The Pursuit of Happiness: Ep 9

Drama ReviewsTaiwanese Dramas

It took me a long time to get around to watching episode 9 since I was really busy.  >_< But once I watched episode 9, I was SOOO HAPPY that I did!!!  Omg!  Episode 8 was still getting its footing but now with episode 9 the drama is back up and running full pace ahead!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Well, leaving off from ep8, no, Yi Kang & Lei Lei did not kiss, darn it!!!!!!  But that’s ok!! BECAUSE WE GET AN EPIC SWOONY ROMANTIC HUG INSTEAD.  AHAHAHAAHAA!!  I was pretty much giggling throughout this entire episode, but I was ESPECIALLY giggling during this hug scene.  This is my favorite scene of the entire episode for sure!!!!  Lei Lei gets Yi Kang to hug her just to prove to her mom that they have ~skinship~ and that they are a ‘couple’.  One of my favorite moments is quoted below, when Lei Lei asks if it’s hard for Yi Kang to hug her and he replies “OF COURSE NOT.”  OF COURSE NOT~!!!! KYA!!!!!!  Ok if you didn’t see this scene you might be wondering ‘how in the world is ‘of course not’ romantic’.  But it’s the way that Yi Kang says it, he cracks a smile and leans in and then SLOWLY EMBRACES LEI LEI.

Lei Lei: “Is hugging me hard?”
Yi Kang: “Of course not.”

YUP..THIS IS WHEN I BROKE OUT INTO FULL NON-STOP GIGGLING AT THE SCREEN, it was like my heart was overflowing or something.  I like how POH uses this hug scene to show the gradual development of feelings between Lei Lei & Yi Kang, the secret side of themselves that each other cannot see, the ‘fake’ status of their relationship and yet how real it all is.  Yi Kang, unbeknownst to Lei Lei, is smiling happily to himself and looking SO comfortable and peaceful in Lei Lei’s arms…even LEANING INTO HER OMG OMG.

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Lei Lei also, even though she claims it is a fake hug..the minute that Yi Kang starts to hug her, something in her expression changes and she starts falling under Yi Kang’s spell clinging onto him for dear life.  I love love love all of Yi Kang’s expressions during this scene but Lei Lei’s expression definitely left the most lasting impression on me.  (shown above)  It gives me the feeling that Lei Lei feels she is finally able to lean on someone even though usually she tries to stand on her own.  AHH I NEED A GIF OF THIS SCENE!!!!!!!!!!

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Anyways it’s no secret that Yi Kang has been swoon-worthy and amazing for the entire drama but episode 9 is where his awesomeness reaches new levels! This is definitely Yi Kang’s episode!  We don’t need his dream about kissing Lei Lei to confirm his growing feelings for her; just the subtle changes in the way he acts around Lei Lei says it all.  He hides it rather well from Lei Lei (also I think Lei Lei has already friend-zoned him so she wouldn’t notice these changes) as he remains his usual smiley cute self when he’s with her.  But when he is in private he puts on his sad puppy face and just looks so drained and blue.  :'(  Now that I think about it, perhaps this is almost like the repeat of what happened with Hai Lun.  Yi Kang fell for Hai Lun but they were already ‘just good friends’.  He was skilled at putting on the good-friend act and being all smiley happy but in reality it was quite hard for him.  I wonder if Yi Kang will change his approach to Lei Lei; perhaps by not remaining only the good friend and instead making the first move!  I just hope he will not have to drain himself by trying to hide his feelings from Lei Lei, as that will only hurt him more.

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There is a lot less time for Lei Lei’s introspection & narration (more Yi Kang narration this time around, hehe) but this time her conflict is not over Wei Ting or letting go of the past..but rather more about whether there is a double standard to the very expectations she is held to, and whether marriage is really as good as it seems.  I think a part of Lei Lei is torn between wanting that ideal happy marriage, wanting to grow old with her loved one..and not wanting to have to give into society’s expectations.  My favorite part is when Lei Lei asks her family not to interfere with her love life but then quickly realizes that they were actually just concerned for her well-being since they heard about the Wei Ting-ordeal.   Lei Lei is so scared and insecure about being single/unmarried that her apprehension ended up affecting the way she interpreted her family’s actions.  I think that Lei Lei’s family still believes that marriage will bring Lei Lei happiness, and of course that should not be the message here but at the same time, perhaps from their perspective it IS a very valid assumption.  I mean, Lei Lei is unmarried and miserable now, so they must’ve made the connection between the two.  But the thing is that Lei Lei’s single status is not the source of her unhappiness, but rather her own perception of herself & her future.

