Remember the drought we had last year and earlier this year with Li Ying’s absence? Well, those months are gone. With two old dramas re-airing on local channels, two current dramas on air, and one variety show, Up Idol, premiering today, we’ll be seeing her face all seven days of the week. Antis be having the best time. Lol. Since I’m covering The Journey of Flowers, Zlidia offered to write summaries for Best Get Going (The Interns). This is her first time recapping/reviewing a series, so be nice and give suggestions. 🙂 – Kap
Meeting the Characters:
The story starts by introducing the audience to four girls who recently graduated (or is about to graduate, it’s unclear if the students are all taking internships right AFTER graduation or if they are taking internships right BEFORE graduation) from a relatively prestigious college in Shanghai. They are roommates (btw, their “dormroom” is RIDICULOUSLY nice. Maybe I haven’t toured enough Chinese universities, but I’m pretty sure they’re taking some liberties with reality there. The four girls have very different personalities and styles:
First, Song Nuan (Zhao Li Ying).
Song Nuan’s name literally means “giving warmth” — her dad’s name is “Song Guang Ming” – which means “giving clarity”, so he named her Song Nuan because he hoped she would provide warmth to the world. She is from Hangzhou, a city a little bit outside of Shanghai. She majored in Chinese. In terms of personality, she is extremely nice, helpful, kind, the classic “Mary Sue” in that sense, and she is very hardworking, filial, focused on her work. She isn’t thinking about romance, she’s focused on getting a good job and having stability in her life. She gets taken advantage of quite a bit, but we’ll get to that later…
Next, Zhou Ge Ge (Elvira Cai).
Ge Ge is the “Xiao hua” or class beauty. The number of boys chasing her during school were overwhelming and Song Nuan was constantly deployed by Ge Ge (Song Nuan’s best friend) to play “fireman” — in that she would go “douse all of the fire.” 🙂 Essentially, it was up to Song Nuan to let everyone down gently and explain that Ge Ge was not interested in their advances. Ge Ge is headstrong, has a bit of a princess complex in that she thinks she is fantastic in every way, and she is also quite selfish as a result. She has probably been influenced in that sense by her mom, who is also quite a character (we’ll get to her shortly). She is from Shanghai proper, so has additional airs because of that — she is very confident. She can be a bit manipulative, but she is good-hearted in nature.
Next, Gao Wen Ruo Han (Vanessa Wang).
Ruo Han is committed to doing whatever she needs to do in order to get by, and that has generally translated into using her…feminine traits, shall we say? The first time we see her, she admits that she just underwent a ton of plastic surgery, and we later learn that she tends to date people in order to get them to do things for her. She is also not from Shanghai proper, so she very much needs to get a real job in order to be able to stay in the city. She is pretty shameless in trying to get what she wants, so when she is chasing after a new male prospect, she is not afraid of repeated rejection. Again, she’s at heart a good person.
Finally, Ning Ba La (Pink Fu Jing).
She is the “tomboy” of the group and has a very sad personal story. We learn about it slowly as the series develops, but as a spoiler, she has a mom who suffers from some type of mental illness, likely bipolar or something like that, so she has episodes of madness where she needs to be physically restrained to avoid hurting people. Ba La is from the countryside and is very poor. She hopes that be able to find a job in order to get her mom treated at an expensive psychiatric hospital. In order to make money, she works as a sparring partner at a local boxing studio (which essentially means she works as a human punching bag). She is very loyal to Song Nuan.
Then there are the boy classmates. First, there’s Zhang Sheng (Ryan Zheng). He is the classic “rich boy” – born with the silver spoon. He is pretty selfish and thinks much of life is just a joke. You can tell that he didn’t have a really happy childhood — he told Song Nuan in a later episode that his biggest birthday wish as a child was for his family to get together to spend his birthday. He had lots of comforts, but no family warmth growing up. He is spoiled and talks very big. At the beginning of the drama, he suggested that his best friend, Zhao Xiao Chuan, threaten to jump off a building in order to declare his love for Zhou Ge Ge, but then Zhang Sheng used Zhao Xiao Chuan’s “event” of love declaration to instead declare to all the gathering watchers that he was going to start his own business after graduation and that he would be interviewing folks for employment soon. That plot was meant to show you how he doesn’t take anyone else’s problems really seriously, everything is about himself.
Zhao Xiao Chuan (Justin Chung) is clearly very smart (in the original novel, he was practically a computer genius) and knows a lot about all things digital (websites, flash animation, etc). He is Zhang Sheng’s side-kick and his main storyline is that he is in love with Zhou Ge Ge and keeps trying to win her over. He has great alcohol tolerance, which makes him a great fit for the sales department.
