This Review Contains Some Spoilers in the Form of Fangirl Squees
This Noona Romance has been on my radar for a very long time. However, I am a little wary of Taiwanese dramas because they have a lot of episodes and can have the tendency to drag too much. Yet I couldn’t resist Ethan Ruan as the wooer of a strong Noona. I’m quite pleased that I gave in and watched.
What I Wanted:
1) A Noona that was consistently strong without being overacted or excessively obnoxious.
2) A slow sizzling chemistry which by the end of the drama neither Noona or Dongsaeng could resist.
3) Something fun and light with enough drama to spice up the story but not too much so that it felt more like a melodrama instead of a rom-com.
4) Puppy love that just made me squee with delight.
What I Discovered:
Shan Wu Shuang was a strong woman, right from the get go. Bold, assertive, and successful in her job she met the requirements of what I was looking for which was amazing! There were a myriad of misunderstandings about her which earned her the title of Witch. That combined with her insane drive to be the best at work she isn’t very well liked by anyone except her boss.
When her long lost Polar Bear love returned she lost a lot of her backbone in an attempt to be the young woman he’d known before leaving. That annoyed me, it felt as if she were saying that being strong wasn’t attractive. I would have been much happier had she been able to maintain her strength but perhaps allow her abrasive temperament to subside instead.
Although, she did manage to grow into a softer but still strong version of herself towards the end of the series. Even though there were some moments of the weak ‘damsel-in-distress’ trope, Shan Wu Shuang did manage to deliver in the strong Noona department. I enjoyed her no nonsense attitude and her ability to do what was needed regardless of how it would be perceived. Throughout the show she evolved despite a few episodes of devolution) and I was quite pleased with the woman she became. At the end she was still strong and even more independent because of the love she received from Lucas.
This drama delivered a fun little twist in the evolution of the romance between Shan Wu Shuang and Lucas. In an act to prove that she’s worthy of loved and to have a little fun before she got too old Shan Wu Shuang seduces Lucas after he has saved her from a nasty trick done by her co-workers. However, before they can get too far she discovers the eight year age difference and that puts a screeching stop to their intimacy. From that point on instead of a sizzling attraction there is a slow building of emotions which are hidden beneath arguments and frustrations. It wasn’t what I had wanted initially; however, I loved how Lucas and Shan Wu Shuang became a couple. Their emotions grew and changed and built up from a strong foundation. It was actually better in the end that they hadn’t had this sizzling attraction right from the get go.
The melo-drama-ness was minimal in this show for which I was thankful. I think that Emergency Couple has given me trust issues. It was billed as a rom-com and then took a dark turn down melo-drama alley that I was utterly unprepared for. I’m a happy ending, happy story kind of gal which is why I stick to rom-coms. So as I watched My Queen I was worried that the middle would be mired in heavy drama and intense overpowering love triangles. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the love triangle it if doesn’t drown the rest of the story. This show was just right in that regard. It was enough drama to keep the story interesting with twists and turns, but not too much that it made me cry all the time.
I absolutely adored Lucas. He was a great character. The son of a prominent doctor who rebelled and became a part time worker instead of following in the footsteps of his father. He worked any job in any place and it gave him a wealth of experiences. Lucas was just cocky enough to come across world-wise and just sweet enough to show that he was a loving man. His relationship with Shan Wu Shuang was complicated and caused him to grow up a whole lot over the course of the show, it was fun to watch.
Lucas knew how to deliver on the puppy love. That is once he decided that he did love Shan Wu Shuang and that he didn’t care about the age difference. When he started to pursue her it was cuteness and love overload. It was done extremely well and gave me all the squee and feels I had wanted from the show. Definitely one of the better examples of puppy love that I’ve seen.
The character of Han Jia Jia was my least favorite thing about the show. Her evolution from shy, frumpy, unattractive new girl at the magazine to confident beautiful woman seemed forced. Also, her budding love for Lucas felt wrong. He never gave her any indication that he thought of her as anything other than a sister. She was an intelligent gal, but she ignored all the facts before her and pushed herself on Lucas anyway. As far as a part of the love triangle she just never felt like she would measure up to Shan Wu Shuang. That combined with her choppy story, I just wasn’t very interested in her at all.
Shan Wu Shuang’s Polar Bear man seemed to cold and withdrawn. Even after he came back from being away for years and started to pursue Shan Wu Shuang again, I never felt a spark on his end. I wanted a little more fire out of him so that it felt more real that Shan Wu Shaung would consider marring him.
Tidbits Which I Loved to Pieces:
Warning! This is a huge Spoiler!
I loved-loved-loved the end. I mean seriously I believe that this is my most favorite ending to any show ever! Shan Wu Shuang has been forced to take a vacation and on which she finds her independence again. She also is reunited with Lucas who has been away studying at a prominent medical school in order to become the man that Shan Wu Shuang deserves. They’ve admitted their love and are a couple, a super adorable couple I might add. The very last episode Shan Wu Shuang’s mother is getting married. Lucas and Shan Wu Shuang are in the wedding party.
After her mother and new husband are safely in their car heading to the honeymoon we learn that Lucas has been asking Shan Wu Shuang to marry him over and over again. But! She keeps saying no! Finally after all these years of living up to the image she thought she had to in order to satisfy a cultural view she has found her true self and is living her life for her and for her love and to enjoy life. After years of living under the pressure of being told she had to marry to truly amount to anything she’s realized that such a concept was a lie. And so they leave us with Lucas’ puppy love still going strong, even multiplied. Shan Wu Shuang reciprocates and loves him dearly. Yet… she’s finally taking time to love herself too. Loved this so much!
Despite having what I am discovering is the typical drag-slow down section of a Taiwanese drama, I love this one very much. It hit high marks on my list of required concepts from a Noona Romance. It also scored high marks on my ratings chart.
Shan Wu Shuang might be my favorite Noona of a Noona romance to date. She was strong, even with considering the few episodes where she became a helpless damsel, and her evolution throughout the show was amazing. The confident, loved, happy woman she became by the end made me very happy. Ethan Ruan spurred an entire fangirl crush in my heart from his role as Lucas. I might just be a little obsessed now. His character was just very squee worthy.
For all the Noona Romance lovers out there I highly suggest this one! As long as you’re prepared for the dragging moments, I truly believe that you’ll love this one as much as I did!!
The Noona Meter
The Noona Romance is close to my heart, most of you who know me in the blogverse and dramaland know. With the help of friends I’ve created The Noona Meter. A rating system that focuses only on the Noona Romance within the show. To see what each category means take a peek at this article.
The Noona’s Noona Meter
Overall = 9
Emphasis on the Noona Romance being a Forbidden Love = 9
Importance of the Noona/Dongsaeng Age Difference = 10
Dongsaeng’s Persistent Puppy Love = 9
Noona’s Resistance to the Puppy Love = 9
Noona and Dongsaeng’s Relationship =8
Noona is Consistently Strong = 9