The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog

Reviewed by: irrationally adept

June 06, 2008

Rating: four-point-five

Matthew Ming Dao-Shan Junhao/ Dang Ou
Joe Chen Qian En- Ye Tianyu
Sam Wang Shaowei- Xu Ziqian
Xiao Qiao- Fan Yunxi

The crew didn't mean to produce this show as a big production. The main purpose is to give 183 club (mainly Mingdao and Shaowei) more media coverage. It turned out that this show was so popular with the audience that it broke the rating for "Meteor Rain" and created a new rating of 8-something. Anyway, I think this show caught the audience's attention because it is light-hearted, funny and the actors have a solid performance, which really amazes me. I never liked Taiwanese dramas, even "Meteor Rain", because it has a reputation for being so draggy. But surprisingly, I found myself falling in love with this show. Okay, spoilers ahead.

Basically, Shan Junhao is the general manager and heir to Senwell, one of the best chain-hotels in Asia. He has a girlfriend, Fan Yunxi, who is adopted by Junhao's parents since young so that she is trained to be his wife one day. Junhao is an arrogant, cold yet calm and clever guy. Shaowei is Junhao's childhood friend and has always liked Yunxi. His father was actually one of the shareholders in Senwell together with Zhang Minghan(Gino) but his father died in an explosion and his mother became a vegetable. Moreover, his parent's shares have been transferred to the Shan family before he died. Out of their "goodwill", the Shan family paid for his education and treat him like one of theirs. Ye Tian Yu is a optimistic, greedy but kind-hearted girl who lives in Guan Mei Village. Her dream is to marry a rich man so that everybody in the family can live a better life. She laid her eyes on Ziqian when he helped to pay for her taxi fare. As Guan Mei Hotel's owner, Tang Shunming, is unable to pay off his debts, Guan Mei Village will belong to Junhao in future and he plans to close it and develop it.

At this point, Tianyu and Junhao met when Junhao came to Guanmei for a short stay. They had a few misunderstanding here and there; hence they had bad impressions of each other. Later, Junhao proposed to Yunxi and they arranged to get married. However, he had an accident on the day of marriage. Tianyu was actually the one who knocked him down and caused him to lose his memory so she took care of him and named him Dang Ou. Nobody knows whether Shan Junhao is alive or dead. The whole family kept looking for him; his father had a stroke and went into a coma. Yunxi was depressed and she blamed Ziqian for letting his friend go. (His friend was the one who knocked Shan Junhao down first; he was still alright at that point of time. It was Tianyu who really caused him to lose his memory). Before Junhao's father died, he accidentally revealed his dark secret to Gino. The explosion involving Ziqian's parents was actually planned by him but he didn't mean for this to happen. Gino decides to make good use of this information to gain his position in Senwell.

Yunxi has decided to accept Junhao's death and she seeks solace in Ziqian. On the other hand, Dang Ou developed feelings for Tianyu and being a clever and resourceful guy helped Guan Mei Village to escape the crisis of being chased out of their land. However, at this point of time, Ziqian realised the Dang Ou they kept referring to is Junhao. Furious, he shouted at Tianyu for being a cheat. Tianyu was really sad because at that time, Tianyu and Dang Ou are together already. Later, Yunxi saw Dang Ou with Tian Yu and she scolded Ziqian for hiding from her. They went to GuanMei and Yunxi tried to help Dang Ou remember her but he treated her coldly and told her not to disturb them. Broken-hearted, she slapped Tianyu and demanded Jun Hao to be returned to her. Tianyu had a memorable day with Dang Ou and returned him to her in the evening but they had an accident.

After the accident, Junhao remembered everything except the time in GuanMei and Tianyu. Tianyu went to look for him after the accident but he snubbed her and chased her away with money. Ziqian comforted her and realised she is not as bad as he thinks. Later, they spend a night together (they just slept on the bed; they didn't do anything other than sleeping). The next morning, Junhao came to close down the village. He felt a surge of jealously seeing the two of them together. Later, ZiQian helped her to rebuild GuanMei Hotel after Junhao changed his mind of closing the village. Although there were crises and difficulties here and there, Junhao allowed GuanMei hotel to function and place Tang Shun Ming in charge. Ziqian sees Tianyu as a talent for hotel management and recommends her to work at Senwell. Yunxi was obviously pissed as she sensed that Junhao's attention has been diverted to Tianyu.

She made Tianyu start from the bottom; a cleaner and punishes her to stay back to clear the mess whenever she did something wrong. However, once, Tianyu helped save Senwell from gaining a bad reputation and Junhao was thankful towards her. This made Yunxi more pissed. They had more arguments. On the other hand, Ziqian and Tianyu sort of developed something for each other and they got together. However, on the day of Junhao's mother's birthday, Tianyu was sent to his house to be a maid. At the dinner, another misunderstanding occurred and Ziqian and Tianyu left halfway. Later, Yunxi and Junhao had another argument and Junhao realises that he has fallen in love with Tianyu. Hence, he wanted to get back with Tianyu but Tianyu refused because she didn't want to hurt Yunxi and Ziqian.

Tianyu quit the next day but another accident happened. To save Yunxi from a falling toolbox, she pushed Yunxi away and Yunxi fell through the glass panel. She left a scar at her neck. When she woke up, she was very depressed and begged Junhao to marry her. Junhao's mother made the decision for him. On the eve of their marriage, Junhao found the ring that brought them together in the first place. He went to look for her but they missed each other. Later that night, Ziqian's mother died and it turns out that she was agitated as she was reminded of the explosion by Zhang Minghan. Ziqian was very upset and cried the whole night. The next morning, he knew from Zhang Minghan the dark secret. He set off to the wedding venue and Tianyu followed after him. Later, he confronted Junhao's mother but Tianyu arrived and persuaded him to not seek revenge. But when Junhao was in danger, Tianyu saved him. Ziqian knew where her heart lies and left. After witnessing this, Yunxi cried and left. Later, Yunxi thought it through. She signed the divorce form and wishes Junhao and Tianyu all the best. On the other hand, Tianyu went to look for Ziqian. Ziqian was very cold to Tianyu and told her she has made her choice already. Later, Junhao came to look for Tianyu and they got together.

However, the next morning, Yunxi left and Ziqian decides to take back everything they have. Junhao didn't want to blow up the matter and gave up everything he has to Ziqian. Thus, the Shan family became bankrupt overnight. Tianyu gave him her support and provided accommodation at GuanMei Hotel for him and his mother. Meanwhile, Junhao decides to look for a job and Yunxi. When they finally found Yunxi, she is already a bit mentally unstable. She seems to forget everything about the divorce. Ziqian became bad and cold, he wants to sell Senwell to their rival, Queen Anne Marie Hotel. Zhang Minghan then realises his mistakes. He kneels down to Ziqian and beg not to sell the hotel but Ziqian remains unmoved. Later when Yunxi ran away from home, she saw Ziqian. Ziqian sent her back to Junhao but she doesn't recognise him hence Ziqian decides to take care of Yunxi forever. Ziqian threatens Junhao that he will harm Guan Mei Village if he doesn't leave. He doesn't want Junhao to get happiness since Yunxi cant. On the last night, Tianyu and Junhao had a romantic night. Junhao left with his mother to another place to seek a new life.

Later, Zhang Minghan came to look for him, wanting him to stop Ziqian from selling Senwell. Finally, they managed to stop it again with Tianyu's help. Yunxi remembered everything and she realised that the one who she loves and is always there for her is Ziqian. But the director of Queen Anne Marie Hotel is furious that he is unable to acquire Senwell hence he sent several men to harm Tianyu. Tianyu fell into a coma when she woke up, she lost her memory. Everybody tried to help her recover her memory with Dang Ou/ Junhao. Later, it turns out that she pretended to lose her memory so that Junhao can have a taste of his own medicine. They got married, and Yunxi and Ziqian got together. Happy Ending!

Cast Analysis

Major Cast:
Shan Junhao
The initial Shan Junhao was very detestable. He is cold, unfeeling, thinks he is smart and some big shot. But he is devoted to Yunxi. He wants to marry her. After the accident, he became Dang Ou. Dang Ou is smart and resourceful too but he is warm and he is very helpful. At first he just wants to find out who he is and he will leave but he fell in love with Tianyu. After another accident, he became Shan Junhao again. But this time, he has a mixture of both the initial Junhao and Dang Ou. He pretends to be cold but he is actually very concerned for Tianyu. He treats people with kindness and respect now. He is confused of his feelings toward both Tianyu and Yunxi. He knows that he should and will marry Yunxi but he can't help feeling for Tianyu. Later, he then realises he loves Tianyu. Marrying Yunxi is just his responsibility. Perhaps if he sorted this out earlier, things won't be in a mess. He learned to put his ego down and sacrifice himself to help his loved ones. I think Junhao/Dang ou has a good character development.

