5 June 2015

My Amazing Bride Review

Here’s my basic synopsis: it’s about a sane, wonderful woman falling in love with an intellectually disabled genius, wrapped up with a plot involving the dethronement of a king. 

This drama was completely overlooked. It’s got quality in terms of acting and plot. Despite the kiddish opening theme song, the drama’s got more heart than the silliness it’s desperately selling. True to its nature though, it was fun and zippy without being overladen with draggy clich├ęs. If it’s a plus for you, you probably don’t need a box of Kleenex.

Why I Started Watching

Initially, I wasn’t going to bother with this drama but I was bored and the first few episodes were readily available. (It also happens to be born from the same Youtube channel that produced Boss and Me and My Sunshine.) It hadn’t occur to me until I watched the first two episodes that this might be a remake of TVB’s (HKdramas) Square Pegs, or I’d like to call it Ah Wong. I LOVED that drama back in the day when I still watched dramas on TV. So, being similar to Ah Wong was definitely the main reason why I stayed. Then at some point I forgot about my comparisons to Ah Wong and watched purely for the sake of watching this drama. 

The Pros

There are no dull moments in this drama. It’s chockfull of unpredictable challenges balanced with satisfying resolutions for each arc, building up smoothly to a grand finale. The plot isn’t overly dramatic; it’s just right.

Characterization. I love it when dramas are able to flesh out the majority of their characters, be it large or small, and that’s what this drama excels in: making me care about each and every one of them (some more and some less).

Character + Story Description

Here is our mentally disabled man, Shen Bo Nan (Jin Shi Jia).  After a near-death incident at age seven, his mentality stays a child despite his age. His most redeeming quality, especially in the first twenty or so episodes, is his unconditional love for Dou Dou. Apparently, she had saved him when they were young and so she is forever his angel. The drama follows these two and their journey to his recovery.

Tang Dou Dou (Li Qin). She’s the cheap, cunning, and shrewd – I mean frugal, clever, and chirpy leading lady that gets scammed into marrying an intellectually delayed prodigy. Although the show loves to flaunt Shen Bo Nan’s prodigy-ness, it seems to neglect Dou Dou’s ever so humble talents: she can sell anything (from left over tofu to jewellery to dumplings), can defeat any opponent with her kick-arse martial arts skills, and can graduate med school within three months. (Of course, our problem nowadays is getting in med school.) First twenty episodes, she’s desperate to escape the clingy Shen Bo Nan but afterwards… let’s just say their roles reversed. From never losing out on a deal, she can lose her life if it’s for Shen Bo Nan.

I suppose when the two get together they’ll be genius2. Not only that, they have more lives than my fingers with the amount of times they almost die and come back to life just to almost die again.

Other characters I like:

Da Da is the maid whose main responsibility is to play with Bo Nan. She’s such an adorable light bulb because she poses zero threat to Dou Dou and Bo Nan yet she throws herself in there anyways. Her amazingness resounds when she comes to love Dou Dou despite still liking her master Bo Nan.

Shen Bo Qi (Lu Yu Lin) is a terrible brother to Bo Nan and an even worse husband to Su Lan. However, I looked forward to his redemption the most. As much as I wanted to see him hit rock bottom, I wanted to see him bounce back and love the only woman that loved him. Oddly, Su Lan's love for him made me love him too. It was odd.

Su Lan (Bao Wen Jing) is docile. The actress did a wonderful job in making me love her feeble character. Beats me why this girl is so devoted to her terrible husband but it was also one of her charms: undeniably faithful. She grows a backbone when she needed one but the drama never made her betray that sweet nature of hers.

Gu Xiang Ping (Maggie Shiu) is Bo Nan’s mom. This actress was awesome. I shall leave it at that otherwise I'd spoil the drama.    

And all hail our mighty Emperor (Zhang Yi Jie). Yes he is a child but a very smart child… who Dou Dou takes advantage of. Therefore, Dou Dou is smarter than the Emperor. 

Room for improvement

The actress behind Dou Dou. Don’t get me wrong, she was great, I’m just saying, she could have been better. She delivered her lines fine; she had expressions that were believable; she even made me cry in this particular scene (but I should remind you I’ve got pretty sensitive lacrimal ducts). However, I felt no spark between her and Shen Bo Nan. I know it takes two to make chemistry but I can see him trying; sadly his leading lady isn’t responding. It felt like she was acting in her own world. What makes a drama memorable may not be how great the plot was but how emotionally riveting it was. I get that the plot plays a huge role in how the drama grapples its audience but after months/years of finishing a drama I had dearly loved, I may forget bits and pieces of the plot but I won’t forget how much I loved the leads for making me feel the emotions they felt. Despite my love for this budding actress, I wished I could have emotionally connected to her character more. Otherwise, she would have been fabulous.

This was a cute scene.

Final comment

This drama may not be as memorable as others but during a slow season and if you understand Chinese (because I doubt this series will get subbed), do give this a chance. It’s a wonderful hidden gem where once you start watching it, you may lose count of how many episodes have zoomed by.