Swipe Tap Love is an underrated drama that I unexpectedly really enjoyed. TVB has really been lacking in the department in creativity and originality as of late but this drama was exactly not that. It was fresh and the story was told in a very natural and realistic way. It’s not your typical drama where events happen for the sake of pushing the drama forward but rather these events happen for the sake of telling a story that is true to the heart. And it works because these events follow along one another like without feeling like it was forced happenings. I haven’t seen anything like this from TVB in a loooong time so I am pleasantly surprised that this drama turned out to be so genuinely good. Like Fall in Love with Me that I am currently watching, I had no intention of watching this but out of a split-second decision, I chose to give it a go and I am so glad I did because this is like finding a needle in the haystack.
What worked exceptionally well for this drama was its simplicity and great reflection of day-to-day issues. This seems to be the trend for the dramas that I favour right now, ahahaha! I love that this drama really shines through in terms of being able to tell a story as opposed to being a slap-bang two-dimensional script being transferred on screen. What this drama offered was life. It moved along ever so smoothly without the feeling of it being chugged or pulled down due to the weight of it being a drama.
This drama actually lacked a plot but this was made up for its beautifully drawn out characters. As such, the lack of plot had no significant impact on the growth of the drama. The generally plot outline for the drama was about technological developments and especially the significant role that mobile phones plays in our day-to-day lives. That was basically all that there was to the drama and the drama itself did not really place any emphasis on its role in relationship to the drama. The plot was weak but what it did do was set a basis for the characters to bounce off on. It set the time and place for the story to take off on. Tbh, the whole thing about the 2009 incident served nothing much than to merely give something for the OTP to say that they had their fate drawn together long ago. STL is drama that is more about the characters than it is about the plot. It is about our character’s journey and their fate that has been set down before them.
While I don’t think that Priscilla Wong is worthy of a leading role yet, I do think that she is a very capable actress. She has a lovely charismatic charm and I think she really brought out the character of Yue Chor Gin. She made Chor Gin appear much more than a character on paper. She gave Chor Gin a personality and she made Chor Gin someone relatable. I love how she is very sincere, down-to-earth and homey. In addition to Priscilla’s portrayal, what made me really like her character was the way it was written. I love that Chor Gin is written to be your everyday girl who does the everyday tasks. It’s those little touches like tying up your hair in a fun, sticking clips in your hair, walking around in slippers, clumsily losing things at home, having your phone by your side 24/7, smiling at texts and making a mess when cooking that makes Chor Gin a character who we can relate to. Priscilla also did a really good job with her emotional scenes here. She really brought in the emotions with the way her eyes will wobble with tears and her voice would shake whenever she thinks of something emotional. She was brilliant her and her portrayal of Chor Gin made me respect her more as an actress.
One factor that really helped to drive this drama home was the amount of chemistry and comfortableness that it contains. Priscilla shines vibrantly when she is working around people who she is comfortable around. Priscilla and Raymond Wong, who plays Lok Tin Sun, are very comfortable around each other and that transfers on-screen. Their comfortableness allows them adjust their acting abilities to complement each other which in turns brings out a Chor Gin and Tin Sun who can balance each other out. The drama never tried to enforce their love and it didn’t even kick in until the last few eps but their growth in coming to understand and appreciate each other made the subtleness of their romance really shine in its own essence and that’s not something that can come about unless the actors are able to connect. Priscilla also has a really nice chemistry with Tony Hung, who plays Cheung Yat Hei, and that really enhanced the drama.
Lok Yau Yau (Yeung Hoi Ying/Celine Yeung) was absolute cuteness here. Celine is a child actress with a great future ahead of her and I just can’t wait to see more adorableness from her. Adorableeeeee! I love the relationship that she has with her three “parents”. What she has with Tin Sun and Chor Gin is just adorableness and makes my heart flutter to see the happiness that they share. The relationship that she has with Choi Yin/Emma (Elaine Yiu) is something very different to what she has with Tin Sun and Chor Gin but it is still something very adorable. She might not be as close to Emma as she is to Tin Sun and later Chor Gin but she loves Emma a lot through the protective instincts that she shows towards Emma. The whole point of Emma’s storyline was to show that she is reserved towards Yau Yau because she is not her own daughter which was something nicely developed and worked really well into the story.
Something that this drama was big on was about implications and thus, inferences. There were a number of scenarios where the drama did not give a clear-cut, direct answer and I liked that. I loved the lack of clarity because by leaving the waters a bit murky, the drama really draws in on the audience, making us feel like we are witnessing the character’s journey beside them and not just sitting behind the screens watching them tell their stories. A clear interpretation is not always needed and I like the fact that there were numerous stories left for the audience to decipher the ending to. The ending as a whole closed up the drama beautifully; it was not opened ended but yet it left room for the audience to interpret it how they wish. I thought that all this implications and inferences was something smartly packed into the drama.
One of the murkiest ending would have to fall toVincent Wong‘s character as Wong Chi Cheung/Edward Wong. There were a lot of hints but those were only hints at most. His romance was kept behind the screen and really left us guessing at his sexuality. There were revelations, but to Chor Gin, not us and I think it was better off being that way. It’s one of those things where it is better off for the audience to decide what they want to see the ending to be. I thought it was very smart of the drama to give those hints about him and especially how the ending played out for him. Beautiful stuff.
The friendship between Chor Gin and Edward was another one of the many relationships that I enjoyed. Initially I thought that Edward was a cold guy but he warmed up to Chor Gin as they got to know each other. I liked how they were able to open up to each other without being judged. And I also liked how they looked out for one another and were able to pull lots of laughs around each other. Their friendship is so cuteeeee!
I don’t think I can write up this post without mentioning Chor Gin’s dog – 009 (Dior). Actually, I can’t which is why I am writing about it, lol. 009 is adorableeeeeee! I dunno what is it but cute, fluffy, obedient dogs are taking their stance at the camera this year. 009 is so freakin’ cute!! I love how she licks Chor Gin a good morning and her interactions with Yau Yau as well as Chor Gin. I lubbbbbb her! Her name is pretty interesting because 009 marks the year of 2009 when Chor Gin and Yat Hei got together but I guess you can call it a pun since the Cantonese pronunciation for “9” is very similar to the pronunication for “dog”. Dior even has her own FB page. Check it out to see more of her cuteness!
I’m telling ya, this drama is innovative. I really enjoyed the incorporation of a variety of songs from various years as well as the references to other dramas. Yes Chor Gin, everyone needs a Li Da Ren in their lives #InTimeWithYou and you’ve found yours in Tin Sun. (: And that reference to #RingRingBell(AKARealLovePleaseRingTheBellTwice) was something very creative. I liked that the ending featured a number of cameos but probably my favourite structural component of the drama was the quotes and epilogues at the end of each ep. I thought that was beautiful and really cements the fact that this is a story and not a drama. I just loved it.
I am super duper satisfied with the ending and I wouldn’t change a thing about it even if I could! It was a bit clichéd but oh so perfect. Everyone got their happy ending but it came about in a very strategic way. It was very sweet and everyone found their happiness. What I loved the most was that everyone – even the minor characters – got a closure unlike most dramas which leaves you still reeling for answers.
This drama took me by surprise and I am glad that it did. I loved it and enjoyed watching the characters drive the story home. It’s such a rarity to see such a well written and executed drama from TVB. Dare I say it, this is probably one of the best TVB dramas in terms of writing in the past 3-5 years. I enjoyed it for every bit that it was worth and I’d say that this is a must-watch.
[Credits: Photos from http://programme.tvb.com/drama/swipetaplove/photo/]