Finally, after a draught of barely watchable dramas coming out Taiwan, some water finally appears. Those of you who are constantly readers at this blog would know that I have been anticipating for the release of The Pursuit of Happiness since news came around and even more so once the teasers started popping up. With the current crap that I am watching, i.e. Love Around and Dragon Gate (can’t wait for them to end!), I am losing faith with Taiwanese dramas. However, TPOH has turned that all around. At last, a drama that actually makes me anticipate the next ep! Those who have seen In Time With You will definitely see resemblance between TPOH and ITWY because both come some critically acclaimed and Golden Bell winning director, Winnie Chu, though more specially, Winnie is the “director coach” here with his student being the one directing the drama. Nonetheless, TPOH definitely has the essence that made ITWY a success. I am really loving the cinematography here, it is beautiful and really helps to capture the mood set by the characters. Furthermore, it brings the story to life and helps to elaborate on the story. It doesn’t just rely on the actors’ dialogue and emotional exchange, it allows even inanimate objects to contribute to the story. Thank goodness for such a drama!
The cinematography is really outstanding here. I just love love love it! It really helps to capture the mood of what the story about. The effects that it gives off is extraordinary. It really helps to gel the entire drama together. I think the start was very smart. It gave an introduction to the leads’ life before unleashing them on their journey. It showed to us as the viewers just exactly what is going on in the head of the leads and what they are pursuing after.
The First Day of Knowing You:
Ji An Lei (Sonia Sui) makes a journey to the bridal store and thinks about how she constantly thinks how everyone strives hard to live in this world. Usually they will have a hidden strength, encouraging you, pushing you forward and protecting you. And mines…is what? Or is it young love that is overly sweet? Maybe it is those unbreakable relationships without regrets? But regardless, in everyone’s heart there should be a force that pushes you forward to push you to the happy place you want to be in.
Huang Yi Kang (Tony Yang) bids farewell to his New Zealand colleagues as he sets off to head back to Taipei. One of his colleagues gifts him with a sample of his piece of work. It is a dual clock. His colleague asks why it displays two time zones at the same time. He replies that it is for love. Subconsciously, he thinks about how everyone has a time that belongs to them. He is in his time and she is in her time; they are both in two different worlds. For this answer, he must return; he must see her.
An Lei arrives late for her niece, Gu Xiao Yun (Xin Le Er)’s wedding-family pictures. During the pictures, Mummy Ji tries to set An Lei up with the photographer to only find that the photographer has a girlfriend. An Lei wonders what kind of person her Mr. Right is.
Watching the soon-to-be couple, Mummy Ji asks An Lei if she is envious. She replies that there is nothing to be jealous about. Mummy Ji wonders why her daughter who is almost hitting 35 is still not married yet. So she takes An Lei to a fortune teller to have her fate read. Fortune teller reads that she will be alone for life with a futile career.
An Lei tells her friends, Tiffany (Xiao Xian) and Luo Jia Yi (Zhang Jia Hui) about her tragedy fate. Jia Yi suddenly remembers about a guy who matches with An Lei; An Lei’s ex-boyfriend whom she had an agreement with to get married to him if they are still both single once they are 35. (ITWY memories!) An Lei tells him that he is still single but those words cannot be trusted. Tiffany asks her if she knows what she wants.
An Lei contemplates Tiffany’s question. She wonders who kind of life she wants and what kind of herself will she accept. Is her only option to accept her fate?
Yi Kang has landed in Taipei. He makes a call but doesn’t get through. An Lei wakes from her sleep to accept a call except there is no one on the other end.
An Lei goes down to get breakfast to find her Xiao Yun and her fiancée, Zhou Da Kai (Lin Bo Hong) being especially warm towards her, having made her breakfast. Xiao Yun convinces her to allow Da Kai to live with them after she gets married.
An Lei leaves to head to work and downstairs sees a hobo-looking guy, who unbeknownst to her is Yi Kang. Having heard that there is a flasher lurking in the neighbourhood, she immediately slams the door on him. He tries to explain that he is Huang Yi Kang who once offered her his jacket when she was soaking wet. She has no memory of this and thinking that he is lies, she continues to hit, kick and scream that he is a pervert. Xiao Yun and Da Kai comes down and address him teacher-assistant, clarifying the situation. The hear a scream from a neighbour and finds that there really is a flasher in the neighbourhood which Yi Kang goes to take down.
Yi Kang shaves off his moustache, giving himself a more identifiable face. Xiao Yun and Da Kai offer him a place to stay.
An Lei’s colleagues, Zhi Wei (Chen Yu Jia) and Coco (Li Jia Yu) have a mini inside battle fighting to be accepted into An Lei’s department because they are all optimistic that An Lei will be promoted to general manager. Simon (Jolin, Jian Hong Lin), An Lei’s colleague settles the matter between the two.
