Prince of Wolf 狼王子 - Episode 1 (A WTFcap)

JoAnne: It has been too long, folks. Wayyyy too long since we had a really enjoyable WTF drama. Taiwan has come through for us this time in a big way. The story is pretty straightforward so far and I imagine it will continue to be so, but the details are so nonsensical that its hilariously funny. *May it ever be thus.* And then, of course, Wolf Boy (Derek Zhang/Zhang Xuan Rui) is so indescribably adorable that I just can't pass him up. My heart is already squeeing for him and that idiot Mi Mi. I think I'm the only one watching, so I've brought in guests for this drama. Everyone, I'm sure Viki needs no introduction - welcome! Perhaps you'll see a comment here that you made, dear reader.
Obvious Viki: This drama is not very realistic.
kakashi, the universal screencapper: Hot damn! This episode is 1 hour and 14 minutes long?! Over one hour of batshit craaaaaazy inredibly bad television!!! 
Shuk: You've convinced me to give it a whirl. Even if just for all the fluffy puppies..

Episode 1

A cute little boy who looks about five is alone in the woods, calling for his family. This draws the attention of a pack of very dog-looking wolves who chase him, then circle menacingly when he falls. This is Du Ze Ming, and his family is looking for him frantically by wandering around their little camp site calling his name and asking each other 'have you found him?'
Sarcastic Viki: Do you SEE him?
It's clear that they are wealthy because no one is dressed for camping. Second uncle is immediately under suspicion: he has a hair cut that's much too young for him and he's got on dark shades in the forest on an overcast day. (dark shades = bad guy, everybody knows that) Grandpa is an Important Person, but not too full of himself - he has on a blazer but it's just linen, and his fedora is only made of straw. I recognize Mama - she was Tia Li's mom in the drama with Aaron that I would prefer never happened. To indicate her youth in this scene, she wears a very long, bad wig. Or maybe it's a long, very bad wig. Hard to choose. Papa is gone - we learn later that he passed away but not when or how.

Everyone moves to the loudly rushing waterfall and confirms that yes, no one has found Ze Ming, who again is clearly not present. Someone helpfully suggests that maybe he fell into the water and Mom panics because that never occurred to her before. Grandpa reassures Mom that little kids can't walk far, so he's probably right around there. I don't think that's reassuring, Grandpa. We receive even more proof that Uncle is suspicious, because it turns out that he lost the kid while looking for bugs. Why do you have to go look for them, Uncle? You're in the forest. You could sit in a chair and have a cup of coffee and let them fall on you.
LOL According to my subs, these were special "unicorn" beetles. Probably the ones Aaron Yan used in "Just You". He must have released them back to the wild after they finished their job of keeping his hair so upright and perky.
Turns out maybe the wolves weren't chasing Ze Ming? Near where he falls, there's an injured wolf tangled up in some netting. The little muffin reassures the lead wolf that he's going to help, then frees the poor thing from her trap, cleans, and then bandages her wound. There's also a bit of reassuring petting and snuggles. All wolf hearts in viewing distance melt, and Ze Ming is adopted by the leader and his rescued mate.
Party-pooper Viki: In real life, y'all know they'd have eaten that boy up.
Uhm, no, cause those are fucking DOGS
Despite bringing in rescue teams, after two weeks of effort Ze Ming remains lost. Grandpa vows to use family funds to continue the search when one of the public searchers is injured and they want to call things off, but things look grim: the team found Ze Ming's handkerchief with blood on it, the one that he used to bandage up Mom Wolf.
Funny Viki: They test his blood: He became a wolf!
Poor little Ze Ming is struggling on the mountain (is it snowing?! Styrofoam, that is). He misses his mother and grandfather and he doesn't like to eat raw fish. The poor wolves don't know what to do for him. Ze Ming and Dad Wolf sometimes hover near the clearing and watch other families sadly. He thinks his mom doesn't want him anymore and didn't look for him. There is an extended and painful sequence where the cute little boy sobs into the wolf's fur, but makes no other move.
Confused Viki: Why doesn't he just ask for help?
Honest Viki: This drama is a hard sell and the writer is no genius.
Fook, this stuff is bad. 
I'm just shaking my head. On the other hand, if I had a dog that fluffy, I'd use any excuse to run my fingers through that fur. At least, until it starts collecting on my furniture.
Years pass. Ze Ming has grown into a very attractive young man who is completely at home in nature. (he feeds the "wolves" apples?! Damn) Miraculously, his hair has retained its same general shape and length. We see him running across a field toward some fruit trees with Mom and Dad Wolf, seemingly quite happy with his life. Sometimes they frolic with forest creatures, sometimes they swim in a private lake; he makes cave paintings and swings from vines with ease.
Practical Viki: Okay where did he get his clothes from? (real answer: he steals them from campers)
Skeptical Viki: All this time and he hasn't just walked out of the forest?

