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Completed
Khun Mae Suam Roy
35 people found this review helpful
Mar 29, 2018
31 of 31 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Lakorns sometimes have this gift of resembling telenovelas in a fraction of episodes, leading viewers to skip some of the meddlesome middle episodes to watch the ending. Khum Mae Suam Roy is not like that, it was riveting from beginning to end as it was not monotone theme wise and while the ending remains rather predictable – a good thing for those who like the closure the Thai dramas have accustomed us to – the Lakorn despite remaining consistently focused on the quest to solve murder/accidents, deals with a vicissitude of themes and issues on a parallel timeline: twin role switch, family fights for power and backstabbing, betrayals, impossible love stories, love obsessions and mistresses while drawing light to strong contemporary issues i.e. child abandonment; infertility, wheelchair bound and the psychological effects of those traumas.

The simultaneous narratives were really interesting as Thai Lakorns can be somewhat typical and standardized in terms of storylines and Khun Mae Suam Roy was anything but. Saying that I wouldn’t recommend it as a first Lakorn to watch for Thai drama beginners as it will build unrealistic expectations about them. This Lakorn is like an old Port wine, one has to wait to drink it in order to fully maximize the experience of tasting the wine.

The mysteries about who shot Siriya, who caused her lover’s death, who messed up with the car breaks to cause Sina (pretending to be Siriya) accident, who shot her, and the Cluedo guessing game kept raising an array of questions about the possible suspects and sending viewers on mental wild goose chases nearly until the end. For those that like mystery games, this drama is brilliant. For those that like lovey dovey enemies to lovers kiss and slap stories, they’re not is as large a supply. The relationship between Thi and Sina is intriguing and really captivating from the beginning but it’s a bit like climbing a mountain except that when you think you reached the top and the view can’t get better, you haven’t reached the top yet and the view will get tons better.

Khun Thi, the male lead has always suffered from abandoned child syndrome both physically and emotionally by his mother which have caused him a severe emotional trauma and scarred him deep inside his heart. It was a tough issue for a young child to deal with and one that has strongly impacted on him. He’s very loyal to his father’s family who have raised him but he’s still the son of a mistress and that knowledge has always waved itself invisibly over his head, hidden away in an emotional inferiority complex. His leading lady, Sina (pretending to be her twin sister Siriya to discover who shot her, making her wheelchair bound), on the other hand is rather normal; a hardworking stunt double who kicks ass and protects her sister. Their love story is cliché and the way their emotions and their struggles play are a like an elastic band constantly expanding and shrinking, standard but at the same time so real life and both Pop and Bua have a strong chemistry onscreen. I found Darika’s obsession with Khun Thi too paranoid but that’s Lakorn stereotypical.

The writers have done a brilliant job writing the Nat and Siriya/Sina and both Khem Rujira Chuaykua and Bua Ongumpai have done a great job bringing them to life. Nat is the scorned woman who feels that her infertility caused her husband to fall for Siriya, who bore him a child and as a consequence had made her live in agony for years. Wanting to be a mother and being unable to, wanting her husband’s love but being scorned by him is something that many women can empathise with and can understand too well. As a result of those issues Nat battled depression, low self-esteem and extreme stress. Siriya is the eldest twin and the weakest one. She’s so meek and calm all the time making her look way too insipid and pitiful as she always comes across like a damsel in distress who needs to be rescued by her knight in shining armour. This makes her annoying as a character. Sina on the other hand is completely the opposite and that’s what makes her interesting, her Spice Girls, girl power attitude. The twins are so utterly simple, so devoided of complexity which is interesting as the story doesn’t need them to be multi-layered. The writers did such a great job in keeping viewers guessing, double guessing and questioning things all the time that when the Lakorn ended there the Suttarak family has finally got a sense of understanding about what happened, why it happened and was finally able to move on from that.

I liked that Khun Mae Suam Roy as a Lakorn is very well written and that the story is organic, flowing without a lot of dull or unnecessary moments. The storylines have purpose and are intrinsically connected; in one way or another they add substance to the development of main story arch which in itself is an achievement. The actors played a huge role in that but it’s easy to perform well with a great script that deals with contemporary issues relevant to current society.

I loved the romance, how the love story developed and how the drama production team gave viewers an entire episode dedicated to it. It was amazing, particularly how Thi played with the cards that were dealt to him and how, despite the denials and his own internal battles, he has overcome them and gave himself the chance to be happy with the woman he loves, freely and without reservations; but for me despite loving the romance, Khun mae suam roy was not about it, it was about the fight for justice and for a chance at happiness, underlined by a revenge plot, emphasized by a beautiful soundtrack. Roses have thorns.

For all of the above I am giving this Lakorn 10 points out of 10.

