Taste of Life: The 200th Mark

Just as I was afraid, the show dragged on and ended up focusing on other side characters that had nothing to do with the main cast. However, what caught my attention recently was Pan Bo Xi’s presence.

Pan Bo Xi portrayed Athena Lee’s ex-boyfriend, Kenji. He entered in episode 200 so I guess that was their way to celebrate. Finally, the team focused on Athena again. Or more like I felt it had dragged on with the side story arches for so long. Athena is actually four years older than Bo Xi in real life but she said it would be no problem with making the chemistry convincing. I totally agree. They looked so cute together.

Aside from that as the latest of interest for me, Jun Ya actually joined the drama in episode 160. He once again took on the role of a doctor yet this time the role leaned on the dislike side briefly after earning some praises from the viewers. (Click here for details.)

Oh yeah, even Angus Xie had joined the drama awhile back and it seemed like they were phasing out other main cast from the start, like Jason and Eric.

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

Taste of Life: Worth Waiting?

I originally didn’t want to follow this but after seeing the above picture, I couldn’t help it. NOT like obsessing over a picture could turn it into an awesome drama. But it’s just too cute to resist. Not to mention how the previous aired drama has been beaten to death with its theme. Seriously?

Yup, the length is always the final factor in wanting to watch or not. I could always opt-out, but then I would be left hanging. I guess I’ll have to dive in for Jason, Eric, and Athena. (Others from Shi Jian Qing are also in here, like most of the long-winded dramas including a similar cast.) Yes, I initially was interested in it because of the three. Then reading this article and watching the clip made me want to watch it even more. (Good one, SETTV, you’re the master of PR all right.) And Eric’s tips to staying fit: exercise, only eat until 50% full, plus no starch at night. Also, congratulations to Eric and his wife with welcoming their second child.

Apparently, the drama focuses on the whole firefighting field. I seriously hope they do it justice. The last time, I was intrigued at first and then eventually got bored since they veered off course. And seriously, hope they don’t push the length and make viewers end up hating it rather than loving it.

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

Father’s Desire

Five episodes so I see no harm diving in. How was it? Quite touching and meaningful–like most DaAi dramas. It was touching because it didn’t try to be. It was just telling the story of a family. And I think it might be inspired by a real family since I saw the name of the characters (some of them) flashed on the screen before the ending credits.

Main Cast:

  • Enson Chang as Li Yi Bang (李彝邦). A dentist. Following his father’s footsteps, he became a dentist instead of a medical doctor like his father had wanted. Yet he felt there was nothing to be ashamed of–even though there was the initial disappointment when the exam results came in. Yet his terrible attitude didn’t just vanish over the years. He actually had his moments, which reflected how real it was that he reacted differently when the environment change–regardless if he understood more or less of what was around him. I thought Enson captured his character quite well, the stubbornness along with the discomfort at times. Or the more determined self with traces of being proud of himself, not to mention having accomplished something through the efforts he’d put forth and the people he’d helped instead of measuring his accomplishment by comparing himself with others like previously. In joining the charity organization, it had allowed Ah Bang to see through different perspectives and realizing how much his father cared for him hence it rang true with helping others was like helping oneself (i.e. because of what he’d gone through, he understood his father even more and slowly mended their father and son relationship).
    • Bing Cheng Yu (兵承育) as the young Li Yi Bang. I felt sooo sorry for the kid with all the strict discipline he received when he was little. But totally understand those types of techniques that often occurred at different regions at those times, even if I don’t agree with it. Besides, at that time, he could only understand so much, still so carefree toward life. Seeing the kid portraying a clueless, innocent one and then later into a more matured one at such a young age was quite fascinating. Though he seemed more understanding toward his father’s reason for forcing him to study hard, that didn’t mean he wasn’t a kid anymore. The scene where it showed he was staring at the other kid’s popcorn at the movies showed he still has some small desires from a child’s point of view, etc. Then his rebellious nature kicking in, not wanting to do well anymore after that one failure with scoring lower than the previous time. (Kudos to the scriptwriter for not making him obedient from that one time on since he was still a little kid, after all, not just some machine that was operating on some pre-planned movements.) The kid got a lot of scenes and ranges of emotions to act on, especially how he showed great changes throughout–though not too unreasonable. The part where he was yelling at his classmates for laughing at this one poor girl was really powerful and showed his determination in really helping others.
  • Vicky Tseng as Zheng Ya Rong (鄭雅蓉). Yi Bang’s wife, a teacher. I had to tell myself time over time to push aside previous biases toward her as I was waiting for her appearance. (Yeah, I haven’t gotten over her convincing role in Peak Times yet hence needing to tell myself to give her a chance with this role.) She indeed looked cute in here and showed that she could portray different roles, aside from the annoying one I just mentioned. And she wasn’t just a cute girl in here but was a courageous young woman who knew what her goals were in life and had set out to fight for that dream.
  • Angus Xie as Li Jin Cheng (李金城). Yi Bang’s father. I felt he was quite convincing as a strict father but showed his gentle side as well. It wasn’t the first time I watched him (in fact, it was a wrong choice of drama, lol), but I was glad I gave him another chance without biases to see how he portrayed this character. The part where he was talking to his dental equipment was hilarious. Okay, it was somewhat moving that he was reminiscing about the old days and how the set had been with him all these years, but it was still funny that he was talking to them and reassuring them, etc.
  • Xie Li Jin (謝麗金) as Li Li E (李麗娥). Yi Bang’s mother. Like most mothers, she was really protective of her kids and seemed to obey her husband as well. However, I liked how her character unfolded and told us she wasn’t just a typical obedient wife. She was also reasonable and knew the exact time to interfere and made her voice known. She did successfully end the violence in her household, i.e. her husband’s discipline technique of their son.
  • Liang Xiu Zhi (梁修治) as Cai Er Gui (蔡爾貴). A doctor. The doctor whom Ah Bang worked with at the charity organization when he first joined and then after when he had his license already.
  • Zhang Xin Ning (張芯寧) as Hui Min Ma Ma (惠敏媽媽). The lady who helped took care of Ah Bang when he was hospitalized and encouraged his mother not to give up, also staying by her to comfort her throughout. Part of an organization that helped those in need. Inspired Ah Bang to join the organization to help others as well.

Others:

  • Guan Jia Yu (官家宇) as Li Mao Cheng (李茂盛). Yi Bang’s uncle. I swear I thought he would be some showoff just appearing to rub it in his brother’s face. Or possibly because I’d been watching too many dramas where brothers were scheming against one another. Yet I felt quite convinced with his sincerity and how he had encouraged Ah Bang in trying to understand what his father was doing for him and how much was sacrificed. He wasn’t just all talks either since he found ways to take care of his brother throughout the years, sneaking side gifts and the visits from time to time. The major scene for him must be wanting to foot the hospital bill, not backing down regardless of what his brother said, stating that they were brothers, etc.
  • You Xue Ting (尤學廷) as Huang Zhi Tong (黃志同). Yi Bang’s classmate and also his roommate. He was a funny guy. Yet a good friend who was willing to lend Ah Bang money in the time of needs, etc. Sure, he teased and laughed at Ah Bang at times but didn’t go over the line with his jokes. It was a typical friendship between the two of them. He later got roped into the charity organization as well yet it was only because he wanted to give it a chance after seeing how much Ah Bang had changed over time. It possibly could be how he wanted to change his family situation as well though he was saying how he didn’t really feel like it yet.
  • Hong Qi Yang (洪綺陽) as Senior Li Zhu (麗珠師姐). Part of the management team of the charity organization. The scene where she appeared and explained to Ya Rong’s mother about their organization reminded me of some real-life situations where members were willing to reach out and reassure family members that they were genuine, etc. Sometimes, there just had to be someone making sure their reputation wasn’t tainted and/or got misunderstood along with those other hokey ones.
  • Pan Qi Yan (潘祈諺) as Lu Jia Qi (呂嘉祈). Hui Min’s son, Yi Bang’s senior, from the same charity organization as his mother.
  • Gao Li Hong (高麗紅) as Ya Rong’s mother. It wasn’t like she objected to Ya Rong’s decision in joining and becoming a member of the charity organization at first, but thanks to her neighbor, it got her paranoid that Ya Rong could be conned, etc. I don’t blame the neighbor in this situation though since these days and all, anything was possible so it wasn’t like she was too nosy or anything.
  • Liang Shu Han (梁舒涵) as Senior Qi Hui (啟惠師姐). Part of the charity organization as well.
  • Ah Bang’s younger sister. I was always wondering what happened to her in the later parts of the story, but it made sense that she would go away for school. She later appeared at the end of episode 5 again.

