The Pursuit of Happiness: Ep 2

Drama ReviewsTaiwanese Dramas

The Pursuit of Happiness is still going strong in episode 2!!!  I’m happy to declare that the Pursuit of Happiness is currently my favorite drama of the fall 2013 season so far!

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Continuing where we left off from the total CLIFF-HANGER in ep1, poor Lei Lei must endure a very painful dinner with her unrequited love Wei Ting and his so-called ‘love of his life’ Hai Lun.  (English name = Helen)    There is this one line that Hai Lun says that is kinda ironic “you don’t know how happy I am to see you right now”……because to Lei Lei it is the exact opposite, Hai Lun is the LAST person she wants to see right now.  I cringed for Lei Lei all throughout this entire scene, she doesn’t even have to say anything but the expression on her face says it all–the minute Lei Lei sees Hai Lun she is already crying inside over her lost love and her bad day at work, and more than anything, she’s disappointed in herself for getting her hopes up over nothing.  Props to Lei Lei though because this woman has nerves of steel, she manages to get through the dinner without having a breakdown, exploding at Hai Lun, or storming out of the restaurant.

“Who are you to think that he will still be like you, grieving about the past?” –Translation Credit: Viki Channel

I love the scene when Lei Lei retreats to the bathroom to chide herself as she tries to hold back her tears.  Even though the quote above is in the context of a romantic relationship, I can totally relate to it just in general. It sucks when you realize you’re the only one who is still dwelling on the past while others have already moved on. Anyways one interesting thing about Lei Lei’s character is the contrast between her idealistic views & realistic views, her past self and her 35-year old self.  Lei Lei is now an experienced woman who has seen it all and done it all..she’s logical and realistic towards the world and yet there is still a part of her that hopes for something more.   I love that delicate balance that Lei Lei’s character has between realism & idealism and how she keeps on dwelling on the past even though she is trying hard to live in the present.

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^Totally love Lei Lei’s BFF Tiffany! 😀

I bet you I will repeat this several times throughout the course of The Pursuit of Happiness but here it goes–I am so happy that Lei Lei is not your typical heroine!!!!  In episode 1 alone she was developed into a 3D character right away, and episode 2 only builds up her character’s layers even more!  😀   There is no implicit message that in order to be a strong woman/heroine, you have to be

  • a super independent strong beautiful career-superwoman
  • a loud spunky girl who has no interest in the rich guy that’s crushing on her
  • the woman who has no interest in love
  • the girl who can suddenly bust out some judo moves to floor a guy

Lei Lei doesn’t fit into any of those stereotypes, which feels incredibly refreshing to me!  There are no scenes where the drama is trying to preach “wow look at this strong independent woman! Girl power!”.  Instead we already see that Lei Lei is strong, it is all a part of her personality, her confidence, that she has built up over the years of her life experience.

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^middle right pic: I love the part when Lei Lei says that she is friendzoned by her ex-bf and Tony goes “GASP”

As for our dear Yi Kang……he’s just..kinda……there.  O_______O  I don’t know how else to say it!  He means well but he is always in the wrong place at the wrong time!  OMG I cracked up when Lei Lei discovers Yi Kang in the shower and her BFF’s walk in and they all start screaming.  It gets even funnier when Yi Kang drops his towel (while naked) and Tiffany holds the towel around him to attempt to cover him up.  AHAHAHA. The look on Yi Kang’s face during this whole ordeal is priceless, towards the end he’s probably thinking to himself, “How did I get into this?”

Anyways there’s not much character development for Yi Kang in this episode although we do get to hear a bit of his backstory and how he has an unrequited love for Hai Lun.  At this point I think Yi Kang’s character development pacing is going fine since he and Lei Lei barely know each other anyways.  I think we will get to know Yi Kang much better as Lei Lei begins making friends with him.  I can’t wait for the next episode when he will pretend to be Lei Lei’s boyfriend!  BWAHAHAHAHAHAA.

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I totally love Yi Kang & Lei Lei’s drinking scene in this episode!  I was unsure how their chemistry would be like but here it’s quite clear–Yi Kang is the overly dramatic and emotional romanticist who won’t stop talking about Hai Lun (note that this is while he’s drunk) while Lei Lei is still logical and practical and doesn’t want to listen to him rambling on and on.  Yi Kang is eager to become friends with Lei Lei wants nothing to do with him. It’s fun to see their differences in personality and I can definitely see them becoming lovers besties in the future.

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I didn’t talk about Hai Lun and Wei Ting much in my episode 1 post but NOW’S THE TIME!! OMGAWD.  Hai Lun is quite the formidable opponent!  You know how usually there is that evil 2nd female lead that is just there so you can hate her guts for breaking apart the OTP? Well PoH doesn’t take that easy route.  Instead it does the opposite–Hai Lun is SO NICE and SO LIKEABLE and so optimistic that I feel bad for even getting annoyed at her.  Omg.  I can’t help but be taken aback by her and wonder if this is her true self or if she has an ulterior agenda.  Hopefully we will get to see a darker side from her. (by ‘darker’ I do not mean that she will become the evil 2nd lead..but that we can see the cracks behind her positive personality)

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^middle left pic: PERFECT MOMENT!!!!!!

So I can survive not being able to get annoyed at Hai Lun.  Her character is fine.  But Wei Ting is a whole different story!!!!!!!!!!  BLEGHHHHHHH.  Seriously, Wei Ting? Do you really have to invite your ex-gf now best friend to go present shopping with you FOR YOUR CURRENT GIRLFRIEND?  ARGHH!!  LEAVE HIM, LEI LEI!!!!!!!!!!!! Hai Lun can just have him!   Ok maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but something about Wei Ting just gets on my nerves.  I know I can’t really blame him for being unaware of Lei Lei’s lingering feelings for him but maybe he could at least ask her for an update on what’s going on in her life?  Can Lei Lei even confide in him about her let-down at work?

