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Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Love Song Episode 1-3 Recap & First Impression

Taiwanese Daily: The Love Song (大人情歌)
Episodes: 70 +

Synopsis: Our heroine is a very lonely married woman who is reunited with her collage ex-boyfriend after 10 years and finds out that her ex-boyfriend is actually gay. The gay part is a misunderstanding but it looks like it will be the reason that makes our two leads become friends once again.

Episode 1-3 Recap By Ninja
Exasperated yet happy when her long time boyfriend Shao Qi proposes to her during a bungee jumping trip, Xiao Qian's (heroine) is elated to think that she will never be lonely again.  

On the day of Xiao Qian's wedding Shao Qi suddenly gets a phone call from his boss informing him of a work promotion that will grant him the dream job he has always wanted...all the way in China. Forcing herself to smile when her husband excitedly turns towards her, Xiao Qian comforts herself with the thought that a long distance relationship can't be so bad.
Waving goodbye to her husband the day after their wedding, Xiao Qian begins to fill her life with various classes that will make her a better wife...for an absent husband. 
Jubilant when she shows up at the airport to welcome her husband home, Xiao Qian suppresses her disappointment when Shao Qi is soon called away on yet another company meeting. Pleased by Xiao Qian's "of course your work comes first" attitude, Shao Qi rushes off once again. 
 Dismayed when she finds out that her collage ex-boyfriend He Quan is actually working with her husband, Xiao Qian pretends to be causal acquaintances with He Quan in front of Shao Qi. Despite being puzzled by Xiao Qian's determination to hide their past relationship, He Quan nonetheless goes along with her decision. 

Just to clarify, I changed the hero's name from He Xiao Quan to just He Quan because I thought it would be really confusing if the hero and heroine's names are only different by one letter. 
Heroine: Xiao Qian
Hero: Xiao Quan 

The hero is a film maker and is working with Shao Qi on a project. 
Xiao Qian and He Quan are each other's first loves during their collage days. Like all young loves, their romance were sweet AND bitter at the same time. After going through several breakups and getting back together, the young romance suddenly ended when He Quan disappears from Xiao Qian's life. 
Convinced by her best friend that her reunion with He Quan after 10 years is a golden opportunity to solve the mystery of their breakup, Xiao Qian shows up at He Quan's office...just in time to see him in a passionate kiss with another man. 

The kiss happened because He Quan's best friend Ding Ya was trying to get himself out of trouble when his THREE girlfriends showed up together. Faced with three angry women, Ding Ya decides to plant a big-o kiss on He Quan in order to convince the women that he is gay.  
At first stunned to realize that her ex-boyfriend actually likes men, Xiao Qian's best friend soon convinces her that He Quan must've been in so much pain while he was forcing himself to like women back in their collage days. Her empathy working overtime, Xiao Qian ignores He Quan's protest that he doesn't like men and offers to give him a hug of encouragement. 
Since we are dealing with a T-daily here, so the side stories are going to be pretty prominent. The first two episodes were focused on the two leads but the third episode will mostly be on the secondary characters' romance. 

Looks like there will be a least two other couples in this show. The first one is He Quan's brother (Xiao Kang) who will be starring in He Quan's short film. By the "strong" request of his sponsor, He Quan had no choice but to use the sponsor's daughter, Xu Tong as the female lead in his movie. Xu Tong had terrible acting skills, but thanks to Xiao Kang's help she was eventually able to channel some emotions into her acting. 

An interesting side note is that Xu Tong seems to know Xiao Kang from before but he has no memory of meeting her. 
The second couple is our hero's best friend Ding Ya who will be paired up with the heroine's best friend Yi Qing. 

One of Ding Ya's disgruntled girlfriend had filmed his "passionate" kissing with He Quan and posted on the web. Shocked to find out her youngest son is gay, Mama Gao drags Ding Ya to a therapist for help. Yi Qing, who is the therapist, praises He Quan's courage to love beyond gender boundaries and convinces Mama Gao to accept her son's choice. Speechless by everyone's refusal to listen to his protest, Ding Ya find himself unable to tell the pretty therapist that he was just a big jerk who was trying to get away from his many girlfriends by pretending to be gay. 

First Impression
 The Love Song is surprisingly cute and funny. I am a bit leery at the fact that our heroine is married and the hero is NOT her husband. The leeriness increases when you figure in the fact that the heroine's husband by all signs seems to be a really decent guy. Granted, the decent guy lack some basic observation skills in noticing the very obvious loneliness in his young wife, but at the end of the day Shao Qi seems to genuinely love Xiao Qian.

The literal translation of this show's Chinese name would be "Adult/Grown Up Love Song". I think the title does give a clue to the theme of the story. In the first two episodes, Xiao Qian keeps telling herself and everyone else that she is a grown up and thus much more equipped to handle what life throws at her and the emotions that comes with it. 
True to her words, Xiao Qian has done "the mature thing" from dealing with her lonely marriage to her reunion with her ex-boyfriend. Of course, as our heroine's therapist best friend points out to her, Xiao Qian's idea of acting mature might just be plain self denial of her true feelings. So it begs the question: What is the mature thing to do? 
All in all, an intriguing story thus far and while episode three was definitely less engaging than the first two episodes since it was mostly focused on the secondary character I still think this Taiwanese daily have some good potential. 

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