If you are a hard-core romantic and like watching clichéd drama tropes like rich boy falling for the poor damsel, evil mummy separating the two lovers, memory loss, reuniting with the lost lover, etc then you, my friend are on the right post, right drama. First, give me a big hi-five for liking the same drama tropes as me. 🙂 I don’t thrive on these tropes but I do occasionally indulge in corny, mushy dramas that are targeted at hopeless romantics like me. 😀 My drama loving buddy lists Autumn’s Concerto as one of her top 5 dramas and had been after me to watch it for a very long time. The only reason I kept putting this drama on hold was the number of episodes. Taiwanese dramas are extremely long. Not only is each episode more than an hour long but even the series often spans more than 20 episodes. This drama has 34 episodes and each episode is 45 minutes long. Anything beyond 20 episodes is a big task for me. So I decided to watch one episode per day after watching just 4 episodes I couldn’t leave the drama and ended up binge watching it. And as always, my friend was right about Autumn’s Concerto too. No wonder so many romance drama lovers call this a classic T-drama. Though highly predictable, I totally enjoyed it. And here are my reasons for loving this drama so much.
Autumn’s Concerto (2009) (34 Episodes)
Ren Guang Xi (Vanness Wu) hails from a rich family that runs a famous college in Taipei. After losing his father in his childhood, he struggles to live a normal life while battling several insecurities. Owing to a bet with his friends he tries to woo the new ‘bento girl’ Mu Cheng (Ady An) in college but ends up falling madly in love with her. However, as Guang Xi and Mu Cheng grow closer Guang Xi is diagnosed with a brain tumour and he undergoes a surgery that causes him to lose his memories. Mu Cheng moves out of his life only to meet him again several years later.
Let’s weigh this Autumn’s Concerto on our drama beam balance and see what makes this drama such a big hit.
I enjoyed watching Autumn’s Concerto because…
…it is HIGH on romance. It is no secret that I am a sucker for romance and romantic fiction is my drug. Autumn’s Concerto offers love in generous doses. It left me high on mush and after watching it I wanted more of it. Guang Xi and Mu Cheng together share all the loving moments that you generally see in such dramas. She stumbles and he holds her, she twists her ankle and he lifts her in his arm, she turns to look at him and feels surprised to find him staring at her, she is kidnapped and he saves her, she feels lonely and he is always there for her. Awww….. such a typical drama couple. I love it!
…Vanness Wu may not be perfect in acting but I think he did a great job in this drama. He makes this peculiar face where he grins before getting angry or sad. I like that face a lot. I know that is called over-acting but it suits him. 😉 I swoon like a love-sick puppy when he does that.
I also loved his crying scenes where he looks utterly pitiable and you feel like reaching out to him. He was never my favourite F4 boy (Yes, he was in the Taiwanese version of Boys Over Flowers known as Meteor Garden.) but now I think I need to go back to Meteor Garden just to watch him again.
…there is enough fan-servicey exposure of Vanness Wu. Wu is in great shape in this drama and the director has ensured that the target audience get what they want and that is enough scenes with Wu’s chocolaty abs in focus. In fact, in one shower scene, my screen was covered with just his abs.
…the drama was neatly wrapped-up with all major problems nicely resolved in the last episode. I got my happy ending so I am a happy viewer.
I did NOT LIKE Autumn’s Concerto because…
…it starts slow. The initial episodes followed the same old formula of a bad boy falling hard for a poor girl with family issues. He helps her to gain her trust and she hands him her heart because she clearly sees how much the rich brat has changed for her. However, there is a twist and they are forced to part ways till they meet again after several years. The first 11 episodes of the drama are not boring but lack novelty. The script is a mesh of several other romance dramas. I kind of speed watched the first 11 episodes. The main drama starts after Guang Xi reunites with Mu Cheng several years later. There is a lot of excitement around the prospect of them meeting especially considering the fact that Mu Cheng now has a son. The way the story unfurls in the latter half is worth putting up with the first half.
…the leading lady disappointed me. Ady An hardly showed any variation in expressions in the drama which made it difficult to read her. In scenes where Vanness is screaming, crying or fuming with rage, An would maintain a stone face which annoyed me as I would not understand her reaction to him. She is gorgeous on screen but her acting could have been a lot better.
… Vanness and An’s chemistry did not impress me. Though they did a good job individually, I wasn’t wowed by Guang Xi and Mu Cheng as a couple. In fact, I felt Vanness shared a better chemistry with the drama’s second-lead Yi Qian (Ann Hsu). I was actually rooting more for Guang Xi and Yi Qian because they looked perfect for each other.
Autumn’s Concerto is not the best drama if you are more concerned with acting, music or even story. But it is the ideal choice for someone who loves binging on dramas infused with lots of love.
I give Autumn’s Concerto 4 out of 5 rating. This drama delivers romance the way fanatics want it. If romance is your genre, then this drama should be your next watch.