8 Taiwanese Romance Dramas Every K-Drama Lover Should See
When I first tumbled down the rabbit hole of K-dramas, I never assumed that my viewing interests would lead me to Taiwanese romance dramas. During my journey I kept hearing of dramas that were too good to miss, and I could not be happier that I tried Taiwanese dramas.
While I still love Korean dramas, I find some aspects of Taiwanese dramas refreshing. Even though many aspects of these dramas are similar to Korean dramas; like the classic love triangle and the successful man getting the girl that fixes his heart, Taiwanese dramas contain a few things I have not found in Korean entertainment. Even when some of the characters in Taiwanese dramas can be comedic, that very fact makes them more life-like and close to the viewers. I also have to admit that the lack of time skips, like in Korean dramas, is amazing! So I decided to take it upon myself to share the love, and give a list of some of the best romantics. Here we go!
A true romantic comedy, this drama had me at the first episode. “Bromance” tells of the trials Du Zi Feng (Baron Chen) and Pi Ya Nuo (Megan Lai) face when the two sworn brothers end up falling for one another.
Now before I get this look, I should say that there happens to be one slight catch in this drama; and that is that Du Zi Feng doesn’t realize that Pi Ya Nuo is actually a girl in disguise! The comical antics that ensue, as these two pursue life as well as one another, makes this the best gender-bending drama I have watched. It is almost impossible to avoid shipping Baron Chen and Megan Lai together while watching the behind-the-scenes. With great chemistry and playfulness, these two talented actors know exactly what they are doing and give plenty of adorable fan service!
An older drama, “Devil Beside You” ended up becoming a great drama despite my skepticism in the beginning. This drama definitely contains a unique story line that I have not found in any Korean dramas. About Ah Mon (Mike He) and Qi Yue (Rainie Yang), a brother and sister pair that fall in love, this drama may come as a surprise.
Okay, I am so sorry, I couldn’t help it! Now, before everyone blocks them forever, let me add that Ah Mon and Qi Yue are actually soon-to-be step siblings with no blood relations. Of course, both of these dangerous lovers have people pursuing their interest. What would a drama be without competition for love? Our two main characters begin with a strong dislike of each other, but fate spins its web to change their destiny. “Devil Beside You” is a great rendition of the classic story, where a bad boy falls for a good girl, with a new twist.
If you enjoyed the classic Korean drama “Boys Over Flowers” then “Moon River” is perfect for you! With a similar story to that of the popular Korean drama, it follows Ming Xiao Xi (Pets Tseng) as she attends the elite Kuan Yu University and gets tangled up with the three most prestigious male students. I couldn’t help but fall in love with this drama as I watched the male lead, Mu Liu Bing (Sam Lin), change from an aloof character to a loving and compassionate person. No matter how many times I see this drama, my heart races with Xiao Xi’s! However, not everything in this drama is about romance; be prepared to laugh at the pure absurdity of the situations these university students always manage to find themselves in.
“Fabulous Boys” is a perfect remake of the Korean drama “You’re Beautiful.” With the same fundamental story, we follow Gao Mei Nu (Cheng Yu Xi) as she masquerades as her twin brother Gao Mei Nan. She ends up in a boy band led by the always serious Huang Tai Jing (Jiro Wang), and has to keep her female identity hidden. I am a huge fan of the original Korean drama, so I enjoyed this version as well. Even though most of the story is similar, some of the situations are exaggerated or changed just enough that it remains comedic and enjoyable.
Let’s just say Tai Jing gets chased by something a little bigger than a wild pig this time! The cast fit their characters very well, and I think Evan Yo did a perfect rendition of Jeremy. Don’t worry Lee Hong Ki, we still love you too!
This drama is the story of Yuan Xiang Quin (Ariel Lin), who attempts to confess to her high school crush. It all amounts to disaster when the school bully, Jiang Zhi Shu (Joe Cheng), receives her letter instead and her family ends up moving in with his family, so they have to see each other more than just at school.
“It Started With a Kiss” is a drama based on the Japanese manga series “Itazura na Kiss” written by Kaoru Tada. Another drama based on the manga series is the more recent and well-known Korean rendition “Playful Kiss.” I was impressed by this series and its continuation “They Kiss Again.” These two actors have amazing compatibility and are the best pair in all of the live action versions. Joe Cheng was precise and true to the character of Jiang Zhi Shu without appearing distant; he instead appears to be unsure of what to do with his feeling for Yuan Xiang Quin. Believe me, this series doesn’t just begin with a kiss, but has amazing kisses throughout!
What could be better than a young, successful, and attractive CEO? I would say nothing, but Cheng Liang Liang (Puff Guo) quickly realizes just about everything is wrong with the startling perfectionist that buys the company she works at. “Just You” begins with a rocky start for our leads, as Qi Yi (Aaron Yan) buys a small marketing company called GAZE and a house that he liked. The first thing he does at his newly acquired company is ban office relationships, resulting in Liang Liang scheming to make him fall in love with her so the new rule has to be removed.
Entertaining and fun, “Just You” is Aaron Yan’s first office romcom and he pulls it off perfectly. I told myself that there is no way I could become a fan of another actor.
Well, I might just say that it didn’t work out as well as I had planned, and before I knew it I was watching everything he had been in. Either way, Puff and Aaron make a great couple on and off of the screen. The extensive behind-the-scenes — that most newer Taiwanese dramas have — is perfect for shippers and Aaron Yan fans alike.
Another office rom-com that is quite inventive, and perfect for any K-drama fan who enjoys the classic love triangle premise, is “Fall In Love With Me.” However, those who suffer from second lead syndrome can enjoy this drama without worrying! The main lead Lu Tian Xing (Aaron Yan), a genius advertising giant, disguises himself as Xiao Lu to help OZ, a small advertising company, which was run by his mentor. While he is undercover, Tao Le Si (Tia Li), the director of OZ, ends up falling for his Xiao Lu personality. Tian Xing also falls for her and the results are hilarious, as he tries to get her to fall for him as Tian Xing instead of as Xiao Lu.
I would love to thank whoever cast Aaron Yan to be his own love interest competition! He really shines in this drama as he desperately competes with himself for the heart of the girl he loves. From changing into a suit in the back of his car, to having his poor butler set up a decoy apartment in a few short hours, this drama is the funniest I have enjoyed recently.
I have absolutely loved watching this Taiwanese heartthrob in his dramas! Coming in as the last entry of my list is his newest series that is still airing
“Refresh Man” is the newest Taiwanese drama that has caught my attention. Ji Wen Kai (Aaron Yan), a former underachiever who has become a respected businessman, becomes the new CEO of Muse Cosmetics. His secretary is none other than the beautiful Zhong Yu Tang (Joanne Tseng), a former high school classmate who enjoyed looking down on him. Is it revenge that is storming the workplace, or could there be love sneaking in as well? I can’t wait to find out if these two end up together!
Watch the first episode of this entertaining series on Viki!
t0ky0nights is a k-pop enthusiast, whose interests include many forms of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean entertainment. She can be found dancing or writing articles, as well as fiction and lyrics, most of the time. You can find her on Instagram here.
Mr. Right Wanted
EN 98% • Taiwan, Taiwanese Drama
When a woman tackles online dating, is it for work, is it to get back at her ex-boyfriend, or is it to fill a void in her life?
Li Hai Ning (Sonia Sui) is a 32-year-old editor-in-chief of a publishing company that is struggling to find a bestseller. Fang Cheng Hao (Jerry Huang), Hai Ning’s boyfriend of nine years, is the only author doing well in her company but even his book sales have begun to stagnate.
As Hai Ning is preparing for Cheng Hao’s new book, she discovers some major misdeeds that he has done, and Hai Ning becomes enraged. Leaving him, Hai Ning also decides to write the new book herself – a book about online dating and marriage – with a simple online ad that states: “Female, 32 years old. Looking for men who are upright, kind and willing to communicate. Hoping to be friends first before marriage.”
As Hai Ning begins to meet with an endless stream of potential marriage candidates and then meets Benjamin (Christopher Lee), will he help Hai Ning finish the experiment and the book?
“Mr. Right Wanted” is a 2014 Taiwanese drama series directed by Lian Yi Qi.