Down With Love: Episode 1

Posted: February 7, 2010 in Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Drama
Tags: , , , , ,

Those of you who are familiar with both Korean and Taiwanese dramas will notice that Down With Love shares a similar thread to upcoming kdrama Personal Taste starring Lee Min-ho and Son Ye-jin. In both shows, one character thinks the other is not straight (lesbian/gay) because of a lie, and end up staying together and falling in love.

I found the premise of Jerry Yan’s new show – also starring Ella Chen and Michael Zhang – trite and even though I’ve seen and liked all three leads in different dramas, I don’t see them coming together. Most importantly, I don’t actually feel a romantic chemistry between Jerry Yan and Ella.

But watching the first episode made me remember why I liked Ella in Hana kimi; she’s really adorable. AND it’s Jerry Yan afterall. 😉

             .

CHARACTERS

YANG GUO (Ella Chen) is a naive and optimistic girl who believes the way to be happy is to be easily contented with what you have.

 

Case in point: She carries a 36kg refrigerator in a hot humid day along the streets of Taipei, only to find that the lady has bought a new fridge and deems her service redundant. As a result, all she gets is a drink and a goodie bag as remuneration for her hard work. Despite that, she still eagerly checks out her goodie and is happy that they’re real.

Forming a sharp contrast to Yang Guo’s happy-go-lucky personality is SHIANG YU PING (Jerry Yan), a famous lawyer who is known never to have lost a lawsuit. He is rich and suave, but also cold and snobbish.

Yu Ping is not as carefree as he looks though, as he has been entrusted with the care of his brother’s kids since his death. They are YU FEI (niece) and YU TING (nephew) and they’s so mischievous that they’re driving HIM to his grave as well. But as we later see, it’s actually because they need love and attention, especially from their cold uncle. Every nanny Yu Ping has hired to babysit them either runs off in fear of the kids or ends up falling in love with Yu Ping and hence failing in her duties.

Connecting these 2 poles (North Pole and South Pole) is YANG DUO (Kelly Huang) who is Yang Guo’s money-crazy elder sister and Yu Ping’s secretary. The sisters used to be rich, until their parents’ business failed presumably because they had passed away.

 .

EPISODE 1

 

Shiang Yu Ping is at Mainland Hang Zhou to take on a divorce case for his lady client who’s on the losing end. She has signed a pre-marriage agreement with her billionaire ex-husband that she won’t be getting any alimony if the couple divorces – and her  husband even has reasons to accuse her of adultery. She doesn’t feel confident about the case and tells Yu Ping she’ll be contented with 30 million but Yu Ping tells her that since she has entrusted him with the case, she should trust his abilities.

His strategy? To attack the old man’s seeming inability to procreate agitating him to defend himself, and in a slip of tongue, “If I were impotent, why would my secretary be pregnant!?”

Bingo!

 

With a triumphant smile, Yu Ping demands 2 billion on behalf of his client, way beyond what she expected to get. The chairman is a public figure – surely his reputation and his company’s professional image is worth much more?

Later, lady client marvels at how capable Yu Ping is but goes on to request for more reparation.

Yu Ping returns to his Taipei law firm and tells his secretary, Yang Duo that he’s giving everyone a treat. The men excitedly plan for a sumptuous meal but Miss Yang says they shouldn’t step over the boundary – their boss already treats them often enough – and orders the $500 set meal. Miss Yang is the only lady in the office, but seems to easily tame the guys with her sharp no-nonsense personality.  

 

Yang Guo receives a call from her client (the dogs’ owner) who instructs her to bring them for dog spa. She trys to call her elder sister Miss Yang (I’ll call her that instead of Yang Duo so we won’t confuse the 2 Yangs) to notify her but never got to as she gets hanged up – and receives a message from her thrifty elder sis to message instead of call as it’s cheaper. Miss Yang pre-empts all of Guo’s messages, before she even finishes typing them, and orders her to report punctually for a competition.

 

It’s a sushi eating competition and the runner up walks away with a rice cooker.

  

Hence hilarious eating scenes by Ella ensue.

 

She wins second place! That’s before the champion vomits and is hence disqualified, and Yang Guo is crowned the winner, much to the sisters’ dismay.

Guo gets over the loss pretty quickly though – the first prize, a sushi menu, isn’t too bad as well – and wants to learn to make sushi. It’s her boyfriend A-De’s birthday the next day, and she wants to celebrate it with him. He is uninterested though, citing the reason that he needs to be more serious at work so that he can get promoted.   

She gives him his birthday present which he retorts, “It’s not something you’ve made yourself again, is it?” However he responses with interest when he sees an expensive tie pin, ignoring Guo when she presents him with the knitted sweater she gave him for his previous birthday. 

He goes in to try on the tie pin and tells Guo to clean up the table for him, which she does and accidentally presses on a button on his phone – a female voice message plays, thanking him for the flowers. He has been cheating on Guo with a richer girl. Instead of defending himself, A-De stones for a second and throws up his arms, “You can’t blame me. If you must, blame yourself for being so boring. Look at yourself, you have no feminine charm at all!”

Hence Guo is immersed in her own world at her workplace, a posh western restaurant, while she takes the customer’s orders. The customer happens to be Yu Ping who planned to meet his childhood buddy QI KE ZHONG (Michael Zhang) for dinner.

 

Guo is dazed and unattentive, tardy in taking his orders and then mixing up his beef chop with pork chop repeatedly. Yu Ping tests her by ordering a drink that isn’t on the menu, and Guo doesn’t realise it. When Yu Ping asks pointedly, “Does your restaurant serve this drink?” and throws the menu to the floor, Guo flips through it and realises with a laugh, “Oh there isn’t. Why are you ordering something that isn’t even on the menu!” She stops short when she realises the displeased look on Yu Ping’s face.

 

Ke Zhong arrives just as Yu Ping is giving Guo a chiding for her bad service, and then after an extended pause, he exasperatedly asks what she is waiting for, shouldn’t she at least offer his friend a drink?

Guo returns to the kitchen where her friend XU YAN LING (Amanda Zhou) asks about her breakup. Guo asks Yan Ling uncertainly if she really is boring and has zero feminine charm, to which the latter is hesitant to answer.

Guo: “In the past when he courted me, he said I was special and stood out from girls who love to gossip behind others’ back. It’s even better that I don’t like to doll myself up – he loves girls who are thrifty. But now that he wants a break-up, all these good points became faults. What’s this?”
Yan Ling: “Guo…”

Guo: “Don’t worry! It’s not like it’s the first time I’m falling out of love. It’s no big deal! Anyway things will get better. Let’s work!”

Meanwhile, the guys chat.

Yu Ping: “Women! Once they fall in love, they forget all about work. Hence women can’t be trusted. That’s why in my law firm, only one of my staff is female.”
Ke Zhong: “Is it because she has the cool sanity missing in most women?”
Yu Ping: “It’s because.. she loves money. So she’s easier to control.”

Miss Yang sneezes in an inserted shot. (HAHA)

Ke Zhong: “The women you’re refering to.. does it include Hui Fan?”

That’s apparently a sensitive topic, and Ke Zhong is quick to say he’s just kidding. Despite that, the guys share a friendly camaraderie.

Yan (Ling) is pestered by a customer who professes his love for her. In order to get him off her back, Yan pretends she’s not straight and plants a firm kiss on Guo. Yu Ping and Ke Zhong look on, too stunned for words.

  

In the car, Ke Zhong can’t stop laughing at what they’ve witnessed, and then asks Yu Ping how the two kids at home are doing.

Yu Ping: “You should be asking how I am doing with those two around. Why haven’t I been driven to my grave by them yet?”

When Yu Ping gets off, he sees the huge poster of a female celebrity.

 

He pauses and turns back to tell Ke Zhong, “I heard Hui Fan’s back. Like you said, we’re all old friends. Let’s pick a day to meet up.” To which Ke Zhong agrees with a smile.

 

Miss Yang (Duo) goes to 7-eleven and asks for the cheapest buy there – a tea boiled egg – and leaves with all the sauce in the store. She passes by a highclass furniture store and is awed by the pretty furniture inside, and decides to go in to take a look.

Ke Zhong happens to be there too and asks her for a favour. He’s picking a bed for his clients, a couple, and wants to know whether lying in the bed with another person is as comfortable as it is by himself. Miss Yang agrees hesitantly and lies down beside him.

(What an awkward favour to ask, but at least Ke Zhong isn’t sleazy in his request.)

He thanks her for the help and coolly leaves, while Miss Yang finds his backview strangely familiar.

 

Guo is sacked because Yu Ping has lodged a complaint about her poor service attitude. (Can’t blame Yu Ping for being mean, Guo mixed up the orders despite Yu Ping’s two corrections.) Guo is devastated about losing his job, as her money-minded elder sis will surely skin her if she finds out.

Yan brings Guo to a pub in an attempt to “hook a rich boyfriend” as that is the quickest way to appease her elder sis. They happen to see A-De getting out of a cab with his new girlfriend. Yan is indignant to point out that he is wearing the blue sweater Guo has knitted for him while dating another person, but Guo says to think on the bright side, “at least he really likes that sweater. That makes my feelings for him for so many years sort of worth it.”

To show us what a jerk he really is, A-De throws away the knitted sweater when his girlfriend complains that he doesn’t look good in it.

 

Guo is heartbroken to see that and can no longer keep silent, “A-De, you’re really too much!  Do you know how long I took to knit that sweater?” When his new girl asks him who Guo is, he referred to her as his “old friend”. Yan retorts angrily, “Old friend?! Do you have no shame?”

A-de: “She’s one who said we can still be friends after we break up. Yang Guo, I didn’t remember wrongly right?”
Guo: “Is that how you should treat a friend’s goodwill?”
A-de: “That’s what I hate the most about you and your cheap ways. The truth is that everything you’ve given me, except that tie pin, is worthless. But Xiao Juan’s dad can give me a shop and let me be the boss. If you were me, who would you choose?”

Jerk.

Guo inevitably gets drunk and makes a (mild) scene in the pub. A-De approaches her and accuses her of deliberately making a scene there to embarrass him.

 

Ke Zhong who has witnessed the exchange between Guo and A-De outside (he was there to meet a friend but he didn’t turn up) and has been silently watching her drink in despair approached Guo and pretends they’re together, “She’s my date. Who are you? What gives you the right to speak to her like that?” And then to Guo, “My dear, shall I teach him a lesson for you?” A-De responds bitterly that she has found someone so quickly, “Let’s see if he can last longer than me.”

After A-De has left, Guo cries. Ke Zhong speaks, “Don’t cry. Crying means you still love him. And that means you’ve lost. You can’t cry.” Guo responds, “Don’t bother with me! I’m not drunk, neither am I upset. I just want to cry, can’t I?” and leaves the pub. Yan is in a cubicle, dead drunk.

 

Ke Zhong sees that Guo has vomitted and is feeling miserable and runs off to buy her water to rinse her mouth and wash her face. Guo found him annoying initially, but is touched by his gesture.

  

Guo thanks Ke Zhong but explains she’s just fallen out of love, and can’t accept another relationship so quickly, “Just give up, alright?” (she IS drunk, after all xD) Ke Zhong corrects and tells her that she’s misunderstood him.

Guo: “Misunderstanding.. Oh! What a huge misunderstanding. How is it possible to like someone like me right? I’m so lousy. I’m not pretty, I’m dumb, even my sister often scolds me for being a useless thing. How can anyone like me?”
Ke Zhong: “Why do you talk about yourself like that? I don’t find you lousy!
Guo: “Don’t comfort me! I lost my job and got dumped by my boyfriend. If I’m not lousy, why would I be so unlucky?”

Guo sobs as she continues.

 

Guo: “This sweater, he saw it online. He said he liked it, but I don’t have the money to buy. So I went to find exactly the same thread and knitted very seriously. But this thing is so hard to knit, so hard! In the end he says this thing is worthless!

Ke Zhong takes the sweater and says he likes it, to which Guo agrees to let him have it.  

 

Guo: “The value of an object depends on whether its onwer appreciates and cares for it. I believe that one day I’ll meet someone who truly treasures and cares for me. Regardless of whether I am rich or pretty, he’ll love me forever. Forever..”

Ke zhong pats her head gently and replys, “You’ll meet him.”

Meanwhile, Yu Ping returns home late (“the two monsters should be asleep by now..”) to find that the nanny he hired to take care of them is still at his house and has even baked a cake to celebrate his birthday for him, to which he responds, “What the heck are you doing? Where’s Yu Fei and Yu Ting?” They are already asleep.

When Yu Ping exasperatedly tells Miss Chen to come over, she thinks he’s eager to do it with her, and wants him to try her cake first.

