Friday, January 3, 2014

TDrama Review: Mars



The Gist: Sexual assault victim and college student Han Qi Luo (Barbie Hsu) tries to go through life unnoticed, avoiding men. So when reckless ladies’ man Chen Ling (Vic Zhou) takes an interest in her after admiring her artistic skills, Qi Luo is terrified. Yet when Ling saves her from unwanted attention, Qi Luo begins to question her judgment and asks him to model for her. As their relationship builds, Qi Luo’s problems are mirrored in a scarred Ling, suffering from the suicide of his twin, the loss of his mother, and a father whom he can’t identify with. As they learn to trust each other and be honest with themselves, they start healing and opening up to the possibility of being in love.


Love:


1.The Romance














I’m a broken record when it comes to Taiwanese dramas, but they’ve got intimacy and romance locked down. Fans of Meteor Garden will know that Barbie and Vic have a sparkling chemistry and it’s on full display in Mars. The tender pain of Qi Luo’s past means that the desperation they feel for each other has to be gentle and careful. Their faith in one another is inspiring as we watch the characters resolve their heart aches. The pacing of the romance is delightful – an early first kiss, devoting much of the show to deepening the relationship rather than approaching it. A+.


2. Qing Mei (Megan Lai)












Appearing first as a villain, Qing Mei’s character has just as much growth in the show as our main duo. Rarely do you see so much compassion from a character initially meant to stir up tension. Her fiery attitude is a nice pairing with Qi Luo’s quiet nature; often Qing Mei will speak up when Qi Luo won’t. She shows an incredible maturity in supporting Qi Luo and Ling. Even though it’s mostly in the background, her pairing with Da Ye (Xiu Hie Kai) always brought out a pleasant side to a dark story. 


Meh:


1.Tragedy on Tragedy











 


You really need to be in the right mindset for a show like this. While it offers plenty of sweet moments, its default tone is overwhelmingly solemn. Ling and Qi Luo’s relationship is framed by the ghosts of their pasts. Any happiness does not last long as one obstacle is always followed by another. I’m not crazy about how sad the show is, but since it handles it smartly and uses it always for the betterment of our characters, it’s not much of a hindrance. Still, for how long the show is, it’s difficult to be in that mindset for long. 


2. The Ending













*SPOILERS*I’ll start off by saying that yes, I am relieved that Mars has a happy ending. Nobody gets killed off or tragically separated. I wasn’t terribly surprised as I have read the comics before watching the show, but I had hoped to get a bit more out of the ending. The last few episodes have a lovely proposal and while the show gives a glimpse of their lives together, I was honestly hoping for a wedding.  When Qi Luo tried on the veil as Ling got attacked, my heart just dropped. It’s in tone with the show to have the theme of the last episode be tragic, but I would have preferred just the once to take the happy route. I felt that I missed out on the reward of the wedding after watching the tragedies of our poor couple, even though knowing they had one is consolation.


3. Tong Dao (An Jun Can)











After pondering on this show for a few days, I’m still not sure whether Tong Dao is supposed to be sympathetic at all. For a storyline that deals in layers and complexities, Tong Dao seems bound to be one note in his violence. While he serves as a sort of foil for Ling, some sort of growth would have been nice. At the end, I’m not sure if he’s still faking any revelations or actually considering things about himself. *SPOILERS* He appears to come to some conclusions about himself, but when he stabs Ling, it all sort of falls apart. He is by far the most tragic character on the show. Also, how the heck does he keep getting out of the mental care facility? I mean, he’s a murderer, attempted murderer, and unhealthy psychopath. All those doctors should lose their licenses for approving him as safe for public release.


Hate:


1.Qi Luo’s Mom (Ying Cai Ling)












YIKES. It’s going to take a lot for any other character to top worst parent after this show. If you only watched the show up until the halfway point, you’d think she was a little shy but a fine mother. *SPOILERS* That is until she gets back together with Qi Luo’s sexual abuser, putting her back in the same house as the man who raped her. AH!!! What an awful parent. She is in full awareness of her daughter’s predicament, but chooses him anyway. She willingly said Qi Luo was not to work and just focus on her studies. She pushed herself too far then punishes Qi Luo in the most awful way. Then when he attacks her again, she doesn’t take her daughter’s side! There is just no way to see her side of things. I’d be homeless and dying before making her choices. Her only small redeeming quality is giving consent for Qi Luo to marry Ling. What an atrocious character.  


So:


So… While this show is quite a bit heavier than I prefer to dive into for 20 episodes, it’s altogether heartwarming and has a wonderful romance. Ling and Qi Luo are the heart of the show and I’d spent another 20 episodes with them if I could. I doubt I’ll be rewatching this any time soon, but it’s a solid story for a single watch.


Final Grade: B+

P.S. Ling's dad is a great example of a rich parent who cares about the happiness and heart of his child, rather than railroading his ways onto him. FINALLY.

4 comments:

  1. This is such a wonderful drama I have ever watched.The chemistry between lead characters are superb !!.Whole drama has been directed very well. Thanx for the director,Script witter and the cast for making such a heart touching wonderful love story for us.Please can anyone help me to find a similar Quaily Asian love story like this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is such a wonderful drama I have ever watched.The chemistry between lead characters are superb !!.Whole drama has been directed very well. Thanx for the director,Script witter and the cast for making such a heart touching wonderful love story for us.Please can anyone help me to find a similar Quaily Asian love story like this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. hi! Su i feel the same thing just like u this is a really wonderful creation how they manage to make such a beautiful heart touching dramas i don't think there is anothewr dramas like that is availible!

    ReplyDelete
  4. hi! Su i feel the same thing just like u this is a really wonderful creation how they manage to make such a beautiful heart touching dramas i don't think there is anothewr dramas like that is availible!

    ReplyDelete