Sisters: First Impressions

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This one proved that I should watch the daily dramas more than weekend dramas. I meant it was much more realistic and down to earth than the weekend dramas with some of the overhyped stuff. Or maybe family dramas were the ones that were closer to reality versus the whole romance scenes. Well, there were of course romances in this sort of stories too (as most themed-drama were), but this one focused on family relationships and friendships, and different types of bonds in society that I think–excuse me for the outburst but must say it–the rest of us peasants could relate to.

First, I have to say that I thought the main theme and the various scenes at the beginning were fun enough with it being some kind of lighthearted drama. Then when it started with some weird scene, I was sort of thinking it was a typical one with the klutzy girl and all. Yet I wanted to hang on a little longer. So the following scene was seeing a pair of sisters–Jiang Ru Li (portrayed by Phoebe Huang) and Jiang Ru Fen (portrayed by Judy Hu)–being bullied by this one stall-owner and had to pay a decent amount of compensation fees (for an accident). They almost lost the battle when Ru Fen timidly handed over the money but was suddenly stopped by a new voice, belonging to Song Qing Mei (portrayed by Ada Pan). I first thought that there were three sisters based on the theme video but it was just two. Yet that wasn’t too far off either since Qing Mei soon became part of the Jiang family after the failed attempt of Jiang Ma Ma and Ru Li’s matchmaking effort for Qing Mei and the Jiang’s second son, Jiang Chen Wei (Jason Zou). That was awhile later but the point was the three became good friends after that incident in the market. With the scene panning out with the nice, morning atmosphere and with me being a nature lover, I waited to see what was more.

The story of the three major characters slowly unfolded–with both humorous scenes as well as touching moments. For instance, we learned that Qing Mei had lost her parents already and was more than happy to join the Jiang family. That was one touching moment all right–with the three siblings playing with the firecrackers after dinner that night. Then Qing Mei later joined them as well. To guarantee that it wasn’t too cheesy, we were soon brought back to the humorous part because Chen Wei was making his protest with the “Sisters rule!” mantra that the other three were chanting, so they included him as well, adding in ‘brother’–just for his sake.

What I thought at first was another typical love-hate relationship with the whole accident when Li Zheng Fang (Victor Huang) and Ru Fen bumped into each other (literally) at the crosswalk wasn’t so as the plot moved on. We soon found out that both were on their way to the same restaurant, except with a different purpose in mind. Ru Fen was meeting up with her sister and Qing Mei while Zheng Fang was going to break up with his girlfriend. With his slow rate and the subtle hints, trying to build things up so it wouldn’t alarm his girlfriend too much, the tables got turned on him because she misunderstood, thinking that he wanted to get married so she stopped him, launching into the reasons why they don’t get along thus breaking up with him. The funniest moment was seeing how shocked he was that she was breaking with him that he ended up asking, “Why?” instead of agreeing with her to break up on friendly terms. I guess it was never good to be on the receiving end, eh? Moving on, the three girls soon parted from the restaurant also, going separate ways (that was after Ru Fen forgot the brochures’ bag and had to return to the restaurant to search for it). The whole while, it could be said that Zheng Fang was feeling strange toward Ru Fen (mostly not so good of an impression after the previous encounter) yet it changed after she saved his life and he was determined to pursue her regardless. (It was more like a big misunderstanding but that was so funny with his revived mantra to move on, not feeling so sad anymore after he got dumped.) What made it even more real or more appealing to watch was seeing how he wasn’t the perfect type (with so many bad habits, honestly) and really have to work hard to win the Jiang family over–if he was really serious about pursuing their little princess. Though making an impression wasn’t to the best of his ability since it was like backfiring constantly, annoying Jiang Ba Ba (Lu Yi Long) and Jiang Ma Ma (Xi Man Ning)–and eventually Chen Wei. Thinking that his advantage was being co-workers with Ru Fen or having both won the TV prize at that one event, he sure was determined. Yet he had no idea he needed more than ‘fate’ to back him up on this one.

