A STALKER'S GUIDE TO ARIEL LIN
I guess I have to explain how I discovered and became a fan of Ariel Lin. It all began in 2010 when I first started watching dramas. It Started with a Kiss happened to be one of my first three dramas, and my first Taiwanese drama to be more precise. I instantly fell in love with her on-screen presence, acting, and beauty. She is so natural, pretty, and cute that I could only fall for her; she's 34 and yet she looks younger. Besides her mesmerizing glance, her most appealing assets are her smile and her cute, lovely eyes! So today I have decided to honour her and write about her acting skills because she is undoubtedly talented. Not only was she the first Asian actress I noticed when I got into dramaland, but she also stole my heart and has been my absolute favorite from that moment onwards.
Lin Yin Chen, aka Ariel Lin, is a Taiwanese singer and actress who debuted in the drama True Love 18 (which I haven't seen... I don't even think I can find it on the web with subs u_u). She played in many dramas like Love Contract and Tokyo Juliet, but she finally made a name for herself after playing Yuan Xiang Qin in 'It Started with a Kiss.' Since then, she has played diverse roles in both modern and historical dramas. Her popularity allowed her to play in mainland Chinese dramas, which is pretty awesome since those dramas are generally very entertaining and pretty well done, especially Prince of Lan Ling.
Let's start with my very first drama with her, which I absolutely loved. It Started with a Kiss is a real Asian Drama Classic that most of you have probably heard about before. It's adapted from a famous manga and has many drama versions already (Japan has the older Itazura Na Kiss as well as the modern remake Itazura Na Kiss - Love in Tokyo 1 & 2, South Korea has Playful Kiss, China has Say That You Love Me, and even Thailand has Kiss Me).
For those of you who haven't watched it and are still curious about the Taiwanese version, Ariel Lin has the main role playing a very naive, stupid girl who isn't afraid of confessing her love to her crush, Jiang Zhi Shu (played by Joe Cheng.) He is the top student whom she's been secretly stalking from the moment they started going to the same high school. Due to certain circumstances, she ends up living in his house and from that moment on we get to see how their relationship evolves. Will Zhi Shu will eventually fall for one of the worst students in school?
I have a confession to make: it wasn't love at first sight with this drama. I found the first few episodes to be very boring and even thought of dropping it. Somehow, I still decided to continue to see how the story will unfold and I'm glad I did. After a few episodes, I got completely addicted to it, the OTP, and the cute and yet super clingy Xiang Qin. This drama definitely is among the best taiwanese dramas that i've watched.
I loved the first season so much, however, They Kiss Again is even more special to me. I've rewatched it at least three times and even today, I rewatch some of my favorite episodes and scenes. This drama is just perfect after a long hard day. The reason why I loved it even more is because it doesn't only focus on the Ari/Joe couple, but also takes time to develop all of the side characters: Zhi Shu's brother, his family, and also Xiang Qin's friends. It feels more realistic, mature, and has a slice of life feel to it with the family being more in the center of the story.
In the end, there's nothing more to say about this season other than the chemistry between Ariel Lin and Joe Cheng is like fire, and they definitely belong to the list of my all time favorite couples because of that. There is such a complexity that develops between them in this season as we see the couple facing so many issues and their love becoming stronger and stronger as a result; it was a real delight for me.
If you weren't convinced by Ariel Lin's acting before, I think this one will definitely make you change your opinion about her. She plays a total different role from the ones she portrayed in dramas like ISWAK/TKA or Love or Bread. Here she played Cheng You Qing, a career woman who is strong and doesn't need to rely on a man to find happiness. She's independent, a little cold, and very moody too; but she can definitely be herself once she is with her male best friend Li Da Ren (played by Chen Bo Lin.) He's been secretly in love with her since high school but was never able to find the courage to tell her how he felt.
On Chen You Qing's 30th birthday, they both made a promise: the first to fall in love will receive $5000. From this moment they both try to find their other half but it's not easy for both of them. Da Ren struggles because he is in love with her and wants to tell her but doesn't know how to. You Qing struggles after dealing with one relationship disappointment after another.
