Best Time aka Secrets Hidden By Time aka Most Beautiful Time aka 最美的时光 Review
Synopsis: Su man (played by Janine Chang) is a successful career woman but at the age of 25 she still hasn’t dated yet because of her one-sided love for her college senior Song Yi (played by Jia Nai Liang). She loses contact with him after he goes abroad and coincidentally meets him again 10 years later. She gets into the company that he works for in order to get closer to him and win him over. Lu Li Cheng (played by Wallace Chung) is a competitive and oppressive workaholic. He has the same position as Song Yi in the company and both are competing for the director position. Seeing Su Mann’s potential, he becomes her direct superior, making her work for him but ends up falling for her while she completes task that he gives her in order to bargain for a switch to Song Yi’s team. Will her love for Song Yi lasts despite another man continually being there by her side?
Broadcast: Nov 20,2013- Dec 22, 2013 with Tian Long Ba Bu following it which is a historical drama also starring Wallace Chung
Episodes: 47 +2 sp… however the person I watched it from on youtube only has 30 ep
Rating: ♥♥ or ♥♥♥ at most
Janine Chang as Su Man
Wallace Chung as Lu Licheng or nickname lu shwai ( Su Mann’s nemesis turned protector/lover)
Jia Nailiang as Song Yi aka Alex (Su Mann’s longtime crush)
Catherine Han as Xu Lianshuang (Su Man’s best friend)
Xiang Jin as Chun Ni
Jiang Kai as Mike
Liu Ying as Xu Qiu
Jiang Yijia as Lin Da (Lu Li Cheng and Alex’s Competitor at work)
Mou Xiangying as Helen (Lu li Cheng’s assistant)
Liu Ling as Mrs. Xu (LianShuang’s mother)
He Jiang as Xu Zhongjin (LianShuang’s father)
This is a romantic, modern metropolitan, story based off of Secrets Hidden By Time (被时光掩埋的秘密), yet another novel written by Tong Hua ( who also wrote Startling By Step and Sound of Desert (The Sun Moon Legend) which were turned into dramas- both which I fell irrevocably addicted to). This is Tong Hua’s first novel to take place in modern life.
I started watching this drama because I became sucked into Wallace Chung’s aura and couldn’t stop watching him after finishing Silent Separation. All his other recent dramas were historical dramas with awful hairdo and Janine, a favorite actress of mine who I know won’t disappoint me, is also in this, so I decided to choose this modern piece.
It is a change to see Janine play a strong, confident character. In all her other dramas (Black &White, Sunny Happiness, Ring Ring Bell, Le Chun Kai, You Light Up My Star) that I have watched so far, she plays a weak and poor pitiful character. I still haven’t been able to adapt to Janine’s thicker eyeliner since in all her other dramas, her makeup was natural at most.
I like that the story is original where the girl actually takes action to go after a guy. However I felt the story was a bit dragged out and there were lots of scenes that I didn’t think were necessary. I basically skipped through some scenes which I hardly ever do. After the story reaches it’s climax (***SPOILER***when she finds out that Song Yi is dating her best friend and to keep her best friend she decided to let go of Song Yi) the rest of the story were just fillers. It was so annoying to keep watching her friend keep on mentioning Su Mann’s love story, her bratty attitude and her overt display of love for Song Yi in front of Su Mann.
There are three endings to this drama which of course I like the happy ending with Lu Li Cheng and Su Mann together the most. I will discuss the endings more in depth below in the spoilers sections.
After watching Wallace in Silent Separation and then in Best Time, I do feel that he is a good actor. I wasn’t able to tell in Silent Separation since all he has on is an angry face but when I saw him in interviews and his speech for awards, by comparing how different each character is to his real life self, you can tell his acting completely morphed him into another character. I totally fall for his gentle gaze.
