Because of one simple word from a soothsayer, Pi Ya Nuo has been raised as a boy all her life. By chance she saves underworld mob boss Du Zi Feng and his sister. His sister falls in love with Pi Ya Nuo at first sight. Things gets complicated when the she becomes "sworn brothers" with the mob boss, just as her 26th birthday comes closer, and with it her chance to finally live as a woman. As her 26th birthday approaches, she must decide if she wants to return to a woman or continue to be Du Zi Feng's best pal.
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But I liked it. I'm so torn about what to rate it, I keep going back and forth between 7.5 and 8. It's like a 7.8
There’s just something about it that kept me watching.
I started watching when there were already eleven episodes out. I kept telling myself, “This is a good place to stop. I’ll do something else, I’ll go to sleep, and I’ll finish tomorrow” and then I’d finish the episode and hit the next button and the process would continue until I was caught up with the lives.
Here’s the thing: you have to watch this drama with an open mind. I’m sorry, but I could not take the plot seriously. It was pretty predictable, and, I know this is a korean term, but it was a makjang drama. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was so weird and cheesy and over-dramatic, but I found it funny and enjoyable. If you go into the drama expecting some serious movie-like mob drama, you will be disappointed.
It was so freaking cheesy. Like every possible cliche happened within the first episode. The entire drama was like this, but it didn’t bother me because I thought it was hilarious. I know some people get annoyed with cliches though, so I’m letting everyone know now.
Also, part of the reason I couldn’t take it seriously from the beginning was because everything happened so fast. Like a whole episode’s worth (or two) of plot set-up happened within the first like ten minutes? It moved really fast and it was really extreme. But don’t stop watching because of this.
Also there were some little details with the plot that bugged me. For example: not putting someone into dry clothes when they have hypothermia, a person who just had surgery walking around without crutches. The birth. But whatever, I’m a nit-picky person.
One thing that made me really happy was that Megan actually looked like a guy. The stylists did a really good job. It was the first time I’ve seen a gender-bender drama where the girl convincingly looked like a guy. Also, she blew me away with her acting. She did a really good job at acting like she grew up living like a boy. Her posture and the way she walked were so convincing.
The romance was so enjoyable, they had fantastic chemistry together. And they had so many amazing kisses! Like a ton of them! Passionate ones! The main lead was nice from the start, and was a genuinely good and caring guy. I am now a fan of Baron Chen.
There are some issues I had with the drama, I won't go too deep into them because most of them contain spoilers. Basically I docked points from the rating because of some issues I had with the plot and some of the acting. I thought the cast had great chemistry together, but the things that should have been taken seriously, I couldn't take seriously. However, overall I enjoyed it, which is saying something coming from a person who doesn’t really like gender-benders.
What really made me happy about this drama was that there was never any homophobia. “As long as two people genuinely love each other, does it matter who the partner is?” Like damn, the messages in this drama were so good, I’m kind of wishing they were actually gay to make a stronger point. The message still came across strong, and not just through our leads, but through the other couples too.
This was a fun drama, and despite the issues I had, I’m glad I watched it.
*I cut the review short because of spoilers. Read the rest of my review on my tumblr: kfan-obsessions.*
Being familiar with previous dramas there was never an inkling to watch Bromance. It’s like eating the best ice-cream one has ever eaten in their lives. Once one has that experience it becomes borderline impossible to find another ice-cream whose texture might be better than that one. Coffee Prince, You’re Beautiful and Beautiful Boys are like vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice-cream; the most amazing flavours in the planet for some, for others, might be mango, lemon and raspberry or any other flavour, perfect, unique, irreplaceable.
Bromance will not top up the most amazing ice-cream one will ever have within the genre. Not because it’s bad overall, not because the script is bland, blasé, inconsistent and positively appalling, not because the acting is awful dabbing into dreadfulness at times making one cringe in agony, or the music so loud one that one is left tuning the sound down as not to hear the screen coil in desperation. Bromance will not become a favourite ice-cream flavour for either aficionados or newcomers for the simple reason that afficionados already have their favourite ice-cream and unless there’s nothing to watch, which there is with interesting plots most likely will stray from it and newcomers have their flavours to discover and Bromance does not make the top list, regretfully.
Bromance is a really good drama surprisingly and rather addictive from about minute 2 of episode 1 to the point where one will want to binge watch it straight.
The script is very consistent and full of texture like a raspberry sorbet, with the right balance and essence; the acting from an audience point of view is compelling and believable, bring the story to life in what seems like an effortless manner alternating scenes of pure screen silent screaming to giggles to a very loud laughter and nearly jumping on the sofa like a teenager being silly, enjoying a really tasty ice-cream, and not feeling one bit bad about it. The highlight being the end of each episode with entails the start of the next one when one binges on 15 episodes of Bromance in a day and half. To think that there are dramas that still have that effect on someone after countless dramas, some really spectacular, others not really but that’s the life of a drama enthusiast.
Zi Feng is a triad leader and the general manager of an amusement park. He commands respect although not as a villain but as a man who works hard, loves his family and protects those he cares about. Zi Feng is so incredibly human that is surreal and that humanity is what makes the audience empathise with him. He’s lovable as a male character; he’s honest and caring, incredibly loyal with a great sense of justice and responsibility but also struggling with his feelings for the person he loves in the beginning, a woman pretending to be a man. Zi Feng falls in love with Pi Ya Nou as a person, not caring whether or not Ya Nou is a man or a woman.
Ya Nuo is a young woman living as a young man due to a fortune telling prediction that she should leave as such until she reached her 26th birthday. She meets Du Zi Feng with whom she becomes sworn brothers but over the course of time develops feelings for him. Ya Nuo is fiercely loyal, kind and generous putting everyone’s needs in front of hers. She complements Zi Feng in ways that many female characters do not complement the male and for that the writers should be credited for. Megan Lai performs Ya Nuo brilliantly giving the character a life of its own.
Zi Feng and Ya Nuo should go down in Taiwanese drama history land as one of the most amazing couples ever to grace the screen so in tune they are with one another, like Ying and Yang.
The OST is particular vibrant with two solid exciting tracks performed by Bii, Ephocal Times & Back in Time.
Overall Bromance is a breath of fresh air in drama sphere biased towards old conceptual premises, however the mix of flavours between gender bender echo chic cliché with an original setting and character frames is like putting different ice-cream flavours in a blender. One might think that the consistency looks slightly off, that the taste might be just too familiar to give it a try but it’s left in awe wonderland when trying it out, wishing for more, needing more, wanting more and realizing that the ice-cream is nearly over so it’s better to start enjoying it while it lasts and before it melts.
The best things in life are those one has to wait the longest to achieve but in the end it’s all worth it!