Oct 29, 2012

Ex-Boyfriend: Episode 2

I know it's only the second episode, but the shipper in me is worried for this drama. Will Chun Jiao ever stop snapping at Zhi Ming? Scratch that, will I even come to like her? 
To me, it is imperative that I ship THIS coupling, because the 2nd lead simply isn't doing it for me (yeah I'm disappointed too). Yes, he is shuai guy. Yes, he has endless legs. Yes, he is a supportive boyfriend. Yes, he can do no wrong. All the qualities which can fill several million of phone books called Yawn Fest. Yes, he bores me. Jerry Huang has zero chemistry with Gina, and when he's not boring me I find myself slightly creeped out by his mentor-student relationship with Chun Jiao. In my mind I know he's supposed to be a supportive boyfriend, but instead he comes off like her sugar daddy. 


Fish Leong - "偶陣雨" (Occasional showers) As in rain, not stinky person.

Oh Show, you sneaky sneaky. I guess I owe an apology for thinking Chun Jiao a bitch on perpetual PMS, because the episode does NOT start where we left off (plus some sneaky editing from the director). Instead, we go back to a few hours before the whole "I think you nepotic trash" "Fine, I'll quit" situation.
The episode opens to a chuckling Chun Jiao, and the reason for her happy face is: Zhi Ming The Bra Salesman. She actually has a video of him selling bras on her phone. Hmm, infatuated much? Bestie Xiao Z feels that she is being too harsh on him. After all, it was a decade ago and all he did was kiss the girl. It's not like he went to bed with her. 

Chun Jiao snaps: "Cheating is cheating! Does the fact that he didn't sleep with her make it any less worse?!" Agreed. But Xiao Z is worried all this squabbling will lead all the way to... the bed, heh. Chun Jiao: "I'd rather die first." Xiao Z tells her to remember what she'd said today (so as to not eat her words).
Zhi Ming is doing quite well (fantastic, actually) selling the bras, much to Chun Jiao's chagrin. Looks like his bras are bringing all the girls to the yard. Even the ladies back at the office is cooing at how funny and dashing he is. At this point, Chun Jiao is livid (jealous? Who knows). Operation Bra Shaming, fail. 

She vows to do better over KFC (again?!). Evil laughs from her as she shreds the chicken (no doubt the chicken a substitute for Zhi Ming). The screams from the horror movie in the background provides a nice touch.

Plan B. She ropes him in to do a charity project, and much to his relief it's not "selling something" again. It's a photoshoot! Chun Jiao keeps telling him to smile brightly, like the sunshine! And he goes:
LOL, it's so fake-y fake! Points for effort though. Chun Jiao thinks ominously: "Smile! Smile while you still can." Zhi Ming is all perky when he sees the life-size cutout of himself. 
Imitating the cutout, he reads the slogan aloud: "He... under the brightly shining sun, has a secret he can't tell. I am Lai Zhi Ming, 28 years old. Actually, I have STD," he ends it with a happy, "yeah!" before he registers the meaning. SAY WHAT? He goes to confront Chun Jiao (which is where Episode 1 ends, give and take a few lines).
The Confrontation is where the sneaky editing came in. Technically, Chun Jiao said the same thing, but due to one part of the conversation we have never heard before, the overall effect is totally different. 

Before: He asks her why she is sabotaging him. She admits it, effectively calling him a "trash that came in through connections" and says that she can't make him leave because of the Chairman. He quits.

After: He asks her why she is sabotaging him. She admits it, effectively calling him a "trash that came in through connections." He tells her not use such underhanded methods, if she wanted him to quit "you could have just said so." She says she can't make him leave because of the Chairman (and immediately looked guilty). He quits.

So you see, TOTALLY DIFF. And wait, he can't leave... yet! The company requires a week's notice. He's all, see if I care and continues walking towards the exit. Chun Jiao: "I knew it. You're just as irresponsible as you were 10 years ago! Leaving without any prior notice or care. You haven't changed a bit!"
Obviously someone is still hurt by what you did, Zhi Ming. He doesn't seem to pick up on the fact though, and is instead focused on the "you're just as irresponsible" part. He looks pissed, but turns back and marches straight up to her: "Who said anything about leaving right away?"
Their quibble is interrupted when fellow Planning Dept. employee Wang Wang runs up to Chun Jiao, all out of breath and tells her that they're in huge trouble! She made a mistake of ordering 100 buns instead of the 500 needed for the upcoming Love Bread Bazaar event. The head of the sales department, Director Luo and a crony does not hesitate to rub it in their faces, blaming them for bring down the sales team with them ("Are you malicious or just plain stupid?") 
Chun Jiao humbly (but grudgingly) bows to him. She will take responsibility for this - by quitting if she fails. So it's get 400 buns or... die trying go jobless. 
Unfortunately, the sifu baker of Donutes - damn this bakery looks good - is a highly principled man who won't entertain their request as he doesn't want to close his shop for such a huge order ("I don't know much about money, I just make bread"). Chun Jiao gets kicked out of the bakery for her efforts.

