Monday, October 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. A supportive boyfriend. Long legs. Perpetually in a suit... all the qualities which can fill a phone book, and it's called Yawn Fest. 

In other words, he friggin' bores me. Jerry Huang has zero, nay, negative chemistry with Gina, and when he's not boring me I find myself slightly very creeped out by his mentor-student relationship with Chun Jiao. I know he's supposed to be the 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, 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). Screams from the horror movie in the background completes the scene.

Plan B. She ropes him in to do a charity project, and much to his relief it's not selling a certain "something" again. This time, it's a photoshoot! Chun Jiao keeps telling him to smile brightly, like the sunshine! And he goes:
LOL, ten points for Mr. Colgate Ambassador! Chun Jiao thinks ominously: "Smile! Smile while you still can." Zhi Ming is all perky when he sees the life-size cutout of himself. That is, until...
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," which he ends with a happy, "Yeah!" before he finally registers the meaning. Say what

That's when 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 making his life difficult. 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 making his life difficult. 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, now it's totally different. And wait, he can't leave... yet! The company requires a week's notice. But he's beyond caring, and walks away. Chun Jiao: "I knew it. You're just as irresponsible as you were ten 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 the sifu. But when sifu sees him, all they do is trade barbs and yell at each other. Chun Jiao steps in and desperately tries to shut Zhi Ming up, before he screw things up further. 
The two men's verbal fight quickly escalates to a physical one. Zhi Ming aims for a punch, and then... a 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 sifu eventually relents.
Inside the delivery van, both of them reach out for the radio, his hand touching hers. She immediately pulls back, and for a moment there they simply stared at each other, both surprised by the sexual undercurrent that came out of nowhere. 
Zhi Ming: "Am I that detestable?" HUH. So much for sexual undercurrent. Of course, when he puts it like that - her response can only be affirmative: "Yes, you're that detestable." Ah, is that so. With an amused expression, 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." Nope, nothing to do with liking you at all. 

Methinks it's a lost cause, because uh, you two dated. No point flogging a dead horse, y'know. Zhi Ming moves for the kill: "So the one who kissed me at the swimming pool must be someone else, huh." 

Chun Jiao: "LAI ZHI MING!"
Okay, 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, the girl remembers 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. That 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, but he vehemently denies it (the OTP's names are supposedly rather common). But another couple? Ha, it's the new R&J). 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 
through a speakerphone (why is this the appropriate song, I dunno - it's like dedicating Adele's Someone Like You to your lover. Don't they know it's not a love song? Never is, never will be).  

Drums from pails (courtesy of teenage Ke Bo!) and guitar/microphone from broomsticks completes the makeshift band. As the teenage Zhi Ming croons, I'm melting into a puddle of goo. All this followed by a public confession:
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. Chun Jiao snaps out of the now bittersweet memory, and switches off the radio ("Hearing this song makes my blood boil.") 
Zhi Ming: "I know I shouldn't say this, but... I want you to know. *pauses* The reason for our breakup... it's not what you think it is."
But she stops him - she doesn't want to know (dammit Chun Jiao, but I want to!) - it holds no importance to her now. He agrees ("Right. 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... then something clicks. OMG, she's the girl from Zhi Ming's wallet! 

Zhi Ming feigns ignorance, but sifu is in glee (heh, closet shipper). He remembers that ZM use to look at the picture every night! And then there was that one time when his wallet got stolen by a co-worker, and when he found out, the perpetrator got the shit beat out of him. Initially, sifu thought he was angry because the thief used up his money, but no, it's because the photo was missing. He then finds him at the back alley searching through the bakery's garbage for it. 

Aw, how can you not love him now? 
Zhi Ming smoothly changes the conversation, but sifu is having none of it: "What phase of the relationship are you two on now?" She's just his boss, he shrugs. Sifu wishes him luck, and hands him a very special bun, his new creation that's guarantee to bring "fire to the relationship." (Me: Tongkat Ali bun?) With that, he waves them off.

(And we're awarded with 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 his congratulations. He's the Chairman's son and the successor of the company, and according to Wang Wang, "half of the ladies in the company have the hots for him." As they clink glasses, Yi Xiang looked at Zhi Ming like he's trying to size him up. *gasp* Does he know?
(Um, 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 - it has been 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's like, huh, what kid?  He clarifies that he saw her with a kid in KFC, and then casually throws in, "You married?" 

She snaps at him, "none of your business," but goes on to clarify that the kid is not hers, and that she's single, thank you very much (with much emphasis on empty ring finger). 
She throws a bun back at him, stressing that she doesn't need extra because she is single. Okay, we get the message - not married - ZM still has a shot, yeah?

The next day at work, Yi Xiang calls Chun Jiao into his office. Like I said, nada passion from this couple. Let me summarize their meeting before I fall into a deep slumber: One, he trusts her with a Very Important Project, something about preparing a proposal for the Korean brand ALICE. Two, when can they announce their upcoming marriage?

M-marriage?! So soon? 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 to be looked at "funny" by her colleagues. So you hate nepotism, huh... (Chun Jiao you hypocrite). 

He concedes, but asks her not to see him as a superior at work, but as a boyfriend too. *YAWN* Hm, what? He then gets a little scary when he tells her she could fire the assistant (ie. Zhi Ming) if she wants to, since he seems to be underqualified.
But surprisingly, Chun Jiao comes into Zhi Ming's defense, telling Yi Xiang that "she'll handle it." But when she leaves, he chucks Zhi Ming's personnel file into the bin. Ooh, consider me spooked.

During a brainstorming session, Zhi Ming entranced the team with his vision of how the ALICE project should be - a fashion show to 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 snaps 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. 

Chloe Says
Something I thought I'd never say on my drama blog: Please keep those flashbacks coming! I think I'm way more invested in the past than the present, lol. 

Watching teenage love unfold is just too cute and at the same time, tinged with sadness because I know how it all ends. Soo bitterweet. 
C'mon and get in touch with your teenage self, Diana! I know she's in there, somewhere!

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