Name: Chasing Ball
Date: June 2019
Number of episodes: 36
Genre: Sport, Romance, Friendship
Based on book/manga?: Not sure
Why did I press play? The synopsis sounded like a fun story, plus the table tennis element mixes things up.
Thoughts: Again, like many slice of life dramas, the first episode is over-the-top and out of sync with the rest of the drama. This gives a bad representation of the story to come, the subsequent episodes have a more uniform feel.
- What sets this drama apart is that, although it is dripping with many usual cliches, there is enough of a mature feel, to prevent any toothaches from a sweetness overload. Because the acting and chemistry are decent, you squeal with delight at their flirtatious scenes instead of cringe (well for the most-part – the embroidery tutorial became a little ridiculous).
- It’s fresh how quickly he falls for her and vise-versa. The pace is unexpected but feels quite natural and they have this great passion in common – whirlwind. He also helps her with her dad’s investigation. I hope that alludes to him quickly recovering from her future “betrayal” of trying to the get the dirt off his family for the allegedly corrupt expulsion a decade ago.
- Since the romance flame is kindled early on, I hope their relationship withstands the pressure of future angst. They are too sweet! Jing Hao is so sincere, I do hope he doesn’t get his heart broken.
- Already there is new wind blowing, of a future live-triangle, and intensified table tennis match.
- The comedy is fantastic, especially by Kris Fan (who plays Hao), he doesn’t hold back. For example. Practicing his kissing poses – priceless.
- The “mean girl” quickly becomes likable and doesn’t start petty fights. Although she is “threatened” to behave well, she is sincere and gets on with her life.
- Bu Guan Jin’s acting is disappointing. From her performance in Suddenly this Summer, it’s clear she’s got talent. Let’s hope she steps up her came in subsequent episodes.
- The scandal from ten years ago, it’s a little dull – put the need for the plot, so it’s worth being there.
- Some of the side-characters acting leave much to be desired. For now, some of the side characters are shallow. Verdict is out, they may get more depth as the story progresses.
Who are the main characters? Which actors play them?
Yan Xiao Xi played by Bu Guan Jin
Qi Jing Hao played by Kris Fan
Tong Jia Yue played by Li Yi Tong (Xi’s school best friend)
Li Sheng played by Huang Sheng Chi (love triangle guy)
Yun Gao Yang played by Li Wen Han (an outgoing member of the club)
Hou Jian Bai played by Ryan Zhu (an introverted member of the club)
Bai Wei played by Hanna (the mean girl)
Theme: Navigating love, private investigating, friendship, and sport… can quickly fill up your schedule.
What it’s good for? To relax while watching something cheerful.
Dropped this drama at about episode 15. The story lost steam and originality, as soon as Xiao Xi and Jing Hao become a couple that constantly get into the most ridiculous fights. At one point her father makes her choose between him and her new boyfriend. I did skim the rest of the drama and it seemed filled with nonsense. Unfortunately Guan Jin acting didn’t improve and the Haung Sheng’s acting doesn’t help things. It’s surprising how manipulative Jia Yue turns out to be – the twist that she is actually the mean girl. In the end, it felt like a good story, turned into bland story chockablock with dramatic fillers.