It’s been a long time since my last post but I am back and ready to watch some drams! Right after my exams, under recommendation, I decided to watch the highly popular drama Les Intèrpretes. It’s a drama that is based in the world of translation between the Chinese and French language, with the scenes set in China and Switzerland. The drama has a very nice, bubbly vibe to it and quite refreshing to watch, especially with this integration of inter-culture and the bridging together of two languages. As the title says, the drama is very much about interpreting and takes this on various levels.
This drama brings together Cheng Jia Yang, played by Huang Xuan, and Qiao Fei, played by Yang Mi, who both have a passion for interpreting and the Chinese and French language and bonded together because of this shared passion. Their relationship wasn’t exactly smooth sailing, with Gao Jia Ming (played by Gao Wei Guang), Jia Yang’s non-biological older brother, and Wen Xiao Hua (played by Zhou Qi Qi), Jia Yang’s old love, intervening in their relationship. Jia Yang and Qiao Fei’s first encounter was in Switzerland where Qiao Fei was an exchange student when she met Jia Yang, who was already an acclaimed Chinese-French interpreter. At that time, little did they know that the encounter would be the start of a whirlwind of a trajectory for their relationship because six years later they meet once again and thereafter their lives were changed for good.
Much to his displeasure, Jia Yang finds Qiao Fei as his student and has to assume the duty of training her to become the best Chinese-French interpreter that she can be. Initially, he was very cold towards her and used very strict methods to boost up her interpretation ability but the more time they spent together, the more that they warmed to each other and the more that they were able to bring out from each other. She helped to open up his world, allowing him to realise that his capable of loving someone and having that person love him back the same if not more. She allowed him to really grow as a person, to become a better and more independent man. She also allowed him to see that love is a very miraculous feeling that cannot be forced. However, they were met with numerous obstacles in their relationship. Jia Yang’s mum disliked Qiao Fei and was constantly meddling in his relationship with Qiao Fei in order to break them up. There was also the complicated issue of Jia Ming and Xiao Hua, who both had a very complicated relation with Jia Yang and Qiao Fei. Further to that, there was also the issue of a life-or-death situation that forced the OTP to break-up. However, despite all that went against the OTP, their love won and brought them together again.
Right from their very first encounter, Jia Yang and Qiao Fei were fated to be together. Their many run-ins together were not very pleasant ones but it was these spontaneous run-ins that made them closer together. It allowed them to see the real sides to each other and it allowed them to connect on a very personal basis and to fall in love with each other in a very clueless way. They were so adamant that they would not fall for each other but the heart wants what it wants and will get what it wants. Despite the numerous issues that they had to overcome in their relationship, I really liked that their socioeconomic status was not a personal issue for them. Qiao Fei never considered herself unworthy of Jia Yang just because she is of a lower socioeconomic status as him and never did Jia Yang consider Qiao Fei unworthy of him for this reason. I loved that both leads stood strong on this ground and that it was not this that played a determining factor in their relationship.
Jia Yang has been in love with Xiao Hua for the longest of time but she never had her eyes for him. Her eyes were only for Jia Ming, but Jia Ming never had any feelings for her because he was unable to get over his old love, Qiao Fei. Despite Jia Ming rejecting Xiao Hua numerous times, Xiao Hua was just not ready to let him go. However, this relationship quadrangle gets messier when Qiao Fei finds herself as a student under Jia Yang. Jia Yang and Qiao Fei fell for each other but this only further complicated the love quadrangle. Xiao Hua came to realise that Jia Ming is not the one for her and the one who has always been by her side is Jia Yang. She wants to give herself and Jia Yang a chance but at that point in time he had already moved on with Qiao Fei. Meanwhile, Jia Ming has been in love with Qiao Fei since her early uni days and is still not over her yet, constantly trying to pursue her despite her being together with Jia Yang. Messy. Although messy, the second leads did not actively try to break the OTP up, only intervening by letting their feelings known and allowing both Jia Yang and Qiao Fei to make a decision according to their own terms.
Qiao Fei is a very strong-willed person, whereas Jia Yang just wants to protect her to the best of his abilities. Qiao Fei is very determined and is a person who does not like burden those she loves. She loves Jia Yang but does not want to burden him any more than what she already has but for Jia Yang, he doesn’t see her as a burden. He just doesn’t to see her get hurt. She became his everything and likewise for Qiao Fei, he is her everything. She didn’t want to become his baggage, which is why she chose to hurt his feelings rather than to tell him of the truth. I guess in the end the decisions they thought were best ended up hurting each other more than what they would have liked.
Xiao Hua was so adamant that Jia Ming was the one for her. Despite his rejections, she was not willing to escape from her fantasy world. She constantly made up excuses for his lack of presence in her life. Jia Ming never loved her and was never there for. The one by her side was Jia Yang but she only saw him as a little brother. However, by the time she wanted to give him a chance, he had already moved on and it was all too late. Timing is everything but she missed out on her time with Jia Yang. She wanted to get back the time but she was unable to. I am glad that she didn’t try to break-up Qiao Fei and Jia Yang. She said a few words here and there but she didn’t enter the bitchy second-lead territory, for which I am very happy about.
I am not very fond of Jia Ming, in fact I have been very annoyed at the character of Jia Ming, right from the very beginning right until the very end. Jia Ming is not a very pleasant character. I’ve got two major issues with his character – the first not being Jia Ming as such but rather with Wei Guang. His expressions were all the same throughout the entire drama. It was this one stern, cold expression that at times made me scared of Jia Ming, afraid of what he would and could do. Furthermore, as a doctor, he surpassed his professional boundaries in numerous ways, mainly in that he went on to operate despite having an injured hand and taking stalker-ish advances towards Qiao Fei despite her saying no numerous times. And even before that, as a training psychologist, he went on to pursue Qiao Fei, thereby breaking the doctor-patient relationship with her.
I am so glad for Jia Yang’s best friend, Wang Xu Dong (played by Zhang Yun Long), and Qiao Fei’s best friend, Wu Jia Yi (played by Li Xi Rui) to break up the complicated love-square. They are such an interesting couple. I love how they both knew of their own feelings for each other but did not allow this to affect their friendship. Xu Dong made his feelings openly known to Jia Yi and despite her not ready to take them on board just yet, still remained by her side and helped her to stand up strong when she lost everything. Their personalities match really nicely with each other; she is very blunt and he doesn’t let her words get to her.
The first half of the drama was really nicely written and I thoroughly enjoyed the development. I really enjoyed the pacing and the revelation of each of the characters and their motivation. The development was very warm, particularly the development of Qiao Fei and Jia Yang’s relationship. However, the second half of the drama was where I felt the drama get messy in many ways. If the external interferences weren’t enough, Qiao Fei had her own idea with how she wanted to deal with her relationship with Jia Yang, which is fine by me but the pacing was ridiculously fast, leaving me with rarely enough time to even take in what just happened with their relationship. Not only that, but the last few eps were all about the leads putting their lives in danger from each other. The ending was a positive one but didn’t quite tie everything together and despite it being a positive one, it came at the expense of those who matter to Qiao Fei and Jia Yang.
The drama is quite an enjoyable one to watch but be prepared to expect that there will be some very annoying characters along the way and that there will also be some very idiotic decisions. While I enjoyed the drama, there were lots of area that I would have liked to see some improvements on and I would have liked more from the ending!
Click here to watch Les Intèrpretes.