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Written by Bridget Au


"Kingone Wang - The best actor and ugliest of the 3 guys although the competition isn’t exactly stiff for the former element"


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Chinese Title
“Zhe Li Fa Xian Ai” (directly translates to this is where we discovered love)

Released In
2008

No. of episodes
16

Theme song
“Zai Zhe Li Deng Ni” - JVKV
(loosely translated as Right Here Waiting For You - Funn Lim)

Cast
Vic Zhou as Xu Le
Michelle Chen as Pan Neng Xian / Nancy
Kingone Wang as Xiao Ma
Ken Zhu as Ah Hao
Terri Wang as Lu Yi
Ji Qin as Pan Neng Zhen
Supporting Cast
Eric Tsang as Long Ge
Vaness Wu as Leo
Huang He as teenager Xu Le
Yan Sheng Yu as teenager Ah Hao
Zhao Hu Hao as teenager Xiao Ma

Foreword
This series reminds me (again), that if you go in with zero expectations, you may just be pleasantly surprised. And that only Ľ of JVKV can actually act.

Review
Michelle Chen
I recognized her as soon as she appeared. She was the only reason I finished watching Why Why Love, where she played Nan, Rainie Yang’s character’s best friend. In WWL she was tomboyish and outspoken, and here she takes a 180 and plays the mandatory sweet-faced sweetheart. She has one of those contagious smiles that work for the character but she is missing a bit of leading lady charm…maybe she needs to stick with secondary characters. She has chemistry with Vic, though, which was a surprise. Overall a decent performance. Her best moments were actually not with Vic, but with her sister and family.

Vic Zhou
I was introduced to F4 (now JVKV) like all others, through the series that pioneered the Taiwanese idol drama genre, Meteor Garden. Vic is a part of JVKV and also had a lead role in MG. He was ugly, shaggy-haired, skinny, and a terrible actor back then. To be fair to him, so were the other F4 boys. I estimate that 90% of the Asian female population disagrees with me and may just get shot 30 seconds after I submit this review. I didn’t pay attention to him much (at all) until 2006’s Mars, which I decided to watch on a whim. He was still ugly, even more shaggy-haired, just as skinny but his acting had improved. A lot. And so I thought, fine, you can’t have it all. And if I have to pick between the ability to act and good looks, I will choose the former.

In WTSYA, he is appropriately eclectic and guarded. I like his early portrayal of oddball Xu Le although the cartoonish words flying around the screen were super cheesy. The weakest part of his performance was when Xu Le re-connects with his mother. Some of his best moments, though, are those with Michelle Chen. One scene that is engraved in my mind is when he is doing the photo shoot with Leo and Nancy walks in, he starts grinning and can’t stop.

Ken Zhu
Part of the ľ of JVKV that cannot act if his life depended on it. You know those scenes that are supposed to be moving and the audience just laughs because the actor is so terrible!? Ken ruined many potentially touching scenes with his awful acting, mainly the scene where Xu Le is in the hospital. I was laughing while watching him try to squeeze out some tears. Danson Tang would have been perfect for this role. He’s got the somewhat arrogant look with a very human edge to it as well.

I will, however, say that one of the stronger elements of Ken’s performance was the romantic tension between him, Lu Yi and Xiao Ma. He has a lot of chemistry with Terri Kwan (who, oddly enough, was the rumoured girlfriend of Jerry Yan, a fellow JVKV boy) and his general awkwardness in front of the camera works in his favour for portraying their situation.

Kingone Wang
The best actor and ugliest of the 3 guys although the competition isn’t exactly stiff for the former element. His performance was the strongest among the leads, though images of Xiao Ma from Mo Fan Bang Bang Tang kept confusing me while I was watching this (this is what happens when you watch too much Taiwanese TV). Kingone is consistently good throughout this series, showing eagerness towards Lu Yi and a smart-aleck attitude towards his friends.

Vaness Wu
If Ken Zhu underacts, then Vanessa overacts. However, his character here arguably requires it, so Vaness’ maniacal laughs and eye-rolling actually make his performance a really funny one, oddly enough. The overacting obviously doesn’t work in the emotional scenes, but this was unexpectedly the funniest performance of the series.

Others
Fans from Hong Kong will instantly recognize Eric Tsang as Lu Ge. His Mandarin is terrible but he’s a competent actor and makes the most of his limited screen time here. Terri Kwan is ladylike as Lu Yi, while Ji Qin delivers the best performance in the series with her sympathetic, plain Jane portrayal of Nancy’s sister.

The “One Thing”
There is one thing about this series that sets it apart from other Taiwanese idol dramas, and that is the friendship story between the three guys. This part actually manages to connect from an emotional standpoint, and overall the plot was well-written and even well-portrayed. The three younger actors who played the characters in the flashback scenes were good and there was enough friendship chemistry between the three leads to make the story convincing.

To Watch or Not to watch, That is the Question
Go in with zero, and I really mean zero, expectations except the fact that you will get the usual Taiwanese idol drama formula and you may be pleasantly surprised. Otherwise, you better be a JVKV fan before you watch this.

Rating
3 out of 5





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