Original Title: 泡沫之夏 / Bubble’s Summer
Country: Taiwan / China
Channel: FTV / HunanTV
Plot: Summer’s Desire is a 14 episode Chinese drama focused on the destructive nature of love triangles and birth secrets. The story revolves around the relationship of Xia Mo, Luo Xi, and Ou Chen, each with a painful past. The story starts with Xia Mo’s struggle to make it in the entertainment industry in order to take care of her sick brother whose body is starting to fail. Meanwhile, the selfmade “it” star, Luo Xi, had come back to his country of origin in what seems like for promotional needs. The third leg Ou Chen, a CEO of the huge Ou Coporation, is trying to figure out what seems to be missing from his life. His temper pushes almost everyone away except for his butler Simon. Told through flashbacks interspersed in present time, one finds out that Ou Chen and Xia Mo were a couple. Ou Chen was a possessive young master who was obsessive about Xia Mo, the adopted daughter of a middle class family whose inner strength caught his eye.
However, Luo Xi, another orphan was adopted into Xiao Mo’s family as well. A spiteful young man, he was constantly butting heads with Xiao Mo. Ou Chen saw this new guy as competition and had manipulated strings to send Luo Xi to study abroad. Luo Xi, had already became obssessed with Xia Mo and promised to make her notice him one day. Unfortunately Xia Mo’s family got into a horrid accident that day, which left Xia Mo and her brother out on the streets to survive. In her anger, Xia Mo broke up with Ou Chen very harshly thinking it was his fault her adopted family died, which caused him to get into a car accident and lose his memory. Coincidently, the coporation that Xia Mo manages to get herself into later on is none other than Ou Chen’s. Luo Xi manages to meet up with Xia Mo again and tries to pursue her. At first, she is really hesistant, but gradually her heart reaches for him due to their similar upbringing. However, inevitably, Ou Chen recovers his memory and discovers that not only is Xia Mo so near, but dating Luo Xi.
What occurs next is a game of love tug of war between the three. While Luo Xi and Ou Chen can’t let go of her no matter what, Xia Mo becomes colder as she tries to focus on taking care of her very sick brother. With a twist of fate, Ou Chen is actually a match for her brother’s kidney. Of course a deal is made where she promises to marry him if he donates the kidney. At this point, it was hard to tell who Xia Mo loved more. She had found out that it wasn’t Ou Chen’s fault about her parents and what had happened to her and her brotherwards. At the same time, she was having relationship troubles with Luo Xi who had abandonment issues and kept on doubting her feelings for him. Driven to a corner, she chooses the one that could best protect her.Slowly she rebuilds her trust with Ou Chen while Luo Xi regretfully recognizes what he had lost.
With a last dramatic act, Luo Xi tries to commit suicide by stepping in the way of an explosion on a filming set while Xia Mo gets married with Ou Chen. Unfortunately after she brings Luo Xi out of his coma like state, her own brother dies even though he received a transplant. Shocked into a stupor, the only way for Luo Xi and Ou Chen to bring Xia Mo out of it was to have her act in a story that was similar to her and her brother’s. By the end of the drama, Ou Chen learns to let go and lessen his hold, Luo Xi accepts that some things aren’t meant to be, and Xia Mo learns how to trust and fully love another.
Comments: This drama is like trying to untangle one of those trick metal chains that are linked together. Personally, the drama contains a lot of cliche drama tropes, but the ones that hit my drama kinks. There is a lot of hurt/comfort, excellent singing, first loves, and tortured past with all the characters. Caught between two top tiers in soceity, Xia Mo tries her best to not let them too close lest she hurt herself. She has perseverence and the drive to keep on fighting for her and her brother’s survival even though their backgrounds were very poor. Luo Xi, while seemingly a better fit for Xia Mo, is actually poisonous to her. Both coming from an orphange background made them have huge abandonment and trust issues that they just couldn’t overcome in the cut through entertainment industry. However, it wasn’t like Ou Chen was any better. He was so intensely possessive that he didn’t even want Xia Mo to let her hair down during their school days . He loved her whole heartedly but held on way to tight. Basically, a story of three broken people trying their best to feel a connection with another person, to feel loved and safe.
However, the complicatedness of the birth secrets in this drama made my head spin! In order for Ou Chen to donate that kidney to Xia Mo’s brother, the plot was set up so that Ou Chen was actually his stepbrother! But wait, don’t worry, this story isn’t about incest! While Xia Mo and her brother had the same mother, their fathers were different. Then Ou Chen and Xia Mo’s brother shared the same father, but different mothers! Cutting it a little close there? Almost siblings. Again, all about crossing those social barriers, but tragically unhappy relationships where both the mothers died. While I enjoyed this drama for its intense makjangness and amazing kisses, its not something I would watch over and over again. But if you are looking for a quick, very romantic-heart fluttering fling, this would definitely be a must.
Actor Review: Barbie Hsu plays the cold Xia Mo to a T. Although sometimes she seems a little blank and looks like a life-size doll. But maybe, that fits the character better, a girl so frozen on the outside to prevent anything from hurting her? It’s a role different form her usual Candy types. However, her voice is really quite pretty in the drama. Huang Xiao Min plays Luo Xi very well. He portrays that hotshot idol very well, seeing that he used to be one himself! His charm and handsomeness certainly shine through as well as his voice. However, maybe its just me…but is his smile just a little too greasy sometimes? But damn, if he isn’t the hottest kisser I’ve seen in a drama. Now Ou Chen is played by Peter Ho. He plays the bipolar CEO perfectly. His tenseness, yet odd moments of vulnerability was definitely interesting to see.
“Sometimes I think fate is a strange thing. Whenever it gives you something, it will also take something away from you, and it never cares whether that’s what you wanted…” – Luo Xi
“I am yours, but you are free.” – Ou Chen