The first 10 episodes of Caught in the Heartbeat (青春警事) had me thinking it’s a brain-dead police drama that solve cases with kisses. However, I persevered and was rewarded with a humorous, intelligent, engaging detective drama where I could join in on the case solving with our team. Since the story is told from their perspective, I get the same clues as them, no more and no less, no earlier and no later. Which makes watching this drama whole lot of fun.
Just to note, the drama’s premise may sound similar to Memory Lost (美人为馅) in which a female cop lost her memory and a male cop was the key to getting it back. But that is where their similarity ends. ML is a romance drama trying to play cop. This drama, however, is a cop drama trying to do romance. The relationship between Tang Yixiu and Gu Jing is much more relatable. I can picture my friends behaving the same ways they do.
The scene where Gu Jing tests how Yixiu trigger her lost memory has me laughing so hard my stomach hurts. Good news is that she has narrowed it down to their heartbeats. Bad news is that she hasn’t figure out what it is about their heartbeats that trigger her memory.
One woman’s memory recall technique is another man’s workplace harassment.
If we measure team spirit by the amount of teasing that goes on, then our team has no shortage of it. Detective Lin Tao is the captain of jest, medical assistant Li Dabao is his lieutenant, and medical examiner Qin Ming is the thickhead who misses all the jokes.
Dr. Qin: Change into a presentable outfit. That is an order.
Tao/Dabao: That’s an order.
Lin Tao is tall, handsome, and manly. So long as he is not being mischievous, comical, and wisecracking. He takes his job seriously and his work facetiously. Life is too short to be humorless.
Instead of chasing after a perp into a dirty furnace, he tells the reinforcement to bring over starter fluids. All that running in the open air sure do makes a man feel chilly. He wants to build a fire to get warm and toasty. The perp surrenders himself right away.
Fear not. There is no graphic pictures in this post.
First case requires our team to go down the sewage looking for missing body parts. Li Dabao, being the newbie assistant, volunteers to go first. We would think Dr. Qin is stopping her because she is a gentle woman and the men should check out the landscape first. Nope. He is stopping her because she forgot to get the forensic kit. He pulls the same stunt when she takes the initiative to examine the evidence under the magnifying glass.
At this point, she knows he is yanking her chain. So, she stealthily pulls the chair away from under him. She is not being passive-aggressive at all.
Pesky boss lashes out again when he tells her to leave the room because her breathing is interfering with his thought process. She takes a stand on her breathing issue by blowing her nose really, really loud.
When Dr. Qin kicks Dabao out of the autopsy room for a second time, she reacts by tearing off her lab coat and walking out the room like she owns the place. Quietness is SO overrated.
If you think Dr. Qin Medical Examiner (法医秦明) is too grisly for you, fear not, Chinese censorship has strike again. The almighty-CC has blurred out or entirely cut out all the gross out scenes for your delicate sensibility. You can go ahead and eat that chicken feet or that beef stew without vomiting all over yourself while watching this show. Just skip to episode 5 and you will be fine. (Unless you are watching it on Viki, which I am happy to report, has the uncensored version.)
While I was disappointed I couldn’t see most of the forensic markings they were referring to on the bodies, I thoroughly enjoyed the team’s witty interactions. With jokester Lin Tao, gourmand Li Dabao, and anal-retentive Qin Ming, there is never a dull moment. Their chemistry is awesome!
Between the autopsies, the fieldwork, the interrogations, the breakfast/lunch/dinner, they try to debunk a few urban legends with scientific facts. I don’t know how accurate the facts are, but since the original story is written by a real medical examiner, it should be mostly true?
Thank you, drama, for explaining why a tiny syringe filled with air is not going to make a grown man’s heart stop. Thank you for showing us the difference between a man and a woman’s bone under a microscope. And finally, thank you for explaining the floating fire in the Chinese ghost stories (because now, I can be truly afraid and piss in my pants.)
Remembering Lichuan is like a guide on how not to breakup.
1. Breakup always requires a reason.
If there is none, make up one. Things like, “I don’t feel the same way for you like I once did” or “the way your squeeze the toothpaste drives me nuts,” should suffice.
2. There is no such thing as staying friends.
Either I’m your honey-pie or I’m not. Exception is made for longtime friends, who after hooking up, realize they are much better as friends.
3. Don’t act like you are responsible for my future.
Just go. Leave. Disappear. Drop off the face of the earth. Clearly you don’t want to be in my future, so get lost.
4. Don’t be the other man/woman.
It’s bad enough as it is for current bf/gf to compete with your cat. Don’t make it any harder on them.
5. Breakup gift is hush money.
No matter how you wrap this one, it screams, “Gold-digger, we were never truly in love, so take the money and go.”
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.
Remembering Lichuan (遇见王沥川) is a tear-jerking love story about an iron-willed English interpreter refusing to breakup with her disabled Chinese-Swiss architect boyfriend. Their famous last word is “No.” That one syllable word conveys the whole spectrum of human emotions and the entirety of their relationship. Get your tissues out because you will need them.
The best part of this drama is watching him looking at her. It’s so, so, so sweet.
Which only makes the other moments all the more heartbreaking.
Lichuan: You have to move on.