A Look at the Leading Men of Taiwan Entertainment

With AKP fully branching out from K-dramas to TW-dramas in recent weeks, culminating in my decision to recap Sunny Happiness, I think it’s fitting to devote a post to a collection of Taiwan actors who breathe life into dramas and movies from that region of the world. I’ll be giving my personal impressions of these actors, as well as a brief synopsis of their filmographies.

I’m sure I’ve posted enough about them, so its no secret that my two favorite Taiwanese actors are Vic Zhou (Zai Zai) and Joe Cheng (Xiao Zhong 小综). I am currently heavily sedating myself so that I don’t become a Mike He (Xiao Mei 小美) fangirl, because I can ill afford a new love. However, I can happily watch any of these men below in any drama, as long as the drama is good.

Ethan Ruan

Ethan’s nickname is Xiao Tian 小天, and he’s the newly crowned #1 Brother of Taiwan entertainment, with a hit movie (Monga) and two hit dramas (the number 1 rated Fated To Love You and the critically acclaimed My Queen) under his belt, and is the reigning Golden Horse Best Actor winner (for his performance in Monga).

I like Ethan, who has had to work harder than his two best friends Joe Cheng and Mike He, to succeed in show biz (all three belong to the same agency and are all model-turned-actors, but Ethan was blacklisted because he refused to break up with girlfriend Tiffany Hsu).

Ethan doesn’t leave much of an impression in still pictures, but on screen he comes alive. He has great chemistry with any co-star, and is a genuine acting talent (with some still unpolished rough edges). My favorite Ethan performance is in My Queen, where he redefined the noona-dongsaeng romance. He’s a daring actor that isn’t afraid to act out any scene. Next up for Ethan is his final project before doing his mandatory military service – the movie LOVE, which will reunite him with his Monga director and co-star Mark Chao (female lead is rumored to be either Zhou Xun or Vicky Zhao Wei),

Mark Chao

Talk about a bullet to stardom – he burst out of nowhere to land the coveted co-starring role in Black & White (playing Yin Xiong to Zai Zai’s Pi Zi – originally Yin Xiong was given to Jerry Yan, who declined). It was his first acting role, and he had incredible screen presence and great chemistry with his co-stars Zai Zai and Sonia Sui. He beat out Zai Zai for the Golden Bell Best Actor Award that year (still the biggest upset of all time), and followed it up with a box office smash movie Monga with Ethan.

Mark is currently one of the most sought after actors in the Taiwan entertainment business, and will be reuniting with Ethan for the movie LOVE. Mark’s father is a legendary Taiwanese actor, and he grew up in Canada and is fluent in English. I like Mark, despite being peeved that he got the Best Actor award over Zai Zai, because he’s the rare young TW-actor who has masculine gravitas and explosive screen presence.

Jerry Yan

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry – it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to consider him the godfather of Taiwanese idol actors. Got his big break a decade ago in Meteor Garden, and followed up with both onscreen success with various dramas as well as popstar success as the leader of the boyband F4 (along with Zai Zai, Ken Zhu, and Vanness Wu).

I’m very neutral on Jerry, he neither rubs me the wrong way or makes me completely absorbed by any of his performances. I think he’s just not my type (his face is too angular for me, but I concede he’s pretty handsome), but as an actor he is a solid leading man with more range than I think he’s shown thus far. Perhaps he’s better suited for movies?

Show Luo

I think most people know Show from his popular Corner with Love with Barbie Hsu. I first got to know Show from his singing and entertainment show hosting duties, and I have a hard time taking him seriously as an actor. I like him as an entertainer much better than I like him as an actor. He’s a versatile performer who has a great personality and a lot of drive.

Vic Zhou (Zai Zai)

Vic is known throughout the industry by his nickname of Zai Zai, so much so that news reports just run with headers of “Zai Zai is doing X…” He’s the TW-actor that I’ve had the greatest change of heart about – from meh in Meteor Garden to OMG-I-Love-Him in Black & White.

A reserved and introverted person in real life, he nevertheless is a method actor who lives and breathes any character he plays. His acting is soulful and riveting – he gave a career-topping performance in B&W that I still get goosebumps when I think about. Zai Zai’s next project will be the C-drama Returning Home, co-starring Janine Chang.

Wu Zun

He’s an awful actor, and its a fact universally acknowledged and accepted. He’s also one of the prettiest actors in the industry, and a nice guy with a lot of heart. I’ve got a soft spot for him, because he tries so hard, yet acting is clearly never going to be his calling. But it’s okay, because everyone adores him for being such a cute (and buff) puppy, and he’s got a niche all his own – the perfect robot. Wu Zun has already completed filming for the upcoming drama Sunshine Angel, co-starring Rainie Yang.

