TAY’S TOP FIVE TAIWANESE DRAMAS
I was appalled when I heard that there were actual people out there that have not seen the amazing creations that Taiwan has to offer! Therefore, I made it my personal mission to educate you all and to give five of my favorite Taiwanese dramas that you should start your Taiwanese drama addiction off with. I pondered over this for days and days just to narrow it down to five! Here they are:
#5: Hi, My Sweetheart!
Hi, My Sweetheart stars Luo Show as Xue Hai a certifiable dork who comes from a wealthy family and has been over protected by his oldest sister, Xue Bo his entire life. When he turns twenty, he decides to leave his comfort zone and study abroad in Hangzhou, but to protect his identity as the heir of his family’s wealth his sister gives him an alias “Lin Da Lang” who is supposed to be a poor student. At Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, he meets Chen Bao Zhu played by Rainie Yang who is an eccentric, friendless alpha-female social rebel. Lin Da Lang becomes unconditionally persistent for her friendship and endlessly delivers a peaceful and constant variable of support and acceptance to her neglected life. Unaware of Lin Da Lang's background, Bao Zhu teaches him the norms and social baby steps of everyday life. As she begins to drop her guard, Da Lang vows to be with her always, and they fall in love. Then, a misunderstanding causes them to lose contact. Thinking that Bao Zhu dumped him, Xue Hai transforms himself from a dork to a hunk in order to seek revenge.
I loved this drama. Although a little over the top and cheesy you could really feel the chemistry between Luo Show and Rainie Yang. You can also really relate to the characters' insecurities. Show and Rainie make you really believe in the love between Lin Da Lang and Chen Bao Zhu, and the kiss scenes were actually decent as well!
#4: Meteor Garden
Everyone knows the story of Hana Yori Dango. So now, you are probably asking yourself, Tay, what is so great about the Taiwanese version compared to the other versions. Simple. The cast alone makes it worth watching. Meteor Garden features Barbie Hsu, Jerry Yan, Vanness Wu, Ken Zhu, and Vic Zhou as the main characters, and their chemistry is amazing. The Taiwanese version also has a lot more romantic scenes between the main couple then in the other versions, and with its two 20+ episode seasons, it allows for character building and more in-depth relationships between the main characters. It is full of suspense and drama but has plenty of comedy to offset the intense scenes. In addition, this drama gave Rainie Yang her big break.
Meteor Garden is my favorite version of Hana Yori Dango because it gives more details into the characters' lives that other versions did not have. With its two seasons and Meteor Rain (side stories about the lives of the F4), you really got to know each of the characters and can easily relate to them.
#3 Autumn’s Concerto
Autumn’s Concerto stars Vanness Wu as Ren Guang Xi, a cocky law student, who seems to lead the perfect life. He is the sole successor to a huge and famous business and a talented ice hockey player with good looks and charisma to boot. However, in reality, his lonely life lacks joy, laughter, and motivation. That is until he meets Liang Mu Cheng played by Ady An, the new bento seller at his school canteen. Although orphaned at a young age, Mu Cheng does not let her past affect her and lives life with great passion and determination. A harmless bet brings the two together and Guang Xi slowly changes as Mu Cheng teaches him how to give and love. Problem arises when Guang Xi's mother does not agree to their relationship and forces an arranged marriage on Guang Xi with He Yi Qian played by Tiffany Hsu. Tragedy strikes when Guang Xi suddenly has to go through a major brain surgery that causes him to have no memory of his past at all. Six years pass with no contact with each other when a strangely familiar piano piece stirs Guang Xi's heart as he struggles to recall his past romance with Mu Cheng. How will the couple make up for six years of lost time?
I started watching this drama after Meteor Garden because I craved more of Vanness Wu’s acting. I was not disappointed, the chemistry between him and Ady is phenomenal, and you can really feel the loss that Guang Xi feels when Mu Cheng loses his memory. It is a beautiful and touching drama, a must watch in my opinion.
#2 Down With Love
Xiang Yu Ping played by Jerry Yan, is a divorce and inheritance lawyer, who is seen by others as cold, selfish, and ruthless. He was forced to take in his brother's children after he passed away leaving them orphaned. Since his job keeps him busy all the time, Yu Ping is in need of a nanny. However, he hadn't yet been able to find one nanny that didn't either fall in love with him, or get scared off by the kids. Fed up, Yu Ping asks his secretary, Yang Duo played by Kelly Huang, to find a nanny that meets his requirements. She recommends her younger sister, Yang Guo played by Ella Chen, for the job; assuring Yu Ping that her tomboyish sister will not fall in love with him by lying that she is a lesbian.
I loved this drama mostly because I am a huge fan of Ella Chen but she was not the only reason I grew to love this drama. The child actors were adorable and were actually very good actors for children their age and if any of you watch Autumn’s Concerto you’ll notice that the boy who plays Liang Xiao Le is also the same actor who plays Xiang Yu Ting in Down With Love. There is a lot of comedy in this drama and even though a lot of it is a little over the top you find yourself falling off your chair laughing. It was a great pick me up drama after a long drama slump.
FINALLY WE REACH THE END!!
#1 Devil Beside You
Devil Beside You starts with a girl named Qi Yue portrayed by Rainie Yang; finally gaining the courage to give Yuan Yi portrayed by Kingone Wang her love letter. However, Yuan Yi did not see her handing him the note and walked passed her. Jiang Meng played by Mike He, who is known as the troublemaker, or the devil, was the one who accepted her note. Qi Yue, desperately explaining that the note was not meant for him tries to get the love letter back but Jiang Meng does not listen. He has decided that he wants Qi Yue and Ah Meng always gets what he wants. Even though he has a cruel appearance, Ah Meng's heart is kind and caring, which touches Qi Yue. The big problem remains when Qi Yue finds out that Ah Meng is the son of the man her mother is going to marry. Even though they are not related by blood, what will happen when they become step brother-sister, how will it affect their relationship?
Devil Beside You was my first Taiwanese drama ever, so maybe I’m a little bias about it being my favorite. However, the chemistry between the main trio is impeccable. It was so good that they starred in another drama together called Why Why Love. Rainie Yang and Mike He together is a match made in heaven. With their chemistry they create hilarious moments and beautiful kiss scenes.
There you have it folks! My Top 5 favorite Taiwanese dramas. I hope you guys enjoy them! Feel free to comment below about your top 5!