Ruby Lin, Taiwanese Entertainment

My Dear Boy: Wrap-Up

Yes, the drama has wrapped up already after several months of filming. The cast and crew seemed to get along quite well.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

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Ruby Lin, Taiwanese Entertainment

My Dear Boy: Blessing Ceremony

Yes, this drama is finally taking off. It went quiet for a while that I almost thought it got scraped. Serious. Then saw Ruby’s page update today so excited. (Go here for articles.)

What’s even more exciting is the announcement of additional cast. Joining Ruby and Derek as part of the main cast are Archie Kao and Li Li Ren. Other cast include Zhang Ben Yu, Yan Yi Wen, Qu Zhong Heng, Greg Hsu, and Jenny Wen.

And yes, the Archie Kao that is married to Zhou Xun. That’s what the majority of the population that follows her career calls him. I know him as the guy who got robbed in CSI. (Yes, I never forgot or forgive after all these years.)

Anyway, what I find amusing is how Wallace has worked with Zhou Xun twice already, so now Ruby’s working with Archie, nice? Can’t wait to see what would come out of this collaboration and hope it would also be as successful. I silently wish that they’re paired together, but that would divert off course of the main theme? Watch the press conference below for more information.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

Bianca Bai, Love In Penghu, Novia Lin, Taiwanese Entertainment

Love In Penghu: Episode 1

*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

The story began with one of Taiwan’s scenic landscapes, Penghu. Li Jin Shui just managed to launch another ship so he had invited the townspeople over for a little celebration on this victory. While he was chatting up with the guests, his son, Li Yi Ming was seen passing out invitations. After the initial speech, Li Jin Shui soon joined the others offstage to chat about the upcoming happy event. However, he also complained of his oldest daughter’s lack of presence at their hometown. Fearing that the atmosphere would turn sour, Li Yi Ming rushed to reassure his father that his sister would return, considering how she had promised to help with the banquet. However, Li Jin Shui was on a roll, stating that it wasn’t that he wanted to nag his daughter but it was more about worry for his son-in-law, Fang Jia Qing.

At that moment, Li Mei Juan was seen on the road with her driver, Ah Hong. She was stuck in driver and had to improvise by riding her horse to a meeting. At the location, two artists–Fang Hua and Su Zhi Hui–were seen arguing  while they were shooting wedding photos. Not being able to win the argument, Su Zhi Hui soon turned and asked the others where Li Mei Juan was. Soon after Su Zhi Hui’s outburst, Li Mei Juan arrived on her horse, attracting the attention of the crowd present. Hearing Li Mei Juan’s explanation, the couple soon turned to one another and Su Zhi Hui apologized for his actions previously. Fang Hua also looked quite apologetic and accepted his vows to her. Their argument dissolved like that and Li Mei Juan arrived just in time to save the day (or a tragedy from happening).

Li Mei Juan indeed returned to Penghu like she promised and was greeted by her young sister, Li Mei Yuan. However, this time, Li Mei Juan returned with a heavy heart, both because she’d been informed by her husband that her father was quite upset and because of what her boss said to her regarding some business ventures. And the reason why Jia Qing couldn’t come to pick Mei Juan up was because of the disagreements between Li Jin Shui and Lin Xiu Chun. Lin Xiu Chun was actually Xu Yong Yi’s mother, which was Li Yi Ming’s future mother in law. Yes, this disagreement was indeed severe, considering how Li Jin Shui was against the land development project of recent since he vouched it was destroying the culture of Penghu while Lin Xiu Chun said that they needed to make changes for the future generations to thrive. According to Yong Yi, this meeting was to discuss their collaboration yet it had escalated to be a blood bath.

Upon arriving at the scene, Mei Juan was horrified by what was happening. Yet Mei Yuan seemed unfazed by it and even encouraged the others whom traveled with them to come help her father. What Mei Yuan didn’t realize was how Lin Xiu Chun would soon be part of their family. It was indeed getting quite ridiculous. Attempting to call for help, but it seemed hopeless, so Mei Juan had to rush forward to remind her father about the engagement between the two sides. That was when Li Jin Shui finally told the others to stop fighting. It was useless, because the crowd was too chaotic. Jia Qing actually pushed Li Jun Shui aside in time before he was hit by one of the signs the protesters used to defend themselves from one another. Jia Juan rushed forward to cover for her husband yet was unfruitful. It wasn’t until the police arrived that all parties stopped what they were doing.

