1. Vic Zhou and Barbie Hsu. An oldie, but I had to include it. This is one of those onscreen relationships that generated enough sparks it quickly became offscreen, to no-one’s surprise. Vic and Barbie had co-starred together of course in Meteor Garden, in which Vic played the second lead who pines after Barbie, and whom she’s attracted to, but doesn’t ultimately choose. They had strong obviosu chemistry in that drama, despite relatively few one-on-one scenes, and everyone was happy when afterward they were paired as the leads of an adaptation of a famous manga, Mars, about a shy, gifted artist with a tormented past, and a bad boy with demons.
The characters and actors had a soulmate, breathtaking connection; there was a rightness to the pairing, and a pitch-perfect chemistry between the two leads. It was passionate, and magical, and these two dated for several years during and after the drama, before ultimately breaking up (and alas! both have married others now, putting to rest my longheld dream of them as a real-life fairy tale couple). The impact of them as a couple can still be felt by the fact that, literally 12 years later, when Vic got married last year, the press still asked Barbie what she thought of it (to which the happily-married lady replied, “I’m very happy for Zai. I hope they can have a son soon!”).
2. Rainie Yang and Mike He. Rainie Yang has had tremendous chemistry with other co-stars (she’s one of those stars who’s particularly gifted at generating chemistry with whoever she’s paired with), in particular Jiro Wang in ToGetHer and Joseph Chang in Drunken to Love You, but nothing has quiiite ever touched her fireworks with Mike He. Their chemistry helped propel their dramas Devil Beside You and Why Why Love, as well as the two of them, to massive fame and success. There’s an immediate onscreen crackle the second these two are placed in the same room, and they sold every single second of onscreen coupledom, from the achingly sweet, to the spitting sparks of surface dislike, to the longing and overriding attraction that led their characters to overcome all obstacles to be together. It’s the kind of chemistry in which it’s almost impossible to believe there’s no offscreen connection, which is why for years this was one of the most wished-for real-life pairings by Taiwanese viewers (to this day, if news broke they were dating, it would break a small section of the Internet).
3. Ariel Lin and Joe Cheng. I never particularly liked either of the It Started with a Kiss dramas – they were overly long and absolutely dripping in unnecessary angst – but oh, I”ll be the first to admit that Ariel and Joe scorched up the screen. As two crazy kids madly in love yet dealing with tons of internal and external dysfunctions in their relationship, they had electric physical chemistry that underpinned every scene together, whether it was as simple as leaning against each other, or filming a honeymoon scene. Both are intense types as far as oncreen presence. These two have legions of fans who have always wanted them to get together, and there’s a good reason why.
4. Ariel Lin and Bolin Chen. Starring with Bolin Chen in last year’s In Time with You, years after her ISWAK dramas with Joe, Ariel had a very different and more nuanced and adult chemistry with Bolin Chen. Instead of the hot-headed intensity of her onscreen relationship with Joe, Bolin Chen had a steadying compabatibility with her, a presence that balanced her out, and an easy, constant chemistry that could melt into scorchingly intense in a heartbeat. As best friends of 10 years, he knew her intimately, inside and out, and these two had a complete spectrum of chemistry, from achingly intense and physical to low-key, everyday tenderness.
5. Roy Qiu and Alice Ke. Like most of the other couples on this list, Roy Qiu and Alice Ke have starred in not one but two dramas together, both hits – Office Girls and Marry Me or Not. While they’re the couple on this list whom I don’t wish together in real life, they have a combative, alive chemistry at all times onscreen, and play off each other absolutely marvelously. In Marry Me or Not, they have a Pride-and-Prejudice-esque back and forth for the whole time, and at all times feel like equals. You can’t help but feel they’re a well-matched pair in intelligence, style, etc. and that leaps off the screen. Like the other couples on this list, they have extraordinarily strong physical chemistry. Sparks enough to light a fire.
Who’s your personal pick for Taiwanese drama couple with the most chemistry?