TW TV Series Worth Watching

I actually started this list like 2 years ago but didn’t want to post it just yet. Now, I thought what in the world, just go ahead. AND this is not an attempt to convince or manipulate people into watching it. Just something to share and add to this random blog. Some of them I attached links because I’d actually done the reviews for them at one point. Some are actually under its own categories so I won’t link it. Others? Might do discussions in the future but not sure.

This is the Taiwanese drama list – as the title indicated. I will post up the Mainland China and Hong Kong ones separately.

Ancient Dramas:

Gu Jian En Chou Ji 1984 (孤劍恩仇記) – Many people might not remember this one, but it was really good–despite being one of those with ‘lame’ settings in the days when Taiwan productions weren’t that convincing yet. But they had a great cast and the plot was really good for this one.

Bao Qing Tian 1993 – Who could forget this one, right? It was quite popular during its run, and the episodes got extended. One of the few shows that got extended but wasn’t unreasonable.

Ji Gong 1995 – Really funny but had a lot of underlying messages. So zen, so witty yet could be so crazy too.

Madame White Snake 2013 (白蛇外傳) – 40 episodes, but each episode was only about half an hour or less. It was enjoyable and sort of a parody to the “Madame White Snake” stories.

Shi Gong Qi An 1997 – It was so addicting, following the success of the whole Bao Qing Tian sagas. This also retained a lot of comedic moments to aid the plot along, so it wasn’t as depressing, but it wasn’t corny either.

Modern Dramas:

Angel Lover – 40 episodes later and I was still wanting more. Kudos to the production team for that. There were a lot of meaningful messages placed in without making it too corny. The people in here experienced very real problems in life and needed some guidance to get through and start anew, etc. The soundtrack was awesome also.

Black & White – Though when it came down to it, it was a 50/50 toss since the ‘romance’ part bugged me to death, must admit it was a really big production and they honestly put a lot of effort in the cases AND action scenes. NOT to mention the whole ‘conspiracy’ and the huge cast involved–regardless of grand names or not.

Bump Off Lover – I was really surprised it was that serious and dark–and was actually that good. It made me changed my views regarding TW dramas of recent and also of Angela. (YES, I wasn’t that into Angela until after I watch this one.) Probably one of those close to realistic dramas of recent years. Some elements might seem so exaggerated, especially with the twins being so different–as some people pointed out. YET it wasn’t impossible because of the catalysts involved.

Endless Love (愛∞無限) – I was surprised since I was just watching out of curiosity and because I want to support Will.

Devil Beside You – YES, for one of those rare times, I actually agreed with the general public about it being good – AND it had to do with both the storyline and the actors/actresses who portrayed the roles. I never read the actual manga SO do not know how accurate it was but the drama was good enough for me.

Home Run – One of those short and nice dramas from PTS.

Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu – Again, NOT because I’m following the crowd, but more like I really agreed with how the plot was. Didn’t read the manga either but found it pretty good for the most part. I really felt the whole school atmosphere and typical rivalry between dorms, etc. It was madness but also interesting and meaningful if the surface was stripped down.

I Do? – A surprisingly good one though it had some of the usual cliche plotlines. Interestingly enough, it was also an adaptation from a certain romance novel. From what I heard, it had strayed from the novel (as usual) but still retained some essence of the storyline, making it bearable.

Just Singing And Dancing (K歌·情人·夢) – Regardless of what happened with the ratings (which I didn’t get why but I reminded myself I no longer care to figure it out, except for daily dramas that made more sense), this was a really nice one. Focused mostly on music. Yeah, it did repeat the formula with different members of the band trying to conquer some inner demons, etc. But it wasn’t too soapy. It kept it real for the most part about family conflicts as well. The singing and dancing at random times didn’t seem to be realistic with life, etc BUT it put a lot of artistic elements into it. They used new and old songs and remixes to make it even more interesting.

Liu Mang Xiao Zhang – Many people will disagree with me since it seemed to be non-existence. YET I felt it was one of those really up there because it was really short and made its point. The characters were nicely written–though the plot could be silly at times. But it was a romantic comedy at heart, right? I’m not placing it in because two of my favorites are in it BUT because it really made an impact for me with the storyline. (Click here and here for more discussions regarding the drama.)

Love Together (愛讓我們在一起) – Despite some of its frustrating parts (and most dramas have those), I felt it was pretty good. Maybe what made it convincing was the maturity of the cast involved.

