Fond Remembrance of the Taiwan Idol Drama Actors of the 2000’s Era

Maybe it’s the fall weather and the recent seismic shift in Asian drama viewing options but I’m in a nostalgic mood and one of the classic eras that passed naturally was the Taiwan idol dramas of the 2000s. Starting from Meteor Garden which was remade by a new cast this year in 2018 who may have just been born when the original came out in 2001, the decade or so following MG were the heyday of Taiwan idol dramas featuring young charismatic male leads creating swoon worthy drama crushes onscreen. Sure the hairstyles and fashion choices are outdated and rather lulzworthy to revisit but the raw charm of so many of those leading men remain undeniable and evident onscreen. Follow the photo journey to see the now early 40s and mid-30s actors back in their prime from Mike He, Jimmy Lin, pre-Mainland drama Wallace Huo, all four F4 Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Ken Zhu, and Vanness Wu, classic Joe Cheng, intense Ethan Ruan, total prince and maybe a frog Ming Dao, stiff robot Wu Zhun, foraying into acting Show Luo, cute and goofy Jiro Wang and Aaron Yan, these names are so ingrained in me and always brings a smile to my face to remember those happy innocent days of watching them onscreen.


Fond Remembrance of the Taiwan Idol Drama Actors of the 2000’s Era — 26 Comments

  1. I saw Ambrose Hsu (behind Wallace Huo on the pic), where is he now? I remember watching at the dolphin bay, gosh..time flies!

  2. I miss this era when the Taiwanese dramas were very popular. My favourite actors were Vic Zhou and Ethan Ruan. For those who think the dramas at that time are a bit too old to watch, Outsiders 鬥魚 has recently been remade to a movie. You can check it out if you like darker stories.

    • Hi heard some much about the drama outsider but can’t find English sub online. Do you know where to buy a copy or yet watch online? Who starts in the movie version? Thanks.

  3. Vic Zhou, Mike He, Joe Cheng and Ethan Ruan are my favourite with Mars, Silence, Black and White, Love Contract, Devil Beside You, That Loves Comes and Fated to Love You. A lot of great TWdramas 😀

    • Why is everyone so caught up with Devil Beside You. I thought it was gangsta drama fluff with Raine Yang being annoying, can’t act and her screaming, childish performance, not to mention her hairy moustache being a turn off. I was fed up with the violent, gagsta fighting and Mike He’s cheesecake acting. This is not a classic top rated drama.

  4. Ahhh I feel I personally know them by just looking their old photos. The outsiders is the only Dylan show I know and that show also where I got to know Ady An

  5. Hi, does anyone know who is that in the first screen shot at the top of the page, and the drama that it is from? Thank you x

  6. I wish more of them have managed to be relevant in the current ent biz. Tw entertainment industry hasn’t been able to use these former stars in decent dramas. Of T actors from that era, I like Alec Su’s directing work from the last few years. Competent direction. Wallace Huo’s acting has gotten stiffer and more monotonous. Specializing in a lot of cold characters. Lack diversity. Ming Dao’s acting has always been cringeworthy. Aaron Yan, Jiro Wang, Ken Zhu are just bearable. At least not as bad as Ming Dao’s. Vanness Wu was a pleasant surprise in the mediocre drama that is Princess Weiyoung. Vic Zhou’s recent projects, Beauties in Closet, Flame’s Daughter, are not watchable. (It’s weird he keeps pairing with much younger actresses. It looks as if he’s going to take advantage of innocent young ladies.) If not for his past fame, I’m not sure if he would still get offers.

    Ariel Lin, on the other hand, is a much more versatile actress.
    Chen Qiao En is stooping low with dramas like Stay With Me, Destined to Love You (Bosco Wong), Love Actually (Tong Dawei), Legendary Tycoon (Zhang Han). The much younger Tw actress Vicky Chen is much more interesting to watch than the experienced Joe Chen. It’s sad to see.

    Mike He and Joe Cheng’s acting in recent dramas are still watchable. Not counting JC’s weird alien wuxia drama, Legend of Heavenly Tear. It doesn’t look like either one gets great drama offers.
    Ethan Ruan is a decent actor, but Fuyao is a very Mary Sue drama. His main role is to save Mary or get stabbed by Mary. It’s very YA in theme. It doesn’t have a universal appeal.

