Ady An, Dylan Kuo, Michael Zhang, Taiwanese Entertainment

The Outsiders: Influences

I finally watch it properly now so I decided to bring some discussions back regarding this (and also a good chance to answer to the votes, lol). Over and over again, this drama addressed the whole influences of the ‘bad’ toward the ‘good’ and vice versa. I have to say that it gave me more ground to discuss after having read The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Those who are actually reading are wondering why and how could the two mixes when they are so different in plot. It’s actually the same concept with being influenced by others. The answer we all know–though Oscar Wilde let us ponder for ourselves more or less–after reading The Portrait of Dorian Gray is that it is not anyone’s fault in making choices or taking different actions but ourselves. Going back to The Outsiders, I found it more and more ridiculous that Yu Hao, Dan Zi, and Ah Qi were blamed for Xiao Yan Zi’s actions. It was partially because of love that Xiao Yan Zi chose to elope. It did not make her choice right or wrong. (I am not debating about that since it would be up to each one of us to think.) What I want to say is Xiao Yan Zi was not influenced to change her actions and/or behaviors even if she did not meet Yu Hao and his friends. We could see from her actions that she was capable of thinking of different techniques to sneak out of the house or make excuses when she was home late. There was also the whole sending messages to Yu Hao while she was restricted of her rights by her parents. She knew of those techniques all along, but did not care to use it until when she was left with no options. It did not matter who she met, but she knew those techniques. To blame Yu Hao and the other two guys was totally ridiculous. Was that an attempt to escape from responsibilities or what one could not explain oneself? Like Xiao Yan Zi’s parents could not say that they were at fault or how they could not understand so they chose to disregard all possible reasoning from Yu Hao and the others, seeking for ways to blame them instead of caring to acknowledge what was true of their daughter. (I am not trying to shift the blame toward Xiao Yan Zi here, but I am just stating what she had knowledge of and she chose to do those things too – so she and Yu Hao contributed 50/50 for what happened, NOT just Yu Hao doing the whole influencing.)

What was extremely amusing yet ridiculous (and probably still happening everywhere) was the idea of how people relied heavily on one’s reputation or impression on the surface to judge others in here. Xiao Yan Zi’s father criticized Hong Dou for being a bad girl since she was yelling loudly in the street, projecting an image of an indecent person. Yu Hao, Dan Zi, and Ah Qi were often caught in fights or others yet no one knew the real story behind them helping old women from being bullied. Other cases were how they were relying on themselves mostly for their survival. Only the police officer who was in charge of Yu Hao and vouching for him knew and understood the circumstances that Yu Hao and his friends went through. No one stop to understand if Yu Hao had a better environment to grow up in, would he choose such a life?

The most amusing thing was seeing how the so-called ‘good’ students at school were using their reputation to hurt others. The guy who had a crush on Xiao Yan Zi at the beginning was a sore loser and used his reputation to frame Yu Hao. The most despicable thing about it was the president actually believed him. It was like that. The guy could act the role of a good kid so he was able to get away with those things. It did not matter if Yu Hao was innocent. Just because some ‘good’ kid said it. The hypocritical behaviors caused Xiao Yan Zi to question the higher authority even more. It was like one of those: “Do as I say and not as I do” circumstances.

Talking about the president of the school made it even more stupid. He was part of the education system yet failed to care about his students, especially how he was biased toward one group. It made sense for Xiao Yan Zi’s parents to protect their daughter from outsiders, BUT it did not make sense at all to me when someone from the education system turned his head away from a student who needed guidance. Even if Yu Hao was stubborn and had his own ways of dealing with things but I thought it was the job of the educators to understand the problems of it all and guided him back onto the right track, encouraging him to do good in classes. But what the president did was just wanting to cut off the bad part of an apple and dispose of it, only looking after himself and his reputation. It was like saying society could turn away from others, ignoring the problems completely. YET they are the same people who complain about the world becoming a worse place. (Duh, because they never cared to contribute and fix the problems when they had a chance.)

What was more interesting upon confronting Yu Hao and Xiao Yan Zi was the whole ‘good for you matter’ regarding the parents’ decision. (Most of the time it’s true.) I somewhat agree with Xiao Yan Zi with how her parents were trying to pave her way and lived her life for her. Sometimes I often wonder about those things and I don’t doubt that parents love their children (in most cases), but what got me thinking is the whole thing about parents who was not able to lead the same path or do it correctly or perfectly (as to how they see things) when they were living their lives so they wanted to re-do it again with their children. It was like IF they could perfect the method with their children, then they could somehow feel that they’ve succeeded in fulfilling their wishes that they could not live through the first time around.

With all these rants, someone might be wondering why I say that everyone is responsible for his or her actions YET I did not hold Yu Hao, Dan Zi, and Ah Qi responsible for their actions? The same thing I discussed previously about society turning their head away from them since they were young. It happened just like that. How could they walk on the right path when they were always being pushed away? No one wanted to let them in. Only the officer who often looked after Yu Hao cared enough to scold at the guys but one person could not change the mass attacks of others. I could use all the excuses to make up for them, but I honestly think that the most brief and straight to the point explanation is the guys are extremely UNLUCKY.

*Notice, I used character names to emphasize that I was debating about the characters involved and not because I was siding with just my favorite stars/pairings. I am not trying influence anyone or start any arguments. But was just bringing up some points while I was watching.

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2 thoughts on “The Outsiders: Influences”

  1. So does this mean you finished the series alreadyy?

    I saw your post on The Portrait of Dorian Gray but then since you said it was addicting then I wasn’t sure if I should read the post cuz I should just read the book itself.

    I guess society is really like this though, how people are just judged from what is established as the “norm” of society. Why is the show called “The Outsiders”? Cuz they are seen as the bad people and they aren’t doing what people expect, thus being “outsiders”.

  2. @chloe – No, I haven’t finished it yet. Just based upon what I was seeing thus far, LOL. Had to write some parts down or I’ll hit the screen with seeing those people acting so fake.

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