Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Bromance 愛上哥們 Episode 10 Recap & Comments

I don't normally do recaps as I have a short attention span and I enjoy working on my Chinese more (So translating is much more fun for me)...But THIS episode had so much fan service that I must break it down or I will die from the heart disease or fever I contracted from watching all those hot-under-the-collar scenes. 

(***SPOILER ALERTS*** For those who haven't started the series or aren't up to Episode 10, you have been warned! Read at your own risk!)

Where do I even begin? This gender bend drama is different from many others in that the main male character, Zifeng, doesn't question why he'd like a guy, but just goes with his feelings and accepts it. I like this because it does avoid some big cliche moments and it also reflects the modern world where many people don't believe that love needs to be defined by gender binaries. Sometimes you just love someone, no matter what gender they are....but let's get onto this week's episode shall we?

Moment No. 1: Pillow Fight



OK. Pillow Fight. Well if you didn't already figure it out, the pillow fight was interrupted by the early return of Yanuo's parents. Damn. It was too beautiful to be true. Despite wrecking a beautiful moment, I did like how her dad reacted. And although initially annoyed with her mother's action (Damn, mum, she's 25, not 15!!!), I liked that in actual fact her mother doesn't mind her daughter dating Zifeng...She's just genuinely worried for the safety of her only offspring due to her paranoid superstitious beliefs. So they have an awkward meeting where mum says she gets to decide who sleeps where and gets poor Zifeng to sleep in the same room as Yanuo's father, while Yanuo shares with her mother. 

Moment No. 2: Blanket back hug on the veranda




Of course, they couldn't leave it like this, so the scriptwriters sweetened the deal by having Yanuo get up to get a glass of water to find Zifeng standing in the moonlight contemplating his current situation with his father. Here, I died when Yanuo put that blanket around Zifeng, telling him that he should still look after himself and not catch a cold. 



Then Zifeng says, what about you? And wraps Yanuo in an embrace so they can both share the blanket, standing under the moonlight on Yanuo's veranda. 



That moment killed me for several reasons. The intimacy between Yanuo and Zifeng is so tender and sweet, where the one is always thinking about the other. Yanuo's ability to get Zifeng to open up and discuss his problems really shows her feminine side too. 



The little things that made the moment were things like Yanuo turning with a smile to tell Zifeng he's acting too desperate to get his father to like him, but then realizing how close their faces are, turning back just a little...that really showed the fine balance between desire and restraint going on. 



And Zifeng gently nuzzling closer to her and rocking them side to side. 


And Zifeng, asking Yanuo if he could just stay a little longer outside with him, noticeably tightens his embrace a little bit more. Yanuo's expression when he does that is such a killer.



Zifeng then closes his eyes sleepily, just rests his chin on her shoulder....it was simple, but those little gestures built up a great moment of tenderness.



Moment No. 3 Sleeping together on the couch




The scene continues on to show that Yanuo and Zifeng eventually go inside and Yanuo makes him a hot drink, as well as asks him if he'd like anything to eat. Zifeng replies honeyed sweet potato (a Taiwanese street snack). It's not that he's really after the food, but that he's still in the mood for reminiscing about his father. 



Yanuo enjoys listening to his stories...and later falls asleep, snuggling up against Zifeng as she sleeps. 


I like that Yanuo's mum comes out...



And sees Zifeng putting a blanket over Yanuo and holding him, as well as gazing gazing at him, like Yanuo is something really precious to him (I will use him and her to describe Yanuo depending on who's point of view I'm taking- Zifeng's or Yanuo's family like mum, dad or Xiao Jing). 



This is obviously the reason that the mother allows her to stay overnight at Zifeng's dad's house later on...




