30 October 2013

真愛黑白配 Love Around

Title: 真愛黑白配 Zhēn'ài Hēibái Pèi
English Title:
  • Love Around
  • Love Black and White
Country: Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Language: Mandarin Chinese
Year: 2013
Episode: 21
  • 胡宇崴 Hú Yǔ Wǎi (George Hu)
  • 陳庭妮 Chén Tíng Nī (Annie Chen)
  • 李運慶 Lǐ Yùn Qìng (Jack Li)
  • 陶妍霖 Táo Yán Lín (Elleya Tao)
  • 趙杰 Zhào Jié
  • 莫允雯 Mò Yǔn Wén (Christina Chen)
  • 瑤涵沂 Yáo Hán Yí
  • 張珮瑩 Zhāng Pèi Yíng (Stephanie Chang)
  • 邱慧雯 Qiū Huì Wén
  • 薛仕凌 Xuē Shì Líng
  • 余月如 Yú Yuè Rú

畢書盡 Bì Shū Jǐn - Come Back to Me
Zhou Zhen thought he will be with his girlfriend forever but she suddenly broke up with him because of his father's gangster background and his family's less-than-stellar reputation.

Zhou Zhen witnesses Liang Xiao Shu being bullied by her boyfriend when she confronts him for his cheating ways. Zhou Zhen defends Xiao Shu and they become good friends.

I wouldn't have watched Love Around had I known about the twisted premise beforehand. The drama suffered mainly from awful writing, and consequently poor acting. If you are planning to watch the drama, I seriously recommend that you think things through as you may end up wasting your time.

The drama talks about the importance of family backgrounds and good reputations in society. People evaluate other people based on their past and connections, and I think it's normal to do so as it is a concrete way of judging how people are in the present and how people will be in the future.

However, I like how Zhou Zhen stated how important it is to give people the benefit of the doubt. People are not perfect so they are bound to make mistakes one way or another. What really matters is how people owe up to their mistakes, or try to fix the mistakes if it is at all possible, or try to make up for the mistakes in some other way if it cannot be fixed.

Zhou Zhen: Perhaps he’s thought things through. All people will do wrong. The point is after they make a mistake, will they change.

Anyway, I am not particularly inclined to dedicate songs to special people in my life but even I am bothered by the fact that the song Zhen dedicates to his ex-girlfriend Chen Ping Ying is exactly the same song that he dedicates to Liang Xiao Shu. I don't know how to explain why it bothered me really. It just seemed weird because it's like the special someone is interchangeable? I also think it was crass because a special song is usually meant for a special person, and it just seems necessary to find another special song meant for a different special person.

This drama has a very twisted premise. If the parent of your loved one accidentally killed your brother in the past, there couldn't possibly be any logical way for the relationship to work out. It may be unintentional but the fact remains that he killed someone intimately related to you. Of course, it will be difficult for you and for your family to just get over that fact.

So it's very hard for me to root for a happy ending for Zhen and Xiao Shu because it is just not very realistic for them to have one. It is a doomed relationship right from the start and it may seem unfair but then again, life is never fair anyway.

To be honest, I was actually rooting for Zhen and his ex-girlfriend Ping Ying to be together mainly because they don't have that 'my-father-killed-your-brother' complication on the table. It seemed initially that Ping Ying was an awful person for breaking up with Zhen because of his unscrupulous background but it was later revealed that she broke up with him because she was going blind and she didn't want him to be burdened with taking care of her.

I have to mention that I am particularly bothered by the massive product placement in the drama. I know advertising in productions has always existed and is unavoidable, but it is especially intensified in Love Around. A lot of the scenes seem especially written in to highlight particular products and brands, instead of incorporating said product placement to an actual solid script. And even if the scenes were written precisely to promote specific products and brands, there could have been a better way of presenting things so that the product placement is less obvious.

真愛黑白配 Love Around