Momo Love


Reviewed by: sukting

January 16, 2010

Rating: two-point-five

Foreword
Tao Hua Xiao Mei is adapted from Japan's best selling manga Momoka Typhoon by Fujita Kazuko. The plot is about Tao Hua who has been pampered and loved by four of her brothers. The other brothers ask the 5th brother, Yu Yi to look after her. With the appearance of prince charming Shi Lang, a love battle is created among everybody. Other additions of Hui Qi and Zhi Qiang complicate matters further.

Story/ Introduction on characters

1. Chen Tao Hua – Wang Xin Ling
Her mother is determined to have a girl so she keeps giving birth to her – the 6th and only girl of the family. Her elder brothers pamper her rotten and she becomes very dependent on them. Although demure looking and shy, she loves judo. She isn’t proud but any guy who tries to befriend her will suffer. Her brothers will grill everyone like a criminal so they either move away or avoid her.

Her name doesn’t imply that she is lucky in real life. ‘Tao hua’ means peach flowers and also signifies that she has lots of suitors in real life. She is scared of knives since young. She has accidentally stabbed Yu Yi as a child when trying to dissect a frog and he ends up having his appendix removed. That is why she never cooks in the kitchen. She is hardly as intelligent as her brothers as she often fails her subjects.

Her brothers’ over protection stop her from knowing other guys. She longs to be loved but because of them, her handphone only carries her brothers’ numbers. Her first meeting with Shi Lang gives her the chance to experience what love is. Her brothers break Lang’s MP3 player and she offers hers to him. That cultivates love between them. She later marries Lang and has a son, pregnant with a girl.

2. Shi Lang – Wang Dong Cheng
He is from Duo Mo University and is excellent in his studies. He has never lost in judo contests. He has a nice personality and his appearance is deemed to be perfect. He is Yu Yi’s ex-classmate and the two guys only meet again when he moves into their neighbourhood.

Tao Hua is suspected of spying when she comes to return him his umbrella but he defends her. Later, his teammates blame him when he loses the contest to her. Surprisingly, he doesn’t feel that disappointed but keeps recalling of how she falls on top on him to kiss his lips. He doesn’t know how to react when Tao Hua declares that she loves him.

He is the only candidate who passes the conditions that the 4 brothers set so far so they regard him as a thorn in their flesh. He has never been in love before so he accepts her by writing her an sms. But dating becomes challenging when her brothers and his cousin tail them. They even have to dress in uniforms in order to shake them off from the bus.

3. Chen Qi – Zhu Xiao Tian
He is Lang’s senior who comes from Duo Mo University too. He is the eldest brother who is the weather host of the morning programme. His handsome features and maturity enables him to find out the root of problems to solve them immediately. His sharp eyes seem to see through everyone. His popularity causes him to be chosen by female fans as the male programme host that they wish most to hug for 3 years.

He is their perfect lover in their eyes. But they do not know that this is only his face at work. He is over-protective towards his younger siblings. As their parents are on a world tour, he becomes the family head. He is the one who comes up with plans to obstruct Tao Hua to love others. He looks after her daily needs. He commands the most authority but he is helpless towards Tao Hua’s hunger strikes.

Mr Xue exerts pressure on his job in order to force Tao Hua to get engaged to Zhi Qiang. Qi refuses to give in and he ends up working outdoors. He had trouble completing interviews. Seeing that he has a hard time, Tao Hua decides to give up her happiness and break up with Lang. Qi is taken aback when he becomes the host of the morning programme.

He knows that Tao Hua has sacrificed herself. He refuses to give in to Mr Xue and is willing to pay for the damages of breaching the contract. Kai Li speaks on his behalf and he gets a better job of being the main host of a new programme. His salary is even doubled. He realizes Kai Li’s importance to him when she wants to marry her senior.

When she breaks off with her senior after knowing that he dates another woman at the same time, he woos her back. They have a son and she is pregnant with their second son.

4. Chen Cheng - Lan Jun Tian
He is the second brother who is a famous fashion designer and is a perfectionist. He is in charge of Tao Hua’s wardrobe. He also has handsome features and is very talented. His designs are very popular with women. He is confident of himself. Whenever he flashes his smiles at the models wearing their clothes, they are swept off their feet. His deep eyes show a sign of sadness but this is only the exterior. The only person who can make him smile heartedly when wearing his clothes will be Tao Hua.