Yu Ping: “Listen carefully. Leave now, and I’ll pretend nothing happened tonight. ”
Miss Chen: “Don’t resist anymore. I know you’ve fallen in love with me at first sight. Just like Yu Fei and Yu Ting, you’re a child who needs love. I can give you that.”
Yu Ping: “Miss Chen, I hired you to help me look after kids, not to bear kids for me. OK? Get out.”

  

The nanny retorts, “Miss Chen is the previous nanny, my surname is Lin. You’re the one who don’t know what’s happening!” Yu Ping returns, “Sorry, today’s not my birthday, you’ve troubled yourself for nothing. I’ll deduct the cake’s money from your allowances. Leave. ”

 

The kids are amused, but turn to hide when they see Yu Ping looking at them with a mixture of annoyance and resignation.

 

The next morning, Guo wakes up to an angry sister who had to take care of her drunk self last night. Duo finds out the reason why Guo is dumped and comforts her by allowing her to skip work for one day. Guo timidly breaks another piece of news – she has lost her job as well. This causes her sister to chase her out of the house to find a job NOW. (Miss Yang is really scary :s)

At Yu Ping’s law firm. Yu Ping tells Miss Yang to find a new nanny for him and he’s willing to pay twice the market rate, prompting Miss Yang to blurt out loud, “Again?” But she keeps herself in check and says okay, she’ll look for one.

Through the hilarious exchange between the two, we learn that the latest nanny has lasted less than a week – as expected by Miss Yang who had placed a bet on that with the other colleagues. When Miss Yang mumbles that the rate of Yu Ping changing nannies is fiercer than the rate they change the cushions in the office, Yu Ping shoots back, “Shall I adjust the rate that I change my secretary to match up then?” That puts Miss Yang to the task at hand immediately – find a new nanny!

 

Meanwhile, Guo has found a new construction site job and is starting the next day. She passes by her old house, which leads her to think of her father, who gave her a magic stone on her birthday.

 

She thanks the magic ball for granting her wish by aiding her in finding a job so quickly, and makes another wish, “Please let me meet one who truly loves me.”

Guo leaves on her bike, but along the way she had to fix her loosened bicycle chain and accidentally drops her magic ball. It rolls to the middle of the road, and Guo runs after it – coming into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

 

Yu Ping gets off the car and yells, “You wanna die?! Even so, don’t pick my car!”

They recognise each other, and Yu Ping accuses her of wanting to create a false accident to cheat him of money. Guo says indignantly, “What false accident? You.. can’t happen to be a lawyer right?” (HAHA priceless look on Yu Ping’s face) Guo confirms, “You must be a lawyer, just like my sister’s cold blooded lawyer boss. Crazy!”

Guo picks up her magic ball next to Yu Ping’s car tyre and demands an apology since the truth is now out. Yu Ping thinks it’s a story she has cooked up on the spot (who would sacrifice her life for a cheap looking glass ball??) and retorts, “If you have spent that effort at work, you wouldn’t be jobless now.” Guo returns, “Not everyone measures the value of something with money! My sister always says that to call a person cold blooded and cruel, just call him a big shot lawyer!” (LOL)

 

Even though Yu Ping is the lawyer, Guo manages to make Yu Ping speechless with anger as she cycles off screaming, “So unlucky I’ve met a weirdo!”

(Angry Jerry Yan is mad cute!)

Yu Ping returns home to see an ambulance parked outside his house. The latest nanny has been scared so badly and had to be given sedatives to calm down.

 

Yu Ping asks Yu Fei what happened, who responds she has no idea why there’s a huge spider in the nanny’s soup. Yu Ping takes it in and trudges off without a word. Yu Ting speaks, “Uncle looks angry with us..” while Yu Ping responds, “Being angry with us is better than ignoring us completely.”

The next morning, breakfast is a silent affair at Yu Ping’s household. Yu Fei tells his brother to stop playing with his food, but he says he’s drawing their uncle, “Uncle, does this look like you?”

Yu Ping ignores him and continue reading his papers. Yu Fei squeezes ketchup all over the bread and says, “No this suits him better.” 

Yu Ping: “Eat faster, I’ll wait for you in the car”
Yu Fei: “Uncle, do you deslike us very much?”
Yu Ping (after a pause): “I just don’t like kids.”

