I can safely say it loud and clear that this was narratively the best ep to date. Not everything has to centre on romance and this ep showed that In A Good Way is more than just your typical idol drama with romance being the entire focus. It is not even your ordinary uni fluffy romance drama. IAGW is about bonds, especially friendship bonds and there was lots of deep bonds this ep. This ep really drove home the different bonds between the characters and further showed different sides to our characters of focus. I loved that the romance was toned down here while still having that kick forward. Two little gestures were enough to bring that inflict those feelings between Jia En and Liu Chuan while never prying away from the justice that was central to this ep and that is just one of the many reasons why this drama continues to rock my boat. It just goes to show how well IAGW is doing to prove the fact that the bigger picture can move a romance more than what directly meddling with romance can do. I just love this drama so much! I love it for every reason and so so so much more. It just depicts life so seemingly realistic that it stands more as a secret documentary of the characters’ lives than a movie. I am all for realism, especially as it allows deep exploration of our characters. This exploration was also a growth that was very prominent here and there is going to be lots more to come!
I need to get my thoughts out about Ren Wei’s impending feelings about Jia En first before I go on with anything else because that has been my biggest worry ever since it became a possibility. I like the way IAGW is tackling his feelings, actually, I love it so much! It is done is such a subtle yet protruding way; protruding Ren Wei to see something else in his love life that was overshadowed by his pursuit for Bai Xue. It doesn’t deter him away from Bai Xue but it gets him to see that there are other girls out there beside Bai Xue. The drama keeps hinting at his feelings towards Jia En and hinting is what it is continuing to do. I don’t think that Ren Wei is going to act on this feeling unless he is sure of it. On one hand there is the Bai Xue that he is chasing after and on the other there is the lifelong friendship with Jia En. Again, it is a dilemma of risks. Can he take that risk and take that step forward? Will he regret it if he takes tat step? I know that the drama isn’t going to allow him to do anything irrational to ruin their friendship because that just wouldn’t be the Ren Wei we have come to live. Ren Wei might be known to make irrational decisions but he is not going to make any decisions without thinking about the consequences if it concerns the the lifelong friendship that he has with Jia En. Whether he knows it or not, Jia En’s friendship is of a huge importance to him.
Even with these hints dropping about Ren Wei’s changing feelings, it is still clear that his heart lies towards Bai Xue. I guess what these differences in feelings is going to be what allows him to really figure out if Bai Xue is the one for him. He is now in that stage of discovery and working his way through his heart. He has feelings for both Bai Xue and Jia En but it is a question of what extent are these feelings. That is something that Ren Wei will naturally come to figure out. I love that Ren Wei still has Bai Xue’s back and he will continue to stand by her side regardless of what happens. Just that little action of him stepping in to ease the awkwardness between her and Liu Chuan shows that has romantic feelings towards her whereas him wiping the rain off Jia En lingers more towards the friendship side of feelings. I know what I just mentioned is completely contradictory but what I am trying to get at is that Ren Wei is working through his feelings while it is more obvious to us what he feels.
One of my most favourite aspects from this ep was that different stances on the issue are presented. There is three distinct beliefs: Jia En and Liu Chuan’s and their gang who are in support of this fight for justice, Xiao Wei who is against this and Tracy who is neither supporting or against this. Despite where they stand regarding this issue, none of them are pushing each other to believe what they believe in. I really like this respect that the friends have between them as they understand each other’s position and aren’t forcing them to change sides. Jia En never uttered Xiao Wei’s involvement in this and Xiao Wei being the victim of Professor Change Fei’s doing has just fuelled her desire to fight for what she believes in, not for her benefit, but for the greater good. She respects that Xiao Wei doesn’t want to be involved in this and doesn’t try to get her to change position even knowing that if Xiao Wei changes sides it will really get things moving. This is why I love this friendship so much; it is just so pure with no motives involved whatsoever. This is they way all friendships are supposed to be!
I fully support Xiao Wei for her decision. She is in no wrong to choose to step back and hide. She has some heavy weights on her shoulders. One wrong move and she can lose everything that she has worked up towards. While the gang have a a family and financial support behind them, Xiao Wei doesn’t have that to fall back to. She doesn’t need any complications in her life right now but not everything goes the way that one’s wants and she finds herself in a mess. She chooses to hide hoping that this mess will flow away soon and even agrees to Professor’s request so that Jia En won’t have a demerit on her record. The decision Xiao Wei and Jia En made are both selfless ones but it was Jia En’s decision that caught the attention.
One thing that the drama continues to do well in ep after ep is that it doesn’t lack the details. These little details really help to enhance the relationships. I love it that Ri Qi asks for Xiao Wei and shows his concern towards her. It is something that is really shaping up their relationship to feel sincere and real. I have had my share of dramas where a couple just gets thrown together but this is not going to be the case here for any couple.
I am really adoring these bromances between the guys. It is so cute and adorable! It is also quite interesting to see how different yet similar the friendship between is between the Men of Steel compared to the Three Musketeers. Regardless of what happens, the guys from each group are going to support each other because they are bros. I love it how Jacky and Ah Di look up to Ren Wei as their role model and will be wherever he is. They were initially against the protest but went in it because Ren Wei was there. This is contrary to the Three Musketeers where the three guys stand on more of an even level with each other. I just love both of these friendships!
Now, how can I write up an IAGW post without talking specifically about Jia En and Liu Chuan? I can’t, that’s what. I love them to bits and pieces because they are so perfect together! I just love how the drama keeps their relationship moving without having to centre around it. They have a really good pacing and even with the limited romance this ep, their relationship continues to take big leaps. Liu Chuan and Jia En are both pursuing something they believe in and that brings them closer together. They have a nice understanding with each other and even with Jia En knowing that Liu Chuan has some possible feelings towards her, it doesn’t change their friendship. They are one of those rare couples who I can just watch all day and night doing their thing without even needing to make-out! One smile and it warms my heart because it is one that is filled with sincerity and genuine happiness.
Next week (or well, next next week since the ep that is supposed to be aired on the 31st of January will pushed back for Chinese New Year programs and a CNY special of IAGW airing instead) is setting up to be a big one! There will be some special cameo performances and with Xiao Wei who has decided to stand up for herself, it will definitely kick Professor’s ass. Go kick his ass guys!
Check out this cute teaser for the CNY dose of IAGW. It is going to be a special of these 11 eps.
[Credit: Pictures from https://www.facebook.com/setinagoodway]