At the Dolphin Bay

(image credit: net)

I have a confession to make. I never really watch the whole thing. Yes, tragic and late, I know. But I mostly watched bits and pieces here and there and mostly MVs. I do own the soundtrack though because it was so beautifully done by some of the cast and production team. So, the point? My opinions were heavily skewed because how I didn’t have the whole picture to fairly judge the plot in its entirety. So now that I watched it properly, my opinions of it changed majorly and I was glad in some ways. However, some things still didn’t change and I will address them below. (Go here if you want to read my tweets while I was watching. Of course, some are no longer relevant because my thoughts changed near the end, but it was a fun activity during the time.)

How was it as an overall though? It was exceptionally good. Yes, that was surprising to me, considering how it seemed to be a typical idol drama at face-front. In some ways, it was so. In other ways, it deserved to be on the top list—even if I had to admit that myself.

Main Cast:

  • Angela Chang (張韶涵) as Yi Tian Bian (易天邊). Who said that Angela didn’t know how to act needs their eyes checked. Yes, there were heavy criticisms of her acting during the time she was more active with her acting career. I know it was inevitable with anyone within the industry, but she especially received backlash. Some of them were really unfair and uncalled for too. I know we can’t all like the same people and have different criteria, etc. But I can’t believe those criticisms regarding her earlier dramas. Because after watching this, I was blown away. I’m not saying she’s the best, but just focusing on her own roles and how she progressed over the years, it was amazing to watch. Was she a little raw at that time? Yes, she was, but she performed quite well for this role. I was able to feel her character’s emotions at each point and what she’d gone through, her struggles, and much more. She made Tian Bian really relatable and likable to me. I liked Tian Bian’s strong personality and it made sense with her having endured so much since little. She needed to put up a shield to protect herself. I especially liked that she was able to defend herself—for the most part (since things got quite complicated later and she couldn’t battle everyone either)—at times. It showed she didn’t need rescuing all the time—though the others did try. It was different that she wasn’t a doormat all the time, like how other dramas liked to pave the leading lady to be. It was different for me and I was truly hopeful as I watched her character go through the journey of discovering herself–whether it was her career or her personal struggles. She learned and grew as she entered the music industry that it wasn’t just about music but about maintaining her image as well. Her transition and handling of situations at times were visible, yet somehow she managed to find the balance to keep a kind heart as well. It shone through as she gained fame at long last, allowing her to break past some of the past cliches with the industry changing someone and how they got sucked into it thus changing them in general. It was also nice that they incorporated the theme nicely by boosting Angela’s ethereal voice as well.
  • Ambrose Hsu (許紹洋) as Xu Ze Ya (徐澤亞). I started out watching Ambrose in tougher roles or even the ones bordering on villainous, so this was a surprise for me, lol. But I was glad to have discovered him in this role. It showed his range. Also, I was surprised that SETTV previously propped up the main guy who was a lot nicer than their typical arrogant, mean guy on the surface. But I soon realized that title went to Wallace’s character (which I will discuss after this). I was glad that Xu Ze Ya was written that way though. It was nice to see him maintaining the humble and kind person that he was all these years. That he was capable of maintaining his professionalism at work and was different at home. It gave his character some layers rather than just being on one side of the spectrum only. Of course, there were times he lost it like that time he scolded Zheng Dong and quickly apologized. It showed he was human and things got messy. But he wasn’t cruel and learned from his mistakes. And possibly because of his softer side, it had created this obstacle where he seemed so wishy-washy at times that it drove me insane. However, I thought it was consistent and made sense, so I didn’t pick on it too much. I was talking about how he was determined to go through with his plan to sacrifice his own happiness and made the deal with letting Tian Bian return to the Hsu family as the rightful child in the first place. His resolve crumbled when he realized that he couldn’t follow through and how deep his feelings for Tian Bian were. Not to mention how everything wasn’t going as he thought it would when Tian Bian finally entered the Hsu residence. The fact that he admitted it was a mistake made it better than just brushing it under the rug or forgetting it all together. In a way, he couldn’t predict the future (like all of us) and didn’t realize it would become so complicated. He was also driven by guilt to right all wrongs and was blinded by his overly optimistic nature. Yet all of those added to his character, as I later realized. Overall though, he was a kind person at heart and truly didn’t want to hurt anyone. I thought Ambrose did a great job in expressing all those emotions and made us love Xu Ze Ya more through all his strengths and weaknesses.
  • Wallace Huo (霍建華) as Chung Xiao Gang (鍾曉剛). Mixed feelings until like episode 7 or 8. Yes, I started out really hating him and was saying inside how I was glad I never watched this previously because I would have hated him and never paid attention to him as an actor if it was like so. I hated Xiao Gang’s arrogant and terrible attitude. His condescension knew no end. He just kept behaving that way because he could. He seemed quite proud of how scheming and manipulative he was at times too. Although I had a feeling he did have a tragic past for real hence dodging regarding love, that was so cliche with the typical main character who was using the mean streak to hide his true feelings. So yeah, it was making me not like him much with his treatment of Tian Bian or the people around him either and I, at times, questioned how Tian Bian could even like him in the first place or allowed herself to be pushed around by him like that. Yet, the turnaround moment for him was worth it. The redeeming plot for him was convincing enough. It showed that he was too drunk on fame and success at times that he forgot about the normal days of the past. I thought he needed some setbacks to remind himself not to forget his team who had stuck by him all this time. Not saying he was pure evil and all. But I was just annoyed by how toxic he was at one point. I didn’t want him to be perfect because that would be unrealistic. I needed him to at least appreciate the people around him and not think that he was right all the time. Of course, I wasn’t picking on some of his training techniques because I knew he was right to keep Tian Bian on a strict meal plan to maintain her voice, etc. Those routines with jogging and more were crucial for her, etc. I just felt his confrontation with others all the time made it hard to work with him. Even if one could dismiss those as quirky traits artists like him have, it just wasn’t cutting it for me. Perhaps, it was hinting at how he’d been in the industry for too long that it had affected him, and needed this exterior to protect himself from others. Who could blame him? But once again, like I said, at least treat his team better. They were on the same side after all. I thought his strongest point was his determination. Perhaps, his fierce attitude had aided in that strength a lot. Because once he decided something, he was persistent in getting it done—regardless of what others said. It also helped with his philosophy regarding his life. It somewhat transferred over to how he dealt with his love life. That sometimes worked out and other times, it didn’t. Because his stubbornness and persistency in pursuing Tian Bian became a major plot point but also contradicted how he ended up back at the original point. (I will elaborate later in other sections.) Acting? I thought Wallace did wonderfully. Considering how Wallace said in several interviews years later that he didn’t even know how to walk properly like how the director wanted at one point, this was impressive. He also mentioned he had to do a lot of research and improve his methods with different techniques; I thought it worked for him. This character did overlap with some of his other characters, but I thought this was his strongest at that time. He was still a bit raw but it was understandable as this was some of his earlier roles. Keep in mind that he was in six dramas that year, one of which had around 40 episodes so yes, he was really overworked. I wasn’t surprised some of his roles eventually just merged into one another. (Given that SETTV liked to typecast people and how their usual main characters were the same as well.) This was his fourth role of that year and third major role so he wasn’t at full energy. Also, he was possibly filming this at the same time as Westside Story because Tony and the rest of the 5566 members were introducing Westside Story at the end of this drama. That meant they were done so it was ready for airing. I wasn’t really paying attention at that time they were filming these dramas but SETTV has a pattern with filming while airing. If they were lucky, this finished first before they loop in a bit of the Westside Story. So, Wallace indeed had a lot on his plate at that time and he pulled through with this major role.
  • Penny Lin (林韋君) as Xu Shan Ni (徐珊妮). Penny was surprisingly likable in this role and I swear some of the synopsis floating around were misleading and did a dishonor to her character. It was one of the reasons why I was surprised to like her character so much, even if she was seen engaged in some major confrontations with both Xu Ze Ya and Chung Xiao Gang at the beginning leading into the drama and introducing different characters to us. Professionally, she was logical and reasonable with her analysis. She had the experience to back up her reasoning too. Personally, she was tough and it somewhat leaked into her professional side. Yet her upbringing had a lot to do with how she’d become so strong and tough. It had fueled her energy and allowed her to survive all these years within such a hostile household. That changed later as the story progressed. I thought Penny did quite well portraying her character and the many sides of her. She totally rocked the professional side and showed her leadership side so convincingly. That might have inspired SETTV to cast her in some other roles later to show off her boss mode some more, lol. That was my guess, but she was indeed badass in those as well. Anyway, Shan Ni’s struggles and vulnerabilities were also vividly portrayed and quite relatable as well.
  • Jill Hsu (徐潔兒) as Mandy Shen Man Qing (沈曼青). I had to think a lot before trying to come up with the fairest analysis for her. Yes, I had to force myself to do that because I thought Jill truly fitted her role. Yet the plot did her a disservice. That also affected my perception while watching. Because I felt her role was unnecessary for the most part. Before fans come after me with pitchforks, hear me out first. Like I said, Jill really fitted her role. What made me come to that conclusion I did was because she was used as a hurdle in Tian Bian’s life during her (Tian Bian’s) debut. Then she was casted aside for the most part regarding the romance side. Although one could say that she was a popular singer and a senior within the industry and it gave variety and was realistic in a sense to have rivalries, she never really had her own story or true purpose. She was also associated to Xiao Gang but that aided his background story more than hers. In short, she was just a plot device to forgo the story and not her own character, like she deserved. I’m not suggesting that they give her a big story to overshadow other characters. Somehow, the writers were able to write the other major characters’ stories and weaved them into the main plot without sacrificing their identities but they couldn’t do that for Jill’s Man Qing? I will admit each character was different with their strengths and weaknesses, etc. But Jill had to take on the role of the jealous girl (like I initially feared for Penny’s character) and it was too typical. We know she was a normal person who rose to fame and lost her way and somehow found the courage to do the right thing to salvage her career as well as her dignity. However, how could one forget that she actually caused half of the problems in the first place? (Aka one can’t ask to be given credit for fixing stuff they broke.) After all, she did bring Eddy back into the picture. That was, of course, after she pulled the stunt of shattering Tian Bian’s spirit on the day of the debut. In some ways, it showed she was human and made mistakes and realized her way. But it was just too weak to try and redeem her later just because they needed her to end up with Xiao Gang, which I will go into more detail in their own section. Considering how she took her precious time to save the day too, I didn’t think she deserved the credit that much either. I was glad she interfered, but like I said before, her character development throughout was really weak, so this was just the last bit to save her character, leading it to be more acceptable if she ended up with Xiao Gang. That was all. Or perhaps, they could have her in here as another character but didn’t have to force some things and it would make more sense. One might ask why I was so harsh on Jill’s Man Qing when Wallace’s Xiao Gang wasn’t all that innocent either. Hey, I hated him for a third of the series. It wasn’t like he was getting a break from me. Regardless of all the factors I listed, I thought Jill did well with her performance. It was just that the writing got sloppy with her character development hence not doing it justice as she deserved.

