Rolling Love


Reviewed by: sukting

February 27, 2009

Rating: two-point-five

Foreword
How does egg omelette rice link the three people together in a love triangle? This drama is able to provide you some answers.

Story/ Introduction on characters

1. Mi Qi Lin – Wang Dong Cheng
Qi Lin’s father owns a restaurant – which has egg omelette as the name. He only sells 100 plates of it daily which sell like hot cakes as it tastes delicious. He has been a gangster all along but changes his way before his ailing father’s death. His father only teaches him this skill so his other dishes taste terrible. When Xiao Shu brings Lie to his restaurant, Qi Lin also treats Lie as his contender.

After tasting the rainbow dessert, Qi Lin starts to taste different kinds of food in order to improve his culinary skills. When knowing about the culinary bento contest, Qi Lin decides to participate in order to pay off Shan Cheng’s debts. His skills improve with Xiao Shu’s help. He uses his omelette dish to participate – he gets into the quarter finals. The theme is ‘blissful’ but he comes up with ‘smelly beancurd’ as the dish. He loses this round and asks Xiao Shu for pointers. Both discover that they like each other.

Although Qi Lin does well in the final round and Lie admires him, the other older chefs oppose to him and Qi Lin loses. He discloses the reason of him entering the contest and Xiao Shu decides to help him through holding a charity concert. Qi Lin brings her out to the cinema and other places so both become closer now.

The two meet Tilly and Lie at a restaurant. The four feel awkward and Xiao Shu suddenly goes missing the next day. It is discovered that she is kidnapped by a crazy fan. Qi Li ngets worked up but Lie wants him to stay calm. Qi Lin questions if Lie is really concerned over her. Qi Olin gets drunk upon knowing that Xiao Shu decides to be with an injured Lie.

Wasabi knocks sense into him and he picks himself up. Although he treats Lie as his friend, he will not give Xiao Shu up. The two start to pit their culinary skills against each other again. Xiao Shu is concerned and Qi Lin knows how he feels as he has lost his father too. He gets Xiao Shu to console Lie but nearly loses her over this. Lie is afraid of losing her after losing Zhong Tian. He kisses her and Qi Lin witnesses this. He decides to leave when she is having the operation. Qi Lin trains San Cheng how to fry the egg omelette rice and leaves during the farewell party.

I still find Dong Cheng childish at times. Maybe the role is too tailored for him so I hardly feel any change. The only difference is he has stopped playing side fiddles this time.

2. Leng Lie – Tang Yu Zhe
Lie comes from a rich family. He is gifted to graduate from French Carrefour Institute of cockery at the age of 14. He wins many international competitions. He owns a famous restaurant in France. But In order to inherit his father’s Empire Hotel and also to take care of Xiao Shu, he returns to Taiwan to be the chief chef. Many older chefs are unhappy with this.

Lie is about to invite Xiao Shu to a lavish French restaurant when she gets him to patronize Qi Lin’s restaurant. He sees how blissful Xiao Shu looks after tasting the dish. He doesn’t understand himself but he starts to feel jealous of Qi Lin. He is determined to help Xioa Shu to restore her eyesight but the verdict given by the doctor is she might remain blind forever. He decides to propose to her to take care of her but she rejects him to run away from him.

Lie doesn’t get Zhong Tian’s support in the marriage plan too. He gets frantic when she leaves. When knowing that she doesn’t want to see him, he concentrates on his work. But he misses her badly at night. Upon knowing that she wants to be independent, he is very upset but makes her favourite ‘rainbow’ dessert before leaving. He doesn’t wish to give her up.

Lie comes up with NT$100,000 prize for those who are able to come up with good bento dishes to work for Empire Hotel. Although many laugh off Qi Lin’s rice dish, Lie goes through all odds to support him. Lie’s moods sink rock bottom upon seeing Qi Lin sending Xiao Shu home. He has been trained by Zhong Tian to be an emotionless chef but this is the first time he doesn’t know how to face himself.

Qi Lin loses the contest and sees a upset Lie who is unable to celebrate Xiao Shu’s birthday. He is grateful to Lie for helping him so he arranges a party for her. Lie comes up with special dishes but this doesn’t change their cold relationship. A drunk Lie fights with Qi Lin over her. This reveals their friendly-hate mixed feelings for her.

Lie is worried over Xiao Shu’s kidnap. He comes to Xiao Shu’s home to see the kidnapper coming for Xiao Shu’s belongings. He tails him and gets seriously injured. He doesn’t wish her to worry and keeps it from her. He faints due to huge loss of blood and Xiao Shu turns hysterical. She hugs him close to her tightly and Qi Lin arrives to rescue them.

