My Final Review For โ€˜Lost Romanceโ€™ – Was It Worth The Commitment?๐Ÿง

It’s a new year, and I am breaking the spirit of procrastination. Hence, I will be completing all my held back drama reviews this week, starting with Lost Romance. Better late than never, I guess. Hwaiting!!!!

Since it’s been a while, here are all previous reviews for anyone who needs a refresher:

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ First Impressions of Taiwanese Drama โ€“ โ€˜Lost Romanceโ€™

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Lost Romance: Taiwanese Drama Review โ€“ Episode 2

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Lost Romance: Taiwanese Drama Review โ€“ Episode 3

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Lost Romance: Taiwanese Drama Review โ€“ Episode 4 โ€“ 6

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Lost Romance: Taiwanese Drama Review โ€“ Episode 7 โ€“ 9

And all episodes of this drama are available on Viki – Lost Romance on Viki.

(warning – spoilers ahead)

First off, here are my thoughts on episodes 10 to 20:

When I went back to continue this show, one aspect that completely turned me off was Situ Aoran’s indecisive and overbearing nature. I didn’t appreciate him trying to control Zheng Xiao En’s life even after rejecting all her advances. There’s absolutely nothing sweet or cute about excessive jealousy. So with that development, I came to enjoy the presence of Qing Feng more. An added disappointment to Situ Aoran’s toxic traits was the character development of Chu Chu in the novel’s world. I was sad when she turned out to be the typical mean and manipulative female viper. She might not have been my favourite character, but I had high hopes for her๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ.

Moving on, of course, Situ Aoran and Zheng Xiao En got together. I was okay with their relationship since they did have sizzling chemistry, + Aoran became less controlling. As the story progressed, I understood that Aoran served as an alter ego for He Tian Xing, who wished for more freedom in life. Situ Aoran was like a combination of all the traits that Tian Xing considered weak, which means Zheng Xiao En loved him at his lowest… Awww๐Ÿฅฐ, quite endearing.

Honestly, this drama nearly lost me halfway, but once they switched back entirely to the real world, the new dynamic between He Tian Xing and Zheng Xiao En kept me hooked. I think we can all agree that He Tian Xing is way more charming than Situ Aoran. Plus, the real world’s courting stage felt more genuine without all the novel-like antics and uncertainties. I also enjoyed how the story came full circle with He Tian Xing doing the pursuit, spying on Zheng Xiao En with a drone and comforting her during her down moments –

Now in regards to our villains, starting with Uncle Hu. I don’t have much to say because he is simply a twisted individual that decided to destroy a friend’s family due to greed. He Tian Jian, on the other hand, indeed took me by surprise in the closing episodes. I was rooting for you boy, how could you? Even as Situ Moran, he was no better๐Ÿ˜‘. The saving grace of this group was He Ming Li. Although nothing excuses her evil ways, we can’t deny that she was a demon created by her father’s infidelity and mother’s neglect. If their father had communicated his real feelings towards all his children, the He family could have been in a better situation. I’m glad that He Ming Li realized her mistakes and did a full turn around –

With all that said, I have to conclude that my favourite character from Lost Romance is Qing Feng. His backstory of roaming through various novels added an intriguing layer to the drama when it started to get draggy. Plus, he was just a very loving and genuine person in general. Thankfully Qing Feng got his happy ending, and I loved the brief cameo from Puff Kuo.

Final Review:

Overall, Lost Romance was an okay drama. The story started quite bizarre, then mid-way, it got a bit draggy, but thankfully the scriptwriter still managed to round up every arc properly. Aside from the overly dramatic sequences of the novel’s world + some unnecessary filler scenes, and lack of better development for certain side characters, everything else was a good watch. I enjoyed the second half of the show more, which is why I feel they could have made this a sixteen-episode series. As an avid drama watcher, I have outgrown the clichรฉ plot-devices adopted in this show, hence why specific aspects were too exhausting for me. All the same, the scriptwriter, director, and actors did exceptionally well in gracing me with superb acting, sizzling chemistry, a great showcase of friendship, comedy, witty dialogues and beautiful soundtracks.

