I finished all four episodes in a day! I wouldn’t call it crack…yet ’cause I wasn’t in a hurry to marathon them at the same time. But it just happened that I had time today and the sparkling chemistry between the leads is irresistible.
This isn’t a conventional recap but merely a summary.
Let’s get this over and done with. Dylan vs Leroy.
Dylan: 0, Leroy: 1. Shame! Dylan, what happened to your glorious BODY? Both are so pale though.
Summer of 1998. Tang Jia Ni (Ruby Lin) moved from Tainan to Taipei to pursue a college education. We meet her when she’s already in a steady relationship of two years with Jiang Da Wei (Dylan Kuo). Quite a serious relationship, considering the two are sharing a room and sleeping in the same bed. In comes the flirtatious and confident playboy, Fang Wei De (Leroy Young). Where did he acquire those skills? Methinks he’s a natural, but it helps that he works as a valet boy at a local bar, so he gets to practice his pick-up lines with the ladies on a daily basis. Which also aids in his fabulous report of having a girlfriend for each day of the week.
By chance, he moves into the same apartment as Jia Ni, her boyfriend, and a few other students. Her rough words and big appetite somehow attracts his attention, and he finds himself being drawn to her repeatedly.
The lady on the left is the bar’s famous Linda Jeh (Ke Shu Qin), who hooked Wei De and his best friend, still a virgin, Ding Guo Qing (Jason Zou), up with a job in the bar. Upon meeting Jia Ni, she takes a liking immediately, deducing that she’s very similar to Wei De, “I’m telling you, people who say rough stuff are usually softhearted. Just like that, cursing people right after opening your mouth. It’s actually because you’re shy. You’ll understand later.”
Meet Jia Ni’s best friends in college. On the left is forever the supportive friend second lead, Zheng Rui Rui (Tiffany Hsu). And on your right is the nerd of the group, the one likely to attend graduate schools, Wang Jun Jie (Melvin Sia).
Look at his face and you know what’s up. He harbors a deep crush on our heroine, Jia Ni, but hides it away. Why? Because he’s always a step too late.
No worries though, he might get a chance after all because Jia Ni catches her boyfriend cheating with another girl. Livid with his blatant lie, Jia Ni agrees with Wei De’s crazy idea of an eye for an eye, and invites him to sleep with her.
Alas, she isn’t that bold and they end up just sleeping innocently on the same bed, which is how her rotten boyfriend finds them in the morning. Hilariously, instead of jumping out of bed like they’ve been caught (realistically speaking), Wei De pulls Jia Ni in closer and kisses her forehead, muttering suggestively, “Last night was fun.”
After he’s gone, Jia Ni mocks her boyfriend, “The feeling of being betrayed isn’t good huh?”
Sigh, no one’s gonna buy your act, dear, with those teary eyes. He breaks up with her, and she screams at him, “But you listen carefully! I’m the one that doesn’t want you! Because you’re not good enough to be with me!”
Good for you! She throws his belongings out the window. I love Wei De’s proud face.
Jia Ni sulks day in and day out in her room, not answering her friends’ calls and leaving them with no choice but to pay a visit.
Rui Rui: “You can change your boyfriends but friends are forever. No matter what, we will always be with you.” I might disagree with the friends part too, but hooray for long-lasting friendships. 🙂
Pretty mountain shot.
The two groups officially meet in this episode. And I gotta say, somewhere in the contracts, Ruby Lin must have placed a line saying something like, “Dimpled Celebrities Audition Only.” SERIOUSLY! Look at the festival of dimples around the table! 😀
More pretty shots of nature!
The guys watching porn. LOL.
When Rui Rui calls Jun Jie, he stutters and ho-hums the guys to turn off the volume. Afterwards, the lusty leader, Fang Wei De, claims, “Watching an AV is an open recreation for us young men. Why were we scared?!”
“Talking as if you weren’t scared.”
Wei De: “I was infected by you guys.” 🙂
Looks like another crush is indeed planted. Our love idealist, Guo Qing, who swears that his first love will also be his last love, has developed feelings for Rui Rui. He waits outside of her class and practices the right pose to greet her handsomely. This kid is adorable. When she sighs about her future of transferring schools overseas, he worries quietly, “Don’t go overseas. Plane tickets are expensive.” 😛
This love pentagon does not look good. Jun Jie confesses his love for Jia Ni to Rui Rui, merely searching for a pair of ears to listen to his heavy heart. Little does he know, Rui Rui’s downcast eyes have a story of their own. Aww. This breaks my heart! She’s always playing the middlemen between them.
