Yes, this was sometime last year, but because I sort of muted Jacky on Instagram so I didn’t realize that he–like half of the population–got on TikTok, Douyin, and other similar apps and/or websites to show off their singing skills while the pandemic was raging on. I have to confess also that I sort of stopped following Cyndi on social media, so I missed most of her albums and other activities, except for when her mutual friends posted.
Anyway, the point? Someone, please get these two together and release an album of them. I don’t care if they sing remixes like how it was in this video clip singing one of her hits “When You” (當你). They could alternate between both of their collections, lol.
They complemented each other so well together in this clip that I wanted more. I think it’s because his voice is deep and strong and hers is soft and sweet so they sounded awesome together. I’m addicted, lol.
Also, do I sense a fanfic coming? (Joking here because I still have ba-zillion stories I haven’t finished yet.) Talking about that, years ago, I was so mad at some stuff in Heaven’s Wedding Gown that I wanted to write a fanfic and fixed some details or at least have some of the same cast but write my own version of it, like an inspired one. I wanted to make Ying Ai Qing’s god-brother so that the bullies would stop going after her and possibly scare the world out of Zi Hao’s arrogant father too. LOL! Childish, but it was seriously frustrating. I ended up scrapping the idea because it was like giving them more attention than I have time for. So yeah. Funny how they collaborated again after so many years. This time, singing. I only remember them singing in various J-Star songs together, but not just the two of them. I could be wrong since I wasn’t following them actively the first few years of the formation of 183 Club. It would be cool to see them collaborate more though.
I actually have a thought that they could sing “Heaven of Love” (愛的天國) together. That would be epic. I heard that some mainland China production team wanted to do a remake of Heaven’s Wedding Gown. Know what would be cool? Have Jacky and Cyndi sing the ending theme, which is the song I mentioned above, and see how it goes. Because it would be their own mix, their new version.
As I was working on this post though, I thought of something else. When I mentioned fanfic, I was just joking around. But by the time I got to the end of the post or was trying to finish it up, I have another idea. The only way I could work them into the story and somehow have them end up together is to have them end up together in “The Dating Game.” That would give some of the characters a heart attack, especially Wallace–maybe. But like I said, I feel like living on the edge lately. Not to mention I’ve been stuck on Jacky’s ending for the longest time. So yeah. By the way, part 8 is posting right now so give it some love, lol.
Okay, it’s over but, of course, we would be deceiving ourselves if we think that would mean all the troubles of the previous year were gone by some magic barrier of time or something. So, I’m just going to recap all of the positivity that happened this past year. Because there was enough of the bad news already, right?
First off, Qiaoru announced their happy news at the beginning of the year. Many friends and fans sent them well-wishing. It was indeed a shocker to some, but all in all, it was a piece of hopeful news for the beginning of the year. (Click here for specific translations of the news.) Oh yeah, for all Qiaoru fans who stuck it through, we got bragging rights, eh? LOL! (Kidding!)
Then right on April Fool’s Day, Ehlo chose that eventful day to tell us that he got married like in 2018 already. Congrats to him for dodging the paparazzi for so long. Leave it up to him to announce it on his birthday, right? Ehlo’s wife is Cai Yi Zhi (蔡ㄧ支). According to her profiles, she’s from Hawaii, but I can’t confirm other information, lol. They’re sooo cute, by the way. I saw some of the interactions he posted and I laughed so hard. They’re a match made in heaven all right. Also, they’re one of those people who created an Instagram account for their dog. Not judging, lol. I enjoyed the posts, lol. They adopted the dog in 2019—according to the profile information and named her Bao Zhu (寶珠). The funniest thing was that Jacky had called Ehlo “Yu Rong Ge” in his congratulation clip to the blissful couple. I know we all know Jacky’s younger than Ehlo. But for Jacky to not try and gain an upper hand with Ehlo? Was it the effects of 2020? Or because I missed something?
By June, news broke that Ming Dao had become a father. He, of course, got married already. He also hid it well from the paparazzi. Team 183 Club 2, Paparazzi 0. To be honest, I didn’t know about the news either. But Leon posted a congratulations message on his page, so I went hunting for news, lol. I went to stalk the other 183 Club members too and they also congratulated Ming Dao, of course. Jacky even bragged about how his prediction came true that Ming Dao was the first one to have a kid. Anyway, Ming Dao got married in 2019. His wife is Wang Ting Xuan (王婷萱). She was a member of a band called KISS. I went and searched around a bit and saw that the group disbanded already. Oh yeah, to be fair, the paparazzi did catch them before and asked if they were dating and they replied that they were just friends, lol. I’m all for people who deceive the paparazzi. So, my previous declaration about the scores stands. Regardless, congrats to them once again!
Aside from those, Jun Ya launched his YouTube channel to share his various adventure trips called Sergeant Will Take You There, which was a reference to his role in Rookies’ Diary. (It was a while back but I just didn’t have time to go check it out yet.) They’re both informative and fun to watch. For example, there was a segment where he filmed with some of his close friends, which included Ehlo, Derek Chen, Kurt Chou, Kai Hsu, and Liang Zhe. (Click here, here, and here to check out the clips.) What was really funny about the first clip was them performing the intro to “Enticing Trick.” The final reveal was Ehlo because he had his back to the camera initially. It was a funny one because they messed up on the band’s name when they tried to introduce themselves. Derek scolded them for getting it wrong. It was hilarious and brought back a lot of fond memories of 183 Club in general. Also, it was really funny that when they introduced themselves, they were disclosing their heights. Kurt even disclosed his weight. Derek made a comment about how he should just disclose all his measurements as well, lol. (Probably hinting at how they would disclose their measurements during beauty contests, lol.) What got everyone hysterical was how Ehlo said he was an actual member of the 183 Club band, but he was only 178 cm. (Again, I love him! But that was hilarious!) Everyone picking on Kai because he was the youngest, lol. Not really, but Jun Ya was making a comment about him being young and being able to beat the challenge, lol. Hey, it wasn’t like Kai was going to take it from them, because he called them “elders” at various points of the segment. (Click here if you want to watch the whole challenge at one go from Kai’s channel. Since it’s his channel, he would be the main narrator of the clip. Also, he misplaced his GoPro during the third waterfall jump and had to go back and retrieve it later. If you watch Jun Ya’s version, you couldn’t tell the difference except there was a pause and they were yelling about it and weren’t able to find it. He went back later with another diver and they managed to locate it at last but, of course, since the GoPro sank already, he wasn’t able to record some of the later events after his own jump.) The weather was cold the time they were there hence their jackets. Jun Ya disclosed Ehlo’s marital status in the second clip, but I guess if anyone who watched wasn’t paying attention, they didn’t realize it or thought the guys were joking. This clip was loaded in December 2019, so it was before Ehlo announced it in April. (Someone has a bigger mouth than Jacky, lol.) Anyway, those were really fun episodes to watch and I won’t spoil it anymore. So enjoy!
Regarding YouTube channels, Derek Chen had launched his awhile back (Xiao Lie’s Cook Show) but I didn’t bother updating so this is a back update for several of them. It’s a cooking channel, mostly, and the first video was loaded six years ago, but I think he either forgot about it or the circumstances of last year hence him getting back into it more actively. (Go here if you want to check it out.) He and Jun Ya are actually closer than some of the others so there was another outing that they did together. (Go here for Derek’s version, here for Jun Ya’s version, and here for Xiao Fei’s version. The other guy talking during the challenge is Xiao Fei, he has his own channel also. They were doing another cross show. It was another fun watch.) Anyway, I remember a clip that Jun Ya shared like awhile back and how passionate Derek was about cooking and his pro tips. So both guys not only shared their adventurous side but also their cooking skills. Jun Ya referred to Derek as “Chef” on many occasions, so it was his own acknowledgment of Derek’s talent. (Of course, it was so obvious that Derek did most of the cooking during their waterfall challenges, and how on one occasion, the guys were all agreeing on how Derek had to survive or they would starve, lol.)
