Bump Off Lover (愛殺17)

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This was actually the drama that got me into liking Angela. Her performance was wonderful in here as the twins, Yi Zhen and Yi Jing. She also captured the complexity of both characters very well. Like Yi Zhen was thought to be the strong, independent big sister who was a role model–for her sister and other classmates (because how her mother was a principal after all). But Yi Zhen was just a typical teenager who wanted to enjoy life’s many wonders and relaxed with her friends. Her persistence of wanting to join the school’s paper showed her courage to fight for something she wanted to do, even if it was just something minor that others around her thought that was not worth the effort, especially going against her mother’s wish. She was just another teenager wanting to live a normal student life like others, not wanting to miss the usual high school experience. She was down to earth yet hardworking because she wanted to achieve for her future. Also, her fear of water showed her vulnerable side. Yi Jing, on the other hand, had asthma and was thought to be the weakling. She was passive in her own way. She was a sweet sister and a peacemaker to her family in a sense. However, she had this underlying personality that her family was not aware of. Her intention to be heard among others and to rebel against her hypocritical family brought forth many conflicts. It was her secret that Yi Zhen was trying to unveil after her death and found out so many more that did not meet the eyes.

The twin’s family, which was thought to be a model family for society or what seemed like it was so hypocritical in many ways. They hid secrets to protect themselves and their reputation, causing their children grief.

There were other themes to the drama itself. It captured the realism of high school life and how the students were going through harsh times. They were tempted by a lot of things, which could lead them into a trap they could not escape from. It was really dark because it contained the theme of suicide and other tragic incidents that these students were going through regardless of the problems. Not to mention betrayal.

Twin roles had been played by many actors and/or actresses already and it was not something earth-shattering, to say the least. However, I thought Angela deserved the credit because of the complexity of the characters that were written. (Though she had to seek help from a friend–whom was none other than Johnny Yan–to pull out of her roles after the drama, but her performance during the drama was very convincing.) At the time when I was watching the drama, I actually thought that Yi Zhen and Yi Jing were portrayed by different actresses–though I knew all along it was only Angela. It was not just because of their different outfits or hairstyle or personalities either. But it was her performance that made it seemed that way.

The two songs Angela sang for the drama played a big part in the story also. It outlined the carefree life of a teenage student and also was quite inspirational and hopeful for others, especially the ending theme “Invisible Wings” (隱形的翅膀). It also brought out the feeling of growing up and going through the many experiences–whether good or bad.

This was actually one of the best dramas I ever watched and thought that it was right to leave it at that length and not compromise the story-line by doing those extensions of episodes like some dramas nowadays would do. What was good was that they knew when to stop. I also liked how the scenes were being shot with such a dark theme. They fed us the clues and some bits of the story at the beginning. Then revealed everything at the very end with Yi Zhen finally discovering Yi Jing’s diary. The story was told from Yi Jing’s perspective, which was quite interesting. It was like leading us viewers into Yi Jing’s world and how her thoughts were toward her family and society as a whole. Something else worth mentioning was that they did not go astray from the main purpose. There were side stories, but each fitted into the overall theme perfectly. That was what made it a true and successful mystery drama (at least to me).

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