Honey Bee Man/ 我爱男闺蜜

Got to give a drama ALL the brownie points with a cute justification of why our guy need the fugly perm pompadour fungus infesting his head these days.

我爱男闺蜜 is literally I Love My GuyBFF.  for once I think the  English title is quite creative. 闺蜜 is a short for  闺中密友/our girlfriends/bffs where 密(close) is cutely replaced by the homophone 蜜 (honey) upping the sweetness of the nick.  We ladies do add another list of chores for GuyBFF to work harder to earn that intimacy, coining them honey bees seems even more fantastic.

Of all the new fads, I still think Jane Zhang has the perfect control and balance of expressiveness and technique out of all the powerful songstress.

 

Cdrama has finally evolved a watchably entertaining no headhurt niche of their own: 熟龄偶像剧/’ripe’ idol fluff.   C modern idoldramas are never watchable by any standard of mine, unless a bulldozer ran over my head several times and I suddenly need to escape to a deserted island of questionable taste swamped by buggy fugly silly toads only capable of doing bizarre headdesky deeds unimaginable.  Then there are all the contemporary human dramas,主旋律/leitmotif they call it, to SARFT’s contentment, carefully written/directed/acted, 80% of the time preachy, dense, dour, formularic, and where is the escapism?!?!?!?  And lately there are few little tweaks and fusions making up a new brand of ‘idol’dramas for the nitpicking aunties who can not handle all the braindead glorified empty calorie junk on their TV screens.  These few ‘gems’ have negligible warts.  It started a few years ago, when there is a lighter brand of CN style ‘slice of life’ romantic drama popping up here and there, having a delightful moment in the midst of diffident writing, cautious under SARFT’s ironfist I bet, not yet hitting my sweet fluffy kink but decent attempts: 婚姻保卫战 Marriage Battle (2010), 男人帮 Men (2011), 大男当婚 The Bachelor (2011), 夫妻那些事 Husband and Wife (2012), 咱们结婚吧 We Get Married (2013) are all watchable, entertaining enough.

Just this year alone we have 大丈夫/May-December Love and more fine tuning in 一仆二主/One Servant of Two Masters which I thoroughly enjoyed the 10 or so episodes I checked out, just not as rabidly as to gobble it down in a few sittings as 我爱男闺蜜.  This takes ‘idol’drama to a new level because not filled to the hilt with the sugarcoated dandies of other dramalands, these are true movie thespians with formidable chops, perhaps lack of that young wrappings. 王志文 of May-December Love has the face of a character actor you may not be gushing hearing his name, but you must’ve seen him multiple times on screen in arthouse and big budget popcorns alike.  He is our Lu Xun in my most anticipated thing Golden Era and poised to steal the show.  One Servant of Two Masters has 张嘉译, ie I LOVE him against all my shallowness! face of an ordinary uncle and all.  As asdfghasdfljkggall as myhoneybbloverboy’s 平凡的世界/Ordinary World is looking, and I should shut up and count my blessings,  I am very bumped Mr 张嘉译 is unable to join the fantastic cast.  He has become my utmost litmus, the quality stamp in everything he touches.  I have yet to see him not good to amazing in works good to fantastic, and the latter part makes him literally a dramagod to me.

我爱男闺蜜 has 黄磊/Huang Lei, whom I have a very very tender spot for.  He was in my earliest Cdrama lush moody romantic loves 人间四月天 , 橘子红了,似水年华, his eyes have a pureness, the honest man sparkle in it that is all his own charm to bottle.

And like all the romantic leading men 10+ years ago, he sings and has MVs of his ballads on utube:

In this drama, he is now a Chapman To lookalike with a cute tummy:

And yes, that sorry perm.  His 方骏/Fang Jun has a way explaining it: it is essential for his living. His character has a way with words 24/7 especially on the job as the matchmaking consultant, the best at his agency.   He got my interest piqued saying: it is because he can’t be in any way attractive, yet he has to come across as he has put in effort in his appearance but never too chic and unapproachable.  What is better than an ahjumma perm?!?!  Just that very miniscule chance of a client falling for him instead of his matchmaking is job hazard.  Valid.  Very.   He is warm, caring, kind, pudgy, harmless, only vice is he won’t shut it, gets me misty eye everytime he is sooo insanely loving a big bro to his little sis, just nothing crucial in the typical cold prince charming without the tall (and skinny), rich, handsome, huh!?