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Completed
Kiss Me
67 people found this review helpful
Nov 6, 2015
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.5
I'm a big fan of Itazura na Kiss but I have been a bit tired of all the identical adaptations of the story. Change the cast, the country, the music but everything else has been pretty much...similar and bland, yet as an Itazura na Kiss fan I had to watch Kiss me and..I loved it.

Itazura na Kiss is a fantastic story but reality is that is a bit outdated and doesn't really reflect society nowadays no matter how romantic one is or is not on my opinion. Kiss me instead of sticking to the original and become known as just another remake of the story, it elevates it to an entire new level by giving it their own spin of it and make it actual without compromising the essential storyline.

Naoki aka Tenten is fantastic to watch. He's relatable as a person, not the arrogant genious every other version tried to make him as. Yes, he's a genius but he's human and the humanity of the character that Mike D'Angelo portraits is what differs Tenten from all the other versions for me. Tenten is by far the most complete character of all the versions.
Kotoko aka Taliw...she's sweet and clueless at times and she's simple but she's caring and genuinely in love with Tenten without going overboard or being annoying like other versions I believe, which makes me like the character and empathize with her.

Kiss me is not a copy paste of the other versions, making it more authentic and interesting to watch. The soundtrack is also quite good.

Overall, it is a great adaptation of Itazura na Kiss!

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Ongoing 18/18
Bromance
57 people found this review helpful
Feb 22, 2016
18 of 18 episodes seen
Ongoing 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Bromance is the kind of drama that upon first look is remarkable cliché: a young woman cross-dressing as a man. For that reason it might fly under the radar for many drama fans. Aficionados will be familiar with the premise through Coffee Prince, You’re Beautiful and Beautiful Boys and might not be interest in another similar story as they’re pretty hard to top up in terms of innovation, script, performances and general appeal. Newcomers will likely dab through the first two considering the revered status both Coffee Prince and You’re Beautiful have in drama land.

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!

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Completed
The Princess Wei Young
18 people found this review helpful
Dec 10, 2016
54 of 54 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.0
The story

Based on a book and on a real life empress, Princess Wei Young depicts the fight of a woman for justice and her love for a man that loved her back in equal measure despite the political plots, vengeful twists and turns and machinations to keep them apart. The drama however masked under a quest for vengeance is a pursuit of happiness in the form of love, greed, revenge, ambition and desire for power which contrasts with the reality of ancient times where love didn't rule the world and women were nothing more than possessions to be disposed off by their fathers into marriage to strengthen their family's power.

The characters and performances

Wei Young is an interesting character albeit mellow and reactive; she's doesn't set the pace, she follows it. She's soft even when she can't be bordering on aloofness, a contradistinction with her strength and drive on paper and most likely with her real life persona. Wei Young ought to be fierce, driven, determined, proactive and engaging, but she's not yet somehow despite the flaws the character is likeable.

Touba Jun looked most often than not a lovesick man pining for the woman he loves. Without the period wardrobe he would be just another contemporary man running after his love. For a male lead he lacks spunk which might be attributed to how the character was written or how the director wanted it to be performed. Regardless Touba Jun is visually appealing to watch on screen therefore what is lost in character is gained in beauty, not entirely a bad thing if the drama was a period adaptation of Boys over flowers in the palace.

Chang Ru and Touba Yu are machiavellian scene steallers. Chang Ru is a weed pretending to be a naive flower that uses people to accomplish her own personal agenda without them knowing about it. Clever, manipulative and ambituous, she's an expert at deception like Touba Yu, the man she loves; the man that wants Wei Young. Both characters are complex and have such a strong presence on screen, that is fascinating to watch despite all their plotting and coniving misdeeds.

The music

The opening theme is A-Lin's A Moment ir Romance, a sweet ballad about loving someone until one has to say goodbye, wanting to be together. The closing theme, Gifted is sang by Princess Wei Young's leads Tang Yan and Luo Jin. Both reflect the story well and are sang beautifully.

Overall

An interesting story with a good cinematography, well crafted and visually stunning that is both enganging and moving, despite the flaws of the lead characters, that acted more like secondary characters in their own story. Someone's loss is another person's gain and Chang Ru and Touba Yu took the opportunity prsented to them and showcased episodes of pure magnetism on screen, therefore, for all the above I rate it 7 out of 10.

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Completed
Listening Snow Tower
42 people found this review helpful
Jun 16, 2019
56 of 56 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
This review may contain spoilers
Listening Snow Tower is an interesting story with a plethora of well-performed martial arts moves, giving vibes of Legend of Fuyao. Somehow it seems virtually impossible to go through the drama without mentally imprinting Wuji on Yi Qing and Fuyao on Jing Rong and this is where memory lane goes incredibly right to some viewers or incredibly wrong to others, puffed out from the strenuous exercise of going backwards and forwards between the dramas.

