Spring Love

Reviewed by: sukting

May 12, 2013

Rating: two

This is a story of twin brothers who are separated at birth. What is their fate when they grow up?

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Long Tian He – He Jun Xiang He is the 26 year old older twin who stays with Shou Cheng. Born with a heart defect, he only suffers from heart attack although he helps out in Long hot spring business and is intelligent in studies. He has a poison tongue and often humiliates Da Hu. He is cold to everyone as he mistakens that his mother dumps him to go overseas.

He seeks treatment overseas and is back to find that whatever belongs to him is seized by Tian Hao. The servants also compare him with Tian Hao. Filled with jealousy, he starts to seek revenge and even tricks Ren Mei to be Tian Hao to gain her love. He also jumps into the sea, protesting against this.

Tian Hao gets into a coma after rescuing him. Upon knowing the truth, he picks himself up again and helps to get their hot spring business back. The two brothers are close after the ordeal. Jun Xiang acts better as the elder twin with a dark side.

2. Long Tian Hao/ Long Tai – He Jun Xiang Unlike Tian He, he is athletic and is helpful to others. He helps his mother in the Japan fish market but she still dies due to overwork. He returns to Taiwan to acknowledge his father. By chance, he helps out in the celebration lion dance event to beat Beauty hot spring. He stays to pretend to be Tian He to manage the business. During this time, he establishes a close relationship with all. Tian Hao chooses to stay in Japan so that he can taste different kinds of food and Ren Mei flies over to meet him after her graduation from a dancing course.

3. Zhao Ren Mei – Da Yuan She is Ren Hu’s 24 year old younger sister. She is honest and kind. However, her name doesn’t suit her and she is plump. She is often belittled by her grandmother and is forbidden to learn ballet. As her family loses the lion dance competition, she is sent to Long hot spring become a servant for a year. She has secretly adored Tian He for years and discovers him to be different.

Ren Mei takes pains to lose weight to become a beauty. From a person who often gets bullied, she becomes a person who often gets protected by Tian Hao. When Long hot spring is forced to be taken over by Ren Hu, she helps them secretly to pass them food and is overjoyed that Tian Hao’s efforts are being recognized. Her acting is quite raw and it can be painful to watch her in crying scenes.

4. Bei Ye Wen Zi - Zuo Teng Ma Yi She is 24 years old and is the only daughter of Japan fish market association chairman. She is pretty, smart and direct. She has liked Tian Hao all along and flies to Taiwan to see him. When she learns that Tian Hao has liked Ren Mei, she attempts to get him back but falls for Ren Hu instead. Her acting is acceptable as a newcomer.

5. Zhao Ren Hu – Chen Nai Rong Ren Hu is 26 years old and is pampered by his grandmother. He is Tian He’s classmate and compete frequently with one another. He is puzzled on why Tian He wins the contest and hopes that Ren Mei can be his spy. He is mad when Wen Zi doesn’t love him but he doesn’t want to lose out to Tian He again.

So he frames Long hot spring to make them homeless, thinking that they occupy their family land. When Mei Nu exclaims that she only mentions it as a fit of plaque, he realizes his mistake. Luckily, Tian He also alerts Mei Nu to freeze Ren Hu’s investment account on time upon knowing that he dabs in shares again. Ren Hu overcomes his guilt to apologise to Ren Mei about framing her on their parents’ car explosion deaths.

Both have gone to look for him but to meet with the mishap. He can’t face this mistake and is silent when Mei Nu takes it out on Ren Mei. He is glad to reconcile with Ren Mei and also learn that Wen Zi is in love with him now. Ren Hu changes into a better person. It is said that he is as handsome as Pan An but I doubt so. Nai Rong’s anger scenes can be better.

6. Long Shou Cheng – Lei Hong He is 56 years old and is the twins’ father. He is a person who is persistent in his dreams and doesn’t give up easily. His only regret is not being able to protect Mei Zhi Zi and is troubled on how to get along with his sons. Although this is his rare appearance in idol dramas as he often acts in Hokkien dramas, he did not let us down with his sincere and stable acting from the beginning to the end.

7. Mei Zhi Zi - Fang Wen Lin She is the twins’ mother. She comes to Taiwan to work and gets to know Shou Cheng. As Long hot spring is a big, traditional family, their marriage isn’t blessed as she has the twins out of wedlock. Her mother-in-law hates her so much that she even gets a car to try to knock her down when she is pregnant.

She begs her mother-in-law to let her off but she makes her vow that she will not step into the home when the twins are born. She has to leave Tian He with Shou Cheng secretly while she takes Tian Hao away as he is weaker. Although she misses Tian He, she can only keep it a secret. She plants a cherry tree in Long family compound, hoping that it will guard him when it grows up.

8. Zeng Mei Nu - Li Xuan She is glamourous and determined. She takes over Beauty hot spring to modernize it so it becomes a strong competitor against Long hot spring. She has high hopes on her grandchildren so she is strict with them. More so on Ren Mei as she wants her to be perfect. She reflects her mistakes and lets them choose their own path. She is really a powerhouse! Without her around, everything seems to be uninteresting.

9. Lao Tu - Wang Zhong Ping He is 40 years old and works in Long hot spring since 16 years old. He is in charge of cleaning the rooms and fetching guests to and fro. He is wary of everyone and pampers Tian He like a son. He seems to be hard to get along but he is actually kind. He likes Xiao Xiang and often frequents her black sauce stall.

10. A Pan – Yan Yi Wen
She is 38 years olf and is Long hot spring chef. She doesn’t know how to make her own decisions and is often careless. She will cry when there are problems. She has a son to get married at 18 years old and has a divorce when her ex-husband cheats on her. She brings up her son singlehandedly and pampers him rotten to make him

11. Bei Ye Jian Er – Luo Bei An He is Wen Zi’s father who is strict and powerful but becomes a gentle man in front of Mei Zhi Zi. He knows how much she misses Shou Cheng but doesn’t mind standing beside her to protect her openly.

12. Xiao Xiang – Song Xin Ni She often builds castles in the air and often dreams of a rich man marrying her. Yet, no one is interested in her till her stall folds up. Her stall has the motherly love that Ren Mei likes. Although she nearly causes Long hot spring to switch hands, all forgive her for her mistake.

13. Ah Lun – Ah Ben He is A Pan’s son who is so spoilt that he even hits his mother when she refuses to give him money. Tian Hao can’t endure this and teaches him a lesson to guide him on the correct path.

14. A Xiang – Zhang Hao Ming He is Ah Lun’s pal who is also a hooligan. He often cheats money from others. However, he is no match for Tian Hao and obeys him after knowing him.

15. Dr Jin – Jin Shi Jie He is Shou Cheng’s friend who keeps the secret of Mei Zhi Zi’s disappearance. He learns of Shou Cheng’s mother’s evil plan when he comes to treat her fever. Thus, he helps Mei Zhi Zi to go to Japan after the twins are born. The old woman wants to go to Japan to get Tian Hao back but Dr Jin begs her not to. In return, he has to keep this a secret.

He is the doctor to bring Tian He overseas for treatment too. To coax him to go for an operation, he challenges him to take poison in a packet. Tian He keeps it and accidentally drops it. Thinking that it is flu medicine, Tian Hao eats it and has a car accident. Luckily, he is fine but Shou Cheng reprimands him for harming Tian Hao. Seeing that Tian Hao has so much hatred, Dr Jin has no choice but to spill the beans.

Interesting facts
Even though Jun Xiang had a lot of experience in acting, he also exclaimed that he had a lot of stress taking this up. He did not know how others manage shooting twin roles. To him, it was like acting the same scene thrice. He had to make sure that the viewers could tell the difference. Another challenge was to say Japanese lines. He showed this in front of reporters and all were impressed with how he did his homework with a Japanese teacher.
All asked him how he felt having to show off his figure in hot spring scenes, he was not worried at all as he kept a strict diet. He only ate meat at night. But he was disappointed that he had none in the end. Normally he would not go to hot springs but to use the massage bathtub at home to release stress.

Many were actually amused by the jumping into the sea scene. All joked that Jun Xiang looked like Super Mary and was not graceful enough. But they knew that he had done his best. Ma Yi and Da Yuan were as close as sisters.

He had thought of it to be low but it had a gap in height. He had to learn snorkeling before this. To him, he was not fluent in Japanese. There were many lines and he could only memorize those which he could not understand. He was nervous to act with Hong. He joked Hong’s figure could challenge young actors with his strong built.

Ma Yi was promoting more in Japan than Taiwan to host in Japan. She was very different from her role and tried her best. Wen Lin also had to learn many Japanese lines from the same teacher. Her daughters listened to many Japanese songs and watched many cartoons. So they helped to alter her mistakes. Ma Yi assured them not to worry as she would teach them too.

Da Yuan took almost 6 moths to shoot this drama. She said that she already had low self-esteem and even more to act with her seniors. When she knew that it was over, she was relieved and revealed that she gained 5 kgs. Jun Xiang even said that she was heavier than other actresses and requested her to lose more weight.

Unlike other actresses, she looked forward to see how she looked plump. There were scenes where Jun Xiang had to carry her and he joked that he was going to call the ambulance. She had thought that she needed to gain weight for the role but upon knowing that she had to lose weight in the end, it was a torture for her to see all eating around her.
She also loved to drink water at night and all had to remind her to prevent her face from looking puffy. She found that Ren Mei was quite similar to her in real life. She was reluctant but had to cut 15cm of her long hair for the role. The cast was overjoyed to be back at the shooting venues for promotion as they missed the food. All soaked their feet into the water while watching the debut episode together. They promised to do this again together in future.

20 fans even turned up in bikinis to cheer for the actors but the shy Jun Xiang did not dare to look at them. In return, they took photos with the fans with gratitude, knowing that they were married and did not mind this to expose their figures. It was Nai Rong’s first time to act as a villain. All were won over as he was the exact opposite in real life. There was lots of discussion on how evil he was till they wanted to punch him. Many also talked about his curly hair in the drama and joked that he looked like 「花輪」in the Japanese manga「櫻桃小丸子」 but he didn’t mind it.

The last scene was to get drenched in the rain where Da Yuan had to shield Jun Xiang with the umbrella. Jun Xiang was amused – he had to jump into the sea in Ken Ding on the first day and still had to make himself wet on the last day. He could only console himself that the ratings would turn out well since both scenes were related to water as a Chinese belief.

Most favourite character Tian Hao, he takes a lot of pains to adjust to the new life. He also tries to be a good brother to Tian He.

Most hated character Ren Hu, poor Ren Mei has to take the rap for him for so many years.

This drama has nothing much to show. The rivalry between the brothers is not as intense as the rival between Tian Hao and Ren Hu. I am quite disappointed with the cast and acting. Their biggest mistake is to get people with little or nil acting experience to be the leads. Thus, the veterans end up outshining all the rest. Da Yuan and Jun Xiang do not look like a couple to me. It does not help even though some scenes were shot in Japan. Does that imply that idol dramas are coming to an end soon?

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

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