陈数/Chen Shu has long been the gold standard of how to rock a QiPao, she has the face of Manguo era classical beauty.  She has that goddess glow down in that golden sepia tone with delicate makeup in all the gentile confinement.

Here she is showing a bit of wear, a bit of botox, but it doesn’t get in the way of authenticity of her character: an all work no play gold-collar management. We met her scorned, embarrassingly crashing the wedding of her ex and his bun-in-oven new wife a bit frayed and fizzled losing most of her cool (we are not too sure about whether she is cool to begin with haha).

First few episodes have her fallen in the usual bracket of the aloof, brittle 30 sth divorced single career woman, but then Chen Shu starts to chuckle, and her laugh is so infectious and adorable you have to hear it to believe it.   So there, a softening and a layer that makes the story of her falling for her honey bee man more natural a progression without apparent physical attraction. All the ladies in this drama have their vices, none of them the perfect embodiment of an unattainable cliche. I would say they fit into the stereotypes of a Beijinger too squarely: no girly pettiness, and fussiness has no place in their lives. They are all bold and generous, living their lives on broader strokes than sensitive to intricacies.

 

They have a comfortable chemistry that only actors of matching caliber can permeate their characters.  None of that fan-serving sizzling that would be out of place in the beginning when they are adversaries almost, steadily progressing to true lovely friendship and beyond.  It takes seasoned, careful control to make it convincing bringing us along the journey that accounts for ALL the swooniness in any fluffy romance, never the draw by numbers skinship for me.   And that is where it is a give or take, you either take those glossy young things who can’t emote but are popular, who got stuck in crap written by morons so dumb but inserting all the piggybacks, wristgrabs and manufactured intimacy that even though they can’t act, they do not deserve the lazy treatment;  and these steady veterans who are no spring chicken, but elevating a romance to life convincingly.

Predictable,  plots are at time too fantasized to be anywhere gritty but nothing headdesky nonsensical, even when plot device has to be employed, it is  addressed and snarked by a character face-on, talked through swiftly, not pompously inserted as some very important genius creative spin (go away yuma).  Characters speak logically as they should facing every twist, turn and obstacle, that is my bone bare necessity, decency in character building so lacking in Cdrama fluff.

What the list of dramas I lumped together prior lacked is a secondary young fluffy OTP that is knocking EVERYTHING I have seen offering in Asian dramalands for a longtime.  First off, they meet my aesthetics, I find both of them looking the right age for their parts, cute and good looking in their own fresh face and like a unicorn these days, not a whiff of plastic.   Bonus, they both are good actors who can instill heart in weaker spots of writing.   It borrows bits of shoujo, mix with a lot of harsher RL yet dealt with an escapism bend, conjuring up a lethal potion for me.  It is almost like a PSA minidrama for safe sex through shoujo manga lens.   It grounded it with a splash of realism, not losing all senses, nor the core of fluffy goodness essential in getting my heart swell up a few sizes. And they look even more adorable together on screen and in bts:

Pic spam (warning one is spoilerish):







I am so impressed with 王晓晨/ Wang Xiaochen, playing Huang Lei’s young very feisty little sis.  Most of us met her for the first time as Ariel’s Huang Rong’s mommy, she was barely in minutes of it, memorable to pull it off as a teenager then playing a couple with Anthony Wong:

And here her character has a whole how to make the aunties cringe list of attributes: Eloped and divorced all in a few months when we met her 方依依 Fang Yiyi, quite spoiled rotten by her doting nice guy big bro Fang Jun, wearing very fugly clothes barely covering her lady bits and even more horrible wigs all the time and lots more.   She plays her YiYi with seamless unapologetic verve, and get this, NO OTT, as always good acting is not in how much I can see effort (sorry ShiShi, TangYan, Wallace, Nicky, the likes, you are the opposite) but how effortless an actor is breathing, thinking, talking, eating, sleeping as THE character and no one else, none of her RL star!self of course.  Being able to hold her own complimenting scene after scene with all the veterans is such a feat none of the bigger names of her generation is able to, it is really an entire veteran cast of theater actors long in the industry doing their fine jobs for decades, Mr. PD 汪俊 himself  is a very very solid director AND actor, playing the painter in the story.  ( I am going to watch his The Firmament of the Pleiades/ 苍穹之昴 next for some insanely gorgeous period porn said to be knocking Zhen Huan Zhuan off in the shallow pretty alone.)