Lie’s life is in danger and Xiao Shu guards him fiercely. Even though Zhong Tian wants her to leave Lie, she doesn’t give in. The media also focus on the story how Lie suffers from stabs to protect his beloved. The doctor wants all to be mentally prepared that they might lose Lie. Xiao Shu begs Zhong Tian to lalow her to take care of him while Qi Lin also prays to the rainbow to help him to get well.

Lie wakes up and is nursed back to health. Xiao Shu’s declaration to be with Lie makes Qi Lin detect that he will lose her. Lie’s hand is injured in the attack and doesn’t get well completely. Lie is badly affected and Xiao Shu blames herself. Their situation takes a turn when she feels indebted to him. He also doesn’t want her to take care of him. He points out to Xiao Shu that he knows that she loves Qi Lin.

Lie’s pretty junior. Chou Lin returns to Taiwan and tells the media that the ghost noodles that Lie makes is copied from her home recipe. She stays into Empire Hotel and wants to challenge him. Zhong Tian worries that this will damage Lie’s reputation but Lie avoids Lin. He believes that time will tell the truth. Lin makes life tough for him so he has to stand out.

Lin has thought that he avoids her because of Xiao Shu. Since he can’t be with Xiao Shu, why can’t he return to her? He tells her that things are impossible between them. The revengeful Lin intends to seek revenge on him – which later causes his father’s death.

San Cheng doesn’t know how to manage the restaurant and begs Lie to buy it. Lie only learns about Qi Lin’s departure to inform Xiao Shu about it. It is too late when they reach the harbour. Xiao Shu is upset and Wasabi is angry with her for making the guys waver over her. Lie decides to bring Qi Lin back.

Yu Zhe has proved his worth. Although he resembles Wu Chun at certain angles, I notice that he acts better than him. His professional look is stunning and he looks every inch a refined rich man. He has displayed his charm well – to show how and why he attracts 3 women.

3. Guan Xiao Shu –Zhuo Wen Xuan
Xiao Shu and Lie grow up together as her aunt is Leng’s family housekeeper. Xiao Shu is a famous singer. They have a chance to become lovers but she becomes blind after a car accident. Feeling guilty as he is the driver, Lie tries to get doctors from Taiwan and overseas without success in curing her. Xiao Shu doesn’t want to be a burden to him so she deliberately gets distant from him.

Xiao Shu tries hard to adapt to the new life but his guilt increases. She rejects his offer to get her a new doctor and both have a heated argument. Although they make up later, the patch is there. Nan Shi brings her out and her car knocks into another. Qi Lin settles for them and both leave a deep impression of each other. Xiao Shu starts to like the peaceful pace in his small town. After tasting his rice, she decides to stay to lead an independent life – away from others.

She is still cheerful to help the orphanages to raise funds. This results in her kidnap and Lie’s hand is hurt when protecting her. She faints suddenly and realizes that she can see now. Although the doctor needs a closer check, she is happy for now. She wants to know how Qi Lin looks like. She keeps it from the rest to return home. Nan Shi also tells Lie the good news, who rushes to the restaurant to see her.

The result shows that Xiao Shu’s life is in danger. She delays her time for admission to be with the two men. They bring her along to disperse her fear. Lie is unwilling to give up hope and loses his temper upon knowing that Qi Lin brings her out. He quarrels with Qi Lin. Xiao Shu knows that Lie is anxious over her and tells him that she is unwilling to return to the dark again.

Lie has to reveal her illness to Qi Lin. The clearer she sees, the closer she is to death. Xiao Shu pretends not to know it although she overhears them. Both guys take turns to take care of her till she can hardly breathe. She cries and hugs Qi Lin. She finally decides to go for the operation. She rejects his wedding proposal and intends to donate all her money to the blind and orphanages.

She wants all to keep from Qi Lin that she loves him if her operation fails or he will never get married. Lie holds her hand and assures her that Qi Lin will be the first person she sees. The verdict is unknown when Qi Lin rushes back. But a love story has started with the help of the egg omelette rice and a rainbow.

She has improved slightly from ‘Romantic Princess’ and does fairly well as a blind person but I feel that she needs to work extra harder at crying scenes.

4. Wasabi – Xiao Xun
She looks demure but she can be rebellious and hot in her dressing. She studies hairdressing but comes to help in the restaurant without drawing a salary. Why? She wants to get close to Qi Lin – her senior in high school as she likes him. She is very self-centred and is determined to get what she wants. Although she is a singer, I must say that she has the potential to become an actress.