Before I talk about the next scene though, I'd like to say that I was so happy seeing the episode start off with those sweet moments. In part, it's because the only reason I watch this show is to watch Megan and Baron get close to each other. The plot itself is so bad that I'm beyond investing in things like the enemies or father drama because it'll just disappoint....But this leads me to the second reason why I liked those scenes...I think the intimate scenes for this episode show the decay of resistance. In the past when Zifeng treated Yanuo like a girl, I'd really question if it was a "Bromance" or if the scriptwriters just didn't know the meaning of the word bromance, because there hadn't been enough build up for him to act so lovey dovey yet. I also scoffed at some of those so-called romantic moments because they were too gauzy and grand (the jumping from a building to save you scene and the dancing and accidental kiss scene and the paintball scene). And they just seemed exaggerated and unbelievable.

But the tender moments of this episode were simple and nuanced. No ridiculous grand gestures like the rooftop rescue.  And they were more believable because there's now been a clear build up of romantic tension between the characters. It's clear that Yanuo and Zifeng no longer care if they're acting like two boys hanging out or something else. They don't even care if the other has said they don't like boys. They just love each other, regardless of who they are. And they can't help themselves from getting close to or touching the other when they have a chance anymore. Well, that or there's the theory that Zifeng already knows she's a girl. But whatever, he's willing to let go of reputation and everything else to have Yanuo. So this episode was beautiful... I only wish the plot leading up to this had been as good.

Oh. Can I mention that I hate how obvious the product placement is in this series? I know Samsung sponsored you guys, but do you need an entire scene dedicated to it?!? That odd scene where Yanuo texts Zifeng is obviously to show the phone's function. It doesn't serve to do anything to the story! I don;t mind marketing, it's natural, but subtly is key!!! It's things like this that also take away from the story. But I digress.



Anyway, back to the main story line. The next day Zifeng and Yanuo visit Zifeng's dad give him the clothes they picked out for him in the last episode. He's glum and moody and his carer explains that the dad is miserable because she has to make her annual trip. Zifeng seizes the opportunity to spend time with his father. The carer is worried knowing how estranged the father and son relationship is, so she suggests that Yanuo stays too...thank you carer woman! This is the gateway to more beautiful fan service moments.

Zifeng walks in on his father and Yanuo playing in the rain and tells them off as they might catch a cold. But he missed the whole heart-to-heart Yanuo had with with Uncle Du, where he told her that he still felt happy and refreshed by water fountains, even after loosing his memories. To soothe the situation,  Yanuo gently takes Zifeng to the side and tells him to join in - this is how this father, who has lost his memories, is honoring the strong bond he had with his son. He's still hanging onto the essence of his happiest memories with Zifeng. Taking Yanuo's advice, he joins in...and almost jolts a memory for his father. Almost. Yanuo's tender and logical ways are saving the day!

Moment No. 4: Honeyed Sweet Potato Hug



Cut to the next sweet Yanuo and Zifeng moment. Zifeng is sitting on the steps of the porch sipping tea. It's a beautiful porch actually with the zen plants and traditional tea set-up. I like the setting, especially in the misty surroundings. Yanuo comes back looking proud of herself and hands Zifeng a box containing the honeyed sweet potato snack. Turns out she'd made a long trip away just to get the snack for him and his father. Zifeng is touched, so when she makes him try the snack, he looks at her with an intense gaze of longing.


This catches Yanuo off guard and she's asks why he's looking at her like that. He suddenly puts the snack down, pulls her up and stands there with his arms open.


Last time that happened, he wanted Yanuo to put on his apron, but she hugged him. She's about to hug him, but then stops herself to ask suspiciously what he wants as there's no apron. I love the look Zifeng gives her. It's a look of vulnerability, of desire, of being unable to help himself.


Since Yanuo is not initiating, he pulls her into a tight embrace and tells Yanuo how good it is to have him here. I must say power to Baron Chen's gaze. The man can express a look of longing very well. He has a great command of the more tender expressions.


Megan Lai's look of elation is pretty cute too.


They just keep hugging...


There's a talk between Uncle Du and Yanuo where she confirms Zifeng is indeed his son and he seems sad that he can't remember his family anymore. But let's get to the second bed scene of the drama...

