Ouran: Ep 2

Drama ReviewsJapanese Dramas

OURAN IS SO HILARIOUS.  I admit it, I’m hooked.  It’s nice refreshing my faint memory of the anime/manga, especially since each episode aligns the episodes in the anime.  It’s not serious at all.  It actually feels more like a cheesy play.  BUT I STILL LOVE IT.  There’s definitely not enough in each episode though.

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Ouran: Ep 1

Drama ReviewsJapanese Dramas

WELLL I know I was rather critical of Ouran at first but…I ended up watching the first episode anyway. ._.  I mean, it’s OURAN, how could I not watch it?  If you’re watching it, keep in mind you should be watching it for laughs, not for a sparkling smooth rendition of Ouran.  I knew it would be cheesy, but this time I just laughed along with the cheesy dorkiness.  And it was fun.

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Who’s the One: Ep 13 (Finale)

Drama ReviewsTaiwanese Dramas

I’m so sad that Who’s the One is already over!!!  I can’t believe how amazing this episode was!!!!!!!!!  Watching this drama is definitely worth it.  I thought the drama would end abruptly, but in the end, they pulled it off so well!  Thank goodness this was such a strong episode, packed with wonderful Tie Nan x Ruo Wei AND Tie Nan x Qian Qian goodnessOf course, it is the last episode, so it’s to be expected.

We start off with Ruo Wei’s troubles at work.  She is about to get promoted to Assistant Director, but is shortchanged by her Director, who promotes Daisy instead.  Why?  Because Daisy landed a huge deal that’ll bring in more dough.  After Ruo Wei finds out the news, Daisy taunts her with the information she stole from her lap top.  Daisy threatens Ruo Wei, and tells her to resign or else she’ll release the information and ruin Tie Nan.  What’s more ironic is that Daisy calls her a weakling…uh, who’s the one using underhanded methods here?!?!?  I feel bad for Ruo Wei, because she’s worked so hard to get promoted, and also because she’s an excellent practitioner.

Ruo Wei tries to forget her troubles by celebrating her birthday early with Tie Nan.  They go to her hometown, where they take pictures together in their old school uniforms.  Ruo Wei aims to make all her birthday wishes true.

Meanwhile, Karen is having dinner with Melvin.  She tells him that this is the first time they’ve ever had dinner together.  Melvin, being the jerk he is, goes, “Really?”  Oh, Melvin, if only you knew.  Karen brings up her transfer to America, but Melvin is completely against it.  She wields her weapon–resignation.  GO KAREN!!!

“If you won’t let me resign, I’ll just resign…I came to Venus so that I could grow.  I wanted to face different challenges…I want to change environments.”

I admire how motivated she is to better herself and work hard.  She knows what she wants, and she’s not afraid to break out of her comfort zone to try new things.  And she’s not afraid of leaving behind her long-time crush (aka MELVIN) and her secure job for her dreams.

Melvin, STILL the oblivious guy, protests that she’s still dating Bryan.  And I’m sure Melvin is still completely confused as to why Karen would ever want to resign.  Karen clarifies that her feelings can’t be forced to change.  (HINT, HINT!)

After they finish their picnic, Ruo Wei wants Tie Nan to write her a birthday message…and he writes…

“Knowing you is my life’s best thing.”

AWWW.  Ruo Wei returns his message, telling him that knowing him was also hte best thing of her life.  Isn’t this basically like a confession?

She tells him she has one last wish…and she leans in for a quick kiss.  YES!  It’s so cute how she goes “Woah” after she kisses him.  Of course, it’s a bit awkward, so she gets up and acts like nothing happened.  But…Tie Nan hugs her!  AHHH.

The moment is quickly ruined though, because Ruo Wei ditches Tie Nan there.  She’s had her birthday wishes fulfilled, and now she’s ready to sacrifice her job for Tie Nan.  She resigns at the clinic and moves out of her apartment, ready to disappear from the plastic surgery business like Daisy wanted her to.  Tie Nan desperately searches for her after he finds out the truth.  :'(  Why are they turning on the angst?

