Pleasantly Surprised

Details

  • Drama: Pleasantly Surprised
  • Country: Taiwan
  • Episodes: 22
  • Aired: May 23, 2014 - Oct 17, 2014
  • Aired On: Friday
  • Network: SET TV
  • Duration: 1 hr. 15 min.
  • Genres: Food, Romance, Drama
  • Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 7.8 (scored by 1,443 users)
  • Ranked: #1269
  • Popularity: #734
  • Members: 3,608

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Ari
15 people found this review helpful
Nov 19, 2014
22 of 22 episodes seen
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
Here's my reasoning behind why this drama is a 9.5 drama.
This was literally the cutest drama ever and has become one of my all time favorites
--

Story: There's food, there's love and there's a slice of life. I can't get enough of this drama, and I've never seen a drama where it involved food before so you can pretty much guess i'll be looking for another surrounding that aspect. Anywho, I loved that this drama had more than romance. It actually focused around food and careers, but didn't stray away from the romance altogether if you know what i mean. For example some dramas I watch are more about career or more about just romance, this drama played in between and I absolutely loved that. The food was also very well shot, it made me hungry while watching lol.

Story(Part two): However the one thing that did bug me is that although a drama is suppose to initially have DRAMA, I felt like the addition of the drama wasn't necessary and was only put to drag on the show even more. Now don't get me wrong I love taiwanese dramas because they tend to be long and I love seeing more cute moments in a drama, but the fact that the drama could of ended any moment with a happy ending but was instead delayed to throw in more crappy drama bugs me. l think the drama was a little overboard towards the end of the series. This is why i didn't rate the drama a 10 like I was going to. Nonetheless, I still loved this drama and was glad to watch it.


Acting/Cast: I felt that pretty much everyone here could act together except for a few people (i.e. ah jie's brother, du kai's mother, hao wei's sister) and it made the drama seem like it was actually real life. I love how affectionate the characters were and how natural they became with each other. In addition, I love that there was actually some action scattered throughout the series and not at the very end. ( When i say action, I mean kissing, lol) Usually in dramas I watch the kisses don't come until the very end or the relationship doesn't progress till it's almost over . While watching this I got to see a different character trait of the main lead which is that they don't pry into each others business and then get mad about it, which typically happens in many dramas. In addition, I love that the characters have the ability to put two and two together, instead of a long wait for the character to discover the truth about something. Lastly, the great thing about this drama is that there aren't really any despicable leads. Normally you have a second lead that is set to destroy the other lead, but in this drama the second leads take a different and more mature role towards the end and don't try to destroy other's happy-ness.

Music: The music was fantastic, it fit perfectly with the mood and it fit perfectly with the scenes. It also gave you clues to what was about to happen which I found a little cheesy but, It was perfectly fine.

Rewatch Value: Yes, I would watch this drama again. but to some extent, like I wouldn't watch it ALL straight through because well yea.. excessive dragging. But I would watch it again, just skipping around unfavorable parts.

Overall: I think you should give this drama a chance because it is a unique drama and It will make you laugh and put a smile on your face. Although there are moments where you just feel like WTF, but after those WTF moments you actually enjoy it even more to see through to the end.

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hakuna_matata
10 people found this review helpful
Oct 18, 2014
22 of 22 episodes seen
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
One of the recent Taiwanese dramas that isn't as draggy as others. Totally enjoying myself when watching this drama till the end.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE DRAMA: The casts of course! Well, I won't really rate the actors and actresses a very high score because they don't really show their acting potential through the drama. But I was totally attracted by the male lead's smile throughout the show, as well as his personality. I don't think I will ever seen a guy like that in real life! I will definitely give a high rating for the plot. The story was really nicely plotted with no draggy parts (well maybe one or two episodes in between) and how they actually not go off the way like other dramas. Overall, it is really a drama that can make people smile all the time without any frustrations. (:
WHAT I DISLIKE ABOUT THE DRAMA: However, I was slightly disappointed with the ending even though it was a very happy one. I mean, they can show more progress between the two leads or maybe the relationship between Kaiqi and Ah Jie's family or even with Xiao Yi (haven't been seeing him for quite a few episodes though!).
In conclusion, it is one of the top recent dramas that is really worth watching, as Taiwan dramas nowadays are really getting boring or draggy with no new story plots. (: And and and, if you really want to watch a drama with cute male lead with an attractive smile with dimples. ;D