At the police station, like a typical person leaning toward the old, traditional route, Li Jin Shui didn’t care for the police officer’s lecture. Yet he turned to his oldest daughter, Mei Juan, to scold her extended absence at their hometown–and that she even caused him to be arrested. Mei Juan was scolding her younger sister, Mei Yuan, for how she had handled the situation earlier. Then the whole matter just escalated to the two elders not wanting to see their kids married. It was indeed a very sticky situation for Yi Ming and Yong Yi. The police officer finally interfered and told them not to argue anymore. Jia Qing, fearing things might escalated, jumped in and vouched for all parties. The officer calmed down and even reminded them that it was Yi Ming and Yong Yi’s special day and told them not to cause more troubles. He said that the next time it happen, it won’t be so lenient on them. Jia Qing was the one whom tried to make peace among all parties, apologizing to Lin Xiu Chun and then insisting on everyone getting some rest before they continued with the engagement–if there was going to be one anymore. Lin Xiu Chun scolded the Li family before leaving with her daughter. Then the next problem pushed itself into existence, which was Li Jin Shui returning to his previous topic, which was scolding Mei Juan for causing troubles for him, saying that she was probably born to go against him. Even though Jia Qing tried to interfere to disperse the intensity between both parties, but Li Jin Shui didn’t hear of it. He insisted that Mei Juan learned from Jia Qing instead of roaming around alone in Taipei like that, warning her not to do anything that would wrong their family name.

Later at home, Mei Juan noticed their finances were all messed up. Jia Qing told her that her father had been lending people money left and right hence their money was drained, and that her father told them to pay back slowly, etc. Mei Juan told Jia Qing to tell her father to treat business and personal matters separate, and that he should try to stop her father. Jia Qing reminded that her father couldn’t be reasoned with or he wouldn’t be Li Jin Shui. Jia Qing soon expressed about how he wished she would return by his side too, not just her father worrying. Mei Juan finally told Jia Qing the good news of her returning to Penghu for a project. She, of course, didn’t tell Jia Qing of her boss’ decision to send her to Shanghai after the Penghu project. Yet Jia Qing was already happy about her being there. Jia Qing then told her that her father was just upset that she wasn’t there for New Years celebration. Mei Juan told Jia Qing that her father wasn’t all that present during times either, remembering how he was missing on all those past holidays. Jia Qing jokingly commented that she and her father were indeed the same. Anyway, Jia Qing promised to help patch things between her and her father, and Mei Juan said that she would go help Yi Yong with the engagement banquet.

Upon arriving, Mei Juan had to reassured her brother and Yong Yi that her father wouldn’t sabotage the engagement. However, she soon realized she’d brought the wrong wedding dress. Yi Ming was in a panic since it would rile their father up even more. Mei Juan soon tried to improvise and said that she still had time to fix it so that their father wouldn’t know. She told Yong Yi to go fetch some supplies for her while Yi Ming went to fetch Mei Yuan to help with the fix. As Mei Juan rushed to sketch a blueprint, Yi Ming returned with Mei Yuan and Yong Yi with the needed supplies. The four of them rushed to work on the dress after Mei Juan briefed them of the plan. And while they were busy at work, Jia Qing rushed in and dragged Mei Juan away from the scene. She didn’t want to go yet he insisted. He was showing her how her father was practicing a speech for the banquet. Yet when he realized they were there, he mocked and criticized Mei Juan, not wanting her help when Jia Qing explained. Mei Juan told Jia Qing not to try anymore since it wasn’t like their relationship could be improved with just a few words from Jia Qing.

The day got even worse and worse–if that was possible, because Li Jin Shui wanted to enter the room to see the new bride in the wedding dress. Stalking didn’t help so Yi Ming had to comply by opening the door. With Mei Yuan’s help in covering Yong Yi, they tried to wing it through by saying that the new bride was just shy. However, after some brief speech, he soon pushed Mei Yuan aside and discovered that the wedding dress wasn’t the one his wife used to wear. (Yes, that was why they were all covering it since he wanted his daughter-in-law to wear the one his wife wore.) Mei Juan confessed that it was her mistake. Yi Ming and Mei Yuan quickly spoke up to defend Mei Juan, saying that Mei Juan already tried her best and it was beautiful enough. Li Jin Shui, upset, scolded them once again, stating that their mother’s wish was to attend her kids’ wedding so that was the reason why he wanted the daughter-in-law to wear the dress, not just because it was beautiful. Mei Juan soon apologize for her mistake, but was scolded by her father once again, repeating another phrase he previously scolded her with, which was that of saying she was a terrible daughter. Mei Juan spoke up again to clarify that she was apologizing to her mother, not to him. He wanted her to clarify her words. Mei Juan reminded him of how he kept staying at sea and leaving the house for her mother to tend, burying her mother’s talents and dreams. She even reminded him that he wasn’t around when her mother died. He asked her what the family would eat if he didn’t go out to sea and fish. She said that her mother had said that same thing yet she asked him if he’d ever considered that her mother also had her own dreams, not just existing to take care of the family. So since her mother died, Mei Juan had promised herself not to be like her mother, wanting to fulfill those dreams. He told her that she wasn’t able to take care of the wedding dress matter, how could she do anything else. He even added that she couldn’t compare to her mother. Then he said they could do whatever they want since no one cared to hear what he had to say anyway. When he left, Jia Qing tried to persuade him to stay, but was unsuccessful. It wasn’t until Wen Tian Hao, Yong Yi’s cousin and also Mei Juan’s coworker, came that things were resolved. He brought the correct wedding dress to them, which earned a hug from Mei Juan. Then Mei Juan helped Yong Yi change to the correct wedding dress. While that was happening, Tian Hao congratulated Li Jin Shui. He had no idea there had been a disaster going on earlier. However, what was more troubling was the glare that Jia Qing gave him.