Ruo Wei ties up her loose ends, which means she has to dump Melvin one and for all.  She gracefully thanks him for being good to her, but tells him that Tie Nan is the only one in her heart.  Melvin looks crushed, but I think he had to know this was coming, unless he’s more oblivious than I think he is (which is already REALLY oblivious)  I half expected him to refuse to let go of her hand when she left.

Tie Nan visits a chapel for more brooding over Ruo Wei.  Karen meets him there, and he confides in her.  She calls him “Tie Nan Ge,” and he calls her “Qian Qian” like the old times.  It’s like when they’re together, they can revert back to their old selves.  I love this scene with Karen & Tie Nan!  Although I didn’t ship this couple, I love how they’re both so similar, trying so hard for their love.  And I like how Karen understands Tie Nan so well.  Their chemistry is much better now than it was before.

Tie Nan: “I’ve always wanted to become a person who everyone likes.  But I failed…Now even my best friend has left me.  I don’t know what’s left in my life.”

Karen: “Is she really just your best friend?  Did you not even realize, you’ve never changed for me.  You changed for Shen Ruo Wei.  You two are perfect for each other.  And you’ve already started to like her.  I have no way of giving you happiness, so I hope you find your happiness…Can I ask you to live for yourself?”

[Great directing #1] Well there was FINALLY some parts where I noticed some noteworthy directing.  I liked the shot (top left pic) where Karen is sitting behind Tie Nan.

Fast forward through the confrontation scene with Tie Nan & Melvin.  Tie Nan leaves, and Karen bids him goodbye.  They clasp hands, and she tearfully tells him to take care of himself.

“Qian Qian, we’re both going to be happy.”


[Great directing #2]  AHH now why is the second noteworthy moment with..KAREN?  I loveeee the part where we see Tie Nan in the car, and then he rolls up the window…revealing the reflection of Karen.  Yes!!!

After Tie Nan leaves…he gets in a car accident.  Was this necessary?  No.  But apparently Melvin isn’t as dumb as I thought he was, because he tells Tie Nan that the un-mailed letter has weighed on his heart all this time.  Well, he also tells us the obvious–that he’s done all this for himself.  No duh!  Tell us something we don’t know!

First off…I must point out some fashion blunders…what’s with Tie Nan’s sunglasses? (top left)  And I normally love Ruo Wei’s style but…I’m not entirely sure about that fur jacket she’s sporting.

Tie Nan recovers quickly and goes back to his village.  He thinks that Ruo Wei has gone back to his old house. (since technically it’s her property)  And he’s right!  Ruo Wei is the bridesmaid at a wedding.  Hilariously, the groom is having marriage anxiety and refuses to come down from a windmill because he doesn’t want to get married just yet.

RW: “How did you know I was here?”
TN: “No matter where you are, I’ll be able to find you.  Aren’t you sorry?  You think that by sacrificing yourself, I’ll be happy?”
RW: “I just want you to be happy.”
TN: “Without you by my side, how could I possibly be happy?”

AHHH I love all the cute things they say in this drama!!

“From this point on, I want to be with you forever.”

Ruo Wei & Tie Nan attend the marriage.  When the pastor asks the bride & groom if they do, Ruo Wei & Tie Nan say “I do” in their heads.  The pastor tells the bride and groom to kiss…Tie Nan and Ruo Wei suddenly walk up to each other…AND MAKE OUT KISS before the actual bride and groom kiss.  AHAHAHA.  I’M LOVING THIS.  AN IMPROMPTU MARRIAGE!!!!!  And the song that kicks in during the kiss is PERFECT!!!  And the fact that they get married in Tie Nan’s hometown makes it even BETTER.  (And then it dawns on me…oh, so THAT’S why they made Ruo Wei’s bridesmaid dress white!)

Back to Melvin & Karen…Melvin makes a surprise visit to Karen, and tells her he wants her back. Karen accepts, and Melvin & Karen run down the hall hand in hand.  This was too easy of an ending with Melvin & Karen.  I’m not satisfied at all with this part, although I do want Karen to find her happiness.

Karen: “Can I still speak my mind in the future?”
Melvin: “Of course, that’s what you should do as an assistant.” < oh the irony of it all.

The episode ends showing Tie Nan visiting his father for the first time since he disappeared.  He’s scared of facing his father, but Ruo Wei tells him not to be scared, because she’s there with him.  AWWWWWW.  The door opens, and Tie Nan goes, “Dad, it’s me, Tie Nan, and this is my wife, Ruo Wei.”

Thoughts on the ending
Overall, I’m satisfied with the ending…I mean, we all knew Tie Nan & Ruo Wei were going to end up together.  I like how they tied up the loose ends in this episode.  I thought 13 episodes weren’t going to be enough, but it actually worked out quite well.  I wish they could release a special showing what Tie Nan & Ruo Wei’s married life is like though. 

As for Karen, hooray, she got her man in the end, but all throughout the drama I became more and more convinced that Melvin IS NOT the man.  The ‘happy ending’ with Karen & Melvin really wasn’t really necessary–I would’ve been satisfied if Karen had embarked on her search for happiness and moved on from Melvin.  But, of course, this drama wants the ideal happy ending, so oh well.

MARS: Ep 1

Drama ReviewsTaiwanese Dramas

Note that this is an older drama, so be ready for the long hairstyles like back in the day of ISWAK Season 1 and Devil Beside You.  Overall, I love the feel of the drama.  Even though it’s an older drama, it’s filmed very well.  It even has a fresher feel than some of the current dramas today, with warm lighting and some beautiful small details.  I also love the characters.  They seem to be opposites, but are they?  They both have a common similarity:  they have something they need to overcome.  No matter how outgoing or how timid you are, everyone has something they need to overcome.  I like how even Chen Ling has trouble facing himself.

  • Han Qi Luo (Barbie Xu):  She’s a very reserved and quiet art student.  She seems to have some kind of emotional trauma from something that happened in the past, which is why she avoids people.
  • Chen Ling (Vic Zhou):  He’s boisterous and also a bit clueless.  He’s popular with the girls and races around on his motorcycle.

Chen Ling first meets Qi Luo when he asks her for directions in the park.  She sketches a map on a piece of paper for him and quickly walks away.  It turns out she drew her map on the back of one of her nice sketches.

Chen Ling visits his dad’s friend (who’s like an uncle to him) in the hospital.  The friend got in an accident, and can no longer ride his motorcycle.  So he lets Chen Ling have his motorcycle.

Qi Luo & Chen Ling meet again when they end up in the same college class.  Chen Ling hilariously tries to talk to Qi Luo, who ignores him because she thinks he’s a jerk.  Chen Ling keeps on asking her if she remembers him, and even starts poking her head going “Ding dong, ding dong.”  He means no harm, but he should probably realize how agitated Qi Luo is by his antics.  The teacher throws a chalkboard eraser at Chen Ling..but it ends up hitting his other friend.

Chen Ling’s friend reveals that Qi Luo was one of his classmates in the past.  He says that she has a “man phobia” and that she refused to hold hands with any guy.

Then comes the dreaded read-out-loud-in-front-of-the-class moment.  When Qi Luo reads out loud, the jerks can’t help but complain about her quiet reading.  Chen Ling throws a note at Qi Luo, but she doesn’t even pick it up.  So he picks it up for her and puts it on her desk.  Ahaha.  He’s so persistent, in a cute way.  His note says that he has her sketch.

Thus leads them to eating lunch together.

“If you won’t say anything, I might use my tongue to open your mouth.”

Oh my goodness.  Chen Ling is so cute with Qi Luo.  He’s just like a kid.  A grown up kid.

Da Ye follows Qi Luo from a distance after she leaves the cafeteria.  (not in a stalkerish way, more in a curious protector like way)  OOO.  Will this be the LOVE TRIANGLE?  When Qi Luo looks back at him, he walks past her as though he wasn’t following her.  D’awww.

