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Imperfect Victim
11 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Ago 6, 2023
29 of 29 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 9.0
História 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 9.5
Voltar a ver 8.5

The grey areas, handled with care

“What are you more afraid of? More than people harming your body?”

“Afraid of the end of everything. Afraid of losing the future. Afraid of losing the present. Afraid of losing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Afraid of confronting.”

The story started simply with the police receiving a report of a rape case happening between a CEO of multinational company and his subordinate. The CEO suavely said it’s mutual relationship, while the lady just seemed shock and unable to affirm anything.

What’s interesting is the approach and direction the Imperfect Victim took to unravel this case through the perspective of Lin Kan, who is the defence lawyer of the CEO, Mr. Cheng. It took a very very long time to figure Lin Kan’s true stance. On one hand, we know she will competently, and perhaps, flawlessly defend her client’s case as a professional lawyer. On the other hand, we remain unsure and intrigued on her next steps as it seems like she empathised, more than any other, with Zhao Xun as a woman herself. I appreciated the dynamics between Lin Kan and Zhao Xun. The kind words and silent understanding that Lin Kan offered when dealing with Zhao Xun. It might not too idealistic, I loved how the former was able to do it in ways that protected both her professional integrity and the latter, despite being the opposing parties.

What really caught my surprise was that I enjoyed how the show patiently and tactfully showed the psychological journey of Zhao Xun go through, as the imperfect victim in this case, from silence to speaking out, from self shaming to facing it, from stepping up to doubting to giving up to accepting herself.

It also tactfully showed the discussions from multiple parties - at the police level on how they deal with cases like this, the honest view of how both genders would interpret the situations, the relationship dynamics between the CEO with his wife and mistress, as well as the impact of seemingly harmless comments by the public and coworkers.

I am not one that seek for dramas that deals with such heavy social topics, but Imperfect Victim did perfectly capture the dilemma that many modern women face in the workplace - on compromise, on tolerance, on numbing, on consent, on support and on asserting.

The visual storytelling, camera angles, story directing and actors / actresses are done well. I can’t imagine how this story will turn with a less capable production team and cast.

This is not a show for everybody, but it is made with everybody in mind, including the men despite being a women-centric show. For a show that deals with such complex social issue - sexual harassment and perceived consent - it somehow manage to bring out the multi perspectives and interpretations tactfully and carefully.

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Uma Antiga Canção de Amor
8 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Jul 28, 2023
14 of 14 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 9.5
História 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 8.5
Voltar a ver 10

Sensation of time is unique

When he met her for the first time, he didn’t know she would be his beloved memory.
When she met him for the first time, she didn’t know he would influenced her deeply.

Time travel and transmigration stories have a special place in my heart because they often give the perfect context for the main character, usually the time traveller, to be the hero of change / influence.

In An Ancient Love Song, Shen Buyan found a broken jade that allowed him to travel back in time for a set number of times. The plot twists here were
1) He can only stay for a short period (even if he was not killed, he will be forcefully pulled back when the time’s up), and
2) Each time he travelled back, he will go back further to the past instead i.e. meeting the younger Lu Yuan and other characters.

As Shen Buyan figured out the logic of the time travel and going back the past a couple more rounds, it is wonderful (and heartbroken) seeing his growth and acceptance of what he can’t change. By the time the story progressed to his last time travel, a lot of Easter Eggs started to click for both him and the audience.

What’s more, as we see the younger versions of Lu Yuan each time, it becomes even harder not to feel for her and really really hope that she would have made a different decision to change her ending which Shen Buyan and us knew - for herself. Here, it is important to give a shout-out to Zhang Ya Qin for portraying Lu Yuan so well. From the bright hopeful young lady to the wise authoritative queen. That “shackles of fate”, oh my, how irritating, how familiar, how…helpless. The untold irony was Lu Yuan’s skills and potential are influenced from each of her interactions with Shen Buyan.

Such are the fate of star crossed lovers.

Love story aside, the Ancient Love Song also managed to make the supporting cast come alive. The patriotic Lu Shi, the loyal Yi Hua, the complex Prime Minister, the lonely emperor and the strict grandfather - all of them add their unique tune to create this wonderful Song.

If it sounds like a lot to take in for a 14 episode, 30 mins each series, yes it is. There were no fillers throughout the story. We can’t expect a top notched production quality or watertight plot logic from a crew that clearly have limited budget. More importantly, we can feel that there’s a lot of care taken to ensure the important things are done right and the key themes of the story are expressed well.

I hesitated to check this out despite great reviews due to the predictable helplessness of star crossed lovers’ fate. However, what’s more valuable is I got to watch a creative unique story plot that’s made by production and cast with heart.

And I suppose, this is what journeys are made of. :)

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Young Blood 2
8 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Ago 25, 2023
27 of 27 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 10
História 10
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musical 9.0
Voltar a ver 10

Adulting, the Qi Zhai way

“Everyone was young once. The ambition during youth, sometimes, is just a nice dream. Now, it’s time to wake up. It’s time to grow up.” Wang Kuan’s dad, EP 5

~~~

“Youth… [you all] only know passion…, don’t know the way of the world.” Yuan Zhongxin’s dad, EP 15