Blue Lan

I find Blue really off-putting in stills (his jaw just jumps out at me), and I think his acting is cavalier and heavy-handed. Even with these perceptions of him, when I watch him onscreen, somehow I have the urge to keep on watching. If he was ever in a good drama, I’d probably enjoy his performance and watch the entire thing. But his two most recent leading man roles were in Easy Fortune Happy Life and P.S. Man, both of which I couldn’t get past a few episodes. Rumors are floating around that Blue is the male lead for part III of the Happy Trilogy, of which part II is my current addiction Sunny Happiness.

Joe Cheng

I must’ve owed Joe something in my past life, because this boy literally can do no wrong in my eyes. Even though he’s had fewer great performances than duds (The Rose and It Started With a Kiss being his crowning achievements), I treat his dreadful dramas as anomalies and continue to swoon at the mere mention of him.

He probably doesn’t have the range that Ethan, Jerry, or Zai Zai has, but Joe has this sureness in his performance that I love. He’s always in control of his character, and never the other way around. Joe’s current drama is the stinker Channel X, which is one of the worst dramas I’ve ever watched, made all the worse because I love Joe so much I keep watching out of sympathy and self-torture.

Vanness Wu

Before Autumn’s Concerto, he’d never have made this post. I still don’t think he’s anywhere close to a good actor, but he demonstrated that he can be serviceable in the right role and with the right co-star. He lucked out with Ady An in AC, because their sizzling chemistry overwhelmed the holes in the drama and turned his mediocre performance into something memorable. I’m happy Vanness has made a spiritual transformation in his life and appears to have a new career objective. I’m looking forward to his upcoming drama Material Queen with Lynn Xiong.

Ming Dao

There are two Ming Daos. Pre-2008 MD (TW-idol heartthrob) and post-2008 MD (C-drama king of the melos). I love the former and can’t abide by the latter. My favorite Ming Dao performance (and is likely everyone’s favorite) remains his hotel-chaebol-turned-amnesia-mainlander in Prince Turned into Frog.

I managed to finish his most recent drama Zhong Wu Yen (with Cheryl Yang), but I’m always wishing that he could up his game. It’s like he’s stayed stagnant in his acting for the last 6 years. I think Ming Dao’s biggest success was pairing with Chen Qiao En in PTIF, and his biggest failure was turning down the starring role in Fated to Love You (which would have reunited him with Qiao En for their third go-around), which later went to Ethan Ruan. And we all know what happened to Ethan after that.

Mike He

Who would have imagined that Mike He would wow me one day? I sure didn’t, and never saw the blindside coming when I decided to check out Sunny Happiness. Mike shot to stardom with Devil Beside You co-starring Rainie Yang. Supposedly they had such great chemistry they were reunited in Why Why Love. I can’t confirm since I couldn’t get past episode 1 of either drama. Neither could I watch Love Contract with him and Ariel Lin (despite my abiding love for Ariel).

I can confirm that Mike is awesome in SH with Janine Chang, and that his acting has this newfounded maturity and comfort. However, I don’t have high hopes for Mike’s next drama, Mei Le Go, co-starring the female block of wood herself Cyndi Wang.

Jiro Wang

Jiro is the other Fahrenheit member other than Wu Zun to transition to solid leading man status. I used to think he was totally weird looking (when he was the second male lead in It Started with a Kiss and the TW version of HanaKimi), until my sister kept making me watch Fahrenheit videos and I realized that the popstar incarnation of Jiro is actually quite hot. I also checked out his Momo Love with Cyndi Wang, where for the first time I found him handsome and charming. I think he’s a good actor with range, but I never have the urge to watch his works.

Second Leads Turn Into Leading Men

Baron Chen and Roy Qiu

Both of these guys shot to stardom playing second male leads in dramas starring Chen Qiao En (Baron in Fated to Love You, Roy in Easy Fortune Happy Life). Both are currrently co-male leads in the smash hit C-drama The Daughters (Xia Jia San Qian Jin or The Three Daughters of the Xia Family). For some reason I just like Baron and Roy. Don’t ask me why. Baron has this brooding aura, and Roy is truly versatile and can pull off funny, cute, or dramatic. Expect both to be bona fide male leads going forward.

Chris Wu

Perhaps my favorite second male lead actor in all of TW-dramas. I rooted for him both times he was the second male lead (in Autumn’s Concerto and in Zhong Wu Yen). I love his acting, a combination of intense and restrained. I will watch anything he stars in going forward, because I think he’s super cute and uber-talented.

The Other Two Fahrenheit Boys: Calvin Chen and Aaron Yan

Calvin Chen and Aaron Yan are now leading men in their own right, co-starring in Love Buffet. But to me they will both be like kids playing dress up. Calvin is clearly a better actor than Aaron, but Aaron is so damn adorable I can’t help but stare at him when he’s onscreen. And then I cringe when he opens his mouth to say a line of dialogue. If both of them develop more screen presence and acting experience, they represent the next generation of TW idol leading men.

