This is the first Asian drama I watched live. I mean did not binge watch Refresh Man but patiently waited every week for its next episode. The wait was frustrating but totally worth it so I am not complaining. The term ‘Refresh Man’ was new to me and that’s what got me intrigued. The show features Aaron Yan who had made a short appearance in my favourite Taiwanese show, It Started With A Kiss. Refresh Man was very popular in Taiwan so I thought let’s see what makes it so popular.
Refresh Man (2016)
Refresh Man is a 17 episode long Taiwanese drama based on the concept of ‘Refresh Man’. Refresh Man is a term used to describe a person whose professional growth is stagnant and lacks the passion for doing better at work. Zhong Yu Tang (Joanne Tseng) works as a secretary at Muse Cosmetics and is expecting a promotion soon. However, just before her impending promotion the CEO of her company is replaced by her childhood friend Ji Wen Kai (Aaron Yan).
Yu Tang and Wen Kai were good friends in their school days but due to some misunderstanding, they discontinue communicating with each other. Wen Kai had left the country for further education and has returned ten years later as the CEO of Muse Cosmetics.
Yu Tang was a very promising student and had a record of scoring perfects scores in school while Wen Kai was the duffer of the class always scoring a zero. But their current situations have changed with Yu Tang having to work as Wen Kai’s personal secretary. He delegates her some work which she fails at and rebukes her for her incompetence. His attitude makes her feel that he has returned to the country only to seek revenge on her. She wants to quit the company since she owes Muse Cosmetics an education she is held back by a company. Wen Kai is unhappy with her performance as his secretary and transfers her to the weakest sales department of the company. She resents him for the change but works determinedly to prove her abilities to him. Much to her disbelief Wen Kai is only helping her realise her potential by pushing her into uncharted waters.
Let’s weigh Refresh Man on our show beam balance and see if the show is ‘refreshing’ or ‘tiring’.
Amazing Aaron: Aaron Yan is a complete drama hero. Be it romantic scenes, comic scenes, or even emotional scenes he aces them all. He is good-looking and expresses through his eyes and that is something I admire the most in him. His emotional scenes are subtle yet you can feel his pain and clearly see the emotions he is going through as a character. Taiwanese romantic dramas thrive on the perfect kissing scenes and kissing is Aaron’s forte. All in all, he is just the perfect romantic hero.
Lead Pair Chemistry: Joanne Tseng and Aaron Yan make a good on-screen couple. They even manage to look ten years younger in their school uniforms without causing any dilution in their chemistry. They look very comfortable and that comfort level reflects in their acting.
Magical Music: The show has some good soundtracks. The show’s theme song Partner by Claire Kuo is peppy while You’re The First to Come to Mind by William Wei is romantic and addictive.
Fantastic Finale: I initially thought that the show has 20 episodes which is a reason why episode 17 was more of a shocker to me as I wasn’t expecting it to be the concluding one. But episode 17 is the best of all the episodes. The writers put in so much effort to tie all the loose ends and make sense of all the mysterious instances on the show. Everything that happened in the show was beautifully explained in the last episode. It was undoubtedly one of the best finale episodes I have seen of a drama.
Too Good To Be True: Wen Kai is the perfect boss, perfect mentor, perfect businessman, perfect friend, and the perfect boyfriend. Now isn’t that too much of perfection? He was supposedly dumb in school but suddenly after ten years, he is excellent in everything he does. What did he do in those ten years? Visit some multi-talent training camp? But he is the quintessential drama hero so you can’t even expect him to be flawed in any way.
This office romance is interesting and enjoyable. The characters were well written, the script was consistent and the actors did full justice to their roles.
I give the show 3.5 out of 5 rating. Refresh Man is perfect for binge watching. If you enjoy watching swoon-worthy romances then do watch Refresh Man as it has all the ‘awwww’ moments you watch in a romantic show.