The Way We Were – Story Outline & Theme Songs

Even though I still have four episodes to go for Rock N’Road, TVBS’ follow up series – The Way We Were (aka 16 Summers / 16個夏天) starring Ruby Lin, Leroy Young, Tiffany Hsu, Melvin Sia and Jason Tsou will be premiering on PTS this Saturday! (19th July) 9pm on a Saturday is not exactly a great timeslot but at least it’s a way to distinguish itself from other Friday or Sunday night ‘idol dramas’?


The story outline was written in a way that was really hard to translate! I hope it still makes sense and gives a gist of what is to come. Reading the story outline and the character profiles I feel this is the type of story that could be very touching. With parts of the story set in the 90s, this might remind viewers of In a good way but I think The way we were focuses more on the present.




Story Outline

Tang Jia Ni (Ruby Lin) and Fang Wei De’s (Leroy Young) relationship entanglements probably started from the summer of 1999. No, strictly speaking, the story started even earlier, from the first time they met. That was the summer of 1998.


…except, they didn’t truly ‘meet’ / got to know each other.


In the summer of 1998, at a public pool where the music was blasting popular music – a handsome guy in sunglasses and sexy swimwear had his arm around his girlfriend – he was Fang Wei De.


At the other end of the pool, two guys and two girls were sitting by the poolside. They only just arrived and one of the girls was wearing a conservative one piece swimsuit. She was Tang Jia Ni.

Jia Ni, her boyfriend at the time Jiang Da Wei (Dylan Kuo), good friend Zheng Rui Rui (Tiffany Hsu) and Wang Jun Jie (Melvin Sia) were there to cool off from the heat. Fang Wei De, his girlfriend and good friend Ding Guo Qing (Jason Tsou) were also there. Jia Ni struggled in the water and was drowning. Wei De wanted to play the hero but he was one step behind. He could only watch from afar and regret… this was the first time they crossed paths. Later, they studied at the same university so they eventually met.


The story started when Fang Wei De moved into the same building as Tang Jia Ni since it was close to the campus. You can consider them neighbours.


At the time, Jia Ni had a boyfriend – Jiang Da Wei. She shared a flat with him near the campus. This was quite common for students since it saved rent and was also their way of saying to the world – they’ve grown up!


However at that age, did they really know the meaning of love?


The Second Summer

The most important event during this summer was when Fang Wei De joined Tang Jia Ni’s circle of friends (including Rui Rui and Jun Jie), after being forced by his friend Ding Guo Qing.


The five of them were a similar age and went to the same university. Even though they studied different courses, they spent a lot of time together – mostly doing nothing and just mucking around. About the future, since Wei De skipped a lot of classes he couldn’t graduate. Jun Jie wanted to continue his studies so he deliberately failed a subject which gave him an extra year to prepare, rather than going into the army. As for the other three who successfully graduated, Jia Ni worked at a large store when she was studying so she got a full time job there after graduation. Based on her family’s wishes, Rui Rui decided to take the TOEFL so she can study overseas. As for Ah Qing, he waited for his call-up to the army.

The Tenth Summer

A dream from the night before brought Jia Ni back to ‘that night’ many years ago.


What Fang Wei De said to her that night seemed to constantly appear in her head recently. Every word is still so clear. Even the way he said it, she could remember clearly.


Why did this happen? Tang Jia Ni didn’t know either. As she was getting older, she was becoming more forgetful of the everyday things but this part of her past just kept replaying itself in her head. It was out of the ordinary.


About that night, thinking back to it now Jia Ni thought it was ridiculous. She was looking for Fang Wei De that night to sleep with him – the aim was revenge.


Jia Ni could not think about this anymore. Now, she has more real and important things to encounter. Wei De is in the past now.


Jia Ni had risen to management level in her job. She worked in the same company since she graduated. Everyday was busy but fulfilling. At least that’s what she thought. Jia Ni is not single. Her husband is Jun Jie.



The Sixteenth Summer

That year, Ah Qing is getting married. He sent many invitations but really hoped that in the 16th summer since the five friends met, they can reunite at his wedding. This is the wedding gift Ah Qing wanted the most.


On Ah Qing’s wedding day, finally, they all meet again.