Who will win the bet and - more importantly - will they be able to find love? Will Da Ren confess his love? You'll have to watch the drama if you want to find the answers. Actually I have nothing bad to say about this drama, I enjoyed every minute. My only complaint would be that I found it a little bit slow in the middle. And I have to say that this drama is nothing like most of Taiwanese dramas which I find generally to be very cheesy and childish. In Time With You is mature, human, and so relaxing.
When I first started this drama, I couldn't really understand why people said it was boring with draggy moments. Until episode 15, it was an easy watch but after that I understood why people said what they said. Although I was still ready to give a high rating by episode 20, unfortunately the last episode was a complete let down. It was mainly because of the dialogue, which made me feel utterly uncomfortable and wasn't to my liking.
Anyways, I still had so much pleasure seeing Ariel Lin in this kind of role. She is hot tempered and yet very vulnerable. I understood her every action, why she was so distant with Ah Ken (the main guy), and why she was mean and played many tricks on him. So I never hated her even if she was sometimes a bit too noisy. Mike He did not leave a great impression on me as Ah Ken; I would rather say I was indifferent towards his character. And yet he is so tolerant and patient with Xiao Feng that at least there's something good to say about him, but I wasn't convinced at all by Mike He's acting. One other good point about the drama: Xiao Feng's interactions with her sister and Ah Ken's mother were great. She could be herself when she was in their presence and would say all she felt inside.
I know this drama has many flaws but there are two things I loved about it: the absolutely catchy and lovely OST (I particularly like that opening and the ending sung by Ariel Lin), and of course the natural and wonderful portrayal of Ariel Lin. She was still pretty new to the world of acting, but in this drama she totally blew me away with her performance and I found her so convincing as Xiao Feng. Another great point: the posters are so beautiful!
Other Taiwanese Dramas I watched/tried:
Love or Bread: I remember being disappointed by this drama. I could only finish it cause I'm a fervent fan of the Ari/Joe couple. The rest is not worth mentioning.
Tokyo Juliet: I never finished this drama; the story, characters, and music were not to my liking. I preferred to drop this than torture myself, but I plan to pick it up again cause I absolutely want to watch all Ariel Lin's dramas.
I still remember when I heard about Ariel Lin's comeback to dramaland in 2013 I was so happy and became totally hysterical (I just couldn't contain my enthusiasm!) I had a great feeling about this historical drama but I didn't expect it to exceed my expectations. It's still fresh in my memory because at that time each evening I'd come back home and immediately rush to my computer to follow the next adventures of my favorite characters of the moment: Yang Xue Wu, Han Xiao Dong, Yu Wen Yong and Lan Ling. First, I would like to start by saying that it was a wonderful experience and as my first Chinese historical drama, I instantly immersed myself into the story. I watched one episode after the other and never felt like it was too long or slow paced, not even for a single moment because it was simply addicting even despite it's length (46 episodes.)
I would definitely describe this drama like that: epic story, extremely well written characters , great settings, awesome OST (I even bought it before watching the drama, that alone can tell how excited I was to start the drama). The story focuses on Yang Xue Wu, who is coveted by the leaders of both the "Qi" & "Northern Zhou" Kingdoms. Both countries want to have her because in times of war, she is said to be able to bring comfort to people and be of great help for the emperor in controlling the world.
I have a few things to say about my fave characters, the drama was a complete success thanks to their amazing performances, they all did a great job, not only the leading Ariel Lin, WillIiam Feng and Daniel Chan but also the supporting actors ( Mao Lin Lin, Wei Qian Xiang ♥, Zhai Tian Lin, Lu Yong, George Hu ...)
[→ Yang Xue Wu: courageous, strong, loyal to her man, smart, beautiful and very caring ♥♥♥♥.
→Lan Ling Wang: a real soldier who always devotes himself for his country, family and friends, a selfless man without any doubt.
→Yu Weng Yong: obviously he is my favorite male character of the show alongside Han Xiao Dong. he is ambitious and will do anything to conquer the world, but at the same time is also an endearing emperor. His family is everything to him and he suddenly becomes so sweet when he is with his niece. He is a cold man with a soft heart and for that we can only fall in love with him.