For those that have watched and enjoyed Fuyao, Listening Snow Tower is a good drama to pick up to maintain momentum as it can postpone the sad drama withdrawal. Denial isn’t good but the dramas actually are.

For those that have watched but either dropped or immensely disliked Fuyao, then stay away. This is not nor will it be a favourite flavour of tea.

For those that have absolutely no idea who Fuyao is, Listening Snow Tower is a great drama to watch and then once finished, a binge on Fuyao is a good idea. Keep in mind though that Listening Snow Tower has a faster pace, not really suitable for those that enjoy slow-paced dramas with draggy unnecessary scenes.

This drama as the title so aptly explains in three short words is about Listening Snow Tower and one should really listen. The pugilistic world is a mess, with the out-of-favour and out-of-power Snow Tower due to a rift of internal struggles. Betrayal is never done by an enemy and the cliché is proven right once again as if, it actually mattered to the story’s development.

Yi Qing is the heir of Snow Tower that takes over from his deceased father. As a first task, rebuild and restore Snow Tower’s reputation to its former glory asap. The thing is Yi Qing is ill. He has been ill with an incurable disease since childhood which mind you is not a hindrance to his state-of-the-art marital arts skills and his strategic thinking. His illness does not control his life nor does it run it. Yi Qing loves Jing Rong, the orphan daughter of the Blood Demon who also returns his feelings.

Fuyao again. Like Wuiji protects Fuyao, helping her achieve her full potential, Yi Qing protects Jin Rong, helping her become stronger so that she can fight the Moon Sect bent on destroying Snow Tower alongside him.

Jin Rong is filled with guilt when she finds out that her life is fated to bring others misfortune. Fuyao all over again. Then there are the battles for power amidst the sects, nothing out of the ordinary or remotely original but well accomplished.

The performances do not have the star power of Fuyao however the leads and remaing of the characters are well-matched and performed. Nothing exceptional but nothing to be critical about either. Indeed the drama might all appear a bit bland but bland is better than having a salty meal.

Visually Listening Snow Tower is good, not going over the top with weird-looking bright-pallet coloured costumes which have dragged many a good drama down with its fruit salad look. There’s contrast, white, red, black and it works wonderfully for those who like a more manga/comic book look in a drama with a small number of colour variations.

Overall, is a good enjoyable fast-paced drama, a bit hard to stop watching, a bit hard not to binge on it once one gets into it. Rating: 9.5 out of 10.

Should one watch it? Definitely but forget about Fuyao if possible and enjoy the series for what is worth!

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Completed
Heroine Disqualified
28 people found this review helpful
Mar 17, 2016
Completed 0
Overall 3.0
Story 1.5
Acting/Cast 3.0
Music 2.0
Rewatch Value 2.0
This afternoon I asked myself why did I watch this movie? The answer was: story seemed interesting. Needless to say I didn’t find anything interesting about the film, on the contrary. I found it boring and annoying yet I persevered and watched it through to the end when my mind begged me to stop the mental torture and it was torture.

The heroine was just too obsessive, too focused on the guy she loved. At first I found her too desperate but teenagers tend to find things the end of the world and she was no exception. Everything was a drama, even when to confess to Rita that she loved him and has always loved him. Then she became really bothersome borderline on maddening with all the spectacle and theatrics, all the infantilism of the child she no longer was but somehow on an unconscious level seemed to believe to be. It’s seems the only logical explanation for her irrational behaviour!

Rita is weak, as a teenage boy he’s weak, as a boy he’s weak, as a teenager he’s weak and he never stops being weak. I wonder if the manga author created the character so incredibly full of flaws, so physically and psychologically weak on purpose. How can a male lead character be so utterly uncompelling is beyond me. There’s not a single time throughout the movie I find him interesting. Having Rita as the main male lead...why? To show that men can be weak? Men can be weak but Rita takes male weakness to an entire new level, the level of absurdity!

At the end of the movie I was drained and relieved that it was finally over, finally!!!

The only thing I liked about the movie was the photography but it wasn’t enough to save a poor story who became a poor film on the screen.

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Completed
We Are All Alone
16 people found this review helpful
Jul 1, 2020
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.5
We are all alone is based on a same titled novel and portrays the successes and the struggles of Mo Xiang Wan as she navigates her life and her career in the Chinese Entertainment Industry.

Mo Xiang Wan is like the Margaret Thatcher of showbiz, a shrewd agent - talent spotter, talent developer, artist manager, babysitter, problem solver. All in one. A professional with a conduct and no space for love in her life except for her talents. Being considered 'the agent' brings a lot of perks i.e. leading roles offers for her artists, top pick in endorsements... but also a lot of envy in her two arch-rivals: Judy and Zhu He. Judy wants her job and Zhu He, Yu Jiang's wife, shareholder of Qi Li Culture fully backs her, fermenting a volcanic hate for Mo Xiang Wan, her husband's protege.