My Thoughts:

This post is clearly not all-inclusive, and I left out, amongst others, leading men like James Wen, Wilbur Pan, Peter Ho, and Nicholas Teo. Some of these guys I don’t like at all, and others don’t make much of an impression either way with me. The TW acting industry is very small, and many of these leading men are friends with each other, some are even super BFFs like Joe Cheng, Ethan Ruan, and Mike He.

Going through this list, I realized that there are some really talented TW-actors, and some really sweet eye candy. Finding a good TW-drama is like looking for a needle in a haystack, but having these super cuties around makes the search somewhat entertaining and definitely easy on the eyes.

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55 Responses to A Look at the Leading Men of Taiwan Entertainment

  1. Sere says:

    Aaarrrrgggghhh, this post will probably make me start watching more tw dramas than I ever had in my entire life. So much pretty in this entry.

    re: Zai Zai. *___* I started loving him in Mars. The drama was over the top, but man, I coulnd’t stop watching it. He’s SUCH a good actor, imho.

  2. marivic says:

    thanks koala for posting taiwanese actors i really enjoy reading your views about them. keep it up, post more co i really adore you. More power to you. Good luck i do expect more exciting post to come.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Zai Zai’s first breakthrough as an actor was in Mars with Barbie Hsu I feel. He was likeable but stiff in Meteor Garden but just awful in Poor Prince and Love Storm (not that the dramas themselves are any better). Mars was the first drama where he first impressed me as an actor.

    • czak says:

      so agree with you.. in meteor garden he was a stiff as a board and with MARS, he really made me say, “man this guy’s got charisma and talent”. he really blew my mind with how he embodied that character. and though I agree that poor prince was an awful choice, nevertheless that drama is very much close to my heart. its was super 500% unbelievably slapstic and cheesiness that in the end i fell for it. Love storm was awful as well as Sweet Relationship — (*robot voice* need to erase it from my head, delete, delete delete). but in black and white, gosh he was so spiffing HOT and so bulls eye in his acting that i had to wish it was the real him….

      for my others thoughts on those Taiwan drama…
      well let me just say, in the philippines, the thing that started all the asianovela train show was METEOR GARDEN. so however much bland and monotomous Jerry’s face and tone may be, all i can say is “I don’t care”. MG made a breakthrough through the Pinoy airwaves by cutting the revenge-plot-family-squabbles-spanish-story-line novelas that dominated the TV’s even before i was born. Him as daum Ming sz, epitomizes the modern prince charming that made me finish school work early so i can get my comfortable seat infront of the TV after school as well as excuse myself from my then BF at 5pm to watch him in his “even if you were in hell, i’d follow you..” declarations that made my heart drum to the sound of the celebratory music. so however much he slumped his acting, Jerry would always be dau Ming sz to me, my first Asianovela love…

      then there was Ethan Ruan…
      i can only say this about him “I was Fated to Love him” to bits in his acting, anyway still looking for sometime to watch My Queen after i finish my SUnny Happiness Marathon (which I am loving since episode 5, i am in episode 12 no… yehey)
      anyway just a question, OCKOALA what is with the blacklisting due to his GF? is it like how Kpop idols keep their relationship a secret so that the fans who think themselves as their GF arent turned jealous and betrayed GF then turned into anti-fans who make petition to rule the life of their idol and make anti-fan cafe of the real GF… much like Shinee’s Jonghyun incident?

      about Joe Cheng and Mike He, hmmnnnn though i love them in their respective drama. I mean I was totally into each one of them when i watch JOE in ISWAK and Mike in DBY. but after the series i simply forgot about them. I dont know why. i still commend them for being great actors, especially JOE cheng, but they just didnt have that longing factor to me, that made me want and long for them even after i watch the drama.
      well just like now, i am loving Mike cause i am LOVING Sunny happiness. dont know if he would be engrave in my head as one of those TW actors for me…

      and for the round around, the last in my list for TW actors I super super super adore are VANESS WU and MING DAO.
      I agree with you ockoala that vaness would have been just another actor who didnt have staying power or acting props in teh TW ent industry, well that is until Autumns concert. him and Ady was just the epicness of chemistry. much like hyunjoong and somin for me, though they are in the dramatic side while the HyunMIn couple is the Rom-Com cutesy bubbly and adorable department.
      and MING DAo ming dao ming dau, i have been missing him so much. I actually thought before that ethan ruan was ming dau, thus my interest in fated to love you. So my love for ethan ruan started due to was my ultimate fondness and adoration of MingDao….

      ^_____________________^

  4. Kender says:

    Ahhh, reading this post bring back memories, and also makes me realize just how long it’s been since I’ve watched a Twdrama. And now you’ve got me watching SH, grrrr!

