I am a huge sucker for nostalgia themed dramas, so when I first heard about Love @ Seventeen, I knew it was a drama that I could not pass. The drama is exactly as the title states – about love at the ripe age of seventeen. It drops into the current era, backlogging into the high school days and stemming off from there. The first three eps have just been about the high school days with narrative backlogs every now and then reflecting back to this era but from ep 4 onwards the drama will be giving love at seventeen a second chance, a chance to change everything and make amends to all of life’s regrets.
This drama saddles Lego Lee together with Nikki Hsieh together as He Hao Yi and Ai Li Si “Alice”. They kick off their first encounter with each other on some not-so pleasant terms with a misunderstanding that started their fate together. Hao Yi has just lost his father and has come to Taipei in search of his long-lost mother and older-by-six-minutes older sister. On his way navigating through this new town of his, he ran into Alice, a girl who he did not know would have fluttered his heart in so many ways. He mistakes her as his long-lost sister, Liu Xiao Fen (Zheng Yin Sheng) and so he conducts a series of petty acts as a way of getting back at her. He calls her out for supposedly supposedly smoking and even pulls her down into the pool of water with him when she shows her anger at him. However, their misunderstanding was quickly resolved and they very quickly warmed up to one another. They more time they spent together, the more that their hearts started to grow for each other. There relationship development is just very youthful and innocent, with them slowly growing aware of each other’s presence in their lives and seeing the impact that they have on one another. I really appreciate the drama for allowing the two explore their feelings for each other and being very upfront in regards to whether they could possibly harbour feelings for each other.
The two did fall in love with each other but only at the very early stages. Their hearts fluttered for each other and both were able to see that but they were just being held back by life and by young love for taking their relationship forward. There is also the issue of them being great friends with each other and taking a gamble with their relationship will potentially lead them to lose the opportunity to even remain as friends with each other. But fate has its ways and before the two were even able to further explore their feelings and their relationship, they were made to part ways with each other. However, a second chance can and will change everything.
I am really liking the vibe that Lego and Nikki are giving me. There is definitely a level of comfortableness and warmth that radiates from them and I really like that. It really helps them in their character portrayal and I personally love Lego and Nikki individually as actors; they without a doubt can really hold their characters and we can really see that with Hao Yi and Alice here. I like the persona that he is putting into Hao Yi, giving that sense of warmth and comfort that just embodies his entire character as a young, innocent and naïve teenager who is just experiencing his first love. Alice is a very mature for her age and a very bright and cheery person. She is always willing to stick up for her friends. She will go out of her way to help her friends, even if it means getting herself into trouble. However, for one reason or another, her character totally changed in the opposite direction and we shall find out in due time what has caused her such a huge personality change.
Along with Xiao Fen, Bai Shu Lei (Amanda Chou) is her other best friend. Shu Lei is part of the school’s swim team and the school beauty who all guys have their eyes on, including school dork, Song Han Ming “Peter” (Edison Wang). Han Ming would secretly send gifts to Shu Lei under his pseudonym Peter. Shu Lei did not know that Han Ming is in fact her secret admirer Peter; Alice does but Peter made her promise not to tell Shu Lei this fact. However, and unfortunately, the school bullies, Chen Qi Tai (Snoopy) and his gang found out that Peter has a crush on Shu Lei and would very openly tease him about it. Shu Lei still does not know who Peter is yet but knows that Alice knows and would push Alice to tell her, but Alice being who she is keeps promises and this eventually lead to a very sour friendship between the two girls.
That was quite petty of Shu Lei to lose Alice over something so little but what’s done is done and cannot be reversed. All Shu Lei wanted to know was who is this Peter that has a secret crush on her while Alice just didn’t want to break the promise she promised to keep. What both girls wanted was from two ends of the spectrum and neither were willing to compromise, which meant their friendship had to be the compromise but hopefully this time around they will be able to resolve all of their misunderstandings and rebuild upon their previous friendship.
This drama is indeed a nicely structured drama. I like how the high school era played out. Admittedly, it was quite rushed towards the end of episode three but I guess that is just all for the new phase to start. In 13 years, everything can change and will have changed. Meeting again will allow each of the characters to further explore their feelings and further discover themselves. Everything is about the timing and maybe 13 years ago wasn’t the right timing but now is the best timing and honestly, they won’t know until they are in that exact moment, under which their actions will change their future.
Click here to watch Love @ Seventeen.