Btw did anyone know that he used to work for TVB and originated from hongkong. I find him so cute to speak broken mandarin during his award speech and is probably the reason why he needs to be dubbed in chinese drama. What I was most surprised about was that he appeared in meteor garden (the drama that started my drama obsession). He is in ep 21 part 2 and ep 22 part 3 of meteor garden and you get to hear his cantonese-accented mandarin that is typical of hongkongers that attempts to speak mandarin.
All in all I felt like this drama was mixed bags. It started off pretty interesting and it was fun to watch them bicker while Li Cheng slowly falls for her and watches over her. However they had to add deaths and disease that weren’t necessary. Janine’s character seem to fade back into her typical pitiful character that she usually portrays near the end however her portrayal of all the different emotion- confidence, anger, hysteria, wistfulness- were all done well and still never fails to disappoint me. I especially liked her expression of heartbrokenness and anger from her hysterical outburst and biting Li Cheng.
I keep on expecting sweet moments near the end however that never materialized so cherish all the sweet simple bickering moments that happens in the beginning. Is it bad to say that I think Song Yi’s kiss scene with Su Mann felt sweeter and more like true love than the kiss scene Su Mann and Li Cheng had? I would watch it if you want some sort of romantic drama or you’re dying for a drama with Wallace Chung or want to see Janine with a different character than the pitiful character we are so used to seeing. I think what brought this drama down was the background music, dubbing, and a deflation after the climax. I still can’t pinpoint why they need to dub Janine’s voice. The production team should know by now that when they dub the voices, they also lose feelings and expressions that isn’t expressed by the dubbers. The drama doesn’t touch my heart as much as if they had used their real voices like in k-dramas.
Also product placement and flashbacks were rampant throughout the entire drama.
My favorite scene Lu Li Cheng’s slow wine drinking scene and then grabbing Su Man close to tell her she was right. I feel it’s his way of admitting defeat but yet preserving his pride. He doesn’t want to say she’s right out loud so he whispers it in her ear but in a seductively satisfying way.
favorite quote: from Lu Li Cheng: you don’t need the heels. From now on I will be your shoes- I will be your leg. I am a part of you that can not be separated.
There were lots of symbolism that I was able to pick up in this drama.
1. Li Cheng offers Song Yi a ride but Song Yi tells Li Cheng that they aren’t on the same path since he drives a car, he goes faster. Song Yi wishes him the best and that he deserves everything. It seems like he is saying that Li Cheng deserves the director spot but there is a double meaning that he means Li Cheng deserves su mann also.
2. Song Yi gives the invitation card, that was given to him by Su Man, to Li Cheng. Song Yi says it’s hard to get, you should cherish it. Li Cheng think he’s talking about the opportunity to meet with other businessman but the double meaning is Alex is telling lu shwai to cherish su man. Su Mann is the invitation card. By giving away the invitation card, it’s like he’s giving up on Su Mann.
3. Su Mann bites Li Cheng on the hand when she struggles to get away from his grasp after finding out Song Yi is dating her best friend. The bite is a foreshadowing of Su Mann leaving a mark on Li Cheng as in claiming her man.
While I was watching this drama, I felt that Wallace Chung resembled someone but couldn’t pinpoint who it was. At first I thought it was Kim Soo Hyun but later realized it was Lee Seung Gi. He doesn’t resemble Lee Seung Gi in Silent Separation or in real life but Wallace, as Lu Li Cheng, resembles a lot like the real Lee Seung Gi in variety shows. I don’t know if it’s the tall height with a small head, gesture or the way they smile secretly on the inside-beaming but I find a sort of resemblance.
Also I think Jia Nai Liang is a lot like Raymond Wong from TVB.
Lu Li Cheng owns a black Range Rover. Usually my eyes only light up when I see a nice convertible, an audi or a benz but somehow, Lu Li Cheng makes the Rang Rover look so sexy and I almost wanted to declare the Range Rover as my ideal car. Amazing how dramas can brain wash you.
The luxurious houses and sets the story takes places in actually looks pretty nice.