    A bit off-topic, but didn’t Wu Chun recently go solo? I don’t think he’s part of Fahrenheit anymore.

  5. tangee says:

    Jerry, oh, Jerry…

  6. Emeldy says:

    Ethan was my first T drama crush. Fated to Love You was my first T drama. And i have no idea how many T drama i dropped after that. I was in a Lost land. Then ISWK came a long and i became Joe Cheng fan for life. After watching Black and White, Mark Chao became my another Fav. I have to agree with you Ockoala on Vic Zhou and Mike He’s. If i would have not watched Black and White and the recent Summer Happiness they would have remain in my list of over rated T drama actors.

    But my True Love will remain Ming Dao and Vanness Wu. I am so drawn to these two actor. And they are not even the best looking T Actor. And trust me i am not a fan of all of most of their work. You can all call me insane but i checked out Heading the Ground K drama, cause i thought Youhno resemble Vanness Wu. TVXQ fan, my sincere apology for that. Trust me now i know. I even know all about JYJ : )

  7. Emeldy says:

    Opps … so many typing error. Sorry i was in a hurry.

  8. Htagged says:

    I haven’t watched a tw drama for a really long time. But yeah there are lots of eyecandies. I remember I was all over PTIF. Ming Dao…..though I might give SH a try:)

  9. aphrael77 says:

    hi koala,

    your honest thoughts on dramas are still as insightful and entertaining as ever, and i’m checking out your blog today after a long break since M3, and lucky for me that you’re discussing T-drama today, where i can at least contribute a little to the discussion 🙂

    i used to have an instinctive dislike of K-drama, K-music and anything starting with ‘K’ cos i was completely immersed in the Chinese entertainment scene. Now there are a few good T-dramas which I don’t watch, maybe it’s because of a perverse side to my character. i watch dramas only if there are actors / actresses I want to watch, and not based purely on whether the drama itself is good.

    Because I don’t really like Vaness, I didn’t want to watch AC.

    Because pretty boy Wu Chun is a sight for any sore eyes, I can gladly sit through (most of the) dramas/movies that he acted in despite the fact that his acting is lacklustre. By the way, Chun’s performance in 14 Blades is terrible, but I think his acting has improved slightly, no? I like his performance in Hanazakarino Kimitachihe, Romantic Princess and Hot Shot.

    I like Joe Cheng in ISWAK (that was some years back), but it turned out that was the only drama I liked him in. ISWAK is really fantastic – the touching plot, the main characters and I like the soundtrack too. None of his other dramas did anything for him (or me) after that, and I think that he’s quite limited as an actor, and his accent sometimes is an impediment to his acting. And ISWAK 2 was terrible, after a couple of episodes, it left me wondering whether there was any plot at all and completely giving up on it.

    Sigh… will have to confess here that my idol was Jiro Wang…. for three months before I became a total convert to Jang Keun Suk. And yes, his appearance in his early acting days and now is like a 180 degree difference. After knowing about his background and how tough his growing-up days were, it’s hard not to feel heartache for this boy who had to take on many part-time jobs (even as a construction worker) and has now made good in showbiz. Did you watch Jiro Wang in ToGetHer with Rainie Yang? Somehow, I heard that some people couldn’t get past Ep 1, but that was no problem for me. That was the best drama he ever acted in, that convinced me that he can act, and of course, look completely handsome and cool at the same time.

    And despite a liking for Fahrenheit in my history, I’m not so taken with Calvin Chen and Aaron Yan. And Love Buffet, unfortunately, makes me want to puke. I wanted to watch Aaron Yan act, but after 1 episode of watching the female lead doing absolutely nothing useful except go into girly fantasies of “Does A love me? Does B love me?”, I gave up the entire drama as having no substance at all. Of course, maybe the later episodes would prove me wrong, but I no longer have the inclination to watch it.

    And after almost half a life-time of watching T-dramas, I have now bidden farewell to it (for the time being), because all my time is taken up with following JKS’ career with a microscopic eye at http://jangkeunsukforever.wordpress.com/

    (pure fangirl stuff, only for fangirls 🙂 )

  10. Baizura says:

    I started watching Taiwanese drama with It Started with A kiss 1 and 2, so immediately I fell in love with Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin. Now, thanks to you, I am watching Sunny Happiness…unbearable happiness..weeeeeeee

  11. V says:

    I’m confused … Why would Ethan Ruan be blacklisted for not breaking up with Tiffany Hsu? Isn’t she a mainstay of Taiwanese entertainment as well?

    • ockoala says:

      It’s hard to market a new actor who comes already with a GF. Ethan’s own management company put him on the shelf for 1-2 years, and that is why Joe and Mike were faster out of the gate, when all three were supposed to debut at the same time.

      • V says:

        Ah, I see. Thanks for clarifying that!