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Danni
5 people found this review helpful
Oct 19, 2014
22 of 22 episodes seen
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
The Story (7.5/10): While it's hard to come by a really original story these days, I felt that this is one of the nicer Taiwanese dramas to come out in recent years and definitely the one I liked most with Puff as the leading lady. Also, as with most dramas, regardless of country, it does drag a bit here and there but that may be more about my own opinion and how I want the majority of screen time devoted to the main couple as opposed to side characters even if they are important to the story. Though having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the side romances and I think that was a real strength of this particular series. I really did adore each of the employees and while some of their antics were a bit over the top it made for some nice physical sight gag comedy. It's something that's just engrained in Taiwanese dramas, so while I may not be a big fan of it sometimes, when it's done right, it's hilarious. Something else known to Taiwanese dramas is the focus on conversation/involvement with family. Arguably, you get that in most Asian Dramas, but if someone's been watching T-Dramas for a while, you'll see that sometimes those family scenes can drag on and on.... we get it, you want what's best however misguided your actions may be, but that was kept to a minimum in this drama and it was a nice change. All of the scenes meant something and didn't feel like they were trying to force drama. Lastly, I really like dramas where the problems between the leads are less about interfering from secondary leads, and more about them resolving issues between themselves. While there are secondary leads that can get a bit annoying, there aren't any over the top stupid misunderstandings, most things are cleared up rather quickly.

The Acting/Cast (7.5/10): This drama introduced me to male actors, Jasper Lui, Sean Lee, and Yorke Sun, who I'm looking forward to seeing in many more dramas. As previously mentioned, I really liked Puff the most in this of the three dramas I've seen her in so far. She plays a good strong female lead, it's nice to see a girl who stands up for herself and doesn't take any crap, but of course also has a sensitive compassionate side as well. It was also nice to see a male lead that was genuinely kind-hearted and a nice guy, not a huge jerk that later changes. Nice guys DO get the girl! Learn from this other dramas! The acting was pretty par for the course for me. I didn't feel anyone was lacking, in fact, I think the actors did a great job of making the characters their own and distinctive from one another when they could've easily just been part of the scenery.

The Music (6/10): The opening theme was nice, and nothing was really bad, but nothing I felt that stood out either or anything I felt compelled to go itunes to try and download. I think it's just a nice middle of the road soundtrack.

Re-watch Value (5.0/10): I think this is well worth watching at least once, but I don't know that I would go out of my way to recommend it or re-watch it personally. If someone asked me if they should watch, I wouldn't dissuade them. There were some cute romantic scenes that I felt could be re-watch, but as a whole not as much.

Overall (7.5/10): I gave this a 7.5 overall because it had some really great feed-good adorable moments in it. The leads and even supporting characters had great chemistry whether romantically or not and with such a large cast, that's pretty great. I loved that the side characters had their own stories but nothing that sucked away tons of screen time from our leads but when it did it was okay because it was interesting at the least and adorkably romantic at most. I didn't feel compelled to skip episodes and while I did skip some of the storyline here and there I didn't find myself doing it a lot, mainly because I felt invested in the side romances :P

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Nelly
5 people found this review helpful
Nov 3, 2014
22 of 22 episodes seen
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
OVERALL
An entertaining Taiwanese rom-com that digs a little deeper than others. Watch if 1) you can watch food without eating (otherwise, you'll gain weight, trust me), 2) you've had an overdose of the typical sweet girl and douchy guy, 3) you like shows with children. Don't watch if 1) You have little patience for weird or irritating characters (you can always skip if they bore you, but...), 2) you're looking for a romance with lots of skinship (kisses sure are fine in this show, but there's little more, you're warned!), 3) you don't like when everything is just too happy (yes, there is such a thing as too much happiness).

THE STORY
After watching many many dramas, if there's one thing I'm particularly tired of, it's the cliched sweet, innocent and naive female protagonist. Granted, the main lead of this show is also a cliched character. The distrustful, cold and solitary female type. But I was pleasantly surprised (pun intended) with the character development of Kai Qi, who slowly opens up to people. It was not expected in such a light, comic romance, and that's just how to earn some points in my book. Another way is to have a male lead that slightly deviates from the norm - a patient cutie pie with a warm smile and personality, instead of the all-too-common barbie Ken - the overly-confident, masculine, smirky (or douchy) faced guy. And yet another way is to have a very cute little child actor. So this show was quite enjoyable for me. Predictable, yes, at times unbelievable or dragging too, with an ending that seems a bit too abrupt, but fun to watch and slightly different from the comedies I've seen so far. If that's where Taiwanese rom-coms are going, I'll be hopping onto their boat a lot more often in the future.

THE ACTING
Mmm...I don't know about that, and truthfully the main couple didn't have much chemistry, but I'll say the cast was selected well because they make the show visually appealing. Puff Guo looks great and makes an endearing cold girl. I had seen her before in a similar role (in Inborn Pair, though her character was more of a two-faced bully) and I also had had the I-want-to-be-your-friend feeling. Jasper Liu is cuuute. He's in my list of actors to watch out for. You just look at them and feel like watching the show. That's totally not a legitimate reason to watch a drama, but hey, all is fair in Dramaland.

