It has been a long while since I’ve watched a Taiwanese drama, or any non-animated TV series for that matter. Nothing had managed to grab me. Not even the highly acclaimed, award-winning Downtown Abbey, Outlander, and Once Upon a Time. The interest and excitement were simply not there, that I didn’t bother to continue watching past the first two episodes.
That had been the case for a few years until last week. By pure accident, I discovered that Taiwanese actor Roy Chiu has teamed up with his previous leading lady from 小資女孩向前衝 (Office Girls), Alice Ke, in a new romantic comedy 必娶女人 (Marry Me or Not). When that happened, I literally squealed like a rabid fangirl. You don’t understand. I adored them to bits in the 2011 SETTV drama Office Girls, and I’ve been waiting for them to collaborate again for a long time, very long time. So obviously I just had to check out their new series.
A few promo stills with the pair looking stunning and oh so perfect together followed by a gorgeous MV clip that made me hum the tune for the entire day, and the deal was sealed.
3 episodes in, and I’m swooning from all the prettiness and sparkles.
Not only that Marry Me or Not has lived up to my expectations, but it has the potential to surpass Office Girls. It offers so much more, as it doesn’t shy away from showcasing Roy and Alice amazing onscreen chemistry, packing each episode with smile and sigh inducing scenes right from the start. And if the teasers for the upcoming episode 4 are anything to go by, there will be plenty of delicious scenes that will crank up the heat by more than a few notches ahead–something Office Girls fans were deprived of.
Marry Me or Not is definitely not another Office Girls. And the romance arc is not built upon the all too familiar, overused hate-turn-to-love trope either even though the synopsis might mislead one to think that way. On the contrary it distances itself from the cookie cutter cutesy Asian drama/shoujo manga/anime yet without losing the amusing quirks and wits that are unique to Asian shows.
The heroine is not the goody goody, self sacrificing, always-smiling-no-matter-what-dreadful-things-happen-to-her kind of woman–yep, I hear you, she’s not like Candy 😉
Rather, she’s a cunning, manipulative, selfish woman, who will do anything and stop at nothing to get what she wants, a literal b–ch in every sense of the word–umm an Eliza perhaps 😀 Yet I can’t help but root for her–the heroine not Eliza, just so that you won’t misunderstand me. That’s because everything is an act, a mask to hide how vulnerable she truly is.
Yes. Many things in the series are not what they seem.
The hero isn’t immune to this condition either. While he projects the image of a capable, confident divorce lawyer who has sworn off love to perfection, inside he’s actually a softie, an eternal romantic longing for a true love, whose own naiveté and idealism turned him into a cynic.
I’m loving this setting, a departure from the done-to-death trope of alpha male meets a damsel in distress, well, sort of. The woman has more control and more experienced than the man, creating an interesting dynamic that can be both endearing and hilarious.
And I’m waiting for more hilarity to ensue when the heroine finally finds out that the hero, the man she thought her rival’s fiance and has been seducing, is actually her rival’s older brother.
But along with that I know there will be drama and loads of angst… With the BFF-turns-enemies-then-frenemies/rivals setup for the heroine and the second female lead as the underlying main conflict, drama is bound to come. And there’s also the second male lead, the very reason the besties became enemies, who has yet to make an appearance–and when he does finally appear onscreen, he will undoubtedly stir in troubles for the OTP, which spells angst for the hero.
I’m looking forward to that very moment. Roy displaying his many comical and silly expressions is cute and adorable, but an angsty Roy with his patented smoldering stare is simply impossible to resist.
I’m hopeful that since the series had finished filming it won’t be marred by lackluster filler episodes that achieve nothing but frustrate and irritate viewers. So far the pace has been kept constant and fast, and if the 15 episodes specified in the wiki is correct, I have nothing to worry about.
The one drawback, which has become a source of anxiety, Marry Me or Not is a currently airing drama in Taiwan. That means I have to wait one whole week for a new episode. One week is way too long!!! Yes it’s that good. After all, it managed what other series failed to do: hooked me completely to a point that I’m counting the days for a the new episode to air.
If you’re curious, check it out yourself, MV of the ending theme… I’m warning you though, the sparkles and prettiness might make you dizzy 😀
PS – that one scene with half of Roy’s face covered with shaving cream as he’s trying to smear it over Alice’s face does that remind you of one particular scene in Ninety Days? LOL. That makes you wonder whether the writers actually read Ninety Days, does it? 😉