I think that I made a great choice in choosing My Sunshine (AKA Silent Separation) as the drama to start off 2015 with. It was all sorts of wonderfulness to watch and was even better live-watched as it kept my emotions running high in between the hours waiting for the next ep. This drama is addicting and now that it has finished its run, I am having withdrawal symptoms. My Sunshine is adapted from Gu Man (顾漫)‘s popular internet novel Silent Separation (何以笙箫默) with the popularity of the novel crossing over on-screen. I haven’t read the book but according those who have read the book, My Sunshine is just like the book stepping out of its pages with people describing it as a near-perfect adaptation. Of course, no adaptation or drama for that matter is perfect. All dramas have their flaws but what My Sunshine does is discreetly hide them while emphasising on the goodness at hand which is what makes this drama so addicting to watch.
My Sunshine is so different from Gu Man’s previous novel-to-drama-adaptation Boss & Me. Boss & Me was full of fluff while My Sunshine is mixture of fluff and angst. My Sunshine is actually produced by the same production team who produced Boss & Me which is no wonder because My Sunshine has a very similar feeling to Boss & Me. Not only that, but there are also lots of Boss & Me elements which made a reappearance which was amusing to see, such as the estate lived in by the OTP from both dramas, the product placement and the same actors playing different roles. All dramas come with some sort of product placement but woah, the product placement here was everywhere and there were lots of it too. Product placements aside, the production value here is beautiful and with attention to detail. I love the overall atmosphere about it and I especially love the warmth that surrounds the telling of He Yi Chen (Wallace Chung) and Zhao Mo Sheng (Tiffany Tang)’s romance. However, My Sunshine is a heavier drama than Boss & Me but I don’t think the production team quite captured that. Despite being written as a drama with angst, the drama tries to lean too much towards the light-hearted, humorous side when it should have been focused on the angst behind what makes Yi Chen and Mo Sheng’s relationship what it is. This is partially the reason why their rekindling after their seven years of separation doesn’t quite feel as compelling to watch. There’s definitely that whole general sense of angst but the overall tone of the drama has dipped more towards the light-hearted side which in a way takes away from Yi Chen and Mo Sheng’s relationship.
My Sunshine is all about Yi Chen and Mo Sheng. There isn’t much to the storyline other than them. My Sunshine is their love story to tell. There were love triangles which were nearly there but not quite and the lovebirds were surrounded by people who were either trying to push them closer together but pull apart their romance. There were never really any major obstacles for the couple to cross other than their one misunderstanding which lead them to be separated for seven years. If only they chose to sit down and talk it out once and for all then they wouldn’t have to go through such a complicated process of getting back together but hey, this is what makes My Sunshine what it is. Their love for one another despite their seven year split is ever-so strong and watching them get back together is something so satisfying. Mo Sheng is so lucky to have Yi Chen in her life just as he is to have her in his life. If he didn’t meet Mo Sheng he probably would be the same guy seven years ago, diligent with his studies and always with a poker-face. Meeting Mo Sheng, Yi Chen’s world immediately shone brighter and she only continued to win his heart more and more. It was love at first sight for her and good thing she chose to persist on with it despite his numerous rejections because she has scored herself on worthy man.
Wallace is puuuuurrrrrfffffeeeeccccctttt as He Yi Chen just as if he stepped out of the book. Although I might not have read the book, but I have heard how the book Yi Chen is supposed to be and I must say, Wallace is doing a stellar job portrayal the ever-so calm and collected workaholic lawyer Yi Chen who loses himself when he finds the sunshine in his life. I might not have read the novel, but he is one perfect human as perfect as one can be. Wallace did a great job portraying Yi Chen. The emotions were especially spot-on and he captured the rawness that is Yi Chen. The hurt that he felt during those years that he though the sunshine in his life betrayed him and then the pain he felt knowing that she was previously married were all there and in the perfect amount. He was raw when he needed to be but he also radiated with sunshine whenever Mo Sheng is around while still retaining his cool outer ego. He might have allowed Mo Sheng to do the chasing to win his heart and while he does isn’t necessarily upfront about his love towards her, it doesn’t mean he loves her any less. He is full of surprises and knows how to get her and hold onto her. He isn’t just a tentative hubby and a competent lawyer but he can also cook with skills. I had such a fun time reading the recaps over at Hui3r while simultaneously watching the drama and watching them completely drool over Wallace eating! Those ladies are amazing with their fast recaps and very descriptive writing of Wallace and his eating! Love those ladies and them feeding me with gifs and allowing me to fall in love with Wallace even more!
