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?
Mike He’s newest drama, Sunny Happiness (幸福最晴天) premiered on CTV last Sunday, topping the ratings with 1.67% (not much of a shocker considering its competition was Love Buffet and Gossip Girl).
In the drama, Mike He (Devil Beside You) plays Xiang Yun Jie, the president of a hotel, Janine Chang (Black and White) plays Fang Yong Yong, a cleaning lady at his hotel (specifically, she cleans his office), and Li Yi Feng (Happiness is Definitely Strong) plays Xiang Yun Chao, the younger brother of Mike He’s character. It’s your typical rags to riches love story, with the handsome, rich, arrogant guy and the poor but optimistic girl who fall in love. Except, this time Xiang Yun Jie actually has an 8 year old child that he was unaware of from his previous marriage. In order to get custody of his kid, Xiang Yun Jie signs a contract marriage with Fang Yong Yong, except as always, their relationship becomes real. At the same time, Xiang Yun Chao, who has always had to live under his brother’s shadow, also finds himself falling in love with Fang Yong Yong, but he already has a fiance (who he was only engaged to for career advancement). I’m not sure if this is a spoiler, because it was in the 30 minute long preview (which was way too long, I feel like I know exactly how the story will turn out), but just in case, be warned (highlight the following to read it) : Fang Yong Yong and Xiang Yun Jie accidentally have sex while drunk, and Fang Yong Yong finds out she’s pregnant. So, they sign another contract to be together until she has the kid…. Such a Fated To Love You twist.