Jacky Chu’s role in Liu Mang Xiao Zhang

What is his role exactly? The typical bad guy role. No, I am not hinting at his usual villain roles or on the border of annoying ones. I am hinting at how this role was paved out to be this time and the outcome since episode 11 of the drama. Near the middle of the episode, we see a very out of control Wen Xiong, in an attempt to prove his love, advanced on Qing Mei (portrayed by Joanne Tseng). What brought this on? Well…a lot of overlooked details in the past few episodes. Only obvious hints were shown in episode 11 that led to the scene. But more on that later.

First of all, what qualifies as the typical bad guy character?

  • The world owes him/her. This is a major cliche clue. I swear! At least I’ve seen it in most HK series about some people ranting on and on about how no one appreciates him/her for what he/she had done. No one knows or cares about what he/she wants but just expects.
  • I did it because of you. Another one. It doesn’t get anymore cliche than this. This reason gets the other party on a major guilt trip. But once it is said, you’ll know right away that the person doesn’t mean it. It’s just an excuse to blame it on the other party because that person doesn’t want to admit wrong and is trying to justify his/her behaviors.
  • The beyond patient dude. Come on now. Everyone has their breaking point or the limit. He just seems too patient at times. Though we could see him in comedic moments but he’s just too composed, too into his work. Short version: too good to be true.

I listed it based upon Wen Xiong’s angry words to Qing Mei in episode 11. SO don’t say that I made it up.

While I went back and did caps, I started to look for more hints that would jump out within those random, comedic moments to see what had led Wen Xiong to such. I was surprised that I missed so much while I was drawn into the ‘comedic’ element of it all. One of the hints about Wen Xiong’s personality or his true character lied in what his interests were and what he was knowledgeable about. Yeah, typical, but I wasn’t paying attention before.

In the scene above, which could be found in episode 3 like about halfway through, Wen Xiong was seen explaining some of the concepts in the book his brother, Wu Xiong, was reading. He also went into a bit of detail regarding a historical figure, Li Mi (李密) who served in the Kingdom of Shu during the Three Kingdoms period. (More info found here. Also, if anyone wants to read the part where Wu Xiong was stuck on, the rest of the passage is here or you could see that it’s also included in the other link on top of the page. It was the supposed letter that Li Mi wrote to the emperor and the translation could be found in the first link.) Anyway, Wu Xiong commented immediately after learning of Li Mi’s tragic past that Li Mi was like them (aka him and Wen Xiong), losing their family since little and suffering through so much hardships. In a way, is Wen Xiong like Li Mi? I would believe that he’s smart and could remember really well of what he learned ages ago in school but I have a feeling it was hinting at something. The way he talked about Li Mi was almost like he was talking about himself. There was this injustice feeling like he was being wronged, etc.

Another hint that could threaten to tell a different story and a different side to his character was during a conversation between him and his brother by the pool in episode 1. His brother reminded him of what Jiang Hu Piao had done for them both and how he shouldn’t forget it. To which he replied that he won’t. (SO MUCH FOR IT!) It doesn’t just give us more information about the brothers’ background. It’s telling us to watch out for him, he’s not just a typical silent, obedient guy. He’s the typical silent, patient slash someone who has an alternative motive guy.

Oh yeah, what about his pretentious acts of being clueless? This was shown during episode 2 when Wu Xiong was commenting about there were ‘tao hua’ flowing around within the house, etc. Wen Xiong was totally clueless and asking his brother what in the world was he talking about and Wu Xiong immediately replied about Qing Mei and their boss’ strange behaviors and how both were in love. Yeah, Wen Xiong, you’re so clueless. (RIIIGGGHHHTTT…)

Wen Xiong was seen since episode 1 as a very patient person. I thought his contrast to his brother’s rash, impatient behaviors was a part of the comedic picture. But he was just patient because he has been waiting for the right moment. For the day until he gets his chance. (Yeah, it’s obvious that he said it in episode 11.) It is not just a chance to confess to Qing Mei or a chance for the both of them, but a chance to truly shine and be a person of importance. He is already important as Jiang Hu Piao’s adviser and is treated as a family member in the Jiang family. But it is more of his greed that stops him from being satisfied with his current position.

If it is only because of Qing Mei, he would’ve apologized for his rash behaviors (or wouldn’t even do that at all), but he wants much more than that. Instead, he chooses to leave just like that without apologizing or begging. He even clarifies that he is just kneeling because of his acknowledgment in Jiang’s care for them all these years. It’s just a part of the typical gratitude. It is like the last act he would do to show respect towards Jiang. (A typical gesture in most series but it makes sense.) What I found funny about the whole scene was seeing the BTS of episode 7. I don’t know for how long Jacky has to kneel but Li Wang Luo messed up on that one line with telling Wen Xiong to get out of the ‘Jiang’ household that they had to do retakes. The other three cracked up so hard when they realized he said it wrong, even Jacky who was kneeling at that time. It was supposed to be a serious part but after seeing that part of the BTS, it stuck with me.