It's closing hours as she makes the last forlorn attempt, only to have sifu swiftly shoot her down. She's dispirited to say the least (400 bun-less people and losing your source of income is no joke). 
But when she looks up, Zhi Ming's there. He's here to save the day, so c'mon and follow him! He yells for sifu. When sifu sees him, all they do is trade barbs and yell at each other, with Chun Jiao in the middle, desperately trying to shut Zhi Ming up before he screw things further. 
The two men's verbal fight quickly escalates to a real one. Zhi Ming aims for a punch, and then... tango pose. Huh? 
Fakeout! They are totally homies (they used to work together at the bakery) and sifu even aegyos, "I missed you~" to his brotha. It took some nudging and a list of you-owe-me-one, but finally they get the buns. Or rather, the promise to make the buns.
As they wait in the delivery van, both of them reach out for the radio. *ZING* Electric fingers! She pulls back quickly, and for a moment there they both look at each other, before she breaks the contact and looks down. 
Zhi Ming: "Am I that detestable?" HUH. Mister, what have you been doing during your life on Earth for 28 years. Do you not work at a bar? You gotta know this is a GOOD thing, right? Of course, when he puts it like that - her response can only be affirmative: "Yes, you're that detestable." Zhi Ming looks amused by this, in a tone of is that so, he goes: 
Zhi Ming: "If I'm so detestable, why did you like me back then?"  
Chun Jiao: "Don't flatter yourself... you were the one who stuck on to me."  
Zhi Ming: "So the one who gave me a morning call and a lunchbox everyday was..."
Chun Jiao vehemently denies it, that was only because she was the class rep and "teach wanted me to look out for you." Nothing to do with liking you at all. Me thinks it's a lost cause, because uh, you two DATED. No point flogging a dead horse, y'know. What's wrong with admitting the fact that you dated a scumbag and move on. Zhi Ming's final jab: "So the one who kissed me at the swimming pool must be someone else, huh." Chun Jiao: "LAI ZHI MING!"
Now they're just flirting *rolls eyes*. She's a sore loser, so she had to set the record straight that HE was the one who confessed to her, the shameless idiot who sang a love song and asked her to date him in front of everyone. She regales it in a mocking tone, but clearly, girl remembered the details to a T. Zhi Ming thinks so too and points that out, and she goes all quiet, putting on a nonchalant face: "I've long forgotten about it." Oof. Her sad face breaks my heart a little.
The radio that has been mysteriously quiet until now chooses to play... yes, you guessed it. THE song. The DJ: "This song is requested by Kaohsiung's Zhi Ming to his now ex-girlfriend, Chun Jiao, with the message that he is repenting and wants a second chance." 

She glares at him, and he's vehemently denies it (the OTP's names are supposed to be rather common). But another couple? I swear, these two names are cursed). As the song plays, a faint smile graces Chun Jiao's face as she remembers...

Another flashback, another stab at my heart. It's Zhi Ming confessing his love publicly, singing that damn Mayday song (why is this the appropriate song, I dunno - it's like dedicating Someone Like You to your lover. Don't they know it's NOT a love song?) through a speakerphone; makeshift drums from pails (teenage Ke Bo!) and guitar/microphone from broomsticks. As the teenage Zhi Ming croons, I'm melting into a puddle of goo. He shouts:

Zhi Ming: "Lin Chun Jiao, I, Lai Zhi Ming, like you! Please be with me!!!"
The class crowd goes wild chanting, but none of it registers on the OTP as they only have has eyes for each other (and while he is triumphant I couldn't help but feel the bittersweetness of the memory. FEELS~) Chun Jiao thinks so too, but it in a slightly different way because she switches the radio off ("Hearing this song makes my blood boil.") 
Zhi Ming: "I know I shouldn't say this, but... I want you to know. *pauses* The the reason for our breakup... it's not what you think it is."
But she doesn't want to know (dammit Chun Jiao, but I wanna!) - it holds no importance to her now. He agrees ("Rightt. Not important."), if not a little emo-ed by this. 

 As sifu hands over the boxes of bread, he thinks aloud to Zhi Ming, saying she looks familiar... and connect the dots. She's the girl from Zhi Ming's wallet! Zhi Ming feigns ignorance, but sifu is in GLEE (heh, closet shipper). He used to look at the picture every night! Sifu recalls that one time when his wallet got stolen by a co-worker, and the perpetrator got the shit beat out of him. Sifu thought he was angry because the thief used up his money, but no, it's because the photo was missing (he searches through the bakery's garbage for it). AWW.
Zhi Ming smoothly changes the convo, but sifu won't have it: "What's phase of the relationship are you two on now?" "S-she's just my boss," he shrugs. Sifu The OTP Shipper wishes him luck, and hands him a very special bun, his new creation that's guarantee to bring "fire to the relationship." With that, he waves them off.

(Bonus! Another flashback, woot. Watching her sleep, Zhi Ming remembers his high school self in a similar situation. Back then, he stole a kiss (only on the cheek, but cuteee). His current self struggles to NOT do the same. Must. resist. temptation.)
Love Bread Bazaar event is a success and the Vice President, DAI YI XIANG (Jerry Huang) drops in on their celebratory party to give congratulations. He's the Chairman's son and the successor of the company - "half of the ladies in the company have the hots for him!" Wang Wang giggles. As they clink glasses, Yi Xiang looked at Zhi Ming like he's trying to size him up. *gasp* Does he know?
(I don't think he does... for now the only discernible reason for his dislike towards Zhi Ming is because Zhi Ming's the son of his father's lover. He's bitter on his mother's behalf - barely a year has passed since his mom died.)

They get off work, and instead of sharing the love love bun like the love doctor sifu ordered, he gives all of it to Chun Jiao: "For your kid." She goes,"Kid?" He tells her about seeing her in KFC and casually throws in, "You married?" She barks "none of your business" but then goes on to clarify that the kid isn't hers AND she's not married (shows empty ring finger). Uh, but I thought you said...
(she throws one bun back to him, because she's solo and therefore one would be sufficient (looking at the size of that thing, I beg to differ - but I digress). Let's just hope sifu's buns really do have magical love-love properties.)

The next day at work, Yi Xiang calls Chun Jiao into his office. Like I said, ZERO passion from this couple. Let me summarize their meeting before I fall into a deep slumber: 1) He trusts her with a Very Important Project, to prepare a proposal for the Korean brand ALICE. 2) When can they announce their upcoming marriage?

Marriage, ALREADY? Looks like we skipped the whole 2nd lead romancing (not sure if this is a good or bad thing). Chun Jiao (he calls her Diana) asks him if they could wait it out, since she doesn't want "looks" from her colleague. Hate nepotism, huh (Chun Jiao you hypocrite). 
He concedes, but asks her to see him not only as a superior (at work), but a boyfriend who's there for her. *YAWN* Hm, what? He gets a little scary when he tells her she could to fire the assistant (ie. Zhi Ming) his dad pushed to her if she wants to, for he doesn't have the credentials appropriate for the job.
Surprisingly (or not, since this is a drama after all), Chun Jiao defends Zhi Ming, telling Yi Xiang that "she'll handle it." When she leaves, he chucks Zhi Ming's personnel file into the bin. Ooh, consider me scared.

During a brainstorming session, Zhi Ming entrances the team with his vision of how the ALICE project be - a fashion show held at night in Never Land - as a result, he lands the job of preparing the basic proposal. Zhi Ming: "Prepare what?" I don't think the poor guy even knows what a proposal is. He finally comes up with the "brilliant" plan to DRAW the proposal, he laughs in a I can't believe I'm so smart way. Oh, the adult Zhi Ming and his shenanigans. 

Chun Jiao may lambast and barks at him all she wants, but she's the only one who stayed behind to help him with the proposal:
...which led to one more flashback - his. (This must be my lucky day):

Chloe Says
I may rant a whole lot about Chun Jiao, but ultimately I find her character way more likeable than In Time With You's You Qing (this comparison comes to mind because both are career woman, and kinda bitchy). Both are condescending, but Chun Jiao is all bark (literally) and no bite. She yells at you, but then again she yells at everyone. Whereas in the case of You Qing, she tends to be haughty - a trait I really hate in a person (because they make you feel stupid). She doesn't shout, but her I am so much better than you tone is infinitely more grating on my nerves. 

Besides, somewhere deep deeeeep down I know Chun Jiao is this person:
C'mon and get in touch with your teenage self, Diana! You can do it, jia you!