I have to say that my sole purpose of even moving this on top of my ‘to-watch list’ in the first place was because I realized Zhao Jun Ya was in it. YES, it was too obvious that I was reading some information on him lately and hunted for more dramas of his. This just happened to be on my ‘to-watch list’ BUT wasn’t high up since I needed to prioritize other things more. Then I wasn’t into following on what others said regardless of what about this drama. Yet, I went ahead anyway. I was like in the “What the world am I watching?” mood when I first started. Then there was the whole “Why am I even watching still?” when I realized there was this whole crazy conspiracy of even enrolling in an all-boys school just because some guy was there. Not to mention how bizarre it was to drop everything and travel overseas to run after someone. I meant she had to be mad rich to do that, right? (And stalking much?) There was also some clueless stuff about Rui Xi that made me feel so cliche like some other typical idol soaps that I’d been stumbling across once too many times and had to give up on it. But I was glad I hung on a little longer. Because it became addicting to watch later on. NOT because of the main couple though I have no problem with them at all, and that somehow the story developed a bit more to keep me going. At least the humor did. But what made me hung on–aside from wanting to see Jun Ya’s character–was Jiro’s character, Jin Xiu Yi. OMG, he was beyond nuts. He was probably the Drama King of the school more than the famous soccer prodigy that he claimed to be. Watching him was so entertaining that got me laughing to the point that I almost fell off my chair once too many times. I swear Jiro was doing WAY better in the lively, comedic roles than the serious ones. It was like he was more natural in it, or more comfortable. I wasn’t sure what. But I found him to be my favorite character right from the start. Then there was also Ah Xiang and Hao Zi as Jiang Ye Shen and Guan Ri Hui. They were equally crazy as Jiro’s Xiu Yi. As if they (the creators) felt we needed more craziness to this whole scene, there was also Xiu Yi’s ghost believer/hunter who scared the world out of everyone with his constant talk of the existence of those so-called ‘friends’, Da Shu (portrayed by Xie He Xian). Did I miss anyone? Of course, the famous Senior Nan portrayed by Danson Tang. Another very strange character and supposedly the school’s biggest pervert. Other characters who appeared one by one were getting weirder and weirder by the minute that it was hard to tell exactly who was the weirdest of them all. Seriously, had all the nutty guys accumulated at this one school? Like seriously? But I must admit that I enjoyed watching those scenes where they interacted and got all crazy together than the overwhelming romance. Though there was also romance in here (duh, I know), but I felt their friendship–however crazy it was–surpassed all.
To finally talk about Rui Xi (Ella) and Quan (Chun)–IF anyone was waiting for that, I was surprised. I meant I know how much some people were shoving this pairing into some of our faces for too long. AND that had the opposite effect for me. That was also one of the main reasons why I hadn’t watched this earlier. (YES, thank Jun Ya for speeding up the process.) But anyway, before I get too off-topic, what was I surprised about really? Chun’s acting. I swear. I don’t know why I read so many negative feedback in the past. I meant okay, he couldn’t be the best OR extraordinary or whatever. But as for his own performance and the nature of his role, I thought he pulled it off extremely well. There was this mixture of mystery to his character yet there was also this down to earth personality to him as well. Quan wasn’t just all about ‘the guy with the dark past’ like other dramas portrayed the main guy–or at least second main lead as. (YUP, the 200% overused formula to lure us in.) Sure, Quan got to conquer his past demons and go back on the path of high-jumping, etc. Yet he wasn’t too pitiful or too rouge either. He was some college student after all so it wasn’t too unrealistic with his problems. What also made his character even more realistic was his teasing nature. Wow, seriously, he cracked me up each time he was playing those ‘tricks’ on Rui Xi. Those were subtle with how he was smiling to himself when he was pushing it with teasing her, almost putting her on the edge and making her think she would be found out soon, but he was just having a little fun. Then there was her sometimes witty side YET she could be so clueless. Honestly? But that was too funny. Do I need to praise Ella for her performance? After watching Reaching for Stars, I was already convinced, so no need. I was feeling a bit uneasy at first when I saw how she was trying too hard at the beginning but soon realized it was necessary for her character so my faith was sort of restored. But that was that. What about the ChunElla chemistry? I thought it was all right. I felt like I enjoyed them being good brothers more. NO, NOT JUST BECAUSE I have other favorite pairings of them, BUT ALSO BECAUSE I enjoyed the taunting and the comedic moments more. And those who know me or read my blog know I love watching friendship/bonds more than romance. Yet I must admit the foundation for Quan and Rui Xi’s story was well established and maintained throughout. His character wasn’t too weak or too wishy-washy. So he feared of losing her and didn’t want to reveal the secret. But like he needed to be perfect. Also, how she was fearing of losing him as well if he knew she’d been lying to him but that was natural to worry. I especially liked her ‘never give up’ attitude so I do forgive her weak moments at times–or her somewhat clueless nature.
Who was really my favorite character after all those rants? I was shifting back and forth between characters throughout. Though I must admit it stayed with Jiro’s character, Xiu Yi, for most of the drama. Come on now, it was just too hilarious seeing him struggle with his identity, wondering if he was gay or not. OR if he was going crazy, etc. But I must say that each and every one of the characters–regardless of the amount of screen time they got–made the drama for what it was. It wasn’t an effort of one or two persons, but every one of the characters involved. So that meant great ensemble. They worked well together to make it happen.
Other elements of the plot? I don’t know if I enjoyed the nutsy behaviors among the students more or those ‘love counseling’ sessions between Teacher Mei and Rui Xi more. Geez whiz, when did he become her personal love adviser? Then it was later becoming some sort of family crisis counseling center. LOL! The poor guy. Or let’s see? The jealousy between Quan and Xiu Yi? Even if they didn’t realize it themselves, it was there, especially when Rui Xi was just a guy to them–or a buddy. Well, Quan knew but Xiu Yi didn’t. (Chun and Jiro must have their fun in planning out those scenes? Or at least practice them before the actual shoot?) The scene with Xiu Yi attempting to teach Rui Xi how to wrestle was so funny. Quan interfered and said he wanted to demonstrate with Xiu Yi but Xiu Yi called Quan a big muscle man (or something like that) AND that he still wanted to play soccer? LOL! Then there was the part where Xiu Yi was protesting because Rui Xi was treating Quan so well with tending to Quan’s bruise and not care about Xiu Yi’s? LOL! OMG! It just got better and better since they found out Quan got drunk the previous night because he’d mistaken Gao Liang (a type of wine) for water. AND then Xiu Yi thought he was the one who Quan kissed hence the bruise marks around his mouth. So he was making a big fuss out of it since it was his first kiss. DARN, talking about Drama King. Quan and Xiu Yi’s constant banter cracked me up so much it could fill up all the time of the drama, lol. Then, of course, add in the others’ side remarks too. Nothing like adding oil to a blazing fire, eh? Oh yeah, what about Ye Shen and Ri Hui’s attempt to play detectives? Or more like ‘Investigator Jiang’ and ‘Guan Sir’? LOL! Quan and Xiu Yi were rolling their eyes.
What about the guy I claimed to be the reason I actually picked up the drama for? He only appeared in episode 6 at the part where Quan was spying on that despicable Jing Hang and his so-called friends. YUP! The sad truth that he only got a small role in there and not to mention some equally despicable role as Jing Hang. Now that I watched this, I was glad I didn’t watch it before. I swear, if I was in the state I was in before, I would’ve hated him to death since I hate those types of characters and can’t control myself at times to separate the characters from the actual person portraying them. SO…okay…PHEW! Close called.
I was looking for a suitable spot to plug in those somewhat inaccurate views or whatever else BUT can’t seem to find one so I might as well plug it in here. What were some of the most ridiculous things? Well, I didn’t mind the exaggerated humor or nutsy moments. But what I found a bit disturbing was, strangely, the stuff about the U.S. Let’s get started.
- The part after Rui Xi got kissed by Quan because Quan was drunk and we all know how he would go on a kissing rampage from the others’ words. Rui Xi was running away and crying. Then later she was saying how those customs happen all the time in the U.S. so she shouldn’t mind. WRONG! I meant some people would do that as a greeting method or whatever. YET others wouldn’t do it. Some of us prefer hugs or just a casual handshake. It depends on preference and/or how close we are to someone. SO it’s not ‘ALL THE TIME’ or something.
- Rui Xi so clueless that she didn’t know what type of guy Jing Hang was? Come on now! I have friends who could be considered living under a rock regarding some matters but at a college level like that and she’s still gullible? Okay, so she was hiding in her house in the past and didn’t want to come out until how she was motivated to slim down and start a new life, but was she that clueless? Might be possible. But don’t she have any type of shield from others? Why was she always so trusting? Especially with such creepy guys like that? (They have perverts in the U.S. too, Rui Xi, LOL!) I know it’s hard to notice since we, the viewers, have all the angles to observe while she only has one as to what and how he’s doing to interact with her. But some things, you just know like how creepy he was at times, kept sliding his hands around her shoulder like that. Even if they say it was natural for men to do that to one another and she was trying to not react too strongly since she was pretending to be a guy, but it was still creepy to death with his overly friendly gestures. By the time she got into the car with him and went on that shopping trip, it was too late because he already made it out so obvious so it was hard to ignore. Then I was sooooo glad nothing happened and that Quan got there on time ’cause it would be so sad. After all, this was a comedy from the start and adding in such a traumatizing event would suck big time. (Regardless of it just being a story or not, it still sucks to see such scenes.) Though I must say that Ella’s performance at the part after Quan found Rui Xi and was chasing after her to calm her down was great.
- Some other weird bits about being a foreigner and U.S. references. I don’t know. I can’t seem to be convinced that some of the characters actually lived in the U.S. before. Aside from the good English pronunciations at times, the rest were like kind of whatever or just the icing on top of the cake and can’t be counted as accurate references. Like there were some hearsay or rumors, not necessarily true or be considered customs of the regions.
But aside from that? I have a big fat complaint about the last episode. How could it get so random at some parts when Quan and Rui Xi were finally going to tell each other about their secrets? The only funny part I found about the whole thing was their conversation being broadcasted and the others were letting out frustrated sighs and/or gestures because the other two kept saying, “Wait a minute…” and it took forever. That bit was a tad funny since it showed they were so nosy as well. But the other random acts with the magic show, etc were sort of too lame for my taste. It ruined the foundation of the drama. I meant they were acting weird before too, but the idea with saying how Ah Xiang said that the camera crew were still around or implied so had made it too lame. We know it was a drama, they didn’t need to incorporate those parts. Luckily, they sort of steered back into the more relevant bit of the story after Quan managed to make up a lie to trick the others. And I guess I was satisfied enough with the ending. I meant not everything had to be revealed. If it was, it would be too much like other dramas, having an answer for everything, etc. Perhaps it was like what Quan said, their relationship was already enough like that and that it didn’t have to make sense. After all, they seemed to get the feeling was mutual already, right? They wanted to keep the secrets from others and it was their choice.
What else? I was sooo glad that they (the creators) didn’t make it that Quan’s family problem would be solved as well. I meant I was curious and thought it would eventually come forth with Rui Xi thinking up of a way to help Quan. Yet the writers didn’t push it. It was like how Teacher Mei Tian had said, some things couldn’t be solved. And how at times when you’re an outsider, you couldn’t reach into their family or try to. Then there was the whole idea of not solving it because it would be too gift-wrapped. This would continue to haunt them in the future and maybe they would solve it and maybe not. But that bit made it more realistic since not all family crisis could be solved as easily or at all. Let it be.
A good drama overall.