Qi Luo stays in the art room, working diligently even when everyone else goes home.  Her perverted teacher seizes the opportunity to victimize her.  I feel SO BAD for Qi Luo, because she’s paralyzed with fear as her teacher starts to assault her.  She has a flashback as he assaults her.  It seems she was also assaulted by some other adult.  🙁

BUT WAIT.  CHEN LING TO THE RESCUE!!!!  He intimidates the teacher and saves the day.  Qi Luo & Chen Ling have their first real conversation, as they talk about Mars, the god of war.

“He was a dark hero who helped people overcome tragedies.”

Ohhhh I get why the drama is called MARS now.  Qi Luo will overcome her past.  As for Chen Ling, we see that he has a fear of mirrors.  Or perhaps it’s just the fear of looking at himself?   Symbolism much?  So, Chen Ling also has his own ‘tragedy’ to overcome.  Interesting.  Not much of a cliffhanger though.

Who’s the One? Ep 12

Drama ReviewsTaiwanese Dramas

Normally I don’t watch Taiwanese dramas, but Drunken To Love You and Who’s the One (Taiwanese title is “My Perfect Man”) are great exceptions.  Episode 12 of Who’s the One had a few cute scenes with Ruo Wei & Tie Nan.  Ahh!  Finally, we have some more romance developments leading toward Ruo Wei & Tie Nan getting together.

Not gonna recap the full episode; I just wanna share a few cute moments. 😀

Ruo Wei finally gets promoted at work, but she doesn’t seem to be very happy about it, because she’s got some love problems.  She goes out for karaoke and drinking to celebrate, and gets drunk.  Tie Nan happens to be at the karaoke place, and follows her around as she drunkenly walks around.  This scene was so cute!!!!!  Then she calls him on his cellphone, and she orders him to bring her some food.  She gets up and is about to fall…when TIE NAN RUSHES OVER TO CATCH HER.  She looks at him in disbelief and thinks she must be REALLY drunk, because Tie Nan actually came to save her.  AHHH.

This is just too cute.  They are meant to be together.

Tie Nan and Ruo Wei are reunited, as Tie Nan cooks her breakfast and offers to take her out to celebrate her birthday.  D’awww.  The two of them look so much happier together!!!

And last but not least, let’s point out another important part of the episode:  Melvin is officially an insensitive jerk, primarily toward Karen.

Karen gives him a report that she worked all night on.  He tells her that she gets 100 points as his assistant, but 0 points as a woman.  OH NO HE DIDN’T.  Melvin says that to him, there are two types of women: the professional ones who he respects for their careers, and the ones he wants to take care of.  He says that women shouldn’t be workaholics.  Um.

Thank goodness Karen is his assistant, because she’s rational and keeps his illogical, flighty ways in check.  She points out (and rightly so) that Ruo Wei just so happens to be a workaholic too, and that Ruo Wei has a great career.  Melvin: “Oh, she’s just working too hard.  I want to protect her!”

Seriously, Melvin has got it all. wrong.  Ruo Wei is a strong, independent, AND successful career woman.  She doesn’t need Melvin butting in to make her career a success.  Sure, he’s just trying to help her, but as Ruo Wei tells him in this episode, she feels like he’s belittling her capabilities.  Ruo Wei is perfectly capable of climbing up the ranks in her job WITHOUT Melvin’s help.

Karen just tries to give Melvin her honest input on his decisions.  But Melvin DOESN’T LISTEN to her because he thinks he’s the only right one around.  Which makes me wonder how he became CEO if he doesn’t listen to people’s opinions, let alone his right-hand-woman’s opinion.

Other thoughts
I like how my views on Qian Qian/Karen & Melvin have changed since the beginning of the drama.  We’re seeing more and more that Melvin is not the perfect man we once thought he was.  Even though he ‘looked’ and seemed perfect, in fact…he’s far from it.  And now I realize that part of the message could be that Tie Nan was perfect in the beginning, even before his surgery.

As for Qian Qian/Karen, I used to dislike her because she treated Tie Nan so harshly.  Now I commend her for being so successful in her career, AND for standing up to Melvin.  Melvin is SCARY.

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