Drama Adaptation of Tong Hua’s Best Time with Janine Chang and Wallace Chung to Air Next Week

This drama has been done filming since last year and I dang forgot it hasn’t aired until now. I rather like letting upcoming dramas slip since I’m not anxiously waiting for it. The modern Tong Hua novel Secrets Hidden in Time (被時光掩埋的秘密 which I unabashedly shortened to SHiT) has been remade into the C-drama titled Best Time (最美的时光) starring Janine Chang, Wallace Chung, Jia Nai Liang, and Han Xi Ting. Toss in Ying Er in a pivotal cameo role and this thing has got adult melo crack written all over it. I’ve written my novel review here (warning spoilers galore) and would have written off the drama but for the fact that all signs point to the ending being changed to one less likely to make me want to poke my eyes out. The title change is a good hint, since the secret hidden in time was male lead Lu Li Cheng (Wallace) and his love for female lead Su Man (Janine), whereas a best time title gives me hope that Su Man is at least enjoying herself having a hot namja devotedly in love with her. Best Love airs next week and it’s the promise of a different than book ending plus Wallace looking smoking hot in suits that has me penciling time in to watch this sucker. Even if the ending changes, the story is still frustrating as all heck, especially with the makjang turn it takes mid-way through. I still remember the whiplash when reading it. But I said before in other Best Love posts that this narrative works better in a drama so I’m keeping my mind open that this might actually be entertaining without resorting to nonsensical plot tangents since its based on a Tong Hua written novel. At this point I’ve read all her novels and am still trying to wrap my mind around why her writing varies so much in scope and style. I finished her latest Chinese mythological romance epics Once Promised (曾许诺) parts 1 and 2 and its just released sequel Lost You Forever (長相思) and have so many thoughts but can’t actually generate a coherent post about it. It’s frustrating and absolutely unforgettable wrapped into one. Let’s see how Best Time does translated onscreen, with the promise of two more Tong Hua novels-turned-dramas airing next year in Da Mo Yao (The Sun Moon Legend) and Yun Zhong Ge.

Previews for Best Time:

And if you want to be majorly spoiled, have the 35-minute trailer for Best Time:


Drama Adaptation of Tong Hua’s Best Time with Janine Chang and Wallace Chung to Air Next Week — 37 Comments

  1. Oooh I haven’t seen any of wallace Chung’s work but he looks so handsome in the stills. Janine Chang is a pretty good actress. I’ll be looking out for it. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the update Ms.Koala. I was waiting impatiently, not knowing when it will be air.

    Can’t wait. I love both Janine and Wallace. But like you, I really hope the ending is not the same as the novel.

  3. Ah!! I was wondering when this was going to air – so looking forward to it. Fingers crossed for eng subs and a better ending! Thanks for the update! =)

  4. DUBBING… DUBBING… DUBBING… oh horror… Question, the Koreans seem to use their own voices even in period dramas, as in Empress Ki… Why, why, why the Cdramas always dub. Doesn’t Janine Chang have her own voice. Even the narration for the trailer is dubbed by “Don Pardo” LOL…

    • The uniformity of hundreds of disparate Chinese language accents/dialects. It’s a necessity until everyone in China learns to speak Beijing Mandarin fluently as a second language regardless of their hometown regional dialect.

      • Somehow Taiwan doesn’t have the same hangups, so most of the TW-dramas have a mishmash of accents, which is both good and bad. Good when it matches the character or the actor has a really expressive voice, bad when the accent is at total odds with the character. :/

    • I think the repeated topic of “why-dubbing?!?” in any C-drama post is beating a dead horse. It is what it is. Either don’t watch or watch and let it go.

      Longmen Express reminded me that non-dubbing is refreshingly authentic and also a hot mess of meta-accents taking one out of the scene and works only in a parody satire drama like LE.

      China has 1.3 billion people and over 200 dialects, South Korea 50 million and 17 provincial dialects. Every actor in Korea knows the Seoul dialects in order to become an actor, it’s not hard to learn since its basically Boston v. Texas drawls. Chinese dialects are can be unintelligible to others, it’s not that easy to learn. Dubbing is requirement of the reality of Chinese language, not a preference.

