Sunny Happiness- Series thoughts

8 Mar

It’s been ages since we properly watched a decent Taiwanese drama and as a result we’ve been on the hunt for awhile now… Thankfully it looks like the wait is over. Hooray.

 We stumbled across Sunny Happiness awhile ago and found ourselves unexpectedly drawn in from the get go:

1. The leading man is Mike He- we love him! The man can produce chemistry with a dead poodle, he’s that good. Plus, that smile and all that charm. Sigh*

2. Each episode is only 40 minutes long with minimum flashbacks- Thank you drama makers; it’s been far too long!

3. SH has every drama cliché going for it and we love it. – A marriage contract and a rich man/ poor girl OTP- sign us up- we’re sold.

We found that we had a strange relationship with this drama in the sense that frankly it could have been better. For us, if we watched this drama on a weekly bases, we would have probably stopped after week 4- simply because the first half is very slow moving and lacks much substance per episode. However, watching the drama after it finished meant that we could watch multiple episodes at once and as a result we were a lot more forgiving. However, strangely enough as the drama progressed we found ourselves more engaged and attached and before we knew it, we went from being mildly interested to really loving the drama.

The drama somehow managed to maintain a solid sense of reality within all the drama clichés and coincidences, which we always appreciate in our drama viewings. Shockingly enough for a T-drama, this drama managed to keep the psychos and insanity that we’ve come to know and love about T-dramas to a complete minimum. In fact, all the characters in this drama were refreshingly rational and very believable.

At the heart of this drama is a simple love contract scenario between a guy and a girl. As we mentioned earlier we love Mike He and he definitely doesn’t disappoint in this drama…well except his hair is a tad distracting and he should maybe consider looking for a new hairdresser, however the rest of him is still pretty hot. Hehe. His character could be perceived as the standard rich Chaebol type, but he’s got such a warmth and sincerity to his character that it’s hard not to fall for him just a little bit. As usual Mike He manages to deliver his lines with effortless charm but it’s the way he looks at his OTP that makes you tune in and want to see this unlikely couple’s relationship develop.

Then there is Janine Chang’s leading lady character Yong Yong- who we love. She plays the standard poor leading lady with a heart of gold, who happens to find herself entering a marriage contract to save her Orphanage (naturally!). The thing that sets her aside from other traditional leads is the fact that this woman says it exactly how it is, regardless of who she’s speaking to. This is definitely a quality we always appreciate in a good leading lady. The first few episodes were slow in setting the foundations for the drama and forming the relationship between the OTP, but as soon as it all came together we found ourselves completely hooked and loving the interactions and conflicting chemistry between the leads.

SH lacked drama and conflict which we usually love but surprisingly enough it was quite nice to sit down and watch a drama that wasn’t drowning in the leading lady’s multiple crying scenes or  basking in irrational side character’s actions.

Despite the drama being slow, it did well in progressing the OTP’s romance in a realistic and sweet manner. There were scenes where you sat there and watched the reality of their contract in action and even though it was under false pretences you could see their relationship blossom and it came across as really authentic and so much better than the completely artificial relationships we’ve be subjected to in recent dramas.

As well as a very engaging OTP and a half decent script (even if it was predicable at times), it was the side characters that really gave this drama depth.

Yun Chao could have easily been a 2D cartoon-like love rival that had bratty, sibling issues but instead the writers did well in presenting both a realistic foundation for his ambition as well as a lovely friendship between him and Yong Yong- He’s Yong Yong’s Pen pal- so cute!

Then there is Wang Lan aka the love rival and the leading man’s baby mamma. Despite being irrational and in the wrong, the writers did well in presenting a character that you could relate with on a basic level. She loves her son and she loves Yun Jie- it’s as simple as that. Also as a character she’s more pathetic than anything else, so it’s harder to hate her- Which is a shame because we love hating on villainess love rivals the most!

Yong Yong’s family: When they were initially introduced to them, we feared a Cinderella type scenario but instead we were pleasantly surprised by what we got. Yong Yong’s step sisters and mother were lovely characters and showed a fresh perspective to the standard drama response to step families. Which usually consists of them mistreating the leading lady and doing evil things to make her life hell. However instead we got some really sweet sister moments and a few laughs as well.

Our advice:

Don’t watch this drama if you’re looking for something innovative or amazing. This is a very standard but sweet drama with clichés galore but that said it’s appealing enough and a really cute drama to watch on those lazy days where you don’t quite want to use your brain too much!

The reasons why you should tune in:

1. The OTP are great.

2. It’s refreshing in that fact that it has minimal conflict but not in a lame arse way.

3. The love rivals aren’t outrageously annoying and you don’t have the urge to kill any them – a rarity in dramaland.

How much we liked it: 8/10 -We’re giving it an 8 in spite of the last couple episodes which were a recap session of the whole drama- this kind of ruined it for us.

How good it is technically: 6/10 – Very predictable and the drama’s issues were tied up too well in a nice convenient pretty bow.

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3 Responses to “Sunny Happiness- Series thoughts”

  1. your_insomnia March 9, 2011 at 5:11 am #

    I’ve been also hearing about this drama lately, but every time I see it I think of the other drama I’m watching currently – Fall in Love (the Chinese remake of korean Autumn’s tale with Zhang Han). It’s super cliche and melodramatic but I love it so much. So if you like Sunny Happiness for it’s cliched but nonetheless compelling romance I really recommend Fall in Love!

  2. katchi12 March 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    stumbled upon your post while googling sunny happiness XD
    i just finished the series last night! and I totally agree with you, that it’s better to watch it this time since its done airing XD it was kinda boring at first but i managed to enjoy 🙂 hahahha 😀 i still can’t get over this drama 🙂

  3. addicted2dramas November 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Thanks for the review! I just started watching it and now I know what to expect. 🙂

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