I obviously love Reply 1994’s latest ep to an unwarranted degree. That needs a very silly post in itself.
Excuse this nonsense because I need breathing in between the periods, my lungs seems to need insatiable gulps of air that all went down to this pit inside me that is partying with all the squees and squeals and somersaults and butterflies and beasts impossible but possible to cramp in a fangirl’s gut.
Happiness is Tony Yang.
On my screen.
The best actor in a TWtrendy I have EVER seen.
What is more urgent is I want to write something appreciative and meaningful for once, so this blog is not just spazzing loonieville 24/7, on The Pursuit of Happiness, for I am not worthy. I was a nervous wreck last week already when I squeezed some time to watch the next episode and more so this week. It is so akin to the Love Fear thematic arc going on with R1994. To quote the VO of Binggeure: ‘The deeper love grows, and the more you don’t want to lose it, the more your fear grows. Love feeds on fear. And Love conquers fear.’ All of a sudden, TPoH is that dearest thing that I fear to lose its preciousness and all the little lovely things it did to me every moment of it, as I do a little prayer before I click this episode, after the last one cascaded into the most heartflipping emotionally charged yet tenderest hug I have ever seen. It was just a hug, but the BEST of hug. Fingers and toes crossed the drama I have fallen madly deeply in love is STILL present and alive, to my shock. Oh, how long have I ever fallen for a TWidoldrama (I want to call it a TWtrendy) this hard?!??!?!?!?? Tbvh, never.
I do not recall ever watching a TWdrama with my face a foot from the screen taking in every perfect nuance the actor is sating me, doing so very little yet so emotive in conveying the character’s every minuscule thought and doubt and mood and swings, with this heightened awareness of the person his YiKang is smitten with, her every twitch, every action, every word sends a cascade of knots, a flash flood needing highest priority of processing but the surface has to be almost ripple-less nonchalance with all the uncertainties that go with the falling on your part and the fear of the unknown of the other party, now your everything. Tony Yang does it in every second of every scene reacting to her as if it is breathing in air, his YiKang is ever so slightly subtly different when she is in the vicinity, a tiniest burst of self-awareness, all the more receptive of this other human being, acting upon the character’s feelings so in tune and immersed with NO fanfare. So, no, I am not talking about the always dependable fanservice of hot smooches and hot faces and nikkid bodes gluing me to the screen, expected of a TWidoldrama, not saying there are none and they are not welcoming. Huh.
In other words, I am watching a TWidoldrama mostly for the acting, which was as sound as reading a Harlequin for merits in literature…. until you have set your eyes on one fine Tony Yang that is. He is a very delicious cake of beef, in RL such a fearless free-spirited chatterbox obviously living breathing his craft with his mind on full throttle immersed in the character working to perfect every detail. Usually TWdrama BTS serves us copious amount of fluffy fanservice, cute shipping morsels, but with Tony Yang I marveled at this talented guy methodically analysing, thinking, wording out his process of making sense of EVERY scene and nuance and thought of the character, no stones, no speck of anything unturned. To loosely quote him, he said there is no point of just kissing and nothing else happened after, he must take his shirt off or something, that is just most logical.
And if the production has the money to shoot it in say Australia, he can go full monty, no problemo. His words, he repeated the full monty part several times in one breath. AMEN. He called it himself he has the thickest (smexiest) lips in the TWdrama industry. I am not denying him the title. I saw the creative process of THAT particular scene where he put thoughts behind, with logic and sense to the natural progression of what his character is going through and the lady PD basically takes in his every suggestion as nuggets of drama gold and there we get one perfect climatic scene pushing me over the edge of gloriously flailing for a drama.
How I am floored that I have to stop it playing with the might and power from God knows where on the simple fact I need to carry myself in decency and at the break of that scene, I am GONE, and I know if I catch another whiff of it, I would be GONER and I would scream like …oh… Meg Ryan at the Deli in When Harry Met Sally. I…got a flush of heat, I will put it as happiness going haywire just as the brink of YiKang ‘crosses the line’. That was the 1 hour 8 min mark, exact. This has never ever happened before in my existence. I have no self control and no shame and not a care how I am judged so I do watch dramas in public, in gentile company and be a banshee. But this scene needs the proper quality time on my own to take in its full perfection, and be appreciative with squeals and squees and somersaults and dancing and tumbling in my room. He now has a spot with the Tonys in my heart, be it Tony Leung, Tony KaFai Leung…and Tony Yang.
The lines are well done in the drama, there is not one misstep, I did not wince once, nor cringe except at that very ewwww WK , but what Sonia and especially Tony brought are all these little nuances that speak volumes between the lines, of all those little beats, littlest of thoughts that went through a grown level-headed logical man and woman making sense of the sticky messy glorious maze of romance and happiness. Kudos to Sonia doing justice to her very well written grown female character. The win of her character is not a matter of loveability but believability. She can be vulnerable, go after what she wants the most even when she is aware it is not the wisest thing to do but life is too short. Her character is allowed to have thoughts and real conversations with her girlfriends airing all the confusion in her life. She is aware of everything happening in her life for once, for a 30th single lady fresh from a heartbreak and about to lose her heart out of her control, yet her head is still functioning to just the convincing degree. We are not just given a sticker book of all the character traits that we should cheer on and slap it on as the drama pleases. We are shown her being work savvy (not told) while nursing a bruised heart with her agencies and wavering between soldiering on and falling back while proactive about her pining, and balancing the intangible of a blossoming relationship practicality is telling her she is so not ready for, but gut has its own way with things. She has all these unharmonious, at time contradicting facets living inside her physical poised shell that can falter and be relatably ordinary even though she is Sonia the Supermodel with legs an extra mile on top of us earthlings and that makes her a full, breathing female character in the age bracket so prone to landmines of cliches, an amazon we never, ever, EVER get, not even dream about in a TWtrendy.
I am also here to correct myself. I said I do not care for one sided pining…but I can appreciate and tag along the ride of the heart jumping everywhere inside, or the 忐忑 (graphically the leaping/losing of weight of the heart and the…sinking of it) when it is done right. My stance has always been we have no tangible control over feelings. We all are free to fall for someone, just as that person has the right to not reciprocate. We can analyze to 9 deaths by now a CB and a Trash, but at the end of the day, it does not matter a thing to NaJung. But how we carry through with that crush, or pining, or love is to our own doing. Love is an all encompassing beast. I do it the all or none way, and with the falling, it is a freefall and there is only one direction to go. No matter how many times we have taken the leap, that crossing that line when it is adorned with all the warnings and bewares is full of tummy churning fright. And it is so YiKang when he would also give most of his thoughts on what his own feelings and actions will affect LeiLei, what if he scares her, asking her to give him love, fresh from the trauma of deprived from it herself?
It took a steady 10 eps for our heroine to do a sorting, a purging, a spring cleaning of her past relationship, which I love the pace of. And I always linger on an old photo too long, or go sidetrack on flipping through a scrapbook from highschool, reliving that fond memory. It is what is happening with LeiLei hanging on with the feelings towards her ex. It is love, but more so the hangup on not letting go of that memory of love, and how that memory flushes back all the feelings when she was in love with that person. The feelings can feel vividly fresh, exactly the same as back then, and we can indulge in the memory of it, but reality has moved on. I love the time to face this mess and I love we do not sugarcoat there is drama magic dust just because there is a Tony Yang under the same roof and the broken heart will mend just with him around. I love how Sonia’s An Lei can have rational responsible moments to tend to herself before everything else. I love how little she is wavered by all the swoony things this guy is doing, not loudly out to woo her, but all the more swoonworthy he is just this nice caring good guy, but she has the clarity on tidying up her past messy feelings. I love how she is honest and in tune with everything she is going through, when she is confused, she is aware of the confusion and she will air it out when need be, or brood but knows it. Her An Lei did not do much to be lovable because she needs not be when she is so authentic.
And now Tony’s YiKang’s pining is a weaponry of kill all. I have my heart all jumpy, about to leap out of my throat, racing involuntarily when he acts on or says his mind, the mind that is set on smitten with you, AnLei. He cooked a fancy meal, the usual puppy will wag his tail for a treat for his reward, but he set out not to impress, just to have a table of gorgeous yummiest food he made just in case she comes back in need of food …or the company. Even with such a grand gesture, his priority is to let AnLei have the space to do whatever she wants. She comes back home late without a word and he can worry sick about her and let it be known with hollers and all he is asking is for a little SMS of whereabouts, as a courtesy of living under same roof. She is grateful, and expresses it plain and simple but she also stalls the progression of his straight forward advances as their conversation heats up. Go and hang out with your girlfriends, fresh after we have publicly ‘break up’…but give me a call when you are drunk and need me. That is a show of genuine care of her well being first and foremost. These are not gestures or wooing to impress, none of that, that is what he does, what he is and he is available IF she needs him be. He can go along with the fake dating, but he can not do the fake breaking up because she is just that perfect to him, she is on her own with no cooperation from him if he has to convey she is anything less. My heart is the size of the Pacific as I am typing. That is the grownup way to pine, to get your feelings be known when necessary without invading spaces and free wills. Better yet, he does not let go of himself while consciously aware of his own falling. He still keep a mind of his own and will speak of it instead of being a completely pitiful pushover.
Then there is the grownup way to pine and lust out of love. They have established they are, he is, at the brink of crossing the line and he takes the leap, getting his kiss, testing the water, or steam considering the hotness. And when she is clearly not against the move, he lets his body do all the talking there ever is, like a grown man should. The best part is not just the hot kisses and skinship, it is so naturally progressed to this, and how they successfully convey that testy intimacy of the first time a man and a woman be physical but more so their minds are actively tuned to every progression, has always the presence of the element of respect and putting her feelings first on his part. He is very sure they both want the kiss, the subsequent kiss, then the onslaught of him urgently taken over by his wants and the next shredding of clothes, him leaping to her compartment, savoring each other’s lips, so engrossed I can be sitting in the trunk and they will not notice me.
[credit: yeollovemebaek @ tumblr]
Again, this is perfection. Words, still fail me.