Relationships:

  • Enson Chang and Vicky Tseng as a couple. I seriously thought she looked older than Enson. It wasn’t because of my previous bias toward her either. It just looked that way. Yes, the production team did try to make her look younger when they just met and the change with later years. Yet blame it on Enson for looking so young. I got the gist of their characters and their story, but it didn’t work for me with their pairing. One of the scenes that I really liked between them was in the hospital where she was telling him about her friend who was also involved in a car accident and hadn’t awakened yet, then she cried (which was reasonable because it was indeed tragic). YET what made the difference was how she didn’t lean on his shoulder and cried like some typical soapy drama. She ran from the room and tried to calm herself down, which she failed but it was a move I feel closer to life or I could relate to. Though it wasn’t a shame to cry, she didn’t try to use that situation or win him over with the tears or anything. It showed that all her tears were for her friend and that she felt embarrassed to actually break down like that during the story recount. It made sense that he chased after her to make sure she was all right, BUT he didn’t take advantage of the situation to hug her or comfort her in those mushy gestures either but just handed her a tissue silently. (I don’t know, after watching too many cliche formulas–which could be considered cute and at times I fall for them too, but I felt refreshed again and actually closer to the character as I watched this particular scene.) What was more, Xiao Qi’s story had made Ah Bang realized how lucky he was to have awakened and been able to continue on to fulfill his dream. In short, it had made him cherish this second chance even more. And did I say what I loved, even more, was how Ya Rong had successfully pulled herself together, wiping the last of her tears away and even turned around to tell Ah Bang that Xiao Qi might wake up tomorrow? Not only that but she had also reminded Ah Bang of what his father once said through her words with helping others and not wasting time, etc. I guess what I was trying to say was I liked how slow their relationship was developing, being friends and a part of the charity organization before it turned into much more. (YES, I’m so over those intense soaps and still could never buy into those “love at first sight” situations.) If anyone felt that the proposal wasn’t enough, I thought it was suitable. I meant with all that was happening between them these past years and all, it wasn’t too surprising that things didn’t go toward the more mushy road. I swear it was not an excuse to be less romantic either because they’d reached an understanding where being with one another was enough, not caring for those supposedly “proper” procedures set forth or aiming for too much technicalities like that. Instead, I felt the talk with Ya Rong’s mother held a traditional sense to the whole marriage proposal, not just opting for some modern mushy gist often driven by the current pop culture. It managed to tie it back to the whole valuing the family and respecting the elders within other families as well. The fact that he had offered to go see her mother and asked for her opinions/agreement made it more genuine instead of only going after some nagging from her or something like that often seen in other dramas. (YES, the current generation is very much leaning toward the modern genre and often neglect those little ‘traditional’ bits but I was glad to see them pointing out some little pieces of the traditions still being present at various areas and in some families such as these ones.)
  • Angus Xie and Enson Chang/Bing Cheng Yu as father and son. At first, I was seriously turned off by the whole “whacking” discipline technique with the flashback at the beginning. (Though as stated before that I do understand those types of discipline going on during those times.) Yet the father and son relationship soon grew on me. Seeing how hardworking the father was to provide for the family, helping others, etc made me feel like he wasn’t all talk OR just wanted to have some doctor son to brag about. Because he actually was a doctor himself, helping others yet wasn’t properly licensed like how the others would recognize him as hence wanting to fulfill that wish and in a way, carry on the tradition. It wasn’t too much to ask for. Then there was the whole scene with him taking Ah Bang to the movies and buying the kid popcorn, etc. It somehow showed their fatherly bond, not just the strict discipline only. Then the confrontation after one of the failed examination (more like the kid left all blanks, not caring to fill it in) and how the kid was asking his father why he always got hit, regardless of right or wrong, etc. The turn around was actually sending a better message because of how Yi Bang’s father had promised not to hit him anymore when they had the talk by the river. He went on to explain how he didn’t want his son to turn out to be some selfish kid who would just look for ways to benefit himself, not caring for others. It sounded reasonable as to his strict ways, but what I admired the most was when the kid talked back to him, questioning with why the father wasn’t satisfied with anything he’d done, he stopped himself when he was about to strike at the kid. That proved he really wanted to change his method of discipline than just empty talks. He turned around and tried to talk sense into the kid by telling the kid what his own father had taught him (aka the kid’s grandpa). He didn’t just want Ah Bang to become a good student, but also a good person. Because like he said, life wasn’t just about exams or being number one in class, but about respecting others and giving them face, such as respecting his teacher, for example. (Though what the father said was true about all teachers have their own method, but the end result would always be for the student’s own good, i.e. honing their skills. YET I couldn’t help laughing inside a bit because it’s so not true with some cases nowadays where some people just become teachers because their dreams got lost along the way so they’re forced to teach. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know lots of great teachers out there, but some are just settling hence not really focusing on teaching for real but just doing some routine.) One more situation that made it all more realistic was how Ah Bang didn’t just cave into what his father was saying to him immediately but the next day at school. I almost thought he would eventually call his father and apologize after the father told him it was windy outside so he should go back and eat. Though he wanted to, he was both too stubborn and still mad about the other situation to call out or want to reconcile. The next day at school when he saw his father actually bowing to the teacher and apologizing, he realized how much his father cared for him to even put down the whole “reputation” or “saving face” thing to ask for a second chance to take the exam. The proud look that Ah Bang’s father gave him when Ah Bang asked the old man (mind my choice of words, lol) to take a look at the granny’s teeth could be considered a priceless moment. Because that was when Ah Bang showed signs of caring for others around him, not just being bitter over his grades or trying to be best in class only. Witnessing his father doing the examination for the granny and the after events made Ah Bang understood more of his father’s occupation and how he helped others, and also understanding that helping others could bring such happiness. The part where Ah Bang (after listening to his uncle’s story) actually thanked his father was really moving. As Ah Bang grew older, it was seen that not only he had understood a lot about the world outside but also his father had improved majorly on the communication front, showing support in a more positive way and thus cultivating Ah Bang’s potential. Their conflicts when Ah Bang was older reminded me of the old days when Ah Bang was still a kid. I meant the one about them arguing over why he only came home when he needed money, not because he wanted to see them. In a way, it seemed like a step back to his younger version with learning how to be a considerate person already. Yet it wasn’t too unreasonable–like I mentioned above in the ‘character’ section. It was the changes in life. Everything was unpredictable. Moving forward to the part after the accidents and how the father had promised to never scold/act fierce with Ah Bang regarding matters anymore, I had a feeling it was too hard. Of course, it made sense and in such emotional events, promises and bargains with Heaven were often blurted out. Yet it was quite admirable to see how the man had kept his words. Though he was upset at times, he tried hard to hold it back. And when the father discovered his son’s grade sheet, I thought the kid would be dead for real this time. NOT like dead dead, but I thought that all bets were off and there would be a major scolding marathon YET after he talked to the organization’s leaders and indeed came to realize how much Ah Bang changed and also to hand his trust over to them in order to help Ah Bang with his grades. It showed that the man wasn’t unreasonable and would listen if others made sense. This scene somewhat reminded me about the exam incident when Ah Bang was little though the reactions were different because of the time and how circumstances were that had led to a different outcome. The part where the father was hospitalized and Ah Bang sitting there holding his hand were indeed like years ago, except for the role reversal. It made Ah Bang realized how worried his father was at that time. AND nothing compared to the scene where Ah Bang showed his father the doctor certification/license since the old man looked so proud that it was indescribable yet captured his feelings so vividly. OMG, one of the priceless moments when Ah Bang was knocking on his parents’ door and asking if they’d slept already AND his father yelled out that they were already asleep so he shouldn’t be so loud, etc. That got me going for a while. And you think this doesn’t have comedy? (You’re still able to respond when you’re asleep? LOL! His wife was asking him the same thing, lol.)
  • Angus Xie and Xie Li Jin as husband and wife. I liked it that she wasn’t so cowardly like it was projected at first. NOT that she seemed that way because she did try to stop her husband from hitting the kid and tried to interfere at times. But I’m sick of those plots with the wife keeping one eye shut, one eye close regarding matters like that. However, when she finally told him to “talk to their son, use a better way to communicate since they’re father and son, NOT enemies”, I respected her more and actually liked it that he thought about it and listened to her instead of continuing on with that too strict type of a discipline. (Because it would seriously make more sense if their child turned out to be kind and loving instead of some serial killer since he kept getting beat up like that.) The proud expressions of the parents at the scene where they realized that their son had helped a classmate to buy new school supplies was another touching moment in its own rights YET without tears. It was like knowing that their hardship had paid off, allowing their son to become a considerate person. OMG, I so didn’t see it coming but the scene where he was thanking his wife and she looked outside to check if it was raining was really cute–and funny. In a way, it was really touching since she realized how her husband appreciated her and never stopped loving her all these years, but it was really cute how they had their moments too. Indeed, it was nearing soap-ville but I didn’t mind. Her interestingly funny scene where she was trying to pull the father and son together again YET failed because she didn’t realize her son had other activities already planned and she had to cover her face with the newspaper made me want to laugh even more. She was so cute while her husband was staring at her with livid eyes. Like he would do anything (at that point in his life) but it was still funny to see her so timid. YUP, she interfered at the wrong time. Oh well…she tried. Their constant bicker in the later years was kind of humorous in its own way. I guess they were indeed an old couple, one becoming quite nagging and the other increasingly stubborn. Though of course they still cared for each other. But it was so cute how he was so stubborn but still gave in to her pleas during the whole moving in with their son and his wife. He seemed like he was throwing a tantrum but at the same time he was happy that his son was thinking about them, wanting to live with them, etc. (Indeed, like the mother pointed out, it was soooo rare these days that kids would want to live with their parents, especially married ones.) It was funny how she was pointing out that he didn’t want others to look after him like he was some kid YET he was trying to control the kids’ schedules, lol.
  • Xi Li Jin and Enson/Bing Cheng Yu as mother and son. I don’t know why I didn’t put it in sooner. She was always so protective of him and had succeeded in stopping her husband from beating him with the stick, i.e. enforcing strict discipline. The later years when Ah Bang grew older got a tad funnier. Like how she was saying he and his father were so alike and he rejected her theory. YUP, the mother was right, both father and son were sooo stubborn/hard-headed. (Both were equally soft-hearted yet didn’t want to admit their caring for one another. Ah Bang was indeed becoming more and more like his father.)

