For every new K-drama there are about 10 new C-dramas, that’s the huge 10x production slate that the massive machine over in China turns out every year. I can’t keep up and don’t intend to, but I do check out the ones that pique my interest whether from a cast perspective or a production team or the rare case where the story sounds interesting. The upcoming period rom-com Perfect Couple (金玉良缘 which translates literally as Gold Jade Good Fate but means An Auspicious and Prosperous Union) is on my radar for a little bit of everything. I like leading man Wallace Huo, who gets my respect for at least trying in the insane Yu Zheng adaptation of The Swordsman and overall dropping a bit of his blandness (and nickname of White Tofu). Leading lady Tang Yan is one of those C-actresses that falls through the cracks, she doesn’t annoy me to the extent I avoid her works, but I don’t love her even after watching so many of her dramas and can’t really pinpoint why. She’s not a terrible actress, and clearly she had chemistry with her leading men judging by the sheer amount of C-fans who ship her with either Roy Qiu, Hu Ge, or Wallace. I do feel a bit of empathy for her having gone through a very VERY public break up with Roy, which was exacerbated by their never admitting to dating in the first place. I love Roy as an actor but he’s like the TW-entertainment industry’s acknowledged shittiest boyfriend ever, so either Tang Yan didn’t get the memo (and Rainie Yang has been fairly yelling it out loud for years) or she’s a glutton for punishment.
Anyhoo, I just feel bad for her being she’s clearly suffering from the break up and I wanted to check out what her next drama filmed in the immediate aftermath may be like. I wonder if she’ll get more grounded and rely less on being cutesy or overly animated. I’m also keen to check out Perfect Couple because one of the screenwriters is novelist Tong Hua (Bu Bu Jing Xin, Da Mo Yao, Yun Zhong Ge, et. al.) and this will be her first foray into writing specifically for the screen. In terms of the story, CP is part slapstick hate-turn-to-love couple story mixed with some makjang stolen child typical angst. Wallace plays Jin Yuan Bao (his name literally means Golden Nugget), rich and of the scathing tongue variety, who finds himself married to his nemisis Yu Qi Ling (her name means Jade Chimera) because of a Imperial Marriage Decree between two families. The real bride runs off to marry her true love and Yu Qi Ling steps into her place to marry into the Jin family to solve a birth mystery involving Jin Yuan Bao and the woman who raised Yu Qi Ling. I was rather bemused by the early silly scenes but my interest snapped to attention in the second half of the long preview during the confrontation between the OTP that ended up with him spearing her with a sword. I love it when period dramas go all out with the intensity and takes advantage of that fact that Yu Qi Ling is written as a martial arts master hence she’s obviously going to be all right. But the betrayal and the angst, that stuff I’ll slurp up on the spoon. Check it out yourselves!
8-minute preview for Perfect Couple: