Panda Impressions #7: Love Actually, When We Were Young & Nothing Gold Can Stay

Happy Friday, and thank you to everyone who has sent in their write ups. After reading, I think it's safe to say that I'm definitely staying away from When We Were Young but kind of curious about Joe Chen's new drama. After all, she wasn't crowned the queen of idol dramas for nothing.

Love Actually

Love Actually Joe Chen

Joe Chen's new drama is definitely a step up from her last drama Stay With Me opposite Wang Kai. She herself had mentioned how the post-production edits led to SWM's low ratings and bad reviews, but Love Actually isn't as cringeworthy, so far it actually has a solid plot line. Her fashion style is on point, adding a whole new depth to her OL character. Her acting is consistent like always and even though her chemistry with Tong Dawei isn't like how it was with Wang Kai, I still highly recommend it if you have previously liked her modern roles. Her character is sassy, has an attitude, and is good at her job just like in SWM. This isn't a bossy CEO paired with a damsel-in-distress. 

As a way to promote the drama, Joe Chen and Tong Dawei held a live broadcast where they watched the drama together with fans. During the broadcast, Joe Chen's Cruel Romance co-star Huang Xiaoming sent a virtual gift to support them. Tong Dawei thought that it was fake at first, so he called him up live to find that it was actually him.  😂 - Contributed by Winxclub.

When We Were Young

When We Were Young c-drama

The Chinese remake of Korea's School 2015: Who are You starring Rachel Zhang and Joseph Zheng is much more disappointing in my opinion. Rachel Zhang doesn't really make me feel like there's a distinction between the two twins, one is timid, the other is rebellious. I feel that Kim So Hyun was better, and perhaps my constant comparison causes me to have a clouded point of view. The male lead also doesn't pull off the cool, aloof, smart character that he is supposed to be. The screenwriters added more characters and adjusted the storyline that has caused a convoluted suspense drama to be even more confusing. Some changes do not make sense. 

In the Korean version, the infertile adoptive mother adopted the twin which she actually didn't intend to, causing the twin who grew up in luxury to be racked with guilt, willingly giving up her life to her twin, the rightful owner. The Chinese version doesn't cash in on this mother daughter love, rather it focuses mostly on the love between the main couple, where the protagonist feels like the male lead liked her because he thought of her as the other twin. The Korean drama had one twin as the main focus, but this one doesn't... I really don't know what to say, as I keep trying to explain, I feel like I'm just confusing everyone, including myself.- Contributed by Winxclub.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

I think the drama had a fairy decent start, and I wouldn't have expected anything less from the cast. Sun Li being a scammer was quite convincing. She seems older than the role she's playing, which should work out just fine when her character matures through the course of the story. Peter Ho seems too nice a guy while Chen Xiao is such a spoiled brat in this. 

I actually think that the characters were pretty fleshed out in the first episode, thanks to solid acting all around and a good script, but I'm not really inclined to learn how each of these characters succeed since it seems like a lot of business-y stuff down the line (just a matter of preference, I guess). Then there was a butt scene ~ wasn't expecting that!

 Nothing Gold Can Stay Chen Xiao Sun Li
Volunteers Wanted: Just a shout out that we are on the lookout for volunteers to keep this section alive. Panda Impressions was initially meant to be a place to share first impressions or talk dramas, but there are too many undiscovered dramas that need some love. 

If you would like to share your thoughts on a particular drama (old or new, c-drama or k-drama), please send it to us via the 'contact us' form (rightmost link on the menu bar) and we'll use it in the next post if we can. Just a paragraph or two usually works, no word count required. Thank you!   

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  1. Thanks.. always wait your first impression 😊

  2. I want to watch Nothing gold can stay but I have to wait for the subs

  3. I really like Joe's drama. It is funny, yet serious at times. Stay with Me was just bad - it wasted three good actors in it (although I do remember it had high ratings? Wiki wrote it was among the top 10 highest rated dramas of 2016). I wish people would give Joe a chance and stop saying that she only do idol dramas.

    Nothing Gold Can Stay is really good! I don't like period dramas but after seeing positive reviews about it, I watched it and it was an unexpected surprise. Following this for now and hope it has enough content to sustain 70+(!!) episodes without being too draggy.

    1. Stay with Me had potential! I was hooked for the first 8 episodes and then followed till 10+! Then I went back at 30+ and found that I barely missed anything? Their chemistry was palpable but the storyline was freaking convoluted.. Of Joe Chen's modern dramas, I loved SOP Queen. She was a hardworking office girl and we watched as she developed and progressed up the corporate ladder. She made mistakes, she owned them and she improved from there. :) Loved it!

  4. I found all these dramas to be pretty disappointing. I was really looking forward to Joe Chen's new drama, but sad to find the story so boring, especially Da Wei's characters' story/ life. If you want to hear more recent drama and show thoughts click here:

  5. Love Actually is really a badly written drama. There are many ridiculous scenes that protayed the childishness of many Chinese writters.