Funny yet interesting:

  • Enson portraying Angus’ son. I was looking up the names of the cast list one by one AND I was suppressing some sort of laughter at first, like before actually watching it. By just reading the information, I was like, “Seriously”? Then the second thing I did was look up their ages, I guess they could pass as father and son with the age, but even if they were standing next to each other, it would still look like they were brothers. When I actually started watching, it made sense. It wasn’t too weird since they managed to do some makeup and other alteration with the outfits to make sure the age gap was at a decent point. Yet they might want to put on more wrinkles on Angus’ face in the later years? ‘Cause he still had such smooth skin after all these years, lol. Though Angus was really good with crouching/slouching his shoulders to make him seemed like an old man.
  • Memory Test. OMG, I was so scared it was memory loss. Sounds familiar? I don’t know. I always am in fear of the “memory loss” formula each time someone in a drama encounters some kind of car/road accident. It’s the most overused formula of all time. Yet I was glad it was placed in with the memory test to make sure he didn’t lose his memory. It was a reasonable fear coming from Ah Bang’s father and it also put the viewers’ at ease that the card wasn’t pulled. It would make sense IF he did have memory loss since the accident was severe BUT I rather not tackle that one here. I guess with five episodes, they needed to drive the main theme into the plot and drive it home rather than focusing on the other side formulas. PHEW!
  • The scene where Ah Bang called back home to say he loved his parents. OMG, that was priceless! It’s really rare in Asian culture to just straight out say it like that though you care for one another, especially family members, etc. You just show it through actions–though at times messages get lost. But it was funny to see both of the parents acted like there was something wrong with their kid OR wondered if he was in some sort of trouble and wanted their help hence the sudden words. But they were so cute with trying to figure Ah Bang out. And he was laughing on his side of the phone.
  • Talking about girls. Well, sort of since one of the times when Ah Bang’s father was driving him back to the bus stop, he asked Ah Bang if Ah Bang liked anyone yet, etc. I found it was kind of awkward at first yet it showed somewhat of a bond like any other normal pair of father and son where the father was looking out for his son’s future with suggesting to introduce some possible candidates to him. It’s just funny to see the old man joked about the whole situation. Yet at the same time, it seemed bittersweet because how the timing was a bit wrong because Ah Bang was just looking at his father and seeing how the old man was aging but he was also trying to make light of the situation with his father when the old man was asking him about a possible girlfriend.

One of the short, touching, and not to mention worth-watching dramas yet not overly done with some formulas. Recommended for those who love family dramas along with inspirational themes. And prepare to cry buckets, especially the ending.

Peak Times

I wasn’t thinking of watching this since I’ve been quite lazy watching dramas lately. But it was more like wanting to check it out because of curiosity. Then it pulled me in. Mostly because of the suspense. I must admit it was pretty good overall though. The ending sort of killed it BUT I guess it wasn’t that bad. More on that later. Oh yeah, note that the first 3 episodes were just there to introduce Hao Tian’s character and a bit on his background before launching into the meatier parts of the drama. YES, because the next 17 episodes have to do mostly with family conflicts and other business rivalry stuff that was totally unrelated to the introduction scenes. I finished this drama within several days and several months back already (though was still doing the review slowly).

Main Cast:

  • Eric Huang as Ke Hao Tian (柯浩天) and Yang Nian He (楊念和).  Twins role. I think most actors/actresses go through the phase where they have to portray some sort of twins role or look-alike to prove themselves regarding acting skills and whatnot. This was probably Eric’s chance. OR wanting to accept the challenge. Successful actually and thanks to the scriptwriters also that I found this pair of twins the most realistic that I’ve seen so far–as far as HK or TW dramas go for me. I meant twins are similar for the most part, right? And this pair of twins was just that. YES, due to the environment they were raised in, they had their differences at times and needed to seek some sort of comfort level YET shedding off all the professionalism from Hao Tian, they were so similar and could be considered as ‘double-trouble’–to its true meaning.
    • Ke Hao Tian (柯浩天). The first 3 episodes said it all that he was a daredevil. Yet his responsible side was due to the fact that he had to lead the family business. So it made sense that he wasn’t as sunshine as Nian He at times. There was this dark side to him and somewhat of an impatient to Nai Xin’s tantrums. I liked him A LOT as well until the whole Yu Ting incident. YES, I do get it that he was feeling guilty but I think he could’ve handled the situation a bit better, considering how intelligent he was at times. BUT I guess regarding personal matters, it sort of blinded him? I don’t know. But to think that he was quite fierce with Nai Xin during the first 3 episodes too, not wanting to give in to her tantrums at times made him so cold YET defined his personality. OR was it just different from the other situation than this one? (DUH, I know.) Then there was this gentle side of him when he was taking Xuan Xuan under his wing to protect her from harm, etc–and his continued patient with her. Then there was also this righteous side of him, trying to stop Fang Fang from harming Xuan Xuan and Stacia, though he was late for some incidents yet didn’t stop trying. And his braveness was seen numerous times throughout, especially the scene at the bridge with trying to rescue Nai Xin (or die trying).
    • Yang Nian He (楊念和). More happy-go-lucky but wasn’t a doormat OR a dummy either. Though portrayed by Eric as well, I liked Nian He a bit more. Okay, maybe A LOT more. Not just because he seemed to appear more because of the takeover after episode 3 or so. But because he was more persistent in what he believed in and wasn’t easily persuaded by others. Even when he was posing as Hao Tian, his firmness was still running strong, making it so different than when seeing Eric portray Hao Tian. It was like noticeable that he was Nian He without a doubt (at least to viewers). His smart-aleck behaviors at times made it priceless–and lovable. Though he lacked experience in the family business but made up in the intelligence area. AND I think it was seriously just awesome that Eric could differentiate the feelings or at least projected the feelings during the whole obstacles when he had to deal with Ying Ying and Ruo Qing when he was Nian He (and posing as Hao Tian) versus how he approached the Ruo Qing and Yu Ting matters. Back to Nian He, he didn’t lack in bravery either because he risked his life that one time at the oceanside trying to save that one guy–and there were other times.
    • Ways to differentiate between Hao Tian and Nian He:
      • Attires. It didn’t count when Nian He was still posing as Hao Tian. But when they did appear together, it was easy to see that Nian He dressed simpler. Though Nian He was in a suit too, his style was more tone down than that of Hao Tian.
      • Personal Space. Notice the personal space between him and Ying Ying versus Ruo Qing. Unless the place didn’t allow for too much personal space, other times, it was easier to notice. Not to mention how Eric was able to show his feelings/concerns for one party or the other while portraying Hao Tian or Nian He. When portraying Nian He posing as Hao Tian parts, he was really uncomfortable around Ruo Qing and was really protective of Ying Ying. That one misunderstanding with thinking Ruo Qing must have tried to frame Ying Ying leading to firing her (Ying Ying) really showed it that Nian He was out to protect Ying Ying, even forgetting that he needed to act reasonably and be patient with Ruo Qing (because he, Nian He, was posing as Hao Tian). Also, the part where Ruo Qing almost jump from her hotel room showed that the other person talking to Ruo Qing was really Hao Tian (even without the flashbacks later on to explain the switch) because it was too obvious that Nian He couldn’t say all those words, trying to prove his love regardless of how hard he tried. (Well, he did try to be romantic and all during the proposal with the fireworks–with Ying Ying and Nai Xin’s help BUT that had taken a lot of effort.) Then there was also the part where Hao Tian was trying to protect Ruo Qing from Yu Ting’s attack in Ruo Qing’s office that one time, leading to him firing Yu Ting in the end. And how could anyone forget their interactions with Ding Bang? Nian He was so polite and was trying to pass by, even if he was more familiar with Ding Bang later on. Yet as Hao Tian, he was comfortable and looked like he was the other guy’s buddy, no awkwardness whatsoever. That was the same when their interactions were toward Da Chang, it was obvious who was the buddy, etc.
      • The Eyes SAID it all. I’m so serious here. Watch his eyes when he was looking at Ruo Qing or Ying Ying. Or when he was interacting with the others. It was just different.
      • Mischievous Level. Can’t blame Hao Tian too much since he was raised to act proper and professional at work. But it was a cue to distinguish between the two since Nian He was more laid-back and funnier at times. At home, they were about the same. OF COURSE, since it was off work and all. Oh yeah, Nian He was really boyish at times that it was really cute versus Hao Tian’s joking style was just different.
      • Tolerance Level toward Nai Xin. It was there. Though they both cared very much for Nai Xin throughout, Nian He was closer to Nai Xin than Hao Tian. Hao Tian seemed to be on the tolerance level with Nai Xin during the first three episodes. Though with the rescue scene at the bridge, we could tell why Nai Xin really stick to Hao Tian and really trust him, but he seemed to keep a safe distance from her otherwise. Nian He, though kept getting freaked out by her at first–because of some weird encounters, but soon really learned to get along with her and end up being even closer to her than Hao Tian. Maybe it was the way they were raised. The more obvious sign was during the scene where Ruo Qing told Hao Tian to go talk to Nai Xin when she (Nai Xin) came home all upset (because she had overheard stuff about her mother and the trouble her mother got into again), but Hao Tian was like saying, “Me?” Ruo Qing reminded him he was really close to Nai Xin and all, so he went upstairs and talked to Nai Xin. There was no doubt that they both really cared for Nai Xin as their cute little cousin, but it seemed like it was in Nian He’s nature to just go without being asked. Oh yeah, how could I forget that Nai Xin even said it herself that one time with how Hao Tian would always act all ‘cool’ in front of her even if they know each other for so long yet Nian He cared for her so much even though they just know each other in episode 8?
      • Experienced/Inexperienced. I got this one from episode 14’s business meeting. The way Nian He was kind of laid-back and uncertain about their new business plan (aka if he was able to help) versus Hao Tian’s confidence look distinguished their characters and how Eric had acted it out so convincingly. Hao Tian’s leadership capabilities and his confidence vibe could be seen not only from his attires but from his expressions and even the way he sat. Though after Hao Tian reassured Nian He that each of them would divide all the functions up among themselves, decreasing the workload and allowing their own areas of expertise to come into play, Nian He’s worried look was still present. Another way of looking at it was how they reacted differently in their own comfort zone or outside of it.
      • Hygiene, courtesy, and whatnot. Okay, I’m so not talking about how many showers they should take a day. I’m talking about the scene where Nian He and Da Chang were eating lunch (?) and Da Chang said that he had some information for Nian He so Nian He just wiped his hands on his pants before grabbing the files to read. WHAT?! LOL! Not in a million years would you see Hao Tian do that–regardless of at home or at work. And of course they were gentlemen so they would know how to act polite and proper at times, but it was just different. Repetitive, but it was just like how Eric and the rest of the production team must have thought of those tiny, subtle gestures to establish the twins’ personalities and habits because of the different environment they were brought up in.
  • Margaret Wang as Qiu Ying Ying (邱盈盈). Cute, kind, gentle, and understanding. YES, the typical girlfriend formula. Yet I didn’t find her boring at all. Perhaps it was because of her bravery and intelligence. Though possessing the typical personalities but it didn’t mean she didn’t have her stubborn moments because she DID get so mad at Nian He at times that it could be scary (to be him, lol). It made her character more interesting and real (aka not so one-dimensional). And since I’m talking about her somewhat scary side, I think it made me like her even more since she seemed to possess the ‘nagging’ girlfriend element with trying to get Nian He to get out of the situation (with posing as Hao Tian) in the beginning, mostly because she didn’t want him to get involved in their conflicts thus getting hurt as well, and also because who would want to see their boyfriend so close to some girl anyway, right? It made her real to not be sooooo freaking understanding that made it fake. BUT the plot allowed her to enter the Ke household to actually understand the situation and even putting in more emotions (i.e. sympathizing with the Ke family) before making the decision of supporting Nian He in being part of the conspiracy with helping them secure the position with the Bai family. It definitely sucked to be on the Bai’s side of being deceived (ESPECIALLY when no one in their right mind would want to be deceived), but it somehow made Ying Ying a braver person for being able to let go just like that. I meant she didn’t let go completely either because she agreed to help him with talking to his mother in letting him stay and help BUT thought they would eventually find a way to back out of it altogether, i.e. clarifying stuff with Ruo Qing. YET things were moving too fast and it seemed hopeless that Nian He could edge out. The most heartbreaking part was their last meeting when she finally told him to go ahead with the plan since she was willing to back down, seeing the seriousness of the situation pushing down on the Ke household. And to think she even went along with helping him further to secure his place during the proposal? Other characters would have left after giving her significant other the go on the plan (and couldn’t be blamed since it was too much to take after all), but Ying Ying had stayed and supported him even more, helping whenever she could. It was already so hard to give up on her chance of happiness, but to stick around seeing the upcoming events unfold? Took a lot of courage all right. Oh yeah, the other side of Ying Ying was how she was gentle as a nurse with much compassion and gentleness (of course) but she wasn’t just so off-work as well. Her character was still kind and nice, but she also had her wild side when allowed, and the little scenes where she was laughing with the others or pulling jokes as well. Those cute moments weren’t overdone either. But it actually defined her personality and showed us that she was just like each and every one of us, someone who reacted differently in different situations.
  • Cecilia Han Xue as Bai Ruo Qing (白若情). Mixed feelings. I found her character too dangerous at times. YES, I do understand she was driven to insanity at times and it was how she coped OR tried to cope at times. All of us have different ways to deal with pain. Yet I found it too dangerous with her ways and she was so easily driven to suicide. Her type of depression was seriously too nerve-racking. I guess it was the other side of her intelligent and calm nature when dealing with problems. YET when doubts were cast, she went all out. I found it scary, that was all. NOT that I don’t like her or don’t sympathize with her. I did pity her at times for her confusion throughout the first half of the drama, trying to figure out what was really going on with her life and Hao Tian. YET if looked at a different way, she could be one of those scheming, manipulative wife in the becoming IF she didn’t seek help in time. I’m so serious since she was sooo patient and calm each time she found out that Hao Tian might be cheating on her. (At least she tried to put up a front–before breaking down later on her own.) Other times, I find her somewhat similar to a porcelain doll. (I’m NOT talking about Cecilia, but the character so don’t misunderstand.) Perhaps it was because she was too fragile, not being able to handle problems at times. AGAIN, I don’t blame her since those emotional turmoils she went through were quite traumatizing but those little catalysts made it too nerve-racking to watch her at times, wondering when she would break down again. Acting? I guess Cecilia was convincing enough in portraying her character. NOT my favorite character of her but she pulled through with the role.
  • Viola Fang Yan Xin (方妍心) / Fang Shu Zhen (方數真) as Zhang Nai Xin (張乃馨). At first, I didn’t think much of her because I thought she was going to be the blind cousin throughout the drama. Yet that changed because her character was much more flowery than that. I must really compliment the actress for being so convincing. (AND also the directors and scriptwriters for giving her story more than just the initial parts.) She was actually quite intelligent than just the instincts she had while she was blind. Her attentiveness to details was really incredible, especially during the incident with Mr. Wan trying to find his ring. Then there was the courage she possessed, not backing down unless it was that traumatizing event linking to her step-father. That one scene at the bridge where Fang Fang had kidnapped her and tied her up, trying to lure Hao Tian out was really incredible and so touching. I’m not sure how to put it, call it that she couldn’t see anyway so she wasn’t afraid OR because she couldn’t see the unknown (aka falling down toward the water), but her persistence in begging Hao Tian to leave and not care for her was really brave. I’m so serious. It was so unexpected because most characters being captured would call out for help (AND I seriously don’t blame them since who wouldn’t be scared and who wouldn’t want to live–even the slightest chance?) YET Nai Xin didn’t. She had begged him to leave over and over again.
  • Chen Sha Li as Wang Yin Li (王銀麗). I remember the days of watching old TW soaps and seeing her in fierce roles. This one was semi-fierce since she had to be tough to keep everything intact within the household but she was so vulnerable as well (because of her age, obviously). She was quite intelligent for the most part, except for that one incident that had led to misunderstanding her daughter-in-law years ago. There goes the pattern with people’s blind spot when it came to personal matters. (But I don’t mind since everyone has to have some weakness or it would be too fake.)
  • Wang Dao as Ke Yao He (柯耀和).  What could I say about him except that he was convincing with appearing to be quite weak at first but became a stronger character later because the dramatic obstacle of his life got resolved already?
    • Xu Deng Ke (徐登科) as the young Yao He. For some reason, I couldn’t see the link. I meant sometimes you could see the similarities of the younger version and older version? I guess his somewhat intimidating appearance at first cast some doubt and lured us in because he was portrayed as somewhat arrogant with Bai Zong Yuan’s version of the story? Perhaps.
  • Wang Zhong Huang as Jian Shi Xin (簡士信). Despicable character but I guess someone had to do it. He was intimidating and suspicious at first all right. Yet when the dark curtain lifted and he was all out on the ‘evil’ deeds, it was even more frustrating. Of course, the plot had to plan for us to hate him. He was one of the reasons why I found it hard to accept some part of the ending (aka letting the others forgave that crazy old woman aka his mother). I meant she molded him into that type of person, right? And he harmed practically every member of the Ke family, including the attempted assault on Nai Xin so it was hard to just say ‘forget it’. Come on now, even if his mother was sworn sisters with Wang Yin Li.
  • Jing Ming Hua as Bai Zong Yuan (白宗源).The typical, cliche brother who thought that he should have inherited the fortune OR other stuff, etc. YUP, the typical jealous dude who thought the world owed him. But if the families didn’t have issues of their own, they wouldn’t fall for his tricks, eh? Well, his family wouldn’t have guessed it was him and I wouldn’t blame them. Especially how Mr. and Mrs. Bai (Ruo Qing’s parents) were quite sharp regarding him so they could be forgiven. But the other side? (I only give Nian He credit, LOL!) Anyway, we could say that Bai Zong Yuan was responsible for 50% of the misunderstandings in here. Honestly, he was that good and people still fell for it. Got to give the guy credit. His ending was shocking (since I wouldn’t guess that they would go all the way, considering how dramas nowadays love the ‘forgive’ theme) because how he accidentally killed his daughter in his haste to seek revenge. She didn’t deserve to die but he was the one responsible because he wouldn’t stop all his killing until he could ‘win’ back what was supposed to be ‘his’. AND we once again witness how scary it could be when ‘jealousy’ gets in the way.
    • Wang Rui Jian (王瑞劍) as the young Bai Zong Yuan. For some reason, okay–I got influenced because of Bai Zong Yuan’s story-telling, but the younger version of him looked more sincere? I don’t know. Perhaps that was the benefit of him telling the story at first so it made everything kind of vague, making us wanting to hold our judgment since we needed the other side’s words. Considering how Wang Yin Li could be so fierce at times, it was possible she was responsible for some of the stuff in the past, etc. But I guess Wang Rui Jian sure made it convincing with looking like a victim to mislead at first. (OR was that supposed to be his own version? He was the victim, etc.)

