[TW DRAMA] Westside Story

warning: may contain spoilers

westside story

A drama that takes place in West Street or Xi Jie.

You Ya Yu, together with his three friends are very popular in Xi Jie. They are called the “Evil boys” but they don’t exactly do evil things. They actually help out citizens in Xi Jie. Lan Yu Li is a high school student who goes to Xi Jie everyday in the hopes of finding her senior called Shen Yin He. Her senior stopped going to school and Yu Li heard that she goes to Xi Jie to accompany boys and earn money (compensated dating). Yin He needed to feed her five siblings and a father who gambles. Another character, Gu Tian Le met her and fell in love with her at first sight. To stop her job, he robbed a bank for her and the two went into hiding. Xing Wang is another character who came from US and is a Harvard university student. He came to Xi Jie to look for You Ya Yu after finding about him in a book. You Ya Yu and Xing Wang had battle and show-offs to prove who was better between the two. Lan Yu Li was able to find her senior after You Ya Yu and Xing Wang’s help. Gu Tian Le was also sent to jail after getting caught. The story doesn’t end there though; as Lan Yu Li developed feelings for You Ya Yu and vise-versa even after their endless bickering and fighting with each other. You Ya Yu was also in the search for his father. There was even a time when there was a misunderstanding that Lan Yu Li and You Ya Yu were siblings. Meanwhile, Xing Wang also wanted to stop Yin He from doing compensated dating so he “bought” her and gave her a mansion and money to spend. As time passed, Xing Wang realized that he loves her and Yin He felt the same as well. Yin He, though, promised to wait for Gu Tian Le for 18 years. She felt confused and there was a time when she wanted to commit suicide. On the other hand, Xing Wang also had problems of his own. Both of them realized that before loving others, they should learn to love themselves first. After finding out that Yin He was into compensated dating, the school expelled her even if she was an excel student. Xing Wang gave her another chance by providing her pocket money to study in US which she agreed. Yin He visited Gu Tian Le in the jail for the last time, and they broke up. Meanwhile, Lan Yu Li’s parents never accepted You Ya Yu as her boyfriend, just because he grew up in Xi Jie and he was expelled in school. Her parents were on the verge of sending her off to United Kingdom. Through time, You Ya Yu was able to persuade her father and he promised to go back to school. Lan Yu Li’s trip got cancelled. Also, You Ya Yu was able to meet his father and his bad accusations about him were all misunderstandings. His father did not want him to leave at all, but his father truly cared for him. The story ended with You Ya Yu attending the same school with Lan Yu Li, which was an exclusive all-girl school. He was the first male to attend the school.

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The first half of the drama was obviously better than the latter half. Super cool actions and stunts shown during the show-off between You Ya Yu and Xing Wang was worth a watch. However, after finding Yin He and Tian Le, things started to get slow and draggy. The editing wasn’t good obviously as you can notice, there were times when the voice or sound is louder than the normal volume. They redubbed their own lines, and some even changed their lines. The script and storyline should’ve been improved, because the actors and the setting were already in place. Xi Jie is really a cool place, and although the actors weren’t at their best, these were the actors that were popular during that time. The staff shouldn’t rely on their popularity, but really exert effort on the script. Honestly, the first few episodes were really great, but after Gu Tian Le went to jail, everything suddenly just got serious, and the storyline was too confusing for me. Nonetheless, Westside Story is a drama that depicts adolescence life. Experiencing first loves, money problems, etc. that I’m sure we may have encountered when we were their age as well.

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I liked how all the characters reconciled with one another and things patched up so nicely. I wished though that the reconciliation between Xing Wang and his father was more “touching”. He suddenly appeared at the last episode and the reason how he changed his mind wasn’t much elaborated. I wished that they could make more scenes for this subplot. The Gu Tian Le – Yin He – Xing Wang drama ended quite vaguely. I wished that they explained a little better. Sending Yin He off to America wasn’t the best plan to leave and end the show. I also wished that she ended up with one guy at least, but her character’s personality did not allow her to do so. Finding You Ya Yu’s father and knowing about his past were interesting that I wished that the three reunited as a family again. But then, what would happen to You Ya Yu’s half brother? I think it was best and appropriate to just leave it that way. In this drama, I liked You Ya Yu and Lan Yu Li’s love story the most. Although it was ordinary, I can still feel the “first love” atmosphere while watching it.

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Idols are really idols. For an idol drama, don’t expect any outstanding acting performances from the actors. Most of the actors were too old for their characters. Especially in this drama, there were many instances when they delivered the lines with little or no feelings. I also noticed that during the crying scenes, it seemed that fake tears were used except for You Ya Wa’s crying. I wished that they could’ve done some effort in making these kinds of scenes a little realistic.

