Corner with Love Spoiler Review

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Upcoming Taiwanese drama: Quietly Falling in Love with You/Knock Knock Loving You

knock_knock_loving_you

I have to say, I wasn’t that interested in the upcoming Ming Dao/Dylan Kuo drama Quietly Falling in Love with You when I originally did a post on it after a reader requested it, but it’s looking better and better, particularly now that it’s clear that Dylan is the main lead(I’m not a big fan of Ming Dao). Populasian just informed me that the the title has been changed from QFiLwY to Knock Knock Loving You, and sure enough Dramawiki has a recently updated page under that title. It will premier April 12 and Populasian also directed me to the rather lovely CTS site for it.

Synopsis:

Cheng Xue Ge(Dylan Kuo) had lived in the life of comfort and never knew the dark side of human nature until his father’s company bankrupted. In order to restore the company, he must learn from his archrival, Yao Zi Wang(Wu Ya Xin), the ins and outs of being a shrewd, successful businessman. While working closely together, he slowly realizes her coldblooded ruthlessness was only a front to protect her battered heart. But before he could sort out his feelings about her, another man, Zhao Guan Xi(Ming Dao), already has his eyes on her business talent and her hand in marriage.

Devil Beside You Spoiler Review

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Mysoju and other notes

Yes, I know that mysoju.com is down, and yes, I am as annoyed/worried about it as anyone, but take heart – from what I understand, it’s gone down several times before and usually comes back up within 1-3 days. I don’t think it’s permanently/officially gone(I would be nigh-on devastated if it was – it’s my personal favorite and first love of the drama-watching sites)

Having temporarily given up in despair on Wish to See You Again, as a subber on Eternal Fansubs, where I’ve been downloading it as they’re the only/first ones to be English subbing it(they’re up to episode 11), in repsone to my(polite!) request for a tentative date/timeline for when they’d be subbing the rest of it, replied with an on-the-surface polite but faintly snarky speech that included this- “Kindly understand that real life trumps fansubbing. Please extend some patience.” Er – I have. I’ve been dying, it’s been literally driving me crazy not to be able to finish this drama, which is low-key but exquisite, but I understand that subbing is a long process and unimportant in the daily run of things, so I didn’t bug them about eps 10-11 and after they released 10&11 I waited for over a week before contacting them! Even then I just asked for an idea of WHEN so that I could um, stop checking their site twice a day(which I’ve been doing for over a week, only to be daily disappointed).

Synopsis?

Snark.

and time.

The next few episodes won’t be released until September, if then, and the final few will take even longer. I’m not torturing myself for that long.

On to other dramas. Which is why, given the three-day weekend, I’ve been marathoning Smiling Pasta, a Taiwanese drama of which one and only one adjective springs to mind to describe: adorable.

It’s partly delightful, and partly cute, but overall I would say the best definition of it is adorable. For the most part, it’s refreshingly non-angsty, particularly because the central female character has a delightfully optimistic tendency to bounce back smiling after misfortune as well as a highly supportive and equally optimistic family.  It’s not brilliant, and around the halfway point starts sinking into the usual repetition/pointless angst/illogic melodrama most dramas indulge in at that point, but it’s well worth watching, and certainly one of, if not the least, emotionally exhausitng drama I’ve ever seen.

Synopsis:

“Xiao Shi is a girl who has gone through many short relationships, 17 to be exact, not one lasting more than 3 months hence, she was cursed with a three-month curse. After being dumped by her 17th boyfriend, the world looks grimmer than ever. At that time, a famous idol, He Qun runs past, bumps into Xiao Shi, and they end up “kissing” on the street. Paparazzi swarmed by and to avoid a bad reputation, He Qun’s manager declared Xiao Shi as He Qun’s girlfriend of one year and fiancée. Thus, a love contract was made. This story is about how the couple learns to like each other after having disagreements in the beginning, as well as fighting the injustices the media throw at them. Will Xiao Shi finally break her 3 month curse?”

It stars Cyndi Wang, who is…not beautiful, but more often than not endearing(really don’t understand, however, why so many dramas seem to pair or choose only decently-pretty actresses to star opposite super good-looking actors. Asia’s a big country. Surely they can find better-looking women more often?) and Nicholas Teo, who, I am pleased and not one whit surprised to discover, is a Chinese-Malaysian singer as well as a newly-minted actor – he plays a musician in the drama and well, when he sings, it’s clear that it’s not subbed. His voice is lovely – very mellow and warm, and whether they’re his actual songs or not I don’t know, but the ones he sings on the drama combine well-written lyrics with addicting/haunting melodies. Will definitely be researching him farther as a musician.

Also, he’s cute.

Great smile.

ETA: apparently, he and Cyndi Wang, who played Cheng Xiao Shi, are rumoured to be together after being spotted/appearing together at several functions – surprising since I actually didn’t think their chemistry was always as smoking as it usually is in dramas, in fact I thought she had more chemistry with the secondary guy, Ah Zhe, played by Gino, who is, ahem, also cute-

Then again, maybe I’m just a die-hard bad-boy fan.

ETA2: Cyndi Wang apparently is an artist as well, a fully signed Taiwanese one. Hmm. Perhaps that explains why they went with the slightly less-than-beautiful option. Not that I am particularly complaining about her acting.

