Corner With Love


Reviewed by: sukting

December 09, 2008

Rating: two

How long
20 episodes

Foreword
A typical rich woman likes a poor man story. Do they have a happy ending? This is an adaptation from a Taiwanese manga.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Yu Xin Lei – Xu Xi Yuan
She is a spoilt socialite who only knows fashions and spending money. She stays in Shanghai. Her car bumps into Lang's bicycle and they become enemies. However, she has to seek his help to impress Shang Dong's parents. He helps her to win them over but her dream of marrying Shang Dong dashes in one night. Her parents are bankrupts and run away without her. Shang Dong is also about to get engaged to another woman in order to save his family. Leaving her a key to a house, she has to leave Shanghai for Taipei.

Xin Lei soon discovers that it isn't a mansion but a small house. It is Lang's home and he wonders how he holds the key to it. She is adamant to stay although she has to put up with the poor conditions of the home. Grandmother allows her to stay if she pays rent. Once, there is no hot water and Lang sends a pot to her. By accident, he sees her in the nude. Both have an even worse relationship after that.

She is initially an air stewardess but is later sacked when offending a lecherous customer. Lang's secret admirer, Xiao Yang allows her to work in her hotel. From then, she starts earning her own keep and also regards Qin's family as her own. Shang Dong comes to coax her to return to Shanghai with him. He has broken his engagement to be with her again. To protect Lang's future, she decides to return with him.

She becomes an unhappy person as she can't forgive Shang Dong for forsaking her. During her trying of her wedding dress, her mother persuades her to seek her own happiness. She runs away with the shoes that Lang gives her. They return to Taipei to seek a simple life.

Xi Yuan's acting hardly improves from 'Meteor Garden'. Her mannerisms are the same. Her quarreling style with Lang is the same as she argues with Daomingsi. My suggestion to her is to remove her tattoos. They hinder her image of being an elegant rich girl. The plasters that the make-up unit cover her hand and ankle are so obvious although they are similar to her skin colour. However, they forget to cover her neck and the star is exposed as she ties her hair.

2. Qin Lang – Luo Zhi Xiang
He comes to Shanghai from Taipei to seek a better life. But he still ends up as a lowly oyster omelette seller in Cui Ge's small restaurant. However, his dish is famous so many come to eat it. Xin Lei brags that she knows how to cook well so she becomes his disciple.

What a sacrifice to be her stand-in, she doesn't prepare the flour for him during the dish-tasting event and he has to disguise as a chambermaid to run out and get it. He is already very unhappy to pretend to be her chauffeur. Standing by her principles, he refuses to accept the Taipei air ticket she arranges for him. He only wants a treat from her. Judging from how Shang Dong treats her when she is in dire straits, he has thought that he will stand by her.

Although he worries for her, he returns to Taipei to discover that he is being tricked to believe that Grandmother is ill. He stays to manage their omelette stall with her. He is disturbed by Xin Lei's staying but soon likes her to give her a pair of shoes. He is jealous when she is with Feng so he often comes between them. He is relieved upon seeing the photo of Xin Lei getting the shoes from the water through Feng's hand phone. This shows that she loves him.

Lang has the talent of an artist. The shoes that Xin Lei wears attract attention and his name becomes famous. Grandmother has once opposed to him to become an artist as his father becomes irresponsible. Seeing the genes in him, she finally allows that.

He goes to Shanghai to look for Xin Lei again – wanting to give her a choice of choosing him or Shang Dong. She chooses Shang Dong because of her parents. Heartbroken, he still leaves the home key with her. She returns to him after seeing how he paints a large chart for her. Lang continues designing shoes and Xin lei keeps bickering with him to give him endless ideas. That is sure a stupid excuse. Any idea should come to mind easily as a designer.

Zhi Xiang's interpretation is bland. He makes Lang to become very unreasonable, selfish and childish. I can hardly stand him in scenes where he keeps on quarreling with Xin Lei. Doesn't he feel tired shouting all the time?!

3. Yin Shang Dong – Chen Zhi Kai
Xin Lei looks for a ring and comes to his family jewel shop. Disappointed that there is no master copy, she leaves. Shang Dong is the young owner of the shop. (To think that they borrow Cartier for a while!) and falls for her immediately. He is a romantic to get her whatever she wants and she thinks her whole purpose in life is to marry him.

His parents have arranged him to get engaged to another woman but change their minds after meeting her. Not because she is elegant but because she is also rich enough to match their family status. However, they insist that they break up as Xin Lei's father cause them to lose a lot of money.

The engagement takes place and Xin Lei turns up with Sheng Quan, lying that he is attached to her. He runs away to her in the midst of the session but fails to catch up with her car. Since then, he is guilty-stricken and keeps asking Xi Xian for her news. He feels the pain upon seeing her tending to Lang's stall and working as a receptionist in a hotel.

Thus he conspires with Xiao Yang to lure her back to Shanghai. She still refuses to stay at his home and prefers to stay with Xi Xian. He even pays off her family debts, find her parents and get back her house.
This gentleman can fight with Lang over her so both men can never be friends.

However, he senses that she isn't happy when trying out the wedding gown. So he grants her wish to be together with Lang. Xin Lei still wears Lang's shoes at this session so he knows how much Lang means to him. He has improved slightly in his acting since 'Reaching for the stars' as a rich man again but he can still be stiff in sad scenes.

