When Dolphin Met Cat

I finally decided to watch this for two reasons: (1) because it’s old and (2) because I just felt like it. Sometimes watching random ones interest me more than the current or most recent ones with so much hype surrounding it. So how was it? At first, I thought it was like one of those dramas that should have never been made. YES, that terrible. Not because I was impatient–though it partially had to do with that. They had a good foundation with establishing so many different characters for the main cast/characters yet they ruined it by adding in all the cliche formulas and dragged it until it was so unbearable. The reason why I even stuck around until the end was because I wanted to see how much more pathetic it was and I was in the hope of seeing how the ending was or if the ending made sense at all. And I was glad I stuck behind since afterward, the more I thought about it, it wasn’t as bad. In fact, it made a lot more sense than some other dramas out there. But maybe there was some better way to approach some topics versus how it sort of scattered all over the place at one point or another. And because of my frustration throughout, I decided to revamp the previous version of my review to a more appropriate context. It still sounded harsh but I had tried really hard to edit out some comments and consider the first version to just be some notes. Though I did keep some stuff from the previous versions, like specific scenes because I felt it was necessary or if it was hilarious to mention.

So what about the main cast?

  • Eddie Peng as Xu Wei (徐蔚). Wei just recently lost his best friend and then his grandfather so he had disconnected himself from all his friends, leaving to a place called Hua Lian. After listening to his story about how his name came about, I wanted to hug him. NOT just because he was portrayed by Eddie BUT that was just too sad. (Then it makes one think of arranged marriage and all those crap. But still NOT an excuse to cheat or whatever else that his father did. If the father didn’t like it, then leave NOT wait and harm someone else and then acted all pitiful. Considering this day and age, it’s ridiculous to say he didn’t have any control over things.) Wei was so passive for the majority of the drama and it made sense because of what happened yet when he finally opened up (and some flashback scenes), he was pretty normal. Eddie was able to convince with his passive nature and at times the stubborn nature. Then there was the kind-hearted one as well. Eddie was able to capture these elements and made the character more interesting and easier to relate to. However, just to be fair to others in here, I even got quite annoyed with him and possibly of character inconsistency at various points but his acting didn’t waver.
  • Angela Chang as Ning Ying Zi (甯英子). Losing two friends–one to death and the other to depression, she had no choice but to leave after the failed attempt to talk to Xu Wei. I can’t make up my mind to like her or not because of how I was slightly annoyed (or possibly very annoyed) that she confided to Ying Ying so easily of the three’s friendship. (Since it would be too unfair to pick on Ying Ying only when Ying Zi was the one telling the story.) Then there was also the whole entrusting the task of handing over some of Wang Hai’s belongings to Xu Wei. It was too much for me to bear. Yet I tried to hang on. On other things though, she seriously appeared so little for the main lead. I wished she was more involved in the plot though. Or was Angela’s schedule too busy? Because if Ying Zi loved him, she would have been more persistent and would try to go through the harsh times with him, not leaving like that and let some other girl do all the deeds. It could only be explained that Angela was busy AND not because Ying Zi was so lame like that. It was honestly too extreme to have her return like around episode 10. Like honestly? The story was almost over. But I swear, the words she said at the pier that night was worth more tears than anyone’s combined in the last ten episodes. YES, probably bias but I swear I found her more sincere than the rest for some reason. NOT just because I’m a fan since I was really annoyed by her character too or the scriptwriters for making it seemed so strange that she was gone for soooo long. But then when some details were filled in again, I wanted to forgive her for giving up that one time. Favoritism? No, more like it had been years since Wang Hai passed away so that meant Ying Zi had been trying and trying all these years and then somehow the story just got moved forward and focused more on the others, especially more on Xu Wei’s healing process than hers. But I still find it so disturbing she confided to Ying Ying that one time. It made sense that she told Ah Wen many things since she was going crazy (almost) and how they both thought Xu Wei didn’t make it hence the rambling on. Yet with Ying Ying that one time? Didn’t make sense.
  • Joelle Lu as Joelle Su Ting (蘇婷). Funny that they were being lazy and used her real English name in here. But that was okay. I found her graceful and composed in here. Kind of a different role for Joelle. I meant I saw her in more of the rouge or daring roles than this type of roles. But I guess it was the typical businesswoman role so can’t have the “too many wild” of a side to her. AND being a businesswoman didn’t dull her character either because there was this mysterious side to her that showed somewhat in episode 4, making us wonder behind that hardworking attitude of hers. Man, mad graceful! Yup, I loved the scene in the rain with Peter in episode 7 where she let go of the umbrella. Like I thought she would somehow cave in since most characters in here have disappointed me already. Yet she was the only one keeping firm on her words and meaning it. Not to mention how she didn’t cave in either when he attempted to hug her. She actually told him off and walked away. Sure, she loved him deeply but she wasn’t so blinded after being hurt for so long. He had better jump some hoops to win her heart over again.
  • Ken Chang as Tang Zhong Yue (唐中嶽). Nicknamed Tang Tang by close friends. A typical poor, rich guy role. Yet he always wanted to learn how to make Western desserts and served as an apprentice under a famous chef. His recent plot consisted of swapping identity with his best friend Shao Peng so they could fulfill their wishes within three months. Being spoiled and talented at the same time was a dangerous formula. Yet I found him entertaining to watch in many ways since he always managed to come up with some schemes to get his way. Being a young master made him annoying at times yet it was somewhat hilarious as well. I thought it had to do with Ken’s acting and his ability to exude his charm since I was about to give up on him at times in the beginning, but he managed to make it work as the story went along. What I found the most annoying about him (yes, that was the part where I was struggling whether to like him or hate him or just let him stay in the middle) was how he promised Alice to give the chief chef the ingredients/recipe for the order YET he didn’t deliver. What the heck? That was so irresponsible and he still dared brag about his abilities. Should I give him more points for hating on Peter? I swear he was so funny talking on and on about how much he hated that dude. LOL! Or more like he was saying how that dude would use such despicable ways to climb the ladder. Yet wasn’t he using his connections too? OR was it because using someone with the whole ‘love’ thing was more wrong? Who knows. Great performance overall.
  • Ben Bai as Peter (徐永達). OMG! How could he do that? It didn’t make it any better that he loved Su Ting the most, BUT using others to get his ways? It didn’t matter if the other girl had flirted with him or not. He had no right to take advantage of her like that. AND I think I must give Ah Ben credit for his acting since I really wanted to beat him up so much throughout. Yet I almost felt like those idiots deserved it all with being deceived by him, especially Shao Peng. And not to mention how Ah Ben was so convincing during the last few episodes of how he was really sincere and dedicated to Su Ting. I meant I wouldn’t want to root for the evilness that much, but then I thought Ah Ben did quite a job of acting that looked quite sincere in the later parts. So he used some underhand techniques, but wasn’t he fighting for his love? Not like people who would just say stuff yet didn’t do anything. I’m not encouraging evil ways. But I’m just saying just because someone had used the wrong method before doesn’t mean they should be condemned forever. Someone else had to fall for it, right? It made him less fake because he was willing to admit later on how he had done all of those things–and for the first time in the history of the fictional world, it was really for Su Ting. NOT like how it was tossed around by the evil guy as an excuse.
  • Ke Yu Lun (柯宇綸) as Wei Shao Peng (魏少朋). An unlucky guy who wanted to enter hotel management and was quite hardworking in improving his English. Got lured in by his best friend Tang Tang to swap identities but he found it impossible and didn’t want to use that type of connections to learn. I was so annoyed with him during episode 5 and 6 from time to time. YES, he had every right to be frustrated and mad at Tang Tang and himself or whoever else since he made the wrong choice when joining in the conspiracy. YET did he have to mix with Peter? Honestly! Sometimes, I think he deserved to be tricked. HONESTLY! So frustrating. By episode 8, I wanted to personally drown him! GOD! How could he reveal Tang Tang’s password to Peter? YES, definitely demoting him to the 18th Level of Hell. Honestly, that was sooooo dumb. Tang Tang trusted in him AND he went and gave away Tang Tang’s password just like that? Too bitter, didn’t fight but would want to reap. (His tossing the wedding invitation away.) Though by the time I got the pieces of the puzzles and could sympathy with Peter more, his actions during those times in the middle were quite frustrating. It was like he didn’t know who to trust or trust so easily that he fell for the prey but didn’t blame himself. Just blame other people. How old was he? So naive. Though there were other characters in here who had quite a gentle heart too but I felt he was the weakest in not knowing how to take care of himself. Who could he blame but himself then?
  • Monie Tung as Li Nian Ying (李念英). Tang Tang’s childhood crush. A hardworking person. At first, I felt like I liked her. Maybe because it was from Tang Tang’s point of view and obsession. Yet somehow, I found her too trying and annoying later on. Maybe it was because of Xu Wei’s point of view and passiveness toward the people around him. AND not to mention how it was annoying and beyond nosy that she was spying on Xu Wei and Ying Zi’s conversation when the two met again. I meant okay, it was an accident at first since they just happened to be standing in front of her place. YET what about when she knew? She kept eavesdropping and made it her business when it wasn’t. Then out came the story with their friendship (aka Xu Wei, Ying Zi, and Wang Hai). So I could blame Ying Zi for telling Ying Ying about it, BUT that was an annoying scene all right. I love to learn more about the friendship YET not through that conversation. I felt it would be better if Xu Wei told it instead. OR it would be too much of his bias and grief-stricken words than the actual truth? AND sticking in the fact that Ying Ying had this incurable disease didn’t get sympathy points from me. I don’t know. I felt her character too cliche and her acting didn’t bring it out either. Talking about acting, I felt she looked too bored–regardless if she tried to keep the sincere smile on her face or not–when Ying Zi was telling her the story. Maybe she didn’t want to listen but it contradicted her nosy glances earlier. Maybe if it was some other girl portraying this role, she might bring out the character better. I don’t know. AND maybe having Ying Zi tell the story to Su Ting would be more relevant and making the scene much more meaningful. I meant I know Ying Ying had to find out somehow BUT Monie’s expressions were not convincing enough. Having Joelle and Angela doing that scene might be better because I’m sure Su Ting would be as worried for Xu Wei after that strange encounter. YUP, I could see more and more of Ying Ying’s nosy nature showing as she tried to probe into Xu Wei’s life, NOT compassion or sincerity. Though I know the character possessed those two personalities. I just can’t see it the way Monie portrayed it. She was trying too hard to be cute and charming. AND I think Xu Wei nailed it when he finally told it to her face that she was too nosy. Honestly, she WAS. The fake bomb incident proved her nosy nature even more. GOD, when will she stop meddling in places that did not concern her? What was with her lecturing others? Okay, so she was concerned for Shao Peng and all BUT I found it annoying that she kept interfering with others’ businesses. By the time she was congratulating Xu Wei about his acceptance into the dolphin place, I had no idea if the character was too trying or Monie was too trying BECAUSE honestly, it was just too trying no matter how you looked at it. Trying to make conversation, trying to be nice, you name it. Trying to be those things so she could probe even more. If she was so kind and nice and loved helping others, there were millions out there, NOT just Xu Wei so that excuse didn’t slide with me regarding her character. YUP, she didn’t know when to stop, honestly. Like Xu Wei said “goodnight” all these times and she still didn’t get it, kept trying and trying and trying to the point that he finally walked away. I was glad he dropped his polite attempt altogether. There was no point talking to her anyway. And she still dared to call him “Weirdo”? He didn’t ask her to care. YUP, 200% nosy all right. Honestly, I really hate to pick on her all the time but the signs were showing and showing even more that it was hard to ignore. I’m serious, the part where she let it loose with Sky liking Quan Ge when she picked up the cake for Sky from Alice was just too much. OMG, I can’t figure out her personality anymore. I meant I know it was good that her personality wasn’t so one-sided or too one-layered, BUT it was annoying that it seemed too fake with so much liveliness in it at times YET so freaking gentle that it was corny at other moments. Now that I got started, what else was there to pick about? Honestly, stop wearing so thin of clothing. It’s really cliche. I hate that the most in dramas ’cause though it seems romantic or manly that some guy takes his jacket off for the girl, etc BUT it’s so cliche and makes the girl dumb since she doesn’t know or seem to own a coat or is brainless or something. I’m sure it wasn’t Monie’s fault ’cause she had to follow the script with this stuff, but I’m hinting at the scriptwriter and director for making such a lame character by adding that. LAME! AND just when I thought I was done, there was the littering thing with the can. Sure, she wasn’t tossing the can somewhere on the floor/ground YET it still qualified as littering when she left it there. YEAH, I get it that the purpose was to inform Xu Wei she was there, but so what? Better find another technique. Blame the director and scriptwriter again since they had to use that method. With all those rants, maybe I should compliment her a little AND because I honestly want to–not because I’m trying to make up for my picking on her character. What was good about her? Or at least what made me like her–if just a little? Her persistent in keeping a distance from Tang Tang and other men who she wasn’t interested in. Maybe that was more admirable than just flirting–or seemed to be treating everyone the same, causing even more misunderstandings. YES, often the supposedly kind and nice girl would have that wishy-washy personality that would drive us insane by creating even more misunderstandings. Yet she tried to stay away from others–even if that meant sad for Tang Tang, but she wasn’t so clueless as to think everyone could be friends. YES, she tried to stand up for Shao Peng and tell Tang Tang to stop with his schemes, but she wasn’t acting all close with both guys versus her wanting to be close to Xu Wei. Though I found it quite annoying since I wasn’t rooting for her regarding Xu Wei, but must give her points for NOT making it even more confusing as to who she liked. AND for being known as a considerate, kind, and nice person I don’t know how she could be so inconsiderate of others, especially about Quan Ge’s situation. I wanted to slap her so much (YES, no longer care about restraining to pick on her because I quit) in the beginning of episode 8 when she begged Quan Ge to start the “not bringing An An over tomorrow” instead of like Quan Ge planned. So Ah Wen forgot to tell her, BUT Quan Ge had his difficulties too. He can’t just back off every single time. It didn’t matter what her relationship status was like at that moment OR who she liked since that was her life. YET wanting others to cave in to her every demand was ridiculous. She looked like she was remembering her script in episode 14 when Xu Wei asked her about Tang Tang taking her to the States for treatment? *shrugs* I don’t know why since I usually like the multi-dimensional girl yet I can’t seem to figure her out because she was all over the place. I think it wouldn’t be too much if I pick on both Monie and the script. So she can’t change it but the way she portrayed it made it hard to sympathize with her or see how she was. And the script didn’t help either with trying to squeeze everything in. Other actors/actresses in here, even Ke Yu Lun (though his character was quite annoying because I hate that type of cowardly character) managed to be convincing in portraying his character more. And her character wasn’t supposed to be that annoying–as oppose to Shao Peng–yet she couldn’t convince? So I’m not just picking on her here. I did consider the other characters/actors too.
  • Patrick Li (李沛旭) as Ah Wen (阿文). Kind of rouge but I guess he had his ways hence Quan Ge still keeping him around. Then I found him kind of interesting as well with his righteous streak at times. I thought he was some sort of bully at first for picking on the newbie yet there was this side of him that came out and it showed that he was just protecting himself and his principles from being disturbed by others. Then I took his points away again by episode 8 because he didn’t trust Quan Ge enough. He was blinded by his own biases and how he didn’t get the Japan position. Was Quan Ge wrong? He honestly wanted to go there? And not to mention how he accused Quan Ge of such things like sucking up to others. YES, Quan Ge wanted to break Xu Wei and Ying Ying up but that wasn’t the whole story. He was so biased that he assumed away instead of asking directly or investigate further. (If he wanted to go that far.) Then I reconsidered and forgave him again. Like perhaps his rash actions fitted with his stubborn behavior. I don’t know. Mixed feelings throughout.
  • Zhou Wen Xian as Lu Qi. A somewhat rogue guy but somewhat humorous at times as well. He was the typical character who would find any means to make money. However, haven’t really gone to the other side quite yet. I found him to be one of my favorite characters later on since he seemed to display the whole money-grubbing exterior yet he valued friendship and love more than half of the characters in here that only talked with their mouths. He provided a great comedy relief for the show as an overall. No complaints here. YES, finally.
  • Na Wei Xun as Quan Zhi Xian. A dolphin trainer. A very patient and understanding type of guy. He had a cool exterior but was very kind inside. I really liked his character though he seemed to be somewhat in the background, guiding them, supporting them throughout. Yet one of the things I could never forgive was causing Xu Wei’s family crisis. It didn’t matter if the others didn’t blame him, it still happened–whether accidental or whatever. He still sided with them–on some level. Perhaps his reason for not cutting off ties with some people was because how Ying Ying’s mother had treated him like a real brother. But I just can’t see it as that way with loyalty and all. That’s just me though.
  • Joy Pan as Alice Guo. An interesting character with a strict personality. Yes, of course, she had this gentle and sweet side to her hence creating desserts and all. I really liked her character as well. Quite stern and all but she always meant well. At least she was straightforward. She was very blunt and admirable. I must credit her also for her careful nature (i.e. testing the cakes before delivering them to their guests). It really reduced dramas around their lives and made it more realistic because I honestly believe people would test stuff before delivering it–unlike how other dramas often want to make everyone careless to create another obstacle on purpose. (One of the times when I actually want to clap the scriptwriters on.) I actually wish they had focused on her more and on some others less. Or maybe she was less focused on that made her less annoying? So I guess I shouldn’t be too greedy because the scriptwriters might get too happy and somehow destroy her character’s foundation as well.
  • Guo Shi Lun as Orlando. Found him quite annoying at the beginning. But as the drama progressed, I rather side with him than the other idiots in here. At least he was straightforward about his intentions and his bullying routines. AND I found his taunting funny at times, especially when he was saying how he rather go kiss a sea lion’s ass than be like the manager, kissing up to everyone. That was priceless!