~~~

“Growing up is not a bad thing. These 3 years with your own efforts, you all have your own direction and achievements. Why throw your lives at Xi Xia? Just treat Xi Xia as a youth’s dream. Now it’s time to wake up from this dream. Your futures now have other possibilities.” Si Gui Uncle, EP 16

~~~~~~

Season 2 picked up right where Season 1 left off. Our beloved Section 7 (Qi Zhai) find themselves with a new mission that brings them to Xi Xia - to kill the ruthless Yuan Hao who’d instigate wars to be the ruler of the world if he was not stopped.

And this would be the greatest challenge that Qi Zhai came across. Yuan Hao was almost invincible. At first blood, Qi Zhai barely survived their assassination attempt - they and we knew it was mainly due to Yuan Hao [kinda] letting them go.

As Qi Zhai went back to Da Song, there were many opposing voices, mainly from the older generation, who came from rightful places because Xi Xia would be a suicidal mission. We have Yuan Tian Guan, who’d rather disabled Yuan Zhongxin so the latter can’t go Xi Xia to die; Prime Minister Wang who lectured with Wang Kuan on the ways of the world, hoping the latter would “get it and grow up”; Si Gui Uncle and Bei Hexing who gave Qizhai another mission and way of living in hopes that the latter would love their new life and possibilities over going to Xi Xia.

If Season 1 was about a bunch of misfit teenagers who found camaraderie in each other at school, I’d say Season 2 was them finding their own roles and way of living in the world after graduating.

And their dynamics with their dads were the main theme of this season as they figured out what adulthood means to them. Yuan Tian Guan, Commander Wei and Prime Minister Wang were the more prominent dad figures where the tension with their sons were shown on screen. Prince Zhao’s expectations and “presence”, though absent from the show, can be greatly felt through Zhao Jian. Xue Ying’s dad was the supportive one. Pei Jing’s parents were the uncaring ones. The dynamics may be different for each family, but message remained - they all want their children to live.

I like how QiZhai dealt with these expectations. They heard their dads’ messages, but they also prioritised their inner voice and do things their way. And when they departed to Xi Xia once again, they were not accounting to any Headmaster or superior. They only had themselves to answer to and rely on.

To me, this is what proper independence and adulting looks like. …
.
.
.
Though this phrase feels like a graceful and appropriate way to end the review of Young Blood 2, I have to make shoutouts to the lovely supporting cast.

Yuan Hao’s and Ning Ling Ge’s relationship is the foil of another dad-son dynamics who put power higher than relationship. As ruthless as Yuan Hao was, he gave a lot chances to his son - whether for bloodline or because he arrogantly trusted his own invincibility, no one can tell for sure. But if anything one can say with conviction, it’s the fear Yuan Hao invoked in others and his ruthlessness - indeed, any of sane mind would not want to be his enemy. It was shown time and time again how strong, smart and ruthless Yuan Hao was. It seemed like he was born to kill - those who stopped Qi Zhai may be right, it’d be a suicidal mission and it didn’t have to and shouldn’t be a bunch of youths’ responsibility to stop this “monster”.

The Queen, the concubine and prime minister of Xi Xia had interesting personalities too - more the Queen than any other. I’d say she’s probably the “smarter” one among this Xi Xia royal family when you look at their endings.

Section 8 (Ba Zhai) are one of the stars of this show! Though their moment are short, it surely represents an epitome of youth and passion. I hope they all got a spin-off from this series - am sure a lot of us would be interested…if the story is done with care!

Let’s not forget Liang Mai Xiang, Si Gui Uncle and his rooster. They may be supporting characters, but they are also characters with their own defining traits. Ok, maybe not the rooster, but you know you can’t bring up Si Gui uncle without his rooster. I thought Liang Mai Xiang is only introduced as Xue Ying’s love interest - she did get her mini arc on taking over her dad’s position at Youzhou army.

If I list anymore characters, my review will start to lose focus. But, the last shoutout must be given to Yu Chi Yuan! He is the comedic relief of this more somber season, and probably more - the kind of character that creeps into you unknowingly.

Script, story and acting wise, I would say it’s still the Young Blood we love. And I am glad they managed to make this season came on screen. The only slight regret is the directing of the show who failed to capture some comedic moments timely. While I can’t professionally critique how, there’s an art to this skill which would make a difference in the production quality. Giving this a 10 is mainly my own bias.

For audience who had not watched Season 1, highly recommend to tune in to it first because the added context and background would increase the enjoyment of this story. For audience and die-hard fans of Season 1, I’d say both story, while related, are not the same kind of themes. Hence some elements of what we love in Season 1 would not be here in Season 2.

They are still the Qi Zhai we know. It’s just the Qi Zhai who are growing up. And that’s adulting, a phase we all go through.

While we may have our own expectations, let Qi Zhai show you their meaning of adulthood. It’s their story.

~~~~~~

“I know, people change. Maybe someday, I will betray my current self, and live life the way I hated. But the someday is not now. People will definitely change.

But some thoughts, some persistence shouldn’t be shaken. If growing up means killing my past self, abandoning my inner spark, then I rather be youth forever.” Wang Kuan, EP 5

~~~

“Qi Zhai wants to kill Yuan Hao, is not because of personal vengeance. It’s to prevent war and protect peace. The country has different bloodlines, but we all use the same language, experience the same ups and downs of life. To love the country is to love oneself.

Is it wrong? [to have passion]” Zhao Jian, EP 15

~~~

“Time changes people. We have been through a lot in these 3 years and maybe matured too.

But who’s to say after all these experiences, people can’t remain as youth.” Yuan Zhongxin, EP 16

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A Familiar Stranger
6 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Out 15, 2022
18 of 18 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 7.5
História 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musical 6.5
Voltar a ver 7.0

You are only skin deep

If short clips series are becoming a trend, this series raises the bar among the lot.

Although this series is short, each character has a personality and motivation that bring its own color to the show.

Shi Qi is the loyal, determined female lead who values relationship and integrity above all else; while Shen Qin plays the foil to Shi Qi's light, a woman who equally puts love above all else, though has walked the obsessive path instead. As for the male leads, I like Xiao Han Sheng's premise, who trust his instincts above all else; and King Ning rounds up this cast perfectly with his obsession of an "impenetrable front", only to reveal a vulnerable soul within after getting hit by our Shi Qi - literally (in one of the scene) and figuratively (referring to his "front").

Familiar stranger has the familiar troupes, pun intended, we know well. Shi Qi and Xiao Han Sheng are the fated characters who shared a short, unforgettable encounter in the past. which eventually blooms into a love that transcend physicality. i.e. Xiao Han Sheng is able to recognise Shi Qi at the core of who she is despite black magic is not something that is common in this world's setup. Prince Ning is the typical frivolous second male lead that wants the 1 girl who sees him beyond his status of King and who he is within the tough front - a vulnerable, lonely soul who pushes everyone away. And Shen Qin's questionable acts have a proper link to her childhood days, as revealed during the climax.

Familiar stranger shows that what audience laments about familiar troupes ain't because they are familiar, it's about the execution - the care it gives to the characters, the care it gives to a well woven plot, care it gives to find a cast who can act their roles proper. When proper care is given, familiar troupes be damned, I will watch your drama and rate it well.

The intensity of a complex plot and dark villain (she does use black magic after all) is balanced well with supporting cast who has a more lighthearted personalities. I love love love the banter between Xiao Han Sheng and his military advisor. And yes, even if I know it's another cliche, I buy-in the adopted cute daughter as our main leads' romance catalyst.

All in all, if you like suspense romantic drama but don't have much time, this short 10 mins of18 episodic series will serve you well.

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A Journey to Love
7 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Dez 19, 2023
40 of 40 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 9.0
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 8.5
Voltar a ver 9.5
Esta resenha pode conter spoilers

A worldly affairs’ story called longing

一念关山
…A Journey to Love,
…A longing to Guan Shan,
…A longing to one’s hometown.

It records the story of an assassin who learned what she truly wanted to live for other than killing, revenge and missions (oh, and child bearing), after joining Wu State’s Delegation group’s mission to save their King.
It’s the story of Ren Xin becoming Ren Ruyi.
It’s also the story of Wu State’s Delegation’s voyage.

In the first couple of episodes, AJTL didn’t waste time to introduce the story’s context and how our main cast came together. We have Princess Yang
Ying as the royal envoy and Mulan of Wu State; Ning Yuan Zhou’s respected leadership and strategic thinking skills; Yu Shi San’s charm and comic relief moments; Yuan Lu’s intricate and fascinating inventions; Sun Lang’s near-impregnable and often-overlooked defense; Qian Zhao’s jack of all trades’ capability; and Ren Ruyi’s knowledge of An State political affairs.

Oh, what dream team.
Oh, how I love the pacing (early parts), the cinematography, the dynamics, and their sense of humour in these early days.

Shoutout to the screenwriters for the sincerity in giving us non-NPC supporting characters.
Shoutout to the cast for bringing their characters alive on screen, especially He Lan Dou, the actress who portrayed Princess YY.
Shoutout to the directors who captured them well.
Shoutout to the OSTs - Richie, Nicholas, Liu Yuning, Zhang Jie! I love the BGMs too.

If these aren’t enough to hook you in, wait till episode 8 when the first battle and crisis happened. Each and everyone had their moment to shine as they faced a highly disadvantaged battle. Even Minister Du who is the supporting cast and Princess Yang Ying who was a crybaby had logical and satisfying contribution to their hard earned victory.

While the story quality remained on a passable high bar thereafter, I somehow steadily lost part of my momentum and interest halfway way through - starting from around the time when NYZ and RY got together, and Li Tong Guang, Ren Xin’s delulu’s disciple, came into the picture.

First on NYZ and RY’s coupleship
For the record, they are one of the healthiest couple I admire, love, and wish to have. NYZ and RY had similar background, and thus intuitively understood each other. They had complementary strengths that made 1 plus 1 more than 2. There were lots of instances where RY helped NYZ do things he wanted to but couldn’t in his position. They had matured conversations when met with challenges.

Maybe it’s the CP vibe and on screen chemistry. Unfortunately something feels lacking for me and I can’t put a finger to it. Liu Yu Ning and Liu Shi Shi portrayal was fine. I just feel neutral most of the time watching their couple’s moments.

Surprisingly, I shipped Princess YY and YL more. And they only had 2 HTHT scenes.

Second on LTG’s arc
…and where my rambling start (sorry not sorry)
Here is another obsessive character’s arc that’s almost done right. Almost is the keyword here. I can accept that he needs time to undo a decade-long obsession. Truth is, I thought LTG is one of the better obsessive characters that had made me felt for him and truly looked forward to his eventual growth. After all, he got the multiple tough love moments from our dear RY and NYZ. I even rooted for LTG & YY pairing, slightly, after accepting YL’s death.

Him forcing Ruyi to marry him after all that canceled all the expectation I had for him. I am sorry I thought you were a diamond in the rough, LTG.

I suppose what AJTL represents to me personally is the journey of Delegation Group and Ruyi’s becoming. How Ruyi came to learn care and trust with them. How the group overcame the obstacles. How Princess YY grows under NYZ’s and RY’s tutelage - now this is a diamond in the rough. Their lovely dynamics and day to day interactions amidst this stressful, impossible mission.

So even though the other storylines were solid and interesting too - LTG’s rise up in An, Emperor Wu’s redemption, the cunning Emperor Wu, the underlying tone of feminism as well as the overlay symbolism of loyalty, war and peace - I found myself not connecting much to them. There’s simply too much to cover and it’s probably 1 storyline too many. It shows in the choppy pacing of the last 6-8 episodes. So something had to give. In my case, it’s my momentum.

I felt that AJTL should’ve ended after they’ve rescued Emperor Wu and the resolution of it. They could’ve made QZ successfully killed this emperor to make a message. They could’ve made getting the antitode for NYZ as the climax instead, if they decided to kill off the emperor without the Beipan’s interference. Or they could’ve just show us a happy ending with them having their Xiao Chuan and save the fight with Beipan for Season 2.

In other words, battling Beipan as the last arc here and now felt inappropriate. For each of them to die because of a battle with some random undying never ending barbaric felt upsetting even though I recognised the well written symbolism of their death as highlighted by another reviewer, songfalcon.

Even if I were accept Beipan as the final arc, I still felt it didn’t need 3-4 episodes to wrap this up. To see Prime Minister Zhang, Prince Danyang and Empress Wu handshaked in the name of peace. To see LTG needing someone to clean up his mess yet again. To see them keep battling this group that seem to spawn and not getting NYZ, RY and YSS in the final showdown. It felt unnecessary and draggy.

The official ending is up to interpretation and debate. I am on the camp that they all, including RY and NYZ died. It fits with the story of their journey. It fits with the feel of longing that Chu Yue had for Wu’s Delegation - and hence her “dreaming” of their reunion in the afterlife in the last scene.
…Or maybe CY died too since it was rightfully pointed that it’s odd for her to be the one who had “this reunion” and not YY.

Anyways, my rambling is probably 1 para too many. Since it’s an Open Ending, I suppose everyone can choose 1 that fits with the journey of our lovely Ruyi and Wu State Delegation you connect with the most.

Overall, AJTL is a great ride. It has been awhile since I come across a jianghu wuxia story that I enjoyed.

红尘有你 The world has you,
红尘也有我 The world also has me,
红尘还有梧国使团 Last but not the least, the world has Wu State Delegation.

~~~~~
P.S. This review’s headline is adapted lyrics from Jay Chou’s Song, Inn of Mortal World (Hong Chen Ke Zhan) - 红尘的故事叫牵挂

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Call Me Fire
5 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Out 8, 2021
18 of 18 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 10
História 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 10
Voltar a ver 10

台上一分钟,台下十年功 (Every min on stage comes from decade of hard work)

When my friend first recommended this show to me, I checked it out mostly out of curiosity - because this show has a couple of artists that I recognize.

What got me stayed on after was the familiar songs and performances, especially the 1st episode - oh my, how nostalgic, and before I knew it, I was hooked and binge-watched this show the entire day to the latest episodes.

Firstly, the narrative and editing makes us care for the brothers. I really enjoyed the way the producer edited and strung the narrative together in CMBF. It was more than the songs and performances. CMBF managed to show us that the brothers’ talent and persistence over the years / decades led them to standing at Call Me by Fire stage - it showcased their professionalism and hard work in the face of challenge, as well as their healthy rivalry in motivating and influencing each other to present their best performances for the audience.

At first, I only care about the songs and performances. And then, I start to look forward to the clips of their practice and commentary prior to the performances. And then and then, I start to watch the brothers' interaction in selecting for the songs - which is often very comical and entertaining.

Team survival competition has a lot of relatable elements to corporates world, more than one might thinks. This is where you can tell how the experiences as well as ability to make decisions and judgment of some brothers that's good for the team stand out more than the other.

Here is when wits and slightly more strategic / leadership thoughts made some brothers (e.g. Max Zhang, Nathan, Cannon, Bridge, Pax) stand out in a bunch of nerdy...ahem, I mean famous artists and musicians who generally don't put much thoughts beyond their interests and profession.

Indeed, the teams that go further were the ones that have good leaders and followers, each contributing their talent to create something together that individual alone can't.
Special shoutout to Nathan, Max Zhang, Vincent, Pax, Andrew Yin and Welly Zhang - the former three in leading their teams, the latter three in supporting their teams. Of course this is a biased comment. Each brother’s team to your own!

At the core of it, Call Me by Fire is a Music Variety Show, structured in competitions. All brothers gather together for their love of music and performances. I have always been more of a pop song consumer, hence my bias will be more towards the performances with songs I am familiar with. Through this show though, I got a better understanding of the different genre of songs and better appreciation of them. It is one added perspectives to better understand how the world works.

Which brings me to the next point, I now have a greater appreciation to raps and rappers' culture. I used to dislike rap a lot as I find it too noisy and the rappers too aggressive. Through this show, I find that rappers' culture are a bit like what Vincent said - the modern world of 江湖 (the pugilist world) - rappers care a lot for brotherhood and their own set of principles. They are a bunch of misfit and often misunderstood by the society. The rappers that come to this show really are the ones that step out of their comfort zone, presenting rap to the audience as well as showing that the rappers too have the same struggles we all resonate with - and that rapping is their way to relate with each other, with the world and themselves. Personal favorite rapper is naturally MC Jin - his enthusiasm, optimism and carefreeness - admire! He also grew up in the States, thus, his conduct and way of behaving is something I can relate more to.

>>>>>>Performances highlights and my favorite (not in order)<<<<<<

1) General audience enjoyment

1.1 笨小孩 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVgJoFFRFT8&list=PLUM8x224JrX8-E8Kirv3PiY0Tz0eWrNYj&index=57
Though this performance has no special techniques or any X-part, it is one with all the brothers - when Terry Lin's voice comes right at the tail end of rapper parts, that's quite X on its own.

1.2 Yellow - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aT3fEqTYMY&list=PLUM8x224JrX8-E8Kirv3PiY0Tz0eWrNYj&index=33
Very deserving of 1st place during the 1st team competition indeed. This is how a cohesive band comes together and shows you what a great team stage performance means. It's also one of the few (if not only) English songs in this competition and I like that it's performed by this group. Nathan is a great leader - he cares for each team member and he knows his stuff. He has great judgment and has conviction to follow it. Call Me by Fire is definitely a great springboard for Nathan's career after being a full time house husband for awhile.

1.3 花祭 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv4QqK0l07k&list=PLUM8x224JrX8-E8Kirv3PiY0Tz0eWrNYj&index=20
I especially like Paul's Cantonese version. You can hear the feeling in his voice. Welly and Nathan have already established themselves in the heart of audience by the time of this performance.

2) Great dance performances

2.1 MMA - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mQVOn8CgRI&list=PLUM8x224JrX8-E8Kirv3PiY0Tz0eWrNYj&index=28

2.2 跳舞街 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-9Qyit3r-A&list=PLUM8x224JrX8-E8Kirv3PiY0Tz0eWrNYj&index=8 and

2.3 好春光 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pnrRxhACAc&list=PLUM8x224JrX8-E8Kirv3PiY0Tz0eWrNYj&index=14 and

Led by Max Zhang, I love this team’s dance performances the most. They may not have the best vocal, but they have a team leader with good judgment and taste when it comes to movement.

3) Songs performed with great technical capabilities

3.1 悟空 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hFJTVk5sMw&list=PLUM8x224JrX8-E8Kirv3PiY0Tz0eWrNYj&index=26
I am surprised that I am able to enjoy an opera-like performance. If Yellow hadn't already prove that, Wukong is then the performance that made Welly (and actually Henry as well) really shined through this song - all his decades of hardwork and practices, leading him to that moment. Each of them, Welly, Pax and Henry, represented Wukong in different stages of his life in this performance. If Henry's scandal didn't come out at this time, I believe he will be one of the brothers who will get a lot of attention for his talent.

3.2 飞云之下 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpNlCUgabpc&list=PLUM8x224JrX8-E8Kirv3PiY0Tz0eWrNYj&index=25
