It is never too late to blog about Autumn’s Concerto.
I really don’t remember the last time I got so emotional for a drama. Let alone a drama that I have seen twice. This drama is different from the typical encounters with of a Taiwanese dramas. The typical clichés a found yet they are twisted, manipulated and regurgitated in a new way. With each turn, there is something expected yet unexpected.
What makes this drama so good to watch is that everything is so neatly executed that it feels natural and progressive. The plot is especially done well. Now, I have heard of numerous dramas of amnesia, forgetting the one that they have fallen in love with and whatnot but Autumn’s Concerto is different. Sure, it is one of the most overused storylines but what makes this different is the development and consequences of this cliché.
Most importantly, what makes this drama that well perceived is the actors. Chemistry is something that Autumn’s Concerto is full of. Not just with the actors themselves but with the production and the storyline. From little Xiao Xiao Bin as Liang Xiao Le to Linda Liu as Director Fang, everyone made the storyline filled with life.
At first it is your ordinary and romantic fairytale between two people from different worlds. It is just that but everything takes a 360 degrees spin when Guang Xi’s tumor comes into play. From there on out, everything is different and there is no going back.
If a drama can make me emotional at the exact same scenes twice, then it is certainly brilliant!
Initially, for my first time watching it, I did not want to see it. I just felt that the promotion poster looked too “gloom” and the synopsis sounded very clichéd and melodramatic. I only watched it because I conveniently had the DVD. There I discovered all of my impression was anything but that. I am so glad that I actually decided to watch it or else I really would regret it for life. That taught me to never ever judge a book by its cover because you will only know the true story if you read it yourself. This drama not only succeed my expectations but showed me what a good drama is. From my memory, this is only the second drama that can make me cry each time at the exact same scenes (the first is Fated To Love You). You will only know how great something is if you try it yourself.
What makes this drama so successful is that it follows the fundamental and most basic structure of a story. It is essentially subdivided into three parts with seven episodes focused on each part – the introduction (the date and falling in love), complication (Guang Xi’s post-surgery and arrival to Hua Tian Tun and meeting Mu Cheng again) and conclusion (Guang Xi regaining his memory and Xiao Le entering his life). Each part is so strong that it leads well into the following parts. In a way, all the parts play an essential role to the development of the other two parts. This drama does this so well by constantly foreshadowing the following parts or flashes back to the previous parts. I want to emphasis that because Autumn’s Concerto follows the skeleton of a story that makes a fantastic drama. There is no need to divert away from this structure because this is what makes an excellent drama. From start to finish, it follows a sequential development. From the happy love to the mid life crisis and to the happy family; its development lean on one another. Without any of the parts or if they are moved around, this drama would not progress smoothly. I just absolutely love how the transition from each part is so well done, they all connect together. The parts are distinct yet it is so well hidden that it appears to be just a natural flow of the story.
The opening and closing sequence of each episode is just truly movie like and connects each of the episodes together. I love how each ep starts off with with the preview and eases into Della Ding’s (丁噹) song I Love Him (我愛他) before coming to the title. I personally feel that it just connects the eps together and it transitions nicely into the opening of the new ep. I just love it! I think this is the once of the best opening sequence to a drama, like ever! K-dramas really do have a thing or two to learn from T-dramas for opening sequences. I especially love how the song softens and the graphics makes a gleaming ease to the title. I just find it really spectacular. I also really enjoy the ending sequence and the MV like video focusing on the happy Ren family. What I like most about the MV video is that it does not appear to be professional shot, I mean it is professional shot but it is done so to appear that it’s not. In the MV, you can see that it is filmed unsteadily and filmed from an outsider watching over the family. To me, this is also an analogy to that of an angel over watching the family. The rolling of the credits is also cleverly intergraded into the ending sequence. It does not interfere with the MV and rolls much like that of an MV. With all of these fine touches, I really feel as though I am watching a movie with each ep.
What I really absolutely, whole-heartedly love about this drama is that the second leads are not your typical relationship-intervener but rather they are there to help the leads become a better person and realise who they really are. Of course, there are love triangles here but they are almost non-existent because they only exist to help the leads realise who they really love. I seriously love that Yi Qian is not a relationship wrecker. I love that she is helping Guang Xi. She loves him but she isn’t just going to have him because she loves him. She knows that he only has Mu Cheng in his heart and she can feel that herself. For the six years that she has been with Guang Xi, she is constantly wondering if he really loves her because at the back of her mind she knows that he only loves Guang Xi. Even when she discovered that Mu Cheng and Guang Xi met already, she didn’t push her out of the relationship nor did she force Guang Xi to be by her side. She is there to help him find the one who he really loves. I love how Tuo Ye is silently by Mu Cheng supporting her all the past years. He didn’t force her to be with him because he knows that the only man in her heart is Guang Xi. Remember how he gave up on her six years ago because she found happiness with Guang Xi? That’s him supporting her. He tried to find her way to her heart and even though it would be a futile result, he stilled continued to try. It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t accepted him yet but he is still going to try because he likes her. Although he likes her, most importantly he wants her to be happy. Here, the second leads aren’t the overbearing, third wheeler but rather they are the soft blankets to our leads. I really love this different type of second leads. I love that they are helping the OTP to realise who means the most to them.
Of course it’s the OTP that makes this drama a drama. Both of them love each other dearly, it’s just that they have different ways of showing their love towards each other. In many ways the way that they show their love towards each other has changed them as a person. Mu Cheng lied to protect Guang Xi because she loves him and Guang Xi acts the way he does when he remembers her because he loves her. They both just want each other to be happy.
Mu Cheng is such a strong character. She lied to him six years ago because she wants him to live and again six years later because she doesn’t want to be his burden. All the decisions that she made is for the better of Guang Xi. She didn’t tell him the real reason she left nor did she go to find him in the six years because she didn’t want to ruin his relationship with his mother. She didn’t tell him about Xiao Le because she doesn’t want that be the package in his life to weigh him down. She even sat through and watched him together with Yi Qian without doing anything because she felt that he was happy that way. She never puts herself first; there is always someone else who she thinks more of. Together with Guang Xi, she can put herself first for once. She doesn’t have to worry about the burdens that she brings him because he makes her realise that she is no burden but the happiness to his life.
Guang Xi is a weak character but it is Mu Cheng who made him strong. Whether it be six years ago or six years later, he depends on someone. He relies on them to help shape him as a person. He never learnt what it would be like to stand strong by himself until Mu Cheng came into his life. She taught him the meaning behind not giving up and being independent. However, there were many times where I do wonder whether he loves Mu Cheng enough. Maybe if he trusted her more things would not have been the way they were?
The two stab scenes were really smart because it showed how much sacrifices each of them would make for each other. It showed that they want to protect the ones they love. I just found it to be a really smart foreshadow thingy. Ahahahahs! Ohh, and the two spin kisses? They were amazing two because it hints that it is the being of happiness for them. (: I really love how this drama included the same scenes at the start and end of the drama because it holds so much meaning for our OTP.
I also really enjoyed the friendship between Tuo Ye and Guang Xi at the end. Yay for bromance-ish!
I really love Xiao Le here because first he is the cutest thing ever! This little kid is so talented and knows so much! I love that he is the bridge to his parents and also the bridge to Mu Cheng’s relationship with his granny. If it wasn’t because of Xiao Le, granny Fang probably would not see that Mu Cheng is the right girl for her son. He was the one who allowed granny to realise that to allow her son to be happy she should not control his life, but rather be there for background support. If Guang Xi and Mu Cheng didn’t have Xiao Le, they probably would have just went on with life without each other. Again, Xiao Le is also the stepping stone to Tuo Ye and Mu Cheng’s strong friendship. She depended on on Tuo Ye in times of need because of Xiao Le. All in all, without Xiao le, each of the characters would not have realised who really means the most to them.
Ady An as Mu Cheng is just brilliant! She is such an amazing actress, delivering each of her scenes with precision. I especially loved the way the portrayed the break-up scene. Her lie to Guang Xi was so adamant and full of feelings that you would really think her lie is the truth. She portrayed that scene beautifully! You could see that she was in pain but she was also full of strength in her weakest time. Each of her lies were so believable and delivered so naturally! (: I love her! I especially love her crying scenes because her tears appear to be really sincere. Take note k-dramas, this is how crying should be, not a tear drop. Ahahahahas! She is also very pretty! I like her better after six years, the hair style suits her a whole lot better as it allows her small and cute face to be showed off.
I also really like Van Ness as Guang Xi because he and Ady has so much chemistry! Although there were scenes where his pronunciation were a bit off but I’ll forgive him for that. Ahahahahs! I also really enjoy his role as a father. Considering that he didn’t know that he had a son for six years, he adopted well to the father role. He assumed it like it was a piece of cake. There was one thing that I terribly hated about him – his hairstyle after six years. Second time watching this and I’m still like, this so does not suit you! I like his hairstyle six years ago much better. There were many scenes that Van Ness could have improved on but he did quite well in his role.
What can I say about Xiao Xiao Bin? He just has chemistry with everyone! This kid is the cutest thing ever! He is so smart and knowledgeable! With him, I really do view Guang Xi, Mu Cheng and Xiao Le as a family. (: I seriously do not know how much times I have cried because of this kid! Heck, his acting is so real that it could be real!
I found that Chris Wu fitted perfectly well into his role as Tuo Ye. I would ship him and Mu Cheng if I did not find Mu Cheng and Guang Xi so adorably perfect together. Ahahahas! He did extraordinarily well in his first acting role. Not only did he provided a good portrayal of Tuo Ye but he was also very into character. I found that I enjoyed him more as the rough and vicious Tuo Ye than the gentle Tuo Ye. He had a great friendship with Mu Cheng. They proved to worthy of being friends. However, I did find that his love connection with Mu Cheng was a bit weak.
I really like Tiffany Hsu as Yi Qian, probably because I like her being the nice and helpful person rather than the relationship-intervener. She isn’t your over-bearing second female lead but rather a person who was kind, sweet and helpful. I like her softness towards Guang Xi and towards life. I do feel that she lacked chemistry with Guang Xi but I’ll blame that on their lack of development.
Each of the characters had an impact on the OTP’s development. I love the little details with Xiao Lin, Director Fang and even Xu Guo and the contribution to Mu Cheng and Guang Xi.
Ohhh, I almost forgot to mention how well the OST is used in this drama. Although some of the songs may be overused by it clearly conveys the feelings of the drama. I felt that they were all used at the right time and the right songs were used. (:
This really is one of the best drama of Taiwan history. I just love it. This drama would bound to get you teary even if you are not an emotional person. (:
[Credits: Pictures from http://iurgnotmis.wordpress.com and Google Images]