Sweet Relationship, the 20-episode Taiwanese idol drama, is, as its title suggests…sweet=) It has accompanied yours truly through 20 Monday blues (a million thanks to pandasa7er!) and to watch the last episode today made me feel fulfilled, happy, yet just a wee bit sad that I will have one less thing to occupy me on Mon nights:(
Zhi Tian: Vic Zhou- a talented chef with a past.
Bai Hui: Patty Hou- a university graduate from a rich family who lost everything with the sudden demise of her father. Clumsy, silly but blessed with a kind heart and an extremely sensitive taste bud.
A host of other supporting actors including Alan Kuo and Billie.
Director: Winnie Qu You Ning (also director of The Rose, ISWAK)
1) Cos’ I lurved ISWAK. https://aserendipitiouslife.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/iswakit-started-with-a-kiss/
2) Cos’ I kinda like Vic Zhou. Well, he was cute in Meteor Garden and really awesome in Mars. And you can’t deny he is hot in a puppy-doggish sorta way:p
3) Cos’ I was curious about Patty Hou. She is Jay Chou’s ex, the only gf he formally acknowledged.
A story about relationships..between men and women, friends, strangers, family members, all set in a little cosy restaurant, Little Bear. The web of relationships is so complex that I shall not attempt to elaborate further. Suffice to note that love will blossom between the two protagonists. The overarching theme is naturally, food.
Why I hated the series at first
1) Vic’s portrayal of Zhi Tian was inconsistent. Zhi Tian was talented, gloomy, intense but deep down inside, tender. Vic was terrific, sometimes downright hilarious when portraying a fierce and rude Zhi Tian. He was convincing as a top-notch chef. Vic was also adorable whenever ZT displayed his “inner self” (his hardly-can-be-contained joy at receiving a call from BH, his affection for Jing Dao). But it is at channelling deep intensity where Vic fails. Someone must tell him that dreamy eyes do not quite express heartfelt sorrow. And nope, burning a hole into his co-star by staring at her with big eyes framed by furrowed eyebrows doesn’t work either. Think Tony Leung,not Keanu Reeves.
2) Patty Hou sucked the first few episodes. She couldn’t act and her pitch-perfect pronounciation of Mandarin and “Little Bear” was grating. My impression of her after the Jay Chou episode wasn’t all that good as well.
3) The plot was quite slow. Many things happened in an episode, but the focus wasn’t on Zhi Tian and Bai Hui. The die-hard romantic in me just wants to see the leads get it on, pronto. Everything happens to everyone, except Vic and Patty.
Why I continued to watch
Well, it was available and I was, to tell the truth, terribly sianz on Mondays.
Why I fell for SR
1) The lingering, oh-so-tempting shots of mouth-watering food. If you read my blog, you would know that i am very very passionate about eating. And honestly, the shots of one tantalizing dish after another are to blame for my Mon night cravings for supper (the poor bf thus has to drive at 11pm to satisfy me). French cuisine, anyone?
2) The soundtrack. Nice bossa-novaish/Jazz sort of tunes, totally soothing and romantic.
3) Vic Zhou is cute.
4) Billie/Jing Dao Po Po, Xiao Qiang and some members of the supporting cast (Gao Qiao, the baseball team members, Duo Feng Da Shi, Guo Jian Xian) provided plenty of eye-candy and comic relief.
5) Patty Hou grew on me=) Minus her pronounciation (Cut her some slack la, she was a newscaster), she improved dramatically. Towards the end, her Bai Hui, which could have ended up fake cos’ Bai Hui was simply too optimistic, cheery and passionate, turned out human and extremely likeable. I think Patty has done well for her debut. Plus, she is SO PRETTY!! My, if i were a guy, she would be my dream girl. My Jay has good taste. I have always thought that TW dramas are weird cos’ the male leads are always super-duper dashing while the female leads are…cute at best. Patty was as good an eye-candy as Vic was, maybe even better:)
6) The slow pace. Every character was so well-fleshed out that viewers could easily develop parasocial relationships with them. Little Bear became so familiar a place that my heart ached when it was torn down. Patty and Vic’s relationship developed very slowly, but surely, with plenty of chemistry, and towards the end, when all the sweet moments came, i couldn’t help yelping with joy=))) The many kisses, hugs, tender words…It was worth the wait.
What I still didn’t like
Alan Kuo (He Ma) was a little irritating though i was touched by his love for Bai Hui. Megan Lai (Ke Xin) does not have the range required to bring out the nuances of her character. Her character was complex and had a lot of room for development, but Megan Lai simply made her detestable and one-dimensional. Ke Xin’s character also changed way too quickly, from good to bad, and then back to good. A actress of higher calibre is needed for Ke Xin, arguably the most complicated character in the series.
More areas for improvement
Would have liked the series to end at say 22 or 23 episodes. The slow pace is ok, given that characters were fully developed. The numerous loose ends were not. C’mon- the target group for such dramas clearly ain’t made up of intelligent people looking out for cliffhangers. The target audience are just people seeking a fluffy romance drama, and most probably a happy ending where everyone gets someone. Thus, the director has committed a mortal sin by leaving the story of Gao Qiao and Xiao Qiang + Poor father of many kids unresolved. Also, the audience has waited with bated breath for ZT and BH to finally get together, and though they were very sweet in the last two eps, it wouldn’t kill to give us more. Give us another two episodes of lovey-dovey happiness while all the loose ends are being tied up.
For people who have the patience to sit through 5 to 6 slow episodes with lousy acting.
For people who like a good romance with plenty of aww moments, hilarious bits and a beeyoutiful ending.
For people who enjoy sensitive, accurate portrayals of human character and relationships.
For people who just want to watch two gorgeous people making out (pls fast forward to last episode keke)
For the youtube links: (PS: for last episode, just copy and paste the title then add on episode 20!)
For the official site (takes a while to load though)