17 May 2014

我的自由年代 In A Good Way

Title: 我的自由年代 Wǒ de Zìyóu Niándài
English Title:
  • In A Good Way
  • My Era of Freedom
  • My Years of Freedom
Country: Taiwan, R.O.C.
Language: Mandarin Chinese
Year: 2013
Episode: 26
  • 李國毅 Li Guó Yì (Lego Li)
  • 任容萱 Rèn Róng Xuān (Kirsten Ren)
  • 翁滋蔓 Wēng Zī Màn (Smile Weng)
  • 是元介 Shì Yuán Jiè (Jay Shih)
  • 姚淳耀 Yáo Chún Yào
  • 孫其君 Sūn Qí Jūn (Steven Sun)
  • 林舒語 Lín Shū Yǔ (Apple Lin)
  • 黃甄妮 Huáng Zhēn Nī (Jenny Huang)
  • 陸侲曦 Lù Zhèn Xī (Josh Lu)
  • 張善為 Zhāng Shàn Wéi
  • 陳志強 Chén Zhì Qiáng
  • 謝麗金 Xiè Lì Jīn
  • 馬維欣 Mǎ Wéi Xīn
  • 吳佳珊 Wú Jiā Shān
  • 楊烈 Yáng Liè
  • 樓學賢 Lóu Xué Xián
  • 況明潔 Kuàng Míng Jié (Doris Kuang)
  • 廖峻 Liào Jùn
  • 馬世莉 Mǎ Shì Lì

符致逸 Fú Zhì Yì - Good Morning Hard City
卓文萱 Zhuō Wén Xuān -幸福的理由 Xìngfú De Lǐyóu (Reason for Happiness)
Lin Jia En is content to live in her small province but her childhood friend Zheng Ren Wei has opened her eyes to the possibility of going to Taiwan's capital Taipei for college. Because she doesn't really know what she wants, Jia En copies Ren Wei's preferred universities and desired courses.

Ren Wei passes the college entrance exam but Jia En fails because of Ren Wei's meddling. Left alone in Ping Tung as she studies for another year while Ren Wei is living the great college life, Jia En suddenly decides to visit him and her parents in Taipei.

Looking very much like an innocent country girl unfamiliar with the big city, Jia En's bag gets stolen. She finds out when she reaches her parents' teahouse that her parents went away for a short vacation. Without money and a place to stay, Jia En goes to Ren Wei's dormitory to ask for help.

Jia En goes to what she assumes as Ren Wei's room to wait for him, and she falls asleep. Lui Shan Fang, also known as Liu Chan, is getting dressed and he is surprised to find a strange girl in his room.

Jia En apologizes when she finds out that she went to the wrong room, and she goes out in front of the dormitory building to wait for her friend. Lui Chan looks out his window and finds Jia En still waiting outside without an umbrella under the pouring rain. Although women are not allowed in the male dormitory at night, Lui Chan decides to let Jia En spend the night in his room.

林凡 Lín Fán - 明明愛你 Míngmíng Ài Nǐ (Obviously Love You)
符致逸 Fú Zhì Yì - 妳要我愛什麼 Nǎi Yào Wǒ Ài Shénme (What You Want Me to Love)
In A Good Way is a great drama about growing up and becoming independent. I found the first half of the first episode a little slow, and I was worried that would be the case for the whole drama but things picked up in the second half of the first episode, and thankfully the pacing remained at a fairly fast pace until the last episode.

It is set in the 1990s, but the issues tackled in the drama are as applicable to the young people of today as it was relevant to the young people in the 1990s. The setting probably brought on nostalgic memories for the people who were college students then, and it also possibly provided an interesting difference for the people who didn't know a time when there are no mobile phones.

Although I like most of the characters in the drama, Bai Xue Fen, also known as Bai Xue, is my favorite character. She's just so cool in so many levels, and she seems as close to perfect as can be.

I wish Bai Xue had other narratives, aside from her one-sided love to Liu Shan Feng, also known as Liu Chan. After she had dealt with her unrequited feelings, and after she has resolved her friendships, she became a supporting character.

Liu Chan is a far second favorite character. I actually liked him a lot in the first few episodes but as the drama went on, I became more indifferent with his story line. I can't really determine when it happened but at a certain point, I just stopped becoming invested in what happens to him.

Actor Lego Li did an amazing job in portraying Liu Chan, and wish I could say the same for the other actors in this production. They weren't particularly good but they also weren't notably bad, so it's not much of a loss really. I just can't help thinking how this drama could have been much more amazing if the cast is full of skilled actors.

Anyway, I think this is one of the very few dramas that doesn't have any bad lead characters; I mean, the foursome involved in the so-called love rectangle are all decent people. There are times that one or two characters may hurt another character but it's usually unintentional.

I like that the romantic relationships featured in the drama are between people who met as adults, instead of childhood sweethearts who have a lot of history together. While there are many childhood friends who became lovers, I think there are more people who meet their partners in college or at work.

我的自由年代 In A Good Way