Man, its been a month since our last TV Binge. I can assure you that I’ve been watching a ton of TV series and just having a lot of fun in general. TV Binge posts are fun but sometimes its hard to share a lot of it. The reason why this one took so long is really on post scheduling issues since there’s been a ton of other things to get in and I don’t want to just be writing about movies or TV every single day. I’ve already expressed myself about this issue before and that hasn’t changed. However, I never give up a chance to talk about Taiwanese TV series, because no matter how generic they are, there are some that just are absolutely incredible and 2016’s Refresh Man is. In fact, I said it already before also in another post but I’m currently slowly watching it a second time. That’s how much I love it.
Refresh Man (2016)
Cast: Aaron Yan, Joanne Tseng, Lene Lai, Yun-Ching Li, Roy Chang, Cherry Hsia, Jenny Chen-Ni Huang, Sara Yu, J.R. Chien
In high school Zhong Yu Tang was the overachiever with a bright future ahead of her while Ji Wen Kai was the underachiever. Ten years later the tables have turned when he becomes the new CEO of the cosmetic company Yu Tang works for. – IMDB
It is a little sad that Taiwanese television dramas have not caught on as much as other foreign shows like Korean dramas for example. I’m personally a huge fan of Taiwanese series because they are a little formulaic at times but they also have a lot of creativity and the best ones create a good balance between romance, drama and comedy. Its a shame that I’ve fallen out of it for a while but at the same time, coming back to it these past two years have really opened up my eyes to how well the shows are. There is still a big issue with the industry and one of the actors here have brought it up but I’m going to avoid diving into that issue but focusing on how great this show is because of its colorful cast, well-timed comedic moments and general fun moments.
What I love about this series:
- Wen-kai Ji (played by Aaron Yan): Aaron Yan is possibly my favorite part of this series. He is so expressive with his motions and reactions. His dialogue was done so well and his chemistry with Joanne Tseng who plays Yu-Tang Zhong is so awesome. Not to mention, he came back based on a promise that he’ll take care of her and the way he is doing that is by pushing her to be better.
- Yu-Tang Zhong (played by Joanne Tseng): Its hard to find series that I like both of the couples equally as much and in this case, Joanne Tseng does a stellar job. She captures a very innocent girl who is really very smart but has fallen into a comfort zone as an executive secretary. When she is suddenly pulled out of her comfort zone, she accepts her challenge and you see her grow, being stronger and more courageous and eventually become a fantastic woman. What makes her so endearing is her lack of knowledge to her feelings and what people around her feel for her (aka Wen-kai Ji and the other male character, Zi-yu Wang).
- Sales Team 3: The team that Yu-Tang ends up doing sales is the most rag-tag team of unmotivated individuals. In many ways, they all are the “refresh man” concept here that needs a fresh start and the extra push. They are funny together and truly fun to watch grow as they all find their potential and let it grow as they realize that they can be more.
- The Romance: I already mentioned the chemistry before but there is so much about the trials and tribulations between Yu-Tang and Wen-kai from their high school years to how they finally owned up to their romance. Its hilarious and crazy and yet so touching to watch. Its one that truly does make us love and ship them. One of the rare on-screen couples that I actually route for fully and completely because they are worth every moment of it. You can feel their pain and their love no matter before they find their balance to be together or after they finally get together and are forced apart. If you watch any of these drama series, you know that it isn’t a spoiler but an eventuality.
Refresh Man is a great series, probably one of my absolute favorite. Its great to see that Netflix has acquired some good ones. This was a fun spontaneous discovery and I quickly binge watched it twice in a row. Joanne Tseng and Aaron Yan are awesome actors and they capture their role perfectly. The script is charming for the most part and still pretty predictable however, there are some spontaneous bits that will take you by surprise here and there. There is also some odd moments that make us wonder why it was done that way. However, whether you find it funny or entertaining or downright warm and fuzzy (or maybe a little in pain when things go wrong), Wen-kai and Joanne Tseng are characters that come to life who make us want them to win whatever challenge is in front of them. When they aren’t in the romance thing, which actually is in the background a lot more, Sales Team 3 will make you want to cheer for them to pick up their slack and succeed in their almost impossible task of selling a product that no one really cares for anymore.
Overall, a great show and one that deserves to have great appreciation. I’m glad to see that Aaron Yan has grown so much from the first series I saw him in till this one. Joanne Tseng also looks familiar and yet I can’t place where I’ve seen her before but she is fantastic and I’m going to look for more of her series. If you do like Taiwanese series, this is one to check out.