→Han Xiao Dong: definitely the best supporting character ever, and my absolute favorite. I literally fell in love with him the most in this drama, he is so brave, clever and his best quality is his loyalty to Xue Wu, he'd literally do everything for her ♥.]
To Conclude, Lan Ling Wang is one of my favorites, it sure isn't perfect and that's why I gave it a 9.5 instead of a 10 but I would like to add that it's a special drama for me because the story is so intriguing/fascinating and so are the characters, in one drama I found 3 of my all time favorites characters: Yang Xue Wu, Yu Wen Yong and Han Xiao Dong, even today I have hard times finding dramas as exciting as this one, there are many that I love but I would probably never find characters as memorable as the ones from this drama!
And here my favorite song of the drama, MV with beautiful scenes of the drama:
LEGEND OF THE CONDOR HEROES, 2008's VERSION
Firstly, I have to say that there are many versions of this drama which were adapted from a book, and this is the only version I watched. I really enjoyed it a lot, this is actually my 4th favorite drama with Ariel Lin. I first came across this drama when I was looking for other Ariel Lin's dramas and I have to admit I was even more motivated to start it when I realized Liu Shi Shi and Yuan Hong were part of the cast as I consider them as absolute talented actors unfortunately I found their characters very lacking and disappointing. Hu Ge is part of the cast as well, he is actually the main character but I'm not a big fan of him nor his character that I find so dumb and naive. Legend of Condor Heroes was a real adventure for me, I was embarked in a long and really fantastic journey where I got to meet so many colourful and interesting characters, Huang Rong, Huang Yaoshi, Hong Qi Gong, Ouyang Ke, Ouyang Feng and the list goes one. In this drama I absolutely love how both the villains and the good guys are equally well developed and all have a pretty interesting backstory which in certain cases make us understand why some of them became evil. So I would say this it is mostly all about meetings, how Guo Jing our main guy will meet them and interact with them. Ariel Lin here plays a very calculative, smart and witty but also very selfless girl who'll do anything for Guo Jing, the one she loves, she's constantly pushing him to become even more powerful and without her and some others's help he wouldn't have accomplished this much. Overall It was such a joy seeing Ariel in this drama and portraying such a daring and clever girl^^
To this day, I haven't completed it yet since I'm not fond of wuxia dramas. I don't really like when fantasy elements are added to historical dramas. There are some exceptions, of course, so that's why at least for Ariel Lin I decided to give this one a try. So far I've found it to be pretty entertaining. This drama marks also the first collaboration between Ariel Lin and Hu Ge, and in this drama I like their pairing more than in Legend of Condor Heroes. Maybe it's because I find Hu Ge's character Dong Yong (Di Gua) more appealing than his Guo Jing's. So in this drama, Ariel is a fairy who is banished to the mortal world after gravely offending her father and being unruly. That's how she'll get to meet our Male Lead Di Gua and his friends, although she already met him before being banished. I find her really cute but I know many people may find her character to be annoying. It's really hard to deal with a mischievous and playful girl and she's totally this type of girl here. On the otherhand, she's really amusing and always makes me smile.
IN THE END ...
For those who are still new to her and her dramas, if I should recommend you one drama, that would be "In Time With You" because of its mature and realistic vibes. Ariel Lin is so ravishing, elegant and simply breathtaking. I love how she's such a confident woman fighting for her own happiness. So you can't certainly go wrong choosing this one as your first.
→ My favorite roles of hers: Yang Xue Wu, Cheng You Qing, Huang Rong aka Rong'er, Cheng Xiao Feng, Yuan Xiang Qin.
As for her movies I think they are generally pretty light and easy to watch but not really the inspiring nor thought provoking types
I know that I was too generous when I rated this film but sometimes I can't help being a little too subjective, though this happens to everybody. I really had a great time watching this, first because I loved Ariel Lin and Chen Bo Lin's characters in drama "In Time With You", I was literally too happy when I heard they played in a movie as well. They showed once again their sparkling chemistry and still make a great pair together and can do wonders. Of course the story is not innovative and that is not a surprise cause we already know what to expect before watching the movie.