She raised from the ashes to be successful only to be thrown to the wolves and being forced to rise again amongst them. The thing is people evolve and mature and when the world comes crumbling down, a high conscience means peace of mind and moving on. Qi Li Culture enabled Mo Xiang Wan to succeed, Judy and Zhu He plotted to bring her down but she would not stay down, rising again until the time where Qi Li Culture no longer felt like home and then it was time to part ways and forge a new path.

Although Godfrey Gao & Wang Zi Yi are listed as having main roles in the drama, the only main role belongs to Qin Lan as all other characters are the ones she influences and interacts with and share a similar screen time around Mo Xiang Wan who drives the story - she is the story.

We are all alone portrays love in showbiz; filming scheduling; filming conflict; fan wars; fan reactions and actions and how they make and break an artist; backstabbing; contract disputes; script changes; image management and damage control; love and one of the most contemporary illnesses that exist in the world: depression, here celebrity depression which is often masked with anti-depressions or painkillers taken to ease the mental pain reflected in the body due to sadness or other issues like loss of fans for example, although here in the drama is love sickness. How many young celebrities have suffered from depression? Many but how many have spoken openly about battling it? A smaller number.

Beauty and money do not necessarily equal happiness. They equal the value others attribute to it and that can cause a lot of pressure as beauty fades and money slips through the fingers when artists are no longer popular and have to work three times harder to get a certain level of popularity back. Showbiz is ruthless. We are all alone shows exactly how much.

The story has a regular pace which might appear slow at times but it's well executed and realistic. Here that's more important than speed. The themes it approaches are contemporary and modern, portraying the reality of showbiz, rather than a lovey-dovey romantic story fairy-tale set in Shanghai's entertainment industry which is brilliant and fresh.

For all of the above, we are all alone merits an overall rating of 10 out of 10.

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Completed
General and I
26 people found this review helpful
Feb 10, 2017
62 of 62 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 10
It’s surreal how much I’ve came to love General & I. Surreal as I don’t tend to fall in love easily for any drama but General & I has been easy to love, too easy and too difficult to let go but that’s the thing with great loves, they mark you the most and are harder to overcome, if ever.

The story is simple and cliché: two very intelligent war mastermind adversaries, one a general, nicknamed the God of War, the other a female strategist. Pitting against one another they’re formidable opponents: mind versus matter, prediction versus adaptability. Together they’re unstoppable. That’s the reason everyone wants to keep them apart. It’s not that they’re weaker separately, but rather unbeatable together. Chu Bei Jie is the general of the kingdom of Jin, related to the king by blood. Bai Ping Ting is a childhood friend of the Prince He Xia, a sworn enemy of Chu Bei Jie. Chu Bei Jie and Bai Ping Ting fall in love but their love is an obstacle to the wishes of the king of Jin, the Royal Consort, the Chancellor and to He Xia. Through tick and conniving plots, Bei Jie and Ping Ting are separated. After years of turmoil in the land, they reunite again for their love towards one another to fight against He Xia and unite the land under one empire, bringing peace to the people and stability to the land they so dearly love. This is the story in a nutshell but the drama is so much more than that, is the sacrifices one makes for the loved ones, the sacrifices one makes for family, for country, for honour, the battles one faces not to conquer to dominate but to conquer to maintain peace and to fight for the ideals of a better world and at opposite ends for everything antagonistic to that. For that reason the story is a 10 out of 10 without another thought.

The main catalyst characters: Chu Bei Jie, Bai Ping Ting & He Xia

Chu Bei Jie performed by veteran Hong Kong actor Wallace Chung and embodies the personification of Mars, the mythological God of War in every sense. He’s strong, determined and wrecks havoc amongst those foolish enough to get in his way. He’s smart and a brilliant strategist, able to adapt to local circumstances like no other. He’s also fiercely loyal to his king and to the woman he loves, never doubting her, never losing faith in her. He’s also not afraid to show his emotions to her, to hold her, to comfort her, to cry in her presence. Wallace Chung performs Chu Bei Jin brilliantly. He is Chu Bei Jin. For a man in his early 40’s to perform Chu Bei Jin, a character that is over 10 years his junior, to perform the stunts that he performs in the drama with the agility of a man half his age is a feat not accomplished by many and Wallace Chung does it effortlessly.

Bai Ping Ting is performed by Chinese A-List Angelababy. She took time to get used to on screen. Initially it was a struggle to see Bai Ping Ting. She appeared to passive when the character is anything but. Every scene seemed to drag with Angelababy’s performance. Is not that she was bad, rather she wasn’t good either. She was just flat and continued to be flat. Her emotions were so utterly standardized it was hard to empathize with Bai Ping Ting, despite liking the character so much on paper. It seemed that she was despondent of life and just existed. It was sad to watch. However as the episodes moved on, her performance grew more convincing, perhaps due Wallace Chung and Sean Sun’s performances who elevated the drama and by consequence perhaps made her elevate her performance as well. Bai Ping Ting is a character with more spunk than what was portrayed but saying that Angelababy’s performance was nice to watch with Wallace Chung and Sean Sun.