4. Bi Zhu
She is Xin's friend whom she knows at the hotel. She is loud. I can't stand her accent – others stay in the same town but why is she the only one talking like that?

5. An Teng Feng – Teng Gang Ding
Feng is a renowned pianist who stays at the hotel before his performance. He is distant from others but the ridiculing part on Lang's painting in the hotel isn't his intention. It is done by Bryan, his personal assistant. Bryan watches on him tightly as he has always been upset over his sister's death to drink occasionally. He is touched when she covers up for him. He opens up to Xin Lei after being influenced by her cheery nature as they go outing with Lang's group.

Lang has thought of him to be a love rival. But both become friends as he narrates a love poem to him. Xin Lei assures him that his sister has never left him and he confides in her. He will wear the ring that his sister gives her for every performance. His ring is suddenly missing and later found in Xin Lei's cabinet. Hurt by her betrayal, he becomes very upset. Lang is angry with him for not trusting her. He later also doubts that she will do it and finally seeks the truth.

Feng leaves her a replica of his sister's ring as a memorable gift. Xin Lei has thought that he has given her the real ring to run all the way to the airport. This gives him a chance to apologise to her face to face. Ding is a young actor but I see that he can go as far as Kaneshiro if he works hard since he is eloquent in English, Japanese and also Mandarin.

6. Cai Xiao Yang– Lu Jia Xin
Her father owns a hotel and she manages for him. Admiring Lang's drawings, she hangs up some of them at her hotel. She is jealous when Xin Lei moves in to stay with Lang's family. Hoping that she will have enough money to move out soon, she hires her to also monitor her daily movements. She has liked Lang since high school so is determined that no one else should get him. But she is so vicious to harm Xin Lei for the ring theft and threaten her to leave Shanghai with Lang's house deed that no one likes her.

7. Cui Ge – Fan Ming
He opens a small restaurant in Shanghai –selling signature dishes. He hires Lang but treats him like a younger brother.

8. Hui Mei
She is Xin Lei's mother who feels bad abandoning Xin Lei. She remembers that she owns Lang's home with his mother so she passes her key to her. She has seen how she dies of misery as Lang's father runs away to become an artist. Thus she doesn't want her to end up in her footsteps. But seeing her so unhappy, she makes her wish come true.

9. Xi Xian
She is Xin Lei's personal assistant to go through thick and thin with her. Seeing that Xin Lei has no place to stay after bankruptcy, she lets her stay at her home. She loves Shang Dong and tries all ways to make him happy – by forcing Xin Lei to be with him even though she knows that Xin Lei will feel miserable over it. I doubt no one can be as noble and stubborn as her. She keeps reminding Xin Lei that she should not let her parents suffer again and keeps creating chances for her to meet Shang Dong. What is on her mind?

10. Lian Sheng Quan – Yu Teng Qing
He is an associate who is close to Xin Lei's family. However, he is puzzled to see her with different men each time. He even goes unknowingly as her companion to Shang Dong's engagement event. How blur can he be! This is the second time he acts as an extra for Xi Yuan's drama but we can see that he enjoys it.

11. Grandmother
She brings up Lang after her daughter's death and detests her son-in-law. That is why she doesn't want her grandson to end up like him. Although fierce to Xin Lei, she likes her slowly but doesn't know how to stop her from moving out. Knowing that she is involved in the theft incident, she mortgages the house to get the loan from Xiao Yang's father. In her haste to sign the agreement, she doesn't realize that she ends up selling the house to him.

The house is the only thing that Lang's mother leaves for her so she vows to get it back. Xin Lei gets it back for her by returning to Shang Dong. She is upset with Xin Lei for lying to Xi Xian in her letter that she is a chef, Ah Da is the housekeeper while Lang is her chauffeur during her stay in Taipei. Shang Dong comes, believing that they have helped her to give them money. This humiliates them and they take time to forgive her. She is elated when she returns to stay with her instead of being with her parents.

12. Ah Da
He also helps out at the omelette stall. He takes good care of Grandmother when Lang is away and stays with them. So Grandmother regards him as another grandson as he is an orphan.

13. Nine knives
He is Lang's friend who loves to draw comics. Bi Zhu likes him so she arranges an autograph session for him during Feng's vacation with them. He is the manga artist who shows his face in this drama.

14. Ah Yi – Xiao Gui (Ghost - the tv host for many variety shows)
He is also another helper at the omelette stall and is also Lang's close buddy.

Songs
Lai Ya Yan sings the theme song 'Love Courage' and tries to be too cute. The subtheme 'Love at a Corner' is by Zhi Xiang. I find it an average song but my friend likes it to sing it at almost every karaoke session.

Conclusion

This is the same typical story that we will decipher a pattern within 20 minutes. The leads meet, fight and vow never to meet again. But they keep eating their words to bump into each other – and so conveniently at a corner as the title states. They must fight each time they see each other over small matters. These two get on my nerves when they keep shouting for at least 10 minutes to waste screen time.

This is so boring for me. I feel that the story is not even half-baked and should been sent to the oven for better cooking before presentation. Only the omelette seems luring to my appetite. I am being cornered not by love but by the repetitive plots. Ms Cai Zhi Ping should stop taking mangas to adapt and come up with stories of her own.

Sukting's ratings :

On acting : **1/2 (Scale of 5)


On story : *1/2 (Scale of 5)

On song : **1/2 (Scale of 5)


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