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.
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