Chen Ai Lian – Ge Ge’s mom.
Chen Ai Lian appears to have raised Ge Ge on her own, I’m not sure if her husband died or if she got divorced or what, but Ge Ge’s dad is never mentioned. Chen Ai Lan is extremely committed to one goal and one goal only: getting Ge Ge married to a rich man. For much of the drama beginning episodes, the focus was on Zhang Sheng, the son of the current CEO of Feng Hua. He was in the same graduating class as Song Nuan and Ge Ge, his character summary is below. Maybe her character will see further development as the drama continues. But she’s been pretty one-track-minded so far. She is manipulative to an extreme and is not afraid to say or do anything to get to her goals. She used to work at Feng Hua, but recently was let go due to corporate general layoffs. She had been dodging work for years, always taking sick leave and staying home to play mah-jong instead. She was given her layoff notice by Ning Ba La, who felt really guilty about it, but eventually, once Chen Ai Lian learned about Ning Ba La’s family situation, she forgave her.
Song Guang Ming – Song Nuan’s dad.
Guang Ming used to be a university professor back in Hang Zhou. He is very traditional, thinks he should provide for his family and so on, and is very “principled” in his thoughts about his daughter too. He disapproves of Zhang Sheng as being too different from Song Nuan’s background to date her. He quit his university job because a student of his convinced him to take a vice-president job at a big Shanghai corporation, so he moved the family to Shanghai instead. But after they took out the loan to get a really nice apartment, on his first day of work, he found out that the company was closing its entire Shanghai office, so he became unemployed. He’s finding it extremely hard to get a new job now because he doesn’t really have any real working experience. He even tried to go get a job as a foot washer, but they wouldn’t take him. He has been keeping his unemployment a secret from his wife, but he’s only got a few more months left before his savings will run out.
Jin Yan Ru – Zhang Sheng’s Mom.
Mrs. Jin took over running of the Feng Hua company after Zhang Sheng’s dad died. She is entirely committed to her work, so she’s never had much time for Zhang Sheng. You can tell she’s a really nice person and would be a great mom, but she’s just too busy to do everything. She forced Zhang Sheng to take the JM internship because she wants him to get some training and some perspective in how to work hard.
She relies heavily on her right-hand-man, who is secretly a mole for JM, her largest competitor in the market. Not sure if he was a recent traitor or what his back-story is, but I assume we’ll find out shortly.
Wang Si Yuan (Yu Xiao Wei) – I forget his name.
Wang Si Yuan was an alum of Song Nuan’s university. He started JM from scratch, so is a modern Chinese success story. At first, JM had proclaimed that they would not take any interns this year, but during a speech at his alma mater, Song Nuan and Ge Ge challenged him on what he was preaching about success and trying hard. They noted that graduates don’t even have the opportunity to prove themselves. He was persuaded by their statements, so he agreed to take in 20 interns for the year. He is a very successful business person and you can tell he has a slight soft spot for Song Nuan because he likes her moxie but thankfully we don’t seem to have any real romantic shadows going on there, which would take the storyline into a much more unbelievable path. When Song Nuan was first starting out at as intern at JM, the CEO ran into her from time and time and encouraged her to seek out real work, instead of only being the lunch order delivery girl. He encouraged her to make herself useful and to look more, listen more, learn more, speak less.
Chen Jian — JM Sales Head.
He’s been around JM for a long time, and is a true work-horse for the company. He recently got divorced, mainly because he was working too much and couldn’t be around for his wife. He was very irritated when he heard that JM had to take interns and he often feels like his work for the company is not valued enough. He is a little jealous it seems of the CEO. He is the supervisor of Ge Ge and Zhao Xiao Chuan as sales interns.
Mr. Huang – JM Sales manager.
This guy is a bit of a joke — I think he’s here to provide comedic relief. He’s Mr. Chen’s right-hand-man. Definitely toes the party line 100%. Used to work in Japan. Not a fan of the interns, mainly because Mr. Chen isn’t.
Huo Min – JM CEO’s Office Head.
She, along with Mr. Chen, did the interviews of all the interns, and is now the direct supervisor of Song Nuan, Ruo Han, and Zhang Sheng, who are all in the CEO’s Affairs department. She is more reasonable than Mr. Chen, but she also doesn’t think the interns have any real skills. For the first few weeks, the only job she gave Song Nuan was to go stand in line at a super popular lunch spot across town to buy lunch for everyone in the office.
General story thus far: I apologize in advance for how all over the place this will be, but I’m essentially trying to recap the first 20 episodes all into a few paragraphs, so please bear with me! For example, there were some episodes where all the interns went to a retreat for military-style bonding/training, but not much of note for story development, so I’m not even bothering to mention anything that happened there.