I guess it's good he manufactured himself outdoorsy pants. Almost Paaaaaradise! 
In a dream sequence, we see what happened the day little Du Ze Ming disappeared. That rat bastard uncle DID ditch him. And poor little Ze Ming saw him running away and ran after him, crying. It does seem to have been a spur of the moment thing, but what kind of person treats a child well one minute and then the next thinks hey, I have a great idea...
Repeatable Viki: YOU YOU mother of pink!
Well, that made the villain pretty well transparent. No tension there!
Off the mountain, sisters Mi Mi and Zi Zi are visiting a photography exhibit with friends of Mi Mi. Zi Zi entertains them with the legend of Wolf Mountain, a local story about a wolf who became a man over the course of centuries spent mourning his lost love. Supposedly, somewhere at the top of Wolf Mountain is the most sacred place of the wolf clan - a hidden lake known as North Star's Tears. Mi Mi is an aspiring photographer and her boss encourages her to join a competition to photograph 'the secret place in one's heart.' Grand prize is a month assisting Mi Mi's favorite photographer, so of course she's going to enter. Ten guesses what she's going to try to photograph. The boss seems into Mi Mi and sort of looks like Jang Dong Gun but in a creepy way.
Experienced Watcher Viki: So this is who loses out to Wolf Boy.
Mi Mi, Zi Zi and Ti Ti go and meet Pee Pee.
That night, Mi Mi spins a cover story for Zi Zi - she's going on a business trip for a few days and she'll be busy and might not have cell service anyway, so tell Mom and Dad not to worry if she doesn't call. At daybreak, she takes off for Wolf Mountain. She interrupts a kissing couple to confirm her direction and heads up the trail. Not even a foot away, hidden only by a few leaves, Ze Ming and Dad Wolf are watching.
Dry Viki: Invisibility plotarmor although anyone would notice him.
Uh-oh, he was very much interested in the kissing couple ...
She wanders around taking photos as the whim strikes and has her meet-cute with Ze Ming when she discovers him bathing in a hidden pool. He is beyond adorable, obviously non-threatening, and completely nude - she covers her eyes but then he complains that he can't talk to her, so she asks him to turn around. He notices that she has a scratch and offers to blow on it, stepping in closer, then says 'Your hair smells nice. It has the scent of Mommy.'
Funny Viki: #JunglePickUpLines
Nice, incestuous thoughts! Always a winner!
[Humming Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie" while watching him in the pool.]
He wants her to play, but she leaves. Of course he follows her. I like that they don't ever waste any time making her pretend to be scared - just sort of weirded out by this guy who acts like a kid. He asks about her camera and she tells him she's here to shoot a legend, then asks if he lives nearby and knows about the lake called North Star's Tears, which is supposed to be sacred to the wolves. He becomes defensive, growls, and steps toward her - at which point she falls off a convenient cliff, naturally, and screams for help. Wolf Boy goes into Tarzan mode, swinging from vines and defying gravity to save her.
Teenage Viki: Almost like Edward from Twilight!
Goddamit this is bad
The wire-fu is the worst. And that isn't a 5-year olds vocabulary. And where's the speech aphasia and the fear of humans that he would have learned running with the wolves?
Romantic music is activated so we know one of them feels something, and then Mi Mi faints - much to Viki's puzzlement. Ze Ming thought he killed her and apologizes sincerely. When he learns that Mi Mi is hungry, they head off to find food. She's much slower than he is so he Tarzan's the piggy back and flings her over his shoulder.
Observant Viki:  Tarzan wears flip flops?
Slow Viki:  But where does he get his clothes?
Impatient Viki:  People leave stuff in the forest and he takes it!
Missing the Point Viki: But who would throw away perfectly good flip flops?
He makes a move to impress her by catching a rabbit. They stare into each others eyes wonderingly for a long moment, and then she notices that he scraped his elbow. He races around shouting that they caught the rabbit together, ignoring her demands for him to stop and let her attend to his scrape. Fed up, she shouts 'Stop!' and makes that arms crossed against the chest gesture. He stops dead, immediately quiet and attentive. When she applies a dressing to his elbow, he remembers his mother doing the same before he was lost. He's moved.
Excited Viki: Ohhhh shit, he imprinted!
When does he snap the rabbit's neck and start chowing down?
It starts to rain so he takes her home to the cave. Wolf Dad isn't around, so she just thinks it's an unusual way to refer to his father. We are treated to clothing shenanigans which end with her forcibly holding his pants on to his body and many awkward, silent moments of sneaking looks.