*All images were captured by DTLCT

Penny Lin, Taiwanese Entertainment

Exciting Life: Penny’s New Movie

Indeed very happy that Penny’s in a movie and all. She said she’s portraying a different type of role this time, which is good.

However, if she’s portraying a doctor, it’s not working. I’m not trying to nitpick, but I seriously don’t think that doctors tread around every day wearing such high heels. Off work is different, of course, but  that’s a different story. Still, excited for new developments.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

Taiwanese Entertainment

The Dangerous City

Another one of those closer to real life dramas. The plot indeed lived up to its title.

Main Cast:

  • Lin Qing Tai (林慶台) as Wa Dan (瓦旦). A security guard. A somewhat rouge character. That would mean that he’s not the typical hero that would do just the right thing regardless of situation. It’s more about what life offers him and how he should proceed. It’s more realistic that way. Since his son needs the money for the educational fees and there was money offered to cover things up, so he took it. He would also use ‘shady’ connections to try and recover his lost money. Though he soon learned a hard lesson that those ‘shady’ characters couldn’t be trusted with handling his problems hence having to rely on himself (with only some help from Hei Song’s son regarding information). He later discovered that the phone he retrieved that one time from Hong Long wasn’t the piece that held important information that could threaten everyone’s lives, but the actual memory card inside. Somehow, he ended up running and everyone wanted to capture someone around him to gain the upper hand, but it worked out fine in the end for him actually. I thought he would end up dying in some dramatic battle so his son would learn, etc. But it wasn’t so.
  • Yin Xin (尹馨) as Amber. An actress who wanted to commit suicide at the beginning. Supposedly, it was just an act yet still nerve-wrecking because of the person saving her. I was actually quite intrigued with her story at first and how she got conned, etc. Yet later on, I got really bored and only stuck around to see what other things were going on with several parties plotting against one another. At first, I seriously didn’t feel sorry for her, just like some of the other parties in here. She and the others  knew what they were getting into with so many sticky situations involved. Still, have to compliment the actress at some scenes for showing some emotional breakdown or fear, etc. Her second suicide attempt got really repetitive since Wa Dan’s son saw her and saved her. Yet it showed some character for Wa Dan’s son, because he wasn’t a bad kid, just frustrated that his life changed 180 degrees hence taking it out on his father at times. Then as the story progressed along even more, I was having mixed feelings because most of the characters in here were bordering on gray areas. It was like showing difference circumstances in life and how sometimes it wasn’t just so easy with separating the lines between black and white/right and wrong anymore. What won me over with her character was how she slapped Chen Zai and rescued Xia Qing from further abuse. Then her story finally unfolded after she confided in Xia Qing. She managed to start over later on, depending on herself and work harder to support her parents versus depending on others. After so much had happened, of course it got her thinking.
  • Xia Hui (夏禕) as Xia Qing (夏青). Wa Dan’s landlady. Kind of sharp with her words at times but really cares for others. I found her witty at times and funny at others, especially the scene where she drove Hei Song insane with her constant chatter. He couldn’t get in a word or two to Wa Dan about his terms–until he finally snatched the phone back from her.
  • Xu Gui Ying (徐貴櫻) as Xu Li Li (徐莉莉). Guo Dong Lin’s wife. I thought she was so crafty and classy until he got the upper hand with the paperwork situation. That sure threw her plans off. Then she totally lost major points from me when she sought out the fortune teller to ask of her current situations and why her plans were backfiring, etc. Well, I got it that people believe in those stuffs in real life, but I didn’t think she would fall for it. Or would seek out such alternatives to change her life. (And probably there are real fortune tellers out there who know what they’re doing AND NOT just conning others for money but for now, still keeping my doubts about all those.) It was revealed that she was actually pinned onto Guo Dong Lin as a spy yet she ended up siding with him as well. What made it even more interesting in the end was how she confessed at his memorial spot of how she had changed since knowing him, etc. Like a little truth moment from her (if it wasn’t obvious already) and a last piece of the overall puzzle as far as her relation to the Zhang dude in the past, etc.

