Perhaps I should add another category to my blog – Taiwanese Drama.
This drama just ended over Starhub 825 last Friday. I could have finished watching the whole series over the internet if I wanted too. One quirk of watching it on the net is the additional subtitles added at the top: aww…poor him; wow, he is practically a forest under his arm…and other comments you would hear if you’re watching with a group of girlfriends.
This series caught my attention after I finished watching The Fierce Wife 犀利人妻.
This is a modern remake of Chinese History. According to history, Wuyan is believed to be one of the four worst-looking women in Chinese history. By the time she was 40 years old, Wuyan had still not been married. She was hideously ugly-looking in her appearance, but was intelligent and well-learned. Later she married King Qixuan who treated her with great respect. Wuyan gave the King her frank admonitions and advice. Under their joint rule, the state of Qi became the”hegemonic state with a thousand chariots”during the Spring and Autumn period. (Source: http://history.cultural-china.com/en/48History8901.html)
In the modern drama, two women, both flawed physically, had a separate chance encounter with the protagonist, Qi Xuan, when they were children. One, Wu Yan, had a birthmark across one eye, the other, Ying Chun, was fat and ugly. Qi Xuan, instead of taunting them like other kids, encouraged them and they fell in love with him.
Wu Yan grew up intelligent and brave. Knowing that her father feels guilty about her birth mark, she tries her best to make him proud of her by being top in school and winning numerous competitions and is also a hero in her village. Ying Chun, on the other hand, had plastic surgery and becomes a model.
They meet Qi Xuan again when they grow up. Qi Xuan is now a playboy whose disappoints his father. He is shallow and dates only beautiful girl, which leads him to the top model Ying Chun.
One night, Wu Yan meets Qu Xuan and discovers that her idol has become shallow and rude. She teaches him a lesson and thus impresses Qi Xuan’s father. Qi Xuan’s father offers her a job and asks her to move in with them, in the hope that she can change Qi Xuan to take over his company.
Qi Xuan refuses to marry Wu Yan as she is too ugly, until a blind man, Howard, shows interest in Wu Yan. Then Qi Xuan realises that he loves Wu Yan for her kindness, intelligence and wit. Alas, Qi Xuan’s father dies and the company is taken over by his evil aunt. Qi Xuan loses everything.
Through the help of Wu Yan, Howard and Ying Chun, he regains his parents’ company. He proposes to Wu Yan, only to learn that Ying Chun is pregnant with his child. Who would he end up with?
I wished the show had chosen a really ugly actress instead of the lovely Cheryl Yan to make the show more realistic. Chery Yan has a nice pink patch over her eyes but was still pretty. I felt she was a little too mature for Ming Dao. In fact, the chemistry between Ying Chun and Qi Xuan is more electrifying, especially in the ‘flash inserts’- as they looked cheekily into each others’ eyes. Ming Dao is cute although he looks like he’ll soon suffer from premature balding. His role as the spoilt brat is quite exaggerated and rather irritating. Luckily, he soon matures into the role.
Like The Fierce Wife, there is a couple to inject some comedy into the drama, in this case, Wu Yan’s sister and brother-in-law. They could have migrated from The Fierce Wife for the stark similarity.
Any heart tugging moments? I can’t say there is, except for the character Howard, who personifies what real love is: Love is not to possess, but to ensure the happiness of the woman he loves, even by helping his competitor. What a guy!