It Started With a Kiss

Reviewed by: CatchyPhrase

July 14, 2006

Rating: four-point-five

English Title: "It Started With A Kiss"
Chinese Title: "E Zuo Ju Zhi Wen"

Ariel Lin (Lin Yi Chen): Yuan Xiang Qin
Joe Cheng: Jian Zhi Shu
Jiro Wang: Ah Jin
Tiffany Xu: Pei Zi Yu
Jason: Wang Hao Qian

"It Started With a Kiss" boasts an impressive cast with Ariel Lin Yi Chen and Joe Cheng, two very famous and popular Taiwan actors. The storyline is full of spice and pizzaz, with lots of humour and funny scenes. Many of the interactions between Joe and Ariel are very cute, very sweet. When I first started watching this drama, it was just because I was bored. I had just finished a really sad series and wasn't ready for anything tearjerking or devastating. "It Started with a Kiss" swept me right off my feet! It was so funny and charming! The first episode started out fast, and only got faster to my great delight! By the time I had finished all 3 of the first episodes, it was already 3 AM in the morning and I had to reluctantly drag myself to bed. It didn't stop me from getting up a mere 5 hours later to watch more of it though, and the pattern went on for a few more days, and before I knew it, I had finished the entire 20 episode drama in less than 4 days! In fact, whenever I'm bored, I like to get out the DVDs and watch my favorite episodes again and again.

Spoilers!! Be prepared, this is long!

"It Started With A Kiss" is about Yuan Xiang Qin (Ariel) who is in high school and although unintelligent, is very outgoing and confident. She has been in love with a smart A class student, Jiang Zhi Shu (Joe) since her freshman year of high school. The sad thing is that he is a classified genius with an IQ of 200 and the two are worlds apart. The drama starts out on the worst day of Xiang Qin's life. She gives Zhi Shu a letter professing her love for him but he cruelly rejects her with "I do not date stupid girls." That day, she goes home to her brand new house where she will be living with her dad only to have it totally collapse during a level 2 earthquake. Sad? It gets worse! Uncle and Auntie Li, her dad's good high school friends, want to repay him for introducing the two of them so long ago and offer them a place to stay. Xiang Qin is reluctant to intrude on a stranger's home, but ends up with the surprise of her life when Zhi Shu turns out to be their oldest son! The two of them will be sleeping across the hallway from each other and living in the same house!

Zhi Shu himself is pretty cold to her, but that doesn't stop her from liking him. He forbids her to tell anyone about living at his house to avoid rumors and she retaliates by blackmailing him with pictures of him dressed as a girl when he was younger. Her proposition? He must tutor her for 2 weeks straight so that she can become the first person from F Class to make it on the top 100 list for exam scores. She ends up making the list as the 100th person and Zhi Shu holds first place (again). High school is slowly drawing to a close and soon everybody is having their graduation parties. Zhi Shu's class and Xiang Qin's class both end up having their parties at the same place, but in different rooms. That night, an angry Xiang Qin shows his whole class the picture of him dressed as a girl. He drags her to a quiet corridor and yells at her. She tells him she will find a guy 1000 times better than him at college and he dares her to go right away. She is about to say that of course she can, but he leans down abruptly and kisses her!

In college, Pei Zi Yu (Tiffany) who is beautiful and intelligent, falls in love with Zhi Shu. The two of them join the tennis club. Ziang Qin also signs up, even though she doesn't play tennis, to be close to Zhi Shu. At Tennis Camp, Zhi Shu makes a bet with Wang Hao Qian (Jason) that if he can't train Xiang Qin to play, he must dress up in woman's clothing and walk around the tennis court where all can see him. Xiang Qin is determined to learn so that he can win the bet. The night before the competition, she injures her ankle while following him around. At the competition, after returning Hao Qian's hit, she lands on her ankle and can't get back up. Zhi Shu carries her home. The scene is very sweet because Zhi Shu gives her a piggy back ride while they walk all around Taipei for 20 something minutes.

While fighting with his parents, Zhi Shu gets mad and moves away to his own apartment. Zi Yu, in order to be close to him, applies for work at the same place he does and gets accepted. To prevent Zi Yu from getting her man, Xiang Qin goes to his restaurant every single night and orders coffee after coffee until it closes down. One night, she goes on a date with another boy (who ends up dating Zi Yu's younger sister later) to make Zhi Shu jealous. Ah Jin, who has loved her since they were young, and the other guy get into an all out brawl that Zhi Shu has to break up. He tells them that Xiang Qin only likes him, so they should forget about everything, and then leaves the restaurant with Xiang Qin. Because it is raining and his parents aren't available to take her home, the two end up spending the night at his house, and on his bed.

One night, while Zhi Shu's parents and Xiang's Qin's dad is on vacation and out of town, Yu Shu (the younger brother, don't get lost now) gets appendicitis and barfs all over the floor. She doesn't know what to do, so she calls Zhi Shu and they take him to the hospital. Xiang Qin, blaming herself for Yu Shu's sickness, refuses to go home until he wakes up. She falls asleep on one of the chairs, and Zhi Shu kisses her because he thinks she is a hardworking, adorable idiot! Yu Shu woke up and saw the kiss.

Zhi Shu's dad wants him to take over the company after he retires, but Zhi Shu only wants to be a doctor. His father gets so mad that he suffers a heart attack. Zhi Shu (again) goes to work at the company because it is slowly losing money and tries to save it. The only way is to marry the granddaughter of Da Qao, a company that is about 10 times more successful than his own. The girl is very sweet and pretty, and Zhi Shu even tells his mom that he really likes her. Xiang Qin is heartbroken and turns to Ah Jin for comfort. Zhi Shu is now engaged to Hui Lan, and Ah Jin is about to propose to Xiang Qin, too! When he finds out, Zhi Shu is devastated and breaks off his own engagement to be with her. He runs all over town to find Xiang Qin, worried that she will accept Ah Jin's proposal. They share a beautiful kiss in the rain. The two of them are now going to be married. Thinking quickly, Xiang Qin begs Da Qao to help their company even though Zhi Shu broke off the engagement. With Hui Lan's blessing, the company is saved and the wedding is underway.


This whole drama was so cute and endearing. It was sweet and sends out the message of never giving up. Love may seem impossible between the two: a cool, smart guy and a clumsy, unattractive girl. They live in two different worlds, but their hearts still reach out to each other.

I gave it a 4.5 because I felt the romance took too long to unfold. Zhi Shu was always finding ways to be sweet to her and help her, but he was also being cold towards her at the same time. The last two episodes were so sweet though because he wasn't afraid to show his love for her anymore. What more did he have to lose?

The Cast:

I enjoyed the work of the main and supporting cast very much. They all had great onsreen chemistry with each other.

Ariel Lin was wonderful as Xiang Qin. Ariel is beautiful, but in this series she is supposed to be an unintelligent, unattractive girl. She was crafty (although her plans never worked) and she was hardworking and never gave up. You end up falling in love with her, even though she doesn't know any Chinese Philosophy and sometimes is too blind to see just how much Zhi Shu loves her. The fact that she kept loving him even when she thought it was pointless was impressive.

Joe Cheng is the funniest, most adorable actor ever. In his role as Zhi Shu, he was cold and distant. He always had on an annoyed face when Xiang Qin was near, but whenever she wasn't looking, the looks he sent her were loving and painful. He was totally devastated when he couldn't be with Xiang Qin. He knew he had to pay his duty to the family by marrying Hui Lan and tried his best to be a gentleman towards her, but there was no spark between them. The moment he realized that the one he loved was Xiang Qin, who he had loved for years and years now, he immediately left Hui Lan and went out into the night to look for her. The scene was so adorable!

