I thought A Boy Named Flora A would keep the dark comedy going. But they sneaked the hearts in there and caused me to cry a river of tears. I didn’t understand why Huajia was so upset when Awei suggested that he throw away a broken bike. It became clear with him sitting on the doorsteps, looking at it. It’s not the bike itself that got him upset. It’s the idea of losing grandma and all the memories they shared. The scenes with small Huajia riding with big grandma, then small grandma riding with big Huajia really got to me.
Huajia’s sister and her boyfriend also had me in tears. She had the most awesome boyfriend: Kindhearted, considerate, supportive, understanding, responsible, emotionally stable. Nothing like the men in her family. Since the day she ran away with him, they had always been each other’s rock. The hardest part was not him dying but to stay strong when he was no longer with her.
My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (我女朋友的男朋友) is a hilarious scifi comedy about a human getting schooled by his robot roommates on humility and respect.
When Azhai purchased his love android, he thought he would be living the high life with the prettiest girl by his side.
Because of customization error, he got a perfect boyfriend Adam instead. To his infinite horror. (Adam’s perfect enunciation takes a little getting use to in the beginning. But now, I worship the way he speaks.)
More tragic still is the replacement android, Eve, incorrectly registered Adam as her boyfriend and wouldn’t let Azhai send him away. Since then Azhai has been living in a romance hellhole where he tries to woo Eve, but Eve only wants to be with Adam, and Adam only has the eyes for him.
Adam and Eve are not just different in gender. Eve is a first generation companion android with pre-programed personality matrix. She does not change and cannot empathize with her owner. Adam, on the hand, is the newest model with water-proof skin and upgradable feeling matrix. He can adapt and modify his personality according to his experience with his owner (which will come mighty handy later on when Azhai is feeling super vulnerable because of evil Eve.)
Q Series’ A Boy Named Flora A (花甲男孩轉大人) is a dark comedy about a multi-generation family trying to get a handle on the dying (or, non-dying?) of their beloved matriarch and descending into “Lord of the Flies” instead. It is so inappropriate to laugh at some of the things they do. And if I were to watch this drama in public, I would’ve laugh-coughed in fear of offending the public sensibility. Good thing I watched it in the privacy of my own home where I could laugh all I wanted.
Like when the adults were discussing how lavish grandma’s funeral had to be in order to demonstrate their “prominent and upstanding” status in the village, grandson Huajia (aka. Flora A) discovered their “dead” grandma wasn’t quite dead yet. The funeral director knowing that his sale had tragically fell through, given that no one died, he nonetheless tried to salvage the business by inviting the family to come to him when they die in the future. (That is a comforting thought: I can pre-plan my funeral and get an early bird discount.)
Or, when 2nd uncle’s family overslept and missed the life support removal ceremony, they had to crawl to the front door while wailing for the “dead” grandma, only to have 2nd uncle rush out to stop their filial piety act because grandma ain’t dead yet.
Equally embarrassing was when local politicians, in their overzealous patronage, not only gift the family funeral flowers before grandma’s “time”, they came in person to pay their respect, complete with incense and all. Only to be told, again, grandma ain’t dead yet. Being a bunch of slick politicians they were, they immediately turned to the other side of the room and prayed to Buddha for grandma’s long life.
Their death rituals/superstitions baffle me sometimes. So I always welcomed moments when regular old comedy appeared. Like two buddies reading manga on the bed, then one of them farts into the other person’s face.
Fighter of the Destiny (择天记) has two of the best gray people. They are not the firmly-on-the-dark-side, bad guys. They are, however, good people who make bad choices.
I think the best drama villain is the one who does terrible things for the right reason. Sheng Hou massacred an entire academic branch, executed most of her husband’s family, ritually slaughtered thousands of prisoners, not to mention she sacrificed her only child in order to preserve the stability of the kingdom. In her mind, a ruler has to get her hands dirty to do what’s best for her people. The blood on her hands is a testimony to her resolve. This woman has never lied to herself. So it is especially satisfying to see her redemption after she has (almost) descended into madness.
Her exact opposite is Qiu Shan Jun. He is a good person who is always trying to do good. The one time that he act selfish and petty, he got suckered into the bad guy camp. Because he couldn’t reconcile what he wanted to be and what he actually was doing, so he lied to others, and worse of all, he lied to himself. His lies quickly snowballed into an avalanche that buried his conscience.
As a standalone drama, TV version of Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu is lacking in many ways than one. But as a prequel to a movie, it does a great job. I want to see more Setoka x Haruka in action. Or, Haruka x Takane. I’m not picky.
While I don’t have affinity for Chiaki, he does do a wonderful job of riling up Haruka whenever he can. For instance, instead of telling Haruka that he saw Takane and Setoka kissed on the rooftop, he reenacted the kissing scene: Him as Setoka and his date as Takane.
Nothing deflates a girl’s confidence quite like being rejected by 12 guys in a row. But as it turns out, Tachibana Setoka’s lackluster dating life has very little to do with her and everything to do with her *super hot* brother Haruka. He believes it’s his sacred duty to get rid of bad apples from her dating pool before those jerks can make her cry, be it by persuasion or coercion. His preemptive action has worked fairly well until her first love and her latest crush (both had previously rejected her advances with no help from him) change their minds and decide that they do want to date her after all. Much to Haruka’s consternation.
I love Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu (兄に愛されすぎて困ってます) in the same way I love Go Princess Go and Zhong Ji Series. The show doesn’t take itself seriously as it pushes taboo to wherever Japanese midnight drama can take them (Shisukon is so common in manga I don’t even consider it a taboo anymore). And it knows how to play up its strength, which is its pretty, pretty cast.
There is only one word to describe Tachibana Haruka and that is kakkoii ♡＼(￣▽￣)／♡
Eternal Love may have strove to be an epic tragic love story, yet humor still dots its landscape. It is dry and it is funny. I can’t say for other people but I found Su Su and Ye Hua’s discussion on “the proper way to care for a snake” to be hilarious. Mainly because of Su Su’s trademark seriousness. It quickly dawns on Ye Hua, while explaining to Su Su that snake ain’t like human, he is speaking to a common-sense-challenged individual who needs major hand holding to cross the street. The funniest one-liner is when Ye Hua says, “I have loads of patience for less smart people,” looking directly at Su Su. Wahaha!
And of course, I can’t forget about Feng Jiu. This girl lies through her teeth in almost every interaction with Dong Hua. Except he can spot her lies like spotting a 3 year-old kid who swears that she didn’t eat the cookie from the jar while there are still cookie crumbs on her face. Naturally, Dong Hua, being incredibly old and jaded, can’t be bothered with correcting her so he just looks at her with his unfathomable side-glance. When this happens Si Ming gives her the pity look that says, “Poor child, I feel embarrassed for you.”