He marries Xue and both never stop bickering. He finds her overly sharp in her remarks while she doesn’t like him to spend too much time on work. They have a son and she is pregnant with their second son.

5. Chen Zhuan – Ding Chun Cheng
He is the elder twin by 10 minutes. He is Tao Hua’s private tutor. He is extremely bright and his IQ is more than 200. He loves solving Maths problems and is never proud although he is outstanding. He is dashing and is like sunshine after rain to his female classmates. His childish smiles give all warmth and stability. He is most knowledgeable among the four and can engrossed in reading for hours.

He is mad with Cheng for kissing Xue – he calls her the female Amazon. Yet, he feels lonely when seeing He and Cheng kissing their girlfriends as he is still unattached. He is single after his brothers are married and fall for Yu Yi’s school nurse at first sight when meeting her.

6. Chen He – Gaov Yi Xiang
He is the younger twin who is in charge of Tao Hua’s diet. He is a sportsman who is an expert in baseball, basketball, tennis, judo, water skiing and parachuting. He is a all rounder and studies in the same university as Zhuan. His high skills and determination to achieve success wins lots of female fans and many professional teams are poaching him even though he hasn’t completed his studies.

Many will think that he is boarish on his appearance but he is also a great cook. He is the chef at home and all comment that he is also handsome when cooking as well. Tao Hua even relies him to prepare breakfast lunchboxes for her and Lang when they date! To his brothers, he needs this to balance his reckless nature to curb his bad temper into bashing up anyone whom he doesn’t get along with.

He marries Xiao Mi and both set up a popular band. He starts to don long hair as a rocker and have twin sons. She never changes her habits of adding artificial tattoo to the babies’ arms.

7. Chen Yu Yi – Wang Jing Lun
Although his elder brothers are hunks, he regards them as perverts. He is ordinary and is like an ugly duckling as compared to his elder brothers. Actually, I find that he has one hidden talent – that is to use photoshop to change photo details and exam results. He is the fifth brother but why is his name so different from the rest? His mother is too disappointed of him being a son again so she names him ‘the extra one’.

Although he is one year older than Tao Hua, his brothers force him to get retained for a year in order to spy on Tao Hua. They force him to sleep in a very small room so that they can enlarge Tao Hua’s room. He is even forced to take her exam for her in order to let her get into Duo Mo High. All will pity this guy as Tao Hua will implicate him with her love problems – eg to get into the judo club he dislikes just for the sake of wooing Lang for her or to keep her company.

Whoever he likes will be snatched by his brothers. Xue is his dream lover and he falls for her when she offers her a lift when meeting him at the supermarket with lots of groceries. Hui Qi – his Audrey Hepburn is also interested in Lang and not him. He dreams of Zhi Qiang becoming Tao Hua’s boyfriend and he can engage a servant for him so that he will not have to work as one anymore.

He realizes how much his family loves him after the DNA saga. He marries Hui Qi and both have 3 sons within 5 years. He tries to look more mature with a Charlie Choplin image and gelled hair. She is pregnant with another son.

8. Xue Zhi Qiang – Chen Yi Ru
He is Lang’s top love rival. His qualities and home background do not lose out to Lang. He is equally popular in school. Tao Hua goes through the judo club test by throwing him on the floor. He turns madly in love with her and woos her forcefully. He even pretends that he actually likes Yu Yi and all brothers think that Yu Yi is jealous of him when he asks Tao Hua out.

Tao Hua’s brothers and Hui Qi get Zhi Qiang to pretend that he has an ex-girlfriend to cook up the reason. He uses all sorts of ways to earn her sympathy. Her brothers and Lang are stunned when Zhi Qiang kisses Tao Hua forcefully. Her brothers blame each other for the incident but brush the responsibility away as it isn’t her first kiss since she has kissed Lang before.

9. Shi Xue – Wang Xin Ru
She is Lang’s cousin and is a perfect woman. She is protective towards Lang – just like the brothers towards Tao Hua. She is a famous writer for belitting men in her articles. But the ironical part is she has never been in love with a man before till she meets Cheng. She is angry with them for bullying Lang and threatens to beat them but falls onto him instead.

10. Gong Hui Qi – Li Jia Ying
She grows up with Lang and is intelligent and pretty. Tao Hua gets into Lang’s school with Yu Yi’s help. She isn’t in the same class as Lang as she has hoped but ends up with Hui Qi. She believes that she can get whatever she wants – that includes Lang’s love. She doesn’t hide her affections and regards Tao Hua as her top love rival. She makes things tough for her to obstruct her from getting into Lang’s judo club.

She also feigns fainting or hurting herself so that Lang can carry her to the first aid clinic. She is quite deceiving to tell the Chens that she is Lang’s fiancée. Tao Hua’s brothers have wished that Hui Qi’s existence will lure Tao Hua away from Lang but Tao Hua becomes brave to accept the challenge instead. This actress resembles Yung Mei Ling in looks and also size.

11. Zhang Kai Li – Chen Ting Ni
She is a newsreader and is also Qi’a colleague. She gets the post at a young age not only due to her beauty but also her working ability. Her PR skills are good but they don’t seem to work on Qi. Her simple wish is to marry him but he doesn’t seem to realize it as his total attention is on taking care of Tao Hua.

12. Mrs Chen – Yu Mei Ren
She rules the household with an iron hand and her first four sons are terrified of her. She is a biologist that goes into research of extinct animals but gives up her desire after marrying Mr Chen. She never gives up even though she bores 5 sons and is determined to have a daughter. Still, she treats Yu Yi well and commands Qi to give up his room to Yu Yi upon knowing that he is bullied by them.

Du Juan is born and all siblings have a little sister. She is bored when all her children give her grandsons and is overjoyed when Tao Hua is finally pregnant with a girl.

13. Mr Chen – Xie Yu Wei
He is calm, analytical and dedicated to his family. The brothers respect him most and each of them inherits his qualities. They regard him as their role model to be a father or husband. He is a biologist like Mrs Chen. After the children grow up, he leaves Qi to take care of the younger siblings so that he can tour the world with Mrs Chen to take part in wild life conservation projects.

14. Mr Shi – Honduras
He is a busy plastic surgeon and raises Lang by himself after his wife’s death. He also shows too much concern to Lang, resulting him feeling awkward to tell him secrets at times. He is more into research to discover better skin products. The DNA saga brings them closer.

15. Mr Xue – Lin Zong Ren
He is Zhi Qiang’s father who is an influential businessman. He owns the television station that Qi works. He gets Zhi Qiang when he is quite old. Thus, he shows too much love on him to give him whatever he wants, hoping that he will marry early to give him a grandson. He even makes every girl get engaged to Zhi Qiang after meeting them for a few times and can go up to the extent to arrange a hotel room for them.

16. Xiao Mi – He Mi
She is Tao Hua’s friend who often gives her daring wooing tips as she has many boyfriends. She often runs after guys. Her target is to get He and he is scared of her when she puts on washable tattoos of their names on her arms. But He later likes her. Although he doesn’t like her to take the initiative to woo him, he takes the initiative to woo her for the first time as he starts to like her.

Favourite character
Yu Yi – he is self-sacrificing.

Most hated character
Tao Hua – she is too indecisive. At first, she wanted to study overseas as she thinks that Lang has a girlfriend due to Yu Yi’s altered photo. Later, she wants to become a nun. Then she wants to move out to be more independent. On these occasions, she suddenly changes her mind. Her brothers are tired of her always behaving like this. Yu Yi is the one who suffers the most as he is often dragged into the picture to do things that he is reluctant to do.

Songs
The theme song is ‘What If I Fall In Love With You?’ by Xin Ling. It is very childish. The ending theme song: Very Quiet by Fahrenheit is better. The other songs One More Time by Xin Ling and Salty Fish (鹹魚) by Dong Cheng are forgetable. I stll don’t know how salty fish is related to the story.

Interesting scenes

The four brothers are at work, studies or at play when they get Yu Yi’s sms that a guy, Wei Da is wooing Tao Hua. Qi reports the weather details fast to charge out of the studio. Cheng also leaves the fashion performance without thanking his supporters. Zhuan is doing a tough Maths problem which the professor has claimed it to be of Olympaid standard. He solves it quickly and correctly before disappearing. He is skiing at sea and dumps all his equipment on shore, oblivious to his female fans’ screams.

The four have checked his background. Although he is outstanding in studies, he fails in sports. Wei Da is placed at the top part of a statue to serve as a warning to him not to get close to their sister.

Tao Hua wants to move out so the 4 want Yu Yi to try renting all the rooms nearby to stop her. Knowing that he has signed up for an exchange programme with Hawaii University, they force him to study to replace Tao Hua for Duo Mo High entrance exam.

Tao Hua gets Yu Yi to pretend to be her so that she can sneak out to meet Lang. Poor Yu Yi has to wear a wig and keeps silent all the time. Cheng comments that a girl like her should shave off her leg hairs after seeing ‘her’ hairy legs. He is a perfectionist as a fashion designer.

He learns about it and comes to lend ‘her’ his shaver. He happens to see ‘her’ in the toilet and apologises as he doesn’t mean to peep at ‘her’. Then He notices something amiss – why is ‘she’ standing to relieve ‘herself’? He demands ‘her’ to turn around and yells upon discovering ‘she’ is Yu Yi – it is really funny.

Knowing that she is nursing a broken heart, they joke of breaking Yu Yi’s limbs so that she can transfer her attention to take care of him. Yu Yi gets so terrified that he hides in the kitchen. Later, they dismiss the thought and have considered to make Lang love Yu Yi instead. The brothers invite Lang to talk to Tao Hua but send Yu Yi as a spy to evasdrop what they say. They discover him and throw him out of the room. The brothers bash him up for ruining their plan.

Yu Yi discovers that Tao Hua and Lang plan to pair Cheng and Xue together. He becomes jealous and reveals to the other brothers to ruin the double dates. Yu Yi also discovers Zhi Qiang who satisfies his brothers’ requirements but is shocked that they get him to woo Tao Hua but don’t want him to fall for her. Zhi Qiang even deceives them that he likes Yu Yi and kisses him!

The five brothers go to a pub and all the girls crowd around Yu Yi. The reason being he is the only one who is unthreatening as a boyfriend and rare to be in this place. They exclaim that he is cute and are curious to find him there. This is the first time the four older brothers are bored to sit aside on their own. Cheng jokes that they must bring Yu Yi out in future or they will not get to know gals.

Tao Hua and Hui Qi rush off to the canteen to buy Lang’s favourite food. Yu Yi mumbles on why they have not asked him what he wants.

Zhuan places a tracking device on Lang after disguising to be high school students with He. He boasts that it has GPS function as his own car. However, the twins soon see how the car is being towed away as he parks by the roadside. Zhuan tells He (since he is more handsome looking than him.) to get close to Hui Qi so as to prevent her from meeting Lang. He gives He directions for a perfect timing to stop the two and heaves in relief when they are successful. They are good in creating chances for Tao Hua and Lang.

The twins meet Hui Qi again. Zhuan claims that he is the one who likes Hui Qi and he is too shy to let her know. However, Hui Qi sees through the scheme this time. Yu Yi heaves a sigh of relief that they have not been able to kiss his princess.

Qi wants his younger brothers to be part of the dating team for his female colleagues. He describes his male colleagues being unsuitable to look haggard as they are always running for news outdoors. I also have the feeling that Xiao Tian also belongs to the uncle category as his outlook fits the description.

Tao Hua creates a blog and there is an article she pens on her favourite brother. The elder 4 key in their birthdays and can’t get to read it. Zhuan tells He that it is needless to key in his birthday since they are twins. They stare in disapointment when Yu Yi keys in his birthday – April Fool’s Day and the password is accepted. Tao Hua finds it hard to tahnk Yu Yi personally as they are too close so she thanks him through words. Yu Yi is on cloud nine to be her favourite brother while He is so mad that he throws the computer.

The 4 brothers want Tao Hua to accomplish a mission set by them each within a month. He wants her to be able to cook. She should understand his diffculity if she is going to marry Lang. Zhuan demands her to score at least 80 marks for each subject. Lang is capable to do that in this prestigious university so he expects Tao Hua to match up to his standard. It is such a disgrace that she fails every subject.