Friendships:

  • Tang Tang and Shao Peng. I found their friendship hilarious. I guess they just had to be from the two extremes in order to bring out the humor. OMG! Tang Tang was teaching Shao Peng all the tricks to be him and dramatic. Sure, it had been done numerous times already with people switching identities and trying to teach each other of the habits, but I saw more of the girls doing it than the guys so this was definitely worth laughing over and watching the process unfold. More about Tang Tang teaching Shao Peng than the other way around but very funny still. Tang Tang would get so upset when Shao Peng was not using his emotions when he said his lines, LOL! More emotions! LOL! Regardless of how scared Shao Peng was of Tang Tang at times but I found it extremely touching that Shao Peng would stand up for Tang Tang when Ying Ying was saying all those things about Tang Tang, misunderstanding him. I guess because Tang Tang didn’t look down on Shao Peng and would always hang out with him hence the loyalty. AND it honestly proved Ying Ying wrong that she didn’t know Tang Tang at all when there was the scene where the guys were in the kitchen together and Tang Tang was trying to make a cake for Ying Ying using substitute sugar. I guess if it didn’t concern her or if she didn’t care, then she didn’t want to pay attention, BUT she seriously had no right in chiding Tang Tang when she didn’t even know him at all. She didn’t even know how serious he could get and how caring he could be–when he wasn’t too off with his schemes. He even remembered about his promise to her YET did she still cared? Guess not! Anyway, watching Tang Tang and Shao Peng always cracked me up because they were such opposites and although Tang Tang would throw around words of insults yet Shao Peng didn’t mind–or too slow to mind, lol. Then there was the whole trying to help Shao Peng from time to time so their covers weren’t blown, lol. The time where I want to strangle Shao Peng the most was not listening to Tang Tang and socializing with Peter. GOD! He should shut up and not talk to that guy. AND he had to do it. Sure, they were busted but he should go to Tang Tang and yell at Tang Tang OR do whatever else. NOT talk to Peter. I want to beat him up so bad for that. Then he did go confront Tang Tang YET the two made it so much of a joke that I wanted to beat both up as well–just to be fair to Shao Peng. I guess their pact of friendship was tested major time after the whole exposure. I honestly wish there was something to hold on to. YET this friendship was also a joke. So they managed to get past all that after a fight initiated by Tang Tang at the beginning of episode 8. But let’s see for how long before Peter tricks Shao Peng again. We learned from episode 13 that Tang Tang learned to love from Korean drams? JUST KIDDING, but that was funny. Yet I must admit he was more persistent, determined, and courageous comparing to Shao Peng. Though it could seem nagging, at least he won’t regret if he lost since he had done everything he could and wanted to. Unlike Shao Peng who was always pitying himself and had too big of a pride. YES, Tang Tang had his pride too but he didn’t let it stop him from his achievements. Yes, Tang Tang had the advantage since he had a rich background but he also had perseverance hence coming this far. AND he was so right in scolding Shao Peng for being cowardly. Honestly, he was so right and funny too for saying that Shao Peng could only catch a small fish since he waited for the fish to come to the hook. He was being mean, but in a way, it was his way to encourage Shao Peng on, not wanting Shao Peng to give up. Their exchange at the ocean side when Shao Peng discovered that Tang Tang had lost his sight summed up their friendship (AND finally restored my faith in them) because Tang Tang was saying how he was not able to watch out for Shao Peng anymore. Sounded arrogant, but it was true. Even if Tang Tang couldn’t help with everything but he had always tried to support Shao Peng as best as he could in the past.
  • Xu Wei and Ah Wen. I never imagined they would get along so fast. I meant I thought Ah Wen would be the bully until near the end where they somehow reach an understanding OR something along that lame. (Yes, I meant ‘lame’ and not ‘line’.) Yet they had their differences but managed to see through each other’s good sides quickly. It wasn’t out of jealousy or spike that Ah Wen shove Xu Wei into the pool that one time. He was just acting on his principles. Then Xu Wei soon saw Ah Wen’s righteous side as well, not holding a grudge either. It wasn’t fake either. It was just one of those guy things. No need to say anything really. I couldn’t guess that Ah Wen was the one helping Xu Wei conquering his fear of water either. I meant okay, the first punch sort of hinted it, BUT didn’t realize it would be that way with Ah Wen helping Xu Wei step-by-step like that. AND then by episode 8, I think they got into the ‘Hating Quan Ge’ club together hence the attitude toward him. Honestly? That was low! Xu Wei might not know better since he didn’t know Quan Ge as much YET Ah Wen? No excuses. Just when I thought I was watching because I only wanted to finish without leaving out details for this review, they surprised me with the part in episode 13 when Ah Wen was telling Xu Wei all these tips and telling him not to be nervous, etc. It was hilarious with Xu Wei asking, “Mom, can I go to school yet?” LOL! Priceless!
  • Tang Tang and Lu Qi. I swear I thought they would be love rivals at the beginning–with how Ying Ying was hanging out with Lu Qi (mostly for work), BUT I was sooo wrong. Anyway, their relationship could not really be considered as friendship. At least not at first, but I found their random interactions extremely funny. Like the part where Lu Qi was mumbling about that magical piece of wood that would earn him big money hence laughing away and Tang Tang was shaking his head, thinking that Lu Qi was crazy. Then that night, Tang Tang was confronting Shao Peng about his wanting to quit the role switching scheme AND Lu Qi scolded Tang Tang for being loud and jinxing the piece of wood, so Tang Tang had to apologize to the magical wood. LOL! Oh yeah, not sure if it beat other parts, but their conversation in episode 12 was so funny as well. The part where Lu Qi was analyzing the situation for Tang Tang and Tang Tang wanted him to shut up but Tang Tang sort of missed the point, LOL! So true regarding the analysis though! OMG! I didn’t see that coming but should have because Lu Qi used that chance to make money as well! LOL!
  • Tang Tang, Shao Peng, and Lu Qi. I have to keep it separate instead of including some scenes into both parts regarding ‘Tang Tang and Shao Peng versus ‘Tang Tang and Lu Qi’ since I found their interactions so hilarious at times–with Tang Tang being the smartest (or at least smart aleck) while the other two clueless dudes were driving him insane, lol.
  • Lu Qi and Shao Peng. I remember their exchange at the beginning was hilarious with Lu Qi not charging money if Shao Peng was in a bad mood. It was interesting that it had gone full circle again at the end. Who knew, right?
  • Xu Wei and Su Ting. I didn’t plan on putting this in but had to. The advice the two exchanged in the car said a lot. Xu Wei reminded Su Ting of herself in the past while Xu Wei knew the truth behind Tang Tang and Shao Peng’s identities but didn’t reveal it. Instead, he warned Su Ting of others’ intentions. They didn’t say much yet their friendship was really genuine.
  • Lu Qi and Ying Ying. I didn’t realize Lu Qi was so loyal to Ying Ying. Okay, to some extent yet it made it quite interesting since I thought they were just thrown together for work and that her father wanted him to help by looking after her at work. Yet he did show support for her at various points.
  • Tang Tang and Alice Guo. Okay, they were more master and student than friends but I thought their discussions at times touched me more than other people in here. (Well, except for Quan Ge’s pep talk of course since his were the best aside from Alice’s lines.) I thought her harsh, meaningful words were more effective than some people’s fake promises or empty talks in here. And because he respected her, he took her seriously–at least later on more than in the earlier parts. But she influenced him to turn his life around, not exuding the young master attitude so much anymore, and to be more genuine toward his work. She also taught him the true meaning of being a chef, allowing him to be a calmer person and not act on impulse and get in touch with his inner self in order to become a good chef. It didn’t matter that his initial reason was for Ying Ying. If he put in his effort, he could master his skills. I especially liked her words to him in episode 13 when they finally cracked the code of the miracle fruits.
  • Xu Wei and Lu Qi. I never thought I put them in since they were basically having an owner/renter relationship aka business mostly. Yet Lu Qi pulled through by distributing those flyers for Xu Wei without charges. Then it made me remember all those other scenes with him trying to help Xu Wei without caring about money as much.
  • Ying Zi and Ah Wen. I seriously didn’t want to put this in earlier because I felt it was just some casual scene they bonded when they thought Xu Wei was dead. Yet he followed up on it and kept in touch with Ying Zi throughout, even wanting to matchmake for the both of them (aka Xu Wei and Ying Zi of course), which was equally cute. Funny how he was reporting Xu Wei’s expression to Ying Zi over the phone, lol.