Terry is not a team player, but he is definitely one of the best, if not the best, vocalists. He is very passionate and enthusiastic about creating the best art. He sees music as a way of expression and storytelling. He also has the technical capability to project his voice the way he wants it, honed by years of his obsessive-like discipline. The combination with Hotdog rap and Cannon's 和音 support in this song, it is indeed a performance that only this team can do.

4) Songs with stories, imaginaries and feels

4.1 往事只能回味 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y93m7f4hP6k&list=PLUM8x224JrX8-E8Kirv3PiY0Tz0eWrNYj&index=24

4.2 當年情 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbJ2a6Jq8Og&list=PLUM8x224JrX8-E8Kirv3PiY0Tz0eWrNYj&index=1

4.3 你要如何 我们就如何 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDmMD16Je2A&list=PLUM8x224JrX8-E8Kirv3PiY0Tz0eWrNYj&index=21

Jordan's group's greatest strength is their decade-long friendship among members and supportive fan base. I feel that this is a group of brothers know where their strengths are and what their fans expect from them. They are not here to specifically challenge themselves out of their comfort zone (not that they don't have to work hard or the performances are within their comfort zone). More than anything, I find most of these HK artists are practical doers. They are here to enjoy and perform, as friends and as a team. The addition of 2 rappers add some interesting dynamism for this group.

The third one on the list is also the performance where it showed rappers can sing too. Coupled with the visuals on stage, this performance created a lot of 画面感 (imaginary) and invoked a lot of feels. It's the feels of surrendering to fate, yet still maintaining the hope that tomorrow will be better, that there's something to look forward to. Love it!

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Romance Impossível
6 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Dez 31, 2020
20 of 20 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 7.0
História 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 9.0
Voltar a ver 6.0

Yan Qing Xiao Shuo within a Yan Qing Xiao Shuo

Lost Romance (LR) was linked to Romance of Tiger and Rose (RoTR) as both were aired about the same time and have similar concepts about main character stuck in a fictional story. However, as one watched on, one would soon realized that these are 2 different dramas.

RoTR is a more predominantly a romantic comedic series, and LR is a 言情小說 "yan qing xiao shuo" (romantic fiction). After the initial fish out of water, comedic moments of Zheng Xiao En getting pulled in and adapting to the fictional world, the drama took a turn to be more melodramatic as it slowly unraveled the past of Si Tu Ao Ran / He Tian Xing, mystery of getting stuck in a fictional story, and the power struggles that comes with being an Overbearing CEO.

Bear no mistakes, I still enjoyed this drama, especially the hilarious moments, funny dialogues (mostly from Xiao En), and *glups* the steamy scenes. However, I suppose it also a realization for myself that I have a higher preference to rom coms compared to melodramas. I also realized I have slightly grown out of the "Rude Male Leads with a past, so please forgive and love him" troupe when I kept rooting for Xiao En to fall for the warmer Second Male Lead, Duanmu Qing Feng in the fictional world. He Tian Xing is great, just that he is not Si Tu Ao Ran. Perhaps this how 言情小說 "yan qing xiao shuo" is.

Watch for the comedic element in the drama. And maybe if you love 言情 Yan Qing, you would personally enjoy it even more.

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Você é minha glória
4 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Set 19, 2021
32 of 32 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 9.0
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Musical 8.5
Voltar a ver 9.5

The gem is in the details

This show caught me by surprise. When I first watched it, I did my usual skip a few mins scenes every here and there because the relationship build-up is slow. But this show is one of those kinds that creeps up to you slowly, and by the time you are aware of it, you have fallen - like how the Yu Tu falls for Jing Jing, slowly and unexpectedly. Thus, when I rewatched YAMG properly the 2nd time, without skipping any scenes, that's when I truly appreciated the relationship journey, the love story, and the chemistry of our main characters.

The backdrop of this show is reunion of 2 high school friends 10 years later under a coincidental incident - our male lead, Yu Tu who is on a short term career break (and fork road), agrees to be the e-game coach for our female lead, Qiao Jing Jing who needs to compete at a friendly e-game match to protect her reputation as the endorser of the e-game. This is not quite like the other professional e-game series - e-game is only a catalyst for Yu Tu and Jing Jing to reunite. What YAMG explores more, especially in the later and sweeter part, is the dynamics of 2 mature individuals on building a healthy relationship, while supporting each other's career aspirations such that they become each other's glory.

There are familiar troupes in the show, executed in non-cliché ways, making the scenes refreshing to watch - e.g. the exes who want to get back together with our leads again, the chase and relationship tension moments between our main characters, the sweet moments after they become official couple. These are the scenes where if you are paying close attention, you would get another level of understanding of the characters' thoughts, motivation, and why they eventually make the choices they make. Kudos to all the actors and actresses who portray them well. Indeed, there are a lot of details in the production, script and acting that makes YAMG's rewatch value high.

Another thing great about YAMG is how the show really centers more on Yu Tu and Jing Jing's relationship and their respective career journey. The supporting characters do have their personalities too, but they rarely have scenes without either of our main character around. For a 32-episode series that focuses so much (if not entirely) on our 2 main characters, and yet, not have fillers (at least I don't see them as fillers), it's rather amazing.

All in all, YAMG is a love story of 2 adults navigating their relationship and taking accountability of their choices. In fact, there isn't anything glamorous about our main leads persona and journey, although Jing Jing's career as an actress in the show does make her look glam. There isn't any unnecessary drama - the tension points between them are actual considerations many of us as working adults would have, thus relatable.

And despite the different career industry, Yu Tu (an aerospace engineer) and Jing Jing (an actress) are each other's equal - none requires another's saving, only as each other's reminder, pacer, and support. Isn't that what any of us want in a relationship?

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Reset
5 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Jan 27, 2022
15 of 15 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 10
História 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 9.0
Voltar a ver 10

Tick Tock Tick Tock

Here’s a scenario - if you are able to loop back to minutes before a bus explosion, having the chance to escape the death vs trying to stop the catastrophe, what would you choose? And the catch - you don’t know how many times you can reset, how many chances you have before it’s truly game over, and if you get to survive anyway. Would you still confidently say you will die trying to stop the explosion? It’s a true test to one’s courage, resilience, and morality. Herein comes our main characters dilemma and the story for Reset.

