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.
So here’s a quick description of the drama: Lin Xiao Jie (Chen Qiao En) is a worker at a big department store, who gets sucked into a whirlwind romance with her boss, Gao Zi Qi (Godfrey Gao), only to discover he was using her to get back at his ex-girlfriend. After this heartbreak, she starts a relationship with her online friend, Tom, who she discovers is also her real life friend, and heir of a huge department store in China, Tang Jun (Hans Zhang). And stuff happens.
So why did I even start this drama? Well, I have a bias for Chen Qiao En ever since I fell in love with idol dramas in Frog Prince, where I thought her performance was cute, spunky and altogether marvelous. Even though I didn’t particularly like either male lead, I was still enraptured by the drama, largely because of her performance. But from that point on, it just went all down hill. Oh sure, Fated to Love You was a rating bonanza, but I didn’t enjoy it, and then Easy Fortune Happy Love was a huge bust. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve grown older, but now I find her characters largely annoying and whiny, and I feel like she’s been cruising on the same act for the past 7 years. As a point of comparison, Ariel Lin has done a great job of diversifying her roles, going from cute, dense Xiang Qin in ISWAK to independent, intelligent You Qing in In Time With You. It’s reflective of her growth during this time – she’s no longer the young girl she portrayed 7 years ago, so it’s a good thing that her roles reflect that as well. On the other hand, as much as I love Chen Qiao En, she hasn’t done much growing up in the past few years – she’s still the same cute, bubbly, naive girl she was in Frog Prince. I know she has the potential for some deeper roles, but I just don’t think she’s tapped into it. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.
On the other hand, I don’t really like Hans. I think he’s a hilarious guy, having watched him on variety shows, but I couldn’t stomach Let’s Go Watch the Meteor Shower and I never found him to be a convincing Domyoji character (aka Gu Jun Pyo, Dao Ming Si). Of course, I second lead shipped that drama (but that seems to happen in every version of Hana Yori Dango I watch). Yet, even here, I can’t help but ship the second lead with Chen Qiao En. It doesn’t help that Godfrey Gao is doing a great job, combining the broodiness of Roy Qiu, with the hotness of… well himself. If only he were the male lead… then we would have someone who could actually speak English and pull off the “studied abroad in England” aspect.
One thing that makes me extremely disappointed is that the drama tries to portray her as a career woman who doesn’t have much time for the men in her life. Except, she has NO career (she’s just an unimportant department store worker clocking in her hours) until she meets two uber rich department store heirs, who then subsequently promote her to high positions. And she’s always waiting for guys to come her rescue and save her. She’s extraordinarily incompetent at her job, and yet people always let it slide and talk about how she’s such a big talent. Not to mention all of her messes, which rather than cleaning them up herself, she waits for her two guys to do it for her. So instead of coming off as a career woman, she seems like a bumbling, incompetent girl who waits for her prince charming to save her. This irks me because why in the world does she always have to A) mess up and B) wait for the guys to clean up her messes? How I miss You Qing of In Time With You.
Yet, despite its flaws, Queen of SOP is oddly addicting, and I’m clearly not the only one who thinks so. It’s been extremely well received in China, and has been #2 in its timeslot nationwide since its premier, finally hitting #1 a few days ago. It has just the right mix of hot rich guys, spunky girls, and family problems to make it into an extremely cracktastic drama.
Additionally, I love the theme song of the drama. It’s probably a major reason why I watch this drama – because I love the theme song (isn’t that so for most of the dramas I watch?). It’s so upbeat and cheerful, and sung by Chen Qiao En herself (she was an idol singer back in the day). I didn’t even realize she sang it until after I fell in love with the song. So I’ve embedded the song below for you all to enjoy. It’s called 喜欢孤独 (Enjoy being Lonely). Enjoy!
Edit: For those looking to download the entire OST, you can DL it here. Happy listening!
Alternatively, the ending song was sung by Hans, 做最愛你的朋友 (Being the Friend Who Loves You the Most), and is a nice sad song to contrast with Chen Qiao En’s happy, upbeat theme song.
And, some more of my favorite songs from the drama.
我知道你都知道 (I know you know everything)
金魚的眼淚 (Goldfish’s Tears)
The following song sounds extremely familiar, but I can’t put my finger on it… It was previously played in Pandamen, though I’ve never seen that drama, so I can’t say why I think it’s familiar.
最後一頁 (Last Page)
几个你 (A Few of You)
Hmm, I seem to like sad songs….