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What You Think You Can Find In A Taiwanese Drama…. and You Probably Would.

Hee hee, I’ve been itching to write this post for a long, long time, and so I’ve decided to take a break from Autumn’s Concerto Recaps and write it, like finally!:DD 

Yes, so as the title suggests, this is going to be a post on What You Think You Can Find In A Taiwanese Drama… and You Probably Would. Sounds familiar? That’s right, it’s the twin of this entry — http://thoughtsramble.livejournal.com/3120.html  I must clarify first though, that I’m not saying a cliche in Taiwanese Dramas can’t be found in Korean Dramas and vice versa, so there’re some points that I’ve mentioned below that might coincide with what you think a Korean Drama is like. Some of these points are made in comparison with Korean Dramas, because that’s the other type of dramas that everyone knows, right?:D [ Yeah… admittedly, Japanese Dramas are quite… neglected D:] So without further ado, let’s start!:D 

1.        The Guy must be the worst guy you have ever seen.

            Yeahhhhh the guy got to be the most badass that you’ve ever met — mean, bad tempered, short tempered,
            conceited, arrogant, narcissistic, easily pissed off.. You name it, they have it. 

2.         He’s usually the richer of the two.

            He usually comes from a family that is filthy rich, which brings me on to the third point.

3.         There’s an evil mother somewhere, somewhere.

            Why is the Guy filthy rich then? It’s because he has a parent, usually a mother, who is a career woman and
            works hard to give the best to her son. This results in the neglect of emotional bringing up of the Guy, hence
            he grows up to either 1. thinks that money can settle everything or 2. hates the idea of money.

4.         The Girl is usually poor.

             Sounds familiar? The Girl usually comes from a background that the Guy’s mother disapproves. No… more like
             hates with a vehemence. If the girl is not poor, then…

5.         She has some serious character flaws.

            I’m not kidding! She could be plain weird, or talks in in a super weird accent, or I don’t know, just weird.

6.         The Girl will change the Guy’s character. 

            Since the girl often comes from a super different family background, or has a totally different character [refer to
            points 3 and 4 ], the Guy learns something from the Girl — mental strength, hope, faith, belief that the world is not
            as bad as he thinks it is, money is not everything, or that the only way to treat someone else is with one’s true
            heart. This is also usually the reason why the Guy will fall in love with the Girl.

7.         The Guy protects the Girl in every. single. scenario

            There you go, the reason why Taiwanese Dramas attract so many female fans. I admit, this is probably one of the
            cliche that I love, even though I know that it IS a cliche, and a quite overused one at that. You can have the Girl
            being harassed by some gangsters, pop! the Guy will appear and save the day. Or the Girl is bullied because 
            of her relationship with the Guy, no worries, the Guy will appear and put everyone in their place, usually the
            female second leads. I LOVE THAT. TA DAHHH, you can just imagine any scenario where the Girl faces
            difficulties, and the Guy will be there.

8.         The Guy is very popular with girls.

             He can be a playboy and girls throw themselves all over him, or he can be just cool and aloof, but…. girls still
             throw themselves all over him ANYWAY.
             
9.         Taiwanese Dramas are prone to using bed scenes.

             Yep, it’s as clear as I’ve said, and they usually do that just to increase viewership ratings. 

10.       Now, now don’t be shy as we watch the couple devore each other.

            It’s like.. Korean Dramas are more conservative and it makes the audience anticipate for the next kiss that we
            know is not going to come until a few episodes later. Taiwanese Dramas on the other hand, fill themselves with
            many, many kissing scenes so that the audience can anticipate the next kiss, knowing that it will come soon. It
            also helps that the kissings scenes seem more… passionate. [ I feel like a pervert writing this lol] 
 
11.      The couple falls in love too quickly.

            Is it just me who notices this in almost every Taiwanese Drama? It’s like hey the Guy meets the Girl, something
            happens, and within one or two episodes, they fell in love. It’s just toooo fasst!!

