At the Dolphin Bay

(image credit: net)

I have a confession to make. I never really watch the whole thing. Yes, tragic and late, I know. But I mostly watched bits and pieces here and there and mostly MVs. I do own the soundtrack though because it was so beautifully done by some of the cast and production team. So, the point? My opinions were heavily skewed because how I didn’t have the whole picture to fairly judge the plot in its entirety. So now that I watched it properly, my opinions of it changed majorly and I was glad in some ways. However, some things still didn’t change and I will address them below. (Go here if you want to read my tweets while I was watching. Of course, some are no longer relevant because my thoughts changed near the end, but it was a fun activity during the time.)

How was it as an overall though? It was exceptionally good. Yes, that was surprising to me, considering how it seemed to be a typical idol drama at face-front. In some ways, it was so. In other ways, it deserved to be on the top list—even if I had to admit that myself.

Main Cast:

  • Angela Chang (張韶涵) as Yi Tian Bian (易天邊). Who said that Angela didn’t know how to act needs their eyes checked. Yes, there were heavy criticisms of her acting during the time she was more active with her acting career. I know it was inevitable with anyone within the industry, but she especially received backlash. Some of them were really unfair and uncalled for too. I know we can’t all like the same people and have different criteria, etc. But I can’t believe those criticisms regarding her earlier dramas. Because after watching this, I was blown away. I’m not saying she’s the best, but just focusing on her own roles and how she progressed over the years, it was amazing to watch. Was she a little raw at that time? Yes, she was, but she performed quite well for this role. I was able to feel her character’s emotions at each point and what she’d gone through, her struggles, and much more. She made Tian Bian really relatable and likable to me. I liked Tian Bian’s strong personality and it made sense with her having endured so much since little. She needed to put up a shield to protect herself. I especially liked that she was able to defend herself—for the most part (since things got quite complicated later and she couldn’t battle everyone either)—at times. It showed she didn’t need rescuing all the time—though the others did try. It was different that she wasn’t a doormat all the time, like how other dramas liked to pave the leading lady to be. It was different for me and I was truly hopeful as I watched her character go through the journey of discovering herself–whether it was her career or her personal struggles. She learned and grew as she entered the music industry that it wasn’t just about music but about maintaining her image as well. Her transition and handling of situations at times were visible, yet somehow she managed to find the balance to keep a kind heart as well. It shone through as she gained fame at long last, allowing her to break past some of the past cliches with the industry changing someone and how they got sucked into it thus changing them in general. It was also nice that they incorporated the theme nicely by boosting Angela’s ethereal voice as well.
  • Ambrose Hsu (許紹洋) as Xu Ze Ya (徐澤亞). I started out watching Ambrose in tougher roles or even the ones bordering on villainous, so this was a surprise for me, lol. But I was glad to have discovered him in this role. It showed his range. Also, I was surprised that SETTV previously propped up the main guy who was a lot nicer than their typical arrogant, mean guy on the surface. But I soon realized that title went to Wallace’s character (which I will discuss after this). I was glad that Xu Ze Ya was written that way though. It was nice to see him maintaining the humble and kind person that he was all these years. That he was capable of maintaining his professionalism at work and was different at home. It gave his character some layers rather than just being on one side of the spectrum only. Of course, there were times he lost it like that time he scolded Zheng Dong and quickly apologized. It showed he was human and things got messy. But he wasn’t cruel and learned from his mistakes. And possibly because of his softer side, it had created this obstacle where he seemed so wishy-washy at times that it drove me insane. However, I thought it was consistent and made sense, so I didn’t pick on it too much. I was talking about how he was determined to go through with his plan to sacrifice his own happiness and made the deal with letting Tian Bian return to the Hsu family as the rightful child in the first place. His resolve crumbled when he realized that he couldn’t follow through and how deep his feelings for Tian Bian were. Not to mention how everything wasn’t going as he thought it would when Tian Bian finally entered the Hsu residence. The fact that he admitted it was a mistake made it better than just brushing it under the rug or forgetting it all together. In a way, he couldn’t predict the future (like all of us) and didn’t realize it would become so complicated. He was also driven by guilt to right all wrongs and was blinded by his overly optimistic nature. Yet all of those added to his character, as I later realized. Overall though, he was a kind person at heart and truly didn’t want to hurt anyone. I thought Ambrose did a great job in expressing all those emotions and made us love Xu Ze Ya more through all his strengths and weaknesses.
  • Wallace Huo (霍建華) as Chung Xiao Gang (鍾曉剛). Mixed feelings until like episode 7 or 8. Yes, I started out really hating him and was saying inside how I was glad I never watched this previously because I would have hated him and never paid attention to him as an actor if it was like so. I hated Xiao Gang’s arrogant and terrible attitude. His condescension knew no end. He just kept behaving that way because he could. He seemed quite proud of how scheming and manipulative he was at times too. Although I had a feeling he did have a tragic past for real hence dodging regarding love, that was so cliche with the typical main character who was using the mean streak to hide his true feelings. So yeah, it was making me not like him much with his treatment of Tian Bian or the people around him either and I, at times, questioned how Tian Bian could even like him in the first place or allowed herself to be pushed around by him like that. Yet, the turnaround moment for him was worth it. The redeeming plot for him was convincing enough. It showed that he was too drunk on fame and success at times that he forgot about the normal days of the past. I thought he needed some setbacks to remind himself not to forget his team who had stuck by him all this time. Not saying he was pure evil and all. But I was just annoyed by how toxic he was at one point. I didn’t want him to be perfect because that would be unrealistic. I needed him to at least appreciate the people around him and not think that he was right all the time. Of course, I wasn’t picking on some of his training techniques because I knew he was right to keep Tian Bian on a strict meal plan to maintain her voice, etc. Those routines with jogging and more were crucial for her, etc. I just felt his confrontation with others all the time made it hard to work with him. Even if one could dismiss those as quirky traits artists like him have, it just wasn’t cutting it for me. Perhaps, it was hinting at how he’d been in the industry for too long that it had affected him, and needed this exterior to protect himself from others. Who could blame him? But once again, like I said, at least treat his team better. They were on the same side after all. I thought his strongest point was his determination. Perhaps, his fierce attitude had aided in that strength a lot. Because once he decided something, he was persistent in getting it done—regardless of what others said. It also helped with his philosophy regarding his life. It somewhat transferred over to how he dealt with his love life. That sometimes worked out and other times, it didn’t. Because his stubbornness and persistency in pursuing Tian Bian became a major plot point but also contradicted how he ended up back at the original point. (I will elaborate later in other sections.) Acting? I thought Wallace did wonderfully. Considering how Wallace said in several interviews years later that he didn’t even know how to walk properly like how the director wanted at one point, this was impressive. He also mentioned he had to do a lot of research and improve his methods with different techniques; I thought it worked for him. This character did overlap with some of his other characters, but I thought this was his strongest at that time. He was still a bit raw but it was understandable as this was some of his earlier roles. Keep in mind that he was in six dramas that year, one of which had around 40 episodes so yes, he was really overworked. I wasn’t surprised some of his roles eventually just merged into one another. (Given that SETTV liked to typecast people and how their usual main characters were the same as well.) This was his fourth role of that year and third major role so he wasn’t at full energy. Also, he was possibly filming this at the same time as Westside Story because Tony and the rest of the 5566 members were introducing Westside Story at the end of this drama. That meant they were done so it was ready for airing. I wasn’t really paying attention at that time they were filming these dramas but SETTV has a pattern with filming while airing. If they were lucky, this finished first before they loop in a bit of the Westside Story. So, Wallace indeed had a lot on his plate at that time and he pulled through with this major role.
  • Penny Lin (林韋君) as Xu Shan Ni (徐珊妮). Penny was surprisingly likable in this role and I swear some of the synopsis floating around were misleading and did a dishonor to her character. It was one of the reasons why I was surprised to like her character so much, even if she was seen engaged in some major confrontations with both Xu Ze Ya and Chung Xiao Gang at the beginning leading into the drama and introducing different characters to us. Professionally, she was logical and reasonable with her analysis. She had the experience to back up her reasoning too. Personally, she was tough and it somewhat leaked into her professional side. Yet her upbringing had a lot to do with how she’d become so strong and tough. It had fueled her energy and allowed her to survive all these years within such a hostile household. That changed later as the story progressed. I thought Penny did quite well portraying her character and the many sides of her. She totally rocked the professional side and showed her leadership side so convincingly. That might have inspired SETTV to cast her in some other roles later to show off her boss mode some more, lol. That was my guess, but she was indeed badass in those as well. Anyway, Shan Ni’s struggles and vulnerabilities were also vividly portrayed and quite relatable as well.
  • Jill Hsu (徐潔兒) as Mandy Shen Man Qing (沈曼青). I had to think a lot before trying to come up with the fairest analysis for her. Yes, I had to force myself to do that because I thought Jill truly fitted her role. Yet the plot did her a disservice. That also affected my perception while watching. Because I felt her role was unnecessary for the most part. Before fans come after me with pitchforks, hear me out first. Like I said, Jill really fitted her role. What made me come to that conclusion I did was because she was used as a hurdle in Tian Bian’s life during her (Tian Bian’s) debut. Then she was casted aside for the most part regarding the romance side. Although one could say that she was a popular singer and a senior within the industry and it gave variety and was realistic in a sense to have rivalries, she never really had her own story or true purpose. She was also associated to Xiao Gang but that aided his background story more than hers. In short, she was just a plot device to forgo the story and not her own character, like she deserved. I’m not suggesting that they give her a big story to overshadow other characters. Somehow, the writers were able to write the other major characters’ stories and weaved them into the main plot without sacrificing their identities but they couldn’t do that for Jill’s Man Qing? I will admit each character was different with their strengths and weaknesses, etc. But Jill had to take on the role of the jealous girl (like I initially feared for Penny’s character) and it was too typical. We know she was a normal person who rose to fame and lost her way and somehow found the courage to do the right thing to salvage her career as well as her dignity. However, how could one forget that she actually caused half of the problems in the first place? (Aka one can’t ask to be given credit for fixing stuff they broke.) After all, she did bring Eddy back into the picture. That was, of course, after she pulled the stunt of shattering Tian Bian’s spirit on the day of the debut. In some ways, it showed she was human and made mistakes and realized her way. But it was just too weak to try and redeem her later just because they needed her to end up with Xiao Gang, which I will go into more detail in their own section. Considering how she took her precious time to save the day too, I didn’t think she deserved the credit that much either. I was glad she interfered, but like I said before, her character development throughout was really weak, so this was just the last bit to save her character, leading it to be more acceptable if she ended up with Xiao Gang. That was all. Or perhaps, they could have her in here as another character but didn’t have to force some things and it would make more sense. One might ask why I was so harsh on Jill’s Man Qing when Wallace’s Xiao Gang wasn’t all that innocent either. Hey, I hated him for a third of the series. It wasn’t like he was getting a break from me. Regardless of all the factors I listed, I thought Jill did well with her performance. It was just that the writing got sloppy with her character development hence not doing it justice as she deserved.

Others:

  • Liang Xiu Shen (梁修身) as Xu Ruo Gu (徐若谷). Chairman of SET, also Tian Bian and Shan Ni’s grandfather. I hated him throughout but eventually just gave up and no longer cared anymore. I meant whatever, the series was almost ending so if he wanted to make up for lost time, so be it. I was pretty sure if you looked up the word misogynistic, his face was next to it. His beliefs or whatever didn’t justify his actions. I didn’t like the whole idea of getting together with some married man either, but this guy was just pushing it by taking it out on an innocent kid (at that time of the incident years ago) and continued to rule with an iron fist in the household. He was half the reason why the household was so hostile and cold. He was obviously responsible for Shan Ni forcing herself to conceal her true feelings and pushing herself to the max at times. Sure, he realized it later how wrong he was and how much energy he was exerting to hold onto hate but he had the easy way out after all he’d done. It wasn’t like I didn’t welcome it but the plot was at its end already, we—as the audience—were probably all tired from his drama king tantrums at times that we were just glad it turned out that way, instead of the endless hate cycle, so we let it slide. Or we just didn’t care anymore, lol. I was surprised he’d gone from threatening Ze Ya to literally begging him in the next episode, but like I said, I no longer cared at that point regarding him that I was just like whatever.
  • Ge Wei Ru (戈偉如) as Xiang Li Hong(項莉虹). Shan Ni’s mother. I was annoyed with her initially. Although I understood where she came from and it was hard to blame her for what happened and her reaction to her husband having an affair, I didn’t like her arrogant attitude at times either. She was the other half responsible for causing Shan Ni much of the unhappiness in here as well. So there was that. Her turning point was when she realized her father-in-law have been manipulating her into keeping the hate in her heart all these years. I guess misery does love company so he kept reminding her to hate, etc. so he had someone to sympathize with him. That hate had also affected how she raised Shan Ni and was distant toward Shan Ni all these years. I sort of watched the actress growing up, so I knew she could act, lol. No complaints.
  • Liu Rui Qi (劉瑞琪) as Li Hui Lan (李蕙蘭). Tian Bian’s foster mother. I found her harsh at first and bordering on cruelty when she discouraged Tian Bian’s dreams. Well, realistically, she was right that some dreams were just dreams. They were buried in debt and shouldn’t rely on some fleeting faith like that. However, I thought some of the criticisms were uncalled for. After learning how her husband died, it made sense. I was glad that she changed her mind later and respected Tian Bian’s decision. What irked me a bit was her overly naive faith in Eddy. She was in the blind and it was hard to blame her. It would have made more sense if she didn’t believe either one of the parties unless she went and investigated for herself. I know she was kept imprisoned at that point but at least show some signs of caution toward both equally. But I guess they needed some drama near the end to wrap it all up, allowing Man Qing to step in, etc. I was just glad the whole scheme was short-lived.
  • Josie Leung (梁家榕) as Xie Yi Xuan (謝憶萱). Tian Bian’s biological mother. Stay away from married men, seriously. I know it’s easy to judge but I thought that was like common sense. I know we didn’t have all the details regarding how they started (or he could have lied about his background), but I doubted it because he was a major figure in society after all, so it was hard to say she didn’t know who he was or if he was married or not. I also know if the affair didn’t happen, there would be no Tian Bian. But seriously, it was frustrating. I did feel bad for her and how tragic her life ended, but it was just wrong with how things started.
  • Gao Shan Feng (高山峰) as Zhong Ting (仲廷). Tian Bian’s friend since she moved to Dolphin Bay. Tian Bian had a crush on him at the beginning but was rejected by him soon after her confession. He had a brief role initially to introduce viewers to Tian Bian’s life at Dolphin Bay and eased viewers into the story. Then he just disappeared because the plot had shifted away from Dolphin Bay and focused on the entertainment industry and the love triangles between the main leads.
  • Morrison Ni (倪志強) as Ah Tang (阿堂). Part of the music development department under Chung Xiao Gang’s management. I agreed with Peggy when she said Ah Tang was exactly like Xiao Gang, except for the talent bit, lol. He was indeed quite fierce when telling her to get back to work, etc. But he was also a nice addition to the comedic scenes at times.
  • Joseph Ma (馬國賢) as Wang Zheng Dong (王正東). Xu Ze Ya’s special assistant. He seemed strict but had a soft side. After all, he did drop some hints for Ze Ya to take his break on the roof (knowing that Tian Bian went to the roof, lol) and misled Shan Ni of Ze Ya’s whereabouts at one point. I was calling him a traitor (jokingly, lol) at that point. But realized he worked for Ze Ya, not Shan Ni, so he was just looking out for his boss’s best interest, lol.
  • Deric Wan as Eddy. Chung Xiao Gang’s rival in the music industry. I wasn’t sure if his role was more unnecessary or Jill’s Man Qing. Yes, I said it. This coming from me being a major fan of Deric’s. It was just that his whole existence also relied on making Xiao Gang and Tian Bian’s lives miserable at one point. That was it. He was just another obstacle they needed to face. That was all. What I remembered of him was his outrageous fashion sense, lol.

Relationships – family, friendship, romances, etc.

  • Ambrose / Xu Ze Ya and Angela / Yi Tian Bian as a couple. At first, I found their younger versions more matching and their stories so touching. Then when they were all grown up, I felt there was something missing. Granted, I watched those parts years ago. I ended up skimming around and wasn’t really paying attention. It wasn’t until I watched it this time around that I appreciated their story more and realized their chemistry. It was the bias kicking in because I had watched Wallace and Angela on various shows together, hence shipping those two. In some ways, I was glad I took a break during that time and revisited it fully and fairly this time around. I found Tian Bian and Ze Ya’s relationship unique and touching in its own right. It was really heartbreaking to realize how they couldn’t be together and both were trying to be brave and move forward. At times, their resolves failed them, but they couldn’t be blamed because it was indeed very hard. Tian Bian was very brave though and she tried to distance herself from Ze Ya because she knew she couldn’t hold on any longer if she were to stay. I actually felt their chemistry mostly from their interactions and glances throughout. I didn’t know how it was going to work out for them with so many things surrounding them. I was glad it worked out in the end because of the distance and time that it took for everyone to heal. It was a bittersweet ending for me because of how the writers had chosen to kill off Shan Ni instead of working toward another angle. Circling back to Ambrose and Angela’s chemistry, I was surprised to like it so much after watching it this time around. Their acting had convinced me how compatible they were. The story aided greatly, but the chemistry had to be there as well.
  • Ambrose / Xu Ze Ya and Penny / Xu Shan Ni as a couple. Initially, Shan Ni hated Ze Ya, mostly thanks to her mother for fueling the hate, because she would always be second to him in the chain of commands—regardless of her efforts. It was both that and because it was believed that he was the other woman’s son. However, she maintained a professional attitude at work and even acknowledged his capabilities as he implemented all his methods to improve the company’s overall structure. In some ways, she had every right to be upset and felt what she felt—even if Xu Ze Ya had to bear the brunt of her reactions. Having to grow up in such a strict household and not allowing for a second opinion aside from grandpa and mom’s plans made it rough for her as well. She was forced to be tough. It wasn’t until she realized Ze Ya was genuinely a kind person, not putting up a front that she reconsidered. Having him save her that one time or was determined to stick by her side during the crucial point changed her opinion of him majorly. He also told her it was all right to show her vulnerabilities at times, allowing her to be herself and not have to put up such a tough exterior anymore. At least, she could be herself. (Of course, it was meant regarding her personality in general, not meaning to change her opinions or judgment in a professional setting.) Anyway, they had a rough start at first before getting along as siblings. Then, after learning that they weren’t really siblings, it was easy to fall for him because of his kindness and caring nature. Although it seemed one-sided at one point, I believed he eventually did fall for her. It was that scene when they were at the lake enjoying the view. On the way back, he went to fetch her a sweater. When he returned, he thought she had passed away already and broke down. She soon became alert again and the expression on his face was indescribable. In some ways, it could be explained that he was mourning a family member’s passing and was glad that she was still there, but that expression made me feel there was much more than that. It was us witnessing his heartbreak because he lost someone he loved, not just in a family love type only, nor was it out of pity like initially. And she had felt it too hence them sharing that moment. Ambrose and Penny’s chemistry? It was off the charts! At least, for me. It was one of the reasons why I was so torn between pairings while watching—even if I knew the endgame was Ambrose and Angela because it was relevant to the main theme. Around that time, I actually hunted down their other collaboration in Hou Tian Mei Nv (後天美女) and watched a bit. It was a fun beginning yet I had to drop it because I realized they weren’t going to end up together either. It was a shame because they had such a cute relationship in there initially. So sometime later, I ended up pairing them up in The Dating Game and made them into a golden couple in there, lol. Tangent, I know, but they were major characters in the spin-off and I have no regrets throwing some other characters off the bus in the process either, lol.
  • Wallace / Chung Xiao Gang and Angela / Yi Tian Bian as a couple. I used to think that Wallace and Angela should have been together. It was mostly because of my bias toward seeing how compatible they were. However, after having all the pieces of the puzzle and the overall picture, I realized it made sense why it shouldn’t be that way. If the scriptwriters wanted, they could come up with a story for these two, but it wasn’t meant to be, and that made sense either way. I meant I was glad Tian Bian realized that she shouldn’t use him as a lifesaver just because she lost her love already. I actually respected her even more that she was upfront with him regarding the matter. Sure, she did accept his proposal that one time and it was sad to hear the clarification afterward. Yet I felt I couldn’t blame her. At least, she set it straight early on instead of stringing him along till the end. She was different from other female leads in that sense. What was more, the scene backstage when Tian Bian apologized to him for rejecting him one final time, his response made me feel like he really matured. Yes, he was devastated that he was rejected. However, he said that love was a privilege, not a responsibility. It was a powerful statement because it lifted her burden, knowing she shouldn’t use herself to pay off her gratitude for him. It also indirectly addressed the whole “prize-winning” formula that often was in other dramas (aka just because the guy or girl did so much for the person they claimed to love, they automatically got to claim the other person like some object). So, yes, that conversation was important to me and made me appreciate the writers for putting that in for him, allowing us to see how far he’d gone as a character. I also wished so much, though, that they (SETTV) had casted both in a different series together like how they’d done for Wallace and Penny later on (even if it wasn’t fully satisfying.)
  • Wallace / Chung Xiao Gang and Penny Lin / Xu Shan Ni as a couple. Hear me out. I swear they suited one another both as actor and actress and character-wise. Having Xiao Gang end up with Shan Ni would solve the triangles altogether. Even if it would be too typical with the four main leads swapping couples or something, it would still make sense and would be less choking than the current Xiao Gang pairing. (This isn’t a dunk on Jill—if you read my analysis above, but more like an attempt to heal the plot flaws.) Shan Ni could still fall for Ze Ya because of his kind nature but could also end up with Xiao Gang in a different twist. Just like how Tian Bian realized she idolized Xiao Gang more than loved him in a romantic kind of way, Shan Ni could be feeling the warmness of having been cared for after being neglected by her family for so long and being forced to be tough. Her story would make sense with Xiao Gang because they had a history together, first of all. Both actually stated at different points through different interactions with one another or with other characters that they understood each other and how each operated, their thought process, and their feelings. Regardless of how their opinions differed on a professional front, they still saw past their biases and understood one another’s point of views. Even if they didn’t really get along personally at first but they soon learned to appreciate one another or spoke up for one another at different points. What the writers could have done was add in a scene after Shan Ni found out about her cancer results, Xiao Gang could have been at the hospital for whatever reason and overheard it somehow or at least spotted her and forced the answer out of her after seeing her all devastated. It wouldn’t be out of character for him to confront her or get an answer out of her. Then afterward, he could try to keep the secret for her while she cope and find a suitable time to tell her family. That could bring them together. The writers do not have to kill her off either because they could change the part with the bone marrow to match with Tian Bian’s instead of not matching. That way, she could both live and have time to develop with Xiao Gang hence moving on from depending on Ze Ya as an emotional support figure. Xiao Gang could also use that time to understand himself better and fall for Shani Ni because of their time spent together and how he had always admired her work ethic anyway, so it was a bonus he found other traits of hers that he come to love. That would bridge the gap between the two. With Tian Bian’s bone marrow match and much more, it would still allow for the rest of the Hsu family to spend time with Tian Bian and try to understand and appreciate her. It wouldn’t affect her story arch either.
  • Wallace / Chung Xiao Gang and Jill Hsu / Mandy as a couple. SET messed up on this major time. NOT just because of the lack of chemistry on their parts, but as their characters and plot-wise as well. At first, when I watched the opening scenes with them together and some private conversations between the two, I thought they were a match made in Heaven because of how equally vain they were. Sure, they appeared quite classy and perfect in the eyes of the public. But aside from that, they were indeed really vain and showed off their glamorous life. It was hard not to when they were in such an industry. They let fame get to their heads. However, when stuff started happening and the plot shifted away from their relationship, I had second thoughts. I already listed some stuff I found unconvincing above. To add on, I felt having them end up together felt really rushed, which was because we had him still mourning over his lost chance yet jumped immediately to understanding why he must turn around and see Man Qing? I got the message, I got it and even Xiao Gang said it seemed unbelievable and he was willing to take it slow, etc. to earn Man Qing’s trust again. But it was very poor execution. The writers had Xiao Gang spent two-thirds of the plot chasing after Tian Bian and proving to her he truly cared and wasn’t playing with her heart. YET spent about five minutes convincing us that he realized Man Qing was the one for him? Having them spend some time together with chats at times and some glances here and there didn’t help. In some ways, we got that they had this link because they’d been together for a while now. But the writers didn’t bother working on her own character in a way that showed her depth nor make an attempt to heal their relationship slowly. If anything, I felt having them end up together once again regressed their characters back to the beginning. Sure, they made mistakes and learned and grew through the different trials and tribulations. I was pretty sure their realization had to do with how abrupt Shan Ni’s death was too. Well, that partially pushed Man Qing to do the right thing and exposed Eddy. But I felt that was also lacking in getting them both together—or back together. I’m not saying it’s impossible for couples to get back together. I’m not saying they couldn’t solve their problems at long last since they’d both learned a lot within a short span of time. However, I felt it was forced and rushed like I said before. That was why I wasn’t convinced. Not to mention how I thought she deserves someone who could see her for who she is and love her more instead of continuing to entertain this idea and accept Xiao Gang because she was already familiar with his habits. I also felt the writers rushing him back into a relationship was just an attempt to put a nice bow on the ending, that was all. It was also unrealistic to be considered healthy. He needed more time to heal. To truly heal. Again, she deserved better. So did he. If they had promised to meet back again in two years (aka the ending) to see how things went, I would have been more convinced. Again, poor execution.
  • Ambrose / Xu Ze Ya and Wallace / Chung Xiao Gang as love rivals. There was this intensity between them throughout—whether it was on the professional front or personal. They often got into disagreements at work and sometimes used work as an excuse to argue over some details, but one or the other might know it was about Tian Bian all along. The major confrontation they had that resulted in an all-out shouting match and/or actual fight was when Xiao Gang realized that Ze Ya was really giving up on Tian Bian (aka forgoing his plan in marrying Shan Ni). He went on an injustice mission yet ended up declaring that he would never back down again if Ze Ya were to give up on Tian Bian at that moment. It was ugly and dramatic on many levels. However, in some ways, it did make sense that they shall have that confrontation, eventually. What disturbed me was how typical the formula was with the two acting like Tian Bian was a passive party in the whole situation, never asking her what she truly wanted. What irked me at that point was Ze Ya went to the extent of “bestowing” Tian Bian onto Xiao Gang. That was what pushed me to the edge and forced me to take Xiao Gang’s side, even though Xiao Gang had resorted to violence (and Ze Ya returned the favor soon after). Xiao Gang wasn’t just upset for Tian Bian’s sake but also for Shan Ni. Because he said that he understood what kind of person Shan Ni was and she wouldn’t appreciate that Ze Ya’s agreement to marry her was out of pity. In some ways, Xiao Gang was right, but in others, Ze Ya had a point with Shan Ni’s vulnerability at that moment. Shan Ni indeed needed someone by her side. It was getting really complicated. Despite all the madness going on, Xiao Gang actually appreciated Ze Ya for backing him up during the meeting shortly after their confrontation. He did say it to Ze Ya when it was just the three of them in the room. (Shan Ni was there at that time.) After all that was said and done, I really liked that they returned to the topic of whether Tian Bian needed their protection. It was the hospital scene where both offered her a ride home and she turned them down. I felt it was important they understood she was capable of taking care of herself and making her own decisions. And they needed to respect that. It was also worthwhile that they finally made peace with one another toward the end as well. Because they finally learned to appreciate one another’s differences and joined forces to help fulfill Shan Ni’s last wish together. Even if it was mostly following her grandpa’s orders, they, themselves, were more than willing on their own, not just because they were fulfilling some kind of work obligations.
  • Angela / Yi Tian Bian and Penny / Xu Shan Ni as siblings. Surprisingly convincing. I like both Angela and Penny very much, so watching them portray siblings was fascinating. There was this intensity at first, mostly because of other factors. But I thought Ze Ya’s efforts in trying to get along with Shan Ni at first aided Tian Bian’s situation later. Like how he was always so kind to her and protected her like his sister at the beginning—when they were still under the impression that they were siblings. She let go of all those resentments and hate toward him, and even more so let go of her shield. So when the other parts of the plot revealed themselves, Shan Ni was able to cope with it better. Sure, she was shocked to discover the new information as well. But it was like she no longer wanted to target the other person just because. She wanted to find out for herself, not letting her mother and grandpa influence her like they had previously. Sure, she mostly convinced Tian Bian to come home with her because of Ze Ya at first but later learned a lot about Tian Bian and realized the other person wasn’t the enemy. They indeed got along quite well. It was too bad their time spent together and trying to make up for the past was cut short. But was indeed touching to see the lengths they went through for one another later.

Likes:

  • The cast. Despite my complaints or disagreements with certain elements of the plot, I felt the cast fit perfectly for their roles.
  • The soundtrack. Loved it. Hey, I got it before I even watched the drama properly, lol. I especially loved the scene near the end where Angela and Jill got to sing Journey together at the concert. It was a nice touch to show they made peace. (Go here if you want the translations to “Lost Beauty” by Angela.)
  • The theme. Dolphins, who doesn’t love ’em, right? I thought the legend was an interesting story. It created a unique feeling for the drama.
  • Flashbacks were done correctly. The thing with series nowadays is the overwhelming amount of flashbacks used—whether it’s to promote the soundtrack or to extend episodes, it’s getting frustratingly annoying. Even if I like the songs or scenes used, it gets really, really repetitive after a while. That was why I appreciated that this series had used the right amount.

Dislikes:

  • The misunderstanding Man Qing set up by calling both Xiao Gang and Tian Bian to meet her before Tian Bian’s debut press conference. I knew it was meant to be an obstacle that Tian Bian will have to overcome. However, I didn’t like that it wasn’t properly resolved. Sure, that part forced Xiao Gang to finally face his feelings for Tian Bian and tell her how he felt. But it never truly exposed what Man Qing did. He did ponder how she’d overheard what he said to Man Qing, but it was never addressed again after they reconciled. We could try and assume that they probably said something afterward. But the writers made a big deal out of it and it caused a major setback for Tian Bian’s career. I thought we—as the audience—deserved to know the outcome of that.
  • Shan Ni’s death. Yeah, I’m against it regardless of the reasons. What I mentioned when discussing her and Xiao Gang was an easy fix for the plot. However, the writers chose to be dramatic just because. I cried buckets. Not kidding. It was so sad. Not to mention frustrating.

Discussions:

  • Nobody could keep a secret in here. I’m not exaggerating (for once, lol). Anytime you hear, “Don’t tell ____”, you know the info will be leaked—whether intentional or unintentional, accidental or accidentally on purpose. Examples? Shan Ni told Tian Bian not to tell anyone about her sickness until she was ready to tell them. Tian Bian told Ze Ya (out of frustration and concern for Shan Ni but still) that Shan Ni was sick and hoped that he would treat Shan Ni well during her last days. (Oops, the secret was out and everything went into chaos for a while.) What else? Xiao Gang told Happy not to tell Tian Bian about him using his place as collateral for his loan to fund Tian Bian’s promotional events. Happy ended up telling Tian Bian (by accident because he spoke without thinking and realized it too late he wasn’t supposed to say it) when she questioned him. Yeah, pretty much almost everything got leaked by accident.
  • If you swapped the couples, it would still work. I’m talking about Ambrose, Angela, Wallace, and Penny in that manner. Yes, they were so compatible that if you swapped the couples, it would still work. And even if the writers wanted to forgo with Wallace and Angela, Ambrose and Penny, it could work as well with some tweaking. The plot would still make sense. Hell, if you wanted to go further, even Ambrose and Wallace matched with one another if you wanted to go the danmei route, lol. (For real, though, I sent my sister some pictures of Ambrose and Wallace to show what they looked like in the drama and she thought it was a danmei drama, lol.) But too bad can’t do that for Angela and Penny because they portrayed siblings in there, lol. The point? I’m so writing a new fanfic surrounding these four, like I said in one of my tweets while discussing the drama.

Recommended? I thought it was worth it because it was indeed addicting in a sense. If you love the cast, it’s a must-watch. The plot was decent, and it wasn’t too frustrating with some side dramas. For one of those rare times, I actually agreed with the general audience that this was one of the best dramas aired around that time.

Love In Penghu: Episode 1

*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

(image captured by DTLCT)

The story began with one of Taiwan’s scenic landscapes, Penghu. Li Jin Shui just managed to launch another ship so he had invited the townspeople over for a little celebration on this victory. While he was chatting up with the guests, his son, Li Yi Ming was seen passing out invitations. After the initial speech, Li Jin Shui soon joined the others offstage to chat about the upcoming happy event. However, he also complained of his oldest daughter’s lack of presence in their hometown. Fearing that the atmosphere would turn sour, Li Yi Ming rushed to reassure his father that his sister would return, considering how she had promised to help with the banquet. However, Li Jin Shui was on a roll, stating that it wasn’t that he wanted to nag his daughter but it was more about worry for his son-in-law, Fang Jia Qing.

At that moment, Li Mei Juan was seen on the road with her driver, Ah Hong. She was stuck in traffic and had to improvise by riding her horse to a meeting. At the location, two artists–Fang Hua and Su Zhi Hui–were seen arguing while they were shooting wedding photos. Not being able to win the argument, Su Zhi Hui soon turned and asked the others where Li Mei Juan was. Soon after Su Zhi Hui’s outburst, Li Mei Juan arrived on her horse, attracting the attention of the crowd present. Hearing Li Mei Juan’s explanation, the couple soon turned to one another and Su Zhi Hui apologized for his actions previously. Fang Hua also looked quite apologetic and accepted his vows to her. Their argument dissolved like that and Li Mei Juan arrived just in time to save the day (or a tragedy from happening).

Li Mei Juan indeed returned to Penghu like she promised and was greeted by her young sister, Li Mei Yuan. However, this time, Li Mei Juan returned with a heavy heart, both because she’d been informed by her husband that her father was quite upset and because of what her boss said to her regarding some business ventures. And the reason why Jia Qing couldn’t come to pick Mei Juan up was because of the disagreements between Li Jin Shui and Lin Xiu Chun. Lin Xiu Chun was actually Xu Yong Yi’s mother, which was Li Yi Ming’s future mother in law. Yes, this disagreement was indeed severe, considering how Li Jin Shui was against the land development project of recent since he vouched it was destroying the culture of Penghu while Lin Xiu Chun said that they needed to make changes for the future generations to thrive. According to Yong Yi, this meeting was to discuss their collaboration yet it had escalated to be a blood bath.

Upon arriving at the scene, Mei Juan was horrified by what was happening. Yet Mei Yuan seemed unfazed by it and even encouraged the others who traveled with them to come and help her father. What Mei Yuan didn’t realize was how Lin Xiu Chun would soon be part of their family. It was indeed getting quite ridiculous. Attempting to call for help, but it seemed hopeless, so Mei Juan had to rush forward to remind her father about the engagement between the two sides. That was when Li Jin Shui finally told the others to stop fighting. It was useless because the crowd was too chaotic. Jia Qing actually pushed Li Jun Shui aside in time before he was hit by one of the signs the protesters used to defend themselves from one another. Jia Juan rushed forward to cover for her husband yet was unfruitful. It wasn’t until the police arrived that all parties stopped what they were doing.

At the police station, like a typical person leaning toward the old, traditional route, Li Jin Shui didn’t care for the police officer’s lecture. Yet he turned to his oldest daughter, Mei Juan, to scold her extended absence at their hometown–and that she even caused him to be arrested. Mei Juan was scolding her younger sister, Mei Yuan, for how she had handled the situation earlier. Then the whole matter just escalated to the two elders not wanting to see their kids married. It was indeed a very sticky situation for Yi Ming and Yong Yi. The police officer finally interfered and told them not to argue anymore. Jia Qing, fearing things might escalate, jumped in and vouched for all parties. The officer calmed down and even reminded them that it was Yi Ming and Yong Yi’s special day and told them not to cause more troubles. He said that the next time it happens, it won’t be so lenient on them. Jia Qing was the one who tried to make peace among all parties, apologizing to Lin Xiu Chun and then insisting on everyone getting some rest before they continued with the engagement–if there was going to be one anymore. Lin Xiu Chun scolded the Li family before leaving with her daughter. Then the next problem pushed itself into existence, which was Li Jin Shui returning to his previous topic, which was scolding Mei Juan for causing troubles for him, saying that she was probably born to go against him. Even though Jia Qing tried to interfere to disperse the intensity between both parties, but Li Jin Shui didn’t hear of it. He insisted that Mei Juan learned from Jia Qing instead of roaming around alone in Taipei like that, warning her not to do anything that would wrong their family name.

