I finally finished a Taiwanese drama after so long and I am happy to have selected another good drama to watch. Actually, this drama was recommended to me and I picked it up because it has only 15 episodes. Taiwanese dramas are good but can get too long to bear as each episode spans mostly more than 70 minutes. I have been meaning to watch one specific T-drama for a while but have still not been able to watch it. Hope this drama breaks the jinx and I finally start watching it soon.
Coming to the review, Marry Me, or Not? (MMoN) is a rom-com with the central plot revolving around human pride. People often give up on things and people they love just to preserve their pride. In MMoN, Huan Zhen and Shen Nan have a misunderstanding and give up on their close friendship only because neither of the two wants to sort out their differences. This leads to years of enmity between the two former best friends. This drama is high on romance and comedy which is why I enjoyed watching it.
Marry Me, or Not? (2016) (15 Episodes)
Cai Huan Zhen (Alice Ke) and Hao Sheng Nan (Joanne Tseng) were best friends in college till Sheng Nan spots Huan Zhen flirting with Jiang Qian Yao (Harry Chang), the boy she has a huge crush on. Sheng Nan feels betrayed and heart-broken and she breaks all ties with Huan Zhen. After graduation both the girls work in the tourism industry for rival companies and often try to outdo each other in gaining clients and contracts. Huan Zhen is somehow always a step ahead of Sheng Nan which makes the latter extremely angry with the former. Sheng Nan loses her head when she learns that Huan Zhen will soon be marrying her uncle. She devises a plan to publicly embarrass Huan Zhen which results in Huan Zhen’s marriage being called off. Hurt and humiliated, Huan Zhen leaves the marriage hall and bumps into Hao Meng (Roy Chiu) who she knows as Sheng Nan’s boyfriend. She forcibly kisses Hao Meng and runs off with him only to make Shen Nan jealous. What she does not know is that Hao Meng is actually Sheng Nan’s older brother. Then onwards she does her best to lure Hao Meng so he dumps Sheng Nan for her. Fully aware of Huan Zhen’s true intentions, Hao Meng too plays along till it gets difficult for both of them as they develop actual feelings for each other.
Let’s weigh this funny romantic Taiwanese drama on our drama beam balance and see which side it weighs heavy with.
Roy Chiu: Roy is ‘seriously’ funny. He plays Hao Meng who wanted to be an environmental lawyer but is compelled to become a divorce lawyer due to lack of scope in environmental law. This man is hurt for not being able to achieve his dream. He lacks respect for marriage after seeing his parents fight all his life which is why he is glad to take up divorce cases. Roy maintains a poker face throughout the show that makes you crack up easily during comedy scenes.
However, in scenes where he is required to show pain, sorrow or anger, he has done so like an ace. His acting is subtle and controlled. His occasional smile would make me swoon for him. His performance is sincere and flawless. He is the first male character I have seen crying so much in a drama.
Alice Ke: Alice plays Huan Zheng who appears snooty and selfish on the outside but actually deals with a lot of insecurities. She camouflages her vulnerabilities with attitude and aloofness. She fears being abandoned which is why she easily breaks relations so that she does not feel hurt on being left by someone. Her ego often gets into her way to real happiness in life. Alice Ke does a splendid job in this drama. She looks fabulous in everything she wears on the show and her good acting helps make her character convincing. Also, she shares a great chemistry with Roy Chiu.
Brother-Sister Duo: I often applaud lead couple chemistry in my drama reviews and even though I liked the main couple chemistry, I personally preferred the brother-sister duo more. Sheng Nan and Hao Meng’s crazy antics would make me want to see them more in the drama. This pair of menacing siblings looks painfully adorable.
Production Value: Taiwanese dramas are usually made on low budgets which affect the quality of a drama. But that wasn’t the case with MMoN. This drama was visually appealing. Even the wardrobe the two girls flaunted was chic and high-end. This drama certainly looked a lot better than the other T-dramas I have watched till now.
Second-Lead: Don’t be surprised, I am not criticizing the second-lead here. The second-lead is a bad weight because I felt his character was not well-written. Harry Chang plays the role of Jiang Qian Yao (love the way Hao Meng addresses him as Qian ‘whatever’ Yao) and man he’s cute. He even resembles my favourite Korean actor, Lee Joon Gi.
Initially, he appeared to be a very weak actor compared to the rest of the cast but as the episodes progressed, the man startled me with his evil-grin and easy charm. His acting was good but the character was rather weak. Qian Yao is perceived as a bad character who then seems to be good but later ends up becoming the bad guy. I’m am not sure if it is my love for second-leads that has me dissatisfied with the way Qian Yao’s character shaped up in the drama. I liked his chemistry with Sheng Nan and wanted to see more of them. Too bad, that does not happen and Qian Yao has to leave without any scope for redemption. Had his character been a little more developed, he surely could have redeemed himself later and I could have had the perfect ending for Sheng Nan. But the writers wanted to show something different and I will accept that.
Marry Me, or Not? is loaded with good weights. You may find it frustrating each time the main leads break-up. Also, the drama does get draggy towards the end but those are just a few low-point for a rather good drama. This drama will surely make you laugh because it is high on comic quotient. I want to mention here that there is a special appearance by the uber-cute Chen Bolin (In Time With You) in episode 2 where he complains of having issues with his wife. He looks so cute that I missed watching him on-screen.
I give Marry Me, or Not? 3.5 out of 5 rating as it is a very entertaining drama and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. You have to watch it if romantic comedy is your favourite genre.
Image Courtesy: CTV, ETTV