        I really enjoyed your post. A lot of it I agreed with it, some of it, not so much, but it was very enlightening either way. I can’t believe I haven’t watched Mark Chao yet. Does he not do dramas or something?

        Our biggest difference is probably with regards to Joe Cheng. I admit, I’ve never found him the least bit attractive (don’t shoot me, please!), and I have to brace myself whenever he, or rather his character, starts yelling. But hey, that means more Joe for you! 😀

        I’d be interested in a similar post on Taiwanese actresses. I love reading other people’s analyses, especially when they’re very well-thought-out. 🙂

      • Bertha says:

        Poor Ethan well he should have not gotten sacked….so I guess Taiwan Actors maybe taken….I have the deep feeling in my guts some guys here are taken….hmmmph….Ethan has the makings of a great actor….from rough to a dumb dumb in Fated to Love you, I think I saw a movie of him….It’s quiet now….the can act….How come Channing Tatum can still sell….

  12. Anvesha says:

    There are only two tdrama I liked, devil beside you and mars.. I watched many others but at that time I just wanted to watch something because I was bored. And the only actor who I fangirl over is Mike He.. But Vic and Jerry Are also really good

    So totally agree about Blue’s jaw thing lol but it’s different on screen…

  13. estel says:

    Darn it, unni, I wish you would stop posting these pictures of such gorgeous men and then telling me they were good in such-and-such drama…because now I’m going to have to go watch them all!!!! And now I’m going to have to learn Chinese so I don’t have to wait for subs. ~sigh~ After Korean, Chinese shouldn’t be that bad, right?

    Nobody get me started on Japanese dramas, I beg you!

    • denali1975 says:

      I second your motion, estel – except for the 언니 part because I’m Ockoala’s sunbae. ^^

      Nosebleed, anyone? ^^

    • w. says:

      9 out of 10 of these said dramas are english subbed so you don’t have to learn Mandarin to watch.

    • czak says:

      hahahaha…..
      when you start of japanese drama, you shouldnt by any chance watch those with yamapi or ryo or shun or matsumoto..
      cause if you start on them then you are a goner…

      and i think chinese is much harder than korean.. as far as i know, the way they speak is super fast that my ears get this tingling feeling and i always wish that everything is in slow motion….

  14. djes says:

    I like Mike He in Love Contract, he had this awesome chemistry with Ariel, IMO they’re the best couple out there beside Ariel – Joe. LC was flop boring drama ever made, but I watched till the end just because of Mike & Ariel.
    I never really like Ming Dao. Even though I did enjoy Prince turns to a Frog, but there’s something missed with him, I just can’t describe.

    And I dislike Jerry Yan from the beginning I saw him on Meteor Garden. I don’t know how to explain this, but something in his face screams fake for me. I guess it’s just a matter of taste, so don’t shoot me! 😛

    Mike, Joe and Ethan are my favorites, and I have this strange soft spot towards Peter Ho, Blue Lan and Vanness.
    I used to like Zun eventhough I know he can’t act. I read somewhere he’s planning to quit showbiz and back to Brunei for good? I guess it’s his true calling after all, becoming a businessman instead of actor/singer.

    Ah, and I miss the older TW idol actors such as Leo Ku, Alex Su, and Nicky Wu.

  15. vis says:

    Thanks for this interesting post! I really love that you not only blog about kdrama but also twdramas and cdramas and the idols in those two realms! XD

    Oh, Vic Zhou! My first idol crush and top favourite among the male taiwanese actors~ I’ve been interested in him ever since Meteor Garden, but it was in Mars that he totally won me over ❤ I've yet to see Black & White but it sounds like a must see drama so I'll find time for it ^^ Second place on my list is Joe Cheng with his strong screen presence and third is Roy Qiu who I loved in "Girl in Blue". I actually rather like Show Luo although so far he's only played comedian roles which probably suits his entertainer personality just fine but I wonder if he could pull off a truly serious role… we'll have to see. About Ming Dao, I used to like him a lot but you're SO right! He was so really good the past and I still remember him best from Prince Turned Into Frog. His recent dramas have been so bland and boring… talking about bad choices *sighs*

    Totally agree that finding a good twdrama is like looking for a needle in a haystack but they're also easy get your hands on and check out compared to cdramas. There's only so many twdramas airing at a given time and some sites keep track of that on a weekly basis. I've found that it's so much harder finding a good cdrama to watch… there's just SO much out there and I've failed miserably at figuring what recent cdramas have been hits (which should mean it's pretty watchable). But thanks to you posts about upcoming cdramas I have an inkling of what to look out for 😛

