Black and White

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Black and White

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I just finished watching Taiwanese drama Black and White, which aired in Taiwan between April, 2009 and June, 2009.  The drama starred Vic Zhou as Chen Zai Tien (Pi Zi), a cop with a mysterious past. Mark Chao was Wu Ying Xiong, the righteous cop who believed in only seeing the worlds in Black and White. Janine Chang played Lan Xi Ying, the beautiful forensic scientist who loved Ying Xiong.  Ivy Chen played Chen Lin, the princess of the SanLian Gang, who everyone seemed to fall in love with left and right. And Xiu Jie Kai played Xiao Ming, who rounded out the cast as the soldier with a mysterious past.

Black and White was about two cops with two very different styles in doing their jobs, and this is the story of how their partnership makes them better as police officers and human beings. The pair take on a corrupt system and take down the people involved, and each learns some hard truths about themselves as they go along in solving crimes and falling in love with the same woman.

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3 Mini-BL Reviews – Uncontrolled Love, Round Trip to Love and HIStory: Obsessed

Uncontrolled Love, Round Trip to Love and HIStory: Obsessed

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I recently began watching Boys Love (BL) movies and shows, coming across this genre when watching other Asian dramas like Bromance. It’s those YouTube thumbnails that get you! I’ve seen bits and pieces of a lot of movies/shows from China, completing only a few, some from Thailand, some from Japan (including bits and pieces of Yaoi Anime) and even a couple from Taiwan.

I haven’t seen enough to make any generalizations about the shows or movies, but I do know that most Chinese films post-ban have had either open endings or downright sad endings, with no happily ever afters for the main couple. Japanese films are still as dry/too quiet for me, with that hint of melancholy that seems to soak through every scene in the movie, eating away at any other emotion. Japanese BL anime (called yaoi) is just not my cup of tea. Thailand dramas, the ones that I’ve seen, are of the sweet and young love variety. And I was impressed by one of the Taiwanese dramas I saw. Since I haven’t seen any other mention of Taiwanese BL besides this one series, I wonder if Taiwan is also getting into the BL game?

Most of the shows/movies that I have seen have paper thin plots and some really bad acting. A few of the movies have been adaptations from books, and have some really scary male leads. These leads leave the wrist-grabbing, stalking heroes of Korean dramas miles behind in their quest to make the other male lead their own.

Below I’ve summarized and commented on Uncontrolled Love, A Round Trip to Love, and HIStory: Obsessed which I recently finished watching on YouTube. A shout out to those amazing subbers out there who provide us with the opportunity to watch all Asian Dramas/movies. Continue reading

Because of You

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Because of You AKA Fairytale Under the Starlight

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I just finished watching the Taiwanese drama Because of You, which aired on CTS between January and May, 2010. The 22-episode drama starred Megan Lai as Tong Tong, the starstruck girl in love with her idol, Fang Zi Hao, played by Lego Li. It also starred Baron Chen as Sun Fan, who discovers how ephemeral fame can be when he becomes famous overnight. Finally, we had Tanaka Chie, a woman who is seeking fame at all costs, and ends up losing the man she loves in that pursuit.

Because of You is about fame and how it touches people’s lives in different ways. It showed the consequences of greed, what happens when one fails to realize ones own limits, and how fame can make people arrogant and blind to reality. But more importantly,  Because of You was about dreams and how one can attain those dreams if you only persevere. As we took the journey with our characters, we watched them grow, mature somewhat, and learn to let go of the fleeting thing that is fame in order to make their dreams come true. I watched this drama due to my newborn love of Baron Chen and Megan Lai, but the lackluster writing and the overacting made it a painful watch, and I can’t, in all good conscience, recommend this drama to anyone. Not even the diehard Baron/Megan fans.

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Bromance

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Bromance

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I recently finished watching a Taiwanese gender bender comedy called Bromance. The drama aired on TTV between October, 2015 and February, 2016. The drama starred Baron Chen as Du Zifeng, the male lead. Megan Lai starred as Pi Yanuo, our female lead. Pi Yanuo and Du Zifeng were our OTP in the drama. Newcomers Bii and Katie Chen were the second leads in the drama, playing Qing Yang (Zifeng’s friend) and Nana, respectively. Mandy Tao played Zifeng’s sister, Zihan, and Yang Ming Wei played Liao Guangchao, Pi Yanuo’s childhood friend. Amanda Chou played Xiao Jing, Yanuo’s amazingly supportive cousin. Finally, Sean Lee played Zherui, the third angle connected to our OTP.

Bromance is the story of Pi Yanuo, a woman who grew up pretending to be a man. A fraudulent fortune-teller convinced her parents she needed to be a male for the first 26 years of her life or she would suffer a horrible fate. Du Zifeng is the leader of the triad and the General Manager of the amusement park outside of which Pi Yanuo sells food truck hot dogs. Pi Yanuo meets Zifeng when she saves his life, and the two quickly become sworn brothers. Bromance is the story of how the two fall in love and find their way to a happily ever after.

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Skip Beat AKA Extravagant Challenge

Skip Beat

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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

Material Queen (Bai Jin Nu Wang)

Material Queen

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I just finished watching CTS’s Material Queen, which aired from June, 2011 to November, 2011. The drama starred a Hong Kong model, Lynn Xiong, as the titular Material Queen, Lin Chu Man. Vanness Wu played Cai Jia Hao, the hapless man who falls in love with her, only to realize that she cares more about material wealth than love. This drama is about her growth into a woman who can love freely, and who learns to sacrifice for that love.

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At the Dolphin Bay

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I was re-watching some of my old Asian dramas, and I came across a Taiwanese drama that was released in 2003. At the Dolphin Bay starred Ambrose Hsu, playing Hsu Ze Ya, and Angela Zhang, who plays Yi Tian Bian. The drama also co-starred Wallace Huo (Xiao Kang), Penny Lin (Shan Ni), and Jill Hsu (Man Ching).

Legend has it a dolphin once helped to reunite a pair of tragic lovers. From then on, the well-adored animal became the guardian of love. At Dolphin Bay, a tale of love and myth continues. Two children, Ze Ya and Xiao Pin Gai, met at an orphanage. Seeing the latter was often bullied by the other kids, Ze Ya rose to the occasion to become her gallant protector. Alas, the young couple parted ways when the director of a big company Hsu Ruo Gu arrived to bring his ‘grandson’ home. Ze Ya promised to come back for Xiao Pin Gai, but when he finally makes good his promise 20 years later, his childhood friend is nowhere to be found.

Credits: Dramawiki

If the legend of Dolphin Bay is to be believed, then when a girl makes her first confession to a guy, that guy becomes her destined lover. This is the general setup for the drama. Two “destined lovers” meet and are separated, only to be reunited again years later. Only now they have to face tremendous obstacles before they can live happily ever after. Continue reading