Down With Love
|Taiwanese Drama (2010)||Episodes: 16|
|Genre:Romantic Comedy||My Score: 7.5/10 ★★★★☆|
|Summary: To get a job, a girl let’s her boss believe she’s a lesbian. Since every woman seems to fall in love with him, he’s extra wary. However, he ends up falling in love with her instead!|
|Lead Actors: Jerry Yan, Ella Chen, Kelly Huang, Michael Zhang, and Chen Zi Han
Review: First off, I’m really divided on the scoring… I can’t decide if I should rate it lower or not. In the end, I went with a 7.5 because it kept my attention even through the slow, annoying episodes.
I don’t know what it was that captivated me. Maybe the actors just worked so well together. I liked how the characters got along with each other.
Story-wise, the flow started off nicely. The main leads started falling for each other around episode 3, and the lead guy only seemed like the typical bully for the first episode or so, (even when he did act that way, he had a good reason for it). I hate how most dramas have a jerk as the male lead and we have to wait until the drama’s half over before they start falling in love. Taiwanese dramas seem to be good at breaking that cliche, though, and it made me happy.
The drama did have quite a bit of cliches in it, but it felt more original or interesting because the female lead was mistaken for a lesbian for the first half of the show, (and even had her best female friend kiss her on the lips!). It’s not something that’s been over-used yet… in fact, I only remember seeing a similar situation in the kdrama Personal Taste. Actually, this drama felt a bit more similar to Coffee Prince, another kdrama.
Ella’s character was generally perceived as a “guy” because she was supposedly a boyish lesbian. The other characters acted like it was impossible for a man to even fall in love with a lesbian because her own personal sexuality turns her into a “man” to everybody around her. Well, I can understand that there are still misconceptions like that out there… but this is what made it feel more like Coffee Prince than Personal Taste, (just with, you know, less crying and drama).
It slows down near the end of the middle, (episodes 9-12). The arc of Ella being with the rival guy gets too drawn out, and combining that with the rival girl’s annoyingly persistent, whiny behavior, episode 12 was almost too dull to watch. Luckily, the drama gets good again at episode 13. If you can’t stand it, you can probably skip any of those four episodes, (especially 12), without missing too much. You’ll just miss seeing how much the rivals suck, (lol).
A good point about this drama is that it makes the lead guy go through some things a secondary crush character will have to go through in other dramas. It’s unfortunate that they had to make that part get stale, but those lovesick guys who can’t get the girl they love so deeply, are always appealing.
While I think the actors had good chemistry in general, I don’t really think any of the couples had a significant amount of romantic chemistry. There were really good romantic moments, but I felt it was because Jerry Yan was just so experienced with them, that he could even pull it off alone if needed, (he is famous for being in the legendary Meteor Garden drama from 2001). He was totally charming in the serious lovey scenes. The scene where he and Ella were talking on the phone together after he realized she wasn’t a lesbian, I could feel the excitement of having a crush on somebody through his portrayal of being in love with her character.
Though chemistry felt lacking, (in my own personal opinion), I don’t mean to imply that they were all bad actors except for Jerry, (in fact, I think he was a bit awkward in some of the really sillier scenes. Granted, it was a cute awkwardness, but seeing the behind-the-scene takes, it seems like he’s more on the serious side, so it’s understandable). I love Ella Chen. I can’t think of a drama or movie she’s been in that I haven’t liked. She’s just so amusing… i love her expressions and exaggerated acting. She’s okay in serious scenes, but she’s just perfect for this naive, caring, and fun-loving role.
I loved how the sisters interacted with each other. Kelly Huang, who played Yang Duo, the older sister, was really pretty. In the first half of the drama, I feel the director was trying to focus on her sexy side a little bit, probably to counteract or compliment Ella’s tomboyish nature. I think that character was put together well, though. She didn’t feel like some thrown-in side character. She actually had a back-story and reasons for behaving the way she did that were shown as the story progressed. Also, their dad was pretty annoying when he showed up, but when all the trouble he brought ended, he was actually a nice addition to the cast with his funny sayings.
I liked Ke Zhong, the second male lead, right away. Unfortunately, he turned into a jerk halfway through the drama. I couldn’t stay mad at him in the last episodes, since the other characters were so forgiving, but I wish they hadn’t devoted a fourth of the drama to that bad situation he created. Same with the rival girl. I feel the drama would have been a lot better if they hadn’t made her so… crazy.
I think it’s kind of weird that it had only been 3 months since the kids were orphaned, but they didn’t really seem to be that affected by it….
Also, (I don’t think this is a spoiler since the beginning credits make it really obvious), but I think it’s such a tease that they only did a photoshoot of their wedding, but never actually show it in the show!