  16. Anona says:

    Jiro Wang is adorable. Although ToGetHer wasn’t the best drama and their acting was kind of…..it was all good because all I seriously did was stare at him…no plot necessary XD I actually really like Calvin Chen in Love Buffet but I feel like punching the female lead. Aaron Yan is a cutie even when he had a tiny part in It Started With a Kiss…XD Wu Zun…..can’t act…..but still adorable XD (Tokyo Juliet really annoyed me though because of the dubbed voice…)
    Vic Zhou…first saw him in Meteor Garden and then I totally fell for him in Mars…I loved the manga and I absolutely fell in love the drama…I liked Silence too despite the sadness…
    Jerry Yan…didn’t like him much in Meteor Garden but I don’t know why but I adored him in Down With Love…(I think him mentioning Kimutaku in an episode helped)
    Show Luo….I sort of…kind of… liked Hi, My Sweetheart although it wasn’t enthralling but he’s hilarious in his entertainment show…<3
    Joe Cheng was awesome in ISWAK…and The Rose (incestuous relationships are always fun XD). I didn't think he was attractive at first but he definitely grew on me…
    Mike He….didn't like him much in Devil Beside You…I blame Rainie Yang I didn't mind Mike He…(despite that I still watched quite a few of her dramas o_0) could never finish that show…but I read the manga!…I actually finished Why Why Love though I actually liked him there and Sunny Happiness is awesome so far…(the last two episodes made me go WTF?) Don't know much about the other people XD

    • Anona says:

      Never mind forgot bout Ethan Ruan….Fated to Love You was good but I kind of stopped watching halfway…I just lost interest and didn’t feel compelled to watch more….he was good-looking though..(wow i’m shallow..)

  17. 1crazynyt says:

    its raining men aleluyah!!!!

    I would say my top fave are my MG men… But, I have to admit after MG, All Jerry’s drama didn’t have much appeal to me I think Its just me, in fact I didn’t watch all of his drama after MG but I still adore him and my first ever Asian crush or I’m still stuck in Shancai/DamingSu limbo.. But Vic and Vanness are different story, they sure rocked.. Actually Mars and Autumn Concerto are my top fave of all T-drama.. And now I can include SH. can you please tell me more about Vic and Janine future drama, Golly I’m loving Janine, she not that pretty but there is something so appealing about her. Does she look like Eugene (K-actress)?? She doesn’t over react, her acting is so natural, I’m so warming up with and I’m going to watch this girl and follow her future projects. Just thinking about Vic and Janine project I’m going Gaga already, I can feel the chemistry already..
    My runner Up are, Mike and Blue.. They both pulled off the Bad Boy role quite well, I like to see them again playing the Bad @ss young master.. Actually I would never get tired watching them playing that role.

  18. liz says:

    I love Vic ^_^ I saw him in Mars, and then he won me. kekekeke
    I saw Silent (still loved him more), and then I tried, but couldn’t watch MG.
    I hate MG -__- But then again, I watched ‘wish to see you again’ and saw a new face of vic, he really can act a weird writer! I felt sad at first (he cut his adorable hair, noooooooooo) LOL. Nice to know he will do a new project, and with Janine, I’ll check to see how they are now.. it has been a long time since I heard of Vic… the last time the people was telling he was with mental problemS?!!! T_______T

  19. Iviih says:

    Zai zai is my fav too! It was love since Mars… I don’t know, his smiles, his eyes/stares, his voice…. I love all 😀 hahaha

    Joe… joe I love him in ISWAK and TKA but in Love or bread, I just hated his acting there… I don’t know, his voice was really annoying. I think that role wasn’t suitable for him at all (was too annoying). Quiet and cool roles are better for him.

    And I also don’t know why, but Joe does have a charm, I don’t know how to explain… lol

  20. urbanscrappy says:

    I adore Vic Zhou, apart from in Meteor Garden (that belongs to Jerry), and I’ll happily watch and rewatch anything he’s in. Same goes for Ming Dao.
    I never talk about him, but everytime I watch Jerry in a drama he makes me think he’s my favourite actor, but then the drama ends and I’m back to Vic (Mars and Black & White are my faves) and Ming until I see Jerry again. Ming Dao’s La robe de Mariee des cieux remains for me one of the biggest miscarriages of justice. To this day I get seriously annoyed at the OTP in that drama, it’s kind of like Knock Knock Loving You.

    I love Jerry in everything but my faves are Starlit and Down with love. I love the latter because we finally get to see a lighter side to him, and Ella makes every drama fun.

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Vanness since Peach Girl, god knows why, so I’ll give Autumn’s Concerto a go – I’ve been putting it off.

    I never got the Jiro Wang thing AT ALL until I watched ToGetHer and then I was suddenly a big fan, although I still think that he’s annoying in everything he did before that.

    I completely agree about Cyndi, she is a talent drain. Cutesy and annoying, but I still find myself watching her dramas.

    I adored ethan in My Queen, that was one of my favourite TW dramas of the past few years.

    I never really got Blue Lan until I Do but that’s made me a fan.