An Lei meets the chairman who recalls that he personally recruited her into the company ten years ago because he knew that she is talented. He tells her the the company is going to undergo some major re-management and she has to help him. After the talk she is confident that she will get promoted.
An Lei gets a call from her ex-boyfriend, He Wei Ting (Zhuang Kai Xun/Cash Chuang) who tells her that he is returning to Taipei tomorrow and he is going to stay for good. He also has a very special surprise for her. Thinking back to her meeting with the fortune teller who further went on to tell her that this year a once-in-a lifetime love will come before her and if she can grasp onto it, her bad luck will be reversed, she wonders if her Mr. Right is him?
She recalls back to their high school days when he helped her to face her fear of heights. They got together afterwards. However, they had their first break-up when An Lei who was captain of the dance club and Wei Ting who was captain of the drama club had a dispute over which team should use the theatre. They got back together after a year, however their reunion didn’t last long. They broke up after she found out that he applied for the overseas community project without telling her. Destiny has it that they meet each other again which rekindles their relationship. They break up over collisions regarding their future. She sends him off to the airport and their they have their agreement to get married to each other if they are both single at 35 years old. After a long wait, her love life can finally bear fruit.
Yi Kang continues to make calls that does not go through. He leaves a voice-mail telling the phone owner, Helen that he will spend his day at the restaurant waiting for her.
An Lei informs her friends of her fruitful future who are really happy for her. So Wei Ting has never really left her heart. After their talk, they finally realise that they are here for Xiao Yun’s bachelorette’s party but Xiao Yun is not here yet. Xiao Yun arrives and spots Yi Kang so she invites him to join them. An Lei learns of how she and Yi Kang has previously met and it all stems back to a painting class that Xiao Yun had back in high school with Yi Kang as the teacher. Xiao Yun has to stay back after school to draw a picture of the Da Kai as the naked model. Afterwards he invites her out for a “date”. An Lei comes to pick her up and learns from Yi Kang that she is not there. She is soaking wet (no, she isn’t.) so he offers her his jacket.
It’s wedding day. After some difficulty, Xiao Yun and Da Kai manage to put a ring on it. Xiao Yun goes to throw the bouquet and urges An Lei to catch it. She refuses but after a push from her mother she stands a chance. However, the bouquet lands in Yi Kang’s hands. He insists on giving it to her and after some reluctance, she accepts it.
Xiao Yun and Da Kai gives An Lei a special gift. Oh, cheeky them! They have something up their sleeves. An Lei receives a call from Wei Ting.
Wei Ting shows An Lei his new apartment and tells her that he is ready for a “couple” lifestyle. He tells her that she will find out his surprise tomorrow.
Chairman Shen announces the person for the general manager position is Shen Hai Lun/Helen (Aggie Hsieh), his daughter.
Chairman Shen tells An Lei that the general manager position is supposed to be hers but due to his selfishness as a father, he gave that position to his daughter.
Helen offers to give her office to An Lei, the most competent person of the office but she declines.
An Lei goes to meet Wei Ting anxious for her surprise. Her heart sinks when he tells her that the person who has made him want to settle down is Helen.
I am loving what I am seeing! (: And hopefully it will stay this way! The leads are really lighting up their characters. I am really enjoying what I am seeing with An Lei and Yi Kang. They are two people who are just chasing after their happiness. They will have to go through a whirlwind of a ride before they reach their happiness. They have a strive in their life and every step that they take, they are hoping to reach closer to it. An Lei and Yi Kang are very well written and they are shining because Sonia and Tony who plays them respectively are giving them a life. Sonia and Tony are really captivating; they are really grasping onto my emotions and making me support them on their journey. It really makes me excited to see how this will work when they come together. The second leads aren’t exactly popping in their roles but I will give them time since they haven’t had much time to allow their characters to light like the leads do.
This drama is not just a drama, it is telling the story of An Lei and Yi Kang and their chase for happiness. TPOH is doing a really great job is setting up this story. An Lei and Yi Kang’s background was revealed in depth allowing us to really see where they are heading. I also really love their strong and solid personalities; they are given qualities that really help to shape them to the character that we see on screen. Their personalities adds on to their character’s background enhancing the reason for their pursue of happiness. They are two very different people with one common goal and this goal is is going to be what brings them together.
I cannot get over how much I am loving the creativity in this drama. Just brilliant. I especially love the yellow chicken that was following behind An Lei. That was a really nice touch to sum up her current life. I really like how there isn’t one specific answer as to what the chicken is supposed to represent, allowing viewers to view it however they like depending on how they see An Lei’s life to be. I just really enjoy it and it adds onto the story without having the need for dialogue.
This drama runs on the general plot line of two people with contradicting feelings growing to love each other but already from the first ep alone you can see that it is not merely just that. It holds onto a much deeper story that would really need character interaction for it to piece together.
I really enjoyed first ep so I hope it will only continue to grow better from there! Please do not disappoint like so many have done!