JoAnne: This is rapidly becoming the OTP of my nightmares, and when you consider how much I like Aaron, realize how deeply distasteful I find Tao Zi's general attitude of despair, depression, and angst.
|We all needed to drink for this one.|
Shuk: We are back riverside with Lu Tian Xing and Tao Le Si. He’s trying his best to convince her to let go of Xiao Lu, but she only digs in harder, until she gets up and leaves.
JoAnne: I'm not going to say it again. Tell her the effing truth.
JoAnne: If you're not going to tell her the truth, then let her mopey ass whine for a few weeks and just be around because of work and be nice. Eventually her ridiculous behavior will either return to what passes for normal or you'll have to have her committed. Either way, we're done with that shit.
Shuk: Toady receives the phone call from Tian Xing and hangs up with a smile. Princess MotorMouth and Toady Jr are in the office, and Toady tells them their boss is planning a dinner for both the command staff of Tian Xi and the folks from OZ Advertising. Toady Jr is prepared to apologize to Chalk Girl. I like MM’s shoes, even if I can’t wear them myself. Toady encourages his sister to talk to Xian Ting at the dinner. Um, she’s not staff, and she makes an odd number of people at dinner. Eh, whatever.
JoAnne: Well, I don't know that it matters about an odd number at dinner unless they plan to go dancing after, but yeah, why does she go?
Shuk: Chalk Girl is up early and makes breakfast, and her cheerful attitude is a relief to TaoMom and Kitty. Chalk Girl tells her roommate she’s going to stay positive in case Dork shows up.
Shuk: Breakfast time at OZ! Except AdGuy shows up with food, coffee, and the dinner invite. PD Leo bristles that Tian Xi Advertising is softening them for a takeover, but AdGuy assures them he is only looking for a partnership.
JoAnne: Bowtie. New favorite thing. Good hair. Blue suit, white shirt. Or is it grey? No matter. All very yes. So much yes. Highly yes.
Shuk: PD Leo pulls AdGuy outside for a little lacking man-to-hottie man action. The rest press their ears against the door, until PD Leo does the pull and fall routine. By then, AdGuy is sitting down, perfectly at ease. PD Leo prefers to stand.
JoAnne: He uses gravity to prevent his balls from completely retreating.
Shuk: (notsovery) Hyung gets right to the point: why is AdGuy hovering around OZ and Tao Zi? No prevarication for anyone BUT the one he loves. He likes Tao Zi, and believes that, with Xiao Lu out of the way, it’s the perfect time to get her to like him. He promises PD Leo that he won’t hurt her, and fires off a salvo of his own. If Leo likes her so much, why hasn’t he thrown his hat into the ring? AdGuy continues, ticking off points. She likes Xiao Lu and neither of them, that gives each entity a 33 1/3 % chance at her affections – isn't that a fair competition? PDLeo wonders if it fair. Come on, Lacking, tell us if you really know AdGuy and Dork are both Tian Xing, huh? We are tired of the wishy-washy subtlety.
JoAnne: Also, this is a complete statistics (and logic) fail, but whatever.
Shuk: Dinner time! And the dichotomy couldn't be more clear: Tian Xi Advertising, all dressed in neutral business attire, and OZ Advertising, wearing jeans and looking like they just came back from a vacation in the sticks. Bangs immediately starts in on Helen, who is understandably creeped out. Toady Jr completes his formal apology to Chalk Girl, who graciously accepts and tells him that he has a lot bottled inside.
JoAnne: He'll be the first to break, because you know how this goes: haughty big firm employees are completely won over by the charm and enthusiasm of the upstart youngsters. Complete with pairings.
Shuk: Once they enter the dining room, AdGuy immediately grabs Tao Zi’s hand and drags her to the table next to him. He’s about as subtle as those big-a$$ cravat bow things. The rest trickle over; MotorMouth asks to sit next to PD Leo, and of course Creepy McBangs wants to sit next to Helen.
