Taiwanese TV Dramas

As previously mentioned here, this past Summer 2014, I got myself hooked into watching at least 5 Taiwanese (TW for short and several K...short for Korean) Dramas, even a few Spanish Telenovelas in the mix, and some Foreign films (which I just posted a new list of films I've seen recently) too.

Here's a short list of 5 TW-Dramas I've seen thus far...

Fated To Love You (original) (2008)
 starring Ethan Ruan Joe (Qiao En) Chen
Synopsis: Ethan Ruan (My Queen) stars as Ji Cun Xi, a slick and polished heir who is intent on proposing to his prima ballerina girlfriend Anna (Bianca Bai) on a romantic night cruise. Enter Chen Xin Yi (Joe Chen), an endearingly unfashionable officer worker who, in a desperate attempt to keep her boyfriend, plans to lose her virginity to him on the very same cruise. Through a strange turn of events, Ji and Chen end up spending an intimate night together. But it’s only in the morning light that they realize they are not their respective partners! Suffice to say, a new love story is conceived that fateful night.

My Thoughts/Review: I love, love this original version of Fated To Love You! This romantic-comedy drama was my first introduction to Taiwanese Drama (TW-Drama). I stumbled upon this TW-Drama this past summer while browsing online and randomly came across DramaFever where it has all these wonderful Korean Dramas, Latin American Telenovelas, and a wide selection of Asian TV shows and movies for free (or you can upgrade for premium for no ads). I must say, I'm very glad I found this awesome website and it got me hooked into watching a few of these selected TW-Dramas that I really loved and enjoyed binge watching and even more K-Dramas (which I'll post all about the dramas I've seen in a separate post). Back to Fated To Love You, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved and enjoyed watching it. I found myself binge watching all 24 episodes in one day! Mind you, I'm not much into watching a TV series that's more than 6 episodes (unless I'm currently watching it like my favorite American TV shows that have several seasons...I make exceptions if they are really good...but only sometimes, if I really love a show/series. I will watch several or as many episodes as I could watch. But if it doesn't interest me or grab my attention, I don't even bother or try, lol...). This drama got me watching every episode as it was really, really, good. It was so fun, entertaining, hilarious (I laughed a lot!), and just hooked me into watching it. I laugh, I cry, laugh, and cry some more. It was just so good. No, it was great! The main lead actors Ethan Ruan and Joe Chen were really good here as Ji Cun Xi and Chen Xin Yi. They made me laugh and cry a lot and kept me watching every episode. The supporting cast were great too especially the lovable and caring grandmother of Ji Cun Xi and Chen Xin Yi's mother and sisters, who cracked me up. They were so hilarious. They were parts in a few episodes that tend to dragged on or seemed like a filler, but the mixed of humor and drama on this series kept me glued and watching. After I saw this, I found out there was a new K-Drama version (will post my thoughts about it soon), which recently aired and I watched that one too. I must say this version remains my favorite. I just find this one more fun and entertaining to watch and loved the pairing of this version more as well as the supporting cast.

Love Now (2012)
starring Annie Chen, George Hu
Synopsis: 28-year-old Yang Yi Ru (Annie Chen) is a workaholic without a personal life. Though her friends mean well, they scheme a terrible "intervention" and end up convincing her that she’s got cancer and only has six months to live. They then shoo Yi Ru abroad for a vacation, where she breaks down and bemoans all her life’s regrets. Some friends! Lan Shi De (George Hu), who happens to be on a business trip, is overcome by Yi Ru’s grief and immediately proposes to her. But there’s a lot of things Yi Ru is unaware of. For one, she’s not really sick, and shockingly, Shi De is no stranger at all: he fell in love with her many years ago at their final college exams. With a “marriage” built on a foundation of lies, will Yi Ru and Shi De survive what would’ve been a storybook romance?

My Thoughts/Review: I first saw this one on Dramafever, but found out there were more than 36 episodes that were not available on this website. Say what? The actual total episodes were 72! I really loved and enjoyed watching this series from beginning to end. The first few episodes got me hooked! I loved the few episodes when Annie & George's characters went to the Philippines' Boracay Beach resort...the location looked stunningly gorgeous! Makes me want to go and visit there that beach resort. Perhaps, someday! What really got me into watching this series was the main leads and pairing of George Hu and Annie Chen. These two were so cute and adorable. I was hooked watching every episode. Though there were episodes that tend to go slow and dragged on and were more like filler episodes (there were 72 total, after all!) and I felt like not going through with it or just want to skip and jumped towards the end (I tend to do that these days with some K-Dramas and other TW-Dramas that drags on or I know I'll lost interest...so I'd stop myself from wasting my time watching something that just doesn't keep hold my attention any longer). But on this one, since I really enjoyed watching George & Annie together (they have great chemistry too and made this series watchable too) and I found out (after watching this drama) that these two are dating in real-life, makes it even more fun to watch this series. I found that this was available (still is) on Netflix. So, I continued watching the rest of the episodes (ads-free) and actually persevered and ended up watching all 72 episodes! Wohooo!!! I'm proud of myself, lol. I thought this was funny, very romantic, and had a very well-written story that kept me watching. I'm very glad I did because I loved and enjoyed watching this series a lot.

