Light the Night

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING REVIEW WILL COVER TOPICS THAT MIGHT BE TRIGGERING, SO PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION. TOPICS OF DISCUSSION INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: GANG-RELATED VIOLENCE, RAPE, SUICIDE, ETC. (It is in no way as graphic as Hollywood productions, but it highlighted the very real issues that occur in real life.)

I started this a while back and finished it already. Yet took my precious time like always to review this. It mostly had to do with the fact that I wanted to step away to analyze it fully before diving in. It was really emotionally draining in some sense, but also quite impressive in other ways. The reason why I didn’t start until all parts were released was because I didn’t want to be left hanging. The second reason? I usually try to stay away from highly popular shows because they often lead to disappointment. I was glad I was proven wrong this time. (If you’re interested, check out my thread on Twitter. Obviously, some opinions have changed. However, those were some thoughts I had when I was watching.)

First off, I initially thought that this was produced by Netflix from the get-go, but I was wrong. When I went on my usual information hunting journey, I found out that they started it to be broadcasted by TVBS. Netflix only jumped in after seeing how high quality the overall production was. It was indeed impressive from the cast, the setting, and the costumes. Then I saw Ruby’s name on the producers’ list, so it made sense. Her productions are usually of high quality and she tries to aim for the best. The collaboration this time was equally successful.

Main Cast:

  • Ruby Lin (林心如) as Luo Yu Nong (羅雨儂) / Rose (蘿絲). The manager of Hikari, also Sue’s best friend. Rose was considered a wild child by traditional standards and she continued to walk her path as she traveled on her journey of life. She wasn’t perfect and never claimed to be so. She did what she thought was right and go from there. Since young, she was impulsive and obnoxious. In some ways, she was very optimistic about life—regardless of how she always got punished for her behaviors—and wanted to live to the fullest. That also included diving all in in the name of love. That continued to be one of her fatal flaws later on. However, it had evolved to a different level. After experiencing different turbulences, she became jaded, no longer naive about certain things. She learned some major lessons from the harsh reality. However, the most consistent thing about her was she was never a pushover. She stood up for herself and for others. It was a flame in her that refused to extinguish completely, regardless of how much it had gotten her into trouble. What others thought of her was a different story, and that was something she couldn’t control. And perhaps it was because of her headstrong nature and her unrelenting spirit that made others suspect her or misunderstand her. It had been a while now since I last watched Ruby in a series. I meant, I knew she had projects and followed her. I also placed the past dramas on the list, but it wasn’t really my priority to watch them. Then I got busy, so yeah, just didn’t feel like back-watch those. Anyway, this role of Ruby was different from her typical goody-two-shoes from previous mainland dramas. So, I liked it. She was a gray area character, and that was what made me stuck with her throughout. At times, she seemed too softhearted, letting so many people get away with things, but she was so resilient. She just kept on moving along, taking everything life was tossing at her. I thought this was one of the challenging roles for Ruby. It might seem normal for some people, but she had been taking similar roles when she was still in China. So, it was about time she worked with a different one. Some of the past roles, even if she had seemed cruel, the writers seemed to justify her actions too much, and it had the opposite effect on me. This one? They just told the stories and let the viewers decide.
  • Yo Yang (楊祐寧) as Pan Wen Cheng (潘文成) / Cheng Ge (成哥). Team Leader of the Homicide Department. Wen Cheng was an unknown for the longest time. Considering the time and environment he was in, there were tricks he had to pull to deal with a certain group. However, for the most part, he seemed serious about his work, with a dash of the humorous side. He was one of the best, hence being able to make it to the other side. Despite his having to deal with everyday danger because of his job, I felt he was a safer character to support than the majority of the male characters in here. It was mostly because there was no never-ending soap revolving around him, unlike others. He was a straightforward person and spoke his mind when it came to things. (Of course, I excluded situations where he had to conceal information because of cases, since that was different.) The writers teased a possible controversial relationship between him and Rose. After the corruption case that involved several police and/or law enforcement officers being arrested, it seemed there was a change of pace, a burden lifting from his shoulder. He even asked Rose out on a date (as he had jokingly said—or was he serious?). They (the production team) even did some flashback sequences of their past interactions, trying to tie their relationship up and showing how far they had come since the beginning of the series. However, in the end, it was just a teaser because he soon went on his way again and it was done away. I didn’t mind that he had to resort to some tactics to deal with the suspects at times because the corruption case was really big and involved a lot of major players. However, I found it hypocritical that he criticized Rose for wanting to cover for Hana later on. Rose was right to call him out on it. It was like, who was he to judge her? He accepted the bribe and joined forces with the corrupted officials. (Yes, it was a halfway compromise to solve the current situation and buy him some time to dig deeper, but some people do not know that, so on the surface, he was a sellout.) This was my first time watching him—although I know who he is. He did very well and was not disappointing at all, for me.
  • Cheryl Yang (楊謹華) as Su Qing Yi (蘇慶儀) / Sue (蘇). The owner of Hikari, also Rose’s best friend. On the surface, Sue was the perfect person, a supporting friend, a gentle and kind soul who would only know how to smile and say nice words to everyone. However, behind that masquerade, there was a lot to be explored. It wasn’t just because of the love triangles either that made things messy. Because if anyone wanted to be technical, Jiang Han did break up with Rose first before pursuing Sue. Yet, her perfect image was the complete opposite when the story unfolded even more. Not talking about how she had to smile and interact with her customers during working hours here, because, duh, she was a hostess, so she had to play the role—just like everyone else. What I meant was her never-ending deception, even among her so-called friends. Or perhaps, she never treated them like friends in the first place, but always someone she could use as a convenience for her circumstances. After the truth about her past came out (having been raped by her stepfather and then coping with the aftermath and much more), I sympathized with her and understood her insecurities and how guarded she was toward others in general. However, I didn’t like it when she targeted other victims too. I’m not saying it was her job to fight for all victims or put the weight on her shoulders to right all wrongs or something. She had suffered enough. She deserved a future of happiness and much more. However, the least she could have done was not becoming those who had harmed her in the past as well. Sure, that was a realistic pattern with how victims becoming the perpetrators, but I just didn’t like it. Her past had haunted her, so she was cautious around others, so be cautious. Yet she had to say those words to Hana after Hana was raped. (Like Hana said during that conversation with Sue, she felt assaulted all over again after hearing Sue say those words to her). In some ways, Sue had become exactly like her mom (ironically), not caring for anyone but herself. That was just one example among all of those others. Yet, I can’t sympathize with her completely. Perhaps, she was such a master manipulator that still managed to keep her reputation intact—regardless of what she had done. Acting? Cheryl was awesome. I never doubted her. She was one of the reasons I started watching too—aside from seeing Ruby and Esther on the cast list initially. I liked Cheryl since watching Angel Lover, and that had been years ago, lol. Even if I don’t actively follow every single drama of hers but watching her advance forward to the next stage was fascinating over the years. This was another challenge for her and she nailed it.
  • Rhydian Vaughan (鳳小岳) as Jiang Han (江瀚). A screenwriter for the local TV station and then was let go. Rose’s lover, later ex-lover. Sue’s secret lover, then later ex-lover. Basically, an all-around player yet was redeemed later just because. He was charming indeed, so it was easy to carry on with his womanizing ways. I understood the angle of the story, but I found him pretentious in a lot of ways. Not picking on the plot, since it did make sense why people loved him. However, I was actually in the minority who found him hard to like. It might have to do with the beginning where he was trying to write and putting on classical music at the same time. It attempted to show he had class and all but made him unrelatable to me. Like it was super cliche to expect writers to draw inspiration from classics or enjoy some glass of fancy wine or whatever else. When the orphanage story arc came into play, I knew redemption was around the corner for him. It explained a lot about his insecurities and how he didn’t think he deserved a normal life, thus always moving on to the next target. It made sense, but I still didn’t like that the writers were drawing us in by sympathizing with him in that way. (Hey, I gave Sue hell too, so don’t expect me to hold back for Pretty Boy over here.) What was more, I thought it was just giving him a great excuse for behaving the way that he did and giving him a license to hurt those people because of his insecurities. But what I didn’t expect was for him to die. It was a shocker. Perhaps, that was why they wanted to redeem him? So, his death would be tragic as it was? Like one more step and he was back together with Sue kind of thing? Because yes, I was expecting him to reunite with Sue as well. The writers had us good all right. Once again, I didn’t expect the characters to be perfect because everyone in here had gone through messy situations throughout. That was life. But I just didn’t like his type of character. The actor? This was actually my first time watching him, although I knew who he is. He did his part all right.
  • Derek Chang (張軒睿) as He Yu En (何予恩). A college student who liked Sue and dated her for a while and then got dumped. I initially felt bad for him but eventually just got really annoyed with him. Then was super annoyed with him. He sure played the victim nicely because, on the surface, it looked like he was used and tossed aside after Sue was done with her game YET it wasn’t so. It wasn’t exactly so. Even if Sue was manipulating the situation and testing him with some scenario, it showed that he wasn’t ready for the responsibility, yet acted all pitiful afterward. It was all right that he wasn’t ready. He was probably too impulsive. It was his first time falling in love, after all. However, what took it to another level was how he fled the scene and then later acted like Sue was the heartless one. When he regretted it and wanted another chance and she said no, he continued to pester her and disrupted her life even more. So, I found him unforgivable regardless of his intention or whatever else later. At least, he got a second chance to move on and start over later as he learned and grew throughout, unlike some other characters. Derek? I never really watched his shows before, lol. Even if I made it a point to put it on my list. I do like his real-life personality or at least, the one we could see during promos. But I found him genuine and likable. As for his acting in here, I found him convincing for the role and contributed his part.
  • Esther Liu (劉品言) as Li Shu Hua (李淑華) / Hana (花子). Rose’s prison mate and then later friend. Hana seriously had a very tragic life. Well, most in here did. Yet hers seemed to never end. It was like life was telling her that she made one mistake when she was young and naïve and would always live with the consequences regardless of how she already paid for that past (through imprisonment) or having learned a valuable lesson. It made sense how things had turned out later, but it wasn’t any less frustrating to see her going through so much. She was pimped out by her so-called boyfriend and ended up assaulting him when she found out the truth (of his intention). After she served out her sentence, Rose helped her get back on her feet by offering her a job at Hikari—to much of Sue’s objection. That also fueled Sue’s dislike for Hana even more. So, when Hana was abducted and raped, it was high time Sue went out of her way to get rid of Hana for good. Too bad Sue’s plan didn’t work since Rose went to Hana’s hometown to search for her and brought her back. (Sometimes, it made me wonder if Rose hadn’t brought Hana back, would the other events occur? Or eventually, it would anyway, because of how Sue had racked up too many enemies along the way?) Regardless of those what-ifs, I thought Esther had gone a long way since her awkward performance in Westside Story. Her complex character helped, but if she wasn’t able to deliver, it wouldn’t have worked out. Her portrayal allowed Hana’s many sides to come out, like her carefree side, her deeply wounded side, etc. Interestingly and somewhat irrelevant, but after all these years, I finally realized that Esther is left-handed, lol. I couldn’t believe how blind I was before, lol.
  • Cherry Hsieh (謝瓊煖) as Ji Man Ru (季滿如) / Ah Ji (阿季). Used to work at the same club as Sue, then later became a hostess under Sue (because the previous owner transferred the ownership to Sue). Then eventually inherited a portion of Hikari as co-owner. I hated her from the start. Yes, I used “hate” and not just the typical annoyance. Regardless of how she claimed Sue had stolen her man or whatever else, I felt her tactics were really low and despicable. Well, some of the details didn’t come out until later. But I didn’t like how she was taunting others one after another. I knew she had a sharp tongue at times and didn’t expect her to be perfect. But it was just too much. So, the redeeming arch for her was interesting and was enough to wrap up the show. Seeing from her point of view at times helped. What I found interesting was how she was showing attitude to the majority in here yet there was a sense of tolerance toward Hana at various points. Yes, she chided Hana too but there was a subtle difference in her attitude. Like that one time Hana stole her food while they were chatting and eating at this one stall. There was a trace of concern or gentle chiding, not the typical sharp words she used toward others. (Of course, like the other hostesses, she had to show her smiles and all during working hours, but I meant off work.) I guess in some ways, she was a more predictable and less scary enemy than some others? Yes, she did pull the despicable moves, but she did reveal who she was behind the scenes with the rest of them, unlike the facade some were still operating on.
  • Nikki Hsieh (謝欣穎) as Huang Bai He (黃百合) / Yuri (百合). A hostess at Hikari. She seemed uninterested in the rest of the hostesses at the beginning. It wasn’t that she didn’t care for them. But it was like she just wanted to do the deed and be done for the day (or night). It was later revealed, her sole focus was on her relationship with her boyfriend, Henry. Interestingly, they were in the same business. However, that was only a part of the puzzle. They actually met when their parents set them up on a blind date. Both showed their disinterest but went anyway. Yet Yuri was later won over by Henry’s charm and his personality in general. What she didn’t realize was his ulterior motive. It was blurry whether he truly cared for her or was just toying with her. But he was indeed good with his con, luring her in completely. It wasn’t until she caught him with his lover that she finally took action against stopping him. In regard to her, I could only compliment Nikki’s performance, not the character itself. It wasn’t because it was unrelatable but I felt she only took action to stop Henry because of the betrayal toward her, NOT because she cared about anyone being harmed by the drugs being spread around. (She did tell him to stop before she found out how involved he was and was just using her YET she only wanted him to stop because she feared for his safety and not mankind in general.) It was like her personality seemed to project from the start. She just didn’t care about other people’s problems, but wanted to focus on herself. There was nothing wrong with minding her own business and focusing on living her life. But I think it would be giving her too much credit by saying she stopped a certain someone. Although I understood where she came from, I just didn’t agree with her. Especially how she said Rose loved herself more hence letting go of Jiang Han. That was general observation because Rose did struggle and sink very deep before finally pulling herself back up. How could Yuri say it so lightly like that? Or perhaps it was because she just didn’t understand because she wasn’t around. Regardless, I didn’t like the air that she was projecting, like she was somehow superior in her choice and her dedication to love. What about Hana who had given up everything and lost herself in her past relationship? Loving yourself is not wrong. Why make it like one must dedicate one’s life toward one person to be considered worthy of love?
  • Puff Kuo (郭雪芙) as Wang Ai Lian (王愛蓮) / Aiko (愛子). A hostess at Hikari. She was revealed to be a college student, specifically Yu En’s classmate. A side story revealed that she actually was a delivery girl who stumbled into the club one day when she was waiting to get some papers signed. A client of the club thought she was a hostess, but she clarified that she was just making a delivery. However, that client continued with his antics, not letting off. He said if she drink this glass of wine, he would reward her. She asked to confirm before emptying the glass. That was when Rose and Sue recruited her. They recognized her charm (and alcohol tolerance level, lol) and persuaded her to use that opportunity to earn some money for college. She agreed shortly after a private conversation in the back room. That was how she ended up being one of the hostesses. At first, I didn’t like her at all, because I felt her bitterness annoying. It was all right that she didn’t like Sue for whatever reason. However, I felt it had a lot to do with Yu En and I was sick and tired of the cat fight formula. It wasn’t worth it anyway. However, it was later revealed that her family issues had a lot to do with her attitude. One of the reasons she accepted Rose and Sue’s offer was a subtle way to rebel as well. She found their (her parents’) hypocritical nature sickening. That also transformed into her hatred towards Sue. She indeed had her own hand in causing a lot of complications with various characters. However, she somehow overcame her past demons and had a fresh start. That could be called a happy ending on her end. This was my very first time watching Puff, although I knew who she is. It was just that I wasn’t that interested in her past dramas. I was glad to see her part of the cast in here and finally able to see her performance.

Co-starring:

  • Cammy Chiang (江宜蓉) as Lin Ya Wen (林雅文) / Yaya (雅雅). The accountant of Hikari and later become a hostess as well. Mixed feelings at times. I felt she was just there, not contributing to the plot one way or another. Sure, she was the accountant and was important in her own way. But it was more like they needed an additional person, that was all. She seemed to have a good relationship with Sue—or at least, admired Sue for who she was, so she also thought Rose killed Sue, hence the hostility at one point. I understood her suspicions but felt like she had also fallen for those on the surface/ at face value thing rather dig deeper. No one could blame her, most others in here also had their suspicions but seriously. Or that was just to create more tension with the way things were. She did apologize later though, so at least she was aware of the effect she had on others.
  • Hu Wei Jie (胡瑋杰) as Ding Jia Hao (丁家豪) / Xiao Hao (小豪). A waiter of Hikari. He appeared often but didn’t have his own side story. He was just there at times to help others and back them up as necessary, considering what kind of business they were running and if they could run into trouble. He was an additional character and had his humorous side too, possibly to cope. But he never took sides one way or another. Or at least, he seemed neutral and was doing his job for the most part. He did mingle with them at times but didn’t participate in those disagreements. At one point, I actually suspected he was the killer. Yes, because the character you usually do not pay attention to or seemed to blend into the background were usually revealed as the actual culprit later. Also, it was said the person who was able to carry the body through a part of the wood must be a man. So yeah. I thought at least, he was part of the team.
  • Nash Zhang (章廣辰) as Li Jian Da (李健達) / Ah Da (阿達). I thought he was just a funny sidekick. I was so wrong. That was sure a good twist to the show. As if it wasn’t already wrapped in layers and layers of secrets with the other major characters, they had to spin a new one with his character. It was ironically tragic that he initially started out with great ambition and all, wanting to be a good cop. He was timid at first, but learned to adapt later. Considering how having a dream was one thing and going through the actual routines of being a cop was different. Yet, he just went from one extreme to the other. His being in cahoot with the rest of the corrupted officials could be because he was too afraid, not wanting to be eliminated by them hence staying quiet. But the whole killing of Jiang Han? Wow, that took some major nerve. Because that was so scary. How could he just do it like that? Like it was nothing? So, yes, he was convincing in his act all right. Even Wen Cheng didn’t want to believe it. How could he? Not because he looked down on Ah Da. But it was because he knew Ah Da and his dream, wanting to be the best cop, etc.
  • Dora Hsieh (謝雨芝) as Yan Qiao Ru (顏巧如) / Mei Mei (妹妹). A police officer. She was actually one of the cops that believed in her duty and tried to keep by the codes. However, she still had a lot to learn, even after helping to uncover one of the biggest corruption cases. She obviously had great analytical skills and good instincts for her job. If there was a sequel or spin-off focusing on the police side, she could be a major character. Not saying I want the creators of the show to stretch the theme too much. But that was a possibility.
  • Jim Liu (劉敬) as Wu Zi Wei (吳子維). Rose’s adopted son, Sue’s son. He was seen as the good son who worked hard in school and helped his mom do chores when he had time. Perhaps, it was because of the conflict between his parents that forced him to mature earlier than the typical students in his age bracket. At times, he showed frustration toward their conflict, which was understandable. Being stuck between parents was the worst. He tried to maintain a balance between bonds with both parents. Later, he learned that the parents who raised him since little wasn’t really his parents, and his godmother was his actual mother. It was a tragedy. At least, they had a good relationship before his mother passed away. However, he was forced to go with his biological father (who didn’t even deserve the title). He promised to return later to Rose’s side when he was of legal age and could make his own decisions. I sure hope he wouldn’t turn out like his so-called father. Even if in a few years, anything could happen. Most lied to him regarding the real version of what happened between his parents to protect him. It mostly had to do with the fact that they didn’t want the trial to drag out and many details coming out, causing even more complications. It was also because of how much it had affected him after Rose was accused of murder. This one was even more serious. How could he bear it when it wasn’t his fault at all? Not to mention, it seemed super ironic how things turned out that led to the final result. Because Rose went on TV to talk about her past prison term and clarified some stuff, hence tanking her husband’s company, which led to him selling off Zi Wei to the monster. Aside from all that frustration, I thought he did a good job at various points to portray his struggles.

Guest-starring:

  • Wallace Huo (霍建華) as Ma Tian Hua (馬天華) / Hinoki (檜木). A gangster, Sue’s sworn brother. He appeared around the end of the second part. Sue went to prison to visit him and manipulate him to target Rose after he was released. Her plan was halfway successful until Wen Cheng convinced him to stand down and promise to investigate the matter thoroughly. What about Wallace? No complaints about his performance, obviously. However, as a major fan, I greedily wanted more scenes of him. In the grand scheme of things, it was about enough. But like I said, as his fan, I wanted more. Like maybe just a little more about how he crossed paths with Sue and how he trusted Sue so much. Yes, I got the dialogue version but needed a little more detail. Because it was so unbelievable that he risked so much for Sue. Not to mention how it was strange seeing Sue having some connection with him. I know, I know, she was the master manipulator and had a lot of connections. Yet, a little more background story would help.
  • Joe Cheng (鄭元暢) as Wu Shao Qiang (吳少強). Rose’s husband, later ex-husband. He was the definition of people who changed. I meant everyone changes as they go through life, but his change puzzled me the most. I guessed the toll of it all got to him. However, it was indeed heartbreaking to see how much he changed. He not only fled the scene during the most crucial moment but also left Rose to take the fall for him (i.e. going to prison). Then he dared to play victim after so many years, saying how she was the difficult one. What in the world? But whatever helped him sleep at night, I guess. They tried to redeem him or at least made us reconsider him by seeing how well he treated his son. Yet, who was he kidding? Handing the poor kid to the wolf just like that? Maybe it was more realistic that he wasn’t so linear or one-note with his character and how complicated some situations were. Yet I still didn’t care for him. Hey, at least, he got his business back. He would be fine. Maybe then he could buy an in-house, submissive wife who would cooperate better with his grand schemes than oh say, Rose. Well, Rose loved him and trusted him so much, hence even ending up taking the fall for him in the first place. Yet she woke up after that betrayal, so that was what he was upset over, not having a typical lamb to listen to all his lies anymore. Hey, she never said she was goody-two-shoes. Why was he bitter? Joe? Okay, he goes by Joseph now, but I still haven’t changed my tags yet. But I haven’t seen anything of his since You Light Up My Star and that seemed a long time ago, lol. He’s doing pretty well with various projects and was just a guest in here. His acting was convincing. But, obviously, I can’t like his character. If he had just outright admitted he was a terrible person, I would have forgiven him, or at least cut him some slacks. Yet he continued to justify his behaviors and paved Rose out to be a terrible person. (Congrats, somehow, he made Jiang Han seem more likable. Because at least Jiang Han admitted who he was at various points.)
  • Jacob Wang (王柏傑) as Hong Li Heng (洪立亨) / Henry (亨利). A host at Ciao Club. Yuri’s boyfriend. He was smooth-talking all right, being able to con anyone he wanted to. I wasn’t sure if he was a natural conversationist/charmer or if that had come with experience. What was his true personality in all of that? Did he really trust Henry or was he also conning him? It was hard to tell and I thought that was a good bit to leave it open-ended. That scene where Yuri went to prison to visit Hao Zi, it seemed like they had their official stare down and all. It was funny how they were fighting over whom actually cared for. Well, he (Hao Zi) didn’t really say it, but if looks could killed. Yuri actually said that Henry cared for her because he had given her his house key. Was that the answer? Or was that just part of the long con? Like I said, it was hard to tell with him. And it was funny how the writers tried to humanize Henry but he wasn’t any better than Hana’s ex-boyfriend who pimped her out. Even if Henry didn’t pimp anyone out, he used his good looks and charms to lure in girls to transport and/or hide drugs for him. So, how was he any better? He was just using them. Even if he had a change of heart with Yuri, he won’t get the glowing reputation in my book.
  • Xiu Jie Kai (修杰楷) as Ge Zhi Hao (葛志浩) / Hao Zi (浩子). A prosecutor. It was later revealed that he was also Henry’s lover. That was the sole reason why Henry trusted him so much and never thought that he would betray him (Henry). I haven’t watched him for ages now. I still follow him on social media, lol. It’s just that I haven’t gotten back into watching some of the recent shows and sort of not wanting to back-watch some stuff. Yet his acting was still solid. He was creepy all right, but also showed a different side when he was with Henry. I totally saw it when they drove to the seaside together and how Henry had placed a soda can on his cheek. It was a subtle, intimate gesture that tipped us off early on. Because if they were merely collaborating on the business front, would he have accepted the gesture just like that? He also showed obvious jealousy toward Yuri when Henry brought it up (aka admitting that Yuri was kinda cute).
  • Li Li Ren (李李仁) as Xu Guo Biao (徐國彪) / Biao Ge (彪哥). A local bully, Hana’s past customer. Later bumped into Hana at Hikari and was kicked out for causing trouble. He gathered his minions to kidnap Hana and raped her. He was later caught and put in prison for his crime. This was probably Li Li Ren’s lowest role. So, he wasn’t winning any points from anyone. Maybe possibly acting-wise, though. Because yes, he was really hateful and convincing with the character.
  • Kagami Tomohisa (加賀美智久) as Nakamura Masao (中村正男). A Japanese customer of Hikari. He liked Sue and wanted to marry her, bringing her back to Japan with him.
  • Qu Zhong Heng (屈中恆) as Sun Ming Zhang (孫明章). Wen Cheng’s superior. At first, I thought he was a character created to keep the comedy alive while the rest of the plot leaned toward the much darker side. Yet, I was wrong. I was glad too because it was really a shocker. He was much more involved with the overall plot than one could predict. He held the key to a crucial part of the plot, after all.
  • Ah Ken as Lin Yu Feng (林裕峰) / Feng Ge (峰哥). A producer, Jiang Han’s superior.
  • Lorene Jen (任容萱) as Xiao Wan Ru (蕭婉柔). A famous actress, the main actress of a TV show that Jiang Han was writing for. She and Jiang Han had a brief affair and were found out. Luckily for her, she wasn’t punished severely for it. She only had to stay away from Jiang Han and listen. Yet was that something she wanted? I guess that sort of came with the price of wanting fame and having a relationship with the producer. This was actually my first time watching Lorene, although, I follow her and meant to watch some of her other works. Maybe I would go back to it now, lol.
  • Chris Wu (吳慷仁) as Liao Bao Long (劉寶龍) / Bao Bao (寶寶). The owner of Sugar Club, a rival of Hikari Club. I couldn’t believe the day that I see Chris in such a role. NO, not judging based on the environment he was in (running a club) because every character in here had their own complex background. However, usually, he would portray some prince in shining armor (regardless of background) or at least some notable role. This was considered out of the box type of role for me when watching him perform in here. Because he took it to the next level and was quite convincing in his performance and brought a different mood to the show as an overall. Was his character cunning and despicable at one point? Yes. It didn’t top some of the other scumbags and could be redeemed (because he was persuaded by the money). All in all, another successful performance.
  • Jean Wang (王靜瑩) as Su Mei Yu (蘇美玉). Sue’s mother. Probably the worst mother of the century. I blamed her for everything. Seducing someone else’s husband wasn’t bad enough. (People somehow usually excuse cheaters and homewreckers in movies/ TV shows, so I won’t dwell on that here.) Yet, somehow, she managed to top it off by accusing her daughter of “seducing her man.” By “seducing”, she meant “laying in bed and staying silent while the monster raped her daughter” because if she had said anything, he would leave her. Spoilers alert, he left her anyway. Also, she kicked her daughter out to fend for herself and then had the audacity later to come asking for money and much more (because she was the mother and deserved all that her daughter worked hard for after going through hell and back). I don’t know why I was surprised anyway since she allowed the other thing to happen, so what else wouldn’t she do? If anyone wanted to defend her for saying she was scared, he might harm her and her daughter even more (aka killing them both). At least they tried, okay? And I wasn’t convinced she was scared for hers and her daughter’s life per se, she just kept quiet so he wouldn’t leave her (like said above). The story was drawn straight from real-life situations, all right. Yet it was equally frustrating and maddening. It was even more frustrating that nothing happened to her later, and she got to reap from helping the rapist snatch the kid away from Rose. But was that supposed to be more realistic with life stuff? Because it was beyond infuriating. (What was more, I started watching this after a certain real-life situation similar unfolded, so imagine the level of livid I was feeling when that scene rolled around. Not going to go into specifics, but it had to do with the theme of having your child snatched away from you by your rapist because he was so powerful and wealthy. In the story’s case, Rose had to deal with it, but if it was Sue, then the situation would be the exact same thing. I knew it was a major coincidence since the location and the time of the TV show and all, but it sure hit me hard in the face with the theme being addressed. Yeah, the writers couldn’t predict the future, but stuff like that happened a lot in the past, so they just drew from real-life situations.)
  • Yi Zheng (伊正) as Zhu Wen Xiong (朱文雄). Su Mei Yu’s lover, Sue’s stepfather. Scumbag all around and proved to be so throughout. I was just glad they didn’t skirt around the issue and redeem him. They hid his true animal nature from his son just to spare the kid from further trauma. Yet it was so infuriating. Like the writers had to include an extra layer of madness with tragedy. Yi Zheng probably ended up in the group that was most hated after the series, lol. I swear, no way was he going to get out of this one looking good—regardless.

Others:

  • Greg Hsu (許光漢) as Yu En’s classmate.
  • Shen Meng Sheng (沈孟生) as Luo Chen Sheng (羅春生). Rose’s father.
  • Moon Wang (王月) as Luo Xie Xue Ling (羅謝雪齡). Rose’s mother.
  • James Wen (温昇豪) as Luo Li Nong (羅立農). Rose’s older brother.
  • June Tsai (六月) as Luo Yi Nong (羅伊儂). Rose’s older sister.
  • Ma Nian Xian (馬念先) as Cai Huo Wang (蔡火旺). The owner of an izakaya.
  • Heaven Hai (海裕芬) as Ke Xiu Zhi (柯秀枝). The owner of a barbershop.
  • Hans Chung (鍾承翰) as Zheng Kai Wen (鄭凱文) / Kevin. The manager of Ciao.
  • Chen Bo Zheng (陳博正) as Hana’s father. A somewhat cute old parent vibe role for him. I felt he was the only one who represented unconditioned love in here. He was proud of Hana. It was obvious with his attitude and words whenever she came home or talked about her to Rose that one time. Sure, Hana did hide some stuff from him, but he never expected her to bring home tons of money for him or drew out all these outrageous conditions, unlike other parents. He was just glad she found success in her work (wine expert—as he was told) and was living her life comfortably in such a competitive city.
  • Fan Rui Jun (范瑞君) as Aiko’s mother. A college professor.
  • JC Lin (林哲熹) as one of the students that found the victim’s body.
  • Edison Song (宋柏緯) as one of the students that found the victim’s body.
  • Ying Cai Ling (應采靈) as Zhang Yi Fen (張逸芬). The dean of the orphanage.
  • Vivian Hsu (徐若瑄) as Qiong Fang (瓊芳). The previous owner of Hikari. It was nice to see Vivian in here portraying a guest role.
  • Austin Lin (林柏宏) as the senior of the magazine club.
  • Tang Zhi Wei (湯志偉) as Li Si Jing (李思敬). The host of the TV show who interviewed Rose.
  • Ray Chang (張睿家) as Hana’s ex-boyfriend. He was another scumbag of the show. His crime was pimping out his girlfriend for money. Ray wanted to show up for this? (LOL!) Yeah, I know, not everyone could be a hero, but these people sure made some sacrifices to be part of the production all right. (I know it’s not supposed to be funny, but I couldn’t help it. If anyone watched True Love 365, he was the main lead and paired off with Joanne, so it was interesting this time he was kind of, sort of associated with Esther at one point in here. The roles were total opposites, but tragic. Hey, he wasn’t that innocent, goody-two-shoes in True Love 365 either, but bad attitude versus scumbag is all I’m saying.)

Likes:

  • Music. Definitely the music. The majority were remixes of classics. However, the production team put a new twist on it and allow us to enjoy those songs again in a different setting.
  • Cast. Regardless of liking them or not, I thought the cast did really well and coordinated nicely to make everything work.
  • Wallace and Ruby’s reunion. I know, I know, they’re married and see each other every day. But they haven’t been in a drama together for a while now. It was interesting to see them on screen together once again and on the opposite side this time. The fact that they weren’t romantically involved made it different. Maybe they needed a break from the mushy on-screen scenes? (Joking, lol.)
  • The pieces of the puzzle spread throughout the drama. I liked how the story was told and the sequences that allowed us to discover various characters’ background and their relationships throughout that had led to that point. Also, the mystery around the body was found and finally revealing it. At various points, they (the writers) teased the audience as to whom to body belonged to, even right down to the last minute. It was intriguing to watch and guess. After it was revealed, I even suspected that everyone at Hikari had a part in killing Sue and they covered for one another. Yes, that extreme. Because it was like everyone had a grudge against her deep down. Well, almost everyone. So, it wasn’t too much to say everyone had a hand in it.
  • Plot driven versus character driven. Yes, we knew who the major characters were. However, I felt unlike the majority of the productions nowadays, adding length just because they wanted to add more screen time for characters and stretching out to the max, this was actually plot driven. The plot did focus on some characters versus others. However, it didn’t linger to the point of unbearable. Like I said in the previous point, the pieces of the puzzle here and there revealed itself slowly but had always followed the timeline. It allowed us to explore the different characters and how it linked with the main plot and then finally wrapping it up. It didn’t stretch unnecessarily. Did I hate some part of the plot? Yes, I did. Because I hated seeing some of the tragedies the characters went through. Yet the plot continued to move on, allowing the length and pace to be just about right.
  • The characters. Surprisingly, I didn’t have a favorite character in here. Yes, I said it. It was strange how it seemed I defended Rose at various points or disliked certain characters at one point or another, but I never had a favorite character. Perhaps it was because the cast worked together well along with the plot that didn’t allow for camera hog moments too much that had caused the effect. Perhaps, I would say I liked the cast as an overall because the whole team had worked together so well to make it happen. I liked that each of the major characters had their moment or own story, but it didn’t overshadow over the others. It was just the right mix. Much credit to the writers for not forcing us to like one character or another through different justifications, but just laid out the plot and let us come to our own conclusions. (As I said previously.)

Dislikes:

  • The truth about Sue wasn’t revealed. Okay, I get it. She’s dead. No need to drag it out. Not to mention the majority of the major characters already understood who she was as a person and what kind of hypocrite she was. However, the rest of the public did not know. I guess they were trying to send a message that it did not matter anymore. Yet, her action affected so many people. How could she be praised and remembered as a sweet and gentle person, just like that? Her cunning and cruel side were never revealed. It was like letting her off because she was dead. Like redeeming a character just because. Sure, no one could do anything anymore. But it seemed to say one could be the worst possible yet could be forgiven or all the harm they did could just be erased?
  • Zhu Wen Xiong wasn’t exposed for the scumbag that he was. I knew and understood why they wanted to protect Zi Wei, not wanting him to find out the truth of his existence (and all the public backlash with having to carry that for the rest of his life, even if it wasn’t his fault). However, allowing Zhu Wen Xiong to get away with everything was just messed up. In some ways, it was more realistic (considering the circumstances) but I hated it. If they had gone to court, he would have won with all his money and all. It was probably sending a message like money would always win over the truth.
  • Rose’s whole family. Please just throw them all in the bin. Yes, I said it. I had it with the BS about how they were family after all. Was Sue a goody-two-shoes and/or perfect child? Nope. She ran away from home, after all the mishaps she got into. Or more like her father kicked her out after having enough. Sure, I got it, all parents wanted their kids to behave and life was harsh if she didn’t study or whatever. Yet at least, be consistent. Her mother loved her yet wasn’t able to do anything about it (like changing her father’s mind about things) and I didn’t blame her because it was obvious he controlled the household and whatever he said was the final word. The problem I had with him was how he and the others just expected her to bring home money or help them in general just because she was successful at that point. Hey, who kicked her out? Can anyone keep it straight or stick with the decision? Sure, people change all the time and they could mend the family. But it was an automatic thing with them expecting Rose to chip in, NO apologies or some kind of real talk or whatever. I get it, they were busy with livelihood stuff and might not have time to dwell too much on sensitivity or talk out matters. But I felt it was too much and too one-sided to just expect Rose to step forward because they were family. Like hey, she was wrong but also she was successful now, so she must contribute regardless. Like they were never wrong, it was just Rose being wrong. It was ridiculous. Obviously, I’m talking about the characters here, NOT the actors. Because they all did well for their roles. Because I actually like James and June.

Discussions:

  • Rose and Sue’s friendship. Were they ever really friends? I had so many questions. I understood how the foundation was paved and we saw how they’d overcome different obstacles together. Yet, were they really the best of friends, or were they just sticking together because of circumstances? I understood more when pieces and bits of Sue’s past were revealed and the tragedies she went through. It had shaped her past and fed her insecurity, forcing her to be cautious of others, which she had every right to. Yet, as I said before, it was the only thing that was holding her character back and pushing it into the gray area. Sue lived in her head too much and assumed that Rose should understand her, which was uncalled for. Seriously, even if they had known each other since whenever, it was harsh to expect Rose to just know. It was ridiculous. She also assumed that Rose always wanted to be in power, hence pulling the final card with wanting to restrict Rose’s life by leaving behind those shares to the rest of the hostesses. During their last conversation, Sue said that Rose always wanted to have the upper hand each time and how Rose only helped people so they would show gratitude toward her (thus being loyal to her, specifically Hana). It was a lot of assumptions on her part. Should Rose have meddled at times? Possibly not, it wasn’t up to her to right all wrongs of the world. However, we could see that it was in Rose’s gene or something. She couldn’t just sit around seeing others suffer, so if she was able to help, to speak up, or something, she did it. Sue also seemed to blame Rose for everything that happened to her or something. Well, Rose did get her into trouble with her mom because of how they ditched class and stuff at times when they were younger. Yet she can’t just push everything onto Rose. And I seriously didn’t blame Sue for wanting to have a friend, etc. However, when she made her own decision, it was all her. Perhaps, deep down, Sue also understood it. Perhaps, she did appreciate Rose at one point, that Rose actually stuck up for her when neighbors gossiped about her family situation (more specifically her mom). Or how her classmates bullied her and Rose stuck up for her. However, those things faded as time progressed. Her own insecurities and self-loathing forced her to push all the blame onto Rose, so she didn’t have to face them. Because she admitted at one point that she was too weak, not like Rose, always doing this or that. She didn’t like that about herself. They were just too different. That big argument when they were younger said a lot. That was one of those rare times they were honest with one another, laying it all out, no filter. They argued and tossed out everything. Somehow, they ended up mending things again, even hugging and halfway arguing back to being friends again. It was childhood memories and showed they had past conflicts, but it was all part of growing up. Yet it also opened up the question I initially had. Was it because how they were so used to one another’s presence that it was hard to end the friendship after they grew up and grew apart as well? And there was another question nagging in the back of my mind. Jiang Han was right when he said that Sue was very possessive. He was possibly the last person to have a say regarding Rose or Sue (or anyone else) for that matter, considering how he wasn’t the top candidate for anyone turning to when it came to a moral compass. However, he nailed it when he said those things about Sue when he broke up with her. (Except for the last bit that had fueled Sue’s rage even more, though. That was a bad idea and had caused her to take her own revenge after she returned from the depth.) Sue was really good at masquerading. We all do it to protect ourselves. Yet, she took it to a whole new level that was disturbing. With all those issues she had with Rose, it was possibly better to just part ways. Yet somehow, she still stuck through and acted like no one should have this connection with Rose except her or something. Perhaps she didn’t realize she was a walking contradiction. Also, I felt like she was projecting major time. She said that Rose was a controlling person and things had to go her way or else. However, she didn’t realize she was the controlling one, always wanting the last word or needing things to be in her favor to be happy or satisfied. Hana and Jiang Han’s situations were good examples of those behaviors. She didn’t like Hana from the start and hated that Rose protected Hana. She had every right to worry about Hana’s lack of experience which could affect the business. But the way she hung onto that grudge made it too much. Hana lacked experience, but soon learned a lot and become a lovable hostess like the majority at Hikari. That didn’t change Sue’s mind, either. She didn’t have to force herself to interact with Hana, but it was like she hated that she was wrong and that Hana could learn and improve. It seemed like she was jealous of the friendship Rose had with Hana after having been to prison together. Like Hana had snatched her friend from her, so she went out of her way to get rid of Hana—whether in the past or present. The way it was, I swear it was almost like she had tipped that scumbag off so he could abduct and kidnap Hana and assault Hana. So, then she could swoop in to get rid of Hana once and for all. Yes, it was terrible of me to assume so, but with the level of planning and execution she had with her other schemes, I don’t think it was impossible to come to that conclusion. Sue even went to the extreme of calling Hana a dog time and time again, indicating her relationship with Rose was just that of an owner and its dog, nothing more. It was like she was saying whether or not Rose was a terrible friend, she still wanted Rose by her side, no one else could be Rose’s friend. She called Hana a dog on purpose, to degrade the latter even more, implying Hana was on a lower level than her in relations to Rose. It was a superiority complex thing. About Jiang Han? How in the world was Rose supposed to know Sue liked Jiang Han? Jiang Han also showed interest in Rose first and initiated contact after meeting Rose. To Sue, Rose was a third-party, so she had every right to snatch him back. Yet she forgot that they never had a romantic relationship in the first place, so Rose couldn’t be blamed for entering that relationship with Jiang Han. Sue was acting all like she was being considerate about not mentioning anything along the line of liking Jiang Han after learning the progress of Rose and Jiang Han’s relationship already. However, I thought they were best friends and could be honest with one another. Well, that was everyone’s initial impression too, until stories unfolded for us to see they weren’t that close, anyway. Was Rose supposed to ask? Possibly. But then again, they were able to talk about the most random stuff and even had heated debates over business decisions. So, why was it so hard to be honest about other matters? It was ridiculous. So, yes, I thought it was stretching to not talk about it at all. I don’t even remember anymore if Rose had asked Sue beforehand about the two’s relationship when Sue brought him to Hikari for the first time. I somewhat remember the answer was “a friend.” It could be a code for much more, but was Rose supposed to assume everyone Sue brought there was a romantic interest? Again, considering how straightforward Rose was and Sue knew her that long already, maybe just say it out. Don’t hold it in and then later blame the other person for not knowing how to read minds. Why am I so harsh on Sue and not Rose? I thought it was obvious the majority were against Rose if it come down to it. Like I said, she was often too outspoken and wasn’t the most “model” citizen, so people automatically assumed she was in the wrong when they heard rumors of her being the actual killer. Sue was just too pretentious for my taste. I’m not saying Sue’s death was justified, but I just thought regardless of whether she was dead or alive, she was too much. She projected the too perfect image and caused the opposite effect on me. Also, I felt that Sue just wanted Rose’s friendship when it was convenient. Like when she needed Rose for something or another, they were friends and it was all right that Rose meddle. After that, or it was something she disagreed with? Rose was considered controlling and condescending. I’m not saying she can’t establish her own boundaries because she had every right to draw her comfort zone. It was just that she kept moving the goalpost and expected Rose to abide by it. Did she help Rose with stuff too? Yes, she did. But it was like she only counted things when it was in her favor. Again, the control thing was all her, not Rose like she said. For what it mattered, I thought Rose helped her in the past because they were friends, NOT because Rose wanted some upper hand or wanted to use some gratitude thing to dangle over Sue’s head for the future. They were still considered kids at that time, who would have thought so far ahead? So, were they better off not friends? They had a lot of good memories as well as bad. The flashbacks from Rose’s perspective showed they shared almost everything (from hopes and dreams, even what they wanted with their funeral arrangements and all). That was why Rose had assumed they had a good relationship. That was also why the betrayal hurt so badly. So, Rose’s world and perspective had shattered while she tried to piece everything together again. She wasn’t perfect, but she learned from it. Unlike others who had continued to think they were never wrong.
  • Rose and Hana’s friendship. They met in prison. Hana’s loyalty to Rose was obvious, considering how Rose protected her in prison. Hana also appreciated Rose for reminding her of her value, and not allowing her to think the worst of herself. Rose helped Hana stand on her own two feet again after Hana was released. Hana was grateful for Rose’s help, for keeping in contact and reaching out, not distancing from her because both wanted to erase their rough history. Although Hana was grateful for Rose’s help, she knew Rose treated her like a friend, a human being, wanting to lift each other up because they had both been betrayed by the men they loved. Even if it was gratitude at first, Hana didn’t take it the wrong way or thought it was Rose’s way to gain some upper hand on her or try to act superior in any way. She appreciated Rose for Rose’s efforts and understood Rose just wanted to help her heal and start a new life. She used Rose’s emotional support as a source of energy to strive and thrive. She was able to leave her past behind and focus on her present. It was too bad that some of that past had caught up with her. Their friendship seemed honest and open since they met at the worst time possible. Yet that also strengthened their bond because they’d been through the worst together. Their bond up to that point made it tragic when it was revealed Hana was the real killer. I thought their friendship was done for. And yes, the confrontation was ugly and heartbreaking. Yet, after both parties calmed down, they seemed to have reached a certain level of peace. Rose even wanted to cover for Hana, not wanting to see her back in prison again. Perhaps, Rose pitied Hana, so she didn’t want to turn Hana in. She admitted to Wen Cheng that much, saying that Hana had gone through so much. Yet Hana knew too well she could not let anyone go to prison for her, nor live with it for the rest of her life like that (even if she did initially convince herself that she had no choice but to hide). Too many people had been impacted. It was indeed quite tragic how things turned out.
  • Killing off two major characters of the show. Yes, this was a shocker for me. I mean, seeing how serious it was throughout, it was inevitable that people got hurt. However, I didn’t expect them to start off by killing Sue. I initially thought she was the killer and whoever it was they revealed later would be someone who knew about Sue’s past, hence her getting rid of that person, and that was why she was missing in the present timeline. It was a clever approach because the characters were forced to deal with their past demons as well. Also, because Sue had collected so many enemies along the way, the journey to find her killer was intriguing and nerve-wracking rolled into one. I thought the writers wanted to redeem Jiang Han because they wanted to pair him off with Rose, after all. However, it took another turn, and he was also killed off. The writers sure took no mercy on the characters as they tried to cope with another tragedy.
  • Jiang Han’s betrayal. I initially thought that Jiang Han’s downfall and eventual death were due to the fact that he messed around with many people’s hearts and had caused too much pain, hence his past actions caught up with him. However, it was revealed later that he once made an oath to Rose, stating that if he ever betrayed her, he would be met with such a downfall. Whether it was true or not that the universe was listening and keeping its eyes on that oath, it was indeed a lesson for some.
  • The irony of Hana’s action. Yes, I found that tragically ironic. Hana lost it and killed Sue in a rage. When she confessed to Rose, she said that Sue was going to take Zi Wei away. Well, no one knew the future, etc. Yet Sue’s mom’s discovery regarding Zi Wei’s real identity caused everything to go into chaos, and it allowed for the scumbag to claim Zi Wei. Rose had to give up Zi Wei, regardless. If Sue was still alive and successfully framed Rose and sent Rose to prison, Zi Wei would be in Sue’s custody. However, we could bet that Wen Cheng would have found out about the scheme, anyway. So, was having Sue alive a better route? Hana was triggered, and she killed in a rage. So obviously, she wasn’t thinking. Yet it was too much.
  • Wen Cheng’s grand plan. I had a feeling that Wen Cheng was planning something else later. It was why he sent Yan Qiao Ru away for the time being. He needed to broaden his connections and plan for the future. He knew he couldn’t take down them all because of the scope of the people involved. That was why he pretended to be as power-hungry as the others. It would be ridiculous if he said he was in for the money. Power would make more sense. So they knocked out some small fishes to take the fall before going back into business. Yet, his actions said otherwise. He even told Yan Qiao Ru to trust his decisions. So, if they did a spin-off or sequel, it would focus on him trying to take down all the upper management or the whole chain. Or maybe it was implied, so there was no need for more? They could do a side movie, lol. The whole corruption within the police network reminded me so much of Black & White, though. (Some of the cast from here was also in there, lol.)

Recommended? You have to be a fan of the cast to stick it through. Or at least, one could appreciate their acting. Also, if you prefer serious productions over the typical idol dramas. The series itself is very emotionally draining and could be quite triggering, so those could be reasons to reconsider. I obviously watched this way before I heard of the show receiving several awards nominations. However, I thought those were well deserved. Because this production was indeed high quality and the whole team (both cast and crew) put in a lot of effort to make it happen.

My Dear Boy: Blessing Ceremony

Yes, this drama is finally taking off. It went quiet for a while that I almost thought it got scraped. Serious. Then saw Ruby’s page update today so excited. (Go here for articles.)

What’s even more exciting is the announcement of additional cast. Joining Ruby and Derek as part of the main cast are Archie Kao and Li Li Ren. Other cast include Zhang Ben Yu, Yan Yi Wen, Qu Zhong Heng, Greg Hsu, and Jenny Wen.

And yes, the Archie Kao who is married to Zhou Xun. That’s what the majority of the population that follows her career calls him. I know him as the guy who got robbed in CSI. (Yes, I never forgot or forgave after all these years.)

Anyway, what I find amusing is how Wallace has worked with Zhou Xun twice already, so now Ruby’s working with Archie, nice? Can’t wait to see what would come out of this collaboration and hope it would also be as successful. I silently wish that they’re paired together, but that would divert off course of the main theme? Watch the press conference below for more information.


*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

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.

Exciting Life: Penny’s New Movie

Indeed very happy that Penny’s in a movie and all. She said she’s portraying a different type of role this time, which is good.

However, if she’s portraying a doctor, it’s not working. I’m not trying to nitpick, but I seriously don’t think that doctors tread around every day wearing such high heels. Off work is different, of course, but that’s a different story. Still, excited for new developments.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

The Dangerous City

Another one of those closer to real-life dramas. The plot indeed lived up to its title.

Main Cast:

  • Lin Qing Tai (林慶台) as Wa Dan (瓦旦). A security guard. A somewhat rouge character. That would mean that he was not the typical hero that would do just the right thing regardless of the situation. It was more about what life offered him and how he should proceed. It was more realistic that way. Since his son needed the money for the educational fees and there was money offered to cover things up, so he took it. He would also use ‘shady’ connections to try and recover his lost money. Though he soon learned a hard lesson that those ‘shady’ characters couldn’t be trusted with handling his problems hence having to rely on himself (with only some help from Hei Song’s son regarding information). He later discovered that the phone he retrieved that one time from Hong Long wasn’t the piece that held important information that could threaten everyone’s lives, but the actual memory card inside. Somehow, he ended up running and everyone wanted to capture someone around him to gain the upper hand, but it worked out fine in the end for him actually. I thought he would end up dying in some dramatic battle so his son would learn, etc. But it wasn’t so.
  • Yin Xin (尹馨) as Amber. An actress who wanted to commit suicide at the beginning. Supposedly, it was just an act yet still nerve-racking because of the person saving her. I was actually quite intrigued with her story at first and how she got conned, etc. Yet, later on, I got really bored and only stuck around to see what other things were going on with several parties plotting against one another. At first, I seriously didn’t feel sorry for her, just like some of the other parties in here. She and the others knew what they were getting into with so many sticky situations involved. Still, have to compliment the actress at some scenes for showing some emotional breakdown or fear, etc. Her second suicide attempt got really repetitive since Wa Dan’s son saw her and saved her. Yet it showed some character for Wa Dan’s son, because he wasn’t a bad kid, just frustrated that his life changed 180 degrees hence taking it out on his father at times. Then as the story progressed along, even more, I was having mixed feelings because most of the characters in here were bordering on gray areas. It was like showing different circumstances in life and how sometimes it wasn’t just so easy with separating the lines between black and white/right and wrong anymore. What won me over with her character was how she slapped Chen Zai and rescued Xia Qing from further abuse. Then her story finally unfolded after she confided in Xia Qing. She managed to start over, later on, depending on herself and working harder to support her parents versus depending on others. After so much had happened, of course, it got her thinking.
  • Xia Hui (夏禕) as Xia Qing (夏青). Wa Dan’s landlady. Kind of sharp with her words at times but really cared for others. I found her witty at times and funny at others, especially the scene where she drove Hei Song insane with her constant chatter. He couldn’t get in a word or two to Wa Dan about his terms–until he finally snatched the phone back from her.
  • Xu Gui Ying (徐貴櫻) as Xu Li Li (徐莉莉). Guo Dong Lin’s wife. I thought she was so crafty and classy until he got the upper hand with the paperwork situation. That sure threw her plans off. Then she totally lost major points from me when she sought out the fortune-teller to ask of her current situations and why her plans were backfiring, etc. Well, I got it that people believe in those stuff in real life, but I didn’t think she would fall for it. Or would seek out such alternatives to change her life. (And probably there are real fortune-tellers out there who know what they’re doing AND NOT just conning others for money but for now, still keeping my doubts about all those.) It was revealed that she was actually pinned onto Guo Dong Lin as a spy yet she ended up siding with him as well. What made it even more interesting in the end was how she confessed at his memorial spot of how she had changed since knowing him, etc. Like a little truth moment from her (if it wasn’t obvious already) and a last piece of the overall puzzle as far as her relation to the Zhang dude in the past, etc.

Others:

  • Qu Zhong Heng (屈中恆) as Special Assistant Zhang (張特助). A very cunning and careful person. He worked for the chairman so, of course, he had to be careful. What made him even scarier was how ruthless he was, sacrificing everyone around him. It wasn’t until the end that he dared to cry out because his ‘beloved’ was leaving.
  • Xi Xiang (喜翔) as La Lai Ba (羅賴把). Wa Dan’s co-worker. I first thought he wanted some of the money, etc hence keep urging Wa Dan to hand over the memory card. Yet it wasn’t so. He was actually undercover at the company to unravel all the corruption and conspiracies between Guo Dong Lin and several parties in here. Quite a surprise ending.
  • Tao Chuan Zheng (陶傳正) as Guo Dong Lin (郭東林). A businessman but had ‘shady/complicated’ connections with various parties to advance his cause. He would do anything or use any means for success. Yet he couldn’t win over Zhang because he wasn’t cunning enough. Zhang sure got the upper-hand in the end.
  • Chen Yu Ming (陳煜明) as Hong Long (紅龍). A thief/pocket-picking person. He was a guy but dressed as a girl to con others or get close to them so he could take their money. He got involved in the whole messy main story by pickpocketing Xu Li Li and later on was sought out because the other party wanted the cell phone back. (The cell phone had some important information in it hence ending up becoming a major turn of the story for whoever acquired the phone.)
  • Cai Ba (蔡爸) as Chen Zai (陳仔). Xia Qing’s ex-husband. Annoying at first but turned a new leaf later on. I was really rolling my eyes when he said he was just doing what he could for the people when the reporters asked. Yet he really changed his ways and even helped Xia Qing ran the little shop in the end.
  • Wu Min Fan (吳民凡) as Lao Yang (老楊). I totally forgot who he was and too lazy to go back and check.
  • Lin Yu Shun (林郁順) as Hei Song (黑松). Gangster boss. He was scary in his way, considering who he was, after all. However, the saddest scene and probably bordering on touching was how he discovered his son’s body. Then the flashbacks just did all the talking for us, and the look on his face. A moment to think about. Like money wouldn’t bring his son back. He took the money Zhang offered at last but wanted to add in a little term of his own (aka wanting Zhang to hand Hu Shen over so he could avenge his son’s death).
  • Leo Ding (丁力祺) as Xiao Yao (小姚). Guo Dong Lin’s driver, BUT actually worked for Special Assistant Zhang. I swore I thought he was just taking on a side role since this was a short drama after all. Yet he surprised me when he reached for his cell phone to call Zhang. The scene where he showed Guo the message from Zhang in the end and carried out the command was quite chilling actually. I think it was one of those, “Don’t estimate those people” in a way. Because he was considered just a driver yet he had a major impact on the story throughout, considering how he was spying on Guo and reporting to Zhang from time to time.
  • Ding Fu You (丁富佑) as Hu Shen (虎神). Zhang’s hired gun. Ruthless and fierce. Yet he actually said ‘thank you’ to Xiao Juan after she helped him wrap his wound, strange? Still a very dangerous character though. He was also responsible for killing Xiao Pang later on.
  • Huang Lue Geng (黃略耕) as Xiao Pang (小胖). Hei Song’s son. He was the most innocent among all of the turmoil around them. Stuck in a gang yet couldn’t do anything. His father was fierce toward him at various points, but upon discovering his body, the man completely broke down and later vouched for revenge. He was too nice to his prisoners and at times got conned yet didn’t hold it against them.
  • Gao Jing Yi (高靖榕) as Xiao Juan (小娟). Ya Bu’s girlfriend. Fierce and chatty at times.
  • Ye Yu Jun (葉玉傑) as Ya Bu (雅布). Wa Dan’s son. Supposedly trying to get into college and Wa Dan was trying to make ends meet with supplying the money, etc. Yet he got his girlfriend pregnant and was forced to quit school and seek for a job, trying to take responsibility for what he’d done. In the end, he actually wanted to become a cop like his father, which surprised the old man. But after seeing so much and was influenced by his father’s bravery, he probably had second thoughts.
  • Wang Dao Nan (王道南) as Chairman (主委). Another despicable role for him and he’s done. YES, I guess he could be considered brave to continuously take on not so favorable roles. Yet someone has to do it. The saving point for him was that he only appeared a little throughout so that minimized the hatred for him versus others, I guess, lol.

Overall thoughts? I think I changed my mind about a lot of things throughout. Like several things to ponder about. An interesting take on different parties and how the corruption was spreading but was eventually found out through investigations. (If not, there wouldn’t be a point to the story, of course.) An intriguing drama throughout, trying to keep it real yet didn’t lack in the entertainment department.

Home Run

Out to hunt for short dramas, I found this. Well, more like I was checking what was up with Qu Zhong Heng lately and found how much I missed. Then there was the whole reading the cast list and knowing that it was short so what was the harm, right?

Cast:

  • Kingone Wang as Lin Xin Yi (林信一). Was this the first time Kingone portray a father figure? I didn’t watch all of his past dramas so I don’t know. But it was new for me and I thought he was convincing enough because he was a young parent after all so it wasn’t like he had to be wise and inspirational. He just had to make the bond work. And someone needs to give this man more leading roles. He made it so natural and convincing–whether in those ‘idol dramas’ OR these types of serious ones.
  • Annie Chen as Zhao Zhong Ci (趙中慈). Zhao Ba’s cute daughter. I found her personality quite likable in here and what I thought was funny when her father reminded her Xin Yi was already married, etc since her father knew that she liked Xin Yi YET she had responded saying it was her business that she liked Xin Yi BUT his having a wife was his matter. It made it somewhat hilarious that she was that optimistic. Not that she was going to budge into a marriage, but she tried to joke about it without being too morbid over it since life always go on and she had been focusing on helping her father with their small restaurant so it wasn’t like she got all dramatic and focused on romance all the time like a silly girl kept dreaming. In short, I just liked the way she carried on.
  • Zhao Shun as Zhao Ba (趙爸). Another hilarious role yet wasn’t overdone. He could be wise in his words at times but could also be funny when the time called for it. He sure was with the time and was willing to paint his face to cheer the little kids on. He contributed to the lighthearted feeling of a small community sticking together through time.
  • Zhao Jun Ya as Coach Wang Tian Jian (王天見教練). A different role for him and this time a coach. Though possessing some sort of power as well but he wasn’t fierce. He was a great coach actually, balancing out between wanting to win and actually caring about the little kids’ well being. But I guess it left him no choice since Mr. Chen made it so obvious with his interference that Coach Wang was forced to become their supportive coach instead of those overly crazy coaches who only wanted to win in expense to the players. Perhaps he had to possess the calm and patience personalities to train the players since they were little kids after all at this stage.
  • Qu Zhong Heng as Chen Jia Fu (陳家福). Haven’t seen him in a semi-serious role for a while now. He sure was passionate about the game yet it was understandable in a way. And I thought his character really brought forth some reality into the drama itself because parents often loved to interfere with the coach during practice and also during the game. SAD, but it happens so no one could deny this stuff are so dramatic.
  • Zhang Xi Kai as Lin Yi Sa (林以撒 ). Can’t blame the kid for having such an attitude. He was often laughed at by other kids for not having a father. (Well, his father wasn’t present for the most part and suddenly just returned.) I found it not too bizarre with his behaviors and/or reactions at times to his father. YES, he wanted a father more than anything so he could have someone to worship like the other kids around him. YET it wasn’t like he could brush off the man’s absent all these times–regardless of reasons. Besides, at that age, those moments of life were so precious that it was hard to let go of.
  • Lin Chao Yu as Ah Ma (阿嬤). What I found interesting about her and the family was how she wasn’t involved in rescuing Yi Sa when his father tied him up to the chair. (NOT too abusive but still somewhat holding the kid in place for the moment.) Xin Yi’s response to Zhong Ci’s question about the grandma’s lack of interference was truly amusing. They did possess some sort of violence behaviors all right. Back to grandma, she sure was different from other grandmas who often only shielded the kid from a father’s attacks (whether harmless or not). It was like she was sending a message “You pair of father and son better resolve this one on your own, don’t pull me into it” kind of thing. Yet she wasn’t all passive in their life either. She was there for them, talking to them when they needed someone to talk to and even tried to put in a good word or two but that was all, she didn’t force the ‘good feelings’ into happening.
  • Jill Hsu as Zhan Fang Wen (詹芳雯). Lin Xin Yi’s ex-wife. Can’t say much since she only appeared a little yet I must compliment her for not drawing the line though she had wanted the divorce, still painting a good image of Xin Yi to their son. First time watching her but I think she looked different from some past dramas? (Well, I had looked at some past pictures so was just wondering. But I guess because it was time and her image for this particular drama, it made sense.)
  • Li Shi Cheng as Chen Yi (陳毅). Yi Sa’s side-kick. This kid sure got his hilarious moments–whether with or without his dad. It was nice seeing Yi Sa having a good friend since don’t we all have someone by our side when we were a kid? It sure brought back old memories.
  • Yu Lung Sheng as Dan Dan (丹丹). Crazy dude who contributed to the scenes and also part of the comedic team. I really enjoyed his appearances from time to time, especially during the game when he was trying to get the others to cheer even louder than the other side, scolding them for ‘not eating yet’ hence no energy, lol.

Relationships/Bonds:

  • Kingone Wang and Zhang Xi Kai as father and son. Mixed feelings, but I guess considering what happened between them, it was hard not to witness intensity. Yet when they got along again, I was convinced. The scene where they did the dance for victory the night before the game showed their bond and how they were loosening up to one another. Then the scene where Xin Yi finally fixed his son’s shoes and tied ’em for him showed that Yi Sa didn’t have to be envious of Chen Yi anymore.
  • Zhao Shun and Annie Chen as father and daughter. Hilarious all right. It was funny how they were able to joke and she still reserved a strong sense of respect for him. It wasn’t like they didn’t have their bickering moments since according to their conversations, they had a fallout (sort of in the past when she was married to this one dude years ago). Yet it showed how forgiving and caring he was, willing to take her in again upon learning her fallout with the marriage. It wasn’t like he was celebrating on her heartache or bad luck of relationships, but it showed that he wasn’t egotistical and all out on the ‘disowning’ stuffs often seen during those dramatic moments. He proved that he was there for her and she was his precious daughter. What was more was how they were able to put everything in the past and joked about her stroke of bad lucks and interacted so comfortably without the element of guilt contributing into the whole factor, especially on her part. They were family after all and their bond totally threw some hope into life in general.
  • Kingone and Annie as a couple. Refreshing and cute. Though it was subtle but I could dream that they could possibly end up in the future? Serious, lol. If there’s any opportunity in the future, I want to see them pair for real in some other dramas. (Or did they already?)
  • Qu Zhong Heng and Li Shi Cheng as father and son. I totally felt it with their interactions and all. One of the hallmarks of their bonds was seeing Mr. Chen constantly fixing his son’s uniform and shoes during practice sessions. Though Mr. Chen’s overly involvement in the baseball team had given them a lot of pressure, I felt somewhat touched to see him taking the time to help his son and cheered the kids on. AND with the dramas often implying how father and son relationships were strained because of childhood stuff and the father always working, etc (AND it does happen in real life), but I was glad to see a different side.
  • Kingone Wang and Zhao Jun Ya as friends. Found it interesting since they knew each other since they were famous stars during their school days. I guess it also reminded me of different bonds during high school and into the college years that some of the guys at my own high school had as well. Quite real with their talk and somewhat jab at one another. Then there was the whole intensity between the two of them that one time at the baseball field, but was soon resolved after Xin Yi worked off some steams proving himself. The others got to witness the two pros competing against one another in that match. Not bad at all, wasn’t forcing us into believing they were good friends. There were no overkilled lines, but typical guy talks–or sometimes more action to prove their points (like the little game that one time as mentioned above). And I thought it was more realistic in a sense because don’t guys do that more often? At least the majority of them, not involving in cheesy talks or overly unrealistic mushy conversations.
  • Kingone Wang, Annie Chen, and Zhao Shun as the hilarious trio. I found their scenes together quite funny and cute in a sense. Either when they were just talking random or serious topics, it was really addicting to watch. Those times when they were talking by the sea area were mixed with humor and also provided some background stories to the plot. Then the time when they were on their way to the game? Zhao Ba was complaining about Xin Yi’s choice of transportation, LOL! Luckily they made it in time or Xin Yi would never hear the end of it.

It has been a long time now since I witnessed some unified feeling among all the cast. It was like we knew who the main characters were, but the togetherness feeling overrode the atmosphere, making it transcend all barriers. It was more real in a sense that those other characters weren’t in the background and were just there for the sake of it, but everyone was part of the major scene. One of the scenes that proved their unification was during the celebration party at Zhao Ba’s place when Mr. Chen was giving his little speech and expressing his pride for their place, etc. Everyone was cheering him on and it made it so heart-warming with everyone clinging together to achieve one goal–to make their people proud of what they do.

What made this particular drama realistic was how they didn’t win in the end. I meant so they managed to gain some points after Yi Sa entered the game, but it wasn’t like suddenly everything turned into a miracle. That was life. Not like they could always win. They learned a lesson, and what was important was how Yi Sa kept his promise he made with his coach. Then there was the whole thing with Xin Yi considering becoming a coach to help the team as well. It was an ending to a piece of their life and then a new chapter began. Life was always full of change and just didn’t stop like that. Nice little story indeed.