Others:

  • Liang Xiu Shen (梁修身) as Xu Ruo Gu (徐若谷). Chairman of SET, also Tian Bian and Shan Ni’s grandfather. I hated him throughout but eventually just gave up and no longer cared anymore. I meant whatever, the series was almost ending so if he wanted to make up for lost time, so be it. I was pretty sure if you looked up the word misogynistic, his face was next to it. His beliefs or whatever didn’t justify his actions. I didn’t like the whole idea of getting together with some married man either, but this guy was just pushing it by taking it out on an innocent kid (at that time of the incident years ago) and continued to rule with an iron fist in the household. He was half the reason why the household was so hostile and cold. He was obviously responsible for Shan Ni forcing herself to conceal her true feelings and pushing herself to the max at times. Sure, he realized it later how wrong he was and how much energy he was exerting to hold onto hate but he had the easy way out after all he’d done. It wasn’t like I didn’t welcome it but the plot was at its end already, we—as the audience—were probably all tired from his drama king tantrums at times that we were just glad it turned out that way, instead of the endless hate cycle, so we let it slide. Or we just didn’t care anymore, lol. I was surprised he’d gone from threatening Ze Ya to literally begging him in the next episode, but like I said, I no longer cared at that point regarding him that I was just like whatever.
  • Ge Wei Ru (戈偉如) as Xiang Li Hong(項莉虹). Shan Ni’s mother. I was annoyed with her initially. Although I understood where she came from and it was hard to blame her for what happened and her reaction to her husband having an affair, I didn’t like her arrogant attitude at times either. She was the other half responsible for causing Shan Ni much of the unhappiness in here as well. So there was that. Her turning point was when she realized her father-in-law have been manipulating her into keeping the hate in her heart all these years. I guess misery does love company so he kept reminding her to hate, etc. so he had someone to sympathize with him. That hate had also affected how she raised Shan Ni and was distant toward Shan Ni all these years. I sort of watched the actress growing up, so I knew she could act, lol. No complaints.
  • Liu Rui Qi (劉瑞琪) as Li Hui Lan (李蕙蘭). Tian Bian’s foster mother. I found her harsh at first and bordering on cruelty when she discouraged Tian Bian’s dreams. Well, realistically, she was right that some dreams were just dreams. They were buried in debt and shouldn’t rely on some fleeting faith like that. However, I thought some of the criticisms were uncalled for. After learning how her husband died, it made sense. I was glad that she changed her mind later and respected Tian Bian’s decision. What irked me a bit was her overly naive faith in Eddy. She was in the blind and it was hard to blame her. It would have made more sense if she didn’t believe either one of the parties unless she went and investigated for herself. I know she was kept imprisoned at that point but at least show some signs of caution toward both equally. But I guess they needed some drama near the end to wrap it all up, allowing Man Qing to step in, etc. I was just glad the whole scheme was short-lived.
  • Josie Leung (梁家榕) as Xie Yi Xuan (謝憶萱). Tian Bian’s biological mother. Stay away from married men, seriously. I know it’s easy to judge but I thought that was like common sense. I know we didn’t have all the details regarding how they started (or he could have lied about his background), but I doubted it because he was a major figure in society after all, so it was hard to say she didn’t know who he was or if he was married or not. I also know if the affair didn’t happen, there would be no Tian Bian. But seriously, it was frustrating. I did feel bad for her and how tragic her life ended, but it was just wrong with how things started.
  • Gao Shan Feng (高山峰) as Zhong Ting (仲廷). Tian Bian’s friend since she moved to Dolphin Bay. Tian Bian had a crush on him at the beginning but was rejected by him soon after her confession. He had a brief role initially to introduce viewers to Tian Bian’s life at Dolphin Bay and eased viewers into the story. Then he just disappeared because the plot had shifted away from Dolphin Bay and focused on the entertainment industry and the love triangles between the main leads.
  • Morrison Ni (倪志強) as Ah Tang (阿堂). Part of the music development department under Chung Xiao Gang’s management. I agreed with Peggy when she said Ah Tang was exactly like Xiao Gang, except for the talent bit, lol. He was indeed quite fierce when telling her to get back to work, etc. But he was also a nice addition to the comedic scenes at times.
  • Joseph Ma (馬國賢) as Wang Zheng Dong (王正東). Xu Ze Ya’s special assistant. He seemed strict but had a soft side. After all, he did drop some hints for Ze Ya to take his break on the roof (knowing that Tian Bian went to the roof, lol) and misled Shan Ni of Ze Ya’s whereabouts at one point. I was calling him a traitor (jokingly, lol) at that point. But realized he worked for Ze Ya, not Shan Ni, so he was just looking out for his boss’s best interest, lol.
  • Deric Wan as Eddy. Chung Xiao Gang’s rival in the music industry. I wasn’t sure if his role was more unnecessary or Jill’s Man Qing. Yes, I said it. This coming from me being a major fan of Deric’s. It was just that his whole existence also relied on making Xiao Gang and Tian Bian’s lives miserable at one point. That was it. He was just another obstacle they needed to face. That was all. What I remembered of him was his outrageous fashion sense, lol.