(Aaaaw what a beauty *.*)
The moment that I heard Ariel Lin would play in a movie with both Chen Bo Lin and Vic Zhou who are my other favorite Taiwanese actors, I just couldn't contain my joy. And yeah, who can forget Ariel Lin and Bo Lin's chemistry in In Time With You? Surely not me! So I was really looking forward to this movie. I admit that I didn't have high expectations even with these three big names because of the synopsis. However, even though I found the movie to be very predictable with many cliché scenes, I wasn't disappointed at all as it managed to make me feel relaxed. It was a very nice watch and a good choice for a lazy sunday movie. I have to say Ariel Lin was absolutely dazzling, granted I only had eyes for her. I would even go as far as to say it was like Vic and Bolin were inexistent, that's how much I love her and how much she captivates me ♥ .
This part may have spoilers, so skip it if you haven't seen this movie yet.
First, I need to say that my opinion about 'Another Woman' will be rather approximate as I watched it without subs and there are parts I didn't understand. Ariel Lin stars in this movie alongside Chinese actor Qin Hao and Taiwanese actor Jolin Chien, who are both playing her love interests. So be prepared for a love triangle, but not a typical one since it deals with cheating. It's about a woman who feels attracted to a man, but knows she shouldn't, and yet she can't get away from that situation as she's having a hard time controlling her emotions and desires. As always, Ariel Lin delivered such a flawless performance especially for a challenging movie where it was her first time doing mature scenes.
- SWEET ALIBIS: This was such a soporific film, I almost fell asleep in the middle of it. If it wasn't for Ariel Lin, I'd never have finished it. Only recommending it to Ariel Lin fans, otherwise you can pass on that one. You won't miss anything. I feel bad for saying that but indeed I had such a hard time completing Sweet Alibis.
Two movies I'm really looking forward to watching:
A Choo, this one was released in 2014 and since then I've been patiently waiting but there's no trace of it u_u In any case I'll still be waiting and it looks really interesting and it feels more like a slice of life which is one of my fave genres ;D
The Mysterious Family, Starring Chen Xiao, Hui Kara and Lan Blue alongside Ariel Lin, such a promising cast and synopsis. Looks like a very interesting movie with a lot of mysteries surrounding the main character Miao Miao's family.
After seeing her in many dramas/movies I came to the conclusion that she can play many different roles, both the immature/childish teenager girl type (ISWAK, The Little Fairy) and the very feminine, confident and elegant woman (In Time with You, PoLL, Go La La Go 2 ...). In my opinion she's good in every kind of roles that's why I consider her as an outstanding and very talented actress who deserves much more recognition for her work. Every time she manages to portray her characters so perfectly and convingcingly, a very natural and lovely actress and we can see that in each one of her project. She might not convince everyone the first time but you have to persever and maybe you'll see what I'm seeing in her ^^
The other big plus about Ariel that I almost forgot to mention is that she always has such great chemistry with her male partners no matter who they are. ♥
ARIEL LIN's SINGING CAREER + HER PRIVATE LIFE
As mentioned above, she also has a singing career and has released several MVs. She has also recorded songs for some of her dramas like: "Love Contract", "It Started with a Kiss", and "In Time With You":
And here are the links to her albums if you're interested in listening to them: A Wonderful Journey & Blissful Encounter I personally enjoy listening to both albums as they are very soothing and simple. Ariel Lin's fans will probably enjoy it as much as I do as she has such a lovely and sweet voice. Truly a pleasure for the ears.
And this one is my absolute favorite of her album "A Wonderful Journey" (MV of The Little Fairy).
Ariel Lin is pretty discreet when it comes to her private life so I feel like I don't know much about her. However, I'm always looking for more info about her and I love watching any kind of videos I can find with her. But as some of you may already know, she got married two years ago on December 24 to an American-Taiwanese Businessman: Charles Lin. They look so gorgeous together! I was so happy when heard this great news, I can only wish for her to be happy with her husband. She deserves it so much.
In this guide, i've said everything important to be said about Ariel Lin and I hope you had fun reading this and become interested in some of her dramas/movies. I'll now leave you with a gorgeous and graceful Ariel♥
Ariel Lin in 2016