Jun Ya’s cousin, Henry, also launched his YouTube channel to teach English with his daughters called Learning With Henry. There was an episode where they did a crossover with Jun Ya and it was really funny. (Go here for Henry’s version and here for Jun Ya’s version.) What’s the difference between the versions? Henry’s focused on the English part while Jun Ya focused on the journey outside. Jun Ya’s nieces were so cute though, lol. Their sass was also top-notch, especially the questions, lol. Then I wondered if they got influenced by their father or Jun Ya’s attitude at times, lol. Anyway, not to troll but it was supposed to be teaching English after all, they spelled “sergeant” wrong. They were several other mistakes also, but I think overall, the humorous take of various local cultures was worth it. You learn more about Taiwan if you didn’t know before. Oh yeah, Henry apologized for his terrible singing at one point and then proceeded to end the episode with more terrible singing, lol.
I think the rest of the year sort of deteriorated to the point that I didn’t bother to keep up anymore although I did follow some projects that some people were working on. Yet once again, I want to keep this post on the positive side, so I will stop at that. I would also want to save the drama-related news for future updates.
Side-Note: I will not be doing tags update for this year since my lack of updates for last year sort of said a lot that they barely moved.
*Images Credit: from the Facebook pages of Calvin Chen, Joanne Tseng, Ehlo Huang, Leon Jay Wiliams
Leon and Esther had a reunion at the Sanlih Drama Awards Ceremony (華劇大賞) the other night, causing an uproar around the fandom since the drama Green Forest, My Home had aired 11 years ago. (Go here and here for articles.)
When asked about their feelings of that year regarding filming the series together, Esther expressed that she didn’t think much of it yet just followed instructions from the director. The reason they asked because Esther was only 17 years old in 2005 (when they filmed the series). Leon expressed that he was touched to have been invited back to be one of the presenters since SETTV was like his second home. He also mentioned that if there was a chance of collaborating in the future, he was excited to collaborate with the new generation, hoping to be portraying the main lead’s brother or father. (LOL!)
Happy about the reunion, both Leon and Esther had shared various links and photos on their respective Facebook accounts. Also, side note, Ady An had also returned to be one of the award presenters. She and Esther are actually good friends since they both are in An Corporation together and Esther was one of the first members to join after its establishment. (Go here for the article relating to Ady.)
*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.
The saddest thing about this whole experience was that I was actually anticipating it since I learned of the collaboration between Van and Leon. What it lack wasn’t the music, the acting or the plot BUT the poor directing job and editing that made it hard to endure. It was like someone decided to be really, really sloppy with it but expected it to turn out good. It was not the fault of the actors or actresses that participated in it for once BUT because of the production team’s careless eyes. I am a very tolerant person and I’m not that picky on some details as long as it made sense. But the directing was so sloppy that made the scenes harder and harder to endure. I must admit there were worthwhile parts to watch and the messages carried throughout about the friendship and loyalty each band member held for each other was worth a thought and was touching to a point. YET the lack of attention to details made it so horrendous that you wouldn’t even want to watch a second time. (They were that careless.) It was too bad because they had a lot of good ideas revolving around the plot yet it had all gone to waste because of careless mistakes throughout. It was too obvious to not notice. Even if I’m that blind to details at times, only caring if the overall plot was good. It got a tad better later on since if you were involved in the plot itself, you wouldn’t notice it as much anymore, but for opening scenes and trying to impress others, it was kind of weak with not monitoring some scenes more carefully.
Van as Ah Hai. Another role related to music/band theme. He had an attitude in here yet it was more of stubbornness to stick to his principle, not abandoning his friends, that was all. Though I must admit he was a bit unrealistic regarding trying to get everyone to stick to the end with his ways, forgetting that each had quite a hardship to bear and responsibilities with their families. But he was not blind to those either when he finally found out how wrong he had been to hang on to such foolish thoughts, almost costing others’ lives.