So, to get back onto subject, has Wen Xiong ever love Qing Mei before or was that just a ploy to secure his high position under Jiang Hu Piao? I think he did but it has become so much more than love Qing Mei. It is like saying if he succeeds in marrying Qing Mei, he would eventually take over at the Shang Cheng Financial Company since Qing Mei’s the only daughter, right? So someone is really thinking big. (Yeah, alternate motive.) If he’s not thriving for more power, why in the world would he switch sides for and trying to bring Jiang Hu Piao down?

Then I wonder if the kid whom Qing Mei wanted Wu Xiong to rescue from some bullies was Wen Xiong, so that was when he started to like her?

Acting? I think I was surprised. Not that much surprise since I already seen the potential in Jacky in the past even if it was just bits and pieces here and there. His close to major role in the past could be for The Magicians of Love but that was still another idol drama with a typical idol formula. This one? Well, it’s a romantic comedy in a sense with touches of the gangster theme here and there. But I thought this character carries even more depth though on the villain side. This is a typical bad guy character but it is still something totally different for him. He also said that in one of the BTS. The most powerful part must be in episode 11 with the turn around of his character and more definite signs were seemed with the actions that Wen Xiong did after he left the Jiang household.

I could totally feel Wen Xiong’s frustration and his endurance through all these times, keeping everything inside. It doesn’t mean that I would take his side since if he thinks about it, he is not the only unfortunate guy in this world. There are lots more people out there who couldn’t even get so many opportunities as him. I thought Jacky did really well in that scene with the whole rant though it sort of killed it saying, “Qing Mei, I love you” the second time around before he advanced toward her. That was a bit not that convincing but that was all right. (Then I was sitting there replacing ‘Qing Mei’ with ‘Qiao Qiao’ instead! Hey! That might help his voice sound more convincing if he practice like that. JUST KIDDING…) But I had this weird feeling like Jacky shielded Joanne on purpose because they were both laughing when he advanced on her? I don’t know. I just have this feeling like that would be in their nature to not take it seriously (which it isn’t since it’s just part of the drama and acting).

That reminds me that, no matter how convincing he is, he’s just portraying a role so hopefully he wouldn’t get associated with this type of character or keep being tossed these type of roles. There has been enough variations in his past roles so I hope it won’t become so cliche for the upcoming dramas.

Off screen, Jacky and Joanne get along really well. They’re under the same agency after all. (Still…) They have collaborated in the past before as Fei Nan Du and Xiao Bei in The Magicians of Love but that time, they weren’t linked romantically. (Though it would’ve been fun to see four guys fighting over her in that one.) Anyway, the above cap was for episode 9’s show with Grandpa Jiang and Grandpa Wang. I think they were trying to shoot two birds with one stone like incorporating the show into the drama as well (since it seemed to be some promo event at the same time). Because the BTS in episode 3 showed Jacky and Shen Dong Jing coming on the stage to sing also. Of course that wouldn’t be relevant to the drama so it got cut out. The obvious sign of it was seeing Jacky and SDJ abandoning their roles at that point. I’m so serious here! Because both were singing along with the songs being performed onstage. It’s their love for music kicking in and they couldn’t help it. (Can’t blame them too much, LOL!)

Another sign of it was seeing Jacky leaning over to Joanne at one point and whispering something to her and she sort of leaned a bit over to him to hear better. It could count as something Wen Xiong could do because of the opportunity of the show, but Jacky’s side showed too much with his love for music to make sense as his character Wen Xiong. (Who seemed so serious and silent for the most part of the drama.)

So what will Wen Xiong do next? Is he going to back down like some typical formula with him suddenly seeing his wrong? Or is he going to choose to either go to prison or die? (It’s a gangster one after all, he might get whacked before we know it–IF the creators are doing that.) I’ll do an update later when the show ends. (Or if something comes up that’s worth discussing.) But I seriously hope for a more different outcome. I meant like there’s some major twist. Unlikely. Still it’s a bit disappointing to see it so typical. Not too lame, but still too typical.

Read this post for updates on the topic.

*All images were captured by DTLCT


9 thoughts on “Jacky Chu’s role in Liu Mang Xiao Zhang

Add yours

  1. Fantastic analysis. I think you’re right about the book Wen Xiong was explaining to Wu Xiong. Most viewer, I fear, would have missed that connection. I also agree totally that there has quite a bit of foreshadowing of an impending crisis between Wen Xiong and ‘The Chairman’ Jiang. I don’t know if Wen Xiong is so much greedy as just ambitious in a career sense. He is intelligent, has a law degree amd a record of making sound and rational decisions, yet at times Jiang treats him like a little boy and dismisses his views. There are a number of moments in early eps where Wen Xiong accepts being told off fairly quietly, but I always sensed a moment would come where he would at last speak out, or become angry or walk out–or something. Something had to give.
    I think he is totally smitten with Qing Mei in her own right. When he hands her those flowers for her birthday in Ep 6, in his shy and awkward way, I thought his love for her shone through. I agree, though, that he may also be entertaining notions of being the natural heir–since he is much brainier than Wu Xiong–to the family empire–and that it would fit in nicely if he was also engaged or married to Qing Mei.
    I think Jacky’s acting has been very good indeed, if at times a bit hammy. It’s impressive because it had been 5 or 6 years (?) since he filmed Love Magician and he never is as confident acting as he is singing.
    A great review. Write more!

  2. @vgag – Thanks for reading as always. I thought it was a bit long but I didn’t care to cut back. It has been a long time since I blogged about Jacky so….(LOL)…

    True that it might not just be greed since this could possibly be how he was suppressing his anger and/or frustration for so long of not being recognized or appreciated so he’s letting it all out now. I’m jumping ahead because I’d seem this typical formula in the past, that’s all. I couldn’t help connecting similar patterns together. But we’ll soon see.

    Jacky’s acting – That was what got me. I meant it has been awhile. Acting for a role is different from just appearing in front of the camera for various shows. So I thought it was considered really good, considering his absent from filming for so long. Also, you pointed out about his concern in acting so that was another reason to be surprised.

    I’ll write more when I get to the end, LOL!

  3. I enjoyed the analysis. Because of school, I haven’t been able to really catch up with the drama. However, I did see this coming. It’s just like you said. Wen Xiong was too patient, was too nice, was written off for too long. It was pretty obvious that he was near his breaking point.

  4. @nocturnal dream – Thanks for commenting. I was too behind with the drama at first but when I read spoilers regarding ep. 11 I was so impatient about it and wanted to catch up to see what was going on and what brought that on. And now that I’m finished with the drama. I love it even more. It’s time to write a review, LOL! It’s not a typical one after all.

  5. Um, sorry for commenting so late, since this post has been up since February, but I have just become a Taiwanese Drama fan.The first taiwanese drama that i watched was The Magician of Love, and i loved it. Because i liked that drama so much, i wanted to watch more dramas with Qiao Qiao, and other cast members in The Magician of Love. Which is how i came across, Liu Mang Xiao Zhang. I agree with your thoughts, i think that even from the beginning, i knew that wen xiong liked qing mei. I didnt quite catch all of those scenes that you were talking aobut, but somehow, i just had a feeling that Wen xiong liked qing mei, and after reading your post, i found out how much i had missed, so thank you. I also have some questions, that isnt related to your post eactly. In your post, u said something about bts for liu mang xiao zhang. and i am wondering where you watched it. um, i would also like it if you could tell me where you get the news about taiwanese dramas. Well, maybe not news, i mean, i really want to find out what qiao qiao and other actors/actress that i like are up to, but it seems like i can never find any site that talks about qiao qiao. so if you could, please recommend some sites that i could go to to get my “news”. thanks!

  6. @kinddestiny – Thanks for commenting and it’s never late, lol.

    Anyway, here are some links for the videos but I’m not sure that it includes BTS since the place I watched it at has deleted it already:

    I’m still waiting for the DVD boxset to release. Wonder when it will.

    Regarding news, I used to go to this forum called AsianFanatics.net for English news, etc. But recently, I stopped going and of rely on Jacky’s Facebook account or his Weibo, or other artists’ blog pages. Then there are the official sites for different stations, so I just go and check to see what’s new, etc. There’s also this page: http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:2011%E5%B9%B4%E5%8F%B0%E7%81%A3%E9%9B%BB%E8%A6%96%E5%8A%87%E9%9B%86 – though I do know any source from Wiki is questionable but it’s a start before I place the titles into the search engines to get more information.

  7. Hi there, kinddestiny. If you look around on wordpress, you’ll find about half a dozen really well written blogs that review Asian dramas, including TW ones. I’m subscribed to Reflections for its insightful analysis and thorough coverage. And you can check out my neveridol blog, too (hint, hint).
    I’m a great fan of Qiao Qiao and Jacky, too. Thankfully, they both appear to be firmly on the comeback trail.


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