Thursday, July 18, 2013

Drama Review: Summer Fever/ Lian Xia 38 C

Ever since We Got Married Global finished last weekend, my still broken heart is in need of some Gui Gui to cheer me up. I was in the middle of watching BBJX and just felt the urge to look up dramas and this came up second on a list of best Taiwanese love dramas. I decided heck no on the first drama because I detest Ariel Lin and will probably never watch anything with her again so this was my go to. Originally going in, I only knew Gui Gui and the simple plot of a love story on a small island. That was it. I never even heard of anyone else, except for two other minor characters, so I went in with an open mind. Also from what I've read, all the reviews on this drama claimed it was one of the best drama they've ever watched.  We'll just have to see won't we.
Summer Fever Plot:
Lin Ming Kuan lost faith in love after his crush, Li Jing, left Kinmen and never to be heard from again. Yet love arrived back in his life ten years later. Li Jing returned to the island and with her was pianist Chen Wen Qing. Jing wanted for them to be back together, but Kuan grew close to Qing instead. His friend Sha Chong, on the hand, tried for Jing's affection. In the mean time, Ya Zi was love sick over Sha Chong. And Xu Lei was attracted by Qing's frankness. All their internal turmoils was eventually brought to light by an car accident. (Source: Dramawiki)

Cast (From Left to right)

Wang Rui as Xiu Lei.
An architect who travels to Kinmen because his parents insisted him on going on a blind date with Li Jing. After he was ditched by Li Jing, he encountered Chen Wen Qing and after a few incidents, he slowly starts to realize that he has fallen for her.

Yuan Xin Yu as Li Jing.
Li Jing is in Kinmen with her mom for the opening of their five star hotel. She ditched her blind date with Xiu Lei to meet up with her childhood friends A Kuan and Sha Cong (Sandword). Her main goal back at Kinmen is to rekindle the lost love between her and A Kuan that ended abruptly ten years ago.

Wu Ying Jie (Gui Gui) as our leading lady Chen Wen Qing/ Chen Tian Qing.
Chen Wen Qing is in Kinmen for the summer. Her main priority being in Kinmen is to perform for Bay View Hotel's opening along with Li Jing. Her arrival to Kinmen was stressful when she bumped into A Kuan and lost her phone/ thought A Kuan stole her phone and many rude encounters. After some time she begins to realize that he is humble and passionate guy and begins falling for him.

George Hu as the leading man Lin Ming Kuan aka A Kuan
A Kuan has spent his entire life in Kinmen seeing people come for the summer and leave. After his first love left ten years ago and his father's disappearance, A Kuan has been cautious about love and life. Only when he met Chen Wen Qing at the airport did his life began taking a different turn of events.

Jay Shih as Huang Zhi Cong/ Sha Cong "Sandworm"
Sandworm is A Kuan's best friend. Like A Kuan, he has always stayed on Kinmen island and also liked Li Jing when he was younger. He has always had dreams of doing something big with his life but his confidence is constantly being destroyed by the constant comparison to A Kuan. Now that Li Jing is back, he plans to make himself worthy of her love.

Wu Rui Zhen as Ya Zi "Duck"
Duck is a childhood friend of A Kuan, Sandworm, and Li Jing. She has always had a huge crush on Sandworm since they were little, but he ignored her because he liked Li Jing.

It's nice to see that the cast got along so well, especially before/ after shooting this heart-wrenching scene.