Sweet Relationship(in progress)

great review here
and here

Inside of my Guitar

Now, there’s a place i want to show you

And don’t you know it’s not too far

And there’s a place i want to know you

Inside of my guitar

In my guitar there is a garden
Where rainbows bloom and shine like stars
If you say no, i beg your pardon

Come inside of my guitar

I’ll make you laugh

And make you sing

And we can play among the stars

And we’ll make love and dance beneath the strings

Inside of my guitar

Now, there’s a feeling that i’m after
So please don’t think my love’s bizarre
But i hear music, girl, and laughter

Inside of my guitar

I’ll make you laugh

And make you sing

And we can play among the stars
And we’ll make love and dance beneath the strings

Inside of my guitar

I’ll make you laugh

And make you sing

And we can play among the stars
And we’ll make love and dance beneath the strings

Inside of my guitar

I’ll make you laugh

And make you sing

And we can play among the stars
And we’ll make love and dance beneath the strings

Inside of my guitar

Come inside of my guitar

-Ken Zhu, from episode 17 of Love Storm.

Love Storm

  • Episodes: 21
  • Genre: Romance, comedy
  • Broadcast network: CTS
  • Broadcast year: 2003
  • Theme Song: Jue Ding Ai Ni (決定愛你) Decided to love you by Vivian Hsu

Cast:

Dramaworld rating: 3/5

Synopsis:
One day as a child, Jia Le watches her aunt’s lover jump in front of a train of wedding cars to keep her aunt from marrying someone she doesn’t love. Unable to forget that day, Jia Le decides to find her own hero as she grows up, one who is willing to risk his life for her just as her aunt’s lover did. One day, she meets him(Vic Zhou as Lu Ying Feng). But will he love her back? Even after she starts working for the company he’s a manager at in order to get to know him better, he rejects her as a rich, spoiled “Barbie doll”. Meanwhile, Wan Bao Long, a childhood friend of Jia Le’s who has always loved her, has come back into her life. Will Jia Le’s love ever win her “hero” over? And if it does, what other obstacles will they face? And is he truly her hero? Beginning as a fluffly, Bridget-Jones-like romantic comedy, Love Storm develops into into a darker, more serious drama, including themes such as fraud, the mafia, sacrifice and loyalty.

I must admit that, overall, this drama rather baffled me. Oh, I loved it, overall, and certainly enjoyed most of it – but I’ve never seen such an odd mix of elements and themes. For the first 9 episodes – the one-third or so – this drama is essentially a Taiwanese version of the Bridget Jones/Legally-blonde type chick flicks. It’s mostly bubbly, fluffy, light romantic comedy(with a few added grains of sensitivity and angst, as this is an Asian drama), and I’ve never seen so much pink in my entire life(and yes, that includes Legally Blonde). Then, about halfway through, it takes a giant and almost entirely un-foreshadowed sidestep into serious territory, including the mafia, violence and themes of loyalty, betrayal and sacrifice. All the characters do a great deal of growing up at this point – indeed one of the most amazing things about this drama is how very much(and how realistically the process was portrayed) the heroine, Jia Le, grows up during the course of it – from a spoiled, empty-headed, Barbie-like only daughter of wealthy parents(NB: Vivian Hsu is gorgeous and why on earth they insisted on dressing her like a doll, complete with bangs and hair clips, for nine-tenths of the drama I have no idea), she becomes a mature, assertive, self-sacrificial woman with her own career and a courage that sets an example to all around her. The Jia Le during the first part of this drama is sweet and likable(fortunately, I’ve had enough of stories of rich bitches who change) but spoiled and thoughtless. The Jia Le at the end is also sweet, but mature, and much much more likable. Vivian Hsu plays her very well, really inhabiting her character’s at times limited part. With a cast of very likable and endearing supporting characters, including Wan Bao Long as Jia Le’s childhood friend and Jin Yan Ling, Xiu Qin and Zhang Yu Chen as her trio of loyal girlfriends, Love Storm often succeeds at being very funny and very endearing as it follows the trials, travails, and interactions of these young people with their oh-so-serious problems. At it’s best, Love Storm does not take itself seriously, while at the same time having some really incredible things to say about the nature of friendship(a much-underused theme in all of cinema). The darker, second half is both more and less succesful. More, in that there’s less pink and it deals with deeper themes, achieving greater emotional and plot complexity, and less, in that the sudden switch and the way the rest of it is handled is somewhat uneven. Dramas tend to be very clear-cut in terms of overall focus/genre. Either they’re a tragedy(involving death at the end) or they’re a comedy(e.g. Full House) or they’re a romance, which will involve some tragedy but little or no real violence or psychological darkness(Goong). Love Storm tries to combine two very different cinematic genres – the fluffy romantic comedy with the gangster film – and its success, as a result, is rather uneven. After so many episodes of light, faintly tongue-in-cheek fluff, I was not only rather bewildered, but in some ways just couldn’t buy, the switch to dark-gangster mode. It was also, as dramas tend to be, a little overly melodramatic.

Overall, however, both themes – the comedy and the tragedy – were well-handled and compelling – it was only the combination, the juxtaposition which was unfortunate. Love Storm contains many amazing scenes however – Wan Bao Long singing to Jia Le(lyrics to the song “Inside my Guitar”), the scene in which Ling Feng is talking to the boy about pushing people away and we realize he’s talking about himself, the girlfriends calling and supporting Jia Le beneath her window…last but not least, much of Love Storm’s amazingness is in the details – there’s a thread of surprising metaphoric poetry that runs through it – the way that it portrays the themes of Ling Feng’s loneliness, status as an orphan, and connection to the sea is really quite brilliant in its own way, and wholly magical. For the first half, Love Storm was such an adorable mix of fluff, chick flick and genuine heart that all I could do wass laugh out loud and consent to loving it, and for the second half, all I could do was be drawn in, and consent to keep loving it overall.

Preview:

Watch here