      • Accents or no accents no bother moi… BUT, dubbed voices really bother us, just like old spaghetti westerns, but that was that genre. Too bad since we know Mandarin, would prefer watching a good drama with Chinese actors, but dubbing just kills the desire. Chinese who become actors are intelligent enough to learn their crafts, should be able to pick-up decent Mandarin too. There is absolutely no excuse to dub-over their voices with someone else. Ariel Lin had dubbed her own voice in LangLingWang, which was fine. Kdramas rule… and we stay away from Cdramas like the plague… being a bit dramatic here… (^^) Besides, if Jung YongHwa can learn to act again, then there is hope…

      • It’s not different “accents”, most of the dialects in China are unintelligible speech that is as different as Spanish is to French is to German.

        Learning Mandarin when one speaks Wuhan or Cantonese or Fujianese is learning a brand new language. It’s do-able but not the same ease as someone with a thick Southern Drawl learning to speak with a flat New England accent when the diction, grammar, and usage is the same common English language.

    • I first watched Janine Chang in several Taiwanese dramas where her own voice was used. When I first watched a Chinese drama with her voice dubbed, it was very jarring. I accept that that’s the way the game is played, but I wish it weren’t so, at least when I know the actual voice.

      • I want to add: her real voice is used in the State Farm commercials we see on TV in Southern California.

  5. I have been so looking forward to this! my thoughts as I read the book is that it should be a drama with all the makjang. Off to watch the trailer now. Thank you for the link!

  6. Just saw the 35mins trailer – I think I will give this show a miss after all. Some parts makes me squeal, most parts make me cringe. Sad 🙁

  7. Gosh 曾许诺 and 长相思, where to begin? Both were immensely epic and grandeur in scale, I applaud Tong Da for her courage in attempting to chronicle such complex stories. 曾许诺 shred my heart to pieces and more, 长相思 kind of lost itself in the last book, but I love the heorine and all her jadedness. Is it true that the rights of both have been sold to production companies? I just cant imagine the casting of someone like 蚩尤 or 相柳, and not to mention the amount of CGI needed aka cringe worthy? But Tong Da’s books do seem to be made for TV adaptations so…
    Koala, I’d really like to hear your thoughts on the books and possible dramas…

  8. oh my God.. i’m super damn happy for this drama.. congratz.. finally i can enjoy wallace haha… hope he would end up with janine.. 🙂

  9. Maybe I shouldn’t have read the book review because the spoilers made me rage so bad! I still have a bitter taste in my mouth. The ending better be different in this drama tho, maybe even a better and less desperate heroine too would be great.

  10. Yeah!!!! I am so happy. Thanks to God that I have just discovered about it last week. I know that everyone is waited for so long for almost 1.5 years. Thank you so much to Ms.Koala for writing the preview on Best Time. Your last comments is on January 2013 and I thought you have forgotten or giving up waiting.

  11. Ms K. Many thanks for the novel synopsis!!

    I’m surprised that none of the Pepsi drums, cans, posters get speaking parts in this drama. I suppose that might be unfair to the olive oil (product placement). Maybe they can make a sequel for those 2. 😉

    As for the humans, the acting from the 3 leads are fine. But some characters, esp. Janine’s and Spicy’s, often seem sporadically juvenile. Sometimes also out-of-character.
    Spicy/Ma La Tang doesn’t look/act like a corporate type. Does Han Xiting have a huge fan-base?

    In the real world, I’m more used to seeing this age group of 30 somethings as senior managers at best. Sometimes VPs in banks. People in LLC et al’s position are often married men with kids in college. It’s weird to see how they have so many female staff members wearing trendy juvenile (teenager?) clothes working in the office. Doesn’t look much like offices I’ve seen. Do bosses in Asia visit employees at home after work?

    So far I’m not sensing a full happy ending.

    • Lol, you forgot the clothing ad (the same in every elevator scene) and the Range Rover (goes well with LLC).

      I too am disappointed about Spicy’s character, seems like they just patched it together to fit whatever scene was needed. I also started despising Alex’s character. C’mon, he’s the same the all through-out…wishy-washy, can’t decide whether he’s more guilt-ridden about his first love, guilt-ridden about forgoing Su Man or guilt-ridden about his ex-gf sister. Then the last episode, he decides “I love Su Man.” What?!! The ending where Su Man ends up with Alex makes me despise them both. The only ending I can tolerate is ending up with LLC.