JoAnne: And I'm getting freaking tired of THIS, too. He's too smart and too cool and too polished for this kind of uncontrolled behavior. I don't buy the excuse that he's so desperately in love he can't help himself. It's bad writing. And where the heck is Fu? We are rapidly approaching the point where the only thing I like in this drama is Aaron's face and unless they start including his abs with that view it's not going to be enough to keep me from getting nasty.
Shuk: The table is set with nine place settings, so it’s surprising that Lance’s first thought was where their script manager was located. He looks surprised to find out that Xiao Lu suddenly resigned from the company. Nevertheless, they lead with a toast for a sincere partnership.
JoAnne: When Lance and Leo finally share suspicions I'm going to love it. Especially if they do it between kisses.
Shuk: ADGuy explains: Oz is more creative, but Tian Xi has the greater resources to bring that creativity to fruition.
JoAnne: Argument for you. Which breeds more creativity? Lack of resources, along the lines of necessity is the mother of invention? Or sufficient resources, which might tend to make one lazy?
(gross.) Creepy McBangs goes on and on about the origins of the name “Helen”. And AdGuy is all about serving food to Chalk Girl while MotorMouth and PD Leo watch. All in all, a pretty uncomfortable dinner, in my book. The only thing that seems to get accomplished is an agreement by Chalk Girl to send over a list of their expectations for the collaboration.:
JoAnne: Aaron is the most handsome terrible host I have ever seen. But I still call foul on this behavior. If he's been that singleminded as a person all along, I dunno. It didn't look that way.
Shuk: Once dinner is over, ADGuy all but kidnaps Chalk Girl; Toady and MotorMouth leave together; and Creepy McBangs chases Helen to the taxicab stand. Toady Jr sticks around for a moment, remembering what Chalk Girl said about his bottled-up feelings. It turns out he graduated from the same university under the same degree program as DeadBro and PD Leo, and had wanted to become a producer, too.
JoAnne: Oh, I see what's coming.
Shuk: MM is sighing as the two siblings drive home, and we find out she’s been staking out LuHouse and knows Tian Xing hasn't been home for days. Lance doesn't really comment. Lance, you know your sister has a one-way ticket to Stalkerville, and she’s upgrading to First Class??
Shuk: In the LuLexus, Adguy tells Chalk Girl that he’s taking her somewhere where she can rest easy. She is all snarky about it, until he pulls up in front of TaoHouse. What was she thinking, I want to know?
JoAnne: And since he SAID he was taking her home before they got in the car, what's with the big mysterious mystery anyfreakingway?
Shuk: He tries to walk her to the house, but she puts the kibosh on it. He tells her, since he honestly likes her, that it’s better to face the parents now and hope the swords don’t come out. She rolls her eyes and heads in, barely acknowledging his wave. Frustrated, he turns back to his car, and sees TaoMom, who witnessed the whole thing. He gives her a half-hearted smile overtop of his “oh crap” look.
JoAnne: Mom knows the deal, and I bet she knows about the fake too.
Shuk: No false pride in front of the elder; he tells her that he really likes her daughter, and has been trying to show it for a while now. Mom asks him what the attraction is, and he tells all. It boils down to that Tao Zi is a caring and lovely individual that should be taken care of, instead of the other way around. Mom is obviously touched that he knows her daughter so well, but begs him to give up and go away anyway. The entire Tao family likes Xiao Lu, whose personality is so different from his, despite the similarity in features. Like mother like daughter, she defends Dork, but relents enough to tell him this. If he is sincere in his intentions towards Tao Zi, he must use his heart. She leaves, and he finally drinks his own libation.
JoAnne: So she doesn't know. That's too bad...it would have helped him in the long run. And seriously, can we keep the Hot Chemistry Professor look for Aaron because I'm DYING here.
Shuk: At TaoHouse, ChalkGirl is looking at the Polaroid from her birthday. Oh no, is another weepy text message in the making? Thankfully, TaoMom knocks. They sit down together, and she asks her daughter if she likes Lu Tian Xing. Chalky calls him a friend, but Mom reminds her that Kitty has been gossiping about everything CEO Lu has been doing for her. Mom will support whoever makes her baby girl happiest.
