May 13, 2013

Annie Chen and George Hu Reunited!

Fresh off their recent daily drama, Annie Chen and George Hu are set to work together again on the next SETTV produced drama, Love Around (tentatively from the FB link address) or True Love, Black & White (a literal translation from the Chinese title 真愛黑白配).


It is quite interesting that this pair is thrown together again so soon after their last drama. I mean, yea we know the circle of actors in Taiwan isn't that big and repeat pairings do happen, but I think this is the one of, if not, the soonest I've seen actors paired together again. 

I think the decision could be partly because SETTV want to capitalize on their skyrocketing popularity after Love, Now and probably use that to revive ratings in the Sunday idol drama slot again. The Taiwan Sunday idol drama slot has been languishing in terms of ratings in recent years - the current show on air, King Flower (starring James Wen, Nikki Hsieh and Chris Wu) only has 2.14 at its highest and averages 1 point at other times. For comparison, the last "hit" drama Miss Rose (Roy Qiu and Megan Lai) reached 4.35 at its highest, although it still didn't match up to the success of Office Girls (Roy Qiu and Alice Ke), which hit 7.33 and created the new catchphrase in Chinese. If we look further back, there are also the mega hits such as The Fierce Wife (James Wen, Sonia Sui and Amanda Zhu), which hit 9.45 in its finale. I believe Fated to Love You (Ethan Ruan and Joe Chen) still holds the title of idol drama with the highest ratings at 10.91.

Not much information has been released about this new drama except for the fact that our favourite OTP will be reunited on screen. It is slated to follow King Flower, which sets the airing date for June. There are both upsides and downsides to this news - the upside: having a proper idol drama slot means the episode count will probably be around 16-20, 25 at the most. Faster plot development, more romancing and late showtime means boundaries for *ahem* intimate scenes be pushed, yes? Downside: we have to wait in agony for one episode to be released each week.

Update: A video interview was released and they talked about their characters in the show.

Annie cut her hair for this new role - I personally like her longer hair better - but she's confident and bold enough to carry any look and make it work. She likes her new hair because it feels more mature, and a departure from her fresh-faced, innocent image. Her character in this new drama will be a DJ in a broadcast station, so she's excited and nervous about her performance because as a DJ, she needs clear diction and her voice will need to be able to touch and emote without her face ever being seen. Apparently, she worked for a while at a broadcast station when she debuted so she knows a little about the operations of the job, but she'll be receiving more DJ training in preparation for her role.

Now - GEORGE. He reveals that his character is totally different from what he's ever attempted, because he will have a TRIAD background. Say WHAT?? He goes on that his father has retired from the triad and his character is a righteous one. Although righteous, when in situations where there is bullying or unfairness, his impulsiveness will still come to the fore. He's not sure to what extent his character will go yet, as the script is still a work in progress.He hopes for more action scenes, prompting the reporters to ask if he always wanted to be and look cool with those? He says rather than looking cool, he wanted to get a tan and become manlier. HAHA. Oh George.

As for their romance, both of them hope that they will be able to find a different way of performing so that there will not be the shadow of Love, Now in this show. Hmm... I think it would take lots of effort because their characters are so ingrained in the minds of viewers. Annie candidly acknowledged that she's the "Queen of True Love" at SETTV and that it's an honour she's been a part of all three shows (Inborn Pair, Love Now and Love Around - all start with "True Love" in Chinese) now. She thinks it's a dream for both males and females to have true love and she's happy getting the chance to play out different romance stories onscreen.

To be honest, I'm not sure about them working together again so soon - but more of this amazing couple cannot be wrong, right?! NOW I am so excited to see their new roles! I think it's rare for onscreen couples to exude such natural chemistry and be so comfortable around each other. 

The official Facebook link for this drama:

Note on Recaps for Love, Now:

I realize that I have left the recaps hanging for a while now - I've had to attend to many things in real life. I have not actually watched beyond what I posted, except for some previews when I couldn't help myself. I'm not sure if I should continue recapping, or if it'll still be relevant. I could gather more episodes together and post shorter recaps too, although that is still contingent on the completion of all my assignments *blergh*. What say you guys?