I still haven’t started on that ‘wrap up’ post on ‘Borrow ur Love’ yet, but let’s just say despite its many flaws I still enjoyed it way too much and it was a really intense experience for a newbie recapper like me! So unless something brilliant happens in ‘Love SOS’ or ‘Love Around’ – I’ll probably just be jotting down random thoughts for both series.
The first episode of ‘Love SOS’ actually rated really well, at 1.06 – the highest rating CTV has achieved with its Sunday idol dramas since June last year with the premiere episode of ‘Ia Ia I Do’. However, just like ‘Ia Ia I Do’, the ratings for episode 2 dipped quite a lot – to 0.75, while both its competitors ‘Love Around’ and ‘Fabulous Boys’ increased. I guess people were curious about episode 1 but found nothing really ‘WOW’ to stay watching. I tend to agree, but there is something endearing about it. Am I grasping at straws if I say the most endearing part of ‘Love SOS’ is Daniel Chan’s cantonese-accented Mandarin and the only thing that kept me watching ‘Love Around’ was George Hu’s voice? I may have a thing for voices way too much.
I know I’ll grow to love the theme / sub theme songs (because I always do… even if the initial impression was lukewarm) I’m not sure I can stand the ridiculously high notes of Daniel Chan’s ending song “Let me write you into my love song”. I mean, the song actually started out as a promising ballad… then it’s like the song writers are playing a joke on him, making him sing higher and higher…
We meet Han Tian Yu (Daniel Chan), a doctor working on a remote island where all the residents seem to want to introduce their daughters / female relatives to be his girlfriend. Tian Yu is not interested though. He came back from overseas and turned down offers to work at major hospitals to help more people. His parents are separated and he has a cold relationship with his father because of their different beliefs.
Tian Yu: I don’t believe in love. In my world, my father died when I was 17.
For a (yet to be disclosed) reason, Tian Yu doesn’t think he will ever marry. The person who is trying to change his mind is Liu Yi Jie (Amber An), a rich girl who chases Tian Yu all the way to the remote island despite her father’s objections. She’s in love with Tian Yu because he saved her from trouble a couple of times.
I must say Yi Jie is a rather annoying character, and her voice is majorly whiny. I don’t look forward to her scenes at all.
In contrast, our female lead Tong Lin (Jian Man Shu) is your honest, hardworking girl who has a strong sense of justice. She actually reminds me a lot of Xie Ping An (Amanda Zhu from Borrow ur Love), especially in the beginning scenes where she was rushing to an important exam, but when she witnesses a robbery, she can’t help but stop and chase down the robber so she missed the exam. And this wasn’t the first time something happened before an exam so she could never get into medical school.
Later on in the episode, she kicks some serious butt when some guys were bullying a girl with a huge scar on her face. At the moment I think Tong Lin has a slight edge over Xie Ping An because her voice is less high pitched!
Tong Lin’s parents died when she was young leaving her with some facial disfigurement. It was because of Dr Han (Tian Yu’s father) that she could look normal again. This is why she wants to be a doctor so she can help others like her. However, her aunt (who is like a mother figure) just wants Tong Lin to get married ASAP. Why? Because a fortune teller once said if Tong Lin marries by 28, her aunt will also have another chance in love as well. Sounds silly doesn’t it? Especially when Tong Lin is 27 (?) now and she has never had a boyfriend…?
So how did our two leads meet? Turns out Tong Lin’s landlady is Tian Yu’s mother. Tong Lin was planning to go to some festival on the remote island so Tian Yu’s mum asked her to take some food for her son. When she arrived, Tian Yu was in the middle of fending off all the residents who try to match him with their daughters so he made up some excuse that he already has a fiancée. Of course… Tong Lin ended up pretending to be that fiancée. Yes – hardly original!
To make it look like they’re a real couple, they go bike riding and take some selfies together. o_O I’m not seeing their compatibility straight away but I’m willing to give it a shot.
All in all, there wasn’t anything that’s really grabbing in the opening episode. I am curious about the introduction of another main character Shao Xiang Feng (Patrick Lee) in the next episode though. He has been more intriguing to me ever since I read the character profiles.
