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.
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.