Moment No. 5: A night together and a forehead kiss







It's pretty intense fan service when scriptwriters include 2 bed scenes in one episode! So how does this happen? Yanuo's mum says she can stay the night...and she's glad, but then she notices that Zifeng is moving his stuff out of her room. She asks what he's doing and he says he's giving the room to her. I really love that she's clinging onto Zifeng's pillow.


She says that it's cold. So Zifeng asks what they should do about this...And Yanuo mumbles that they should just sleep together. Haha, I'm pretty sure that Zifeng heard her the first time. But he just wants to hear her say it again and louder, so he asks her to repeat what she says and she makes a blase suggestion to just take off his coat and go to sleep.


Of course, it's awkward and they both toss and turn able to sleep until they turn accidentally to face each other. More intense gazing. I must say that these intense gazing scenes are the beauty of the fan service scenes. That romantic tension is so thick, you could slice it with a knife.


Some fans didn't like that Yanuo closes her eyes and goes to sleep. But I do. What else would you do if you felt nervous in that situation?! Remember, she's still technically a guy...so it's not like she could do anything else anyway, even if she wanted to. Anyway, Zifeng lays awake, instead of sleeping and plays with her face, tracing the contours of her nose and lips and brushing her fringe.

 


I really like that Zifeng never sleeps when she's with him. It's like he doesn't want to waste any time they spend together. Sleep is wasted time when he could be studying Yanuo instead.


The only thing I didn't like about this scene was that he put the little pink hair clip on her hair. Why? Who knows because there's no explanation or reaction time. Some fans are saying that Zifeng knows she's a girl. If that was the case, this scene would make sense. But there's no definite indication that he thinks that yet. He didn't say anything to himself or to her, in her sleep and they never go back to it later. Was he just doing it because he wished that Yanuo was a girl? Also it's like a gross, little girl's hair clip. Isn't it just weird?! And what were the consequences and reactions to this action?...Would Yanuo have found the hair clip on her fringe in the morning or did he take it off before she woke up? How would she have reacted? Would she have freaked out if she thought Du Zifeng knew her secret? Yeah, they shouldn't have included this ambiguous scene. But yes to the forehead kiss and whispered good night.


Moment No. 6: Accidental Fishing Confessions


The next day they take Uncle Du fishing and he witnesses just how close Yanuo and Zifeng are when Yanuo gets a hook caught in her jumper. Megan Lai as Yanuo is super cute here with her pout. I have to question whether that's believable for a guy to be pouting, let alone making such a cute pout face. Also is it normal for another guy to treat this as a normal man's expression?! But maybe it is when you think of K-pop dudes and all their pouting.


 Zifeng comes teasingly to her rescue, telling her to shut up when she complains about his efforts.


When Yanuo goes to buy drinks, Zifeng's father strikes up a conversation with him to discover that Zifeng is quite in love with Yanuo and can't live without him. He reports this, shocked to Yanuo, while Zifeng, embarrassed and defensive, denies it. To stop trouble in its tracks, Yanuo says that she loves Zifeng too...which is totally true. But what I really like is Zifeng's internal glow at hearing those words. I wish they had left more reaction time for this scene...because it cuts out quite quickly, although it does go to another lovely couple scene.


Moment No.7: Cooking Jealousy



The cooking scene was strangely one of my favourite moments between them both. After coming home with the fish that Uncle Du caught, Zifeng makes dinner and Yanuo comes to laugh at his apron. But seeing as he's cooking, Yanuo decides to start learning from him. The only problem is that she gets distracted by a text and photo about her shared pet, Chubbi sent by Zhe Rui. Hearing the delight in her voice annoys Zifeng since he can't really have a pet with her (his mother is allergic) and she isn't paying attention to him. 


What was funny about this sequence was how teasingly mean Zifeng could get when jealous of Zhe Rui, but also how much he could scale back when Yanuo asked him why he was shouting so much at her.


