Material Queen: Ep 12
So, recently, I watched a preview for MQ in HD. It made A WORLD OF A DIFFERENCE. I really wish I could watch all of MQ in HD. It was amazing seeing everything in crystal clear definition. I have to say that this episode is filmed beautifully. I love the focus on using lighting fixtures (mainly chandeliers) and other glass things to create a bokeh effect. The pool scene is also nice with the flicker of the candles and the pool’s reflection.
Peter ‘smuggles’ Chu Man into a charity event. But it turns out that the models are being waitresses to sell/serve wine to rich people while dressed up in maid outfits. Chu Man is disgusted by the maid outfit she’s given, and also by the obvious purpose–they have to kiss up to the rich guys to get them to donate money. Chu Man has her pride, both as a model and a woman, and I like that she maintains that.
She makes a few changes to her outfit, and runs into one of her former colleagues, Kai Luo. (a fellow model) Kai Luo and Chu Man have a face off, playing nice even though they’re obviously throwing insults at each other. All in a smooth, refined manner. Although Kai Luo calls Chu Man “Chu Man Jie,” she obviously looks down on her. And the funny thing is that in the beginning of the episode, Kai Luo was strutting around like she’s all that…but her catwalk actually wasn’t that great. Kai Luo makes a bet with Chu Man–if Chu Man doesn’t get the most donations, she’ll have to do what she says.
Chu Man takes on the challenge, and puts on the charm. She gets a lot of donations, but then…SASHA SHOWS UP. *grumbles* IN THE MOST HIDEOUS DRESS. Her fiance gives Sasha a huge donation, thus making her the #1 model (for now. haha) Kai Luo chuckles knowingly to herself. SHE PLANNED THIS, I TELL YOU!
Then Justin AKA Jia Hao steps onto the stage to give a solo violin performance. Jia Hai is no longer a poor musician–he’s world renowned and rich and…a jerk. Chu Man is shocked when she realizes it’s Jia Hao. This scene is filmed wonderfully with all the bokeh and transitions from Chu Man to Jia Hao.
Jia Hao answers reporters’ questions after his performance. He especially acknowledges Yi Xian as his good friend and manager, a very special person to him. ooo.
Chu Man tries to go over to Jia Hao, but Kai Luo and Sasha interrupt to gloat over their victory. Kai Luo suggests that Chu Man kneel down to Sasha and apologize. Chu Man simply congratulates her by drinking a sip of champagne, and attempts to walk away. LOL, I love Chu Man’s guts. But, of course, Kai Luo stops her and commands her to apologize. Chu Man drops her champagne glass and the entire event stops. AWKWARD.
Justin walks over and offers Chu Man a hand. He doubles the amount Sasha’s fiance donated, thus making Chu Man the winner. HA. HA. HA. I was satisfied seeing Sasha & Kai Luo’s disgruntled looks.
The press gets all over the story, and Chu Man acknowledges that she knows Justin. Yi Xian steps in to get the reporters to back off. (all in a professional manner) But you know she’s really just jealous.
Jia Hao calls Chu Man to meet him by the pool. She thanks him for helping her, and tries to apologize for the other day at the park. I like that Chu Man is trying to clear up the misunderstanding, taking the initiative to reconcile with Jia Hao.
Jia Hao puts on the nice act, and says “Come, I’m hungry.” Chu Man starts to sit down, but he says “Not you” as Yi Xian walks up. HE SO DID THIS ON PURPOSE. Chu Man acts like it’s alright, and thinks Jia Hao wants the 3 of them to talk instead. Jia Hao scorns her, saying he wants her to serve himself and his girlfriend. (again, doing this to RUB IT IN)
“Because in the past, you seemed to be quite the expert in serving the rich.”
JERK ALERT. Yi Xian look uncomfortable with Jia Hao’s obvious insults. Chu Man tears up, but holds back the tears and puts on a smile. She starts to serve them their dinner, but accidentally spills coffee on Yi Xian. Jia Hao instantly rushes over to Yi Xian and demands that Chu Man apologize and clean all the stains off Yi Xian’s dress. The funny thing is that…Yi Xian’s dress is black. I’d understand if it’s a white dress, but….really?
Yi Xian brushes it off, saying that it’s ok. She looks at Chu Man and Jia Hao in a conflicted way, as though she can’t decide what to do in this situation. She tells Chu Man not to worry before making her exit. I do wish Yi Xian had stood up for Chu Man a bit more, but I think her conflicted look was rather significant. I think she’s trying to gauge Jia Hao’s mood/intentions before speaking out.
“Do you still remember? If it’s the you from before, you’d never come back. But because I’ve succeeded, I have money, you’d do whatever I tell you to. The person I am now, is telling you to immediately jump in. You would do it. Are you feeling upset? Are you feeling insulted?”
Jia Hao’s attempt to be cool and hurtful is kinda a fail. I mean, really? “Are you feeling upset? Are you feeling insulted?” He could’ve come up with a better come back. Anyway, Chu Man walks into the pool…
“Isn’t this what you wanted to see? For me to look up at you in distress. That’s why you especially called me here to see you. Asking me to be a waitress. Humiliate me. Are you happy now? Let me tell you, I didn’t leave now. Because I know that no matter what, I’ve hurt you. I’m sorry.”
And…JIA HAO KNOWS THAT CHU MAN DIDN’T SLEEP WITH MASTER EUGENE. Uh…….so…….why’s he still being a jerk? To be an even bigger jerk, he PRETENDS to throw an expensive necklace into the pool, and tells her to search for it.
“If you want me to, I’ll do it. If you feel I’m that kind of woman, I’ll do it for you to see.”
To make your heart break even more, Chu Man holds her head up high, and swims around in the pool to look for the necklace. Chu Man walks home shocked and soaking wet.
And……..I have no will to recap this episode any further. Nor did I have any will to capture lots of pixelated screenshots, after discovering the wonders of HD.
I enjoyed the cinematography A LOT in this episode, there were tons of amazing directing details. As much as I would LIKE to like Jia Hao’s character, I just can’t so far. Vanness Wu’s acting is not doing it for me. Chu Man’s character always outshines Jia Hao (acting wise, depth wise) in their scenes together.
One thing I do like is Chu Man’s resilience. If I were in her situation, I’d probably be mourning my woeful life. But Chu Man is strong. She may be hurt by Jia Hao, but she will never be completely defeated. She faces reality head-on, not wavering even when her career, reputation, and love life are ruined all in one blow. I think we can all admire Chu Man, and this is what keeps me watching Material Queen. This drama could’ve easily been turned into a melodrama, if not for Chu Man’s amazing willpower and heart.
I’m waiting for Sasha’s career to tumble, because I think that’s where her character is heading. Either that, or Chu Man will become a top model once again, and Sasha will be forced to be her junior AGAIN. Actually I want Chu Man and Sasha to become friends, since technically they’re sisters. I also want more development on the whole mom issue. I think they swept that under the rug WAY too easily, with Yan Kai Ming going, Oh! It never happened! You shall never interact with her again! Um, no. We need to get to the bottom of the mom issue, because the whole sibling thing is too good to pass up. This is drama-land, after all.
Quote Translation Credit / Where to Watch: Material Queen is subbed on Viki.