Relationships – family, friendship, romances, etc.

  • Ambrose / Xu Ze Ya and Angela / Yi Tian Bian as a couple. At first, I found their younger versions more matching and their stories so touching. Then when they were all grown up, I felt there was something missing. Granted, I watched those parts years ago. I ended up skimming around and wasn’t really paying attention. It wasn’t until I watched it this time around that I appreciated their story more and realized their chemistry. It was the bias kicking in because I had watched Wallace and Angela on various shows together, hence shipping those two. In some ways, I was glad I took a break during that time and revisited it fully and fairly this time around. I found Tian Bian and Ze Ya’s relationship unique and touching in its own right. It was really heartbreaking to realize how they couldn’t be together and both were trying to be brave and move forward. At times, their resolves failed them, but they couldn’t be blamed because it was indeed very hard. Tian Bian was very brave though and she tried to distance herself from Ze Ya because she knew she couldn’t hold on any longer if she were to stay. I actually felt their chemistry mostly from their interactions and glances throughout. I didn’t know how it was going to work out for them with so many things surrounding them. I was glad it worked out in the end because of the distance and time that it took for everyone to heal. It was a bittersweet ending for me because of how the writers had chosen to kill off Shan Ni instead of working toward another angle. Circling back to Ambrose and Angela’s chemistry, I was surprised to like it so much after watching it this time around. Their acting had convinced me how compatible they were. The story aided greatly, but the chemistry had to be there as well.
  • Ambrose / Xu Ze Ya and Penny / Xu Shan Ni as a couple. Initially, Shan Ni hated Ze Ya, mostly thanks to her mother for fueling the hate, because she would always be second to him in the chain of commands—regardless of her efforts. It was both that and because it was believed that he was the other woman’s son. However, she maintained a professional attitude at work and even acknowledged his capabilities as he implemented all his methods to improve the company’s overall structure. In some ways, she had every right to be upset and felt what she felt—even if Xu Ze Ya had to bear the brunt of her reactions. Having to grow up in such a strict household and not allowing for a second opinion aside from grandpa and mom’s plans made it rough for her as well. She was forced to be tough. It wasn’t until she realized Ze Ya was genuinely a kind person, not putting up a front that she reconsidered. Having him save her that one time or was determined to stick by her side during the crucial point changed her opinion of him majorly. He also told her it was all right to show her vulnerabilities at times, allowing her to be herself and not have to put up such a tough exterior anymore. At least, she could be herself. (Of course, it was meant regarding her personality in general, not meaning to change her opinions or judgment in a professional setting.) Anyway, they had a rough start at first before getting along as siblings. Then, after learning that they weren’t really siblings, it was easy to fall for him because of his kindness and caring nature. Although it seemed one-sided at one point, I believed he eventually did fall for her. It was that scene when they were at the lake enjoying the view. On the way back, he went to fetch her a sweater. When he returned, he thought she had passed away already and broke down. She soon became alert again and the expression on his face was indescribable. In some ways, it could be explained that he was mourning a family member’s passing and was glad that she was still there, but that expression made me feel there was much more than that. It was us witnessing his heartbreak because he lost someone he loved, not just in a family love type only, nor was it out of pity like initially. And she had felt it too hence them sharing that moment. Ambrose and Penny’s chemistry? It was off the charts! At least, for me. It was one of the reasons why I was so torn between pairings while watching—even if I knew the endgame was Ambrose and Angela because it was relevant to the main theme. Around that time, I actually hunted down their other collaboration in Hou Tian Mei Nv (後天美女) and watched a bit. It was a fun beginning yet I had to drop it because I realized they weren’t going to end up together either. It was a shame because they had such a cute relationship in there initially. So sometime later, I ended up pairing them up in The Dating Game and made them into a golden couple in there, lol. Tangent, I know, but they were major characters in the spin-off and I have no regrets throwing some other characters off the bus in the process either, lol.
  • Wallace / Chung Xiao Gang and Angela / Yi Tian Bian as a couple. I used to think that Wallace and Angela should have been together. It was mostly because of my bias toward seeing how compatible they were. However, after having all the pieces of the puzzle and the overall picture, I realized it made sense why it shouldn’t be that way. If the scriptwriters wanted, they could come up with a story for these two, but it wasn’t meant to be, and that made sense either way. I meant I was glad Tian Bian realized that she shouldn’t use him as a lifesaver just because she lost her love already. I actually respected her even more that she was upfront with him regarding the matter. Sure, she did accept his proposal that one time and it was sad to hear the clarification afterward. Yet I felt I couldn’t blame her. At least, she set it straight early on instead of stringing him along till the end. She was different from other female leads in that sense. What was more, the scene backstage when Tian Bian apologized to him for rejecting him one final time, his response made me feel like he really matured. Yes, he was devastated that he was rejected. However, he said that love was a privilege, not a responsibility. It was a powerful statement because it lifted her burden, knowing she shouldn’t use herself to pay off her gratitude for him. It also indirectly addressed the whole “prize-winning” formula that often was in other dramas (aka just because the guy or girl did so much for the person they claimed to love, they automatically got to claim the other person like some object). So, yes, that conversation was important to me and made me appreciate the writers for putting that in for him, allowing us to see how far he’d gone as a character. I also wished so much, though, that they (SETTV) had casted both in a different series together like how they’d done for Wallace and Penny later on (even if it wasn’t fully satisfying.)
  • Wallace / Chung Xiao Gang and Penny Lin / Xu Shan Ni as a couple. Hear me out. I swear they suited one another both as actor and actress and character-wise. Having Xiao Gang end up with Shan Ni would solve the triangles altogether. Even if it would be too typical with the four main leads swapping couples or something, it would still make sense and would be less choking than the current Xiao Gang pairing. (This isn’t a dunk on Jill—if you read my analysis above, but more like an attempt to heal the plot flaws.) Shan Ni could still fall for Ze Ya because of his kind nature but could also end up with Xiao Gang in a different twist. Just like how Tian Bian realized she idolized Xiao Gang more than loved him in a romantic kind of way, Shan Ni could be feeling the warmness of having been cared for after being neglected by her family for so long and being forced to be tough. Her story would make sense with Xiao Gang because they had a history together, first of all. Both actually stated at different points through different interactions with one another or with other characters that they understood each other and how each operated, their thought process, and their feelings. Regardless of how their opinions differed on a professional front, they still saw past their biases and understood one another’s point of views. Even if they didn’t really get along personally at first but they soon learned to appreciate one another or spoke up for one another at different points. What the writers could have done was add in a scene after Shan Ni found out about her cancer results, Xiao Gang could have been at the hospital for whatever reason and overheard it somehow or at least spotted her and forced the answer out of her after seeing her all devastated. It wouldn’t be out of character for him to confront her or get an answer out of her. Then afterward, he could try to keep the secret for her while she cope and find a suitable time to tell her family. That could bring them together. The writers do not have to kill her off either because they could change the part with the bone marrow to match with Tian Bian’s instead of not matching. That way, she could both live and have time to develop with Xiao Gang hence moving on from depending on Ze Ya as an emotional support figure. Xiao Gang could also use that time to understand himself better and fall for Shani Ni because of their time spent together and how he had always admired her work ethic anyway, so it was a bonus he found other traits of hers that he come to love. That would bridge the gap between the two. With Tian Bian’s bone marrow match and much more, it would still allow for the rest of the Hsu family to spend time with Tian Bian and try to understand and appreciate her. It wouldn’t affect her story arch either.
  • Wallace / Chung Xiao Gang and Jill Hsu / Mandy as a couple. SET messed up on this major time. NOT just because of the lack of chemistry on their parts, but as their characters and plot-wise as well. At first, when I watched the opening scenes with them together and some private conversations between the two, I thought they were a match made in Heaven because of how equally vain they were. Sure, they appeared quite classy and perfect in the eyes of the public. But aside from that, they were indeed really vain and showed off their glamorous life. It was hard not to when they were in such an industry. They let fame get to their heads. However, when stuff started happening and the plot shifted away from their relationship, I had second thoughts. I already listed some stuff I found unconvincing above. To add on, I felt having them end up together felt really rushed, which was because we had him still mourning over his lost chance yet jumped immediately to understanding why he must turn around and see Man Qing? I got the message, I got it and even Xiao Gang said it seemed unbelievable and he was willing to take it slow, etc. to earn Man Qing’s trust again. But it was very poor execution. The writers had Xiao Gang spent two-thirds of the plot chasing after Tian Bian and proving to her he truly cared and wasn’t playing with her heart. YET spent about five minutes convincing us that he realized Man Qing was the one for him? Having them spend some time together with chats at times and some glances here and there didn’t help. In some ways, we got that they had this link because they’d been together for a while now. But the writers didn’t bother working on her own character in a way that showed her depth nor make an attempt to heal their relationship slowly. If anything, I felt having them end up together once again regressed their characters back to the beginning. Sure, they made mistakes and learned and grew through the different trials and tribulations. I was pretty sure their realization had to do with how abrupt Shan Ni’s death was too. Well, that partially pushed Man Qing to do the right thing and exposed Eddy. But I felt that was also lacking in getting them both together—or back together. I’m not saying it’s impossible for couples to get back together. I’m not saying they couldn’t solve their problems at long last since they’d both learned a lot within a short span of time. However, I felt it was forced and rushed like I said before. That was why I wasn’t convinced. Not to mention how I thought she deserves someone who could see her for who she is and love her more instead of continuing to entertain this idea and accept Xiao Gang because she was already familiar with his habits. I also felt the writers rushing him back into a relationship was just an attempt to put a nice bow on the ending, that was all. It was also unrealistic to be considered healthy. He needed more time to heal. To truly heal. Again, she deserved better. So did he. If they had promised to meet back again in two years (aka the ending) to see how things went, I would have been more convinced. Again, poor execution.
  • Ambrose / Xu Ze Ya and Wallace / Chung Xiao Gang as love rivals. There was this intensity between them throughout—whether it was on the professional front or personal. They often got into disagreements at work and sometimes used work as an excuse to argue over some details, but one or the other might know it was about Tian Bian all along. The major confrontation they had that resulted in an all-out shouting match and/or actual fight was when Xiao Gang realized that Ze Ya was really giving up on Tian Bian (aka forgoing his plan in marrying Shan Ni). He went on an injustice mission yet ended up declaring that he would never back down again if Ze Ya were to give up on Tian Bian at that moment. It was ugly and dramatic on many levels. However, in some ways, it did make sense that they shall have that confrontation, eventually. What disturbed me was how typical the formula was with the two acting like Tian Bian was a passive party in the whole situation, never asking her what she truly wanted. What irked me at that point was Ze Ya went to the extent of “bestowing” Tian Bian onto Xiao Gang. That was what pushed me to the edge and forced me to take Xiao Gang’s side, even though Xiao Gang had resorted to violence (and Ze Ya returned the favor soon after). Xiao Gang wasn’t just upset for Tian Bian’s sake but also for Shan Ni. Because he said that he understood what kind of person Shan Ni was and she wouldn’t appreciate that Ze Ya’s agreement to marry her was out of pity. In some ways, Xiao Gang was right, but in others, Ze Ya had a point with Shan Ni’s vulnerability at that moment. Shan Ni indeed needed someone by her side. It was getting really complicated. Despite all the madness going on, Xiao Gang actually appreciated Ze Ya for backing him up during the meeting shortly after their confrontation. He did say it to Ze Ya when it was just the three of them in the room. (Shan Ni was there at that time.) After all that was said and done, I really liked that they returned to the topic of whether Tian Bian needed their protection. It was the hospital scene where both offered her a ride home and she turned them down. I felt it was important they understood she was capable of taking care of herself and making her own decisions. And they needed to respect that. It was also worthwhile that they finally made peace with one another toward the end as well. Because they finally learned to appreciate one another’s differences and joined forces to help fulfill Shan Ni’s last wish together. Even if it was mostly following her grandpa’s orders, they, themselves, were more than willing on their own, not just because they were fulfilling some kind of work obligations.
  • Angela / Yi Tian Bian and Penny / Xu Shan Ni as siblings. Surprisingly convincing. I like both Angela and Penny very much, so watching them portray siblings was fascinating. There was this intensity at first, mostly because of other factors. But I thought Ze Ya’s efforts in trying to get along with Shan Ni at first aided Tian Bian’s situation later. Like how he was always so kind to her and protected her like his sister at the beginning—when they were still under the impression that they were siblings. She let go of all those resentments and hate toward him, and even more so let go of her shield. So when the other parts of the plot revealed themselves, Shan Ni was able to cope with it better. Sure, she was shocked to discover the new information as well. But it was like she no longer wanted to target the other person just because. She wanted to find out for herself, not letting her mother and grandpa influence her like they had previously. Sure, she mostly convinced Tian Bian to come home with her because of Ze Ya at first but later learned a lot about Tian Bian and realized the other person wasn’t the enemy. They indeed got along quite well. It was too bad their time spent together and trying to make up for the past was cut short. But was indeed touching to see the lengths they went through for one another later.

