The Pursuit of Happiness: Ep 3

Drama ReviewsTaiwanese Dramas

This past weekend & the beginning of this week were very busy with me so I had to hold off on watching episode 3 until a few days later after it aired.  What can I say, I wish I had watched it earlier but it was well worth the long wait!!  A while ago one of my commenters Ah Man said that episode 3 was way better than ep2.  I was surprised to hear that (I mean, not in a bad way, I just mean I thought ep2 was really enjoyable already).  But after watching episode 3 I can definitely say that it is a huge step forward and I love it even more than ep2!  There are lots of funny moments and soul-searching moments and some heartwarming sisterhood as well.

WARNING: PICSPAM OF TONY AHEAD!

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^middle left pic: THAT SMILE!!  / bottom left pic: his ninja moves

OK OK I admit it, part of the reason why I love this episode so much is that Tony finally gets more screentime!!!!!!!!! As you may recall, there was a major lack of Yi Kang in episodes 1-2 so it was great to finally see him having more screentime.  Finally time to get the ball rolling for Yi Kang’s further character development!!!!!! YESSS!

Anyways at first it was hard to tell if I liked Yi Kang so much just because of my bias for Tony Yang or if I actually liked Yi Kang himself.  I’ve concluded that of course the Tony bias doesn’t hurt and that Tony is doing a wonderful job as Yi Kang so far.  But I also really love Yi Kang’s character because seriously, he is ADORABLE.  I was having trouble describing him in my previous post but Kat@Dramapot got the word just right–dorky.  Adorably dorky and funny and so endearing.  JUST LOOK AT THAT SMILE!!!  The funny thing is that he has totally made himself at home in Lei Lei’s house, becoming the handy-man AND the housekeeper by repairing everything and cleaning and even nonchalantly hanging up the laundry.  It gets even better–he does ninja moves in the kitchen to show his happiness (AHAHAHA), gets hit on by Tiffany but just sits there looking all innocent, and cutely gives Lei Lei a thumbs up before leaving the house. OMG.  FORGET WEI TING, LEI LEI!!!!!!!!!!

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The Lei Lei and Yi Kang pairing is really growing on me because like I said before, they have great potential to become besties.  Their contrast in personalities and mindsets is becoming even clearer in this episode since we get to see more of their interactions.  Yi Kang is all optimistic and the mellow ‘going with the flow’ kind of guy.  It’s cute how he tries to cheer up Lei Lei but ends up only irritating her more, and how he just brings up her love life as though it’s a normal everyday conversation topic. (LOL!) He figures that he can just forget Hai Lun since she’s already taken but of course that simple-minded solution hits a sore spot with Lei Lei.  Lei Lei is more pessimistic and skeptical; she sees things in a more complex manner in that she knows that getting over Wei Ting is not as simple as just forgetting.  Lei Lei is unable to see how Yi Kang can give up on Hai Lun so easily and most of her time with him is spent scoffing and laughing in his face (<ok it sounds harsh but it is funny in the scenes O_O) because she doesn’t believe he can do it.  It is funny seeing Lei Lei looking so incredulously at Yi Kang as though he is some alien or a simpleton because she just cannot understand the concept of not liking her unrequited love.

There is this one line I really like from Yi Kang –he says he’s not giving up, he’s just moving on with his life.  I think that strikes a chord with Lei Lei because that is just what she wants to do..she doesn’t want to give up but she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life dwelling on Wei Ting.  It seems like there is a hint of curiosity behind Lei Lei’s skepticism..as though she really does wish this could be true, that it could be that easy to just forget her love and move on.

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“Huang Yi Kang, you make yourself out to be too strong.
Ji An Lei, you make yourself out to be too fragile..” -Translation credit: Viki channel

Which of course brings us to Lei Lei’s plan–to bring along Yi Kang for dinner with Wei Ting & Hai Lun (she figures out that Hai Lun is the one he likes) and see if he really can go through with his words.  This is basically a really cruel joke and also Lei Lei’s attempt to protect her pride because hey, if Yi Kang could move on, why can’t she?  I love the lines quoted above, both of them ring true on so many levels.  Lei Lei seems to be strong but she is actually insecure and not so confident on the inside.  She is strong, yet she also has a strong facade and she underestimates her own hidden strengths.

Anyways I love the look on Yi Kang’s face when he realizes that Hai Lun is actually Wei Ting’s girlfriend.  :'(  There’s this look of shock and love on his face all at the same time. Poor Yi Kang, the whole dinner is super painful for him as Hai Lun and Wei Ting are being all lovey dovey as usual. =_=  But my favorite part about this little story arc isn’t the painful dinner but rather the aftermath–when Yi Kang and Lei Lei talk things out and confide in each other.  I like how Lei Lei wants to keep her distance from Yi Kang and yet she can’t help but find herself confiding in him all the same.  She doesn’t want to be pals with him, she doesn’t want to listen to all of his love troubles..but somehow she ends up being more straightforward and honest to him than she is to anyone else. Of course she has her BFF’s but they are not in the same situation as she & Yi Kang are in.

