Has anyone ever done this? Like, recap and review a Chinese mainland drama? Am I about to break new grounds? LOL. I promise I’ll start recapping a kdrama in May when the new stuff comes out. Right now everything kinda sucks haha.
I’ve grown up thinking that all of these weird mainland idol dramas are draggy and ridiculous. Watching them made me feel, albeit, a little uncomfortable at times. I don’t know why, but the bottom-line was that Cdramas just weren’t as good as kdramas in terms of story, coordination, quality, and directing. And some of this is still true. The sound editing is so cheap. For some reason, they feel a need to re-dub all the actors instead of buying better sound equipment. The make-up isn’t as good… if there was any at all, and the editing was terrible. The dialogues were way too long –> waaaaay too much talking, and they’re just not as fun to watch. (I have so many complaints lol)
The kiss scenes are awful, almost cringe-worthy. While I replayed that “My Princess (Kdrama 2011)” episode 7 kiss scene 3 times before moving on (*Swoon*), I admit, I fast forwarded that kiss scene in “Rent a GF.” The same goes for those hugging and eye contact scenes. I know it’s completely unfair to compare the chemistry of this show to that of “My Princess” (because it was the interaction between Kim Tae Hee and Song Seung Hyun that carried the show amidst a terrible script) I will be doing so.
There are waaaaay too many characters and my Chinese is not good enough for me to go perusing on Sina(dot)com looking for those actors’ profiles. (Damn it dramawiki, why don’t you have a complete characters list. The only reason I started watching this was because it was under mysoju(dot)com’s best dramas.) I will post up the info for the two leads.
So the female lead is Xue Jia Ning. This woman is 32, but o man, she looks like she’s 25 in the drama. (She plays a college senior, but can I just say I look younger than her lol… I think) Her acting is okay and it does improve as the drama moves on.
The male lead is Du Chun. And I watched the series off of this youtube channel dedicated to him where the user only uploads his dramas… talk about being obsessed. I think he’s got pretty good acting chops, but of course, this is not kdrama, we won’t get a naked shower scene, and I absolutely would not want to sit through one of those with him. He wears turtle necks or polos in the entire series, but that didn’t stop me from staring at his neck tho, I wonder what they’re hiding. Gosh, I miss Song Seung Hyun. LOL. For an idol drama, it sucks in terms of fan service, which again, I’m thankful they didn’t give. This man is no Song Seung Hyun, but he’s a pretty darn good actor.
So the story starts out with Du Chun’s character, Sun Yi Wei, on a blind date concurrently with Xue’s character, Xiao Xiao (literally meaning smile smile), in Taekwando class. I usually don’t like these concurrent set ups, but I was willing to give this one a chance if they connect, and they do! Yi Wei is apparently an MIT graduate who use to work in the car industry but now works in IT. Yi Wei pisses off his blind date, who’s a plastic surgeon, cause he asks if she did her face too so that she can attract clients… man what a douche, so she leaves after pouring a glass of water on his face. (For a doctor, this woman has such low self-esteem, especially for a surgeon jeez.) She runs out and bumps into Yi Wei’s best friend, who’s also a super douche. So the super douche is a playboy and went out, behind his girlfriend’s back, on a couple dates with Xiao Xiao’s best-ie. The best-ie is crying and Xiao Xiao comes into the restaurant looking for the playboy named “David” so that she can kick his ass for playing around with her best-ie. Lo and behold, she kicks the wrong guy’s ass while the real culprit hides underneath a table.
Pretty standard set up so far. We then find out that Xiao Xiao’s mother is a super rich real estate mogul, and her best-ie is super jealous that Xiao Xiao never has to worry about money and can go take Taekwando class for leisure. Xiao^2 reveals that she wants to go study abroad in the States at Columbia University (… Lol, a popular destination for kdrama characters as well, might I add. Hyun Bin’s character in Secret Garden also attended this prestigious school.) Blah blah. Way too much dialogue. Less talking, more movement people. Chop Chop.
On Yi Wei’s side of the story, his parents are unrealistically trying to get him married off. So I’m figuring he’s about 30 years old, and his parents are around 70. His father’s this super proper countryside Chinese teacher who’s all about saving face (wow, that can so get on my nerves), and his mother’s the side compliment to his father. He’s being pressured by his 3 older sisters, his grandmother, and his parents, to get married since he’s the only son in the family and needs to continue the Sun family lineage… wow, again, that can so get on my damn nerves. Anyways, so from all that pressure, he cracks and lies to them saying he is currently seeing someone and will bring her back for New Year’s celebration.
On Xiao’s side of the story, her mother is acting weird, and gives her an good luck amulet that she makes her promise to not open until she gets her visa and leaves for the U.S. The mother then disappears and Xiao is being followed by loan sharks who wants her to pay back the money her mother owes them, which is 100,000 RMB. (Man, do they not have debt consolidation in China? Harassment is a crime too ya know.)
So while Xiao^2 is doing research for a paper she’s writing for some lifestyle magazine she’s interning for, she drinks too much wine and ends up getting harassed by some fat and ugly drunkard. She ends up getting saved by Yi Wei… and it makes me wonder where her superb taekwando skills went. And OH! He asks her about that when she wakes up the next morning. Good for not leaving plot holes, show.
So they bicker when she wakes up in his sweet bachelor’s pad (in the Chinese Upper West Side I bet), because bickering is the idol drama’s sign to its audience that this is a couple to be, when his brother-in-law decides to show up. His brother-in-law sees Xiao and assumes that she’s Yi Wei’s gf… and so the goose chase begins.
Well, I already finished the series, so I’m not going to ponder whether I should continue it lol. The set-up is pretty typical. At least we don’ t have a super contrast between the male and female leads where one’s extremely rich and the other is extremely poor. Unfortunately, Du Chun has no *swooning* power over me (and I sorta don’t understand his appeal at all… who/what/why would anyone think he’s hot?! lol I’m so mean), so I guess I can more so focus on the story? I don’t know who dresses him, but he needs to hire Song Seung Hyun’s wardrobe. Fur hoodies are so not in anymore, and his hair… >___> WHY? He looks super different without his glasses on, and haha, at first I was like, why the hell does he have pictures of himself w.o glasses by his bed side. Who the hell keeps pictures of themselves in their office and house. Well… spoiler alert, it’s his dead twin brother. (Yea, w.o his glasses he’s his own twin lol… ok no laughing matter, it was a devastating loss for the Sun fam.)
As for the female lead, I am kind of glad there’s some element of girl power here. I’m so sick of that damsel in distress in those kdrama, (i.e., I got so sick of Gil Ra Im in Secret Garden. WTH, you’re a stunt woman, how come you turned into a babbling crying puddle after episode 2???!? STABS WRITERS WITH PLASTIC KNIFE.), and that damn arm grabbing. Very little arm grabbing here so far.
I am also glad that they did not show Xiao^2’s best-ie that much. That actress kind of annoys me with the way she talks… so I don’t know how to describe. (Too much perk in her lips)
P.S. The title is terrible. =___=; Can they get anymore creative? omg.