12.      A Lie.

           And a super big one at that! This lie can may come at an absurd time, or super out of the blue, but somehow,
           it will have a consequence that affects the rest of the drama and the characters’ personalities.
           This is why as much as I dislike a character lying, knowing that the other character will be greatly
           affected later on, I agree that it adds a lot of spice and flavour to the drama, because WE ARE ALL WAITING FOR
           THE CHARACTER TO KNOW THAT YOU’VE BEEN TOLD A LIE, AND THE TRUTH IS THAT HE/SHE STILL
           LOVES YOU. 

13.      Dramas with a flawed plot, fret not, for good looking actors are on the way! 

            Now, this is what I feel makes a Taiwanese Drama, a Taiwanese Drama. It doesn’t matter if the drama has a
            super lousy plot,  or one with no conflict, or one with a forced conflict, or one with conflicts but super draggy
           [ I can go on and on ], as long as you have a cast that is popular enough, it still has a chance of working. Of
           course, I’m not saying that it works all the time. We’ve seen many dramas flop because of their plots, but my
           point is this — most often than not, the emphasis is put on the popularity of the cast more than the acting skills
           of the cast. Whether the cast rises up to the audience’s expectations, or even above that for the matter, is
           another thing altogether. 

14.      HAHAHAHAH That was funny [not].

            It really depends on your level — whether you laugh easily, or not. Usually, when they want to create the comic
            effect, they will have a lot of side characters that add on to the vibrancy and noise of the drama [like villagers etc]
            This can result in two things — it works and suddenly the drama seems more real because of the friendship,
            kinship, villager-ship, stranger-ship [and whatever] they’ve included. Or it doesn’t work, and that’s it, it’s kind of like
            a drama that’s so, not funny. 

15.      Taiwanese Dramas have a lot of quotable quotes.

            Now, obviously I have no idea if Korean Dramas have a lot of quotable quotes as well, because they might get lost
            through the translation, but due to point number 6, the Girl is always filled with quotes, reasons, and
            principles about life, and the world out there. This gives the drama a certain depth, but an overload of those quotes
            may actually put people off [ like me. ]

16.      The Guy holds the hand of the Girl as they run together.

            A ha! Whenever I watch this kind of scenes, I will laugh, because seriously, how can you run faster with someone
            tugging on your hand? The fact that the Guy is helping you to run ‘faster’ means that you probably can’t run as
            fast, and then you will be worrying about things like what if I step on him and fall, what if I fall, what if he’s
            pulling too hard and it’s painful, but I can’t tell him
… Yeah exaggeration perhaps, but I still hold my stand –
            that the Guy holds the hand of the Girl, simply because he wants to touch her, not because it really helps. 

17.       The Girl shivers, and the Guy will take out his jacket/coat to put on the Girl’s shoulders.

            I swear, that this is one of the cliche that I’ve seen in ALL Taiwanese Dramas [that I can remember]. The couple
            finds themselves at somewhere cold, and the girl rubs her shoulders. Noticing how cold the girl feels, the guy
            gentlemanly shrugs off his coat and puts it on the girl’s shoulders. Ah~~ how romantic. I can’t help but feel pity
            for the guys in the real world because now, they feel obliged to give their jackets and coats to girls whenever the
            girls feel cold. It’s like if they don’t, we will call them ungentlemanly…who cares if they themselves are feeling cold
            right??

 

I guess both Taiwanese Dramas and Korean Dramas have their pros and cons. Admittedly, I feel that generally, Korean Dramas have better plots with a higher standard of acting. However, maybe it’s because I can understand Chinese, that’s why my favourite shows ultimately come from the Taiwanese Dramas side. That being said, Taiwanese Dramas tend to be disappointing or just boring most of the time and this is why, you can never go wrong watching the ones that break the viewership records, like Fated To Love You and Autumn’s Concerto. This is because those dramas took the cliches, gave them a delightful twist, and produce something that the audience loves — full of cliches that we love, but hey, portrayed in a different way! It’s like taking a dish that you always love and changing something about it, to make it better. 

