Nikki Hsieh and James Wen are Charming and Fun in New TW-drama King Flower

The new Sunday night SETTV drama premiered this past weekend and I actually was interested enough by the previews to check it out. The hilariously named King Flower (whut?) better known as 金大花的華麗冒險 (Jin Da Hua’s Extravagant Adventure) didn’t have the ratings lure in Roy Qiu so its premiere episode was the nightly leader but dropped down to 1.26 from Miss Rose‘s final episode high of 4.31. Ratings aside, this drama is rather winsome to watch despite being somewhat boring and unoriginal. The heroine played by Nikki Hsieh is a huge reason for me, she is one of the few next generation leading ladies that has both onscreen presence and acting chops. In real life she’s rather edgy and cool, but here she is unrecognizable as the buck-toothed mole-headed country bumpkin Jin Da Hua. As lookalike yearning for adventure Du Liang Yen, looks-wise we see Nikki’s pretty face but the personality is all sheltered elegant girl. Despite ragging earlier on James Wen, he’s turned out to be the shining star in this cast and utterly charming and freewheeling as the no-good rough and tumble Guang Jun. Despite my preference for Chris Wu, I’m already rooting for Guang Jun to win the girl and everything else because he’s such joy to watch. Fans in Taiwan agree and James has been winning raves for shedding his cheating douchey image from The Fierce Wife (and his general predilection for playing suited cool characters) and throwing himself into playing a low life street hoodlum.

Since it’s called Da Hua’s extravagant adventure, clearly she gets a surgical makeover and needs to take Liang Yen’s place and from there embarks on her journey. In the drama, Chris plays Terry and already he and Liang Yen are in love, shacking up, and engaged. I’m not sure how I’ll buy the trope of both leading men falling for Da Hua but I’ll just keep my fingers-crossed when I get there. I think part of me enjoyed this drama because it has the typical snappy SETTV vibe and plenty of hometown Taiwanese slang that evokes this aw-shucks reaction in me. Doesn’t hurt that Da Hua’s mom is played by the Mom-of-All-Moms Yang Li Yin, who has most recently played Alice Ke‘s mom in Office Girls, Ruby Lin‘s mom in Drama Go Go Go, and Megan Lai‘s mom in Miss Rose. It’s like she was born to play the mom of every single plucky heroine out there. She’s quite a fierce mother hen here and has wonderful chemistry with Nikki so once again I’ve got some positive family bonding moments to look forward to. I’m burned out from the MR whiplash and it’s rather a relief this drama is entertaining but doesn’t leave me rabidly addicted. Everyone should have a casual weekend date partner drama like this, no commitments but it’s there when you need a break. I recommend King Flower as a cute breather when you want to try something different. Best part of episode 1 was the beyond adorable opening theme song, so check it out below.

I’ve watched this drama opening way too many times to count. I love all the hilarious touches. Like her name being Da Hua (big flower) and she literally has a giant flower on her head. Or the look of devastation on Guang Jun (James) when Terry (Chris) pulls Da Hua away. Or what in the name of clothing is Terry wearing? Or how the third and fourth female leads try to stake their claim so openly on the leading men. Or the giant lollipop and fake ring the men use to woo Da Hua. This is as cute as the opening for Fondant Garden, though I hate to bring up FG because HOMG was that drama a complete and utter second-half collapse equal to Miss Rose. I want this one to stay silly and fluffy because there is very little risk of failing when the barometer is set at mindless fun.

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Nikki Hsieh and James Wen are Charming and Fun in New TW-drama King Flower — 21 Comments

  1. I have to try this. That opening is adorable. James Wen is too cute as the simple honest guy and I’m glad he is being acknowledged for his talent. He almost looks like a teenager in the trailer! For once I will leave the rich jerk for those who want him. And no, I’m not sick. 🙂
    PS: Is there really no other suitable actress to play the mom of the heroine? I have nothing against her but really, how many in a row? A bit of change would be nice…

  2. Thanks Capt K. 🙂 When I watched it on Sunday, I was glad to see James finally play a completely different type of character that was not strange or douchy. And he does it surprisingly well. 🙂 Far better than his last 2 characters, I thought. I like Chris ok in this series too. The heroine is interesting in her 2 part role as of ep 1 so I am hoping these 3 are a winning combo! 🙂

  3. I wish the mom the mom from Fated to Love you cause she was amazing and funny. Do you know where I can find this in English Subtitles? I love Chris Wu!!! but I don’t like how his hair looks though.

    • Ahahahahas! But she’s been a mum too much times. She was a mother in Fated To Love You, Janine Chang’s mum in Ring Ring Bell, Chris Wu’s mum in Autumn’s Concerto, Ariel Lin’s mother in In Time With You (btw, she won a Golden Bell award for that role) and she is currently playing a mother in Love Me Or Leave Me.

