Well, I think the title says it all. Today, we’re taking a slight departure from Korean dramas to talk about a couple of TAIWANESE dramas I watched recently! Honestly there isn’t a huge difference, aside from a different language… And even then, two of the three dramas had Korean actors in them. (And one had a guest Korean appearance!)
Why Tai Dramas? Mmm, not sure how I got there, really. It just sort of happened. I blame Jiro Wang.
(You remember Jiro, right??)
So, here we go!
1. Fabulous Boys
This is what started it all. I was reading around, and found someone had done a comparison on You’re Beautiful vs. Fabulous Boys. Not to get you confused, Fabulous Boys is a DIRECT REMAKE of You’re Beautiful. It was made with Korea’s blessing–in the first episode, Park Shin Hye even made a guest appearance. I first started watching it because I thought the main guy playing TaeKyung (named Tai Jing in the Tai series) was super hot. I WASN’T WRONG. Hence, my love affair with Jiro Wang.
Now you know.
Anyway! Since it was a direct remake, it actually follows pretty close to the plot of the original. The only major difference is that this is 13 episodes, I think, where the original was 16–so things get a little crammed together towards the end. Still, all the favorites are there–Pig-bunny, Tai Jing being a hopeless butthead jerk at first and then kind of growing on you… Although I have to say that their Gao Mei Nan (The Go Mi Nam character) looks even less like a boy than Park Shin Hye did. Plus she gets kind of annoying after a lot of exposure. Not sure why. Her voice maybe? Hmm.
So, yes. Basically if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all… This just happens to be Tai. And have Jiro Wang.
Which totally made it worth a re-watch, because I mean. LOOK at him.
2. Absolute Boyfriend
This one is based off the manga of the same name, and sadly, has pretty much the same ending. I went into this knowing what I was getting, and it still broke my heart. Let’s just say the ending is a tear-jerker, if you have any ounce of humanity or empathy or compassion. Especially if you are prone to crying at the drop of a pin, like I am. xD; But, but, but…. Jiro Wang!
So in Absolute Boyfriend, we have Xiao Fei, played by someone you might recognize–the main girl from Boys Over Flowers. She also helped direct it, I think? That must have been interesting, since she doesn’t really speak Tai. (You’ll notice a somewhat obnoxious trend, in which they have Korean actors, but dub over them with Tai speakers. Why?? I don’t know.) So Xiao Fei isn’t really lucky in love, and she’s never had a boyfriend. She gets shot down by the guy she has a crush on.
What’s a girl to do but turn to an online supplier of robot boyfriends? (Actually, I would TOTALLY go all Chobits, if that was an option. My requirements list would probably be about as long as Xiao Fei’s, ha ha.) So she ends up with Nai Te, the prototype of Kronos Heaven’s Nightly series, touted to be the perfect boyfriend, and the perfect lover. (This is, of course, Jiro Wang.) What follows is equal parts comedy and heartstring-pulling drama as Nai Te gradually grows past his programming and develops self-awareness, while Xiao Fei realizes that she might actually be falling for a robot.
Not the world’s best acting or chemistry in this one, but chalk it up to the language barrier, and you can still find a lot to love (and cry about) from this drama. 🙂
(Plus, the sound track to the show was pretty awesome–Jiro Wang’s Pretend We Never Loved is definitely on repeat a lot over here!)
3. Skip Beat!
Another one based off of a manga of the same name, and also with a main character who is played by a Korean with dubbed-over Tai dialogue. (The incredibly attractive-and-also-adorable Choi Siwon. Mm.) Now, I’m a bit confused, because as far as I can tell there are only 15 episodes of this drama. That’s what I watched to. But they’re currently putting it onto Dramafever, and it’s listed as having 23 episodes…? I mean, I really hope this is true, because it left off at a really ambiguous spot. Which makes sense, considering the manga is still going. But, if you don’t mind a drama with a not-quite-finished, but probably-happy ending, you’ll be just fine!
So! In a story I’ve always liked, we have Gong Xi, a very hard-working girl who moved to the big city to support her childhood friend and love. Bu Po Shang is now a very famous superstar–but also a huge jerkwad that treats her like a maid, while she’s given up all her dreams and her ability to go to school to work like 3 jobs and keep him in strawberry yogurt. Anyway! She gets wise to this betrayal, and kind of… snaps? (Resulting in some creepy and kind of bad CG ghosts…?) She swears she’s going to get into showbusiness too, become bigger than he is, and crush him. And so begins Gong Xi’s journey to become a star.
This leads her to LME, an agency for big names–their number-one star being Dun He Lian, Bu Po Shang’s #1 rival. He comes off rather cold and aloof, but he’s really just a workaholic who is very good at his job, and has high standards for other people in the field. This means he is immediately suspect of Gong Xi, whose only driving force seems to be revenge. Gradually, as she realizes that acting is something that she really loves, Lian begins to fall for her.
It’s like, super cute.
Ivy Chen is beyond cute, and although she cries a lot, I never really found her bothersome. Skip Beat! also has a really nice girl friendship that has nothing to do with guys or really even being rivals–which is rather refreshing, for a drama. And of course, I love Siwon, so I’m a huge fan of what’s going on with Gong Xi and Lian. If you’ve ever read Skip Beat!, or even if you haven’t, this is a nice, feel-good drama that picks up as you go! (The first couple of episodes are slow, but it really rolls from there.)
(It also had fun music!)
Only 3 this time! Aren’t you all so happy? x) I’m pretty busy these days, what with all the hoops I have to jump through for my teaching application, and the class I’m taking in teaching English… Not to mention learning Korean and working! I really do feel like I’m back in school, ha ha. (Though I can still eke out time to watch dramas, obviously.) I haven’t made much progress on the writing end of the spectrum lately, but I have been drawing about a page a week of my comic, Love on the Line. Check it out!
We’ll be back to regularly-programmed K-dramas next time. 😉 (Because I KNOW you were worried!)