GUH. *Incoherent spazzing* I need. I want. I must have. CTS released a 25-minute preview for the upcoming TW-drama Material Queen, starring Vanness Wu and Lynn Xiong. I watched it with stars in my eyes, totally entranced by the story and the indescribably beautiful cinematography. MQ is helmed by the PD who did one of the prettiest TW-dramas in the last decade Autumn’s Concerto, and this time she takes her billion NT budget and every penny appears on the screen in the form of the location shoot, the specially constructed backdrops, the CGI fantasy sequence, and of course, the costumes designed by Patricia Field.
While Vanness’ acting in MQ appears in the form of being stalled somewhere between Meteor Garden 2 and Autumn’s Concerto, Lynn is perfectly cast. She’s got this glitter in her eyes, this steel in her spine, this desperation mixed with determination, to use what God gave her to get what she wants. OMG, this one scene killed me when Vanness defends her to the horrible ex-fiancee of hers who seems to think someone selling herself for money is somehow less than someone buying someone for money. Click to watch the extended preview.
Lynn is a supermodel working in Paris. She was abandoned by her mom in an orphanage, and her motto in life is to never want for security. Hence she will do ANYTHING in exchange for money, including getting herself affianced to a brutish Mainland Chinese nouveau riche money baron. She mistakes Vanness, who is a poor violinist studying in Paris, for billionaire heir William Norman (Vanness was hired to be his body double) and uses completely transparent meants to lure him. Even though he sees through her tactics, he also sees through her loneliness and need for security.
They are starting to have feelings for each other when the truth is revealed. Vanness is kicked out of his music school once his part-time job is discovered. He goes back to Taiwan, and Lynn goes back as well with her fiancee. Except she gets promptly replaced by another pretty young thing, and ends up renting a room in the ramshackle outdoor market area where Vanness grew up, and where his mom sells vegatables for a living.
Vanness helps Lynn land yet another chaebol (this one handsome, young, and rich), but in the process, they discover that maybe love is more important than money. I love how the drama doesn’t pull any punches about Lynn’s character – she’s a golddigger, she knows it, everyone around her knows it, and she’s not ashamed because she’s striving for success the only way she knows how.
MQ totally reminds me of one of my oldie fave J-doramas Yamato Nadeshiko with Nanako Matsushima and Shinichi Tsutsumi. Sigh, I need to keep chanting this mantra over and over again: “you cannot afford to recap another drama, so don’t think about it, lady!” Material Queen premieres on Friday night June 17, 2011