Rookies’ Diary: Favorite Character(s)

This is like WAY overdue by now since I first planned it in 2011. YES, that long ago. But I guess better late than never. I initially wanted to list all characters and then discussed them before wrapping up with saying who my favorite characters are. Yet I couldn’t really do it now since I have practically forgotten about half of the characters already, especially part 2 since I couldn’t even remember some of them, except for the ones I really liked. So I’m going to list the ones that I like and actually remember.

Li Xing Wen (李興文) – Ding Hao (丁浩)/ Đinh Hạo. A very strict yet effective leader. He seemed fierce yet he also cared for his soldiers’ well-being. He often encouraged new ideas yet also warned others to be cautious of all actions, especially how he had advised An Bang many times throughout. Considering how he had been in a similar situation in the past and wouldn’t want the same incident to happen again. The actor sure delivered and I have no complaint about him.

Yao Yuan Hao (姚元浩) – Sun An Bang (孫安邦)/ Tôn An Bang. Very, very tough with his routine and was a no-nonsense type of guy. However, his only weakness was caving into his younger brother’s attitude. He later learned to loosen up among others, not just for the sake of his younger brother but had managed to learn how to interact and get along with others. His role was beyond cool if you didn’t watch BTS. I think BTS sort of ruined it for me yet at the same time showed the hardworking attitude of cast members. Because in the BTS, it showed that he NG’ed so much that Tang Feng got impatient and yelled at him. I’m sure Tang Feng was kidding though, but it was indeed a riot to watch with how the cool, fierce dude wasn’t so cool anymore.

Fu Zi Chun (傅子純) – Yang Hai Sheng (楊海生)/ Dương Hải Sanh. Very funny and such a smooth talker. A smart-aleck but wasn’t too hateful with his way. Initially, a player and could flirt with any girl. Yet since he met Yu Ting, he had changed somewhat of his way so one could see his sincerity. Of course, he can’t be too serious or it would be too boring for his character, lol. But it was convincing to see how he had proved to Yu Ting he was serious about her, not just a casual date or two to show off some sort of record. His most admirable characteristics must be his righteousness and his loyalty to his friends. It made him heroic in that sense.

Tang Feng (唐豐) – Luo Gang (羅剛)/ La Cương. Could be quite hot-headed at times but definitely righteous in many ways. Growing up with such a harsh childhood, it was hard to blame him. He was also quite gifted in different areas too, but again, his hot-headedness got in the way of his path. He could be funny and was seen joking around at times with the others when he was finally accepted within the group. (Or after the misunderstandings were resolved.) And although I sympathized with him on many things, eventually I was tired of watching some of his side dramas. I felt that I liked him better with the guys joking around or competing for the sake of the training than seeing him morbid all the time. Or maybe I didn’t like seeing Tang Feng in depressing roles or moody situations, lol. NOT sure, but yeah.

Liu Xiang Ci (劉香慈) – Wang Sheng Nan (王勝男) / Vương Thắng Nam. A tough character. Both intelligent and daring, she was a convincing heroine. She was a hardworking person and didn’t care for anyone’s senseless gestures. Yet she was also caring toward the soldiers in her own way. That didn’t mean she spared them the rod either.

Pang Yong Zhi (龐庸之) aka Ah Pang (阿龐) – Yu Shan Ren (余善仁)/ Dư Thiện Nhân. He could be silly, unreasonable, senseless, and a pervert–among many other random bits. But what was admirable about him was he was able to keep to his word. Not a tattle-teller, especially that one disagreement with Luo Gang. He also was willing to keep one eye closed for some people as see fit, especially that one time when he sided with Yang Hai Sheng when YHS was picking on Xiao De Ji.

Hao Zi (浩子) – Cai Hao Zhi (蔡浩志)/ Thái Hạo Chí. Mixture of seriousness and silliness, depending on the situation. He was just one of those guys that add to the list of crazy characters.

Ah Xiang (阿翔) – Qiu You Shun (邱有順)/ Khâu Hữu Thuận. There was more of a plot going on for him since he was having some very harsh times with the financials and that had caused some misunderstandings and obstacles throughout. Yet he wasn’t all bad. It was just that he wasn’t in a situation to joke so lightly like others–even if it looked like he didn’t care.

Novia Lin Ruo Ya (林若亞) – Qiu Jing Wen (邱靖雯)/ Khâu Tĩnh Văn. She didn’t appear much, but she was the typical gentle and kind medic. She was also able to joke at times, not too one dimensional or boring. Yes, she could be so naive at times or seemed clueless, like that one time she got lost. But it wasn’t pathetic. It was somewhat cute in a way.

Zhao Jun Ya (趙駿亞) – Wang Wei (王威)/ Vương Uy. A mixture of serious and silliness yet was different from the randomness of others in here. He seemed cold-blooded or cool on the outside yet his caring for others was undeniable. He was seen helping the new recruits straighten up at the beginning somewhat, and later joined in on some of the recruit’s craziness as well. The difference between him and Shan Ren was his ability to distinguish between professional and personal matters. On top of that, he was quite hardworking, because he was also seen studying at various points of the show to enter the special training and programs, etc. He was quite ambitious but wasn’t bragging about it at all.