As for our resident playboy, Wei De, he’s doomed to go back against his principles anyway. He’s told Jia Ni before, “To get over a heartbreak, one must experience love again. However, find a person who loves you but don’t give anything away. If you do, that’s when you get hurt.”
The dream sequence with a sexy, flirty Jia Ni.
Jia Ni’s birthday. Poor Rui Rui, she has no choice but agrees to back out of the birthday celebration as a request from Jun Jie to spend time alone with Jia Ni. Unfortunately, Jia Ni ain’t having it his way and insists that Rui Rui comes along.
While they eat to their hearts’ content at a restaurant, our playboy’s pants are on fire at home, waiting impatiently for Jia Ni’s return. He has bought her a cellphone and cannot wait to see her face light up…
Except Jun Jie bought the EXACT cellphone model and she opens it first. His face falls and he ends up NOT giving her a present at all.
The friends end up going to Jia Ni’s rooftop because of the power outage and they are worried about each other. It’s a perfect opportunity to light firecrackers in celebration of Jia Ni’s birthday. And they do exactly that.
Lol, Guo Qing gives Rui Rui chocolates on Valentine’s Day and she flatly says that she didn’t prepare anything for him. He takes the hint and says bye to the chocolates when she passes them out to everyone in the group. Tsk. Tsk.
If these two would just stop with the denial and hard-to-get games, the world would be a better place.
If only I could snap this photo and hand it to Jun Jie.
CLEAR AS DAY: YOU HAPPY. SHE NO HAPPY.
He musters up the courage to confess to Jia Ni. She replies, “I’ve always thought of you as a friend…”
“That’s okay. Maybe in the future….In the future…”
She’s firmed though: “I’ll still…only think of you as a friend.”
Wei De invites Jia Ni to a concert. Ta-Da! It’s Eric Chou, a new singer who lends his voice and songwriting talent to the ending themesong he performs, “Don’t Be Friends Anymore.” Listen below. Download full song here.
And then the second deadliest earthquake, known as the Jiji earthquake, hit Taiwan in 1999. Jun Jie pushes Jia Ni out of harm’s way while boxes of goods and a whole metal case drop on him.
—————————————- END —————————————–
Kappy: What a charming little show in the first 3 episodes. The melodrama in episode 4 and the future episodes – I don’t know if I can take it. It looks aggravating already!
Ruby Lin has yet to wow me as an actress but I gotta give the lady credits for working hard on her productions. I love the quote in the beginning of every episode, it goes to show her star power and close friendships with her peers – enough to convince them to chime into her production. And what a great way for the celebrities to lend a voice into the past, having lived through the 90s as either rising stars or eager newbies. In a span of four episodes, she has had tidbits from Cai Kang Yong, Zhang Zi Yi, Mark Chao, and Peter Ho, respectively.
I also particularly enjoyed the wide shots of the scenery in Taiwan, the high mountains and vast oceans. They are stunning.
But the real star in this drama for me (so far) is Leroy Young. If you don’t know already, he’s famous around this blog as the guy with the creepy smile and I haven’t watched a single project of his before this, but he managed to erase the creepy image in my head. He is charming and adorable, even as a playboy, he is righteous to a certain degree and isn’t obnoxiously rude. And his comebacks are hilariously harmless and winsome. Leroy’s witty banter with Ruby sparkles with chemistry. But Ruby should be careful to stay in character, many times in episode 1, I caught her trying to hold back laughter. I imagine it is hard because Leroy somehow does that to you with his cheeky personality. THAT FACE.
Maybe it’s just me but I don’t really like Jia Ni very much in these episodes. She comes off entitled in little ways. Whenever she claims she doesn’t want to burden her friends with her troubles, she ends up doing exactly that, rambling on about this person and that person, and why this happens to her and whatnot. Ruby tries to be tough, but she’s not tough enough.
Tiffany Hsu. What are we gonna do with you, darling. I thought you graduated second lead roles. 🙁
One thing that I would like to see The Way We Were improve upon: more screen time for the rest of the gang, which I think is close to impossible since Ruby is clearly the lead and she’s one of the producers. A note to Ruby, as a producer, you must be generous with the screen time! Unfortunate really because the title is The Way We Were and yet three of the five people are not well-developed and are there merely for romantic angst.