Likes:

  • The cast. Despite my complaints or disagreements with certain elements of the plot, I felt the cast fit perfectly for their roles.
  • The soundtrack. Loved it. Hey, I got it before I even watched the drama properly, lol. I especially loved the scene near the end where Angela and Jill got to sing Journey together at the concert. It was a nice touch to show they made peace. (Go here if you want the translations to “Lost Beauty” by Angela.)
  • The theme. Dolphins, who doesn’t love ’em, right? I thought the legend was an interesting story. It created a unique feeling for the drama.
  • Flashbacks were done correctly. The thing with series nowadays is the overwhelming amount of flashbacks used—whether it’s to promote the soundtrack or to extend episodes, it’s getting frustratingly annoying. Even if I like the songs or scenes used, it gets really, really repetitive after a while. That was why I appreciated that this series had used the right amount.

Dislikes:

  • The misunderstanding Man Qing set up by calling both Xiao Gang and Tian Bian to meet her before Tian Bian’s debut press conference. I knew it was meant to be an obstacle that Tian Bian will have to overcome. However, I didn’t like that it wasn’t properly resolved. Sure, that part forced Xiao Gang to finally face his feelings for Tian Bian and tell her how he felt. But it never truly exposed what Man Qing did. He did ponder how she’d overheard what he said to Man Qing, but it was never addressed again after they reconciled. We could try and assume that they probably said something afterward. But the writers made a big deal out of it and it caused a major setback for Tian Bian’s career. I thought we—as the audience—deserved to know the outcome of that.
  • Shan Ni’s death. Yeah, I’m against it regardless of the reasons. What I mentioned when discussing her and Xiao Gang was an easy fix for the plot. However, the writers chose to be dramatic just because. I cried buckets. Not kidding. It was so sad. Not to mention frustrating.

Discussions:

  • Nobody could keep a secret in here. I’m not exaggerating (for once, lol). Anytime you hear, “Don’t tell ____”, you know the info will be leaked—whether intentional or unintentional, accidental or accidentally on purpose. Examples? Shan Ni told Tian Bian not to tell anyone about her sickness until she was ready to tell them. Tian Bian told Ze Ya (out of frustration and concern for Shan Ni but still) that Shan Ni was sick and hoped that he would treat Shan Ni well during her last days. (Oops, the secret was out and everything went into chaos for a while.) What else? Xiao Gang told Happy not to tell Tian Bian about him using his place as collateral for his loan to fund Tian Bian’s promotional events. Happy ended up telling Tian Bian (by accident because he spoke without thinking and realized it too late he wasn’t supposed to say it) when she questioned him. Yeah, pretty much almost everything got leaked by accident.
  • If you swapped the couples, it would still work. I’m talking about Ambrose, Angela, Wallace, and Penny in that manner. Yes, they were so compatible that if you swapped the couples, it would still work. And even if the writers wanted to forgo with Wallace and Angela, Ambrose and Penny, it could work as well with some tweaking. The plot would still make sense. Hell, if you wanted to go further, even Ambrose and Wallace matched with one another if you wanted to go the danmei route, lol. (For real, though, I sent my sister some pictures of Ambrose and Wallace to show what they looked like in the drama and she thought it was a danmei drama, lol.) But too bad can’t do that for Angela and Penny because they portrayed siblings in there, lol. The point? I’m so writing a new fanfic surrounding these four, like I said in one of my tweets while discussing the drama.

