My Opinion on Refresh Man

Refresh ManI’m not so sure what is so fresh about Refresh Man when there was nothing that was either fresh nor invigorating about it. It’s a drama that fell into its own trap despite the initial premise and nothing about it was even remotely fresh. The initial premise was fresh but one episode in and the drama had already fallen into its own trap of being a drama that I know all too well. I feel the same every time I finish an Aaron Yan drama – and that is disappointed, disappointed in myself for expecting this drama to be any better even though deep down I know what I am in for with this drama.  Refresh it definitely was not, recycled was what it was.

There are dramas where there are too much makjang going on and then there are dramas where there is no drama. Neither is great; a great drama sits in between the two with just enough drama to keep viewers interest but not too much that make viewers confused and neither too little to make viewers searching for something interesting in what was supposed to be a drama. Refresh Man falls into the latter category with the storyline reflecting this very much. There was just not much life to the storyline at all. It was very bland and dry and there was really nothing to keep the drama flowing. The premise could have been a very promising one but it went down the typical path, one that I have seen way too much. It left itself no room for development because it was very closed off from letting any drama happen. As such, when the drama finally realised that it needed to incorporate in some drama, it a) came way too late, b) was very forced and c) was resolved way too easily and quickly. In fact, I think the drama that occurred can be summed up in the last two eps.

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8I don’t feel the chemistry from our OTP. They don’t share that fire between them that allows them to be the star of the drama. The drama is already bland as it but they weren’t able to bring any warmth to the drama. Aaron and Joanne Tseng just don’t click as well as what I would have liked to see. It’s not that Aaron as Ji Wen Kai “Kelvin” and Joanne as Zhong Yu Tang were uncomfortable with each other or anything like that but rather as OTP they were unable to convey that type of relationship through on-screen. They didn’t really connect on that level; rather what I felt with their relationship was something very forced. Feelings cannot be forced and as such, that chemistry was not there. The drama tried to keep it altogether but throwing in some kisses but sorry, that doesn’t cut it!

9I also don’t like how their relationship was developed. It was romantic but was not and tried to be fiery but was not. Their relationship was kept on a very professional, friendly basis and bam, I turn my head around and they’re suddenly in a relationship; suddenly they are in love with each other and suddenly they are holding hands and kissing one another. I guess from their high school flashbacks we can see that they had feelings for each other but that was it; it was not reflected into their current relationship and so does not capture their romance story to the extent that it needed to be. There were no signs of either of them falling for each other and that is such a shame because rather than being on the forefront of the drama, it instead became hidden behind everything else. As the drama itself is supposed to be one that is driven by the romance, this weakened the drama structure making the drama fall weak and struggling to continue to flow through its 17 eps.

10Awwww Joanne! She had a good run of dramas before this one but then this drama happened. I absolutely adored Joanne in her last drama, Marry Me, or Not? but not so much here. I’m not so fond of her character. Yu Tang is very one dimensional and there was not really much growth to her character with her character not much different compared to the start, except she now has a boyfriend and her boyfriend is the CEO of a major company. Yu Tang is supposed to be this strong, independent woman who strives achieve her very best at everything that she does and growing herself through these learning experiences. While as the lead she is supposed to possess these framing qualities, but the drama completely degraded her colleagues. Not only this but there has been no growth to her. Right from the very beginning, Yu Tang entered the sales team and was their angel and has been an angel ever since with not troubles that she was not able to overcome. Due to the way Yu Tang is written out to be, I find that Joanne overacts at times and underacts at other. The emotions don’t come across as well as what her character is supposed to be like.

12Likewise, I feel the same for Aaron. But that is maybe because I have seen enough of him in these typecast roles that I feel like his characters are all the same – the same type of CEO, the same type of demanding-but-actually-soft-hearted guy and the same type of cold-romantic boyfriend-to-be. Aaron literally plays the same character just opposite a different co-star in each drama. Kelvin always plans ahead and always has the solutions to whatever his competitors may throw at him. There is nothing that he cannot not achieve because the challenges presented to him are not really any challenge for him. This character description is oddly similar to something that I have written before. This is because the role that Aaron assumes, which is almost identical to his drama before this one and the one before that. I feel like I see Aaron play the same persona again and again that is not interesting because we don’t get to see surprises from him and we don’t get to see him challenge himself. Please Aaron, pick a better drama the next time you come back into dramaland!

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7The second leads were just there to be second leads; nothing more and nothing less. Lene Lai played Miao Ai Sha “Elsa”, Kelvin’s secretary, and Jack Lee played Wang Zi Yu, Kelvin’s rival. They were just there as characters but there was not much development to them. We weren’t able to see them grow as they were pretty much the same character to episode 1.

This drama was indeed a very dull one and managed to drag out with repeated scenes for 17 eps. I guess the biggest letdown for the drama was the lack of development in both the plot and the characters. The writing was dull and did not live up to the premise of being refreshed. It’s such a shame because each of the four leads had so much potential within them that they were unable to unveil. Refresh? I say not.

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Click here or here to watch Refresh Man.