Leon as Ah Hao. I think he has improved with his acting. This was quite a challenging role for him and he was really brave in stepping out of his comfort zone. His trouble with using the appropriate tone in some scenes was still noticeable but it got better as the movie moved on. It was like he was just uncomfortable with shouting swear words, etc so it sounded really awkward. There were also some traces of discomfort while acting like a bum at the beginning as well but it was not that noticeable. Not too bad. But the other scenes, he was better in those, not as nervous or not as raw anymore. Like the scenes where he was interacting with Van and the others. Then the parts where he was in control. It was easier for him in a sense because it kind of reinforced the bossy roles he took in several dramas already. Back to the character, he honestly seemed like a fierce, cold-blooded person but he really cared for friendship in a sense. He was always chanting the whole idea about ‘brothers’, etc yet his actions showed differently. One of the memorable scenes must be the part where this one group was making fun of Ah Long and he told Ah Hai that he forgot something when they were getting into the elevator–to which Ah Hai smiled, knowing him too well. Yes, it was his violent way of teaching someone a lesson and seemed wrong, but it showed how he cared enough to exert his energy.
Van and Leon collaborating. It was very refreshing and fun to see. My gosh! It was too funny trying to see Ah Hao trying to learn the gist of producing an album, taking care of the production. He was so clueless that made it adorable. Of course, it was understandable since he only knew of the life he encountered with so many years already. There were of course more of the touching scenes as of the hilarious ones. I thought that their bond was the strongest in here since they got nothing to lose except their lives. It was like when others could not come anymore or Ah Hai was driven out of the other band members’ houses, he only had Ah Hao left to drink and talk with, no one else. Even when Ah Hai wanted to give up, Ah Hao wouldn’t let him. Ah Hao kept encouraging Ah Hai on.
Mickey Huang Zi Jiao as himself. That was too funny. Got to sympathize with him at various points. Having him in here was already funny.
Xiu Jie Kai as Jake. Interestingly, I thought he was the bad guy at first when he was caving in to temptation and taking the offer. It was just that he wanted something for himself (and others as we found out when the plot focused more on him). I thought his role was small yet it played an important part in the whole plot. I didn’t realize how good he was until the part where he was confronting Van in the rain. Wow! That blew everything away. He had great potential really. His character brought out the dark side of the popular scenes since it told the story of being an idol and not being able to control your life anymore. It was all about money, no longer about art. You can’t have both. Yet sometimes it wasn’t because you were such a greed (like in his case), but it was the only chance and only way to help yourself and others get out of the hole (financially in their case).
The part where Ah Hao went to meet with his boss, Jay. The one who took him in and looked after him all these years. Honestly, the guy was yelling at the others for eating too much and being overweight BUT he had to look at himself first. I guess being the boss helped since he could say anything because others couldn’t object. Also, he was offering some food to Ah Hao, saying that Ah Hao was too skinny, etc. It was a riot really. (NO, I am not promoting the idea of making fun of others’ weight, BUT more like are you serious? Yeah, it was the idea behind people having to look at themselves first before criticizing others. It was the mockery that made it funny, NOT the actual joke.)
The part where Boss Jay was attending to some situation. It was after he and Ah Hao talked and the others brought an old lady back because her son fled already. Boss Jay was like comforting the old lady and giving her money to survive, telling Ah Hao to take her home, etc. Then he whispered into Ah Hao’s ear to go find the son and teach him a lesson. He left after that while his henchmen were like mumbling something about him being a good guy or a gangster, etc. (Yup, the capability of playing both the roles of angel and demon.)
The part where Ah Hao finally acquired the record company and wanted the others to start working. He said, “I think publishing a record won’t be harder than killing people.” Honestly? I totally laughed out loud with that one.
The part where Ah Hai was asking Ah Hao why Ah Hao was helping them. Ah Hao was talking about his past and how the music touched him. Then out of nowhere, he was like, “So what do we do now? Kill someone?” Look at Van’s expression! It was just too much!
The part where Ah Hao was so into listening to Ah Hai’s singing while the band was in the recording room. Ah Hai was signaling to the others when he noticed that Ah Hao was listening and was even laying on the table. Then Ah Hao fell over so they had to run outside to tend to him.
The part when Boss Jay was seen in this one bar performing. He was trying to run away from Ah Hao but ran into another dude instead. He was mumbling about his lack of luck, etc when that dude entered the restroom also, staring at him. Probably trying to see why he looked so familiar? LOL! I so didn’t see it coming that he was there since it was off. Though it made sense since he was seen watching music on TV earlier. That wasn’t all since after that dude left, Ah Hao finally came in! He had to scram to one of the inside stalls to avoid a collision with Ah Hao. Then he went home and hit that one dude who was making comments about his weight/appearance. That other guy didn’t see it coming!
