I know it wasn’t getting up there with the ratings while it aired or attempted to draw in viewers–or so some might think. But I enjoyed it a lot because of its lighthearted nature and how it reminded me of the university days. Many could relate to its experiences–though some might think it was overly exaggerated but I felt that I want to point out some things that made it great.
*NOTE*: The numbers are there to keep track of how many good points the drama has and NOT listed in events of significant (of one surpassing another or anything like that).
1. Refreshing collaboration among the cast. Aside from several parties who are in the same band or had some past collaboration, the overall cast was very fresh. They came together to make this drama work and it was really something. Sure, some had a hard time adjusting to their roles or others needing to change his or her image to suit the role but it gave off a very fresh feeling.
2. The Chen family. It was nice to see such a large amount of people in the same family. It was crazy at times but it was funny also, seeing different relationships that they developed throughout.
3. Everyone has his/her own story. It’s rare to pull off nowadays since most dramas only focus on the main leads and 2nd leads. That’s it. Yet with this drama being a family one, it allows for a lot of possibilities, letting us see each character having his or her own story without the feeling of anyone hogging the camera too long. Even if they needed to focus on the main couple the most but it was spread out.
4. Each couple have a different story. This is sort of like the previous but not really since this is covering the romance department more. Each couple had their own beginning and other developments throughout, making it unique for each case and more addicting to watch.
5. The interval at which some of the major characters appear. I like the spread out of it all since it wouldn’t crowd the scenes OR make it draggy. If they let the others like Xiao Xue, Gong Hui Qi, or Xue Zhi Qiang appear so early in the story, they would end up getting a draggy and/or messed up plotline. The spread out appearances made it a nice pace and NOT too overdone. They didn’t have to rush at the end to make everything work out – as much.
6. Jiro and Cyndi = Jindi. I don’t know. It seems like they don’t look compatible or could not make it work, but I feel there’s this cuteness about them that’s hard to resist. Their off-screen interaction was even more funny, considering they had more freedom than just following the script. Anyway, seeing them wearing matching outfits gets to me all the time while watching the drama. Some people might think that they are too dull or not lively enough BUT I thought it is considered normal, NOT creating the hype on purpose just to crank the excitement up. In fact, I thought there were many conflicts they had to face already, so making their characters even more exaggerated or jumpy would’ve been too much, not to mention clashing with the other characters in here.
7. Gabe Lan and Cynthia Wang as Cheng and Xiao Xue. Seriously, that was way too funny. For some weird, weird reason, I love watching their story more than some of the other ones. Since they were so into fighting each other off and attempting to sabotage each other at first. The developing of their relationship later on was funny as well, considering how they kept somewhat of a secret from the others. Somehow, I felt they were the most like husband and wife, especially the part in the hospital when Shi Lang was shot, they were working together like a team – and like how often seen in husband and wife. Not to mention the shirt he was wearing at that time. (I mentioned this in my episode review before.)
8. The Chen twins: Zhuan and He (Sphinx and Godfrey Gao). They cracked me up each time with their opposite personalities–though they were supposed to be twins. Zhuan was always so knowledgeable and very scholarly, patient (or what it seemed) while He was all actions, quite hot-headed but quite athletic – thus gaining numerous admirers. One of the funniest parts that I remember about them was the part where all of the brothers were trying to put in their birthdates to see which one was Tao Hua’s #1 brother (aka the best brother) and they failed one by one. When it was Zhuan’s turn and it didn’t work, He ended up grabbing the keyboard to type his birthdate in. Zhuan immediately yelled at him for being an idiot. It sounded mean, BUT it made sense BECAUSE they were twins, OF COURSE it didn’t work!
9. Jing Lun and Jia Ying as Yu Yi and Hui Qi. Although Hui Qi caused some of the problems in here but it was too hard to hate her after learning of her bond to Shi Lang since little. Maybe it had to do with her angelic image. Aside from that, I really like seeing them together. They were just too cute, too compatible.
10. Godfrey Gao and He Mi as He and Xiao Mi. I didn’t really want to put them in since though they were fun to watch, I felt it was a tad on the side of cliches. YET I remembered the parts where they were together with the other couples and it was really fun to watch so I thought I might as well include them.
11. Ken Zhu and Annie Chen. Didn’t put it ‘as their characters’ because the last part was a bit off that she suddenly decided to go with someone else BUT came back later. I know that was harsh of me, but it felt a tad too random–even for a comedy. They were just emphasizing some possibilities in life yet I didn’t like it as much. What I do like was seeing these two pair off. It was interesting.
12. The four ‘psycho’ Chen brothers. Honestly, I just love them though they were so evil. It wasn’t because of their looks or because they were so talented only. But it was because of what they would go through to protect their little sister–even if they went over line. It looked so exaggerated at times, but I think others who have siblings would be able to sympathize with them. If you have one over-protective brother, multiple it by four and you get the result of them.
13. Honduras as Jiro’s father. Honestly, that was just too funny! I was glad they made him so laid-back and understanding. I was sick and tired of seeing the father-in-law criticizing the daughter-in-law for being ‘not good enough’ for his son. He was so supportive of Shi Lang and Tao Hua, even helping Tao Hua to pass the test with her cooking skills. The funniest part was he hypnotized himself to sleep! The bond between him and Shi Lang was really good also. I like how the production team made them look like they were father and son for real (or at least I had that impression).
14. Great casting. At first when I saw how they were at the press conference, I wasn’t sure how it was going to work. But after they were placed into their roles with the right image, it finally fell into place for me. I actually felt that each character was suitable for the roles given–regardless of what role they played in here.
15. Awesome filming technique. Personal opinion, of course. I really like the idea of shooting using the black and white approach during flashbacks, story recounts, or daydreaming ones. It brought some sense of the old time comedic feelings back. There were other techniques too, but I have forgotten somewhat because of a gap between watching and doing this review. BUT I really like the style overall.
*ANOTHER NOTE*: These were just my personal opinions and I just want to share with fellow fans out there. It was not mean to sale anything to others and DO NOT intend to force any beliefs on anyone either. PEACE!
*All images were captured by DTLCT