Tag: chinesedrama

Intense Love 韫色过浓 Review: Sweet Together ♥

Hello! I sincerely hope and pray that you’re all doing good, living healthy, and are safe despite this ongoing pandemic. It’s surely a pain in the heart to see all the changes happening and people adjusting to the new normal. I’m sure we’ll get through this, so long as we have faith and discipline. ^^

After almost two months of not posting anything, I’m back again and ready to share my thoughts on the second Chinese drama I had in my line-up, as recommended by my dongsaeng Ruthleen, Intense Love or韫色过浓. I watched this last July, and I know, it’s long-overdue. Actually, the thought of not watching this drama came to my mind, since, according to my dongsaeng, it’s just a simple light romantic comedy drama that’s full of lovey-dovey acts. I’ve considered not watching this after peeking into one of the episodes but I ended up watching it anyway. ^^

Intense Love is your typical drama with a dose of cuteness all thanks to the lead female character Su Jin Bei (Zhang Yu Xi). Su Jin Bei was a famous actress-model who had good reputation because of her professionalism, work ethics, and of course, her skills. But even as a public figure expected to act composed and cool, Jin Bei also had her cute and clumsy side in her, which was later revealed in the drama series. Jin Bei got involved in a car accident protecting rookie artist Xu Jia Wei (Shi Ming Ze) and was rushed to the hospital emergency room where her eyes slightly opened, vaguely seeing a medical staff wearing a face mask waving his hand to check her consciousness. She woke up the next morning after undergoing minor surgery, only to remember a kissing scene with the doctor who was on night duty, mistaking that he had harassed her. She reported this matter to her manager Wu Di (Wu Yang), who came barging into the head doctor’s office, blaming an innocent doctor, Xiao Yuan Song (Julio Wan Yan).

While Wu Di was out discussing matters with the head doctor, another doctor came into Jin Bei’s room to check on her. She was intently looking at him, with her memories before and after the surgery suddenly coming back to her. She had recognized him to be the doctor she shared a kiss with last night, but she chose to remain silent and observe him. Being the superstar she knew she was, she expected the doctor to make moves on her, or to show extra affection towards her, which he did otherwise. The doctor finished Jin Bei’s checkup and was about to leave when she called his attention, asking if it was him whom she kissed with last night. The doctor came to a stop, and without facing her, he explained that it was the anesthesia’s side effect which had caused her to do such act. Jin Bei was left inside her room talking to herself when she received a call from her mother, asking if she had met her fiancé who was working in the same hospital she was admitted at. Jin Bei came to a pause after recalling the name of her fiancé, claiming that it sounded familiar. She quickly turned around to look for her attending physician’s name, which was, yes, the same name as her fiancé’s – Zhou Shi Yun (Ryan Ding Yu Xi).

From that moment on, Jin Bei schemed to win over Shi Yun’s heart and later dump him when he’s completely fallen in love with her. It was a revenge for not acting like how a fiancé should be, although she really didn’t put at heart that playful fixed marriage promised by their mothers. 🙂

It was a roller coaster ride with how Jin Bei’s warmth and cuteness melted the cold heart and reserved personality of Shi Yun. ♥

My Thoughts?

Intense Love was a good watch. It gave a light feeling which suited my current standard for watching series / dramas. Because of this pandemic, I started to seek for romantic comedy themed series and I’m so glad that this one’s exactly like how my dongsaeng described it – all lovey-dovey and simple – which was actually good for my heart. Good thing I went with watching this one! ♥

What I liked about the series?

Okay to be honest with you guys, I actually watched this because of the lead actor – Ryan Ding. I came across an uploaded video on Facebook (wow I have plenty of time!) of his recent series The Romance of Tiger and Rose, and right away liked him. *w* He’s good-looking, okay? Who wouldn’t want to watch a series with such handsome face? XD

Okay, kidding aside, there is one point in the story which I came to appreciate one to two weeks after watching. I know, it hit me really late.

