19 October 2014

喜歡·一個人 Love Myself or You

Title: 喜歡·一個人 Xǐhuān - Yī Gè Rén
English Title:
  • Love Myself or You
  • Pleasantly Surprised
Country: Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Language: Mandarin Chinese
Year: 2014
  • 郭雪芙 Guō Xuě Fú (Puff Guo)
  • 劉以豪 Liú Yǐ Háo (Max Liu)
  • 賴琳恩 Lài Lín Ēn (Lene Lai)
  • 李紹祥 Lǐ Shào Xiáng (Sean Lee)
  • 曾柏崴 Céng Bǎi Wǎi
  • 簡宏霖 Jiǎn Hóng Lín
  • 巴鈺 Bā Yù (Orange Pa)
  • 曾允柔 Zéng Yǔn Róu
  • 林欣蓓 Lín Xīn Bèi
  • 孫沁岳 Sūn Qìn Yuè
  • 梅賢治 Méi Xián Zhì

陳彥允 Chén Yàn Yǔn - 小人物大公主 Xiǎorénwù Dà Gōngzhǔ (Nobody and Princess)
Du Kai Qi likes being alone. She works as an assistant chef at the famous Figaro Cuisine restaurant, where she is used to doing all the cooking preparation on her own.

Fu Zi Jie is the younger son f a famous chef who owns many restaurants, and he also loves cooking. He is intending to go back to Europe for an internship, but his parents convinced him to work at one of their restaurants for one month.

Zi Jie is going to work at his father's first restaurant Figaro Cuisine and on his first day as the new intern, Kai Qi is competing with the other assistant chef Cheng Le Xuan for the sous chef position. Zi Jie is tasked to taste the dishes as an unbiased judge.

陳彥允 Chén Yàn Yǔn - 基因決定我愛你 Jīyīn Juédìng Wǒ Ài Nǐ (DNA Says I Love You)
Love Myself or You is a remarkable drama for having layered and accomplished female characters (as opposed to most dramas with helpless damsels in distress that need rescuing), and for having said lead female characters primarily competing against each other in a professional setting (as opposed to most dramas where female characters are vying against each other for a guy's affections).

It was frustrating when initially, Du Kai Qi is presented as talented whereas Cheng Le Xuan is someone with just a pretty face. It is fortunate that as the drama went on, it was shown that Kai Qi and Le Xuan are both skilled chefs, albeit in different ways.

Kai Qi likes to be alone and to be independent, and I honestly don't see anything wrong with it. I suppose Kai Qi takes it to the extreme and some people may find that problematic, but generally I think she's admirable for wanting to be responsible for herself and for her family, instead of hoping that some rich guy is going to fix all her troubles.

I like how Le Xuan is not the evil incarnate, and that there are lines she's not willing to cross just to win in any competition. Yes, there are times when she's being unreasonable and vindictive against Kai Qi but I can understand where she's coming from because there are countless times where Kai Qi and her friends at work are being insufferable and unprofessional.

Love Myself or You also had one of the greatest second male leads ever in dramaland. Cheng Hao Wei was Kai Qi's best friend in college and they almost became lovers, but they had some misunderstandings and they eventually grew apart. When they cleared the air between them a few years later, Hao Wei is still in love with Kai Qi but he acted as her best friend first and foremost; such as helping her clear her thoughts, and guiding her to make decisions that are after her own interests and welfare.

I found Hao Wei to be the better man because of one thing: he accepts Kai Qi as she is, including her difficult personality and her troublesome family situation, without qualifications. Hao Wei is also mature enough to help Kai Qi with her relationship problems, even though he ends up hurting inside because he loves her romantically.

Fu Zi Jie, also known as Louis Fu (and Ah Jie), is a really confounding character in many ways, but I especially don't get why he couldn't accept Kai Qi as she is in the present, and why he is insisting on changing her to be more like who she was in the past.

Zi Jie was Kai Qi's childhood friend; he remembers that she had a different disposition when she was younger, and he made it his mission in life to change her back to who she was. I don't understand why he couldn't accept her as she is. I mean, people change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse, but that's just a fact of life.

Zi Jie is also someone who has a lot of issues in his own life; he has family issues and he has career issues to name a few, so it's kind of frustrating that he's so preoccupied with what he perceives is Kai Qi's problem, when he couldn't even deal with his own situation properly.

喜歡·一個人 Love Myself or You