11 thoughts on “My Opinion on Refresh Man

  • July 2, 2016 at 10:48 am
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    Bummer that Refresh Man didn’t turn out to be very good :/ I actually have it on my list for the Aaron Handsome. I’m probably going to at least dip my toes in for a bit (see how much I like the Aaron Handsome?), and then see whether there’s enough in there to keep me watching ^^ I mean, I finished all of Fall In Love With Me, even though it was far from good. So I’ve learned that when there is enough Aaron Handsome, I’m willing to watch some pretty bad stuff, HA.

    Reply
    • July 2, 2016 at 6:56 pm
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      It’s definitely blander than most dramas, but quality-wise Refresh Man is waaay better than FILWM, hahaha. If I were to rank Aaron’s latest SETTV dramas… Just You > Refresh Man > Fall in Love with Me. Just You is more exciting/funny, but Refresh Man won’t ever make you want to tear your hair out. Take your pick. 😉

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      • July 3, 2016 at 10:17 am
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        Hehe.. I did watch Just You, after multiple recommendations following my FILWM review-cum-admission-of-weakness-towards-the-Aaron-Handsome. Which, unfortunately, leaves me with only Refresh Man to pick from, for more of the Aaron Handsome. BUT, thanks for the assurance that Refresh Man is way better than FILWM. THAT was plain bad. I can’t believe I marathoned it – and with a vengeance too! XD

        Reply
    • July 3, 2016 at 9:10 am
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      Ahaha, never learn from experience with Aaron’s dramas 😛 Aaron needs to start picking better dramas!

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      • July 3, 2016 at 10:18 am
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        I’m learning! Just, what I learn isn’t enough to deter me, since the Aaron Handsome is so magnetic 😛 YES PLEASE, I’d like him to keep picking dramas. Better ones would be bonus! 😉

        Reply
  • July 2, 2016 at 6:53 pm
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    I agree that there was very little development in practically every department, but I felt like it worked in some places and less in others. For one, I was pleasantly surprised that Aaron’s and Joanne’s characters got together (and stayed together) with so little conflict, because all the back-and-forth and push-and-pull in other dramas can be really annoying sometimes. I don’t think the director/writers were going for a sizzling romance (since if anything it’s really about how two adults make up for lost time and missed relationship opportunities as high schoolers), so given those constraints I felt the chemistry was solid and found that the couple really worked for me. Like you pointed out though, the weird thing was that early on in the drama there was no way I would’ve guessed that the leads had such a rich (potentially romantic) history; I thought they were acquaintances/frenemies at best! (I don’t know if you’ve seen Ho-gu’s Love but it’s got the same exact gist in this regard—I thought the leads were practically strangers but hoo boy, was I wrong. The difference is that in Ho-gu’s Love this information is withheld intentionally and very strategically, whereas Refresh Man… not so much.) So, yeah, not exactly the best execution on that end, but I guess we can’t really expect much when the quality of the entire drama ebbs and flows, not just the chronology. I was pleased that Lene’s character defied all drama tropes and was actually nice despite pining for the male lead, but you’re right, she could’ve been developed a lot more. Like you, I never got a sense of emergency whenever the leads came up against obstacles, because they always had some stroke of luck or trick up their sleeve that allowed them to resolve the problems without experiencing much, if any, loss whatsoever. (But I also kind of didn’t mind either because if there’s anything we’ve learned from FILWM, it’s that the leads can lose everything. And that’s not fun.) It’s an okay drama though. I had to marathon the last several episodes because I was really behind, and admittedly I wasn’t really paying attention at all, but thanks to that I was able to get a lot of schoolwork done on the side (win-win!).

    Reply
    • July 9, 2016 at 8:57 pm
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      Yess, I think the major downfall for the drama was that it really lacked in conflict and so this didn’t really give the drama any where to bounce off from. There was that little conflict that I was actually wanting to write in some conflict so that the drama would at least have something to flow off from.

      Yeahh, while Lene’s character defied all drama tropes, but because there was little development to her character, that rendered her useless for most of the drama.

      Ahaha, that’s good to hear (: At least this drama worked out for you somehow!

      Reply
  • July 3, 2016 at 2:38 am
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    I always feel sad when I drop a show 80% through it, but I just can’t seem to find the motivation to watch the last three episodes. It is just too bland. Hopefully Aaron picks something more challenging next time.

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    • July 9, 2016 at 8:58 pm
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      Awww, that’s such a pity! Hopefully his next project turns out to be a lot more enjoyable!

      Reply
  • September 2, 2016 at 7:24 pm
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    I actually really enjoyed the drama, probably because of Aaron and how handsome he is lol. I can kind of understand the whole “Zi Yu trying to take ovet Tian Xi conflict” because they have to have some public conflict that will affect everyone if not fixed. I would say there is not enough conflict between the otp. And that’s not normal for a drama. Their relationship is too perfect, to say the least. And I would like him to portray different roles. I want to see another side of him. Hopefully Aaron’s next drama is better.

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    • September 4, 2016 at 4:54 pm
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      Yuppp, similar thoughts! The OTP would have been better had there be more conflict between them. This would have allowed them to develop better as a couple.

      Hopefully! *fingers crossed*

      Reply

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