Mei Ren Long Tang (美人龍湯) – I was more than surprised. I meant I only wanted to watch because of not being able to get past a Mike drama for a while now. This seemed hopeful, but I wasn’t expecting much. Yet Mike really surprised me in this one with his really good acting (past the usual cool, handsome guy exterior). The rest of the cast were as convincing. The story wasn’t that unbearable either since some of the frustrating moments moved faster than usual, which was a good thing. I liked how the pieces of puzzles were placed in and then resolved along the way. It wasn’t too dramatic yet wasn’t too boring either.

Peak Times – A BIG surprise for me. I only wanted to check it out half because of curiosity and half because of Eric Huang and Cecilia Han Xue. But I found myself pulled in by the excitement at first. Then the suspense dragged me along for the rest of the time.

Rookies’ Diary – I didn’t put it in because many of my favorites are in here. BUT because I felt it was very informative regarding military procedures. I learned a lot. And I do know there were fictional elements in there (DUH, I know) and possibly added to accompany the plot. Yet it was really inspiring. AND what made me love this even more was seeing how they had continued with mentioning some characters from part 1 in the sequel without needing to ‘kill’ or ‘cut’ them off completely. Sure, they had to sever the ties for one of the main leads to explain why he wasn’t around anymore. BUT the rest of the relationships didn’t change, i.e. Wu Yong/Xia Zheng Feng didn’t end up with someone else just because Xiao Yan/Xiao Xiao Yu wasn’t around anymore.

Sisters (姊妹) – YES, it was 60 episodes long. Yet I felt it was worth it since they explored a lot of relationships throughout the drama and focused mostly on sisters’ relationships (obviously), but it was different in a way, especially the ending. I felt the ending had actually helped a lot with convincing us of real-life situations because not everything was about ‘happily ever after’ or ‘everything could be worked out so the main couple could reunite once again’. (Sorry, I’m rolling my eyes now.)

The Magicians of Love – Ignore the fact that it was a SETTV drama and that it had many silly attempts to extend the episodes for ratings (YEAH, typical SETTV move), it had some foundation. Not to mention how the message of breaking past obstacles to reach one’s goal at the end seemed quite addicting at times. The characters weren’t flawless because they were actually human beings so it was that spot that made it somewhat more realistic than seeing the typical heroes and heroines like in the other dramas.

The New World – Excellent planning and directing where puzzles were concerned and how the plot was crafted. However, what disappointed me was the ending. Some of the characterizations were nicely written and were worth it. However, the suspense that was built up since the beginning and along the way was all for nothing after all. Yes, it was that frustrating and I probably won’t ever get over it. Yet I must admit, they did a good job in some areas. The romance side, it was kind of messy and dragging in some areas and wasn’t enough balance for me. So what was the point of placing it in? I think considering how I placed in some other dramas that probably frustrated me too, I think this one was a push forward for suspense drama. It could have been short like Xiao Hai Da Ren with some cuts here and there, then it would be good. Yes, this was from the same team that made Xiao Hai Da Ren.

Wayward Kenting – This is truly a classic. YES, one of those rare times I actually use ‘classic’ since I’ve been so sick of people using it at every chance they get to mock other dramas. Director Niu really brought to life some of the daily problems the characters were experiencing and made it so mesmerizing and addicting to watch.

White Robe of Love – Not because I’m an Adylan fan. But because I found it interestingly addicting as well. It seemed somewhat silly at first but was real enough through its depiction and how it was laid out. It didn’t reek of the typical ‘idol dramas’ elements. (As interestingly most Dylan dramas aren’t.)

Xiao Hai Da Ren – OMG, surprisingly amazing. This is one of those reasons why I think dramas DO NOT even need to be dragged out to be good. The way it was presented was very convincing and restored my faith in TW dramas in general. NOT that I want to completely put other dramas down, but this one proved that if they wanted to do something serious without all the dramatic sequences added to just ‘entertain’, they could.

Yuan Lai Wo Bu Shuai – Some people must have dropped their jaws by now. BUT I have to say that this drama reminded me somewhat of the university days and just school days in general. Crazy conspiracy and wild theories students tossed around. Sometimes it wasn’t as dramatic as implied in the drama YET it made sense because if you’re in that particular group, you automatically focus on just that group only. School gossips and many more. Then it was also about friendships, etc. A typical comedy that needed to look beyond those obvious scenes to enjoy.

NOTE: This post will be updated from time to time. Therefore, it will be included in the ‘Helpful Posts’ section to make it easier to locate–IF anyone’s interested in following. Also, keep in mind that I back-watch from time to time, some might NOT be on the list yet. Others, call it a difference of opinions–IF I didn’t put it on there.