Later at home, Mei Juan noticed their finances were all messed up. Jia Qing told her that her father had been lending people money left and right hence their money was drained, and that her father told them to pay back slowly, etc. Mei Juan told Jia Qing to tell her father to treat business and personal matters separate, and that he should try to stop her father. Jia Qing reminded her that her father couldn’t be reasoned with or he wouldn’t be Li Jin Shui. Jia Qing soon expressed how he wished she would return by his side too, not just her father worrying. Mei Juan finally told Jia Qing the good news of her returning to Penghu for a project. She, of course, didn’t tell Jia Qing of her boss’ decision to send her to Shanghai after the Penghu project. Yet Jia Qing was already happy about her being there. Jia Qing then told her that her father was just upset that she wasn’t there for the New Year celebration. Mei Juan told Jia Qing that her father wasn’t all that present during times either, remembering how he was missing on all those past holidays. Jia Qing jokingly commented that she and her father were indeed the same. Anyway, Jia Qing promised to help patch things between her and her father, and Mei Juan said that she would go help Yi Yong with the engagement banquet.

Upon arriving, Mei Juan had to reassure her brother and Yong Yi that her father wouldn’t sabotage the engagement. However, she soon realized she’d brought the wrong wedding dress. Yi Ming was in a panic since it would rile their father up even more. Mei Juan soon tried to improvise and said that she still had time to fix it so that their father wouldn’t know. She told Yong Yi to go fetch some supplies for her while Yi Ming went to fetch Mei Yuan to help with the fix. As Mei Juan rushed to sketch a blueprint, Yi Ming returned with Mei Yuan and Yong Yi with the needed supplies. The four of them rushed to work on the dress after Mei Juan briefed them of the plan. And while they were busy at work, Jia Qing rushed in and dragged Mei Juan away from the scene. She didn’t want to go yet he insisted. He was showing her how her father was practicing a speech for the banquet. Yet when he realized they were there, he mocked and criticized Mei Juan, not wanting her help when Jia Qing explained. Mei Juan told Jia Qing not to try anymore since it wasn’t like their relationship could be improved with just a few words from Jia Qing.

The day got even worse and worse–if that was possible because Li Jin Shui wanted to enter the room to see the new bride in the wedding dress. Stalking didn’t help so Yi Ming had to comply by opening the door. With Mei Yuan’s help in covering Yong Yi, they tried to wing it through by saying that the new bride was just shy. However, after some brief speech, he soon pushed Mei Yuan aside and discovered that the wedding dress wasn’t the one his wife used to wear. (Yes, that was why they were all covering it since he wanted his daughter-in-law to wear the one his wife wore.) Mei Juan confessed that it was her mistake. Yi Ming and Mei Yuan quickly spoke up to defend Mei Juan, saying that Mei Juan already tried her best and it was beautiful enough. Li Jin Shui, upset, scolded them once again, stating that their mother’s wish was to attend her kids’ wedding so that was the reason why he wanted the daughter-in-law to wear the dress, not just because it was beautiful. Mei Juan soon apologized for her mistake but was scolded by her father once again, repeating another phrase he previously scolded her with, which was that of saying she was a terrible daughter. Mei Juan spoke up again to clarify that she was apologizing to her mother, not to him. He wanted her to clarify her words. Mei Juan reminded him of how he kept staying at sea and leaving the house for her mother to tend, burying her mother’s talents and dreams. She even reminded him that he wasn’t around when her mother died. He asked her what the family would eat if he didn’t go out to sea and fish. She said that her mother had said that same thing yet she asked him if he’d ever considered that her mother also had her own dreams, not just existing to take care of the family. So since her mother died, Mei Juan had promised herself not to be like her mother, wanting to fulfill those dreams. He told her that she wasn’t able to take care of the wedding dress matter, how could she do anything else. He even added that she couldn’t compare to her mother. Then he said they could do whatever they want since no one cared to hear what he had to say anyway. When he left, Jia Qing tried to persuade him to stay but was unsuccessful. It wasn’t until Wen Tian Hao, Yong Yi’s cousin and also Mei Juan’s coworker, came that things were resolved. He brought the correct wedding dress to them, which earned a hug from Mei Juan. Then Mei Juan helped Yong Yi change to the correct wedding dress. While that was happening, Tian Hao congratulated Li Jin Shui. He had no idea there had been a disaster going on earlier. However, what was more troubling was the glare that Jia Qing gave him.

Golden Bell Awards 2014: Winners

Okay, here are the results for this year. All are listed in the order they were presented.

Best Film Editing – Presenter(s): Liang Xiu Shen ( 梁修身) and ?:
An Bang and Zheng Xin Kai (安邦、鄭心愷) – Double Happiness (主桌)
Ke Wen Li (柯汶利) – Freeman (自由人)
Fan Yang Zhong and Lin Xin Min (范揚仲、林欣民) – Almost Heaven (回家的女人)
Chen Bo Wen and Li Yi Shan (陳博文、李宜珊) – Youth’s Advancement – In Regards To 20 Onward (青春的進擊—關於二十,以及¬¬。) (PTS)
Yang Shou Yi and Lin Xin Min (楊守義、林欣民) – Discovery – Army Frogmen (台灣特戰部隊)

Best Cinematography – Presenter(s): Liang Xiu Shen ( 梁修身) and ?:
Li Ming (李鳴) – Cigarette Ends (菸蒂)
Chen Tian Bao (陳添寶) – Record Standpoint – Boiling Sand River (紀錄觀點—滾滾沙河) (PTS)
Ma Hua (馬華) – Freeman (自由人)
Chen Yu Jie and Lin Hou Cheng (陳鈺杰、林厚成) – Rite of Spring (曉之春)
Chen Jun Kang, Xu Zhi Wei, Zhu Pei Ji, and Ye Dao Hong (陳俊康、許智為、朱培基、葉道宏) – Sun After Rain (雨後驕陽)

Best Lighting – Presenter(s): Ye Tian Lun (葉天倫) and Chen Bo Zheng (陳博正):
Ding Hai De (丁海德) – Lonely River (在河左岸)
Li Shao Yun and Wang Zhi Zheng (李少雲、王知政) – Boys Can Fly (刺蝟男孩)
Deng Ji Xuan (鄧紀璿) – Cou Zhen (湊陣) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Xie Jian Fa (謝建發) – Sun After Rain (雨後驕陽)
Su Liang Zhi (蘇良志) – Once Upon A Time In Beitou (熱海戀歌)

Best Sound Editing – Presenter(s): Ye Tian Lun (葉天倫) and Chen Bo Zheng (陳博正):
Shen Sheng De and Li Ying  (沈聖德、李穎) – Housework Proposal (家事提案)
Du Du Zhi (杜篤之) – PTS HD Record Version – Golden Horse Series  (公視HD紀錄片—金馬系列【戰酒】)
Zhou Zong Kun and Chen Yi Qi (周宗崑、陳羿棨) – Life Journey – Hello Brain! (生命旅程—Hello Brain!) (PTS)
Jiang Tao (蔣韜) – To-Go Station (客家電視電影院—《到站》) ( Hakka TV)
Xue Yi Xin, Wu Xin Ying, and Yu Zheng Xian (薛易欣、吳欣穎、余政憲) –  Freeman (自由人)

Best Art and Design – Presenter(s): Ye Tian Lun (葉天倫) and Chen Bo Zheng (陳博正):
Fan Jia Qi (范家綺) – The Snail School (慢吞吞小學)
Peng Wei Min and Ye Cheng Da (彭維民、葉承達) – Freeman (自由人)
Pu Shi Rong (蒲士榮) – Almost Heaven (回家的女人)
Liu Ji Fu and Lin Zhi Ming (劉基福、林智明) – Lonely River (在河左岸)
Su Yao Tang and Li Jian Yu (蘇耀堂、李建裕) – Sun After Rain (雨後驕陽)

Best Supporting Actor – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenter(s): Joe Cheng (鄭元暢) and Amber Kuo (郭采潔):
Lv Fu Lu (呂福祿) – Land of Purple Pearl (紺珠之地) (PTS’ Student Life Story Collection)
Rock (洛可杉) – Wu Di Zhan Jian Xie He Hao  (無敵戰艦協和號)
Xi Xiang (喜翔) – Cigarette Ends (菸蒂)
Cai Ming Xiu (蔡明修) – Freeman (自由人)
Pan Qin Yu (潘親御) – Summer Trifles (夏日紀事) (PTS’ Student Life Story Collection)

Best Supporting Actress – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenter(s): Joe Cheng (鄭元暢) and Amber Kuo (郭采潔):
June Tsai (蔡君茹) / Liu Yue (六月) – Go Ah Wen! (加油喔!阿文) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Chen Ying Liu (陳英柳) – Forward, Sir! (轉。大人) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Yang Jie Mei (楊潔玫) – Thank You, Patronage(銘謝惠顧)
Jenny Wen (溫貞菱) – Rite of Spring (曉之春)
Rao Xing Xing (饒星星) – Freeman (自由人)

Best Screenwriter/ Script – Tele-movies:
Wang Jia Jun and Fu Kai Ling (王傢軍、傅凱羚) – Land of Purple Pearl (紺珠之地)
Chen Yu Li (陳昱俐) – Freeman (自由人)
Chen Yu Jie, Wang Li Wen, and Li Zhang Qing Hui (陳鈺杰、王莉雯、李張清慧) – Rite of Spring (曉之春)
Liang Mo Fei and An Zhe Yi (梁莫非、安哲毅) – Thank You, Patronage (銘謝惠顧)
Zhang Qi En and Wang Chuan Zong (張綺恩、王傳宗) – Just Want To Challenge You To Live Another Day (只想比你多活一天)

Best Director – Mini-series/ Tele-movies:
Wang Chuan Zong (王傳宗) – Just Want To Challenge You To Live Another Day (只想比你多活一天)
An Zhe Yi (安哲毅) – Thank You, Patronage (銘謝惠顧)
Ke Wen Li (柯汶利) – Freeman (自由人)
Chen Yu Jie (陳鈺杰) – Rite of Spring (曉之春)
Liao Shi Han (廖士涵) – Cigarette Ends (菸蒂)

Best Mini-series/ Tele-movies:
PTS’ Life Story Collection – Just Want To Challenge You To Live Another Day (只想比你多活一天)
PTS’ Student Life Story Collection – Freeman (自由人)
PTS’ Life Story Collection – Almost Heaven (回家的女人)
PTS’ Life Story Collection – Ming Xie Hui Gu (銘謝惠顧)
Rite of Spring (曉之春) (CTV)

Best Leading Actor – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenter(s): Long Shao Hua (龍劭華):
Wang Xi Rui (王錫瑞) / Wang Rui (王瑞) – Just Want To Challenge You To Live Another Day (只想比你多活一天) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Shi Ming Shuai (施名帥) – Freeman (自由人)
Gao Meng Jie (高盟傑) – Almost Heaven (回家的女人)
Huang He (黃河) – Cigarette Ends (菸蒂) (CTV)
Xi Xiang (喜翔) – Wu Di Zhan Jian Xie He Hao  (無敵戰艦協和號) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)

Best Leading Actress – Min-series/ Tele-movies – Presenter(s): :
Yin Xin (尹馨) – Almost Heaven (回家的女人)
Lee Kang Yi (李康宜) – Rite of Spring (曉之春)
He Ai Yun (何璦芸) / He Xiu Lan (何秀蘭) – Just Want To Challenge You To Live Another Day (只想比你多活一天)
Zheng Jia Yu (鄭家榆) – Ming Xie Hui Gu (銘謝惠顧)
Megan Lai (賴雅妍) – Housework Proposal (家事提案) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)

Best Supporting Actor – Drama – Presenter(s): Chris Wang (王宥勝) and Leroy Yang (楊一展):
Wang Jing Guan (王鏡冠) – Lonely River (在河左岸)
Jacky Ku (古理德) – Boys Can Fly (刺蝟男孩)
Jay Shih (是元介) – In A Good Way (我的自由年代)
Chen Bo Zheng (陳博正) – Sun After Rain (雨後驕陽)
Yankee Yang (楊子儀) – Sun After Rain (雨後驕陽)

Best Supporting Actress – Drama – Presenter(s): Chris Wang (王宥勝) and Leroy Yang (楊一展):
Riva Chang (張可昀) – Sun After Rain (雨後驕陽)
Lin Nai Hua (林乃華) – Sun After Rain (雨後驕陽)
Jo’elle Lu (陸明君) – Once Upon A Time In Beitou (熱海戀歌) (SETTV)
Xi Man Ning (席曼寧) – A Good Wife (親愛的,我愛上別人了)
Isa Hsieh (謝瓊煖) – Lonely River (在河左岸)

Best Screenwriter/ Script – Drama – Presenter(s): Li Li Qun (李立群):
Wang Xiao Di, An Zhe Yi, Zhan Jun Jie, Gao Miao Hui, and Yu Zhi Wen (王小棣、安哲毅、張可欣、詹俊傑、高妙慧、余智珉) – Boys Can Fly (刺蝟男孩)
Li Ding Wei, Wen Cai, and Wang Gong Cheng (李定偉、文采、王公誠) – Amour et Pâtisserie (沒有名字的甜點店)
Chen Zhang Lun, Ke Shu Qing, and Lin Jia Hui (陳長綸、柯淑卿、林佳慧) – Lonely River (在河左岸)
Xu Yun Qi and Wu Pei Zhen (許芸齊、吳佩珍) – In A Good Way (我的自由年代)
Wen Yi Hui and Li Yi Ze (溫怡惠、李義澤) – Sun After Rain (雨後驕陽)

Best Director – Drama – Presenter(s): Li Li Qun (李立群):
Wang Xiao Di and An Zhe Yi (王小棣、安哲毅) – Boys Can Fly (刺蝟男孩)
Wu Meng En (吳蒙恩) – In A Good Way (我的自由年代)
Zhou Xiao Peng and Ye Hong Wei (周曉鵬、葉鴻偉) – Sun After Rain (雨後驕陽)
Chen Zhang Lun (陳長綸) – Lonely River (在河左岸)
Zheng Fen Fen (鄭芬芬) – Kiss Me Mom! (媽,親一下!) (TVBS)

Best Marketing Program – Presenter(s): Christopher Lee (李銘順) and Tian Xin (天心):
In A Good Way (我的自由年代) (SETTV)
Boys Can Fly (刺蝟男孩) (PTS)
Lovestore at the Corner (巷弄裡的那家書店) (CTS)
Super Taste: Summer Day Heated Battle, Fated Program (食尚玩家(夏日熱鬪篇命運規劃局)) (TVBS)
A Good Wife (親愛的,我愛上別人了) (GTV)

Best Leading Actress – Drama – Presenter(s): Christopher Lee (李銘順) and Tian Xin (天心):
Tian Xin (天心) – A Good Wife (親愛的,我愛上別人了)
Zhong Xin Ling (鍾欣凌) – Sun After Rain (雨後驕陽)
Sandrine Pinna (張榕容) – Amour et Pâtisserie (沒有名字的甜點店)
Cheryl Yang (楊謹華) – The Queen (女王的誕生) (CTV)
Yan Yi Wen (嚴藝文) – Lonely River (在河左岸)

Best Leading Actor – Drama – Presenter(s): Vic Chou (周渝民) and Chen Bo Lin (陳柏霖):
Han Yi Bang (韓宜邦) (Junior) – Sun After Rain (雨後驕陽)
Hans Chung (鍾承翰) – Boys Can Fly (刺蝟男孩)
Christopher Lee (李銘順) – A Good Wife (親愛的,我愛上別人了) (GTV)
Zhang Ting Hu (張庭瑚) – Boys Can Fly (刺蝟男孩)
Blue Lan (藍正龍) – CHOCOLAT (流氓蛋糕店) (GTV)

Best Dramas – Presenter(s): Vic Chou (周渝民) and Chen Bo Lin (陳柏霖):
Amour et Pâtisserie (沒有名字的甜點店) (PTS)
In A Good Way (我的自由年代) (SETTV)
Sun After Rain (雨後驕陽) (NEXT TV)
Boys Can Fly (刺蝟男孩) (PTS)
Lonely River (在河左岸) (Hakka TV)

Woohoo! Another exciting year! Well, some stuff spoiled my moods a bit. Yet the later parts made up for it. Not because of the winners, since they deserved it with all their hard work! It was one of the side things. Anyway, congrats to all winners!

*All information was translated and verified by DTLCT, therefore, NOT 100% accurate. IF mistakes were found, please leave a comment. Thanks!

True Love 365: Episode 20

*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

(image credit: captured by DTLCT)

As Long Tian Xing was walking home, his father appeared out of nowhere and called out to him. (Well, that dude was spying nearby but still.) What was the topic of discussion this time around? Um…Tian Xing was telling his father how the Lai family weren’t a bad bunch, and that his father needed to open his eyes a bit to see how they were. Pouring some ice-cold water onto his old man’s face all right. Of course, he was still using the whole ‘family’ card to get Tian Xing to succumb to his plans. Bi Jing Ye threatened his son with the whole “I’ll tell Lai Da Fa you’re my son if you don’t do as I said” card. Great, so much for family. Yet Tian Xing said he was still following his old man’s plans, just that he thought the old man would reconsider the whole thing.

So back to Yu Xiang and Bi Ting’s stroll toward Bi Ting’s house. Suddenly they were so formal. She thanked him for walking her home. And then he was like asking for permission to speak. Well, it was more like he said he had something to tell her. Okay, she also had something to say to him. What? Bi Ting wanted to clarify all the rumors he must have heard about her breakup with Jun Jie. She said that the reason why she couldn’t let go of everything and leave for Paris was because of her mother, not because of him–like rumors have it. She also pointed out that she found out today how similar they were, treasuring family the most. Yu Xiang agreed that he couldn’t just let go of family. She was done talking and wanted to leave. Yet he stopped her. Was this the moment? No, too much impatient on my part. (Since it made sense he stopped himself if he was about to say it before.) Well, he asked her if she was willing to come to work for his company. Yet she said she already told him in the past that she was still pursuing her wedding planner dream and how she would eventually work her way up to earn the “Paris trip” herself in the future. Though she did thank him for thinking of recruiting her to work for him, etc. So that was it. End of conversation.

So it was ‘meet the parent day’ with Mrs. Lai. Of course, she gave them her blessings. She sure was sharp though, stating that she had a friend who had a similar background as Tian Xing’s descriptions. However, she let it off. He quickly made up some story to dodge the situation altogether. (Nice one.) When Tian Xing excused himself to go to the restroom, Yu Jie steered the conversation right back to convincing Mrs. Lai to forgive Chairman Lai.

Meanwhile elsewhere, Bi Ting was out and about and bumped into Jun Jie (literally). There was some awkwardness yet he invited her to breakfast/lunch. She agreed. They were having fast food out at the park, but Bi Ting didn’t mind. She never minded about that stuff anyway. Besides, the more important thing was trying to resolve their past conflicts and ‘maintain some sort of friendship’. It was interesting how things turned out. After they cooled down and had some time off from all the pressure, they were able to talk again and even apologized to one another. And the most interesting thing was how Bi Ting suggested that Jun Jie moved into her apartment building since he was trying to cut back on spending, considering how he had just closed his company and was still searching for a job.

And as all that was going on, Yu Xiang was at home on his laptop while Tian Cheng walked in whistling like an idiot. Yes, he was feeling high. Yu Xiang was teasing him about how it was just a matter of time before Tian Cheng and Yi Ru got back together. Tian Cheng told Yu Xiang not to say those things, considering how Yi Ru just broke her engagement with Michael, and how he (Tian Cheng) wasn’t able to come out and say it after so many things had happened. Yu Xiang, being the advisor that he was, told Tian Cheng to seek out his daughter to help. Nice move, eh? Yet Tian Cheng turned the table on Yu Xiang when he pointed out that Yu Xiang couldn’t have a say in it with the whole ‘courage’ deal. Tian Cheng went on to say that he heard from Yu Jie that Yu Xiang had feelings toward Bi Ting yet wasn’t brave enough to pursue her. So Tian Cheng pointed out that Yu Xiang should take some actions to better convince him. Yu Xiang was so clever, he blurted out that their situations weren’t the same so it couldn’t be compared and rushed to the restroom instead.

Yu Jie and Tian Xing’s next stop was at Chairman Lai’s office. They were just sending along Mrs. Lai’s words regarding the meeting earlier. Chairman Lai was more than happy to oblige to Mrs. Lai’s requests. He even gave Tian Xing a check for all the wedding arrangements and such. Yet Tian Xing turned it down, saying they could manage. But Chairman Lai said it was for his daughter, not for Tian Xing, lol. So there it went with them shoving the check back and forth about twenty times before Yu Jie interfered. Soon, Tian Xing finally called Chairman Lai “Dad” and they settled down to chat some more. The topic of conversation suddenly moved to how Chairman Lai was saying Tian Xing reminded him of an old friend. Yu Jie jumped in to say that Tian Xing and Bi Jing Ye sure resembled one another. (Wow and they didn’t figure that one out until now? Great…) Tian Xing used that time to ask about that particular “Uncle Bi” who Yu Jie was talking about. So he finally got to hear Chairman Lai’s side of the story. Yet it wasn’t like Chairman Lai was bashing the other party or defending himself. He actually blamed himself for not paying attention to Bi Jing Ye thus causing even more understandings and worsening their ties. Tian Xing assured Chairman Lai that if that friend of his understood, he would soon be forgiven.

So at Sam Brunch, Tian Cheng was really enjoying it with finally being able to spend time with his ‘wife’ and kid without other interruptions. Well, not really, but it seemed like they were back to where they started. Just needed to muster up some courage and tell Yi Ru. Sam looked like he wanted to tease them yet he didn’t.

Back on the Yu Xiang and Bi Ting front, they were meeting up with Yu Jie and Tian Xing again. The wedding was going to take place three days later. Yu Xiang was beyond shocked with the time. Yet Yu Jie said their mother had wanted to travel south, etc. After the explanation and all, Yu Xiang promised that he and Bi Ting would help them out, etc. They went shopping together and tried to make ends meet. It was so funny how she made him beg this one lady. It was so funny yet cute. Then they were moving on to searching for other items. So funny how he was using chopsticks to propose to her.

Jun Jie and Shu Xin were also enjoying their time together–although they were just working on their proposals. Yet it was a change that Jun Jie was sharing his feelings to her, etc. She was indeed happy with his change in attitude and outlook as well.

Back on Yu Xiang and Bi Ting front again, they were settling old scores. At least Bi Ting was saying how he was picking at her work during their first official meeting yet now he had to stay up late to do all the work. He was actually enjoying past arguments? Yet he was right. Though they were arguing nonstop daily, it was rather simple than the situation they were in now. Then things got awkward again before they tried to go back to work on the decorations. It wasn’t until Yu Xiang finally couldn’t take it anymore and wanted to tell her AND ended up knocking the decorations over by accident. Or more like they both turned at the same time to call out each other’s names. Oy… What was there to do except retrieving those items from the floor? And he still used that time to say that she was unlucky?

Much, much later in the night, Yu Xiang walked Bi Ting home again. He repeated his appreciation for her working so hard on his sister’s wedding, etc. Of course, she said it was nothing since it was part of her job. After the usual chat, they parted ways again with her going upstairs and he waited until she was safely inside before leaving. Well, not really going yet since he stepped aside to dial her number. Then he stopped himself by beating himself up by saying he wasn’t thinking about Jun Jie’s feelings, and no wonder Jun Jie kept misunderstanding him in the past, etc. When Bi Ting finally picked up, he told her he dialed the wrong number.

Then came the day of Yu Jie and Tian Xing’s wedding. Everything seemed perfect. It took place at Sam Brunch. They had to transform the atmosphere and decorated the place to be suitable for the wedding. Guests were showing up already. Then Yu Xiang came. He spotted Bi Ting checking over the decorations to make sure it was tip-top and walked over to her to deliver some words of tease. Yet he did thank her once again for her effort. Jun Jie soon stepped in though and addressed both parties. A round of awkward staring was in place. That was until Jun Jie said that he was going to go and give Yu Jie his blessings. Yu Xiang seconded and they left together. After that, guests pilled in one by one, even some of the key characters. Jun Jie soon got his turn to talk to Yu Jie–to which he told her he wasn’t staying since he had to leave for some business matters in a bit. But he had promised to return later. She then asked him if he found a place yet and he told her he was living at their mother’s past apartment–across from Bi Ting. Yu Jie teased him for having some ‘motives’ but he shrugged it off. He also mentioned how he and Bi Ting already talked it out. Shu Xin arrived next and gave her blessings to Yu Jie as well. Then Chairman Lai came. They chatted a bit and the surprising moment arrived when Mrs. Lai came (since they weren’t sure if she would come, considering how things were between her and Chairman Lai at the moment). Mrs. Lai wanted to talk with Tian Xing in private. That set off some alarms but she was only giving him some pieces of jewelry. A pair of rings to be exact. It was from her parents and she wanted to pass it on to Yu Jie and Tian Xing. Indeed Tian Xing was feeling worse and worse after Mrs. Lai left, considering how much they trusted him, especially Yu Jie’s parents.

Then it was finally the time when Tian Xing stepped up toward the stage area and called for attention. (That was after he handed over the pair of rings to Yu Jie and said it was from her mother.) He said he had an announcement to make. He broke it to the others that he was actually Bi Jing Ye’s son. He went further to explain that he initially wanted to execute his father’s plans hence going forward with this whole thing. Yet now, he had really fallen for Yu Jie, and their family’s warmness had caused him to realize that he shouldn’t continue with his schemes anymore. He went on to clarify that he wasn’t saying all those things so that they would accept him. He only hoped that they would give him a chance and forgive him for what he’d done. He ended the speech with a sincere bow. Yu Jie had no choice but to flee the scene. It was too much to take, who could blame her?

Outside, Tian Xing had successfully caught up with her. She told him to let go. Then she asked him why he had to trick her like that. He explained it was because of his father, but now he really loved her. He even asked for a second chance. Of course, she couldn’t accept it and couldn’t take him back like that. It was too much to take. So she fled the scene again.

That night at home, the men were busy trying to comfort their princess. Yet they still dared defended Tian Xing in front of her? Well, it made sense since it was indeed one of the upsides that Tian Xing had told her before the wedding instead of after. But she was too heart-broken to care or think rationally at this point. So they were still going back and forth with the argument whether Yu Jie should accept him or not. Yang Bo Wen said that he could see that Tian Xing knew he was wrong and he ‘truly’ loved Yu Jie so he voted one for Tian Xing. Yu Xiang and Tian Cheng were still on the out with saying that Tian Xing was still wrong to trick others. Regardless of the men’s side argument though, it would be up to Yu Jie to decide since she will have to live with it. What made Yu Jie laughed, at last, was how Tian Cheng was pondering why Jun Jie wasn’t picking up. Yu Jie clarified that it was because he was busy with a case and how he was living at their mother’s previous apartment now. Yu Xiang was mumbling how so those two hadn’t reconciled and all. That was about the time Yang Bo Wen jumped over to Yu Xiang and Tian Cheng’s place to investigate a certain ‘sour’ odor. (YUP, implying that Yu Xiang was jealous.) Yu Xiang quickly said that he needed to go upstairs and rest and fled the scene. Nice getaway indeed.

Back at an undisclosed location, Tian Xing had another meeting with his father. The old man didn’t look too happy. (I wouldn’t either if someone sabotaged my evil plans like that.) Tian Xing confessed that he had already told the others that he was Bi Jing Ye’s son and that he didn’t want to continue on with this ‘trap’ anymore. Okay, Bi Jing Ye sprung his ultimate plan: severing all ties with Tian Xing. Old plan but yeah. Tian Xing was still calm, he even urged his old man to go seek out Chairman Lai for a talk to sort things out.

At Sam Brunch, Yu Xiang and Min Ling were meeting up for a talk. So Min Ling was leaving. She thanked him for looking after her all these years. Yu Xiang asked her where she was going. She told him she was going to the States to study for a while. He wished her luck and told her to take good care of herself. Min Ling then told him that he should take good care of Bi Ting since Bi Ting had let go of her Paris dream because of him so Bi Ting must really love him. He promised. (Really? When was he going to carry through?)

Still, at another location, Tian Xing sought out Mrs. Lai for a talk. He wasn’t trying to pull strings to get back into Yu Jie’s heart. He was out to do damage control and ask for forgiveness. Mrs. Lai was apparently still in shock that Tian Xing was Bi Jing Ye’s son. But she was willing to forgive him since she said he was only fulfilling his filial duties, and that it took a lot of courage for him to step out and say it. Then she asked about Bi Jing Ye, hoping that he would eventually accept it and move on.

Somewhere at a playground. Or more accurately at the playground that Tian Cheng and Yi Ru often took Xiao Die out to play, Yi Ru was walking around calling out for Xiao Die. Xiao Die soon jumped out from somewhere to surprise her mother. But that wasn’t the real surprise since she wanted to take her mother somewhere. Awww…Xiao Die teamed up with her father to give her mother a surprise. Well, Tian Cheng dressed as a clown to surprise Yi Ru and popped the question again. It didn’t matter what her answer was. They were having too much fun goofing off.

Yu Jie finally met up with her mother. It was an interesting conversation really. Because how Yu Jie was saying her father was wrong too yet he still clarified the matters with everyone. So why didn’t her mother forgive her father? Great question really. How was it different? The father sure took his precious time about it. (Okay, I’m not helping but it’s still funny to see how Mrs. Lai dodges out of this one.) Yup, Mrs. Lai was indeed sharp all right since she said the situations were different. Yu Jie was using the whole ‘forgiveness’ thing to bargain with her mother (aka if she forgave Tian Xing, then Mrs. Lai will have to forgive Chairman Lai.) It was funny how Mrs. Lai agreed, but she added a term to it. Yet she stated it was impossible since Chairman Lai would never do it.

At a construction site, Jun Jie spotted Shu Xin. Wow, she sure was taking it easy nowadays, willing to go out in the world and get ‘dirty’, not caring for the ‘perfect’ image anymore. It was indeed cute (if I really have to admit it) that they were joking around so comfortably, unlike in the past. And they were able to share so much with each other as well. Well, more him than her at the moment. But definitely progress. (I actually thought it would be madly rushed if the scriptwriters try to pull these two together at the last moment but it actually worked out quite well, considering how their time apart had made them acquire a different perspective toward many things, including toward each other.)

Back home, Yu Jie descended the stairs, calling out for the others, wondering why they hadn’t come back yet. However, when she switched on the lights, Tian Xing was standing in front of her. (How in the world did he get in? Who was the culprit who let him in?) Anyway, he was reenacting a part of some script to try and win her over again. She was willing to reconsider if he wasn’t going to pull any sort of tricks again.

Next step? Massage parlor. Tian Cheng and Yu Xiang were pretending to be the employees of this one spa to sneak in and find Mrs. Lai. After they were done confirming her location and had brought in water, they left. Chairman Lai was going to carry out the ‘terms’ that she proposed earlier with how if Chairman Lai was willing to wash her feet for her, then she would forgive him. YES, it was an ‘impossible’ one with how he had his own pride and dignity. Mrs. Lai was counting on it. Yet Chairman Lai wasn’t so into ‘saving face’ like some other people. It wasn’t until she could feel the pain (since Chairman Lai wasn’t a pro master after all) that she screamed out and pulled off her eye patch to see Chairman Lai there. She added another term, that he had to do the massage too and then she would reconsider forgiving him. Tian Cheng and Yu Xiang were outside cheering. They took it up another notch to celebrate and Tian Cheng was gloating as Yu Xiang tried to sabotage him. It wasn’t until Tian Cheng pointed out that everything worked out for everyone yet Yu Xiang and Bi Ting was still not making any progress at all that Yu Xiang realized he was in for good. Time to dodge again. Yet he didn’t this time. Not really. He was really considering Tian Cheng’s words.

So sometime later, Bi Ting came home to see Yu Xiang drawing on a wall next to her apartment building. (Wah…he’s so getting it for graffiti.) Just for kicks, what was he drawing anyway? Well, a picture of the Eiffel Tower. Then there was Bi Ting. His answer to her question about what he was doing was he wanted to compensate her ‘dream’ since she’d given it up because of him. She told him not to get too carried away with his imagination. (The not everything is about him talk, lol.) So she walked toward the door but he grabbed her hand and steered her around again. Just when he was leaning in to kiss her and she almost closed her eyes, she opened her eyes again and hit him. What? That was funny indeed since I was thinking of a ‘mushy’ moment or something. But she just thought of something. She forgot something so she had to go get it. He had to chase after her. It was almost like the scene where he was fleeing some gangsters in the past and just plain grabbed her and used her as a shield to get away from them. Yet this time, he was sincere. So he told her that he couldn’t help her fulfill her dream at that point but he promised to work hard for it–if she would give him a chance. Yet she wasn’t touched as easily. She said that she wasn’t the ‘perfect’ girl that he was seeking for. He said it was all right since he wasn’t perfect either. He continued by saying that he was ‘Ji Che Nan’ (機車男) so he was more compatible with ‘Dao Mei Nv’ (倒楣女). She finally laughed. But that was before she beat him up for keep calling her ‘unlucky girl’, lol. (Awww…finally…)

So on that same rooftop that Tian Xing often meet up with Bi Jing Ye, Bi Jing Ye was having another meeting with Gao You Da. Bi Jing Ye was begging Chairman Gao to give him another chance to bring Lai Da Fa down. Chairman Gao said it was too late since Bi Jing Ye was worthless at that point. Then he mentioned about collaborating with Chairman Lai in the future. But that wasn’t all. Chairman Lai and Mrs. Lai showed up at that time. They asked him for his forgiveness. He thought for a bit before saying that he was also wrong. (Possibly because he had nowhere to lean on now so he needed to get out of there quickly?) He said he would transfer his shares to his son, hoping the others would take good care of his son for him. Then he left. Mrs. Lai tried calling after him. Yet Chairman Lai said that it was hard to let go at their age so he told Mrs. Lai to let Bi Jing Ye be for the time being.

Three months later, it seemed like it was back at the beginning again. Well, at least it seemed that way with Yu Xiang driving to work and how he received a call from Tian Cheng with coming to the ceremony. This time, it wasn’t a separation party but a wedding. And Yu Xiang wasn’t driving his fancy sports car but a van. Tian Cheng’s message also consisted of asking Yu Xiang to call Yu Jie since she was quite forgetful. He really wanted her to be there. As for Jun Jie, he was seen in his office working away. Some things hadn’t changed. Yet he seemed more relaxed, using a basketball to entertain himself as he was trying to work out of a cram. It was also when he finally thought of the solution that Tian Cheng called in. He was reminding Jun Jie to come to his wedding. What about Bi Ting? She was home getting ready. Or so it seemed. Soon, she received a call. Yu Xiang or someone else? Yet she said she remembered. So it was probably Yu Xiang calling to remind her about the wedding? Then the scene zoomed to Shu Xin. Jun Jie called her up to remind her as well.

So back to Bi Ting, she was out waiting for a bus when Yu Xiang drove up and stopped by the sidewalk, teasing her about the time and how she was still waiting for a bus. She called him “San Shao Ye” (三少爺) and he returned it with calling her “San Shao Nai” (三少奶). How cute! YET she hit him for calling her “San Shao Nai”. So apparently they were not married yet. OY, I thought they were. But still cute. He was rushing her though, telling her they would be late if they were still there. Then she ordered him to drive as they got in the van. And as interesting as it got, they got into an accident (just like how she witnessed the accident at their first meeting and even chided him). This time, it wasn’t them though because the guy in front of them stopped so he had to brake. Luckily, they weren’t hurt. The same old trick with some old lady trying to pull the pitiful card. Bi Ting soon realized what was going on and how it was so similar to their first encounter. The new victim was as fierce as Yu Xiang was at the beginning yet there was no “Bi Ting” around to argue with that guy. The old lady finally got up and said that it was harder and harder to ‘earn a living’ and how she should find a ‘dumber’ person the next time she pulled that trick. It was also then that Yu Xiang turned to look at Bi Ting while Bi Ting had her mouth wide open. He grabbed at the chance to tease her yet she turned it around with how she was just kind-hearted yet he was the dumb one who fell for the trick. What? NICE…He was so getting it since he asked her where she learned such an ‘attitude’. It was funny how he realized it was like staring into a mirror. And he even questioned what he had done to himself, lol.

Jun Jie’s presentation this time seemed successful and he was leaving. So the scene finally zoomed to the ‘main couple’ of the moment. Xiao Die was seen in the bride’s room all smile. It was indeed better times for them at last. The same old Iron Man trick from Tian Cheng as he stepped in to greet the pair of mother and daughter. Yet they were definitely in higher spirits. It was so cute with how Xiao Die was saying her father was tall but not handsome. Kids’ innocent answers. Those were the best. He told her to stay away from her uncles since they were bad influences. He quickly repeated the mantra with him being ‘handsome and tall’. Soon, Yi Ru chided him for coming in to see the ‘bride’ before the wedding and shooed him out. Yet he said it was their second time getting married so it didn’t count. But she shooed him out anyway, saying it was bad luck. So he had no choice but to bid a temporary goodbye to Xiao Die before exiting.

The scene soon zoomed to Tian Xing. He was waiting for Yu Jie. She told him some good news. But she would have to travel overseas for some filming in the coming days. He faked the upset scene yet soon turned it off, saying that he was an actor after all. He sure got it good. Yet he stopped her attacks and told her they have to go since the ceremony was commencing soon. They were on their way, then she asked if Bi Jing Ye was coming. Tian Xing said probably not since he hadn’t gotten over the other matter yet. And that he had gone on a trip to the mainland for the time being. Tian Xing told Yu Jie it was best to give everyone more time to adjust and accept. So they were finally on their way.

At the ceremony, at last, Yu Xiang and Bi Ting finally arrived. Like usual, Bi Ting went to check on everything and even adjusted some decorations like the beginning. Just a sigh from Yu Xiang and it got Bi Ting on a roll again, lol. Then there they were again, arguing over whose taste was more suitable. OY! Then he moved on to testing her about her knowledge. He turned the whole thing toward himself when she finally answered his question, saying since she first saw him, she already fallen for him. (It was a crafty question though since she was answering and the “I Love You” fitted with the answer and how he eventually took it from there, lol.) She faked nausea. Soon, she told him to go find his brothers to talk or the more they talk, she would reconsider why she chose such a guy. He obliged but before he went, he tossed her an ‘air kiss’, telling her not to miss him too much. OY! Crazy but cute.

Even more interesting with the scene unfolding was how Bi Ting was on the phone with her mother and Jun Jie walked by. He was on his way in (like at their first meeting) and helped her retrieve her phone since she dropped it after trying to put it back into her purse. They congratulated each other on finding their own happiness already. Then the usual catch up with what was up recently.

Back inside, Yu Xiang and Jun Jie finally have their talk. What a time to have the talk, but still they needed even more time to cool off than that one time at the company. They were joking and talking like brothers again. It was indeed so funny how Yu Xiang was grabbing onto Jun Jie and saying how there were no problems between them. The way he took Jun Jie’s hand suggested a different relationship than a brotherly one. LOL! At least that got Jun Jie laughing. Jun Jie then apologized for causing so much ruptures yet Yu Xiang shrugged it off, saying that they were brothers after all. Jun Jie said that he was glad he was a part of the Lai family. Yu Xiang then faked coldness since he realized his ‘2nd bro’ was back already. (Yes, Jun Jie and his mushy talks would cause shivers all-around all right, lol.) Yu Jie soon showed up with Shu Xin (just like the beginning) and chided Jun Jie for abandoning his other half so she had to do the honor of escorting Shu Xin in. They were getting shivers again as Jun Jie and Shu Xin were playing ‘lovey-dovey’, lol. Yu Xiang wanted to go before he couldn’t take it anymore and dragged Yu Jie along. Yet Yu Jie said she was waiting for her Tian Xing to come so she could do a face-off with the other couple. Yu Xiang faked nausea and was about to flee the scene. Yet he said he wasn’t going to lose to them in the ‘lovey-dovey’ department so he turned around and yelled for Bi Ting.

Yu Xiang finally found Bi Ting by the bridge. She was sitting there enjoying the scenery. So indeed it had been a year already since their first meeting. She told Yu Xiang that her feelings during both times weren’t the same. Just some reminiscent moment. There he went teasing her again. She chided him for a lack of maturity this past year. He was still able to smile. Yet he soon launched into a somewhat of an enlightened talk about fate. That got her smiling again. Then they got up to go since it was almost time.

OMG, it was actually four weddings, not one. The other three couples were also getting married. Yet they made it like it was just Tian Cheng and Yi Ru’s wedding. (I had a feeling it might be three more weddings, not one because of some words being said in between, but I wasn’t too sure.) Their parents were late again with attending, just like last year. But they were more happy and willing this year, considering how the event was different. Indeed, Yu Jie jumped out of the line to chide her parents for being late and even-handed the whole ‘host’ job to their uncle. Mrs. Lai was sharp as always and delivered her speech ever so convincingly. Then Chairman Lai delivered a powerful speech in blessing the couples, and also to wish their new beginning a happy one. Then they danced off to the main theme song. Suitable since it was full circle already. Good ending!

True Love 365: Episode 19

*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

(image credit: captured by DTLCT)

The others were as surprised when they heard the news of Mrs. Lai wanting a divorce. Though they either had chided him or was upset over the whole ‘affair’ yet they didn’t want to see the family breaking apart. So, of course, they were surprised by the move executed by Mrs. Lai. Yet Yu Jie told Chairman Lai that she would go seek out Mrs. Lai tomorrow to tell her about the good news of her (Yu Jie) getting married so she (Mrs. Lai) would change her mind. Tian Cheng even chimed in by saying that Mrs. Lai was just messing with him so he didn’t need to worry, considering how it was one of the tactics that Yi Ru had used on him in the past. (Wow, nice example, look where their marriage went, lol.) Indeed Yu Xiang had caught on and pointed out that Tian Cheng and Yi Ru ended up in divorce anyway, causing their father to cry out again. It was then Yang Bo Wen’s turn to reassure Chairman Lai. Yu Xiang finally tried to patch things by telling Chairman Lai to get it together and perform well during the important meeting so Mrs. Lai could be proud of him. It was indeed a good feeling to see that everyone was supporting him at the moment.

As Jun Jie was typing away that night, he stopped for a short break and even looked at their family picture on his phone. However, Bi Jing Ye’s call interrupted his thoughts and soon, the plan was on its way again. Was Jun Jie really going forward with it? When he looked at their family picture, it seemed like he showed some hesitation, but was that enough to stop him? Or was Bi Jing Ye’s words so dead-on that he didn’t want to let this chance pass by with overthrowing Chairman Lai? (It was hard to blame since Bi Jing Ye really done his research well to know where to hit, but still trying to see what would come out of it in the end.)

Back on the Bi Ting front, she found out that Mrs. Lai was leaving. Bi Ting asked her if she going out of the country. Mrs. Lai joked that she was leaving for Paris as not to waste the tickets. Yet she said she wasn’t going to study over there since she wasn’t too into French, etc. Bi Ting begged her not to tease anymore. Mrs. Lai’s smile proved that she was really joking and not trying to get back at Bi Ting for dumping her son. It was interesting how Bi Ting told Mrs. Lai that she and her third son were so alike with their jokes, always nabbing at others. Mrs. Lai was surprised that Bi Ting knew Yu Xiang. Yet Bi Ting told her that Yu Xiang was her supervisor at the old workplace. It was funny how Mrs. Lai was looking at Bi Ting with curious eyes–like she knew when Bi Ting mentioned Yu Xiang that there was something up. It was cute how Mrs. Lai was still able to joke about it since I thought she would go all ballistic on Bi Ting, considering it was normal that the mother would be protective of her sons when it came to outsiders, etc. I have to admit that Mrs. Lai and Yu Xiang were so similar all right. The way they strike at others and how their teasing tactic was. And Bi Ting had no choice but to admit that the other person they’d been discussing the whole time was Yu Xiang. Mrs. Lai was so sharp anyway, it was hard to deny. Mrs. Lai quickly reminded Bi Ting of what she told Bi Ting earlier about letting Bi Ting choose between her handsome, good looking sons yet she didn’t realize it had already come true.

It seemed that Chairman Lai was camping over at Yang Bo Wen’s house that night. Yu Xiang came downstairs and saw him still sitting around, not sleeping. He told Yu Xiang that he was going to let go and sign the divorce papers. Yu Xiang was surprised that he was giving up. Yet he said that it was best he let Mrs. Lai go, allowing her to be happy rather than seeing him and hating him all the time. After some more rants, Chairman Lai decided to go for a walk and told Yu Xiang to go to sleep. Yu Xiang was still worried yet let his old man be.

It was finally the day when Mrs. Lai moved out of the apartment building. Yet she didn’t forget to come over and say goodbye to Bi Ting. She told Bi Ting that it wasn’t their last meeting since Bi Ting would still be around whether Bi Ting would end up choosing Jun Jie or Yu Xiang. But she decided to let Bi Ting off this time, telling Bi Ting that it didn’t matter who Bi Ting choose, Bi Ting must take good care of that person for her. (Nice?) Indeed, Bi Ting nodded, agreeing to her terms. (How cute!)

Interestingly enough, the day of Mrs. Lai’s move was also the day of the important meeting. Yu Xiang and Jun Jie bumped into each other at the lobby, having a showdown. They finally proceeded to the conference room after some initial taunting. It was the time when Chairman Lai would open his eyes because he was quite shocked upon hearing of Bi Jing Ye’s suggestion in choosing a new chairman. Yu Xiang already warned him the dude was up to something, if only he had listened. Bi Jing Ye continued to list all the reasons why Chairman Lai should step down. Chairman Lai still let him finish, telling Yu Xiang not to interrupt. One by one, the others agreed with Bi Jing Ye. Yet Chairman Lai seemed to have known something? Or had he pretended to be dumb all these times? Yup, Yu Xiang was as surprised that his old man had said that Bi Jing Ye was too abrupt with his moves. It showed the old man had known. It would be too much of a joke that he’d been in the field all these years yet didn’t seem knowledgeable or too naive with his moves. Even if he was exposed, Bi Jing Ye still didn’t want to back down. He had worked too hard for it, how could he, right? Man, seriously, Bi Jing Ye was cunning all right. He was indeed a pro. Because he didn’t want to step up himself, but he had pushed Jun Jie forward by putting out his name. It was a great move, because that would cause an even bigger rip between their family. It sure had some effect all right. Even if Jun Jie was equally surprised, it was too late. Yet the more surprising thing was Chairman Lai didn’t disagree with the suggestion. The voting quickly ensued with 3 vs. 2, Chairman Lai being out. Yu Xiang voted for Chairman Lai and Chairman Lai voted for himself. Bi Jing Ye and the others voted for Jun Jie. Jun Jie still had two votes, one from himself and one from his mother. It was all up to him now. What was he going to choose? To proceed with the plan? Another interesting thing unfolded at that moment, because Mrs. Lai walked in to cast her own vote instead of letting Jun Jie do it like previously. Perhaps it was more than a relief for Jun Jie since he wouldn’t have to face the betrayal later? Or perhaps it wouldn’t be as bad? But what had happened that had changed Mrs. Lai’s mind to come to the meeting after all? She chose Chairman Lai. It was 3 vs. 3 now. What next? The vote was down to Jun Jie now. In the end, Jun Jie had chosen his father. Nice turn of events actually because Bi Jing Ye was so counting on his plan to work. Indeed, Jun Jie was looking at his family picture the previous night and was having mixed feelings. He was also torn at the moment to even waited for so long until Mrs. Lai came in. So it made sense he wouldn’t want to ruin all of that. Even if he had chosen not to cause more rip on a personal level, he still chose to leave the company to pursue his own path.

Yu Xiang chased after Jun Jie after realizing what had happened. He managed to catch up to Jun Jie outside, thanking Jun Jie for what he’d done in the conference room. Jun Jie said that he was just doing what he had to, what was there to thank about? Yu Xiang didn’t want to lose the opportunity to explain to Jun Jie, so he went ahead to say that he didn’t try to affect Bi Ting’s decision previously. Yet Jun Jie brushed him off, stating that he had already let go. Moreover, Jun Jie had also gotten over the fact that Yu Xiang had won over him, knowing that Yu Xiang didn’t do it on purpose either. Jun Jie also confessed that he was just a bit saddened by the turn of events, that was it. Yu Xiang was reassured that things were cleared between them. Yu Xiang then asked Jun Jie why he had to quit. Jun Jie replied with how he was in the wrong with not letting their father know of Bi Jing Ye’s intention hence it was the only thing he could do to make up for it.

Back inside the conference room, there were only three people left. Chairman Lai, Mrs. Lai, and Bi Jing Ye. The inevitable confrontation ensued. Bi Jing Ye’s answer to Chairman Lai’s question as to why he had to do it? Um…because of love. He finally let it known that he was hating on Chairman Lai because Mrs. Lai had chosen Chairman Lai ages ago. After all that was said, Mrs. Lai said that she wouldn’t choose Bi Jing Ye regardless of whether Chairman Lai had hurt her or not. It was around then that Chairman Lai got his ‘power’ back and asked if Bi Jing Ye was resigning. Before leaving, Bi Jing Ye vouched that he wasn’t going to be struck down because of this one fall. (Nice?) Yet it was so cute that Mrs. Lai was pulling out her usual tricks again after Bi Jing Ye left. Chairman Lai rushed to thank her, thinking he’d been forgiven yet she clarified that she was doing this for the company, not because of him. So her decision with the divorce was still intact. (Great?) I totally agree with Bi Ting that Yu Xiang took after her. They were so alike with their tactics. Not to mention sharp reaction to matters.

At Sam Brunch, Yu Xiang recounted the events in the conference room earlier to Yu Jie, Tian Cheng, and Yang Bo Wen. His storytelling method was indeed appealing to the audience since they listened attentively. But that didn’t mean they had a lot to contribute after Yu Xiang was done. That didn’t stop Yu Xiang from celebrating though. Their victory was indeed something. Yu Jie soon pulled Yu Xiang aside (literally) to discuss some matters. She wanted Yu Xiang to ask Bi Ting for help with some of the wedding arrangements. (Or was that her attempt to match-make? I meant like since after Jun Jie was already over Bi Ting and how she was more than willing to pull some strings to get Jun Jie and Shu Xin together as well.) Yu Xiang agreed after much consideration, which earned some gratitude gestures from Yu Jie. And on a sadder note, Yi Ru was seen crying at another corner of Sam Brunch. One of her friends finally found where Michael went and even notified those debt collectors. Though Yi Ru was really lucky that she still wasn’t married to Michael yet, she was still saddened by the situation. Yet Tian Cheng cheered her up and told her she still had him…and the rest of the crew at Sam Brunch, and that they would work hard to take care of her, etc.

Back to the drawing board as Bi Jing Ye and Long Tian Xing had another meeting via rooftop. Bi Jing Ye told his son of the bad news but said that now his only hope left was on his son’s shoulders. It was indeed his only chance left to hurt the Lai family. But Long Tian Xing was already torn enough between various parties, how could he carry through? Or would his father work the usual tricks again to convince his son of how devilish Chairman Lai was so the plan would go forth?

Yu Jie finally broke it to her mother that she was getting married soon. Yet Mrs. Lai said that she already knew since Yu Xiang had already told her. Yu Jie quickly scolded Yu Xiang for being a big mouth, but they soon returned to the happy subject of the upcoming wedding. And Yu Jie’s plan didn’t work like how she had expected it for her mother to agree with her to forgive her father. Soon though, she cheered Yu Jie up by saying that they should go eat–and it was her treat.

And it was finally the day when Yu Xiang sought Bi Ting out to ask her for help with overseeing his sister’s wedding. Bi Ting turned him down, stating that she didn’t want to run into Jun Jie at the wedding. Not to mention how she probably couldn’t pull through, telling him to seek out other co-workers from Happiness Began. Yet he begged her to help. Bi Ting was surprised that Yu Xiang was willing to ‘beg’ someone. Yu Xiang said that it was his sister after all so he was willing to do it. She finally agreed to help him after realizing how much he cherished his family and placed them before himself. He was happier.

That night, Yu Xiang and Bi Ting met Yu Jie and Tian Xing at a lounge bar like Yu Xiang had said previously. It was also then that introductions were made and Yu Jie was able to see the ‘Zhang Bi Ting’ that had ruptured their family life at one time or another. This time though, she was more concerned about her wedding arrangements than settling old scores. Yu Xiang soon launched into asking when the wedding was taking place and he teased them if they were trying to meet the deadline Chairman Lai had set for them previously. Yet Yu Jie quickly defended herself that it wasn’t so. Yu Xiang was, of course, kidding. Yu Jie soon brought the attention on Bi Ting with saying that her initial feelings toward Bi Ting weren’t too good (mostly due to her brothers’ brawls) but she really liked Bi Ting’s style hence seeking her out for help with the wedding arrangements. Bi Ting had promised to make the best of it. Then there were awkward stares between Yu Xiang and Bi Ting.

Another happy event was taking place as Tian Cheng and Yang Zi were helping Yang Bo Wen propose to Sammy at Sam Brunch. This one, was more successful than the previous, considering how it was more carefully planned and executed. The funniest thing was Sam had exuded some attitude beforehand at the counter as Sammy was walking in to ask for Tian Cheng. So, of course, she had no idea such a touching proposal was in place.

Back at the company, Chairman Lai was holding a meeting to make some announcements. One of them being that Bi Jing Ye had resigned due to some reasons. Another was regarding his three sons. One of the employees wanted Yu Xiang to return to oversee a certain department. Yu Xiang thanked him for his support yet said he had already decided to break out on his own. Moving on, Chairman Lai also made an announcement that his daughter was getting married–and that his ‘Seeking For Love 365’ plan wasn’t in vain.

On the Jun Jie front, it seemed like Jun Jie and Shu Xin were getting along quite well this time around, unlike their forced interactions in the past. Perhaps the whole thing with Shu Xin letting go and leaving for a while had given them both time to cool down. They had indeed stepped back and looked at the situation from a different perspective. (And Jun Jie’s recent break up had indeed aided the situation majorly.)

The day that Jun Jie was moving, at least it was his company, he seemed down. (Obviously.) Yet he didn’t realize Tian Cheng, Yu Jie, and Yang Bo Wen came to help him, telling him that they would always be there for him since he would always be part of the family. Things were definitely getting back to normal with them. It reminded me of the earlier episodes where they were gathering at Sam Brunch to eat breakfast and talk nonsense. Yet this time around, they had been through so much and was even more understanding toward one another, ready to reunite once again as a family. Yu Jie even told Jun Jie he had to attend her wedding. After they were done moving stuff for Jun Jie, they each bid him the usual temporary goodbye, but told him to come back that night for a celebration–since they were welcoming Tian Xing. Yet Jun Jie turned them down, claiming he couldn’t face their father anymore. Yang Bo Wen soon interfered and invited him to move back since he needed to introduce his daughter to Jun Jie. Jun Jie was more than surprised that Yang Bo Wen had a daughter. They indeed needed to do some major catch up. Before leaving though, Yu Jie told Jun Jie it was Shu Xin who told her to come and help Jun Jie move since Shu Xin wanted them to have a chance to interact and patch things up once again.

Then there was the day when Bi Ting was seen back at her tree. Would she bump into Yu Xiang again? She was talking to her tree and asking for advice again. She confessed that she didn’t want to see Yu Xiang anymore yet she needed the money to forgo her dream of going to Paris. It was funny that Shu Xin spotted her and even smiled at how she was talking to a tree. And funnier that Shu Xin was now taking over as the advice-giver. Since Shu Xin soon approached Bi Ting to have a talk with her. So at somewhere in town, Shu Xin and Bi Ting sat down to do the usual catch up at last. Perhaps it made sense and not so random like I initially thought when I saw the previews that Shu Xin should be the one having the talk with Bi Ting to convince her of the situation. Well, Bi Ting was already cleared of the situation, but she was at a stalemate, not daring to move forward because she feared she would hurt even more people. But Shu Xin would be a suitable candidate to clear things even more for her, because Shu Xin was front and center during the past encounters to understand Bi Ting’s actually feelings at that time, even if she was in the process of sabotaging Bi Ting and Jun Jie. Now? Bi Ting had changed. Or at least her feelings had changed. It also made sense that these two women should finally have some kind of talk to wrap up their past chapter. Because Shu Xin left suddenly like that and didn’t say much, even if she knew she had failed to win Jun Jie’s heart at that time. These two really needed some closure and resolve some past conflicts also. It was strange to see how Bi Ting was encouraging Shu Xin on to be her courageous self and pursue her happiness, but Shu Xin was saying how she had already changed her perspective, knowing that Jun Jie didn’t love her, etc. After some more side talks, Bi Ting left to meet with Yu Jie while Shu Xin said she had other matters to tend to.

Then there was also the time when Chairman Lai finally met up with Gao You Da to discuss some matters. Chairman Lai was willing to do business with the latter if the terms were appropriate. What would Chairman Gao’s decision be? Sink with Bi Jing Ye or try to work out another alternative route for himself?

Wedding pictures and all those fun stuff aside, Bi Ting and Yu Jie finally have the talk with how Yu Jie was still not having good impressions toward Bi Ting because of what happened. Yet Bi Ting clarified that regardless of what happened in the past, she didn’t do it on purpose. And it didn’t matter if Yu Jie like her or not, but she had already done her best with preparing the wedding plans for Yu Jie. Because just like how Bi Ting had said that she really loved that job. Yu Jie actually liked it that Bi Ting was that blunt hence inviting her to Sam Brunch that night for their gathering.

Yi Ru finally found Michael and even bought him some food. Tian Cheng was suspicious of her sudden departure so he followed her hence finding out of their meeting. That Michael dude was indeed despicable, even daring to say that he loved Yi Ru the most, and how she still cared for him hence doing all these for him now. He tried to convince her to help him start over again, but he received a slap instead. That also riled him up, so he proceeded to Plan B, wanting to use Yi Ru as the bargaining chip to extort some money from her father. It was then that Tian Cheng jumped out to kick Michael’s knife away and managed to savor the whole situation. It seemed like ‘the hero saving the beauty’ scene wasn’t so old after all if done right.

Yu Xiang’s new plan–or more like his old plan but new partners–was really coming along with their meeting. Yu Xiang indeed was showing more and more signs of maturity as his partners complimented him for his sincerity, but they weren’t too used to it yet. After they left, Min Ling said that their company was a tad too small and that he should seek Bi Ting out. Yu Xiang said that he also had to think for Jun Jie so it was best that they revisited the plan in the next life. (LOL) Min Ling said Yu Xiang and Bi Ting were so similar, saying those similar words. She pointed out that they both were very kind-hearted people yet were carrying too heavy a burden. She said that they should cherish the people in front of them. Yu Xiang agreed that he should cherish the person in front of him, but he said Jun Jie was hurt so deeply and he had to take partial responsibility for it. Min Ling trapped him at last by saying that he finally admitted to liking Bi Ting. He tried to dodge yet Min Ling forced him to admit it at last. Yes, he nodded. (That was so cute.)

Back at Sam Brunch, Tian Cheng guided Yi Ru toward a seat and even went to get some water for her. She then apologized to him for not believing him previously when he said Michael was a bad guy. He didn’t mind at all. Everything was already sorted out, right? It didn’t matter anymore.

Jun Jie and Shu Xin were having dinner together like once upon a time. Yet this time it wasn’t forced or anything. Perhaps (like I mentioned before), their time apart had allowed them to appreciate these moments more. Being too persistent or too into it might have the opposite effect and giving each other pressures. Yet now, it seemed like they were more fitting than ever. Indeed, Jun Jie admitted that Shu Xin had changed a lot these past few months. It was probably more comfortable to talk to her, without the whole ‘perfect’ personality that he had to face previously.

Yu Xiang came to Sam Brunch to find no one around. It was indeed strange. Yet he soon found Tian Cheng and Yi Ru chatting in one of the rooms. Yang Bo Wen walked in with Sammy and Yang Zi around then as well. They were introduced. Next to arrive were Yu Jie and Tian Xing. Yu Jie said that she also invited Bi Ting over, hoping that the others didn’t mind. She soon called out to Bi Ting–to which Bi Ting entered and Yu Xiang was in full nervousness around then. Though he wouldn’t outright admit it to them–or anyone for that matter. Tian Cheng, of course, said he didn’t mind since they were one big family after all. Even if they weren’t family, they were friends, etc. Tian Xing soon confessed that it was his first time attending such a large family gathering event. Bi Ting also felt the warmness of their group. Soon, Tian Cheng clinked his glass to call for attention, announcing his welcoming message to their new friends. Bi Ting was more than touched of the gesture. She was more than touched that she was finally allowed into their circle. They even welcomed Chairman Lai! (It was so cute.) The next item on the ‘To-Do’ list? Of course, like Tian Cheng said, Chairman Lai had to pursue their mother back again so they could be a complete family. The pressure was definitely on their old man. (Jia you!) It was indeed “Hong Men Yan (鴻門宴)” for him, lol. Yet he wasn’t afraid of it anymore. He swore in front of them to carry through.

Out somewhere, Jun Jie and Shu Xin were taking a stroll after dinner. That was until fate intervened. Yup, somehow, she carelessly tripped and he came to the rescue. The typical formula to bring them together. But it was all right, I guess. Yet Shu Xin broke off the stare and made her move. In a way, it was up to Jun Jie to pursue her now, not making her do all the work like previously.

Back at Sam Brunch, they were leaving in Taxis, taking cautions since everyone had drunk some. It was indeed a joyous night after so much had happened so it was excusable that they were a tad off. Chairman Lai was especially unusually happy, blurting out random stuff. Yet Yu Jie insisted on sending him home. She reminded Tian Xing of the meeting with her mother the next day before saying goodbye to her brother and Bi Ting. After saying goodbye to Tian Xing as well, it was just Yu Xiang and Bi Ting again. (Aww…their awkward smiles. Cute…) He offered to walk her home–to which she agreed since it was good to take a walk after they just ate. She walked off first as he smiled and followed.