Pi Zi and Ying Xiong are two cops who are as different as day and night. One does nothing except for drinking coffee and living a luxurious lifestyle while waiting for information from dubious sources to crack his cases. Another believes law and justice are the pillars of society and is constantly on the street catching criminals... a little overzealously for his superior's liking. When a case brought these two top crime solvers together, sparks flied and a little light peeked into this dark city where the nation's President is on friendly terms with the local triad and twins kill people while drinking milkshake.
Cast & Credits
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” We’ve probably all heard that line at some point. Likewise, you should NEVER judge a drama by its synopsis.
When I first read the synopsis, I didn’t think the drama seemed worth my time. I mean, okay, so there’s two completely different cops, milkshake-drinking killers who are twins and an abnormal President and local triad. So what?
However, once I actually starting watching (due to a phase of boredom), this drama absolutely blew my mind!
The cast was great; everyone played their role well and I thought that Vic (as Chen Zai Tian) and Mark (as Wu Ying Xiong) were very strong foils of each other. Indeed, they were “different as day and night.”
All the characters had their own reasons and their own stories which caused them to be who they were and act the way they did.
The music was very fitting, especially the opening and ending themes. They were very “powerful” and I thought that suited the mood of the whole drama.
In general, this drama can only be described by “there’s more to it than meets the eye.” It’s not just about two very different police officers or anything as ‘simple and plain’ as that. As the English title says, it’s (about) “Black & White.”
For me, everything seemed to happen so subtly that by the time I realized it, it had already hit me in the face. The minute I thought I had everything more or less figured out, I was shown pretty quickly that I was wrong. Dead wrong.
I wasn’t expecting anything when I started watching it but by the time I finished watching it, I didn’t know what to expect anymore. That’s probably why I liked it so much – it’s just so different. It’s also not much of a romance-drama possibly because focusing too much on the romance would’ve reduced the impact of their REAL message, but that in a way kept the whole series at a ‘practical’ level because it didn’t have to take time out to build and establish romantic-fantasies on the side. I absolutely loved the themes, ideas, concepts that this drama presented to me. To say any more would just give everything away.
(After watching, I thought “maybe that’s why the synopsis was so bad. To say any more would have suggested something about the true intentions of this drama.”)
So in the end, all I can say is this:
This drama isn’t just about that little handful of characters mentioned in the synopsis. Rather, I felt that it was about much, much more.
The most important part of it for me were definitely the underlying themes that came out of it all, but that’s really just something you have to see and figure out on your own. It had a huge impact on the way I think, but it may or may not do the same for you.
It’s about “Black & White.” But what do you think this “Black & White” is about?
-Please keep in mind that this is all based on personal opinion.-
Despite my torn opinion of him as an actor (damn your managers for steering you to more crap roles than good), "Black & White" has firmly asserted Vic Zhou into my mind as a "actor" and not a "Idol actor".
Yes I liked him in "Mars" and "Sweet Relationship" but it was his portrayal of the not-so-by-the-book "Chen Zai Tian(Pi Zi)" that made me go back and re-watch those dramas to confirm to myself; "Was he always this good?"
In this we have him playing a cop with more going on under the surface than meets the eye, partnered with a straight laced kind of cop, "Wu Ying Xiong" played by Mark Chao.
First of all, the dynamic between these two was bloody brilliant.
I love how "Zai Tian" was like the Captain Jack Sparrow of policing, down to the little walk and womanizing. Vic Zhou had us rolling our eyes and laughing at every wink, saunter and hushed seduction While Mark Chao's "Ying Xiong" had us busting stitches at every foiled seduction attempt he smote like some cock-blocking god.
But with every laugh they got us with every dramatic scene too, not overly done, nor overly drawn out, which was a godsend because some dramas can wring out that angst for all it's got and still ask for another bucket.
While the characters were a good symmetry for each other, the story writing and editing and directing were just as perfectly matched.
You don't feel rushed while watching it, and you don't feel it's too slow. Just the right pace, coupled with great actors putting it to the best that they can push it made "Black & White" the best Taiwanese produced drama I have ever had the pleasure of watching.