Gong Xi is a young woman who works hard to be with the guy she loves. She works day and night and can't even afford make up because she has to pay for their luxurious mansion while he followed his dream and managed to become famous. When she finds out that he only used her, she enters the show business to take revenge on him.
This drama is based on the japanese manga "Skip Beat" and one of my favorite manga. Gong Xi is a nice, hardworking girl who grew up with Bu Po Shang and moved with him into the city, to help him fulfill his dream. That means she is basically working day and night to support his expensive appartement and waits for him to come home everyday. One day, she finds out that he only sees her as his housekeeper and so her dream of the great love bursts. In her heart, evil spirits are set free because of the hurt she feels and so she swore to take revenge on Shang. Her plan is to do so by entering showbusiness and crushing him with her popularity. On the way, she meets Shangs archenemy Dun He Lian, who looks down on her motive for getting into showbiz, but ends up meeting her more and more times...
Before I started watching, I already knew I would have a problem with the length of the drama. It's only 15 episodes for a manga with nearly 200 chapters. Also, many things in the beginning start to make sense only at the 180th chapter. So I didn't expect to love the drama. And I was right. It was good after you got over the first three introduction-epsiodes and I really enjoyed watching the story, because all the actors did a great job! Gong Xi was a lovely Kyoko, and even though I didn't like her character as much as the manga-Kyoko, I find myself liking her enough to accept her.
Siwon as Dun He Lian aka. Ren was also a good cast. He really has that gentleman-smile that he always uses in the beginning of the manga. Good thing, they only showed the beginning of the story. I don't know if he could pull off the later part of it. And that was also thing that annoyed me. People in the drama are talking about Lians past and how something back then happened but nobody ever tells you what it was. Because - well - they would need at least another 15 episodes to get to that point of the story... I would've felt better if they changed that part of the storyline. Give him some other problem or at least tell us a little bit about it, instead of leaving everyone in the dark. Not everybody knows the manga, so it must've been confusing for the people that thought about it...
And for Donghae as Shang aka. Sho... He was great. Okay, he didn't give the MV-shooting of Prisoner the magic I wanted to see (because the costumes were riddiculous), but he showed off the arrogance of Sho, he was the lovely kid he is and also pulled off the Sho who realizes his feelings. I liked him.
All in all, the story didn't lack anything. The beginning drags if you know the manga (AND the anime), but after that it get's good and you can enjoy it. My heart even skipped some beats at some scenes, even though I knew what was going to happen! And for the ending... It's not as bad. Nobody can tell me that they expected, that the drama would end with a happy end. Impossible, since the manga is also still unfinished. But I would've wished to get more episodes or at least the hint for a second season... The manga is really only starting to get better from that point on, so I hope they can do it.
So, since I was disappointed in many ways, I can't give it 5 stars. There were may good elements (the typical taiwanese comedy-elements with a bike that drives alone, policemen that always hear Gong Xi scream, a director always tripping over his feet and the lovely animation that Gong Xis revengeghosts have...) but I can't get over the bad parts (Lians past hinting without solving anything, the same cut-off story as in the anime, bwak bwak chicken without it's noisy feet... ;D). Enjoyable, but maybe more for those who don't know the anime and manga.
An adaptation of the manga Skip Beat, Extravagant Challenge takes patience to a whole new level at the beginning before finding its footing (somewhat) later on.
At its best, Extravagant Challenge is about a girl who learns to live for herself and finds love along the way. At its worst, it's about over the top, cringe-inducing acting; mundane, nonsense storylines; and decent music. Sadly, Extravagant Challenge is usually at its worst. That being said, the show does gain some more redeeming qualities near the end, however, it's a bit too late and the starting episodes are seared in your mind.
The acting was downright terrible in the beginning of the show, with only Choe Si Won showing any decent improvement (comparing his 'Oh My Lady' days to this show clearly shows a marked improvement). Everyone else, and in particular Chen Yi Han, take their characters and go as extreme as possible. If there was any guilt about fast-forwarding, the acting got rid of it.
The plot meandered for episodes (with some slight-and I mean slight-momentum as the episodes progressed) and there was so little character development that you couldn't help but wonder why everyone liked the female lead (or how they managed to stay around her for that matter). And when the reason that explained why the male lead even put up with the female was revealed, you can only sigh because, for once, it was the only thing that worked.
Having never read the manga, I don't know how faithful the show is, but they took an great concept and seemed to completely destroy it. Fun as a watch for Choe Si Won (which was my reason), but that's about it.
Both dramas are about girls who were left by their boyfriends. Both girls had a hard childhood and didn't know how to be themselves. They meet rude, popular guys who help them to realize what they want from their life.