Yuan Lai Wo Bu Shuai

I just thought I would watch a comedy (or it seemed so) to give myself a break from all the dramatic ones that I have been tuning into lately. It wasn’t a mistake at all though I have to say it got a bit annoying near the end. Though some of the comedic parts were still placed in to ease some of the tensions that were going on, trying to maintain the ‘comedy’ part of the drama. Because of the little side drama near the end, I have to take off some points and declare this show as not bad instead of great.

The cast/characters:

  • JJ Lin as Xiao Zhuang (小莊) aka Zhuang Jun Wei (莊俊維). The supposed handsome guy who found out he wasn’t really handsome as the story unfolded.
  • Nicky Lee as Jin Si Si (金斯斯). OMG, his role was so wacko and clueless at times that was so funny.
  • Michael Zhang as Ah Kang (阿康) aka Fang Wen Kang (方文康). I must say that Michael honestly has a knack for comedy. He’s one of those guys that could exaggerate without making it too lame.
  • Alice Ceng as Cindy Xu Xin Ting (徐心婷). I didn’t know what to say about her until later. I guess she was one of those others often like to form an opinion of but didn’t really know her, etc. It was sort of cliche that she liked her sister’s boyfriend. Yet I tried to get past that and focused on her own character more later.
  • Xiu Jie Kai as Duan Zhao Wei (段兆偉). If only he appeared even more in the later parts. But that would be irrelevant with the rest of the plot. YET I rather have him appear more than some of the upcoming dramas that unfolded.
  • Jozie Lu as Shen Man Man (沈嫚嫚). I didn’t realize she was in 4 Gifts until later. But it was interesting to see her portray this role. The spunky girl within the group. She was the one with the least fake personality in here, which I really enjoyed watching. Okay, maybe second least since I just remember about Pin Xuan.
  • Winnie Zhong as Liu Pin Xuan (劉品萱). A girl who claimed she was possessed by an alien and wanted to regain her freedom. Though some of us could interpret it as her suffering from multiple personality problems because of how she was abused by her elementary teacher when she was little. I found her quite funny at times and her blunt personality was really refreshing. I didn’t care if she was mean at one point or another since it just meant she wasn’t fake. Her gentle personality was really funny as well, all shy. I think Winnie was really convincing with portraying both roles because it was so hard switching back and forth like that. Not to mention how she kept both personalities consistent.
  • Yao An Qi (姚安琪) as Cai Qiao Ping (蔡巧萍). At first, I didn’t mind her being the somewhat passive one since she wasn’t really making trouble but I forgot that the usually quiet ones are the ones to watch out for since they are even more dangerous than the loud ones. Though she wasn’t really my favorite throughout, I was okay with her around until later. I found her really, really fake. BUT it wasn’t because I was rooting for the main couple. More on that later.
  • Guo Yao Zhong (郭堯中) as Jason. SUPER fake. I didn’t care if he was being considerate to Cindy’s habits too. His whole show-off thing was such a turn off anyway. So it was wrong of Cindy to use him to get over Zhao Wei but I still find him really fake regardless of if Cindy was at fault or not. Those were two different things.
  • Renzo Liu as Club Advisor Lai Zhen Yi (賴正義). It was really funny to see him so worked up from time to time. His blood pressure was way up because of the three guys.
  • Doris Kuang as Restaurant owner. The supposedly wise boss. Yet I found her to be wrong like how Xiao Zhuang had implied of her supposed talent. YES, she was right on reading their current situation but some things weren’t as accurate when she gave advice.
  • Gina Lin as Yong Ge (勇哥). That was funny that she was a girl instead of a guy like they thought. At first, I thought she was trying to con them for meals but I had to keep in mind that Man Man wouldn’t introduce someone to sabotage them. I was reassured again when I realized they were delivering newspapers and gas tanks because those helped build their strength. That was quite impressive. I guess those talented masters are usually strange regardless of their age.
  • Huang Ruo Bai (黃若白) as Principal. Only appeared a bit to give the club advisor some pressure but still funny.
  • Rynn Lin as Zhuang Jun Ren (莊俊仁). Xiao Zhuang’s brother, the actual handsome one in the family–though the morphed concept ingrained in the townspeople’s mind had affected their mentality since young hence him not having confidence about his appearance and worshiped his brother since young. His jokes were the worst though since he kept scaring them about cooking their beloved Old Wang.
  • Xiao Zhuang’s cousin. I found her really funny though she was causing troubles for others. At least she wasn’t fake and all. I actually enjoyed it that she was sabotaging Xiao Zhuang and Qiao Ping. It seemed to test Qiao Ping and made her cunning side come out.


