Skip Beat! (Taiwanese Drama 2011)

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Drama Rating: 9/10

Gong Xi grew up with Bu Pu Shang’s family who managed a traditional inn by the58C country side. During the time she spent with his family she learned a lot of things and also fell in love with Bu Pu Shang, that’s why when he announced that he was running away from succeeding the business to pursuing the path of being a musician and a top idol instead. Gong Xi, being the naive girl that she was dropped everything including her chances of getting into college to follow the person she loves when he asked her to come with him to the city. She started working multiple jobs to support Bu Pu Shang’s goal and maxresdefault (1)when he was finally able to reach it, he discarded Gong Xi when she caught him with another woman. That’s when she found out that she was only used to help out with the living expenses and housework. As the realization dawned onto her that she had wasted her youth to a scoundrel like him, her whole world seem to crumble and love was replaced with wrath. Feeling betrayed and heart broken, she vowed to rise in the industry as a top actress who can surpass Bu Pu Shang and get the acknowledgement she had always wanted from him.

With a lot of effort, she was able to become part of LME talent agency which was the rival of Bu Po Shang’s company. When the president saw potential in Gong Xi he was amazed by her skills and honesty but was sad to learn that she has vowed never to love again – when in fact the president is a romantic guy who lives and breathes love, that’s why to turn things around, he gave Gong Xi a chance at being an actress. Gong Xitumblr_m08145tiDO1rqy5cqo1_500 who had zero experience in acting was given several conditions so that she could stay in the company. First, she had to join the “Love Me” department in which she was the pioneering member and she had to wear bright pink overalls during her work. He also assigned her to do all sorts of things for the company to help her grow as a person who can survive in the industry and at the same time learn about love all over again. Despite the menial tasks Gong Xi had to do to prove herself, she was winning the hearts of the people around her little by little and started to slowly become the top actress that she can be. In the process she also meets the famous actor Dun Helian whom Gong Xi was able to get close to due to work and for some certain reason, he starts to fall in love with her.

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Skip Beat Taiwanese drama version has a lot to offer. I initially watched this solely for Choi Siwon and no one else. I don’t even know who Donghae or Ivy Chen was prior to watching the show. This drama is based on a popular Manga which is still an on going series up to this day. Adding to this… I’ve also never heard of Skip Beat anime and manga at all when I started this drama!

*Ducks in a hole*
No flame throwing from fans please! I’m just being honest here.

What surprised me though, was how much it worked for me. I guess it’s a good thing that I have no idea that this was an adaptation – hence I had nothing to compare it with. Although, I did hesitate a bit when I learned there were a lot of CG effects where in F14things were faked. I have a bit of aversion in those things, but it wasn’t that bad and the story really hooked me up. The story line was awesome and it hit that funny spot in my brain. Not to forget those heart warming moments with regards to friendship and all those special ties with other people. I’m happy that the focus was not too much on the love story between a man and a woman but was more focused on friendship.

The actors were good in portraying their roles, it wasn’t that hard to be absorbed in their LoRhHDX7_o“acting within an act” that’s why it was really fun to watch. The drama made me appreciate the entertainment industry even more. The comedy was really funny as well and Ivy Chen’s character as Gong Xi was hilarious. She brought out unexpected fun in the whole duration of the series. I loved her special relationship with one of the girls, namely Jiang Nan Qin, whom she initially had a bad encounter with but due to circumstances they were able to work together and become friends. As for Siwon… I love watching his facial reactions and his hot choco-abs whenever it’s shown but what turned me off was the fact that his voice was off. That’s when I learned that when Taiwanese or Chinese dramas import actors, they usually dub their voices. In this case, Siwon’s voice was dubbed weirdly, they should at least have looked for a voice over who sounds like him. The same goes to Donghae. I do understand that both guys are Korean and they had to do this… but the least they could have done was do it nicely, right?

