Hi My Sweetheart Episode 1 Recap

by staples

Before the recap starts, here’s a brief summary of what this drama is supposed to be about:

Nerdy rich guy goes to school. Meets and eventually falls in love with the scariest punk-girl in school. Her mother opposes the match because the girl is rich and the rich guy hasn’t told anyone he’s rich. So, the mother creates a kind of misunderstanding in which the rich guy thinks he’s been dumped and the rich girl thinks the guy left without a word. In order to get back at her, nerdy rich guy transforms himself into not-so-nerdy rich guy and becomes her boss at a radio station in order to give her grief. Sounds interesting, right? Okay, let’s begin. . .

(and next recap will have screen caps, i promise. I was too lazy to go back and get them for this episode . . .)

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Hseui Hai is this ridiculously nerdy rich kid. He has a thick bowl-cut, large, black, thick-rimmed glasses far too large to be fashionable and always wears knee-socks and above-the-knee shorts. And unlike the fashion-sane, he tucks his shirt in.

His parents died when he was young (his father was 60 when he was born), leaving him in the over-protective loving care of his Da Jie (big sister) who honestly looks old enough to be his grandmother. (Ironically, she and Show Lou have acted together before, but in that case, she was acting as his grandmother).

In an effort to escape the family ties that have never allowed him to do anything himself, Ah Hai decides to continue his sophomore year of college in Huangzhou (a district in Hubei, China) instead of in Taiwan. His goal is to live as independently as possible.

Unfortunately, his Da Jie follows him—or rather, runs after the car, manages to run past it and stop it in its tracks—I’ll discuss this later. She proclaims that she will not rest easy until she sees Ah Hai to school and settles him in his dorm.

At the airport, she sits Ah Hai down and goes to check them in. As he sits there, he hears a beautiful voice reciting a poem. It’s the girl sitting directly behind him, with her back to him. Enraptured, Ah Hai imagines himself in the beautiful setting the poem describes, but Da Jie’s enormous face pulls him back to reality.

As she marches him off, he turns to try to see the girl’s face. In his distraction, Ah Hai bumps into someone and drops his boarding pass. And he didn’t even get to see her face.

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The girl turns to the man next to her and hands him the book.

“Thank you,” he says, “That was my late wife’s favorite poem.”

“No problem,” replies the girl (it’s Rainie Yang!) As she gets up, she sees the boarding pass on the ground. “What idiot would lose their boarding pass?” She wonders, reading the name “Hseui Hai” on the ticket.

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I want to pause here briefly to discuss this introduction of Rainie’s character. For starters, despite the fact that Rainie is supposed to be a tough punk, the first view you have of her is someone sensitive. Very unusual for that to be the first view of the supposed tough-guy.

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The girl is dressed amazingly well for a punk. Her hair is long and black with a single streak of purple. She’s dressed mainly in neutral colors: lots of black, but grey skinny pants. And despite the fact that most of her accessories and her shirt involve chain and studs, she’s wearing black high-heels. All in all, she doesn’t look like an emo-punk, but a well-dressed, fashion-diva punk. It’s a nice look. . .

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By now, Da Jie and Ah Hai have realized that the boarding pass is missing. Thankfully, someone announces over the intercom that they have the boarding pass. At the service desk, Ah Hai finds that someone has taken a post-it note and written “stupid” on it. The service lady says the girl who brought the ticket up put it on.

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When registering for classes, Ah Hai finds that Da Jie has registered him under the name “Lin Da Lung.” Why? Because in her twisted world, if his classmates find out he’s rich they’ll beat him up and threaten his family. The name itself comes from Ah Hai’s favorite show since childhood—The Pink Panther.

“Remember?” Da Jie asks, “Who’s the Pink Panther’s best friend? Da lung, da lung, da lung da lung da lung*” *sung to the Pink Panther theme tune*

While arguing about the name, “Da Lung” bumps into the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. How do we know this? Because when he sees her, flowers descend from the heavens and when he reaches to help her get her books and their hands accidentally touch, he is racked with electricity. The girl’s name is Mo Lee and she invites Da Lung to join her dance club before she walks away. She was surprisingly nice to this nerd.

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When Da Lung finally gets in his dorm and tells his Da Jie she can leave, she mutters “trying to send me away, huh? I’m not going anywhere.” She then directs the taxi driver to take her to the nicest hotel in Huangzhou. This is one drama thing I’ve never understood. How can you randomly decide to live in a hotel for a while? Tae-kyung did it in You’re Beautiful for a bit, and now this woman. I mean, in the United States a cheap hotel room is $100 bucks a night if you’re lucky. How can you decide that you’ll pay that kind of money indefinitely? This woman must be ridiculously rich.

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At school the next day, DL discovers that Mo Lee is one of the “3 Beauties,” the three smartest, most beautiful girls on campus. Notice how they stuck the “smartest” in there as well? More on that later.

Walking into the classroom in a daze, DL sits down at a random empty desk, only to find his roommates gesturing frantically for him to get up. But it’s too late.

BAM! Someone from behind smacks DL’s head into his desk.

