Love Forward: Ep 22 (Finale) Updated

Drama ReviewsTaiwanese Dramas

 

*Updated* I know I wasn’t very in depth in my first draft because I was so caught up in my disappointment and BITTERNESS.  So I pretty much rewrote it and added on some more analysis for you guys.

Always follow these rules for a perfect finale:

  • Be as confusing as possible.
  • Fill up the episode with unneeded scenes, and stick on a few important ones on the end.
  • Add in corny dialogue.
  • Whatever you do, be sure to make no sense whatsoever.
  • Tease us with what could’ve been.
  • Use a time jump to infuriate viewers even more.
  • Waste as much time as possible.

WARNING: Bitterness ahead.

………..THE END.

….oh, how did this all happen?  DON’T EVEN ASK.  JUST ACCEPT THIS AS THE HAPPY HAPPY ENDING BECAUSE YOU’RE BETTER OFF NOT KNOWING.

And no one, I mean NO ONE, knows how THIS happened.   And I assure you, this is just the beginning of this finale’s problems.

Even though Love Forward screwed up the main characters’ love stories, at least it managed to do Ling Li some justice.  Ling Li is probably the most well-written character as well as the most mature one.  Even though Ling Li isn’t the focus of the drama, I can empathize with her much more.  She’s going through the NORMAL struggles of life–finding love when she’s getting older, balancing a love life and her work, etc. whereas I cannot relate to the love square’s conflicts AT ALL.  I really wanted Ling Li to get together with Ren Wei (he’s a changed man now!) but we all know he’s already a goner for Jing Jing.  So let’s just say I’m very pleased by Ling Li’s happy ending with Yan Nan.  It’s left open-ended but it’s implied that this is just the beginning of their new relationship. 

“It will still be there today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow.”

I really do not know why Love Forward wasted so much time on the whole family/Zhi Xing conflict.  Was I the only one going, “COME ON, WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS, LET’S GET MOVING!” the entire time?  So, the dramatic scene with Zhi Xing bidding Ai Xing goodbye is an utter waste of time.  It tries too hard to go for a heartwarming family scene, so it ends up seeming corny.  All LF needed to do was show the scene with Grandpa tearing up at the supermarket.  That’s enough to show the bond between the threesome, as well as the bittersweet feelings they all have over their separation.

I know I complained about this sidestory earlier on, but now I’m glad that Da Chuan is in the picture!  His wisdom is on par with Ling Li’s–he tells people what they need to hear even if they don’t really want to face up to it.  He doesn’t cut corners or let people down gently.  I love it when Tian Ze goes “I know I’m being selfish” and then Da Chuan looks to the side and makes this expression like “DARN RIGHT YOU ARE”.  AHAHAHA. 

“No one is hurting me.”

So of course Ai Xing completely ignores both Mrs. Meng AND Da Chuan’s advice.  Ai Xing jumps to conclusions that Tian Ze’s heart is still with Jing Jing.  So she decides to LIE to Tian Ze that she was only pretending to love him in Jing Jing’s place.  AUGH this scene really got me in the gut because of Tian Ze’s heartbroken reaction.  But at the same time I was going, “YOU HAD IT COMING, TIAN ZE” and “STOP IT, AI XING!!!”

Ren Wei, on the other hand, ALSO bases his decision on a misunderstanding.  He sees the breakup marriage ceremony in the church, and deduces it’s a sign that Jing Jing & Tian Ze are getting back together.  Who could blame him?  It clearly seemed like they were getting together.  So Ren Wei with his HEART OF GOLD graciously lets off Jing Jing.  The thing that I don’t get is Jing Jing’s shocked reaction.  Maybe she should have TOLD HIM that she’s seriously considering being a real relationship with him rather than being all ambiguous and confusing.  But Jing Jing has always been giving him mixed signals so how can she be surprised he wants to break it off now?

Oh, WHY did they tease us with Ai Xing x Ren Wei?  I know they really aren’t in a relationship since they just put on an act but…STILL.  THEY LOOK SO GOOD TOGETHER.  They have great chemistry!  Why oh why didn’t they at least temporarily get together earlier on?  It would’ve been so much funner and the plot would’ve been a lot more interesting!

