Taiwanese Drama Review: Love at Seventeen

Love @ Seventeen: Boy Chases Girl…Literally

Wow. This is one of the best dramas to come out of Taiwan in a long while. I watched every single episode and did not skip any scene, something I very rarely do with dramas. It could be because it was only 15 episodes, but 15 episodes was perfect. Any longer and it would have fallen prey to the reason so many other Taiwanese dramas fail: they’re just too long. I was initially interested in this drama because it paired one of my favorite TW actresses, Nikki Hsieh, with one of my favorite TW actors, Lego Li. Little did I know that this pairing would turn out to be so amazing! Before this drama, I thought Nikki Hsieh and Lego Li were good actors only sometimes. Now, I know that they really do have acting chops, and when put together, they excel at their jobs.

DISCLAIMER: Unlike what the description of this drama would have you believe, Love @ Seventeen is NOT a “Second Chance” drama. Ai Li Si NEVER goes back in time to her high school days to change things. And before that makes you not want to watch the drama, I promise that the drama is only better for it.

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(Short) Taiwanese Drama Review: Dandelion Love (Xing Fu Pu Gong Ying)

Dandelion Love Poster

Ratings out of 10:

Acting: 4.5

Storyline/plot: 6

Plot Development: 4

Characters: 5

Music: 5

Ending: 7

Dandelion Love was 40 episodes long, but it definitely could have been only 30. The last ten episodes really dragged. Overall, the acting in the drama is not very good. I love me some Danson Tang, but he didn’t do a good job in this drama, and don’t even get me started on Alice Tseng. Both her acting and her character were irritating. The two best actors, who played the two most interesting characters, were Lene Lai and Nylon Chen. I thought they played their roles very well, even if it took Nylon a few episodes to truly become comfortable playing someone who couldn’t speak. Oh, and side note: these two are married in real life!! I also thought the main character’s father (Weng Jia Ming) did a good job.

The plot of the drama was a simple love story/slice of life. The way the plot developed in many parts, especially the way Lena Lai’s character developed, was sloppy. SPOILERS: When I didn’t even feel sad that one of the main characters had died, I knew there was something wrong. That being said, I still watched the whole thing, and it certainly wasn’t torture. The first seven or so episodes with the kids were entertaining, and the love stories were sweet as well.

Watch If: You’re a fan of Danson Tang (he was the reason I started watching), Lene Lai, or Nylon Chen. Also, if you like longer dramas that take you beyond marriage and happily-ever-after, then this might be a drama you’ll enjoy.

Don’t Watch If: You want an emotional drama that really makes you connect with the characters. Also, if you struggle watching dramas over 20 episodes, then I wouldn’t suggest this drama for you.

Overall Score: 5.25

Rewatchability: 0%

 

Taiwanese Drama Review: The Fierce Wife

Ok, this drama is…wow. I mean, wow. This is one of those “diamond in the rough” dramas among Taiwanese dramas. Most Taiwanese are kind of crazy, in my opinion. They are like live-action animes. It is rare to get a drama that is serious throughout the whole drama, and this is one of them. (I also think Autumn’s Concerto was another one of the rare dramas) I read the description for this drama on dramawiki, which stated, “Xie An Zhen was happily married with one daughter until her husband cheated on her with her cousin. And the ensuing divorce became a battle of love and wits,” so I was really¬†excited because I thought the drama would start out with her husband cheating on her, and then she decides to leave him, and then he comes chasing her because he really loves her and all would live happily ever-after. Well, little did I know what this drama was really about. It took a great many episodes for the divorce to even come up because of all of the background work and drama that was in the preceding episodes. (Man, I really want to put spoilers in here, but I shouldn’t…) All of the actors and actresses were fantastic. They all portrayed their characters marvelously. But, of course, the top actor/actress award goes to Sonia Sui, who played the main character, Xie An Zhen. Though, I haven’t seen all Taiwanese dramas, I would dare to say that she is the best drama actress among all of them. Her role was very complex, yet she played it perfectly, it was hard to believe that she was a person separate from her character. The way she dealt with everything was also realistic. She was seriously the perfect wife and the perfect mother and the perfect friend. She portrayed all of those roles so nicely that you end up really despising her husband through most of the series and crying for her and with her. Her husband, Wen Rui Fan, played by, Wen Sheng Hao, did a great job also. His acting was believable. But, as I said, all the actors did a marvelous job.

The writers and director of this drama should also be commended. The reason this drama was so heartbreaking and amazing was because of all the work they put into the story and script. They made it mostly realistic, and really took your emotions for a ride because of all the depth they put into the characters and the characters’ relationships.

The music was also very nice. Of course, there were plenty of repeated tunes, but they were very nice songs, and they perfectly fit the mood of every scene in which they played.

This is a drama that I would not only recommend to Asian drama lovers, but to anyone who likes good drama. That’s how good it is. And also for you strictly romance drama lovers, it certainly has romance. So, if you can’t find any Asian dramas that look good at the moment, even if this drama doesn’t look good to you, watch it, because you will not be disappointed.

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(It took me a while to find a drama to watch after this one, because all the dramas seemed to pale in comparison)