Derek Chen De Lie (陳德烈) – Lin Bo Wen (林博文)/ Lâm Bác Văn. Funny at times yet could be depressing at others. Sure, I like Derek Chen, but only like the character when he was joking around with Hai Sheng, not with the whole Tian Xin thing. It was driving me insane, to say the least.

Ye Jia Yu (葉家妤) – Zheng Yu Ting (鄭玉婷)/ Trịnh Ngọc Đình. A teacher. She was not only cute and pretty but was also quite witty as well. She was seen in constant banter with Hai Sheng. The two were sure a match made in heaven with their arguments, lol. She wasn’t just the typical naive girl though since I said she was seriously witty. She was quite grounded, like the majority of the characters in here.

Debbie Huang Di Jun (黃荻鈞) – Jin Bi Ying (金碧瑩)/ Kim Bích Oánh. At first, I found her quite interesting and couldn’t wait to see how they might cover some other stuff with her being a higher authority figure. However, she sort of lost ground when it was only focused on her crush on An Bang, etc.

Qian Jun Zhong (錢君仲) – Ye Da Tong (葉大同)/ Diệp Đại Đồng. Hilarious at times and just plain silly at others. From the start, we know he tried to dodge from having to serve by coming up with different schemes. After he failed, he had no choice but to do as told. Yet he was driving others insane, especially Shan Ren.

Xia Zheng Feng (夏政峰) – Wu Yong (吳勇)/ Ngô Dũng. Probably the most talented among all the side characters. ‘Cause he was seen knowing a lot of stuff too. His vast knowledge of the jungle and his other side tips shaped his character quite well. Although he was clueless around girls, that only made it funnier and realistic as well, considering how they couldn’t all be pros, lol. He was indeed younger than some of the guys in here so it made sense. He also had a knack for singing and rapping with the others so all of those traits made his character stood out as well.

Lin Dao Yuan (林道遠) – Lai Hu (賴虎)/ Lại Hỗ. I don’t know. I just can’t like him that much. NOT because of what happened at the end. Since I’d already gone past that. Considering how now I finally revisit the characters, it had faded with the other thing. But I just found his character as quite unnecessary as some others in here. Perhaps, it was more enjoyable seeing him joking around with others and the whole F4 craziness, but aside from that, his character alone was just annoying in some ways. Well, it added to the realistic of the military since not everyone was as hardworking there, but it was just pushing my patience too much at times. Yet I think Lin Dao Yuan did a good job with the character since he’s actually really, really smart outside. (I remember watching this one game show years back, it was impressive.)

Pan Bo Xi (潘柏希) – Shi Jun (石俊)/ Thạch Tuấn. The poor guy that was trying to get acknowledgment from his father. I really felt his frustration with trying to prove to his father that he could do it. He was working so hard, having endured so much pressure yet the father just plain shrugged it off like it was nothing. On top of that, he was being gang-bullied by Xiao De Ji and the others. It was just plain madness. I really enjoyed his storytelling from time to time from his diary though. What was really admirable about him was his loyalty to others and although he realized how he had to work harder than some others in here yet he wasn’t envious of them. He’d even seen it as a challenge or took them in as role models to work harder.

Ah Gan (阿 竿) – Chen Tian Bin (陳添彬)/ Trần Thiêm Bân. Seriously funny and could be a riot. He was smart and was a smart mouth at first yet learned to mingle with the others later.

Tang Zhen (唐臻) – Yan Xiao Rou (嚴小柔)/ Nghiêm Tiểu Nhu. Sooooo cute. I just loved watching her clumsy moments in here. She was probably the only naive character on the female side here. Although the others were young too, she believed in a lot of stuff that the other girls didn’t, lol. It was a riot. But I guess cute in her own way, not too exaggerating.

Achel Chang/ Zhang Xin Yu (張芯瑜) aka Xiao Xiao Yu (小小瑜) – Ye Xiao Yan (葉曉燕)/ Diệp Hiểu Yến. Cute and hilarious. She could be so mean, but it wasn’t her fault. NOT exactly, lol. Seeing her getting into some bicker with the others was funny. And for this character, XXY got to show off her swimming skills at various points so it wasn’t all lost. Then she got to sing for the soundtrack too so that was fun.

Jacky Chu (祝釩剛) – Xu Jia Cheng (許家成)/ Hứa Gia Thành. He didn’t appear much but was a promising character. He was seen at odds or having conflicting views with Sun An Bang. However, he agreed to help them later regarding An Bang’s case so he wasn’t all hostile. It was just that he was a doctor so he didn’t like seeing the strict ways An Bang was enforcing with the recruits.

Ricky Jiang Jun Han (江俊翰) – Chen Zhan Hong (陳展鴻)/ Trần Triển Hồng. Tough and no-nonsense type of guy. He was a strong leader and was convincing in that area.

Enson Chang/ Zhang Yan Ming (張雁名) – Tang Kai Yu (湯凱宇)/ Thang Khải Vũ. Like I said in the other post, it was such a shame that he wasn’t able to appear more because of the accident. The little bits of his character made me really liked him more, and he was like a breath of fresh air among all those new authoritative figures who were already so intense.

