30 Day Asian Drama Challenge – Day 4

This one is really, really hard to remember, but I think I kind of have it figured out.

Day 4: Your first Taiwanese drama?

I was torn for this question. I thought it might have been Devil Beside Your or maybe the Taiwanese version of Hana Kimi, but after some careful brain scratching, I believe that my first taste of Taiwanese drama was with the classic Meteor Garden which is based on the Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango. This version came before the Japanese version which was my gateway into the Asian drama world.

 

Meteor GardenAfter I learned that there was a Japanese version of my all-time favorite manga Hana Yori Dango, I was quick to discover that there was a Taiwanese version that came first. This drama was not quite as faithful to the manga, but I did find myself liking it (although, I will admit to NOT having finished this version, although I own the entire series. On my to do list which lengthens every day).

This drama also led me to develop my first girl crush on Barbie Hsu. There was just something about her that really sparkled in the leading role. Oh, and I always develop a thing for the guy playing Rui’s role over the guy playing Tsukasa’s role. Why? It’s a mystery…or maybe the start of what every person will go through—second lead syndrome. There is also the fact that if we are being honest…who would fall for Tsukasa? Sure he’s a big child and softy under it all…but that doesn’t change the fact that he was a rich, arrogant bully who thought nothing of hurting people for sheer amusement alone. Rui…was reticent and hung up on his first love,  but was definitely more of a gentleman and did not actively participate in the bullying, though he’s just as bad since he allowed it to happen as well, but still the character of Rui was better than the character of Tsukasa (in the beginning).

If you actually want to go by the first ever Taiwanese drama I managed to finish…that would probably be A Game About Love or A Promise of Love at the Dolphin Bay. I watched them pretty much simultaneously so I’m not sure which one came first… But, both were terribly long-winded and could have used fewer episodes and some better acting on certain leads’ parts.

And since these questions are NOT on the list, I’m adding them and the answers to this post. Why? Just because. I know that not everyone will sample every type of Asian drama out there, but figured I’d give all my firsts in their correct order.

  1. First Chinese drama?
    My Bratty Princess
  2. First Malaysian drama?
    Sky
  3. First Singaporean drama?
    Breakout
  4. First Thai drama?
    Love Never dies

So…if you look at it… my love for Hana Yori Dango the manga brought me to Japanese dramas which also led me to Taiwanese dramas which eventually led me to Korean dramas then Chinese dramas then Malaysian dramas then Singaporean dramas then Thai dramas. I have vowed one of these days to actually sit down and watch a Filipino drama, but haven’t managed to do it yet. Kind of funny when you think about it since my stepmother would sit around watching her Filipino dramas and variety shows when she lived with me and my grandparents until she and my dad moved out of state for his job.

10 comments

  • Hey, that’s funny, my first tw-drama was Devil Beside You and my second was Meteor Garden. I never watched the second season of Meteor Garden because it was 31 episodes (tw-dramas can be so freaking long sometimes!) and everything i read about it said it was boring. But it did make me fall in love with Vic Zhou. His Rui is neck and neck with Oguri Shun for first place in my heart, lol. He laughed a lot. That’s what i remember about his Rui. He laughed more than the others laughed. Which is out of character, but hey, it made me like him more so, i don’t really blame them for changing him.

    Did you like the Taiwanese version of Hana Kimi?

    • LOL, that is funny. I still haven’t finished Meteor Garden because of that second long season, but I will someday since I have now watched longer series than that 😛
      Vic Zhou, Vic Zhou. His Rui was different and awesome. I fell in love with him in that drama and even more so when I saw him in MARS where he got Barbie Hsu’s character. So if my favorite couple never meant to be can’t get together in one drama, it’s nice to see them in another one.

      Ah, Hana Kimi. LOVED the Japanese version and was horrified when I saw the Taiwanese. I hated it for some reason. But…I think it has to do with the genre. I can only say that I had more of an aversion to Asian comedies because they seemed so much more over the top than American comedies. After giving it some time and many dramas later, I came to enjoy the Taiwanese version of Hana Kimi. Ella is quite boyish, but when you see her all decked out, she is a beautiful woman.

      Plus…Wu Chun and Jiro Wang…I ❤ them.

      • “Plus…Wu Chun and Jiro Wang…I ❤ them." Agree entirely 🙂

        I liked parts of the Taiwanese version, but I really didn't like Ella. With that character, in the Japanese and Korean versions, she basically just cut her hair and decided that made her look like a boy. She didn't change how she moved, how she acted, nothing. And i used to think how stupid it was that no one ever realised she was a girl, and that they should have made her act more boyish. But then, i watched the Taiwanese version, with a girl who actually does act like a boy, and I didn't like it. I also think she over-acted (which might be part of the 'over the top' you were talking about), so i might be confusing my dislike for Ella with my apparent dislike for girls acting like boys.

        • Ella is really good with comedy, but she’s even better if you do actually get her seriously acting…not that she’s done too many serious dramas a she tends to to the silly idol comedies. Ella’s version did turn me off in Hana Kimi, but she grew on me and if you see the pictures of her promotions with S.H.E., she is actually quite pretty. I like her with longer hair as she doesn’t look so mannish 😛

          I have a predilection against dramas where girls dress up as boys just because you can so obviously tell they are still girls. The chests that stick out, the way they walk, the hips… HOW can you mistake them for a boy?

  • Dang you watch a lot of different dramas from different countries o.O I stick with the big three because they already put out more than I can watch!

    I think Devil Beside You was my third TW drama and Hana Kimi my fourth….or the other way around? It’s hard to remember all the way back then -__-

    • It’s kind of a chain reaction thing. A led me to B and then to C. So a Japanese manga led me to the Japanese drama which led me to the Taiwanese drama…and then so on and so forth until I’ve seen a little bit of everything 😛

      Yeah, I can’t tell you what or in which order any more and it’s only been 5 years for me. Well…6 now.

      • ahaha for me it’s been….four years? However if you start from my first drama that I watched as a kid on screen (cause of my mum) it’s been 10… o.O

        • Wow. And it is now time for my 10 year high school class reunion this year 😛

          If you ignore dramas and start with anime for my Asian entertainment obsession…it’s been since Macross and Sailor Moon 😛 Nothing like anime from the 80s and 90s when I was still in elementary school.

          • 10 year reunion?? o.O dang. I’m not quite there yet haha. Macross/Sailor Moon was just before my tv-watching age.

            • Saying 10 years makes a person sound old 😛 But…eh…I have no problem with admitting I’m turning 28 this month. Age is just a number anyways…

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