Review: Love Waking Up (爱情睡醒了)

After taking on two tear-jearkers in The Princess' Man and Bu bu Jin Xin (步步惊心), I'm mentally exhausted and decided to randomly pick something light and fluffy to watch.





By chance, I came upon another C-Drama called Love Waking Up (爱情睡醒了). It's actually a remake of the famous 2005 taiwan drama, The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog (王子變青蛙) starring Joe Chen and Ming Dao. However, for whatever reason, I never did watch that drama when it was hugely popular and so I figured that this is as good a time as any to give this drama a try. Being a remake, I had no expectations at all and was just hoping for some brainless fun(I always feel that remakes almost always fail to live up to the classics).



The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog, 2005

I've only recently delved into the world of C-dramas, which I've always shunned except for certain period dramas, so I'd be the first to admit that I'm unfamiliar with the actor/actress landscape except the very popular ones. So when I saw this cast @.@:


Roy Chiu (邱泽) as Xiang Tian Qi 
Tang Yan (唐嫣) as Liu Xiao Bei
Jones Xu (徐正曦) as as Ji Ru Feng
Qi Wei (戚薇) as Mu Zhi Qing
Wen Sheng Hao (曹艳艳) as Qiu Yan





I was pretty glad to recognize at least two of them, Roy and Wen Sheng Hao who are taiwanese actors. Roy is famous for his "smiling eyes" and being Rainie Yang's ex-bf while Wen Sheng Hao rocketed to stardom with his role in My Queen. I've heard that Tang Yan is a young and rising star in china but was not familiar with the second leads at all. Generally, the cast looks pretty enough for me to take the risk.

Characters:

Liu Xiao Bei
A money-minded country bumpkin from Taoli Village who dreams of finding her Prince Charming. She has a heart of gold but is not averse to lying to achieve her goal. Adopts TianQi into her home when he loses his memory and gradually falls in love with him.

Xiang Tian Qi / Liu Xiao Yu
A stereotypical heir of a large hotel chain, HaoLi Hotel Group - cool, aloof, insensitive with great business acumen. Engaged to Zhi Qing but inexplicable drawn to XiaoBei. He loses his memory in a accident indirectly caused by Qiu Yan and is saved by XiaoBei, subsequently living as XiaoYu.

Ji Ru Feng / Eric (star)
A famous star cum spokesperson for HaoLi Hotel Group. He is handsome, suave, charming and hopelessly in love with Zhi Qing. Grew up together with TianQi and ZhiQing. He never revealed his feelings for ZhiQing knowing she is devoted to TianQi. He forges a sweet friendship with XiaoBei, admiring her pluck.

Muk Zhi Qing
Pretty and clever PR Manager of Haoli Hotel Group, she aspires to be TianQi's wife from young. She is devastated when TianQi goes missing on their engagement day. Turns a blind eye to RuFeng's affections.

Story (spoilers):

Xiao Bei crosses path with TianQi when she participates in a promotional event called "My Princess" organized by Haoli Hotel Group, in which a "princess" will be selected to become the lead for a commercial opposite Eric. Qiu Yan, who aspires to control the company employs a couple of goons who mess up and accidentally cause Tian Qi to fall off a cliff on the day of his engagement. Tian Qi subsequently loses his memory and is adopted by XiaoBei and her family. Tian Qi, now known as Liu Xiao Yu is the polar opposite of his previous self - he's kind, helpful and polite.

Xiao Bei and Xiao Yu fall for each other, despite uncertainties revolving his true identity. Meanwhile, Zhi Qing and RuFeng are also closer in TianQi's absence. Just when it seems that all is well, the four of them meet again. In another twist of fate, Tian Qi regains his previous memory but loses all memory of himself as Liu XiaoYu.

Despite the absurdity of this turn of events, I actually love this part of their relationship the best :P It's fun to watch TianQi fall in love again with XiaoBei but I'm also a little disappointed with RuFeng and XiaoBei's short-lived relationship as a couple. That's what happens when you're fond of both male leads.


TianQi finally ditches ZhiQing at the altar to be with XiaoBei and RuFeng goes berserk, hurting for his beloved ZhiQing. RuFeng's hatred towards TianQi is also fueled by the knowledge that his parents might have been killed by TianQi's parents. He embarks on a path of revenge, stripping TianQi of everything he owns, including Haoli Hotel Group and XiaoBei.


My thoughts:


This drama is not unlike a typical taiwanese idol drama, with its pretty cast, a Cinderella-ish plot and a healthy dose of silliness. I never saw the original so the plot, however cliché kept me reasonably interested. I have to say I was not particularly fond of the heroine, who annoys me a little. Roy Qiu is gorgeous to look at, his acting more subtle opposite some over-the-top acting by TangYan. Jones Xu and Qi Wei make a lovely couple and I was pleasantly surprised that I was at times, more invested in the second leads. Wen Sheng Hao is kind of wasted here, his character not developed much. Among the supporting cast, worthy of note is the performance of child star, Xiao Bao as the precocious little brother of Xiao Bei. He was absolutely adorable.


I try not to balk at the awful awful CGI (note: the underwater scenes) and the sometimes unrealistic scenes (note: masquerade ball scene) and just enjoy the sweeter moments between the leads. The OST mostly composed of songs by JJ Lin and By2. Maybe because I'm too familiar with JJ's songs, they sometimes seem out-of-place when used as OST. There is this song I like though:  很美丽 (Very Beautiful) by 吕雯 (Lu Wen).



Would I recommend this to anyone? I suppose to those of you not quite seasoned by cliche romance, this can be a light-hearted watch. It's definitely not perfect but there were certain scenes that left me grinning like a fool. And I'm such a sucker for Roy Qiu's killer smile! (I'm so smitten with Roy right now, I'm thinking of watching his other projects :P) At 40 episodes with 40 minutes each, Love Waking Up is rather easy to breeze through. And there's always the FF button when it gets a little boring. LOL.














5 comments:

  1. thanks for the review swui! though I must say 40 eps is pretty long IMO :) looks like a pretty decent drama

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  2. hi! please recap In Time with You. taiwanese drama starring Ariel Lin and Bolin Chen. Pretty please! thanks!

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  3. @princess,

    That's actually not a bad idea cos I am gonna watch In Time with You and Office Girls. And at 1 epi per week, it shouldn't be hard to play catch up to the current episode.

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  4. Haha... I am going through the same thing right now!! Just finished BBJX and needed a break.... Never watched mainland c dramas before, but am surprised post BBJX how good they have become... And refreshing. Someone recommended me another angst filled drama called "Too Late to Say I
    Love You", which looks really good but I need a happier piece before I watch that haha... Then I came across this drama and your blog! :)

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  5. Does anyone know the title of xiao bei's ringtone??

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