Love Me, If You Dare aka Close Your Eyes, and Close To Me / He Is Here, Please Close Your Eyes (Ta Lai Le, Qing Bi Yan) is a Chinese drama, which is based on the novel by Ding Mo. It is a crime drama with romance and comedy thrown in. It stars Wallace Huo as genius criminal investigator, Bo Jin Yan (Simon). Sandra Ma plays his assistant and love interest, an English translator, named Jian Yao (Jenny). Rounding out the cast are: Wang Kai as police office (and Jian Yao’s childhood friend) Zhang Xun Ran, Yin Zhen as doctor (and Jin Yan’s only friend) Fu Zi Yu, and Edward Zhang as a mysterious and dangerous enemy.
The drama is very well written, beautifully filmed, and just a really fun and addictive watch. It has 24 episodes, and 18 have aired so far.
As I stated above, the writing for the drama is really amazing. The crimes are interesting and just dark enough, without getting too disturbing. (Apparently, the novel is much more disturbing) The scripts mix romance, comedy, and crime cases wonderfully. There is just enough of everything to keep the show interesting and exciting. I cannot wait for more episodes.
The cast all have great chemistry. Wallace Huo and Sandra Ma have believable romantic chemistry. I ship the romance hardcore. Then, you have the friendships between Jin Yan, Jian Yao, Xun Ran, and Zi Yu is really fun. Zi Yu is the humor in the show – I adore the way he rolls his eyes whenever Jin Yan asks if he can do something with technology. And, while Xun Ran has feelings for Jian Yao, he’s more than willing to try and get Jian Yan to notice his feelings.
Meanwhile, Jian Yao and Jin Yan are the most adorable and adorkable things in the world. Jin Yao has a very low emotional IQ, so he doesn’t understand romance. But, he tries and it is adorable and sweet. Neither Jin Yao or Jin Yan are terribly experienced, but they fit perfectly.
The mysterious stories of the serial killers are so creepy and really exciting.
I am just in love with this show. Please tell me more people are watching it? I need to talk about it with someone.
A lot of the story involves an American serial killer, Tommy. The FBI also pops up, as Jian Yan helped them solve Tommy’s case. So, there are several English-speaking cast members that pop in and out of the series. And... their English skills are not always the greatest. Tommy does this weird Southern accent at times, and it can be distracting. Susan, Jian Yan’s FBI friend, sometimes sounds like she’s just reading a prepared paper. I wonder if the actor and actress are Americans living in China or if they are simply Caucasians, and the production thought: “White = English speaking.” The show shot for a few weeks in the United States and I know there are Americans and Canadian actors and actresses who have done stage plays in China and Hong Kong. Could no one find a solid actor or actress? Seriously, that is a huge issue with me and Chinese, Korean, and Japanese dramas and films – 95% of the time, they have “Americans” or English-speakers being played by people who clearly aren’t American and/or probably have English as their third or fourth language.
I just find it so weird that Jian Yan speaks Mandarin to Susan and Tommy and they reply in English. He studied in the States, he worked as a professor in a university, he worked for the FBI – why does Jian Yan never speak English? Do Susan and Tommy both know Mandarin? Jian Yao studied English and is an English translator. We are told several times that her English is very good – why does she never speak English to Susan and the other Americans she interacts with? And how do they all know Mandarin?!
And the language issues just bother me. As does the somewhat shaky acting by the actors and actresses playing American characters.
I looked up the actress that plays Susan, Emily O’hana. She is from Cuba and most of her credits have French or Spanish names. Mm.
In regard to the Lafayette, Louisiana gunman. I think it is important that people not focus too much on the fact that he had a history of mental illness. It should be mentioned and brought up. Like, how did he get the gun? Etc. HOWEVER, "he was mentally ill" shouldn't just be the reason he did what he did. It puts negative vibes on people who live with their mentally illness daily and never harm anyone. I think it is important that people also know that this man was: a man who believed that women shouldn't work outside their homes, had hostility toward Planned Parenthood, ranted openly about women's rights, minorities, and liberals. In all likely hood he chose the film he did because it was a female lead film, that featured minorities and several female characters. I have no idea why he did what he did - but I just really hope the media doesn't go with the: "Another white man with a mental illness" reason for this horrible event. There is way more to the story than "he was mentally ill" and I'm angry that so many use mental illness as an "excuse" for violence or that mental illness is seen as a "bad and violent" thing.
One of the things I really liked was the world building. This movie made the Wasteland and the different clans/groups/tribes seem more real. It felt more realtistic. Like, I could see 30+ years after the world is destroyed - an ex-military leader uses cult tatics to build himself an army. It happens now, so it makes sense. And, honestly a lot of this post-end of the world stuff rarely makes sense. Anyway, I'd really love to know more about this people. Like, what more backstory on the Vuvalini. More interactions between the wives. I just really want to know everything about these people and their world.
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A little warning: I tried not to put spoilers in my thoughts on the shows/episodes, but there may be some. If you are scared, please skip the show.
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As for Thai dramas, I'm really not sure yet.