Okay, the others I didn’t list or had to erase because I could no longer remember, LOL! Too bad, but I didn’t want to go back and dig it up. But who are the top 5? Well, I have to divide into two groups, for guys and girls, since there are seriously too many characters. I would say my top 5 for the guys would be Yu Shan Ren, Wang Wei, Yang Hai Sheng, Wu Yong, and Shi Jun. Many might be shocked why I didn’t pick Luo Gang, although I claimed to be a Tang Feng fan. It wasn’t because of how the ending turned out with the triangles or whatever else. It was more like I said that it was too much to bear with his background and all. It sort of faded for me over time. It was also because I liked him more with others than his individual character. Sure, I acknowledged he was awesome throughout and a powerful character–and had enjoyed his performances during different trials a lot. But put aside all his talents, there wasn’t much to go on for me. It sure was a tough decision in dropping him, but I didn’t want to put him in just because of Tang Feng. Shi Jun seemed like the weakest link at times, aside from Bo Wen (lol), but I felt his story was intriguing aside from the constant bullying and the frustration of watching him enduring all the pressures from his father. His story could be elaborated in part 2 if they had decided on that route. But perhaps it wasn’t Pan Bo Xi’s time yet since most of the focus was on the other members of the cast, even some of the ones I didn’t care for got to participate in the soundtrack and much more. In a way, I was glad I held back on this post because I felt I could finally stand back to observe without the bias of because a favorite person portrayed a character, I had to pick that person. Stepping back and just focusing on the characters after the buzz had died down had helped heaps. Oh yeah, I almost wanted to put Tang Kai Yu in but had to resist. This was due to the fact that he only appeared a bit and his character wasn’t properly developed yet so that seemed like only a bit of obsession thus I didn’t put him in the top 5 in the end. It was too obvious that Shan Ren and Wang Wei made it because they’d been my favorite characters right from the start. Even if I didn’t like Ah Pang much (mostly due to the fact that I had watched him in not so likable roles in the past) and I had no idea who Zhao Jun Ya was. They were my favorites together as friends or were fine when they were involved in other scenes with their own side stories. I found them hilarious and addicting to watch. Yang Hai Sheng was invincible. He was a riot in many ways yet wasn’t just all talks either. He had real capabilities so that sort of fused his arrogance at points. But he wasn’t all bad. He just couldn’t help but be obnoxious at times. It was how he was. He got this incurable teasing habit. But that was what made him fun to watch. Yet like I said before, his righteousness and loyalty made him admirable in many ways. He helped Shi Jun to fight off the bullies at one point. He also tried to protect Bo Wen by hiding the magazines from Bo Wen that one time. The things that did matter, he didn’t brag about. And Wu Yong? Need I say more? He was just different yet still hilarious. Sort of odd at times yet wasn’t all clueless either. He wasn’t outright rude with others since he did call Hai Sheng “Hai Sheng Da Ge” (海生大哥) at one point or another. He was also the teasing type but wasn’t cruel. It was his way to get others’ attention or it was just some harmless prank.

So moving on to the top 5 girls: Zheng Yu Ting, Qiu Jing Wen, Yan Xiao Rou, Ye Xiao Yan, and Wang Sheng Nan. Yes, I placed Sheng Nan last. Again, not because of what happened in the end. It was more because I got sort of side-track later on with liking other characters more. I got it that she was a tough leader and all, but it sort of faded for me with other conflicts going into play, etc. Still, one of the coolest characters, just that I got pulled in more by others along the way. Although Jing Wen didn’t appear much, I really liked her. Like I said, a mixture of maturity and somewhat innocence. It was cute. Xiao Rou was just hilarious to watch with her clumsiness. She made it cute without being too over the top, etc. Even though Xiao Yan was the youngest (I think), she was more mature than her age. Considering how her mother ran the shop, she had to help with luring customers in and all. So she wasn’t so clueless with stuff. She made it funny, even when she was being mean. Or tried to, lol. Actually, it was a tough call for me with placing Jing Wen, Xiao Rou, and Xiao Yan. I felt like they could be on the same scale for me. All funny and lovable in their own way. I saved Yu Ting last on purpose. She was like a chameleon in here, both appearance-wise and personality-wise. She made it addicting to watch like it was with some other characters in here. I wasn’t sure if it was because Ye Jia Yu had to work on several dramas at the same time like some of them, but I liked how her hairstyles and attires were changed gradually throughout the drama. It was like showing her sense of style as the character and also made us see that she wasn’t just always wearing the same type of clothes. It was like Director Wang–or perhaps the production team as an overall–had decided to make it more realistic with not going the lazy route by letting some people’s hairstyles just stay the same or always wearing the same set of clothing. I got it that we all wear some similar outfits all the time and can’t just toss stuff out and be wasteful like that, but in other dramas, it was always the same set of styles. In fact, even Xiao Yan had different hairstyles and a variety of outfits too. Same with Xiao Rou. In fact, various characters in here showed differences when they were on or off duty or in different settings. That was what made me feel like their characters consisted of realism.

So now that I got this topic out of the way, I’m not sure when would be the next time for a Rookies’ Diary update. But perhaps when I couldn’t resist and go back to watch? Who knows?

*All images were captured by DTLCT.

Tagged, You’re It! – Part II

So here we all are again, visiting tags and its stats of recent. This time though, I’ll list the winner first so less scrolling.

Jun Ya still triumphs with his increase of 18 posts, bringing his total to 146.

The others?