I give big props to Marcus Chang for his contribution to the soundtracks๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ. He has such a soothing voice, so his songs were my favourite, along with the opening track by Ariel Tsai –

To close this post, my rating for Lost Romance is 7.5/10. To better understand how I rate each movie or drama, click ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ Drama|Movie Rating Guide. Also, feel free to let me know your thoughts on this series in the comment section๐Ÿ’•.

Is The Live-Action of โ€˜Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otakuโ€™ Worth A Watch?

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku, also known as It’s Difficult to Love an Otaku, is a 2020 Japanese live-action film based on a manga written and illustrated by Fujita. The manga’s name is Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii.

Synopsis: Momose Narumi is a 26-year-old otaku who enjoys reading boys’ love manga but hides it from others. She begins work at a new company and meets her old childhood friend Nifuji Hirotaka. Hirotaka is handsome and good at his job, but he is also an otaku. After work, Narumi and Hirotaka talk about their otaku interests. Hirotaka asks her if they can date, telling her it will be nice. They begin their relationship but face many hardships and difficulties. (source – MyDramaList)

Expectations: I remember ranting about this movie late last year. It was a detailed post explaining my love for the source material and how I felt about the upcoming film ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ My Excitement Is Real โ€“ WOTAKOI: LOVE IS HARD FOR OTAKU is getting a live-action film. YESSS๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽŠ.

(warning โ€“ spoilers ahead)

Review:

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku released in February, and I just saw it last week. It took me a while to watch it mainly because I was waiting for subtitles and HD quality. It’s interesting to see one of my favourite manga/anime come to life. I think Saito Takumi and Takahata Mitsuki did okay considering how the director/scriptwriter crafted things.

Alright, there goes my sweet intro. Belt up people because things are about to get sour. I have seen the anime, bought and read the manga, which proves my commitment. Therefore, I am fully authorized to comment.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring myself to partake in or even slightly enjoy the musical aspect introduced in this live-action. I’m probably mistaken about the target audience, but the musical scenes felt random, cringe and lasted way too long. I enjoyed Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii since it had a certain maturity level due to the office setting and the characters’ age group. I also loved the weird/witty comedy. Thankfully, that was left intact.

Nonetheless, this film completely threw out the source material’s fire and left me watching what I couldn’t exactly wrap my head around. Ladies and Gentlemen, I must admit that I could not bring myself to sit through the entire movie at this juncture. The frustration and utter disappointment were too real. Actually, throughout this week, I have been contemplating whether to write this review. I’m only giving myself the go-ahead to break down some significant elements that ultimately caused this film to go left –

  1. The replacement/partial removal of essential characters like Koyanagi Hanako and Kabakura Taro – In my opinion, the director didn’t showcase enough of them. Instead, he gave us two other support roles that took all their lines/screen time from the manga. Also, these newly found second leads weren’t essential to the story’s development.
  2. The director did a lot of tossing around with the story – It felt like he placed the source material on a chopping board and failed to puzzle it back correctly. The storyline was oddly out of place and felt too rushed. Don’t get me wrong, I know the manga was fast-paced, but at least the story flowed. By taking away specific essential roles in the live-action and mix-matching the timeline of specific events, everything else came off quite sloppy, in my opinion.
  3. Odd story progression leads to missed opportunities for good character development – Take, for example, The No-Otaku date that Narumi and Hirotaka had. I think it came too early in the film. Hence, it failed to accomplish the same understanding and growth brought to their relationship in the manga/anime version.

I could go on, but I’m going to end things here. Overall, Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku did not do its source material justice in any shape or form. I highly doubt that anyone would watch this film and become intrigued enough to pick up the manga. Maybe I’m too picky, and some people enjoyed this live-action. WHO KNOWS? Still, for me, this film gets a 4.5/10. To better understand how I rate each drama or movie, click ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ Drama|Movie Rating Guide.

If anyone is still interested in watching this movie and forming their own opinion, it is available on Dramanice with English subtitles.

Korean Drama – โ€˜Do You Like Brahms?โ€™: First Impressions

Do You Like Brahms? is an ongoing Korean series that stars Kim Min Jae and Park Eun Bin as leads. It started airing on August 31st and will run for sixteen episodes.

Synopsis: In defiance of her family’s opposition, Song Ah gets accepted to the same university’s music school, where she previously majored in business. As she’s seven years older than her classmates, she finds her new academic life daunting and struggles to find strength. One day, she hears Joon Young playing “Traumerei,” which comforts her. Joon Young is a talented pianist who started playing the piano when he was six. He’s been friends with Jung Kyung, Kyunghoo Group’s CEO’s granddaughter, for a long time, and is in love with her. When he decides to keep his distance from Jung Kyung, he meets Song Ah. (source – Viki)

Expectations: I saw the trailers for this drama all over Instagram. Plus, I enjoy the acting of both leads. Hence I decided to check it out and see if it’s worth my time.

(warning โ€“ spoilers ahead)

Review: 

First off, I adore the serene atmosphere of this show. The calm nature makes for a relaxing watch. From what I’ve seen, Do You Like Brahms? is going to be a slow burn romance story. I don’t mind this because we are getting quite realistic interactions. Chae Song Ah and Park Joon Young are so awkward and overly careful around each other. Hence why it will be interesting to watch their relationship progress out of that stage. I’m super excited to see them become friends and gradually fall in love because the subtle glances at each other, in just these two episodes, are screaming chemistry!!!

Another thing I genuinely appreciate about this drama is that Song Ah and Joon Young are friendly and also respectful to others. We all know that a male lead that starts nice is quite rare in the K-drama scene. That’s why when I meet these occasional gems, I remain tuned. Also, the OST line-up is promising. The one from Punch – “Close To Me” is simply beautiful –

Now let’s discuss the existing love triangles holding our leads back –

  • Chae Song Ah Vs. Yoo Dong Yoon & Kang Min Sung: I don’t think this triangle will get messy, but there is tension to unfold. Chae Song Ah lacks confidence due to her academic standing, but she’s brave for pursuing her dream. Maybe the writer plans to use this situation of being in love with her friend’s ex-boyfriend to impact growth and boost her confidence level.
  • Park Joon Young Vs Lee Jung Kyung & Han Hyun Ho: Now, this one will not end well. This triangle is the literal definition of – “it’s about to go down.” Park Joon Young has always done things to please others and provide for his family, hence why I believe this situation might be a device to let him out of his shell. The major problem here is Lee Jung Kyung. She seems quite jealous already, and I’m not looking forward to what will cook up once Joon Young starts shows vital interest in Song Ah.

Although this drama does not have many funny moments, I laughed out loud when Song Ah asked Joon Young – “Do You Like Brahms?” at the airport. I instantly had a flashback of the iconic line from Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo – Do You Like Messi? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

I am very excited about the upcoming episodes, and if anyone else is interested, new episodes of Do You Like Brahms? are uploaded every Monday & Tuesday on Viki ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ https://www.viki.com/tv/37214c-do-you-like-brahms

Update on My Watch Progress for Heart Signal 3 (Korean Version)

Since I started writing a recap/review of this program here, I thought it would be only right to update why I stopped.

Honestly, I wasn’t enjoying it. Usually, Heart Signal can be frustrating, but as a viewer, I still enjoy trying to guess the love lines or just watching the housemates interact with each other. This third season of the Korean version wasn’t doing it for me. I tried to push through and give them chances to evolve. But even down to episode 8, I was still dealing with the same unfair allocated screen time issues. Then I noticed that this season had 16 episodes, which doesn’t make sense because halfway through had been a full drag.

I read a few reviews, and many people enjoyed it, and some said it got better towards the end after the housemates started communicating their feelings appropriately. However, I don’t feel inclined to go back, so I will no longer document Heart Signal 3 (Korean Version). Maybe one day, when I have a lot of time, I can watch it personally to get closure.

Currently, I am looking forward to the third season of the Chinese version. I sincerely hope this one doesn’t disappoint me as well. Tencent has announced the new panel line-up.

Returning Panel Members –

  • Yang Chaoyue
  • Du Haitao

New Panel Members –

  • Zhang Han
  • Qi Wei
  • Ding Yuxi
  • Blogger Alex

Nothing But Thirty: Chinese Drama Review – Episode 21 – 43|Finale

Alright, it is time to wrap up Nothing But Thirty. Honestly, I already finished watching this series when I wrote my initial review. I took down notes for the remaining episodes, but me being me, I wasn’t able to come back immediately with the next part. Sorry, everyone๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ.

Now let’s get it done. Remember, all episodes of this drama are available on Viki with this link ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ Nothing But Thirty with English subs.

Also, check out the first part review with this link – Nothing But Thirty: Drama Review โ€“ Episodes 1 โ€“ 20

(warning โ€“ spoilers ahead)

Review:

I knew something was fishy about Man Ni’s boyfriend. Liang Zheng Xian thought he could keep a woman for every city he visits. He had my girl looking like a mistress. I’m glad Man Ni broke away from his shackles, even though it took her a while to get over the depressed feeling.

Life happens; we learn and grow each day. By the end of the series, Wang Man Ni grew into a more independent lady and decided to focus on herself rather than conforming to society’s norms.

In the case of Zhong Xiao Qin and Chen Yu, I’m happy that they had their time apart. There’s a saying that ‘you don’t appreciate what you have until you lose it.’ Xiao Qin and Chen Yu had way too many misunderstandings, and they both needed to be mature enough to clear out everything. Thankfully, the writer showed them working on their communication skills.

Chen Yu became more open about his feelings, and Xiao Qin gained self-confidence. As a couple, they were now able to consider things through each other’s perspective, which made me love their reunion.

During the last few episodes, the arc that made me go crazy in the right way was Gu Jia’s. I felt her pain, disappointment and frustration with Xu Huan Shan and his mistress (Youyou). They nearly broke this lady.

The fact that Xu Huan Shan was bold enough to make Gu Jia and her father clean up his mess was what completely blew my mind. You claim that your wife controls everything, but you can’t even do anything on your own. Make it make sense because I’m baffled๐Ÿ˜ค. I just wanted to go into the series and knock common sense into his brain. Plus, Youyou is also another entitlement character. From what I saw, Xu Huan Shan only used her to boost his failed pride and ego. The scene that made me feel heavy throughout Gu Jia’s ordeal was the bathtub moment in episode 40. I cried because it was too painful to watch –

Infidelity in marriage has always bothered me because there are many things to consider before thinking of divorce. However, I don’t think I will be able to trust my partner or even look at the person the same way. It isn’t even the matter of forgiving but rather the stress and emotional distraught I have to put myself through if I want to remain in such a union. Just like Man Ni told Gu Jia – “Getting divorced is a punishment to him. Not getting divorced will be a punishment to yourself.” All the same, I’m glad that Gu Jia stayed strong and made the best decision for herself. Also, as the series concluded, I felt a little bit of sympathy towards Xu Huan Shan. Like I said earlier, life happens, we learn and grow each day.

Before I conclude, let’s talk about the family that appears at the end of each episode. I think they showed that everyone’s timeline is different. While your up, someone else is down and during your down moments, another person is up. The one factor that should remain the same is everyone moving to better themselves. Remember, age is but time and a number. Nothing and no one should hold us back in life.


Overall, I love that in this series, everyone acknowledged their mistakes. Problems in a relationship don’t just come out of thin air. Sometimes, we have to question ourselves to see if we contributed to it in any shape or form. Gu Jia and Zhong Xiao Qin were an excellent example of this. Another beautiful lesson from this drama is that life cannot always be smooth. Struggles arise to promote growth and impact knowledge, so keep fighting.

Nothing But Thirty not only provided viewers with excellent acting, cinematography and a phenomenal soundtrack album. It also showcased the friendship and life struggles of three equally beautiful and strong women. Everything from pacing to the storyline came out perfect. I truly learnt a lot, and this is the kind of drama that I can always come back to and still feel satisfied each time. Therefore this series gets a 10/10 from me. To better understand how I rate each movie or drama, click ๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸผDrama|Movie Rating Guide

YES, this was another long review, oops๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. Have a great day, everyone.

Itโ€™s Okay to Not Be Okay: Korean Drama Review – Episode 1 – 6

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is a 2020 NETFLIX original production that stars Kim Soo Hyun and Seo Ye Ji as leads. img_9631_originalIt tells the story of a community health worker at a psychiatric ward who lives on 1.8 million won ($1,520) a month while caring for his autistic brother and a storybook writer suffering from an antisocial personality disorder. A man who denies love and a woman who doesn’t know love defy fate and fall in love while finding their souls and identities in the process (Source – MyDramaList). All episodes of this drama are available on NETFLIX.

Expectations: This is one of the dramas that I had on my list way back from 2019 when the title was still Psycho, But I’m Okay. At that time, only Kim Soo Hyun was the confirmed cast. I wanted to watch it mainly because of him and the storyline. Once Seo Ye Ji came on board, I was even more thrilled because she is such a great actress. Right from the premiere, I dived into the first six episodes before taking a break to let it wrap up.

(warning โ€“ spoilers ahead)

Review:

The animated intro for episode one gave me spooky, but serene vibes. The animation style is similar to Tim Burton’s animated film – Corpse Bride, and it gave It’s Okay to Not Be Okay a good stand out from other Korean dramas. The second factor that piqued my interest was the intricate filming style. I noticed that they were filming from windows and glass reflections instead of taking direct shots on the actors. I truly fell in love with the editing and visual representations in this drama. Take, for example, in episode one how they showcased Mr. Lee’s string of texts to Gang-Tae in video format. It made the scene way more hilarious to me. I could rave on about the beautiful cinematography of this show because they brought serious A+++++++ game in that department.

Moving on to the plot, I can tell that this is going to be a touching and heartfelt series. I love that within all the intensity, we still get some vibrant comedic scenes. Due to the common mental health theme, I am getting ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ vibes. I hope the writer gives us a befitting happy ending๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ.  So far, all the actors are doing a fantastic job, and this includes the young counterparts and cameo actors. Also, our beautiful leads are showcasing great chemistry.

I love how each episode fuses in Ko Mun-Yeong’s storybooks, and the lessons from each chapter are remarkably profound

  1. The Boy Who Fed on Nightmares 
    “So don’t forget any of it, Remember it all and overcome it. If you don’t overcome it, you’ll always be a kid whose soul never grows.” I can attest that some bad encounters have to be faced head-on before the pain can completely go away. After all, if life stays smooth all the time, how can we learn and grow? However, I still advise everyone to choose their battles carefully.
  2. Zombie Kid Raising a child doesn’t only require providing their basic necessities like food, clothing or shelter. Being emotionally present is equally important. Shower your children with love because, in the end, that’s what stays with them forever. I cried when they read out this storybook. Not because it relates to my own personal experience but out of empathy towards children that don’t have anyone showing them real love.

Now let’s look into a few characters that stood out to me throughout these six episodes.

Seo Ye Ji as Ko Mun-yeong 

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Can we just talk about Seo Ye-Ji’s beautiful shallow voice? I love her deep tone. Also, every outfit for Ko Mun-Yeong is a statement. She looks gorgeous in every scene. Mun-Yeong is wild, and she slightly reminds me of Jang Man-wol from Hotel del Luna. I adore her fierce and straightforward personality. Though, I believe she’s unstable and quite manipulative. Mun-Yeong acts all tough, but she is scared. Basically, everyone in this drama has their demons, but Mun-Yeong handles hers well and hardly cares what others have to say. I can’t wait for the show to reveal more about her parents. Her mother was definitely the chief psycho of the family, or why else did she restrict and isolate younger Mun-Yeong that much. At least now that Sang-tae and Gang-tae are living with her, Mun-Yeong will get a better feeling of what family means. Here are some of my favourite moments from this character –

Kim Soo Hyun as Moon Gang-Taeimg_9571_originalIt’s sad that Moon Gang-Tae was born as a backup to care for his autistic brother 24/7. He can’t express real emotions because Sang-Tae reads his facial expression. Gang-Tae has to smile and pretend to be happy or satisfied all the time. How could their mom place such responsibility on a little child? At least now, Mun-Yeong is present to question his cowardly and pretentious lifestyle. Usually, I find the childhood connections to be unnecessary, but I like how it’s playing out in this drama. The writer introduced it from the first episode with substantial purpose, and now it doesn’t feel like a cliche used to connect the main leads.

Oh Jung Se as Moon Sang-Taeimg_9569_originalHe is a phenomenal actor. Major kudos to him for playing an autistic character flawlessly๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘.  Sang-Tae is a very loving and pure person. He stole my heart when he told Gang-Tae about saving money to buy a van. That way, they wouldn’t have to search for a new house all the time. I am intrigued to discover what the butterflies signify for him. I think it has a connection to their mother’s death and might have something to do with Ko Mun-Yeong. I hope the hospital director helps him face his fears.

Park Kyu Young as Nam Ju ri img_9576_originalI still don’t know how to feel about Nam Ju-ri. Aside from the fact that she also likes Gang-Tae, she just seems off and weird to me. Hopefully, as the story progresses, I might come to appreciate her role more. Honestly, I need to see some backstory that explains her personal issues with Mun-Yeong. All the same, her crying scene in episode five was quite cute and funny to me.


Overall, I am enjoying the current pace and story progression. I already know this will be an iconic drama that I can always return to. Plus, the OSTs are beautiful. Luckily for me, I can find the soundtrack album on Spotify since the series has finished airing. My favourites right now are “Hallelujah” by Kim Feel –

“In Your Time” by LEE SUHYUN –

& “In Silence” by Janet Suhh –

If you’ve started or already completed this drama, what are your thoughts on it?

Nothing But Thirty: Chinese Drama Review – Episodes 1 – 20

Nothing But Thirty is a 2020 female-centred Chinese drama that stars Maggie Jiang, Tong Yao and Rachel Mao as leads.img_0851Synopsis: This drama follows three vastly different women as they experience a turbulent start to their thirties.

Gu Jia is a full-time housewife with strong abilities. She manages her small family and husband’s company in an orderly manner. However, it is this excessive pursuit of perfection that makes people around her feel stressed. At the same time, her happy marital life gets disrupted by a third party.

Wang Man Ni is a rebel, convinced that she has both the face and brain that deserves the best in life. However, she also has her own troubles.

Zhong Xiao Qin lives a carefree and standard life. Her husband is committed to his work as a public servant, and she keeps an ordinary job herself. However, due to her husband’s relatively indifferent personality, communication problems arise. (Source – MyDramaList)

Expectations: I saw the trailer on YouTube earlier this year. I loved the premise, so I decided to give it a go. Plus, the female-centred plot is always something I enjoy.

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review:

The first episode for this drama was definitely well thought out. I loved how they presented each lady by showing us a glimpse of their daily life and family dynamics. Another thing I enjoyed was the intro. It’s classy, elegant and free of spoilers. The moment I heard the soundtrack, I knew this drama was going to serve. I appreciate that Chinese shows are switching towards creative and artistic intros that don’t completely give away the plot. Nothing But Thirty has one of the most beautiful intros I have seen a while – 

Basically, this drama focuses on the struggles of adulthood. The decisions you have to make and the lesson you adapt after every mistake. It’s an excellent slice of life series that shows how women hitting their thirties battle with society’s standard versus their own personal beliefs. It also shows how these three ladies gradually learn about who they are and grow into better individuals. They have to face their weaknesses, fears and insecurities in regards to their families and career.