Pairings:

  • Xu Wei/Eddie and Ying Zi/Angela. Interesting pairing but I guess they do match to some extent. I was so scared that they wouldn’t end up together since she had so little screen time. Man, it was quite nerve-racking and I ended up watching the last few minutes of the last episode before flipping back to watch properly. They were indeed cute together as the story unfolded more. What I found really cute was the ending where they were sitting together and playing the harmonica and the tunes were the same. Back-tracking since I had cheated. Anyway, the flashback scene in episode 5 was so cute also with how he was missing her and remembering the time about the words he wrote on the soda can. In fact, the soda cans became their link and were brought back in episode 10 and 11, and lastly episode 14 when he talked about their communication method. It was indeed special. Though I hated that it dragged out the relationship with him and Ying Ying but I thought upon mentioning Ying Zi and how Ying Zi appeared, it didn’t dull their relationship at all. It was like they were one of those couples who could pick it up from where they left off ages before. (His relationship with Ying Ying harmed Tang Tang’s foundation more than Ying Zi’s, which was interesting. I guess because he spent more time with Ying Zi these past years than did Tang Tang and Ying Ying so they were less affected.)
  • Tang Tang/Ken Chang and Ying Ying/Monie Tung. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Like I said, I liked the idea and liked her through Tang Tang’s cute description and some flashbacks in the beginning. Yet found her extremely annoying, more than I thought he would be. I meant I thought he would be the annoying one with his young master attitude at the beginning and how he was late for that one test. However, he wasn’t as annoying as I would expect but she was even though she was supposed to be the kind and gentle girl? NO clue. But I guess whatever made him happy. Then that one time when she was speaking up for Shao Peng, she seemed to act like Tang Tang’s wife so I thought it was a bit cute and somewhat interesting. Something to ponder about YET I had to hang on, not wanting to get my hopes up too much. And by the time I reached episode 4, I felt like she didn’t deserve him at all. YES, that coming from me when I don’t want to force people to like others. I meant, okay, she could choose whoever she likes. YET the words she said to him were so hurtful in many ways. She seemed to be a considerate person–or from what others see of her and the way her image was projected thus far, but she said all those things to Tang Tang? He doesn’t have feeling? Just because he’s rich and spoiled, he doesn’t have feelings? As a friend, she sucks big time since she knew him since young yet doesn’t understand him at all. No wonder he and Shao Peng were best friends AND not her. Oh yeah, that was WAY too interesting that Tang Tang was dreaming of running after Ying Ying in the flowers field, not wanting her to run so fast, etc–AND the reality was she was also running in the flowers field. Freaky or what? Or a hint? Then I have to add some points back for her at the beginning of episode 5 because it was revealed that she no longer trusted Tang Tang since he left about ten years ago and not because she was heartless. OR at least she tried to build herself up and that she was still mad at him. Though she said she didn’t care anymore but it showed that she was still mad hence not taking his words so seriously anymore. Their little talk at the end of episode 7 brought out her emotions of the past even more yet I found it extremely funny that she forgave her mother or assumed her mother had reasons YET didn’t think that Tang Tang would have his reasons as well? Anyway, I kept thinking more and more near the ending that Ying Ying fell into the same trap as her mother because of how much Tang Tang did for her. (Her father was right in making the call and not letting her be in debt. Not to mention what he told her after handing his account info over, regarding how money could not buy marriage, etc and that she should think clearly of what she wanted the most, NOT relying on other factors. She still had time to stop the tragic events from playing out, unlike her father.) The scene where she found him (Tang Tang) at the ocean side listening to the waves was quite emotional yet I felt Monie’s acting was like kind of bland to make it worth it. She didn’t have to exaggerate or anything but it seemed like it was some guy down the block and she was giving him the daily weather report. Though she did a tad better when she moved with the story about her father telling her about finding the right pair of shoes. I thought Tang Tang nailed it when he said she was saying those words because he’d gone blind already. NOT really that convincing since the scriptwriters had to leave everything to the end. Yet I guess their foundation since young sort of proved what she was saying true. Yet it was a shame that it was so slow and if the scriptwriters could have cut out some useless/frustrating scenes to build foundation back for Tang Tang and Ying Ying, then it would be better.
  • Xu Wei/Eddie and Ying Ying/Monie. Honestly? I was so against this and I was so freaked out that they would end up together. I’m so serious. I don’t like it at all but I know the two do not look that bad together. Yup, it was way too obvious that she liked him because she kept nagging him and wanting to know more about him. AND I think I’m probably qualified as heartless by now since when I watched that scene with them looking for each other that one night–when he got beat up by Orlando and his gang, I didn’t even care. I was even annoyed. Maybe it was too much to think that he would fall for her so easily? (Or I must have read it wrong and I rather be wrong.) And it was too much of a betrayal to Ying Zi, not caring for her feelings but was just loyal to his good brother. (YES, I hate when girls are treated as objects.) The other reason why they shouldn’t even be together was I found Ying Ying more natural when she was with Tang Tang. I just don’t know. When she was with Xu Wei, she was more manipulative, always plotting different schemes to get his attention versus Tang Tang. Maybe because she knew Tang Tang too well and didn’t think of him as much versus wanting to impress Xu Wei? I don’t know. Okay, whatever it was that made me want to just consider their relationship for a bit–even with the obstacles they have to face–made me disregard all caring for them because of what Ying Ying said to Tang Tang about her feelings for Xu Wei. NOT because I was siding with Tang Tang since she had the right to like whoever she wanted. But what I was irked at was her ‘love at first sight’ phrase. I hate that type of love the most! Seems so impulsive and fake. *shrugs* NOT picking on her this time, BUT more like the overall of the situation. I just hate that formula–or at least it’s one of the formulas I hate. Oh yeah, maybe the ultimate reason why I did not even support this pairing was because of how Ying Ying was sort of the third-wheel and knowing it. YES, Xu Wei pushed Ying Zi away. But it still felt so wrong that Ying Ying jumped in like that. It was like she was so clueless not to know or care about others, just her feelings.
  • Su Ting/Joelle and Shao Peng/Ke Yu Lun. Seriously, he didn’t deserve her. NOT because of his background either BUT because he was too dumb at times. Well, not that extreme YET like I said in the other parts, he trusted Peter and confided in him when he shouldn’t be. Hadn’t he listened to Tang Tang at all about what type of person Peter was? Honestly! Not to mention what I had already said in the other part under the character section was how he didn’t even try or fight hard enough yet he was bitter about losing? If he had been braver and all, and gave his best, he wouldn’t regret it–even if she didn’t choose him. He could at least say ‘he tried’ but no. He had to let himself fall into others’ traps and then play the self-pity game.
  • Lu Qi and Mei Lan. They were seriously so cute though they were not that focused on. I’m so serious. Maybe that was why they were tolerable to watch? Thank the scriptwriters for not dragging out the details of their relationship so it was a lot more lovable. It was so cool how her name fitted right in with that one song he often sang, LOL!
  • Peter/Ah Ben and Su Ting/Joelle. Seriously, I thought they matched more. Not just because of how it was revealed Peter had meant it with wanting to get back with Su Ting. That was after he went into a coma and all. But I always thought they matched more chemistry wise. Or perhaps Ah Ben was better at acting. I just don’t know. I reminded myself of all the despicable things Peter had done throughout yet I still shed a few tears while watching the flashbacks of their past. Strange…or perhaps it was the song playing in the background all along while Su Ting was reading the letters?

Interesting things? OR other discussions.

