It Started With a Kiss/They Kiss Again – Drama Review
I haven’t been watching many new dramas recently, so I thought I’d review a couple more of my old favourites. The Taiwanese drama ‘It Started With a Kiss’ and its sequel ‘They Kiss Again’ is in my opinion, one of the best Taiwanese dramas out there. I know they may be a bit old (with ISWAK broadcasted in 2005 and TKA in 2007), but they are definitely worth a watch. The light-hearted, slice-of-life feel of the drama makes for a very breezy and comfortable watch. It’s cute without being sickly-annoying, and funny without being over the top.
I know a lot of people don’t like it for a lot of reasons, most of them being that they hate the main character girl Xiang Qin. And yes, although I like ISWAK, I am one of those who dislike Xiang Qin. She is really infuriating as a character what with the way she follows Zhi Shu blindly, and is funny without meaning to be. ISWAK is also the drama where Ariel Lin looked the worst. Her wardrobe was hideous, her hairstyles ugly, and just her face and expressions in general, made her look really stupid. Maybe it’s the genius of the actress, or maybe it’s just the way she looked (no offense), but Xiang Qin was still probably the aspect that drove most people to give up on the drama.
In a way, Zhi Shu is also easy to dislike. I found him really condescending and off-putting sometimes. The way he looked down and talked down to Xiang Qin in the beginning of the drama was really frustrating. But I have to admit, Zhi Shu was one of the main reasons I kept on watching ISWAK and TKA. Joe Cheng (along with Mike He) was one of the first Taiwanese actors I liked (mostly for their looks because I’m shallow like that). Zhi Shu was much better looking in TKA that ISWAK though.
Despite the not-so-likeable characters, I loved the interactions between them, and all the many pee-your-pants funny moments in the drama. I’ve mentioned numerous times before that I don’t like angst. Well, there’s no angst in ISWAK or TKA. The main characters are so meant-to-be that there are no obstacles that really stand in their way. For the most part of ISWAK, the main thing preventing them from being together was Zhi Shu denying his feelings for Xiang Qin. In TKA, there wasn’t much angst either, and the most angst was Zhi Shu being jealous of Xiang Qin with this younger dude who likes her. But that doesn’t really count as angst because I absolutely loved seeing Zhi Shu jealous and had been waiting for him to chase Xiang Qin for once.
Also, I have to say that the entire drama doesn’t surround Xiang Qin and Zhi Shu entirely. The second male lead Ah Jin has quite a big part as does Pei Zi Yu, Xiang Qin’s rival for Zhi Shu’s affections. I love them because they’re not the typical meddling, evil second leads. Ah Jin is such a nice guy who constantly pines for Xiang Qin but was always turned down and Pei Zi Yu seemed ‘evil’ in the beginning, but when it was clear that Zhi Shu liked Xiang Qin and was not going to pick Zi Yu, she backed down.
As I mentioned before, there are many funny parts in ISWAK. One of my favourite laugh-out-loud moments is when Xiang Qin and Pei Zi Yu goes to sabotage Zhi Shu’s date with Bai Hua Lan. When Xiang Qin first asked Pei Zi Yu to join her on the sabotage, Zi Yu at first called her an elementary student, then downgraded her to a kindergartener when she found out Xiang Qin’s plan. They go dressed as gardeners in giant straw hats and ugly pants. The grossest and funniest part is when Zhi Shu and Hua Lan are on top of a bell tower sort of thing, and Xiang Qin got this caterpiller caught for her by Yu Shu, and she asks Zi Yu to throw it up into the tower to scare Hua Lan (Yeah I know, Zi Yu is right, Xiang Qin is sooo a kindergartener). Zi Yu is scared and can’t do it, and Xiang Qin is also scared. So she gets chopsticks and pick the caterpillar up, and throws it in the tower. The thing is, Zhi Shu already noticed that they were following him from a long time ago, so he rings the bell in the bell tower. Unintentionally, this had the effect of scaring Xiang Qin, so her mouth is open, looking up at the top of the tower, and then the caterpillar drops back down, and into her mouth! OMG I laughed so hard.
All in all, ISWAK and TKA are both feel-good dramas that are truely relaxing and entertaining to watch.