You know how when you just finished watching a really good drama, and you start to imagine if only I meet someone like him, if only he’s so sweet to me next time, if only something like this drama happensCome on, don’t deny it, I know you do…  Something that I found quite interesting about Taiwanese Dramas in general is that I cannot think those aforementioned thoughts without feeling terrible. I mean, if something like Fated To Love You happens to me, then I will have to have a miscarriage, a car accident, and to be bullied for almost half of my life. If something like Autumn’s Concerto happens, then I will have a stepfather-that-should-just-go-and-die, and uhm, be a single mother for six years.  I take a drama that’s not so famous, but let’s say, let’s just say you’ve watched these dramas and you love it [for some reason], then if Momo Love happens, you will have four psycho brothers [neh kidding, four overprotective brothers] and the trauma of thinking that the Guy You Love is your brother [or something like that].

 

You get what I mean? 

Taiwanese Dramas are more dramatic in that sense. 

Since I’m on this topic, I might as well recommend dramas that I love

  1. Meteor Garden
  2. Mars
  3. Autumn’s Concerto
  4. Fated To Love You
  5. My Queen

I think it’s quite cool because Meteor Garden is one of the first ever, idol-dramas as they call it. [ which, in my dictionary, basically means that the drama is there for you to ogle at the actors instead of applauding their acting ]. For those who have no idea, Meteor Garden is actually the Taiwanese version of Boys Over Flowers, or Hana Yori Dango. Having watched both Meteor Garden and Boys Over Flowers, I actually like Meteor Garden more. [ My favourite is Rui!<3 / Vic Zhou ] Meteor Garden was produced in 2001, and it held the viewership records for 4 years. It started the idol craze in Asia and the four of them are simply known as F4 now. They have not disbanded [not that I’ve heard of] but each of them had find new paths of their own — Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Ken Chu and Vanness Wu.

If you have been forever watching Korean Dramas, I think starting out with the dramas that I recommended won’t get you on the wrong track. You might want to consider The Prince Turns Into A Frog, which broke the records of Meteor Garden in 2005, but since I didn’t watch that show from the start right till the end, I shall not recommend it. [ By the way, if you’re wondering why, I didn’t bother watching from the first episode because I thought it highly resembles Save Your Last Dance For Me [Korean Drama] ] 

Fated To Love You broke the records in 2008 and it’s still the highest rated drama in Taiwan right now. Autumn’s Concerto beat The Prince Turns Into A Frog, to become the second highest rated drama, in 2010. What I can say is that, these dramas are record holders for a reason, so don’t disregard Taiwanese Dramas simply because… they’re Taiwanese Dramas. 

Mars is my personal favourite. I was quite sad because it wasn’t as big a hit as I thought it would be, but turns out, many people do know that drama! It’s based on a manga and I LOVE that show. Granted, the girl [ Barbie Hsu ] and the guy [ Vic Zhou] fall in love pretty fast too, but somehow, it just feels very natural. I think Vic Zhou really acted very well in that show, honestly, and it was this show that made me like him a lot. It’s just awesome! Pretty dark though, so if you’re looking for a cheery, nonsensical drama, then this is not it. My Queen… is pretty good, but I will admit that I love that show partly because of Ethan Ruan, who looks so much better there as compared to Fated To Love You. 

All right! So this is the end of this entry. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this!^^ I had great fun writing this. It may not be as funny as the Korean Drama Cliches, but I guess my writing style does change from time to time. 