Other Major Cast/ Characters:

  • Zhou Shao Dong as Lao Ma (老馬). Ke family’s trusty servant. Sometimes, I wonder if he had a hidden agenda somewhere. Maybe it was paranoia on my part since I found it too good to be true that he was just one of those loyal servants. OR also having to do with finding out that Ding Bang wasn’t that ‘good’ like he let on. Yet it was interesting to see how his character was somewhat put in the dark until almost the end. I meant like I said already, he was loyal BUT sometimes, it seemed like he was up to something so that was sort of good to be kept in the dark until almost the end when we could see he was relaxing and joking along with the others as well.
  • Tang Jun Xi as Zhou Ding Bang (周定邦). Hao Tian’s supposedly good brother. A jealous idiot who got persuaded by Jian Shi Xin to join him in the whole conspiracy. I do understand that he felt so inferior alongside Hao Tian and only wanted his mother’s attention BUT he went WAY over with all the things he did. OR had all that jealousy blinded his vision? SO he realized Hao Tian was genuine when Hao Tian called the lawyer in to help him, but it seemed a bit rushed? OR it was like he said, he didn’t want to be locked up forever. And Hao Tian’s offer was too good to pass, right?
  • Ding Guo Lin as Ke Xiao Jing (柯曉菁). Another character who was trying to prove a thing or two in here. She was, of course, eventually used by Jian Shi Xian against the others–as well. Like she wasn’t used since the beginning with the marriage so Jian Shi Jian could enter the Ke family, but it was more obvious later on. AND she couldn’t totally be blamed since she really wanted to be acknowledged by her mother. Yet it seemed so OVER when she knew that she was being used BUT kept going? Well, always good to see her turn back later–and it took her daughter’s incident (with the fabricated story published in the gossip magazines) for her to muster some courage, but that seemed a bit too easy? I guess better than nothing since it would be too hard on Nai Xin if her mother didn’t turn around.
  • Gino as Zhang Zi Wen (張子文). Perhaps, because of his mother’s constant complaints about their grandma being partial to the uncle and eventually the uncle’s son so it influenced his mind. He wasn’t a bad person overall, but I guess he could be called as easily persuaded by others. And possibly somewhat of a player? Or more like love roaming around than taking things serious about their family business hence not really trusted with important matters.
  • Wang Jing as Bai Jia Wen (白嘉雯). I really, really hated her at the beginning since she kept playing those childish, bullying games. Not that I ended up liking her later since I tried to tune her out at other times, just focusing on the major plot for the most part. Yet I sort of pitied her later on. Though she was the jealous type, wanting to prove herself and seeking attention from Luo Bing Xian, but I must admire her stubbornness. I meant she wasn’t easily persuaded to fall for Zi Wen. Though that might or might not be better for her to just move on, she was persistent in what she did. Regardless of all the silly schemes she pulled throughout, I didn’t think she deserved death to pay for what she did. She was just another victim of her father’s blind hate. YET was that to punish her father?
  • Zhang Ming Ming as Luo Bing Xian (羅秉憲). I was really annoyed with him at the beginning. NOT because I was rooting for Hao Tian and Ruo Qing, but more like I hated his advances on Ruo Qing. He was trying to prove his love for her BUT realistically, it’s very scary in real life to encounter such traumatizing incidents. Yet I think I had to reconsider his character in the later parts. And that wasn’t because he ended up helping Ruo Qing near the end with the information, but more like he moved into the mixed feelings area along with the other characters. It was like he was too blind with his love to see that his method wasn’t proper toward Ruo Qing.
  • Huang Mei Ying (黃梅瑩) as Yang Qiu Yan (楊秋燕). Hao Tian and Nian He’s mother. I liked it that she was so hardworking and still have the little stall by the seaside. OKAY, so it was necessary that she worked and chipped in with the finances. It later became the key part where Yao He discovered her whereabouts again and had the confrontation, etc also. But I thought she didn’t have to really work, considering how Nian He was capable (even if he was trying to make ends meet at first). But it showed her down-to-earth nature with always wanting to stay active, even when she found out Nian He was already pretty well on his way within the Ke household. It proved that she wasn’t just in for the money, etc. (It proved that before with how she wanted Nian He to get out of the Ke family because of the past misunderstandings and she worried for Nian He’s safety. But what I found memorable was the actual scenes afterward with keeping it consistent that she still worked hard to earn money, etc.)
    • Li Ming Zhu (李明珠) as the young Qiu Yan. She looked so cute. No wonder the two guys were fighting over her. Well, Yao He wasn’t fighting BUT it was just Bai Zong Yuan’s one-sided love. YET I could see why she received attention from both.
  • Liu Zheng (劉政) as Ge Da Chang (葛大昌). Nian He’s good brother and somewhat of his side-kick (LOL). At first, I kept a look out for him too. I was too scared that he might turn, just like how Ding Bang did with some temptation. But he was loyal to Nian He, even to the end. Or there was the other side with the possibility of him blowing Nian He’s cover when they were around town and during that one time at the car shop. YET he even covered for Nian He (even if he wasn’t sure if he’d agreed with Nian He’s method).
  • Yuan Xiao Xu (袁曉旭) as Tao Qian Hui (陶芊慧). I seriously thought she was just there to be Da Chang’s girlfriend, and also Ying Ying and Ruo Qing’s good friend. When she framed Ying Ying and all, I was wondering what happened–since she didn’t seem to be the type to give in to pressure OR wanting a higher position hence targeting Ying Ying. YET I didn’t rule out the possibility that most characters in here were already weird/mysterious/having hidden agenda, SO I watched on seeing what would happen. After that little conflict was resolved, I knew her grandma knew something when she reacted strangely upon them mentioning some words, BUT didn’t realize the grandma was actually the mastermind AND Qian Hui played a major role in the conspiracy/revenge scheme. Okay, SO she didn’t want to harm anyone, but she still helped her grandma with delivering the pin at the beginning and then doing other things later. It appeared she was just a tool used to aid in the whole revenge plot (since she was NOT Yin Xin Yu’s grand-daughter). BUT possibly because of her guilt and having interacted with the others for a while, she helped them to stop her grandma in the end–and delaying the worst until help arrived. AND since they forgave Yin Xin Yu, her little aids here and there could be forgiven as well?
  • Cong Zhong Xiao (叢中笑) as Yin Xin Yu (陰心瑜). Jian Shi Xin’s mother, Qian Hui’s grandma. The mastermind behind all those schemes and conspiracy since the end of episode 3 and onward. Well, at least for the whole revenge plot on Jian Shi Xin’s side. I can’t even sympathize with her though learning of what happened and her hardship afterward. I’m serious. I meant it seemed she and Wang Yin Li either have such fake friendships that they couldn’t trust one another enough OR she was really paranoid. Because honestly, it was ridiculous so much happened before someone took it up to clarify matters. Or was that because she had to let her anger out before listening to anyone? Well, I do understand she had suffered a lot hence it was fusing her hate. YET it was too extreme if she hadn’t trust Wang Yin Li at all. How hard was it to just go and ask? Or she was afraid she would be off (aka getting killed off) as well if she just approached Wang Yin Li?