Zifeng, although he sometimes can slip in a tsundere character, doesn't remain that way because it's clear that Yanuo has him round her finger, although she doesn't know it. I laughed so much when he poured all the sugar in. 


But the best part was how smoothly he transitioned from just instructing her to conveniently helping her cook, whilst also using it as an excuse to hold her. And of course, Yanuo, clearly aware of how close they are, takes advantage in her own way and makes it opportune for him to hold her closer by suggesting he use he other hand. 


I think the elements that made this scene work was probably the music (which cut in as soon as Zifeng realised that he was jealous and being kind of mean), and that feeling once again that there's very little self-control left. If there's a chance to get Yanuo closer to him physically, Zifeng's gonna do it. And he wants all of Yanuo's affection and attention. 


Although pushing her face away every time she looks at him, he's clearly happy that he's won her attention over against Zhe Rui's Chubbie.


Something about the ease and flow of how Yanuo and Zifeng look at each other, and ask each other questions, each fondly treasuring the moment of being in such physically close proximity with the one they love is the perfect way to close off that scene.


Moment No. 8: Stay with me forever then





Episode 10 was a non-stop ride of feels. One after another. This moment had to be my favourite out of all of them...and all based on a few words and expressions! Yanuo suggests that they play Jengga together, as that was the game Zifeng use to play with his father. And following the same rules, the loser must be punished by having something drawn on their face. There's no marker, but Yanuo happened to get a sample lipstick when she was shopping earlier in the day, so they use that. Zifeng is the first one to knock over the Jengga tower, so his father draws a monobrow on him with the lipstick. A Jengga-and-lipstick montage occurs and ends with the just Zifeng sitting there by himself playing with the blocks.


Yanuo comes in with some wet wipes to help him get the make up off his face and she can't stop laughing at his lipstick tattooed face. Zifeng is only slightly annoyed at Yanuo's laughing and tells him to look at himself in the mirror and to help him remove the make-up. After a moment he thanks him. Yanuo asks with a laugh, "Why are you thanking me? I drew half of these pictures." Zifeng says it's not over this, but over what he's done for him and his father. 


He stops Yanuo from wiping for a moment and tells him that over the past few days he really wanted to connect with his father. 


He's grateful that Yanuo has done things like bought the honeyed sweet potatos, suggested they play Jengga and draw on each other's faces to jog his memory. He can't represent how grateful he is to Yanuo. Yanuo says that she doesn't want gratitude. So Zifeng says to tell him what it is that she wants. She asks him if he's been happy that day. He readily replies that he's been very happy. And so she says, simply, "Then that's enough. That's all I want." 


My death occurred here. Simply the sweetest words ever. Yanuo says it casually, with no need for attention...but she's gotten the longing look back in Zifeng's eyes. And I don't blame him. Yanuo's character has been one of my favourite of female leads of recent years, despite the poor story line in Bromance. And it's not just because Megan Lai is so devastatingly attractive. Yanuo is never self-serving and always thinking about Zifeng. But not in a way that is annoying, like she's dependent and can't function without him, or in a way that is grandiose and dramatic, playing the noble idiot (although she did try to leave at the airport to save him, she didn't protest when he went to get her back.) No, Yanuo values Zifeng in a way that shows her honest, genuine love. She's sweet because her gestures are subtle and sincere. You get so much out of the simplest things she says.


Anyway, Zifeng touched, asks her in all seriousness if there's anything he really can do for her. Yanuo slowly and casually suggest that they be together forever, then. She continues wiping his face with a smile playing over her lips. 


Zifeng, upon hearing these words, just looks into her face with intense longing. It's the very thing he wants as well. 


The next day the whole crew comes to visit Zifeng's father - Qingyang and Nana who has come with him, Ah Chao, who probably drove them over and Xiaojing, who Yanuo probably invited. Speaking of Qingyang and Nana, you're probably wondering if they had a scene in this episode. They did. But I completely skipped over it because I'm not a fan and I don't feel like their story even adds anything to the main story. Sorry. And speaking of Xiaojing. I LOVE that character. 