What I really don’t get is Jing Jing & Tian Ze’s responses to their breakups.  Like, “Oh that must be what they really want, we should let them go then!”  NO.  NO!!!!!!  In Jing Jing’s case I understand her letting go of Ren Wei because it’s not like they were really romantically involved.  But with TIAN ZE??????  It’s so obvious that Ai Xing was pretending!!!!!!!!!!!!!  HOW CAN HE NOT KNOW!?!?!?!?  The scene where Jing Jing and Tian Ze talk about how Ren Wei and Ai Xing should be happy makes NO SENSE AT ALL. 

AND THEN THE TIME LAPSE.   This is probably the biggest blunder of all in this episode.  It’s pretty much admitting, “hey we screwed up, nothing makes sense, and we’re too lazy to try to fix it so HERE, have a time jump!”  UGH!  It’s just so obvious that there was no effort put into making the ending at least a bit believable.  First off, how are Jing Jing and Ai Xing still such great friends after hardly keeping in touch for THREE YEARS?  It would make sense if Ai Xing and Ling Li became new best friends and Ai Xing found a new boyfriend.  (this should’ve happened like halfway into the series or something)  AND!!! AND!!! It doesn’t make sense when Jing Jing and Ren Wei are just magically married!  THIS IS PUSHING IT.  The least they could do is show Jing Jing confessing her feelings for Ren Wei.  THAT’S THE LEAST THEY COULD DO.  BUT NO!!!!!

And although I was giddy over the Ai Xing x Tian Ze marriage, I was also scratching my head thinking, “HOW?”  Tian Ze didn’t go after Ai Xing for THREE YEARS?  He’s just gonna WAIT like a sitting duck and do nothing?  WHAT THE HECK?  Why is there no sense of urgency?  Does he really think she’s not gonna find a better guy over in Shanghai?  *does not compute*  The marriage scene was way too abrupt and rushed.  It was the ending I wanted but it was so anticlimatic and confusing that I found myself not as excited as I thought I would be. 

Overall
Wow, what a journey.  Love Forward is a drama that tried.  It tried really hard to be mature and grown up and thought-provoking.  Obviously it failed.  I think the problem with Love Forward is that it didn’t have a set direction.  It didn’t know if it wanted to be a rom-com, or a family drama, or a melodrama.  It had its strengths–a great cast, great chemistry between the leads, awesome characters, and the potential for an engaging plot.  Unfortunately it didn’t draw upon its strengths..instead it sorta flailed around and ended up sinking.

Obviously the script was a huge problem.  Towards the end it’s like the writer threw up his hands in the air and went, HECK, I’m not gonna try anymore!  The writer tries to get across all of these huge life lessons but it’s way too in-your-face and simplistic.  We don’t need them to spell out every lesson for us in huge neon letters.  More of the life lessons should’ve gone unsaid–we should be able to figure them out on our own.  So of course the characters also suffered because of the stupid script.  They had to deliver really elementary lines that only made them go around in circles.  AUGH AND THE PLOT.  AUGH AUGH AUGH.  I don’t even want to think of what could’ve been!

But of course despite my negative comments, all of you know how utterly ADDICTED and LF-crazed I am!  LF always had that must-watch feel because of the great chemistry between Ai Xing and Tian Ze.  I have to hand it to Tony and Tammy for making their OTP so lively and enjoyable.  The humor in Ai Xing and Tian Ze’s scenes is just too good to pass up. 

The characters
Ai Xing
So you all know that this was my favorite character throughout the drama.  She is such a great heroine.  However towards the end I found myself getting more and more frustrated with her.  My main problem is that Ai Xing remained a static character all the way toward the end.  There’s a short glimpse of her changing–i.e. when she stands up to Jing Jing, when she accepts her feelings for Tian Ze–but then she switches right back to “sacrifice” mode.  So in the end she really doesn’t change.  I really wanted Ai Xing to learn how to live for her own happiness, not the happiness of the people around her.  However she stubbornly tried to live for Jing Jing and Tian Ze’s happiness and ended up suffering for it. 