This point was something I used to practice. I’m saying used to because I’m not really sure if I’m still doing it now although I still firmly believe in it. Ever heard of the saying “Turn the other cheek”? I’m not sure as to why, but this message was the best I could receive from watching Intense Love.

Why? 🙂 I didn’t want to give the whole story away but I’m going to share this part where the message resonated most to me.

Su Jin Bei was friends with her junior actress and co-star Gao Zi Tong (Zhang Yao). Since Jin Bei was the limelight of every scene, with production crews treating her fondly and favoring her, Zi Tong felt inferior towards her. Zi Tong started to somehow resent Jin Bei despite the kindness and understanding that Jin Bei had shown her. It even got worse when Zi Tong witnessed how the guy she liked confessed his feelings for Jin Bei and got rejected. Her resentment grew to a point where she plotted schemes against Jin Bei that later on ruined her career and turned the tables around.

Zi Tong finally got the fame and respect she had always yearned for but she still didn’t stop and crossed the line further. She recommended Jin Bei to be casted in the movie she was making, convincing the production team to let her join. Jin Bei, who was currently in a career slump, did not hesitate to accept the offer. She went to the filming site with Wu Di who had to leave her to take care of other agency matters. Zi Tong and Jin Bei got into a verbal argument before filming, with infuriated Zi Tong pressuring the director to change the script on the spot. The director initially declined her request, but Jin Bei entered the scene and straight-out agreed with what she wanted.

They started to film following Zi Tong’s improvised script, with Zi Tong almost injuring Jin Bei’s arm because of excessive force. A loud yell was then heard which halted the filming, with the major sponsor of the movie stepping in, asking Zi Tong to let go of Jin Bei. He announced to the whole production team that Jin Bei would be taking the lead role, and that Zi Tong would be excluded from the project. It turned out that Jin Bei knew the major sponsor, whom she thanked wholeheartedly. He smiled at Jin Bei while shaking his head, telling her that it was not him who was silently looking after her, and that he only stepped in because someone asked him to.

Jin Bei then came running outside of the filming site, seeing that someone waiting under the rain. Just then she realized that she was being looked after at, that she was important. That person came meddling into Jin Bei’s affair not only because she was already being mistreated, she was aggrieved without even doing anything wrong. Despite all the bad things that Zi Tong had done to her, she chose to let her off the hook, she chose to turn the other cheek while trying to understand Zi Tong’s feelings. She actually even chased after Zi Tong, after knowing that she had left the filming site.

And this right here was where it hit me. That maybe people hurt other people because they, themselves, are hurt too; that they only needed comfort in order to lessen the pain they are feeling. I told myself that day, “Intense Love isn’t just about being clingy and giddy, it’s also about being kind and turning the other cheek. It’s about being a decent human being.”

I was happy to recall this feeling, because at one point in my life, I learned to apply this too. I learned to turn the other cheek; I let people mock me, not giving too much attention to what they say to me, I let them. And the result? It turned out to be unexpectedly good. :’)

At the last part of the series, Shi Yun’s words also made me realize about how little time we may have. The volume of Shi Yun’s line, “I don’t want to waste time anymore” serves as a reminder for us to check in on those we truly care for. You love someone? Don’t just tell them, show them, make them feel you love them. And from then on, I started to slowly reach out and connect with those people I cherish, while I still have time, while we still have time. As of this writing, we came across a lot of misfortunes and passing that have occurred which left my heart somehow aching for the friends and loved ones of those people. 😥

Sadness aside, one more thing that I liked about this series is of course, the soundtrack. They don’t have it on Spotify so I had to download them elsewhere for me to listen to the songs because they’re lovely. My favorite is When Love Comes 爱情来临的时候.