    What about Jimmy Lin? I don’t particularly follow him, but I really enjoyed My Lucky Star.

    My method is to watch as many TW dramas as I can and then moan afterwards about how awful they are. Luckily, I’m shallow and even if they are god awful at least there’s good eye candy.

  21. cbsarang says:

    “…because I love Joe so much I keep watching out of sympathy and self-torture.”
    the reason why I love you and ockoala wp so much – You speak up my mind in the straight and exact way/words. LOLOL. xD

    btw, for Jiro Wang, Momo Love is his drama with Rainie Yang. correct me if I’m wrong. =)

  22. Iviih says:

    Btw, random but when I started watching T-dramas I always confused (still confuse, I confess) Ethan Ruan and Ming Dao. I know they are different, but I don’t know why I confuse them! ><

    Btw, koala I have to tell you.. love contract is a Torture. Really. I consider it the worst T-drama I ever seem. The whole drama is a torture and the end is the worst ever – I dare to say won't have such worst end in any other T-drama.

    Mike He, I watched him in Devil Beside You (Since I was like 12/13 when I watched it, I loved the drama at that time, hahahaha ), also watched why why love (since I was such a kid I also loved it….) But after so many years I came back and don't dare to watch it again, or would never watch it now…. Mike really improved for me… about chemistry with Rainie hmmmmm I guess they had…

  23. momosan says:

    After years of swearing up, down and sideways that doramas and k-dramas were more than enough and I wasn’t ever going into the abyss that is TW or C drama, you and mousie wore me down. Sunny Happiness has been my downfall.

    Funny thing, out of all that man-candy, it’s Mark Chao’s photo that makes me stop and say “well, hello there sailor!”

    • doozy says:

      Re: Mark Chao
      I think I said something along those lines too when I first saw him in B&W.. “how u doing?” *wink*

      Since I’m primarily a k-drama watcher, I don’t know much about most of the actors mentioned here, so thanks for this informative post, ockoala!

  24. Ai :) says:

    Aaron was kind of okay in Pi li Mit, it’s ashame that the story was kind of ridiculous and gui gui is kind of annoying…. I guess the character he was playing didn’t require much acting talent though…..oh well…
    I always kind of liked Jiro but his hair did him no favours…then in momo love he chopped off his annoying bangs and Shazam! he was uber hot… 😛
    I admit show luo is a pretty annoying actor (okay…very) but some of his songs are so darn catchy… plus he is amazing in 100% ent.. I also have to thank him for my korea obsession because I saw shinee on his show…. 😀
    That was a rather pointless ramble… but that’s what I do best
    I really like reading your posts they are funny and to the point 😀 Thanks!!!

  25. Pingback: A Look at the Leading Men of Taiwan Entertainment | A Koala’s … : Taiwan Daily

  26. w. says:

    I’m critical of my male leads in a romance drama. They have to be tall (180 & up), good looking or really cool, obvious physique like they do try to work out, V is even better, pretty good acting skills, and of course the ? charismatic factor that makes 20 eps a fast treat, head a bit dizzy & the heart aching a bit & that evokes romance memories of yesteryear.

    Who fits those tough criteria (excluding K actors cuz that list is longer): None of the actors have ALL the qualities said, but I like Ethan, Van Ness; I used to really like Ming Dao & Mike He but with their bad hair styles & clothing and ok acting in long dramas lately, they are just about to be off the list.

    Been watching C dramas and I’m learning there are many qualifying candies for a new list. That’s good cuz I’m running out of good dramas to watch.

  27. Buns27 says:

    Love this post!! Really like Joe, Mike, Ethan and am warming to Jerry. I’ve actually met Vanness, but that was during the F4 era, and I didn’t think much of Meteor Garden…sooo, wasn’t impressed then. Now, maybe. Haha.

    I’m glad you’ve expanded to the T-drama world! I’ve always been interested but it was harder to fuel the addiction without the requisite drama commentary, interviews, pictures, etc. K-drama has Dramabeans, and now T-drama has AKP! Yay!

  28. Sweety says:

    SHOW LUO ❤ ❤ ❤ *dies*

  29. Imcrazyce says:

    Two word: Chris Wu. I want to have his babies. And I’m not a kids person. That is how much I love him.
    And JIRO!!!!

  30. M3Lover says:

    Wow! A very informative post Ockoala. Thanks for posting I learned a lot. Although I’ve been watching some Taiwan dramas for a long time now I have no favorites among their actors unless they are totally eye candy for me. He he he! I choose them upon recommendations by a friend or review by someone (just like what you’re doing). I will watch Sunny Happiness by the way after all the episodes & English subs are complete because I can’t stand the waiting if it’s still airing (I only do that if the actor/actress is a favorite of mine). What I like about Taiwan dramas is a lot of their dramas is romantic comedies. I love romantic comedies, it is a great stress buster & entertaining. They surely knows how to make their audience feel giddy when it comes to intimate scenes even though sometimes the plot is off.

