Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fall In Love With Me Syndrome, or why I don't trust Taiwanese Dramas

Fall in Love with Me was the drama that started so good that it hooked everyone and then turned into the craziest train wreck of crappy lame melodrama.  It was so bad that it became the new standard of badness.  However, it was worse than I knew.

It scarred me so horribly, that I find myself still having adverse reactions to it.  It's like I've got drama PTSD when it comes to Taiwanese dramas.  At the first sign of drama crap, I panic and wonder if I can even continue to watch, because I immediately panic.

There are three dramas which I am currently watching, or recently finished, that I particularly struggled with, which made me realize that I have this FILWM Syndrome: Drunken to Love You, Murphy's Law of Love, and When I See You Again.

I think I've even said that Murphy's Law reminded me of FILWM in the post I wrote for it.  I compared it to several dramas, such as Just You and Love Myself or You, hoping it would not be that similar to the worst one.  I am already having my doubts.  Every preview makes me scream and not want to watch the next episode, because I automatically assume the worst.  Of course so far I've always been proved wrong because that couple was already light years away from the FILWM disaster couple, but that's the point.  I always panic because I have PTSD (hehehe).  The association is too strong.

The ex-girlfriend, with PTSD caused by an accident that kept her apart from him for a year, comes back.  I immediately panic.  Trapped into a relationship out of guilt?  This reeks of FILWM.  I screamed twice what it was worth when she came back and they met again, a complete overreaction.

 I fell behind on the episodes, dreading what was going to happen.  Was it FILWM bad?  No.  I was completely psyching myself out.  This bitca is actually fairly decent... so far.  You never can tell what crap a Tdrama will pull.

The real bitca of this show is Lance.  This is an association that is literally too direct.  The bad dude from FILWM is going to pull some crap, in the way that a typical bitca would, since his bitca crush won't.  I groan every time I see him.  Stop being a busybody.

But unlike that "no chemistry couple," this couple has tons of chemistry and trust.  It's all good.

I'm still behind on this show, because I can't seem to get past my jumping to the worst conclusions every set of previews.  Now I'm dreading what Hao Wei (the reason I started the show, but no more) will do.  He looks like he's about to become the worst 2nd male lead ever, doing everything that I hate.  Grr.

I really hope he is not as bad as I'm imagining he's going to be.  I'll have to catch up and see.

But there are elements in most Tdramas that I've come to classify in FILWM terms.  If the lead girl is a plucky hard working girl, she most certainly will always have Oz at her side.  Those useless friends who "work" with her.  There are a million of them, and they do zero work.  Even if the company is struggling, they will still have that many employees... who sit around and do nothing but mess up the main couple's relationship with their crap ideas.  Here is the Oz of Murphy's Law:

Do they do any work?  Not really.  Do they have stupid opinions that they voice too readily?  You bet.

There are also the cronies.  In this case, the two stooges.  They don't really do any work either.

They are just there to throw a wrench in the works with some ill timed comments.  They exist for that reason.  They also exist to create secondary romances that are arbitrarily thrown in for the sake of secondary romances.  They are like an extension of Oz in this case.  Only they "work" for the dude.

And mess with his head.

When I See You Again has started out pretty well, but I can't help but already make comparisons that will probably make it harder for me later on.

First we have a cold, revenge seeking male lead.  He's got the smooth business savvy of Lu Tian Xing, but is better.  He has dimples.

And we have a spunky, hard working, business owner.

Whose pension is heavily in debt.

And the misunderstandings that make them hate each other at first.

But these spunky girl types are the type to misunderstand a lot.

And of course, there is Oz.

They might work a little more than the average Oz, but seriously.  If the pension is having hard times, why are there 3+ workers?  Whatever.

So there are lots of misunderstandings, and they stemmed back from the childhood days.  This makes it better than FILWM.  I like his trying to be bad for revenge when he's actually a sweety.

But the use of sexual tension is pretty much the same.

Rough life, especially when we've established that his body looks like this:

Anyways, there are tons of misunderstandings, but unlike Stoneface, this girl isn't super prejudiced and makes her judgments well.

But he's being stubborn and misunderstanding.

He's trying so hard to be bad.

But he can't.  He keeps being nice.

Try, boy, try.

But he can't help that he's still so in love with her, despite wanting revenge.

But then the classic misunderstandings keep getting in the way, because people don't talk in these things.

So while it has some of those FILWM tropes, the ones that are in every Tdrama, really, it is progressing well.  I'm trying to not make a big deal out of it, to get over my FILWM Syndrome, but even that one started well... I can't be too careful.

Even Drunken to Love You caused me panic, and literally never followed through.  It had the obsessive other girl.

Who was manipulative and selfish.

And so obsessed that she did so many stupid things, like not letting go ever.

And risking bodily harm to be with him.  Crazy girl.

I was always super scared about this mom too.

Because from FILWM we know what moms are like:

But she turned out to be one of the best moms ever.

Even when the previews made me panic, because it looked like she'd be against my OTP, she never really was.  The worst thing she did was go get into a coma so she couldn't say "It wasn't your fault."  Stupid comas.  They're the worst.

But the spunky hard working girl was self-sacrificing.

And had her own Oz.

But this man is no Lu Tian Xing.

He is the best male lead ever.  He doesn't put up with crap and he goes after what he wants like a namja.


So clearly this FILWM Syndrome is a problem that is keeping me from fully enjoying Tdramas that are clearly deserve to be enjoyed.  I even had this problem as I was watching Love Myself or You.  I panic.  Fall in Love with Me was that bad.  It has tainted my view of ALL Tdramas so that I don't trust them, imagine the worst at every preview, and have to talk myself into watching the next episode, which never turns out as bad as I think.  Tdramas are actually notorious for making previews scarier than the episodes actually are.  I also have a very low tolerance for dragginess and unnecessary melocrap now, and it's all FILWM's fault.  I just need to push through, not care, and get over it, because while they are super formulaic, Tdramas are super fluffy fun... with a lot of up and down not so bad melo thrown in.  Unless it's FILWM, and then it's so over the top that it scars you for life.  There was no coming back from that.


  1. I really loved this post. I can so see the result of FILWM; I mean I stayed completely out of curiosity. Right when I thought it couldn't get more crazy bad. It was like they were having a contest to see how much worse it could actually get and trying to top it each week. I have been scarred from shows before, which is why I often read recaps and look at endings first (I still blame you last minute of Iris!!! shaking my fist). But this show. Wow. I'm pretty sure that this is what they are going to use in the future to torture people.

    1. Haha, no kidding. It was like a horrible wreck that you just couldn't look away from. I don't even know how I managed to finish it, besides the morbid curiosity and desire to have that "I finished it" accomplishment. It is a good form of torture though...

  2. DAMMIT THREE DRAMAS ADDED TO MY LIST NOW. And oh, how I sympathize with the FILWM PTSD. The hate I feel for that drama made my heart as hard as Aaron's abs.

    1. Aaron's abs- the only reason to watch that show. Period.

      While I like the main couple in Murphy's Law of Love, it's probably the one I recommend the least out of the three, because it's getting pretty crappy... but I hear the latest episode might finally have a kiss... in the rain... so I might take that back later. But I am enjoying When I See You Again so far (who knows where it will go) and Drunken to Love You was good. Long but good... a bit draggy at the end, because it was long... but yeah.