The part where Boss Jay was going grocery shopping with one of his henchmen. Honestly, who was he fooling? Still the fat talk, of course, but aiming at the other guy, not himself. He was scolding at the other dude for having high blood pressure and told him to take the low-fat foods, etc. It got even better since he noticed the magazine where their band was being reviewed and he was so pissed off that they were called the worst in history, so he told the other dude to bring in the editor-in-chief.
The part where Ah Hao parked right into the spot that was supposedly taken. Then he just got out and shrugged like he didn’t do anything wrong, LOL! That was priceless! Though it was short-lived since the girl–Jennifer–was supposed to be the one that was interviewing him later. So much for first impressions.
The part where Jennifer was clarifying matters with Ah Hao. It was funny all right. She was saying how she was just enjoying the band’s music and not because of Ah Hao since she hadn’t forgiven him for their first encounter. He just shrugged. It was just so funny how he couldn’t care less as long as they were in.
The part when the families of the members of the band came seeking for their grandson/son and ran into Boss Jay’s band. It was too funny since Boss Jay thought they were another band the way they were dressed. Then there was also Ah Hai and the others trying to run. It was one big mess all right yet still hilarious. After Ah Hai and the others ran away, Boss Jay and his gang had to listen to the grandpa’s rants about them being devils, influencing the young kids, LOL! They had to run! That was too much. They were scared of the old man? OKAY…
The part where they thought Boss Jay died so it was getting out of control. It was too abrupt and too terrifying in a sense to think BUT when he popped back up, it was just too funny. Honestly, I thought he died for real and I actually liked him–for a gangster so crazy and so into music. He was too silly at times but he was the boss, after all, he wouldn’t be that careless and it made sense that he wouldn’t be off as easily. He would’ve prepared for such cases.
The last part where Boss Jay and Ah Hao entered Jiao Jiao’s car to give him another sample. It was so funny how he was saying, “It’s you again” when he saw Ah Hao. Then Boss Jay even resorted to begging for Jiao Jiao to listen. After they left, everyone was lining up and Boss Jay told Ah Hao to eat some more since he was too skinny, he wasn’t fitting in with them, etc. LOL!
Things that the director should have attended to:
The fighting. Too fake. Even IF I don’t know anything about fighting, it seriously got on my nerves that they should’ve done better with that. They had to fake fight, but at least make it look real. The lamest part was seeing how Leon was tossed into the boxes after he fled and was chased down by Wen’s henchmen. Then there was the fight. It was like they were afraid of getting hurt or was just playing with one another. Too fake. Sure, Leon tried to look fierce and the others tried to look like they were beating him but it was like not enough intensity. They should’ve put in some intense music to help the scene IF the guys weren’t doing so good with the whole thing. The sound effects might help a bit more.
Leon’s slouching. Oh, no…he’s not anymore. It was too obvious that it was hard to miss. He has too much grace with his modeling background and/or a good posture so it was hard to slouch for him. He must have made an effort and can’t blame him too much for forgetting at times. BUT the director should’ve caught it. He didn’t need to slouch when he was fierce and showing his gangster boss attitude, BUT I meant some parts here and there when he was seen as a lazy person or like he couldn’t care less about his behaviors.
The blood color was kind of fake. Yes, we should all know what blood looks like by now. In some scenes, it looked really fake. They should mix it better with whatever they were using.
YES, someone actually made the right decisions to make it work somehow, surprisingly, to make up for some other parts.
Letting Van tell the story. I don’t know. His voice is too addicting to listen to. Sincere yet was not too over with trying to impress. It was just right. Suitable for being the narrative voice in here. Also, when it was told from his POV, it made Leon’s character more mysterious in a sense.