Recommended? I thought it was worth it because it was indeed addicting in a sense. If you love the cast, it’s a must-watch. The plot was decent, and it wasn’t too frustrating with some side dramas. For one of those rare times, I actually agreed with the general audience that this was one of the best dramas aired around that time.

Golden Bell Awards 2016: Winners

A year full of excitement and also some unexpected appearances. There was also some awkward moments but somehow the show managed to go on. Congrats to all winners!

Best Supporting Actor – Drama – Presented by Peter Ho and Tiffany Hsu:
Wu Cheng Di (吳政迪) – The Youth! (谷風少年) (Hakka TV)
Andy Chen Yi (陳奕) – The Day I Lost You (失去你的那一天) (CTV)
He Yi Hang (賀一航) – Baby Daddy (長不大的爸爸) (PTS)
Zheng Ren Shuo (鄭人碩) – La Grande Chaumière Violette (紫色大稻埕) (SETTV)
Jason Zou (鄒承恩) – Youth Power (哇!陳怡君) (TTV)

Best Supporting Actress – Drama – Presented by Peter Ho and Tiffany Hsu:
Tian Xin (天心) – A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)
Lin Mei Zhao (林美照) – Baby Daddy (長不大的爸爸) (PTS)
Ke Shu Qin (柯淑勤) – Youth Power (哇!陳怡君) (TTV)
Joanne Zeng (曾之喬) – Marry Me or Not? (必娶女人) (CTV)
Linda Liu (劉瑞琪) – The Day I Lost You (失去你的那一天) (CTV)

Best New Actors / Actresses – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Long Shao Hua and Li Li Ren:
Chen Ding Zhong (陳鼎中) – The Island of River Flow (川流之島) (CTV)
Xu Li Qi (徐力琦) – The End of Toby’s Morning (托比的最後一個早晨) (PTS)
Zhang Yuan He (張元赫) – The End of Toby’s Morning (托比的最後一個早晨) (PTS)
Peace Yang (陽靚) – Love, Lost and Found (愛我請回頭) (Videoland TV)
Wei Ru Xuan (魏如萱) – Ambiguous Time (曖昧時代) (PTS)

Best Screenwriter/ Script – Tele-movies – Presented by Long Shao Hua and Li Li Ren:
Li Quan Yang (李權洋) – Coin Boy (銅板少年) (PTS)
Tu Fang Xiang (涂芳祥) – The Black Box (黑盒子) (Hakka TV)
Chen Yu Ji (陳宇詰) – Lost Daughter (再見女兒) (PTS)
Zeng Ying Ting and Lin Yi Ling (曾英庭、林怡鈴) – The Cat in the Closet (衣櫃裡的貓) (PTS)
Zhan Jing Lin (詹京霖) – The Island of River Flow (川流之島) (CTV)

Best Cinematography – Presented by Chen Mei Feng and Pauline Lan:
Li Ming (李鳴) – Laugh 24 Hrs (藥笑24小時) (PTS)
Chen Zong Zhi (陳宗志) – La Grande Chaumière Violette (紫色大稻埕) (SETTV)
Chen Qi Wen (陳麒文) – The Island of River Flow (川流之島) (CTV)
Zhao Guan Heng (趙冠衡) – The Cat in the Closet (衣櫃裡的貓) (PTS)
Han Ji Xuan (韓紀軒) – A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)

Best Lighting – Presented by Chen Mei Feng and Pauline Lan:
Ding Hai De (丁海德) – A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)
Zhuang Hong Bin (莊宏彬) – The Island of River Flow (川流之島) (CTV)
Liu Chen Wei (劉宸瑋) – The Cat in the Closet (衣櫃裡的貓) (PTS)
Liu Chen Wei (劉宸瑋) – Join For Dinner (登入晚餐)
Xie Han Yang (謝漢諹) – La Grande Chaumière Violette (紫色大稻埕) (SETTV)

Best Film Editing – Presented by Chen Mei Feng and Pauline Lan:
Li Jun Hong (李俊宏) – The Cat in the Closet (衣櫃裡的貓) (PTS)
Du Su Ling and Liu Zhen Nan (杜素鈴、劉振南) – Laugh 24 Hrs (藥笑24小時) (PTS)
Du Min Qi (杜敏綺) – A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)
Zhan Jing Lin (詹京霖) – The Island of River Flow (川流之島) (CTV)
Xiao Ru Guan (蕭汝冠) – La Grande Chaumière Violette (紫色大稻埕) (SETTV)

Best Sound Editing – Presented by Chen Mei Feng and Pauline Lan:
Wang Xi Wen and Jian Feng Shu (王希文、簡豐書) – Under the Water (溺境) (PTS)
Wang Min Xu, Chen Yong, Jiang Zhen Dao, Xu Lan Ting, and Thomas Foguenne (王敏旭、陳灉、蔣震道、許嵐婷、Thomas Foguenne) – The Cat in the Closet (衣櫃裡的貓) (PTS)
Qiu Sheng Yuan, Wang Yong Lin, and Ye Yue Se (邱昇元、王詠霖、葉約瑟) – The Island of River Flow (川流之島) (CTV)
Chen Xiao Xia, Zhang Yi, Wu Bo Chun, Huang Da Wei, Lin Zhuan Zhi, and Chen Jie Han (陳小霞、張藝、吳柏醇、黃大衛、林傳智、陳玠含) – A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)
Zheng Hong Li (鄭宏澧) – Lost Daughter (再見女兒) (PTS)

Best Supporting Actor – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Megan Lai and Baron Chen:
Wang Zi Qiang (王自強) – Mini For You Movie Theater: Light Rain (迷你4U電影院 毛毛雨)
Chen Ding Zhong (陳鼎中) – The Island of River Flow (川流之島) (CTV)
Hou Yan Xi (侯彥西) – Fresh Meat Dad (鮮肉老爸)
Renzo Liu (劉亮佐) – Coin Boy (銅板少年) (PTS)
Lan Wei Hua (藍葦華) – The Black Box (黑盒子) (Hakka TV)

Best Supporting Actress – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Megan Lai and Baron Chen:
Wang Xuan (王琄) – Lost Daughter (再見女兒) (PTS)
Peace Yang (陽靚) – Love, Lost and Found (愛我請回頭) (Videoland TV)
Wei Er Sen (葳薾森) – Hate You, Murder Him, Love Me (三角犯罪) (PTS)
Xie Qiong Yuan (謝瓊媛) – Lost Daughter (再見女兒) (PTS)
Yan Yi Wen (嚴藝文) – The Fool and Sleeping Beauty (傻瓜與睡美人) (Videoland TV)

Best Leading Actor – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Kaiser Chuang and Jacqueline Zhu:
Mark Lee (李天柱) – Lost Daughter (再見女兒) (PTS)
Roy Chiu (邱澤) – Rock Records In Love (滾石愛情故事): The Last Time of Tenderness (最後一次溫柔) (PTS)
Michael Chang (張少懷) – The Thin Blue Lines (奉子不成婚) (GTV)
Joe Chang (張書偉) – The Black Box (黑盒子) (Hakka TV)
Zheng Ren Shuo (鄭人碩) – The Island of River Flow (川流之島) (CTV)

Best Leading Actress – Min-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Kaiser Chuang and Jacqueline Zhu:
Yin Xin (尹馨) – The Island of River Flow (川流之島) (CTV)
Zhu Zhi Ying (朱芷瑩) – The Black Box (黑盒子) (Hakka TV)
Kelly Ko (柯素雲) – The Cat in the Closet (衣櫃裡的貓) (PTS)
Mei Fang (梅芳) – Laugh 24 Hrs (藥笑24小時) (PTS)
Xie Ying Xuan (謝盈萱) – The Sweet Place (加蓋春光)

