Review: It Started With a Kiss

It_Started_With_A_Kiss

This drama introduced me to the notion that different countries created their own versions of very popular stories.  It also educated me that some of these repeating stories were based off of manga/manhwa.  Thanks to this show I learned a great deal about dramaland and for that I’m very grateful.

While I was still watching all my dramas on HULU, this was suggested for me after I completed Heartstrings.  When I realized that it was the very same story as Playful Kiss I was really very excited.  Even though I wasn’t a big a fan as most with the execution of the Korean version, I really loved the story itself.  So I was sold, I liked the concept so much I was very ready to give a different version a try.

As a whole, I liked this version better than the Korean version.  However, I still couldn’t quite connect with the characters as much as I would have liked.  That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the show, because I did enjoy it a lot.  Though I think it has something to do with the lead role, she was as immature and ditzy in this version as she had been in the Korean version.  It might be that character archetype that I can’t handle, because that was one of my main turn offs with Playful Kiss.  Everything about Yuan Xiang Qin was overly exaggerated and blown out of proportion.  I could not empathize with her very well and that made it so I wasn’t as invested in the feels.

The main lead, Jiang Zhi Shu, was great.  For me the actor, Joe Cheng, did a much better job with the role.  Throughout the entire show he showed growth and he evolved as he realized that he truly did love her.  Xiang Qin felt much more static, she remained somewhat childish throughout.  Towards the very end she did take major steps in growing up, but for me it felt almost a little too late to really be effective.  The thing that I enjoyed the most about Zhi Shu is that when he decided that he was going to accept his feelings for Xiang Qin he actually showed her affection.  He hugged her, kissed her, and generally made contact with her in a warm and sweet way.  You could see his love for her.

Zhi Shu’s mother was very intense as well.  She falls into the same category as Xiang Qin herself.  I had a hard time handling her and at times found myself fast forwarding through her scenes or wandering away from the computer for them.  On the other hand, the bromance between the fathers Jiang Wan Li and Yuan Cai was so adorable.  I could have watched an entire show about them.  I also really enjoyed the romance between Ah Jin and Christine, they were very cute.

The chemistry between the main leads, Ariel Lin and Joe Cheng, was phenomenal.  Even though the Xiang Qin character was a little grating and immature, I couldn’t help but love any scene that had Xiang Qin and Zhi Shu together.  You could feel the attraction and tenderness when they were together, especially for the scenes when it was just the two of them.  I would watch this again just for their romantic scenes.

This was an entertaining watch.  I did like it better than Playful Kiss, but it was a little too immature all the way around for me.  But for a light and fluffy watch with a huge does of the warm-fuzzies this is a great choice.

 

Noona’s Rating

Overall: 6.8

Story/Writing: 10

Cast/Actors: 8

OST: 5

Sets/Costumes: 5

Feels: 6

6 thoughts on “Review: It Started With a Kiss

  1. Xiang Qin was far to irritating for me and I eventually gave up watching, but skipped around to the end. I’m not a fan of High School dramas, or when the lead girl is dumb as a rock and desperate and clingy on top of that.:/ But I stayed longer than I would have for Joe Chen, I am love with him!

    I Keep waiting for subs of his latest amazing drama You light up my star on Viki. And although Lee Da Hae was a pure candy girl/Mary Sue in Love Actually, I was blown away by their chemistry. I love fusion dramas.

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    1. Her character drove me bonkers! I don’t enjoy female leads like that, the dumb/clingy trope is one of my least favorites. This one of the first few dramas that I watched and I hadn’t yet developed my ‘drop-this-show-now’ muscle and I stuck through to the end. But, I really enjoyed the second season they were much more mature, but Xiang Qin was still annoying hehe.

      Chemistry is a huge deal in a show. Now you’ve made me want to find this You Light Up my Star show too!

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      1. LOL. I’ve developed my ‘drop this now’ muscle, time’s too short to waste on bad drama. I watched bits of the 2nd one, and the ending. That’s enough for me. But I can’t find the episodes where Jiro Wang’s character finds love at last. Somehow clingy guys annoy me far less than girls. Maybe because they are so adorable. haha.

        You light up my star is on Viki.com It’s very unusual and different. There are some annoying characters that you want to punch, but I’m watching it for Joe Cheng. And he has terrific chemistry with the lead actress. You are kept guessing because there are 2 women in this. Don’t want to give anything away. I believe they are up to episode 10 by now. I still have to watch 8. The subs take forever.

        http://www.viki.com/tv/22818c-you-light-up-my-star

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      2. My drop-this-now muscle is very firmly developed now lol and I don’t know that I would have given this show so much of my time. I loved that story line! It was so adorable watching him being pursued as doggedly as he had pursued Xiang Qin! I agree, clingy guys are so much easier to handle than clingy girls. Though I have no idea why. Even though the clingy aspect of this story turned me off it hasn’t stopped me from starting the J-Drama version of this story LOL. And I have to say it is my favorite of the three versions by far!

        I’ve added You Light Up My Stars to my watch list and I think once I’m done with the cracktastic nature of Mischievous Kiss that is what I’ll be watching next. Joe Cheng is definitely worth it hehe. Thank you for the link!!!

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