Most Beautiful Time: Eps 1-4 & Why I Stopped Watching

Chinese DramasDrama Reviews

(Also more commonly known as Best Time, alternate title is Secrets Hidden By Time)

Most Beautiful Time / Best Time has been a highly anticipated drama due to the casting of the popular Janine Chang & Wallace Chung as well as the fact that this is an adaptation of one of Tong Hua’s novels. (Author of Bu Bu Jing Xin)  For me the main draw was Janine & my lack of currently airing c-dramas to watch.  I’m not a huge Janine fan but I was curious to see how she could handle this role and whether or not her acting has improved.

As you can tell by the title, I actually decided to stop watching Best Time right after episode 1.  I skimmed through episodes 2-4 out of curiosity & the possibility of the drama improving, but it basically did nothing to change my decision.  So my review will be about my initial impressions & why I decided to stop watching Best Time, since after all I did write up a very enthusiastic and hopeful anticipated-drama post about it. >__<  ***Please note that the purpose of the post isn’t to discourage you from watching Best Time, nor is it to criticize the drama overly harshly.  These are just my own opinions of the drama and I do not mean to deflate anyone’s own opinion.***

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I’m sorry to say that even Janine as the heroine, Su Man, is not enough to make me stay to watch Best Time.  In fact the big problem is that I don’t even like her character at all!!!  Su Man is a very successful corporate employee, lives in a swanky house that is only possible in dramas, and…surprise surprise, she’s dwelling on her unrequited love, Song Yi.  Right from the beginning I felt very iffy about her character because in the very first scene of ep1, she dreams that Song Yi is about to kiss her but then her dream gets interrupted. She spends like the next 5 minutes complaining on and on about how horrible it is that her dream was interrupted because..OMGAWD..SONG YI WAS GONNA KISS HER.  NO ONE CARES, SU MAN!!!!!!!

Ok ok so maybe Su Man’s complaining about her dream is a very trivial matter.  My main issue isn’t her very ideal and romanticized view of love but rather the things she does to pursue this love.  For instance she finds out that Song Yi is now in town (she actually has a blind date with him but she screws it up because she didn’t know it was going to be him T_T) so OF COURSE the logical thing to do is to quit her job and take on a new job at his company to try to get close to him!  (sarcasm) OMG what is Su Man thinking!?!? Why does she have to give up her whole career just to chase after a guy who doesn’t even remember her!?!?  ARGHHHH.

Things get worse when Su Man schemes various things to try to get closer to Song Yi, ranging from coincidentally bumping into him at the office to pretending to drown so that he will save her and give her CPR.  T_______T”  I am not amused by this at all even though it is trying to be humorous.  I could see this happening in a high school rom-com but why in the world is this happening in a rom-com with adults.  Just why.  =_=  So, my main impression of Su Man is that she is being immature and trying to manipulate her way into Song Yi’s life all with the justification that this will help her achieve her ‘dream’/win the love of her life.  I can’t root for her because really, who wants to see her playing damsel in distress, constantly chasing around Song Yi, and butting heads with Li Cheng (the other male lead) for the WHOLE DRAMA?

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Well, some of you might say, ok maybe Su Man is not a very likeable heroine but hey…AT LEAST THERE’S EYE CANDY..RIGHT?  I can confirm, YES there is eye candy AKA Wallace Chung as Lu Li Cheng and Jia Nai Liang as Song Yi.  Li Cheng and Su Man are like oil & water right off the bat and, if things are going to go according to drama-rules, they will probably end up together.  However it’s been debated because in the actual novel, Wallace’s character is supposed to be more like the 2nd lead.  I’m actually not a big Wallace Chung fan because I actually think I haven’t seen him in any other dramas. O_O But I do think that his acting is better than Jia Nai Liang’s so far..although this might be because Lu Li Cheng is more prickly and sarcastic whereas Song Yi is like a stoic perfect gentlemen.  And I ADMIT IT…..I was mainly gazing at Song Yi throughout eps 1-4, AHAHAHAHAA.  SORRY WALLACE……