Love Around (2013)
starring Annie Chen, George Hu
Synopsis: Radio DJ Liang Xiao Shu (Annie Chen) is outgoing, straightforward, optimistic and a little drama queen at heart. After finding out her boyfriend of three months is cheating on her, she is devastated. By a chance encounter she meets Zhou Zhen (George Hu) who comes from a former gangster family that has decided to keep their hands clean. Zhen is gentle, gracious and upright, he encourages Xiao Shu and helps her to move on. Zhen becomes an employee at the radio station where Xiao Shu works by mistake and goes to great lengths to hide his true identity by impersonating a salesperson. Little does he know the seed of love has already begun to grow.

My Thoughts/Review: Another very good romantic-comedy drama starring Annie Chen & George Hu that I also loved and enjoyed watching. This one only has 21 episodes, I'm glad...'cause I don't think I could sit through another 72 episodes, even though this was still pretty good. Still, I must say, I loved and enjoyed watching Annie & George more in Love Now than on this one. Not that I didn't love and enjoy watching them on this one, I just love them more on the first series they starred together. They were still fun and enjoyable to watch here.

Office Girls (2011)
Starring Alice Ke and Roy Chiu
Synopsis: A group of 'office girls' - young women who are completely happy with being a low-level office lady. Shen Xing Ren (Alice Ke) has been a low-level salesperson at the Jing Shi Department Store for nearly 4 years. Qin Zi Qi (Roy Chiu), 28, is the son of a wealthy family that owns Jing Shi. Zi Qi believes that his father will automatically make him the heir to the company, but is in for a shock when his father tells him to first pass a test by working as a low-level staff for one year. If he breaks any rules, he'll be kicked out.

My Thoughts/Review: I love this romantic comedy TW-Drama! The main OTP (One True Pair) or romantic pairing of Alice Ke & Roy Chiu caught my attention and got me hooked on watching this great TW-Drama. Not too mention they are both gorgeous looking individuals, and together, they have this amazing on-screen chemistry, which makes you ship and root for them to be together as their characters' first meeting was as strangers not so pleasant (much like in Fated To Love You) and followed it out with this love-hate relationship that progressed and grow at every episode. It kept me glued watching and waiting for them to get together and hooked up already, lol. But with 25 episodes, you have to be patient and just enjoy the ride and experience their journey as they draw you in while you watch and they were showing you their sexual tensions, growing attraction to each other (especially Roy's character slowly falling in love with Alice's character), and their love-hate relationship that eventually turned into true love. I just loved and enjoyed watching Alice & Roy in this great series. Roy Chiu alone was very easy on the eyes, a welcome distraction, and an eye-candy worth-watching! He's so handsome (he reminds me of Pride & Prejudice/Homeland's Rupert Friend with his current short hair), yet he can act and because of him (and Alice Ke too who is a pretty good-looking woman herself and can act as well), I binge watch all 25 episodes in one day! There were an episode or two that kinda dragged a bit, but I didn't care because the story was well-written, great acting by the cast, and with a balance of drama and humor (especially the manager guy with his funny one-liners that cracked me up) in the mix. Office Girls was great and one of my few favorite TW-Dramas that was definitely worth-watching.

Say I Do Again/Ido 2 (2014)
 starring Lin Yo Wei and Mandy (Man) Wei
Synopsis: Hoteliers Xiang Zhen Yang (Lin Yo Wei) and Shu Xin Kuei (Mandy Wei) have a few things in common, including working at the same hotel and being recent divorcees. The only problem is that they are actually each other's exes. Can Zhen Yang and Xin Kuei keep the hotel in tip-top shape — without letting out their own dirty laundry — or is their patience for one another at maximum capacity?

My Thoughts/Review: This series is still currently airing (with 12 episodes that have already aired, thus far, and one episode showing per week) and is not done yet, but I thought I'd include this on the list here of TW-Dramas I've recently seen (and now currently watching). I haven't watched a lot of TW-Dramas as I've been more into watching K-Dramas lately, but these 5 TW Dramas I've listed here were an exception. I loved and enjoyed watching the first episode of this drama and got me into it, but the next few or more episodes I was losing interest. Didn't like the too much bickering scenes between the main leads and couple (and what's up with her very short hair? lol) especially when their characters who were cute and adorable together at the beginning got divorced. Then, their characters just became unlikable and at times unwatchable during and post-divorce. But after episode 6, this series got good again and kept me watching as the story progressed and got better and better in every episode. I'm liking the main couple again now that they're slowly back together and their characters are likable again. Didn't like the little love-triangle thing going on though (or quadrangle now with the brother of the other girl...really, these siblings are both irritating and annoying, lol), but this one's not too bad and not going over-board with it as other TW or K Dramas. I get excited waiting for every new episode as this series kept getting good and kept surprising me. I don't know how many episodes this will end up with, but I'm sure I'll keep watching this until the last episode. Very good series, so far. Hope it continues to be really good until the very end. I'll update this post when the series ends and we'll see if my good opinion about this series remains or will it change? Hmm...To be continued...!


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