After they meet again, their feelings about the past has enlarged… from their first meeting in 1999, all the near-misses and everything that happened during the past 15 years – someone’s relationship finally had a happy ending, someone got divorced, someone feeling lucky they’re still alive but someone also passed away.


But the past cannot dissipate so easily. When they meet again, can they really be the same as before and forget about all the unhappiness? Maybe after a few drinks but once they’re sober again the next day, they also know, that past, is just ‘regret’.


9 minute trailer


Theme Song – Romance arrives by Elva Hsiao


Ending Song – Not be friends anymore by Zhou Xing Zhe


Story Outline from the official The Way We Were website (PTS), photos from TVBS website and as watermarked.



15 responses to “The Way We Were – Story Outline & Theme Songs”

  1. heisui Avatar

    I think it would be interesting if they made each episode cover 1 summer/year, so 16 episodes = 16 summers. 😛 I guess that would be hard to do though..

    1. jane Avatar

      omg thats such a great idea actually!! haha

    2. kat Avatar

      hahaha that is a good idea! The first ep covers the 1st summer I think, not sure if they can keep it up lol.

      1. heisui Avatar

        Yeah. T_T I guess it is only focusing on the main highlights of the ’16 summers’ though, after all there’s only so much you can fit into 16 eps heh.

        Recently I rewatched an old jdrama (Ashita no Kita Yoshio) that had each episode stand for one day in the character’s life. So 11 episodes = 11 days. That’s how I got the idea, heh.

        1. kat Avatar

          I remember now it was supposed to be 1998, 2008 and now. Once they move away from 1998 the comparison with In a good way can stop!

          Hahaha I was thinking of 24 which is even crazier!

  2. heisui Avatar

    I see the first episode is already out, have you seen it? *curious*

    1. kat Avatar

      Yeah I have! It’s pretty good although it focuses a lot on Ruby/Leroy. Things happen pretty fast. I’m anticipating the ‘future’ parts though…. Where they reunite after years apart….

      1. heisui Avatar

        MM I wonder if I will end up being a second lead shipper…again.. T_T

        1. kat Avatar

          That’s what I kinda thought when I read Melvin’s character description!!! But I can’t remember where I read it, but things might not be what it seems? I don’t know!!! Just have to watch and find out!

  3. rigby Avatar

    I really like this drama, it reminds me of my earlier days 20 years ago….indeed, you need to say what you need to say to that somebody so that at the end you will not regret it.

    1. kat Avatar

      Yeah I really like this drama too (although I’m so behind now), sometimes you do wonder ‘What if I did X instead of Y all those years ago?’ but that’s life, if the decision you made at the time was what you thought was the right one, then at least there’s no regrets.

    2. adekmanja Avatar

      @rigby & @kat : yeah… I know the feeling. T

      his drama really brings back old memories. Geeezzz…. feeling nostalgic, melancholy…. old stories but some kind of fresh at the back of your memory box. Watching Wei-de going thru his old photos, arghhhhh…. that really kicked in further. Only that I am away from my original home country where my old school days photos left at my mom’s and watching Wei-de having the photos with him and he’s in Shanghai away from Taipei, huhuhu…. so I can only rely on the old memories in your mind…

      1. kat Avatar

        Seems like this drama is bringing back all sorts of memories for the audience! I guess that’s what makes it powerful – to be able to stir feelings, make viewers empathise with the characters. I hope it continues to be good.

  4. adekmanja Avatar

    Its episode 11 now at this time I’m dropping this comment and….. it’s driving me insane!

    Just as it is turning to the direction I am hoping for, its facing yet another tribulation. arghhhh…. its the 2008 circa. only 10-years out of the 16-summers, I can’t believe to have to endure another 4 more weeks to reach to the 16th summer and the finale of Jia-ni & Wei-De love…. will they be united in the end or just remains “friends”???

    1. Rigby Avatar

      You are right, this is driving me crazy and crazier on to the 15th eps today. Indeed, so many challenges that the two leads are facing! Ruby and Leroy are such great actors, the depth in acting is such effective that I am honestly being moved everytime i watch it. Hoping for a happy ending, I love their love story very much, unchanging as the seasons changes!

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