The story of two women who, separated in high-school by prejudice and fear, reunite later in life and open to the possibility of a love they never dared to dream would blossom. (Source: ContentAsia) Edit Translation
- magyar / magyar nyelv
- עברית / עִבְרִית
Cast & Credits
Too short to be great, competent enough to be goodIf I had to describe The Fragrance Of The First Flower in one sentence I would call it a great show trapped in a good show.
Words cannot describe how excited I was when I discovered this drama, I think that usually, Taiwan tackles LGBT+ subjects in its media in a very tasteful and impactful manner and on every level, from looks to premise, The Fragrance Of The First Flower looked like it was going to fill the GL-shaped void in my life. Needless to say, that I was gutted when I discovered that each of the only 6 episodes was going to be barely 18 minutes long. Still, I decided to give this drama a fair chance, even though I had the sneaking suspicion that that short runtime wouldn’t be enough to tell this story. And I’m afraid I was correct.
The Fragrance Of The First Flower is a beautiful portrayal of right person- wrong time. The show’s strength without a doubt lies in its gorgeous cinematography and especially in the colour grading. Every shot had purpose while still being aesthetically pleasing and I really feel like the colours dictated the mood and feel of each scene. Some people have pointed out that the actresses look way too old to play their teenage selves and I will have to agree but I still appreciated bot of the leads’ acting. I’ve also seen people complain about the lack of chemistry between them, but that is a sentiment I cannot agree with. I was fully immersed in the relationship between the two characters. There was a lot of subtlety in their performances which I feel like can be traced back to the subtlety of the script and plot. It was very fitting, in my opinion, that the thing that killed the relationship of the two protagonists in high school before it even began, the thing that triggered Yi Mins internalized homophobia, was the painful reminder of the inherent sexualization that comes with being a young woman. The scene in which the two leads almost kiss for the first time until they are interrupted by a pervert was the one that left the biggest impression on me in the whole show. I think it was a brilliant and subtle way of addressing how lesbians are viewed under the male gaze and how their sexualization makes it harder for young queer women to find themselves.
I also think the scene in which Yi Min finally confesses to her husband that she has fallen for someone else is a really strong one. She is desperately looking for another reason to break up with him because on a surface level, she should be happy. Her husband is not a bad man and she has everything she wanted in her teenage years, the house, family, and the role of a wife. Yi Min is looking for something wrong in their relationship so she doesn’t have to address what is really keeping her from being content.
Still, as I mentioned before, The Fragrance Of The First Flower ended up not fully living up to its potential and I really do feel like its main fault lies in the infuriatingly short runtime. In no way is this drama flawless but in my honest opinion most of its problems could have been addressed, if the show just had a few more episodes, or at least longer ones. Everything felt just slightly underdeveloped and it’s such a shame because all the ingredients to make this really special were there. But you just really need that time to develop a believable relationship between two people and unfortunately, time is the one thing this drama didn’t have and that might be the reason the ending fell completely flat for me.
Admittedly, I am a little salty. The BL fandom practically gets content shoved down their throat (eventhough most of said content to be fair, is not great) while I have to look for ages to find half-decent WLW representation. I just kinda had held on to the hope that this drama would be the one to kick off the success of the GL genre, and I doubt it will. But then again, I fully realize that what I am asking for is the same fetishization that gay men have to deal with, so maybe I should just be happy with what I get.
In the end, I feel like The Fragrance Of The First Flower did its best with what little it had. I have certainly seen way worse and at least I can confidently say that this was an earnest attempt at believable, well-meant representation. I have no problem recommending this show to other people who are also starved for WLW-content. The short runtime might have been what killed this drama but at least this way it doesn’t feel like a big commitment.
I will do my best to be optimistic about the future of GL and I’m sure that dramas like this one pave the way to better WLW representation.
Beautiful but very realThe whole season gave a very beautiful and captivating feel.
My lower rating is because I felt like a 3rd person trying to understand their story but it's hard because I'm not them. I just got the feeling like it's somebody trying to tell me their story but they don't know how to fully get me into their point of view. They aren't able to completely let me stand in their place to understand what they are feeling in those moments. It didn't draw me into the story. It was more like somebody was telling me a story but they were having a hard time finding their words and having trouble putting together a picture for me to really get what was taking place. It's like I'm prying into their feelings and life but I'm only getting the bare minimum to understand them and their story. The whole thing isn't confusing or anything, but I'm more of describing the vibe the show was giving off to me.
The story is a sad one. But, it gives off a very beautiful romantic feeling that captivated me to keep watching when I had mixed feelings about this show.
I wouldn't say that I loved it, but it wasn't horribly done.