I love that this drama was more popular than the Taiwanese version of Hana Yori Dango. Good to know I’m not the only one that wasn’t impressed with that remade-too-many-times tale of domestic abuse.
Admittedly, I originally only started this show because of all the hot men it boasted ~ namely Gino of the Taiwanese boyband K One. I also followed my girlcrush, Joyce Zhao of 7Flowers. They were in Smiling Pasta together, and I really liked them, so I decided to check out other stuff they were in. (:
It stars Chen Qiao En (also of 7Flowers), Ming Dao, and Sam Wang (both members of another boyband, 183 Club), and tends to be more of a romantic comedy more than anything else. Chen Qiao En plays a poor girl named Ye Tianyu, who is obsessed with finding a rich husband. Both of her birth parents are dead, and she has been raised since she was little by her overprotective and hilarious stepmother. She also lives there with her…not-too-bright stepbrother, Zhengzhe. The three of them run Money Come, a grocery shop in the fishing village of Guan Mei. And you soon find that Tianyu isn’t the only one obsessed with money – it runs in her whole family.
The story opens with one main problem: the huge international hotel, Senwell, is planning to demolish Guan Mei Motel, and move all of the villagers out to build a luxury resort called “Paradise City.” The motel’s proprietor (who also happens to be the man Tianyu’s stepmother divorced, and the biological father of Zhengzhe) goes to Senwell, in hopes of begging its head to change his mind.
Enter Shan Junhao (Ming Dao), the infamous GM of Senwell. He is known for his ruthlessness and aloof behaviour, and seems to live the perfect life. His parents own 80% of the shares in Senwell, and he has a lovely fiancée, Fan Yunxi (Joyce Zhao), with whom he has been childhood friends, along with Xu Ziqian (Sam Wang).
But that all ends when he gets kidnapped on the day of his engagement to Yunxi. He is able to gain control of the car, and swerves it off the road. He escapes just before the car expodes, only to be hit by Ye Tianyu’s car. Not knowing what to do with him, Tianyu and her family take him home. Surprise! He wakes up as a blunt, but much kinder and gentler soul that is given the name Dang-ou by Tianyu and her family. At first they try to get rid of him, but as fate would have it, something always happened to prevent them from staying separated for too long. Eventually, Tianyu and Dang-ou fall in love. Her mother is not happy, since Dang-ou has no memory of his past ~ and also no money. Various other things happen, and Junhao regains his memory, but forgets about Tianyu. It seems at first like Fate is not on their side, but their love eventually prevails in the end.
I really liked this story. I watched it to take my mind off of the two other serious Kdramas I have yet to finish (Damo & A Time Between a Dog and a Wolf), because it looked fun. It turned out that it really was fun. Joyce Zhao is positively gorgeous in this drama, though her character bothers me more than a little bit. Like Tianyu and Ziqian, Yunxi is an orphan. The Shans have pushed for her marriage to Junhao ever since then, despite the fact that Junhao seemed to treat her with disregard.
When she realizes that Junhao’s heart is no longer hers, she literally goes crazy, reverting back to the same terrified mindset she had as a child. She fears abandonment, but nothing more than not getting married to Junhao. She’s completely inable to live her life without a man to depend upon, which is completely opposite to her character in Smiling Pasta.
Ziqian also ended up bothering me toward the end. He discovers the truth about his parents’ deaths, and becomes bitter, and perhaps even colder than the old Junhao. He basically turns into Hamlet ~ hating everyone and everything. He always goes on about how he’s alone and nobody understands his pain. It was a bit too emo for me, but he reverts back to his old self at the end. :)
I loved how Junhao went from cold, rich boy to adorkable around Tianyu. It’s for this reason that every time I see him trying to be serious, I can’t stop laughing. Ming Dao behbeh, you are amazing. To be honest, I first thought that Tianyu’s character was kind of unfortunate-looking, and wondered how she got cast. Then the rest of the series completely kicked that first impression off a cliff. She’s quirky, strong-willed, and hilarious. I loved her.
Also, the recurring frogs throughout the show were endlessly amusing. Tianyu’s room is decorated in frogs, and sometimes she’ll wake up with one on top of her bed. And during some arguing scenes, it would show a frog slipping off of a jar. Overall, if you can handle more memory loss than you ever thought possible, along with a teensy bit of crazy, you should be fine. Plus, it’s really funny & heartwarming.