Unfortunately, despite the eye candy, the chemistry between the main leads is lacking.  I actually felt more for the bromance between Song Yi and Li Cheng than I felt for the love triangle of Song Yi/Su Man/Li Cheng.  o_o I am not expecting sizzling chemistry right from episode 1 but considering that I felt nothing during all of Su Man’s scenes with either leading man, I’m not sure how the chemistry will be in the future episodes.  (Man all of those stills looked really intimate and sizzling though…… O_O If the chemistry gets better later on let me know! 😉 )

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Other things that are lacking are the office scenes; not only is Best Time a romance, it is also partly an office drama.  It kinda feels like something out of SOP Queen where everyone just wears pretty clothes and works in a very sophisticated office building. T___T  There is nothing interesting about the office scenes at all and I’m not looking forward to all of the office drama that is bound to ensue from Su Man’s inevitable relationship with either Song Yi or Li Cheng.

AND!! What is up with the dubbing?!? I am quite used to the dubbing in c-dramas and I think I’ve seen both the worst & the best of Chinese dubbing..but seriously in the 1st episode I got so annoyed by the voice that they chose for Janine that I didn’t feel like watching it anymore. O__O”  I got more used to the chosen voices in eps 2-4 but still, the dubbing here is an obvious miss and I wish they had chosen more natural sounding voices for the lead characters.

Overall

Again, I know I’m being very critical in this post, but I’m not trying to burst anyone’s bubble.  In fact if you are enjoying Best Time that’s great and if not well then welcome to the club.  I guess I was hoping that Most Beautiful Time would be a higher quality c-drama because hey, shouldn’t it do justice to the original novel?  But so far it seems like Best Time is your average c-drama just with a big name cast.  I think that for now, I will just resign myself to looking at all of the pretty stills.  T_T”

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 don’t know how much of it is the fault of the writer and/or the actor, I still can’t get over how bad RING RING BELL was, particularly the way Janine played the character. Your description on her characterization of her role in this drama reminds me of that.

    And can I say it again? I hate dubbed dramas!

    • LOL I’m glad I didn’t watch Ring Ring Bell then. I think I watched the first episode but overall wasn’t even interested in the synopsis anyways. Yeah I’m not impressed with Janine’s acting here in Best Time, she tends to repeat the same expressions over and over.

      The dubbing in this drama especially got on my nerves, I’m not sure why since usually I can stand the dubbing in c-dramas.

    • This is just your opinion only. This drama is one of the best dramas I have ever seen so far. I like Wallace Chung and all his other dramas. You like criticizing those actors you don’t like that is your problem. This drama has a very high TV audience rating and is very popular in China. Both Wallace and Janine act very well in Most Beautiful Time.

      • Yes, this is my opinion, I’m sure there are many other people who enjoyed this drama a lot. 🙂 I did like Janine’s acting in Sunny Happiness and I have a positive overall impression of her. So my criticisms are not based on any dislike for Janine on my part.

  • To be honest, I don’t think it’s entirely the drama’s fault.
    This book by Tong Hua could be considered on of her worse books, the book’s plot line in itself was pretty ridiculous and the ending was terrible. I was hoping that the drama would change things up so it wouldn’t be quite so bleh, but apparently no luck :/ Maybe Tong Hua should stick to writing angsty historical books.
    Also I hate heroines where their whole world revolves around the guy, seriously please get some common sense and you know, some DIGNITY? ;n;

    • Ok thanks for this, it’s good to get the perspective of someone who has read the original novel. I didn’t read the novel hehe so I don’t know how faithful the drama is to the novel or how good the novel is.

    • “Also I hate heroines where their whole world revolves around the guy, seriously please get some common sense and you know, some DIGNITY?” – totally agree with this comment!! I’m a female and even I look down on those type of characters!

  • Sounds a bit like ‘It Started With a Kiss” with the obsessed heroine. One of the reasons I could tolerate that was because the heroine was so young, but a grown woman pretending to drown to get a man? Even Xiang Qin in ISWAK wasn’t that desperate!

    Am I missing something here? Why doesn’t Su Man just ask Song Yi for a date, why the need for all the pretense? I have to agree with you, this is acting like a teenager, not a grown up woman.

    I was thinking about watching this, but now it seems like I needn’t bother because unless she’s very young, has a boatload of charisma, or great acting, that type of heroine is soo unappealing to me. Thanks^-^

    • Yeah there are several dramas that have the typical obsessed heroine. T_T I also don’t know why Su Man doesn’t just straight-up confess to Song Yi. I guess she thinks it’s better to get close to him first..AND THEN ask. UGH.

