Taiwanese Entertainment

TW TV Series Worth Watching

I actually started this list like 2 years ago, but didn’t want to post it just yet. Now, I thought what in the world, just go ahead. AND this is not an attempt to convince or manipulate people into watching it. Just something to share and add to this random blog. Some of them I attached links because I’d actually done the reviews for them at one point. Some are actually under its own categories so I won’t link it. Others? Might do discussions in the future but not sure.

This is the Taiwanese drama list – as the title indicated. I will post up the Mainland China and Hong Kong ones separately.

Ancient Dramas:

Gu Jian En Chou Ji 1984 (孤劍恩仇記) – Many people might not remember this one, but it was really good – despite being one of those with ‘lame’ settings in the days when Taiwan productions weren’t that convincing yet. But they had a great cast and the plot was really good for this one.

Bao Qing Tian 1993Who could forget this one, right? It was quite popular during its run, and the episodes got extended. One of the few shows that got extended but wasn’t unreasonable.

Ji Gong 1995 – Really funny but had a lot of underlying messages. So zen, so witty yet could be so crazy too.

Madame White Snake 2013 (白蛇外傳) – 40 episodes, but each episode was only about half an hour or less. It was enjoyable and sort of a parody to the “Madame White Snake” stories.

Shi Gong Qi An 1997 – It was so addicting, following the success of the whole Bao Qing Tian sagas. This also retained a lot of comedic moments to aid the plot along, so it wasn’t as depressing, but it wasn’t corny either.

Modern Dramas:

Angel Lover – 40 episodes later and I was still wanting more. Kudos to the production team for that. There were a lot of meaningful messages placed in without making it too corny. The people in here experienced very real problems in life and needed some guidance to get through and start anew, etc. The soundtrack was awesome also.

Black & White – Though when it came down to it, it was a 50/50 toss since the ‘romance’ part bugged me to death, BUT must admit it was a really big production and they honestly put a lot of effort in the cases AND action scenes. NOT to mention the whole ‘conspiracy’ and the huge cast involved – regardless of grand names or not.

Bump Off Lover – I was really surprised it was that serious and dark – and was actually that good. It made me changed my views regarding TW dramas of recent and also of Angela. (YES, I wasn’t that into Angela until after I watch this one.) Probably one of those close to realistic dramas of recent years. Some elements might seemed so exaggerated, especially with the twins being so different – as some people pointed out. YET it wasn’t impossible because of the catalysts involved.

Endless Love (愛∞無限) – I was surprised since I was just watching out of curiosity and because I want to support Will.

Devil Beside You – YES, for one of those rare times, I actually agreed with the general public about it being good – AND it had to do with both the storyline and the actors/actresses who portrayed the roles. I never read the actual manga SO do not know how accurate it was but the drama was good enough for me.

Home Run – One of those short and nice dramas from PTS.

Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu – Again, NOT because I’m following the crowd, but more like I really agreed with how the plot was. Didn’t read the manga either but found it pretty good for the most part. I really felt the whole school atmosphere and typical rivalry between dorms, etc. It was madness but also interesting and meaningful if the surface was stripped down.

I Do? – A surprisingly good one though it had some of the usual cliches plotline. Interestingly enough, it was also an adaptation from a certain romance novel. From what I heard, it had strayed from the novel (as usual) but still retained some essence of the storyline, making it bearable.

Just Singing And Dancing (K歌·情人·夢) – Regardless of what happened with the ratings (which I didn’t get why but I reminded myself I no longer care to figure it out, except for daily dramas that made more sense), this was a really nice one. Focused mostly on music. Yeah, it did repeat the formula with different members of the band trying to conquer some inner demons, etc. But it wasn’t too soapy. It kept it real for the most part about family conflicts as well. The singing and dancing at random times didn’t seem to be realistic with life, etc BUT it put a lot of artistic elements into it. They used new and old songs and remixes to make it even more interesting.

Liu Mang Xiao Zhang – Many people will disagree with me since it seemed to be non-existence. YET I felt it was one of those really up there because it was really short and made its point. The characters were nicely written – though the plot could be silly at times. But it was a romantic comedy at heart, right? I’m not placing it in because two of my favorites are in it BUT because it really made an impact for me with the storyline. (Click here and here for more discussions regarding the drama.)

Love Together (愛讓我們在一起) – Despite some of its frustrating parts (and most dramas have those), I felt it was pretty good. Maybe what made it convincing was the maturity of the cast involved.