Achel Chang/ Zhang Xin Yu aka Xiao Xiao Yu – 136 posts (+11)

Joanne Tseng aka Qiao Qiao – 117 posts (+7)

Jacky Chu – 114 posts (+17)

Denny Tang Feng (Tang Jia Hao) – 113 posts (+1)

Wallace Huo – 87 posts (+14)

Cyndi Wang – 75 posts (+3)

Nicholas Teo – 54 posts (+6)

Pang Yong Zhi aka Ah Pang – 53 posts – (ADJUSTMENT)

 Angela Chang – 52 posts (+7)

Fahrenheit – 52 posts – NO CHANGE

Fu Zi Chun – 52 posts (ADJUSTMENT)

Ah Gan, Liu Xiang Ci, Qian Jun Zhong – 50 posts (ADJUSTMENT)

Like I said last time, I’m only listing top 10. I must say if I wasn’t so lagging on some updates, some people would already be knocked off the chart. Aside from Jun Ya benefiting with my ongoing dedication to him, Jacky and Wallace had gone up quite insanely, lol. Well, it was more like I had paid more attention after joining a friendly fan forum. For Jacky, it was because of Dong Jiang Heroes. And I guess I’m not feeling so bad regarding Nic since he managed to knock some people out and made the top 10. Probably because of some joint review I managed to get out and the fanfic + poll updates. And thanks to Borrow Your Love, Dylan had gone up in my overall count. Maybe he’ll gain more by next year? Yes, I’m doing this as a yearly thing. It seems better that way. Like something to look forward to each year. So yes, onward!

Tagged, You’re It!

I don’t know what’s the purpose of this post, but it’s just another excuse for me being random, I guess. But anyway, like the title said, it’s about tags. Since I usually hide my tags, this is what this post is all about. Yes, me sharing the most popular tags circulating my blog.

So let’s get started on the top ones. I know it seems obvious with who’s leading by looking at ‘Categories’, but the ‘Categories’ count is misleading. It’s because sometimes I tag people or topics but I don’t put it in ‘Categories’ because it belongs to ‘General’ only or such. So in this post, I will disclose the exact number as of the time of the cap above (which is actually Friday, January 24th in case anyone wants to keep track). I’ll list it backward so it would get even more exciting to see who’s the real winner, lol.

183 Club – 31 posts

Novia Lin, Su Yan Pei, Wilber Pan – 32 posts

Shen Shi Peng – 34 posts

Ai Cheng, Hu Ge – 37 posts

Becky Chang – 38 posts

Calvin Chen – 40 posts

Chen Bo Han – 43 posts

Dian Wan Da Lian Meng (Game Union) – 44 posts

Angela Chang – 45 posts

Ady An, Pan Bo Xi – 46 posts

Derek Chen, Ye Jia Yu – 47 posts

Jiro Wang, Lin Dao Yuan, Li Xing Wen, Nicholas Teo – 48 posts

Hao Zi , Xia Zheng Feng, Yao Yuan Hao – 49 posts

Ah Xiang, Debbie Huang – 50 posts

Ah Gan, Liu Xiang Ci, Qian Jun Zhong – 51 posts

Fahrenheit – 52 posts

Fu Zi Chun – 53 posts

Pang Yong Zhi aka Ah Pang – 54

TVB – 64 posts

Cyndi Wang – 72 posts

Wallace Huo – 73 posts

Rookies’ Diary – 84 posts

Jacky Chu – 97 posts

FTV – 98 posts

Joanne Tseng aka Qiao Qiao – 107 posts

Denny Tang Feng (Tang Jia Hao) – 112 posts

Achel Chang/ Zhang Xin Yu aka Xiao Xiao Yu – 125 posts


Zhao Jun Ya


Who knew, right? Well, I sort of knew he was one of the top 5. Yet I didn’t realize he ended up leading. Nice?

What about the others? It’s obvious from the majority of the people, it was because of Rookies’ Diary at one point that cranked the stats up for them. 43 episodes and they ended up with lots and lots of posts. It’s the same for some others, as long as I do some episode summary or recaps of stuff, they would benefit from it. However, the ones truly gaining posts because I had posted about them since the beginning are Xiao Xiao Yu, Tang Feng, Qiao Qiao, Jacky, Wallace, Cyndi, Nic, Ady, Angela, Hu Ge, and 183 Club. Calvin and Jiro only came into the picture in later years since I wasn’t that into Fahrenheit from the start, considering how some fans were scaring me away more than get into them. Too bad Chun didn’t make it into the most used tags because he only has 9 posts. YES, sadly. But not too bad since it was partially due to my laziness with updating on him. And yeah, same with Will as in he came into the picture later for me than the initial obsession with some people.