  • This was on my “To watch list” but I might have to pass after reading this post 😛 I’ve been in Chinese drama mode of late and have been trying to find some good series…not having much luck. Tried out Hello Gorgeous…for some unknown reason. Watched 8 episodes before dropping due to unlikeable leads and horribly trite and overdone plot, but I do have some hopes for the Sawan Biang Chinese version, tho some reviews haven’t been too favorable… It’s fairly typical in many ways…but after 5 episodes, I’m still liking it.

    • It is a rather average c-drama, nothing here that wows me or makes me want to watch more. Heard about Hello Gorgeous but wasn’t really interested despite the eye candy. I haven’t heard of Sawan Biang though, what is it about?

      • Well, the Chinese version of Sawan Biang is called Love is the Best which…is actually WAY different from the original Thai drama it is based on. In the original storyline, the heroine’s older sister marries the father of the man she’s obsessed with to spite him for rejecting her. Of course, said obsession uses her beloved little sister to bully her and eventually falls in love with her after physically abusing her, insulting her, etc. Of course they live happily ever after even though he treated her so horribly. I don’t get why good girls end up with men who treat them like crap…I don’t care if they are hurt and slowly reform, it just doesn’t jive in my book.

        The Chinese version…yeah, can’t really say as the plots aren’t 100% similar but it’s vaguely following the same schema with a whole lot of different twists. In the Thai drama the older sister didn’t go after the father solely to destroy the son, but in this one she is doing that.

  • Sounds like it should be in an anime set in some high school… From what I read in this post, real life scenarios like such are way off… In fact, purposely trying to drown yourself to get a guy’s attention is borderline psychotic. Scrap borderline, it IS psychotic!

          • Yes, it is surely a desperate move! And there are actually people like that in real life! I’ve witnessed even crazier scenarios; a relationship with a dude I was dating cut himself in the same room as me, I was turned away from him at the time and he didn’t say anything so I didnt see. When I turned around I saw him do it very, very slooowlyy. He was like scratching his skin with the blade of a scissors. I think he was aiming for the shocked “omg dont do this” reaction. AND HE was the one who broke up the relationship, he just didn’t want to look like the bad guy. He was fake crying and all and I stopped sobbing about the break up situation coz I was overwhelmed with “WTF? This a$$! Seriously!” I told him to stop it, but really in my mind I was thinking, “if you are serious about cutting yourself at least do it faster enough so I can’t stop you, faker!”

            • Well the weird thing with Su Man in this drama (or even with these kinds of heroines in general) is that her behavior is portrayed as acceptable and normal when she is actually manipulating other people. T_T ‘All in the name of love’ is what she would probably say..

              Oh wow. O________O Just reading about your experience, I’m not quite sure what to even say. O____O So he was playing the victim even though he was the one breaking up with you? What the heck? Also I hope you got out of there ASAP!!!!!!!!

              • I might just watch a few episodes just to observe the ridiculousness, it seems ridiculous enough for it to be oddly interesting. But, I probably wouldn’t last an episode lol!

                You wouldn’t believe what he did after, I tell people and they just laugh. Ah, yes, in a nutshell that’s what he was doing, ALL through the relationship too! When he gets me upset he would find some reason to be sad and makes this sad expression so I didn’t even get to be upset about whatever it was! What did I see in this dude *slaps forehead* Thank goodness it didn’t last very long!

                • Omg what did he do afterwards? (if you don’t mind me asking you got me curious hehe)

                  I don’t know, for me it wasn’t even like the so-ridiculous-that-it’s-amusing feeling. If you can survive it let me know..

                • Believe it or not, after I took the scissors away from him he… (omg, typing this just makes me so embarrassed to even admit I dated this person!) HE STOMPED ONE FOOT ON THE GROUND AND EXCLAIMED “I CAN’T BE A MODEL ANYMORE!” (Coz he cut [more like scratched] himself on the arm…) *triple slaps self in the forehead!!!!* Just because he was taking modelling classes which he had to pay for he thought he was sooooo good-looking. I mean, seriously, it would make more sense to whinge like that if he were a self-centered girl or gay guy (and I apologise to the gay community if I’m wrong), but he’s not gay, and a super vain straight dude is soooo *shudder* annoying!!! Was I suppose to be sorry for him, even though he was the one who broke up with me, just because he apparently could no longer be a model anymore due to superficial scratches he caused to his own body to gain sympathy from being the perpetrator of a break-up?

