I am not a fan of Taiwanese drama, idol or otherwise. I would say I watched this Taiwanese drama because of actress 天心 whom I last watched in the drama My Perfect Man (read review https://vickychong.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/%E6%88%91%E7%9A%84%E5%AE%8C%E7%BE%8E%E7%94%B7%E4%BA%BA-taiwanese-drama/). Also, the positive review from Straits’ Times reviewer on Mediacorp actor Christopher Lee’s performance in the drama also nudged me into squeezing precious time away from Korean dramas to follow the 15 episodes.
The English titles The Good Wife, is totally different from the Chinese titles 親愛的-我愛上別人(Dearest, I have fallen in love with someone else), although both are just as applicable to the drama. The heartwarming drama brings out the best from both the leads. They are restraint in their acting, yet the emotion and pain that flash across their expression endear them to the audience.
Shao-wen and Yi-zhen were architectural school mates who fell in love and got married seven years ago. He comes from a rich family and his father wants him to take over the construction firm while he enters politics. She gives up a dream career after a miscarriage to be a homemaker but another miscarriage leads her to bookstore owner Shang-en. Through Shang-en, she realizes that he is the only one that truly understands her and accepts her unconditionally, without the same high expectation from her husband.
It’s Yi-zhen’s habit to write a diary every night before bedtime, which she starts off as Dearest…, a way of communicating with Shao-wen her thoughts, which she doesn’t have any opportunity to do in her neglected state.
Yi-zhen decides to return to the workforce, much to the disapproval of her in-laws. Her relationship to Shang-en is discovered and she requests a divorce. Then she discovers that she is pregnant and decides to return to Shao-wen and his domineering parents. His parents want a DNA proof that the child is Shao-wen’s and advise Shao-wen to keep the child and let Yi-zhen go. Shao-wen then makes the biggest scarifies a man can make to the woman he loves.
The Good Wife describes how a good wife should be, fertile, docile and obedient to the in-laws, something Yi-zhen tries hard but never really succeeds. Yet this show can also be called The Good Husband, for the unselfish love that Shao-wen shows to Yi-zhen can really teach men what real love is. Watching this makes me sympathize more with the husband.
On a lighter note, this show has the most obvious product placement for Vaseline Intensive Care. It commences more airtime than many of the other co-actors. In fact, in the last episode where Shao-wen goes to Watson to buy Vaseline and recalls his time with Yi-Zhen is a commercial advertisement itself.
I watched the drama on PPS which runs an after-filming sequence after every episodes, which shows the actors jesting around. While it was fun to watch, it brought about the reality that this is just a drama and the actors are just acting, which spoils the effect of the show for me.