    • I actually liked Flame’s Daughter. It was different at least with a different kind of lead guy (kinda feminine which I guess is true to the source material.)

      Anyway, Vic Chou completed a drama with the actress from Nirvana in Fire and she’s late 30ies I think. Heck she might (or might not) be older than him.

      Vaness Wu was good in Weiyoung and Wallace Huo is getting stiffer.

    • When you say Fuyao doesn’t have a universal appeal I am interested in where you got your data. From what I have seen and read, when it aired on Drama Fever and Viki, it not only got a high rating but a lot of its viewers were from around the globe. Also from other entertainment data, it also got a high rating from abroad more than from domestic viewership.

  7. Aaron Yan got outed. He three-timed his boyfriend. He didn’t outright deny anything but apologized. There are pictures too. This is such an awful way to get outed but who knew he’d cheat with multiple people… Also, Wallace Huo ?. The new MG cast is gaining popularity but icons will be icons. Only time will tell if the new F4 will have the same kind of impact. Shen Yue (the female lead) really seems to challenge herself, seeing how she’s taking very different characters, my guess is she will seriously focus on acting instead of being a CF star lol. Dunno yet about the F4 what kind of path they will take.

  8. Feel bad about Aaron Yan. Don’t care about someone’s private life but this will heavily impact his career as it will be impossible for many to emotionally invest in any future love scenes in dramas. He’s not married so unless he’s in a committed relationship,dating around is not so terrible a crime.Sometimes you just aren’t certain who is right for you.

    • I don’t feel bad abouy aaron. He always bark he not gay. Just zip your mouth shut, don’t admit,don’t deny. Or do like some taiwanese singers and actors, get married to a man who has the figure and boobs like a woman, but a piece of wood betwwen their legs. Or marry a real woman to keep your gay secret a secret. Lots of taiwanese famous people did that.

  9. And China is remaking most of these famous idol dramas. I haven’t watched all of them but out of the ones I have seen, love MG the best (maybe, because it’s my first).

    It’s time Aaron admitted his sexuality rather then giving fangirls their fantasy. I will always remember when Leslie Cheung admitted his preference. No big deal, he should have a wider range of roles offered to him.

  10. I am bias when comes to Jerry Yan. He is just a mediocre actor but there’s just something in him that I like.
    Of the F4 boys, Vic Chou certainly the best actor but I dislike his performance in “The Flame’s Daughter”.
    Never watched Ethan Ruan in anything other than the OTT movie “Guillotine” until I recently try watching Fuyao, but I don’t find him impressive as many raved about.
    Wallace Huo was ok to me, though I never get the hype of “Journey of Flowers” but then I watched “Ruyi” and boy do I think he is horrible. Already his version of Qianlong Emperor is despicable, his portrayal with that monotonous tone and slouching posture made me cringing watching the drama the whole time.
    And why is Bolin Chen not in the list? Is he not an idol actor? Well, he is not only good looking but has the best acting chop among all of them.

  11. Oh!! Old-days Taiwanese dramas and how they made my hearts beat wildly when I was only in junior hs. But the one that I’ve kept rewatching from time to time is only MARS.

  12. F4 my all time fav, where traffic is a no no rushing home to watch meteor garden, and my all time fav drama the rose with ella chen. And wishing ella and joe tamdem which never happen .

  13. Omg~ Those were the days~
    What happened to cringy but quality Taiwanese dramas? Many of them even had their own unique stories, not adapted from other material. Nowadays it’s mostly office dramas, although I have personally enjoyed a few of them.
    I wonder if it’s because the Taiwanese broadcast stations and companies are too restrictive or picky (and maybe doesn’t pay enough)? Everyone eventually leaves to mainland China and never come back….

  14. Very nostalgic. I’m still binge watching some of their dramas. Nothing beats a good ‘ol classic taiwan idol dramas. I could watch some of them over and over again. Meteor Garden and the F4 (mainly Jerry Yan hahaha) was my first love and I’ll be forever biased for them. Everytime someone mention MG, I’ll always remember my childhood haha

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