Do share with me what your favourite Taiwanese Dramas are!^^

<3thoughtsramble

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15 Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    its v.
    phew. i didn’t have time to read all your post, just skimmed through it but you got some pretty hilarious points there…
    for me, tw dramas are either full of cringe-worthy humour, or overly dramatic… but somehow still awesome even with those.
    as for what you said about neglected japanese dramas… i dunno. maybe because i hang around japanese dramas lovers but i feel they are quite uber popular.
    my fav ones that you haven’t mentioned yet and excluding period dramas include Silence (the drama which made me fall for vic, HARD), Black and White, ISWAK. other okay dramas, would be bull fighting, zhong wu yan, devil beside you, corner with love, and then guilt inducing dramas such as tokyo juliet (oh god. this drama is an example of so BAD and unbelievable you can’t take your eyes off even if you suffer from it and want to scream at the nonsense), my lucky star, romantic princess, summer desire, smiling pasta, romantic princess. and yes, prince turns to frog is a remake of save the last dance for me. both are good dramas, although i prefer save the last dance for me but don’t take my word for it because i’m hugely biased whenever ji sung and eugene are concerned.
    i’m with you about MARS. everytime i rewatch it, it gets better. as for ethan, i find him cute but sometimes unbelievably hot, but overall, i wouldn’t say i ever fell in virtual love with him, although ever since i first saw him in green forest, ive always kept a look at his projects. i remember the first time i saw him playing the violin, i was like “wow. that’s one good looking guy” i have a weakness for guys with violins. i also fell for vic in MG just because of a 2 seconds shot of him with his violin looking straight at the camero in the opening sequence. and OMG, i’m rambling. gotta go.

    Like

    • Oh that’s great! Somehow if I compare those who watch Kdramas and TWdramas to the number of people who watch doramas, it seems like japanese dramas are not as popular here. Do you have any japanese dramas to recommend?:D

      Ooh I didn’t want to watch Silence, even though Vic Zhou looks really good there, because he died in the end right?D: I love save your last dance for me! Ooh so it’s like an official remake? The other time I tried to search online but it wasn’t stated officially that the Prince Turns into A Frog was an official remake, so I thought that they just copied the idea or something:P

      It gets better right!:D I always squeal uncontrollably when the twins appear, because it’s like one Vic Zhou is squeal-inducing enough, not to mention TWO. I have a weakness for guys with violins as well! -SQUEAL- I know which scene you’re talking about! He looked so good there omygosh [vic zhou]

      Like

      • Yeah!:D I will definitely recommend you to watch it [ lol I recommended in this entry!^^] I don’t know if I’m just being picky or something, but the plot is a little illogical [ too fast]. Nevertheless if you don’t mind, you should watch!:D The couple is quite sweet, and you can always watch for Xiao Le/the cute boy/XiaoXiaoBin:D

        Like

  2. Anonymous says

    u must watch 100% senorita/Twins …. Taiwanese drama in 2004. I love this drama to death…. The main gay is a bastard who seek a revenge. (I’m such a sucker revenge drama, Prosecutor princess, I’m looking at you… , LOL)… This drama will surprise u and It will worth your time…. I’ve never get bored watching it over and over again..

    You will fallin in love with this drama the more u watch it….

    I have watched The Prince Turns Into A Frog, I like it, but didn’t loved it.

    Like

    • LOL does that mean that you’ve watched Temptation of the wife?:O 1–%Senorita… with Joe Chen, is that the one?

      Yeah The Prince Turns Into A Frog didn’t particularly grab my attention, but I guess it’s because I will always love Save Your Last Dance For Me more:P

      Like

      • Anonymous says

        missjb

        Not all revenge drama are good. But for me… a good revenge drama with a solid plot has a potential to become a GEM… aka…. unforgetable drama..

        I didn’t like Temptation.. for me those drama is a mess..

        another Revenge drama which I Love is THE DEVIL/MAWANg and Giant (revenge family drama)…..

        yesss 100% senorita/twins where Jao Chen has in it. I love her in this drama…. That’s the reason I watched The Prince Turns Into A Frog…
        like PP, 100% senorita is a romantic comedy with a revenge plot as a themes.

        TBH…
        at first I start watched this drama because of Wallace Huo… But as it progresses, I Love another main male lead more…… LOL

        Like

      • Re: missjb

        Yeah I agree! It’s just that most revenge dramas for me seem to take along the lines of temptation because of the success it has created, so it seems a little not… interesting anymore [ e.g Pink lipstick etc]

        Okay I’ll check that drama out some time!^^

        Like

  3. Re: taiwanese drama recommendations

    I watched My Lucky Star and Hana Kimi before!:D Not really keen on starting on summers’ desire because I’m a sorta fan of the books and I’m not sure if I will like how the series turn out. LOL.

    Like

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