“That’s my seat.”

It’s the girl from the airport, menacing black waves curling around her body.

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That’s one of the things that confuses me in this drama—they enjoy the use of magical realism and extreme imagery a lot. It’s not even like Like Water for Chocolate, where the magical realism has a stylistic point to it. I mean, having Da Jie outrun a car?!?!? While humorous, it’s also just plain strange.

Now, to be perfectly honest, I love some of the extreme imagery, especially when it comes to Bai Shu Jie’s character. The black smoke curls in a very realistic way around her body and just adds to the menacing vibe—I especially love the cat shadow that comes up behind her sometimes. But the flowers descending from the heavens upon Mo Lee’s “angelic” face? Completely unnecessary.

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Da Lung gets up and apologizes, trying to sit in the seat in front of her.

“That seat is for me to put my foot on,” she says. So DL finds himself sitting gingerly on the edge of the seat where the girl’s foot isn’t.

As Da Lung gets up to introduce himself, he is soon laughed at for his name because “Da Lung” sounds a lot like “Da Lun” meaning, more or less, “to beat.” They joke that his father must hate him. As he bows his head in embarrassment, we see the first echoes of concern in the girl’s face.

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Bai Chu Jie, as she’s called, confronts DL after class. She notes that his name must be from the Pink Panther. DL is shocked that she would know such a thing, but she says her parents weren’t home much when she was a child, so she watched a lot of Pink Panther by herself. DL is ecstatic to hear this because that’s exactly what his childhood was like—lots of Pink Panther. But I doubt he watched it alone. Then, they discover that both of them are from Taiwan (surprise, surprise). Bai Chu Jie’s pretty mean during this exchange, she’s more or less beating him into the floor. But things get worse when the naïve DL says, “Bai Chu Jie, we both come from the same place and we both like Pink Panther! We could become best friends!” He face softens a little, but then she slaps him hard across the face. “You dare become friends with me?!!!?” She bellows. DL’s two roommates run in from off-camera, pick DL up as if they were lifting a chair, and run him off.

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Because this story is supposed to really begin after the two have broken up, Rainie/Bai Chu Jie’s character development (and their relationship’s development in general) has to happen faster than we’re used to. Maybe it would be better if they had made this a two-season thing. . . but it’s so goofy, I’m not sure it would develop a passionate following willing to stand a depressing end for now and wait for the next season. In this scene, it’s as if she’s almost begun to soften up, but caught herself just in time.

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His friends take him to the dace club room where so many guys are trying to squeeze through the doorway, there’s no one actually in the room.

The 3 Beautifies come in and say that since there are so many guys here, they’ll just have to move the venue to a club outside. In effect, they’re having a party, and there are only a limited number of invitations. In a scramble for the invitations, Da Lung ends up on the floor, glasses askew (a common theme with this kid).

His roommates return invitation-less and they’re about to leave, when Mo Lee calls them back. Apparently, she’s saved an invitation for Da Lung. I think I’ll be repeating this phrase often, but what does she see in this guy???? Da Lung’s friends ask if they can tag along and she says “Of course! Da Lung’s friends are my friends!” See last sentence.

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Da Lung finds the club disturbing and loud and wants leave, but his friends refuse. Mo Lee catches sight of him and calls him to her little posse, causing one of the guys to glower at him menacingly. As Da Lung shuffles forward, the guy trips him, causing Da Lung to fall directly into Mo Lee’s arms. hehe. that’s what I call counter-productive. Anyway, more electricity ensues, and Mo Lee introduces Da Lung to everyone, sticking up for him when they try to make fun of his name.

“Mo Lee,” calls the glowering tripper from the last paragraph. “What is this nerd to you?” Thank you. That’ exactly what I’m thinking. Mo Lee takes Da Lung to the dance floor and asks him to dance, but he can’t. For starters, he doesn’t know how, and for enders he’s bound to get shocked if he did. And “the electric eel” is not a 21st century dance move.

As he runs away, and gets a menacing fist-waving warning from the gruff tripper, Da Lung gets a call from his Da Jie. This woman needs. to get. a life.

He goes outside to take the call, and hears someone yell “Go away!” as he hangs up.

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It’s Bai Chu Jie! She had prevented some drunkards from beating up a harmless beggar and they turn on her. Da Lung, who had just been told by his Da Jie that the most important thing a man should know is how to protect a woman, he runs to protect her. Oh, Da Lung, so innocent, so unaware of your inabilities.

Bai Chu Jie tells him to mind his own business, but he persists, telling her exactly what his Da Jie said. Her face softens for an instant when she hears them. Putting his arms on her shoulders, Da Lung allows the drunkards to beat him senseless (and bloodless). As he falls to the ground, we hear BCJ (Bai Chu Jie) kicking the you-know-what out of the two-drunkards. But it’s more like she’s just continuing her business, not the Hollywood-style  “how could you? Da Lung, you shall be AVENGED!!!!!”

