TV Binge: The Romance of Tiger and Rose (传闻中的陈芊芊, 2020)

The Romance of Tiger and Rose (传闻中的陈芊芊, 2020)

Director: Cha Chuen Yee

Cast: Rosy  Zhao, Ryan Ding, Zixin Zhou, Yinghao Sheng, Xin Zhao, Patrick Quan, Smile Wei, Minghao Chen, Yijia Wu, Shuyuan Liu

Chen Xiao Qian has dedicated her entire life to making her dream of becoming a well-respected screenwriter come true. Proud of the effort she put into creating this epic tale, Xiao Qian expects things on-set to go quickly and smoothly. But all her high-hopes are soon crushed as her script falls under the critical scrutiny of both the cast and crew. Hurt by the harshness of her peers, Xiao Qian vows to prove herself but things don’t go the way she planned. Mysteriously transported into the pages of her own story, Xiao Qian has now become the Third Princess, Chen Qian Qian, an insignificant side character with a horrible reputation and a short lifespan. Desperate to change her fate, Xiao Qian vows to do whatever it takes to ensure her survival. But the journey ahead won’t be easy, especially not after she catches the attention of both the arrogant and manipulative prince, Han Shuo, and the impossibly perfect Minister of Education, Pei Heng. Wandering through a world of her own making, Xiao Qian is desperate, not only to survive, but to keep her heart intact as she tries to find her way back home. Will her efforts be enough or will she be stuck in this story forever? – MyDramaList

Episodes: 24
Where to watch: Tencent Youtube Channel

Meshing modern and ancient or fantasy is always a fun way as it plays with the fish out of water tale that usually creates a lot of comedy along the way (and one of my favorite sort of stories). What makes The Romance of Tiger and Rose stand out is that it twists it a little more. In this case, modern day screenwriter Xiao Qian is the creator of the story that she falls into so she knows the characters and settings more than the characters and because of that, she becomes the changing factor, a fact that she needs to realize and embrace that her character that she embodies now, Qian Qian is becoming a main female lead and no longer the short-lived supporting character. As she finds a way to manipulate the story back on the course its suppose to take, its really a story about following your heart and embracing change, that no one can play God even if its her own script especially with the unknown factor of how she escapes back into the reality in the end.

Fantasy or Ancient China settings for Chinese TV dramas that I usually watch are big productions and very dramatic. The refreshing part for Tiger and Rose is that it falls in the romantic comedy sort of story. That alone is a nice change especially since the characters themselves and the cast are all very fun as well. Even the more serious characters have this sort of humor to them that gradually is revealed. Plus the story takes a secret plot gone wrong by a neighboring city that is opposite in beliefs of this one. Xiao Qian’s original story was focused on a love story much like Romeo and Juliet’s that breaks the tension between two countries of opposing values, Qianqian’s which is a matriarchy where men have no say or power and patriarchy where its vice versa and brings up a point that no extreme in either way is good but rather should strike an equality. This is obviously hidden between the lines as the story is focused on the romance between Tiger and Rose and plays on a thing that Chinese stories always say about being the main lead in your own story ( not sure if that’s just a Chinese drama thing).

The characters are quite fun. Ryan Ding and Rosy Zhao are hilarious together. They also can be quite sweet. It all starts off as schemes and gradually grows over time. They both take their roles in this over the top moments and it really helps add that sense of comedy and not forced since it fits into the tone of the story. Both characters have rather good chemistry and there’s an air of drama between them which adds depth tontheir characters especially since Rosy Zhao’s Qianqian takes this bad reputation character that she writes and changes it to an honorable character despite the fact that her takeover doesn’t transfer the character’s skills to her so she needs to justify why she can’t fight anymore for example. Ryan Ding is an interesting actor because he does mold well in the different elements here and feels more genuine. The chenistry between the two leads are good especially with how its developed and executed. The silly servants for each of them also almost steal the show because of how comedic and clueless they are as well as some of the supporting characters even if the second male lead does feel like more seriously written than it should be.

Running at 24 episodes, its the best length for most dramas. Its well-paced while still having a decent story that doesn’t lose focus of the story that needs to be told. The love story remains rather prominent but at the same time, its a story about “Rose” which is Qianqian’s character and its mostly from her point of view while still having moments of behind the scenes with other characters. That’s a little odd considering this is her story and its her that fell into her dream which is the only little bit that I think should have been reworked. However, it shows that this fictional world is moving away from her written path. Its a good balance of everything and while I’m initially wasn’t completely convinced about Rosy Zhao’s acting, this drama does fit her really well. I still think she can work on her crying a little more since it seems very unconvincing but at the same time, the drama is mostly comedy and its done in an entertaining way and its surprisingly bingeworthy because of it.