Best Director – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Miao Ke Li and (?):
Qiu Hao Zhou (邱皓洲) – The Black Box (黑盒子) (Hakka TV)
Ke Zhen Nian (柯貞年) – Under the Water (溺境) (PTS)
Chen Yu Ji (陳宇詰) – Lost Daughter (再見女兒) (PTS)
Zeng Ying Ting (曾英庭) – The Cat in the Closet (衣櫃裡的貓) (PTS)
Zhan Jing Lin (詹京霖) – The Island of River Flow (川流之島) (CTV)

Best Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Miao Ke Li and (?):
The Island of River Flow (川流之島) (CTV)
Lost Daughter (再見女兒) (PTS)
The Cat in the Closet (衣櫃裡的貓) (PTS)
Coin Boy (銅板少年) (PTS)
The Black Box (黑盒子) (Hakka TV)

Best Art and Design:
Wang Xiao Tian (王筱恬) – The Cat in the Closet (衣櫃裡的貓) (PTS)
Tang Jia Hong (唐嘉宏) – When Miracle Meets Math (愛情算不) (GTV)
Xu Ying Guang, Yao Jun, Xu Shu Hua, and Yan Zhen Qin (許英光、姚君、許淑華、嚴振欽) – A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)
Xu Ying Guang (許英光) – La Grande Chaumière Violette (紫色大稻埕) (SETTV)
Jian Chun Yu (簡春玉) – Rock Records In Love (滾石愛情故事): Xiao Wei (小薇)

Best New Actors / Actresses – Drama – Presented by Alice Ko, Roy Qiu, and Joanne Tseng:
Nguyễn Thị Thúy Hằng / Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang (阮氏翠恆) – Tân Nương Giá Đáo‬ (新娘嫁到) (FTV)
Ben Wu (吳思賢) – Love Cuisine (料理高校生) (SETTV)
Hai Yu Fen (海裕芬) – War Family (我家是戰國) (GTV)
Huang Yu Lin (黃宇琳) – La Grande Chaumière Violette (紫色大稻埕) (SETTV)
Cindy Lien (連俞涵) – A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)

Best Screenwriter/ Script – Drama – Presented by Alice Ko, Roy Qiu, and Joanne Tseng:
Yu Shang Min and Liu Rui Xuan (于尚民、劉蕊瑄) – Sunset (落日) (Hakka TV)
Lin Guan Zhong (林貫中) – Ba Ji Teenagers (一代新兵 八極少年) (CTS)
Huang Shi Ming (黃世鳴) – A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)
Zheng Xin Mei, Zheng Wen Tang, and Yang Hui Wen (鄭心媚、鄭文堂、楊惠文) – The Best of Youth (燦爛時光) (PTS)
Jian Qi Feng and Lin Xin Hui (簡奇峯、林欣慧) – Marry Me or Not? (必娶女人) (CTV)

Best Director – Drama – Presented by Alice Ko, Roy Qiu, and Joanne Tseng:
Yu Zhong Zhong (于中中) – Marry Me or Not? (必娶女人) (CTV)
Lin Hong Jie and Lin Qing Fang (林宏杰、林清芳) – Ba Ji Teenagers (一代新兵 八極少年) (CTS)
Qiu Hao Zhou (邱皓洲) – Sunset (落日) (Hakka TV)
Cao Rui Yuan (曹瑞原) – A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)
Zheng Wen Tang (鄭文堂) – The Best of Youth (燦爛時光) (PTS)

Best Leading Actor – Drama – Presented by Blue Lan and Tian Xin:
Kingone Wang (王傳一) – The Day I Lost You (失去你的那一天) (GTV)
Chris Wu (吳慷仁) – A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)
Roy Chiu (邱澤) – Marry Me or Not? (必娶女人) (CTV)
Fu Meng Bo (傅孟柏) – Ba Ji Teenagers (一代新兵 八極少年) (CTS)
Shan Cheng Ju (單承矩) – Sunset (落日) (Hakka TV)

Best Leading Actress – Drama – Presented by Blue Lan and Tian Xin:
Cindy Lien (連俞涵) – A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)
Cheryl Yang (楊謹華) – A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)
Alice Ko (柯佳嬿) – Marry Me or Not? (必娶女人) (CTV)
Nana Lee (李千娜) – The Day I Lost You (失去你的那一天) (CTV)
Gail Lin (林嘉俐) – Life is Full of Beauty (吉姊當家) (DaAi TV)

Best Dramas:
Ba Ji Teenagers (一代新兵 八極少年) (CTS)
A Touch of Green (一把青) (PTS)
Marry Me or Not? (必娶女人) (CTV)
Sunset (落日) (Hakka TV)
The Best of Youth (燦爛時光) (PTS)

*All information were translated and verified by DTLCT.

Give Me A Taiwanese Boyband To Idolize

(Credit: itsJPMofficial)

This topic came forward because of how I had this conversation with Vanadia about the recently popular boyband “Super 131.” She was saying how they seemed to have dropped off the radar or disband or possibly just moved on to other things. She was really getting unease with not having a boyband to chase after. She wants me to give her a band? I’ll not only give her one but many more to think over! In an attempt to bring forth the right atmosphere to discuss this topic, I decided to use JPM’s catchy song “365 Days” to emphasize my point. (Go here for lyrics translation.) Anyway, without further ado, here are the Taiwanese boybands worth mentioning:

First off?

Mayday (五月天). Probably one of the longest formed bands and still active to this day. Ah Xin’s really talented with his songwriting and I really love his style. Although ironically, I like it more when Ah Xin writes songs for other singers, lol. But I must admit, they’re a strong band. With all the awards and recognitions they received, I don’t think they need me to praise them, lol. So yeah, they’re one of the coolest bands around.

F4/JVKV. Although they have sort of scattered in the previous years to do their own thing, they still haven’t officially disbanded yet. Their last performance together was in 2013 for the Spring Festival. Who knows? Maybe they will get together again to bring out another album, if not another round of performances.

5566. They’re still around. Even if they are not as active together. They’re actually quite strong during their more active years so they still have a solid fanbase regardless.

Chemical Monkey. I will say that I’m not really a big fan of them, because I have my weird moments, lol. But I think that they’re a genuine, artistic band. Indeed very talented in their own way.

SpeXial. The ten-male members’ band. YES, there are ten members in this band. All male. What’s amazing about them is the ability to harmonize so well. You could get addicted to them by listening to just one song. They bring a refreshing feeling to the pop genre. (And yes, there are two members missing from the picture, because they’re busy right now so can’t join in with the recent album.)

831 (八三夭). Another band that brings forth a refreshing feeling to their music. I especially love their “Why I Cried” song. They lean toward the rock and roll path more than the usual pop so it might take getting used to. But they have their own uniqueness.

io Band (io樂團). Rock band. They sure have style. If you like rock, it’s a must check out.

Gentleman. Their name tripped me since it’s more than one person so it should be “Gentlemen.” But other than that, I guess I’ll live, lol. Seriously though, they could be fun to listen to.

MIXION. Max and Steven. Looks and voice. Nice? They do have some fun songs as well.

Last but not least?

JPM. Yup, I saved them last on purpose. I will tell you that I’m already past the age that I could listen to loud music and enjoy it. LOL! But JPM’s one of those bands that I could enjoy both heartwarming songs and at times, like the song at the beginning of this post–upbeat, uplifting, energetic ones. I will also say that I wasn’t into their previous bands that much, mostly because of the number of bands within the industry so it was SO hard to keep up. But what got me into listening to them was none other than the drama I had followed for several months and fell in love with, True Love 365. If you want to get a sample, you could go hunt them down on YouTube (i.e. click on the credit and it should take you to their official channel) or check out my review of their second album.

Okay, SO not all of them are eye candies, considering some of the new bands. But they make up in talents and variety. Some of the coolest bands out there aren’t considered all that “hot” either but are known for their music.