Supporting Cast:

  • Chen Jun Sheng as Shi San Shao (十三少). Hao Tian’s good friend and somewhat of an arch-enemy (LOL). I thought he was the bad guy at first. I’m so serious. Perhaps because of the intro scene where everyone was sooooo worried for Hao Tian and thinking that Shi San Shao was setting up some trap for Hao Tian. Yet he was just competitive–in the car racing/betting area. He actually was quite funny and a supportive, trustworthy friend. Funny how I thought he would get a major role as well. But he was just part of the intro scenes. It was all right. Since they got enough problems for the rest of the plot already. No need to include everyone–or drag it out even more.
  • AVA (錢帥君) as Ni Fang Fang (倪芳芳) aka Lin Xin Hui (林心卉). I know she had a very cruel past with witnessing her father being murdered right in front of her and her mother jumping from that one bridge. But I can’t seem to sympathize with her. Okay, I kind of sympathize with her after learning that she was avenging her parents’ deaths and NOT because of some senseless killing (since I guess they were bounty hunters at first). NOT because of the cruel killing techniques that were executed at times, but how she had treated Xuan Xuan later on–and insisting on killing Xuan Xuan to keep their secret. SURE, her devastating past had caused some trust issues in her, but after all Xuan Xuan did to help her avenge her parents’ deaths AND been there for her all those times, she had to pull that card on Xuan Xuan? Not to mention how she was punishing Stacia. Targeting her enemies and resorting to any type of method possible to avenge her parents was one thing BUT punishing those who had been there for her throughout? OR maybe I shouldn’t apply reasonableness to her case.
  • Qiao Ke Li (巧克力) as Pan Pan (潘潘). I hated her for her jealousy and her attacks on Xuan Xuan and Stacia, BUT didn’t hate her for her betrayal on Fang Fang. Why not? Honestly, Fang Fang had it coming and how Pan Pan was just covering for herself after knowing what could be done after all Xuan Xuan and Stacia did for Fang Fang. Though she, Pan Pan, had a hand in influencing Fang Fang’s actions toward Xuan Xuan and Stacia, Fang Fang was the leader SO she could overrule Pan Pan in those side attacks on Xuan Xuan and Stacia.
  • Angel Weng (翁子麒) as Stacia (史黛西). I found her kind of kiddish for their group yet I guess it made sense after learning her story. (I meant the actress looked too innocent for the role OR possibly too young but got the answer later as to why they gave her that image.) She was the only one treating Xuan Xuan like a friend and/or good sister, unlike the other two who were just saying it with their mouths, NOT acting like so. I was super frustrated with her death and wished it hadn’t occurred YET I guess it had to happen for some events to unfold, etc. NOT too unreasonable. At least the people who had a hand in her death got punished.
  • Cherry Hsia (夏如芝) as Xuan Xuan (宣宣). I can’t recall where I have last seen her in yet this role was all right. A mixture of gentleness and capabilities. I actually liked both of her bonds with Stacia and Nai Xin. Totally different types of bond yet it allowed us to see her character in another light, aside from the intimidating image she had at first (along with the other three during their intro scenes). I was so glad she didn’t die. I thought she would after being stabbed like that. Well, if she had died, it would be even harder for them all to forgive Fang Fang (regardless of whether it was just some misunderstanding or not).
  • Patrick Li (李沛旭) as Li Da Wei (李大衛). A different role from When Dolphin Met Cat and refreshing since we got to see him kind of dorky and clumsy in here versus his cool dude attitude in the other one. Convincing enough.
  • Hu Xiao Fang (胡曉芳) as Xie Xiao Tian (謝小甜). I found her cute until she got all bossy with Da Wei in trying to secure her job with helping Fang Fang. Yet I reminded myself that she didn’t know how much damage could be done. And indeed she was quite regretful when she learned what had happened.
  • Zhang Qin as Lin Sao (林嫂). Ni Fang Fang’s mother. So didn’t see it coming that she was Fang Fang’s mother. But it made sense. The only person who could stop Fang Fang from continuing on with her mistakes, AND not to mention how they needed the mother to clarify with Hao Tian having no involvement in the killing of the father.
  • Jian Jia Wei (簡家瑋) as Liao Qing Long (廖慶隆). I thought he was a match for Pan Pan with their exchange at the police station. However, I didn’t realize where the plot was going. Yet it wasn’t impossible and made the plot even more intense. Really hated him for killing Stacia. SO serious, I thought Stacia would have made it through if it wasn’t for him. But I guess they needed Pan Pan around to pull through with the conspiracy and finally his arrest with the higher authorities finding evidence, etc.
  • Ma Hui Zhen (馬惠珍) as Zhou Qing Shan (周晴珊) aka Qing Yi (晴姨). Ding Bang’s mother. I sort of suspected her throughout too. I SWEAR! I meant like how she was too kind and too nice, etc. AND how it was too good to be true that she didn’t know Ding Bang was involved in such conspiracy. YET not too unreasonable since the truth revealed near the end, and how Ding Bang wasn’t around her as much during those times so he had plenty of times to roam. She was indeed another loyal housekeeper.
  • You Yong (尤勇) as Bai Ruo Yao (白瑞堯). Ruo Qing’s father. Glad he wasn’t the dummy type. It’s mean, but I’m seriously getting sick of those characters that are too good to be true, especially when they’re within the business field and is still in the ‘naive’ side with thinking siblings can’t betray you, etc. Come on now, let’s get real. I mean okay, he’s a good person, but it doesn’t mean he would get fooled by his brother for pulling such acts, especially when he overheard the dude cooking up some plans with Nian He (even if Nian He was just trying to extract more info from Bai Zong Yuan).
  • Liu Jia (劉佳) as Zhang Zai Fen (張再芬). Ruo Qing’s mother. She’s average, I guess. I can’t say much since she doesn’t appear enough to form a strong opinion. But I guess I’m surprised they give her a stronger and active role within their business, accompanying her husband. It seems cool since she’s not just in the background, letting her husband do whatever.
  • Hao Xiao Yu (郝笑雨) as Zhang Qian (張倩). Jia Wen’s conspirator who was later arrested for bribery–among other things.
  • Cindy Mong (孟庭麗) as Feng Yi. She was one hilarious character all right. Loved her intro scenes and the craziness later with her son. I guess she was a breath of fresh air for the show since she and her son became the comic relief for some parts in between. I was also glad that they showed some of Ying Ying’s relatives too and others who supported Ying Ying (even if they had accidentally caused some incidents to unfold).
  • Leo Ding as Yang Xian Yong. Ying Ying’s cousin. A silly dude overall, lol. Very rash at times hence the misunderstanding at the beginning. Yet had a good heart overall.
  • Li Yi Juan (李宜娟) as Jiang Qiao Ping (姜巧萍). One of the front desk clerks. I needed a second watch to remember her. She added to the group of receptionists and their bond at times, even if they were just cooperating for the necessary duties. Yet I would take anyone over Yu Ting at this point.
  • Liza Wang (王心宜) as Ma Xin Yi (馬心儀). Ying Ying’s friend. She was cute and understanding. And if it wasn’t for her, Hao Tian wouldn’t be alive (considering how Ding Bang was trying to finish his job at the hospital). But what I felt kind of irked with her was not stopping her cousin (aka Yu Ting) from jumping into Hao Tian when he lost his memory. OKAY, so there was a possibility that Hao Tian might not remember (if it were real-life situation) so moving on with his life was something they couldn’t change. However, he was a man with a past, she really wanted to risk it? At least tell him the truth so he wouldn’t be so clueless. It wouldn’t change anything since he couldn’t remember, but at least he knows somewhat and make the decision for himself. But keeping him in the blind and knowing what could happen? (I like to blame Yu Ting AND yes, I hate that desperate girl, but Xin Yi should take some of the blame for the damage afterward since she knows.)
  • Vicky Tseng as Zeng Yu Ting (曾玉婷). I found it sooo hard to sympathize with her though I know what happened in the past while Hao Tian lost his memory was hard to let go after he regained his memory and returned to his normal life again. YES, she was just stubborn and so into Hao Tian that it was hard to let go SO she practically blocked out the reasonable side of her to win Hao Tian back (as she claimed). But it was really hard to sympathize with her. NOT just because Ruo Qing was the fiancee and Hao Tian only loved Ruo Qing, BUT more like Yu Ting’s attitude. Also, how desperate was that to just throw herself toward Hao Tian when she knew his true identity? Or was that intentional? That was uncalled for with me thinking of her like that, but I couldn’t help it. It didn’t matter that she finally understood Ruo Qing and clarified matters later, still didn’t like her. Was just glad she was finally out of the picture. But I think she brought it upon herself with her downfall since Hao Tian said it was one thing with causing trouble for him, but for the hotel businesses?
  • STACY as Zhang Lin Lin (張琳琳). She really had style. One of the funniest parts was how she was saying they had to help Lu Bao to look her best (aka restoring her confidence). Then she launched into saying how they should make Lu Bao look so beautiful that even her husband would regret in abandoning her. AND the priceless part was adding in some comments about men, which got the majority’s reaction, LOL! (Since most of the people sitting at the meeting were men, lol.)
  • Zhan Wei Zhong (詹惟中) as Wang Wei (王威). Lin Lin’s best friend and was considered to understand her the most (and didn’t mind her comment about ‘men’, lol). At first, I thought he was quite weird and wonder if he was up to something. But was reassured later. Guess those artists do have some kind of weirdness within them, eh? LOL!
  • Yang Zhong En as Wang Bo Lin (王柏林). Strict and seemed to have some beef with life in general or something. Well, at first when he appeared and somewhat of his attitude were seen. When his story revealed, it was refreshing in a sense because haven’t seen a character that cared so much about the actual person instead of just caring about making money of the occupation. And in a way, that was why he refused to take Jian’s offer though Jian was supposed to be his classmate once upon a time. Had his principles yet could loosen up with the people who actually respect and care for his family–and friends.
  • Zheng Ping Jun (鄭平君) as Wang Bo Song (王柏松). Wang Bo Lin’s older brother. I found it hard that he wasn’t mad at his brother for such actions as it often happened with other overly dramatic series. Yet I guess it wasn’t too unbelievable because they were family after all and they had to look at the positive no matter what, trying to stick together. Especially his brother had already turned a new leaf and worked hard.
  • Yue Ting (岳庭) as Yang Lin Hui Lan (王林慧蘭). Wang Bo Song’s wife. I guess her sacrifice was worth it since the younger brother was no longer as stubborn? Yet it was so sad with her having to cover up when she went out. Glad she got her wish and had a little makeover that one time. But most importantly, she found the courage to look forward, regaining her confidence.
  • Yu Cai En (余采恩) as Wang Wan Jun (王婉君). Wang Bo Song and Yang Lin Hui Lan’s daughter. Cute. She didn’t appear much so it was hard to say, lol. But she worked at the beauty/makeover center of the hotel with her uncle. Professional enough and likable also.
  • Mishelle Wang as Hu Li Ming (胡莉茗) aka Lu Bao (綠寶). Didn’t realize she also had a story of her own since I thought they were just three really weird rich people (who were quite paranoid). Still nice to see the story between her and her son.
  • Chen Wei Han (陳威翰) as Jiang Yi Lin (蔣亦霖). I had a feeling he was linked to some other story aside from just being there for a little makeover to cheer his dad up. Guessed right but didn’t realize he was Lu Bao’s son until when they pulled up to that one house.
  • Chen Ping (陳萍) as Chanel aka Lan Bao (藍寶). Somewhat in the crazy category. But I guess she had to protect herself by pulling some tricks on people, lol.
  • Cai Jia Hong (蔡佳宏) as Christine aka Bai Zhen (白鉆). She completed the group of three, of course. And same as the other two, kind of crazy and paranoid at times but I guess their bonds do convince with how they were so worried for Lu Bao that one time.