Ironically Ai Xing ends up being just like Jing Jing–she tries to make a sacrifice for the greater good of everyone else when in fact she’s only hurting everyone around her.  I felt like Ai Xing’s breakup was, in a way, selfish and a bit cowardly.  If you think about it, she jumps to conclusions way too quickly and it’s possible she was waiting for some sort of excuse to back out of her relationship with Tian Ze.  Ai Xing is so scared of getting hurt by Tian Ze that maybe her going overseas was just an escape for her.  Like Da Chuan says, even if Ai Xing tries to run from it, it’s not like the problem is gonna disappear.

Tian Ze
I’ve deemed Tian Ze the most pitiful character of LF.  He went through 2 stupid sacrificial breakups, lost his memory, was  infatuated with Jing Jing, waited for 2 girls to come back, got false memories implanted by Grandpa, etc. etc.  Poor poor Tian Ze.  The problem with him is that he’s really indecisive and, up until amnesia-state, he took Ai Xing for granted.  I really wanted him to get his memory back but honestly I think the drama just didn’t want to deal with it. 

Ren Wei
If I had to choose between Ren Wei and Tian Ze, I WOULD CHOOSE REN WEI. This guy is without a doubt, the most surprising character of all.  I love how he redeemed himself and learned to put others first.  I think he truly wants Jing Jing to be happy, even if that means she won’t be with him.  Who knew that Ren Wei could be such a selfless, caring guy!

Jing Jing
Quite frankly, Jing Jing and I did not have a very good relationship.  I think she’s the most misunderstood character of all, as she really is a victim of the stupid script and she didn’t get to redeem herself as well as Ren Wei did. I really thought she had redeemed herself after she decided to live for her family, BUT THEN…….I just don’t know what happened from there.  I wish they had shown her falling for Ren Wei more than her family and Tian Ze issues.

 

heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • I completely agree with you! Thanks for sticking it out to the end. I think I stuck it out with the promising scenes of more AX and TZ and somehow made it to this horrible ending. If Jing Jing and Tian Ze had gotten back together, I so could have shipped AX and RW 🙂

    I love your beginning with how to do endings. Unfortunately, that is pretty much what we get with a lot of dramas and not just this one. I get it that when it comes to kdramas that since they are usually filming and changing the script as they go based on various factors, it makes sense that the endings are not always well done as they come to the end and realize they need to have everything come together NOW. Planning and pacing, is that too much to ask for?

    Oh well. Love your brief but very accurate description. I was cheering for Yia Nan and Ling Li, too. At least we have them moving forward and trying to figure things out and actually talk it over unlike this bumbling quartet.

    • Augh Ai Xing and Ren Wei looked so good together!!! Even though I got the outcome I wanted, I’m not satisfied. T_T The least they could do is let Tian Ze get his memory back!!! I was waiting and waiting for him to remember everything on his own, but NO. *sigh*

      Exactly maybe if they had actually had a plan Love Forward would’ve been excellent. They could’ve done so much with all of these characters and yet they screwed it all up.

    • You’re right, this isn’t a recap. o_o I have no time to regurgitate everything. If you’re new here you can see I always put a tag saying whether a post is a review or a recap. And if you want a full recap, go on over to Asian Addicts Anonymous because NeeNee recapped this entire drama.

  • hahaha….it was a sad ending….i was like really….two more episodes is needed to feed this crappy ending to us…it started out well…and ended badly…oh wells, its being a pleasure…thanks for the recaps….

    • Love Forward had a strong start but it started going downhill around the halfway mark. Too bad it dragged so much that they didn’t even fit in the good stuff that could’ve happened!

      • Hm… I heard they changed the writers during the midpoint mark!
        I was rewatching some older eps/Tian/Ai’s scenes and I was like.. the first half and the 2nd half of the drama is soooooooooo different! WTF happened!?
        Sigh~
        I felt embarassed for Tony for taking this drama. It`s so obvious that he didn`t favor this drama over EX-BF either. While EX-BF was airing, he said a lot about it in his weibo!
        Fellow LF buddies and Tony… let`s hope we will forget this drama soon! =P

  • I’m very disappoint ending . But I’m happy that Ai Xing and tian Ze got together. I wish that Tian Ze go find ai Xing and show her that how much he love her. And ending everyone show up on their wedding that would be great. Huhuhu ! I really miss the shipping of our OTP and others. I wish to see our OTP Again in another drama more better than LFW.