      • I agree! They always end up with the same actresses playing the moms. And I always thought this actress is out of place playing a mom – she’s actually quite young, yet she’s playing the mother of 30-year-old characters? The only reason she’s been relegated to these types of roles is because she’s large. I liked her best when she was playing silly, youthful characters like that person with a crush on Zai Zai in Silence.

    • The pics of Jiro are from KO One Returns (aka KO One 2) – it’s airing right now. Plus he is filming the tdrama version of You’re beautiful, I believe.

  4. The series looks cute, will check it out! Maybe because I’ve watched Die Sterntaler first but I still prefer Nikki with Rhydian!

  5. The opening is soooo cute! 🙂 Thanks koala. I hope this one gets aired in the Philippines.

    I want to see that James Wen guy make more funny, frustrated faces at the screen. Hehe

  6. I seriously cracked up when James wen said:

    “我怎么好意思, 吃你们, 住你们, 睡… (looks at 金大花) … 睡你们的地方!”

    • Or when he was speaking a mile a minute and telling Da Hua that his burly physique and handsome face all belonged to her because she’s saved his hide so many times. 😀 They have such sweet funny chemistry.

  7. I actually want to see the 20 minute preview/explanation for this drama? They did character introductions and each of the actors even had their own segment, talk, explanations.. etc.(it aired right after the last episode of Miss Rose)..

    Does anyone know if its on youtube? I saw part of it but I didnt get to finish.. I’m hoping to watch that first and then catch up to watching ep 1 and 2… Thanks! 🙂

  8. Oh… this is good?
    I’m tied up with IMY and CDDA and dunno how to squeeze out time for this, but I so want too, especially when James Wen is not playing his usual cool and rich dude roles, which I agree lacks that onscreen spark.
    I loved his adorkable country boy self in The Happy Times of That Year which he shines and see that he is a hoodlum in this drama, I will find the time to watch!

  9. This looks ADORABLE! and you’re right Koala, it does remind you of FG and WHAT THE HECK IS CHRIS WEARING? Has the designers never hear of long pants? not long jacket. ugh its just frustrating the crap out of me the way he looks. His hair is just…. it looked better in ZWY, IMO.

  10. I’m gonna watch this simple because I like the opening theme and the ending N Arron Yan gets an insert song…mmm plus MC40 has a role

  11. I want to love this drama having seen the first 3 episodes. I think James is so handsome, but I hate the lack of work ethic his character has. I hope that his character matures and learns how to keep a stable job, not just fight or flee.

    I want to root for Dau Ha, Guan Jun, Terry, and Laing Yen. Plus the perky girl friend and funny guy friend are a great addition to the story. I hope that we will see both the Dua Ha and Laing Yen characters, not have the fiancee Laing Yen pushed to the side (off in some overseas hospital).

    I think Terry’s story would be a lot more interesting if it is about him being torn between Laing Yen (who he thinks is a perfect, sweet, sheltered girl he will protect but she has all this wild child yearning to break away and discover herself) and Dua Ha (who is stuck in a one-sided love giving too much and needs to learn her own worth).

    I do think it is an interesting dynamic to have the problem of being homely removed and suddenly it will change the way everyone interacts with you. But if it is truthful, Dua Ha should take time to transform her own personality, just like someone who loses weight takes a while before they can see themselves as a thin person and start thinking and acting thin.

  12. This drama has got to be the best ASIAN DRAMA THIS YEAR NO DOUBT. It’s unique different fresh new (shouldn’t say new) but anyways! Great actors and actresses! Nice plot/storyline. not the tipical same plot dramas. its funny. Im obsess with the chicks beauty. I’m attached and pretty sure I’m not the only one. Recommended!

  13. i watched the firt episode and going to the next … I do not think that i like Guan Jun, the man is truly immature to the point that he disgusts me. the way he requires someone to pay him because HE did not drive well and how he speaks of the girl behind her back. it makes me feel very annoyed. i think he is the real douche here and not Terry…at least so far this is my opinion. this drama is not as fresh as it seems i dunno how it will go but if it ends up getting too draggy i’ll probably drop it

    • Hope you kept watching. It’s up to episode 6 and Guan Jun has “started” showing some redeeming qualities. Looks like they’re going to use the character growth aspect and let him become a “better” person. It progresses a bit slowly but I’m still liking the series.

  14. I dont know why but i really want Da Hua to end up with Terry, he’s just incredibly cute and looks at her with such loving eyes, the other one is just anoying and acts before he thinks, he does things to make things better for him and not others.

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