Meanwhile, DL (Da Lung) is dreaming of a beautiful voice telling him to be brave and that it will all be okay. We see BCJ’s black-nailed hand holding his, but when DL wakes up, it’s Mo Lee by his side, her hand in his. He thinks she’s the one who sent him to the hospital (does that make any sense??) and before she can correct him, his friends burst in.

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When Da Lung gets back home, he’s afraid BCJ got “that” done to her after he passed out. No one actually says what “that” is, but we get the idea. When BCJ doesn’t show up at school the next day, he assumes the worst: she can’t handle what happened to her.

The class goes for a picnic randomly that day, and when DL’s getting firewood, he spots BCJ brooding by the lake. Thinking she’s “taking it too hard on herself,” he yells, “Bai Chu Jie, NOO!” He jumps just as she turns and he ends up flying past her and into the lake. Haha! What a goofball! Since he can’t swim, she ends up saving him again.

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Back at the campsite, DL’s roommates find his cellphone without him and panic. Then the phone rings: it’s Da Jie. (Darling, the bingo club would welcome you with open arms. Please, do us all a favor and go home.) The well-meaning but idiotic roommates tell her Da Lung’s missing. Biggest. Mistake. Ever.

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Da Lung wakes up in a large bed covered by a luscious red blanket. “What am I doing here?” He wonders. Taking a peep under the blanket he adds to his list of confusions, “Why aren’t I wearing any clothes?” Climbing out of bed, he wraps a pale green towel under his armpits. He’s such a girl!!

Climbing down the stairs of this very rich-looking house, he sniffs the air and realizes the gas is on. Racing down to the kitchen he sees Bai Chu Jie by the stove. Assuming, again, that she’s trying to commit suicide, again, he yells “Bai Chu Jie, NO!” She turns. . . and thankfully, he doesn’t fly past her and burn himself. Instead, as he shuffles forward, his towel falls off.  Stopping suddenly, he covers his face, and yells “Don’t look!”

One second. . . I’m laughing just remembering this scene. . . Da Lung, you’re the one who’s not looking!

Okay, so as soon as he yells this, BCJ stares fixedly up at his face.

“What do you see?” He demands, like a girl.

“I see. . .” BCJ begins, tilting her head to stare directly at his you-know-where. “Da lung, da lung, dalung dalung dalung.” He looks down and you realize, he’s wearing his pink panther boxers!

They argue for a while after this, and BCJ finally discovers the reason DL keeps running at her and sets him straight. No, she did not get “that” done to her, and she’s not trying to die. For starters, the gas is on so she can heat water for him to drink.

“What about my clothes?” DL asks.

“I’m sorry, I should have just left them on and let you catch a cold.” She notes that she’s the one who took him to the hospital and DL gets a shock. Finally, he asks what she was thinking about at the lake because it looked like she had a lot on her mind. She explodes.

“Even if I were to commit lake-dive suicide, why would it matter to you?”

“Of course it matters to me! You’re my classmate. You sit behind me every day. If I didn’t see you, of course I’d be worried about you!”

She’s touched. Deeply touched. Looking up at him she says steadily, “Say that again.” He begins to repeat the whole rant, but she stops him. “No. The last sentence.” After a few minutes to trying to figure out exactly what he said, Da Lung repeats himself. Frozen, BCJ finally turns her head away.

“Your clothes are dry. You can leave.”

DL is confused. “Why are you making me leave all of a sudden?”

Leave or I’m going to do THAT to you!” She yells.

——-END——

Comments:

There are several things that struck me about this episode. For starters, I love the whole “empowerment” message it sends (albeit in a goofy way). Coffee Prince addresses this a bit a lot more seriously, but the goofiness isn’t a bad thing. In addition, CP doesn’t switch the role of male and female, while this drama, so far, does. I’m hoping Da Lung’s transformation into a masculine character doesn’t cause BCJ to become a withering mass of tears. Not that I don’t want DL to become a man, I just don’t want BCJ to change significantly.

Speaking of Rainie’s character, there have been a lot of people who say she can’t act. I, personally, am a pretty big fan of hers and have been since DBY. Maybe I’m biased, but I thought her acting was fine here. I think the goofiness of the whole show white-washes her acting because she is supposed to a deep character with random goofy parts.

Another thing that struck me, as I’ve mentioned before, is the speed of the relationship. It seems a little too fast. I’m not sure whether I hate it or don’t mind it yet, but I do hope it slows down a bit in the middle.

One of the most surprising things for me was how adorable the nerdy DL turned out to be. Not attractive, mind you, but his facial expressions are rather endearing. I mean, Rainie pre-transformation in Miss No Good was down-right annoying. But DL is down-right adorable!

See? Not attractive, but little-kid cute and earnest. This is when he tells her he would worry about her.

The only thing that bothers me about this show so far is the ridiculous, let’s-beat-them-over-the-head “symbolism.” It’s like the “let’s play this scene three times over even though it doesn’t change anything maybe they’ll understand that this scene shows conflict” editing that went on in Smiling Pasta. Eventually, I learned to ignore it there, maybe the same will happen here.

—-FIN—-

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2 Comments to “Hi My Sweetheart Episode 1 Recap”

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