The story begins with a 32 years and 6 month old Shan Wu Shuang. She has succeeded in everything except for love. When someone tries to blow up her apartment, she is forced to live with a bodyguard. He is a handsome, temp worker, named Lucas. Although he is eight years her junior, she starts to wonder if she could find love with him.
Special (Cultural) Word
There are two parts to the title. There is the word 女王 (nǚ wáng) which means “queen.” And the word 敗犬 (bài quǎn) which has a much more complicated and charged meaning.
Although not the origin, the word “bai quan” which literally means “loser dog” was popularized by a Japanese book called ”The Howl of the Loser Dogs” (敗犬的遠吠 in Mandarin or 負け犬の遠吠え in Japanese) written by Japanese author Junko Sakai (酒井順子). Sakai’s book presents a very modern feminist commentary against the idea that single women have to fight against the stereotype that if they are not married they are “losers.” It does not matter how smart, successful, or hardworking they are. Without a husband, their other accomplishments are devalued.
Sakai proposes that if women admit and call themselves “losers” they diminish the power in the idea and can be liberated from the idea that their worth is defined by their marital status.
Shan Wu Shuang (單無雙) is the female lead. She is a journalist for a gossip magazine called iFound. Lucas calls her a turtle woman. All of her life, she has been a stubborn and ambitious overachiever, and she has 5 big personality flaws that make it impossible for men to fall in love with her. (1) She is too aggressive; (2) She constantly alienates herself from others; (3) She is extremely self-absorbed; (4) She is a workaholic; (5) She constantly says cruel things to others. Her name means “Single.” Played by Cheryl Yang (楊謹華).
Lucas (盧卡斯) is the male lead. Talented and smart, there is nothing that this 25 year old, former med-student can’t do. But after his girlfriend died in a surfing accident, he has drifted from temporary job to temporary job, trying to find his purpose. His name sounds like (George) Lucas from the movie Star Wars. Played by Ethan Ruan (阮經天).
Leslie Sung (宋允浩) is the supporting male. He is a journalistic photographer and Shan Wu Shuang’s senior. After promising to marry her after she graduated from college, he disappeared mysteriously for six years without a word. Played by James Wen (溫昇豪).
Han Jia Jia (韓佳佳) is the supporting female. She is a cute young girl who looks up to Shan Wu Shuang. She is somewhat of a sticky note girl and she has pretty low self-esteem. Her older sister died a few years ago in a surfing accident. Played by Yang Ya Zhu (楊雅筑).
Favorite Minor Character
I think that JJ does not get enough credit in this drama. He’s Lucas’s best friend, partner in the temporary worker business (打工達人), and a rich playboy. His part is pretty minor, but he has a memorable personality (including the lollipop sucking) and has some cute scenes now and again. Played by Harry Zhang (張懷秋).
- Theme Songs: Opening Song 没有如果 (No If’s) - 梁静茹 (Fish Leong), Opening Song 別再為他流淚 (Don’t Cry For Him Anymore) – 梁静茹 (Fish Leong), Closing Song 愛情之所以為愛情 (Love Because of Love) – 梁静茹 (Fish Leong)
Opening Song: 没有如果 (No If’s) – 梁静茹 (Fish Leong)
Opening Song 別再為他流淚 (Don’t Cry For Him Anymore) – 梁静茹 (Fish Leong)
Closing Song 愛情之所以為愛情 (Love Because of Love) – 梁静茹 (Fish Leong)
- Overall: This isn’t really a traditional soundtrack. It only has three songs, the opening and closing themes of the drama. All of the songs are sung by Fish Leong, and they’re very pretty and romantic. One cool fact is that Fish even makes a cameo in the drama.
Good drama and interesting (very feminist) plot. I really liked the ending, because it went much further than the traditional “and they lived happily ever after” close to the story.
The lighter side: It’s labeled as a “romantic comedy,” but I think it’s more like a romantic drama with some cute and funny moments sprinkled throughout. Cheryl Yang and Ethan Ruan have really good chemistry. Because it deals with differences in age, it offers a nice twist to a very familiar storyline.
The deeper side: This drama is most likely meant for an older audience. It has some great themes. Shan Wu Shuang *is* the workaholic, put her career first, aggressive woman of our generation. She wants to have it all — be at the top of her career and have a family and kids, but she doesn’t know how to make it all work. The clock is ticking! Basically she epitomizes the “loser dog” category as Sakai described it, but young American (or other) women can readily relate to her and identify with her as well.
This is the first drama I’ve seen to deal with these kinds of issues. I think it did a really great job without seeming preachy about the unbalance.
Level: Advanced. There are some lines of dialogue in Taiwanese.
Topics: marriage, relationships, and dating; journalism; surfing; aging; health (medicine)
Special Terms: If you ever wondered what the word ㄍ一ㄥ means in Taiwanese, just pay attention to Shan Wu Shuang’s attitude.
Extra: In Episode 5, they play a really cute game of puns (that was impossible for me to guess). Hopefully you’ll be able to win a few rounds.