 



I teared up in several perfect scenes of Huang Lei’s Fang Jun and her YiYi.  They completely own my heart.  They are orphans growing up, their dad abandoned them a new year’s eve, not able to handle the burden after their Mom died in childbirth giving birth to YiYi.  So Fang Jun is the daddy and big brother who brought her up in tears and blood and sweat.  All the love between them hit us full force that needs no convincing, we just have to be at the receiving end, ready to be moved every little scene they share.   He would be the right mix of a stern dad hopelessly aligning her straight and a big brother who is a softie teddy bear without real brute against this young cat of his sister, the naivete in love and romance against the seasoned player of a young 20sth girl, but like water drops piercing stone he gets his point across to her every time, and she stands her stance and bicker, but respects her brother, the dearest of her life.  They fight, make up, and be cute and annoying as loving siblings, a surrogate dad and the notty pesky dominating baby, and it is on every occasion that they do not miss a beat delivering all the elements making up the ball of dynamics of all the hats they carry.  She is actually a hurt kitten under all that purring and clawing, so insecure, so sure and shameful she has been the burden dragging her brother down since the day she was born that is why she put up that spiky facade only showing vulnerability in his company alone.  He does not deny the hardship she has put him through, but he never dwells on any woe. He makes sure to hammer in the point without her, he won’t make it to be a standing, contributing member of society, won’t be able to brave it in this world all alone. while pinching her cheeks, poking how they look so different when he is so handsome and she, not good looking at all.  Not. :~)

When you are around, your brother’s little boat will never capsize.

*sobz*

Then YiYi’s own honey bee man.  He does not fit into the the beta male cliche as obvious as Fang Jun, he is not unremarkable, just not egoistically full of himself, nor careful, we see him welding a baseball bat go around his business of a silly revenge, be the hotheaded child he is, but not entirely without a functional brain and ideas of his own.  Yet he starts off submissive to YiYi like a puppy, out of fear for his own physical well being with her bullying, mix with appreciation of her helping him out from a fellow man to another fellow human being.  It was never that fated love at first sight trope.

The cutie is 刘芮麟/Wayne Liu, typical 小鲜肉/Young Fresh Meat (the term C netizens call their wet behind ears cutiepies), with that patented hair of the 90ers (and sadly the older Meat, or as Miriam Young has wittily coined Sweet and Sour Pork for Louis Koo, all fried and sauced up but still yummy to many)


Aww he gives his own baby pic for them to use on set. He looks exactly the same!

The pair is winning in their honesty with each other and their own emotions, none of the noble idiotic let me keep my feelings to myself because you deserve someone else (like who, duh?!) and misunderstanding festers so…I don’t really know tbvh,  to be slow, silly and stupid?!   He can be sensible, he can have game, he can dote on his very sassy buddy if he wants to, not simply the lame pushover.  Stubborn, prone to lofty daydreaming, childish, child-like but not spoiled rotten …what makes a convincing early 20 year old manboy only-child raised pampered and very naive, normally, properly in an upper middle class divorced family.  The pacing can be a bit rushed in their romance, a confession is done and a non-issue with no proper milking of fanservice, but I like it.

I also like the conversations very much.  It feels lived in, and sprouting out of mouths exactly as the characters should. VERY SPOILERISH:

Can’t we all have timely confessions simple and straight forward from now on?!

Fang YiYi, are you really stupid, or faking ignorance?   It is not a day or two I have been in love with you.  Why Can’t you see it?!

-You love me?!  Why do you love me for what it is worth?

Love is love, why the heck does it have to do with reasons?

You, and the baby in your tummy, I love you both.

I picked my brain for a few days and I can not remember the last time I find a young romance laid out so simple and effective, without the fanfare yet managed to swoon my socks off.   It must be the acting, seriously.

 

Our OTP.  GAh.

I love you.

 The first few episodes were a bit ho-hum and typical, a lot of bickering, a lot of throwing of liquids at point A:



But eventually we have this sweetness at Point BEE!


I reread this post before clicking publish and it is 120% my gibberish, nothing too substantial a sell.  The backbone of the story has been told before for a lot of us who dabbled in all dramalands, but ask yourself, have you seen any decent fluff lately, good old decent nothing hurts fluffy adult romance?  I have my snark!cap perpetually on, I nitpick the daylight out of everything just to keep myself awake often watching a drama nowadays and suddenly something that moves me to a little chuckle, a tiny awww even just a hint of happy tear.  That’s enough drama magic.

TBH, it took me by surprise how much I am smittened with it after 2000+ word count.  It must be the decent quality in every aspect, and as I am watching along just how simple a predictable scene to not explode crap on me, for example a mother against her well-to-do daughter marrying a humble bee of a man a few social stratus below her, typical, easily go crazy preachy Mommy is the expectation to brace ourselves, but when not and Mom gets the usual point across with ample conversation skills that should come along with any sensible auntie in RL, just we can’t dream anymore in the usual mundane.   It is what lazy traps this did not fall into, especially for the writing, that makes the overall picture so delectable, and precious.

 

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26 thoughts on “Honey Bee Man/ 我爱男闺蜜

  1. The only drama I could finish after a looon long time was the jdrama “Nazo No Tenkouseo” with Hongo Kanata. This drama reminded me why my heart switched kdramas for Jdramas years ago. Even though it has been long I have watched a jdrama. I felt Nazo No tenkousei was well acted and. People there talked without too much “dramatic” feeling and I liked that. There were some “casually felt” dialogues and silence also

    1. I tried out an episode and it is quite good, On my list when the mood swings.

      I have a very high tolerance for dorama. That has been my staple since my teens, it perhaps won’t get me as spazzy as some other stuff, but I can finish them easily. I think the thing with dorama is it is very assembly lined, u get the feel of it within the episode and none of those last min writing pooping so often in Kdramas when their scriptwriting is on the fly.

  2. Indeed !! I always feel that Korean dramas want to “impress” they want to grab attention,. I feel they are too much into “perfection” they have this obsession for “beauty” “popularity” that one can hardly find a kdrama sincerely dealing with “Life”with people/actors talking like “real persons” and no children acting like “grown up” (sorry but kids characters in most of kdramas act too much like adults and this is not convincing). results it has been seven years now I have not been able to finish a kdrama. if you have chance try Nazo no tenkousei. it deals with all alien stuff but characters here interact like real people. I am not a fan of Hongo Kanata but boy I enjoyed his delivering there very much. I liked the girls in the show very much also.

    1. Circa 2004, 2005 (haha when I have so much time to kill watching dramas) I truly think it’s the golden age for all the dramalands when everywhere I look there are variety of very good choices to spend time worthwhile with. Kdrama has a niche in escapism, and many dramas did do an impressive job at shaping a larger than life fantasy in fated romance. Dorama can offer neat, tidied look into a facade of life, the story they focus on may be very specific, but that gives you very clear choices as to what you are getting into, surprises…rarely.

      I am deep in \Ogadiri Joe obsession haha and I still have Mother and Soredemo and Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi on very top of my dorama list to finish. I usu sieve an episode of what is eyecatching enough a new season, and decide on the keepers after an ep, Nazo is in the keeper pile!

  3. And sorry for being off topic again but what happened to Chae Joo Ahn and Ringo Yu drama you were raving about ? Because I watched the first episode and I stopped there and I would like to pick it again. is that any good till the end ?

    1. oh click on my my favorite and now watching page. It is squarely earned a spot of praise!

      I love it very much till the end, the writing is so delightfully brilliant given all the stressors (SARFT, governments intervention from Myanmar and Yunnan…) I am still in shock how insanely ingenious a story the scriptwriter can pull through in an amazing entirety. I have a post written, but there is just too much spoilers and I spent a few days trying to tweak it but still, can’t post it. This is a drama so good with twists and turns it truly takes away so much of the experience if spoiled in any any tiny way. Highly highly recommended.

  4. Mookie! Thanks for this rec! I love this show and love all four of the main characters. *blubbers* Thank god for this. It’s keeping me company on this lonely night that I have to work late. x____x

    1. Oh you do!? 🙂 The characters are not right off bat very super likeable and it took me a few eps to ease into it myself. But when you have a bunch of very solid actors all able to elevate the material like nobody else, no one can chirp out the lines like HuangLei as Fang Jun for one…it’s precious

      Hugs and do not work too hard sweetie, tctc

      1. i don’t know. Maybe because it came with your glowing recommendation – or maybe because I was marathoning it – i fell into it pretty quickly. I love Fang Jun; he’s such a teddy bear!

        My favourite bits are actually between Yiyi and Fang Jun. Their chemistry is so good! Fang Jun is always on Yiyi’s side, but he obviously dotes on her (and she knows it!) but he doesn’t go around blindly acceding to her wishes either. Lol… he would help her get the puppy, but when he realised that she hardly took care of the puppy, he just took it and gave it to the auntie (even though the auntie was so mean to him).

        But the scene that slayed me was when Yiyi got her Honey Bee Man (HBM) to buy watermelon for her, and she just scoops out the middle for herself and says she’s done. Haha… even Ah Kang who grows up relatively well off is like, “isn’t this too wasteful”. And she’s like, “No… this is how we eat it in our house…” and then follows up with “My brother usually takes care of the rest”…. Hahaha… she says it like its a natural thing. For all her Gen Y eccentricities and having to grow up without parents, Yiyi doesn’t really display any insecurity you would think she should have because she’s so loved by her brother.

        The scripting’s so tight and not at all indulgent. It has dips into some low melo scenes but it doesn’t linger to milk the tears. Wub it ❤

        1. AHHHHH this is soo insanely well put dearie! and My Thoughts Exactly!

          Are you done!??!?! [spoiler]*I love Jun’s love confession so much. San also is so kickass loveable as the drama progress.*[/spoiler]

          I love Fang Jun and Yiyi so so much and the actors are so incredible bringing all the best quirks alive. I think in another less capable young actress’ hands, YiYi can be quite annoying off the bat, she didn’t do anything to easily earn much love in the beginning, and can come off bratty but how the actress attack it as if it is the most natural thing for YiYi so genuine and it makes sense how Jun will dote on his young sis when she is robbed of a mom and dad since a baby when he’s ‘luckier’ to have the memory of how Mom’s hair smelt and felt. :~~~~) They brought me to so many sniffy moments through out the drama.

          The dialogue are so neatly done throughout, even though I do not care about the painter and his wife, what they said seems plausible for their unlikeable characters.

          1. I haven’t finished it! I’m going for vacation starting from tomorrow, so I am unlikely to have time to continue with it until I come back next week. But it is par excellence so far!

            So sad that the actress for Yiyi has been totally underrated. She is actually very pretty! Haha. When I first saw her in LOCH 2008, I didn’t really pay much attention except that she is really quite pretty (in a quiet, refined manner) – but then again, prettiness is a dime a dozen in China isn’t it? But I’m so surprised that she has totally committed to the role of Yiyi, with all of the crazy costumes, wigs, being loud, outspoken and bordering on rude without being foolish (I think she is way more mature than Ah Kang). 😛

            I will come back and squee with you once I progress further into the story.

                  1. HOMAIGAWD…. i’m crying. The actress for Fang Yiyi is really good. I’m watching the part where she finds out that she has the baby. The scene with Xiao Kang’s Mom! Then after that the scene with Ye Shan. I find myself crying along with her as she recounts their childhood. And XIAO KANG AT THE DOOR WITH REDDENED EYES. *bawls*

                    1. It is just so superbly written! If we can not nitpick how realistic things really are (it is still squarely too fantasized) but how our characters are built and their words and actions are so stringently within the constructs. There is no fabricated angst, but obstacles and our characters always handle them with so much verve and sense. YiYi and XiaoKang is the best written young romance none of those C modern fluffy romance they are attempting at Cidoldrama is ever coming close. I love them so much.

                      Isn’t she insanely awesome! And it is so hard not to be obnoxious, and compare her to the biggest starlets nowadays like YuanShanShan, even LiuShiShi (as they have worked in LoCH08) and go bonkers at how talentless some leading ladies are. Yes, talentless. :X

