You Light Up My Star snuck up on me and premiered last Sunday to my great (but pleasant) surprise. I had recalled some news trickling in here and there about the scale of this drama, but I somehow missed all of the big promotional materials before its premiere. Director Winnie has to be my all time favorite TW drama director (ISWAK, In Time With You), so I know that I can trust him to deliver on the directorial front. Acting-wise, Joe Cheng can be hit or miss for me – loved him in ISWAK, hated him in Love or Bread. And Janine isn’t an actress I’ve fallen in love with, but I do generally enjoy her presence on the screen. Which meant that I was pretty excited about this drama (once I realized it was premiering).
So after watching the first episode, I was surprised, to say the least, about the tone of the drama, which was much darker and melodramatic than most of the works I’ve come to associate Director Winnie (and idol drama actors) with. It reminded me of the tone of Summer’s Desire, which ironically was also about the acting/entertainment industry. What’s with portraying the acting industry as something extremely dark and depressing?
You Light Up My Star is about a famous actor, Liu Chen Wei (Joe Cheng) who suffers from depression. Janine Chang plays Zhang Man Ling, his long time girlfriend, with whom he’s starred in a series of dramas. To the outside, they seem like the perfect, glamorous couple, but what happens when Chen Wei’s facade starts to crack?
I think I’ve found my new crack drama. Which is good because In a Good Way is ending soon and I’ll need another drama to replace it. The find? Rock N’ Road (A咖的路). (Side note: The English title is a cute take on the Chinese title, which literally means The Path to being an A-lister). It’s actually been airing for a while on TVBS, but hasn’t been very popular in Taiwan (it’s the lowest rated of its timeslot). Which is such a shame because it’s an underrated gem with a strong acting performance by Chris Wu and an amazing OST (not surprising since it’s a drama about music). Continue reading →
I know I’ve been gone forever, and I can’t promise I’m back for long, but I couldn’t resist commenting on TW drama Pursuit of Happiness (愛的生存之道), which ended just last week. How could I not, considering that this came from the same production team who did one of my most beloved TW dramas ever, In Time With You?
Quick drama description: 30-something old woman, Ji An Lei (Sonia Sui), is a successful career woman, scared of being single forever and dying alone, and carries a flame for her ex-boyfriend, who is back with a new girlfriend. And she gets a new roommate (Tony Yang), who happens to like that said new girlfriend. Sparks fly. Continue reading →
I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I seem to have a penchant for bad dramas. The better the drama, the more unable I am to finish it, but I have this bizarre attraction to trainwreck dramas. Case in point: SOP Queen. Admittedly, it’s not terrible, but it’s not a good drama, and since I have so many GOOD dramas to watch on my list, I’m not sure why I’m stomaching this drama and all its random hijinks and hooligans. But I am. And I felt like sharing this bizarre love of mine. Continue reading →
Although I have stopped watching Fondant Garden (for its lack of Han Xiang – Mi En interactions and abundance of annoying characters), I can still objectively appreciate the many songs on its OST. In particular, I really liked the ending song, 愛你 (Love You) by Kimberley Chen. The full version of the song was recently just released, and, as promised, I have embedded the link to the video below. Kimberley is definitely a hot rising talent to look out for, with her first album being released on 4/27. Anyway, enjoy!
Let me just preface this by saying this is likely the last recap I will be doing for Fondant Garden. While Fondant Garden may be cute and sweet for some people, I have found myself increasingly unable to stomach Fondant Garden’s various antics and plot points. Luckily, we saw some much needed character development in this episode, in particular with Xi Huan, but I feel like there’s still a long ways to go before Xi Huan becomes a sympathetic male lead whom I care about. Continue reading →
Sunny (2011) is one of those rare movies that can make you laugh, cry, and laugh while crying in the course of a mere two hours. Featuring a large cast of characters, from both the teen and adult years (with veterans like Yoo Ho-Jeong and rising stars like Kang So-ra), Sunny is a heartwarming story for all ages that focuses on friendship over romance, and leaves you feeling as if you have grown up with the girls over the course of the movie. A surprising box office success when it was released, Sunny was the second highest grossing Korean movie in Korea in 2011, and the twelfth highest grossing Korean movie in South Korea’s history. Which of course is completely understandable considering that it contains a perfect trifecta of acting, directing, and writing, all of which combine to make it one of the most memorable Korean movies I have watched to date. Continue reading →