They Kiss Again (TKA)
They Kissed Again (TKA), sequel to the popular It Started with a Kiss Taiwanese drama did not fail to my expectations. The drama wrapped up last April which was periodically uploaded in mySoju. It was equally worth watching. Now it can be said that Joe Cheng (Zhishu) and Ariel Lin (Xiangqin) chemistry is a tandem to beat. There is still an excitement regarding Zhishu and Xiangqin tandem despite being a couple already in the drama. They are one of the best taiwanese screen couples i saw on TV.
A local channel in the Philippines is now airing TKA, the same time slot that ISWAK had before (right before Wowowee and ASAP). Unlike Meteor Garden 2 which i just watch because Jerry Yan was there, TKA story will get you glued on screen. The plot and twist remained simple. The drama is the life after marriage of Xiangqin and Zhishu; their struggles in their relationship as couple who are still finishing college.
ISWAK ended with Zhishu giving in to Xiangqin’s wishes and just when you thought he has fully transformed his character from the cold-hearted heartrob wait till you see the first few episodes. Zhishu who is naturally popular among girls caught the attention of a Japanese couple with the girl ending up infatuated over Zhishu. It was quite hilarious, Ariel Lin trying to guard Zhishu from ‘girl-predator’. Despite Ariel’s comical portrayal of Xiangqin, I really like how little romantic moments are injected in the drama. Like when Xiangqin is lost looking for a pharmacy in Hawaii ( that is where they had their honeymoon), Zhishu went looking after her and when finally found her, I just thought that scene when he hugged Zhishu was so sweet.
The story progressed with Xiangqin’s insecurities as Zhishu’s wife as topic or point of twist. Despite Zhishu marrying her, she still sometimes doubts that he loves her because he is still the unusual husband who sometimes leave her or turn a cold face to her but surprisingly…it’s not just Xiangqin who gets to portray a jealous partner. For the first time Zhishu’s confidence over getting that full hold of Xiangqin has been put to test when a suitor (who is brilliant unlike Ajin) came into picture –Qi Tai a guy who is seriously proposing happiness to Xiangqin who seemed to be troubled with Zhishu’s coldness. This part of the story is just one of the many high points of this drama, brings back to old snob Zhishu. One of the memorable scene was when Xiangqin is trying to reconcile with Zhishu who apprently is jealous of Qi Tai. He has not been staying in their room (yes they share a room since they are couple anyway). She cried in front of Yushu’s room, helplessly telling Zhishu why he has been too cold to her and why he has married her. I think Ariel was very good in this part transitioning from the stupid her to a serious insecure wife. What adds punch to the scene is with the puzzled look from Joe Cheng asking her to just calm down. His facial expression tells the viewers ‘i love you Xiangqin but i don’t know why I feel this way…’
Another highlight of the story is when Zhishu decided to render military service in a hospital from a far away island. This is the portion of the story where most of the interesting kissing scene happened, at least on my opinion. First is when Zhishu is about to leave, i thought it was cute when he twisted Yushu’s head to kiss Xiangqin.
At this point of the story is when Xiangqin sneaked in to the island to see Zhishu, she has been of course exposed. At the time when she has to go back he asked Zhishu a kiss (this is one of those cute kissing scenes as well) not knowing that the kid patient was watching over them. It was so funny when the kid is in denial of Xiangqin being the wife of Zhishu. I somehow find it cute and funny when they were like arguing.
There were also a lot of cute scenes of the couple together in the hospital but the hottest i suppose is the Hawaii honeymoon scene. Zhishu was all over Xiangqin and they had a ‘bed-scene’ tastefully done. As a viewer this is when I realized that Zhishu loves Xiangqin — the story in most parts revolved with such insecurities from Xiangqin and even the final conflict deals with her insecurities as a person.
Side stories intoduced added flavor to the entire drama. Ajin falling in love to a foreigner from a European country named Christine (funny how they pronounced the name similar to how Koreans would say the name Kurisutin — with sound of ‘u’ very abrupt). Another side love story is that of the gown up Yushu (who is looking like another Zhishu in the making) and Hao mei (a younger version of Xiangqin except that she is a real beauty).
The story ended with Xiangqin fully realizing that Zhishu loves him more than she knows. After learning she is pregnant, the biggest twist is that she learned that her night blindness could lead to full blindness. This caused her much panic that she began to regret getting pregnant and run away from home. This time Zhishu showed a strong desire to look for her and bring her back home (normally when Xiangqin runs away, she comes back without Zhishu doing much effort). Towards the end Zhishu ended his character as a loving husband who will always be there for Xiangqin.
It was also quite a happy induction with regard to Yushu showing how he truly cares for his siste-in-law. He used to be a partner in crime in teasing Xiangqin but the story allowed him to evolve into a dear brother-in-law who in his own way wants to watch over his big sister. He was a replicate of Zhishu’s character in milder mode. It was very touching when he promised to keep Xiangqin in company at times she wants to go out and buy food (this is after learning that she can be fully blind in the future).
How’s TKA for Me?
As I mentioned, this sequel is equally interesting as the initial season. The story has never been boring, in fact it was equally hilarious as the first. Unlike Meteor Garden which had twist that did not unravel well, TKA was light, funny and romantic in almost every episode. Thanks to Ariel Lin’s acting, Xiangqin’s character live to what is expected of her. I just love the scene when she is almost like hallucinating when Zhishu is serving military duties. She keeps on seeing Zhishu from Yushu… now I am having this idea that a smaller ISWAK will happen between Yushu and Hao mei. I just doubt if their tandem could beat the Ariel-Joe chemistry.
I love happy ending story and this is one reason why I love ISWAK, TKA ended not exactly as happy as ISWAK but fulfilling for Xiangqin’s character who seems to be secure at the moment of Zhishu’s love and affection. I don’t know what other story plot can be cooked up after TKA but the ending gave me an impression of looking forward part 3.
Unlike ISWAK, TKA boasts a lot of kissing scenes which will make you realize they kiss over and over again (hmmm sounds like a good title for the 3rd part if there will be). Towards the end of the drama all the kissing scenes from the awkward but funny ISWAK kisses to the countless kissing they made in TKA were flashed. I was like smiling recalling specific scenes to which those kisses belong to.
I think the introduction of 4 more friends to Xiangqin was neatly done. It does not really conflict to the characters of the original Xiangqin BFFs (Chun Mei and Liu Nong). They were like friends that brings little troubles and fun to the story. Unlike the BFFs they were true to their comments about Xiangqin — they keep on bashing her but they do care. The contrast was somehow cool.
If there is something missing in this drama, i guess its the good set of OST that ISWAK had. It wasn’t really that bad but I just love the songs from ISWAK. Ariel Lin sang the song that is being played at the end of each episode, it was nice but not really as catchy as any of the nice songs from ISWAK but nevertheless overall, TKA is a great sequel something that you will love to watch over and over just like the first one.