Qi gets Tao Hua to take care of Kai Li’s cheeky nephew and niece. Cheng orders Tao Hua to knit sweater for him and herself. How nice if both of them are going out in that together! The other brothers argue that they also want one each. Tao Hua accepts the challenge. Yu Yi is the only one who doesn’t want anything but Lang keeps pressing him to tell him why the 4 want Tao Hua to do so much.

The main reason is Tao Hua’s parents decide to bring her to Brazil if she doesn’t do well. Tao Hua clears all obstacles with Lang’s help except that she scores 74 for one subject – Chinese Literature. Yu Yi forges the results to try to deceive their brothers but Zhuan has already checked the results. Their parents return home at the same time and they accept Lang.

They reveal that Mrs Chen is pregnant with another daughter. They are thinking if they should name her as lily or rose – just like Tao Hua after the peach flower. Zhuan decides that she can be called Du Juan since she will be born in Autumn.

Bored that they cannot hinder Lang and Tao Hua anymore and Du Juan is only born after a few months, the brothers transfers their attention to Yu Yi. They have noticed that he likes Hui Qi and offers to help him to woo her. They bring him to the beach and are surrounded by girls but Yu Yi is the one being neglected.
Hui Qi’s home is broken into and she is tied together with Yu Yi.

Worried over her safety, all gets her to stay over at Yu Yi’s home. Yu Yi is more than willing to give up his room for her while he bunks with his parents. Hui Qi learns how much he loves movies after seeing the post-it notes regarding the movie dialogues on the walls.

Yu Yi learns that Hui Qi misses home and tries to get a pebble for her from her hometown. He has not returned home for 2 days. His elder brothers hardly worry and blurt that they are used to his tactics. Their parents are angry – this shows that Yu Yi is ill-treated. Have they really treated him as their younger brother? Hui Qi also asks them the same question. Qi replies – if they fuss about him like the way they fuss about Tao Hua, Yu Yi will turn out to be a weakling.

Yu Yi returns home after meeting Hui Qi’s folks. Hui Qi’s grandfather has known about his identity. Yu Yi hurts his head when a crane hits him and is sent to the hospital. Hui Qi then discovers that she likes him and kisses him after missing him for 2 days.

The two fathers quarrel at the hospital. Lang and Yu Yi are born on the same day. All realise that both fathers might have carried the wrong babies home as they keep changing hands. They decide to wait for the DNA result which will only be out for a week.

Yu Yi is going to be discharged. He is touched when his brothers take time out to fetch him. Qi is the fastest to arrive. Cheng mumbles that he isn’t informed. Both claim that they are too free, putting up a forced front. Zhuan and He are the last to arrive as both are surrounded by nurses, asking them for their telephone numbers. They lie that they are reluctant to see Yu Yi leave but in reality, they feel sorry for missing the chance to meet the dashing brothers again.

Yu Yi requests to be the eldest son next time. Mrs Chen explains why she comes up with Yu Yi’s name. His other brothers’ names are derived from chapters of a book while he is outside the chapter to have his freedom. She is apologetic of making him feel unwanted as his name is so different from theirs.

The brothers look at their childhood photos and realise that Yu Yi never smiles in them after being bullied. Qi regrets being harsh on Yu Yi as he uses the same way that Mrs Chen treats him to all his siblings. He claims that he will feel weird if he bashes up Lang instead. Cheng admits that Yu Yi’s place in their hearts is only second to Tao Hua. Yu Yi maintains that he will forever remain as Chen family’s son and he is willing to do all the chores. His brothers hug him, touched.

Lang and Tao Hua are unable to stay as calm as the rest. Thus, they want to investigate the case by looking for the nurse. The nurse gives a confusing answer on how she doesn’t mess up the babies. You will need to watch it to find out.

Interesting facts

The role of Yu Yi was formally meant for Lin You Jia but he wanted to have full concentration on his second album. The role then went to Jing Lun instead. Yi Xiang continued his studies in Taipei University Sports faculty after he returned from Canada.

The filming was delayed for many times due to Yi Ru’s Fahrenheit’s album. In the end, Yan Ya Lun was replaced by Dong Cheng. Xin Ling replaced Gui Gui as Tao Hua. The ratings of it were quite poor – averaging about 1.26. Xin Ling was stressed when filming that she missed her period for a few months. The depressing viewership saddened her even further and she cried over it.

Dong Cheng and Xin Ling failed to raise the ratings. The viewers were more interested to see the arguments between the brothers instead (so am I). It was said that the two main leads were not that friendly with each other due to this? What went wrong despite the strong cast?

Was it due to the manga adaptation or who did wrongly? The tv station had to find their answers from the message board. Many said Xiao Tian’s face was too big and it could occupy almost the whole screen. Others found Dong Cheng and Xin Ling acting the same way as other dramas. The story only lacked depth. Moreover not all tried to promote the drama. Xin Ling appeared on her own and not with others while Xiao Tian only appeared on the first filming day. How can the drama work with insufficient promotion?

Many had thought that Jing Lun was the lead actor when they first watched it as he provided so much comic relief. They had neglected Dong Cheng. He was modest to add that working with the veterans benefited as they gave him a lot of tips when he made mistakes. His other ‘older brothers’ are named as ‘F3 models’ and many found them attractive looking.

As this drama was adapted from a manga, F3 and Jing Lun watched the whole series to know the characters better. Jing Lun even copied his dressing and the way he talks. He was glad that many viewers liked it. When he made too many mistakes, he would buy drinks for them.

Yun Tian, Yi Xiang and Jing Lun went to the market to promote the drama. Only Yun Tian still remembered to promote the drama while the other two kept feeding themselves with food on the way. Yun Tian was successful mixing with the housewives but the children refused to play with him. They rushed to look for Jing Lun instead.

Jing Lun got to kiss both guys and gals – especially on the hot European girl whom he often visualizes to be beside him when he is down. She is the actress in the romantic foreign films that Yu Yi loves to watch. Even Dong Cheng envied him and wanted to act as Yu Yi. Uncle Lin was very nervous when asked to act as Zhi Qiang’s dad. He kept memorizing the script. He was more like a grandfather figure to Yi Ru as he treated him well.

The whole cast went to learn judo. The guys took some time to learn. All envied Xin Ling. As she had dancing background, she picked up fast. All were impressed when they did not have any n.g.s for the accidental kiss scene. Dong Cheng got along well with all the working crew and invited them to Fahrenheit concert. They were very concerned when floods hit Taiwan. Besides donating money, Xiao Tian even got Jing Lun and Chun Cheng to donate their AB blood.

This was Jing Lun’s first drama. Many called him as the male Oshin as Yu Yi is often bullied. He is always beaten and thrown around. He did not understand why an idol drama became an action-packed drama to him. He joked that he was not tall or handsome as the rest so he had to try to gain sympathy. Jing Lun returned to Singapore in Nov 2009 to promote this drama. He signed 300 posters at an event. Lucky fans also went on the Singapore flyer and played roller blading with him near the beach.

Conclusion

Dong Cheng and Xin Ling’s acting is boring! Their characters are too indecisive and nerdy. You will wonder when they will stop being shy and get truthful to their feelings, unlike Zhi Qiang. Lang and Tao Hua practically think too much before the DNA result is out.

I am more captivated by ‘F4 of fashion’ by their looks although their acting can be wooden at times. They command attention on screen. Seeing them bullying Jing Lun really make me laugh. They present their brotherhood well. I am alarmed by Xiao Tian’s looks. How on earth did he put on so much weight and his face is as bloated as the moon? His scenes as a newsreader on the screen doubles the size!

Although Qi assures Hui Qi that they really treat Yu Yi as their brother, I can hardly feel it as no one will be as unreasonable as them to ask him to retain a year for Tao Hua’s sake. However, they show their concern in the last episode.

No wonder Jing Lun is mistaken to be the lead. He is the narrator for the first and last episode. He does well in most of the scenes The limelight is totally on him. I do not consider Dong Cheng and Xin Ling as the leads too. On the whole, it is only an average drama. If you wish to see how the guys act, you may try to catch this drama.

Sukting’s ratings :

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

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

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


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