                  Sure, I’ll give it a go and let you know after Pursuit of Happiness. I’m still waiting for Pursuit of Happiness to be fully broadcast before I marathon it hehehe! I hope that will be soon because yesterday I had just finished watching a series with a tragic ending to one of my most beloved historical character and I need something to wash the wounds with lol

                • Omg I admit I totally laughed. He was the one who scratched himself, he can’t blame you for the demise of his modelling future!! *face palm*

                  Ooooo what drama was that? And I’m happy you are thinking of watching poh Hehehe. It is not a depressing drama BTW just very introspective with the ups and downs of the main characters 🙂

                • Oh, it’s not live drama, it’s a Japanese anime called ‘Hakuouki’. It centres around the events of a girl, dressed as a boy (to travel more easily, and later to not cause a disturbance when she is staying with a bunch of samurai), and her stay with the Shinsengumi (the bunch of samurai). It focuses on the leaders of the Shinsengumi in the 1800s up until their demise which in history was soooo tragic. There is a little sciency-biological twist to it, but the anime stays close enough to the course of history along with keeping most of the real-life personality and character traits of the members of the Shinsengumi.

                  It had pretty good reviews from IMDB 8/10! But, I don’t think I like it enough because the historical person I’m obsessed with wasn’t shown as much I wanted him to be. In real life he was a prodigy at the sword, by the age of around 18 he was known to be badass super good. He was ruthless in battle (and very efficient), he was very strict and rough when teaching his students to a point it was scary (he also taught sword skills and was known to be VERY good; rumoured to be the best out of the 10 captains of the Shinsengumi, and he was the second youngest!). But, when not killing enemies and teaching, it is said that he was well-mannered and friendly, always joking around with his peers, and playing with little kids.

                  Like, come on! This is what all the girls fall for when watching these Chinese ancient drama series lol! Oh, and he gets struck by illness at a young age, around 24 years old or so, he was so sick that he was bedridden and his family couldn’t take him away during the war, so they were forced to leave without him and died ALONE. T_T.

                  To be honest, I probably can’t judge this anime objectively because I’m already infatuated with the portrayals of the Shinsengumi through modern media and story-telling. So I don’t know if the reviews on it are as good as they should be, but I can say that if this anime were a live series period drama, I think it would totally rock! Not sure if you’re into anime though!

                • Yes I used to watch anime a lot, now not as often anymore but occasionally I will pick up a very good anime. I think my tastes in anime changed as now I prefer the darker anime. Anyways I have heard of that anime before but heard the the heroine was kinda annoying/stereotypical so I didn’t watch it. >__<

  • C-dramas and TW-dramas have been leaving a pretty bad taste in my mouth recently :/ That’s not to say that K-dramas have been doing much better though, what with Heirs dragging on and on and being overhyped.

    • I think it depends on which c-dramas or tw-dramas you’ve been watching. I thought so too, particularly with tw-dramas that flopped recently but then another blogger pointed out to me that there has also been many successes with the more serious dramas. (An Innocent Mistake, A Good Wife, etc.) I think it is mainly the rom-coms that are seriously failing, HEH.

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What’s New?

-Quartet ep4: Seems like the drama is focusing on one character's story in each episode. Now that we've gotten to see each main character's background story, I wonder what direction the drama will take. Each episode leaves me still impressed with each lead actor...seriously. Matsuda Ryuhei is 100% Beppu here. I even forget that Beppu is acted by Matsuda Ryuhei when watching his character!

-Kamenashi Kazuya, Kimura Fumino, and Yamashita Tomohisa will be starring in an upcoming spring jdrama called Boku, Unmei no Hito desu. Kamenashi and Yamashita are reuniting again, after their popular roles in the high school drama Nobuta wo Produce.

-EVERYONE. I highly recommend watching the Taiwanese romance movie Our Times, starring Vivian Sung, Dino Lee, and Darren Wang. It is TOOOOO GOOD. It's your usual high school-first-love-story but it does it SO WELL. GOOO WATCH IT.

-On an indefinite hiatus.

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