Hmm… this probably goes way back when I was a kid and watched weepy Taiwanese melodramas without really knowing what I was getting into and actually enjoying them… before realising how formulaic they were. I think most Chinese-language drama watchers would have heard of Qiong Yao, who was and still is famous for penning any number of Taiwanese romance novels that have been turned into dramas. Her stories would inevitably include forbidden love, stiff parental objections, lots of weeping and hand-wringing etc. Some classics include the Six Dreams series which had some really good-looking actors, Romance in the Rain (multiple TV versions), Plum Blossom trilogy, Huan Zhu Ge Ge etc. I’m sort of embarrassed to say I made it through both the Six Dreams and Plum Blossom series, the bulk of which got really cringeworthy – the dialogue, especially, makes my goose pimples stand now that I think of it. To be fair, some of her works were pretty absorbing and I did enjoy quite a few of them, but now I tend to avoid Taiwanese dramas in general with a ten-foot pole.
If you’re keen, click here for a list of some Qiong Yao works that have been turned into dramas.