I’ll make a prediction now – Drama Go Go Go (姐姐立正向前走) either will become the best C-drama rom-com of 2012 or will have a flaming second half melt down. Either way, I’ve checked out the first four episodes of this 2-episode a weekend drama and I am completely and utterly in love. DGGG is even better than even the fantastic trailers indicated. To love DGGG this much with a cast consisting of not a single actor I’m crazy about makes it all that more exciting because it’s an eye-opening experience. Fifteen years after watching Ruby Lin play the damsel in distress in Princess Returning Pearl, and being typecast in that role for pretty much her entire career, she has finally shattered my long standing dislike of her and made me a new fan. Ruby is well respected in the industry for her business savvy and professionalism, and DGGG is the second self-produced drama from her own production company (the first was the period drama Qing Shi Huang Fei). All her ex-boyfriends from Alec Su to Jimmy Lin still speak very fondly of her, so I always felt like the odd man out not liking her at all. She always gave off that vibe that she was more into looking pretty onscreen than acting, but her performance as Wang Ming Ming in DGGG is everything I want from a leading lady being natural, confident with her craft, and willing to take risks.
Ruby’s leading man here is Jiro Wang, and despite my misgivings about his new looks, it’s to his credit that Jiro is still a damn solid actor onscreen that it’s easy to really connect with his character. But if there is a single actor in the sprawling DGGG cast that is stealing the entire drama, it would hands down be Lin Geng Xin. The boy is ON FIRE. I am not joking. I’ve second lead shipped plenty, but so far he may be the most fascinating and well-written second male lead in any rom-com I have ever watched. DGGG is a sprightly little drama within a drama populated by deftly written characters with depth surrounded by narrative that winks at the typical rom-com tropes and twists it around for kicks. Having been burned by so many C-dramas this year alone (Love Actually, Half of a Fairytale, SOP Queen, just to name a few), DGGG is like my reward for keeping the faith. This drama is clever and funny, maintaining an ability to make fun of itself while still being sincere in telling a story. Thank you drama gods, now can someone give me the leaked episodes of this baby because I need to watch it all right now. Like, RIGHT NOW.
DGGG is written by a newbie scriptwriter but the one of the two directors is currently directing my beloved Miss Rose. DGGG was pre-filmed last year and took its time to arrive on the small screen but it was well worth the wait. The story surrounds adorably bumbling aspiring screenwriter Wang Ming Ming, a girl still longing for romance but having been burned twice before that she chooses to pour her dreams and hopes into writing scripts that act out her romantic dreams. When the leading man for her new drama falls off the stage during a concert two days before filming starts, no established star is willing to step in at such late notice so Ming Ming suggests that Eason (Jiro Wang) be cast because his real life mirrors the drama character she’s written. Eason is the no-longer-famous former idol star of the pop duo HE (consisting of Henry and Eason) who has resorted to selling shoes in the night market to make ends meet while still hoping for a big break. Ming Ming has a crush on him because she listened to his songs during her last bad break up and it buoyed her spirits and gave her hope when she was in the pits of despair.
Sadly Eason has zero acting experience and not-to-surprisingly sucks big time at acting, and his famous leading lady co-star Shen Pei Ni (Maggie Wu) is so disdainful of him that she tells the producer to have him written off the show ASAP or else she quits. Plans are put in place to kill Eason’s character off by the 5th episode and bring in hot shot leading man Ouyang Cheng (Peter Ho in a cameo role). Eason and his agent get wind of this plot and the agent suggests Eason get on Ming Ming’s good side because as the screenwriter she can keep writing scenes for him. Eason starts off trying to woo Ming Ming and ends up genuinely caring about her. Lin Geng Xin plays Tong Shao Tian, the son of Ming Ming’s writing mentor and he comes back from the US and starts taking care of Ming Ming (who lives in a dump and eats ramen and snacks all day long). Shao Tian melts my insides when he makes fun of Ming Ming and calls her Jie Jie (noona in Chinese), because its clear he adores her despite their comfortable banter and bickering. He also plays the role of the viewer surrogate, calling out all the drama bullshit as he sees it and being the snarky sane voice in the story.
What I love the most about this drama are the characters. The leads are all very interesting and make me want to spend more time getting to know them. Ming Ming is a wonderfully sincere character, a woman who doesn’t focus on her outward appearance but instead lives in a literary and dramatic world where she is holding on to the hope that the stories that she writes can still happen to her someday. She’s sassy with Shao Tian, giddy like a fangirl with Eason, and tries to hold her own with the bitchy drama producer. Eason is a convincing male lead, an outdated male idol that values what may be his last shot at remaining a star and isn’t above using whatever means it takes to keep his character from being killed off. Yet when push comes to shove, he’s totally decent and candid, swooping in both to use Ming Ming but also to genuinely play her protector. Pei Ni, the leading lady of The Season When the Rose Blooms (the drama within the drama), is bitchy but in an understandable way. She’s put in her dues and worked her way up to being an award-winning leading lady only to be paired up with an unpopular former idol who has never acted before.
No wonder she’s pissed and wants Eason written off, especially when she finds that he’s not putting in the effort to learn the craft and seems more excited like a puppy that he gets a chance to act. But she’s not stuck with her first impressions of Eason and the more she gets to know him, the more she’s won over by his ability to push himself to rise to the occasion. If I were to pick the one character among the four leads that’s my favorite, it’s hands down Shao Tian. He’s prickly and practical, sarcastic and sensible. Pair that up with the hotness that is Lin Geng Xin in moderb garb, this character deserves a drama of his own. In fact, I could watch an entire drama with Shao Tian and Ming Ming being a pair of bickering roommates who fall in love. I don’t dislike the Ming Ming-Eason OTP (and there is yet another third male lead that is slated to come in towards the end of the drama to provide competition for Eason), I merely love the Ming Ming-Shao Tian interactions too much that I simply want more of it.
What makes DGGG so entertaining is that it takes all the drama romantic tropes and admits that it’s all manufactured, and when it happens in this drama its acknowledged as purposefully done with an ulterior motive. But the drama posits that people are still able to connect in sincere ways even if they find themselves acting out ridiculously silly romantic gestures because ultimately the narrative is merely a road and the people are the ones walking it.
DGGG is helped tremendously by having an awesome OST, with the opening and ending theme songs sung by Jiro himself. I always though he and Wu Zun were the weaker voices in Fahrenheit (while Calvin Chen and Aaron Yan stood out for me more), but I’m loving Jiro’s new solo tracks for this drama which perfectly fit his character and his voice. I really wish this was a one episode each weekday drama so that I could binge on it every day.
Official MV for Opening Theme Song “Our Script” by Jiro Wang:
Official MV for Ending Theme Song “I Should Love You” by Jiro Wang: