Love is Back/Ai Qing Hui Lai Le (First Impression)

Love is back! Are you ready?

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Characters:

  • Qi Wei as Ming Liang
  • Chen He as Gao Jian
  • Wang Chuan Jun as Fang Si Qi
  • Mao Xiao Tong as Bao Nian Nian
  • Qiao Ren Liang as Cheng Lei
  • Jiang Yan as Yu Xiao Nuo

Details:

  • Chinese
  • 41 episodes
  • Original run: July 21, 2014 – August 4, 2014

Quick Rundown:

In the fast food society today there are so many definitions as to what love is. Three women, each representing a different type of the female population: Ming Liang the strong, independent and successful woman; Bao Nian Nian, the dreamer who doesn’t know how to do anything but is somehow always blessed with good fortune; and Yu Xiao Nuo, the average girl who may be lacking in background but is determined to make something of herself. When they decide they will not marry (or cannot marry), what, or who, can make them waver?

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Estelle’s Take

If Anna did not recommend this to me I would have continued to pass over it even though I’ve seen it appear multiple times. This series is penned by Taiwanese screenwriter, Ka Fei Yin (caffeine), and directed by Hong Kong director, Jeffrey Chiang, so you can expect some deviation from the regular mainland dramas. I’m totally glad I checked it out because it is funny! And it’s not in that we-tried-too-hard type of way (cough, Boarding House). The characters are very real, but without losing that sense of fantasy because this is a scripted after all.

To be honest, I usually avoid modern cdramas because they tend to lack attractive production/images or engaging story line, but this one has got both. The cast isn’t like drop dead gorgeous all around (especially if you are used to kdramas), but they are pleasant to look at and even the sleazy (really, just Chen He) one has got some sort of charm. One thing I do like about cdramas is that a lot of their modern stuff tend to center around real issues, even though that might deter people from watching because its a hard enough living already. This show seems to strike a good balance between exploring the lives of modern women without shedding too much fluff.

I’m interested to see where this show ends up, whether my guesses are right in which couples are the more realistic ones and which are the more fantasized ones. I’m a big sucker for “bickering” too, and there’s plenty of that, so I’m completely satisfied. It’s like watching three dramas at the same time because there are three leads. Or maybe it’s like watching all the lovable subplots in those dreary dramas with gloomy main leads. If I can sit down for 41 episodes, then it must be really worth watching! So don’t shy away from trying this one out here; its unsubbed, but don’t worry I’ll be recapping it all!

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This & That:

  • Qi Wei married Korean American actor/singer Nathan Scott Lee/Lee Seung Hyun in Vegas in August this year. She recently starred opposite Jiro Wang in featured film, Broadcasting Girl.
  • Chen He was part of the Friends-esque TV sitcom series iapartment. In 2013, he announced on popular variety show, Happy Camp, that he has been in a relationship for the past thirteen years (since middle school!). Later last year he married his girlfriend, Xu Qian. He is also the nephew of famous director, Chen Kai Ge.
  • iapartment also catapulted Wang Chuan Jun’s career into the spotlight. He was recently in summer web series Mysterious Summer with Yuki Furukawa, the famed lead, Naokie Irie, of Japanese reboot Mischievous Kiss.
  • Mao Xiao Tong will be in upcoming winter drama Love YunGe from the Desert/Yun Zhong Ge (probably temporary name), the second of the series; the first being Sound of the Desert.
  • Qiao Ren Liang was in June horror film, Night Mail. He was in 2012 series Tiny Times and Legend of Lu Zhen with Zhao Yi Ling (Boss & Me/Shan Shan Lai Le), who played the title character.
  • Jiang Yan is going to be in 2015 comedy medical series set in the Ming dynasty called Yi Guan Xiao Zhuan. Guess who will also be in that drama? Both Chen He and Wang Chuan Jun.
  • The three couples have names that make up three different words – “Gao Ming” smart, “Si Nian” to miss or remember, “Chen Nuo” to promise. Oops, was that a spoiler? ^.~

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