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I recently finished watching a Taiwanese drama called Skip Beat also known as Extravagant Challenge. The drama aired on GTV from December, 2011 to April, 2012 and was 15 episodes long. It starred Ivy Chen as Gong Xi, the heroine of the drama. The main male character was Dun He Lian, played by Choi Si Won, a Korean actor and singer. Bu Po Shang was the second male lead character, played by Lee Dong Hae, another Korean singer. Bianca Bai played Jiang Nan Qin, Gong Xi’s rival and subsequent best friend. The Taiwanese drama is based on a long-running Japanese manga of the same name. The manga itself has reached 30 volumes in Japan with no end in sight.
In Skip Beat, we have Gong Xi, who works herself ragged at three jobs to pay for an expensive condo that she invites no one to. She has barely any friends, but is a huge fan of Bu Po Shang, a singer that has recently begun to get popular. When Gong Xi goes home, we find that she has a very big secret. She is in fact living with Bu Po Shang, who is an old friend and someone that Gong Xi considers her boyfriend. Despite how rude and irritated he gets with her, Gong Xi ignores his temper tantrums and entices him with his favorite dessert so that he would spend a little extra time with her. Gong Xi willingly spends all of her funds on Bu Po Shang, forgoing things like makeup and other girly things so that he can be happy and live in comfort. Gong Xi also cheers him on when he loses to Dun He Lian, a bigger celebrity than him. Despite the fact that Bu Po Shang hides her from the public eye and refuses to go anywhere with her, Gong Xi has an unrealistically sunny outlook about their relationship.
Gong Xi and Bu Po Shang grew up in a small village, where Bu Po Shang’s parents ran a Japanese inn. Bu Po Shang was the only child, and was expected to take over once his parents retired. Gong Xi was taken in by Bu Po Shang’s parents when her own mother abandoned her, and she has followed Bu Po Shang ever since. To make a place for herself in that Japanese inn, Gong Xi happily learned from Bu Po Shang’s mother about how to be a hostess and take care of guests. When Bu Po Shang decides to escape the shackles of his life in that small town, he brings Gong Xi along with him. She gives up her education and leaves the only home that she has ever known without a second thought to care for and support Bu Po Shang in the big city.
One day, Gong Xi overhears Bu Po Shang flirting with his manager, who is a beauty, and telling her that he would never fall for someone like Gong Xi, and that he is only using her to pay for all of his living expenses while he works on his career. Gong Xi is heartbroken and tries to attack him. Bu Po Shang only laughs and has her thrown out, telling her that he is out of her reach. The only way she can get at him is if she becomes a bigger star than him. At the beginning of the drama, we were told about a chest that is locked inside every human being. It has all of the darkness and hate that a person is capable of. When Gong Xi learns of Bu Po Shang’s duplicity, that chest inside of her opens and out come her little devils. She is filled with anger and vows to get revenge on Bu Po Shang. In order to do that, she decides to join LME, the biggest agency out there and to become a big star. Continue reading