Taiwanese dramas, Tdramas for short, have been gaining in popularity, but Kdramas as of yet, are at no risk of being surpassed. Tdramas, at least in my opinion, have always suffered from a third act syndrome. For example, the first third of a Tdrama usually starts out strong, with a fun premise and characters, then in the next section the couple gets together, we see them have fun and the romance begins in earnest. Then in the last third, because the couple got together too soon and there are still many episodes to fill, the writers spend the rest of the drama keeping them apart, usually with such ridiculous misunderstandings, ex-girlfriends, cancer, blindness etc., that it strains belief and patience.
And why are so many Tdrama hero’s in advertising? I think Aaron Yan has played a advertiser/promotions at least three times now.
It also drives me nuts how the bad guys, especially a character who has done some truly horrible things, even tried to killed someone, sometimes even succeeding, is forgiven and patted on the head and all is forgiven. A friend of mine suggested that maybe it is a belief in redemption. If you have insight into this let me know.
Another thing that always bothered me was the heroine, no matter who the actress is, seems to overact in a high pitchy voice. When I’ve watched behind the scenes where the actress is talking normally I’m always surprised by how much they’ve changed their voice for their character and it seems to be the director who wants this silly over the top performance. Dear Tdramas, if you only allowed your heroines to act more naturally, have the bad buys get their comeuppance, and balance out the plotting for your couple, you would be truly formidable.
Enough with the negative, there are several things that Tdramas do right. I love that most Tdrama heroes are relatively nice guys. I’ve never been found of Kdramas TKJ’s (a term I coined about 4 years ago, an abbreviation of Typical Kdrama Jerk). I like nice guys that treat women well what can I say. I find it hard to believe any women would fall for a guy who is always putting her down, and in some cases is truly verbally abusive. Luckily in the last year or so that’s been changing, there have been some amazing heroes, and hopefully this isn’t a trend that will pass.
I love that Tdrama heroines can dress well and have decent hair; the Kdrama obsession with the rich guy falls for poor, shabby, ordinary girl (usually with hair only the devil could’ve created) has been played out. I’m sending out a big thank you to the Tdrama stylists…
Last but not least, one thing Tdramas do better than Kdramas is BRING THE HEAT. I’m not sure if maybe it’s a different attitude towards sex or sexual situations on film, but when it comes to passionate moments Tdramas are hot!
Things you usually won’t find in a Tdrama kiss/make-out scene: wide open eyes, and stunned expression that lasts five minutes; concrete fish lips (see Park Shin Hye, in almost everything she’s ever done); heroine’s that act like kissing a hot guy that’s in love with them is a chore. If you want an example of Tdrama hotness just check out any love scene of Aaron Yan’s, seriously no one does a hotter love scene than Aaron. He definitely lives up to the Scorpion reputation as the passionate sex sign. That’s not to say that Roy Chiu of Office Girls and Miss Rose, nor Baron Chen of Bromance are slouches in that department, far from it. These two will definitely rock your drama world. And Tdramas aren’t stingy with their kiss scenes, unlike Kdramas that may only have one or two (the first kiss doesn’t even count since the heroine is usually just standing there like a lifeless statue), I’m talking passionate full throttle kisses that are sprinkled like erotic spices throughout the whole drama. It’s no wonder that Tdrama actors can rack up so many ardent fans so fast.
While there are some changes I would love to see in Tdramas, overall they deserve their rising status. Keep it coming Taiwan.
For a little romance Anne Violet style…