I planned on writing two separate posts for these but I found that it would probably be better if I just joined them, as these two topics are linked and both posts would have the same anecdote and I hate repeating myself. Heh. So you can read my review (ramblings mostly) of Murphy’s Law of Love and my discovery story under the cut!
I only occasionally watch Taiwanese dramas and it’s been years since my last finished one (Drunken to Love You). Then I saw this drama on someone’s wall on Dramabeans and got curious. I occasionally watch twdramas and decided to really give this one a go when I saw that it was on Netflix. Simply put, if it’s on Netflix and I’ve been interested in it, I queue it right in. Murphy’s Law of Love is so like the usual twdrama fare, very VERY predictable and cheesy and all that. BUT HOW COME IT IS SO COMPELLINGLY WATCHABLE? Which, honestly, I can say for most of the twdramas I’ve seen. While I haven’t finished Office Girls because the second female lead started bitchin’ around and wreaking havoc and it was so infuriating I had to stop it (AFTER WATCHING 15 EPISODES IN 3 DAYS EVEN THOUGH I WAS WORKING), it was soooooo damn watchable. Like, I just watch the next episode and the next and the next. There was a night that I ended up watching until 3AM because of Murphy’s Law of Love and then I realized I binged five episodes in one go. Haha!
And along the way, while going to work, I realized the exception to my Chronic Second Lead Syndrome. I never fell for the second leads in Meteor Garden, Hana Yori Dango, and Boys over Flowers. But I thought that was because I always liked the actor playing the lead better than the second lead. In the kdrama You’re Beautiful, I was Team Jang Geun-seok all the way but maybe because I love him so I didn’t end up having SLS on Jung Yong-hwa. But here comes Murphy’s Law of Love, where I don’t know any of the actors, and where the second lead is my type. Physically, I mean. Between Danson Tang (the lead) and Jolin Chien (the second lead), I would choose Jolin Chien. Then his character in Murphy’s Law of Love is the steady, stable Daddy Long Legs to the female lead. He’s always there to support her and help her, sometimes even to the detriment of his ~game~. I should be rooting for him and not for Danson Tang’s prickly character!
But I didn’t. I couldn’t. And I realized that the single exception (so far) to my Second Lead Syndrome is when the hero is a tsundere. THE PRICKLIER THE BETTER. Am I predisposed to liking this type of guys??? Hopefully it’s only in fiction though. The realization dawned because EVEN IF I preferred the actor for the second lead, I couldn’t root for him. Because my heart was already rooting for the prickly guy who’s actually a softie deep inside, and who just needs to be loved. (Please, do not let this be true in real life too. I should not want to “fix” people.) I love everything that comes with a tsundere male lead. The bickering/hate, the inevitable and oh-so-delicious why-am-I-feeling-like-this-do-I-no-that-is-impossible-ohmygod-do-I-like-her??? realization, the wooing, EVERYTHING. I AM A SUCKER FOR THIS. You could say it’s a catnip. Give me a prickly guy and I will ship him.
I then traced back to all the second leads that I shipped and this exception is pretty much spot-on. In Autumn in My Heart / Autumn Fairytale, Song Seung-heon’s character was nice so I was Team Won Bin all the way. In Full House and My Name is Kim Sam-soon, LONG LIVE PRICKLY MALE LEADS! Conversely, in Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Micky Yoochun’s character doesn’t fit my prickly standards so even if the second lead wasn’t played by Yoo Ah-in, I’d be all over the second lead. Quite possibly, the only exception to this exception (my mind is spinning) is Goong / Princess Hours where I’m pretty sure the Crown Prince didn’t get on with Yoon Eun-hye at the beginning and yet I shipped the second lead? I don’t exactly know how the rule works too but I think my mind has an asshole threshold though. If I can’t sense an inner softie right away, I’m out the door and into the open arms of the second lead.
So for this realization, Murphy’s Law of Love will never be forgotten. And back to the review!
My pattern with watching Murphy’s Law of Love is that I’ll binge several episodes in a day/night and then I won’t touch it again for a week. I forgot that that’s how I roll with this show and most twdramas I watch. Once you start, you can’t stop! It’s just so compellingly watchable. I ended up watching ten episodes in one go every weekend but then I slogged through the last thirds of the drama.
It’s just that, I ended up dreading the episodes because I felt like the second leads are gonna be irritating but it just kept on surprising me because they’re actually logical and nice and EVERYTHING I’VE NEVER SEEN ON A TAIWANESE DRAMA. Hahaha! So refreshing to see the couple unperturbed by everything and actually talking! So I was very positive that maybe, JUST MAYBE, the couple won’t have a noble idiocy act near the end because the show has been kicking my prejudice at the curb at every turn.
Still, I ended up always preempting every episode because I’m afraid of the angst. Like, if I feel that I’m not that patient at the moment, I don’t pick it up because I don’t want to drop this show when I’m so close to the finish line. Then whenever I do pick it up, the angst that I was scared about doesn’t really happen. WHY AM I SO BROKEN AND UNTRUSTING OF TV SHOWS??? Hahaha.
I’m kinda irked at myself for never trusting this twdrama when time and time again, it has proven that it’s not like other twdramas. It took me a long time to finish this one because anytime that angst seems to crop up, I preemptively stop watching and wait until I feel like I can be patient for senseless extended angst and irritating characters. TwDramas are so notorious for those. But lo and behold, every time I pick it up again, I realize that the show never intended to go there. The characters are mature and while they did hit the angst/break-up plot point near the end, it was needed and understandable because it’s for their own growth. Of course it was still painful and for a while there I thought it’s not going to be a happy ending but YAY romance lives! More twdramas like this, please!
I love how the second leads were not mean and are even supportive. Seriously, SO REFRESHING. They didn’t act as mere plot devices but were given dignity as characters. No mud slinging and desperate clinging. BRAVO, SHOW. Moreover, even if I was a bit bummed that the couple separated SO LATE in the game, it was believable why they needed to be apart for the mean time. They were being toxic to each other and they had to grow and be independent and open before they can be finally together. For forever. I adored how the show even went on to show that they even had a long-distance relationship for a while. In the end, I love how healthy their relationship ended up being.
It’s because, you know, you watch some romance dramas/movies and while it’s swoony and all that, when you think about it, you know that the characters won’t seem to last together. But in here, the finality that the drama showed was satisfying because not only you do get an amazing romantic story, you also get amazing characters who’ve grown so much since you’ve met them. And I think that was the best part of Murphy’s Law of Love. It was a character development story as much as it’s a love story.
And for all of that, Murphy’s Law of Love will always be remembered.