My Volleyball Lover


Reviewed by: sukting

January 05, 2014

Rating: three

How long
21 episodes

Foreword
Growing up together, Qian Rui and Xin Hai Jing only treat each another as friends. So it's no wonder when Hai Xing asks Qian Rui to help out the volleyball team, he tries to get away. He is more interested in romancing the beautiful Kai Lin than sweating it out with Hai Jing. Yet, joining the team is exactly what they needed to turn their long-time friendship into something more. Especially after they sleep together one night. Will this change the way they treat one another?

Story/Introduction on characters
1. Gao Yi Xiang as Bai Qian Rui Since young, he comes from a rich family and is everyone's prince. He graduates from the economics faculty. He has to give up the high jump sport after his father's death so that he can manage the company after his death. Thus, he becomes a talent in Sudoku and keeps winning competition. He is very pampered to want everything comfortably. However, he can be very harsh on himself to push too hard till he has fever. Whenever he faints from a fever, he is under too much stress.

Hai Jing calls him moronic prince as she can't stand his behaviour. He is confused over his feelings for her after the ‘one night stand'. He becomes the team‘s air prince after Ji discovers his talents. He switches from golf to Di Bei volleyball, partly to impress Kai Lin and under Ji's threat. Initially, he gives excuses not to train seriously as he is a let riser but later he grows to like the sport.

After Qing Han leaves Di Bei to work in Dong Huang, he bravely takes up the captain position to lead the team. He becomes involved in training and all team members learn to play at different positions. His family crisis sets him to think further about his ties with Ah Hai.

Upon knowing that she has a slip disc, he does physiotherapy for her. On seeing De Hua trying to woo Hai Jing, he gets mad. When seeing Hai Jing moody, he tries to cheer her up. Tian Hao wants him to woo Kai Lin for exchange to work for him. Qian Rui gets troubled – isn't this going against Hai Jing?

When knowing that nothing happens between them that night, he decides to work in Dong Huang for a year as a manager. This is also After seeing how Hai Jing gets injured in a car accident to protect an angel paper weight (this is something that Hai Jing has wanted to give him for encouragement since young), he resigns to join Fu San. They clinch the champion and he marries Hai Jing to have a happy ending.

Yi Xiang looks dashing here and has improved in his Mandarin dictation. His crying scenes can be improved although he has managed to say his lines with more feelings.

2. Chen Ting Ni as Xin Hai Jing She is the captain of Di Bei female volleyball team and comes from the sports faculty in university. She goes to the same schools with Qian Rui. She is outspoken and likes the sport under Ji's influence. Qian Rui has never treated her like a guy and always calls her Ah Hai as she is his knight to protect him all the time. One day, Hai Jing gets mad with Qing Han for wanting to think of joining Dong Huang to consider breaking up with him while Qian Rui is upset with Kai Lin for not turning up for his date.

Both get drunk at home and undress themselves to sleep in Hai Jing's room. Ji knows that they have not done anything but lies to both. Hai Jing worries that she might get pregnant to go for a checkup while Qian Rui proposes to her in case she is pregnant. To his relief, she isn't but he still has to keep his part of the deal to stay in the volleyball team. After that, Qing Han joins Dong Huang indeed and Hai Jing is shattered.

It makes matters worse when she has a slip disc and can't play volleyball anymore. She has thought of killing herself. Qian Rui is by her side to give her moral and physical support. She turns to love him and even prepares a love declaration cake on his birthday. But still, she is too shy to reveal it. The other team members become Fu Shan Bank players after their university graduation but she is the only one working in an insurance company while becoming an assistant coach to teach the others.

She confesses her feelings for Qian Rui but is annoyed that he is so hesitant. When knowing that Tian Hao causes Ji to lose an arm, she loses her cool to go after Tian Hao with a baseball bat. Qing Han gets hit on the head while protecting her. He ends up losing the use of two fingers on his right hand so he decides to practice using his left hand. Hai Jing agrees to marry him out of guilt.

She is upset after Qian Rui's car accident mishap and is overjoyed but furious that she is fooled by him. She is quite presentable in her acting but her speech can be unclear at times. Not bad for a newcomer.

3. Lan Jun Tian as Liu Qing Han He is Di Bei's captain and is dependent on scholarships all this while to get through his sports faculty university education. His mother remarries a gambler and he has two younger brothers to support. His nickname is ‘moving castle' and Tian Hao wants to buy him over. Volleyball becomes his hobby and money earning tool.

However, Qing Han knows that Di Bei stands a lower chance of winning than Dong Huang so he meets up with Tian Hao to find out more. If he works there, his salary will be stable. Still, he has not made up his mind but is disappointed that Hai Jing doesn't trust him anymore. Ji pairs him up with Qian Rui and both are unbeatable.

It is the last resort for him to agree to play for Dong Huang when loansharks threaten to kill his stepfather. He has his pride and he refuses to ask Hai Jing to mortgage her house. Neither will he request Qian Rui to give him a loan. He wants to use his own means to earn money. Hai Jing is down that he never discusses with her and breaks up with him.

Dong Huang wins the university title and he starts preparing for the professional league. He learns at this time that Tian Hao causes Ji's disability. He threatens to reveal this secret to the press and Tian Hao has to let him leave the team. He returns as Fu Shan Bank captain but due to his injury, he can only play for the first half of the games as he is still unfamiliar using his left hand. He brings forward his wedding date as he feels insecure of Qian Rui returning but this does not change anything.

Even then, Tian Hao feels defenceless as the team gets into the finals so he wants to buy him over to kill Qian Rui. He chooses to reveal the truth and force the couple to face their true feelings. His acting is a bit stiff. Some even think that he is F4 ex-member, Wu Jian Hao as he resembles him.

4. Song Ji Yan as Jia Kai Lin She is Tian Hao's beautiful daughter who is his personal assistant. She is like a Persian cat which will stretch her paws when being attacked. She studies in the French faculty and learns ballet and violin. There are smiles on her face but no one can guess her feelings.

She has liked Qing Han and is overjoyed when he stays over at their home, considering taking up Dong Huang's contract. When seeing how concerned Qing Han is when Hai Jing oversleeps while taking the public bus, she knows that she stands no chance. Still, she isn't ready to accept Qian Rui as yet and keeps rejecting him. She will consider if he plays volleyball.

Tian Hao wants her to serve her intern at a television station and she works under an ABC reporter, Steven. Steven has secretly taken photos of the team's secret weapon practice and refuses to hand in the photos back to Ji. He gets beaten by Tian Hao's men but they only get the scenery photos as he keeps the photos in another thumbdrive. Although Tian Hao denies this, she becomes doubtful.

She starts falling for Qian Rui. After knowing that Tian Hao drugs Qian Rui in his wine over a dinner so that he will not turn up for the university match on time to lose, she doesn't want him to continue making more mistakes. She is also down upon knowing that Tian Hao forces Qian Rui to woo her in return to save his family company. Even though Qian Rui works for them and she is his assistant, she has not managed to win him over.

Thus, she works with the two guys to find evidence to teach him a lesson. No doubt she is pretty but she is more like a joke than the faculty flower 校花 as she needs to speak in better English for the scenes with Steven. No wonder for the scenes, Yi Xiang has more than her as he is more fluent in the language and he speaks with ease.

5. Long Long as Jia Tian Hao He owns Dong Huang company and also the volleyball team. All along in life, he only wants to win and nothing else. He finds Hai Jing playing well but unfortunately, he doesn't have a female team or he will rope her over. He knows that it is dangerous to have Qing Han and Qian Rui playing together so he sets to split them up.

He invites Qian Rui for dinner and the man is overjoyed, thinking that he has accepted him. He doesn't know that it is a trap and he oversleeps as he is drugged. Even after Hai Jing manages to send him to the venue on time, he only manages to play the second and third set and they lose in the end.

That is already a close shave for him. Tian Hao suggests to Qing Han to kill Qian Rui in a car accident. He never expects Qing Han to tell Qian Rui about Hai Jing's true feelings. Kai Lin also betrays him by videotaping his conversation with the 2 killers he hires to kill Qian Rui. It is painful for her to get the police to arrest him but still, it is better than to let him commit a murder. Acting wise, he is okay but his Beethoven hairstyle and plump build makes him look more like a musician than a volleyball coach.

6. Wang Jing Ying as Li Li Yi She is Qian Rui's mother who manages the company after her husband's death. After knowing the sleeping incident, she doesn't want Hai Jing to lose out and thinks ji's punishment of making Qian Rui stay for 3 months till the university match is not enough. Ji finds it hard to tell her the truth. She finds Qian Rui's love for sports rekindled and is apologetic for making him giving it up when young. Her Malaysian company can't produce enough goods for a German contract. She is prepared to close it and not give in to Tian Hao.

Upon knowing that the sleeping incident is fake, she isn't angry with Ji. It seems that Ji is interested in her to teach her how to make dumplings. This actress is too young to be Qian Rui's mother to look more like his sister instead. Can't they get another actress for the job?

7. Na Wei Xun as Xin Ji He is Di Bei's coach and Hai Jing's father. He loses his left arm after Tian Hao beats him up to prevent him from playing a final match. That ruins his dreams of continuing to be a striker. He has a headache when the teams have never won the champion. Di Bei university tells him that he and his teams will lose their jobs if they don't win this time. By chance, he sees how Qian Rui leaps high into the air to get a ball stuck on a tree.

He fails to change his mind to play volleyball. After seeing the two in bed, he quickly undresses Qian Rui and forces him to play for his team and lies to Li Yi that he suffers from cancer. He feels bad when Li Yi brews medical soup for him. Even though they come in second in the finals, Steven has given a good publicity report of them. Thus, all of them are engaged by Fu Shan Bank to continue their dream.

After knowing that Qian Rui is being drugged, he nearly wants to go to the association to complain about Tian Hao. The last straw comes when learning that Tian Hao wants to kill Qian Rui, he and Li Yi witness how he is being jailed. This is the first time, I see him in a more serious role and he does well.

8. Yang Ming Wei as Luo De Hua He is the Casanova of the team to be with various women. Qian Rui is angry when he pretends to woo Hai Jing and yet contacts other women that he gives him a black eye.

9. Zou Zong Han as Shi Tou He is very hot-tempered but has strong perseverance. Even though he sprains his ankle, he will still continue to play the game and never gives up. He is a pillar of strength to the rest.

10. Chen Yan Ru as Pan Mei Dai She loves fashion but has to trim her fingernails due to playing volleyball. She is Hai Jing's good friend.

11. He Wan Ting as Zeng Xiu Ping She is also Hai Jing's good friend. She is Qian Rui's fan and is willing to give him up for her. Still, she gets another boyfriend in the end and that has not affected their friendship.

12. Xu Shi Hao as Ma Han He is good at statistics and analysis. Qian Rui always asks him to make comparisons between him and Hai Jing but he always ends up being the loser.

13. A Da as Wang Chao He is good at spicing up good food for Qian Rui so he is regarded as his personal chef.

14. Wang Ming Xun as Xiao Mi He is a backbencher of Di Bei but his love for volleyball is strong. He cares more on the team's welfare to get them refreshments. He trains Qian Rui hard and is hospitalized in order to protect Qian Rui from a running car. His foot is on cast and can't play volleyball the 3 months but he is overjoyed that Qian Rui decides to stay instead of going for further studies in London. He later joins the Fu Shan team too.

15. Xie Qiong Yuan as Ye Qiong Hua She is Qing Han's mother who wants to give him a better life by remarrying. It becomes her nightmare after she marries a wife beater and gambler. Qiong Hua later divorces him and Qing Han supports the family by working at the bank with a stable salary of NT$50,000.

Interesting facts
Yi Xiang promised to wear only his underwear to play basketball if the viewership hit 5 points. His manager quickly added that he would find a white one for him. The two actresses were also roped in to promise to wear bikini as well. The rating was only 0.5. Yi Xiang only wore it outside his jeans to keep his promise.

A swimming scene nearly caused Ting Ni and Yi Xiang to drown. Both of them had swum to the middle of the sea. Ting Ni became nervous to keep holding Yi Xiang as she did not step the ground. Yi Xiang could only swim along with her. Both lost their strength and had to signal the working crew to drag them up.   
There were rumours about Yi Xiang liking a male model. He denied it – so as his manager but he confessed some men did approach him. The image consultant did follow him into the toilet to help him to change into different clothes. He found it weird but this was nothing as this was his job.

Many envied Yi Xiang to have kissing and bed scenes. It was Ting Ni's first time filming a bed scene. She was worried that she could be too plump but Gao Xiong was simply too hot and she lost her appetite. She did not need to go on a diet and lost 3 kgs immediately. The numerous kissing and hugging scenes with Ji Yan made her the public enemy as many envied her.

It was said that Ting Ni regarded her as the mistress to keep resting in Yi Xiang's car. Ting Ni maintained that she was his colleague and nothing more. Yi Xiang's manager explained the car was sent to Yi Xiang for test driving. As Gao Xiong's weather was very hot, Ting Ni, Jun Tian and Ji Yan took turns to switch on the air con to sleep in it. When the manufacturer took back the car, they rested in the company's van.

Their ages were close and that did not imply anything special. No doubt the two went for meals together. They were more like brothers as both had not stayed in Gao Xiong before. There was a scene that Yi Xiang needed to dive into the pool. He was too tall and his forehead hit the bottom of the 140cm pool.

He only discovered the bump on his head after he swam back and there was some blood. He only learned that he suffered from slight brain concession after seeing the doctor. But he had no time to rest. He flew to Shanghai the next day for promotion and went to Singapore for star awards. I was at the venue but I did not know that he was injured before this.

Jing Ying worked hard after her divorce. She had thought of changing her name as many fortune tellers said actresses with the name 静(quiet) normally ended up in divorce. This is her real name and she might change her name when her son gets into school to avoid giving him trouble. Her ex-husband had the custody and she meets him fortnightly.

Initially, she thought she might find it tough to act as Yi Xiang's mother as she isn't as much older than him. But after seeing the 26 year old actor, she started to imagine her son growing up to be like him so motherly love developed fast.

Ting Ni and Yi Xiang had to work on Valentine's day. Yi Xiang was shy for some intimate scenes. Ting Ni knew that he opened up slowly but she was the reverse. Thus, Yi Xiang was soon influenced by her. This was not the first time working with him. She was happy that Yi Xiang remembered that they had worked together during their modelling days. So was Yi Xiang as he based on his memory.

Her first impression of him then was he was very tall. Even guys of 185cm height looked about the same as her when she wore heels. But her 175cm height was nothing to his 195cm height now. It was tough for an actor of height 195cm to become famous. Moreover, he keeps a goatee. Many were surprised that even his car is as neat as him – how can he be having so many fans?

The two kept in contact through blackberry. It was challenging for them to act as childhood friends. It was Ting Ni's first time to reveal her feelings to a guy. She did not need to act – she was really tense. It was a nice feeling and many joked that she needed not rehearse again in future.

Acting gave the chance to think over and the other party would not reject but in real life, there was no script. Thus, she really admired those who made brave love declarations. Yi Xiang felt that little gifts personally made by gals moved him. There was one fan who handmade him into chocolate. Ting Ni thought this was risky as 80% of men did not like scarves. So it was best to find out what the guys like before making gifts.

What did she like to get as presents? She liked observant guys. She was contented if he knew her likes and remembered her birthday. This would be happier than getting a branded bag. She is tomboyish but she is still a woman. Hai Jing is like her – strong to strangers but tolerant towards her family and lover.
Yi Xiang's role was close to what others imagine. 排隊情人」is not only「排球隊裡的情人」- volleyball lover but also women queuing up to meet him as he is a prince. Yi Xiang also finds Qian Rui indulged in self-love. He often rose his eyebrows, touched his hair to make himself look stupid. He was not used to it but he needed more time to do so than to digest the script.

Ting Ni thought that Yi Xiang did not know that he was already very handsome. Just mentioning this was already attention seeking. The added gestures made him feel uneasy sometimes. He spent lots of time looking through the script. Many were stunned that he overcame his shy personality as he wanted to excel. He wished to be in an action drama as he liked Li Lian Jie and Li Xiao Long.

The reporters were disappointed after observing them the whole night to find out that they were not lovers in real lift. Even though they looked like a perfect match, they hoped they would be compatible in the drama, in heights and also chemistry. Ting Ni was thrilled to shoot in Gao Xiong. When they shot on the street, passersby got them drinks and she loved the food.

Ting Ni was disappointed when “新兵日记”stole the limelight from their drama but she confessed that the drama was also nice. It was pointed out that Yi Xiang did not come from a rich family. Ting Ni had a fright and supported him to say that the upbringing was more important than the family background. The other generation could not assist him in his career so he worked hard.

The tedious part was learning volleyball as both did not know how to play the game. They had to learn for 3 months so Ting Ni suffered many bruises. This story was on student love and she tried to be as innocent as possible. When asked who was the actor who gave him the most feel so far besides Guo Pin Chao and Ming Dao, she replied it was Yi Xiang as a model but they lacked the special feel in reality to be lovers.

Yi Xiang had acted in many idol dramas but this was his first lead role. It was tough to play volleyball as he was more used to play basketball. Unlike Ting Ni, he only took two weeks to learn the sport. Some praised him for looking like a real expert. Shooting was in a rush and the weather was hot. It was hard for them to shoot the practice sessions under the sun.

This was the second time Yi Xiang worked with Jun Tian after ‘Momo Love'. Both did not act as brothers but as love rivals this time. There was a bed scene where he was only in his briefs while she bared her back. However, both were models and this happened backstage so they were not embarrassed.

When asked if he would develop feelings for her, he replied that she was cute like a child and it was nice pairing her height. Jun Tian and Ting Ni were also models so they had lots of common issues to chat. From a rookie to a leading role, he took 4 years to accomplish since his return to Taiwan from Canada.

His main obstacle was Mandarin and he took pains to master to language to learn while shooting a drama.
Now, he gets used to it and he only needs to know the meaning of idioms. He needs his manager to explain to him so that he can concentrate on acting. He did not want to be a ‘vase' – he wished to get recognition in acting.

Most favourite character
Qian Rui, he is cute and seems irresponsible but later he changes for the better. The only stupid thing he has done is to wait for the flower he grows to bloom to tell himself that he loves Ah Hai.

Most hated character
Jia Tian Hao, he is a very mean man and it puzzles me why Ji lets him off so many times. Lacking of evidence is just an excuse. He must be too terrifying.

Songs
The Opening theme song: My Flower by Li De Qi.
The Ending theme song: I Promise You is by You Xuan.
Both songs are acceptable but too sweet to my liking.

Conclusion
I did not even know that this drama exists till I watch it over a sports channel. I can understand why it is not as popular as MVP Lover. It is either that Taiwanese like basketball better or they find the volleyball matches scenes lacking. The last episode does not even show a match – only a photo of the team's win –how can this be enough? The part on deceiving Tian Hao of Qian Rui's death by painting Qing Han's car red is nonsensical. How can he not see through their little scheme?

It dwells too much on the love rectangle. Like what Kai Lin says in the drama, they waste too much time. I will like it better if they focus more on the sport.

Sukting's ratings :
On acting : *** (Scale of 5)
On story : *** (Scale of 5)
On song : **1/2 (Scale of 5)


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