Based onthe first ten volumes of the Japanese shōjo manga Mischievous Kiss (イタズラなKiss) by Kaoru Tada (多田かおる). The sequel They Kiss Again (惡 作劇2吻) is based on the remaining volumes. Unfortunately, the author died before she could complete the manga, and as such, there is no ending. Currently, there are a number of rumors which range from producers begging for the rights to complete the manga to directors and actors turning down lucrative offers to secretly film season 3. Nothing is confirmed or verifiable.
There is a(n older) Japanese version of the drama called Mischievous Kiss (イタズラなKiss).
The drama starts out with two monumental events unfolding in Yuan Xiang Qin’s life. First, Jiang Zhi Shu, her crush of two years, rejects her when she tries to “confess” that she likes him. Second, her brand new house is destroyed by a level 2 earthquake. As fate would have it, Xiang Qin and her father move in with the family of her father’s old friend. The eldest son is none other than–Jiang Zhi Shu.
- Yuan Xiang Qin (袁湘琴) is the female lead. She has a really low IQ, and every time she touches a book, she falls asleep. But, she’s loyal, energetic, and she has an ambitious–conquer all–spirit. She’s willing to work hard to get what she wants. She’s always daydreaming. Played by Ariel Lin (林依晨).
- Jiang Zhi Shu (江直樹) is the male lead. He has an IQ of 200 and is Taiwan’s #1 genius. His intelligence and ability are natural, and he never has to study or put in much effort. He is also athletic, cooks well, and can tutor anyone. His personality is cold, aloof, and antisocial. Played by Joe Cheng (鄭元暢).
- Jin Yuan Feng (金元豐) is the supporting male. He has a low IQ. But he has one intense goal in life: to marry Xiang Qin. He’s extremely protective of her, and can sound sweet when he talks about his dream life. Funny, but extremely misguided. Played by Jiro Wang (汪東城).
Favorite Minor Characters
- I absolutely love Mrs. Jiang (江媽媽). Her instant connection and relationship with Xiang Qin is touching–as are her match making attempts. Her character is a bit exaggerated, but she comes off as heartwarming nonetheless. Played by Cindy Chao (趙詠華).
- For a child actor Zhi Shu’s little brother, Jiang Yu Shu (江裕樹) was surprisingly good. His facial expressions and natural on-camera presence really stole a couple of the scenes. Played by Zhang Bo Han (章柏翰).
- Theme Songs: Say U Love Me – Jason Wang (王威登) & Lara Veronin (梁心頤), 惡作劇 (Practical Joke) – 王藍茵 (Wang Lan Yin)
Opening Theme: Say U Love Me
Closing Theme: 惡作劇
- Other Featured Songs: 遇到 (Meet) – 方雅賢 (Fang Ya Xian), 愛情海 (Love’s Ocean) – 葉慶龍 (Ye Qing Long), 聽見 (Heard) – 方雅賢 (Fang Ya Xian), 靠近一點點 (Come a Little Closer) – 梁心頤 (Lara Veronin), 能不能 (Can We) – 王威登 (Jason Wang) & 溫嵐 (Landy Wen), 全世界的人都知道 (The Whole World Knew) – 王俞勻 (Wang Yu Yun), 後悔 (Regret) – 何書宇 (He Shu Yu)
Only one insert song has an official music video.
- Overall: Great soundtrack, and the songs fit the drama pretty well. Even the instrumental filler music was well-chosen. My favorite songs are probably Meet (遇到), Heard (聽見), and Practical Joke (惡作劇).
I really like this drama. Cindy Chao totally makes me happy. For casual drama watchers, it’s fun and the characters are interesting. Xiang Qin’s über dependence on Zhi Shu can get a bit annoying at times. But otherwise, it was good. This was a very different kind of character for Joe Cheng and he did a great job. I also loved all of Xiang Qin’s dream sequences.
Level: Upper Intermediate to Advanced
Topics: Chinese proverbs, studying, food, sport (esp. tennis), business, health and hospitals
Grammar Note: Because the mom is so cutesy, she uses tons of modal particles (語氣助詞) — i.e. verbal punctuation that expresses emotion (語氣詞). As you read along with the captions, you’ll also get to see a lot of the characters that represent sounds (Chinese onomatopoeia) (象聲詞).