What Reset did really well, was the execution of the plot, having an engaging storytelling approach, and a well fleshed-out cast. In a story about time loops, it’s easy, too easy, to make our main characters played the idealistic heroes that will choose to overcome all obstacles for every loop. After all, it’s the mission of being the “chosen ones”. Failing means getting another chance, it means unraveling the mystery until the loop ends. In other words, there was no “real” consequences from the get go if we watched Reset from this lens. Hence, this was the most important thing that the production team and cast did right - engaging the audience to care for the main characters to escaping the loop and saving the passengers.

In 15 episodes, with 8 suspects to investigate, 2 main characters’ rapport to establish, and 1 team of smart police who were doing a proper job, Reset did not waste any minute telling a comprehensive tight knit story. Li Shiqing was the “Heart” of Reset duo while Xiao Heyun complemented as the “Brain”. Through the course of the story and each time loop, the Brain learns to care more for the people around him while the Heart learns to better consider the implications of her actions - it made us believe that one cannot exist without the other, and it made us buy in their romantic development amidst the tension and escalating crisis as they got closer and closer to the perpetrator in the next loop.

I also especially loved the subtle unexpected comic reliefs within the narrative to balance out the tension as well as strong supporting characters who had their own identity within Reset. Inspector Zhang is the kind of police you’d want in your district. The passengers are the everyday passengers whom you'll come across, adding color to Reset. Some of their backstories were relatable, heartwarming, and were by no means fillers.

On a deeper layer, Reset is also trying to deliver a message on the negative consequences of irresponsible social media use and ignorance - we never know when the hurt invoked will cause an unintended time bomb to someone else, figuratively speaking. And life as we know it, has no Reset button.

All in all, Reset is a wonderful, logical, engaging time loop story for the ones who love a good mystery. Even if you are not a mystery fan, there’s a lovable couple who try their best for our heartwarming cast to root for.

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Remembrance of Things Past
4 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Mai 2, 2023
12 of 12 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 9.5
História 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musical 9.5
Voltar a ver 10

Life’s meanings come from the productive struggles we want

“Life is a never ending process of choosing and making decisions. We all think these decisions will bring us the fastest shortcut to happiness but along the way, we may miss a once in a lifetime scenery. Don't walk too far and forget why you took this path in the beginning. Don't run too fast and lose yourself among the countless intersections.”

This show starts with a heavy tone - suicide within 5 mins. Why so depressing? Where is hope?

Hope, does come though. Bits and pieces. In the subtlety of life. If we slow down enough to pay attention.

First things first, I love the story arc represented by 4 friends with different circumstances, ideals and personalities. This make for a cast where there will be someone whom we will relate more towards.

Qiao Xi Chen (QXC)
Our everyday worker who slowly grinds through the corporate ladder through experience and sincere work. The corporate road which often feels like 1 step forward, 2 steps back. But it’s the grind of life. She is headstrong and competitive - but she is a main lead we all want to root for because she represents many of us in so many ways. Zhou Yutong delivers this character wonderfully and able to draws me in. What great performance.

Jia Nan 姐 (JN)
I added a 姐 - sister - out of respect. She represents our dream and goal of future self who has made it in life, and yet, whose life still deem missing by everyone and sometimes herself because she is single. I particularly love JN’s heartfelt conversation with QXC on her arranged marriage arc. How she feels her past decisions are denied when she meets with her potential candidates. How QXC is able to share her own perspective that liberates JN.

There is also the arc that draws out her decision process in buying a house. Let me tell you here: 姐 is an earned title, and definitely a sign of respect.

Xu Yan (XY)
Our stereotypical millennial who appeals our more materialistic side. The carpe diem and que sera sera group because life’s tough, so we should just enjoy the moment. She has the shorter end of the stick, but definitely a familiar character we can relate to, whether it’s our younger selves or our friends. Her relationship ordeals with her boyfriend also slowly grow on me and I learn to empathise with them.

Hu Jing Jing (HJJ)
For someone who died within a few mins of the show, HJJ is nowhere a filler nor plot device. It’s easy to dismiss her extremity as something that will not happen to us. HJJ represents our mental health, and what could happen if we neglect them, in ourselves and our friends. She didn’t set out to suicide and is trying hard too. Until she couldn’t. So it’s important to shout for help or take a proper break, because the emotional load often feels lighter when shared.

Characters aside, their dynamics with the parents, each other and their love interests are also perfectly done. Their calls with their parents are short but poignant. Their interactions with each other and friendships are what make the foreign city feels like home. Their love interests and developments are the hope that we ladies can have the love we want too.

More importantly, Remembrance of Thing Past is a character driven show about 4 friends with relatable struggles and realistic priorities on career, life and love. This show highlights the struggles and (possible) depression of expats in a competitive city. For parents lamenting that we are the strawberry generation, a quick Google Search indicates that the youngest millennials are already 27 in 2023.

If anything, I would say the more befitting term for us, especially the middle class, would be potatoes. Under the pressure of different context and circumstances, some become French fries and mash potatoes, while others are couch potatoes, pun intended.

Jokes and analogy aside, the central theme of the story resonates a lot - especially when you are an expat in a big city.

Where are you now? Where do you want to be? Why? How will you get there?

Here’s to life and a path that’s meaningful to you. 加油哦!(Jia You oo)

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Oi Vênus
3 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Mai 1, 2023
24 of 24 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 9.5
História 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 9.0
Voltar a ver 9.5

Sensible romantic comedy

“I am lucky I met a person.
He came into my life,
Lit up the corners of my heart,
Made me willingly shed off my mask.

He gave me the strength to let go of my past, have no fear of our future and focus on cherishing every present moment.”

