(This web drama has 9 episodes! I wrote 7 episodes before but that is incorrect, sorry…)
I may make this post sound redundant when I say – it’s difficult to form an opinion about Le Jun Kai based on two episodes, mostly because each episode (excluding open and closing credits) is only about 15 minutes each. I am annoyed though this is dubbed. BOOO. Peter’s ending song = good, I want to hear the full version! Other music in this drama = so so. At least not as cringe worthy as the teasers. Content wise, there isn’t a lot to get our teeth into. However, I do want to jot down some thoughts mostly because I’ll be busy for the next 2 weeks and won’t have much time for drama/blogging.
Episode 1 opens with the ending? Le Jun Kai (Peter Ho) is being kicked around, with blood running down his face while Li Ye (Janine Chang) screams for the men to stop. Le Jun Kai is willing to give up everything he has for Li Ye’s release. The antagonist of the story, Lei Lun is having fun watching them suffer – this guy has a an axe to grind for various reasons. One of them being Li Ye didn’t choose him all those years ago, even though she knew Le Jun Kai was responsible for her own father’s death.
Then our OTP look at each other like this. Yes she still loves him even after he did all sorts of things to torture her while they were married. Le Jun Kai on the other hand is too blinded by his revenge to accept that it’s not so bad for him to love her. Oh torturous melodrama, here we go.
Before we find out whether Le Jun Kai lives for another day, we get that dreaded “One month prior” thing – oh I hate it when they tease the audience like that.
What I like about Le Jun Kai so far is definitely Peter as a gangster. Credits to the makeup artist Peter looks quite different in this drama. He has always given me the ‘happy, sunshine’ feeling – a sense of warmth especially when he smiles. Le Jun Kai is the total opposite. Haunted by the death of his wife Xiao Cai (while carrying their unborn baby), he loses himself in trying to seek revenge on the person he thinks is responsible – Li Mo Hui (who is Li Ye’s father). He doesn’t hesitate pushing Li Ye around, putting his hand around her neck etc.
I would also like to thank the costume designer who obviously got his measurements wrong because all his clothes seem a size too small. Hrm. I’m sorry, I can’t concentrate when he’s wearing that white singlet and those unusually tight pants. But I’m not a fan of double breasted anything, that brown jacket is awful.
Janine Chang was born to play this kind of role – with her long hair and innocent looks (plus she’s so skinny!), it’s not hard to believe her life has been difficult as a single mother raising a son, Tian Tian. She works at a small beauty salon, but making barely enough to make ends meet. She doesn’t have enough money to send her son to kindergarten. When she’s working Tian Tian is locked inside their ‘house’, although it’s more like a shack which might get blown away if there’s a storm.
Before this drama aired, some netizens had commented that Tian Tian looks too well fed for this role. I kinda agree with that! But it’s a minor shortcoming I suppose, since his mother gives him all her food anyway…
As for the story itself, whilst I’m okay with starting off in the future then going back in time where the story slowly reveals itself (although to be honest one month is not much of a time jump?), what I dislike about this web drama so far is all the flashbacks. Episode 2 was loaded with them. The whole scenario of how Le Jun Kai and Li Ye met was told via a flashback. Everything that happened during their marriage is going to be revealed via flashbacks. Yes, I understand that was the how the original story was written but to establish the foundation of how a man like Le Jun Kai can be in love with Li Ye, I really would’ve liked to see how their story began in a more coherent fashion, instead of bits and pieces here and there. In such a short timeframe the audience has to assume a lot already, for example – in episode 2 we find out our OTP kissed like, the first time they met. Le Jun Kai saw Li Ye rehearsing a play, afterwards she got into his car, talk for a bit and start making out. What?
Another gripe which relates to a change from the original story to the web drama is the scene where Li Ye was rehearsing the play. The whole monologue there was used in a different context in the original story. That whole scene, I felt was weird. The whole circumstance surrounding how they met was weird. In the original story it was hinted that Le Jun Kai never even met Li Ye before he suggested to her father that he wants to marry her. He simply heard she was smart and beautiful and he wanted to marry her simply for revenge, nothing else. Here, I got the impression he had feelings for her before they got married. I might be thinking too much of this at such an early stage but perhaps the writers don’t want to make Le Jun Kai more human?
So one of the ‘selling points’ (I have issues using this phrase but can’t think of anything else) of this drama is the ‘abusive male’ angle. The original author Fei Wo Si Cun is well known for this type of story. (Her other adapted works include ‘Sealed with a kiss’ and ‘Endless Love / Lai Bu Ji Shuo Wo Ai Ni’.) It hasn’t been too overpowering in the first two episodes. There was only one scene where Le Jun Kai gets a bit rough on Li Ye. He pins her down, she tries to struggle then he puts his hand around her neck. It is troubling he then starts kissing her… and she doesn’t struggle anymore and well, lets him. I know, I will remind myself not to take this kind of storyline too seriously. Or we can feel better if we acknowledge this kind of abusive relationship does happen in real life? The battered woman syndrome defense exist for a reason, no?
Although this kind of image below reminds me this is really just a bit of escapism. Poor Le Jun Kai goes looking for his ex wife Xiao Cai and he finds her sitting gracefully on a chair, clearly pregnant… with a bloody knife RIGHT IN HER STOMACH. Who kills someone like that? Oops, I laughed out loud at that scene.
Overall, I don’t mind Le Jun Kai so far but I would recommend waiting until all the episodes come out and watch it in one go? All the jumps back and forth in time already makes the drama a little disjointed and taking so many breaks in between (since it’s only 2 episodes a week) just makes it worse.