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Aside from the hug scene another great Lei Lei x Yi Kang scene is when the two of them look at the view together while having a heart-to-heart conversation.  It’s there when I realized just how closer the two of them are than they were in the beginning…before Lei Lei was always prickly and saying one thing but meaning another..now she is able to candidly compliment Yi Kang and she even declares him her bestie forever.  The sad part is that even though they are this deeply connected, it is also hurting Yi Kang because he is constantly reminded that they are friends only. >_<  i.e. when Lei Lei doesn’t let Yi Kang sleep in the same room, when she doesn’t let him eat her leftover bread, etc.  BUT! Yi Kang already has the approval of Lei Lei’s mom and her girlfriends!  So I think at least Yi Kang has some supporters who will back him up in the future! 😛

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Overall

Dare I even mention their names? There were no Wei Ting and Hai Lun in this episode!!!!!!!  FREEDOMMMMMM!!!!!!!  Anyways this was such a good episode, so full of giggly moments and yet somehow I didn’t write as much as I thought I would.  Hm.  I am really looking forward to the next episode..and admittedly I saw a VERY BIG SPOILER for the ending of ep10 so I just went ahead and watched the spoilery scene (I COULDN’T HELP IT! I HAD TO SEE IT!).  Let’s just say things may progress faster than I thought they would. O_O

Anyways Mookie wrote up a post about POH (up through ep10) and she basically says everything PERFECTLY.  I wish I could say it all but no one can say it like Mookie!

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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  • “Lei Lei is unmarried and miserable now, so they must’ve made the connection between the two.”

    But that doesn’t lead to “married and happy”… she’s never been married before, she’s been unmarried her entire 35 years (I hopefully happy for some of those), so it’s not an automatic, logical conclusion to draw… though I guess it doesn’t matter, her family thinks that’s the magic pill and that’s it. Ummm…

    I’m afraid I’m just tired that people need to constantly pretend about their feelings/themselves in this drama. Now that Wei Ting has been dropped as the object of affection and that whole game to make him jealous/interested, we’ve moved onto Lei Lei & Yi Kang pretending they have a relationship in front of her family, Lei Lei requesting Yi Kang act like they are strangers at work so their colleagues won’t suspect anything about the relationship that they are not in (?) and Yi Kang, for now, hiding his feelings towards Lei Lei. Can’t they just act like adults and be who they are and feel what they feel, and fess up to it and deals with the consequences like adults?

    But, I think I’ll drop this drama for now and let you watch and enjoy.

    • Well I think her parents believe that since she is unmarried, she is lonely without a partner. So they think having a companion through marriage could make her happy. Then again no one always reasons rationally.

      Awwww :'(

      • I’m a firm believer that if you aren’t happy by yourself, you are not going to be happy in a relationship either. If you are dependent on someone else for your happiness, you’ll end up miserable, in a some sort of dependent relationship which can have devastating consequences.

        Maybe just Lei Lei’s parents believing this I could take (we can argue they the older generation and have traditional beliefs), but the problem is that every single person in this drama seems to believe that Lei Lei is an individual to be pitied and that she absolutely must be matched up with a guy. I hate this message that a woman can only be happy and have a complete life if she has a man.

        I tried watching 10 minutes of episode 10, but I give up. This girl doesn’t need enemies, her own friends pass photos of her around on the internet that look like she’s kissing, all happy to spread false rumours. What happened to privacy? Believing what your friend says? Or even if you don’t believe, shut up and stop prying?

        • Well I think romance/love is a big part of Lei Lei’s version of happiness. So she will not be completely happy without a significant other in her life. Didn’t watch all of ep10 yet. >_<

        • YES. I have this frustration with TPOH as well. Although I’ve watched this type of drama before and enjoyed it a lot (ie. My Queen) but I think this irks me a bit more because Lei Lei and Yi Kang seems to be living in their own world for the majority of this drama. It’s like their whole lives revolve around talking about their feelings / love lives etc etc and nothing else. (At the start of the drama LL also had a lot of issues with Hai Lun coming in but no real development since.) Plus Lei Lei’s family disappeared for like 8 eps. Oh, not to mention the only person who could’ve been outside the ‘norm’ (happy being single) aka Tiffany – and what did they do to her? Without much explanation her life is somehow ‘complete’ now that she has a steady boyfriend.

          I don’t necessary think TPOH is a bad drama, the relationship between LL x YK is developed very well but that’s in expense of everything else. I see that from ep 11 onwards they start to introduce other characters but it seems a bit late for that? TPOH only has 13 eps!

          • Now that you mention it, it does feel like the main focus is on LL/YK’s love lives and that other aspects of life have been excluded. i.e. Lately the friendship between LL/her besties has been there only for pushing LL/YK together. However I also feel that maybe these expectations are different from what the drama is actually going for…it started out all slice-of-life-ish with LL’s work, family, friends, and love all combined but has been slowly morphing into a drama more about LL’s love life. I’d say at this point it is less slice-of-life, more romance genre.

          • @kat Now that you mention it… it’s very weird pacing in this drama indeed. Her family reappearing is a case in point – given that a couple of episode Lei Lei was crying about having no one that would remember her if she died, giving the impression that she had no family at all or a bad relationship with them, but really the writers just seem to forget them for many episodes and then bring them back when they need a new type of dramatic conflict!

            I don’t think TPOH is a bad drama per se either, but I feel like I don’t get how it’s written. Lei Lei, at the beginning, was a very strong, independent woman, but I feel like they’ve changed her character… she’s just too hung up on this whole must-have-a-man thing. But it may indeed be because everything in this drama – their home life, their friends, their work – seems to revolve around this, at the cost of everything else. And I just hate the message that we’ve ended up with, which they could have done without (see YK: he’s single too but no one’s ever approached his singledom as something to be pitied).

            Didn’t realise it was only 13 episodes! That’s super short for a Taiwanese drama.

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