5. Cai San Cheng – Huang Wan Bo
He grows up in an orphanage and looks fierce. But he is actually kind at heart and admires qi Lin’s fighting skills. Upon knowing that Qi Lin has given up his old ways, he stays at the restuarnt and refuses to leave, wanting him to go into the underworld with him again. He loves Wasabi and woos her without success but he doesn’t give up. He helps to renovate the orphanage but owes a lot of money. He hopes that Qi Lin will win the culinary contest by pulling strings with Xiao Shu but he refuses. Needless to say, he commands the most attention on screen as he is the producer of this drama!

6. Guan Nan Shi – Huang Jia Qian
She is Xiao Shu’s aunt who is Lie’s family housekeeper. She has hoped that Lie will marry Xiao Shu and tries to find ways to bring them together. Seeing that Lie is losing to Qi Lin, she urges Lie to try harder. But she can be overdoing it to cause them to break up instead. I have hardly enjoyed her acting so far – too fake to my liking.

7. Leng Zhong Tian – Yun Zhong Yue
He considers Lie as his successor but he is against having the contest theme. When he sees Qi Lin’s name among the contestants, he finds it familiar. Xiao Shu approaches Lie to organize a charity food concert. Lie accedes to her request and wants Qi Lin to partner him in cooking. All do not look at this positively but Qi Lin is grateful to him. He comes up with noodles and gets the highest bid to sell away – just as Lie’s noodles. The buyer is Zhong Tian. When watching Xiao Shu perform, both guys vow to protect her forever.

Seeing that Lie is over anxious to get well soon, Zhong Tian cooks his signature dish – meat minced noodles for him. Lie’s ex, Lin approaches Zhong Tian with the recipe he wants – Sheng Tan. She also holds Zhong Tian’s secret. Zhong Tian has killed his junior over it but Lin gets to know it. Lin lashes out at Lie to the media so Lie has to appear but he loses to her as she has mastered the Sheng Tian techniques.

This seriously affects the family business and Lie feels apologetic. Zhong Tian doesn’t blame him and both of them get along better. But this is short lived and tragedy strikes later. Zhong Tian wants to prove Lie’s innocence so he kills himself. Lie is in despair over it and blames himself. No one can get close to him.

Those who have watched Qiong Yao movies in the 70s will be aware of his identity. He was a heartthrob then although he already had the beard. Even though he grows older now, his presence can’t be ignored as the authoritative but concerned father.

8. Tilly – Liu Jie Ying
She is Lie’s personal assistant who has been carrying a torch for him for a long time. She is capable in his work but he doesn’t reciprocate her feelings. Xiao Shu leaves Lie and Lie gets down to become drunk. Although Tilly reveals that she loves him, he still prefers Xiao Shu. She projects a professional well.

Favourite character
Lie – seeing how much anguish he goes through after Xiao Shu’s accident make all feel sorry for him. He later does so much for her in order to make both of them feel better. Despite their difference in family status, he truly loves her to go against his father. Although he knows that giving Xiao Shu up to Qi Lin will hurt himself, he is willing to make the sacrifice.

Most hated character
Nan Shi – she is too irritating. She knows that her young master, Lie is tormented but does she know that her poor niece, Xiao Shu is suffering too?

Song
The theme song is by Zhuo Wen Xuan. Only passable. Sometimes, I think that recent young artistes can’t act or sing well.

Interesting facts

Dong Cheng only helps his mother to go marketing or cutting of vegetables. He seldom gets the chance to cook. But ever since he worked in ‘Steal with a kiss’, he had received professional training and he was convincing on the job. But turning the wok proved to be tough for him and his arms were sore when he reached home. He loved cooking and had steamed chicken for his friends before they were enlisted into the army. He joked that there was no problem for him to appear on entertainment programmes.

The summer scenes were actually shot in winter but he braved through the cold with thin clothing. Although Wen Xuan joined the entertainment circle earlier than him, she is 4 years younger. Thus he treated her like his younger sister. He felt that Wan Bo had a hard time as he needed to look into many other matters besides acting. He also praised Xiao Xun for working hard. He had worked with Yu Zhe for several times so they were close friends. He would back out from the love triangle in the past but now he would not let go of any chance.

Yu Zhe loves cooking but he still prepared well for the role to go through chef courses. He also practiced swerving the wok and often got scalded by the wok during filming. Thus many praised him for finishing many cooking scenes without n.g.s. Lie is a character who keeps to himself. Thus Yu Zhe was nervous for a few nights on the scene he lost his father.

It was hardly romantic when mucus was over his face and he cried too hard. He and Wen Xuan loved playing computer games. She loved those violent games – which was so different from her outlook. Yu Zhe felt that Zhong Tian’s love for his son was another way. His own father passed away when he was in secondary school so he missed him very much.

