Miss No Good (不良笑花)

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So it is currently 1.43am here in Perth and I have to be up tomorrow by 730 for church but oh wells. I’ve just finished Miss No Good and I’m filled up with all those feeeeeeeels. It’s actually a really old drama dating back to 2008 when your only access to dramas was on TV. I don’t think they dubbed it since I was still in Singapore then and they were airing it on a mandarin-speaking channel. Thankfully. I hate watching dubbed shows. I think the most memorable for me then was probably the main character herself and Wilber Pan but I don’t remember much. All I remember is the scene when Xiao Hua (the main female) cried as she hugged Tang Men. Having just finished this I am again, reminded of the quality of dramas today that we are made to put up with. Sigh.

Synopsis:
The drama focuses on the relationship between the incredibly unfashionable Jiang Xiao Hua (Rainie Yang), often called a christmas tree by famous stylist, Tang Men (Wilber Pan). The drama starts off with their first encounter together when Xiao Hua boards the cab Tang Men had called for. Tang Men ends up giving Xiao Hua three makeover sessions in return for his scissor-set. And of course their relationship develops as other characters, Jia Si Le (Dean Fujioka) and Jiang Mi (Michelle Chen) pop in to create this whole love rectangle.

I loved almost everything about this drama, from the characters to the plot and the set. Of course its not the most polished or the best even but it holds substance and managed to get a few tears and alot of laughs out of me, which is something pretty rare these days. One of its biggest strengths is its characters. Xiao Hua is actually my favourite character throughout the drama and the most well-developed. She went from annoying-but-kind-of-likable to omg-i-love-her. Xiao Hua is a unique character that is rarely, if never seen in romance dramas. Ever. They’re all ALWAYS THE SAME. While she can be genuinely annoying sometimes she was hilarious. Especially with her accent. I like how about 40% of the humour comes from the dialogue and the way she pronounces certain words wrong but it means that non mandarin-speaking audiences might not be able to get the joke. Rainie Yang is too awesome for being able to bring out Xiao Hua’s character. I think what really made Xiao Hua top my favourites list is when she refuses to marry Jia Si Le even when Tang Men left. I know its common sense like why would she marry someone she knows she doesn’t love. Yet it happens so many times in dramas where the main female actually THOUGHT about it and some even gave in like omg. Makes me puke. Especially when all the delusional people around her kept pressuring her to marry him as a solution to all the drama they’ve caused like what is wrong with you people. Even Tang Men gave in at the end omg. Ironically Xiao Hua was the only one who could think clearly even though she was the most ignorant character. And I love how she said everything I was thinking inside. Like when Tang Men and practically everyone else was talking about giving Xiao Hua up to Jia Si Le. And Xiao Hua being the awesome female lead she is, retorts with “am I a possession to be given away like Ah Men (some cat souvenir)?” Go girl! I’ve read that some think Rainie’s acting was horrible and the girl is annoying. Yes I agree the girl is annoying because she was supposed to be but if you think Rainie did a horrible job you have no idea what acting is. It takes skill to create a character as annoyingly consistent as Xiao Hua and Rainie was rarely, if ever, out of character. Even when Xiao Hua was sad she still retained her signature pout and annoyingly squealy voice. And her speech is almost always in character like how does she even do it? Yet shes somehow able to give Xiao Hua’s character some depth like in the scene when Xiao Hua receives Tang Men’s wedding dress. Wow…

Tang Men was actually really cute though and not in the annoying broody, poker-face way but more of the douchbag with a good heart way LOL. But he wasn’t too bad either all he had was a lack of tact and even his insults added humour to the show. And since Xiao Hua isn’t made of marshmallow it made it funnier to watch. Wilber Pan has so much charisma on-screen and he was soooooooo goooooooooood even though this was his first role as a male lead. His little smirks, hand gestures and tears were all so cute. Except maybe the parts when he “absently” touched Xiao Hua’s hair or her lips which seemed a little out of character. Watching him and Dean Fujioka in the same scene was torture though. It just highlighted how bad Dean’s acting was. And I thought this was actually one of Dean’s better works. The live-action version of Please Love The Useless Me has scarred me for life. Everytime Dean came on screen I just found it hard to actually believe in his acting. It always feels so fake and calculated. I had a hard time feeling anything for Si Le but I till the scene when he revisits his elementary school and we see the relationship of Si Le and Xiao Hua when they were younger. And theres that last scene when Si Le watched Xiao Hua run after Tang Men while he cries as he finally says goodbye to his first love. But other than that, nah.

Michelle Chen wasn’t exactly great but she wasn’t bad. Well she wasn’t annoying either and I didn’t hate Jiang Mi at all. I’m still reeling from shock that she could look so mature here but so young in Apple of My Eye as Shen Jiayi like wow. I never suspected that she was close to 30 when she acted as Shen Jiayi. Jiang Ah Ma and Jiang Da Shu were so cute as well! Jiang Ah Ma made me laugh out loud too many times with her mix of Hokkien and her accent. “Hua sheng (Fa sheng) da shi le!” LOVED THAT SCENE. But I think she stole the show in the “showdown” scene with Ya An and Si Le’s grandmother. Damn that scene brought tears to my eyes. Her emotions felt so raw and so real. I could feel her love just flooding out of the screen. Jiang Da Shu definitely deserves best dad award.

The drama had all its usual cliches like the “Usain Bolt sprint to catch up with the moving vehicle” scene, the “rushing to the airport for a romantic goodbye” scene and of course the parental objection. But somehow the drama manages to execute these cliches in a refreshing and freaking hilarious way. It doesn’t linger too long that it turns an incredibly sappy scene soggy or try too hard to inject FEELS. Xiao Hua’s final words to Tang Men before he leaves is so funny omg. I can’t take it. And the scene that followed after.//cries//

Overall, Miss No Good is an incredible drama that deals with various themes such as self-esteem, family love and romance. I especially like how they dealt with the theme of self-esteem. There were quite a few good quotes but I’m too lazy to go pick them out.One of the more memorable ones is when Jiang Mi laments about her own lack of confidence. Tang Men explains that confidence is not Xiao Hua is full of but it is appreciating what she has. Damn that was deep. I was so happy when Xiao Hua finally returned to her christmas tree self in the last episode and we were given a glimpse of Tang Men and Xiao Hua’s marriage life. Awwwwww!! They even had matchy pajamas hahahahahahaha.

This drama is not for everyone and I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone but if you have a good sense of humour and high tolerance for bad pronunciations and high squealy voices, you will be rewarded with a 14 episode-worth of a rollercoaster ride.

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