Summer’s Desire, Episode 1 recap
I usually stay away from romantic melodramas (if you define staying away as watching through my fingers and pressing fast forward with extreme prejudice…) but Huang Xiaoming is in the lead role, and I love to look at him almost as much as I do pandas, so here I am.
It’s almost certainly going to end in flames and suicide threats (the drama, not me). Lay your bets, people!
You can tell she’s barely restraining herself from kicking him in the shins.
Summer’s Desire, Episode 1
- In which Sevenses tries not to slit her wrists at the bad dialogue
PROLOGUE: It was a dark and stormy night!
ME: No it wasn’t, it was just two guys rolling around on the road trying to punch each other, geez.
ALL: … That doesn’t actually sound too bad.
PROLOGUE: ANYWAY, PEOPLE, THERE IS ANGST.
ALL: [insert eyeroll]
MALE LEADS: ALAS, WE HAVE BAD HAIR.
PICTURE: SIGNIFICANT CLOSEUP IS SIGNIFICANT.
Department of backstory, t = -5 years
LUO XI (Huang XIaoming): I don’t like you!
YIN XIA-MO (Barbie Xu): I don’t like you either!
LUO XI: Fine!
XIA MO: Fine!
LUO XI: FINE!
XIA MO: FINER!
LUO XI: So… you won’t rethink your decision to not date me?
XIA MO: Psh, no.
LUO XI: … And you won’t miss me?
XIA MO: COME BACK WITH YOUR SHIELD OR ON IT, BUSTER.
Airport of abysmal security, present
LUO XI: I AM AWESOME!
ASSISTANT: HEM HEM!
LUO XI: AND CHARMING.
XIA MO: Hardworking orphan trying to support her younger brother here, nothing to look at.
JIANG ZHEN-EN: As best friend I support you no matter what, even if I do drag you into random bad jobs like being personal assistants to the most self-centred whackos in the world.
BITCHY ACTRESS: IS BITCHY
A day in the life of two attractive, talented orphans
YIN CHENG: ILU BIG SIS!
XIA MO: ILU2!
Meanwhile, in France…
OU CHEN (Peter Ho): I have nightmares about girls wearing green hairbands, okay?! My psychologist says it’s Freudian.
GIRLFRIEND: That’s okay, you have a billion-dollar business with which to pay the therapy bills.
OU CHEN: I … don’t think I like you.
OU CHEN: I am a mean, mean bastard.
GF: OMFG STOP SHOOTING AT ME.
OU CHEN: I DON’T FEEL PAAAAAAAIN. WHAT IS THIS ABSENCE WHERE MY HEART IS. AM I A ROBOT?
OU CHEN: YOU’RE SUCH A WIMP, GEEZ. THIS GIRL I KNEW WHEN I WAS LITTLE TOTALLY PUT UP WITH ME SHOOTING AT HER. I FIRE YOU!
GF: … I’m your girlfriend, you psycho! You can’t fire girlfriends!
ME: It’s just so bizarre to see Qi Wei as the meek and much-abused girlfriend when I’ve just finished Mei Ren Xin Ji, where she totally deposed a crown prince with the power of her brain.
ME: The death-match of talentos!
XIA MO: Oh god I hate this.
MANAGERS & SUNDRY UNIMPORTANT PERSONS: So we’re only picking two debuting singers, and only one of them gets to duet with the hottest star ever!
ALL: … yay?
MANAGERS: IT’S LUO XI, BITCHES!
XIA MO: [facepalm]
PAN NAN: My fierce bob will defeat all!
Convenience store of low taste
XIA MO: SO. MUCH. HATE.
The land of sepia, t = -5 years, minutes before Xia-mo unveiled her right hook
LUO XI: THIS ALWAYS WORKS!
XIA MO: MMPH!
ME: Do you want a slow-mo montage?
ME: Okay, guys, go crazy.
XIA MO: You can’t tell, but I’m bitchslapping you in my head.
LUO XI: That’s what they’re calling it these days?
XIA MO: HATE.
THE FAIRY OF BACKSTORY: So apparently you and Luo Xi went to the same high school, and then college, never pausing to change uniforms, until one day he mysterious vanished and became a huge star in Asia?
ME: Too old for high school, population: 2
LUO XI: I am Luo Xi, protagonist and terribly hot, which is all you need to know, really.
RANDOM GIRL: SQUEE!
LUO XI: Thank you for the chocolates!
RANDOM GIRL: [runs off]
LUO XI: [dumps into garbage]
XIA MO: I SAW THAT.
LUO XI: Like what you see?
XIA MO: EXCEPT FOR THAT PART WHERE YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE WHO KISSES GIRLS RANDOMLY.
