Rewatching Pursuit of Happiness ep2

Oh Friday.  And I am having major TPoH withdrawals.

I hate being a rambling idiot, but I just am and too lazy to edit.   I have so much to say about TPoH, still.    This drama strives on subtlety and how it evokes emotions that only the best of actors like Sonia and Tony can showcase. This is a drama I can rewatch solely on the acting of the amazing duo alone, I am not even touching the most natural comfortable fluid evolving spot on chemistry I have ever witnessed in TWdramaland.  This is just a free streaming of my thoughts and squees and lots of half naked caps of Tony Yang.  Can’t help it.

This is the third day THEY met! ^^  The dinner of LeiLei’s most WTF day is where I spark a full-fledged admiration for LeiLei

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A major reason why I am loving The Pursuit of Happiness is because how much more mature and comprehensible things are to me compared to In Time With You.   Now, I did not bring the comparison up, drama itself is inviting it in a nodding way, written into the lines.   Of course I am nowhere near as lenient with ITWY as the writer here, or the world, and I cringed when Helen said she does not want to be a Maggie.  I was so bitterly disappointed with that ride which marked me falling out of love with Ariel *sad*, and no Bolin (I have such a soft spot for Bolin) can do a thing about it.   This is dramafairy sick of my ragey rants/ expletives and shushing me with an even more capable pair of actors and dedicated, insightful read into the material by the ladyPD.   The directing may be more bells and whistles and technically steadyhanded in ITWY, but without a thorough grap of the material and its characters, it was such a major fail for me.

I guess this ring true with theme of the episode:  Expectation does not correlate with happiness.

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I feel for and commiserate with Maggie in ITWY so much I want to give her hugs and would slap and kick YC’s ass for her.   The poor thing has done not a thing wrong just being her cutesy self, falling for a guy who was passively going along with all the affection without a grimace.  She is just in love with a LDR, the prince of passivity but is that such an unforgivable sin to a YC that warranted her treatment ‘justified’ at their first meeting, visibly cringing and wincing and dissing at Maggie’s every move and word, even when she’s just taking a bite of food, at dinner for freak’s sake?!   Maggie has every right to treat LDR however way the couple interacts, or nudges in as many girlfriend stamps as she wants, she is the official gf and last we heard from YC’s own words she does not want a piece of LDR.  To make matters more dumbfounding (for me), PD and writer is hammering in I was supposed to feel for a YC, to cheer her on, Go YC! be a bitch because you have the face of an Ariel who is so beloved and can do no wrong.  Go bully the crap out of the girl just breathing in air, eating with her boyfriend because she has sinned being younger, on top of being a girl in love in your face, grabbing the attention of LDR/her boyfriend, whom you are regarding as nothing more than a bestie/punching bag for over a decade and now can not spare to dote on you 24/7 like a loyal stupid puppy because, duh, he now has a real lady in his life.  Motto is we must pour vitriol and hatred on the ‘other woman’.  If you are to go all patronizing and eye-rolling at the ‘insufferable youngling’ since you are this older/’wiser’ woman, act like one, carry yourself like one, like a LeiLei, never a YC.  I promise that is all the hate I have for YC and ITWY.  So future TWdramas, just be kind to me and fans of ITWY and do not bring up an ITWY reference because I can’t help cutting it to death.  And I hate rolling eyes like a YC which I am doing typing the above.

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This is the moment calling for alcohol in hand.   Just when her heart is broken to pieces, he has to stab every shard in with, ‘we are very purely, very platonic good buddies.’

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Being annoyed, frustrated and angry and extremely nauseated  are very normal emotions in the situation.  It is much more excruciating for LeiLei to sit and try to down anything other than alcohol, be it Helen’s chitchats or food when Helen brought up the ITWY parallel.  LL is harboring lingering unrequited feelings for WT, who must have slipped and hit his head too many times while hopping jetways, hence losing his very tiny sensitivity chip and brain, the love from the guy she has been attached on and off for 15 years is now poof, all things prior pointing to his love is her  ‘jackpot’ to claim come 35 years old.  All is now Helen’s to have and to own.  And fresh off this young thing with face and body and hair straight out of Vogue’s special shoujo manga CandyCandy edition, got the position everyone thought was LeiLei mere hours ago.  For Helen to not sense a thing and brought on the whole Maggie, YC, LDR analogy to the mix is a bit careless because she should’ve thought of the what if?!  Especially being a seemingly ITWY fangirl, she should know LDR has been in love with YC all along and it is just YC was too self-centered and full of it to notice.  I for one would be pissed off being compared to a YC and honey, although love is blind, WT is opposite of a LDR, he has sleaze and none of the LDR/Bolin debilitating charm, LDR’s sensitivity, nor the self-sacrificing doting veering towards wussy, unless we are talking about role reversal: LL as LDR and WT is the egoistic, patronizing and annoying male version of YC (well, that’s an interesting thought).