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One thing I’ve been wondering throughout the first couple episodes is just why are Wei Ting & Yi Kang so darn smitten with Hai Lun? What is it about her that makes them love her this much?  I think Wei Ting is still kinda in the honeymoon phase while Yi Kang is in the unrequited love/the grass seems greener on the other side phase.  I wonder how well the two of them really know Hai Lun (including all her flaws) considering that they seem to always see her in a rosy angelic view.  Thankfully we get a really cute scene when Yi Kang talks about why he first fell for Hai Lun–it was her warmth and friendliness when he was all alone in a foreign country.  I think that’s really sweet!!

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^top left pic: favorite shot!

“Not being able to be honest to others, is a pretense. But not being honest to oneself, is the biggest betrayal.”

^favorite quote of the episode!

As for Lei Lei, somehow she has become even more introspective in this episode.  It feels like she is finally processing everything that has happened and is now beginning to seriously consider what her next steps should be.  Maybe in the first couple episodes she was having trouble looking at herself for who she really is and where she is at life, but now she is trying to face herself and her challenges a little bit more bravely.  One of my favorite parts with Lei Lei is when she rides the bus all alone and gets lost in thought as she thinks about her reasons for wanting to resign.  I guess it’s because that’s when she says (or..thinks..) a really great quote…

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I guess one thing that make Lei Lei’s character so relatable is that she is so unhappy the way she is now, she wants to change and move on so badly and yet she is all too aware of just how hard it is for her to actually go through with it.  It’s so easy and yet so difficult all at the same time to stay where she is, always stuck in the same place and not moving on with her life.  Another one of my favorite shots is when Lei Lei wakes up from a bad dream and then just lays there in bed, staring at the ceiling and letting her mind take over with all of her worries and fears.

On a more lighthearted note, Tiffany’s character is still a hoot to watch and omg, leave it to her to come up with the genius plan of having Lei Lei & Yi Kang join forces to break apart Wei Ting & Hai Lun!!  I love the sisterhood in POH, it definitely beats the sisterhood in say…………..LAST CINDERELLA!!!!!!  😛

Overall

Mmmmm I will probably rewatch this episode while waiting for ep4 to air! 😀 That’s how much I enjoyed this episode!  So far the drama is unfolding wonderfully, some may think it has slow pacing but to me the pacing is not slow at all..every detail and scene comes together to make one very enjoyable episode that never feels draggy.  This whole set-up with the love square, Yi King & Lei Lei being housemates, and of course the inevitable partnership between Yi Kang/Lei Lei, could’ve seemed really stereotypical but what differentiates it in POH is that it is well-executed.  It doesn’t feel like some ridiculous set-up!  Well  I wish that Lei Lei would leave her job so that she can start afresh without having to be reminded of Hai Lun everyday..but I doubt that will happen since she will probably use the ‘keep your enemies close’ strategy to win back Wei Ting.  =_=

Oh, and am I the only one that likes looking at all of Lei Lei’s outfits?  *W*

“Where Am I” by Wu Wen Fang

This is a really beautiful song off of the soundtrack that plays in this episode. It’s my 2nd favorite song off the soundtrack aside from William Wei’s “By Your Side”.

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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  • Actually, I was really disappointed in Lei Lei for playing such a cruel joke on Yi Kang. I really admired him for being so cool about letting go and move on and I kinda hate that she’s going to persuade him to win Hai Lun back because she doesn’t see things from his perspective but only from hers. >< But it doesn't alter my love for this series and for Lei Lei because I realized I liked how real and flawed she was. I mean, it's true that you don't always wish good things to others but…that doesn't necessarily mean you're a bad person per se. But still, seeing Yi Kang broken-hearted was very difficult for my poor heart.

    Like you, I like how they are bonding with each other even if Lei Lei always try to put some distance between them. But I don't want them to break Hai Lun and Wei Ting apart because it's just wrong (Hai Lun and Wei Ting do look very much in love with each other) so I hope Yi Kang will put a stop to that or that they won't go too far with this plan…

    Also : Yi Kang os so freaking cute, I want him to be my housemate! 🙂

    Thanks for your lovely review (as always)!

    • Yeah I think it was too much for Lei Lei to purposely give Yi Kang such a harsh wake up call. It was immature and uncalled for. But like you said she is flawed, I think she let her pride get the best of her which is why she wanted to burst pauvre Yi Kang’s bubble. :'(

      I also don’t want Yi Kang/Lei Lei to be so stuck on Wei Ting/Hai Lun, I wish they could move on…….but considering how the synopsis is about how they team up to break up Wei Ting/Hai Lun, I think it’ll probably be a very long story arc? O_O Hmmm I didn’t think about how it was wrong to break up Hai Lun/Wei Ting, but I think you are right. I am mainly excited to see more of Lei Lei/Yi Kang teamed up together but really..I guess the better route would just be for Lei Lei & Yi Kang to confess to their unrequited love instead of taking this roundabout way.

      YES I want Yi Kang as my housemate too!!! 😉

      • It would be nice if they just teamed up together to find another love interest or just to find happiness in life. Or, like you suggest, to confess to their unrequited love so that they can move on. But it’s unlikely to happen indeed if we trust the synopsis (but sometimes, it can be misleading…no? *vain hopes*). Anyway, as long as Yi Kang is cute and Lei Lei and him eventually fall in love with each other, I’ll be fine. 😀

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