Others:

  • Qu Zhong Heng (屈中恆) as Special Assistant Zhang (張特助). A very cunning and careful person. He works for the chairman so, of course, he has to be careful. What made him even more scary was how ruthless he was, sacrificing everyone around him. It wasn’t until the end that he dared to cry out because his ‘beloved’ was leaving.
  • Xi Xiang (喜翔) as La Lai Ba (羅賴把). Wa Dan’s co-worker. I first thought he wanted some of the money, etc hence keep urging Wa Dan to hand over the memory card. Yet it wasn’t so. He was actually undercover at the company to unravel all the corruptions and conspiracies between Guo Dong Lin and several parties in here. Quite a surprise ending.
  • Tao Chuan Zheng (陶傳正) as Guo Dong Lin (郭東林). A businessman but has ‘shady/complicated’ connections with various parties to advance his cause. He would do anything or use any means for success. Yet he couldn’t win over Zhang because he wasn’t cunning enough. Zhang sure got the upper-hand in the end.
  • Chen Yu Ming (陳煜明) as Hong Long (紅龍). A thief/pocket-picking person. He’s a guy but dresses as a girl to con others or get close to them so he could take their money. He got involved in the whole messy main story by pickpocketing Xu Li Li and later on was sought out because the other party wanted the cell phone back. (The cell phone have some important information in it hence ending up becoming a major turn of story for whoever acquire the phone.)
  • Cai Ba (蔡爸) as Chen Zai (陳仔). Xia Qing’s ex-husband. Annoying at first but turned a new leaf later on. I was really rolling my eyes when he said he was just doing what he could for the people when the reporters asked. Yet he really changed his ways and even helped Xia Qing ran the little shop in the end.
  • Wu Min Fan (吳民凡) as Lao Yang (老楊). I totally forgot who he was and too lazy to go back and check.
  • Lin Yu Shun (林郁順) as Hei Song (黑松). Gangster boss. He was scary in his way, considering who he was, after all. However, the saddest scene and probably bordering on touching was how he discovered his son’s body. Then the flashbacks just did all the talking for us, and the look on his face. A moment to think about. Like money wouldn’t bring his son back. He took the money Zhang offered at last but wanted to add in a little term of his own (aka wanting Zhang to hand Hu Shen over so he could avenge his son’s death).
  • Leo Ding (丁力祺) as Xiao Yao (小姚). Guo Dong Lin’s driver, BUT actually works for Special Assistant Zhang. I swore I thought he was just taking on a side role since this is a short drama after all. Yet he surprised me when he reached for his cell phone to call Zhang. The scene where he showed Guo the message from Zhang in the end and carried out the command was quite chilling actually. I think it’s one of those, “Don’t estimate those people” in a way. Because he was considered just a driver yet he had a major impact to the story throughout, considering how he was spying on Guo and reporting to Zhang from time to time.
  • Ding Fu You (丁富佑) as Hu Shen (虎神). Zhang’s hired gun. Ruthless and fierce. Yet he actually said ‘thank you’ to Xiao Juan after she helped him wrap  his wound, strange? Still a very dangerous character though. He was also responsible for killing Xiao Pang later on.
  • Huang Lue Geng (黃略耕) as Xiao Pang (小胖). Hei Song’s son. He was the most innocent among all of the turmoil around them. Stuck in a gang yet couldn’t do anything. His father was fierce toward him at various points, but upon discovering his body, the man completely broke down and later vouched revenge. He was too nice to his prisoners and at times got conned yet didn’t hold it against them.
  • Gao Jing Yi (高靖榕) as Xiao Juan (小娟). Ya Bu’s girlfriend. Fierce and chatty at times.
  • Ye Yu Jun (葉玉傑) as Ya Bu (雅布). Wa Dan’s son. Supposedly trying to get into college and Wa Dan’s trying to make ends meet with supplying the money, etc. Yet he got his girlfriend pregnant and was forced to quit school and seek for a job, trying to take responsibility for what he’d done. In the end, he actually wanted to become a cop like his father, which surprised the old man. But after seeing so much and was influenced by his father’s bravery, he probably had second thoughts.
  • Wang Dao Nan (王道南) as Chairman (主委). Another despicable role for him and he’s done. YES, I guess he could be considered brave to continuously take on not so favorable roles. Yet someone has to do it. The saving point for him was he only appeared a little throughout so that minimized the hatred for him versus others, I guess, lol.

Overall thoughts? I think I changed my mind about a lot of things throughout. Like several things to ponder about. An interesting take on different parties and how the corruption was spreading, but was eventually found out through investigations. (If not, there wouldn’t be a point to the story, of course.) An intriguing drama throughout, trying to keep it real yet didn’t lack in the entertainment department.