With so many dramas having come to an end in recent weeks and a new wave just starting, things are a bit slim in the currently airing drama department which is why I’ve decided to go back in time a bit and feature one of Taiwan’s rom-coms of the summer, Love Around for this week’s Friday Night Drama.
Bringing back the much-loved duo, George Hu and Annie Chen, of Love Now, Love Around tells the story of a heartbroken radio DJ, Liang Xiao Shu (Annie Chen), and a former gangster, Zhou Zhen (George Hu), whose chance meeting one rainy afternoon starts the pair on the path to true love. If you’re at all familiar with Taiwanese dramas, you know they’re a veritable roller-coaster of emotions as the characters struggle to find and keep their one true love and Love Around is no exception. Liang Xiao Shu and Zhou Zhen have a whole host of obstacles they have to overcome before they find their happily ever after and it’s almost painful, at times, to watch but if you can overlook all of the moments of frustration and instead revel in the cuteness of it all, you should be relatively happy with Love Around.
I think it took me this long to actually recommend Love Around because I devoted twenty-one weeks of my life to writing a weekly review of the show for DramaFever (which, if you feel so inclined, you can read here) and I got a little burned out. Months later, I can finally look back and appreciate Love Around for what it is, a light-hearted bit of Drama Land fluff, full of pretty faces, beautiful scenery, bizarre-o plot twists and a drawn out storyline that happily works everything out in the end. (In short, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a T-Drama, or any Asian drama, for that matter).
The biggest gripe I have about the show is the deplorable lack of at least one really good kiss (which, let’s face it, every drama needs). You’d think that having experience working together, George Hu and Annie Chen would have been a bit more comfortable with each other on-screen. They had no problems being cutesy and lovey-dovey but when it came down to it, their romantic affections were shown through awkward hugs and pathetic kisses (which were rare, even by Drama Land standards). On the upside, Love Around has one of the best opening songs ever! Seriously, no matter what my feelings are for the show, I absolutely love Bii’s “Come Back To Me” and I smile every time it pops up on my iPod because it’s simply awesome. There’s something about Bii’s voice that is just, well, I’m not really sure what to call it (beside swoon-worthy) so I’ll just add the MV for “Come Back To Me” and you can decide what it is for yourself.
And now that you know what I mean about Bii’s voice, I’ll wrap this up by saying that if you’re looking for a Taiwanese drama that heavy on the warm-fuzzy producing sweetness with just a touch of crazy (or you’re just a fan of George Hu and Annie Chen), then Love Around is the drama for you. It may not be the best Taiwanese drama ever but it’s sweet and entertaining and you could do a lot worse with you weekend than spend it fangirling over Zhou Zhen!