A modernised contemporary rom-com. Written by the scriptwriter that produces Day of Becoming You, I love the familiar subvert of rom-com troupes with humor, wit and heart. It’s Wang Xiong Cheng’s signature style and he never disappoints. (Yes, I am biased, deal with it!)

While a love story between a humble 富二代 (child from rich family) and a driven working class sound like a fairytale come true, Hi Venus is a through and through down to earth romance of 2 sensible people, getting to know each other and overcoming the natural challenges that comes with their different social class.

Lu Zhao Xi (LZX), though born with a silver spoon, is a capable leader who respects individuals and conscious that the world does not revolve around him, just because he is rich. Ye Shi Lan (YSL), though came from a lower income single family, is a capable worker who sincerely earns her rights to where she is.

There are common plots in a romantic comedy. Their meet cute, is a typical setup of boy in trouble, girl saves boy, boy and girl start off at the wrong foot, but eventually fall for each other. What subverts the rom com troupes comes after LZX and YSL are back to the city. This part onwards, is refreshing to watch.

Both have different exposure and perspectives due to their respective background. Yet, both characters have actions and concerns that we can relate to.

They respect each other’s views and take accountability on their shortcomings. They take the time to understand each other and fall in love deeper, bit by bit. They communicate and listen. The parts where they had their greatest conflict due to the difference in their background and status, and then, their confession towards each other are sincere and warm and touching.

“LZX: I knew I had a momentary crush towards you way earlier. But I knew what I wanted is a constant and spontaneous feelings. It’s the kind of feeling where I can’t help but want to hear your voice, want to see you. Just seeing you makes me happy. I like to talk to you, I want to share my day to day to you. My feelings towards you are not a spur of moment. It’s what I am more certain over time, that it’s what my heart wants.

YSL: I feel blessed being liked by you. However, I am aware that I’ve never been a lucky person. So every time I become more immerse or too carried away, the alarm will set off. I’ll ask myself if I am able to handle that kind of happiness.

I’m a timid person. I want to have it but I am afraid of losing it.

…But this time, I want to get carried away.”

And these make me buy in to their love story.

Apart from the main leads, the second leads love story is also lovely. It definitely has great potential as a spin-off or a short mini series in the right production team’s hands. Love the support they provided to the main leads, as any rom com best friend and secretary rightfully does. LZX’s parents are lovely too - the open minded, modern parents that we should have more in stories these days.

In short, Hi Venus is a relaxing rom-com that’s healthy for the soul. It’s our Venus to have such a show.

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O Amor Estrelado
2 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Mai 2, 2023
40 of 40 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 8.5
História 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musical 8.5
Voltar a ver 9.0

Match made in heaven (and hell)

The chemistry of opposites are often the delight of any stories. Ye Tan and Qing Kui are twin sisters with marriage alliances to princes of Demonic and Heavenly Realms respectively. This match is in line with the signs surrounding their birth, with Ye Tan representing the ominous star and Qing Kui representing the auspicious star. With their wedding carriages swapped, The Starry Love is a xian xia version of wrong bridal sedan leading to the right groom.

Having 2 sets of couples with opposite characteristics, this troupey show makes for an absolute delight in its comedic moments, CP’s chemistry, and light hearted cast.

The Heavenly Couple, 情投”夜”合CP (Have Affinity) - 2700 years old recluse meets 18 years old mischief
What shines here are the surprising comedic execution of the familiar clashes between 2 opposites. Their dialogues and interactions definitely draw a lot of laughter.

Best part remains during their early days face off which draw in lots of fun and laughter.
- Ye Tan failing to kidnap You Qin, and then resorting to let him have bad impression on her (whom he thought was Qing Kui) so he will not want to marry
- You Qin’s needing to “meditate” after every interaction with Ye Tan
- Ye Tan trying various undermined tactics to get You Qin to remove a security lock he placed on her
- You Qin taking back a shooting star he prepared for Ye Tan within a minute because her wish is deemed non-noble

The Demonic Couple 青風徐來 CP (Gentle Breeze) - Hunter becomes the voluntary huntee
If the Heavenly Couple is 2 opposites slowly falling for each other through their various face offs, the Demonic Couple shows the quick fall of shrewd prince towards an angelic princess that may be naive but certainly not gullible.

Chao Feng, the 3rd prince whose mother is from a lowly status, is the one behind the bridal switch. Hence, he knows of Qing Kui’s identity from the get go. At first, he approaches Qing Kui to ensure no one, including Qing Kui, would realise he is the one behind the switch. However, he quickly finds himself falling into the charm and sincerity of our angelic princess. How could he not?

Beneath Qing Kui’s gentle exterior lies a steel of heart who adapts quickly, takes accountability and treats everyone with sincerity. Qing Kui isn’t a case of damsel in distress. In fact, she heals people around her, literally and figuratively. This makes her character charming in a way that’s different from Ye Tan.

And of course, nowadays, a show would not be outstanding with just great CPs alone. Icing on the cake are the supporting cast and their comedic interactions with our leads.
- Our Mortal Realm dad and Chao Feng’s mum who shine with their comedic reactions to various scenes
- Man man, Hai Chao, and Fei Chi, the trusting sidekicks who provide timely comic reliefs
- You Qin’s lovely siblings and mum who have one of a kind observations of our main couple
- The gullible and muscular Wu Dai who surprisingly has more screen presence

The starry love is not without its bugs. Plot wise, I find it rather one track minded. Both the Heavenly and Demonic dads of You Qin and Chao Feng are rather 1 dimensional and serve only as plot devises. The familiar heroic I-sacrifice-for-you troupe is, familiar.

Though as someone who aren’t a big fan of xian xia drama, I still say the Starry Love is an enjoyable light hearted story that’s bound to elicit laughters and pleasant surprises with its few refreshing takes, once you are bought into its starry world.

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Cozinhando com Amor
2 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Mai 19, 2022
16 of 16 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 7.5
História 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musical 7.0
Voltar a ver 8.0

Bewarned - don't watch this on empty stomach

There is no denying it. Food is an essential part of people's lives. Yet, cooking may be a gradually lost art among more Generation Z and C than our parents / grandparents would've liked, especially with the growing convenience of Delivery Meals, dining and restaurants.