When he was acting with Yun Zhong Yue, both had nothing in common initially. But later, they could play flying daggers in the kitchen. Yu Zhe had never expected the gentleman Zhong Yue to be so childish. It must be fun to have such a father in real life. Jia Qian is also another computer game fanatic so both got along well too. The highest diffucilty he braved was to drive in the cold weather in the sports car.

This is the first time Wen Xuan acted as a blind person. She was afraid that she could not do well and resisted initially. After going to the blind school, she figured out how the blind felt and took up the challenge. She also learned how to drive, play the piano and skate. She loved to cook in real life but her mother was in charge of the kitchen. She was happy to be with the actors as they were caring towards her.

She had thought of Dong Cheng to be an introvert but he turned out to be funny. As for Yu Zhe, she just knew him but it seemed that they have known each other for a long time. The kidnap scene nearly scared her as the place was very dark and she really thought that she was kidnapped. The biggest challenge was playing the piano and she only took a crash course. The director saw her crying and had to approve her playing without recording the sound.

It wasn’t tough for Xiao Xun to act as a waitress as her mother owns a restaurant. She also knew how to cook well. If she is Wasabi, she will not give up too. She would choose to wait but will wait for the guy to break off with his girlfriend before approaching him.

Huang Wan Bo is the producer of many dramas and he took up this role. He was from Korea He was often capable to make others happy. But many did not know when he was acting and when he was delivering instructions as he acted too well. He found acting as a comedian tough. The restaurant setting was similar to his home restaurant setting. Thus acting as a waiter was also an easy job to him. Xiao Xun and he argued on and off screen. He kept commenting that she could do better. If not, he would be adding bed scenes.

Jia Qian was eager to introduce a girlfriend to Yu Zhe after this drama. She often acted as mothers in other dramas and jumped at the chance to act as a Grace Kelly look-alike aunt. Although it wasn’t said of Nan Shi’s status, she assumed her to be a widow. She had a happy marriage in real life so she did not wish to remove her wedding ring. Thus it was seen in the drama but the diamond was hidden below.

She also got along well with Wen Xuan. Although Nan Shi is happy go lucky, she also worries for Xiao Shu. Thus there were also crying scenes. But a funny expression by Yu Zhe caused her to laugh instead of crying at the hospital. Thus she could only ask Wen Xuan to stand near her and imagine how life would be without her around to complete the take.

Jia Qian hardly had the chance to cook as her husband could do the job. Her skilful dish is vegetable dumpling. When talking about the bento contest in the drama, all joked that her husband’s love breakfast must be the best dish to her.

Jie Ying finds that she isn’t as outstanding as Tilly. But she had to talk fast and accurate as Tilly although she speaks slowly in real life. She often forgot her lines and the director often teased her. She had the most scenes with Yu Zhe and was often made fun by him. Yu Zhe lied to her that he grew up in Hong Kong and she believed upon listening to his fake Cantonese accent.

She looks tall but she is still a child at heart to like feminine objects – dolls and keychains. What she owned were mostly pink in colour. If she is Tilly, she will not reveal her feelings to Lie as this will be too shameful to handle his rejection. She loved the different kinds of food – especially Korean food. What is the blissful bento to her? It will be her future boyfriend cooking her favourite dish.

Zhong Yue works with Yu Zhe for the first time. Yu Zhe looks mature but he is very cheeky. As age catches up with him, he enjoys working with the young to feel their vigour. He feels that Zhong Tian’s fate is a reincarnation cycle. This also alerts the others from making dreadful mistakes. He feels that Zhong Tian really cares for Lie. But his ways are unacceptable so Lie is always against him. So Zhong Yue decides that the young have their own thought so they should not force them against their will.

Although it wasn’t as tough as him acting in wuxia movies in the past, the part of jumping off a building still needed an extra protection for him as his kneecap received two operations. The other shoot near the cliff was extremely cold but an extra took over from him in the climbing as he could not climb the cliff.

Wen Xuan was undeterred when the drama’s ratings were not as well as expected. She considered it as her breakthrough as she had tried a different role.

Conclusion

This drama doesn’t change my impression of most idol dramas – repetitive(the part when they wait for Xiao Shi to be pushed out reminds me of ‘Keyman’) , overusing of tragedies (similar to ‘The breaking point’) and also predictable love relationships. I hardly feel chemistry among the cast as most are still inexperienced. But credits must still be given to the actors. They spice up the love war and the food war. It is indeed an enjoyment to see how they compete against each other through the contests. I often feel hungry when watching and have to help myself to food non-stop!

Sukting’s ratings :

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

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

Overall : **1/2 (Scale of 5)



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