He Xia is performed by Sean Sun and what a remarkable performance that was as well. He’s younger than Wallace Chung yet on screen their prowess’s are evenly matched. He Xia is despicable and vindictive and a pain in everyone’s side. He marries for power then when he loses the woman he didn’t know he loved is too late. He could’ve been happy but he chose to pursue vengeance and in the end vengeance took over him and he lost himself. Sean Sun is phenomenal performing He Xia. He’s unreadable. His face demonstrates nothing, his actions demonstrate everything.

The secondary characters: the King, the chancellor, the Queen Consort, the Princess, Lady 13…what is interesting about them is that their role in the drama doesn’t drag. Once their purpose is finished they no longer appear in the drama. Normally secondary characters tend to stay in a drama from beginning to end but here, they don’t which is different but good. Once they no longer contribute to the story, bye bye and another character appears to take their place with the exceptions of the King of Yin and Princess Bai Lan. Acting/Cast, I would give it a 7. Not all characters are convincing but that mishap I gladly overlooked as I really enjoyed the drama.

The OST is nice, it’s not outstanding but it’s nice and it matches the drama well. In a scale of 0 – 10, it’s a 6.

Re-watch value: 10 out of 10. I loved Chu Bei Jie, loved, loved, loved the character and Wallace Chung! Bai Ping Ting matched him in every way possible. They’re a couple made in drama heaven, the Ying and the Yang, complements! Their battles against one another were phenomenal and when they put their heads together to fight their enemies was amazing! The drama remained solid and consistent if, dragging at times but that didn't compromise the story, building up to the reunion which ought to be watched again and again and again!

Overall General and I is as perfect a drama as they get even with its imperfections and flaws. As everything in life is anything but perfect the drama is a pure example of it, a story that is utterly perfect despite how unperfect and challenging it was along the way!

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Completed
Hua Jai Sila
9 people found this review helpful
Jun 12, 2019
27 of 27 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
What a ride!

Hua Jai Sila was a phenomenal drama, riveting from beginning to end and that’s due to:

1) the script. It was extremely well written and visually accomplished on screen:

A man who was physically abused by his step-mother and brother as a child and was believed to be dead comes back years later as an adult under a different name to dispense revenge on those that hurt him. What he didn’t count on was meeting his childhood sweetheart and falling in love with her all over again, making him dwell between his feelings of revenge and the love he feels for her throughout his path to vengeance.

2) The choice of leads was spot on.

Tor as Sila was outstanding. It’s rare to see an actor portray an array of 3 or more distinctive emotions within 6 seconds. He went from aloof to kind to furious in a blink of an eye.

Fern was a good match for him as Min. Their chemistry worked and their push-pull game of love added spice and sweetness to what would have been just another revenge drama and it showed the human side of Sila.

3) The supporting cast raised the drama’s bar with equally mesmerizing performances making Hua Jai Sila a solid drama throughout its 27 episode run.

4) The OST added depth to the already a great story.

Rewatch value: 10 out of 10 when it should actually be an 11.

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Completed
Cubic
7 people found this review helpful
Aug 12, 2017
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 9.5
It’s been a while since I put a pen to paper and a while since I felt the urge to write a drama review. Korean dramas have become too cliché for me to bother and Chinese dramas which have become an integral part of my like as crisps have more often than not build up these expectations in me that…more often than not have not materialized. Then comes Cubic, out of the blue. I read such a compelling comment about the drama that made me want to watch it and I didn’t stop until I watched the final episode.

Cubic is not a perfect drama. It has so many flaws but for me, currently used to watching flawless dramas with terrible production, I want to scream kind of directing and flabbergasting endings, Cubic was perfect!

The story of the youngest daughter having to repay her dad’s debt instead of her sister by working under a Mafia boss and both ending up falling in love with one another is far too simple and uninteresting considering Thai dramas Mafia themed action love stories mass production. Yet, Cubic has this unexplainable feeling that keeps one glued to the screen without knowing why. A smart and resourceful ugly duckling falling for a powerful Mafia swan who turns out to love her in return is a replica of Beauty and the Beast in reverse minus the talking furniture and the castle.

Cubic shows that outer appearance is not a reflex of interior beauty and that interior beauty and character make someone beautiful. It also demonstrates that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Nowadays society seems so hard bend focused on appearances, forgetting that one’s inside beauty shines through the surface but one’s outside diamond like beauty can hide a very ugly interior. Appearances can be deceiving and Cubic portrays that to perfection!

