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?
Joe Cheng (It Started With a Kiss) and Amber Kuo (Invincible Shan Bao Mei) will be starring in a drama called Channel-X (國民英雄). The first episode will air on December 5.
It’s been a while since we last saw Joe Cheng (in Love or Bread in 2008-2009) and Amber Kuo (she was in The Happy Times of that Year in 2009), so this is exciting news for all their fans. A press conference was held just last week (November 14), but overall, the promotion for this drama has been pretty low key. Unlike other dramas that have been announced way ahead of time, I haven’t really picked up on much news about this drama. I can’t even really pinpoint exactly what the story will be like.
However, this is what I’ve picked up from the previews (and reading their website: http://blog.iset.com.tw/hero/, but BEWARE: it’s in Chinese). Joe Cheng plays a news anchor named An Zai Yong (安在勇) who was accused of murdering his girlfriend, Hong Xiao Lu (洪小綠), played by Amber Kuo, a paparazzi. It appears to have a dark, suspenseful tone to it (which makes sense because it’s marketed as a suspense thriller), making it a unique addition to the general line-up of Taiwanese dramas (usually light/happy romantic comedies). I can’t say that I’m looking forward to this too much, but I’ll probably catch the first episode and make my decision from there.