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.”
It is very hard to identify why I’m addicted to one drama and not the other. But with Eternal Love aka. 3 Lives 3 Worlds 10 Miles of Peach Blossoms I can pinpoint exactly when both my analytical mind and my sentimental heart became one. That moment is when Ye Hua asked Tian Jun’s permission to remove Su Su’s eyes himself. It sounds morbidly grotesque and I would never list it under the “Most Romantic Moment in a Drama” category, but in that moment I thought, this man truly and deeply loves his wife.
The easiest thing for him to do is let someone else perform the terrible deed, then comfort his wife afterwards by painting himself as her savior. But Ye Hua is anything but a cowardly delusional man. If his wife must surrender her eyes to keep her life, then he will be the last person she sees. She will know that he is the one responsible for what happens to her. He will swallow his own shame to look her in the eyes and bear her anger, her confusion, her hurt, and her terror. And he will accept that she will hate him for it. And, THAT takes no small amount of courage.
Two episodes into Q series’ 1000 Walls in Dream (夢裡的一千道牆) and I still don’t know what the drama is about, except ghost is everywhere, be it friendly, indifferent, or plain nasty. They stay around because they can’t let go of whatever it was they can’t let go when they were alive.
But I got to say this drama has one of the cutest ghost ever! It wants to be a real boy. So it follows Taoist teaching to successfully transform from an orb to a translucent baby. A few more episodes, I believe it will grow up to be a proper poltergeist haunting our heroine.
In the meantime, its friends are doing the job for it.
I have no idea where the story is going, but I’m already hooked on their theme song Broken Dream.