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Monday, October 19, 2015

Bromance (T-Drama) Recap & First Impression

Drama: Bromance (愛上哥們)
Airs: Sunday
Episodes: 20
Synopsis: Our heroine has been living as a man for the last twenty five years so things gets a tiny bit complicated when she becomes "brothers" with a mob boss.

Bromance Episode 1

We are introduced to our hero Du Zai Feng first. After courageously saving a mob boss from a gunman as a child, Zai Feng is adopted into the Du family. With his adoptive father's passing, Zai Feng feels the heavy burden of safe guarding his responsibilities and has made the decision to start legalizing his father's "business". 
Born to two rather comical and naive parents, our heroine Pi Ya Nuo's life is turned upside down when a soothsayer tells her parents that her life will be in danger unless she live as a man until the age of 26. Despite being a scrawny looking "man", Ya Nuo is actually a really good fighter and can easily take on a man twice her size. 
Hiding her gender from the world, Ya Nuo has no choice but to constantly tell all the admiring girls that she already has a girlfriend. 

While working at her hot dog stand with her friend, Ya Nuo's attention is suddenly caught when she sees Zai Feng being attacked by a group of thugs just a short distance away. Unable to simply stand by when she sees injustice happening right in front of her, Ya Nuo jumps in and joins Zai Feng in fighting the thugs off. 

Grateful to Ya Nuo's help, Zai Feng tries to offer Ya Nuo and her friend (Guang Chao) a chance to operate their hot dog stand in his amusement park without paying rent, but Ya Nuo refuses Zai Feng's offer.  
Ignoring Guang Chao's nagging that she is crazy in turning down free rent, Ya Nuo's hero instinct kicks in again and she ends up saving Zai Feng's sister (Zi Han) from being trampled by a horse. Noticing right away that her daughter has fallen in love with Ya Nuo at first sight, Madam Du (hero's adoptive mother) uses her impressive verbal skill to first convince Ya Nuo to have dinner with them then to agree to become friends with her son. 
Her sympathy flaring up the moment Madam Du starts talking about how lonely Zai Feng has been because of their mob background, Ya Nuo's little agreement to be friends with Zai Feng turns into a much bigger mess when Zai Feng decides to become "blood brothers" with her instead. 
Happy to gain a "brother", Zai Feng tells Ya Nuo that since she is family now, she must come to Madam Du's birthday party. 
Arriving home after her eventful day, Ya Nuo is surprised when her parents throws a private party to celebrate the fact that she only has 99 days before she turns 26... meaning it would be safe for her to be a girl then. Ya Nuo tries to tell her parents that she is actually quite used to being a man now, but her parents just ignores her and list the many things they want to do once she is a girl. 
In a good mood just thinking about his new "brother", Zai Feng assures his skeptical friend, Qing Yang that he is sure Ya Nuo is someone worthy of his trust. A careful person by nature, Qing Yang gives a slight shrug as he watches Zai Feng eagerly showing a rather excited Ya Nuo how to shoot. 
Taking this whole brotherhood thing very seriously, Zai Feng shows up at Ya Nuo's house to tell her stunned parents that he is brothers with their daughter. Clueless of the true reason Ya Nuo's parents seemed so worried, Zai Feng assumes that they are simply worried about their son hanging out with a mobster and assures them that he will protect Ya Nuo. 

Stiffly sending Zai Feng out, Ya Nuo's parents immediately start wailing and plead with Ya Nuo that she must not let anyone find out about her gender or else her life would be in danger for sure. Hopelessly holding her two crying parents, Ya Nuo promises that she will be extra cautious. 
Determined to get her man no matter what, Zi Han (hero's sister) assures her mother that she is not about to give up even if Ya Nuo already has a girlfriend. I love Mama Du's advise "That's right, a woman should hold a man tightly in her grasp... and if you held on too tightly and he dies... well, that's fine." Such a weird advise but so hilarious. 

Left with no choice when Zi Han demands to see her girlfriend, Ya Nuo bring her cousin to Madam Du's birthday party in order to prove to Zi Han that she is not lying. Pleasantly surprised to see how good of a catch Zai Feng is, Xiao Jing (Ya Nuo's cousin) suggests that maybe Ya Nuo should go for Zai Feng herself. Replying with sneering laugh, Ya Nuo waves Xiao Jing's suggestion away. So it looks Xiao Jing is one of the few people who actually knows the truth about Ya Nuo's gender.  
Left alone when Xiao Jing makes a run for the bathroom, Ya Nuo freezes in shock when she realizes she is holding the number (she is actually holding it for Xiao Jing) that makes her Zai Feng's dancing partner. 

After a brief pause, Zai Feng resolutely walks up to Ya Nuo and invites her to a dance. Recovering after her initial shock, Ya Nuo accepts Zai Feng's invitation and starts to dance with him. 

Throwing her arms around Madam Du in dismay as she watches her brother dancing with her crush, Zi Han doesn't look too convinced when her mother remarks "It's kind of a surprise... but they look pretty good out there!"  
Back from her trip to the bathroom, Xiao Jing smiles with glee once she figures out how Ya Nuo ended up dancing with Zai Feng. Determined to give her cousin a helping hand, Xiao Jing drags Ya Nuo's friend (Guang Chao) onto the dance floor and purposefully runs into Ya Nuo... 
and we have a kiss!