  • Both female leads had the word ‘Ying’ in their names. Possibly it was done on purpose hence Xu Wei’s mantra about hating girls having ‘Ying’ in their names.
  • Alice Guo saved the day by making the cake again. Honestly, I thought it would cost the restaurant’s reputation with the whole mixed up and how Tang Tang re-wrote the recipe from memory–or so he claimed. I was thinking of a typical controversy before things get sorted out. YET it was so great that the mix-up didn’t occur. That would be their next step in the typical drama. Then I forgive the director and/or scriptwriters for not changing the script and making it lame. They let Alice tasted it first, which made sense since it was really important, considering how it was a special delivery. Lucky some stupid drama was avoided. I didn’t care if Tang Tang got into trouble too much at that point because I swear he needed to learn a lesson or two and needed to take responsibility for what he’d done.
  • Wang Hai’s message to Xu Wei through the CD. Honestly, I thought they were going that route and expect us to think it was cool that two guys were valuing friendship, neglecting Ying Zi’s feelings. YET they (the scriptwriters) made it clear through the message Wang Hai wanted to send to Xu Wei. I totally agreed with what was said. Ying Zi was not a piece of toy they fought over from childhood. She was a person and had a right to choose. Xu Wei could choose to reject but not because he wanted to push her to someone else. Wang Hai was very straightforward about his wanting to fight and not just give up so easily, but didn’t want to play that pity card. AND just when I wanted to compliment the scriptwriters, they let Ying Ying step in to ruin the moment Xu Wei shared with Wang Hai (even if Wang Hai already passed away). I didn’t think her being there was necessary since this was between the guys and he deserved to grieve officially for his friend and playing the harmonica one last time together–without the disturbance of outsiders. Seriously, that scene was SO LAME. Xu Wei had been keeping everything inside for so long, he needed to cry. We know Ying Ying liked him and didn’t want to see him so sad YET that made the scene lame, robbing us of the overall message. AND not to mention how I found all those condolences are so lame. Those are just empty words. Ever heard of irreplaceable? People are irreplaceable. It doesn’t matter how many more people care for him, they ARE NOT Wang Hai. Leave him alone to grieve for his friend–for once. He will move on, but NOT be rushed into it. Just because others do not want to see him sad doesn’t mean they have to force him into acting like a machine again. I probably lost the point here but I felt that was just so ruining a special moment.
  • Xu Wei and Ying Ying were step-siblings? WHAT?! Just my guess from episode 4’s with the phone conversation between Quan Ge and Xu Wei’s father. This was so throwing us off. Though they were not really related but would be too weird IF they ended up together. Then there were the past grudges with their mothers (somewhat indirectly). AND then I never celebrated anything more than this upon learning the possibility. Mean or cruel even for me to celebrate like that but I’m not rooting for the two SO I want to be evil on severing their ties.
  • The confrontation between Tang Tang and Xu Wei in episode 4. Honestly, that was priceless. It reminded Xu Wei of the past and how Wang Hai was declaring war on him as well, but regarding Ying Zi (of course). It was an interesting one because it made Xu Wei think even more. And whether he was lying or not, I would like to believe him that he didn’t like Ying Ying because it just seemed too fast. Perhaps he was just opening up to her because of her kind nature. But that was definitely interesting that Tang Tang was doing that. I meant I would think he would go and pull some schemes on Xu Wei behind his back more than be front. NOT that I don’t have faith in Tang Tang but his love for Ying Ying could blind him. He was capable of a bunch of schemes so it wasn’t impossible. Yet it was cool to see him so straightforward. AND yes, according to Xu Wei’s words to An An in episode 6, he was lying about his feelings for Ying Ying. I swear I’m hating everyone in here. No loyalty. Liking someone else so quickly. Well, except for some people BUT yeah… ANYWAY, I totally agree with Tang Tang when he said Xu Wei’s words weren’t worth anything. So Tang Tang was annoying too when he was being mean to Xu Wei YET he was forward and direct about it, even declaring war. YET Xu Wei just had to hide and be all fake.
  • The choices Lu Qi made versus Peter. I always thought since learning of Peter if Lu Qi would have chosen the same path if that was presented to him. YET I think it would be too far-fetched and not fair since no one would know how he would choose. But then near the end of episode 4, I got my answer. Though Lu Qi valued money and loved all schemes that would provide him with the opportunity to make money, he wasn’t heartless. Though it was a misunderstanding, he was really upset for Ying Ying upon learning that Xu Wei and Su Ting might be involved. YES, he was so talking nonsense when he said he would’ve chosen Su Ting too versus Ying Ying, but his being upset for Ying Ying made the decision more clear as to what he chose in a more serious manner.
  • People in here liked to confide with strangers? By the time it reached the part where Peter was confiding with Shao Peng regarding Su Ting, I swear it reminded me of Ying Zi suddenly confiding to Ying Ying at the beginning. It was like the scriptwriters wanted the audience to know some history of the characters involved YET did not know how to do it better than just let them tell it to some strangers. So maybe I shouldn’t take Ying Zi’s points off after all? I meant since Peter was doing it too?
  • Ying Ying not appreciating her father? Well, she WAS quite grateful of him. Yet what made her think her father was at fault with her mother leaving? NICE…a slap in the face for him all right if he were to know how much his daughter supported him. Thinking that he didn’t appreciate her that was why she left? Well, no one knew the real version yet up to episode 5, but that was so out of line with not trusting her father.
  • The truth with Tang Tang and Shao Peng’s identities got exposed in episode 6. Thank you for not dragging it out! Darn! I would hate it that people try to solve it in the last episode. It would come out eventually anyway since they can’t con everyone forever so better sooner than later.
  • Lan Ying aka the other woman blamed it on her ex-husband regarding their marriage. Well, at least it seemed so from her exchange with Quan Ge in episode 8. What the heck? YES, her daughter definitely takes it after her.
  • They left An An alone in the room so they could go outside and talk? WHAT?! This was episode 8. Nothing happened yet since I paused the episode to type BUT it was cliche enough to cause some mishaps. Idiots! YES, I’m being intolerant of everyone now. NO longer holding back. Including that dumb Tang Tang for listening to Lu Qi and putting the pressure on Quan Ge. Quan Ge should just quit and let them do what the hell ever they want. GOD! YUP, just continue on AND they couldn’t use the pails for the performance. Thanks a lot, dummies! Now, Quan Ge has to be creative–IF he could. Sucks to be him.
  • Shao Peng sort of compensated himself by finally telling Ying Ying about what happened to Tang Tang years ago when he suddenly disappeared. NO, it will not make up for the damage he’d already achieved with passing out Tang Tang’s password. BUT I thought that was worth some points that he decided to tell Ying Ying the truth. Regardless of how she decided, it was NOT up to anyone and she had the right to choose. Yet the truth finally revealed made it less annoying. OR so I thought. But it was lame hearing her ask why Tang Tang didn’t tell her. DUH! Each time he wanted to, she shut him up.
  • Ah Wen supported Ying Zi? WHAT?! Okay, I would be more than happy to see Ah Wen so supportive of Ying Zi, but it was so strange since he was so aggressive and was supporting Xu Wei and Ying Ying. Perhaps, he really bonded with Ying Zi that night–just like he claimed? (And that he knew why Xu Wei and Ying Ying wouldn’t work?)
  • People sympathizing with Ying Ying more. NOT that I want to pick on the sick girl, but I think that was the sole reason why she got more support than Ying Zi. Oh yeah, not to mention how those people know Ying Ying more, of course. Lucky Ah Wen seemed to stay neutral or it would become even harder. Though I was a tad annoyed with Sky for it. YES, she was being a supportive friend YET she only thought of Ying Ying, not of others surrounding them all. And not to mention how it seemed to imply that Ying Zi was the other woman. Though IF anyone wanted to keep things straight or settle scores, Ying Ying was actually the other woman.
  • What was so good about Ying Ying anyway? I honestly didn’t want to go that low since I know her character was supposed to be having some kind nature (since Xu Wei did say she was an angel at one point). YET I just can’t seem to see any good in her. She was especially so ungrateful with how Lu Qi was trying to comfort her later on. Though he was saying bad things about Xu Wei, that was the only technique he knew of to comfort her YET she was scolding him? It didn’t matter how sad she was, she should appreciate her friends. Thinking Lu Qi only cared for money? YEAH, so what? At least he was there when others needed it the most. Like they don’t need money to live. IF not, they should all quit their jobs. At least he thought up of all those techniques himself, not wanting to slow down, unlike others only knowing how to sabotage or ruin plans.
  • “Living in happiness is just a fake world.”  This was said by Ying Ying to Tang Tang at the end of episode 11, indicating that she was living in her own made-up world, not getting in touch with reality. YET I think it was more along the line of if life didn’t go her way, it was fake. Since she didn’t get Xu Wei, she felt depressed and wanted to take it out on the world as well. Honestly? I don’t know. She had the right to be depressed, but it made her mantra faker than anything in the past about what she chanted to others but couldn’t do herself hence her nosy nature was so obvious from the beginning. Not being able to take care of her own problems yet meddling in others’.
  • The whole story revealed. This was the part in episode 12 where Tang Tang went to seek Ying Ba Ba out for the chat and also the part where Quan Ge told Xu Wei what happened in the past. I was glad they didn’t make up excuses–OR tried too hard to defend Lan Ying’s actions. I meant Quan Ge blamed himself, but it was not hard to figure out some details. Ying Ba Ba was too emotional. But Xu Wei was right. What did that have to do with others? Sure, the marriage between Ying Ba Ba and Lan Ying was too much like some business transaction, but did that leave her any right to treat the other dude like that? Perhaps Ying Ba Ba wasn’t too bright either with accepting the marriage. Yet did Lan Ying had to run away with a married man? She could have run off with some other person out there. OR blame her gambling father. It wasn’t like it was Ying Ba Ba’s fault. If it was, then it was the fact that he was too weak and paid off the debt for Lan Ying’s father.
  • Xu Wei and his father were the same. I was almost laughing when Xu Wei was saying how he wasn’t like his father. He was dead wrong BECAUSE I was still keeping the score with him forgetting Ying Zi so easily and moved onto Ying Ying so fast. SO what if he was in pain about the other relationship? He seemed to move on in two shakes too.
  • Claiming to follow the heart didn’t mean you can hurt anyone and everyone around you. YES, listening to your heart was the best–or so they say. YET why were these people using it as an excuse to be irresponsible and covering up for past wrongs? It was not about judging others, but it was about how much pain was inflicted directly or indirectly and intentionally or unintentionally.
  • Xu Wei didn’t follow on the tip about Peter posing as Shao Peng to create trouble outside. This was the part at the bar in episode 13. Thank Orlando. That was so sweet! Priceless! Why? Orlando just had to spit it out to Xu Wei about Peter using Shao Peng’s name to get the schemes going. That was obviously a key point in uncovering the truth. YET Xu Wei didn’t think anything of it? He knew the Lan Tan company were luring people over so why didn’t he report anything to anyone? It was too lame. It wasn’t like Orlando was talking random. He had a basis AND even repeated those stuff about the recruit and how the guest lists were purchased too. I guess when things do not concern people in here, they just don’t care. Unless it was their own group of friends? HONESTLY… Even if he thought Orlando was spouting nonsense, he should’ve told someone or Su Ting even to follow up and check it out to see if it was indeed just that. Maxing out possibilities will help her investigation. It wasn’t like he didn’t know or forgot who Shao Peng was. How could he not say anything? They (the scriptwriters) waited for episode 14–THE LAST EPISODE–to let Xu Wei tell Su Ting? What the heck? That’s not being clever and making it intriguing, but making the characters slow and stupid on purpose to drag out the plot.
  • Blood so fake! It was the scene when Peter fell saving Su Ting. They didn’t achieve the effects because his blood flowing out looked so fake! Not the one on his face but the one on the ground when his head hit the rock. OHhhh…so he was the one in coma/needing surgery AND NOT Shao Peng like I thought…
  • Peter’s punishment for leaving Maggie. WHAT?! How delusional was that? She had the power to conjure Heaven to help her or listen to her? Does that mean she’s more mighty than Heaven? That’s ridiculous. Peter and Su Ting started first then Maggie jumped in and seduced him and snatched him away YET Maggie said that Su Ting snatched Peter away from her? I seriously am boggled. Nice one, but that was really lame. Trying to be graceful yet failed. I wasn’t blaming Maggie since Peter fell for it SO it was his fault mostly for deceiving both girls. YET it was ironic when Maggie used the ‘snatching’ concept like that.
  • Full circle. Not only was Lu Qi’s joke about not charging Shao Peng if he was in a bad mood a familiar scene from the beginning but also Tang Tang’s disappearance after Ying Ying’s surgery.
  • Tang Tang ended up blind? I saw this coming when he asked Alice if it would affect his cooking abilities if he lost his sights. She said it would enhance his other senses but wouldn’t affect his cooking if he made the effort. Then there was also the clue with Ying Ying returning alone, and no Tang Tang. Yet I didn’t want to believe it was true until he appeared at the oceanside while Shao Peng was out there again and saw him–eventually since he heard Tang Tang scolding at the servants. Yet it was super strange that it had allowed Shao Peng to muster up his courage a bit more, realizing how cowardly he had been and how hateful and disappointing it was to see someone so full of self-pitying when others were supporting and encouraging him/her on.
  • “As long as there’s Mommy, everything would be solved.” Tang Tang’s mantra and proved that he was a momma’s boy. Yet it was indeed funny when Shao Peng was finishing the sentence after he reassured Shao Peng there was still his mother.

