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It Started With a Kiss (2005)

It Started With a Kiss

Taiwanese Title: 惡作劇之吻 / 恶作剧之吻 / E Zuo Ju Zhi Wen
Vietnamese Title: Ngay Tho
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Starring: Joe Cheng, Ariel Lin, Jiro Wang
Screenwriter: Qi Yang Lin
Director: Qu You Ning
Episodes: 30 (DVD), 20 (TV)

The series was based on the Japanese shoujo manga "Itazura na kiss" (Mischievous Kiss) by Tada Kaoru.

After an earthquake destroyed Xiang Qin's house, she and her father move in with her father's college buddy, uncle Ahli. To her surprise, the kind and amicable aunt and uncle are the parents of her cold and distant schoolmate Jiang Zhi Shu, a genius with an IQ of 200 whom not too long ago rejected Xiang Qin's endless crush on him for the reason that she isn't exactly very bright. Will the close proximity give her a second chance to win the boy's heart? Or, will she break down under his cold, cold words?
Source: DramaWiki

Rating: B- (Good)
Rewatch Factor: Low
Comment: At first this drama has a promising start, the story was interesting and most of the cast members seem appropriate for the role they played. However, some where midway of the drama I grew bored with the same old repetition of the female protagonist, Xiang Qin, getting her hopes up just to be disappointed in the end. Not to mention, I grew impatient with Xiang Qin for having no backbone and just keep getting herself hurt time after time by Jiang Zhi Shu. A lot of the scenes I felt were unnecessary and the length of drama was also a bit too long for more liking, especially for drama like this that doesn't have a complicate plot. Like I mentioned that Rannie Yang overacted her "cuteness" in "Devil Beside You", the same goes for Ariel Lin in this drama. I preferred Ariel in her silent and complentative moments than when she tried to act naive and cute. I enjoyed those moments because they felt natural and real. And even though Joe Cheng does a good job portraying as an arrogrant and insensitive genius, somehow I don't feel a strong emotional connection for his character Jiang Zhi Shu. In actuality, I adore Jiro Wang's character (Jin Yuan Feng) more than Jiang Zhi Shu. I was secretly rooting and hoping for Jin Yuan Feng to end up with Xiang Qin, even toward the very end.

However, what saved this drama from receiving a "C" rating from me was because of the drama's OSTs and the original ending. I think the music blends well into the drama and that it was well selected. Moreover, the quirky, and unique ending of this drama also makes the drama seems not so much of a waste to watch. So while I didn't enjoyed this drama as much as I originally thought, it is still a good watch for anybody who loves to watch angsty romance drama and have extra time to spare. Just remember, if you feel annoy during any of the scenes, there is always the fastforward button.


Devil Beside You (2005)

Devil Beside You

A.K.A.: Devils Do Exist
Taiwanese Title: 惡魔在身邊
Cantonese/Mandarin Title: Ngok Mor Joi Sun Bin / Er Mo Zai Shen Bian
Vietnamese Title: Dinh Menh
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Starring: Mike He, Rannie Yang, Kingone, Ivy Fan Xia Fan
Screenwriters: Mao Xun Rong and Cao Xiao Ru
Director: Lin He Long
Episodes: 20

The series was based on the Japanese shoujo manga "Akuma de Souro" (Devil Does Exist) by Takanashi Mitsuba.

Qi Yue (Rainie Yang) is a carefree and kind college girl who has developed a crush on the captain of the basketball team, Yuan Yi (Kingone). With the encouragement of her best friend Qing Zi (Tsai Pei Lin), Qi Yue decides to confess her feelings. However, when she is about to hand her love letter to Yuan Yi, he walks right by her! When Qi Yue looks up, she finds herself face to face with Jiang Meng (Mike He), the school's director's son. Frightened, she drops her letter and runs off. Though Jiang Meng is known as the school's hottie, but at the same time, he also has a devilish reputation and a hobby of bullying girls. The next day, Jiang Meng then orders Qi Yue to be his slave, as he has her letter, if not, he will then reveal the letter to the entire college, unwillingly, she agreed. Qi Yue being Jiang Meng's slave was already bad, but whats more worst is that, her currently single mom is actually going to marry the currently single school directer, who is also JIang Meng's father, which makes Qi Yue and Jiang Meng siblings. Soon she discovers a soft and kind heart beneath the cold-hearted exterior of Jiang Meng. At the same time, Qi Yue starts to grow feelings for Jiang Meng. Of course, Jiang Meng returns her affections as well. But the only thing that is standing in their way is that they were both about to become siblings in name, how is it possible that they could become lovers and siblings at the same time? And what happens when an arranged marriage and an old love enters their life?
Source: DramaWiki

Rating: B+ (Very Good)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: "Devil Beside You" is responsible for restoring my interest in Taiwanese drama. Before this drama, I was tired of seeing the same old Taiwanese melodramas where tears is what one has for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I enjoyed watching "Devil Beside You" because of the chemistry between Rannie Yang and Mike He, and for the story as well. I haven't read the manga "Akuma de Souro" so I don't know if this drama follows directly from the manga or not, and I don't think I care to know either. This is a great drama on its own, with lots of funny as well as sweet moments. It has some angst in it, but not to the point where it's unbearable. I also like that there is some adult themes and discussions covered in this drama, making it not so cutesy and bubbly sweet.

Mike He is wonderful in this drama, he managed to show his mischievous, "bad boy" side and yet still maintain that lovable image. Additionally, Rannie Yang is adorable in this drama as the female protagonist, but perhaps a bit too adorable. At time, I felt that she overacted in some of the scenes and it doesn't felt natural, but forced and contrived. Nevertheless, I did enjoy watching this drama. In term of being a worthy to watch Taiwanese drama, I would compare seeing this drama to seeing the sunlight again after so many years of being in the dark.


List of Taiwanese Dramas

This is the list of all the Taiwanese dramas I have seen.

A Game About Love

Brown Sugar Macchiato

Deep In The Courtyard (Ting Yuan Shen Shen)
Devil Beside You
Down with Love
Dream Behind the Curtain
Drunken to Love You

Fated Love
Fated to Love You
For You All My Life (Jin Shen Ji Shi)

Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu

In Time With You
It Started With A Kiss
It Started With A Kiss 2

Justice Bao 1993


Mars MV

Artist: Alan Kuo
Song: Ling (Zero)