Tuesday, November 30, 2010

They Kissed Again (It Started with a Kiss 2) - Drama Review

It Started With a Kiss 2 (They Kiss Again) – Drama Review

They Kiss Again is a Taiwanese drama featuring Joe Cheng, Ariel Lin and Jiro Wang. It is the sequel to It Started with a Kiss written by Kaoru Tada based on the manga Itazra na Kiss.
The story picks up right after the marriage of Zhi Shu (Joe Cheng) and Xiang Qin (Ariel Lin). Xiang Qin is as whacky as ever causing problems and making her poor husband worry about her as they enter married life. Near perfect husband Zhi Shu is now training to be a doctor and Xiang Qin, after failing to be a good teacher is training to be a nurse. Zhi Shu comes across some obstacles in training and at the hospital and runs into some romantic rivals for Xiang Qin’s affection. Xiang Qin tries hard to be a good student, nurse and wife, and the young couple learns that marriage is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Review – What can I say when a sequel is actually better than the original? Except they made Xiang Qin stupider and more bumbling in the second part. Marriage is tough and even more so when you have a near perfect husband and a wife with limited intelligence. Like the first part Xiang Qin’s main goal in life is to be with Zhi Shu until the day she dies. But when she doesn’t graduate with her class she grows depressed because she wanted to graduate from college with Zhi Shu. Apparently she didn’t calculate her credits correctly and she needed to repeat another year to earn it. Of course Zhi Shu fussed at her and made her angry, so Xiang Qin does what she normally does…cries and then runs away from home. She ends up staying a couple of nights with her friend Chun Mei whose has a big family and living in a little house. Zhi Shu doesn’t seem to care that his wife has been missing for three days, but his younger brother Yu Shu tracks down Xiang Qin’s whereabouts and even saves her from some people who wanted to turn her into a prostitute. (Even at twenty, Xiang Qin should have had enough sense to know never to get into a car or truck with a strange man.) Eventually Xiang Qin learns that Zhi Shu is not graduating for another couple of years because the intern program is longer than the regular curriculum. This makes Xiang Qin very happy. (Zhi Shu should have told her that from the beginning and made the poor girl’s life a little easier.)
Yu Shu (originally played by Zhang Bo Han) is suffering the same fate as his older brother when his mom, played by Cyndi Chao starts interfering in his life and playing the meddlesome matchmaking mama. This time she has enlisted Ziang Qin to help him get together with the girl of his dreams. Yu Shu is now old enough for high school and he’s meaner than Zhi Shu was at that age but just as lost when it comes to the opposite sex. Yu Shu is also a genius like his brother but works harder so he can compete with him. Like the original, Yu Shu and Xiang Qin fight like cats and dogs but there’s no doubt that he cares for his sister-in-law. The part of Yu Shu was recasted with Cong Yang when he got older. A lot of people didn’t like the change at first from the comments I have been reading. I really didn’t like the original actor because his skin was too dark (not prejudice, I am an ebony goddess) but it just stuck out like a sore thumb. In my mind I kept wondering if he took after someone else in the family but then we met his grandfather and some of his cousins, and no, he didn’t resemble them either.
The entire original cast returned and we got to meet some new ones. While in nursing school Xiang Qin is put into a group with four other people, two males and two females. The two females and one of the male wanted Zhi Sui as a mate while the second male is hot after Xiang Qin. (Note – both of these guys were seriously hot). Ouyang Gan (called Gan Gan) played by Danson Tang is gay and isn’t afraid to show it. Talk about a waste of man flesh (Cougar Moment). All his life he dreamed of being a nurse and nothing was going to stop him, especially some silly little rule that said the men could not get their nurses hat pinned on them or give the Nightingale speech. Interfering Xiang Qin comes to his rescue even though the two of them fought constantly.
And then there was Ah Qiao played by Gu Xuan Chun ended up being Xiang Qin’s partner in class and always ended up being the guinea pig when she had to practice CPR or draw blood. He was also the leader of the class and refused to let Xiang Qin’s bumbling make all of them fail. Then he discovered that Zhu Shu did not treat his wife well, or well by his standards and he foolishly falls for the married Jiang Qin and asks her to divorce her husband and marry him. (Dark skin, nice body, long dark hair and a beautiful smile. Wouldn’t have to ask me twice (smile)). His attitude toward her reminded me a lot of Zhi Shu’s. He wasn’t afraid to tell Xiang Qin to get her act together, but he could also be very loving towards her.
This leads to her other fatal attraction, Ah Jin played by Jiro Wang. Just when you thought he had accepted the fact that Xiang Qin had married Zhi Shu in the previous drama, Ah Jin still tries to get Xiang Qin to leave Zhi Shu because he is tired of seeing her crying and depressed. Sometimes you really want to root for him because he is so in love with Xiang Qin, but he really needed to give up. Fortunately, they introduced a new love for him, a girl from Britain by the name of Christine. I really did think the two of them made a good couple but Ah Jin’s characters didn’t mature much emotionally. He still acted like he did in high school even though in the sequel his became an excellent chef.
Xiang Qin’s best friend Chun Mei gets pregnant by her boyfriend Ah Bu played by Aaron Wan (Another gorgeous male, and a singer in the pop group Fahrenheit). This led to some seriously funny scenes with Xiang Qin telling off Ah Bu’s mother for treating Chun Mei so badly, Xiang Qin getting drunk during the wedding party and telling off Ah Bu’s mother and lastly Xiang Qin driving Chun Mei to the hospital once she goes into labor. (I can’t drive either, so there’s no way I would get behind a wheel and attempt to drive anyone anywhere.)
I really loved the sequel, especially the way Zhi Shu interacted romantically with Xiang Qin. He might have been harsh, but it was only for her own good. But when the man got romantic, he sizzled.
What I didn’t like was the way Xiang Qin constantly made mistakes. No one is that imperfect. In the entire drama no one took her to the psychiatrist. I think she was just suffering for undiagnosed ADD. And I hated the ending, just my opinion, but it left room for possible a Season 3.
I give this sequel 5 Fleur De Lis and I promise I will watch it again and again.
What will I be watching next? Probably the original Itazra na Kiss. Why stop now?

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