First Impression
Hmm... I can't figure out how I feel about this one yet. The premise is certainly one of my favorite kind and the plot is sure moving at a neck breaking pace... However, I actually would prefer it if the show would slow down a bit. 
The hero meets the heroine in the first 10 minutes of the show. They promptly becomes blood brothers, then our hero strangely seems to have no problem what-so-ever in getting super touchy with his new brother. By the end of the first episode, our hero is even willingly dancing with his brother on a party for all to see?!   

The pacing is SO fast that as a viewer I simply didn't have time to develop an emotional attachment to our two leads yet and more importantly, it is just too soon for me to think that the hero has developed deep enough feelings for the heroine that he would be willing to break gender role for her. 

Now, the show has hinted that the heroine has probably saved the hero back when they were kids, and Zai Feng has been searching for the little girl since that time. If the little girl is indeed Ya Nuo, I guess we could use a mysterious connection from their childhood as a way to explain Zai Feng's behavior but I am not really buying it. 

Still, my overall issue with Bromance so far is not big enough that I am going to jump ship yet. I am wondering if the core of the story is actually not Ya Nuo's interaction with Zai Feng as a man but more on what happens when she reappear in his life as a girl. If that's the case, then that would explain why the writer is rushing this part of the story so much. Anyhow, no matter what the writer intends, I am intrigued enough to at least give Bromance a few more episodes before I decide. 


  1. Man there so many drama of girls dressing up as boy but in the end they end up looking like girl with short hair not a boy. I think this is the first time I really really see a girl as a boy that really look like a boy. I'almost mistake this drama was going to be about two guy falling in love. lolz

    1. I totally agree! The heroine is doing such a good job with the way she carries herself that I can completely see her as a flower boy.

    2. Yes, she really look and move like a boy, that's awesome

  2. Thank you ninja,always liked Megan Lai's performance.Most actresses while acting as a boy act well but their short stature always makes them look unconvincing.Megan is perfectly cast here.Liked her from Miss Rose

    The pacing of this drama is too fast,hope they have a good script and dont mess up

  3. This looks fun. Hopefully gets subbed soon!

  4. I think they are trying to suggest that Yu-nuo is the little girl except that the family has been pretending she was a boy since birth. So why would she have long hair and dress like a girl? That's a pretty big plot hole if that is what they're going for. Otherwise I'm enjoying it, I love cross-dressing stories. But yes, this is moving at break neck speed. Honestly the way her blood brother grabs her, is in no way brotherly. The shooting pose? Total come on. Would make sense if the hero was closeted, but he clearly isn't meant to be. The two lead have a nice chemistry so bring on the shenanigans.

    1. The little girl being the heroine is totally my guess ... judging from the law of the dramaland, so yes, there is a big problem with my theory because Ya Nuo was raised as a boy almost since birth. I did think of the issue that you brought up, but I figure the writer could always have the little Ya Nuo playing dressing up out of her curiosity. Now, one giant problem I have with my dress up theory is that they probably don't have wigs for that young of girls.

    2. I agree with you, soulmate-met-as-children is the trope, so I definitely think that's what they're implying but still - plot meet hole.

    3. Actually, The little girl in the picture is not Ya Nuo. You have to watch the drama to see who that girl actually is. It's a great series, even tho it can be cheesy from time to time. I love Megan Lai's acting, and I've never like a gender blender role as this one.

  5. I'm intrigued even though the plot might be predictable... What makes me want to watch it is:
    1) the cast! I loved Megan Lai in Two Fathers, Baron Chen in Fated to Love You, Sean Lee in Pleasantly Surprised and Bii as a singer (let's see how he is in acting).
    2) Megan Lai's acting as a flower boy is very convincing... even her body language is great... When I saw pictures of her and Mandy Wei at a fan meeting, I thought Megan was some Korean flower boy...

  6. I think that our heroine saved the guy from drowning but ran away. A bit like the story of Little Mermaid. The long haired girl was not wet. She couldnt have saved him

    1. Ooh I like this theory. It would be nice if this was true as sometimes it's hard to accept 'dramaverse' reality and it'd be nice not to have to swallow the lack of continuity (both the fact that the girl is not wet and that she's a girl).

  7. Thank u for ur recaps. They light up my days. I m totally hooked on moon river n Bromance now.

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  9. Well I have finished watching what I could find which was 12 episodes. But I would like to comment on all 12 episodes hope no one minds. I wont do spoilers so I well post in each blog.

    Well my first bit watching when the two meet. I actually loved how they were first introduced to each other fighting side by side. Ya Nao parents crack me up I love there divotion to one another and there daughter.

    My first impresions of Zhi Fengs family was not that hot. I like Zhi Feng my self but his sister at first just rubbed me wrong for some reason which I am not sure about. I do love the plot were she falls in love with Ya Nao that was a great bit. The mother well just say she grew on me.

    Qing Yang I actually like the character reminds me of a lot of characters I like that are the quite type and half to be pushed to say something. But always that person is someone of great trust to one of the main characters or both.