A lot of the jewelry that Su Mann and Lian Shuang wears looks so adorable.
Looking back at when I posted the recaps of Silent Separation, it hasn’t even been a week and I already finished two dramas with Wallace Chung. It’s funny because I haven’t even written the review for Silent Separation that I finished first but already wrote the review for best time.
Did anyone realize there is never anyone in the bathroom except for our main characters.
Did anyone think that Li Cheng and Song Yi’s ties were a bit too slim. They look narrower than normal ties.
Lu Li Cheng’s english name is Elliott Lu.
There is three endings to this drama in which the first and second ending I will just pretend that it does not exist since it’s so horrible. First ending just ends with all three of them together. It’s ambiguous and doesn’t say who ends up with who but that they are all happy. NEVER SHALL ANY WRITER EVER GIVE ME SUCH A HORRIBLE ENDING. I HATE AMBIGUOUS ENDINGS.
Second ending is Su Mann rejects Lu Li Cheng and marries Song Yi because he is the one who made her become who she is now. He tears the wedding photo apart and keeps the side with Su Mann-signifying he will continue to love her. Li Cheng then sells Su Mann’s apartment to Song Yi.
Thankfully there is a third ending which redeems itself. In the third ending, Su Mann ends up with Li Cheng after multiple misunderstanding. Li Cheng runs after the Song Yi’s car thinking the Su Mann had boarded but trips and falsl on the ground. Su Mann appears and while walking toward Li Cheng, hre heels breaks and Li Cheng runs up to help her and they end up happily ever after. I like how this relates back to how they first met: when Su Mann pretends that her heel broke in order to get Li Cheng’s number. When I got to the last episode of this drama, I felt that there weren’t enough sweet moments of Lu Li Cheng and Su Mann together and was so glad they had a flashback to bring back up all those tiny sweet moments that make up their story. Usually I hate flashbacks and feel like they are time fillers but it was absolutely necessary in this drama. I guess it’s a those little moments that we don’t care about that makes a whole.
Would I recommend it? If you have the free time and you’re a fan of either Wallace or Janine, or just want to watch a romantic story I would say yes. If you don’t have free time and can’t stand watching flashbacks then just skip it.
Thanks for dropping by,
Please Comment below. Your comments powers me to continue writing these reviews. I will be delighted to hear what fellow drama lovers have to say.
My Thoughts while watching the drama
I guess the person I was watching from was already the condensed version so the episode are a bit messed up compared to the full version. The condensed one only has 30 episodes as opposed to 47.
ep 3-how come in every drama. A person can easily get access to the top roof. Don’t they usually lock the door to prevent people from suiciding? I first thought that wallace chung in this drama looks like kim soo hyun but I realized he resembles a lot like lee seung gi- he has a small head on top of a tall figure. When you look at him, he doesn’t look like lee seung gi at all but in this drama there is some resemblance.
ep5-looks like some grueling way of work confinement.I’m glad my future job does not need 24 hours of work
ep 6- that female coworker is so annoying she’s crying about her mother being sick but she just couldn’t stand being away from her boyfriend. No wonder she didn’t have guts to ask xiao shwai for work phone. I dont know why she likes to put on wig. It’s like she wants an alter ego when she goes out best moment :they have an argument and she says she has changed him. That her coworker wasn’t fired and he is still listening to his explanation. He get’s closer, takes a drink of wine and pulls her close saying “you are right.”
ep13- we knows for certain that xiao xwai loves her. he was almost on the verge of kissing her and he invited her to his house.-meaningful. when she mentions that she definitely won’t love him, his face turns hard.
