Skip Beat!/華麗的挑戰/Extravagant Challenge
Skip Beat! (華麗的挑戰) is a Taiwanese television series based on the manga of the same name by Yoshiki Nakamura. It
premiered on 18 December 2011 on FTV Main Channel. The drama follows a girl named Gong Xi (played by Ivy Chen) who has devoted her entire life to taking care of upcoming idol, Bu Puo Shang (played by Lee Donghae). However, after being cast away and betrayed by Shang, Gong Xi vows to get revenge by entering the entertainment industry. Gong Xi quickly realizes breaking into the industry isn’t as easy as it seems, and she faces many tribulations while on her quest for revenge.
“Even if I gave love, I can’t guarantee that the other will give love back. Even if I was willing to sacrifice my future, I wouldn’t be able to touch the other’s.” – Gong Xi
Gong Xi (played by Ivy Chen) was abandoned by her mother at an early age, so her childhood best friend Buo Po Shang’s family took her in. Shang wanted to pursue his dreams of music in Taipei but his parents didn’t approve so he leaves on his own and asks Gong Xi to go with him. Gong Xi works three jobs to pay for Shang’s expensive apartment while he pursues a music career. Once he reaches fame, Gong Xi overhears Shang saying that he only asked her to come with him so that she could support him financially and to be his maid. “Pandora’s box” opens in Gong Xi and she goes crazy with rage.
Gong Xi declares that she will take revenge on Shang, but he tells her the only way to do so is to join the entertainment industry. Fired up, she decides to do just that, but she quickly finds out it’s not easy to get a job in the entertainment industry, and after auditioning at L.M.E (a company that rivals Shang’s) she finds out that she is missing a crucial emotion: the desire to be loved.
The president of the company, who strongly feels the desire to be loved is paramount to success in the industry, decides he doesn’t want to give up Gong Xi just like that because she showed potential in the audition, so he creates the “Love Me Section” in an attempt for Gong Xi to learn how to complete tasks with others in mind.
Dun He Lian (played by Siwon) is Gong Xi’s senior at the company she eventually joins L.M.E. At first he appears very critical and hostile towards Gong Xi after he finds out that her intentions for joining the entertainment industry is for revenge. He takes work extremely seriously and will even talk back to people senior than him if they are slacking at their job. After a series of run-ins Dun He Lian realizes Gong Xi is a young girl he met a long time ago while in Gong Xi’s hometown. He becomes more gentle toward her and he starts to wonder why he can’t get her Gong Xi off his mind.
Bu Puo Shang (played by Lee Donghae) is a famous musician. From a young age, he loved music and he even defied his parents to move to Taipei and start his career, bringing Gong Xi along with him for financial support. Shang realizes he’s finally famous enough that he doesn’t need her anymore so he ditches her. He tells a very angry Gong Xi that the only way she can get revenge on him is by joining the entertainment industry, and that it would be impossible for someone as plain and unattractive as her.
Jiang Nan Qin (played by Bianca Bai) is the second member of the Love Me Section. She meets Gong Xi at the L.M.E. audition and they get off to a bad start, but eventually they become allies within the same section and even go to school and take on acting gigs together. Qin becomes Gong Xi’s first female friend. She has extraordinary acting skills and has the ability to memorize a script in seconds.
Du Jin (played by King Chin) is Dun He Lian’s manager. He continuously tries to set up Dun He Lian and Gong Xi as a couple. Very responsible and he isn’t afraid to teach Dun He Lian a lesson by breaking a phone (or two) if he has to.
Luo Li (played by Allen Chao) is the President of L.M.E. He takes a liking to Gong Xi and creates the Love Me Section. He often makes a grand entrance and is very often wearing rather extravagant and flamboyant costumes.
Skip Beat! Where do I begin? I personally hold this show dear in my heart, as Skip Beat was one of the first animes I ever watched. When I first started watching dramas, I watched mostly anime adaptations and when I heard there was a live adaptation of Skip Beat, obviously I was on board. It was my second drama I ever watched and also my first Taiwanese drama.
I was really impressed by this drama for hitting so many points from the manga correctly. Most of the time I saw the original manga coming to life. The characters’ personalities were bang on and the story followed the manga to a T. The only strange thing about this drama for me was that each episode was about an hour and a half or so long. You pretty much have to commit to each episode as if you’re watching a movie. But even though they were long, most of the time the episodes didn’t feel that long. The pacing itself was really good at not making every episode drone on for an hour and a half, as it seemed they were busy shoving so many aspects of the story into every episode as they could. It was nice because there wasn’t too much unnecessary filler which can get boring and strange with some dramas.
Which brings me to another thing. I’ve seen a lot of other drama bloggers say that the CGI is garbage. While I agree the CGI IS indeed bad, I also want to point out that that’s what it’s supposed to be like. If you’ve watched the anime (or read the manga) it’s supposed to be super cheesy. I honestly think it did a good job of portraying the weird parts of the show and even making them come to life.
I can’t say enough about how the characters interacted with one another.. Especially Dun He Lian and Gong Xi. But there were also some really interesting scenes between Dun He Lian and Bu Puo Shang, which as most of us know is neat because they’re both members of Super Junior-M. WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE THEME SONG. Honestly, how catchy is “S.O.L.O.” by Super Junior-M? The cute opening that goes with it is also a cherry on top.
Spoilers Ahead: If you haven’t finished/watched the show yet, don’t read on.
I put the spoilers tag but to be honest I wasn’t sure if I even needed it because the drama unfortunately doesn’t really have an ending. This isn’t really the drama’s fault, as the anime also ended very abruptly and didn’t really finish anything off either… But it really is a shame that we don’t get to see what actually happens. As anyone who has read the manga would know, there’s a LOT that happens between the characters after the Dark Moon part of the show. This is the only place that Skip Beat! loses a point when it comes to rating it. Otherwise, this show is a comedic gem that I would recommend to anyone to watch.
Overall rating: 9/10
Have you watched this show? If so, leave a comment and tell me what you thought.