And I just have to say, there is this one utterly PERFECT moment during Wei Ting & Lei Lei’s shopping scene when Lei Lei looks down and gives a little smile but we can tell that her smile is forced and it’s hard for her to be shopping for Hai Lun’s gift.  We only see this for a split-second but that is enough to tell that she is still wearing the mask of the ‘best friend’.

Overall

Episode 2 is LOVE and I can’t wait for episode 3!  I’m sure it will be a lot of fun seeing the love square finally meet all together!

heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • That drunk scene had to be one of the BEST scenes I’ve ever seen in a drama. I mean, the whole shower ordeal was great and all (for.. *coughs* reasons) but their interactions that night were Perfect! I never he could be so cute as a drunk. I need to go and watch it all over again..
    I love your reasons for liking An Lei as a strong character- no tricks or quirkiness that you need to shut your brain off to understand. She’s just likable all around, and feels real.

    • LOL yes although the shower scene was hilarious, I think the drunk scene had its own charm & humor that didn’t depend on…Tony’s body…(HAHAHA)

      I think it’s really funny how Tony is the one blabbing on and on while Lei Lei is just all *rolls eyes* the whole time.

  • I loved ep 2! My favorite scene was of course the drinking scene. Drunk Yi Kang might be the cutest thing on Earth (his “GASP!” moment made me die of laughter) and the exasperated look on An Lei’s face was priceless. Pursuit of Happiness doesn’t make me laugh at loud usually, but this scene was just too hilarious. The chemistry between Sonia Sui and Tony Yang is very charming I think.

    And… Ihighly doubt that Hai Lun will stay that nice…of it would be a very unusual drama…! LOL

    Anyway, I can’t wait for ep 3, it looks amazing! =)

    • YES I love it when Yi Kang gasps, that part actually made me laugh out loud. 😀 Hmm I hope Hai Lun doesn’t turn into the evil 2nd lead but I also hope she’s not ALWAYS this nice and angel-like. She’s gotta have flaws..I just hope that doesn’t involve meddling with Lei Lei’s love life..

  • Yi Kang is so dorky!!!! But loveable dork of course lol. The drunk scene is hilarious and of course the shower scene. However, I must say I don’t understand why the girls are screaming when they saw Yi Kang in the towel. I guess that’s just me who reacts to everything dramatic by freezing and just scream internally lol.

    Anyway, whilst I’m really beginning to dislike Wei Ting, Helen is a bit conflicting because she could have a darker side to her… but in that scene in the office (where she’s talking to An Lei) I get the feeling An Lei sees a lot of her younger self in Helen – having the motivation, drive and fearlessness in her work. When An Lei started she didn’t know a lot about the industry either, but I guess just like Helen she got to her place now because of her dedication and hard work.

    • That is so true, adorably dorky is how I would describe him! 😀 HEHEH……I think if I were in their shoes I might scream but not out of horror…..out of pure joy! 😛

      I think it’s interesting how Lei Lei is dwelling on Wei Ting, the annoying one, and Yi Kang is crushing on Helen, the so-called perfect one. I mean, Lei Lei is not hung up over some flawless saintly guy but instead over a guy who has broken her heart three times and is totally oblivious to her feelings. Hopefully we will get some insight into how Lei Lei believes Wei Ting is ‘the one’ even though he has his flaws. As for Helen, I hope we get to see her in a different light and not just in the *cue choir music* “AHHHHHHHHHH THE LIGHT FROM HEAVEN IS SHINING UPON HER, SHE IS AN ~ANGEL~ AND THE LOVE OF MY LIFE” view that Yi Kang always has.

  • Hey girl!!! I had midterms for the past 3 weeks so I know exactly how you feel!
    Add oil!!!!
    Ep 2… I found it a bit slow pace (and… boring? *run away really fast*) than Ep 1… but I guess the writers are taking their sweet time to introduce all the characters.
    And well said about Lei Lei’s character. I’m liking her more and more.
    And same thought about the EX-BF. Seriously, that guy needs his brain check (or he doesn’t have one?). Whose real EX-BF would torture past love like that?! Argh~
    And is it just me or is Helen’s perm/waves very annoying!?
    Ep 3… was slow paced too but it was GOOD. I can’t wait for your review!

    And this weekend, I slacked off and watched two chinese movie starring Taiwanese hottie, Eddie Peng and Joseph Chang. After midterms, you can take a look(I hope you’ll find english subs for this).
    The one starring Eddie is called A Wedding Invitation and the one with Joseph is called The Stolen Year. I like the plot of Eddie’s movie more but I like Joseph’s chemistry with the same actress more in the latter movie. Besides, I donna why but Eddie never do anything for me. It’s Joseph and Tony~ Keke~ Anyhoo, I cried a lot in both movies! So be warned. keke~

    • Hiiiiiiiii Ah Man, I was wondering why you were MIA! 😛 I’m surprised you found ep2 to be boring, I liked it a lot! But perhaps the pacing was slower than expected? Really I wish the episodes were longer (LOL) just because whenever the episode ends I’m all ‘what? that’s it? I want more!!’

      YEAHHH Wei Ting just annoys me! Even if he doesn’t catch on to Lei Lei’s feelings that doesn’t mean that he and Hai Lun have to be all lovey dovey ALL THE TIME. *facepalm* Hmm Helen’s perm looks ok to me.

      After midterms are over I will finally be able to watch ep3~!!! I don’t know how I’ve kept myself from watching it ’til now! And thanks for the movie recs, are they sad movies though? >___<

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