THE MUSIC
Nothing that captured my attention, except maybe for the occasional instrumental track. The piano piece was cute and I wanted to play it.

REWATCH VALUE
Why not? But...in a while.

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Summer
2 people found this review helpful
May 23, 2016
22 of 22 episodes seen
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.5
Reasons to watch: FOOD and cuteness. I really liked this one despite the ups and downs. Although it got very melodramatic, each dramatic plot arc never carried on for too long and was also resolved within an episode or two. A great drama for those who like their food, cute couples, nice guys, and can tolerate some melodramatic tears.

The cast and characters are one of the main reasons why I kept watching. Our two leads are great: I loved Jasper Lin and Puff Kuo's bantering chemistry. Jasper Lin also has one of the greatest smiles in the world. My heart melts just seeing it. But other than our leads, our supporting character cast is full of characters who are quirky and likable. I don't think I disliked a single character at the end--even the worst of them have some sort of redemptive quality.

I am a huge fan of both Jasper Liu and Puff Kuo after this. They made Ah Jie and Kai Qi into lovable, multi-dimensional characters. I think it’s very easy for coldness in a character to come out flat and wooden on-screen (eg. Suzy’s performance in Dream High), but Puff Kuo added a lot nuance and personality to the coldness.

Jolin Chien's character Cheng Hao Wei also deserves a shout-out for being one of the greatest second male leads to grace dramaland. Also shout-out to Xiao Yi for being an adorable child.

Unfortunately, Pleasantly Surprised does suffer from a lot of melodramatics and one particularly unnecessary and random plot arc in the second half. The first half of the show is GREAT. I wish the drama had kept up the food aspect afterward, but seemed to abandon food in favor of drama (as dramas tend to do.) The second half is when all the crazy plot twists and melodramatics happen, but I think that it was handled well in that the drama never gets drawn out for too long (usually resolved within the next episode), and our dependable supporting characters who work at the restaurant are always around to provide some comedy to ease the tension.

I loved the characters enough to tolerate the plot twists, and would definitely rewatch for the food and cuteness!

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Jasmine
2 people found this review helpful
Apr 12, 2015
22 of 22 episodes seen
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
I loved this drama! It was so adorable and the plot of a strong, stubborn lead, is definitely different from the norm.

I watched this drama after watching Just You, also with Puff Kuo, but with Aaron Yan. Therefore, I was a little skeptical of Puff's chemistry with Jasper Liu in this drama. I was completely blown away! Puff's chemistry with Jasper is amazing. Their interactions are so adorable, and after watching this drama I am Jasper's fan- his dimples! The supporting kitchen cast made the drama even better. I cared about their side stories, and rooted for their relationships. The supporting cast added to the drama.

Okay, so story wise, the first 5 episodes set the foundation very well, we see Puff (Du Kai Qi) slowly falling for Jasper (Fu Zi Jie). Who said nice guys can't get the girl? ;) The second half, without spoiling it, got a bit draggy, but that's normal for tdramas. I do wish the ending was longer, but oh well.

The songs played were a bit repetitive but I personally really liked the songs because they were played appropriately and added the the scenes.

I would rewatch it again because of the chemistry between the leads and also the food aspect of this drama. All the food looked delicious!! A must watch.

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Timbone
1 people found this review helpful
Nov 27, 2015
22 of 22 episodes seen
Overall 7.0
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
Starts great and completely falters during the second half. I wanted my 11 hours or so back haha.
Anyways the story is very cute but the acting of the supporting cast looks amateurish and quite silly maybe that was the point. The music is awesome. The leads also awesome. The second half was just bonkers, they ruined an almost perfection show, I was pretty angry and just finished it to fulfill all righteousness and because I wanted to see the male lead in something(Amour et Patisserie still isnt fully subbed someone please finish it :((( )

If it was possible I would make a virus that deletes the second half of the series from this world and give this show an 11 out of 10 :D

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pjbottomZzz
0 people found this review helpful
Jul 31, 2017
22 of 22 episodes seen
Overall 7.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 1.5
The romantic leads were mismatched from the start with Puff having to do most of the romantic heavy lifting though her character was very antisocial.
I thought there was more chemistry between Hao Wei and Kai Qi.
Jasper Liu's character was too childish at times, which made it difficult for me to believe that he was this badass chef and that he possessed the know-how to run his father's company when he wasn't stalking Kai Qi.
It's never a good idea to rely on children too much in a supporting role because the cuteness factor quickly wears off and you find yourself wishing them bodily harm. At least, I did.
The entire kidnap/rescue scenes were laughable and not in a good way.
I absolutely loved the supporting cast because they made this show tolerable and fun to watch.
I think I'll take a break from watching Taiwanese television shows for a while thanks in large part to Jasper Liu's performance.

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