She's so girly and so much fun and such a good influence on Yanuo! I think Yanuo would go mad if it wasn't for her existence. She's a wonderful cousin, full of mischief, not to cause trouble, but to create opportunities for Yanuo. 



She's also sympathetic and friendly, with a good mixtures of bubbly cheekiness. There's something heartwarming about watching her debrief with Yanuo and teasing her for being a bad girl when she hears that Yanuo called Zifeng over when her parents weren't around.


Moment No. 9 Playing games ending with a kiss





The Kiss! Yes, so we have Xiaojing to thank. So after picking up Xiaojing, they come home to see Ah Chao is still sucking up to Zifeng's dad with his golden hand message...he's obviously doing it as he sees Zifeng's dad as potential father in law material if he gets the chance to get with Zifeng's sister, Zihan. But Xiaojing has different plans and she suggests that they play a high stakes card game with dares. Someone gets the 'control' card (K) and they can pick two numbers they like to their bidding. Yanuo and Zifeng seem to get picked more than others. The first time Yanuo gets to flick Zifeng on the head and the second time they both have to hug each other for 5 minutes standing on a stool.

Then Xiaojing raises the stakes because she says that Yanuo and Zifeng always seem to get picked. She says that the next round, those who have been picked must kiss. While this scene was awesome, I do have one quirk with it...do you guys realise that Zifeng's dad is playing too?!? Why would they suggest that when he's playing?! Do you accidentally want to kiss Zifeng's dad?! The scriptwriters sometimes do these weird things. Weird, weird things. But anyway Xiaojing's word is rule, so they do it and lo and behold, Zifeng and Yanuo get picked. There was a funny moment where Zifeng looked worried because it might be him and Qingyang...But no. Yanuo wins. Everyone excitedly gathers around to watch. I love their reactions. Aside from being a group of supportive friends, I think they know how much romantic tension has been floating around these two and everyone is happy to get the chance to push them together.



I think I've talked about what I love about this kiss. Zifeng, despite really wanting this moment, is highly hesitant. It's probably a combination of things: people are looking; he's not sure how ready he is to do this with another guy; he's not sure how Yanuo will take it; he doesn't want to be the only one enjoying this; it seems to be breaking all the remaining barriers between them; he doesn't want anything to change between them; he's embarrassed. 


He gets really close to her, his lips just touching Yanuo's top lip, but he sighs and turns away. He's about to admit defeat, when Yanuo pushes his face back towards her's and kisses him. Ah. That moment is beautiful. Again, Yanuo can no longer hold in how she feels about Zifeng. This is breaking point. I hope he knows this too and they don't skit around around these feelings.


Everyone is in shock and taking photos. 


Zifeng looks surprised, although happy. 


Then Uncle Du's carer comes back, causing Zifeng and Yanuo to break apart abruptly and look shyly away, avoiding each other's gaze. 


The carer has bought food...and in order to give them some space, everyone rushes to help her leaving Yanuo and Zifeng along. They're both too shy to look at each other, though they can't stop smiling, especially after they both get sent photos from their friends.

The episode ends somewhat randomly though. Zifeng and Qingyang decide to go confront their old friend, Han Sheng over the incident with the reporters. Because of the bad storytelling, and the lack of continuity of events, this seems random. There's been no reporters following them lately, so it almost feels out of the blue. It's this choppy story line which I despise. I can't follow something like this. And I wouldn't if not for Yanuo and Zifeng, Megan Lai and Baron Chen. Anyway, although initially not invited for her safety, Yanuo begs to come along too. 