“Can’t stop loving you, lucky to have met you

Fall in love with me, sweet together

Every minute every second, every moment

Love is present in our hearts

Each day with you is worth remembering”

Lastly, the side stories! Chinese dramas have a thing for cute side stories. We have, I think, two? I’m not going to elaborate much about these two couples but they did make me smile and feel all giddy. I’m rooting for the second couple, the gamer couple! 😀

If you’re looking for a cute and light series to watch, you can go and check this one out. It’s true that there’s not much twists and revelations to it but if you want to laugh and feel giddy cute, you can try this one and I guarantee, you’ll learn to love our dear Su Jin Bei. ♥

♥ “Turn the other cheek.”

Skate Into Love 冰糖炖雪梨 Review: Dreams Don’t Shine, What Shines are People Who Dream

July 16th, 2020 – it’s been four months since COVID swamped the country with still increasing cases every day. With Metro Manila now under GCQ, let me just ask, how have you been? Well whatever your situation, I am hoping for your safety and wellbeing. May you and your family be always safe and free from any sickness!

Having a reduced work schedule and feeling all tired and stressed because of news that never fail to surprise us, I kept myself busy and distracted by, as usual, watching Korean dramas until I ran out of supply. I choose what I watch and found Mystic Pop-up Bar somewhat interesting, well, to my liking. But at that time it was ongoing and I had to wait for new episodes to watch. 😦

I have this dongsaeng (younger sibling in Korean), Ruthleen, whom I’ve known for 10 years already and who’s very close to my heart. ♥ I was actually scrolling through my Facebook news feed when I saw a short clip of a Chinese drama. I must admit, the lead actor’s visual caught my attention, not to mention his height. 😀 so I sent a message to my dongsaeng, knowing she’s currently in to Chinese series. She recommended 3 series and one of which had that good-looking guy as the lead. :”> His name is Ryan Ding Yu Xi by the way! ^^

The first one she recommended to me was Skate Into Love. It was very dear to her, it was her most favorite Chinese drama. Second, Intense Love, where Ryan Ding (my baby) was the lead actor. Third, A Little Thing Called First Love, starring Lai Kuan Lin. ♥

So these were the 3 Chinese dramas she suggested, and me, being an obedient unnie (older sister), abided by her sequence. 😉

First on my plate was Skate Into Love, basically the subject of this write-up. 🙂

At first, I was actually hesitant to watch this. My mind was like… I’m not really a fan of ice sports – ice hockey, figure skating, and short track speed skating… the story revolved around the protagonists’ college lives which included these sports which were also their majors. It didn’t hurt to try, I affirmed and so I went and watched the first episode. The next thing I knew, I was already binge-watching. > <

My Thoughts?

Skate Into Love was about young passionate college students chasing their dreams. Well, except for Tang Xue (Janice Wu) who was forced to take Veterinary Medicine as her course. She was once an athlete, a member of her school’s short track speed skating club until an accident during a competition which made her choose to give up.

Years after, she entered college with her best friends Liao Zhen Yu (Qin Tian Yu) and Xia Meng Huan (He Xuan Lin). There, he met her childhood deskmate, Li Yu Bing (Steven Zhang), who was labelled Bing Shen or Ice God in their university. He was well-known for his good looks and of course, his playing and game skills as the leader of the university’s Ice Hockey team.

From that point onward, Tang Xue slowly opened her eyes and came to a realization of what she really wanted for herself. Seeing Li Yu Bing passionately play in the ice rink knocked her senses and made her want to chase her own dream. But of course, it wasn’t easy at all. She needed support and boosting, she also had her parents to worry about. But her friends cheered for her, they helped pave the way in achieving what she once thought was impossible – to get back on ice.

What I liked about the series?

I did it on purpose, not giving away all the good and heartwarming stuff because maybe a part me was hoping you would try and watch it too? 🙂 There’s just a bunch of things that I came to like while watching Skate Into Love. Sooo~

First off, the actors. They really wowed me. I was in awe watching every scene on ice with the thought “was it really them?” hanging in my mind and remained unanswered until I finished all the episodes and went hunting for behind the scenes. I would describe their acting as natural. It’s like you’re a college student casually walking past by them, seeing them, hearing them – just like how college students typically were. Steven and Janice did a really good job on this one. Their words and actions pierced right through my heart. 😥

Steven on the other hand, held a college diploma for Chinese Opera which, according to my dongsaeng, was the reason why the way he acted seemed so professional and natural. Like in this scene, look at how his facial expression progressed. Bonus: he sings and plays the piano well too!