Mingdao on Junhao/Dang Ou
An excellent job done by Mingdao, this was the first show I've seen him in and this guy can really act. I think he has a natural born talent. He can portray the cool and cold look, and down and warm look well. These are two distinct characters and they were actually well portrayed by Mingdao. The third one (Junhao and Dang Ou) was actually the hardest to portray because the development must be gradual and he controlled it well. Actually I like the third most. He is high in position, clever, calm yet sweet, and protective towards Tianyu. Dang Ou is cute. He can't do anything much for Tianyu but he gives all his best to help her. I became a Mingdao fan after I watched this show.
Rating - 5/5

Ye Tianyu
At the beginning, she is greedy, irritating and uncultured. Until the end of the show, she still is but she does everything for a reason. She is greedy for a rich husband because she wants the whole family to live comfortably. Although her aim is to marry a rich man, however she fell in love with Dang Ou. She didn't mind that he is poor and cannot provide for her. Although she is irritating at times, I find her quite loveable at times. But I don't like her rushing into another relationship and hurting Ziqian. She and Junhao are too selfish.

Chen Qiaoen on Ye Tianyu
A very good performance by Qiaoen. I started liking her after I watched "MVP Valentine". She had quite little screen time there but she did a good job here. The character development was good. I didn't realise that she can act comedy so well. Her eyes' expression, the way she talks, all so funny. She is not very pretty but she managed to bring out Ye Tianyu's charm. Her crying skills are excellent. She is like a tap, ready to flow anytime. She has good chemistry with Mingdao. They looked cute and sweet together. I became a hardcore Mingen fan after I watched this show. Back to Qiaoen, she is really good here but I don't really like her hairstyle before or after the makeover. By the way, I heard that Qiaoen cannot swim yet she has so many water scenes in this show; she really worked so hard for this show.
Rating - 5/5

Xu Ziqian
He lost his father since young and his mother has been in a coma. He has been living under the Shan family since young. He likes Yunxi since young and is always there for her but Yunxi only has eyes for Junhao. When he first met Ye Tianyu, he though that she is rather interesting, later, he developed feelings for her, although I think their relationship is just out of convenience since the two of them fell out of love. I actually like the later him. He realises that after so many times, he is still alone. He decides to seek revenge and tries to sell Senwell. Luckily, Yunxi “woke” up and persuaded him. At the part at Chairman Yuen (Owner of Queen Anne Marie Hotel)'s Villa I can tell that Ziqian really cares for Junhao. If he didn't push him away, Junhao will get hurt. I do like and pity this character. I think he is justified in seeking revenge. His mother passed away, he realises that Junhao's parents, who always take care of him and treat him like a son, are the one who caused his parents' death. Also, Tianyu left him, Yunxi love Junhao, if I were him, I cannot handle these blows either.

Wang Shaowei on Xu Ziqian
I have seen Shaowei in many shows but all were very minor roles. This show finally gives him some media coverage and breakthrough. After filming this show, he rose to fame and even rose to the rank of leading actor. Actually, he really can act, he just needs a chance. Shaowei was nothing outstanding in the first few episodes. I only started liking him when he stood on Qiaoen's side. He can give people a serious and childish feel. When he is with Qiaoen, he seems more relaxed and cute. When he is with Yunxi, he is happier but more serious perhaps it is because she is always depressed. I like how Shaowei portrayed the bad guy look; it was really well done, very cold and heartless, even more intense than Shan Junhao. His crying scenes look real and touching but it was ugly especially when the camera focused into him. Anyway, a good job done by Shaowei.
Rating - 4/5

Fan Yunxi
She has been abandoned by her parents since young and was adopted by Shan family. They gave her education, raised her and trained her to be Junhao's wife and that is her dream. She has been insecure ever since her parents abandoned her and she wishes to have a complete family. Initially, she didn't want to marry Junhao because she wants the process of dating. Later, Junhao sticks with her even when they were in danger and she was so moved that she decides to marry him. However, I feel that the one she really loves is Ziqian. She said it herself, Ziqian is always the one who understand her and knows what she wants. But the script seems to lack this part. There is no gradual development of love but suddenly at the ending, she realises she loves Ziqian. Yunxi is actually a pitiful character. Imagine if you know your husband since young and your dream is to marry him, but suddenly he just fall in love with another girl, what will you feel? I will definitely hate that girl. Actually I thought it is right for her to go mad, since she is not strong or optimistic like Tianyu, she can't and won't be able to withstand this pressure and setback. Although I pity her I don't have any liking towards her. Her parts are generally quite boring, especially with Ziqian.

