And so I’m back with a quick recap. I want to again lament the costumes. It saddens me how well Korean dramas can dress up their actors while Mr. Du Chun in Rent a Girlfriend has to endure these ugly sweatpants and oddly shaped suits. I am sure if he dressed better, I might start to understand his appeal.
So now you might ask me, if you have so many gripes with this series, why did you watch it and why are you recapping it? Well, I actually thought this was a break-through in terms of Chinese Idol dramas. They have a long ways to go before GrnTeaLatte will even consider watching them, but this series was OK. It was entertaining, and so, I thought I can get some practice in recapping it before some of the exciting stuff comes out in Korean television over the summer. So now, onto recapping.
So we left off with Yi-Wei’s brother in law, who’s obviously wearing an ugly hairpiece (like come on, it’s so obvious), thinking that Xiao^2 is his live-in girlfriend. Yi-Wei broods in his office and complains to his douche-baggy friend, who likes to wear that ugly red jacket thing, and asks what he must do now. Xiao^2 is talking to her best friend about this… And as I’ve mentioned before, this actress needs to tone down on her lip perking.
Cut to another scene and we see Tong Jie, who was this super famous Chinese model who ditched Yi-Wei to go to Paris. She seems to have fallen on hard times, having to do leg-stocking commercials. She seems all sad and regretting etc. (Yea, I want to fast forward whenever her scenes come on. So gloomy.) But this is a set up for that ex-girlfriend to come back and wedge her way into the budding relationship between our leads. She tried to contact Yi-Wei, but he won’t talk to her. She tries to contact his best friend, he comes to talk to her, but was super mean and told her to never show her face to Yi-Wei again. Ouch. Again, pretty typical set-up.
Yi-Wei decides to “rent” Xiao^2 since his family now thinks she’s living with him anyways. They bicker everytime they talk, and I actually want to give props to this bickering chemistry between the two leads. It was pretty believable. When SSH and KTH bickered in My Princess, she always ends up being over-powered by his intellect. I hate that. At least with this series, the two leads seems to be on equal grounds, which I like. There was no excessive over-acting in this area.
Anyways, cut to the shopping spree, because every drama needs to have one. Yi-Wei takes Xiao^2 to the mall, and he’s shocked at how many discount cards she has. And she says something that I thought was brilliant: “Those who have money, knows how to make money. Those who have discount cards, know how to spend/play with money, making life more interesting.” (I have neither… 😦 I’m waiting for my break to come through lol.) While shopping, Yi-Wei meets Tong Jie (the model) and pretends to be super intimate with Xiao^2. He gets a little upset with the meeting and proceeds to drink… a lot. Xiao^2 carried him home, and we have another bickering moment when he wakes up.
Episode 4 then ends with the fake couple arriving at Yi-Wei’s hometown, where Xiao^2 refuses to call Yi-Wei’s father “Ba-Ba” (meaning father) and only addresses him as “Uncle,” even though she calls the mother “Mama.” Interesting point here. I like the whole traditional setting here. Reminds me of my own trip back to China.
So from episode 5 onwards, the series will take place in the Chinese suburbs of Long Meng (Dragon Door). Xiao^2 gets to know the family and vice versa. The couples continues to bicker. When Xiao^2 wouldn’t wake up early, Yi-Wei cooks her some extra spicy foods to get bak at her, etc. Cute.
These first few episodes are pretty good, and I like seeing the pre-modern locale. It reminds me of my own visit back to China. But it also brings forth some issues regarding socio-economic disparities. The series probably was not looking at entering that debate, but I am. Some people are extremely rich in China, making millions every single day, and they’re just business men/women (like Xiao^2’s mother). However, the majority of the population lives on hundreds a month. The disparity is HUGE. It always amazes me how expensive food is in China, and yet how little most people make. Granted we also see some of this in the U.S, the disparity is not as huge, and the distribution is more geographic. In China, you can be living next to millionaires while making 2 dollars a day. As the characters admit, even though Yi-Wei makes half a million yuan a year, his mother uses only 300 to 400 yuan a month to take care of the household. His second sister is extremely poor, and if I’ve not mistaken, he tries to give her 2000 yuan as a New Years gift. Coming at this with Western Ideologies, it really makes me ponder hard.
Yi-Wei’s father gets on my nerves. He doesn’t allow Yi-Wei to go into the Kitchen because he thinks it’s a woman’s duty and area. He makes a huge fuss about it too… well, how the hell do you expect your son to find a wife in the 21st century with such sexist ideals?