What a disaster. It really was. Any sympathy I had for this drama may have just disappeared. I actually wrote about episode 1 before I watched episode 2 so reading back it seems like I was rather kind to it. Maybe it was the remote island, seeing all the clear skies and greenery put me in a better mood. There is one good thing that came out of this hour of my life though, and it’s completely unrelated to the characters or plot?
Samsung must be a sponsor for this drama because we see their phones, tablets and laptops featured quite regularly. There’s this scene where Tian Yu uses the stylus to write “mother” on the phone screen and it automatically dials her number! I’m had the same phone (Galaxy Note 2) for a few months now and didn’t know about this feature! At least I learnt something new?
The main issue I have with episode 2 is how annoying Tong Lin is turning out to be. This girl is 27 years old? She seems so immature I thought she’s 17. The acting is over the top and the facial expressions are way exaggerated. At least with Xie Ping An her ‘in your face’ personality can be balanced out with the more introverted characters like Xi Le or Ye Chen. Here, there’s nothing to sooth my sanity. Even on the slapstick comedy level, I’m just bored of it rather than laughing along.
Speaking of balance, I think they might have tried it with Tian Yu’s character but it just turns out all weird. In episode 1 it was kinda whacky with all the pretend fiancée business but the next episode I’m expected to believe he’s a credible authority in the medical field while he’s giving a presentation on his research. We also learnt he doesn’t speak to his father because his father had an affair and abandoned his family.
This leads to a rather (unintended) hilarious scene. Tian Yu confronts his father and he starts speaking in Cantonese. WHY DO I FIND THIS SO FUNNY? I can’t place my finger on it. I think it’s the vocabulary used which is really not fitting in with this doctor image of his? Or it could just be plain overacting. I LOL-ed so hard and couldn’t possibly take all this supposed angst seriously.
The disasters don’t stop there. There’s also this whole subplot about Tian Yu’s ‘stepmother’ being all evil complete with creepy music. It is so cheesy. Tian Yu’s father (Dr Han) is a good doctor but his new wife is the mean, money grabbing type so she was the one who pushed Dr Han to rebrand their general practice clinic into a cosmetic enhancements clinic. I simply cannot stand to watch her.
So what about the introduction of Shao Xiang Feng whom I had been looking forward to? Oh gees. Maybe my opinion of him is tainted because I saw the cast’s interview on the show “Xiao Yan’s Night” last week. Patrick Lee is actually quite a joker in real life so to see him all brooding and angsty over the loss of a loved one, I cannot take him seriously. He looks like he’s trying not to laugh the whole time? The arms though… hrm…. 😀
Has this drama moved ahead all that much in plot? I don’t think so? Here’s a summary of what I remember from episode 2:
- Tong Lin goes on all these matchmaking sessions and she sabotages all of them.
- Tong Lin meets Xiang Feng on a construction site, he ‘rescues’ her from some falling debris and she’s all puppy eyes about him?
- Tian Yu goes to this serious medical conference and stays at his mother’s for two weeks.
- Tian Yu hates his father’s guts because he abandoned his family.
- Tong Lin helps this rich lady who fell on the road and she turns out to be one of the financiers for the cosmetic clinic. The rich lady wants to set Tong Lin up with her son who is a bit of a mummy’s boy.
- Some flashbacks about Xiang Feng’s dead girlfriend Yang Ling. She died on his operating table and he blames himself.
- Tian Yu, Xiang Feng, Yi Jie and Yang Ling were all friends at school but there was a fallout between Tian Yu and Xiang Feng? So Tian Yu’s father ended up passing on a lot of his knowledge to Xiang Feng instead of his own son.
Can’t say I’m caring too much though. Looking at the preview for next week there is possibly one good thing to look forward to…
Xie Ping An Amanda Zhu is guest starring?
Don’t be surprised if I can’t be bothered to write about this drama anymore. I wasn’t expecting all that much, but it’s really difficult to find anything enjoyable about it at the moment.