Thoughts, comments, "Review"
Can I really say that this is one of the best dramas ever? No. I think it's just me. I agree it was cute when it was suppose to be and heartbreaking, like any drama, when it needed to be but the whole plot can be described as twisted. Not like Heartless City/ Cruel City or Substitute Princess twisted. In its own way it was. Something about the plot felt bad and wrong, I think maybe the amount of misunderstandings and the secrets kept, and the ending just made it feel twisted. I will admit though, I really enjoyed the fact that this was different from the typical drama, in some cases. That's my favorite thing about Taiwanese dramas. They always try to work with different scenarios whether it be Two Dads, that threw Taiwan a major curveball, or the way they work with real world problems like Gloomy Salad Days that touched many topics common to teenagers that were brought together by one thing. Taiwan's diversity with their dramas has always been something I admire and this drama is really no different. This drama can be described as real and genuine. It's a story about two people falling into a summer romance. It doesn't have to be just the typical rich boy poor girl cliche, but just a "country boy" and a girl vacationing falling in love. Of course there has to be some twists and turns for us to get our story but the way they did it was done well. It doesn't feel rushed, like they're just taking their time to tell us their story so we can understand it more. Because of the actors and actresses in this story, we were able to understand how they feel but most of all compensate and sympathize why they did what they did and why they did it without blaming them and judging them on their stupidity because doing that in this drama felt wrong. See what I'm saying? I'm sympathizing with them because this drama has that power, something that is really rare to see.
 Gui Gui truly is a star in her own sky. After knowing her troubling life, seeing her now makes me admire her so much more. Gui Gui is amazing and I honestly believe it's impossible for anyone to hate her. This is my first time ever seeing her act and she was really the best actress here. The way she portrayed two characters, sorry, was astounding. Even though it was just one person playing two people, the way she allowed for each character's personality and character to shine through and made it so it was easy to differentiate between the two characters made her that much of a better actress. As I was watching this, I couldn't help but realize how much her character was like her in real life. Gui Gui is a caring person whose smile really touches everyone's heart. Chen Wen Qing is a memorable character but Gui Gui is also a memorable and favorable person in real life. Every time she meets someone new, she always befriends them and she would never leave anyone alone, like Chen Wen Qing. If you want to understand more of what I'm saying just watch GWGM then watch this immediately afterwards and you will understand all this rambling. 
Now for other things. Gui Gui's and George Hu's chemistry in this is top notch. Another thing Taiwan is good at is pairing actors and actresses together. If you can see from the images below, nothing feels forced. They were easy going and they worked well which as a result created something good. This was also my first time seeing George Hu act. He is a damn great actor. How I haven't seen him act before is beyond me and I will definitely always keep that in mind. Because I don't know what else or how else to describe him I will just leave him as a damn great actor. I must say that he looks a lot better with this hair than his long weird cut he's wearing now.
As for the other actors and actresses they were good, but on on par with our leads. Like when I was watching Wang Rui, he was phenomenal on the second half, but his character I believe, not him, had problems. His character in the first half felt weak and somewhat unnecessary. When his character finally had a definitive purpose in the second half was when you really see his acting shine though. Yuan Xin Yu is really good at being the second girl everybody hates. No joke, especially in episode 22-24 (I think) was when I really wanted to push her off a cliff for her idiotic thoughts and selfishness that thank buddha Xiu Lei was there to knock some sense into that crazy person. I really couldn't care less about her character because she was just a little to preppy and cheery for me. Not like Rainie or Cindy Wang preppy and cheery but just... you'll understand if you ever watch her. Plus her character is a little to crazy for my liking.
Overall what I think about this drama was that it was good. It felt real, something most dramas lack nowadays with all the cliches, just keep it simple. For me it was kinda slow at some points but the good acting made up for it. There was roughly a handful of funny moments but there were also a lot of heartfelt moments, but don't expect to be laughing throughout this because this is a melodrama. And may I say it was definitely mellow. Would I ever watch it again? No, I just don't think this drama was for me. Would I ever recommend this to anyone? Maybe, but it really depends on the person and their preference. Did you cry? Heck yeah I did and I'm pretty sure noone had a dry eye after watching it either. What was your favorite part about this drama? Definitely being able to see new actors doing a great job and their theme song was on point. Was their anything special about the OST/ Soundtrack? Oh course. For this drama, the OST was different because it revolved around the story. If you ever see me just randomly listening to it and starts choking holding back tears then reading the lyrics, you would think I was weird but that really makes this special. The happy song that defines their love is the song that makes all of us cry. No really it's not just me. 
I guess I summed it up as much as I can. If you did decide to watch it then good for you because it's a quality drama where a lot of heart was put into it.

The song that described their love that broke everyone's heart in the process, The Seven Seven Etude or The Flavour of Summer

All credit goes to the its rightful owners

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