Sunday, October 12, 2014
TDrama Review: Just You
The Gist: Chen Liang Liang (Puff Kuo) loses total control of her life when the house she is renting is foreclosed and bought by Qi Yi (Aaron Yan), who simultaneously buys out her company - becoming her land lord and boss in one fell swoop. All hope for an alliance is broken when Qi Yi immediately bans office romance, cancelling the engagement of her best friend Kate (Katherine Wang) and coworker Alex (Tan Zhen-Gang) who are afraid of being fired. In an effort to make Qi Yi overturn his decision, Liang Liang plots with Kate and their friend Princess (Ashi Lin) to make Qi Yi fall in love with Liang Liang. This proves difficult at first, when Qi Yi is controlling and cold and Liang Liang can't do anything right. Yet, as they work out their living and working situation, Liang Liang realizes that Qi Yi is just trying to fulfill his dream of reuniting his family in his childhood home - the house in which they both now live. As they both start to develop real feelings, prodded by the friendly rivalry of new work acquaintance Dean (Dean Fujioka), things get topsy turvy when Qi Yi's ex-fiancee, Jia Yu (Lyla Lin) shows up out of nowhere, determined to win him back.
1. Dat Chemistry
It's a Taiwanese Drama and yes, the physical intimacy is so adorable! I read one review before watching this show off of a random recommendation on Hulu, which basically said it was unoriginal, but the skinship was excellent. Oh boy was that true. While you may not get some of the steamy scenes you get from other shows, the small moments between our leads just had me smiling like an idiot. Qi Yi's hand in her hair, pressing foreheads together, a hug here and there, it was all just plain warm. Their chemistry jumps off of the screen and while it doesn't have that fiery tumultuous feeling to it, there's a beautiful sense of growing together while they are essentially building a life together. When Qi Yi says that Liang Liang is family, you really feel it. It's true, not just empty words. I'd say in this aspect, it's pretty original. I've never seen a show develop a romance quite like this, with the feeling of trust and family in the center of it. This is the show that Personal Taste could have been if it was done well. They handled the cohabitation delicately and perfectly.
2. Problem Solving!
Thank you Good Lord for Qi Yi. Every time the two of the leads fought and Liang Liang sprinted out, I thought for sure the scene would cut ahead and wait for the two to make up later. Every time, I was wrong as Qi Yi chased after her in that instant and brought her home. It blew my mind to have a protagonist who really isn't willing to let things lie. I could count the number of times that Liang Liang and Qi Yi went to bed angry on one hand. Additionally, Liang Liang's control on her jealousy is amazing. I would have clawed Jia Yu's eyes out well before the end of this series and while Liang Liang stands up for herself, she also doesn't forsake a potential friendship. She's a real treat.
Team Dean for life! I am so happy to not have a full blown triangle with Dean. He is the most mature character I've seen in this situation. Think Rui from HYD, but better. Dean immediately thinks of his friend's happiness before his own and doesn't ever put up a real fight for Liang Liang. Which is good, because we have enough crazy time from Jia Yu. Dean is pretty much like Gaze's cupid, who is working tirelessly to fix up his friends. Which, once you get Qi Yi's back story, you can see how much he needs Liang Liang. *SPOILERS* for how matchy matchy this story gets, it's a bit of a bummer we couldn't find Dean an adorable little chick.
4. Family Love!
Usually a strong romance and the power of friendship make a show for me, which Just You definitely has, but the family aspect was definitely new and wonderful for me. When Liang Liang's parents come to visit and you can just see the longing on Qi Yi's face, my heart just ached. I appreciate the time we spent with Qi Yi's dad, which added to the life building between our leads. Qi Yi has complicated family issues and when their two families finally collided, I was just plain excited. I think Qi Yi's mom had some things to work out, we'll touch on that in a minute, but the dynamic was fantastic. LOVE IT.
I will never again say that Taiwanese dramas are lower quality because this drama was beautiful! If the names were changed and I turned off the sound, I could have totally mistaken this for a Korean Drama. It was beautiful. The one review I read said that this drama was 6 episodes too long, which I was somewhat expecting out of a 21 episode show, but I really didn't feel that way. I think the 2nd/3rd episode took a little too long to get Qi Yi to soften up towards Liang Liang, but I powered through the rest of the show and could have watch the whole thing in one sitting. Honestly, if this was any shorter, I would have cried. I need more!
6. The Goldfish.
Just watch it. You'll understand the power of the goldfish. Love it.
7. Ending Marathon
*SPOILERS OBVIOUSLY* So this show ends as if it has something it is trying to prove! The last episode has a double wedding, three engagements, and one pregnancy. Um, wow. It was like one thing after another, over and over again. You have to sort of just let it happen. It can seem cheesy if you're not open to it, but the whole thing just made me smile like an idiot. I found it all to be good fun. Ah, I love ending on a wedding, even if it's not our main duo. Besides, they were family way before the last episode.
8. Best Confession Ever
*MORE SPOILERS* So it did take a little while for Liang Liang to finally confess, but the show makes the wait enjoyable enough that it's no problem at all. I loved both of her confessions. The first time, they're shouting at each other across the street and it was actually Qi Yi whose words had me moved. When he said "How could you change my life and just leave? How could you make me go home alone to a house meant for two?" I just nearly died. My heart melted. So that when Liang Liang finally breaks down to tell him that she loves him, still shouting across the street, I was literally squealing like a moron. Second, when Jia Yu serves up an ultimatum to Qi Yi and Liang Liang grabs her man, kisses him, and takes over the situation, I was so proud of her. I was cheering out loud (essentially, my husband thought I was a crazy person while I was watching this show). There's a lot of good confessions out there, but these are right at the top.
1. Ban on Romance?
I swear the ban on office romance just sparked all sorts of romance. Talk about counterproductive. Gaze if pretty much a match making agency. *SPOILERS* Thank god for Mei Mei. Without her holding out, everyone would have paired up too perfectly. Alex and Kate are a given as our initial couple. Obviously the romantic mess with Liang Liang, Qi Yi, Dean, and Jia Yu take up plenty of worker bees. The things with Shi Cui Xia (Ke Ya Xin) and Brother Bo (Xie Qi Wen) had me very skeptical at first, but honestly really grew on me. You pair that with the romances outside of the office - family things and Princess' storyline - it's a lot. Yes, this show ends up overly neat, but it was all so lovely that I can forgive it.
2. Who are these people?
Um. So how many people exactly work at Gaze? I thought for a while that there were about ten people that worked at Gaze, all of our main peeps. Then I started noticing random people wandering in the back or sitting in cubicles an then I noticed just how many unoccupied cubicles there really were. It just seemed weird that Gaze just like ignored half of their employees. Like when they went on the retreat, they only brought our main people. What were the other people doing? It was weird. But in such a minor way that it won't really detract from the rest of the story.
3. Crazy Town
Minor spoilers ahead. So I appreciate the level of resolution we got with Jia Yu because you do feel a little bad for her, but yeah wow is she totally insane. It's immediately unreasonable to expect that Qi Yi will forgive her when she bailed on him the day after he proposed and didn't say a word for three years! That's not something you ever get over. So when she acts all hurt, it's just totally whacko. Then when she goes all psycho involving Liang Liang and Jerry, I just rolled my eyes. In Qi Yi's defense, he really didn't waver until he was given a good reason to. I really was thrilled with the writer's for not making him wishy washy immediately when she showed up. Props to Qi Yi.
4. Too Many Coincidences
Every time Qi Yi's mom would walk right past him or his dad, I just groaned. Like out load, full blown groaning. I hate the just missed them vibe and when you meet that with the fact that her only friend is her son's ex-fiancee, it's just too much a coincidence. It never mentions how the two of them met and honestly, their relationship really irked me. I'm glad they had some support, but it was really asking a lot of me to believe the entwined messes of their lives. I was able to put my qualms aside, but I think it would have been a stronger show without it.
No hate for this show. Not at all.
So... I do not take it lightly when I say this show is IMO pretty much perfect. It's like they wrote this show for me. I could watch this show over and over again. I think - gasp - this might be my new favorite drama. I honestly think it is better than Hana Yori Dango (oh God! Matsujun, forgive me!). The quiet growing in this show just made me feel warm and happy. When I wasn't watching this show, I wanted to be and every episode surprised me in a loveable way. Qi Yi didn't treat Liang Liang like she was made of glass, but like a girl he loved and it was adorable. The family and life building just made smile. This was a real treat and I'm recommending it to everyone, even if it is not flashy or the most inventive drama ever. I really look forward to watching this show again soon. Ah, so warm. Love it. Love it. Love it.
Obviously, I had a lot to say about it. I could just go on and on, the matching sneakers, when Liang Liang almost drowned, when Liang Liang finally stops calling Qi Yi boss... there is no one favorite moment! SO GOOD.
Final Grade: A++
Sorry this was so long!
Posted by Stephanie at 4:00 PM