The fight in the rain between Van and Xiu Jie Kai. This was how people fight. It looked intense enough and showed the emotions from both characters, making the scene more climatic. Then there was the whole confrontation with how Ah Hai was making the decisions for them and how unrealistic his dream was, etc. It was all tumbling out and how Ah Hai realized what Jake was saying was true. He was sinking his friends and not thinking about their real decisions or feelings. Though it was a righteous act with sticking together yet it was like what Jake said–not real. The others all had people they needed to care for and how their lives depended very much on the finances to make it happen. It wasn’t right or practical for Ah Hai to drag them through such fleeting dreams. The flashbacks were better in these scenes for some reason since the scenes were distinguishable enough–unlike some of the intro scenes that was hard to tell which was really which–unless you really paid attention. A really powerful scene indeed.
The fighting scene Ah Hao was engaged in while Ah Hai and the bands were performing at the Riverside Live House. It was an improvement from Leon’s various fight scenes, not by much but at least someone was paying attention to make it a tad better. They managed to make it a bit more fierce. Maybe the rain helped. Maybe the music helped. Not sure what but it was somewhat better than before. It could be Leon’s best fight scene in here.
Moral(s) to the story:
Read everything before you sign OR at least get someone who could read. Honestly, that was with all the trouble they were going through in the first place. Or at least with Ah Hai’s case and how his band got conned by that one record company. It was just too good to be true. Everything looked sooo suspicious. Yet they were desperate for some recognition–and money for some of their cases.
The music? Considering this was a music-related theme, I should include the discussion and putting it last would be a better conclusion for this review. The only song that could be called a hit was “Rock All Night” by Van. I’m not bashing them but it was the only catchy track since the rest seemed to be the same somehow. But I did like the other songs in their own rights.
Recommended? NOT really for those of you who are too hype up about ‘quality’ versus it being ‘entertaining’. It was entertaining enough for me BUT not really my favorite because of those too obvious mistakes that I noticed throughout. There are probably more IF I ever make myself watch the third time. (Second time was skimming around to get caps for this review.) Unless you’re a hardcore fan of Craze Band (Van and Ah Long) OR Leon, DON’T make yourself sit through it and complain. NOT to mention throwing your money out the door. I didn’t regret getting it because of Van and some of the cast, but that’s just showing support for them, not the production team. I usually love the production team more at times and appreciate them for their hardworking attitude, but it couldn’t be said the same this time. I’m sure the crew worked hard BUT the director sank them all. He should’ve made better calls than that.
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Before I start the review, I would like to confess that this was actually my very first Korean drama ever. (That meant that I watched it from the very first episode to the very last episode.) I must say that during my skimming journey on local channels, I rarely cared for it since I found it boring to the hardcore because of its predictable story and extremely depressing storyline with the whole “disease” thing and the “dying” thing thrown in. Unexpectedly, this was an extremely good drama to consider. No wonder it won several awards and was one of the greatest Korean drama ever made. The acting was excellent from the main cast although it did touch some familiar themes. It made up for a lot of things and I was totally blown away by it. (Possibly because I haven’t found any Korean drama that was worth mulling over yet.) The soundtrack was also very nice (as known with most Korean soundtracks).
I don’t want to spoil much of the drama itself but I found it very creative and complex at the same time with how the ending was crafted. It wasn’t just some typical Cinderella story, but it strongly emphasized on how this could happen to anyone with life’s many wonders.
I loved the main couple character-wise (since I have not seen their actual interaction off-screen to determine). They had excellent chemistry and were really natural with all their scenes together.
As much as I loved this drama, I couldn’t help feeling like this reminded me sooo much of Taiwanese idol drama Heaven’s Wedding Gown. Yes, especially with a lot of the details. But I must say this one was crafted much nicer in a sense because it didn’t have too many of the subplots or frustrating moments since Taeyoung was very strong and independent despite all her hardships. The circumstances were different and couldn’t be compared totally, but I didn’t like it that in the other one Ai Qing got bullied so much. It was really annoying. The common factor that could be agreed upon was both soundtracks were amazing to listen to.
Notice, I wasn’t implying any sort of “copying” going on since it was aired at around the same time (and possibly in the works around the same time as well). It could be a coincidence and I loved both works in its own way.
Posted (on Xanga): March 3, 2009
Re-posted: April 26th, 2010
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