I actually have a draft post I am working on about 守業者Storm in a Cocoon, but I just cannot contain my love anymore for Storm’s suceeding drama! These feels, I haven’t had them in a while from a TVB drama. I am, of course, talking about none other than 愛我請留言Swipe Tap Love. (Really dig the Chinese title, not so much the English one. Blerg. )
Swipe Tap Love is a low-key story that revolves around our two leads, Yu Chor Gin (Priscilla Wong Chui Yu) and Lok Tin Sung (Raymond Wong Ho Yin), and how their lives intertwine in this fast paced modern society that relies heavily on instant messaging apps as a form of communication. They find each other and heal their broken hearts. Wow, not a exciting description. I am not convincing anyone, am I? But it really is good!
I find this theme particularly interesting because while the increasing popularity of instant messaging apps such as Whatsapp and Wechat in the last few years makes it easy to keep in touch, it also makes us take communication for granted and abuse such convenience. I also think the narrative and story telling are a step above typical TVB dramas, and they do a good job conveying the theme. The use of Whatsapp messages, emoticons, lingo are weaved flawlessly into the story. In addition, I thoroughly enjoy the incorporation of classic pop music to the narrative which really just evoke the right amount of nostalgia. It is done so tastefully, too, in the right amount and length, no shoehorning. I also really like the filter used for the cinematography. It adds a veil of warmth and romance to the story reminiscence of Under the Canopy of Love.
What really tips this drama to the “Love” category for me is, hands down, Yu Chor Gin as a character. I really just love her characterization and find her so endearingly raw and real. (Side note: Just how flipping cute is 009?!) From her dotingness, loneliness, eagerness, flaws and how she talks to her dog, she could very well be any one of us. (What do you mean you don’t talk to your dog(s)? Blasphemy!) With regard to her relationship with boyfriend, Cheung Yat Hei (Tony Hung Wing Sing), I appreciate that we are viewing it through Yu Chor Gin’s eyes but it is also grounded with realism. While we feel as she feels, we also get a pretty good objective idea of their relationship. For example, the drama starts off in episode one displaying a rocky relationship which makes you just want her to break it off for her own benefit. But then they interact, and guess what? They are actually really cute and even sweet together. You understand how its so hard for her to just let it go. The flashback memories are so well done that you feel the loving memories burdening her from moving on. What really gets me in the guts with Chor Gin is how she talks to her passed away dad in her times of difficulty (it really is less creeper than how I described it), which is extremely relatable to me.
I feel like I should mention Priscilla Wong’s acting because it’s my first post here featuring her drama even though acting generally does not bother me (unless you are REALLY BAD, a la Aimee Chan) that I sometimes forget to make it a point. Acting wise, Wong is a hit-or-miss for me. Sometimes she’s serviceable and better than other up-and-rising fa dans, other times she is bleh. I like her enough in Reality Check 心路GPS, but could not STAND HER in Karma Rider 師父.明白了. Ironically, I disliked Reality Check in all its blandness and liked the surprisingly contemplative Karma Rider.
Please note that Cheung Yat Hei is not the villain in this drama. In fact, like real life, you don’t always get a clear-cut villain, you just deal with life, which is difficult enough as is. To be honest, I like Cheung Yat Hei, Tony Hung’s chemistry with Priscilla Wong certainly helps (his acting doesn’t but Hung has enough charm and his role isn’t overly complicated). He isn’t intentionally douchey like you would imagine from a TVB ex-boyfriend and I never really believe he would go all out with Linda to cheat on Chor Gin. He is immature, short-sighted and freedom-loving, but I can also see that he genuinely cares for Chor Gin. It’s just that after being together for so long, you start to take for granted the other’s person presence in your life, which I can understand. While he is a flawed boyfriend, I can’t fault him entirely for the failure of this relationship. I am by all means on Chor Gin’s side, but I also feel that she should’ve made the issues between them known and talk it out instead of harboring them, quietly enduring them and making an effort on her own. The problem with their relationship was, aptly (in the sense of this drama), communication.
While I am talking about supporting characters, I want to also quickly say that I love all the supporting characters. They effectively and simultaneously provide comic relief and poignancy. My personal favorites are Chor Gin’s BFF, Natasha Sung Lau Guen and her mother, Mamayu (again, my preferences are Chor Gin related).
I think Chor Gin occupies most of my love because I find myself caring really little about what happens in the Lok family. Thus far, Lok Tin Sung has been a little less interesting than I would like. Maybe it is because the story is told from Chor Gin’s point of view and the writers have been withholding information from us about Tin Sung. But we really don’t know much about him at this point, we just know surface things like he loves his wife and daughter a lot and gave up glass art for his family. It was hinted that his personality has drastically changed but we have yet to delve into that. When we do not get any inner glimpses into his thoughts and emotions, there is this invisible veil that prevents us from connecting and feeling for him. I assume that all this is about to change when his martial relationship makes a turn for the worse and we will see more of vulnerable side of Tin Sung.
The preview suggests that the Chor Gin and Tin Sung courtship starts with messages about Tin Sung daughter, Lok Yau Yau, which then evolves into a cute series of Whatsapp flirtatious exchanges. How adorable (and you know you’ve been through this, don’t deny!).
This is just a lovely and heartwarming drama and I wish it stays this way as it progresses. This drama’s strengths lie in its realism and mundaneness, and needs not dramatic conflicts. Besides, with 009 AND Lok Yau Yau supplying the overload of cuteness, how can you not like this drama? UNLESS you kill puppies and stab kittens in your spare time.