  • I think the writers ran out of time…it should have been TZ and JJ together and RW and Ai Xing as suggested by the little video before each episode …BUT I think fans shipped TZ and AX more and look what happened. I for one did enjoy all the little things like the interplay between grandpa and Da Chuan and Zhi Xing. Loved the ending, hated that there was no time to explain anything…too bad because the drama was very enjoyable.

    • I think the writers didn’t really know what they were aiming for in the first place. That’s why they sorta wandered around all over the place…

      OR maybe they didn’t realize how insanely awesome Ai Xing & Tian Ze’s chemistry would be, so they decided to change it later on.

      • Speaking about the ending pairs… I was reading this article and I was confused. The producer said she planned to have Ai/Tian together all along… but then she said or the article said they wanted to avoid the “real couple jinx” (in the past, real couple acting as a couple in a drama don’t do good in the rating department) so they written Ai/Tian ending instead of Jing/Tian (’cause at first, I strongly believe the rumor of Amber/Tony was just to draw attention for the drama but it’s seem like they’re together for real! *kick garbage can*. That lucky b**** =P).
        Anywayz, rewatching Jing/Tian’s kissing scenes, it is weird seeing them, thinking they were already together then! *puke*

        Anywayz, heisui, you are right… I dont think the production team has expected chemistry between Ai/Tian >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Jing/Tian! Hahahahahaha!
        Speaking about Amber… she has just received Tw’s Film Festival’s Best Supporting Actress (from the movie LOVE). I was speechless. I saw the movie and I thought her character was forgettable again. I am thinking I am really blind? I am totally unbias (I’m serious! I don’t “dislike” Amber! I’m learning to “ai wu ji wu” (Tony loves Amber, I’ll try to like her too) and I’ve seen enough movie/drama to know which actress can act ba. I guess… I have different taste. Amber’s acting just doesn’t move me and I think she’s just a cutie pie / looks all good… but acting talents? Hm….

        • Yeah I’m confused too. T_T

          Hm well I haven’t seen that movie so I don’t really know. But I think Amber goes for the more “cute” and innocent image. I don’t think she can pull off a more mature image..especially after Invincible Shan Bao Mei..

  • thanks for the summary and providing a venue to air our gripes on the ending of this drama… .sorry haven’t commented in the while.. busy looking up how to send a plague online….

  • Thanks for the great work. I watched the first 3 episodes and knew the story was never gonna last 22 episodes so I skipped to the end
    Glad I did, As a guy I couldnt stand the two male leads other I have seen them in other shows (My Perfect Man and Pursuit of Happiness)
    I love Chen Yi Rong but her character was disappointing, I did not see hope for growth and Tony Yang was just terrible in this, not his acting just his character. He took Ai Xing for granted the whole time and was too selfish with his father and pursing JingJing.
    The female characters were too weak.

    Anyways thanks again.
    I was putting off watching this show for a long time and I am glad I didnt
    Your recap was wonderful
    BOOKMARKED!!

    • LOL good thing you predicted correctly and bailed before it was too late! I stuck with it the entire time and it definitely got really confusing and draggy by the ending. T_T I also liked Leroy better in My Perfect Man, I think he was underutilized in Love Forward. I LOVED TONY YANG though, haha! I agree about his character not being that great but I liked Tony a lot.

  • Wow. I agree with you 100%. I think that both men should fall for Ai Xing. It would make the story more interesting. The way RW reacted to AX in the beginning, I can actually see he falls for AX and changing for the better. RW and JJ do not make sense to me, too much history of pain with their dads. I also cannot see how RW can fall for JJ.
    AX and TZ bickering is really cute which is why I wanted them together sooo much. I only seen up to 12. I think I’m gonna skip to 18 and 19 then 22 just to see cute AX/TZ scenes =^_^=
    And you are right about Tony character being not so great.

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