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 →
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!
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 →
Despite my initial apprehensions, I’ve actually found myself liking Fondant Garden, and its sugary sweetness, more and more as I continue to watch it. The characters grow on you, and now that we’re past the first initial plot maneuvering, the writing has settled down a bit, into a slightly more realistic territory. Of course, the shining grace still remains the songs and Kingone & Jian Man Shu’s interactions. Continue reading →
So as I mentioned in my previous recap about Fondant Garden, one of the few things I do like about the drama are its theme songs, specifically the opening and closing songs. So, here I have embedded the opening song. The opening song is called Maybe的機率 (Probability of Maybe) by 大嘴巴 (Da Mouth), a famous Taiwanese hip hop band that is considered the Asian Black Eyed Peas. This song perfectly captures the sweet frothy nature of the drama, with it’s light, bubbly upbeat nature. The ending song, Love You (愛你) by Kimberley Chen is also really good, but I don’t think it has been released yet. When it has, I will embed the video link below as well, but for now I have the song ripped from episode 1 below.
Edit: In the last few episodes, they’ve also been playing Park Jung Min’s 壞人 (Bad Person). While I may not like his acting, I do like his singing, so I’ve embedded a ripped version of the song below as well.