Usually, Chinese dramas are dubbed to improve noise cancellation and proper standard pronunciation (Mandarin). Sometimes the actor would dub himself, sometimes not. But for this one, they used their own voices. There were scenes in particular where even their voice acting exceeded expectations. You know that sense of feeling the person’s anger, sadness, and pain whilst listening to their voice as they spoke? I felt that and it felt real. Ang sakit.

I have nothing but praises to give the actors who made this series a success. Not to mention the months of training they underwent to make the scenes breathtakingly real. /claps/

Second, the story and side stories. Being a romance comedy, like any other series out there, it gives the same giddy feels to the viewers. But the first episodes of Skate Into Love focused more on the characters’ lives which meant their dreams and their professions, something to be taken seriously of since it’s about their future. The story actually emphasized more on each character’s struggles, pain, fears, and passion more than the love story itself.

The romantic part gradually appeared somewhere at the middle, with a normal progress I should say. I’m not sure if this may seem unrealistic to some but the message conveyed, or the message I received rather, spoke of selfless love. The way the story developed and adding how the actors portrayed the roles somehow met with my idea of selfless love; especially with Zhen Yu and Meng Huan’s love story. :’) The guy was continuously giving and exerting effort as a way to show his love and it was very moving for me. Oh and not only did the students have love interests, but the coaches as well. ♥

Third, the story also focused on family and friendship. I think it’s quite normal for families to have arguments and disagreements, right? In this series, Tang Xue and her cousin Zhou Ran (Chu Yue) attended the same university. Zhou Ran disliked Tang Xue for always stealing the limelight during their childhood, thus, making her college life somewhat troublesome. Tang Xue had a close relationship with her parents, until she kept something really important from them. We all make mistakes, and Tang Xue made one mistake which made her father furious to the extent that he had to travel from their hometown down to where Tang Xue attended college.

This part showed the fears and worries parents have for their children. At first we get to only see one point to be considered, and that was me siding with Tang Xue, until I heard what her father had to say. Believe me, I bawled my eyes crying at this part because her father only wanted what’s best and safe for her.

Tang Xue and Li Yu Bing just have the best friends ever who would wholeheartedly look after them through ups and downs. I admire how sturdy the foundation and bond of their friendships were, and, not to mention, how it was formed. 🙂

Fourth, what’s a series without quotable quotes? 🙂 Here let me share some of  the quotes that moved me I had to screenshot and share them through this post. I may have passed that expected age where young teens strive and dream, but then I question myself, is it really too late to dream?

Last, but not the least… the soundtrack! I love the songs from this series. Some of the songs are heartbreaking, like when you hear it, even if you don’t understand the lyrics, it will bring sadness into your heart. 😦

My personal favorite are Steven’s A Ray of Hope because of the song’s meaning which actually tells you to go for your dream. I liked the song too because Steven’s voice was so rich and powerful, as expected from an opera actor. *o* and hearing him singing made me want to sing too, like sing well and correctly, not just casually sing. 🙂

Another favorite is Land of Ice and Snow, performed by none other than one of the story’s actress, He Xuan Lin. I loved how her voice sound cold and relaxed. I also found it challenging to sing because of the curls? I don’t know what you call them but it’s progressing from one note to another in a short span of time. I’m now able to sing it well and properly, thanks to casual singing in the shower. 😀

Sorry it’s in Chinese TT

Would you re-watch? A BIG YES!

So there you have it, my review of Skate Into Love. It’s really a good watch, it’s a hidden gem. Even I didn’t expect to like it this much, to the point of writing about it and sharing to the world. You can relate with the characters and part of the stories, but I think what brings us together is the common yearning to dream.

“Make your passion your profession.”