ep14-at the basketball match, we see there is a flashback to when they were in school and song yi gave su man encouragement to work hard to get into his school. I don’t get it, does song yi know that su man is his underclassmen that he used to know. Does he know he is talking with su man on msn? Su man screams Song Yi I love you and lu xwai happens to hear in the midst all that cheering. He get’s extremely annoyed that he had lost to song yi. OKay so it is revealed that he did find out who su mann is but is also reminded of his past girlfriend to not date anyone. She’s waiting outside the male locker room for song yi and lu xwai comes out and snatches the coke from her hand. She then enters the male locker room and talk to him but song yi insist that he doesn’t remember her. while she is walking home, she see’s lu li cheng’s car outside the club. SHe tells herself that she does not care about him but is only there to see how unlucky he was today to make fun of him. Usually only benz and audi attract me but he makes the range rover look so sexy. Makes me want to change my ideal car to a range rover. Amazing how dramas can brain wash you.
while he’s drunk he says he was angry because of a women but su mann not knowing the lady is her kept asking if she can help.
ep 15 su mann takes him home. The lock form his house are those antique locks from historical times. she takes care of him and tucks him into bed but lu xwai is half awake and is fully aware of her taking care of him. She thinking he’s drunk says when you’re sad I am accompanying you, who accompanies me when I am sad. When she went to sleep, lu xwai stands up and says I am here for you. So he wasn’t actually as drunk.
ep16 first time we see that song yi may be giving so man a chance and that he is actually longing for her. They are all wet from the rain. Su man’s face is completely dry however lu shwai’s face is all wet and sexy. they mentioned bu bu jing xin )scarlet heart) su man was talking about that they should have fights internally and should be working together-that they aren’t trying to fight for the throne like in scarlet heart. Song Yi tells Lu shwai that they aren’t on the same path. Lu shwai drives a car so he goes faster. Song Yi wishes him the best and that he deserves everything. I believe he thinks lu shwai and su man is together and it seems like he is saying lu shwai deserves the director spot but there is a double meaning that he means lu shwai deserves su mann also. alex gives up on su man. He gives the invitation card to lu shwai and says it’s hard to get, you should cherish it. Lu shwai think he’s talking about the business advancement but the double meaning is alex is meaning su man and to tell lu shwai to cherish su man. Did anyone realize there is never anyone in the bathroom except for our main characters.
ep 22- why did lu li cheng suddenly appear out of nowhere. Did he follow her into the building. What for? The dramatic running in the hallway scene was cheesy. Janine Chang is best at crying pitifully. bite wounds are a common reoccurring theme in dramas.
ep23 it feels so heartbreaking to keep seeing her best friend keep on calling her despite her being sick and saying she wont go.
ep24 a person who keeps on saying they love a person but yet keeps on doing stuff that lover doesn’t like, is just crazy. Her friend going up there to yell and scream in front of the media despite her boyfriend telling her not to is so upsetting. If you love someone then you should do what that person likes. Even if she is helping her boyfriend, she is ruining another person’s life.
ep26 su man thought li cheng was alex and they madeout. that rich daughter is such a brat. Having a boyfriend that doesn’t say no and doesn’t get angry is nice. It’s getting boring so the director goes let’s bring some drama. Someone should die. no make it two person. cause more drama and sadness.
ep 27-her friend is so impulsive. I think if your best friend did something horrible to you, because it’s your best friend, it would be difficult to get violent at the friend. at ep 29 i switched to a different uploader since my uploader had videos that were segmented and the episodes got messed up ep29 su man still yells at lu li cheng when asking for his help in finding ma la tang.
ep30 Basically everyone leaves. shocking that lu shwai’s secretary actually had a crush on him all along but decided to give him up and marry someone else.
can’t believe they have to add in a car chasing scene.
I like the end-her heels breaks. He goes you don’t need the shoes. From now on I will be your shoes, I will be your leg. I am a part of you that can not be separated. Of course they add in flashback of all their sweet moments. I feel it is definitely neccessary. Usually when they have flashback in ending, I feel that it is so unnecessary and recap everything but because li cheng and su man were never together, all their other moments whether they were fight and arguing were actually their sweet moment. In my opinion one of the best moments were all the flashback in the last few moments of the drama. Who knew all those little moments ended up being their all.
cast list credits to wikipedia