  • Xiao Zhuang, Si Si, and Ah Kang. They were seriously the highlights of the show, of course. Every time they got together to discuss matters, it was so crazy. Two would always team up together and bully the other one. Watching Si Si and Ah Kang fight over food was seriously funny as well. Yet I found it really nice to see that they would stick by one another’s side when needed. They often talked about their problems and gave advice but was so funny with adding in side remarks as well. That made it more realistic than just the overly corny lines.
  • Xiao Zhuang and Man Man. It was interesting how they shared some likeness with one another too, especially that one time when they got drunk together–more her than him.
  • Cindy and Man Man. They were seriously friends. Regardless of how they seemed to make poor decisions at one time or another, they didn’t desert each other–or judge. Though Man Man had stressed that she wasn’t siding with anyone when she had that conversation with Qiao Ping near the end, I thought she had every right to side with Cindy since she knew Cindy longer. But must admit she kept her words since she treated both girls equally–as friends, not attacking Qiao Ping for pulling such selfish stunts.
  • Everyone had some link with one another. Not just because they were in the club together or knew one person through another. But it was like they could bond at one point or another through different circumstances.


  • Xiao Zhuang and Cindy. To be honest, I was taking in Ah Kang’s words too much at the beginning and felt like they were better off as friends. But through different scenes that unfolded, I got more attached to them though didn’t have high hopes since they seemed to be from two different worlds. Then came the flashbacks that Xiao Zhuang had with the two of them, it seemed like they were so in-sync with each other–regardless of how outsiders would feel odd seeing them together. I guess her past baggage was too much and she didn’t realize Xiao Zhuang was the right one for her until she stepped out of the whole scene. She didn’t know if Xiao Zhuang was just a good friend when she needed him for support–or was he the one for her until later. But glad they ended up together all the same.
  • Xiao Zhuang and Qiao Ping. At first, I thought they were more suitable for one another than Xiao Zhuang and Cindy yet I was wrong since the scene in the restaurant when Xiao Zhuang remembered back to how he had asked Cindy about the joke, she had gotten the right answer instead of Qiao Ping’s clueless response. It was then that I realized Xiao Zhuang and Cindy were more in-sync with one another regardless of outer appearances. When Xiao Zhuang was with Qiao Ping, it seemed like he was more serious but it also meant he was uncomfortable and the guilt was present (like he later mentioned). It was so wrong. This showed that what they think might work wasn’t so. Not to mention how she knew of his deep feeling for Cindy so it was harder and harder with the trust thing. It wasn’t totally her fault for being jealous but it was better for both not to be together since she knew too well about Cindy so it was hard regardless of what both tried to do to make it work. The big difference between them was he didn’t resort to other means when he saw some threats. YES, I didn’t expect her to be perfect since Man Man and the other girls in here got jealous at times too but I found it too much of a joke when she said she was unwilling and felt it was unfair with how Xiao Zhuang was able to move Cindy but she can’t move Xiao Zhuang. Maybe it was because Xiao Zhuang never blamed Cindy or anyone, but himself for not succeeding BUT Qiao Ping was too calculating. (Like how she was keeping tallies of how long it would take to win Xiao Zhuang over versus how Xiao Zhuang didn’t care–as long as Cindy was happy. It took a lot for him to get over certain failures but he didn’t resort to other means like Qiao Ping had chosen.)
  • Si Si and Pin Xuan. Too crazy for words yet I guess if they didn’t end up together, I don’t know what else. But it was too funny seeing how he was trying to act normal when she was talking to herself (aka her other personality).
  • Ah Kang and Man Man. They were too addicting to watch. I’m so serious here. They were like my favorite couple. They were too hilarious, always fighting and giving one another a hard time. Yet it wasn’t too typical of the whole fighting couple either. Ah Kang was trying to avoid her at all cost after realizing that she liked him YET he didn’t realize that he was falling for her himself, so bad. Possibly way more than he realized because all he could focus on was her and brushing off all possible threats. I found it funny that she ended up attracting more and more guys at the end because she had changed her style and he was fending off his threats. LOL!
  • Club Adviser Lai Zhen Yi and the restaurant owner. That was so funny that he became all nice and kind to the others because of her. Then he even went and helped at her shop.

Recommended? IF you really want to watch for kicks and NOT because you wanted to watch something so-called “deep.” It was deep to some extent because it addressed some major issues in life that one might encounter. You can’t just look on the surface and make a conclusion. Sure, it was exaggerated at some points because it was a comedy at heart, but there were lots more than just that. I enjoyed it since it had succeeded in making me laugh. But it doesn’t mean it’s right for you.