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Tony Sun Xie Zhi as You Ya Yu — Among his first three lead roles, I liked this character the best. This character seemed to be close to his real self as well. He’s really a person with great leadership, and he loved to fight when he was still studying. He portrayed his role really cooly and toughly. His looks really passed him to be You Ya Yu. It’s obvious that he’s good in memorizing lines, but he should improve more in delivering his lines. As a Xie Zhi biased, I couldn’t say more.

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Esther Liu Pin Yan as Lan Yu Li — As it’s her first time acting, and only 15 years old during this time, I think she did really well. She wasn’t as awkward as those first time actors. She can get a bit annoying when she speaks so loudly and shouts all the time, but that’s what she’s known for and that’s what she’s great at. Despite of this, I believe that she really has acting potential and she’s a natural beauty.

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Xie Zhi and Yan Yan was a pairing that I shipped when I was still a 5566 fan. Regardless of their 10 year gap, I still think that their chemistry onscreen wasn’t bad at all. Their arguments and bickering were very natural. I was still hoping that they could have more sweet scenes together in this drama, just because one peck on the cheek was not enough. Never mind, we can see them again in Mr. Fighting ^^

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Wallace Huo as Xing Wang — His looks convinced me that he was a student from Harvard and that he came from US, but when he started to speak in English, it’s not the case anymore. He pronounced “nun” as “noon” and “fish” as “fishy”. Anyway, his acting was great but not to an extent that I would admire. I have only watched him in this drama so I have no way to compare his performance with his other dramas.

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Cyndi Wang Xin Ling as Shen Yin He — I must say that this is the best Cyndi drama that I have ever watched among the others (Smiling Pasta and Momo Love). Her acting was undeniably better and she wasn’t acting cute in here. I think Cyndi suits roles similar to Shen Yin He which can really show her acting abilities rather than those roles which just make her do nothing but act cute.

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Sam Wang Shao Wei as Gu Tian Le — He has the most minimal participation among the members of 5566, but he is considered the “luckiest” as he was the only one to have a legit kissing scene with Cyndi (Shen Yin He). I think his style and his looks were suitable for the mysterious and cool Gu Tian Le. Acting-wise, he needs more improvement as there were times when his acting was a bit off.

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Zax Wang Ren Fu as Wang Xing Jie — He’s really the mood maker in this drama and he definitely made it more interesting with his funny yet annoying expressions. His role as Wang Xing Jie was also close to his real self that I didn’t know if he’s acting or simply acting himself. Furthermore, we could also see a serious side of Xing Jie when he had deep conversations with Yin He. Ren Fu really has that happy aura in him.

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Jason Hsu Meng Zhe as Feng Ai Sen — Fei Ai Sen is a geek freak who loves math. Although his looks may have that clean, good guy image, but in the group, he’s responsible for making those one of a kind devices or do things that require brain. I couldn’t comment more on his acting abilities as his lines were a few only. Nonetheless, I didn’t feel that he was shy or awkward while delivering his lines.

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The official soundtrack is still one of my favorites among Taiwanese dramas. Actually I’m also biased, because the opening and ending themes were both sung by 5566. “Legend” is a pop-rock song that’s a perfect track whenever there’s fighting scenes. It’s very powerful with Jason and Sam’s rap. “Existence” is a perfect ballad track combined with Tony and Zax’s amazing vocals. The chorus is addicting. Other insert songs were also memorable. “HuLaHu” is a track sung by RnB, a group trained by Jungiery which never had its official debut. This song was catchy and cheerful. “Tormented” is a duo sung by Tony Sun Xie Zhi and Cyndi Wang Xin Ling. The lyrics are personally sorrowful, but both Tony and Cyndi’s voices were very soothing and relaxing. “Foolish Lover” is a track sung by Zax Wang RenFu. The lyrics, tune and the title itself suits him. “Dang Ni” or “When You” is a track by Cyndi Wang Xin Ling and this song was also her debut song which made her rose to stardom. It’s a cute and cheerful song that I personally liked.

If you were a 5566 fan, then you definitely have watched this already. I don’t really recommend this drama much unless you’re a fan of any of the actors. The opening theme and the preview got me hooked actually. The first few episodes were quite interesting especially with the action and fighting scenes. The rest became boring and one could quit watching the show. Even though I’m a fan and I watched it more than three times already, it was a struggle to finish it and the story was easily forgotten. Definitely your choice.

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Rating: 5/10

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Agnes
    Jan 10, 2014 @ 13:03:49

    do you know where to watch it online with eng sub?

    Reply

  2. INNERCIRCLE_ka3na (@ka3nalaz)
    Nov 28, 2014 @ 00:59:02

    i cant find complete episode

    Reply

  3. Ian Loreto Maravillo
    Feb 17, 2015 @ 13:21:58

    complete episode…

    Reply

  4. just
    Nov 30, 2015 @ 18:26:05

    where do you watch the full episode? i use to watch them before, but i cant find it now.

    Reply

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