Heee! I’m on the roll lately! Our ship is heading to Taiwan today and I pick up a new drama that aired two weeks ago. Fully subbed on Viki, if you’re interested. I can’t say much yet since it’s only episode 1 but I’ll say this: it’s entertaining and I was pleasantly surprised about half way through. That’s always a good sign.
Borrow Your Love Episode 1 Recap:
Meet our darling female lead, Xie Ping An (Amanda Zhu, left). Her mother left her father eons ago, so she stayed and doubly loved her dad, even if they lived on meager meals and frugal spending by him singing at local restaurants. On a rainy day, they spot an abandoned child, Xie Xi Yue (Cherry Hsia), and took her in (Déjà vu, anyone? Beauties of the Emperor much?). Unfortunately, the days of single parenthood didn’t last very long because her father was hit by a van and they ended up at the orphanage. (To clear up possible confusion, the girls underwent a name change at the orphanage so they have a common surname and I use that.)
In the first ten minutes or so, we’re introduced to a grown-up Ping An, who is optimistic, hard-working (she works multiple jobs), and thrifty. And I sigh so loud because it’s all the characteristics of a typical female lead. Moreover, she annoys me because she chirps nonstop. She’s someone who could drive Xiao Long Nu out of her seclusion, if it means a minute of peace. But as the hour went by, she became less typical and more “us.” On the other hand, Xi Yue, is your demure, kind-hearted second female lead. Both girls love each other and vow to stay like that, putting the other’s well-being and happiness as top priority.
Both ladies are distinctively different yet they share one commonality: a crush on Executive Assistant Li Zi Wen (Shi Yi Nan). But it seems serious on Xi Yue’s end. You can’t blame them when the whole female population in the company bats their eyelashes whenever he’s nearby. Plus, he’s bright, amicable, and he smiles warmly. No wonder.
And this is our male lead, Ye Chen (Dylan Kuo), fresh out of prison. He meets Ping An outside the flower shop but doesn’t interact until he overhears her reprimanding the tie pin (an inanimate object, btw) for being expensive. She bought it as a gift for Assistant Li’s birthday, just so you know. Preoccupied with her rambling thoughts, she crosses the street inattentively, causing Ye Chen to literally pick her up, out of harm’s way. His hand conveniently lands on er, her, untouched chest. She screams, “Pervert!” And I’m not sure what’s funnier – her reaction or his innocent face and question, “Why did you hit me?” apparently feeling nothing in the area. LOL!
CEO of Qing Cheng company where the girls are currently employed is Chairlady Bai Ming Li (Linda Liu). A cold, classy, and intelligent businesswoman, she applies the term “an eye for an eye” and “to sympathize with the enemy is being cruel to your oneself.” Now my drama experts, do I need to further state who’s the mother hen of Xie Ping An?
In this scene below, CEO Bai repeats her decision against a desperate businessman, refusing to hand back Project Q-Mart to him, stating that the livelihood of other people does not concern her, and reminding him how vile he was towards her company. Immediately after she hangs up on him, a van intercepts her car and several men attempt to kidnap her.
This is when our lead girl, Ping An, makes her loud entrance like a hero. I applaud her courage but her common sense department appears lacking. Wouldn’t it benefit her, the unarmed, to call the police BEFORE jumping into the ring of fire? Take note everyone, you don’t threaten a van of thugs by holding the phone in their faces. Especially with your chicken fingers and legs. Naturally, they haul her along, and it’s a ruckus in the car because Ping An constantly pleads them to let her go, even offering to keep quiet about the whole kidnap business. How untypical!
Along the way, the van runs into Ye Chen. After appraising Ping An’s distorted expression as a scream for help, Ye Chen follows the van, uses the limited resources he can gather, and set up several distractions in the warehouse. I like that he’s inventive. Now somebody get the poor boy a cell phone! (Will omit some details for your viewing purposes.)
This part cracks me up. Because she talks too much, the robber gags her with a glove, old and unsanitary, and she flinches. Can I ask a serious question? Why can’t they spittt it out?
Robber: “If you don’t tell us your swiss account pin number, I’ll blow her brain out!”
Chairlady Bai: “That won’t threaten me. She was a mere by-passer. For all I care, this girl could die in front of me today and it wouldn’t affect me much.”
Ping An: *spits out the glove* “AHHH! Chairman Bai! How can you be so heartless?!”
I started to like her at this exact moment. Girl’s hilarious. And she answered my question. They can but choose not to, out of fear.
After a few hits and misses, Ye Chen also gets captured and cuffed with Ping An, while the robbers take Chairlady Bai away. Not far into their escapade, the van comes to a halt because the gas tank is leaking, thanks to Ye Chen’s foresight.
He comes after them, but the handcuff proves difficult (so is Ping An), and he has no choice but PICKS HER UP (AGAIN) AND PLACES HER ONTO HIS LAP. Front seat, baby. This scene deserves a gif! XD So decisive (me: HOT!)
The police arrives, after tracking the GPS on Chairlady Bai’s phone, an idea suggested by Assistant Li. Our chairlady looks at her benefactor (Ye Chen only, ha) with admiration, more so because he doesn’t care about her wealth and status and simply brushes her off. Assistant Li stares at Ye Chen in shock and breaks into a smile. They’re friends.
After their brief talk, Assistant Li takes Ye Chen to the employee’s living quarters since he doesn’t have a place to stay. Lo and behold, Ping An and Xi Yue live next door. Because their heater broke, Ping An thinks it’s a good idea to CLIMB the balcony in her bathrobe to the neighboring unit and borrow their shower. It’s a fabulous idea since it has been vacant for a while, that is until Ye Chen’s arrival.
Upon seeing the men, she freaks out, decides to climb back, but slips over the ledge. Ye Chen catches her in time but slowly her robe loosens and falls to the ground. He averts his eyes but there’s no such thing as unseeing. On the count of 3, he pulls her up and they fall back, with her on top of him.
Ye Chen: “Your flat fried egg body is crushing me!”
Assistant Li follows the commotion and is astonished and amused to find Ping An nekkidddd. Lordy. Not one hottie, but two! So funny. 😆
At the end of the hour, the truth behind Ye Chen’s prison time is revealed. Eight years ago, while struggling with some thieves to get back his father’s hard earned money, Zi Wen accidentally shot one dead. Ye Chen took the responsibility for his friend and placed his sister in the latter’s care.
Although Assistant Li Zi Wen has been seen as easy-going all hour-long, we finally see a darker side to him. Thinking back to his shameful past and likely bright future, an ominous streak crosses his face. He wonders, “Ye Chen is back. Eight years already. Why can’t God just let me go?”
Kappy: I’m so glad I sat through to the end because it turns out quite opposite to the tone and character tropes typical of Taiwanese dramas. Amanda Zhu as Ping An manages to turn my impression of her around, which is noteworthy because it’s not easy to persuade me once you’ve annoyed me. She’s still noisy though but I’m pleased to see her realistic outbursts to many things. Hopefully, her straightforwardness remains with her to the end. And if I were her, caught in such humiliating situation, I wouldn’t be hiding under the cover. I’d dig a hole and hibernate. I also really like how they deliberately shot the introductory scenes in a teasing manner, putting us under the impression that the characters are mundane archetypes. Then gradually, like an onion, layers are peeled back.
Such example is Assistant Li Zi Wen, who started out as the good-looking nice guy. Who would have thought he chickened out in the past and allowed his good friend to take the blame? What’s more infuriating is the fact that he didn’t visit Ye Chen at all during jail time. He may not be a bad person, but he can sure use some whipping to become a better person.
Then there’s Dylan Kuo, who I haven’t seen in ages. First time I saw him in The Outsiders but I caught the Blue bug then so I didn’t pay attention to him. His action scenes are great so far, combined with his tall stature. And I’m already loving the chemistry between our OTP, especially the amused smile he throws at her after seeing it ALL.
It would be interesting to see Chairlady Bai’s expression once she knows who her real daughter is, considering how Ping An already exasperates her. Heehee!
And just because I’m evil:
Ye Chen sure gives new meaning to eggs. Flat and round. XD