*Images were either scanned by DTLCT or were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

Princess Cyndi and Prince… – Part 2

Back to this one! Looks familiar? Yeah, ’cause it’s connected to the previous post. I missed two people so I had to do a new one to put them in. Yeah, after receiving complaints, I guess I’ll have to be fair about it? (YEAH…RIGHT…)

So I added in 5, not just 2. Nice? Another difference is updating a few of their recent interactions on Weibo! Or any other things that I missed last time.

Wallace Huo Jian Hua (霍建華) – Still behind on my stuff. Since no news or links of them lately, I guess I’ll just have to rely on fanfic. Still too caught up with Jindi stuffs to write an appropriate one for them. I’m re-writing Desperate Moments in the future. So maybe there’s something?

Sam Wang Shao Wei (王少偉) – Recently he and Cyndi (and a bunch of other celebs) attended the event to help Japan. Anyway, they were spotted together and was also asked a bunch of questions. Possible? Sam’s always so boyish and shy so I don’t know. BUT we’ll see. (More hexing for Jindi fans?) Just kidding. It would be too weird for me though since they have the same last name.

Tony Sun Xie Zhi (孫協志) – No signs? But can’t really rule anything. He’s still around and they’re probably still keeping in touch. And no worries, I’m still working on a possible new Tony and Cyndi fanfic. (YES, he’s the only one within the so-called family that I would accept.)

Zax Wang Ren Fu (王仁甫) – No chance but just leaving him in as part of the list anyway.

Jason Hsu/ Xu Meng Zhe (許孟哲) – Still impossible? Just kidding…

JJ Lin (林俊傑) – One of the first guys she added on Weibo so…

Leon Jay Williams (立威廉) – Still impossible.

Matthew Lin Ming Dao (明道) – Cyndi added him (finally). That was a while back but was all right. Nothing much. Let’s keep it that way? LOL!

Jacky Chu/ Zhu Fan Gang (祝釩剛) – Why am I even putting him in when he was just the evil loan-shark person in Heaven’s Wedding Gown? Ummm…hey, he was tagging Cyndi on Weibo. They were once under J-Star together and had worked together so it made sense that he knows her. AND also follows her stuff. He calls her Wan Xin Ni (丸心妮). And he begs her to follow him. (Sort of…just kidding…) So how did she respond? NOPE, no response yet. She’s still too busy stalking others. (It took her a while to add his buddy Ming Dao SO why should he be any different?) What I found funnier was some of his fans jumped in and begged Cyndi to add him too. LOL! (I wasn’t one of them, that’s why I’m still laughing.) We’ll see when she does get around to adding him. (IF at all.)

Lee Wei (李威) – When in the world did the rumors start? Not sure but it came up again in the recent months. But interesting. They’re probably good friends.

Kenji Wu Ke Qun (吳克羣) – No connection on Weibo yet. But that doesn’t mean anything, right? Oh well. I said in last post’s comment that I’m not really into their interactions. But just putting him in here so fans could be happy that I do know about their interactions? LOL! Oh yeah, he was almost cast alongside her in Smile Pasta but that failed. It didn’t matter anyway since he was supposed to portray Nic’s brother aka no chance.

Nicholas Teo/ Zhang Dong Liang (張棟樑) – He’s still stalking her on Weibo–along with some others. But it’s good to see the consistency in their interactions. She doesn’t respond much lately, but it’s okay. Still, fun to stalk.

Gino from K-One (蔡尚甫) – Ah Zhe! LOL! He’s still in exile with Jacky aka haven’t added him yet but he had made an attempt to talk to her? Another J-Star family member. We’ll see when he’s out of exile status. LOL!

Joe Cheng/ Zheng Yuan Chang (鄭元暢) – Okay, so they are good friends and work together in the N + a ADs. Major cuteness! (But let’s not get too into it since some people might get on her case like some would do to Amber’s current collaboration in Channel X. We know why. Let’s not get there.) But I’m thinking of a possible story for them in the future? If it’s not a pairing, would still have some interactions.

Jiro Wang Dong Cheng (汪東城) – Still stalking Cyndi. Probably the only one she talks to a lot? (Aside from her brothers?) NOT sure, but Jindi fans would be happy.

Calvin Chen Yi Ru (辰亦儒) – He finally joined Weibo recently so there’s even more excitement going on. But they haven’t added each other yet? No, wait. He added her but she didn’t add him yet. (At least Qiao added him so he should be happy? LOL!)

Vic Chou/ Zhou Yu Min (周渝民) – No signs of anything after ADs. I miss that.

Show Luo Zhi Xiang (羅志祥) – Not much of interaction lately? Or did I miss something? They’re still under the same company so I guess there’s something to think about. (IF you want to…)

Mike He Jun Xiang (賀軍翔) – They were caught at the movies together! Well, it was with other friends too. But the press made it look like something. (Mike doesn’t want to get creamed by Jiro?)

Wilber Pan Wei Bo (潘瑋柏) – Still stalking her. And some other people. It’s still fun.

Any changes in my decision? I don’t know. Still too early to say anything.

AGAIN, NO  BASHING LIKE LAST TIME. I have my own favorites as I said before, but that doesn’t mean we have the license to bash other pairings.

Princess Cyndi and Prince…

Another Cyndi update since she’s at 21 already (on the poll). In fact, she deserves her own category by now! (Oh, look! It’s there now!)

What game are we playing today? Choosing a prince for our princess! Fun, eh?

Wallace Huo Jian Hua (霍建華) – No, I’m not listing him first because he’s my #1 (LOL), but because he paired with Cyndi first. I was so obsessed with them in Westside Story and swore they got robbed. Well, I’m still obsessed with them hence the many stories I tried to re-create AND FAILED MISERABLY. It’s like a really, really slim chance that they would work together one day. But who knows? Never say never, eh? I can still hope and write some more fanfics. Not ranting about them much here because I’m saving it for my future updates regarding Westside Story. (Surely someone remembers about those entries?)

Sam Wang Shao Wei (王少偉) – I just remember that Sam was technical first–according to the events of the story and NOT Wallace, BUT NO, I’m not switching it. (LOL) I don’t know about their interactions off-screen, except that they work together in “Love You” (愛你) MV and some other times too. But they were all right in Westside Story. Kind of tragic, but I felt it was one of those one-sided things and how it was more pitying for him than love so I didn’t buy it as much. Still, I liked their characters in there though, but not as a couple. Off-screen? Probably no chance? (Mean, I know. But haven’t heard anything lately.)

Tony Sun Xie Zhi (孫協志) – I was so tempted to list Tony first. I’m so serious here. They are seriously cute together but didn’t have a solid story in Westside Story. I remember saying that I would’ve preferred it if they focused the story on the ‘Tony-Cyndi-Wallace’ triangle. (NOT because I dislike Yan Yan since I really like her too but not her character in there.) It was really intense at first between them but it was really cute and funny how she was tossed in the trash dump area and he was helping her clean up. Then he was carrying her on his back, trying to take her home. I loved that scene! AND loved how Wallace was being so jealous. It was a riot! Off-screen, they still maintain a very good friendship. She calls him “Xie Zhi Ba Ba”, LOL. But it reinforces the whole idea with what Tony was saying on this one game show when they were promoting Westside Story. Tony said that reason he, Cyndi, and Sam won was because they were a family. It was really sweet. Hey, they not only rule in that area, BUT they were really awesome in “Tormented” (煎熬). I still put it on repeat on my mp3 player. Almost forgot, but another instance of their interaction I remember was behind the scenes for this one concert. They were getting ready to go onstage and Tony was fixing his hair? NOT sure but they were just making sure they were good to go. But Cyndi was in the way and Tony pushed her out and then she kept jumping in front of him, blocking his way. It was really funny though. I think they seemed the most playful among Cyndi’s co-stars (though having no romantic relationship in the drama–like said before) aside from Zax that is. And then maybe it’s like what Tony said with them being like family so she’s more comfortable with him?

