I dread starting this review, because it is almost guaranteed to be a long post.
What should I say about this drama? The 80 episodes could easily be cut and edited into a standard 30 episode drama. Why didn’t the producers do that? They should have taken out everything except for the Yan Ge (Qiu Ze) and Tian Mei (Tang Yan) scenes. Because, really, those were the only scenes I watched. I don’t understand why I even attempted to watch this drama, because it is so long (seriously, 80 episodes? This isn’t Romance of Three Kingdoms).
The Xia family, well-off from their real-estate business, has three daughters. Only one of the girls is their own, with another adopted girl and a daughter from a previous lover (birth secrets galore).
[Tian Mei Arc]
Tian Mei (the real one) is sweet, clumsy, lovable, etc. , basically your standard Taiwanese female lead. She is courageous in pursuing true love, but reluctant to broadcast her family background (thinking that her financial status would attract many unsavory suitors…smart girl). Hilarity ensues when she becomes the secretary of an architectural firm’s young, handsome, talented general manager, Yan Ge.
At first, the two start off on the wrong foot (imagine spilled coffee…times 3, but they eventually become our adorable, endearing, bickering couple. But their happy time is cut short by the appearance of Yan Ge’s ex-girlfriend, Xiao Jing, who had left him without a word when he was in the hospital (yes, this is your cue to hate her).
She pulls the sickness card, claiming that she had left to receive treatment in the U.S. and didn’t want to worry him. Thus, she successfully provides an excuse for her abrupt disappearance AND arouses Yan Ge’s sympathy and guilt for not supporting her through her illness. Two birds, meet stone. Episodes 20-60 basically detail how Yan Ge returns to her side, while obviously unable to forget his happy times with Tian Mei. Oh, and throw in his cute half brother into the picture, and we’ve got ourselves a nice love square.
Now, let’s pretend we don’t hate Xiao Jing already for ruining the fluffy romance we had before. She is a scheming gold digger, who is obviously not inflicted by any disease (except maybe evil pox). When Yan Ge’s grandmother confronts her about her gold digging intentions, the poor old lady suffers a stroke and is rendered unconscious for most of the drama.
Xiao Jing also happens to have a husband. That’s right, not boyfriend, not fiance, but husband. She’s already married, and she’s told her husband minion that after she extorts money from Yan Ge, they’ll live happily ever after in America. Problem is, she has plans to maintain her marriage to Yan Ge, because she ‘loves’ him. Yan Ge cannot seem to forget Tian Mei, especially after she begins to date his younger half-brother.
After many hilarious events (e.g. Tian Mei’s kidnapping, Tian Mei falling into a pond…what can I say, the girl is a klutz) and the help of Yan Ge’s entire family, Yan Ge and Tian Mei finally get back together.
[You Shan and Zhen Zhen arc]
You Shan (Qi Wei) is the adopted daughter. She had a cleft lip when she was younger, but is now a gorgeous, confident young lady thanks to surgery. You Shan has her sights set on a talented architect, whose name I didn’t bother to remember. However, this talented architect happens to be the boyfriend of Zhen Zhen, aka the daughter from a different mother.
These two ladies fight over the man, who is indecisive, weak, and causes misunderstandings rather than explains them. There are deaths, births, blindness, car accidents, kidnappings, etc. involved in this arc.
Basically, you name it, and this arc will have it. The love triangle is a plotline that gets old quickly, especially when it drags for 80 episodes. Thank the drama gods that You Shan finally comes to her senses in the last 5 episodes and develops feelings for her cool childhood friend, who has the most adorable crush on her.
Instead of ending with a generic triple wedding, this drama ends with a quadruple wedding shoot.
If you think my blatant dislike of the You Shan/Zhen Zhen arc is uncalled for, you’ll understand my annoyance when you sit through 80 episodes of their melodramatic drama. I literally fast forwarded through 75% of the drama. Tian Mei and Yan Ge’s romance is too adorable.
The producers seem to agree, as Tang Yan, Qiu Ze, Jones Xu (the younger brother), and Qi Wei collaborated in two other series: The Unbeatables (with Hu Ge!) and Love Waking Up.
I will forever be indebted to this drama for introducing me to Qiu Ze (Roy Qiu), a Taiwanese actor. He is one of the most talented Taiwanese actors I know, along with Wallace Huo. Those intense eyes…swoon.