all about that. We often see how it was for other dramas. But Hao Zhe was a true ‘shao ye’ with all his attitudes intact. He still has a good heart as an overall, but was not so goody-good that you wondered how he was able to pull it off with so much complications with his family among other things. His unrest nature that became the constant conflict between him and Summer made it different from other ‘prince charming’ characters. He had to learn how to restrain himself from temptation but failed several times before knowing to cherish what he has. But that did not mean that he has to change himself 180 degree from who he was before. It was part of him.

Their characters were believable and were easy to relate to. But it would not have worked that well if it was not for Blue and Annie’s collaboration. They were excellent in carrying out their roles and interacting with one another. They made us believe they were really Hao Zhe and Summer. They made us believed that they were a couple. That same magic leaped over to Hua Shan * 24 as they take on yet another collaboration. Surprisingly and fortunately, their magic did not die down like other collaborations and made it refreshing with their new characters. They were still close as before but gave off a different feeling toward one another because of the events unfolding within the plot. It did not lack chemistry though they did not share many intimate scenes together like in I Do. They still made it possible and addicting to watch with their subtle interactions throughout–and even the traumatizing parts. It was not overdone at all.

I won’t spoil it much for those who did not watch both mentioned dramas yet and will come back next time with a similar topic yet with another couple.

*Most images were collected around the net and belong to their respective owners. The rest were captured by DTLCT.

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