New drama alert coming out of Taiwan! It’s been mostly a long and sorry Summer for me and fluffy Taiwan dramas. Love Around was a repetitive DOA mess, Just You has only cute and nothing else, Amour et Patisserie was gorgeous and lovely but rather faded into the consciousness, and episode 1 of IUUI was brilliant but then collapsed on the weight of a truly terrible second female lead actress and character. I’m waiting for SETTV to reveal which dramas will follow Love Around and Just You when those two draggy dramas finally end (hopefully sooner rather than later), but over at GTV a low key and potentially wonderful drama snuck up on me. The Pursuit of Happiness (not to be confused with the movie with the same name but spelled differently) pairs up Sonia Sui and Tony Yang, both of whom are solid and capable mature actors with plenty of nuance and breadth. What’s most exciting is that this comes from the production team behind Ariel Lin and Bolin Chen‘s massive ratings and critical hit In Time With You, though its not Director Winnie behind the camera but his protege. I have a lot of problems with ITWY but still felt it was head and shoulders above most any trendy romance drama coming out of Taiwan in many years. Sonia plays a normal and capable career woman who has been off-and-on with her ex-boyfriend played by Cash Chuang for over 10 years, though they have a marriage pact to get hitched to each other if neither finds someone else after turning 35. She still loves him and is dreaming of his proposal as they are on the cusp of turning 35 when he ups and falls for the new pretty manager played by Aggie Hsieh who arrives at the company. Her ex-boyfriend played by Tony Yang has come to win her heart and he ends up renting a room from Sonia and what follows is a cohabitation story as well as how two people learn to let go and move on. I saw the long preview and really liked it, the cinematography is beautiful, the mood has the same ITWY dreamy cynicism, and Sonia and Tony are both so brimming with feeling in their performances. Since SETTV is on a streak of suck this year, might as well give GTV a shot to recapture the magic of ITWY through this drama from the same talented production team. The Pursuit of Happiness premieres this Friday.
7 minute Preview for The Pursuit of Happiness: