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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Marry Me or Not Episode 1 Recap & First Impression

Marry Me or Not Episode 1
Drama: Marry Me or Not? (必娶女人)
Country: Taiwan
Airs: Sundays
Episodes: 15

Marry Me or Not Episode 1 Recap
Using every skill she has, Hao Sheng Nan (second female lead) is about to convince an important client to use her travel agency for his company's group vacation ... until our heroine, Vivienne shows up and promptly convinces the client to use her company instead. Ignoring Sheng Nan who is barely restrained by her co-workers to not attack her, Vivienne looks at the camera and freely admits that she is one that believes firmly that in order to live a happy life one must do whatever it takes... especially if it means standing on other's failures.
Walking into an elevator, Vivieene puts on a polite business smile as she lets our hero, Justin into the elevator as well. Impatient with her mother's insistence that she goes on a marriage meeting, Vivienne complains "I dislike lawyers the most. Especially the kind that doesn't even go to court but that only works on divorce cases." Eyeing Vivienne with displeasure since he is exactly the divorced lawyer she just described, Justin talks to his own meddling mother on the phone "What did you say that woman does for a living? Sales manager? Those are the worst. Those kind of woman takes everything!"

Her anger raising since she is exactly "THOSE" kind of woman Justin is talking about, Vivienne fires back with more criticism of divorce lawyer. Soon, our two leads are engaged in a rather intense argument in the guise of talking to their respective mothers. Fortunately, our two leads little arguement is soon put to rest when the elevator stops.
Whatever displeasure Vivienne felt from her elevator encounter is soon gone when she walks into her class reunion and triumphantly shines over all of her old classmates... until Sheng Nan walks in with the exact same outfit as her.
Obviously old nemesis with Sheng Nan, Vivienne gleefully shows off her engagement ring to everyone and to remind Sheng Nan that she has won over her in the marriage race.

In the mean time, Justin is sitting in the same restaurant trying to figure out how to tactful turn down his recently divorced client's offer to "buy" a date with him.
Poking his head around the corner, Justin sees his sister sitting not too far away and quickly makes the decision to drag Sheng Nan over in order to introduce her as his fiancee.
Getting over her initial shock of all the sudden becoming her brother's "fiancee", Sheng Nan soon realizes the prefect opportunity that has presented itself. Her turn to drag Justin over to her class reunion, Sheng Nan glories in Vivienne's darken expression as she introduces her own fiancee.
In a flash back we get a glimpse of what happened in the two girls' school days that soured a once close friendship.

Her heart pounding from just having the boy (Jiang Qian Yue, male second lead) she is crushing on saying hi to her, Sheng Nan smiles when her best friend Vivienne promises to find out if Qian Yue is someone worthy of her.
Despite being told by Vivienne that Qian Yue is a playboy through and through, Sheng Nan still decides to confess her feelings. Holding a heart shaped chocolate in her hand, Sheng Nan is stunned when she sees Qian Yue talking to Vivienne in a rather intimate manner. Her heart broken by her best friend's betrayal, Sheng Nan throws the breakfast Vivienne has bought for her to the ground and calls her a shameless tramp for seducing Qian Yue.

At first bewildered by Sheng Nan's accusation, Vivienne's confusion soon turns to fury. Not bothering to defend herself, Vivienne dumps a bucket of water on her ex-best friend and walks away. Shaking with anger, Sheng Nan jumps up and gets in a full on fight with Vivienne.
Stumbling out of in the school hallway after her fight with Sheng Nan, Vivienne cries as she thinks back to how she became best friends with Sheng Nan. Standing up for Vivienne when everyone in the class has shun her and talked badly about her, Sheng Nan was like a beacon of light to Vivienne.
Going back home with her brother after her triumph over her nemesis, Vivienne's sighs with frustration as she is once again forced to be the voice box for her two parents who refuse to speak to one another. Fed up with his parents, Justin yells "How long are you guys going to keep living like this?!" Knowing that nothing is going to change despite his outburst, Justin falls silent and joins his parents in handing Sheng Nan sticky notes.
Walking into his father's study, Justin hands over a check to Daddy Hao. Looking at the check, Daddy Hao tries to convince Justin that he doesn't need to pay back his debt to him but that instead of taking divorce cases he should work on something that is more meaningful. After assuring Daddy Hao that he doesn't find divorce cases distasteful, Justin stops after he walks past the wall of sticky notes that is the evidence of his parents' unhappy marriage. Taking a sticky note back to his father, Justin tells him "Even though my job doesn't bring people happiness but at least I can help them leave their unhappiness behind."
Back at her own room, Vivienne tries once again to convince her mother that her fiancee Shu Hong is not some unlucky person. Frustrated that her daughter won't believe her professional opinion (she is a soothsayer) that a marriage to Shu Hong would only end badly, Mama Cai demands to know why Vivienne is so certain that she wants to marry Shu Hong when just not too long again she was considering ending the relationship. 

Thoughtful, Vivienne recounts Shu Hong's proposal where he tells her that she is THAT one girl that he must marry. Unable to hide her own surprise as her daughter retells the big long moving speech Shu Hong said to make Vivienne put away all her doubt about him, Mama Cai agrees that Shu Hong's words were enough to melt a girl's heart.
In the mean time, Justin is meeting with his uncle (Shu Hong) and is speechless when he realized Shu Hong had used his (Justin's) drunken words spoken during a drinking session as his proposal. Looking at his sheepish uncle, Justin sighs "I did say I want a girl who loves me enough to stand in a kitchen even though she doesn't know how to cook and she will clumsily chop the vegetables. Perhaps she is clueless about why men loves sports so much or maybe she just simply wants to be with me, but she will work hard to understand those difficult game rules and even memorize those player names I don't even remember. Even if the whole world thinks of me as a failure, she will be my side. However! The reason I told you all this was to show you that such a girl simply doesn't exist!" In case I wasn't clear enough, so it looks like the heroine accepted her fiancee's proposal all because she was moved by Justin's drunken words describing his dream girl. 
Getting the shock of her life when she realized her uncle's fiancee is none other than her nemesis Vivienne, Sheng Nan can hardily contain her anger and fear...
as she imagines what torture is in store for her if Vivienne really becomes her aunt! The picture on the left is a scene where Sheng Nan is imagining Vivienne gleefully treating her like a servant. 

Determined that Vivienne can't possibly dive into the marriage bliss before her, Sheng Nan vows that she will do whatever it takes to spoil her uncle's wedding.

Equally determined to stop Qian Yu's wedding is Vivienne's parents who has resorted to Mama Cai's "special ability" to get rid of Qian Yu. Planting a cactus underneath a Peach Blossom tree that is suppose to cut off the romance between Qian Yu and Vivienne, Mama Cai assures Daddy Cai that she has also made sure that a new romance will find its way to their daughter as well.
Unaware that the wheel of fate has already to starts to turn, Justin and Vivienne go off to work the next morning only to each encounter various small things that make them veer off their usual normal route... until their paths are crossed.
Stopping his car suddenly when a peach blossom petal that has flown off Vivienne landed on him, Justin walks until he is face to face with Vivienne.

Thoughts
Fun! It's too early to tell yet if Marry Me or Not is a winner or not, but so far I am liking the story and especially love the depth we have already seen in our two leads' characters.  
I like the fact right from the first episode we are given a peek into our leads' psyche and an understanding of why they have chosen to see their world in such a jaded manner. In our hero's case, it isn't hard to see that while he does yarn for love his parents has taught him not to trust in such a thing. As for Vivienne, I am assuming we will get more of her story as the show progresses but it seems certain that her broken friendship with Sheng Nan had confirmed her view that that world is a harsh place that can't be trusted.
Anyhow, episode one of Marry Me or Not in certainly a success in my view since I am pretty excited to check out episode two now. It doesn't hurt that Roy Chiu (our hero) makes a fine jaded hero of course. I was a bit concerned by Alice Ko's ice cold image in the promotional poster at first but fortunately judging by episode one the show puts her in plenty of frumpy clothes to soften up her character.

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