Asian Drama Addiction: Dipping My Toes in TW Dramas

Unlike the move from Jdramas to Kdramas, I have not run out of Kdramas to watch.  In fact, I can barely keep up!  I’m constantly discovering older dramas I want to watch and there’s always something currently airing that I’m keeping up with.  Digging into the filmography of my favorite actors has led me to more dramas and movies.  And while I was once a pure rom-com elitist, I’m now more willing to give melodramas a try…well, as long as they have a happy ending, that is.

It’s impossible to be a part of the Kdrama community and not become aware of TW dramas.  And over the past couple of years, it seems that TW dramas have been increasingly fond of importing Korean actors and actresses.  When Park Shin Hye was tapped to play the lead in Hayate the Combat Butler, I figured why not give it a try.  I liked her in You’re Beautiful and it was a chance to see her in something new.

Hayate the Combat Butler
Hayate the Combat Butler

Um, NO.  The dubbing was so off-putting that I couldn’t make it past episode three.  If this is what TW dramas are like, no thank you.

But the lure of TW dramas would not go away.  Eventually I requested recommendations in the OT thread at Dramabeans and, based on the replies, decided to try once more.

Love Keeps Going
Love Keeps Going

Erm, okay.  The actress’s voice and her character’s mannerisms….gonna take some getting used to.  The lead actor is pretty cute, but I wish he’d stop yelling so much.  Wait!  Hold the presses!  *rewind scene*  Whoa, what a kiss!  OMO!  Is this Coffee Prince?  I didn’t expect THAT scene!  *covers eyes*  Wait, what?  WHAT?  THAT’S THE FREAKIN’ ENDING?!?!

So yeah.  The drama itself was not bad; I really liked the story and grew to like the lead actress.  I would’ve liked the lead actor more if he hadn’t yelled all his lines.  But the ending was just…asdfkdslfjsldkhflajfjdklfj.

But I wasn’t discouraged.  Nope, in actuality my interest in TW dramas increased.  Cause I’m weird like that.  Next up was

Fated to Love You
Fated to Love You

The acting was on par with Love Keeps Going.  In other words, not as good as Kdramas and Jdramas, but not bad either.  And I thoroughly enjoyed the story…until the latter third when I wanted to poke the ex-girlfriend’s eyes out with a fork and shoot the drama’s writer.

Okay, going to try one that seems to top most recommendation lists.

Mars
Mars

Now THIS is what I’m talking about!  Awesome story, great acting (by the leads, anyway), fantastic soundtrack…I think I’m going to be a TW drama fan after all!

Vic Zhou, where have you been all my life?

Vic Zhou 1 Vic Zhou 16Vic Zhou 15Vic Zhou 3 Vic Zhou 6
He’s just so dang pretty

This sounds like an interesting movie.

Love You 10000 Years
Love You 10000 Years where Vic Zhou looks like this:

Vic Zhou 7
Let us pause to admire His Scruffiness.

Hm, what else has he been in?  Oh yeah, I’d heard there was a TW version of Boys Over Flowers/Hana Yori Dango.  I need to watch it just so I can say I’ve seen all three versions.

Meteor Garden Meteor Garden II
Meteor Garden I                                               Meteor Garden II

Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.  MG II, I’m putting you on hold for a while.

Here’s another recommendation.  The actor is familiar.  He was in Meteor Garden.  Maybe his acting has improved.

Autumn's Concerto
Autumn’s Concerto

The actress is lovely.  The story is great.  And Vanness Wu…

Vanness Wu 8 Vanness Wu 3 Vanness Wu 2
You’re welcome.

Here’s one with Vanness Wu and Vic Zhou together:

Vanness & Vic
The pretty…it hurts so good….

I hear this drama is patterned after Fated to Love You.

Drunken to Love You
Drunken to Love You

Unfortunately, it seems to suffer the same problem as FTLY…it would’ve been much better without the last third.

Oh look!  DramaFever is now streaming TW dramas!  This one looks interesting, and I’m a sucker for cougar er, I mean noona romances.

My Queen
My Queen

Not bad, not bad at all.  And I’m not just talking about

Ethan Ruan 5 Ethan Ruan 6
Ethan Ruan

Well, it seems that TW dramas aren’t as bad as my initial experience seemed to indicate.  Most are not exactly at Kdrama or Jdrama standards; over-acting and stilted line delivery seems to be the norm.  But I’ve found some gems in the pile, so I’m sure there are more.

Not this one, though.                                           Or this one!

Smiling Pasta        Corner With Love
Smiling Pasta                                                       Corner with Love

Ugh.  Two duds in a row.  Couldn’t even finish the second one.  Maybe I should quit choosing them myself and stick with the recommendations list.

In Time With You
In Time With You

Wow.  Just…wow.  What a drama.  What a love story.  What an ending!!!  I know some Kdrama writers who need to take lessons from this drama.  THIS is how to end a drama!

Berlin Chen 6 Berlin Chen 3 Berlin Chen 2
*Sigh*  Bolin Chen, will you marry me?

Ariel Lin, you are awesome.  What else have you been in?  Oh goodie!  A movie that puts you back together with Bolin Chen!

Lovesick
Lovesick

I need MOAR TW dramas!

Absolute Boyfriend
Absolute Boyfriend

And I’m reminded once again why I hate dubbing.  But HELLOOOOOO, Jiro!!!!!!

Jiro Wang 2 Jiro Wang 5
Jiro Wang

Drama Queen says she liked this one, so I’ll try it.

Magicians of Love
Magicians of Love

*snerk*  Boys Over Flowers, the hairdresser edition.  Meet their leader:

Ming Dao 5  Ming Dao 7 Ming Dao 6
Ming Dao

This one’s getting lots of love on AllKpop.

Skip Beat
Skip Beat

Believe it or not, the dubbing didn’t get on my nerves in this one.  And it’s not that I’m a fan of Super Junior as much as I’m a fan of Si Won’s ABS

Choi Siwon
Siwon’s abs

Why do so many people swoon over Mike He?  He was in Love Keeps Going, and I wasn’t impressed.  He was cute and all, but all that yelling…sheesh.  Maybe an older drama can shed some light.

Devil Beside You Version 2
Devil Beside You

Well.  Ahem.  I take back what I said.  I get it now.  Boy oh boy do I get it now.

Mike He 2 Mike He 1
Mike He

This dude has a way of looking at his leading lady that takes my breath away…like he worships the ground she walks on and he wants to devour her at the same time.

What else has he been in?  Oh cool, this one stars not only Mike He, but Rainie Yang and the other dude and the mom from Devil Beside You.

Why Why Love
Why Why Love

Maybe I shouldn’t have watched those two back-to-back.  Actually, it was fine until episode 13 when they introduced that last plot twist.  Fast forward is now my friend.  If the ending sucks, I’ma gonna hurt someone.

Hm…watch another Mike He drama?  Nah, I think he and I need to take a break from each other.  What to watch…what to watch…

Prince Frog
Prince Who Turns Into a Frog

And Ming Dao wins the toss! What a cute little drama!  Next up, either a little Sunny Happiness or maybe Office Girls…or maybe Drama Go Go Go…

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One response to “Asian Drama Addiction: Dipping My Toes in TW Dramas

  1. Pingback: TW Actor: Mike He | Surfing the Korean Wave

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