Friendships:

  • Hao Tian and Shi San Shao. I found their rivalry kind of funny. But I guess that was one of those typical guy thing with wanting to compete BUT still kept some type of bond. The scene where Shi San Shao rejected Fang Fang’s offer really illustrated their friendship. In fact, Shi San Shao was right in clarifying the matter with how he wanted to marry Fang Fang because he loved her AND not wanting it to become some sort of transaction. So Hao Tian’s trust in him wasn’t for nothing after all. Also, when they were hiding at his house that one time, Shi San Shao didn’t even disclose of their whereabouts. (Though I was shocked at first to learn Shi San Shao would tell Fang Fang YET it was just Fang Fang’s excuse to come and check on them–and eventually try to make a move with setting the trap to kill Hao Tian.)
  • Hao Tian and Ding Bang. They were sort of like brothers. Too bad Ding Bang couldn’t see it–with him feeling inferior to Hao Tian, because of his mother’s partial to Hao Tian. OR at least it was from his point of view. Hao Tian indeed treated him like a good brother and even trusted him, too much actually. If not, why would he agree to race like that thus leading to his downfall (temporarily)? Then afterward when Hao Tian returned, he even greeted Ding Bang enthusiastically (after he clarified to the others about the plots with the switch-over again) and didn’t even doubt Ding Bang at all with having a hand in the whole car accident.
  • Nian He and Da Chang. My favorite team in here. They were so funny together–with their schemes and all. I thought Da Chang would ruin it for Nian He with his smart-mouth and all. Yet he managed to keep it a secret (for the most part) and tried to cover for Nian He as best as he could (as mentioned before). He later became the person who went around searching for information here and there. One of the scenes that I thought he might get ‘off’ was, of course, the part where he sneaked into Bai Zong Yuan’s office to plant the chip. Since Bai Zong Yuan already showed his capability when he tried to kill the car shop owner SO that was why I felt quite nerve-racking in watching that scene.
  • Ying Ying, Ruo Qing, and Qian Hui. I don’t know. I thought they were kind of fun at first and another group of friends to look forward to since the girl side needed some type of group too. Yet it seemed kind of loose later on.
  • Ying Ying and Nai Xin. I felt their chemistry with the friendship more. Though Ying Ying was supposed to be the nurse who looked after Nai Xin at first hence being protective of her in the later parts as well. Yet their bond was really genuine, especially the part where they arranged the fireworks in order to help Nian He with his proposal to Ruo Qing. (OF COURSE, Nian He was posing as Hao Tian at that time.) Then there were various points throughout that they really stuck together, supporting one another in time of need. Like Nai Xin would try to cheer Ying Ying up when Ruo Qing misunderstood her or when Nai Xin was feeling down because of how her mother was causing trouble all around.

Couples:

  • Eric Huang and Margaret Wang as Yang Nian He and Qiu Ying Ying. Both cute and addicting to watch. And could be quite touching at times too. What I loved the most about their interaction was a mixture of seriousness and cuteness. It was like they have their secret language with what real-life couples would often have (and sometimes end up that way over the years after they were married). It was like they say a word or two or just a sign or an expression and the other got it. They had a way with communicating that convinced us that they were together, not just the usual ‘I Love You’ spread all over or the overly mushy stuff to convince us they were a couple. (YES, I’m rolling my eyes right now at those scenes often seen in the other dramas.) She often played the devil’s advocate, trying to wake him up in certain matters, such as how serious things were within the Ke family (when she finally found out he was posing as Hao Tian). Though it was the only way he could get the money for his mother’s medical fees but Ying Ying was quite level headed and often kept him in check regarding the whole matter and how complicated it was, not just a little deal and he would be done afterward. Though she soon gave in and ended up helping him all the way later on, it wasn’t like she was just blindly jumping in but she understood the situation quite well or could sympathize with the Ke family, etc. The only time that I found it kind of ridiculous with their interaction was how they were hugging in Ruo Qing’s office and got caught (though Ruo Qing didn’t say anything at all). I meant, come on now, common sense? It wasn’t like it was in his office and Ruo Qing came in somehow and saw them, BUT it was Ruo Qing’s office. I guess the scriptwriters needed more problems to occur so they made it like that. BUT that was so out of characters. Though it could explain they were so comfortable with talking with one another that they forgot, etc. YET they should understand they were at work, NOT home. Anyway, their relationship wasn’t just him protecting her but at times, he needed a shoulder to cry on too–not literally, but more like some sort of silent support and cheering him on. Their roles were reversed at times, so it wasn’t just about who was protecting whom. They were at the same level.
  • Eric Huang and Cecilia Han as Ke Hao Tian and Bai Ruo Qing. More reserved than the other couple, except several rare times. Mostly because of their background so it was hard to blame them for being so formal at times. But they didn’t lack chemistry because of those factors. Not to mention how her feelings for Hao Tian were already magnetized during the times she thought Nian He was Hao Tian (like some of the others had thought as well).
  • Liu Zheng and Yuan Xiao Xu as Ge Da Chang and Tao Qian Hui. They were all right for me at first. But I found them kind of cute too later, especially near the ending. I like it that they also had a part at the wedding since like the mother said that Da Chang was sort of a brother to Nian He so it was natural to include him and Qian Hui too.
  • Leo Ding and Fang Shu Zhen as Xian Yong and Nai Xin. They were really funny all right. The misunderstanding at his intro scene was quite funny–after things were sorted out, of course. Since I thought Nai Xin was really unlucky to encounter such a matter after she started her new life. YET it ended up being quite silly because Xian Yong had misunderstood and thought Nai Xin was Ruo Qing. She sure was strong for such a petite girl! LOL! (I guess we shouldn’t underestimate her.) Anyway, her daydreaming that one time with him saving her in an ancient setting was really funny! She was really cute in that outfit though and he was more silly than brave in that rescue scene. They probably will end up together, right? I meant she did catch the bouquet of flowers. LOL!

Likes:

  • The theme songs. I had to rely on the subtitles because I don’t understand the dialect that well, but I liked those songs while watching.
  • Make-up. YES, I had to put this in because it seemed like it was overly done in other dramas. I thought they gave the right touch in here, especially the male population. There were times in other dramas I wonder IF it was done on purpose or just poorly done. Of course, we all know all of the cast has to wear makeup for the filming, etc BUT when it gets so noticeable with the guys, it starts to become disturbing. Unless it was intentional for exaggeration of personalities, it just seemed ODD with so much powder/make-up on some people’s faces. Skin colors were more noticeable in here SO they managed to tone it down for make-up in this one, helping the drama projecting a more serious image as an overall. Kudos to the production team on this one.
  • Intelligence Level/ Common Sense. YUP, the fact that the majority in here weren’t idiots. I’m so serious here. It was like from some other dramas, they loved torturing themselves into those troubles by letting others harm them. Though the characters in here weren’t flawless (because that would be unrealistic), but they weren’t that clueless either. Unless it was some personal matters at times or weak spots, they seemed to be intelligent for the most part. At least for most of the main cast.
Goofs/Oops/Annoying Parts/Whatever Else:
  • Flashbacks. I think it was helpful while it was airing because after some lapses between episodes and time it was aired, viewers would forget the details and needed it as reminders BUT since I watched it in one go, it was a pain to me at times. ‘Cause some of them kept repeating AND at a great length (TO ME) so it was bugging me at times and driving my patience insane.
  • Yu Ting’s schemes. YES, they needed more plot development for Hao Tian after he returned YET I found it quite annoying with those parts, especially the one he ended up at her house that one night AND fell right into her trap. I know he felt guilty for what he did while he lost his memory and wanted to make up to her–with what he could do. BUT what he could have done with picking up some items would be bringing Ruo Qing with him SO there was no way anyone would misunderstand him. Some of Yu Ting’s schemes later backfired on her YET I found some scenes still annoying. It made sense and what she did drove the plot forward but it was sooo annoying. I so agreed with Ruo Qing that Hao Tian was asking for trouble when agreeing to let Yu Ting work at the hotel.
  • Jia Wen’s death scene. I think they (the scriptwriters) really wanted to kill Jia Wen because NO ONE yelled out for others to call 911 OR some sort of emergency unit to come right away. It took Bai Zong Yuan to yell for them to call? WOW! They seriously cared for her all right. Well, it could be that they were too shocked with the turn of events YET it seemed out of place since they managed to keep it consistent throughout with other scenes where emergency vehicles/help were needed SO why the goof-up this one time? That was why I came up with the conclusion that the scriptwriters really wanted to kill Jia Wen. It wasn’t like it was a surprise since Bai Zong Yuan had it coming AND they were too far out (as in current location) to get to the hospital in time. YET it would make sense to call right away, NOT until Bai Zong Yuan yell at them.
  • The Ending. NO, I don’t dislike weddings or happy endings. I meant the clarifications and the tie-in near the end in this situation. Honestly? They put us through 17 episodes of that just because of some lame misunderstanding? I do understand some small matter could turn into BIG right away IF it was interpreted differently or just through assumptions, but that was lame all right. With all the deaths and torturing that most characters went through, you would think there would be some other explanation. But I guess sometimes it was just that lame. That was life. AND maybe because I had the feeling they sort of got together and sang the ‘Barney song’ SO I was kind of stumped with such a finale. But I guess if it wasn’t for such misunderstanding and so many schemes, the Ke family wouldn’t resolve some of their own misunderstandings and reunite once again.

Moral of the story? People need to work on their communication skills AND trust issues. YES, I honestly thought that was what it was all about here. Because 90% of the problems in here occurred because of some sort of misunderstanding. Sometimes, things couldn’t be thoroughly investigated, but maybe some sort of direct communication could help the case. I could draw up a list too! (LOL!)

  • The misunderstanding between Ni Fang Fang and Ke Hao Tian. More like her thinking that he was the mastermind behind her parents’ deaths. BUT how hard was it to confront him? What could go wrong? She could always kill him anyway. Like she wasn’t capable.
  • The misunderstanding between Wang Yin Li, Ke Yao He, and Yang Qiu Yan. It was manipulated by Bai Zong Yuan. BUT still…crazy. NOT too far-fetched, but still crazy that they listened to outsiders more than their family? Like seriously? Nian He nailed it when he said they shouldn’t listen to Bai Zong Yuan and NOT trust one another. (YES, he literally said, “We shouldn’t trust outsiders, but should be trusting our family.”)
  • The misunderstanding between Wang Yin Li and her daughter, Ke Xiao Jing. Another attention seeking situation. But it was there with Xiao Jing trying to prove herself to her mother. Seeking attention wasn’t wrong since it was her mother after all, BUT that had led her into doing damage to the already-sinking ship (aka their business). Perhaps this one was harder to resolve since it was ongoing since she was young and I don’t blame her for feeling that way.
  • The misunderstanding between Wang Bo Lin and Hao Tian and the others within the business. OKAY, this one couldn’t be helped because Yu Ting did it to sabotage Ruo Qing and the rest of the team out of jealousy and childishness. But it was still another misunderstanding within all those other problems they had to take care of. Lucky Mr. Wang told Hao Tian when he finally got a chance during their departure that night at the Wang resident. One of those less frustrating moments because it was short-lived.
  • The misunderstanding between Hu Li Ming and her husband. YES, the man couldn’t help it that he found out he had an incurable disease BUT he couldn’t muster up the courage to ask his wife who the other dude was? It wasn’t like he was spying on her BUT was just there to pick her up from the appointment and saw them. SO he could just ask. It was a harmless, curious question. OR he was too into the morbid-land after finding out about his disease that he didn’t care to ask or clarify matters anymore? I don’t know.
  • Ding Bang misunderstood his mother with only loving Hao Tian AND NOT him. Since he thought the reason why he wasn’t receiving enough attention was because he wasn’t her son. NOT really. But seriously? He was just too filled with hatred and allowing his assumptions to fill in the gaps without caring to ask the mother. OR perhaps, he had been subjected to hearing about Hao Tian that he went nuts? OH WELL, but that was too lame, considering the Ke family was so nice to him, trusting him to handle most of their important stuff, etc.
  • Yin Xin Yu misunderstood Wang Yin Li for betraying her because of that one incident. The little misunderstanding that had affected so many people’s lives. YES, it wasn’t too out of it since the coincidences were too much. But if some sort of confrontation had taken place ages back, that would prevent some matters from occurring. We wouldn’t even have a drama to watch IF it was that easy, BUT seriously? How hard was it to confront someone you declared to be your sworn sister? GREAT…

NOT saying that I hated the series by listing the above points but found that formula the most obvious for the overall story.

Recommended? Your choice. I enjoyed it for the majority of the time. It took me four days (minus all the time I needed to get on with real-life stuff) to watch which was a new record for a 20-episode drama. BUT then again, I’m weird like that to choose certain dramas over others SO my opinions could not be trusted anyway.