Goofs:

  • Major character inconsistency. YEAH, most of the cast in here suffered from that throughout and I must say it had to do with the scriptwriters.
  • Episode 13 when Ying Ying’s mother arrived at the festival to place the hat on her head. That was the part where she almost fainted and Lu Qi wanted to help her with her injection. What in the world happened? Did seeing her mother make the dizziness/fainting spell go away? Though I’m sure she was beyond herself and was very happy to finally hug her mother, I didn’t think the sickness would give Ying Ying a break. OR did they squeeze that little session in after the initial hug but not let us see?
The similarities between this drama and TVB’s Be Home For Dinner:
  • Tang Tang and Sam’s situation of breaking out of their destined career choices. Tang Tang and Sam were more interested in making/baking cakes/desserts than being stuck in some office doing corporate paperwork. Though the differences were obvious with Tang Tang much more arrogant, self-centered (from time to time), and spoiled because he was a young master of a huge hotel corporation after all. Sam was also spoiled but could be considerate and down to earth in many ways, and was not as bossy as Tang Tang. The other difference was Tang Tang’s reason for wanting to make desserts was because of Ying Ying, and Sam had a great passion for being a dessert creator. Oh yeah, Tang Tang actually studied in the U.S. versus Sam studying in Canada. But it was interestingly revealed later that Sam wanted to prove that success could be achieved through hard work and determination AND not other despicable means like his ex-girlfriend had used SO it was after all the same with both characters–influenced by love. At least at first.
  • Tang Tang and Sam both had a best friend since young. The difference was Shao Peng was less confident than Tian Kai. However, both parties’ love interest had a higher rank/position at work than them and that could cause them to have some ‘pride’ trip from time to time. Though Tian Kai’s ending was better than Shao Peng because of the obvious confidence both possessed or lacked of. Not to mention how Tian Kai actually ended up with Si Ya and not the person he thought he liked.
  • Both Tang Tang and Sam’s masters were strict yet effective in their teaching techniques. Alice Guo got less focused on than Bei Er (Sam’s master) but her role was equally important because she had to mold Tang Tang into being a more responsible chef than just learning how to do it. Though Tang Tang was more rebellious in his learning process and had been expelled once before succeeding at the end versus Sam wanting to learn yet was threatened by Bei Er’s presence at first.
  • Su Ting and Bei Er were similar characters–somewhat. Their background was different but the thing with them having trust issues and how they had to overcome it was quite emotional. Not to mention how they were both strong, independent career women.
  • Xu Wei and Bei Er were SO much similar in their family background. Both parties had been abandoned and the family breakup was actually similar though the context was a bit different. Xu Wei didn’t have a younger brother/sister but the nature of how his father abandoned him had left a deep scar.
  • Ying Ying and Bei Er both had to learn how to forgive their mothers. Though Ying Ying was more gentle of a character than Bei Er but the nature of how they had to go through the pain of being left behind and wondering why, making up reasons was similar. Again, like Xu Wei–yup for the comparison between Bei Er of them–not an error on my typing of names, Ying Ying didn’t have a younger sister but she was still left behind with her father–who was supposedly more short-tempered and bitter (rightly so). But then again, when it was revealed later on in BHFD, it seemed like Bei Er’s father was more bitter. Regardless of who was actually right or wrong in the past, both sides had to learn to live with their mothers or seek some point of understanding. There were also bracelets being involved in both cases to remind them of the past but the difference was Ying Ying’s mother made the bracelet she wore versus Bei Er’s grandmother’s golden pair of bracelets. Ying Ying was able to forgive her mother more because that was the type of person she was versus Bei Er’s stubborn nature (but not her fault because of past scars). In a way, Bei Er was more like Xu Wei because of their stubborn natures. The more obvious differences between Ying Ying and Bei Er was Ying Ying was sick versus Bei Er being pretty much healthy. The result was more forced in Be Home For Dinner for Bei Er regarding how the forgiveness scenes eventually rolled out later on. Moreover, the ending of this drama was better because it didn’t force everyone to be together, making it more realistic than Be Home For Dinner (which was so forced).
  • Ying Ying and Bei Er lived with their fathers after their mothers left. Though I must say that Bei Er sided with her father more than her mother at one point. Though the difference was Ying Ying’s father wasn’t the party at fault–like it was revealed with Bei Er’s father later. But another thing was Kristal’s acting was WAY better than Monie hence making it more convincing in that part with their father-daughter bond. Though Ying Ying appreciated her father but often doubted him (i.e. guessing that it was his fault that her mother left).
  • Both Ying Ying and Si Ya couldn’t eat sweets. It was obvious that because of her sickness that did not allow Ying Ying to eat sweets. However, Si Ya could eat sweets but did not like sweets and rather not touch it. (YET the most ironic thing was seeing Si Ya in an earlier episode being rewarded by her father with a piece of cheesecake of her favorite while her father was the one not tolerating sweet stuff.)
  • Both of the stories had to have someone come out to clarify some details regarding the family conflicts. For instance, Quan Ge was telling Xu Wei what happened in the past while Tang Tang was listening to Ying Ba Ba recount the story. In the other case, it was one of the parents’ friends came out clarifying to Guo Dong the complexity of the situation in the past with all parties involved and how it led to a misunderstanding. However, because there was an actual affair going on in this drama so it was easier to relate to, not to mention longer recounts that made the details clearer. On the other hand, in Be Home For Dinner, the scriptwriters were trying too hard to defend the mother and condemn the father AND with so little details that it seemed unbelievable. The likeness factor though was that both parties who told the story, i.e. Quan Ge and that one guy were friends of the family.
  • Both Tang Tang and Guo Dong ended up blind. Okay, NOT totally the same but was creepily similar by the time it got to the part where Guo Dong had the accident and eventually losing his sight. The incident had led to both parties’ loved ones making a decision. The difference was Ying Ying finally stepped forward bravely to confess her feelings for Tang Tang and even told him why she was reluctant to start over again at first when he appeared again (i.e. fear of getting hurt again after he left the other time). Ying Ying was touched by Tang Tang’s actions and finally believed that he could actually do anything for her–and not just talks. On the other hand, Guo Dong’s ex-wife/soon-to-be-wife-again chose to leave once again because she couldn’t accept him being blind. AND the other difference was Guo Dong was in a much more complicated situation, i.e. loving Bei Er now and only thought of responsibilities regarding his ex-wife. The other thing with both men’s sight was how Guo Dong actually got the treatment and would eventually see but with Tang Tang, we have to assume that the time would come for him as well because of his wealth and how his mother was so capable with her connections. (His words and always having his faith in his mother because he was a momma’s boy.)
So what happened with the differences of characters and how it was placed in Be Home For Dinner?
  • Tang Tang got split into two characters -> Guo Dong and Sam. Guo Dong took over somewhat of the romance and his association to someone who was part of the family conflicts (i.e. Ying Ying/Bei Er). Sam possessed the cake/dessert creator part.
  • Alice Guo also got split into two characters -> Bei Er and Roger. Bei Er took a strong personality with strict discipline in cooking lessons while Roger got the cake/dessert creating part.
  • Ying Ying’s character became Bei Er and Hai Er. Sort of because they ended up adding in a younger sister for the whole conflict but Ying Ying had become Hei Er because of her somewhat forgiving nature and how she was more gentle than that was Bei Er. Coincidentally, Ying Ying’s character wasn’t that likable in the drama either–just like how Hai Er’s character seemed to reflect in the other one. In the process, Xu Wei got sacrificed and do away with since they didn’t talk about the ‘current’ husband having a son/daughter of his own. In a way, Bei Er got both Alice Guo’s strong personality and Xu Wei’s stubbornness.
  • The type of business was changed. It took the focus away from the hotel corporation and the dolphin training facility to newspaper publishing and culinary skills. Though this one was also focused on with the culinary skills but did not focus too much on the food world, just normal whenever it was necessary to keep Tang Tang’s character consistent with his journey to becoming a responsible chef.
  • The story with Su Ting having to resolve some past love conflicts with Peter was somewhat like the conflict Guo Dong had to resolve. YET this one was unexpectedly good even if it was sort of unrealistic in a way. Kind of far-fetched with this one since the essence of the story was different and the details were also different. Yet Peter’s character made a lot more sense than the whole ‘Jessie conflict’ in the other one.
  • Peter was Jessie? Because of the previous point, it got me thinking it was so. Because Peter was really cunning and manipulative in his own way. Yet what he did was more forgivable than Jessie. (AND for once, it was really about love.) He did sabotage the other company that sent him as a spy before he confessed his crimes to Su Ting later because his only goal in stationing himself at the hotel was winning Su Ting’s heart back. In Be Home For Dinner, Jessie’s sole purpose was for her own benefit, something to brag about, NOT love. In a way, Su Ting’s character got sacrificed as well–and her character just went into Bei Er as the strong, career woman type. Yet the conflict had directed itself toward Guo Dong.

NOTE: The previous points were ONLY my assumptions, NOT really legit reasons or accusations to throw dirt on the creators of Be Home For Dinner. Call it a fun activity since I was bored.

