This must be a joke. Or April Fools arrived early.
I don’t mean Show Luo’s new image in the upcoming drama Hai Pain Tian Xin/Shanghai Sweetheart/Hi My Sweetheart (read the synopsis here) that’ll replace Roseate-Love, ended just this weekend (finally!). In fact this dorky, mushroom hair and big glasses combination reminds me of singer/songwriter Lu Guangzhong (image here), and I think it’s quite adorable.
Show Luo is smart when it comes to choosing roles (case in point: Hot Shot). He’s found the type of characters that he’s actually good at portraying — goofy, quirky, those who make people laugh — and goes to lengths (i.e. compromise his idol-star look) to achieve that goal. For a role like this, there’s a lot of room for free style. If done right, he’ll be the gem that makes this drama shine. It will be hilarious and perhaps even enjoyable.
What I’m sour about is the female lead Rainie Yang (Miss no Good, To Get Her). She gained fame in Devil Beside You, re-collaborated with Mike He (Bull Fighting) for Why Why Love and has been active in the idol drama circle since. But her acting seemed to hit an impasse. I may be harsh but I personally find her performances less than satisfactory. (Miss no Good was UNBEARABLE.)
Another reason my excitement went cold after finding out Hai Pai Tian Xin will be airing next week has to do with how rushed the decision is. Calling for Love, starring Mike He and Charlene Choi (watch English subbed preview here), was originally scheduled to replace Roseate-Love. Unfortunately the logistics weren’t done right and the drama won’t be approved in time for broadcasting. Now Hai Pain Tian Xin is pushed up. How rushed is it exactly? It doesn’t have its preview yet. No stills, no posters, and considerably little time to create a buzz.
ETA: Perhaps it’s too much of a rush, Hai Pai Tian Xin is pushed to Oct. 25th.
The second drama that’s airing next Sunday (the 18th) is Momo Love. And this here, is an eyebrow-raising, facepalming J.O.K.E.
The story involves a girl, Momo (Cyndi Wang), and her five siblings. Being the only girl in the house, she is pampered and sheltered to the extreme. When a guy dares to confess to her, her four possessive big brothers conveniently take him out while her fifth brother acts as the narrator and messenger. In the midst of this farce, she falls in love with one (Jiro Wang), and becomes the crush of another (Calvin Chen).
It has the most ridiculous story line and the most peculiar ensemble of actors. While such a story works for manga, once it becomes a drama, some of the more hyperbolic elements should be adjusted to fit the new media form. When it fails to do the proper adjustments, the drama can be ladened with unnecessary slapstick.
The cast is another hodge podge of entertainers, seemingly assembled in a moment of disorientation. There’s Jiro Wang and Calvin Chen from the idol band Fahrenheit, who habitually contribute to the ever-deteriorating idol drama industry. That’s no surprise. What seems out of place is Ken Zhu’s (Meteor Garden, Wish to See You Again) participation and One Million Star contestant Huang Jing Lun’s drama debut. It’s not that idol drama is an unlikely path for either of them, they just look awkward in it. (Though, from the previews, Huang Jing Lun is still as amiable as ever.)
Finally, adding to the mumble jumble is the Canadian-Taiwanese actor and model Godfrey Gao (guy is a hottie! So, at least some eye candy.) and talented singer Jam Hsiao, whose three-minute debut in Fated to Love You was, let’s say, very… rigid. Good thing, Jam Hsiao is only making a brief cameo appearance as himself.
What’s interesting about the drama is that Jiro seems to break out of his usual overwhelmingly over-THE-top role and will be acting as someone more reserved and contained. His rendition does appear half cooked but at least that’s a start.
On a final note, I do think Next Stop, Happiness (also known as Autumn’s Concerto), which started last week, is of higher quality than any of the two upcoming ones. But if you’re actually looking for a no-brainer (nothing wrong with that), then check them out by all means.