The characters are stereotypical indeed however, the rawness of the energy they give leaves one in complete awe. Lin Lan Ser as a character is interesting on paper, performance wise Manoonsil Taninwhich, an unquestionably handsome man depending on one’s taste with his beautiful eyes and hands and everything else, has not made the character memorable for me. He stares so much, so much and he thinks so much and he’s so stiff and he doesn’t speak enough in the drama. At times I was left wondering if the production team wanted to make Cubic a 40% silent drama as a homage to the silence movie era of the beginning of the 20th Century but in colour. Either that or the script writer might have thought, here I have a very good looking actor, he doesn’t need to talk much, he just needs to look pretty on screen and stare so that the female audience can swoon at him and Cubic can get a high viewing rating. Ruthainark was cheeky and fun and energetic and hardworking and motivated and passionate and really well portrayed by Vijitvongtong Chalida when she wasn’t on a staring contest with Lin Lan Ser. That was like mirror, mirror on the wall who’s the fairest of them all? But with mirror, mirror on the wall who stares most of all? Lin Lan Ser, Lin Lan Ser, yay.

Music wise, the OST was nice but only as memorable as the staring contest went and there was so much of it at times it felt like a metaphorical version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with their tent scenes. The movie had so many scenes with the leads in a tent it was surreal! Cubic had the same with the staring. Aw, the staring, so much, so much but good!

All in all for me Cubic is a 9.5 out of 10! I loved it! Yes, it flawed from beginning to end but we are all flawed and those flaws are what make us who we are and we should be proud of that, for that reason Cubic was special and it will continue to be special for me, perhaps because deep inside all girls/women at one point in our lives feel like Ruthainark and long for the love of a man that loves us more than any other woman that we might feel to be more beautiful than us.

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Completed
Summer's Desire
4 people found this review helpful
Dec 13, 2019
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 3.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 6.0
I need to give this 2019 Summer's Desire remake an overall rating of 9 out of 10 and I'm comfortable with it considering that it's only worth that much due to the efforts that the entire cast and production team put in the drama. If I was to judge the drama on anything else, for me it would only merit a 7.5 out of 10 points.

I have watched the 2010 original version and I wasn't overly happy with it, plot, character or acting wise for that matter but somehow I was happier this time around as I thought that in general it was better than the original, a feat that is more often than not, not the case.

Xia Mo, a woman who becomes an orphan with her brother following their parents accidental deaths, re-encounters the two men that had had a huge impact in her life - Luo Xi, who loved her and was jealous of her with her then boyfriend & Ou Chen, the boyfriend who was jealous of the relationship between Xia Mo with Luo Xi - re-creating the love obsession issues that she thought she had left behind.

The tone of this remake was lighter and brighter which contrasted nicely with the saturated, annoying plot and the shenanigans of Luo Xi whom, I could not and still cannot stand. He literally drove me up the wall the entire time! At one point I wanted to scream at my screen to his assistant "can you please get him a psychologist appointment so that he can get over his Xia Mo obsession?" It's too much! He needs to get a life! Truly annoying, the character that Huang Sheng Chi brought nicely to life amidst the ever-present compulsive, dominating, controlling, addicting, tormenting, pathological puppy love of Luo Xi.

Ou Chen, on the other hand stole the show for me as I felt that from all Summer's Desire characters, he was the only one that evolved throughout the series. Yes, he was highly paranoid and devoted to Xia Mo in the beginning but throuought the drama the character grew and grew and grew on screen to become a decent, kind, trusting and warmer human being. That says volumes and the credit is all Qin Jun Jie's.

Yin Xia Mo had no depth whatsoever, regretfully. I was kind of hoping that the script this time around would portray her as a warmer character rather than a bland, insipid persona with barely any noticeable changing facial expressions except those seen in key moments. It's as if Sophie Zhang was asked to model the character 90% of the time and act the other 10%. It didn't really work.

The supporting cast was solid and the love stories were well developed and contextualized. The drama didn't have any accessory characters just there to fill the blanks, which is something that I liked and that I'm grateful for. All had a purpose and advanced the action rather than distracting the viewers from it. The same went for the music that supported all that action well from beginning to end.

Re-watch value, well it's a 6. There are better dramas to re-watch if one wants to watch the main cast in action, albeit separately.


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Completed
Jade Dynasty
7 people found this review helpful
Dec 22, 2019
Completed 0
Overall 3.0
Story 1.5
Acting/Cast 3.0
Music 3.5
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers

101 minutes of sad regret

Jade Dynasty had been on my to-watch list for months. Considering the story, movie promotion, the stills, the apparently stunning visual effects and the fantastic reviews, unbeknownst to me most likely due to Sean Xiao's work in the hit series 'The Untamed' which transformed him into a top rising star, I had to watch it.