JoAnne: Yes let's make a list of who has done what to make you happy or sad, Stalky Chalky.
Shuk: Chalk Girl ends up on the porch looking at the stars, and decides to send another text to Dork, saying she misses him. God, how much longer do we have to endure this?? Tian Xing must be thinking the same thing as he makes a decision to put DorkPhone in a drawer and not to look at it anymore. Oh look! She decides not to send the message. She still tears up though. Ugh.
JoAnne: Personal growth is hard, yo.
Shuk: The next morning, AdGuy shows up at OZ with coffee. Bangs is giggling over his phone. Chalk Girl wonders if Toady would be upset if AdGuy hangs out there during his vacay. He decides to go around the desk and look over her shoulder at the OZ/Tian Xi proposal; well, and to invade her personal space and breathe her air…
JoAnne: It's purely annoying is what it is. Can't these people act like GROWN UPS?
Shuk: Chalk Girl finishes up the proposal by herself on the outdoor porch, but she envisions Dork sitting across from her. She smiles and tells him she misses him, then he fades out to AdGuy, who appears to be real, at least real enough to eat her green onions out of her bento lunch.
Shuk: AdGuy receives a phone call from Lance, and meets him at a nearby coffee shop. It’s all about MotorMouth. Apparently, when she’s not staking out LuHouse, she is hanging out at Tian Xi Advertising. Toady guilts AdGuy into family dinner, then manages to get AdGuy to admit he likes Chalk Girl, although he also admits he likes OZ equally.
JoAnne: Their families are really connected, which leads more credence to Huan Huan's past expectations.
JoAnne: I'm shocked, since all the players here have been models of patience and professionalism so far.
|Uh oh, I think JoAnne's meter just spiked.|
JoAnne: Oh Lance, now those brain cells are in use!
JoAnne: If someone doesn't shove a Valium down this girls throat in about 30 seconds I'm going to start killing things. Okay maybe it's me that needs the Valium.
JoAnne: But even the writers can only stomach so much bullshit.
Shuk: The press release makes the front page of the business section, and Lance brings in Ting Wei to complement him on a job well done. Toady Jr takes the opportunity to make his request; after being Lance’s assistant for three years, he would like to get into the producing side of things. Lance is remarkably okay with this, making Toady Jr the liaison between OZ and Tian Xi projects. He breaks out into a smile.
JoAnne: I actually think Lance is probably not a bad person, just a bit cutthroat at work.
Shuk: Chalk Girl is headed home and bumps into MotorMouth. Well, not bumps exactly, as the princess was waiting for her at the park. She asks her again not to see Tian Xing, and also to allow her to hang at OZ so she can wait for Tian Xing to show up. Really, Show?
JoAnne: Premise of Show amended to: How Pitiful Can Women Be?
Shuk: The gang is talking about the newspaper article at OZ, and PD Leo believes it’s to all but force them to collaborate. Our little green princess had previously asked to be in an OZ commercial; and now PD Leo embraces the idea as a way to keep Tian Xing and Tao Zi separated.
JoAnne: Sure because MORE collaboration is bound to give them fewer opportunities to interact. It's not just balls you're lacking, Leo.
Shuk: Chalk Girl decides to beard the lion in his den, and heads for DorkPlace. PD Leo and Princess have some ice coffees and talk. She now wants PD Leo to tell Chalk Girl not to like AdGuy. Geez, you have a one-track mind, little girl. PD Leo tries a different path: loving someone is putting their happiness before yours. Princess is too celadon to ever notice any other colors; all she knows is no girl can be next to Tian Xing except her.
JoAnne: Haven't events already sort of proved that your theory isn't correct, silly girl?
Shuk: Chalk Girl reaches the DorkHouse and knocks on the door. Tian Xing is on the other side but doesn’t say or do anything. Tao Zi asks Dork to open the door so they can talk . When there’s no movement, she sits down and leans against it. He’s on the other side, all but chewing his knuckles to not make a sound, only the thickness of the door between them.