This is my first drama of Tiffany and she has definitely caught my eye. I really like her charisma and the way she acts. She is definitely comfortable with her acting which shows on-screen. I think she did a great job portraying Mo Sheng, but there were certain aspects that she didn’t quite catch on. According to those who have read the novel, Mo Sheng is supposed to still have that bubbly, sunshine personality to her when she returned from America, cracking the occasional joke. However, the drama Mo Sheng didn’t have that and only had her bubbly personality return to her after she and Yi Chen got officially married. I like the bubbly Mo Sheng more than I do the Mo Sheng returning from America. Yi Chen completes her life. Their official marriage life started off quite distant but their romance soon lit up again, bringing back their uni romance.
Dramas which sell romance must have a couple who has the power to sell that and in order to do so, there must be chemistry between the OTP. As much as I enjoyed Wallace and Tiffany, their chemistry wasn’t nearly as there as I would have liked. They definitely do have chemistry, there is no doubt about that, but their chemistry isn’t one of those intense, fireworks-shooting chemistry which has a huge impact on the drama. Yi Chen and Mo Sheng’s love story is the heart of the drama; it is the whole point why the drama exists and the reason why it keeps viewers sticking in for more and more. Wallace and Tiffany don’t have the chemistry that is strong enough to really emphasise on the angst and deep love that surrounds Yi Chen and Mo Sheng’s relationship. I do really like their overall vibe together and it was so nice to see how comfortable they are together behind-the-scenes and the numerous laughter they shared but it’s not so easy for actors to create fireworks of chemistry if it just isn’t there. Wallace and Tiffany had enough chemistry to convey a convincing romance and that is more than enough to keep me addicted to the drama.
Yi Chen and Mo Sheng’s love still holds strong after seven years of separation and while strong, their relationship came with some turbulence before they were able to reunite. Without the turbulence, the drama would have just been an empty shell. The two had to go through a lot from rekindling their romance to overcoming the other people in their lives trying to disturb their relationship. But they got through it all and with it, they got to understand one another better and fall in love with each other even more. The seven years of separation definitely allowed them to realise that they are the one for each other. I love the way their communication cements this. The way they communicate is no ordinary communication. They dive into it because the love they have for one another is still there. It’s some very direct communication with Yi Chen leading them most of the time. However, it wasn’t to the point where he pushed for explanations or demanded answers from Mo Sheng. He just chose to believe in her. For Mo Sheng though, she’s always thought that Yi Chen betrayed her for someone else but as soon as they reconnected, I think it truly came to her that she is the only one in his heart.
I’m one of the rare few who prefer the newbies, Wu Qian and Luo Yun Xi, playing the uni versions of Mo Sheng and Yi Chen respectively. Obviously their acting is nowhere near on par to Tiffany and Wallace’s but I really like their take on sweet uni romance. Wu Qian did a pretty good job as the bubbly Mo Sheng who is constantly at the heels on her love at first sight, Yi Chen. I find her adorable, particularly with her energy and her smiles whenever she is with Yi Chen. Yun Xi too, did a good acting job in one of his first major acting roles but I felt that he was too emotionless as Yi Chen. Granted, Yi Chen is quite the cool and collected human with basically the same still, poker-face expression so there but I felt that Yun Xi’s portrayal was too serious and did not convey enough of Yi Chen’s character.
I also quite enjoyed Wallace and Tiffany portraying Yi Chen and Mo Sheng’s younger-self. Wallace is perfect as Yi Chen even in the uni era! Tiffany’s uni Mo Sheng is full of sunshine and very bubbly with a very warm tone to her. Yi Chen and Mo Sheng are quite opposite from one another so it is no wonder they work so well with one another! The director initially casted Luo Yun Xi and Wu Qian to play the uni counterpart of Yi Chen and Mo Sheng but then decided to scrap that idea and had Wallace and Tiffany film that instead. The two leads only spent two days filming their college years. When the drama went to air, the director decided that the newbies’ cut would fit the drama better. In the end we got to see both of the versions with Wallace and Tiffany’s cut appearing in “what if…” component in the last ep and the recap eps.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that Gu Man also served as one of the screenwriters for this drama. Silent Separation is her debut novel and consistently ranks top as one of the best Chinese internet novels. It’s no wonder though because drama aligns very closely to the novel (apparently so) to the slightest detail such as Mo Sheng tugging on Yi Chen’s clothes. There are some scenes from the drama which are ordered in a different sequence to the novel but the drama flows nicely. It also seems that Gu Man is particularly fond of eating, because there was a lot of eating in Boss & Me and there is also a lot of eating here. Gu Man also seems to be particularly fond of the non-biological sister falling for the leading man in her stories.
Such an angsty drama that ended up being something so sweet to watch. I really enjoyed this drama and its storytelling. There were definitely flaws to the drama but there was so much of it that was spot-on and the drama was so nice to watch whether that be the directing or the acting. I got addicted to the drama and could not wait for the next ep to air. Watching Yi Chen and Mo Sheng rediscover one another and relight their romance is just something so insanely addicting.