Anyway, I kept saying over and over this was better than Be Home For Dinner so why don’t I prove it, right? Here goes:
  • Their IQs were dropped in both dramas yet it was reasonable in here. YES, it was frustrating at one point or another with some stupid schemes. But it wasn’t too unreasonable because most of them happened within the hotel corporations, telling us how people were capable of pulling those dirty tricks. AND how honest people couldn’t survive if they didn’t shape up with having sharp eyes.
  • The family conflicts actually made sense. The story was told from various characters in here–Xu Wei, Ying Ying, Xu Wei’s father, Ying Ying’s mother, etc. But all the pieces finally fell into place when Quan Ge and Ying Ba Ba explained it to Xu Wei and Tang Tang respectively. But it wasn’t unclear OR not making sense. It was quite clear all right. I guess it was because they had more people recounting the events and how their point of views was different. You name it with bitterness, anger, guilt, etc from all the parties who told the stories. YET the story made sense with all the dots connecting in the right places. Even if it was from different interpretations but we saw whose perspective it was from. All the facts were actually consistent enough, like time and dates–how things unfolded, SO it wasn’t too far-fetched. Not to mention how it wasn’t so one-sided like in Be Home For Dinner, attempting to cover up everything and tried so hard to convince us all that the dead man was the bad guy–since he couldn’t defend himself anyway.
  • Resolving the conflict. For this one, Ying Ying’s mother–through her current husband (Xu Wei’s father)’s persuasion–finally went to see Ying Ying hence allowing her to feel her mother’s warm touch once again during this one festival the villagers held up on the mountains–and participated in the events with her. YET the parents didn’t stay there or tried to mend the relationship even more. They left for Japan to continue on with their life eventually. Xu Wei, on the other hand, wasn’t forced into acknowledging his father–though his father did try to explain (or make excuses). Xu Wei did come to terms with the past and returned to his cheerful self again (after losing his mother since young, his grandfather several years back, and then his best friend about two years back as well). But he didn’t forgive his father just like that. He just chose not to hate anymore. Not to mention how he didn’t want to waste his life focusing on his father while he could spend it with the people who cared for him. Therefore, it wasn’t forcing Xu Wei to go to Japan with his father and Ying Ying’s mother either–even though the father offered. And just like the after-note that Xu Wei said–even if he meant it mostly for romantic relationships, but it could be explained that dolphins and cats weren’t of similar species hence not being able to mingle regardless of how they try to go past that barrier of differences.
  • What were all the pieces of the conflict then? (Those who watched knew.) But let me recap real quick. Both had to do with an arranged marriage and how terrible it was supposed to be. (NOT kidding here.) Starting from Xu Wei’s side. Xu Wei’s parents got together because Grandpa Xu had picked the “daughter-in-law” personally and really liked her (OF COURSE) with her gentleness and possessing the typical traits that would make her the best daughter-in-law. However, Xu Wei’s father was opposed to it, even fighting with Grandpa Xu from time to time. Yet he gave in at last because he didn’t want to fight anymore (probably both because he was tired of fighting and because he didn’t want to upset Grandpa Xu anymore). So Xu Wei’s parents got married, but Xu Wei’s father was still unrest and would always leave, claiming business matters, etc. When Xu Wei was finally born, he actually got his name from the officer who wrote the birth certificate because when the officer asked the father, “What did you name your kid?”, the father replied, “Just call him ‘Wei’ then.” The father meant ‘wei’ as in ‘hey’, but the officer jotted it down as the ‘wei’ (蔚) from ‘azure’. (So yup, the officer named him with much more grace than the original one that his father had uttered out.) That was why Xu Wei hated it when people called him ‘wei’ regardless because of how his name came about. (This was explained in episode 3.) Jumping to Ying Ying’s side now before the tie together. Ying Ying’s grandfather (her mother’s father) was a heavy gambler hence accumulating quite an amount of debt. He sold Lan Ying (Ying Ying’s mother) to a brothel. Around that time, Ying Ying’s father just finished his military service and had some money. Since he was too soft-hearted after seeing that incident, he interfered and paid off all the debts. Lan Ying’s father, knowing that there weren’t any free meals in life, insisted that Ying Ying’s father married Lan Ying. Lan Ying, of course, was really bitter about this whole marriage because she felt it was like a business transaction instead of a real marriage (because there was no real love). (Age difference was actually another factor that caused the riff since Ying Ying’s father was actually 35 that year and Lan Ying was only 17 years old.) After the wedding and having given birth to Ying Ying the following year, Lan Ying tried to avoid Ying Ba Ba at all costs by busying herself with various tasks, like doing sculptures or investing her time in studying plants and flowers. The connection with how she met Xu Wei’s father was because of Quan Ge. He was Lan Ying’s neighbor once upon a time and she treated him like her little brother. Xu Wei’s father was a businessman who did imports/exports trading and who was also coincidentally a friend of the family to Quan Ge. One day when Xu Wei’s father came to visit, Quan Ge had some exams so he asked Lan Ying to be the tour guide in his place. That was the beginning of Xu Wei’s father and Ying Ying’s mother. Quan Ge blamed himself for being the person who tied the ‘red string’ because of that incident. Yet Ying Ba Ba didn’t blame him because he knew it had to do with the other two parties–and that Quan Ge was still young so he wouldn’t know such turn of events. SO one day when Ying Ba Ba was out working, Lan Ying left her daughter (Ying Ying) with the neighbors and left without words. (She had run off with Xu Wei’s father, of course.) During the time when Xu Wei’s father was in that town, another incident occurred because Xu Wei’s mother had a heart condition and needed meds, etc. However, when she had a heart attack that one night, Xu Wei was the only person with her and tried to call his father on the phone to get him to come back and help his mother YET it was all too late. What was more was how Xu Wei’s father had called his mother earlier to say that he wanted a divorce (a possible factor that had caused her to change in emotions hence the attack). Xu Wei was sooo young at that time and didn’t realize what was going on until he had some info from his grandfather later on, but he only wanted to see his father come home and save the day. YET Xu Wei’s father didn’t and that was how the mother died (not having medical help in time). What made Quan Ge blamed himself even more of the whole incident was because of how Xu Wei’s grandfather had blamed him in the past when Xu Wei’s mother died that night. (The reason why Quan Ge knew Xu Wei’s grandfather was because the old man saved him one time when he was out at sea on this one boat with a bunch of people and they encountered a storm.) After that, Grandpa Xu actually took in the responsibility of raising Xu Wei hence Xu Wei only having a bond with his grandpa and NOT his father. Not to mention how Grandpa Xu would never accept Lan Ying, etc. Most of the recounts were from Ying Ba Ba and Quan Ge in episode 12 with Tang Tang and Xu Wei–respectively. The rest of the pieces were gathered throughout the drama until episode 12 with the actual fill-in of the big pieces. If it didn’t make sense, it was my poor recounts. NOT because of the plot lapses. (The plot did have a bunch of lapses, but with the conflicts between the families, it was actually very clear in the end.)

And while I’m at it, the plot with Xu Wei and Ying Ying being step-siblings and having past grudges creepily bears similarities to The Magicians of Love somehow–though TMOL had a lot of goofs and dragging moments too, it managed better. Also, what Xiao Bei’s mother did was somewhat similar yet her explanation, later on, made a lot more sense. The other difference was how Ming Dao and Qiao Qiao actually ended up together versus Eddie and Monie not. The theme also differed, making it steered into different directions and other subplots were different. I found Be Home For Dinner much similar because of the same theme and plot, except for some details being shuffled around and additional subplots.

What could have been done to make it less lame?

  • X out the love formula between Xu Wei and Ying Ying altogether. I’m not saying this because I’m against them. But I think both pairings DO NOT have to be so complicated. Xu Wei and Ying Ying could meet as two friends and somehow found out about the past, wanting to patch things OR just plain get mad or whatever else. Yet making it into their romance, for the most part, killed the development and patches between Xu Wei and Ying Zi later, not to mention Tang Tang and Ying Ying. Xu Wei and Ying Ying seemed so deep in love (OR SO THE PLOT DRAGGED OUT TO MAKE US BELIEVE SO), therefore, making it unconvincing that Xu Wei end up with Ying Zi and Tang Tang with Ying Ying. Though I liked the pairings that way more but the thing in the middle had dragged to death so the last four or five episodes did not justify the turnaround. Though time could tell that Xu Wei would eventually find out that Ying Zi was the only one for him and Ying Ying could get over the fact that Tang Tang had abandoned her once upon a time (through unavoidable reasons), I rather it focused on healing and patching up both relationships than adding in the romance formula.
  • Cut back on Peter’s schemes. YES, we know he was capable of a lot of things but possibly cut back on it since everyone’s IQ went down millions of points by then. AND they weren’t that intelligent, to begin with, except for some. SO that was so unbearable seeing Shao Peng kept falling into the traps. Maybe cut back on how many times Shao Pen fell in. IF he was deceived through Peter’s means, then okay. BUT how he kept running to Peter’s side and feeding information for Peter was like ridiculous. Shao Peng was too honest for his own good YET at least make him stay away from Peter just because he trusted Tang Tang’s words–or something.
  • In fact, cut back on all misunderstandings altogether. The one with Xu Wei and Ying Ying’s past and their parents were too much already AND enough for the show. No need to create more stupidity in it. It didn’t stir up intrigues or excitement. But it just proved many people in here were stupid. I don’t like to insult others, not even fictional characters. YET I couldn’t stop saying “Stupid” while watching those scenes. Common sense anyone?

Who’s fault was it? Well, first of all, mine since I wanted to watch this in the first place for Eddie and Angela. That’s a lesson for me over and over again YET I ignored in the past. Never watch for favorites since the plot could just suck big time. Secondly? The blame goes to the scriptwriters. So inconsistent at times regarding some characters. What about the rest? The plot got sooo draggy with so many cliche stuff happening, like dragging out Peter’s schemes AND the whole misunderstanding craps.

What was good?

YES, I decided it was better to let it end on a positive note regardless of how torturous it was to watch. Since I did choose to watch myself, NOT influenced by others or being held against my will.

  • Soundtrack. It doesn’t matter if Eddie’s a good singer OR not, but the main theme was really catchy and powerful but did not lose its meaningful sense and fitting in with the overall theme. Moreover, I love the song sang by Ah Ben–regardless of his role in here. I was used to hearing him sing upbeat songs more so it was quite refreshing for me to hear him sing a much more soapy song (lol).
  • Cast. Except for some variations here and there, I thought the overall cast was a good choice for their roles. Whether the production team had problems or not, I don’t know and probably we won’t know some inside details, but they managed to be convincing enough. (EXCEPT for SOME.) IF only the plot was better and that some of the personalities were better controlled–either changing one way or another, NOT because of inconsistency. But I don’t want to go into more details since I already ranted up there AND trying to keep things positive here.
  • The approach with the beginning scene tying in with the ending. Seriously, that was so cool. If only I was more patient then I would have seen more signs.
  • Su Ting ended up with Peter. I was seriously stumped yet I found that plot good. I’m so serious here. I hated the other parts of it being dragged on and on. But now that it was that way, I felt that was pretty clever, leading us on like that. But I still stand by my words with cutting back on annoying schemes. And I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention to the scene at the beginning with Su Ting wearing a wedding gown and someone was in a coma with machines attached. I thought it was Shao Peng later on into the plot. Yet it was actually Peter when the scene where he was in a coma rolled around. I had to switch to the first episode again to check. Clever move. Going full circle. Getting back to the idea of them being together, I felt it was less cliche. I meant okay, it could happen that they get back together–and like it wasn’t done in the past already. Yet it made it like Peter wasn’t just the typical bad guy that would end up in prison or worse. That would be too one-dimensional and predictable. Then it was like what Su Ting said, Shao Peng was not brave enough to withstand all obstacles. Don’t blame Peter for being despicable, but blame Shao Peng for not standing strong. YES, Peter had tossed out some traps but Shao Peng had too big of pride and didn’t stay to fight alongside Su Ting. Instead, he chose the silent retreat.
  • The after notes. Honestly, that made sense with Xu Wei/Eddie’s narration because I honestly didn’t see the point of putting romance into the whole thing and wanted to cut it out altogether. Yet I still feel it wasn’t necessary with some of the dragging parts. The moral of the story was birds of the same feathers flock together hence Xu Wei ending up with Ying Zi and Tang Tang with Ying Ying.

