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Quick Start Guide to Taiwanese Dramas

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These are by no means the best Taiwanese dramas, though some of them would be, but rather some of the more accessible ones. For those unfamiliar, Taiwanese dramas are Taiwanese TV shows with an average runtime of 21 episodes, usually very romance-centered.

1)Meteor Garden– if you’ve already seen Hana Yori Dango and Boys Over Flowers, the Japanese and Korean versions of this story, you’re likely to be disappointed in this one, which is by far the lowest-budget, but Meteor Garden is the original adaptation, and it is amazing. It’s the gateway Taiwanese drama for many people, and the first drama ever for even more people.

Barbie Hsu absolutely lights up the screen as the most kick-ass girl ever(easily the best interpretation of her manga character) and she and Jerry have amazing chemistry and the script is just incredibly well-written and well, it’s just really good and has this magic about it that I can’t quite pin-down. It’s one of those classic stories that draws on some of the most basic ideas and impulses that drive us as human beings.

Shancai(Barbie Hsu) is a poor girl unhappily attending a wealthy school in which she doesn’t fit in at all. The school is led by four boys called the F4, a group of handsome, incredibly wealthy, domineering boys who hold absolute sway over all the school attendees and are headed by Daoming Si(Jerry Yan) the richest of them all. When one of Shancai’s friends is bullied by them one day, Shancai snaps and openly defies them, and immediately finds herself the target of bullying by the whole school. Daoming Si, however, fascinated by her stubborn courage, soon finds himself falling for her…Meteor Garden is a little bit of everything – part underdog story, part tragedy, part comedy, but mostly a Cinderella tale, and one of the original Asian dramas that contributed to the craze. It’s pretty much a must-see for Asian drama watchers.

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