Mei Ren Long Tang (美人龍湯) – I was more than surprised. I meant I only wanted to watch because of not being able to get past a Mike drama for a while now. This seemed hopeful, but I wasn’t expecting much. Yet Mike really surprised me in this one with his really good acting (past the usual cool, handsome guy exterior). The rest of the cast were as convincing. The story wasn’t that unbearable either since some of the frustrating moments moved faster than usual, which was a good thing. I liked how the pieces of puzzles were placed in and then resolved along the way. It wasn’t too dramatic yet wasn’t too boring either.

Peak Times – A BIG surprise for me. I only wanted to check it out half because of curiosity and half because of Eric Huang and Cecilia Han Xue. But I found myself pulled in by the excitement at first. Then the suspense dragged me along for the rest of the time.

Rookies’ Diary – I didn’t put it in because many of my favorites are in here. BUT because I felt it was very informative regarding military procedures. I learned a lot. And I do know there were fictional elements in there (DUH, I know) and possibly added to accompany the plot. Yet it was really inspiring. AND what made me love this even more was seeing how they had continue with mentioning some characters from part 1 in the sequel without needing to ‘kill’ or ‘cut’ them off completely. Sure, they had to severe the ties for one of the main leads to explain why he wasn’t around anymore. BUT the rest of the relationships didn’t change, i.e. Wu Yong/Xia Zheng Feng didn’t end up with someone else just because Xiao Yan/Xiao Xiao Yu wasn’t around anymore.

Sisters (姊妹) – YES, it was 60 episodes long. Yet I felt it was worth it since they explored a lot of relationships throughout the drama and focused mostly on sisters’ relationships (obviously), but it was different in a way, especially the ending. I felt the ending had actually helped a lot with convincing us of real life situations because not everything was about ‘happily ever after’ or ‘everything could be worked out so the main couple could reunite once again’. (Sorry, I’m rolling my eyes now.)

The Magicians of Love – Ignore the fact that it was a SETTV drama and that it had many silly attempts to extend the episodes for ratings (YEAH, typical SETTV move), it had some foundation. Not to mention how the message of breaking past obstacles to reach one’s goal at the end seemed quite addicting at times. The characters weren’t flawless because they were actually human beings so it was that spot that made it somewhat more realistic than seeing the typical heroes and heroines like in the other dramas.

The New World – Excellent planning and directing where puzzles were concerned and how the plot was crafted. However, what disappointed me was the ending. Some of the characterizations were nicely written and were worth it. However, the suspense that was built up since the beginning and along the way was all for nothing after all. Yes, it was that frustrating and I probably won’t ever get over it. Yet I must admit, they did a good job in some areas. The romance side, it was kind of messy and dragging in some areas and wasn’t enough balance for me. So what was the point of placing it in? I think  considering how I placed in some other dramas that probably frustrated me too, I think this one was a push forward for suspense drama. It could have been short like Xiao Hai Da Ren with some cuts here and there, then it would be  good. Yes, this was from the same team whom made Xiao Hai Da Ren.

Wayward Kenting – This is truly a classic. YES, one of those rare times I actually use ‘classic’ since I’ve been so sick of people using it at every chance they get to mock other dramas. Director Niu really brought to life some of the daily problems the characters were experiencing and made it so mesmerizing and addicting to watch.

White Robe of Love – Not because I’m an Adylan fan. But because I found it interestingly addicting as well. It seemed somewhat silly at first but was real enough through its depiction and how it was laid out. It didn’t reek of the typical ‘idol dramas’ elements. (As interestingly most Dylan dramas aren’t.)

Xiao Hai Da Ren – OMG, surprisingly amazing. This is one of those reasons why I think dramas DO NOT even needed to be dragged out to be good. The way it was presented was very convincing and restored my faith in TW dramas in general. NOT that I want to completely put other dramas down, but this one proved that if they wanted to do something serious without all the dramatic sequences added to just ‘entertain’, they could.

Yuan Lai Wo Bu Shuai – Some people must have dropped their jaws by now. BUT I have to say that this drama reminded me somewhat of the university days and just school days in general. Crazy conspiracy and wild theories students tossed around. Sometimes it wasn’t as dramatic as implied in the drama YET it made sense because if you’re in that particular group, you automatically focus on just that group only. School gossips and many more. Then it was also about friendships, etc. A typical comedy that needed to look beyond those obvious scenes to enjoy.

*NOTE*: This post will be updated from time to time. Therefore, it will be included in the ‘Helpful Posts’ section to make it easier to locate – IF anyone’s interested in following. Also, keep in mind that I back-watch from time to time, some might NOT be on the list yet. Others, call it difference of opinions – IF I didn’t put it on there.

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