Synopsis & Review
At the beginning of Devil Beside You, a sweet girl named Qi Yue is in love with Yuan Yi, the captain of the school's basketball team. She has finally decided to confess her feelings in a love letter. But because she is so uneasy and nervous about handing Yuan Yi the letter, she accidentally presents it to Ah Meng, a notorious bad boy. In a hurry, she drops her letter and runs away in embarrassment. Ah Meng takes the letter and blackmails Qi Yue, saying that if she doesn't become his slave he will reveal the letter to the entire school. Unwillingly, Qi Yue becomes entangled with Ah Meng, whom she calls "the Devil." Even worse, by pure coincidence it turns out Qi Yue's widowed mother is getting married to Ah Meng's divorced father! Soon, Qi Yue starts getting more and more attracted to Ah Meng as their relationship progresses and Ah Meng loves her in return. They must figure out how to have a relationship when they are about to become siblings, and to make it worse, there are many others competing for the love of Ah Meng and Qi Yue.
The series progresses very fast at the beginning, but slows down in the middle. At first, events moved by so quickly that I thought the series could have perhaps been only three episodes long, but soon, new plot elements were introduced that prolonged the series to a total of fourteen episodes. Personally, I thought the series had too many side plots that detracted from the main characters. There were so many love triangles and secondary characters that the main storyline didn't seem as important. Although these extra storylines were somewhat interesting, I thought that more emphasis should have been placed on the relationships between Qi Yue and Ah Meng. The story became rather random because there was so much being introduced in every episode.
The characters are all relatively normal except for the "devil," Ah Meng. His personality is so dynamic that you never know what side of himself he will show. He forcefully kisses Qi Yue twice in the opening episodes, yet later on it seems as if he doesn't like her at all. However, it seems that his character's development is sometimes moving backwards in a manner so that the director can make the series longer. The other characters are pretty stereotypical and ordinary. Ranie Yang does her usual great job of playing the happy, cute, and innocent girl, but Mike He's performance in this series as Ah Meng really showed that he has a talent for acting. Mike was memorable and interesting in the way that he portrayed his character, and his acting was much more charismatic in Devil Beside You than in the other drama series in his resume. The only thing questionable about the character of Ah Meng was his hair. Why the heck is he wearing hair clips?
The antagonists are also developed well in this series. From the beginning, you start to hate the antagonists, yet after an episode or two, you will slowly see their true backgrounds, and you will begin to like them. Each "bad" character isn't truly evil, and this series changes the bad guys into good guys. I thought this was a great part of the series because I felt that all the characters really helped to build the tension and add drama to each episode.
The series is quite light-hearted throughout most episodes which made it easier to watch. Although I didn't feel the emotional attachment to this series as I did to similar soap operas, I was quite satisfied after watching it because it was amusing. Devil Beside You isn't a life-altering drama, but it is definitely good entertainment.
The songs and background music are very unique. Rainie Yang actually sings a few of the songs in the series including the ending theme, Ideal Lover. The opening theme, Chou Nan Ren, is incredibly fitting for the series because of its lyrics (Chou Nan Ren means male jerk) and its heavier sound (it is close to rock music).
This series has strong characters, good actors, and a quality storyline that moved at a pretty good pace. Although some elements of the plot were not necessary, I still felt that Devil Beside You was a great series. For anyone looking to watch a comedic soap opera series, Devil Beside You is definitely a wise choice.