I think the story progression and pacing so far is excellent. Every actor is doing an incredible job of bringing their characters to life. Their interactions are very natural, and the cinematography is breathtaking. I can tell they put good money, time and effort into the production phase. I enjoyed watching how the writers brought Gu Jia, Zhong Xiao Qin and Wang Man Ni together. Gu Jia and  Xiao Qin were already friends, so I loved how the connection slowly formed with Man Ni until all three eventually met. To further breakdown my thoughts on episodes one to twenty, let’s take a look at each lady’s story arc.

Character Analysis: 

Maggie Jiang, as Wang Man Ni img_1629_originalMan Ni, has lived and worked in Shanghai for eight years. She is an ambitious lady with high standards. I love her go-getter personality and how she stands up for herself at work, but I also feel she gets too money-hungry sometimes. Take, for example, the older lady that came in to buy the costly jewelry in episode three. Of course, I didn’t want Man Ni to lose her opportunity at such a huge sale, but I was expecting her to at least say a few words of comfort to the lady. I could tell that she struggled to shut down her conscience and make the sale, hence why there will be a lot of growth for this character. Concerning her boyfriend, Liang Zheng Xian,

I find him very sketchy. He’s either married or keeping different women in every city he visits. My trust level degraded further after he talked about not labelling their relationship. Also, Man Ni’s intuition tells her that there’s something wrong, and she’s also settling for his ideals. I know she isn’t staying for the money because she keeps her standard on what to collect from Zheng Xian. I just fear she’ll be heartbroken in the end because she really loves him.

Tong Yao, as Gu Jiaimg_1630_originalGu Jia, strikes me as the strongest of the group due to her brilliance and resourcefulness. A bit too ambitious and rarely content with her family’s financial standing, but Gu Jia strives to provide stability for them out of fear. She has a feisty personality. Even when pleasing others to garner favours, Gu Jia never lets anyone look down on her. As a lady of high moral conduct, she’s able to make changes once she realizes her mistakes. I hope that Gu Jia gradually develops into a more content character.

Regarding her husband, I sincerely admire her chemistry with him, hence why I dread the infidelity aspect of their story. He has undoubtedly bottled up a lot due to how Gu Jia runs their household, but that should be communicated instead of going out to cheat. My favourite scene of Gu Jia is when she beats up those moms that bullied Zi Yan –

Rachel Mao, as Zhong Xiao Qin img_1631_originalShe is the weakest link among the three ladies, so I am intrigued to see her growth. Xiao Qin is a pushover and can’t seem to make crucial decisions on her own. Her husband does not help matters because he is a bit controlling and looks down on her intelligence.

Yes, Xiao Qin needs to become more mature, but Chen Yu is also a frustrating character. The major problem with this couple is communication. Chen Yu has personal traumas that lead to insecurities and emotional detachments issues. If he discussed things with Xiao Qin, she would be more understanding of his intentions. I was so baffled when he suggested they abort the child, knowing deep down that Xiao Qin wanted to keep the baby. It is not as if she intentionally tried to get pregnant. To make matters worse instead of comforting her when she lost the baby, he immediately goes off about arranging the uterus cleaning surgery. Of course, the operation is essential, but your wife is sad. Why can’t you be emotionally present first and then bring in logic once she settles down?

This is why when people ask me what my plans are for marriage, I tell them I am not mentally prepared. It’s not a child’s play because these two are not ready. They love each other, but there’s too much baggage that has to be dismantled individually before forming a union.