At the law firm, Miss Yang is open-mouthed to hear that the latest nanny has been beaten so quickly. When Yu Ping says he’s determined to find a nanny and is willing to pay whatever price she demands, this makes her think of her sister Guo and she calls her to report to her place immediately.

Miss Yang and Yu Ping discuss the contract over meal. Miss Yang presents Yu Ping with 2 alternatives. If he pays more (a rather exorbitant price compared to market rate), he gets plan B and her sister will be on call 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Yu Ping smirks, “With your talent, it’s such a waste not to be a lawyer.”

 

Guo arrives and it dawns on her that she has been speaking bad about her sister’s boss IN FRONT OF him, and implicating her sis as well.

 

She cooks up an excuse that the real Yang Guo has been knocked down by a car and lying in a hospital, and she’s just there to pass a message. Of course, Yu Ping sees through her weak lie and pulls her back.

Guo kneels down to ask for forgivance. In a hilarious scene, Miss Yang chides her about kneeling, “The Yangs never kneel, regardless of what you’ve done. We have too much self-respect to do that!” But after hearing Guo pleads to Yu Ping, “I never said my sister spoke of you as the cold-blooded and cruel lawyer boss!” She too collapses on her knees.

 

Yu Ping forgives the 2 sisters and asks Guo to obey all the rules he had set, which include things like never to fall in love with him, not to spoil anything in the house, not to be violent to the kids, and not to leave her job within one year regardless of any reason. Miss Yang agrees to all of them on Guo’s behalf and even goes as far as announcing that her sister is lesbian to assure Yu Ping that she will NEVER fall for him.

At home, Guo hesitates about working for the mean lawyer boss, but relents under the tyranny of her sister and the lure of the high pay. Miss Yang also goes on to tell her horror stories of the 2 kids – they’re notorious in the babysitting industry.

 

The next day, Guo goes to pick the kids up from school. She is eager to warm up to them and even gives them candies. But the kids are obviously out to make life difficult for her. When Yu Fei asks for a drink, Guo goes into a store and tells the kids to wait for her. But when she’s out, the kids are nowhere to be seen!

Guo panics and combs the streets. In a desperate attempt, she runs to the law firm to own up that she has lost the kids.

 

At the law firm, Yu Ping is representing a gay teacher who has been sacked by the school on the basis of his sexual orientation. The client is afraid to fight on as the lawyer representing the school (also happens to be the lawyer representing the rich old client at the start of the episode) threatens to reveal his sexual orientation to the public – wouldn’t this shame his parents, also teachers in another district? Afraid, the client signs the agreement despite the unreasonable terms and Yu Ping riles at the opposing lawyer’s provocation.

Just then Guo barges in and knocks the lawyer, causing him to drop his suitcase and the contract. Yu Ping takes the opportunity to spill coffee over the document, causing it to be ineffectual. Now they’ll have more time on their side to negotiate.

 

Miss Yang brings in the kids just as Guo confesses that she has lost the kids. Yu Fei utters innocently, “She was so fast we couldn’t even catch up!”

Yu Ping knows about the kids’ tactics, in fact he thanks Guo for the help, and tells her to bring them home. The Yang sisters are relieved, but Yu Fei and Yu Ting pout as they leave with Guo.

 .

COMMENTS

I see quite a few symbolisms in this episode. Like Guo giving the blue sweater to Ke Zhong. Just like how he places value on the sweater unlike A-De, he is also likely to grow to treasure and care for Guo as they grow closer in later episodes. And of course, the unmissable magic ball wish – which came true sort of immediately as it rolls to Yu Ping’s car and leads Guo to a fight with Yu Ping.

I love the interactions between Yu Ping and the two sisters, so hilarious. Kelly Huang who portrayed Yang Duo is such a good comic actress and Ella’s funny expressions are always adorable, albeit abit exaggerated at times.

We can see that Ke Zhong is the Mr Nice, but I actually don’t like the kind who keeps sending out false messages to girls… Whereas Yu Ping is firm and straightforward, and never hazy about what he wants. Yeah, he’s harder to get along. But I find him more true to himself, and more real.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. gela1989 says:

    hello, im rachelle from Philippines..

    i.’m SO interested with this movie.. please help me look for a video link with English subtitles .. pretty please…

    thanks..

  2. Ana says:

    Omg i love it and i’m just reading

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s