Zax Wang Ren Fu (王仁甫) – Okay, I didn’t even want to put him in because of the memory I have with how his character was in Westside Story, but just to be fair so I did. However, it doesn’t really matter if I put him in or not, considering how he’s happily married already. Though I really like their friendship off-screen. It’s really funny how he teases her at times. Then I remember the part where she was on his show to promote her album and she was calling him “Ren Fu Ge” and he was really happy, saying how usually she would call him “Ren Fu Ba Ba”. It was always good to be referred to as a youthful person, right?

Jason Hsu/ Xu Meng Zhe (許孟哲) – Hey, he was in her “When You” (當你) MV and I’m sure they interacted in the past, considering how they were under J-Star for a period of time. Not bad actually since they were so cute in the MV. I would buy it. Not sure about now, but one could ponder.

JJ Lin (林俊傑) – I saw them in some short story, not sure for what, once and thought they were cute together. It was the one where she was outside (in the park or street?) and he was carrying some water bottle. (He was making a delivery, I think.) Another thing is JJ calls her “Smart Little Princess” (聪明小公主). They interact from time to time so they must be good friends.

Leon Jay Williams (立威廉) – I think the majority is against them, considering how much Leon was bashed in HWG. (Not only because of his lack of acting talent either.) But I found them addicting to watch because of the story. Not to mention how I was so into watching them that I was delusional for a while with HWG. I wasn’t into Zi Hao at first when I was watching and not really understanding. I got the dubbed version and watched, I was hooked. Then later watched the Mandarin version with subs, it was really something, considering how some stuff was cut off in the dubbed version that did not make sense at all. The fact that I made a lot of wallpaper/Xanga skins for them at one time showed my obsession. Off-screen? They’re okay. I guess it’s safe to keep a distance since they do not want to attract rumors. Leon’s taken so wouldn’t want any misunderstandings. Oh yeah, almost forgot that they reunited briefly in Wei Xiao Pasta and she even took pictures with both guys, LOL. (Nic and Leon that is.)

Matthew Lin Ming Dao (明道) – I used to find them fun to watch, but not anymore. After I analyze the story to death, it was hard to say, “It was a hard choice between Zi Hao and Hai Nuo” because it honestly was NOT hard. I felt pity for Hai Nuo at first and thought, “What a great guy.” But I soon found out something and it wasn’t Ming Dao’s fault. (MARK THESE PLEASE SINCE I SAID IT’S NOT MING DAO’S FAULT SO FANS DO NOT HAVE TO REACT SO STRONG.) The scriptwriters had sacrificed Ai Qing’s spunky nature for Hai Nuo to shine. I’m so serious here! Because from the beginning, she was really strong and capable of taking care of herself, not backing down to obstacles, except with the moments she had with caring for her pets’ well-being and worrying for grandpa, etc. YET she was reduced to a complete weakling as the story progressed, making it seemed like she needed to be protected 24/7. It was all because the scriptwriters DIDN’T know how to work Hai Nuo’s storyline better SO they needed to make him the ‘hero in shining armor’ in Ai Qing’s life. PUH-LEASE. But get back to off-screen, I thought I like the idea of them together, especially with watching various ADs and all. I wouldn’t mind another collaboration, BUT HWG was a disaster because of the reason I listed above. Ming Dao mentioned that Cyndi’s kind of distance from him, etc but I think it made sense since she was afraid of rumors. But IF it’s real life, ummm…I have second thoughts. More like I fear for Cyndi’s well-being IF such rumors were to fly around, not to mention IF it was real. Other Ming Dao pairings’ fans will have a field day. I shouldn’t even put plural with ‘pairing’ since I know only one of his other pairing’s fans are extreme, NOT the rest. Strange.

Nicholas Teo/ Zhang Dong Liang (張棟樑) – OMG, they have such awesome chemistry in Wei Xiao Pasta. It was really fun and enjoyable though how ridiculous the plot seemed at times. (NOT talking about the love thing, BUT like the reality thing with how the students’ lives revolved around the celebs too much rather than studying, LOL!) It was so funny watching the NGs scenes as well. Hilarious how they kept messing up. Heard that Cyndi kept a distance from Nic again while they were filming? Well, more like both of them were. Probably shy or nervous! Still funny. BUT the way they’re interacting on Weibo lately, it’s really fun to see. (If Nic doesn’t use his other times to stalk Cynthia Wang, LOL! Just kidding, he stalks other people too!)

Jiro Wang Dong Cheng (汪東城) – Shi Lang and Tao Hua! Who could forget? NOT those who have been visiting my blog for the past months or so. It’s hard to miss, really! I meant it’s really fun to watch because the impression I have on them was from the light comedy so no strong feelings. Just really fun to watch and analyze. It would drive us fans crazy trying to see their interactions on Weibo as well. It’s really funny how much other fans could detect them and their similarities. I’m working on two fanfics right now AND can’t seem to get the titles going at all. But hey, it’s a start. I think Jiro’s kind of protective/defensive towards Cyndi though. (Watch him jump in when Show was interacting with Cyndi! It was really funny! At least I thought it was funny.) He calls her “Tao Hua” still and calls the four crazy protective brothers “brother-in-law” (and the others returned the favor, LOL). Acknowledgment on both sides. Don’t you just love that? Cyndi used to call him “Shi Lang” but now she reverted to calling him “Wang Dong Dong”. (His mother calls him that! Coincidence?)

Calvin Chen Yi Ru (辰亦儒) – I honestly felt it was funny and they were sort of cute in Momo Love–IF only it wasn’t for the fact that we were supposed to root for Shi Lang (lol). It was really funny watching Zhi Qiang trying too hard. (YES, Calvin was really funny! He’s the type who could exaggerate without making it overboard. Gotta give him that!) But off-screen, I’m rooting for QiaoRu so it’s okay. Interesting collaboration. That’s it.

Vic Chou/ Zhou Yu Min (周渝民) – I would never get an idea until I saw their various ADs. Okay, that reminds me I abandoned my fanfic again! Darn! I was just stuck. I haven’t dropped it yet. Don’t worry, everyone! Anyway, I think it would be really cute with them. It would be awesome to have a drama in the future. But it’s all right with the ADs. At least it’s refreshing.

Show Luo Zhi Xiang (羅志祥) – Saw some pictures and clips of them with concerts and all. YET I think Jiro’s jealous so let’s not even think about it. (JUST KIDDING…) Fun to see various concert collaborations.

Mike He Jun Xiang (賀軍翔) – So far? I thought it’s different with various pictures and BTS. I meant since they gave Cyndi a mature image in MLJY, I hope it’s a different character and something that would stick. Creating a different spark between them would be cool. I’ll have to see what happens. BUT of course, it’s fine that they’re just getting along for the collaboration since wouldn’t want RM fans to go after Cyndi. (I like Mike and Rainie together too, but fans could get overboard.)

Wilber Pan Wei Bo (潘瑋柏) – I’ve been stalking them on Weibo lately too and their interactions are just hilarious and cute at times. Hey, who knows? They bumped into each other at the airport like last month (or so) and even took pictures, sharing it on Weibo. It was really cute how she was referring to him as “Jing Hao Ge Ge” (his character in Endless Love).

So who is her suitable prince? Nic! One of his albums was titled Prince, right? mwuhahahaha JUST KIDDING! Messing with you guys only. Who knows? Watch Weibo more. You guys might detect some signs!

Personally, though, I would have to say it’s between Wallace and Nic. Maybe after I think about it some more, Tony too. It’s hard between those three. It’s funny that Cyndi only collaborated with them once? So if it doesn’t work OR if it does, it would leave an impression anyway? (Leon doesn’t count since he was only a guest in Wei Xiao Pasta with her, not like a triangle or something.) I don’t know. Too hard. But if counting my fanfic, I either pair her with Wallace or Tony. Trying to work on something for Nic right now. BUT I’m also working on some stories for Jiro as well so Jindi fans do not have to give me the look. (I meant you, syko!)

Your thoughts? Please keep it positive. I don’t mind obsessive comments, but no bashing, please! Thanks and PEACE!

NOTE: No pictures this time because I’m lazy. Forgive me since I only want to get a post out and not fish around like crazy for pictures. (My back-up drive crashed so it’s one of the most discouraging things with doing caps again for certain situations as well.)