Overall, Nothing But Thirty exceeds my expectations. I love seeing female empowerment and support. Although one thing I’m yet to understand is the purpose of that family at the end of each episode. I noticed that they are always happy and content, regardless of how little they have. So are they a creative way of showing that simplicity and hard work can be rewarding? I’m not too worried about them. As the story progresses, I will gradually realize why that family was included.

Now that I have discussed everything about the story, I have to give credit to the music director of this series. Every single soundtrack and background score is astounding and perfectly fitted for each scene. I adore the comforting and chill vibe of the OSTs. I know the hardcore emotional scenes are going to be tough to watch without tearing up because I can already picture the type of songs they’re going to use. Luckily for me, I was able to find the full soundtrack album on Spotify after much search –

Before I conclude, here is another favourite scene of mine. I titled it ‘A Mother’s Love’ because it accurately describes what becoming a mother means for most women and how much they give up to for their families.


That’s all I have for this post. I know it’s a bit lengthy, but I had to get all my opinions on this beautiful series out of my system.

All episodes of this drama are available on Viki with this link ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ Nothing But Thirty with English subs.

For those who have started this series, what are your thoughts on the story?

Lost Romance: Taiwanese Drama Review – Episode 7 – 9

I finally got through episodes seven to nine, so here are my thoughts on the current story progression. If you haven’t read my previous review, use this link ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ Lost Romance: Drama Review โ€“ Episode 4 โ€“ 6

All English subbed episodes of this drama are uploaded regularly on this site: Lost Romance on Viki.

(warning โ€“ spoilers ahead)

Review:

Episode seven honestly felt like a filler to me. Not much happened, and some scenes were drawn out longer than necessary. Basically, Chuchu found out about Zheng Xiao En’s living arrangement, and that caused Situ Aoran to transfer her back to the office.

Now from episode eight, I could smell the love triangle intensifying between Situ Aoran and Qing Feng. Aoran is becoming more aware of Zheng Xiao En. Although he is still skeptical of her real intentions, I noticed how he looks for every little opportunity to keep in contact with Zheng Xiao En. He also seems to be getting some of He Tian Xing’s memories. On the other hand, Qing Feng has gotten much closer to Zheng Xian En, and I will admit that they are cute together. Anyone watching can’t deny the sizzling chemistry between Qing Feng and Zheng Xiao En. However, I warn you all not to get attached or develop the ‘second lead syndrome’ because it will end in heartbreak. My favourite scene from them was the maid themed restaurant –

Another thing, am I the only that feels Qing Feng is starting to realize that their world is fake. Especially when Situ Aoran described Chuchu with the exact words he used when Xiao En asked why he liked Chuchu. Also, what if Qing Feng is the author of the novel, and he burns whenever he hugs Xiao En because his character is diverging from its original purpose. His role is quite intriguing.

Currently, I am looking forward to how the writer ties both worlds together. First off, Situ Aoran has started gaining He Tian Xing’s memory. Secondly, He Tian Jian now has a counterpart in the novel’s world. I can’t believe he hesitated to save Tian Xing before he fell. Uncle Hu is really turning the siblings against each other, and He Mingli is started to lose her last brain cells. Thirdly, we are yet to find out how the travel and return between both worlds work. Xiao En tried getting a cold, but Qing Feng saved her, so we have no idea if it would have worked. These three points show that there are still a lot of things to unravel, and I am excited to see how it all goes down.

To round up, let’s touch on He Mingli. The writer has started giving her character more depth by showing us why He Mingli has no regard for anyone in her family. They all looked down on her, and I bet no one ever encouraged her business ventures. I feel they all just watched her fail every single time instead of advising or trying to help her. According to her mom, Mingli is a woman and, therefore, not eligible for the family’s inheritance. Now, this depth does not excuse her evil personality, but I love it when the villain has a reasonable back story to their current actions. Also, He Mingli is finally using her brain by keeping Tian Xing alive to secure her position.

Okay, that’s all I have to say concerning episodes seven to nine, what do you all think of the current pace? Let me know in the comment section.