Saturday, July 27, 2013

TwDrama Review: Easy Fortune Happy Life (2009)


Easy Fortune Happy Life
福氣又安康
4/10


Three quarters into this drama, I complained and got scolded by a Chinese-speaking friend, for watching a Taiwanese drama I’d never heard of, that wasn’t directly recommended to me. She’s right. I started this on a whim, and it sucked so badly, so I think I’ve learned my lesson.

Country bumpkin and herbal medicine specialist Xie Fu An (Joe Chen) meets the cold and ruthless Yan Da Feng (Lan Blue), presumed heir to a billion dollar corporation that sells eastern medication. It’s not exactly love at first sight because he’s looking to buy protected herbs off the black market, and our spunky lead girl just won’t stand for such things. However that’s nothing a quick plunge into quicksand won’t fix. While our leads are stuck in an awkward position plagued by caterpillars, Xie Fu An’s grandmother’s home is being burned down by black marketers. The OST switches between love-inducing happy sounds to dramatic chords as grandma tries to run to safety. Should I be amused by our future happy couple, or concerned by grandma dying? And this was only the first time I thought to myself, “wtf.” 

And why am I still sitting here watching this crap?

Easy Fortune Happy Life is a basic love story with your basic characters: good second leads, conniving bitches, remorseful grandpas, caricatured aunts and uncles, evil hapless ‘financial advisors’, a curly haired kid, a dog and a sugar glider. Take out the sugar glider and it’s like every other rom-com out there, except that I haven’t seen a drama with such bad acting, atrocious production, or asinine plot devices since… ever.

Yes, those are fighting kiwis.

No, this wasn’t some kind of side plot. This was a legitimate knife fight and one of these kiwis ended up hospitalized. I wish I was making this up. For all the lameness I decided to go ahead and marathon the rest in ultra-fast forward mode. I even found a few things to like about it, and a ton more to hate. Because sometimes a bad drama is just as much fun to talk about as an awesome one.

Vague spoilers ahead, but seriously – it’s not like no one knows how a drama like this is going to end.




“Xie Fu An. From this day on, you’re Yan Da Feng’s personal bed mate. You have to be home by 9 in the evening. You are not allowed to wear clothes that are too revealing. When you encounter any problems the first person you call is me. Don’t give anyone a chance to come between us.”

Well isn’t that just precious. I don’t know about you, but I’d even prefer the vow “to love and obey” more than being told my first duty is as a personal bed mate. And since when is a wedding the perfect time to discuss dress code? Plenty more happens after the mid-series wedding, but it irks me that Fu An just smiles shyly and continues on with her own vows. 



Even though there was another perfectly good man option!

It makes me wonder what second lead man would say if he was given the opportunity to marry the girl of his dreams. However, not even Hang Dong Jie (Roy Chiu, of Office Girls and Miss Rose) saves this drama from terribleness. I could just blame his hairstyle, but despite being a perfectly decent guy (and we know those types never get the girl) he just isn’t given the chance to show any skills as an actor. 


In a word, he’s boring. Especially when you put him up next to this guy: 

With that mischievous expression... 

And that cute grin. 
Meet the only one character I found myself caring about, the one guy I’d stop and watch a full scene every time I saw him on screen. Yan Yeng (Xiu Ji Kai, also of Mars) is our lead’s cousin, but he doesn’t play a legitimate second lead role as far as the love triangle is concerned. Put him up in the 2nd love triangle with 2nd lead girl and he’s more than convincing as a romantic character with an interest in humanity. I rather liked his solid acting too, though nobody in this show would win awards for it. 


Yan Yeng is fairly two-dimensional as a character, but he flits around from playing Fu An’s fairy godmother and succeeds in humanizing the devil woman Jiang Zhen Zhen (Jocelyn Wang) with his attentions. Are they romantic or just revenge driven? Consent to sift through 17 hours of drama, and you may just find a rewarding end for these two, whether you wanted it or not.


Conclusion

Of course I’m going to recommend saving yourself from this masterpiece preposterous drama. I’m 100% positive there were other, better Taiwanese dramas to experiment with yet, and now that I’m armed with a certifiably recommended list, I will proceed with more caution. 

Yan Yeng, it was good getting to know you. May we meet someday in a better drama.

15 comments:

  1. Oh, I watched this drama. I didn't finish it, but the 10 hours I spent with it were way too much for this show. I should have known better when I read the plot summary that said that the male lead would plan to kill the female lead because she may take away his fortune. Of course, he doesn't kill her because he falls in love with her or whatever...
    But yeah, the main guy was a terrible person. I can't believe he said those words to the female lead when they got married. Like WTF?

    I do remember Yan Yeng. He was fun. Maybe he and Roy Qiu were one of the few reasons I watched this show. But I sure am glad that Roy Qiu doesn't have that hair anymore.

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    1. By 10 hours I figured I could suffer through the rest - but wow it was painful, Lol.
      I only saw a few episodes of a Roy Qiu drama before I dropped it, but I didn't recognize him here at all.. was a shock to me when I looked him up. I just can't believe the hair. He must have had a full time hairdresser to follow him around too. It never changed!!

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  2. I watched this drama and didn't finish it. I think I saw it when mysoju was still around. It was painful to watch I don't think I lasted more than 3 episodes. Bad bad bad!

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    1. Another dropper! Sometimes I enjoy a bad drama, because it makes me savor the really good ones. Or even the mediocre ones. :)

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  3. I have fond memories of Roy as Dong Jie in this drama. And I have no idea how, but somehow I totally forgot about Xiu Jie Kai's loveable character. O__O

    But other than those two, the rest of the drama was a fail. So many facepalms.

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  4. Is this drama really bad though? I saw it on VIki and it has over 10K likes, so i am considering to watch but the plot is so-so.

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    1. I guess it really depends on what you're in the mood for? :/ Hair-brained and occasionally comic, it is. The actors are hot stuff. But the plot just drags it down for me, and I think I could easily find something else to entertain myself that's just inherantly better all around.

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    2. I see. Thanks. These days, I am really into watching Taiwanese dramas.

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  5. Your review makes a lot of sense & is certainly valid. I too found myself watching this drama with mixed emotions. Frankly speaking, I hate starting a new drama and not finishing it so in the end, I could not help but have fun dragging the sequence bar to fast forward mode just to get to the ending. I could not believe I finished this wreck of a drama in 3 hours from 1st to the last episode. You are right; one cannot help but suffer and at the same time enjoy the pain if only to savor the good dramas that are sure to be missed.

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    1. Yes, I get a certain thrill from fitting several episodes at once into the 'watching' span of an hour or less. Haha. But I just couldn't not finish this wreck. There's something to said for terrible drama. You just want to know how much worse it can actually get!

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  6. Oh and by the way, the only actor that has a natural talent to act in this drama is the family pet: "Anthony" , he is the only saving grace in this whole mess.

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  7. I found this drama when I googled Dramafever. Because I am taking Mandarin lessons I am concentrating on Taiwanese dramas (never thought that would happen) where I can test my Mandarin learning. At first, I thought there was a hope for this drama, especially with Roy Chiu whom I did not recognize at first. I marathoned many episodes yesterday. Then I ran into the the coercion wedding episode. Really dumb. Can't believe how some Taiwanese dramas used serious illnesses (this time liver cancer) to non-substantively drive the drama forward. That said, Anthony is the star. Just wish that that narrative was more substantive. Don't know if I will finish it although I have invested many hours in watching it. But, hey, I understand some of the Mandarin.

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    1. It's cool that you can use these to practice Mandarin! Mine is fairly limited... Fairly, meaning I know 3 words and half the time I forget 2 of those xD

      It's okay if you don't finish it - I barely deserve the 'credit' for finishing since I watched it in fast-forward mode :X

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  8. I agree- I have enjoyed this simple show primarily to work on my Mandarin
    Beats repetition

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