I am shallow, I can’t deal with this face and all the contrived sleazy smiles it brings along are giving me the creeps:

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She is aware of the dicey work situation where she parachuted into the position LL rightfully sweated for last decade, just because LL handled that with class does not mean Helen should not be more sensitive.  I am not saying Helen is horrible, any time we do not get the stereotypical craycray and/or evil but fake nice plasticpretty girl2, we can drink and cheer to that, and hey I can commend a young 20sth princess having a thought to be respectful towards her senior which she did in their first exchange back at the office. In the harsh reality and personal experience, she does not have to be nice to LL in her entitled position.  That is, given this situation, LL has every right to react more obtusely than a YC but did not, because she has true class and real wit.  And I love LeiLei’s poker face:

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I love LL does not take things for granted, expecting she should be the center of the universe and everyone must orbit around her.   No matter how others treated her, as long as she can fish for an explanation for a Helen, or WT’s abhorrent ignorance (let alone clueless of LL’s feelings towards him, as a bf, how can he not know Helen got LL’s position!?), she could not bring herself lashing out on them.   This is how I need every respectable grown heroine carries herself.   The situation is opposite of what she has expected, but she is not letting her shocking disappointment takes over her dignity and decorum.  She takes a bathroom break to pick up the pieces herself, to sort things through, assess the situation and be presentable.

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But she still holds her own with a few nicely veiled cutting witty repardee on the situation and let her feelings be known even when falling on deaf ears.  It takes a wise, big person to reach the conclusion this is a clusterfuck of a bad day due to her baseless desires of things that were not guaranteed hers in the first place and would self-reflect first, and have the clarity to realize thus not putting the blame on others not at fault on her own expectations:  her expectation of  the happiness was hers to claim, to the point she assumed she was entitled.   But that is not reality,  it is not ruling out wishing and dreaming, but life experiences should have taught a 30 something to be prepared not always getting one’s way.

Same token, YK is putting all his eggs in the hope basket.

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This is a grand gesture to custom design a necklace to replace the one Helen lost in a chance accident so long ago, the one which meant a world to her and was given to her from her birth Mom, and YiKang remembers every minute detail for this very thoughtful gifting.  Later on we know WT will shower Helen sparkly baubles often, love tokens his style without that care delving deeper into the story behind and hence a deeper understanding of the past of the woman he wants to settle down with.   I am just relieved the drama resorted to giving them passing scenes I can FF because they serve as nothing but plot devices and fillers.  I love the contemplation on YK’s face picking up the necklace, Tony conveyed his YK is aware the chance of meeting his expectation is slim, given she has not even answered his calls, but if this is an integral part of falling in love…not to let the slimmest hope vanish.  YK is at peace he could brave it for a slightest chance at happiness.

If LeiLei had not earned enough brownie points for being classy on her most horrible FML day,  how sweet I find her apologizing to ‘niece in shower’ after she shut her off desperately in need of alone time earlier on should do it.  She opened her heart to her niece (she assumes), whom she obviously is having a close friendly relationship with.  It is always lovely for older gens to treat younglings as truly equals, and she vents without dumping too much woe is her.   She clearly has self-therapied very successfully and is here just to explain her rudeness, and apologize…then taking up her own responsibility on her misfortune, which she needs not but that’s just how awesome and responsible an adult LeiLei is, and moves on, gifting the special outfit to ‘niece in shower’ for her disposal.

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*lesigh* We just have to deal with the fact only a Sonia whines after a long grueling horrible day looking radiant like a goddess in her undies on the loo.

I got the gist this is how LeiLei handles her tribulations in life, with a levelheaded constructive pragmatism, holding her own ground, owning her life without victimizing herself with self-flagellation.   She is also a most considerate ‘victim’, even when she dumps, like her frustration, or that outfit she must gets out of system, it is done with tact and never forcing it down ears/throat.  I love she tells her ‘niece’ to use the outfit as rags if she so desires and means it.  Very cool.

Haha, give me a hug (and a Tony Yang), because I can gush all LeiLei drowning in my pool of droolz over ‘niece in shower’.

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The scene itself is gold even if one can focus on his face only and indulge in all the perfect nuances only a Tony Yang can do so seamlessly, effortlessly.

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He fills in a kitschy scene with depth and layers.  YiKang is forced into a precarious position of listening, when he can out himself as not niece off the bat because he picks up on LeiLei’s somberness instantaneously just from timber of her voice through the curtain, and let her vent, with the right amount of attentiveness and responsiveness of a naked guy in the middle of shower gets ‘intruded’ by his landlady, his stripping down to underwear very goddessy landlady.

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*He peeked hahaha*

He throws us just the right amount of flustering and nervous tension with a few lifting of brows for alarming understanding but already we can see for ourselves YiKang has keen ears, he is a good listener, very observant and is mentally taking note, shaping an impression of his landlady with the respect she deserves when she made a marvelous point on what happiness is, even when she is in essence sulking like any normal person would in her shoes, his face is of an impressed nod.  Just how it is possible to spill out thoughtful morsels, even to have the heart to feel genuinely happy for babyniece to have found Mr. Right so young as LeiLei did in her state is not something I can ever do, a hundred brownie points LeiLei!

I love this scene not (just) because of the nikkid Tony Yang, I swear.  It was nicely fluidly woven and progressed balancing out the predictable hijinks with nice touches, telling of the characters we are still getting to know.  LeiLei’s day can not get worse, and she is holding it altogether at wits end with the awesomeness I am crushing, she is hit with this outrageous absurdity of a naked dude showering in her bachelorette pad.

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The plot device is forced, typical of cohabitation tropes, and I can overlook because I do love the forced proximity speeding up the relationship, at least they put in the thought to lay out cues since the wedding so this is not absolutely out of the blue nonsensical.   I also love LeiLei’s best bffs are here to the ‘rescue’ because without the assertive wheedling of the fantabulous flirt Tiffany, it is too much to ask LeiLei even to come up with the thought to be kind to this stranger taking him in at this particularly horrible timing.  Without the buffer of the timid, apprehensive Jia Yi, LeiLei most probably would take out her frustration on the perfect stranger just out of spite when Tiffany is not hiding her ulterior motive on the hunk.

I love YiKang (duhhh), yes, through our dramas we have peeked enough hot men showering, but to be fair to the sexes, being buttnaked, unwillingly have some handsie near his manhood is a most embarrassing meetcute.  He did not hide, but did a proper good night with the ladies after finishing his handyman chore out of courtesy.  A gloriously smiling smitten Tiffany is nothing of a bff approval compared to the sweet nod from the uptight JiaYi. I am crushing LeiLei some more for not budging just because he is cute and nice and her gfs are ‘traitors’ leaning towards his team.  Even more love from me when she properly thanks the guy for the nice gesture of handimanship fixing her faucet.  She does not take nicety for granted ever even when she’s trolled all over the entire day.  Another hundred brownie points LeiLei!

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I am all for a well versed in romance Tiffany coming up with constructive plans with what LeiLei ultimately wants in mind to go all offensive fighting back both job and WT or retreat and leave both behind start anew, totally supportive with what LeiLei without judgment.

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I doubt any of us like WT other than Helen and LeiLei but LL is clear she still has feelings for the guy or else she won’t hold onto that stupid 35 yo pact, she is not confused on what her heart desires, just how and that is all a bff should be doing, giving the pushes and be there to hold and hug her if she gets hurt. Tiffany taking LL in is tiny neat touch working in some girl time and LL not having to spend the night with a stranger against her will. Sticking to her guns without being insensitive to the other party, very LL

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Watching WT having the nerves to profess how melancholy he was after the breakup that their/his favorite dessert no longer tastes the same *blergh* and LL is visually moved, taking it in as him expressing he has intense feelings for her, bringing up the 35 year old pact.  It is like watching a girlfriend falling for the douchebag in front of your eyes (and that happens more often than one wishes) and I can not do a thing about it.  Le Sigh.  There she is, our fabulous LeiLei, after I am sure a night of coaching from Tiffany, putting up a poised, awesome front to passive aggressively put a mark back on WT’s mind what he should be missing, so flawlessly, almost making it, getting her upper hand to the last sip of tea, but taking the great fall of friendzoned just when she gets her hopes up, with just a few self-centered words from the guy dictating his wants and confining their relationship.

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I do not think a smile so pure of joy is easy to pull off, that instantaneous zone out, that skip of heartbeat, that slighter bigger inhale when the girl in your thoughts is smiling at you, giving you a warmest welcoming embrace.

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The other guy, the one we care about does not start out as assured as LL on making his big move.  He must’ve played out the scene too many times.  With a lot of care he picks a cafe reminding her of their time in New Zealand, his line leading into his proper love declaration, ‘ the puzzle in your life you are missing (….Can I be that piece?)’ with his thoughtfully designed necklace in hand.  Perfection on paper.  Too tragic I almost can’t bear watching YK’s heart breaking to tiny pieces while holding it all in, all on his face and YK is not as good an actor as Tony Yang.  The coffee at this carefully chosen place is not all that palatable either.

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*AND WE HAVE TONY YANG CROONING~!* To a very hot inebriated YiKang. Boyfriend, just be glad you did not bump into my bacholerette pad, that is all I am saying. :X

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Their first tête-à-tête, chock-full of OTP golden nuggets.  YK breaks down to tears AND he is drinking (he can’t drink, he is taken aback LL remembers he said so), I suspect both are his first.  His basketful of hope is dropped, all is lost and LL extends an olive branch, they both can do with some TLC from another human being to commiserate.  I like my booze (in moderation), so I find it a friendly gesture when someone will drink with me when I need it.  It may not wash the sorrows away per se, but it lowers the inhibition to open up, and at the opposite of the end, to listen.

Awwww and he said it out loud ‘I am not ok.  *sob*’

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 photo ThePursuitofHappinessEp02HDTV720px264Chi13-30-24_zps47fb42ec.jpg“Are you ok?’

‘How can I be OK?!’

Now that they are both friendzoned as BFF, those 3 words are damning, quipped LL.

YK:  You are so right!

But even though he is so not ok, and is drunk, he has to heart to ask about her:

The person gifting you the outfit…

…is he your ‘best friend’ as well?

ex BF…

…plus current B!F!F!

 photo ThePursuitofHappinessEp02HDTV720px264Chi13-34-35_zps4620a595.jpg‘Lets pop some champagne, I dare you~!’

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‘Thank you….’

 photo ThePursuitofHappinessEp02HDTV720px264Chi13-38-50_zps2a8ca9e0.jpg‘ (I am so sad)… it feels like a heavy lump is on my heart’

 photo ThePursuitofHappinessEp02HDTV720px264Chi13-38-56_zpse369d0d1.jpg‘I can’t even breathe’

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Gotta love LeiLei’s comforting hand on his shoulder for the whole while.

 photo ThePursuitofHappinessEp02HDTV720px264Chi13-37-36_zps561cc23f.jpgThank you

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LL: Condolences

 photo ThePursuitofHappinessEp02HDTV720px264Chi13-39-22_zps82dc4c5e.jpgLL: ‘Thanks for being my drinking buddy’

 photo ThePursuitofHappinessEp02HDTV720px264Chi13-39-38_zpsa42c0752.jpgLL: I had a horrible day as well

 photo ThePursuitofHappinessEp02HDTV720px264Chi13-42-32_zpsf6992084.jpgLL: ‘(WT has) become a better guy’

YK’s face is screaming like mine: ermmmm, nope.

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LL: What are you doing (not kissing me), Huang YiKang!!!

*LL and YK, sitting on a couch. H U G G I N G  First comes love~.  Then comes marriage~.

Then comes baby in a baby carriage LALALALA~~~~*

After more alcohol in the system, YK forces the precious customized TLC necklace for Helen on LeiLei, insisting her wearing it.   Love token, skinship, hammering in she is the one, he is her missing piece of life puzzle,  ALL in one.   I love cheese.  Love.   Of course as idoldrama logic goes this is not the first time LL receives a handmade love token.

