Lovestore At The Corner [巷弄裡的那家書店] – Episode 1 Review

Lovestore At the Corner premiered April 18th, and revolves around the story of a young woman whose disappearance affects her family and friends. It stars Nikki Hsieh as Du Ke Xing, the younger sister of the missing woman, Lee Wei as Xiang Shu Lei, the boyfriend of the missing woman, and Tracy Chou as Du Ke Jie, the missing woman. Note: There will be spoilers for the first episode below! 🙂

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Lovestore At the Corner definitely is an interesting watch. The cinematography is gorgeous, and I like the director’s style. Ke Jie, the missing woman, is introduced to us in a bookshop with her boyfriend. She loves books, and teasingly tells her boyfriend to get her camel bones for her birthday – after all, it’s what the main character in a book asked for. Rather than strike the viewer as foolish, Ke Jie comes across as airy and philosophically wise – a Luna Lovegood if you will.

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Flashbacks between the past and present are used to ever so slowly tease the viewer with the events that occurred. Ke Jie’s boyfriend Shu Lei seems to love his girlfriend very much, and is distraught over her disappearance. He imagines her in brief moments of panic, and largely remains a shrunken version of his flashback self. At one point Ke Jie’s best friend Dong Xin Ni comes over, and she jumps on him the moment she learns Ke Jie isn’t around. Shu Lei plays the part of the guilty boyfriend well – and his growing belief that Ke Jie saw them the other day becomes a mantra he repeats not only to himself but to Xin Ni as well. Xin Ni struggles with her own desire for happiness and pain at always being second rate in this episode, which the actress does a wonderful job of displaying through her breakdowns in the office.

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Ke Jie’s family reacts to the news in different ways – Ke Jie’s mother resorts to superstition to try and call her daughter back, while Ke Jie’s father personally searches the mountain where she was last seen. Neither can come to grips with the eminent reality of her death. Strangely enough though, Ke Jie’s sister Ke Xing seems to be the least affected by her sister’s disappearance. Though she wears a sad face in the first episode while comforting her mother, her pain at her sister’s loss seems two-dimensional at this point in comparison to the volatile outbursts from her mother and the quiet rage from Xin Ni.

Preview Trailer (unsubbed):

Needless to say, I look forward to watching the next few episodes of Lovestore at the Corner! I just hope the main lead actress steps up her game, and that this drama chose a different title – maybe something not so romcom-esque? What do you guys think – have any of you given this drama a try?

(Also…can I just say that I love this drama’s soundtrack? If it keeps up it might beat out Lan Ling Wang’s OST for my favourite! I’ll be doing a post on it soon! 🙂 )

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One thought on “Lovestore At The Corner [巷弄裡的那家書店] – Episode 1 Review

  1. Thanks for reviewing this new drama! It seems quite different from the standard Taiwan drama formula. I just wish the leading man is better looking.

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