What made this drama even more down to earth (or at least to me) was seeing how Ru Li was working at a regular store (Espirit if anyone wanted to know and didn’t pay attention when watching) to earn a living. She was getting along with some co-workers while not so well with another. Well, more like only one. She and Amanda (portrayed by Adriene Lin) were often engaged in these silly banters. I think most of us could relate to somewhat. I meant not all of us could get along with everyone and how we try to cope yet we could see some people engaging in these witty battles, etc. It was kind of fun to see that. The humor cranked up several notches when Ru Li wanted to upstage Amanda and made a bigger bluff by admitting that she was dating Mr. Zheng’s son. (YEAH, one of the big names out there, which she had no idea how far she was going.) As soon as that was out, not only were her co-workers shocked, but a person lurking in distance was tuning in. He was none other than the person that she was talking about yet she had never met–or know of his full name, Zheng Pin Chuan (portrayed by Ah Pang). He was browsing around and looking at some of the clothes there but stopped dead upon hearing Ru Li’s declaration. After her victory speech, Ru Li finally addressed him and thought he was applying for a job. She not only didn’t allow him to explain but kept explaining her reasons for bickering with her co-workers as he witnessed before. Defeated because of her persistence, he ended up filling out the forms and was even met with some of her smart comments, regarding his name, his age, etc. (I must admit, I cracked up so hard at that scene. It was just too much. Honestly! Priceless actually!)

What was sweet about the whole thing was how Pin Chuan was wandering around in front of the shopping center. Or more like was just pacing and thinking about how it was possible that she claimed to be his girlfriend but they didn’t recognize one another, etc. Then he thought of it being his father’s arrangement. That was when she came out of the shop, thinking that he wanted to eat the food at one of the stalls so she went and bought it for him, thinking he didn’t have enough money, etc. Telling him not to be upset about it, shoving the bag into his hands. Touched by her gesture, he was no longer eager to clear things up. I thought that was really cool because even if that was a hilarious moment inside the shop, but now he realized what kind of person she was, not looking down on him–even if it was like she claimed that he was not well off and was looking for a job, etc.

The last major character to appear was Li Jia Qing (Lan Jun Tian). And here I was thinking he and Qing Mei were going to be the bickering couple instead of Zheng Fang and Ru Fen, but I was wrong again. Their encounter and first impression of one another wasn’t locked in–and saved for later to dissolve the misunderstanding. They had their clash yet it wasn’t like overly dramatic with how they declared war at the first moment. It was a mix of feelings because he soon wasn’t as fierce toward her anymore, even apologizing upon realizing she was just trying to help him return one of his packets. Their banter wasn’t just some child’s play or set on purpose to create hype yet it contained some real intensity. (If you know what I mean with how other dramas created it on purpose so we think it was funny and cute that the to-be-couples bicker but this one it seemed more real that they were fighting for what they actually want or need.) Then there was the whole idea with him being a filial son and had a son. Their family of three would indeed pave an interesting plot later.

So far, Ah Pang’s character was the rich guy but wasn’t like overly made to shine on purpose, which was more realistic in a way since he just blended in for the most part right now. Maybe because he didn’t change into his royal attires yet but we’ll see. Then there was the somewhat rouge Jia Qing with his past still to be revealed. There was also Zheng Fang, who we do not know much about yet, especially his family. The three girls’ background was more obvious from the start. But that was the contrast between the three pairs. I’m really looking forward to more scenes of it and am really enjoying it for now–AND seriously hope it won’t go downhill since it does have potential. The pace is just right, not too fast or too slow. The touches of the details are just right, not too overhype to the point of unrealistic nor ridiculous with the humor either.

Until next time since I’m leaving some things unsaid on purpose, lol. But if you watch, the are some interesting things coming up. Like some characters’ past and how things aren’t what it is on the surface. And note that these impressions are formed around episode 2 when all the major characters already appeared so it doesn’t reflect on the newly aired episodes.

*All images were captured by DTLCT

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