JoAnne: So...does he stay there in Xiao Lu Land to feel closer to her, some how? That's just weird. If Xiao Lu is gone and never coming back, as he says, then his apt. should be gone, too.
Shuk: At OZ, Toady Jr is wheezing and Kitty decides to take Mutt for a walk to to save him from his allergies. PD Leo shows up and Toady introduces himself as the new contact between OZ and Tian Xi Advertising. Creepy McBangs is upset that Helen isn’t responding to his barrage of texts, and I think it’s time to call a Domestic Violence detective on him to file an Emergency Protection Order.
JoAnne: I sincerely hope she doesn't end up falling for him. I would shut him down so fast he'd think he was starring in Spiderman: Turn off the Dark
Shuk: PD Leo goes off with the TX contingent for a tour when MopeyChalk trudges in. Tian Xing (AdGuy sans ties) shows up and wrist-grabs Chalk Girl to pull her outside. Princess takes this as a sign to leave the office. It turns out he’s mad because he didn't know the little brat was there.
JoAnne: Are we all surprised he even NOTICED she was there, based on previous behavior?
Shuk: I thought his look of exasperation for similar for both girls.
Shuk: Tao Zi tells him its cruel to treat Huan Huan, who really likes him, and ignore her feelings. He counters that she is doing the same thing with his feelings. He likes Chalk Girl not Princess. He apologizes for causing her hysteria the night before, and asks if he can hang with her today. She flatly says no.
JoAnne: HAS NO ONE EVER HEARD OF GIVING THINGS A REST? Is the world ENDING tomorrow and I just missed the message? Jeez.
Shuk: I think he’s reaching the end of his rope. He tells her he hopes she gets over her sadness and when she glances at a waffle vendor with a sad look, pushes to the front of the line to fetch her some bean paste waffles. He runs to catch up with her to give her the treat, and she envisions Dork handing her the waffle. Tian Xi breaks the spell by taking a bite, and she starts crying all over again and bolts.
JoAnne: We can't play a drinking game for this. We'll die.
Shuk: It’s now dark and she is still freakin’ crying. Tian Xing is a few steps behind when it starts raining. He covers her with a jacket and tries to pull her to shelter. He finally snaps, yelling that he will leave her alone to cry and sob and pine for someone who will never return. She runs through traffic to get away from him, and by the time it clears, she’s collapsed on the ground, unconscious.
JoAnne: He finally realizes she's a weak-minded, boring, untalented, useless idiot and walks off into the night, looking hot as hell even soaking wet.
|Will you be the next girl to tickle his bow tie?|
Shuk: Chalk Girl is plucking my last nerve. Enough with the poor-me, life sucks routine. I’m done. Tian Xing needs to cut you loose, and find someone else who will appreciate him, even if he can only give them ten percent of what he’s given you.
JoAnne: Now THAT I will drink to. She was cute and plucky and I liked her and now she's Dead Bunny levels of obsession. It's not cute. It's not charming. It doesn't pluck at my heartstrings. It makes me pissed off that she's so weak and ridiculous over someone she never even dated, a stranger who disappeared as quickly as he'd first arrived.
Shuk: The writers need to stop this and get the Big Reveal going. Episodes of his frustration and her sobfest does nothing to further the plot, and there’s isn't a single sidestory that is interesting enough to keep my interest. Princess needs a Moonstruck-eque face slap to snap out of it. The little brat is perfectly aware that Tian Xing could care less for her as woman, but that doesn't stop her juvenile behavior. And Bangs needs a kick in the balls to stop his stalking routine. The rest? Meh.
JoAnne: With you. MUCH prefer the western way of doing this: you have the 'break up'. You have some scenes of sad moping. A FEW. Not dozens. Either within those scenes or in the setting of the next chapter of the story, you are led to understand that time has passed. Time in which there was pain and sadness we were fortunately not made to sit through for any longer than necessary to let us know that it existed, and that feelings are now not quite as raw. That works for me. It would probably work for dramas, too.