TV Binge: Forget You Remember Love (忘记你记得爱情, 2020)

Forget You Remember Love (忘记你记得爱情, 2020)

Cast: Fair Xing, Garvey Jin, Cavan Wen, Xing Cheng Jiang, Joyce Zhao, Ming Na Yang, Alex Dong, Zheng Jun Li, Jurat Kutilai

A story between an ordinary girl who rescues a downtrodden CEO that has lost his memories, thus beginning a dreamy fairy tale. – MyDramaList

Where to watch: Tencent (Youtube Channel or App)

Forget You Remember Love is a remake of 2005 Taiwanese TV series Prince Turn To Frog (currently available on Netflix Canada, you would need to check your own area to see if its also available there). The original starred a popular cast lead by Joe Chen and Ming Dao. The 2nd female lead of the original actually plays a supporting role as the female lead’s stepmother in this Chinese remake. I can’t remember a whole lot of the original series so I can’t really compare the two but the course of events feels pretty similar but probably expanded on since the original was 31 episodes and this one is 38. Forget You Remember Love tells a rather common story especially when its remaking a storyline told in 2005, everything becomes less unique and much more predictable. In 2005, this type of storyline was quite the tale that brought chemistry and laughter and maybe even some tears so its a wonder to me whether the same ideas still work in the 2020 landscape. Speaking from my own view, some of it does work and then some of the really dramatic bits really do get a little frustrating. That’s the extent of comparing to the original that I will go.

Before we get ahead, lets do a more expansive recap of the story. Forget You Remember Love is a story about a small town girl Qianyu who saves a rich and cold CEO Junhao from drowning. They part ways with a pretty bad impression of each other to eventually meet again after he gets washed up after an accident with amnesia where she takes him in. For a few months (I think that’s what the timeline is), he stays with her family and helps out while the two fall in love but when his real life catches up, she means to bring him back when some power hungry people from his corporation plot to make him vanish causing him to have another accident that brings him memories back but forgetting the whole time that he stayed in the small village and his relationship with the Qianyu. For her village’s inn, Qianyu ends up having to work with him in order to save it and then causing him to fall in love with her again. Of course in the background, there’s Junhao’s fiancee and then the best friend that secretly crushes on his fiancee and then Qianyu also having a second male lead who helps her unconditionally causing a heavy case of the second male lead syndrome. There’s family and social class issues as well as revenge and dirty manipulation put into play. Like I said, pretty basic plotline for dramas especially for people like myself that have been watching TV dramas since the 2000s (or even before).

However, with that said, chemistry and character design can pull it through. I mean, I didn’t review Meteor Garden remake and even with its issues, that was a pretty successful remake overall (but I really should since my ambitious plan fell through). That’s where Forget You Remember Love might have some issues. First of all, the pacing creates some issues. Running at 38 episodes, there some major repetitive moments that drags on for much longer than it needs. The same issues keep coming up and the same reactions keep happening which creates more frustration than enjoyment at a certain point. With that said, there were some pretty great moments in the first half when amnesiac Junhao, now named Tong Hao is living with Qianyu that plays out really well. The happy and positive person that he becomes and the friendship turned to love that happens between them that wakes up this other side of him.

The key chemistry and fleshed out characters are Qianyu played by Fair Xing, an actress that I personally think is very natural when she acts, Garvey Jin as Junhao who really does give off a very opposite vibe in his normal life and amnesiac life and shows a change when he falls back in love with Qianyu. Its a fairly dynamic performances. Taichu as the second male lead played by Cavan Wen is also a charming and handsome guy who really maked you root for him but knows that he won’t get the girl. The direction for his character especially at the ending bits really adds so much to his character. Qianyu’s mother and and the people at the fishing village, mostly the prior is incredibly fun to watch. Her personality and the little bickerings adds a lot of laughter to the whole series. Where it falls into some fairly one dimensional characters does go to the fiancee Yunyi whose character is the most annoying as all she does is be sad, pretend everything’s okay and then lie about a situation which always backfires and it cycles between being sad and insecure over and over again. The same goes for the best friend character Ziqian who is a rather flat character until they give him a revenge plot.

Overall, Forget You Remember Love is an okay watch. The first half being a lot stronger than the second half. The main issue being that it drags out the ending a little more than it should. The plot is fairly basic as it is a remake however the main leads do have decent character arcs and chemistry making it a fun watch. The moments between female lead and first and second male leads being some of the best parts of the series while the fishing village parts and amnesia parts being the other standout parts.

What’s Up: Week 45

Tranquil Dreams (47)

Another week has gone by and we are into second last month. As things calm down a little, its slowly getting the projects back on track.

READING

Proximity

Currently reading: Proximity, Legends of the Exiles

Moving along with Proximity nowadays. Legends of the Exiles was put on the backdrop for now just because of re-evaluating upcoming blog tours and prioritizing what needs to be done. Both of them are still on my reading list right now and hopefully will be done. Proximity is a lot of fun to read so I’m definitely hoping to find a lot more time to just sit down and focus on finishing it up and see where the story goes.

PLAYING

Cube Escape: Theatre

  • Cube Escape: Theatre
  • Cube Escape: The Cave

Currently playing: Cube Escape: Paradox

I’m working through the last few games in the Cube Escape series to wrap up the Game Warp second half of reviews. Its really coming along in this second playthrough of the Cube Escape games as the story is piecing together really nicely and I’m seeing it all in a better picture. Cube Escape: Paradox is currently a first playthrough and its proving to be much longer with two chapters and I’m only on Chapter 1 right now and also much harder than its predecessors.

