Wednesday, August 20, 2014

TDRAMA Review | The Fall of Fall In Love With Me

Taiwanese Drama | 2014 | 20 Episodes
Romance | Comedy | Family

I stumbled upon Fall In Love With Me after realizing that I haven't watched a Taiwanese drama for quite some time. I decided to do just that and wanted to go for something new, something different, because I have been watching a marathon of Korean period dramas. After reading some blurbs and watching a promotional video or two, Fall In Love With Me looked very promising. Boy, was I in for a surprise...


Lu Tian Xing
handsome, brilliant but blunt and quite rude
Xiao Lu
sweet, gentle and easy to love

Aaron Yan did an amazing job in this drama. His portrayal of both Lu Tian Xing and Xiao Lu really impressed me. The difference between his two egos made a lot of impact. As Lu Tian Xing, he was arrogant, calculating, superior and difficult. He transforms into someone that is delightful, modest and easy going when he is in his other role as Xiao Lu. 

Another fact that I like about Aaron Yan here is that he seemed genuinely into his characters. It looked really easy for him, Natural and not awkward. I seldom see this in other actors. Most of them will take an episode or two before they completely adjust to their roles and co-stars. Aaron Yan looked comfortable and at ease. Also, there is this something that you can observe by watching an actor's eyes. Sometimes, if you watch them real close, you will see them thinking of their next line or action even as they deliver their dialogues. Yes, they can still be really, really good but there is just that touch of it all being technical and slightly forced. This is not the case with Aaron Yan in this drama. And for that, I give him a two thumbs up. 

Note: I just hope that Aaron Yan will be more careful in choosing his next drama. He did a great job here and I think he made great efforts to salvage the whole thing towards the end but there was just no saving it because of the bad writing.

Tao Le Si
hardworking, persevering and selfless 

I am so very sorry to say this (better skip this part if you are a Tia Li fan) but watching Tia Li's acting skills along side Aaron Yan's was just... It was just so inferior. She was mediocre at best but mostly stiff or blank and emotionless. (I did just say blank, didn't I? How can you call it acting when the impression that you gave off was blank?) There was hardly any variation in her expressions. She looked the same when she was happy, in love, shocked, insulted and still had the same expression on even when she nearly died! She also fades into the background in some scenes, which shouldn't have happened as she was the female lead. It made her co-stars look like they were going overboard. Her character was already unimpressive, pedestrian and passive, but her portrayal made it borderline pathetic. 

I also personally think that there was very little chemistry between her and Aaron Yan. Their love team just didn't work out for me. Again, I must apologize because I really think she was a bad choice as this drama's female lead.

Li Huan Huan
cute... devious... crazy... 

Oh. She. Was. Good. Li Huan Huan was just awful. She was slightly deranged and one would really hate her after what she did and what she became just to get between Lu Tian Xing and Tao Le Si. I really liked how Beatrice Fang portrayed Li Huan Huan. Like an onion with many layers, Li Huan Huan went from cute and mostly annoying to pitiful to devious and plotting to crazyville. Beatrice Fang nailed her character and some more.

Butler Fu | Uncle Bo
loyal, caring and all around wing-man

Butler Fu or Uncle Bo is one of my favorite characters in this drama. In fact, his scenes with Lu Tian Xing were some of the most memorable. He was like Lu Tian Xing's very own Alfred from Batman. It was such a shame that his role became less important and his scenes very few and far in between during the last 5 to 7 episodes.



It was heartbreaking and sad. And I am not talking about what happened in the story. I am referring to how the writers butchered the show. Fall In Love With Me started out really well because the progress of the story and the romance was exciting and the mix of characters were quite entertaining. And then... Everything just fell apart. This happened right around the 13th episode. Some might like Fall In Love With Me as a whole, but to me, it was a train wreck from that point on and it was a struggle to continue watching until the end.

Let me start from the beginning...

"I decided to take a break from advertising for three months." 
Lu Tian Xing (Aaron Yan) is a handsome and brilliant CEO of an advertising giant. He wanted to take some time off from work to find his passion for making commercials and ad campaigns again. He felt this way because what he wanted to work on were inspirational and unforgettable commercials while people around him were more focused on making money. He announced his decision publicly, bailed and went as far as to disguise himself to shake his own people off because they kept chasing after him to try and change his mind.

"My name is Xiao Lu. Xiao Lu as in little deer."
After his escape, Lu Tian Xing bumped into Tao Le Si (Tia Li) and her people from OZ Advertising. They were filming a small-time ad and they mistook him as one of their temp workers. Lu Tian Xing introduced himself as Xiao Lu. Since he was able to maintain his cover, Lu Tian Xing joined them as they work and realized that he enjoyed the easy and family-like environment around the people from OZ.

Lu Tian Xing later learned that Tao Le Si she is the sister of an ad director that inspired him into advertising when he was younger. This man also died while saving him in an accident. Tao Le Si is now managing her brother's sinking company, OZ Advertising. Lu Tian Xing decided to help her and OZ because of everything that her brother did for him in the past.

"Xiao Lu, meet everyone here at OZ." 

As Xiao Lu, Lu Tian Xing joined OZ Advertising as a freelancer. He gave them great ideas for their ad campaigns and helped them win new projects. Sometimes, he even have to let his real identity come to their aid. And the more time Lu Tian Xing, as Xiao Lu, spent with To Le Si...

The more he realized that he was falling in love with her... 

But Tao Le Si only has feelings for Xiao Lu... 

That was good, right? At this point, everything was going really well. I kept anticipating what will happen next. How will he make her fall in love with the real him? Will his secret be exposed or will he confess? Is Tao Le Si going to forgive him? What will happen to OZ?

It was very amusing to watch the little things that happened as they worked and spent time together. It made it all so entertaining. I also liked the relationship arc between the main leads, especially since it became a complicated love triangle between a man with two identities and the woman he loves. It was funny, silly and refreshing.

The other relationships surrounding the couple also added a lot to the story. I already meantioned Lu Tian Xing's butler and wing man, Butler Fu. The characters from the OZ crew and their side stories were also cute, though a little immature and childish. Tao Le Si's family was also very entertaining.

So, what made this drama go from "Ooh, that's nice..." to "Argh! I can't watch anymore of this @#%*!"? What, in my opinion, went wrong? 

Well, as I said, the writers did a very bad job on the second half of story. It was like they were out to ruin it for everyone. Some parts were so confusing and surreal that it almost gave me a permanent crease between my eyebrows. More careful thinking should also have been involved when they were writing their characters. 

Allow me to enumerate my reasons...

 * There was hardly any character growth for the female lead.
→ She was helpless and unimpressive at the beginning and remained so until the very end. She just stood by as everything happened around her. Not. Good.

 * I think a lot of people were childish in this story. 
→ Considering that most of them worked in the advertising industry... I was expecting people to be a little more cutthroat and professional. Or at least not act like hormonal teenagers. Yes, it is a romantic-comedy and many of their antics were cute and amusing, but there has to be a limit somehow or at least a difference when faced with important decisions.

 * Everyone was just plain helpless.
→ They were just oh so very irritatingly understanding! Martyrs all of them! The good guys did not win over the bad guys here. They made very little effort and then waited on the sidelines until the bad guys realized their faults and gave everyone their happy ending.

 * Badly written characters galore!
→ It was painful to watch most of the antagonists in the story. They made one of them cry in the rain! A full grown man was crying in the rain because his mama doesn't love him enough! And then he ran away... Need I say more?

 * The plot explosion.
→ The plot was twisted and bent and never got straightened out again. The focus of the story shifted and the characters made a lot of unbelievable and irritating decisions. There were parts that will make one go mad because they were so illogical and unreasonable! A whole load of unnecessary things just kept happening. Were they added to make it longer? Or, perhaps, the writers believed that it will be more interesting that way? I just don't know.

So there. Sorry if that was a bit harsh and brutal. I am not a premier or expert critic but I really think that they just made a big, big mess out of it all after the big reveal. There was no saving it and I was so glad my suffering was over after the final scene. It was ruined, anticlimactic, and again, sad and disappointing.

TERE TEREBOL | i  dramas


Post a Comment