Review: Ai Qing He Yue (Love Contract) [2004]

 

Love_contractTitle: Ai Qing He Yue (Love Contract)
Director: Xu Zhao Ren
Broadcast period: June 29, 2004 to August 24, 2004
Opening theme song: Middle (Zhong Jian) by Jasmine Liang
Ending theme song: Lonely Northern Hemisphere (Gu Dan Bei Ban Qiu) by Ariel Lin

Summary:
Outwardly, Xiao Feng (Ariel Lin) is a stubborn tomboy and the captain of the Kendo Club at her college. In her group of friends, she is the leader with her demanding nature and abrupt ways. Inwardly however, Xiao Feng is a girl scarred by her past and searching for what she wants most, love. Her friends, Ah Kai (Zhang Rui Jia), Xiao Bai (Lai Zhi Wei ), Mu Tou (Lin Yi Hong), Xin Lei (Zhong Xin Yu, and, Xiao Xiao (Yan Pei Ting) don’t know about that part of her past but they are all loyal friends to Xiao Feng; that is, until Xiao Bai and Ah Kai leave the Kendo Club for the Swim Team.

Xiao Bai and Ah Kai are immediately regretful when the captain of the Swim Team, Ah Ken (Mike He), turns out to be a captain as grueling as Xiao Feng. When one night Xiao Feng announces to her friends she wants love the most, Xiao Bai and Ah Ken devise a prank called the love contract. In the contract, in exchange for finding swim team members to recruit, Ah Ken must court Xiao Feng.

At first, Xiao Feng plays tricks on Ah Ken when he tries courting her but soon enough both fall for each other. However, while troubles at home cause Ah Ken and Xiao to become closer, problems within their friends threaten to break them apart.

Mu Tou, who has liked Xiao Feng for a long time, becomes jealous of Ah Ken and attempts to break them up. Ah Kai, a childhood friend of Xiao Feng’s, also likes her. But Ah Kai is dating Xin Lei who is liked by Xiao Bai who is liked by Xiao Xiao. With so many love triangles something is bound to happen.

How will Xiao Feng and Ah Ken’s love stand against their friends? What happens if Xiao Feng discovers Ah Ken courted her over a love contract? And what about Xiao Feng’s own secret from her past? All unfolds in Love Contract.

Cast:
Ariel Lin as Xiao Feng
Mike He as Ah Ken
Zhang Rui Jia as Ah Kai
Lai Zhi Wei as Xiao Bai
Zhong Xin Yu as Xin Lei
Lin Yi Hong as Mu Tou
Phyllis Quek as Xiao Yun
Yan Pei Ting as Xiao Xiao
Mary Hsu as Doris
Yi Zhe Li as Mei Li
Kitamura Toyoharu as Gan Jiu
Tai Bao as Cheng Zheng Jie
Cheng Xiu Ying as Li Feng Hua
Jin Gang as Jin Gang
Liu Han Qiang as Simon

I Say…
I haven’t seen lots of T-Dramas, I only watch those that star Vic Zhou, and another reason is that the availability of translated T-Dramas is down to rare. If there would be available ones, I’ll bet they’re badly translated.

Love Contract basically captured all genres of a series. It’s got drama, comedy and action as well. It also more than just a love story and a youth oriented series. The typical Asia, specifically Chinese family was heightened and given color in the story. They didn’t only focus on Xiao Feng and Ken’s love story, but they gave equal attention to the lives of the people around them as well. I’ve come to an understanding that through Love Contract they were able to produce an “all in” program that people can enjoy. The final episode was actually a little stupid but it has touched me in its own little way.

Strengths:
-The coma that Xiao Feng experienced was actually a good twist. Because of that more emotion was squeezed out from the series itself, not just from the actors.

-Despite all the dragging moments, they were able to make it meaningful enough, loyal to its main theme, which is about love.

Comments:
– The scenes were disorganized, and the unnecessary scenes made it dragging. I think that 20 episodes is too long.

– I’m pretty sure Mike He had to endure lots of pain. Ariel Lin always hit him hard! The actors portray such violent characters.

Further observations:
-Mike He looks like Vic Zhou on certain angles. His back view even feels like you’re staring at Chen Ling. [Vic’s character in Mars]

– The soundtrack is good. Its themes are catchy.

-Ariel Lin was a bit too stiff with her acting but whenever there is a need to be intimate with Mike He she seems to exert more effort. When they kiss, it doesn’t look fake. Try recalling Barbie Xu and Jerry Yan in MG. You’ll know what I’m talking about. I still have to see It Started With a Kiss though, to find out more about Ariel lin’s acting skills.

-Now I believe that the Chinese don’t really put much effort on wardrobe compared to Koreans (When it comes to drama production, I mean). The characters wear the same clothes over and over again, most especially Ken.

-Taiwan has limited settings where they could shoot scenes. The rooftop, beach, and the school can be recalled from Marmalade Boy, Mars and MG.

credits to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Contract
http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Category:TWDrama

Please visit:

Official Web page of Love Contract [Chinese]

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