I have just finished watching The Other Shore 1945, the TV drama which clinched Vic Chou his first Golden Bell best actor award, Taiwan’s equivalent of the Emmys. I have to say that it was a well deserved win for him. I can’t help but compare his past acting in Meteor Garden to his acting in The Other Shore. I have watched Meteor Garden a few years ago since I became his fan, and as much as I love him, I was cringing every time he appeared on screen or every time he delivered his lines. His acting was so painstaking to watch back then, even if he did make a delectable eye candy in that drama series. So it’s actually very refreshing to watch how much he has improved in his acting in every TV drama series that he has filmed, leading to the culmination which is The Other Shore 1945.
The name of his character for this drama series is Dr. Su Tai Ying, a military doctor conscripted into the Japanese army to fight against the Chinese army. For his role, he even studied the Japanese language just so he could speak it as if it’s his mother tongue. He was really very convincing as a military physician through his words and actions, almost to a perfection, except the part when he performed CPR the wrong way. All healthcare providers who know CPR would definitely give him a failing mark on that one. But other than that, he seemed to have done his homework very well and had convincingly breathed life into his character as if Dr Su truly did exist in that era.
The whole drama may seemed like it’s about war. But actually, the war scenes were only shown during the first episode and after that, everything was all about postwar. This drama shows how the different people from all walks of life were trying to get back to their normal lives after the ravages of war. Everyone believed that after the war, everything would be back to normal again, back to how things were before. Unfortunately, they learned the hard way that the changes inflicted by war in their lives were so devastating that their lives would never be the same again.
Overall, it’s a very good drama series. It stayed true to history, and the production staff really paid close attention even to the smallest details. But despite that, it was not well-received by many. It’s understandable because this drama series is definitely not for everyone. It’s not your typical weekly feel-good soap opera since it kind of leaves a heavy feeling to the heart after watching it. Even its ending is less hopeful and quite painful to watch. But this drama has shown something that the other idol dramas have failed to show, that is, the bitter side of reality. The real world isn’t just all about roses and chocolates and happy weddings at the end. Far from it actually. For some people, each day remains a constant struggle just to get by. Others may have it easy, some may have it worst. But at the end of the day, each one still has his own burden to bear. Unfortunately though, everyone has had enough of the bitterness of reality, that when one goes home at night, one can’t help but to just escape it by watching feel-good idol dramas.
Here are some still from The Other Shore 1945:
Overall, Vic did a great job in this drama series. This can even be considered as a significant milestone in his career. He is the first idol actor to have successfully transitioned into a serious award-winning actor. He is also the first member of F4, and probably the only one, to win a best acting award.
I would have liked to see him film more TV dramas in the future. It’s just too bad that it seems unlikely as of this moment since he is now fully concentrating in making movies.