So, talking about the top 5, excluding FTV (since I already explained how it had to do with their dramas), what about them? Jacky made it, Wallace didn’t, why? Um, like I mentioned many times before, I listen to music more than watch stuff. Wallace just got really unlucky because, at times, I couldn’t find time to catch up on his stuff or I decided to give up. *shrugs* Jacky’s posts only slowed down when I was so mad at him that I didn’t want to bother anymore. Yet he always managed to find his way back into my posts somehow. (YES, he’s evil. He knows some voodoo OR something.) Moving on, it’s too obvious that Qiao Qiao would gain so many posts on my blog, but what was surprising was finding out she lost to Tang Feng. Then I realized the same thing that had happened with most of the people mentioned here. Rookies’ Diary happened, lol. Have no fear though, several more posts then Qiao Qiao would pass him to claim the 3rd spot. (LOL!) Now, about the little fish, lol. Xiao Xiao Yu had a lot of advantages because of the number of summary posts I did. She would have more if I had continued on with updating some of the summaries. Yet that’s not too bad with being in the 2nd spot–only three posts behind Jun Ya. And talking about Jun Ya, how in the world did it happen with me only blogging about him since like three years ago? I don’t know. It just happened. I only managed to slow down a tad because I got occupied with other real-life matters, and then there was the whole thing about his dramas being a tad vague like for the last bit of 2013. Yeah, he practically fell off the radar after Lucky Touch though I did hear some new drama in progress at that time, I wasn’t too sure. It wasn’t until now that I could be sure of something and could continue with updates again. In fact, there are several posts in the background regarding him but I still haven’t gotten around to it yet. At least not in a sense of a good post. But as I’m writing this, I realize before this post publishes, Jun Ya will jump up five more totaling his posts count to 133. So yes, he will continue to lead even though Achel, Joanne, and Jacky will jump up in posts as well.

Oh yeah, I initially didn’t want to tag them in this post since it would be too funny. It’s like “Are you kidding me? Tag them in the tag post?” kind of thing. But I decided to tag them anyway, but will minus one the next time I update on the tags again. Nice? So see you next time! Whenever that is that I feel crazy enough to get random about tags again. But I probably will only update on the top 10, and it will be on people, skipping topics/titles/station names. And who will gain the upper hand with the next update? Who knows?

Love Together: Episode 4

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

Back at the tea plantation, they worked hard all morning so they truly deserved a break. They all scattered around, trying to find a good spot to rest and eat before continuing on. As Xiao Yu and Xiang Xiang settled down at a spot, Xiang Xiang was pondering what food they had in the lunchbox when Xiao Yu looked over to where Zhong Ze was sitting nearby. She got up again and made her way toward him, not even replying to Xiang Xiang’s question. Yet Xiang Xiang was able to see where Xiao Yu was heading toward.

Xiao Yu offered Zhong Ze lunch yet he said he wasn’t hungry. She found it hard to believe. (Same here.) She insisted that he ate, shoving the food container toward him yet he was questioning her about her ‘meddling into his business’ again. She said she didn’t mean to. He went on to talk about how she had meddled into his and Ah Bao’s business as well, stating that it was between him and Ah Bao. He didn’t want it to cause Ah Bao and the others to misunderstand. She told him not to worry since she was always like that, it wouldn’t cause any misunderstandings about their ‘connection’ or whatever relationship they had. He got up from his spot and said firmly that there wasn’t any sort of relationship between them, and he was just there to do his job, nothing else. He didn’t want anyone to affect his work while he was there, etc. She was more than surprised by his reaction. Even Xiang Xiang stared after him as he made his leave.

Before he got any further, Zhong Ze received a call from Auntie Ke Ren saying that his friend from Taipei was there to see him. He was more than confused, wondering who the other person could be. Still, he was on his way back to check the matter out.

When he finally returned to Auntie Ke Ren’s shop, he realized it was Ah Sir looking for him. It was indeed strange, because like he stated, Ah Sir definitely showed up out of nowhere. What was even more troubling was Ah Sir’s reaction upon seeing Zhong Ze. Ah Sir immediately jumped up to hug Zhong Ze, crying out that he missed Zhong Ze very much. That had caused some curiosity from Auntie Ke Ren, but she didn’t say anything. She didn’t get a chance to be nosy, because Ah Sir went on and on and on about how he just got dumped, and he got conned by someone. It didn’t end there with Ah Sir saying how could there be anyone so despicable as to play with his heart like that, etc. Zhong Ze finally got a chance to tell Auntie Ke Ren that he was going to take his friend for a walk, dragging Ah Sir out of there before any more interesting details developed. Auntie Ke Ren wasn’t the only one staring after the two with much curiosity, because Auntie Chun Hua soon came over to check on the situation.

As the others at the tea plantation had to deal with the rain pouring situation and how it would affect the tea leaves, Zhong Ze took Ah Sir back to his place. (Not the current habitat living with Xiao Yu, Auntie Ke Ren, and Ah Bao, but the luxurious apartment Li Li had arranged for him previously.) Ah Sir was really impressed with the place, stating that it must be equivalent to a 5-star hotel arrangement. Indeed, the place was really full of luxurious items. According to Zhong Ze, it was his first time coming there. (It made sense since he’d been at General Street up to then.) Ah Sir couldn’t believe it, taking a snipe at Zhong Ze yet Zhong Ze returned the favor. Ah Sir then reminded Zhong Ze that he just got dumped so Zhong Ze should tone down on the attacks a bit to spare his feelings. Once again, Zhong Ze pointed out that Ah Sir always go through the ‘lost love’ phase like going through the 3 daily meals. Ah Sir was back to how Li Li must be in love with Zhong Ze after Zhong Ze disclosed that Li Li actually lived upstairs. Kidding asides, Zhong Ze inquired about Ah Sir’s progress in breaking into the system to acquire some information from Xie Bo Tao. Ah Sir said it wasn’t that easy or something along that line since he was still working on it. Zhong Ze chided him for showing off and stating that he could break into the U.S. high secured system. Ah Sir said to wait until he dated a C.I.A. agent, lol. OMG, Ah Sir just went through ‘lost love’ yet he was already stating his interest in Auntie Ke Ren? LOL! No wonder Zhong Ze said that his ‘lost love’ phase was like eating the 3 daily meals. Talking about Auntie Ke Ren, Ah Sir made a comment about her strange tofu and rushed to the restroom before Zhong Ze could talk about anything else.

