It Started with a Kiss (ISWAK)
After Meteor Garden 1, this is the next taiwanese drama that I really liked a lot. I wasn’t able to watch it from the beginning when it started airing over a local channel and i kept on missing episodes so I decided to buy a DVD.
I had an initial impression that this drama will be as uninteresting as the how the lead female character looks like. Probably a more subtle ‘betty la fea’ story. After watching some episodes over tv… it somehow resemble meteor garden only this time its the girl who is pursuing the guy.
Overall I enjoyed watching this taiwanese drama. I even went back on some episodes that I particularly find cute and funny. I am a big fan of Cinderella type of stories. Categorically, Xiangqin is not your typical Cinderella. She is not someone who is so poor who finds a rich prince who falls in love with her. Arile Lin who played the lead role was very effective on her role. She looks too average, the way she was styled. How can someone like Zhishu played by Joe Cheng fall in love with her? She looks ordinary and worst she is a slow learner. Zhishu on the other hand had everything, a well off family (but not ultra rich like in most Drama), drop-jaw looks and an IQ that everyone envies.
Xiangqin finds herself liking this super genius guy Zhishu after hearing him render a speech in front of entire school. Since then she knew he is the one that she truly likes. She made a letter hoping that one day she would be able to give it to zhishu. When that day came… Xiangqin had the time of her life, Zhishu just pass by her while trying to give the letter she made. This became a big joke in their school now everyone knows she likes Zhishu who turned her down saying she doesn’t like dumb girls. What made the situation a little exciting (though traumatic for Xiangqin and A-cai) is when their house has been damaged by an earthquake. Zhishu’s parents happens to watch the sad news on the television and recognize their friend Acai (he was instrumental to their wedding). They quickly offered him to stay in their house and this is where the fun begins.
Surprisingly, the good samaritans who offered her father their house to be their shelter as well happens to be Zhishu’s parents. Zhishu’s mother likes Xiangqin as she always wanted to have a daugther. Zhishu quickly ordered Xiangqin to keep their situation a secret… he doesn’t want the school to know that they are living in one roof. But later on this little secret was unfolded by her friends. Using Zhishu’s old picture (when he was still small) dressed like a girl, Xiangqin asked him to tutor him to be able to pass. Zhishu in the light of protecting his image agreed, leading her to pass the school exams. Their high school life was full of struggle for Xiangqin to be close to Zhishu. Until the graduation party when the top class to which Zhishu belongs and F class of Xiagqin had a clash, this is where the big (intentional) kiss happened.
Surprisingly, Zhishu who is very bright and could easily enter the famous Taiwan University, entered the same school with Xiangqin. This period of the drama was filled with twists and turns. Zhishu became close with Ziyi, a classmate who possesses beauty and brains. The girl turns out to like Zhishu a lot and enjoyed the pleasure of being a ‘close friend’ to him. Xiangqin after discovering this started to do foolish things to keep an eye to Zhishu. At certain point in college, filled with the need to find himself and be independent, Zhishu decided to stay out from their home and live by himself. His parents initally disagreed on this but later on gave in.
Half past the drama, Zhishu returns to their house after learning his father had a heart attack. He has to take over leading their company (Panda) which he refuses to accept during early part of the drama as he is dreaming of becoming a doctor. Nearing the climax of the story, Zhishu in order to submit himself to what his father is longing for him to accept (that is to take over the company) made a decision to engage himself to the Huilan. She is the granddaugther to the President of the company they intend to get partnership with. This move was to make their presence in the market stronger but resulted to a broken hearted Xiangqin. Towards the end Zhishu realized that he has learned to love Xiangqin. She is the only girl who can truly understand him and be himself all the time. With a little help from Xiangqin’s loyal friends, Zhishu realized that he can never let A-jin (long time suitor to Xiangqin) have her.
The drama ended with a wedding with Xiangqin dressed as the groom and Zhishu in gown. This is to honor a promise that he made to Xiangqin that he will do anything she wants if her strategy of kneeling down to get forgiveness of Huilan’s grandfather works.
Aside from being a Cinderella type of story (the duck meets a prince then turns into a Swan…at least during the wedding), I enjoy dramas with happy ending. The story is very light and the plot is not that complicated. No evil-like antagonist but just funny and trivial characters.
In most scenes i find Ariel funny and Joe equally effective as a snub type of guy. They had a certain chemistry that makes them look good together. I was never bored watching this drama.
The sound track of this drama is really great. There are 6 songs from the OST that i’ll never get tired of listening to.
- Practical Joke
- Come Near a Little Closer
- Say that U Love Me
- The Whole World Knows
- Can or Cannot
Meet and Come Near a Little Closer are two of my favorites. Practical Joke and The Whole World Knows are equally nice. The music is soothing and through a chinese friend i was able to get some translation in english. I think these songs were specifically made for the drama as it speaks the different emotions of the main characters at certain point of the drama.
Come Near a Little Closer is so Xiangqin. Almost 2/3 of this drama showed how she tried so hard to be close to Zhishu. She did everything to flatter and serve Zhishu, who by just being there makes her happy. Seeing him smile or pay attention to her is enough to keep her love strong. Meet on the other hand sounds half melancholic (its a little fast but listening to how it was sung makes it sad).
Listening to this OST made me appreciate Asian music that are not necessarily written in English. If you like the beat or the rhythm the lyrics would not matter but getting to know what the song means will add inspiration as you listen to it.