They get there and confront Han Sheng, only to have him throw out the card out his sleeve: He didn't tell the reporters and he knows who did. It's Zhe Rui Ge. Whaaaa?! It's a ridiculous story line to take. Zhe Rui hasn't had enough air time to take part in such a complex story. He's barely had time to observe that Zifeng has a thing for Yanuo, let alone sabotage them. He doesn't even know Han Sheng. He's too friendly for that...he's Sean Lee! (Although Sean does often play selfish-cocky characters. Think Our Times and Pleasantly Surprised. Though he'a such a dear in real life when I met him). He admits to telling the story to the reporters and says he doesn't want to lose Yanuo. But he's shaky...My theory? He's being blackmailed. He's the only one who knows Yanuo is a girl, he's loved her since childhood (that old chestnut again), and if Han Sheng has been sniffing around, he probably knows something and Zhe Rui is getting involved to stop him. 


So that's my recap. Am I going to do anymore? Maybe, if another episode is like this one...but most likely not. Did I love this episode? Yes! But is the series improving? If I'm honest, no. The flow of the story is still choppy and there's huge problems with story telling. I hate that the product placement is shoved in there. At least make it part of the story if you have to do it. I also highly dislike the strange stopping and starting of story lines. Like the bit with Han Sheng and the reporters. The reports suddenly disappeared and there was no continuation with that story...and then Bam! We're going to go look for him. And all of a suddenly, the barely-there Zhe Rui is the culprit. I also disliked the lack of reaction time and lack of logical explaining. There's barely time for Zifeng to react to Yanuo saying that she loves him. There's no explanation or reaction for the hair-clip scene...I mean, wouldn't she find it confusing that it's in her hair?! And there was a slightly feeling of moving from one feels scene to another. But I'm not complaining. Those scenes of intensity are the only reason why I'm still here. And this week, I'll give credit where it's due...all those love scenes were done right. Megan and Baron's explosive chemistry just killed everyone. But will next week be more of this...or major angst? Can't wait to see... can you? 

9 comments:

  1. Thank you! The BTS really had some juicy moments between Megan and Baron, along with showbiz on youtube! You have to check them out! *explodes of happiness*

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    1. Didn't see this comment earlier, sorry! Thanks for pointing them out to me! I've been translating some of them now...So much love for Megan and Baron!

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  2. Thanks for the recap~ I love reading recaps to see if other people saw things the same way as i did. For the lipstick part, Yanuo bought the lipstick because of what Zifeng told her during the sofa scene, where he and his father would draw on each other's faces when playing games. I really like how Yanuo keeps everything Zifeng tells her on her mind.

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    1. Haha, Thanks for reading! I totally understanding - I like reading recaps for that reason too. Ah, thanks for clearing that part with the lipstick...I watched this when it was still raw at like 1:00am in the morning, so I think certain things just flew past me even though I did watch it several times! Yeah, Yanuo is so sweet. It's these simple types of gestures between Yanuo and Zifeng that I like...not the rescuing from buildings...

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  3. Hai,

    Can you make me understand the humor of the scene where Ya Nuo is pouting?

    Zi Feng: Pi Yanuo, shut your beak.
    Ya Nuo: How did you know? - What did he know?
    Zi Feng: Ah Chao told me.
    Ya Nuo: Why did he tell you that?

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    1. Hello! I think you might have some strange translations there...Is this the fishing scene, where Zifeng gets the hook out of her clothes? I don't remember any lines like that in the story, except when Zifeng is getting the hook out. The humour there is just that they're bickering and the dad is shocked at how intimate they seem to be...not sure if that's what you're after though. Have you tried watching the episode on Viki? The subbers there do an excellent job of translating the episodes. Very accurate.

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    2. Viki is not available in my region. I usually watch it on myasiantv.se . Btw, yes its the fishing scene. I just don't understand why suddenly Ah Chao's name pop up in their conversation.

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    3. "Shut your beak" is something Ya Nuo said to Guang Chao in the first episode. They were by the hot dog stand and I think they were bickering about how girls always like Ya Nuo. When Zi Feng says the same thing to Ya Nuo, it means Guang Chao told him about it.

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    4. Ohh~ Thanks for your reply Christine

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