Starring Li Li Ren (Hui Jia), Gina Lee (A Hint Of You), Joelle Lu (Queen’s) and Japanese actor Hiraoka Yuta (Ando Lloyd 〜A.I. knows LOVE?〜), Once Upon a Time in Beitou (熱海戀歌) is set to replace the Taiwanese Hokkien-drama White Magnolia (孤戀花) on SETTV Friday timeslot and will air on March 7th. I’m expecting the language for this drama to be Hokkien too, Hokkien is one of the most prominent dialect in Taiwan and they prefer to call it as “台語”. Taiwanese-Hokkien dramas always seem to be long-winded, full of overused cliches and ridiculous plots so I hope that Once Upon a Time in Beitou will be the different one. It is set in the 1970s and tells a story about a man who leaves his hometown for Beitou and finds his true love in the famous Hot Springs Village.
This is SETTV 20-years anniversary drama so you can imagine how much money they invested in this, not only they went to Japan Kagoshima for filming, they even spent 2 years to create the whole Beitou 1970s set, such dedication! It’s definitely the most big-budgeted tw-drama or at least for this recent decade. Hiraoka Yuta also stayed in Taiwan for several months to complete the filming.
It’s been on my radar since last November because of Li Li Ren, he’s the cover face for being the hot Ahjussi of Taiwanese showbiz and he is considered quite a heavy-weight actor and have recently won his first biggest award as the best supporting actor. I was very interested in the story and totally excited about the cast but I didn’t want to post about it until they confirm the broadcasting date.
Li Li Ren is not the only one I’m excited about! Joelle Lu is finally back playing as a main character after playing unimportant side characters/cameos in the recent years, she is SO talented but SO underrated so I’m happy to see her playing as one of the leads. Gina Lee or also known as Li Qian Na is quite endearing in A Hint of You (美味的想念) even though her character falters towards the end. She was known to be a great Hokkien singer prior to her debut as an actress where she competed in the famous Taiwanese singing-competition show 超級星光大道 so I’m sure she’ll do great acting in Hokkien language. I was surprised when they cast Hiraoka Yuta as he’s quite an established young actor in Japan so I didn’t expect him to act in a Taiwanese drama. I’m not complaining as Li Li Ren and Hiraoka Yuta are easy on my eyes, eye-candies, YUMM!
I dislike their official English title as it doesn’t translate their beautiful Chinese title well, 熱海戀歌 means Love Song in the Hot Sea, it actually fits with their Hot Springs background setting. Even so, I don’t think the phrase “Hot Sea” translate well to English so I guess I can understand the difficulties of translating the essence of a language to another.
There’s not much details on the plot in the teaser but they showed several scenes and they definitely showcased the epic ambiance of the drama. I can see an epic romance coming up just from the plot summary and the teaser. I will update more teaser/trailers when they release more in this post.
In 1977, Luo Ying Xiong (Li Li Ren) left his home for Beitou, the mysterious yet gentle Hot Springs Village. In there, he met the girl of his destiny, Xiu Xiu (Gina Lee). From their fated encounterance to mutual understanding, growing feelings and love, they both experienced a sweet and unforgettable love. However, during that simple era, life is filled with hardships.
As Beitou is slowly faltering, they can’t stay out of it. They feel pressured from their lives, families and to add on, the interference of Bai Yuan (Hiraoka Yuta) in their lives, a kind Japanese young man who is willing to provide financial relief and he plans to bring Xiu Xiu back to Japan as his bride. Xiu Xiu is in a dilemma because of her family and finally, Ying Xiong decides to leave Bei Tou with Xiu Xiu for good.
Just when the two decided to leave everything behind, happily riding towards the station, they see their whole family waiting for them in the station. They look into each other, feeling helpless…