I was on a flight Sunday that was massively delayed, which worked out to allow me to chill at the airport lounge and watch all three of the new TW-dramas premiering that night. SETTV had Love Around with Annie Chen and George Hu, going up against CTV‘s Love SOS starring Daniel Chan, Jian Man Shu, and Patrick Li, and both of those joining the already airing GTV drama Fabulous Boys with Jiro Wang. CTS wisely decided to leave the Sunday night at 10 timeslot and premiered its new drama at 8 pm called Lucky Touch with Calvin Chen and Do Hua Mei. Everyone expected Love Around to be the nightly leader since the leads were just coming off another popular daily drama together, and indeed the ratings came in with LA almost hitting 2, following by Love SOS breaking 1, and Fabulous Boys bringing up the rear still not able to break 1 even with this new line up. I watched all three new dramas and was so horrified I lost my appetite and later on ended up hungry on the plane. There is suck and there is even more suck, but in general if a drama merely sucks its already bad enough. Of the three new dramas that premiered, Love Around sucked the least and Love SOS was baaaaaad, but it was Love Touch that was so horrendous as to defy description of how bad it was. I have no expectations of CTS or CTV dramas in general, but for SETTV to premiere a Sunday night drama that I thought sucked donkey balls on the first episode was truly shocking to me. Normally SETTV dramas start off winning and interesting, and its only later that it becomes a runaway train to crazytown. LA is everything mediocre and dull, with Annie over-acting like she would get paid more for mugging, George so stiff I thought he was auditioning for Lurch and he enunciates every word he speaks (Like. This. Is. That. Not. Annoying?), the directing was absurdly jarring with weird shot angles, poor scene construction, painfully contrived reaction shots, and the music was pretty much playing Bii‘s song over and over again. I couldn’t even find any chemistry between the two leads because both their characters are pathetic and annoying I wanted them to fall into a ditch. All of this was bound together by not having a story AT ALL. None, zip, nada, episode 1 shows us two people dealing with breakups and hangups over very horrible exes and then hanging out by happenstance. Good lord does that pass for a narrative these days? Oh Taiwan, why so much epic fail in one night. Can I have my King Flower back, at least it tried even if the powers that be kept jerking it around.
I’m pretty flummoxed over why Daniel Chan is doing a Taiwan drama and chose Love SOS as the vehicle to do fluffy fare. He plays a marriage-averse doctor on a small island who ends up pretending to be engaged to Jian Man Shu’s character to get all the marriage-minded mamas away from him. The acting in this drama is bearable, but really all the characters are annoying and exaggerated and the story doesn’t have anything remotely interesting about it. Yet. It could get better, but who knows and who cares. Lucky Touch is just so painful to watch I suggest folks inhale some laughing gas beforehand. Or consider having a colonoscopy, that might be just as painful but at least you get a medical check up out of it. Calvin tries and doesn’t suck, but he’s paired with one of the two least talented leading ladies in Taiwan right now in Do Hua Mei (Mike He got stuck with the other one being Da Yuan in Spring Love) and watching her act is line nails-on-chalkboard cringing. Funnily enough, Fabulous Boys just might be the best of the four Sunday night Taiwan dramas airing right now, but sadly its remake status and being so cutesy probably lowers the interest factor in people checking it out. I’m officially taking a break from Sunday nights and will check back occasionally to see if things change but for now, it’s across-the-board crap. The only reason to watch is if you don’t care about the story, good production values, or even passable acting, and only want to watch for your favorite actor or actress that is starring in these four dramas. That is a perfectly valid reason to watch so go right ahead. Those who want some emotional connection with the story or characters of a drama, I suggest avoiding these three like the plague. I actually don’t think Annie or George are as awful at acting at they appear in Love Around – I thought George was excellent in Summer Fever with Gui Gui, very natural and affecting in his performance, while Annie was best in Inborn Pair. They were both alright in Love, Now, and as boring as LN was, it feels like a third base hit compared to Love Around’s pointless inanity.