This is my first blog introducing a future blog, but my reasons are good. I hope you’ll like them.
If you’re like me and enamored with high school dramas (I am and I’m not afraid to say it) than I present to you (drumroll please) my upcoming blog series:
Best and worst high school dramas from around the world
I will review new and old dramas full of teens in high school hallways, on beaches, covering up murders and other wholesome activities like that. The shows I think are amazing and addicting and the ones that made me roll my eyes and change the channel.
To start this off, here are the links to my past high school drama reviews:
I offer this series as a public service to you all for the following reasons:
It can help you decide which shows to watch
It may open up a new geographical viewing area to you. So many countries have great shows.
If you have already seen one you can compare your opinions on it to mine and see where we agree and disagree on things like the plot, production, characters, cast talent and hotness.
It can change your mind if you don’t like the high school drama genre
Warning: Series reviews will be sporadic since I work a lot and sometimes I can’t face any more typing when my work day ends, which is why my blogs are posted randomly. Please also note: I will continue doing other reviews of movies and non-high-school themed shows as well.
When I first read the synopsis I was so-so on it. And the name didn’t help. Luckily MDL rarely does me wrong. Most viewers seem to have similar opinions as me on shows so I can trust most of the ratings and reviews. And the reviews for this show were good. I am actually rating it higher than they did because it checks all the boxes on the things that I think make up a good drama. I rate it 8.5/10.
Basically if you ignore the plot summary and read mine instead it may sound better:
Young couple gets married with the expectation that the husband will work in civil service and the wife will be a homemaker. Except the husband decided to start his own business, which forces the wife to support them both until she can’t take it anymore. After a series of events, she divorces him and tries to work her way out of debt (accrued while supporting him) and poverty. He is heartbroken and thinks his wife broke her promise to stand by his side, but his business succeeds and he becomes a sad single* successful, wealthy businessman.
The ex-wife who is still struggling learns of his success and decides to get revenge, but its hard when she still deep down loves him…
The plot is good, but what really makes this drama is the cast. Lee Min Jung who plays the ex-wife is fantastic (Note: She is currently one of my favorite actresses). Joo Sang Wook who plays the ex-husband is adorable, so adorable, even when you want to kick his character, you also want to smile at him i.e. his ex-wife’s dilemma becomes every viewers dilemma, thanks to his performance. And the supporting lead is none other than Seo Kang Joon (one of my favorite actors and cause of my 2nd worst case of second lead syndrome in Cheese in the Trap).
I like the characters in a Cunning Single Lady, which were well developed, was absorbed all the way through and really happy with the end, which is all I can really ask for out of a drama. These are also the reasons why I recommend it.
This show gets pretty high marks from me because it is ADORABLE. It meets all the criteria of a standard drama, but flips some tropes on their head in the very best way. The actors are great, especially lead actor Bruce Hung who makes this show shine.
Hello Again! is about a male and female who went to high school together but weren’t friends. The female, Chang Ke Ai was the top student in their grade, and the male, Yang Zi Hao was good at extracurriculars, but not a great student. He also rubbed Chang Ke Ai the wrong way for interrupting her speech to the school and study hall with his antics. During an argument between the two they make a bet that if Yang gets into the same school as Chang she will have to carry his bag there everyday.
This motivates Yang to study hard and get accepted. So he wins the bet, except it gets foiled. Watch to find out how 😉
The story centers around their time together 10 years later when they meet back up under very different conditions and end up working together.
What makes this drama different in a way I find refreshing is that instead of a long drawn out hate to love relationship between the two, Yang is very clear that he likes Chang and most of his actions involve helping her and keeping her in his orbit.
He finds tons of cute and ridiculous reasons to get her to spend time with him, like making a business bet where she wins a steak dinner with him as the prize or giving her a loan where the interest is having breakfast with him. In most cases, his secretary, played by Sean Lee is rolling his eyes at Yang’s nutty and immature antics, which is pretty funny. And Bruce Hung acts all this out so charmingly
Hung is another one of those actors that I probably wouldn’t look at twice if I saw him in the grocery store, especially in his earlier days like in A Good Day, but he has officially grown up, and away from the days when he dabbled in the ladies bikini pond 😂😂😂.
Now when he’s on screen showing off his insanely adorable dimple and washboard abs, and being so sincere while in character, it’s a whole other story. The Chinese idol judges are always talking about auras as a determinant for idolhood and Hung definitely has one.
In the show, Chang has no idea that Yang likes her and never even considered him as a love interest, which is why she is immune to his charm and cant see why he repeatedly takes actions on her behalf. I would not have that problem. In fact this is an open invitation to Hung and his aura to come to the U.S. and have dinner with me anytime 😉
I’m only halfway through this drama, but so far it’s only gotten better, so I can’t wait to see the rest. And I waited soo long to see it. I have had it on my to watch list for awhile now, but it just, and I mean just got English subtitled episodes that are available to see in America up to episode 13 out of 16. For weeks only the first episode had subs and I was dying to know what happened next.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am learning Mandarin, and c-dramas are a perfect way to practice (note: I met a guy in Spain who learned English through a Netflix marathon of an American show which influenced this decision), but my proficiency isn’t high enough to understand entire dialogs – yet. And it’s not always easy to find a c-drama that I love, but this one, I love. At least so far.
My only major critique is that although actress Amber An does a really great job in the role, and is pretty as pie in real life, in this drama she looks like a fairly unattractive mess who dresses herself in the dark. It makes it hard to see why her character, although very smart and spunky, is so attractive to the males (and females 😉 around her, or how she has a job in fashion. Her outfits are atrocious and do nothing to flatter her. Same with her hair. The girl wears banana clips, which went out in the 1980’s last I checked! Her pants are floodwaters, she wears frayed denim on denim and grandma sweaters. There is one scene where the guy is supposed to be wowed by her in a dress he picked out, except that dress is a 1990’s knock off with no shape to it. If Hung or his character actually finds that look attractive I will start wearing mumu’s which they must find equally seductive 😂. My 2 cents: An’s costume designer and hairdresser for this show need to find a new line of work – pronto.
Hello Again! is not a work of art (I dont want to mislead you) and some situations are completely improbable, but it is quirky in the best way! It’s lighthearted with some very sweet and funny moments. It has a business storyline where they actually do business (so rare lol). The actors do a great job and hopefully the show continues to grow on me for the 7 episodes I have left.
Note: Just You is still my favorite Taiwanese Drama of all time (and one my fav dramas period) and I hope directors and producers will magically find this post and take note that we need more dramas like Just You and Hello Again! – maybe one starring Puff Kuo and Bruce Hung.