Here comes Dine with Love, which brings us the message that home cooked food need not be elaborated, as well as the importance of sharing your meal time with family. With only 16 episodes, this drama is a quick and easy watch. The main characters for our show is Yu Hao, an efficient, logic driven entrepreneur who created his own food platform, and Su Kelan, his public relation director. Both worlds collide when a video of Yu Hao shooting with a stand-in on a food reality program his company sponsored gets leaked. Yu Hao had to quickly learn how to cook from Su Kelan, while the latter had to quickly learn how to adapt to the former's working pace.

What makes the romance part of this story nice is how Su Kelan isn't a Mary Sue or someone who needs protection despite being a gentle and understanding person. The part of the story where she had to continue working despite going through tough moments in her personal life is probably one of the most relatable scene for us working adults. Facing a boss who is known as the slave driver and demon, Su Kelan is able to stand firmly on her ground and communicate her thoughts calmly. Yu Hao, despite his cold demeanor. is also not one to stubbornly insists on his viewpoints if the other party is able to convince him on their arguments. Sure, he can be bossy, but he definitely works as hard as he drives others. He is also fairly observant and will do little things for another without needing to let s/he knows. Both of their relationship development is mature,

The key main ingredient for this story though is the food and the meaning for each dish presented. Hence, it's the few rare story where I would rate the re-watch value higher than the story plot itself. I like the messages shared behind each dish that were introduced - from bitter gourd, to fried rice, to tomato omelet, to steamboat and many more. I'd re-watch this show for the recipe of the food.

With such great ingredients, why do I only rated Dine with Love at 7.5? It was unfortunate, I personally feel that the story plot and pacing becomes a little choppy when they are string together. It's like a slight overcooked steak or undercooked fish. There are moments in the story that feels forced so that there would be reasons for our main characters to progress their relationships.

Nevertheless, I would still recommend to watch Dine with Love, if not for the food. Afterall, quoting a popular Cantonese saying - 民以食為天, which translates to people see food as primary need.

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Para Voar com Você
2 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Fev 9, 2022
35 of 35 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 8.0
História 8.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Musical 7.0
Voltar a ver 7.0

Idol romance meets ice rink

This is your typical idol c-drama with ice-sports as backdrop. Shen Zheng Yi is your typical female lead who has all the passion, the talent, the grit, and the optimism for speed skating, except professional training as her mum objects her dreams to be a professional speed skater. Supporting and helping her once she gets into a professional team is Shao Bei Sheng, your typical male lead who is the handsome, hardworking and talented Figure Skating Prince that's loved by everyone, including his strict mum who is also Zheng Yi's coach.

That said, typical doesn't mean it's not enjoyable. One of the greatest strength is this idol drama knows thyself well, and hence, does a good job in being a light hearted and sweet idol drama we expect it to be. Their relationship progress is mostly nice to watch, albeit with a little too much drama and cliches. What is enjoyable about this couple is their playful interaction, and support for each other through each challenge. Ultimately, this couple manages to make me care for them, and their relationship, especially by latter half of the drama - I guess it's a success by idol drama standard. The second couple in this show is also cute, I love how innocent and support of a friend both are as our main leads' sidekick.

What I enjoy the most for the show though is Coach Zhuang's tenacity and journey in instilling the right mindset for Zhu Feng Sports Club. Here, the drama spends time to highlight some of the teammates' improvement under Coach Zhuang's tutelage. While these supporting characters do not have enough limelight, they have their shared passion to the sports and own motivation, bringing more colors to TFWY. The cinematography of ice skating moments are great for an idol drama.

If there is one thing that bugs me about TFWY, it's the editing. As Shen Zheng Yi and Shao Bei Sheng have different specialization, there are 3 narratives to follow - (1) Sheng Zheng Yi and the Speed Skating team, (2) Shao Bei Sheng and his Figure Skating career, as well as (3) Zheng Yi's and Bei Sheng's relationship. Most of the time, it isn't too distracting... until competition days - I can't help but get sidetracked, wondering how our leads get so much interaction time in-between competitions. I mean, I know they are spread over a few days...still, shouldn't the one who hasn't compete focused on practice? And this indirectly affects the pacing of the show slightly, especially when we weave in the supporting characters, who have their own storyline too.

To sum it up, TFWY is an enjoyable idol drama about aspiring for your dreams. It's also a good introductory drama about speed skating, figure skating, and healthy athletism mindset.

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Começar de Novo
2 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Dez 31, 2020
35 of 35 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 7.5
História 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Musical 8.0
Voltar a ver 6.5

Lovely Mr. Cinderella and Princess Charming

It’s a contract-marriage drama no doubt with a slight dose of (Mr.) Cinderella element, but it’s also absolutely adorable and refreshing with its own flavor. What originally started out from mere curiosity unexpectedly turned to lighthearted enjoyment that had me cracking every other episodes.

The two leads had interesting dynamics from the get-go. Lu Fang Ning, though strong and charming, has many adorable moments. Ling Rui, though caring and warm, has an unyielding side. While Fang Ning initiated a lot of the lovey dovey moments, especially in the beginning part of the drama, Ling Rui was the one who “sealed the deal”, and in my opinion, progressed the relationship. The leads, Zhou Yu Tong and Simon Gong were casted well indeed – I feel that not many actors and actresses would be able to draw out these multi-facets within the characters and nuanced dynamics between the two as smoothly as the two did.

Both characters matured throughout the series, and so did their relationship. Once their kid was thrown into the mix in later part of the drama, it was heartwarming watching their family time and interactions with each other – and of course, the lovey dovey moments. The side characters were great too – each were well fleshed out such that they did not feel one dimensional within a rom com.

Begin Again did well in doesn’t taking itself too seriously for an overuse common marriage contract plot. It has been awhile since I am able to watch a rom com from start to end. I thoroughly enjoyed Begin Again and hope to see the leads together in another drama, maybe an ancient one. In the meantime, I’d surely Begin the drama Again whenever I want a light watch – …okay that’s a bad pun, time to wrap up my review here.

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