Recommended? Your choice.

Devil Beside You

 

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

I don’t know what took me forever to watch this but now that I watched it, I finally know what was the hype about it. Though it was probably for different reasons than mine (or at least not totally like mine). Maybe I was just scared of the ‘over-hype’ factor that was building around this drama. But I thought the balance was enough that there was ‘no hype’ and/or ‘over-rated’ feeling over it. The complex of the plot was nicely built-in with the right touches yet there was no ‘drag’ feeling of it. It was fast YET it was not going up and down like a roller-coaster either. Yes, there were intense moments yet you know it was inevitable, considering the characters involved. But there was a great balance with other formulas thrown in.

Likes:

  • Rainie Yang as Qi Yue. A very mature role for her. Well, as mature as can be since she was still seen at times as being super silly. BUT I think it was understandable. The reason why I say that was because her character lacked of dating experiences but her life experiences, such as that of her family and her mother have been plenty. She knew that the world outside her and knew what was important in life, friendship, and much more. I think it was acceptable and forgivable that she made mistakes at times, such as the time that she had hurt Yuan Yi (though I did feel that part a tad annoying to endure) but it passed eventually and she tried to redeem herself as quick, knowing what she’d done. She immediately patched things up and kept her goals clear, NOT dragging the relationships with two guys out. She wasn’t wishy-washy, she knew to sort her feelings out right away. She knew she needed to patch things right away and not let it drag any further. She was innocent (or more like inexperienced) but she was not an idiot. And I think I took people’s words too obediently about Rainie at times and had not given her enough credit. Because this one convinced me that Rainie does know how to act and that she did quite well even. I seriously felt all the emotions she went through and was laughing or crying along with her as the plot moved on. The feeling of overly-excited with her crush on Yuan Yi was really well done. It really brought back memories and made it real to the dot. It seemed exaggerated or overdone or you wouldn’t think possible, but honestly, what was your first crush like? It felt like you never want to keep calm or settle down at all. It was like being in the clouds yet you never want to stop daydreaming, feeling really jumpy, etc. There were other parts as well which Rainie did well with. I think this was her second most serious role to date. I think her most serious role must be the one from Strange Tales of Liao Zhai because it was really hectic and tragic the whole time.
  • Mike He as Jiang Meng. I was thinking along the line of ‘typical cold-blooded dude who actually had a kind heart but liked to hide it’ formula when I was watching him and how others around him were saying, “He’s not like that at all.” BUT it changed my point of view as I watched even more. It was not like that at all. While others claimed him to be good, BUT he did not feel that way nor was he putting up a front. He was really feeling like he wanted to be bad or he was bad. He did as he pleased and did what he felt like. His actions were beyond tolerance and his cruel pranks at times made people despise him, BUT he wasn’t fake at all. He wasn’t carrying on with his contradicting views. He did what he believed in–whether right or wrong. His actions were bizarre, but he had a different way of doing things. In fact, he was rather harsh on himself–as we were able to see when the plot unfolded. And am I the only one who found it extremely funny that he was holding his hair up in that ‘cool’ look with the clips? It was really funny to see that but cute. I have to add that I find possessive characters annoying since it made the girl seem like an ‘item’ more than a human being, but it made it really funny and cute in his case since he was so caring toward her to the point that he couldn’t lose her. It could be a fatal formula but it was equally funny and childish in a way how he treated other rivals, being outright mean and straightforward. I think the most touching scene must be the part where he finally met up with his mother after so many years and tried to confront his past demons. He was so shaken up and what the words he delivered were very convincing, so cold yet it proved how much he had hurt from what happened in the past. Another equally touching scene regarding family members was Ah Meng finally letting his father hug him. I so felt for the old man. They did not lose each other, but it was like the decision that had separated them.
  • Mike and Raine as a couple. I finally know what all the fuss was about over this pairing. I think Mike’s Rainie’s best match by far. I don’t mean that the others aren’t deserving SO please don’t take it the wrong way. What I mean is that they have more chemistry than the others she worked with thus far. (Though Chun didn’t count since the drama didn’t air yet at the time of this review so he should be given a fair chance before judgments are dealt his way.) Their relationship was really addicting to watch on many levels because they matched wit per wit, which was rare for a Taiwanese drama since it was often portrayed that the girl needed rescuing and the guy pulled a lot more weight, etc. YET this one, they had to do the equal pulling. So what if he was stronger in strength? It paved on that picture right in front of us so it was hard to miss. But it was because of her bravery and the ability to fight back at times that made them matched really well. She was not a weakling and she knew how to defend herself. She just chose not to at times. What he lacked or was not able to see himself, she helped him see it and vice versa. They both did things for one another–as a couple should be–going through struggles together. At other times, they were equally cute. It was so funny to see her so small and gullible while he was so tall and arrogant. Not to mention how she was the older one in this case though she was so short and all. His possessiveness of her was a bit scary at times but it was almost touching to watch how he would never let others harm her. The whole rant with “You’re mine” thing would’ve been annoying if he said it otherwise, but it was too funny in this case. I guess what was really nice about their relationship was the mixture of mature and immature moments. They had sweet moments as well as touching scenes. Their caring for each other was not just said through words (obviously since it has been proven numerous times what they would go through for one another) but also their attentive to details like how they could detect what was wrong with one another with just a gesture or an expression.
  • Kingone Wang as Sang Yuan Yi. Okay, I was thinking along the line of typical good guy and the one who lost in the end BUT it was not like that at all. I liked it that they had placed in a part allowing him to say, “Don’t put all assumptions on me”, regarding what Qi Yue said about his behaviors. (Not in those exact words but it was about the same message.) No one should assume that he was the typical good guy. He was just a normal person who would get mad when others wronged him OR would feel down when he was hurt. I thought it was very important that they got this across since it made him normal AND not just him singing the tune, “I’m the good guy that got dumped because the girl didn’t appreciate me.” It wasn’t about that at all. Maybe what I was trying to say all along was he wasn’t playing the ‘pitiful’ card for viewers to feel for him and go hate the ‘main girl’ for not choosing him. He was very real, very honest, and he didn’t exude the ‘fake good guy’ exterior at all. What was more was that he did what he felt he should do, not hoping that he would get something back by doing those deeds, like the part where he kept clarifying things about Jiang Meng’s behaviors to Qi Yue. He knew that he felt terrible not knowing how it would affect how she would think of Jiang Meng after learning of the truth, but he still did it because he thought it was right, NOT because he wanted to score points with Qi Yue. And it was extremely funny to see his humorous side, especially the dream that he had with picking up Qing Zi for their date and all. (LOL) There were also various scenes where he was joking with Jiang Meng or Li Xiang or others. It was extremely amusing to watch. The balance of his character was really nice, not just the typical good guy and not just one dimensional like many other characters in other dramas.
  • The Jiang Meng-Qi Yue-Yuan Yi triangle. I never thought I would like a triangle so much. Maybe because it was so short-lived. I meant it wasn’t dragging to the last episode to make everything overly-dramatic. It started as quickly and in so much confusion YET it ended as quickly, allowing all parties to move on–or to heal. I liked the idea of that more since it would make Qi Yue less annoying. She was confused all right since she thought she liked Yuan Yi but feelings told her otherwise when she was confronted by Yuan Yi. After that, she mended the situation (as mentioned above in the character description) immediately, letting go of Yuan Yi. The guys? They surely stated their intentions to one another and was not fake about it, not pretending to be friends OR playing dirty tricks. At least I thought so. Sure, Jiang Meng wanted to sabotage Yuan Yi and Qi Yue but he stated that in plain sight. No one was clueless about that matter. Everyone knew what they wanted. Or at least the guys more than Qi Yue. But the triangle quickly dissolved and allowed them to be all friends, continuing on with their lives, NOT dragging it out to the point of unbearable (like I mentioned above already).
  • The rivalry turned into a friendship between Jiang Meng (Mike) and Yuan Yi (Kingone). I know it sort of overlap with the previous topic but I feel the need to put it in for both guys. So I was saying how they were very clear on their goals and got their priorities straight when Jiang Meng declared war on Yuan Yi. Yet I actually had the feeling they weren’t fake with the whole being super nice to each other. Yes, they knew that each had some good in him BUT did not overdo that factor with trying to be nice. It would make the formula typical. Maybe it was less cheesy that they did not say some things. It was like understanding was more important, etc. I especially liked how Jiang Meng did not apologize for snatching Qi Yue away. It was how he was and why should he be sorry for loving someone? It was like he let Yuan Yi beat him up so Yuan Yi would get the frustration out, but he did not regret in being with Qi Yue. I don’t know if it was implying, but it made me believe that both guys did not treat Qi Yue like an ‘object’ like some dramas led on with keep being ‘nice’ about it and how letting go or giving in OR deciding for her. They let her choose. Sure, other dramas do those too with letting the girl/guy choose, BUT I don’t know. It was just different and less overly-dramatic and less cheesy in this case. It was like they both fight for the girl BUT they don’t regret fighting since they gave their best shot. I also find it funny that they seemed to be implying a different relationship between each other at various points, lol. Like how Jiang Meng nicknamed Yuan Yi as ‘Ah Yi’ (LOL) and they got into these random rants at times. A personal favorite must be the part where Jiang Meng accidentally (or possibly intentionally) threw the basketball into Yuan Yi’s cake AND Yuan Yi jumped right up to lash out at Jiang Meng for ruining his cake. Jiang Meng thought it was Qi Yue’s cake for Yuan Yi (since she did mention making extras) BUT it was actually Qing Zi’s cake for Yuan Yi. Jiang Meng was apologetic for it BUT it was funny how the guys were going at each other. Another example why I say they know one another’s good points, BUT did not get cheesy about it OR overly friendly. They just acted normal and looked out for each other when the time needed. That was enough. I had the feeling like they were more actions than all talks. Oh yeah, what made me like it, even more, was the shared screen time between them. I meant usually though they say ‘two male leads’, you still have the feeling the second guy was robbed, BUT I liked how they got to be cool in their own way too. NOT just one guy stealing all the attention, like how they covered for each other at the game. Their childish stab at each other throughout the drama made it even more entertaining since it maintained some sort of consistency yet not too cheesy with them getting along too much or too little.
  • Tsai Pei Lin as Qing Zi. I wasn’t sure that she liked Yuan Yi or not until later but I thought what was admirable was her putting her friends before him. I meant like how she would help Qi Yue with all she got. Then knowing that Qi Yue hurt him, she would scold Qi Yue but NOT because of him but for both of them. Then it was time to give herself a chance. It was not fake. She did all she could to help her friend. It was only right to herself that she at least try–even if she was turned down. If she was to be all righteous and NOT care for her own happiness later on, then that would be fake. Though I was kind of annoyed with how she believed that one girl and acted up toward Yuan Yi, I sort of forgive her for it since she could not get past her past demons to trust herself or others in relationship.
