Drama Recommendation: Yong-Jiu Grocery Store

When I was still in high school, I remember how much I love watching and following new Taiwanese rom-com dramas as soon as they came out on television. As the years passed, I started to watch different genres of drama and appreciate them as well. Since 2018, I am truly glad to see Taiwanese dramas on the rise globally as these dramas are able to depict captivating storylines through only a number of episodes, which do not make the dramas seem dragged. 

From Netflix and HBO Asia’s A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities drama that illustrates Taiwanese and San Francisco culture to Public Television Service’s The World Between Us that describes the rampant, realistic media scene in Taiwan, I am proud to recommend all another amazing Taiwanese drama - Yong-Jiu Grocery Store - that is currently broadcasting on television. These are the four main reasons why Yong-Jiu is an amazing drama:

Reason 1: Storyline full of Reminiscence and Surprises

The Yong-Jiu drama is based on an award-winning comic book of the same name, Yong-Jiu Grocery Store. The original comic illustrates the nostalgic memories surrounding a traditional Taiwanese grocery store in the 1980’s while also describing how Jun-Long, the protagonist, returns to the countryside to take over his grandfather’s grocery store. The drama differs from the comic by emphasizing how the main cast’s childhood days affects who and where they are now today. Yong-Jiu’s warm and touching storyline makes it a trending drama prior to broadcast, and its unpredictable plot makes the viewers anticipate each upcoming episode more.

Reason 2: Beautiful Scenic Routes of Taiwan’s Countryside

Yong-Jiu Grocery Store takes place in Yunlin county, which is located in mid-western Taiwan. The drama focuses on presenting the simple agricultural life and cordial human interactions; through Yong-Jiu, you can see farmers planting vegetables, making fermented black beans and produce glass bottles after glass bottles of pure dark soy sauce by hand, and Jun Long driving the shabby old truck to gather new stock for the grocery store. The beautiful sceneries portrayed in Yong-Jiu is another important reason that makes this drama fascinating.

Photo courtesy of Yong-Jiu Grocery Store Official Facebook Page

Reason 3: Soothing Soundtracks 

Just like the amazing soundtracks in Korean dramas that immediately remind you of particular scenes, Yong-Jiu Grocery Store also has amazing music as accompaniment. That Store by Young is a lively cute song played at the beginning of each episode; the lyrics “Heard there’s a store on the other side of the field, reminds me of the carefree childhood days. The warmth of the grocery store never changed.” perfectly hums the beauty of this drama. Other soothing ballads include the female protagonist Zhao-Jun’s theme song "Sunshine On My Shoulders" by John Denver and "Endless Yearning" by the band Accusefive.

Photo courtesy of Yong-Jiu Grocery Store Official Facebook Page​

Reason 4: Perfect Cast Choice

How can I forget the A+ casting choice of the Yong-Jiu drama? I adore all the main cast of this drama, but I have to give credit to the two main characters of Yong-Jiu. The male protagonist Yang Jun-Long, portrayed by Derek Chang, is a gentle, reserved young adult that decides to give up his real estate career in the city and return to the countryside. As one of my favorite Taiwanese celebrities, Derek’s cute and shy appearance fits this character perfectly. The female protagonist Chen Zhao-Jun, portrayed by Christina Mok, usually puts on an emotionless face due to her complicated and miserable family background. Constantly bullied by other kids as ‘having no father’ and her drunk mother heavy in debt after endless gambling, Christina’s amazing performance makes the audience shed tears with her.

Photo courtesy of Yong-Jiu Grocery Store Official Facebook Page​

After watching the eighth episode broadcast last night on television today, I truly believe that Yong-Jiu Grocery Store met its high expectations and discussions prior to broadcast. This nostalgic drama makes us reminiscence the simple countryside life while also serving the purpose to make us busy adults rethink our initial mindset and ultimate goal in our lives. Be sure to follow and watch this amazing, on-going ten-episode drama Yong-Jiu Grocery Store!