Thursday, January 15, 2009

Taiwanese Drama Review: Fated to Love You (命中注定我愛你)

Chen Qiao En (
陳喬恩) as Chen Xin Yi Ethan Ruan (阮經天) as Ji Cun Xi Baron Chen (陳楚河) as Dylan/Dai Jian Ren
Bianca Bai (白歆惠) as Shi Anna

Tan Ai Zhen (譚艾珍) as Ji Wang Zhen Zhu (Nini)

Chen Xin Yi i
s the most common name in China. It's also the name of our heroine for this series. Boorish, dumpy and ready to please, Xin Yi thinks only of others and takes nothing for herself. In a failed attempt to capture the attention and love of her boyfriend she mistakingly goes into the wrong room with a different man and they end up making love and only realizing they were with the wrong partner after all is said and done. Ji Cun Xi is the man she stumbled into bed with and they immediately have some chemistry, but neither one is aware of it at first. After a few weeks Xin Yi comes to find that she is pregnant. Through coincidence and happenstance Ji Cun Xi finds out and his grandmother and Xin Yi's family coerce them both into marriage. Ji Cun Xi is happily in a relationship with a ballerina however and swears to keep his relationship with Anna despite his marriage and the child on the way. With so much against them, it is hard to imagine how they can really be fated to love eathother.

After painstakingly searching and downloading the subtitled version of this drama I was not disapointed. I had a feeling that they weren't going to disappoint me when there were such high ratings (the highest ever in Taiwan!) for this show and people I already liked were in it. (Chen Qiao En and Tan Ai Zhen) I am also now a fan of Baron Chen and Etha
n Ruan as well. They were both very charming and I loved them very much in this series. If you are looking for a serious drama, this is not it. I found it to be overly silly at times, but as I've learned over the years about my taste - I just love some cheese! The story line was very steady until episode 11 when there was a major dramatic event and the story shifted completely (to a different city even!) The main characters were able to grow and change, but still have a lot of their original charm, and I think that was hard for the actors. The crew even packed up and headed to Shanghai for filming, with is original, since they usually stick around Taiwan for most of the dramas I can find. I was really quite impressed by some of the scenes as well. I can't pick an absolute favorite part, but the most memorable one was episode 11 and this scene:

Usually for Asian drama's they tend to look really fake and unbelievable, I think they did a great job here. The idea of a "sticky note girl" is also interesting. I wonder how many women are such type of person, who tends to try and please everyone else first and not ever think of themselves. I bet the general population of China was able to identify with Chen Xin Yi because she is dutiful and never steps out of bounds. I find myself being that person at times, but I would never put up with what she does from Ji Cun Xi.

Ethan Ruan was a newcomer for me, and he really proved himself in this series. I always beleived him as Ji Cun Xi, whether he was angry, sad, or just being silly I w
as completely drawn him by his expressions and his ability to portray each emotion with honesty.

Baron Chen wasn't as new, I had seen him in Kung-Fu Dunk, but he was not that memorable for me since I didn't even recognize him! But, here in Fated to Love You, I often found myself unsure of who I should cheer for, Ji Chun Xi or Dylan. He has a great smile and a kind of goofy charm that I adored.
(Baron Chen looking positvely vulnerable - hao ke-aiyo!)
Qiao En was delightful. I can tell that she has matured since Prince Turns to Frog. I remember one of the behind the scenes from this series and she started to cry happily because the director told her their ratings and she was told by Ethan that she successfully made her comeback. If this is any indicatino Qiao En is going to stay on top for awhile.

And what can I say about Tan Ai Zhen? She is a lovely woman who gets to play the meddling NiNi that we all love. I hated her silly wig though, that was one of the things that drove me crazy about the show, it was obvious she had on a wig, but no one noticed and it never changed. (Here she is in her natural state - very charming.)
If you can stand some real silliness (Qiao En dancing around in a giant chicken suit, or Ethan pretending to be hurt by gangsters and getting shoved into a giant barrel and rolling down a hill.) in order to get to a great story, I highly recommend this series if you can find it.

1 comment:

chaming said...

It's definitely a good one.