LUO XI: I have abandonment issues, what?!
XIA MO: I HATE YOU. SO MUCH.
RANDOM GIRL: GUESS WHO KISSED ME!!
GIRL POSSE: [beatdown]
LUO XI: I … don’t remember you.
GIRL POSSE: [continue beatdown]
RANDOM GIRL: [cries]
XIA MO: Hem hem.
GIRL POSSE: HER STEALTH GLARE IS DEADLY.
XIA MO: AS IS MY MYSTERIOUSLY POWERFUL BOYFRIEND.
ME: Having a psychotic rich boyfriend is never a good sign, bb.
GIRL POSSE: [run away]
XIA MO: You there, with the crying. Shut up.
LUO XI: I’m in your house, stealing your parents!
XIA MO: WHAT DADDY NO.
LUO XI: Aren’t your parents nice, taking in orphans and raising them?
MAMA & PAPA YIN: We have such excellent children! And they get along so well! How was your day, darling?
LUO XI: Hi!
XIA MO: Hurt my brother and I’ll cut you.
LUO XI: MUHAHAHAHA!
LUO XI: YOU WILL BE MINE, XIA MO!
MANAGER A: He’s looking at the list of new talentos, right?
MANAGER B: … yeeeeah?
MANAGER A: He’s been there for a while, d’you think he wants food?
LUO XI: HFFCHU!
MANAGER B: Let’s not risk it.
Casa de Yin
XIA MO: YOU MADE MY DAD USE MY BROTHER’S ART PRIZE TO BUY YOU A GUITAR???
LUO XI: [smirk]
XIA MO: I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!
LUO XI: You and whose army?
XIA MO: AAAARGH!
LUO XI: As a fellow singer and musician, I suggest you don’t do that to your voice.
YIN CHENG: I don’t mind! Really! Have a drawing!
LUO XI: Wow. I look hot.
XIA MO: HOW ARE YOU THIS EGOISTICAL??
YIN CHENG: But he really is, sis. Anyway, gotta go to art class.
XIA MO: You’d better not break his heart.
LUO XI: Who, me?
XIA MO: OMG YOU THREW HIS DRAWING AWAY YOU BASTARD DIE!
ME: Xia Mo actually doesn’t say anything, she just glares. But they’re pretty, uh, transparent in meaning.
PAN NAN: Look at us! Fast friends already!
XIA MO: I know, it’s like we knew each other before or something!
ME: I think I forgot what Barbie looked like when she smiled. Wow.
LUO XI: So I have a really old friend in this group, I hope y’all haven’t been picking on her or anything.
XIA MO: [cringe]
PAN NAN: Yo, whatup, bro?
LUO XI: Hey, my girl!
ME: They totally do a fist bump. No joke.
ME: MY GOD IT’S LIKE THEY’VE NEVER HEARD OF THE CONCEPT OF SUBTLETY. ONLY EVERYONE IN THE ROOM IS GOING TO THINK THEY HAVE HISTORY. (And Current Events.)
OU CHEN: Still missing memories, nothin’ to see here.
BUTLER: Now that you’ve alternately stomped your opponents into the ground using underhanded tactics and shaken up your own corporate branches, can we please stop it with the psychotic rage?
OU CHEN: I want to go back to Taiwan.
BUTLER: But you’re in France! How can anyone want to go back to Taiwan if they’re in France??
OU CHEN: Does anything in my character description say that I make sense?
BUTLER: Point taken.
LUO XI: I’ve missed having you glare at me.
XIA MO: Whatever.
LUO XI: Why aren’t you living with that rich bastard and sleeping on a pillow stuffed with dollar bills?
XIA MO: Why are you such a drama queen?
LUO XI: Seriously, my dialogue sucks.
XIA MO: I know.
LUO XI: So I’m in love with you.
XIA MO: And I obviously like you, but you’re creepy and a stalker and I have trust issues when it comes to you!
LUO XI: Don’t forget masochist.
XIA MO: THAT TOO.
LUO XI: Are we just going to stare at each other all night?
XIA MO: You have a better idea?
XIA MO: So… walking out in the open for all your fans to see is somehow better?
LUO XI: Why are you such a critic?
XIA MO: You’re the one with the cheesetastic lines, remember?
LUO XI: Yeah, but at least I’m emoting!
XIA MO: You’re such a girl.
LUO XI: Seriously, where is your wealthy, possessive psycho of a boyfriend? Don’t tell me he died and I actually have a chance.
XIA MO: Dream on.
LUO XI: Well, if nothing else, you can stop tying your hair up.