Xiao Qiao on Fan Yunxi
A steady performance by Xiao Qian, I would say. This character has not much breakthrough maybe only the mental breakdown part so it is not really Xiao Qiao's fault. As I say earlier, this character is quite boring; it is not Xiao Qiao's fault but the character itself. I like how her tears just naturally flow, especially during the direct confrontation with Junhao. That was really good, her eyes just turned red and her tears just flowed. The part where she has a mental breakdown was also not bad, not very convincing but it was ok. But she was overshadowed by Qiaoen in this show. I think she is suitable for this role; elegant, pretty and smart. I cannot imagine Qiaoen with this role as Qiaoen has a naturally cute and comedic face while Xiao Qiao has a naturally elegant, pretty and refreshed look. So Xiao Qiao is made for her role. I like it how Xiao Qiao portrayed the desperate look yet maintain her elegance and glamour. However, her mental breakdown is still quite superficial, not yet intense. But, anyway, good job, nothing spectacular but it is average.
Rating - 3.5/5

Other Supporting Characters
Gino/ Zhang Minghan
I really dislike his character at first, how he tries to sabotage Junhao's plans and stuffs. But, later toward the ending, I kind of like this character. He cherishes Senwell and even went down on his knee to beg Ziqian not to sell it. I think Gino is a flexible actor; he can act the bad or good guy. His acting is not bad, and he definitely has room for improvement.
Rating - 3.5/5

Ye Tianyu's mother, Chen Jinzhi
This woman is really funny, whether is her character or acting skills. They were both brilliant. I like how her actions and comments add to the comedic effects of the shows. I laugh so much when she was around. She is a very noble mother. Tianyu is only her step-daughter yet she cares for her so much. I like the relationship between the two of them; it is very touching.
Rating - 5/5

Ye Zhengzhe/ Anthony
He is Tianyu's brother and he is not very bright, moreover, he cannot speak clearly. He is very cute, all those lame jokes and dim witted look are really good. Although he kind of stuttered a bit and it is a bit irritating, it is realistic.
Rating - 4/5

Tang Shunming (Old master)
He is Jinzhi's ex husband. Years ago, they fell out because of a misunderstanding and refused to acknowledge Zhengzhe. At first, I don't like this character either. It was only after Dang Ou stayed with Tianyu and begin to help out in Guan Mei, then I changed my opinion of him. I like the bickering scene between him and Jinzhi. It is damn funny. I heard that he is the director of this show. Lolz, good job!
Rating - 4/5

Other supporting cast members like David, Michael and the editor of Hotel Asia have so minor roles that it is really hard to judge them upon their performances.

Su Lixin is quite natural with her performance. She is pretty too, but very skinny. She and Zhengzhe do not have wonderful chemistry but they look cute together. The three staff members of Guan Mei Hotel, the chef, Fengjiao and Ah Sheng are kind of funny in the beginning but I find them rather irritating every soon, too dramatoc and stupid.

Any Mingen parts, they were cute and funny. My favourite will be the part where Tianyu managed to make Junhao laugh but he tried to control his laugher.
- Any part with Jinzhi, she is really funny.
-Episode 2 to 11 and episode 14 to end. The middle three episode were kind of draggy and boring
-I realise that Tianyu and Ziqian have quite good chemistry and it is really enjoyable seeing them together.
-the sound effects and any animations were very nicely used.
- Dang Ou's words, they were very inspiring actually, especially where he was trapped in this black hole, he told Tianyu to face her enemies bravely.
-The background music, I mean the one where both of them were siting at the piano and Dangou/Junhao was going to confess to Tianyu.

I don't like how they kept portraying Tianyu as a heroine, always saving the day and the attack on her at the last episode is crap. Few guys on motorbikes, looking dangerous and menacing like they were ready to kill, were racing to seek revenge under the orders of the boss of Queen Anne Marie hotel. When they were there, there were no guns or knife but only a bow and some weird ball that can cause damage to anyone who was hit by it. It just looked weird and stupid. Honestly, I expected guns, that part just sucks. Moreover, has the boss of Queen Anne Marie hotel no brains? The police are not dumb; obviously they will know that it is his doing. Moreover, I thought the way Tianyu saved Junhao and Ziqian from selling the hotel was lame. Can't they produce one more contract? If that is so easily resolved, then Junhao can just tear it when he has the chance. The ending just spoils everything.

- The development of Ziqian and Yunxi's relationship. It is so underdeveloped and at the villa, Yunxi suddenly realised that the one who she really likes is Ziqian just because of a sentence he said. No logic, really. At least have some hero save beauty in distress, please!
- The part where Junhao went missing and the Shan family went into a frenzy when so many mishaps happened. It was boring.

The plot is kind of similar to the Korean drama, "Save The Last Dance For Me". I watched both drama and I must say "When Prince Turns Into Frog" is much nicer and entertaining. Although the ending is a cliché and fairy-tale ending, I really like it.

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