Back at Auntie Ke Ren’s shop, Xiao Yu and Xiang Xiang returned and sat down at the table to rest. As Xiang Xiang mumbled about the day being lost with the rain and all, causing their delay in progress with picking tea leaves, Xiao Yu was lost in thoughts, still thinking about what Zhong Ze said to her earlier. Well, things that he said to her regarding how she shouldn’t change his livelihoods, etc. Seeing how distracted Xiao Yu was, Xiang Xiang didn’t want to talk about Zhong Ze and Ah Bao’s situation anymore. She pretended to have forgotten and ended up turning on the radio to listen to music. Yet what greeted them over the airwaves was more weather forecasting about the continuous rain. Xiao Yu snapped out of her thoughts to go take care of the situation – with Xiang Xiang in toll. They went to borrow raincoats from one of the neighbors so they could continue to work on the tea plantation, wanting to do as much as possible to help save the tea plantation before the storm hit. Xiao Yu even recruited Dan Zhu to help, considering how it was his father’s tea plantation. From there, they went to recruit some more people to help as well. While all of that was happening, Ah Bao stood nearby watching, thinking to himself. Was he having second thoughts?

After a long day of hard work, they were able to wash up a little before heading home to take a real shower. It was also while Xiao Yu and Auntie Ke Ren were heading home that Xiao Yu received a text from Xiang Xiang. Xiang Xiang sent Xiao Yu a picture of Xiao Yu working hard at the tea plantation earlier in the day. She had snapped several earlier, seeing how hard everyone was pitching in–and said that she was so touched by it. She even disclosed that she had sent one picture to Zhong Ze as well. Upon hearing that, Xiao Yu was really shocked. She wasn’t fearing that he might yell at them later, but more like the picture was too ugly. Yet Xiang Xiang said it wasn’t so, and went on to elaborate that Ah Ze had been helping Uncle Zhu a lot so she wanted to send the picture to him to tell him how hard they were working as well so he could be touched by it. Another round of teasing ensued but was short-lived, because Xiao Yu was called home so the girls said their temporary goodbyes. After Xiao Yu left, Xiang Xiang revealed to her mother that it seemed like Ah Ze and Xiao Yu had a fight so she wanted to send the picture to Zhong Ze to patch things up between the two. (And as a followup, Zhong Ze did receive Xiao Yu’s picture from Xiang Xiang. He was quite troubled by it yet Ah Sir poke his head in to check and commented on it, asking about the girl. Zhong Ze was looking at him kind of fierce, asking what he wanted. He dodged out of the situation by saying that he wanted to ask if Zhong Ze was hungry, lol. Zhong Ze actually called back home to tell Auntie Ke Ren that he wasn’t coming back that night since he was still accompanying his friend, but he also told Auntie Ke Ren to pass the words on to Uncle Zhu about how hardworking everyone was. Xiao Yu overheard somewhat of the conversation and asked for further details yet was disappointed that Zhong Ze didn’t mention her.)

The next day at work, Zhong Ze had to play the prince in shining armor to save Li Li from her ex-boyfriend. Li Li’s ex-boyfriend, Eddie, was portrayed by non other than one of the stars of Rookies’ Diary, Fu Zi Chun. (Hey, he did say the name of the drama in Episode 42 of Rookies’ Diary so of course, it made sense he was involved in this drama.) A very small role yet played an important part in securing Zhong Ze’s spot in the overall revenge plot. Zhong Ze told Eddie that he was Li Li’s current boyfriend to shoo Eddie off. Zhong Ze actually thought a bit before making the move with claiming to be Li Li’s boyfriend. It was what Li Li had said previously and also what Ah Sir said to him. It only made sense that he went with it in aiding his revenge plot. Even if it was going down the despicable route with deceiving Li Li.

While Zhong Ze got to save the day for Li Li, Ah Bao got to do the same for Xiao Yu. It so happened that Xiao Yu had taken on a delivery job to help her mother with the financial situation. (Yes, the second call her mother received last night was regarding some financial matter so Xiao Yu pretended to drink tea yet was listening in and realized how serious the situation was hence seeking out another job to help.) Unfortunately for her, a car almost hit her while she was riding around on her bicycle, causing her to fall off and hurt her leg. Ah Bao rode by on his motorcycle and saw her hence helping her. She was surprised by his intention and didn’t want to let him help at first but he picked her up and ended up carrying her to his motorcycle. (Hilarious moment but still…) Actually, Ah Bao didn’t want to help her at first, considering how he spotted the files on the ground, and even scolded her for being a double-faced person. The papers were actually for Li Li’s company so that was why Ah Bao said that she was helping the enemy yet she was scolding him previously. Yet she yelled right back, stating that she was as reluctant. She had no choice but to do the job and try to help her mother.

