JOE CHEN + HUANG XIAO MING: CHEESE ALERT
Ok I was told that this was cheesy but I didn’t expect it to be like this. Have you ever gotten a pasta at a restaurant and it was very flavourful and cheesy that you were felt like you couldn’t have anymore than a few bites? Holy sh*t. There were so many cheesy moments that I was pushed out of my comfort zone. AHEM I have boundaries too ok? I make it clear that I love OTP action but now this drama just saturates it.
No seriously they’re like a bottle of 151, and they decided to add some vodka, gin, and rum at the same time. I can’t. It’s intense.
That’s why I’ve decided to make make a toll to count all the numerous cheesy cliche times that pushed me over the edge: my cheese meter.
We meet Joe Chen right away… Her hair is in pigtails because you know, that’s like the most cliche way that a drama can show that she’s a young girl even though she’s like 30 years old and no, she cannot get away with making that dumb pouty face. You are not 16 ok, stop that. Her character’s name is Jing Xiu, and she is the typical naive Mary Sue.
Alright so let’s make this short and sweet because pretty much the beginning is always just ‘setting the circumstances’ and it’s just all very boring and confusing stuff.
But don’t worry your homegirl aka me got your back and I’ll summarize the painful boring beginning.
Pretty much, Jing Xiu was LITERALLY collecting water from lily pad leaves (ok I will not question what people did in the 1930’s) and she found her dying teacher in the same river that she was collecting leaf water. Being the damn Mary Sue that she is, she brings him home. Ok, I get it – you see a friend you know being hurt with a gun wound, you would probably bring him home to help him since your dad’s a doctor.
Her teacher then directed her to go back to the river to get a stop watch that he left there that’s ‘very important’, which I would be like “OH HEEEELL NO” because… yo, look happened to her teacher. Right? This is why I will never be in a drama.
Anyways she leaves for the stopwatch, her whole family becomes slaughtered by these men in black (who are the Japanese, surprise!). Notice the bullets go through Jing Xiu’s dad. We will touch on this later. The Japanese kill them for being associated with the teacher, and burns her house down.
After ALL THAT, the teacher ended up dying anyways (while taking down like 40 other people with him). Before being killed by the Japanese, he gives Jing Xiu the stopwatch and directs her to take it to Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Shanghai.
We are introduced the male lead: Zuo Zhen. AND HOLY THEY MAKE EVERYTHING HE DOES SO DAMN CHEESY!
Case in point: These guys are all attacking him and he keeps doing this freaking thing where he throws a bunch of punches at once and he holds that last position for like a good 10 seconds.
I want you to throw a few punches in the air. Now keep your fist in the air for a good five to ten seconds after throwing that last punch. Do you feel silly? That’s how silly he looks. Also I am not feeling the hat. He looks like the riddler.
Anyways after he beats up all those guys, he steals their packets of medicine.
Cheese factor: 3/10
OK now our OTP finally meets at the harbour. Jing Xiu is going to Shanghai to complete her mission, and Zuo Zhen is stealing medicine to give to his ‘boss’. Prepared for tons of cheese for every single interaction. It seems like the producers find every single excuse to put them both very uncomfortably close to each other.
Jing Xiu being a Mary Sue, decides to try to help Zuo Zhen hide after realizing that he’s being stalked by a couple of guys in black. She pulls him into a corridor to hide and they are uncomfortably chest-to-chest close after she gets pushed into his chest. That’s cheesy enough – and that was probably my limit, but the producers like to go above and beyond. Jing Xiu and Zuo Zhen hear the guys walk by, and Zuo Zhen pulls her in to kiss her to hide their faces.
CHEESE TOLL: 7/10
Anyways the guys in black chase after them and she again, gets uncomfortably close with him when the bad guys chase them. He pulls out his crazy moves again and beats those guys up, but Jing Xiu manages to almost fall over board. She’s caught by one hand by Zuo Zhen but she pulls free after she drops the stopwatch into the waters.
Damn dumb Jing Xiu went to the water to go after the f*cking stopwatch and manages to drown/pass out. Like seriously dude if you can’t swim don’t pull sh*t like that.
CHEESE FACTOR 8/10
Ok this scene where Jing Xiu wakes up and sees him shirtless was purely added to showcase Huang Xiao Ming’s abs ok?
OK what is he wearing? He looks like he stepped out of the f*cking Matrix movies. They reach Shanghai, he tries to buy her stopwatch off of her. She refuses, and Zuo Zhen gives her his necklace to ‘protect’ her because he’s that much of a boss. His right hand guy sees that Zuo Zhen wanted that stopwatch so that guy steals it.
BTW those are the harbours from Lady and the Liar. Just sayin’.
Anyways, Zuo Zhen is in trouble for not getting the medicine to this guy, who’s the big boss of his gang. One of the leaders, Long Shao, who hates Zuo Zhen, challenges Zuo Zhen to cut himself because one of the remedies to the big boss’s illness by providing blood medicine. He’s about to stab his leg except he’s luckily stopped but at this point I’m laughing because of all the similarities to Lady and the Thief since Bai Lang literally stabbed his leg twice. The producers love arranging this eh? LOL.
Zuo Zhen gets invited to a ball by Shanghai’s most powerful man – Xiang Shao. At the same time, Jing Xiu realizes that Zuo Zhen had her stopwatch (since it was gone after the harbour) so she follows him – but couldn’t get into the ball because she didn’t have an invitation. Luckily she gets help with Ying Shao – who is the brother of Xiang Shao, and finds the secret ladder for them to climb in.
And since homegirl here for some reason can’t stay on her two feet, she’s always managing to ‘fall’ into Zuo Zhen’s arms (like when they were being chased by men on the ship, falling off the ship, and now – this sh*t will happen a lot later). So much CHEESE. Even though there are certain parts that are very very cheesy, the plot seems pretty interesting – especially when this bad Japanese guy is introduced… so I’m pretty hooked at this point.