XIA MO: Yeah, don’t know how I got through life without a guy whose idea of romance is the deprivation of choices. But I haven’t seen him in five years. Like you, actually.
LUO XI: I was gonna come back and be like, ‘Now I have money and sexiness, you have no chance!’
XIA MO: Pity.
LUO XI: But I’ve changed!
XIA MO: Oh really.
LUO XI: I love you, dammit!
XIA MO: That’s nice.
FANS: OMG IS THAT LUO XI??
OBLIGATORY RUNNING SCENE OF HANDHOLDING: is obligatory.
ME: Jesus your fanclub is huge.
EVERYONE: WELCOME BAAAAAACK!
OU CHEN: YOU ALL SUCK. GO HOME.
ME: Well, now we know you’re not known for your charm.
ME: I have no real excuse for these caps except that Huang Xiaoming is devastatingly pretty at all angles.
XIA MO: You do realize I don’t actually hate you?
LUO XI: REALLY??
XIA MO: I gave you a cat and everything! How is your memory this bad?
LUO XI: I though Milk was for your brother?
XIA MO: Yeah but I gave him to YOU.
SIGNIFICANT HAIR RIBBON: is significant
ME: And green.
ME: Lest we think Xia-mo has nothing to do outside of spending time with Luo Xi, she runs over to her friend Shu-er’s rescue after dance practice. I sorta see how this is going to become important later, but right now it’s just two starlets fighting over fame, scandal and using Xia-mo in the process.
ME: You know, I’m starting to like our boy here. He stalks his OTP while drinking milk! His manager quails in his presence like a peon!
LUO XI: Cancel everything.
LUO XI: My baby’s going up against an experienced singer in an onstage performance, and she has stage fright. I’m not going to miss supporting her.
MANAGER OF EXPOSITION: So the song Xia-mo is singing was popular a good decade ago and was penned by a beautiful bar singer after being abandoned by her lover.
ME: Are you for real?
XIA MO: [has a flashback of her mother dying onstage in the middle of this song]
ME: I guess that’s my answer.
MANAGERS: Well, she can’t perform in front of a crowd, dead loss. Bye, Xia-mo!
LUO XI: To the rescue!
MANAGERS: On the other hand, she does have pull.
OU CHEN: Dear Stalkers United, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter. Minions, give me every detail on that girl.
NEWS: Bla bla bla relationship?
SHEN QIANG: Nooooooooooooooo!
YIN CHENG: I’M NOT GONNA LET YOU DO IT! I DON’T CARE ABOUT MY MEDICATION!
XIA MO: I’M NOT DOING THIS FOR YOU!
LUO XI: When you sing, and you are afraid, just look at me. There’s no one else here, okay?
XIA MO: [finishes singing her song]
AUDIENCE: TRUE LOVE OVERCOMES ALL! INCLUDING PTSD!
ME: OH GOD, THE CHEESE.
OU CHEN: [begins his career of stalking and liver damage]
ME: Oh bb. You fail so hard at being a normal person.
ME: You know, I would die laughing if Xia-mo turns out to be his half-sister or something equally asinine. I mean, serves him right.
ME: This is where Scooby-doo would say, ‘RUH-ROH’.
Riversides are never a good sign
LUO XI: You like me, admit it!
XIA MO: … Maybe I do.
LUO XI: YAY!
XIA MO: *facepalm*
ME: There was a half-turn, a wrist grab, and at least five smirks. Muuuuuuuuuuuh.
ME: So this whole drama is about three really damaged lovestruck fools running around trying to sabotage each other?
EVERYONE ELSE: How is that different, Taiwan??
- The opening episode was 90 minutes long. I was losing the will to live.
- Barbie is very good at the whole graceful and silently made of steel vibe, which surprises me, given that her breakout role was in Meteor Garden, in which there was a lot of shouting and throwing of heavy objects. OTOH, MARS pretty much consisted of Barbie being quiet and emoting through her body language.
- We’re barely past episode one and I already hate Peter Ho’s character. That can’t be good. It’s not even my bias for Huang Xiaoming speaking. I mean, this guy tells his girlfriend to stand within eyesporking range of arrows, forcibly separates people who love each other because he wants the girl, has an entitlement issue about the size of the Nile (also not just river in Egypt with this guy), and uses his money to undermine companies. It’s basically the rich boy stereotype I love to hate.
- In the original graphic novels (?) Xia-mo ends up with Peter Ho’s character, but it almost looks like they’re not leaning that way in the drama. We shall see.
- I tried to find raws in snappable form, but rmvb is a pain in the butt, so I’m working from SUBlimes’ .mp4 releases. Mea culpa on the ugliness?