All the graduates go to interviews for JM internship spots. During their interviews, Mr. Huang comes up with the horrid idea that they should simply make the interns drink bai jiu (a rice liquor) until they can’t take it anymore to see who would be more suited for sales. This ends up sending Zhou Ge Ge, Zhao Xiao Chuan, and Song Nuan to the ER for alcohol poisoning. Chen Ai Lian comes up the idea to threaten to make a huge fuss about what happened unless JM agrees to take the three kids for interns. JM agrees. Ning Ba La ends up as an intern at Feng Hua — she has an “in” of sorts because the Feng Hua Mr. Chen is a regular at her boxing studio, so she essentially traded some free practice sessions for some advanced scoop on when interviews would happen. Ruo Han ends up at JM as well after she is introduced to Chen Jian at a client dinner — it’s implied that her boyfriend would only agree to some business deal with JM if JM agreed to take Ruo Han as an intern.
At first, Zheng Sheng seems to be entirely consumed with making Song Nuan’s life miserable. He tricks her into wearing a super suggestive outfit to work (pretended to send a text from Wang si Yuan to Song Nuan requesting it), blackmails her into being his little peon, and so on. After a while, he realizes he likes her, and now he’s trying to get on her good side. He used to take his job at JM as a joke (constantly trying to get himself fired), but after he realized that he likes Song Nuan, he’s trying really hard now to be a good intern.
Zhou Ge Ge mistakenly thought that Zhang Sheng liked her and she was goaded on by her mom, who had been planting seeds about how great it would be if Zhou Ge Ge could snatch Zhang Sheng up in marriage, so she asked him out on a date, but in the midst of her declaration of love for him, he announced that it was actually Song Nuan that he liked. Zhou Ge Ge became extremely upset with Song Nuan for this and called her all sorts of names (Green Tea Bitch) and threatened to end their friendship. Song Nuan is still in the midst of trying to patch up that relationship and has promised not to get in a relationship with Zhang Sheng to show that she had NOT been trying to steal Ge Ge’s guy — it’s all a one-sided attraction on Zhang Sheng’s end. Because Zhang Sheng refused Ge Ge, Zhao Xiao Chuan got upset at Zhang Sheng for making his crush upset — not really sure how that storyline works. If Zhao really likes Ge Ge, he should be Thanking Zhang Sheng for refusing her, no? But in classic drama style, Zhao loves Zhou SO MUCH that he’s actually upset at Zhang for refusing her. Whatever. Then Gao Wen breaks it to Zhao Xiao Chuan that Ge Ge is super shallow and only likes Zhang because he is rich. Zhao can’t accept this and blows up at Zhou, asking her if she even likes Zhang or just likes his background. So now Zhou and Zhao aren’t really friends either.
Bottom line on the romance: Zhou Ge Ge and Zhao Xiao Chuan are clearly the fated second CP. Right now, Zhou wants to be friends, Zhao is probably still in love, but is refusing to really be friends with Zhou even. Eventually, I’m sure Zhou will realize she likes Zhao as well, and Zhao will forgive her previous shallowness and they’ll be happy together. Song Nuan currently has no feelings for Zhang Sheng, but eventually, I’m sure she’ll soften, and they’ll end up together too (so says the novel too).
Corporate Storyline (which isn’t in the novel):
JM is going to take advantage of Feng Hua’s current economic hardships and do a forceful take-over of the company. Right now, neither Zhang Sheng nor his mom realize this. They think that JM is actually offering to do a joint venture or some capital investment to help Feng Hua get over the current troubles. It will all come to a showdown on August 1st, when the two companies are planning on announcing the deal. Zhang Sheng, in order to impress Song Nuan, asked his mom on JM’s behalf to rent Feng Hua’s super-spiffy conference building for the press announcement on August 1st. His mom refused, because she is planning on making her own announcement about the deal on that day. Zhang Sheng went behind her back and approached the black mole guy — black mole made the sneaky suggestion that Zhang Sheng simply make the reservation change in his mom’s name. The last episode ended with Zhang Sheng successfully pulling this off.
Bottom line on the corporate storyline: Zhang Sheng and Song Nuan are currently working their tails off for a press conference that will likely announce that JM is not helping Feng Hua but is actually buying out Feng Hua — this will be a huge blow to Zhang Sheng and his mom. The previews indicate that she may even have a heart attack or similar as a result.
I think that’s enough for everyone to sort of be on track for where things are. I will try to provide more detailed episode updates now going forward!
Recaps/Summaries written by Zlidia.