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Reviews: 10 users
The ugly Jin Da Hua daydreams that if she is as beautiful as Du Liang Yan, maybe her best friend Lin Guan Jun will fall in love of her. Then one day, she is given this chance to change her life.
Cast & Credits
Acting/Cast: No complains about the acting. Everyone in this drama are experienced actors and actresses. A pity that the storyline flopped half way through.
Music: Literally the saving grace of this drama. I absolutely looooove the OSTs, especially Olivia Ong's "Unchangeable". Looking forward to her new album with the OST in it!!
Rewatch value: Not worth rewatching. Seriously.
Overall: Watch if you ran out of drama to watch but do not expect much despite the great start to the drama. Lots of nice memorable scenes in the drama with the wonderful OSTs playing BUT that's just all it is - great looks, OSTs, classic romantic scenes (eg: kissing in the rain, unveiling of the bride etc). The drama simply lacked substance from the storyline point of view. Absolute disappointment... but at least, we leave with a great set of OSTs.
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The plot veered off tracks slightly past the halfway point. There's a decided shift in direction so noticeable that I'd thought the writers had changed hands. In truth, apparently internal politics at SETTV coupled with need to meet public demand caused this; either way it seems the writers clearly bit off a little more than they could chew. Character motivations became muddy; one promoted character totally vanished. Plot lines disappeared partway, then reappeared only to be wrapped up unsatisfactorily. Those that were necessary were often shuffled along in favor of trying to fix the problem of choosing the OTP, but even this was somewhat rushed.
What makes this unfortunate is that the main cast is so lovable. Nikki Hsieh has fine chemistry with everyone else in the drama, believably interacting with any character according to their intended relationship. She also does a great job in her dual role, because there are even speech differences between Da Hua and Liang Yan. James Wen is a personal favorite, but he was calling in all of his talent to keep his character from imploding. His Lin Guan Jun was handled poorly by the writers and his actions often made little sense in the final episodes. Wen has a natural charm about him though, so the eye is always drawn to him regardless.
Chris Wu is the favorite for most viewers, because he's such a talent; Terry could have reasonably been as interesting as cardboard. Instead, he's gorgeous, magnetic, compelling, and sympathetic; it's easy to see why he won the hearts of viewers so easily...and he's likely the primary reason many kept tuning in. I can't blame them.
My personal favorite part of Substitute Princess is the music. This is one of the OSTs I will be importing once it's available. Both the intro and outro suit the show unbelievably well, from the tone to lyrics. Each insert song is memorable and used effectively also. A special mention has to go to James Wen, who sang Guan Jun's love theme "Why Bother." Once when it played it got me teary-eyed due to its effective usage; it's such a beautiful song and his voice is quite pleasant.
Sadly, I can't think of any reason to re-watch this drama once you've completed it--unless you want to relive the experience that is Terry. I probably won't be coming back to it any time soon.
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