  12. I wasn’t a huge fan of the novel, but I had hope in the drama. I watched it, enjoyed myself for the most part (overlooking SM’s obsessive nature with SY when I couldn’t relate to how he was likeable), but boy was I steaming along with the rest of the Chinese viewers when it hit the ending. Luckily they are releasing the alternative endings online…

    Would love to hear your take on the drama if you do end up feeling motivated to write something.

    For me, LLC (Wallace C) stole the show.

  13. Im an English woman in her 50s and I just LOVED this show – I watched it ALL raw yet I think I got the gist pretty well. Best thing for me is that I eventually got the ending I wanted with the Specials – SuMan and LLC!! For me he was NEVER the 2nd lead.

    The only other CDrama Ive watched that appealed to me as much as this was Sealed With A Kiss with Hawick Lau. I find myself more and more fascinated and absorbed by TW and C-Dramas all the time. Im off to watch Too Late To Say I Love You with Wallace next.

    • Hi Cazzy, I read your commentary on Best Time. I’ve recently watched Best Times and was thoroughly frustrated for many of the reasons stated by other viewers…in short I disliked Song Yi’s character, was disappointed in Su Man but adored Lu Li Cheng. ( I also happen to love Wallace Chung). It is in this latter vein that I’m writing; I’ve been trying to find ‘Too Late To Say I Love You’ online for some time with English subtitles. Can you tell me which site you watched in on? I would love it if it were with English subs but I will also take it in whatever language just to watch it.

      By the way, I totally enjoyed Sealed With A Kiss, and again I’m a fan of Hawick Lau..

  14. Wallace Chung acts very very well. Applause to Wallace and Janine. The ending is strange as the whole show appear to influence the audience to anticipate that the main lead will go with Janine, especially when Janine met Wallace when watching the eclipse instead of the supporting actor who didn’t turn up. Of course all the other actors did well to make it a nice movie to watch. Besides, the weird ending, it is definitely a nice movie to watch.

  15. whoa! what an intense melodrama! i really wanna watch it but after that 35 minute trailer and having the ending revealed in these comments, i’m not so sure anymore…

  16. This is first time i watch Wallace’s drama. I did not know this actor until Best Time. Wow….can’t not help but going back to watch his old dramas and movies from You Tube. All i can say is Wallace you are Amazing… I will be your fan forever..

  17. “Best Time” is one of the best modern C-dramas I’ve seen, along w/ “SWAK”…. Wallace and Janine gave terrific performances….
    …… ***Spoilers **** (although many r listed above)…….
    My only complaint is that the last few episodes should not have spent so much time on annoying Ma LaTong’s problems (b/c frankly, no one gives a D***) and should have spent more time developing Su Man’s romantic feelings towards LLC…. Just a few scenes of her seeing him in a different light (other than a loyal friend)before she disappears…
    Then it would be more believable that during her absence she learned to appreciate him romantically and love him.
    P.S. Wallace Chung is Simply an Amazing actor!!! I want to see his other dramas, but none are subbed in Eng…. wish someone would sub “Too Late to say I Love You”….

  18. I really liked this drama!!! But the original ending with SuMan between the two main leads is ridiculous!!! LLC is so everything!!!!! I loved the alternative ending with him and Suman!!! But i couldn’t watch the ending with the other guy, he is so bleh

  19. Love the drama. Need to know who Su Man get with in the novel??? Hoping that she get with Lu Li Cheng. I can’t believe they end the movie with three of them staring at each other. I finally get to see the special ending but did not like the one she end with Song Yi. Love the special ending with Lu Li Cheng.

  20. I already saw Wallace Chung in meteor garden but dont know his name and Im actually dont gave attention to this actor. Until last month I check William Chan’s drama on youtube, and I saw BEST TIME, I tried to watched it, my plan was just to see if its interesting, but I saw Janine, since I already watched few of her drama, I did watched it. Then gosh saw this man (Wallace Chung) …… and I remember him somewhere some other drama ( meteor garden ).so this is him. But he looks hot now, and who would think that he’s already 41,…. Then I watched it again and again until now, even if, it dont have english sub. One more thing he really looks like my childhood crush. hehehe

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