WATCHING

Eat Drink Man Woman

  • The Wedding Banquet (1993)
  • Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)
  • My Teacher, My Obsession (2018)
  • Sense and Sensibility (1995, Rewatch) Review

The main focus of this past week has been primarily the new season of Movies and Tea as we dive into non other than Ang Lee. We have had quite a few recording sessions for it so with wrapping up Father Knows Best Trilogy and then Sense and Sensibility prep, its taken up most of my viewing schedule.

No worries though, Blood in the Snow Festival is just around the corner and I’m doing some remote coverage so that’s coming up very soon as I need to work out the review schedule.

BINGING

Bromance

  • Bromance (2015)
  • Soft Memory (2019)

Currently binging: Lipstick Prince (Season 2), When I Grow Up, Viva La Romance (Season 3), Wait, My Youth (2019)

A productive week in TV binging for sure as I properly finished binge watching Bromance which was a ton of fun and really  got me incredibly involved by the end of it although I kind of guessed the ending (which really isn’t too hard as it was fairly obvious at a certain point). At the same time, Tencent’s Soft Memory also wrapped up. Bromance definitely has my heart as the series that really built up to something a lot of fun, plus there was a lot of romance and comedy and Megan Lai and Baron Chen really sold their roles really well. Either way, the TV Binge post will come up eventually. I’m stopping to make promises when as I have so many of those piling up. I did start up Wait, My Youth (called My Youth when it first aired on  whichever channel on Youtube that I can’t remember right now) and that’s been a lot of fun.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

What’s Up 2019 – Week 34

Another week has passed by. As always with weekends away, its a bit slower. If you missed yesterday’s post on Fan Expo Canada, we headed down there and met up with a fellow blogging friend. First time there and not as media so it was relaxing and just did a ton of stuff that I enjoyed although would have wanted to check out all the South Building stuff but didn’t have time. Either way, things moved along a little but some things that happened over the weekend that I was away in Toronto obviously didn’t end up wrapping up.

READING

Wild Dark Times

  • Wild Dark Times by  Austin Case (Review)

Currently reading: Twisted Pines by Lane Baker (9% done)

Wrapped up Wild Dark Times last week right in time for the blog tour. The review is up already and linked above so I won’t talk too much about it but it was a really fun read and lived up to the premise when I read the synopsis and decided to check it out. That’s always a plus. I like books that play up on real things and add the urban fantasy element to it and shows off the author’s creativity. However, I started up Twisted Pines now. Thanks to the author Lane Baker reaching out to me years after his previous one that I also reviewed HERE. I literally just started up the book and its a converted version so its tough on the Kindle so might switch back to reading on the PC to make life a little easier for my eyes sake.

PLAYING

NOTHING! I played nothing this week. I was away and didn’t play anything on my phone. During the week, I was getting the weekend chores done before leaving for the weekend away so took up most of the evening time. Nothing is all I got here.

WATCHING

the fanatic

  • A Home With A View (2018)
  • Split (2016)
  • The Fanatic (2019, Advanced screening)

Less about how I’m recommending this film but rather the fact that I saw the advanced screening for The Fanatic at Fan Expo despite some issues that occurred but was eventually fixed and we did get to see the rest of the movie. Most of the movies that I saw this week was middle of the way. Probably I’d recommend A Home With A View the most because Split was alright but not great and The Fanatic was alright and not great for probably the same reasons where the actor showcased did a good job but it thought it was being more clever than it actually did in execution. It sounds mean but they really aren’t bad films and I’ll talk about it more in the upcoming reviews.

BINGING

we grew up

  • We Grew Up (Season 1, 2019)
  • Heart Signal (Season 2, 2019)

Currently binging: Super Vocal (Season 2), The King’s Avatar, Hyperdrive, The Coming One 3

I wrapped up the finale for both of the Tencent reality shows that I was watching last week as they aired their last episode. Both of them were pretty good. I’ll do a big post comparison on the concept for the romance/relationship thing for Heart Signal and other shows that I’ve seen before because I think its a good one to talk about and a nice little concept and they each have pros and cons. The show that just pulled at my heartstrings even though I’m not a parent is We Grew Up. I was a bit conflicted with the concept of a reality show focused on some really young kids learning to be independent despite them making all kinds of safety precautions that’s also apparent in the show. However, in the end, it does highlight a lot about the whole growing up in China and just in general parenting and young kids and how they adapt. Its pretty neat and honestly, there are some heartbreaking moments between the siblings but at the same time, there are also some funny moments as kids will have.

As for the currently binging stuff, I’m absolutely enamored with The King’s Avatar currently updated weekly on Netflix. My husband and I are watching Hyperdrive together and well, Super Vocal 2 is the competition show on my radar that I’ve generally caught up with to their latest episode.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been playing/reading/watching/binging?