  • Kingone and Pei Lin as a couple. I liked how this couple has a different story and had about enough screen time as well. They were so cute together and I could feel it was as genuine as Jiang Meng and Qi Yue. They tried to get along at first–as if to give each other a chance. Yet it developed into something much more and they had their sweet moments as well. Like the scene where they were running under the rain with only his jacket as the shield from the rain. Also, their little bet about the ‘red umbrella’. Their awkward interaction at their first date and how they get it sorted out. The misunderstanding and/or confusion with mix messages drove their relationship to another level. Yes, Qing Zi made a poor choice and threw the ultimatum on Yuan Yi, but it allowed us to see that he honestly wanted to treasure her and care for her. He was not sorry for not giving her enough attention (or how the plot wasn’t making him feel guilty over it) but instead was disappointed that she didn’t trust him enough. She wanted attention and care, but so did he. He was not a hero OR wanting to be a hero, but he only wanted to impress her with his capabilities–like he stated (and that was basketball). Sometimes it was not about giving in to one or another, but understanding and supporting one another with his or her beliefs were more important. He already did his part, but what about her? Like I said, this relationship was really different and they both had to explore different things about one another and accepting each other for who he/she really was. The fact that it was not the end of the world that one or the other made mistakes. Yuan Yi needed to get out what he really thought for her to understand him, but he didn’t think any less of her because of it. He only needed to straighten matters out. What was more, it wasn’t about who deserved whom more OR who didn’t deserve whom. It was about the commitment they both made and/or willing to go through with one another. Moving on (lol), it was extremely funny to see him trying to ‘take the initiative’ and failing when they were going on the movie date. Yuan Yi and Qing Zi had other really cute scenes also, like when they were helping Si Shen worked his way back into Ya Li’s heart again. They were so cute with trying to compose the letter together, etc. I was getting worried near the end that they would not get more scenes together aside from with their group of friends but glad there was something more–even if they had to encounter another obstacle. But seeing them on a date, wearing couples’ outfits among other things, was really cute. The swords dual between Yuan Yi and Qing Zi’s father must be one of the most critical scenes since it turned their promises of words into actions. It proved that Yaun Yi was serious about his feelings for Qing Zi. It also proved that they had reached another level of understanding and dedication toward each other because of how they were a team in persuading and/or convincing Qing Zi’s father of how serious they were.
  • The brotherly bond between Jiang Meng (Mike) and Yuan Chang Rang (Figaro). Their conflicts were hard to distinguish. Their past was somewhat typical with the attention thing within a family, like how Jiang Meng did not get enough attention from their mother or how Chang Rang always wanted attention and/or acknowledgment from his brother. It was hard to mend everything but when they finally did, it was not fake at all. It made sense since they were family after all. There were fears (inevitably) and not being able to face it. But once faced, it was easier than they thought. It did not matter who was the one who’d done more damage, etc. I liked the little closure scene they had with Jiang Meng teaching Chang Rang how to defend himself. Yes, he was there to cheer Chang Rang on, but Chang Rang had to learn how to take care of himself too. Relying on Jiang Meng’s reputation would not last long, which was very true of how Jiang Meng put it. Though it was wrong to spread the message through violence, in a way, it was like implying that Chang Rang needed to step out of Jiang Meng’s shadow before he could take care of himself, becoming a stronger person, etc.
  • The fatherly bond between Jiang Meng (Mike)/ Yuan Chang Rang (Figaro) and Jiang You Hui (He Du Lin). It was so funny and unimaginable. Jiang Meng–supposedly fierce and rebellious–had to look after his father since his father was so out of it. Yes, his father was trying to make up for past wrongs and wanted to pay more attention to Jiang Meng hence the relaxed attitude. But it was still funny that Jiang Meng needed to keep his father in line at times, scolding him or telling him to tone it down. Then there was also the whole thing with You Hui always hugging and kissing them and smothering them in love that was almost embarrassing. It was too much to take. Even Chang Rang had to tell him to tone it down at the game, lol. But it was still too funny.
  • The fact that the children were more matured than the parents. Well, at least it seemed that way as a front. I meant it was true in both cases regarding Jiang Meng and Qi Yue. The parents were overly enthusiastic about everything and sometimes even more childish. It was really funny to see the children being the ones needing to look out for their parents at times. Though of course, the parents were capable of settling important matters as well. But still hilarious to see. A not so funny example was that of Ah Meng and Ah Rang’s mother. Yes, she suffered and finally managed to rise in the society, allowing herself to be capable of providing more than enough for her sons yet I felt she was so immature with the ‘blame’ game that made it hard to swallow. Like Ah Meng said, she was making Ah Rang worry. I had a feeling like Ah Meng was doing that more for Ah Rang’s sake than her sake for some reason. No idea. That was just my interpretation though I know Ah Meng also needed some sense of closure.
  • Ivy Fan as Xin Li Xiang. Though she was fierce and harsh on others, I thought she had some good in her still to actually tell Jiang Meng about the incident regarding how Yang Ping almost harmed Qi Yue. Also, like Qi Yue said, she just didn’t know how to express her love or loving herself enough. It was really brave of her to admit her wrongs and sort of made peace with Qi Yue. Though she was declaring a new approach and a new attempt with pursuing Jiang Meng, her starting over was a notable point. Also, her righteous was known at various times also. The fact that the whole ‘fierce’ attitude and attacks toward Qi Yue had lessened or how it passed quickly made her character more real and less fake (than again other dramas seemed to let on for dramatic purposes). Perhaps it was her determination that was most admirable and it was the drive that allowed her to continue on. She had a purpose and she was never off course. Though she might used the wrong method, her target was always the same. Aside from being in the blind for so long, she was considered the wisest. It was possibly due to the fact that she had more experience than the others combined. How she thought that Qing Zi was the wisest among the girls but she was wrong and then how she was advising and/or warning Qi Yue of the possible danger in Qi Yue and Jiang Meng’s relationship and the underlying problem that they could not see (i.e Mei Di). Indeed she was right, losing to a person so kind and gentle that you cannot condemn was the worst. And though she disagreed with those ‘softy’ type, she didn’t let Mei Di get bullied by the gang of girls at school either. Very admirable.
  • Masuyama Yuki and Ivy Fan as a couple. Though they were using the wrong tactics to express their love at the beginning, they were equally hilarious to watch after they learned to love themselves properly and expressed it in a more positive way toward the people they cared for. It was funny how Li Xiang was saying she was still pursuing Jiang Meng but her jealousy and watching over Yang Ping at times were funny. Like the part where they were on the bus going on the trip for the basketball club, Li Xiang was hitting Yang Ping’s head when he commented about Mei Di being cute. It got even funnier and cuter in a sense when they were doing different activities at their preplanned site. Yang Ping was so clueless at times that it was too cute, making Li Xiang so pissed off at his idiotic nature YET she was not able to tell him either–had to keep her cool reputation (lol). But then she had to take the initiative on the bus when they were on the way back and it was so cute!
  • Wu Zhong Tian and Janel Tsai as a couple. I thought their relationship was on the bittersweet side. It was like she was waiting for him but she also stated her purpose, not being fake about it at all. It wasn’t like she will always wait for him. She had waited long enough and until the day he met Qi Yue again. She wanted to give them both a deadline so that they could all move on and also to answer to herself. And I thought that the whole thing with the puzzle of how to win Ya Li’s heart again was really creative. This was another sign that proved the relationships in here were unique in their own way and the plot worked out well with making the relationships different. It was quite touching reading the letter he wrote to her yet it was not too cruel to say that it was not what she wanted. She had waited this long but a letter was not enough to prove it. Yes, those were definitely sincere words, but not enough to convince. I felt she had a right to seek other types of proofs. And not to mention, it was not leaning on the materialistic side either but it was more of an action and a gesture to prove that he had remembered what she said, and how much it meant to her. And the meet up at the restaurant was equally touching and sweet since he had repeated her words from the past (aka remembering what she said).
  • Every couple had their own story. Usually, they did too in dramas BUT the cute scenes OR super sweet and/or touching scenes were often reserved for the main couple. But in here, I found it that not one couple was robbed. There was the touching story between Yuan Yi and Qing Zi as well as Yu Ping and Li Xiang. There were also cute scenes of them and more. Even the parents had their own stories.
  • The cast and their spread-out appearances. Honestly, I didn’t realize how nice they’d done it. They did not merge in all the scenes with everyone appearing and introducing them or trying to stir things up relentlessly just for kicks. It was just how things were. Like how people pop in and out of one another’s life. A nice cast indeed and no one tried too hard. They had a great variety to make everything work.
  • The friendship that the characters in here shared. Like how their stories and appearances were spread out and different, I also like how their friendship developed throughout. Whether it was with the major characters or with the supporting characters. A good example would be how Yuan Yi, Qing Zi, Li Xiang, and Yang Ping conspired to help Tian Si Shen and Chuang Ya Li. Definitely showed how well they’d gotten along and how their views had changed of one another. And it was great to see they took it seriously to make it work and not just talks or childish rants. It was also amazing how they each thought of something to solve the puzzles or tried to chip in their ideas to make it work. Also very funny that Yuan Yi became so smart with helping others yet he was clueless in his own relationship. Though some ideas were bizarre, it was worth a few laughs and touching moment.
  • No dragged out obstacles. I found it even better and possibly more realistic that the supposed rivals of both Jiang Meng and Qi Yue were not just one or two person(s). They encountered a variety of people–either from the past or the future–that became a test of their relationship BUT it was not dragged out. There were doubts or misunderstandings at times but it was cleared away. Perhaps it was because of the lack of wishy-washy formula that made it more enduring at times. Also, they did not make one person out to be the ‘evil person’ for the hype of the drama. It was how life was. You encounter people who liked the same person as you but it did not mean that other person was evil. They just wanted to fight for their happiness or wanting a chance before giving up.
  • The Pace. I was seriously amazed by the pace of the story. Because other dramas would have subplots but then solved everything like within the last episodes. But this one acknowledged one conflict after another, not letting it drag too much. It was like how it was implying that through knowing Jiang Meng, Qi Yue eventually found out different things about him and coming to accept the person that he was and/or helping him with it. It didn’t drag long, except for the main theme that they were trying to get over the worst demon–the public’s views of their relationship–both ways. I thought it was essential that their seeking of acceptance from the public was the only thing that was around from the beginning to the end. This sort of tied up with the above point but I thought I want to mention it separately to emphasize the rest of the couple’s obstacles also.
  • The soundtrack. Like many Taiwanese dramas, the soundtrack is always addicting and plays an essential part toward the plot. I’m more convinced than ever that Rainie does have the ability to convince us of her voice. Yes, she’s not extremely awesome with her vocal range, but she does have the ability to apply enough emotions into the songs that tugged at our hearts. (Or at least I thought so.) Other tracks were worth noting also, playing its own part in the drama along the way.

Dislikes:

  • Amanda Meng as Yuan Mei Jin (aka Jiang Meng and Chang Rang’s mother). Though I understand where she was coming from, somehow I couldn’t sympathize with her. It was like she did not fight hard enough for Ah Meng in the past. It was like she thought she could go back for him but those years were the most essential and it could never be brought back. If she had fought harder for him, she might not regret it so much or Jiang Meng wouldn’t be so full of hatred toward her. She should not be blamed for caring for Ah Rang more since Ah Rang was always the weaker of the two–health-wise. Yet I felt she was too fake in a way. I think the Jiang family’s principles, especially the grandma, had broken her like Ah Meng had said. But I don’t know. I was not convinced of her suffering too much.
  • The ending. Seriously? Come on now. That was a bit corny. Though I admit it was funny and then the signature con job by the devil himself aka Ah Meng, BUT that was lame with trying to make it a bit funny. It dissolved all the touching scenes previously. Though the gang could be funny too, that was too much on the side of being corny. That thing with the videotape and the NG scenes were lame. Yes, that was funny seeing they had to re-shoot but incorporating it into the drama itself? Okay.