I’m taking a little diversion from C-novels and introducing a bit of c-drama into the blog. Coincidentally, the last drama recap I tried to do was also a Wallace Huo vehicle: The Swordsman. Alas, that fizzled out and died – couldn’t even blog about one more ep to finish the ending because it was so epicly bad.
Perfect Couple stars Wallace Huo and Tang Yan. The trailer shows some cute chemistry, and the style of storytelling reminds me of Ming Yue Ting Feng (I have withdrawal symptoms). Story by Tong Hua, which is my justification for recapping it on this blog: to see whether she can translate her writing into the small screen. If you haven’t already, you can find out more about the info by going to Koala’s site.
The show literally starts with a large plaque bearing the phrase ‘Perfect Couple” parading down the streets (just in case we were expecting this to be another show), making its way to the Jin Mansion. Gabby bystanders tells us that General Jin and Jiang’s family enjoys imperial favour. Through the same gabby bystanders, our female lead, Yu Qilin (Tang Yan) dressed in street clothes learns that General Jin’s has only one son, Jin Yuanbao.
Just as she turns, our female lead bumps into a rude girl. Serves her right that rude girl gets pickpocketed in the middle of the altercation, but our little heroine heroically rushes after the pickpocket anyway. We see that our male lead, Jin Yuanbao (Wallace Huo) observing from afar, telling his subordinates how he wants to find the mastermind behind the pickpocket.
Meanwhile, the plaque reached the Jin Mansion. The eunuch reads the empress dowager’s imperial decree bestowing marriage between Jin Yuanbao and Jiang Xiaoxuan, and congratulates Yuanbao’s mother, who is the niece of the empress dowager. He looks around for Yuanbao and his cousin steps up to stage whisper to Yuanbao’s mother that he’s not around.
Qilin had already caught up with the pickpocket and proceeds to show off some of her rather impressive martial arts. Haha – it’s quickly established that she’s going to be the brawn to Yuanbao’s brains; he can fight, but she’s better at it. Yuanbao isn’t happy – if she catches the pickpocket and drags him to the authorities, he won’t be able to dig further. So he steps up and “defends” the pickpocket. In the midst of the argument, she sees his token and identifies him as an investigator.
The pickpocket of course bolts for it. They catch him and extract a note from him and Brainy deduces that there’s a shady business afoot about selling women to brothels. Yuanbao finally identifies himself as the number one investigator in the Capital, Jin Yuanbao. Qilin seems happy to see him and tries to hug him but he stops her with his fan. She tells him she wants to become his disciple, and that her dream is to be an investigator like him. He ignores her and then she hugs his legs; the struggle makes it look like he’s trying to get his pants of him (yum). He actually hitches his pants up after his subordinates get her off him.
Yuanbao refuses to go home when his servant comes up to look for him. Instead he wants to go to the brothel to continue investigating. Qilin looks up with interest.
The Jiang entourage arrives and is welcomed by Liu Wenzhou, the Jin Mansion’s butler and Yuanbao’s cousin. If Yuanbao can be described to be uninterested in the marriage, then bride-to-be is downright against the marriage – she wants to run away. Perhaps it’s also good here to introduce the second male lead who’s stuffed awkwardly into the scene; he’s Gu Changfeng who tried to first peddle medicine to Liu Wenzhuo, and then to Jiang Xiaoxuan.
Yuanbao goes to the brothel to literally sniff out his suspect. No one seems suspicious until we meet Chor Chor. Qilin is also at the brothel, more specifically in Chor Chor’s room. She finds some incriminating evidence when Yuanbao and Chor Chor enters the room.
Chor Chor dances for him but before long, she winds up on him with Qilin hiding around and causing all sorts of ruckus, revealing herself. She tries to brazen herself as Chor Chor’s patron, scolding her for entertaining other men behind her back. Chor Chor runs away while Yuanbao and Qilin fights. Not sure why, but Qilin again doggedly tries to strip Yuanbao.
Finally catching on that something’s wrong, Yuanbao’s subordinates rushes in only to be stopped by masked men in black carrying swords. Chor Chor takes one look at the fighting and takes off in the other direction.
Yuanbao’s subordinates finally gets in to save him. Qilin runs away and we finally learn that her determination to strip his pants because she wants to identify whether he is her mother’s son (ah dang – what an innocent purpose). She declares that she will not give up until she gets his pants off finds out the truth. Yuanbao draws Chor Chor and Qilin’s portraits and sends people to find them. He runs home to get lectured by his mother.
He objects to the marriage because they are not the perfect couple as described by the plaque; how can two people who have never seen each other be described as the perfect couple? His mother rants at him saying that his bride to be is a warm and gentle, pretty, of the right age and background. He retorts that what he wants is a relationship that has actual feelings; all of the aforementioned is immaterial in that case. *claps claps* So our Brain has a heart attached too. 😛
His cousin/butler Liu Wenzhuo tries to interject but Yuanbao tells him to get out (only, much more politely) which he does. Mother and son continues their tiff. Mummy says that it’s too late; even if she was willing to cancel the wedding, the wedding is now bestowed on them by the empress dowager. So Son replies, that he will beg the empress dowager to rescind her decision, much to Mummy’s horror…
All in all, it’s not a bad first episode. I think our enjoyment of this series pretty much depends on your expectations. In the first episode, we have established the following: bickering couple, secondary couple that is well – truly secondary, villainous cousin (this one’s established in the trailer actually). I guess the only thing that amuses me right now is how the birth secret motivates Qilin to try to get Yuanbao’s pants off at every opportunity, while Yuanbao tries to preserve his dignity.
Ultimately, from the first episode, the scale of the story feels small since we are used to Tong Hua’s sweeping tear inducing epics. It is definitely different from her usual genre. But I think it’s good that we are taking a break away from the usual palace/harem/let’s fight for the throne storylines that was so 2011.
I am thinking of recapping this series, but bearing in mind that they are airing 3 episodes a night, perhaps not in as great detail as this first ep. Plus I am away for the whole of next week, and you guys would have raced ahead of me. Might do some breezy summaries instead.