“The Way We Were” is a Taiwanese Drama about a group of college friends, their relationships, and what happens to them as they move on from college to work and family. It’s a bumpy ride so if you want something fun or happy, you might be careful with this one.
Whether or not you watch “The Way We Were” depends a lot on your learning goals.
One of the main characters slurs his words a lot when he’s speaking, and it’s often a challenge to understand even when I know exactly what words he’s saying. In some cases, I think he’s simulating being drunk, but in others, there doesn’t seem to be a purpose behind the style of speech. That said, if you want to challenge your listening skills, this might be good practice, but I don’t think it’s any specific dialect. I think it’s just this actor’s style.
The show uses very little, if any, Taiwanese Hokkien. Some dramas will take characters back to their hometown and use Hokkien extensively leaving the Mandarin learner scratching their head for a few minutes, but if there was any Hokkien in “The Way We Were” it was minimal enough that I overlooked it.
The language used is fairly repetitive like most dramas. Beyond work and relationships, it does expand into some technical material due to the main character being a designer for HTC. There are episodes that feel like one big HTC advertisement, but it doesn’t come across to me as crass or cheesy like we see in US product placement advertising.
Overall, I think this is a reasonably good drama for Mandarin learners, but like I said, it is a bumpy ride with some speech patterns that can be frustrating to unwind.