Setting that aside, this drama has become one of my favorite despite the mixed reactions from other people. Music wise – I got addicted to it and still listen to it up to now. I recall my favorite scenes inside my head whenever I hear the OST. As for re-watching, I have no idea how many times I have re-watched this show since 2011, I just don’t get tired of it and I am always hooked with watching my favorite scenes again and again. Over all this drama was fun fun fun. I would recommend it to people who liked the manga and anime. It had a lot of difference but at the same time, the essence of the story is still there that it didn’t leave me disappointed.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.
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When a Snail Falls in Love (Chinese Drama 2016)

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Synopsis:

Detective Ji Bai has to train a new recruit, the criminal profiler Xu Xu. Although she is great at determining one’s thoughts, she doesn’t know how to interact well with people. But that’s not the reason why Ji Bai intend to fire her. She’s very talented in the art of profiling, yet lacks in physical ability, running as slowly as a snail. Still, impressed by each other abilities, the teacher-student pair slowly fall in love in the midst of their investigations.

Excerpted from: MyDramalist

Words from Me:

This drama was surprisingly good! I didn’t expect to like it since Chinese dramas tend to get draggy but this one simply captured me by episode one. I also learned that the drama was an adaptation from Ding Mo’s book. The same writer who wrote “Love Me if You Dare” which was also adapted into a drama and became one of my favorites. There is also a huge difference between the book and the drama but it is forgivable because Wang Olivia and Wang Kai has awesome acting ability that could capture hearts of any viewers. They really have a good on screen chemistry too. Another thing about this drama is that it’s aired in a cable channel in China, therefore it has better terms with regards its airing time and script writing. I love how cable channels are not being limited in their creativity unlike in the major channels where they have to follow some concept and are more into ratings than the actual development of the drama. That’s the sad reality of any entertainment business.

The drama only has 20 episodes and runs approximately 35 minutes each. It doesn’t feel that long that I’m glad I was able to get hold of the complete episodes prior to watching or else I would have been too impatient on waiting per episode as it was only aired twice a week. The cinematography was breathtaking since they filmed the drama in different countries and the videographer definitely has an eye for creativity. The videography was colorful and vibrant it’s so nice to look at and make screen captures. It was in contrast with the genre, since the drama was about violent investigative criminal cases and such. There might be tidbits of romance inserted here and there between the main character Ji Bai and Xu Xu but there’s still the grim fact that someone is getting killed somewhere along the storyline. For me though, that’s what makes this drama more interesting as it diverts me from my usual watch list of rom-coms. I need some mystery and suspense to make the romantic development seem more palpable.

Another thing I liked about the drama were the actors. Wang Kai as Ji Bai was very effective as the team lead officer since he has a charismatic on screen presence. He has that leader quality going on for him that makes him interesting to watch. The role he took on was someone who’s skilled in fighting, that’s why seeing him do the action sequence was very much entertaining. On the other hand, Wang Olivia as Xu Xu was the complete opposite of her counterpart. Her role was someone who was small, weak and frail. I’m pegging on her character though since despite her physical shortcoming, she made up with her brilliant mind and utmost perseverance. They wouldn’t train her in the police field if she wasn’t an upcoming profiler who could make their investigations faster to solve. I really liked how Olivia portrayed her character. She was able to put up a woman who looked vulnerable and yet was able to survive the harsh world of the police department with her diligence. Lastly, there’s Xu Yue as Yao Meng. I initially liked her for her pretty face but somehow along the way her character became more significant that I felt attached to her as well.

Music wise, I loved their opening and closing OST. It sort of gave me some upcoming preview on what I’m supposed to feel for the whole drama. It gave me this mixed emotion of fear, excitement and romantic notion. I would love to re-watch this drama again and rated it 9/10 for the reason that it felt too short and I would have gladly watched another 20 episodes more. Over all it was a fine watch, I would recommend it to those who would want to watch something out of their comfort zone of romcom and yet would want some romantic concept inserted here and there.

By the way I also finished the book which was translated by team MerakiTranslations from this blog site: Tranzgeek. They are quite a dedicated team because they have several other books as their project. The book version has more chapters than the drama wherein it has painstaking details and dialogues in which the team took time to research and explain in their translations that makes me very grateful for their work. Do note that they translate the book for the love of it and are not getting paid, so if you’re going to read and check it out, a nice comment would definitely make their day.