I have a soft spot for families that don’t always give us what we want but always give us what we need. And not so much for families that make decisions for us because they think they know what is best. Wang Jichuan definitely fits the former. He may not win the Best Brother Award, yet we will be lucky to have a brother like him.
On the other hand, I will probably develop heartburn if I had a brother like Xie Xiaodong. Although we can always count on him to be on our side but sometimes he is more trouble than he’s worth.
This boy lets his sister travel through a rural country side, into the wilderness, then hitch a ride from a stranger into the city by herself on a bicycle. I know Xiaoqiu is a strong and self-reliant woman. But his confidence in his sister goes above and beyond.
Wang Lichuan may seem like the easier of the two Wang brothers to talk to, but in reality he is as unyielding as a mountain. There is no persuading him. In contrast, Jichuan’s abrasive and dominating personality deters almost everybody from approaching him but his bark is worse than his bite. If Lichuan is a chocolate covered ball of steel, then Jichuan is a steel spike covered gooey chocolate.
Jichuan is on my favorite people list because he protects Lichuan while treating him like a dependable adult. Apparently, it is a quality difficult to find in dramaworld.
In one instance, Xiaoqiu’s best friend Ye Jingwen tries to trick Jichuan into revealing the truth behind Lichuan’s disappearance. She pretends to be Lichuan’s admirer who was devastated by his sudden disappearance four years ago, complete with teary eyes. Jichuan gets flustered by his enemy’s display of vulnerability. Yet, he continue to assert that the secret is not his to tell but in a rarely expressed sympathetic tone. I knew he is a protective brother but I never imagine he got integrity. Good for you, brother!
Then there is how people treats Lichuan. His colleagues think of him as this competent, well-mannered, professional, god-like being. His admirers think of him as a gorgeous, considerate, gentlemen with a cane. His grandfather treats him like a fragile porcelain doll. Lichuan is not just missing a leg, he is walking time bomb. Therefore, he mustn’t leave the house on his own, let alone, leave the country.
Comparing to their grandfather’s over-protectiveness, Jichuan treats Lichuan like a regular person. He is just as serious as their grandfather when it comes to Lichuan’s illness, but he takes his brother skiing when he recovers his health. At work, he piles on project and drags Lichuan to business functions when their grandfather would’ve forced Lichuan to bed rest. Basically, Jichuan acts like a slave-driving boss trying to squeeze every ounce of usefulness out of Lichuan. And, Lichuan thrives on that. Jichuan gives Lichuan a place where he can not only feel normal but also appreciated. I think that is the best feeling a person can have.
There is just so much love between the brothers. When was the last time your brother knitted a scarf for you? Or when was the last time you pretend to like the ugly handmade gift your brother gave you just so that you don’t hurt his feeling? Me, never.
One of the reasons I love Remembering Lichuan is because all the characters behave like normal, sane, and mostly goodhearted, people. If I were in their situation I will probably make the same choices they did. If not, at least I can understand where they are coming from.
Say Lichuan’s grandfather. He is anti-Xiaoqiu. He goes out of his way to get Xiaoqiu fired so she can’t go anywhere near Lichuan. From drama perspective, he is the bad guy. But from a human perspective, he is a caring grandfather who only wanted his grandson to be safe, healthy, and alive for as long as possible. Xiaoqiu puts Lichuan’s life in jeopardy every time he skips treatment to see her. So it is understandable he would want Xiaoqiu to be as far away from his grandson. I can’t fault him for that.