I dropped You Light Up My Star early on not for anything particularly wrong with it but finding myself disengaged from the whole proceedings which felt a little but clinical. One great set up bit behind the conflict is where leads Joe Cheng and Janine Chang, who play top actors in the drama, have struck box office gold with their first romantic pairing and thereafter find themselves pairing up over and over again by the studios to churn out increasingly brain dead fare just to capitalize on fan affection for them. The situation ends up being the tinder for the conflict and for good reason, acting is by nature the playing of a role and to be stuck in playing the same role as the guy in love with the same girl but in different narrative settings is a professional noose for any thespian. That’s why I’m thrilled, and have mad respect, for Annie Chen when she turned down SETTV‘s heavy wooing for her to do the currently airing daily drama Love Cheque Charge with her twice costar George Hu. A daily with George and Annie would be easy ratings but does neither good for improving their craft.
Annie doesn’t have to wait long to come back to the small screen as she picked up a TVBS idol drama in lieu of LCC and with a whole new set of costars. The drama is called Bad Romance (I’ve also seen it referred to as Boysitter) and has a Chinese title of 摩女搶頭婚 which is translated literally as Witch Who Snatches The First Wedding. Annie plays older than her age as well as a single mom juggling a bustling career. Her two male leads are both highly lauded acting talent but fresher faces to most English-speaking viewers. River Huang (the one with long hair) tries out a frothy idol drama for a change but he burst into acting in a big way with his first drama Dangerous Mind winning the Best Drama award at the Golden Bell that year and River won Best Actor both as a newbie and one of the youngest at 18 years old. Malaysian Chinese actor Melvin Sia, who himself is a Golden Award best actor winner, rounds out the love triangle as Annie finds herself choosing between her long time boyfriend who doesn’t want to get married and a prickly younger playboy who might just reform his ways. I’m just thrilled this cast and story sounds fresh(er) than most TW-dramas lately so check out all the early filming pics below. Continue reading