His parents were so funny, also. His mom, Auntie, was always trying to bring the two together. Every chance she got, she would take pictures of the two, or film them sleeping together. The dad was trying to pave an easy road for his son. He wanted him to be successful and happy in life, even though he didn't know how much Zhi Shu hated company work.

Ah Cai was a sweet dad. He supported Xiang Qin in her love for Zhi Shu and never tried to make her forget him or anything. He tried to give her a good life after her mom passed away, and is very comical to watch because his moustache is hilarious!

Xiang Qin's two best friends are so funny! One of them wears a wig of fluffy hair all the time after she enters college to look more sophisticated and does the funniest things! The other friend is cute and has a voice that sounds like Rainie Yang. I LOVED listening to her talk because her voice was just so cool!

Jiro Wang does ridiculous things in his love for Xiang Qin. As Ah Jin, he was cute and sweet toward her, always telling Zhi Shu that he was blind for not seeing how great she is. The scene where she rejects his proposal and walks out is so sad because he sits there and does the greatest male crying scene I have seen in forever! He's such a great crier, and still manages to look pained and pitiful even without ruining his bad boy image!

Tiffany Xu is the girl, who for awhile is the antagonist - Pei Zi Yu. She is pretty and she knows it. What she doesn't know is that the reason Zhi Shu never pays attention to her is because he already loves Xiang Qin. In the end, she tries to help Xiang Qin break up Zhi Shu and Hui Lan. She turns out to be a loyal and supportive friend. She's sassy and smart-mouthed and always has something snide to say, but if you were one of her friends, she was going to stick by you no matter what!

Favorite Scenes:

-Any of the scenes where Zhi Shu brings his face really close to Xiang Qin's. She always starts to hyperventilate because of the closeness, while he smirks at her reactions.

-The kiss scenes: there are 6 main ones and about 5 others that don't get a lot of fame because they are short.

-The wedding ceremony between Zhi Shu and Xiang Qin. You'll never guess what they are wearing!

-When they are filming the wedding video. The couple is so adorable sitting on that couch talking about their relationship!

-The times when they spoofed "The Rose" and "The Leaf" MV. Good god, I couldn't stop laughing at how hilarious they were!

-Zhi Shu giving her a piggy back ride home from the tennis competition

-The mom filming them sleeping together. She thinks they're asleep, but Zhi Shu is awake listening to her the whole time.

-When he sneaks off from the company Christmas party to be with Xiang Qin. They order KFC and she gives him a present!

-When Xiang Qin spends the night at his apartment. She keeps kicking his butt and stuff in her sleep!

-On the couple's first date, they fell into the lake and just as they were out of the water, he fell and pulled her back in!

-The two end up going to a hotel to shower and dry off, and she gives him a hug from behind.

-When he leaves Hui Lan's side because he realizes that the one he has loved for so long is Xiang Qing. He runs around in the rain to look for her.

-The morning when he is about to take an entrance exam, he feels sick and takes some pills only to find out they make you drowsy. She rushes over to his side of the table and tries to stick her fingers down his throat to make him throw up the pills!

-When she faints, right before the entrance exam, he carries her to the hospital and stays with her even though it means that he misses his exam!

-On his birthday, she leaves him a big present outside of his apartment, only to find out that he has moved back home. When he found out, he rushed to his old apartment to get it before someone else takes it.

-The mom takes a picture of the two sleeping together and her friends accidentally find it. They set it to background on every computer in the school, and Zhi Shu rushes to her class to find it. He bysteps every single person and flies to the door, only to stop right outside and fix his hair and clothes to make it look like he hadn't been running (no doubt because Xiang Qin was going to take in his appearance).

Ok, ok, you get the deal. I love just about every single scene that was in this drama!

Have I got you hooked yet? Do you feel like you should check out this drama? I promise that it'll certainly make an impression on you. A lovable, unforgettable 20-episodes drama about never giving up on love and how powerful it can be - it's not something you see every day!

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