  5. I have to start a new comment cos… yes, our gushing has hit the end of the trail. Lol.
    Non spoilers from here on first. Yes – Wang Xiaochen is amazing. I’m so sad that I don’t seem to be seeing her in anything else. BOOHOO. Or at least, there’s really nothing else i’m interested in to watch at the mo? Her bio on dramawiki is sadly outdated. She’s signed on to HY Brothers, but obviously she has not been getting the same kind of exposures as her peers. How sad.
    I hope she gets a breakout role soon… Honey Bee Man is awesome, but it don’t know how it’s being received? From a net-fandom perspective, it’s definitely not getting as much interest compared to Gong3, PC and the upcoming DMY and YZG. I think she needs a high profile ancient role to bring up her profile (even if it’s just a second lead) – i think generally, drama watchers are just more into ancient/period dramas than modern? But alas – i think opportunities would be a little scarce since I heard that SARFT is being a pain and limiting the number of ancient/period dramas that can be aired. I think her career/role choices have been sound so far (No stinkbombs *koff*BBJQ*Gong3*koff) – question is, is it worth selling out to do a mediocre drama (in terms of scripting and production) just to get your name out there. 😦
    Spoilers from here on!
    I marathoned it to the end yesterday…in a skip skip let me see the ending now. I’ll go back to rewatch the details later. But I have to say, the little separation detour didn’t do anything for me. Meh. Really. Kind of spoiled the experience a little for me. It felt forced and unnecessary. Wasn’t the Fang Siblings Noble Idiocy Tour for around 8 episodes sufficient? I really didn’t need an encore/extended tour dates in the finale. Sigh. Although I have to say, the part where Ye Shan tortures Fang Jun is kinda cool, because Noble Idiocy was so 1990.
    OMG. Xiao Kang’s confession to her in her room is da bomb…. AND THEN SO MUCH KYOOOT when Fang Jun makes him redo it so that he can record. But before that, the Kyoooot where Fang Yiyi sees Fang Jun in the mirror and first reaction: Run! and he runs into a dead end. And then gets scared by the snake. ARHAHAHAHAH That’s going to be Fang Jun’s secret weapon. Everytime Fang Yiyi comes running to her brother complaining about her husband, Fang Jun will put XIao Kang in a chair, drape his snake around Xiao Kang’s shoulders and then start the interrogation. 😛

    1. HY has so many actors under its management, sigh….

      I’d rather her work steadily in decent, if not popular stuff. This is very well received, Huang Lei, Chen Shu are household names my parents are familiar with. But yes, this is not a drama that has a web presence.

      I totally agree with you it would be great if she can land a role in a much talked about period that would promote her to a much larger international audience. I was pouring over the roster for Nirvana in Fire just to see if she has a supporting role there, it looks very promising a production, worlds apart from the Goongs/TRs

      But then, Cidolperiods are always heavy on using idols that has made a name, ShiShi, YangMi… it is much harder to break out without your management obscenely backing you and ‘buying’ roles (ie MichelleChen), look at all the recent talked much talked about Cidolperiods in production, Angelababy, JingTian taking up big leading roles and they CANT act, let alone a period. I doubt HY care to bat a brow for her. :/

      And I’d rather her be terrific in less popular dramas than whoring out for a yuma seriously.

      I actually love that year apart. It was quite unrealistic for YeShan to quit her job just because she has to be relocated to HK for a year and all because they have to be together, a year apart working on the career for a 30sth is more sound to me…it was the break, the no contact that is too forced for the sake of dramatization. I thought on the whole, it was a good resolution for a true HE where they spent a year apart having a much better financial footing, and hearts grow fonder.

      That truly was soooo sooo cute. I love YIYi and XiaoKang so much, it was just captured so well, the dynamics of a young couple, going about bumping their way in love, not making all the rational decisions but enjoying all the hotheadedness making up what being young is essentially and all that without losing much cool/brains.

      What is impressive with this drama is how an obscene amount of product placements is weaved into the story and adding to scene, such as FongJun recording XiaoKang’s love declaration! I can’t even snark about it. They did very well, very savvy.

      1. I can see that this drama is really targeted at a more matured audience, I guess. Agree with you about whoring out in a CIdolDrama. I wouldn’t wish the fate of whoring out for YMM or being stuck in a lifetime slavery bond with TR on anyone, much less promising young actresses. I just checked – she’s from Shanghai Theatre Academy as well. I guess she is doing quite well – it’s one of those serve your time diligently and you shall be rewarded thing going on. I guess HBM is quite a big break for her.

        Honesty, I think HBM is not easy to act. It skates that thin line of slice of life dramas, where you lean favouring comedy a lot of the time and take an occasional tumble into Emo Land. And the script that is like a tongue twister most of a time – when Ye Shan and Fang Yiyi are firing at their HBMs 100 words per minute (it felt like that) or when Fang Jun is laying it on thick. I just keep wondering how many NGs did it take to achieve that.The speedy delivery reminds me of Sorkin’s style.

        ARH. About the year apart. I have absolutely nothing against the plot line of the year apart and agree that it was crazy for Ye Shan to quit her well paying, career advancing job anyway. It’s just that the construct that they spent a year apart without contact that bugged me. 1. Long distance relationships are really common nowadays. Haha.

        Case in point (and it’s a true story, really), my colleague was sent to our Bangkok office for a two month secondment. When he was there, he hooked up with another colleague. When he came back, they dated long distance for a couple months but around the six month mark, they decided to get married. At the same time, said colleague decided to accept a posting to frickin Myanmar for a year. I guess they were planning to manage their relationship long distance for the first year anyway, so there’s really no difference (they’ve registered their marriage, but have not done the tea ceremony for their elders).

        But the point is that long distance relationships are so common now. And Ye Shan took a posting to fricking HK, not Timbuktu – they have internet, and it’s a three hour flight max between the two points? Technically they’re still in the same country and I’m pretty sure within the same time zone. So it seems drastic to have this dramatic goodbye. And it sounded like they really didn’t contact each other! I mean, they’re almost in laws! I don’t understand! D: Even if Ye Shan had to travel often to the US. Still – they have the Internet. D: D: D:

        I guess, for me, the emotional stakes are not great enough to warrant this total break off from each other? Not after that trip into Noble Idiocy land around episode 20+. To be, dramas are only allowed to use Noble Idiocy ONCE, and definitely not again for the same character within a 10 episode gap. 😦 Blah…

        Hhahahaah. You’re absolutely right about the product placement. I was so amused. It’s almost slick how to slip in an advert from time to time and work it within the context of the story. I found myself so admiring that I didn’t even bother to get disgusted. I mean, Peugeot must have paid shitloads of money. I mean that scene where XIao Kang sleekly folds down the seat to create a day-bed ish kind of thing for him and Yiyi. And the not so sleek introduction to the 308 model. I mean, I even know the features of the car from there! AND hahahaha… a small PSA on how to work internet banking.

        1. Oh sorry – I forgot one more thing on the break-up – totally agree that it was necessary. I always kinda had a feeling that Fang Jun is the type of man who would go back to school once he had a chance. In a way, I have to admire Fang Jun because he really lives so diligently despite the obstacles in his life. I guess at the end of the day, I just found the idea that two people who have grown so close would just not talk to each other for a year. Especially if they did not have a tear our faces out kind of parting. x_____x

        2. Very valid. I was honestly cringing a tiny bit as I said my gripe on that whole year no contact separation…but if we give it more thought, it is not really a long distance relationship they decided on, they are actually taking a break, and trust that if they are meant to be, they will still be the one for each other after a year apart. What I find so marvelous about this drama is how it walks the tight rope between slice of life and fairytale romance, they have a huge social and financial gap, that is the source of tension that is not going away, as nice a guy as FongJun, he still is fiercely prideful, he could not guarantee he would be successful in fulfilling his goals by the year. There is this expectation in CN in particular that you have to have a child in your 20s, so YeShan is already way past that biological clockwork, a year in relationship ‘limbo’ when her clock is furiously ticking is regarded as ‘irresponsible’ on FongJun’s part, the reality living as a 30sth in CN. We may find these standards very absurd, but that is the norm not just imposed on the 30sths by parents or society, but they generally regard that as a very natural progression in life instead of individual choices.

          1. I guess if you think about it being set in CN, it’s probably wrong to impose another mindset on it. CN’s so weird in some ways. x_____x

            But I just wanna say that I really enjoyed this show. I’ve added most of the actors to my to watch list.

            And FYI – I started watching Firmament of the Pleiades. As I told some of my friends, it is the first time I’m watching a show where the only words I understood in the title was “the” and “of”. D: But again, it is very very good, although I’m having a brain dead week from work so I think I can only continue marathoning it over the weekend.

            1. OH! I totally forgot about checking Firmament out! I am in for the ridiculous costume p0rn. They must have a bottomless budget is all I got stunned by a few stills.

              As we r chatting about fancasting…I can not get it out of my head 王晓晨/ Wang Xiaochen could be a great XiaoGu in Hua Qian Gu. I am alright with Zhao LiYing, but WXC is so much better an actress skills wise.

              1. is there a website where i can watch firmament full ep with eng subs? i’ve been trying to look for it online but so far i can’t seem to watch it on viki for some reason. any suggestions would be great, thanks.

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