Eversky.org A Dose of Asian Pop Culture & Entertainment

14May/071

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
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
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.