It’s understandable LL feels threaten with Helen at work, overtaking her projects, injecting her own ideas right away.  LL types up her resignation handy but continues to put in her all, trying her best to swallow her pride and work with Helen.  Her minions are not as generous to Helen.  I feel for Helen actually, it’s hard to prove her worth, but they are making it harder when she is not being anything but genuinely friendly and constructive.

It is a little neat and convenient LL has visions of her younger self in Helen,  but I can’t hate a Helen professionally myself, and same goes for LL.  I can’t say I can be as big a person throwing pleasant encouraging remarks Helen’s way like LL.  But I will take the girls united and less hating amongst us than the headdesky bitching catfights.  LL went further with giving Helen some research materials to help her out, she has taken note how truly hard Helen is working her ass off on top of the stress she must be shouldering from the animosity from the rest of the department on LL’s side.

‘I can see you are trying very hard to prove yourself…’

I am quite impressed.

You are too awesome!


While she is impressed with Helen and can not find fault with her at work to hate her which would be easier on LL’s own sanity, she does not have to like a friendly hug.   I love she does not push her away nor slide out of it like I would.  What a taxing day for our LL

After the super long day, she goes home to a strange place.   There is a handy handsome friendly doggy wagging his tail for a pet and a ‘good boy’ for job well done.  I get LL.  She is over the threshold of snapping yet she has not and can’t, so over her capacity to socialize, let alone the weary, the unknown of starting a friendship with a stranger who is going to be out of her life in days.   But that is not stopping the sweetie.

I want to add some oil for you.

This (the handle of the door, to enter the room, her heart…)…has broken long ago.

I have cleaned everything up

We had a lovely conversation yesterday…

Actually, I am not used to having a stranger in my home.

*AWW! Ouch at least he is your drinking buddy.  Very hot and handy and will clean bathroom and gift you precious necklace drinking buddy!*

Yesterday was a fluke.

Poor YiKang.

Argh.  It was so douchy of WT asking LL for big favors pverusing the BFF card.  He keeps on making a point LL is his B!F!F! therefore she should take a chunk of her precious time to be rubbed in by him and sales she is not the one and it is her duty to say encouraging words, bend over if he asks and suits his every whim.  I just wanna ask the dude, friendship goes both ways, has he EVER even bother a thought, given a good look on how LL is doing?  Even just on work front where his inexperienced new young love is now her boss?!   and ha, him lecturing LL, however jokingly, how she should treat her best fking friend, ie himself, is hilarious but so not funny.   LL may be bumped their relationship have downsized from lovers to besties, but frankly I do not even see that.

But I do not have much time for the above scene to grate on me.

I love taking public transportation, I inhaled shoujo mangas like air I breathe all my primitive years and that would creep up to the head of any silly girl turning sweaty buses, trams, ferries, trains, happening romantic places.  I can daydream alone, yet with company all around.  I can have the anonymity to be shameless and droolz at all the cute boys sharing the car, I fancy oogling at very pretty girls too on what they are doing to theirbeautiful hair and face and outfits.  I could pick up a to read list.  I could eavesdrop conversations.  It was never boring.  The bus scene rekindles my love for trapping cityfolks in a confined space, proximity breeds precious intimacy.

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♪ I still can’t find the lingering dream~♪

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♪ The deafening solitude…who would take me away~♪

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♪ Where am I~♪

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With YK perks up, noticing a LL in the crowd the moment she steps in…. Hmmmmm.  It is not just duly noting her in his vicinity, he is observant enough to notice she is down, she is beat, she is gloomy, fraying around the edges.  Squee.  I find it utterly romantic when a guy is pouring every bit of his attention, looking out for you when he has no agenda, no crushing, no pining, no romantic inclinations, he just plain cares, even more heedful than yourself when you are not aware of any of it.  Every progression of this little scene, swoonheaven perfection, even how the scene is in sync with the song playing in the background…is flawless.

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♪ (who) knows me better~♪

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♪ Time is tickling, forward as we go~♪

As soon as he steps out of the bus, he heightens his senses for her presence behind.  I love he sets out to look out for her without intruding.  When she does not get off bus, he stops it and approaches her, fresh after she snubbed him off interacting with her and demanding their separate private space and their worlds running parallel in the confines but never intersect the other day.  He is aware he perhaps is crossing the line speaking to her, but for her sake, he still gives her a heads up and promptly gives her the distance, watching her getting off the bus with a keen eye and be a few steps behind her while they take the same walk home.

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And back home, his eyes are still fixed on her even in passing, the toolbox in toll.

I’ll head back to my room first. 


Just a look from her he is sensitive he must be intruding her private space and graciously excuses himself.  Clearly, he is effective in putting LL at ease unbeknownst to her, she is touched by his sweet nothings even though she is not yet aware of, however little, she has loosen up her guard and is there just telling him she is going to take a bath, and he does not have to leave (and hide from her) which is not a thing a singleton should be doing alone in house unless he/she has some imaginary friend.

There is this bewilderment on YK’s face.  They have only known each other for a few days but they have been through quite a bit, and his considerate brain is churning to adapt and compromise to her rules.  She wants space, he will most attentively give her space while still caring for her like someone living under one roof whatever the label should, that is his bottomline.  If he deems fit, he will fix all the little booboos in the house.  It is a nice surprise that she is telling him, in her indirect way, a thank you for caring, letting him budge in just a little because he does want to help her getting out of her funk whether she wants it or not because she is not as strong as she wants to project to the world and he knows it.  He walks that fine line very tentatively,  she said she needs no fixing both herself and her domain but he wants to care and is offering and unless she slaps a definite no, he would keep pushing it, handing her a helping hand even when she said she does not want nor need.  He is even more alert and on the look out for her every emotion, be available if she needs him as a friend, a comrade in the same boat, but so delicately carefully respecting her space and the rules she laid out.

Do you want some watermelon?

YiKang may suddenly want some sweet cold watermelon himself, but who does not know it is almost a slice of heaven of a pick me up after a shower a balmy night?  I take it as just these little sweet gestures he is so full of in his head to put genuine care in action.  I suspect LL notices it too.   He also answers her intercom for her, and it’s a WT barging in, saying his entitled words of ‘ I need you LL’  How about a call ahead? I am not cool with any dude popping up at a single lady’s home in the middle of the night with their history and his current status of in a hot romance with new serious gf.   I am officially allergic to the dude from this point on and put my FF button to good use.

And I am falling in love with the watermelon guy lest you miss the memo, so all is well.  More than well.

5 thoughts on “Rewatching Pursuit of Happiness ep2

    1. I love Tony and Sonia even more and all these little touches they put in that captures how people care for each other, how people get closer or let others in, which gets harder and harder as we grow up. LOVE.

  1. Gosh i am going backwards with ur TPoH posts but I also respect YK for being comfortable with himself and always ever-so polite, still coming out to say night to the girls and LL such a dear thanking him for the handyman job even though theres a stack of other emotions that must be swirling within her. I’m currently a landlord atm so I can relate (to feelings of shock and frustration) but unfortunately no TY in my house LOL.

    But the best points you made about this drama which I really cheers to are somewhat normal girl2 and the rarity in the existence of a 30yr old something not sticking her tongue out or being cutesy. Just a regular 35y.o that Sonia is able to play out naturally for all to be charmed by her- and this is in a TW DRAMA.

    It looks like i need to rewatch ep 1 because i skipped so many scenes assuming they were all LL flashbacks Of her and WT’s past. I pretty much skipped the entire episodes when i finally went to read your posts that now i realise are still spoilers for me lol.

    So glad I took up this drama. I loved ITazura na kiss and that made me squee heaps but this drama is a special one with its way of capturing the little details and the emotions of the protagonists and their way of living as honestly and as humbly as possible. Arigatou gozaimasu Mookie! I am a TY and YK fanauntie now;)

  2. @lena you can do like me, watch the show while doing work. Since it is a rewatch, u do not hv to pay so much attention. Th bad parts, ignore the show, continue to do ur work. The good part, you take a break from ur work and watch.

    1. @kangaroo: With my my slow internet I actually haven’t finished it the first time yet! I’m up to 10.2 n dying to see the rest of this episode!

      I’ll admit I’m a boring person as besides a bulk of ep 1, all the episodes have been so engaging and consistently paced for me I have not skipped a thing! My heart was about to drop when i thought YK had kissed Sonia on the ferris wheel cos I was thinking the timing wasnt right! Thank God they didnt stuff it up and kept up with the nice flowing narrative.

      @mookie: i agree with you that TY is the better actor here better physical appearance or not;)

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