You know the famous overly-used cliché 'appearances can be deceiving'? Well here it proved to be exactly the case masked by the migration of Sean Xiao's 'The Untamed' fandom towards his recent work. Genius!

After 101 minutes, which is the duration of the film, I fail to understand what is 'Jade Dynasty'? Why has the movie been inaptly named that when there are no references to it at all in the film. Jade??? The only stone in the movie looks more like a ruby, not jade unless of course it's red Jade but Jade is mostly green. Dynasty? Where? I failed and still fail to grasp this amongst other things i.e. the reason for the male lead Xiao Fan being so dumb and simple minded when he apparently had been practicing cultivation since he was a child following his adoption into the Qing Yun Sect. A cultivation level that is not visible at all.

Xiao Fan looks more that the fool in a renaissance-esque wuxia court rather than a highly cultivated human being. He's dumb from the beginning to the end. He's weak, clownish, childish, immature and not particularly smart but he's kind and generous and he practices goodness which are high virtues. Nonewithstanding his stupidity stands out. The question is why? To pay a comic tribute to Mark Chao's brilliant performance in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms by ridicule mimic Ye Hua's fight against evil or to go all the way Ron Weasley copy-cat scenes from Harry Potter's Quidditch matches which he didn't participate in? I didn't get it, sorry. There are better ways to pay homage to outstanding entertainment visual and literary works than trying to sell moments of pure utter idiocy to the audiences and expect them to rave about it online/offline through word of mouth, which they did about Jade Dynasty both positively and negatively.

The female leads which are three by the way seem to suffer from various degrees of general apathy and emotional attachment and detachment to the male lead. It's hard to understand which one is more logical than the other in their actions, however my credit goes to Tian Ling Er who acts like a protective older sister to Xiao Fan and whom he dearly emulates. Lu Xue Qi is always on Duracell batteries girl-power fighting mode defend/attack and Bi Yao is simply a pain like many dull characters in a movie/drama which are there simply for the purpose of not advancing the action and looking pretty in pastel colours.

The sects are nothing new or original for that matter, having been recycled over and over and over again over the years like new exquisitely crafted glass artifacts, here without the new or the exquisite, rather, a regression to the boring old and banal plain utility relics best suited for a museum.

Overall Jade Dynasty had 86 minutes of a pure delusional infliction of mental pain, one that is best avoided, resulting in a total score of 3.5 out of 10 points. The last 15 minutes of the movie were entertaining enough however as they reminded me of other works not because they produced scenes of quality story or performance wise.

Don't bother watching the film unless you have a fondness for Zhan Xiao aka Sean Xiao, or you want to experience an entertainment hell for a bit. Even then it's not worth it.


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Completed
Sky of Love
4 people found this review helpful
May 2, 2015
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.5
After all this time I'm still struck at how amazing this movie is! I loved the movie so much I read an online fan translation of the novel by Mika and when I went to Japan I purchased the books in Japanese as there isn't an official English translation, to motivate me to learn Japanese so that I can read the the story that captivated me from minute one.

The movie is truly an emotional roller coaster that will have you smile one moment, want to scream at the screen the next and finally get the grip of everything that happened to lead to that key moment when you understand the true meaning of love.

I loved Haruma Miura as Hiro. He's an amazing actor and what he did in Koizora was take his acting skills to an entire different level as he embodied the soul and the energy of the character he performed. I loved the photography, the scenery so much I would have visited the filming location had it been closer to Tokyo. One day I still hope to visit it!

It is my favorite Asian movie of all time and one whose story I carry deep in my heart!

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Completed
Our Times
3 people found this review helpful
Oct 19, 2016
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Memories, this movie brings back so many memories...whether you lived it or not

It reminds me of the 90’s, no mobile phones, no computers, no social media, no music streaming, no downloads, no iPods, no internet friends...it reminds me of days where things were more organic, more simple, when your mother told you off for spending too much time on the phone to your friends, when you wrote letters to your idols and posted them hoping to get a reply, when you read girly magazines all the time and dreamt about your gorgeous idols and recorded their favourite videos on VHS and after a while screamed at the TV because the image started to break down as the tape started to erode from the millions of times you watch that recording. Why is the tape ruined? Why? Why??? Those were the times where you listened to music on a walkman, tape after tape after tape, those were the times where you spoke to your friends on your house phone and met up after school to go out and your parents didn’t call you to find out where you were because they knew where you were and it was safe to play outdoors and hang out with your friends... yeah, the popular kid would always exist, fun, cool, amazingly gorgeous and the bad boy, the epitome of an outcast, exuding this charm one didn’t quite know how to define... Old times....

