Mr. Right Wanted: Eps 6-11
I’m now 11 episodes into Mr. Right Wanted. I can officially say that I love MRW even more than when I first started watching it! One of the things that I love about it is how it approaches the main themes of love & marriage. At first it may seem like MRW is all about finding “the one” or “Mr. Right” for the heroine, Hai Ning. But actually, the story itself is less about romance and more about exploring the various perspectives on love & marriage. Each marriage candidate is like a new ‘lens’ through which we get to see these themes in a different light. Also, there is no unrealistic fairytale romance here. Even the most eccentric and ‘whimsical’ characters are very much grounded in reality. Oh, and the OST & cinematography are both beautiful, which doesn’t hurt! 😉
Like I said before in my first MRW review, I’m already a big fan of the leading actress, Sonia Sui. Yup…I’m biased, but hey—I didn’t 100% like her character in her previous tw-drama The Pursuit of Happiness. So it’s not like I love every single thing she is in or every single character she has played. 😛 Well, regardless of whether my bias is making me like Sonia’s character Hai Ning more or not, I really like Hai Ning as the heroine! She’s rational but not an emotionless ‘robot,’ a workaholic but not neglectful towards her friends, and set in her ways but still open to new ideas. So far the drama has done a wonderful job developing her character. It’s typical for tw-dramas to have heroines that are unwilling to change for the majority of the show. i.e. Sonia’s character in The Pursuit of Happiness was the epitome of stasis and wishy washiness. X_X In contrast, Hai Ning always seems to be progressing. Whenever she’s confronted with a new realization about herself (in like…every episode…LOL) she embraces it wholeheartedly rather than going straight into denial.
One obstacle that Hai Ning has yet to face is her dilemma over whether she is actually searching for a marriage partner or if she’s only working. Hai Ning went into this project expecting it to be ‘just business’. We already saw that she’s good at compartmentalizing her life by separating her professional and personal relationships. Even when she was dating Cheng Hao, who was also her coworker, she remained strictly professional with him when they were in the workplace. But now the lines are blurred in this marriage project. Hai Ning is getting more emotionally involved with the marriage candidates to the point where the project is seeping into her personal life. Will Hai Ning draw the line once and for all? Hopefully the future episodes will address this issue soon!
So, out of all the guys that Hai Ning has met so far, Lun Zhe Ming (Ep6-8; Christopher Lee; last saw him in A Good Wife) is the first one that makes Hai Ning’s heart go DOKI DOKI. None of the other guys before Zhe Ming had any romantic chemistry with Hai Ning..even though they could’ve easily become friends with her. Zhe Ming is like a prince charming character that comes straight out of a rom-com/fairytale. He is a verrry charming guy who just so happens to be a rich CEO of a high-end jewelry company. YUP.
“Looks, plus money, plus devotion, and strong sex appeal!…As long as the hero meets these criteria, it doesn’t matter what the heroine is like. The more ordinary and similar she is to the reader, the more Cinderella-like she is, the better to compensate for the disappointments in real life.”
One of the funny things about this character is that the drama is SO self-aware of how cliched he is. The quote above is one of Hai Ning’s coworker’s “formula” for the perfect hero in a romance novel. It cracks me up because it is SO TRUE—it applies to almost every single rom-com that has a rich guy as the hero. And it totally refers to Zhe Ming, OMG.
Anyways, long story short…Zhe Ming and Hai Ning have great chemistry and they are both attracted to each other. The downside about Zhe Ming is that it turns out he is a playboy. He already has a girlfriend (which obviously he didn’t inform Hai Ning about at first) but claims that he’s ‘willing to break up with his gf if Hai Ning wants to go out with him’. ERM..WHAT? No thanks, Zhe Ming! I’m glad that Hai Ning broke things off with him ASAP, right then and there. She knows that she deserves better. Zhe Ming tries to make amends with her, but things don’t work out. Zhe Ming, OUT. (at least, for now…)
^Top pics: Hai Ning boxing, Rocky. Bottom pics: Lucifer, Hai Ning’s reaction to his confession
As for the other marriage candidates, there are a lot of them so I will only talk about the ones that stood out to me the most. My favorite guy is Rocky (ep8), a boxer who is past his prime. He is the only other guy besides Zhe Ming who I thought had good enough chemistry with Hai Ning to possibly go out with. Of course…that doesn’t happen since Hai Ning only sees him as a friend. It’s somewhat surprising to me that I like Rocky so much because at first his reason for marriage sounds a bit offensive. He wants to have kids in order to be filial to his parents…which implies that he mainly wants a wife so that she will have his kids. =_=” Hai Ning reacts incredulously but also admits that most guys are probably thinking about being filial to their parents just like he is–it’s just that they don’t say it out loud. I guess I like Rocky because he’s totally open and frank about why he wants to get married. He also has a strong sense of responsibility towards his family and his future spouse. For Rocky, to love means to take responsibility.
“I’ve noticed that each time I come to the boxing arena, I don’t only have to deal with my personal confusion over Mr. Lun [Zhe Ming], I’ve also been deeply touched by Rocky’s serious attitude towards life. It makes me feel guilty. Because faced with Rocky’s seriousness, because of my intention to publish a book about seeking marriage, I’ve been going to marriage meetings. Am I being too flippant?” – Hai Ning
Ep8 is the first time Hai Ning starts to question the morality of her book project. She feels that she isn’t treating marriage-hunting seriously enough in comparison to the people who sincerely want to get married. No matter how much she connects with the people she’s meeting, in the end she is just using them to get material for her book. i.e. one of the guys, Lucifer (ep11), actually FALLS IN LOVE with Hai Ning. Hai Ning is already emotionally invested in their friendship but of course, she does not reciprocate his romantic feelings. When Lucifer confessed to Hai Ning, I thought, “OMGAWD! Did Hai Ning never prepare for this outcome?!?!”. I feel like Hai Ning just assumed that there would be no harm done in her book project. All she would do is go on some dates, get material for her book, and that would be it. She never anticipated how deeply involved she would get in these people’s lives.
Lastly, the most surprising guy is Xiao Ma (ep10; Sunny Wang)…who is a gigolo. O_O I last saw Sunny in Dragon Gate (which was not a very good drama T_T) and unfortunately, his acting was quite lacking even though he was the male lead. He was supposed to be a really handsome guy in Dragon Gate but I just could not see it. =_= But now that he’s back as a playboy type….somehow…IT WORKS?!?! Maybe he’s more comfortable in this role since he has already played the playboy role before. (i.e. In Time With You) Anyways, Xiao Ma is a very eloquent and charming guy who seems to sincerely want to befriend Hai Ning. But Hai Ning never takes him seriously because she thinks he’ll try to get money out of her. Turns out that everything Xiao Ma said was true…it’s just that Hai Ning didn’t believe him based on her preconceptions about gigolos.
“If you don’t dare to pursue even the feelings at this moment, then how can you pursue everlasting love?” – Hai Ning’s mom
Hai Ning’s experience with Xiao Ma parallels her relationship with her mom. (her mom also appears in ep10) Hai Ning’s mom is a capricious single woman who never commits to long-term relationships and instead goes out with one young man after another. On top of that, Hai Ning discovers that her mom goes to SM clubs. O_O Never have I seen a mom character in a drama that is into SM. LOL. So, Hai Ning is convinced that her mom is always getting duped by young guys and only lives for the moment. She never takes her mom seriously and can’t comprehend how her mom’s many relationships can be considered real love. By the end of the episode, Hai Ning realizes that her preconceptions have prevented her from seeing her mom for who she really is. In fact, her mom is much more courageous and is willing to pursue love, even if it may only be temporary.
I know it’s been forever since I last posted about MRW. Trust me, I would’ve watched this drama & written about it in a heartbeat if I could…but sadly, I had time constraints. At the time I was starting MRW my life was getting busier and I was unable to quickly finish the drama. >_< That doesn’t diminish my love for it though, hehe! Just writing about it has reminded me how much I love this drama. :3 So much has happened in these episodes that I could not possibly fit it all into this one post, heheh. All in all, I really enjoyed these episodes even though some of the stories are better than others. I also have to give a quick shoutout to Hai Ning’s coworkers. Although they are side characters, they add some oomph to the drama because they have a great sense of humor, haha!
What Once Was Lost, Now Is Found (Half-Believer in Marriage) by Shi Shi
Quote translation credit: Viki