Things got tenfold more interesting when Ah Bao and Xiao Yu arrived at Li Li’s company. Well, it was surprising for both seeing Zhong Ze there with Li Li, considering how they still didn’t know of his link to the other party. The showdown between them all this time started off with Xiao Yu detaching herself from Ah Bao’s aid (since he was holding onto her to maintain her balance because her leg was still hurting from the accident earlier) and walked over to grab a hold of Zhong Ze’s hand, hauling him back to her side. That really made Li Li jealous, considering how Zhong Ze didn’t seem to mind Xiao Yu holding onto him (despite the fact that he had clarified many times for her to distance herself from him). Then what was even more with how Xiao Yu had to separate herself from Zhong Ze to break up the fight between Ah Bao and Yao Shi Hong AND Zhong Ze made a comment about how their “relationship” was really growing with them fighting two days ago but now was so close. (YES, Zhong Ze was trying to talk smack, but he was definitely jealous.) But Zhong Ze soon abandoned his “bitter” mood to chide Xiao Yu for her carelessness after she recounted how she had fallen and Ah Bao was just helping her. Though he was chiding her, his face expression showed that he was just worried. That little “concern” sign from Zhong Ze had caused a glare from Li Li. And the little “chiding” bit ended up becoming Zhong Ze and Ah Bao’s side argument again, because Ah Bao said he would help Xiao Yu home and apply ointment on her later. Yet Zhong Ze went on to attack Ah Bao with how he was such a grown man but didn’t have a job, he was just good at accompanying girls around (i.e. snapping at Ah Bao’s comment about having followed Xiao Yu all day long). Xiao Yu soon broke up the fight and delivered some documents to Yao Shi Hong. With that, Yao Shi Hong took it into his hands to mock them by stating how all the ruptures were for nothing, considering how they had to rely on working for his company to earn money. Ah Bao really wanted to attack Yao Shi Hong yet he held it off until after Yao Shi Hong signed the forms to acknowledge that he had received them. Ah Bao had snatched the documents out of Yao Shi Hong’s grasp and tossed it into the air, causing it to become all disorganized. Ah Bao then stated that it was their responsibility after the acknowledgment form had been signed already hence it didn’t have anything to do with Xiao Yu anymore. Xiao Yu, once again, tried to break it off. But what was worth noting the whole while Yao Shi Hong was rattling off and mocking Xiao Yu was how Zhong Ze had looked at Xiao Yu, seeing how much she had to endure in order to earn money. His expression said that he was hurting for her, seeing how she just took all the embarrassment without a peep–like she typically would with her lively self. Anyway, after that was done, Ah Bao tried to haul Xiao Yu out of there since their business was more than done. Yet Xiao Yu tried to stop him, wanting to say something else to Zhong Ze. Ah Bao didn’t let her, but only rattled some more taunting words toward Zhong Ze before leaving with Xiao Yu. Xiao Yu turned around to look at Zhong Ze again, still protesting. Zhong Ze, on the other hand, was looking after them–half dazed and half jealous. That didn’t go unnoticed with Li Li, who soon stepped over to remind Zhong Ze of their meeting–and a promise to take him to lunch later. After all that was said and done, the most benefitting from the situation was Yao Shi Hong, because he had spotted the unease from Zhong Ze upon seeing how close Xiao Yu was to Ah Bao. Yao Shi Hong was indeed filing that little interesting information away for future use.

Ah Bao and Xiao Yu finally made it home after a long day of delivering documents. However, Xiao Yu told Ah Bao not to let on that she had hurt her leg, not wanting to let her mother worry. Ah Bao got the hint and they only focused on eating dinner. Ah Bao looked like he hadn’t eaten for several years or something, lol. But it was hard to blame when he was seriously working hard all day with helping Xiao Yu. Ah Bao only seemed to lose his appetite upon the mention of Ah Ze. Well, Auntie Ke Ren was saying how Ah Bao shouldn’t eat too fast since they needed to save some food for Ah Ze. Yet it was kind of sad for Ah Bao when Auntie Ke Ren told Xiao Yu to eat more but told him he didn’t need to. (Well, it was hard to blame her, considering how she didn’t know how much he’d helped during the day. Not to mention, his reputation wasn’t all that good around the place of recent – after the constant fights–whether she witnessed first hand or not.)

Then it was disclosed through a conversation between Zhong Ze and Li Li of how Li Li came to like Zhong Ze. Apparently, they met already in the past. It was the time when Li Li returned from the U.S. and was struggling with her Chinese, but it was her last straw with proving herself so that her father would let her stay. While she was at the university’s library, some girl snatched up the book that she needed and didn’t care to acknowledge her. Zhong Ze overheard what was going on and later lent her his notebook. He probably had forgotten already, but only realized it was her when she recounted the story again. The reason she was so brave in telling her story was because she had already lost her chance in the past with not being able to see him again when they were still in school to fulfill her wish with thanking him and confessing to him hence wanting to say it out now, even clarifying that the person she talked about during their first meeting (in the present time) was actually him. She also disclosed that after finding out that he worked at the company and what had happened with his boss, she told her grandfather to have him transferred there to help her with the land acquirement case. That didn’t make Zhong Ze anymore happy or proud of himself. Nor was he feeling touched of her confession. Instead, it was more troublesome for him. He realized what kind of situation he was getting into. Even if it was he who had helped her in the past with her exam, but seeing what she’d done for him by rescuing him out of the other sticky situation, how could he go forth with his plan? Their conversation was interrupted by his phone ringing. It was Xiao Yu calling him. (Probably asking when he would be home for dinner.) He didn’t pick it up but chose to turn his phone off. Li Li’s smile actually restored after that worried look upon seeing Xiao Yu’s name on the screen. Yet Li Li didn’t realize that Zhong Ze was struggling inside greatly with Xiao Yu’s images haunting his mind. And that was when Zhong Ze responded to Li Li’s confession, stating that from now on, it was up to her when their relationship would break off. (So yes, they’re officially dating.)