Those who experienced the 90’s one way or another will relate to this movie a lot. It’s all there, the wanting to go to a concert and don’t find tickets, the favourite singer or the favourite band one will always remember with fondness... Andy Lau, yet it could have been Savage Garden, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi... the one guy that made your heart beat so fast it seemed like it had a life of its own and would come out of your chest straight into his to show him just how much you cared...the guy that defended and protected you, the guy, that guy...then then...the now...the job you worked hard to achieve, the long hours you put in to go be hated by your colleagues or envied...the gorgeous boyfriend that becomes like a comforting piece of furniture, instead of the man you’re with...the routine...and the looking back to the days when you were happy, when you fought for something that mattered, when you were with people that mattered, longing for the guy that mattered, realizing that your life resembles nothing of what you then thought it would be, that your adults days are filled with...a whole lot of emptiness... you look back and see what you were and what you have become, what you wanted and what you’ve got, you realize that you’re not happy so you decide to take control of your life and start to live it the way you were meant to live it all along but life... life that has given you everything had actually not given anything worth fight to keep until now.

I cried watching this movie. It’s not often that a film brings me to tears but Our Times did. It was not their times, it was our times, it was not their story, it was our story, our, mine, yours, our story, our times. Maybe if it was now or even 10 years ago the story might have been different but as such is a fantastic homage to a decade that meant a lot to so many girls and still means a lot to so many women.

Funny how, despite Our Times have passed things still remain pretty much the same nowadays with social media and phones and streaming and the lot... well, the gist of it at least, the idols, the pop culture, the friends, the hot guy, the troublemaker...so it makes me wonder if our times are really over or they never will be over as they live with us in our memories. Our Times will always be ours, will always be special and will always be part of us whether we’re 20, 30, 40, 50, 50, 70 or 80 years old and that friendship, that love and those dreams no one can take away from us.

For all of the above, to me the movie is a perfect 10 out of 10.

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Ongoing 42/45
Les Interprètes
5 people found this review helpful
Jun 16, 2016
42 of 45 episodes seen
Ongoing 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
The Interpreters is a gem of a drama in the myriad of dramas currently on screen to begin with. Addictive, like Swiss chocolate it has been captivating audiences and critics alike since debut. The story’s focal point is red string of fate that connects Cheng Jia Yang and Qiao Fei within the interpreting environment, and the medley of characters circulating in and around them.

The first half of the drama is interesting and university students/recent graduates/young female professionals might agree that is fairly accurate and relatable. The hard work, the expectations, the dreams, the senior nasty supervisor/colleague that seems to exist with the sole purpose of making life a living hell professionally. The second half is a pastiche of attitudes, nastiness and backstabbing, which while indispensable in some dramas, in the Interpreters was unnecessary.

Cheng Jia Yang is a successful Chinese/French interpreter with high work standards, a strong code of conduct and sense of decorum. Outwardly he appears inflexible and strict, a man not to be trifled with but inside is warm and caring. He falls madly in love with Qiao Fei becoming her knight in shining armour with a black car in place of the white horse.Qiao Fei is an honest, hardworking, independent cinderella esque woman that wants to become a Chinese/French interpreter. She falls in love with Cheng Jia Yang. Both Huang Xuan and Yang Mi perform their roles beautifully. They have great chemistry on screen and bring so much energy and so much life to the characters, to the point where one nearly forgets that the Interpreters is a drama and not a slice of real life minus the hyperbolic idiosyncrasies.

The supporting characters are an attention-grabbing mix. The ‘the golden couple’ shippers, their best friends: Wong Xu Dong and Wu Jia Yi against the destroyers, Cheng Jia Yang’s evil mother, Qiao Fei ‘s jealous former colleague and Wen Xiao Hua meet neutral Gao Jia Ming, Cheng Jia Yang’s brother, father and co-workers. The shippers are two fun, young and joyful characters overall with Wong Xu Dong being mature and responsible and Wu Jia Yi being literally the opposite. Together the contrasting personalities are cute on screen. The destroyers always have a bone to pick with; the evil mother with Qiao Fei, the former colleague with Cheng Jia Yang’s. Their characters are so utterly demented they ought to be institutionalized in the countryside or in a fishing village to develop their humanity. Gao Jia Ming starts the story as a lunatic man/doctor but evolves into a brilliant caring surgeon. Like his mother, he’s one of the Interpreters biggest catalysts.

Song wise, Mon Chéri, The Interpreters’ main ballad exquisitely reflects largely storyline catharsis in all its different edges.

Overall the Interpreters is a fantastic story, that despite being told beautifully in the first half and train wrecked in the second remained addictive to watch every day and highlighted great performances from Huang Xuan and Gao Vengo, without whom Cheng Jia Yang and Gao Jia Ming’s characters might have been just another script writer’s creation instead of men with interesting lives to watch developing on screen across 42 episodes. Should the Interpreters have had a lesser number of episodes and refrained from the common, clichéd shenanigans the drama would have been top notched with an overall rating of 10 out of 10.

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