  31. Pinky Medina says:

    ZaiZai’s acting is getting better and better in every project he did,he really deserves those praises for every project and he gives also justice for every role he portray,specially in The Last Night of Madam Chin (Jin Da Ban).I love ZaiZai,I am truly proud to be a fan of ZaiZai always.Keep up the good work Zai ,one thing I would like to see on ZaiZai now is to gain weight.

  32. Miyamoto says:

    Oh my Ethan! My forever TW actor love! I super loved him in FTLY and followed him in My Queen, which didn’t disappoint me at all. Such a promising actor ❤

  33. alwayZZ says:

    Only VIC ZHOU!!!

  34. dcdramafan says:

    I found the subject title intriguing and was curious to see which actor you were going to cover. The percentages of me not finishing a TW-drama are very high. The few I did finish I almost forgot I did. Devil beside me is the only I remembered well mainly because of the chemistry and Mike’s character reminded me a bit of rebel without a cause. But I might give Sunny Happiness a try (a friend keeps talking to me about it too). I enjoyed your critique and found some of them amusing. Thanks for a good read!

  35. galen says:

    Nice post, I haven’t found any reliable blogs recapping TW- or C-dramas, so I’m delighted that AKP is taking up the task… Personally I think TW-dramas are crack, but crack that usually causes me to want to throw the laptop at the wall at times. Good thing is that I understand Chinese and don’t have to bother about reading subtitles, otherwise I’d never bother.

    Currently I’m watching The Fierce Wife with James Wen and Sonia Sui, the acting in that is really quite good, which is more difficult to encounter than one might imagine.

  36. jicks says:

    Hey ockoala,

    I think this is my first post on your blog? I just wanted to say a big thankyou for doing such a great post!!! It’s great because, well, I agree with practically everything you say lol

    Zai & Joe Cheng are, head & shoulders above every one else, my 2 favourite actors from Taiwan as well. Agree with many others who have pointed out that MARS was Vic’s breakthrough- this was the first time that both screaming fangirls (or women i.e. me, lol) AND critics rated Vic Zhou as an actor. He ain’t your pretty flower boy no more, baby 😉 As great as he was in B&W, is still probably my fave role of his. As a huge fan of the manga, it a true pleasure watching him bring Cheng Ling to life. He totally did the role justice. Still haunts me to this day (in a good way ;))

    And I’m nodding my head at everything you said about Joe as well, expect I don’t think his ability & range is any less than Jerry’s. Dunno why but Jerry as an actor has never done anything for me (though of course I loved him as Dao Ming Si xD)

    Hallejuah!!!!! Can I just tell you how thrilled I am to come across someone else who didn’t get what the Devil Beside You hype was all about??? *hides from Mike He + Rainie fans* To be honest, I don’t think it was woeful & I do think Mikey & Rainine are cute together but at the same time, I think there are many far superior Taiwanese series out there.

    Aaron is so damn adorable I can’t help but stare at him when he’s onscreen. And then I cringe when he opens his mouth to say a line of dialogue.
    ^^lmao, This is so funny because it’s so true! Boy is definitely lucky he looks so darn cute with his eyeliner-mascaraed eyes xP

    Oh, & ditto on Ethan & Mark Chao. Although, I definitely don’t disagree on Mark Chao picking up the Golden Bell Best Actor gong over Vic- looking at it objectively, I think Vic on a technicality basis was pretty remarkable Mark’s performance overall was much more free-flowing & natural.

    I’ll stop here since I think I’ve spammed your comment box enough for one outing.

    P.S. Can I get in on that Joe, Ethan & Mike He BFF sandwich?? lol xPP

  37. Pingback: Presenting the Leading Actresses of Taiwan Entertainment | A Koala's Playground

  38. Bertha says:

    Hmmm I’m so bad with names I’m photographic memory I can recognize by face….I’m a K-drama fan really because they’re production is awesome, they have great effects and different approach in cutting t and editing the episodes, the effects are awesome it’s like a drama film all the time, as for the Story well I love Hanakimi, Fated to Love You, My super awesome all time fave Meteor Garden, other dramas lacks creativity really, sometimes the script can bring out the best in an actors ability too….casting must be really tedious….I’m an action hopeless romantic feel good drama kinda girl, so T drama really limits my taste….Baron Chen and Roy Qiu are one of my hoping to be lead guys….Wu Chun stick with Martial Arts Movies that’s where your heart is work on your emotions….Aaron fits funny and love struck dramas yup!!!!Vic Shou he fits the psychopath playboy role in Black and White…..Jiro and Show Lou can make a good Duo….Calvin stick to hosting and singing very talkative….T-drama people spend more on your film quality it’s old school….

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