Later that night at Zhong Ze’s apartment, Ah Sir was making fun of Zhong Ze and calling him names again. Zhong Ze reminded Ah Sir he didn’t have to eat his foods and scold him at the same time. Zhong Ze told Ah Sir he could just return to Taipei. Yet Ah Sir stopped him and rescued the lobsters again. He even went on and on about how Zhong Ze was such a good person hence being able to inherit such luck. (Ah Sir was poking at how Zhong Ze could just embrace one person on one hand and hold the other on the other hand.) Zhong Ze was more than annoyed by Ah Sir’s mocking. He could only resorted to taking the food away from Ah Sir again. But Ah Sir was back at it. (OY, those two men were indeed too childish at times, fighting over food.) Back to the serious side, Zhong Ze was saying how if it wasn’t for Li Li, he would’ve been off by Xie Bo Tao already. He concluded that Li Li was now a very important person to him–if he wanted to forgo with the revenge plot. (So his reluctant look previously was just a temporary feeling?) After hearing those words, Ah Sir interfered once again. This time, in seriousness. He told Zhong Ze that it wasn’t right to use Li Li like that, considering how she truly liked him, and there was also Xiao Yu. Zhong Ze said that he already talked with Xiao Yu, stating that after he left, things would return to normal for her. Ah Sir chided Zhong Ze for not listening to his words, warning Zhong Ze not to use such means to achieve his end anymore or one day he would end up like Xie Bo Tao, all cold and heartless, etc. Zhong Ze didn’t care, only wanting Ah Sir to investigate into Xie Bo Tao’s weakness.

Though dodging Ah Sir’s lectures, but Zhong Ze was seen reading Xiao Yu’s message and chiding her for being silly. He even scolded her for being too trusting, considering how he was only a tenant at their place. Yet that didn’t stop him from looking at her picture (the one Xiang Xiang sent previously) and smiled to himself. Xiao Yu, on the other hand, was seen entering his room and placing his clothes inside. It was like she was just doing some chores for him as well. She thought that he was still out working late, thinking how much effort he had to exert to help them. And as Zhong Ze was looking at Xiao Yu’s picture, he was thinking even if he would cause them grief in the future, he could at least help Uncle Zhu with completing the task of tea and all, not wasting everyone’s effort. (So much for it!) Meanwhile, Xiao Yu’s cell phone beeped and she thought it was Zhong Ze responding to her text message but it wasn’t so. Disappointed, she returned to her own thoughts again. So they were both thinking of each other that night, even if there were no interactions at all. (Well, the text message didn’t count as much since he didn’t respond.)

The next day, Zhong Ze returned to General Street and was told by Dan Zhu that Uncle Zhu hadn’t been home for two days, insisting on taking care of the tea leaves, etc. Zhong Ze, seeing how worried Dan Zhu was, promised to bring Uncle Zhu back. On his way to the mountains, Zhong Ze’s trip was unfruitful. He ended up lost on one of the turns. What was even more was how he had locked his keys in the car hence not being able to go back in to seek shelter when the rain hit again. In the midst of it all, he was forced to remember his father’s passing. (Jun Ya’s acting at this point was really, really good with his haunting expression and fear, merging in along with the kid’s reaction in the flashback.) It wasn’t until Dan Zhu recounted to the others how Zhong Ze had gone up the mountains to look for Uncle Zhu that Xiao Yu rushed to find him. (Interestingly, Uncle Zhu already made it home safely because he had hitched a ride with Lao Xiong earlier before the rain hit again.) The reason why Xiao Yu had to personally go was because the genius left his cell phone in his car so no one picked up. Not to mention how Uncle Zhu was suggesting that he had already been snatched by ‘someone’. (Yeah, old places with old legends and ghost stories.) Luckily, Xiao Yu could use her bike to search or the progress would be even slower in finding Zhong Ze. (And though her leg was still hurting, she didn’t care. It was too important to care at the moment.) Xiao Yu took him to a shrine nearby to seek shelter from the rain. She even found some food and towels for them to eat and dry up while they wait for the rain to let up. He was doubtful about the food yet she told him that it was left by the townspeople so whenever they were up there, they could get some food to eat and rest after working around the area, etc. She even told him about the amulet that was made by the mothers of General Street for each of the kids to protect them from harm. He was doubtful. Yet she told him it was true, considering how it was the gods sending rain hence allowing her to find him. (Oh really?) But anyway, she said that her name was “Xiao Yu” hence rainy days were her lucky days–and that she really liked “xiao yu”. That was when he spoke up to say that he hated “xiao yu” the most. (Wah….)

*All images were captured by DTLCT

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 55,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 13 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.