Frank Viki: I would love to hug his ass, too!
Medical Viki: Puberty hit late.
Getting a Clue Viki: OMG, does he have a BONER?
Wolves don't usually ask to have sex, she should be grateful he's not fully grown yet.
Mi Mi wanders around the cozy cave, which has way more amenities than your usual wolf den. I particularly like the little grouping of vases and growing plants. She smiles to see him fiddling with his radio and begins to take photos. When he notices he makes an official 'thumbs-up' pose. (how does he even know what she's doing, if he didn't know it was a camera?) She teaches him how to use the camera and when he sees a photo of her family, he admits to her that he doesn't know what his father looks like, and he can't find his mother. He tells her his name and confesses through tears that he misses his mother very much. Mi Mi is moved to comfort him as he begs for answers why they didn't come back for him.
Honest Viki: I'd be like 'I'm outta here. Bye-bye, Crackhead.
Heartless Viki: Is it legal for me to be laughing?
I'm actually crying.
Mi Mi begins to sing a pretty song to him, which I think I've heard before. (Not Feeling It Viki: Oh shit, now it's a musical?) Something about youth's scar still being painful when kissed. It works to calm him, and Ze Ming falls asleep, but not for long. There's a hunter in the woods and Dad Wolf is on the move. He attacks the hunters, who look more like wannabe thugs than anything else. Ze Ming races to Dad's aid. It's all very dramatic and at the last minute, Mi Mi saves the day. Did anyone else notice if Ze Ming's eyes were always blue, or do they turn blue when he's mad? I think Mi Mi realizes now that Wolf Dad isn't just a cute nickname. Also: his eyes were not blue before.
They were brown when they first met. Maybe the Blah-Blah Tears lake is also magical?
Jaded Viki: My cheeks hurt from laughing.
Geographically Challenged Viki: But he's not a gumiho so where'd he'd get these superpowers?
Plausibility Viki: I guess he found perfectly good blue contacts that someone threw away.
Mi Mi's ready to go home, but Ze Ming points out the danger of travelling at night. He reminds her that she wanted a picture of North Star's Tears, and says that if she'll stay he'll take her there. He reassures her that he won't hurt her, and she reluctantly agrees. Negotiations concluded, he makes a formal introduction of Wolf Dad and explains that this is who raised him, along with Wolf Mom. When she asks, he explains that Wolf Mom died of an illness long ago. She wants to know about his real parents, and he explains more fully that he was abandoned on the mountain years ago by his uncle.
Impatient Viki: Does she not remember when he was bawling and she had to sing him a song to quiet him?
I like those vases and the fake flowers and the light from behind the stone in that cave. Very well done, set designers
It doesn't make up for the Mad Libs dialogue, but there is a very nice backglow from all corners of the cave.
Mi Mi asks the questions we all want to know: how does he know how to talk? He points to the radio and admits that it runs out of electricity, but he can always get that from people who come up the mountain. Doesn't he want to go home? Ze Ming remembers all the times he waited at the campsite as a tiny boy, wondering why his mother wasn't coming back for him, and all the families he watched sadly over the years. He shows her a cave drawing of himself and Wolf Parents, and insists bravely that this is his family. He has already forgotten about 'Mommy' and thinks she probably forgot about him, too. He shows her another area, where he's made a mark for each day. There are a lot.
Overcome with compassion, Mi Mi asks him to return down the mountain with her tomorrow and promises to help find his family. He declines, saying that Wolf Dad is getting older and needs him. He points out that wolves are kinder than people, and that humans are mean and want to bully animals. When Mi Mi asks if that's how he feels about her he admits that she is his first human friend and asks if he, too, is hers. Mi Mi hesitates and he turns away sadly, but she admits that it's because of his wolf-like behavior: it frightens her. (Teenage Viki: It's called Naruto transformation, bitch.) He promises not to frighten her in the future and worries when she sneezes. She teases him. My guess is you're already in, Ze Ming. Later that night when Mi Mi is running a fever, Dad Wolf brings little Ze Ming's blankie to cover her up.
Excited Viki: OMG Dad Wolf ships them!
Can't Let Go of It Viki: It's sooo funny how this wolf is really a dog!
Why is she running a fever though. It looks goddamn hot. 

Ze Ming watches over her tenderly, checking her temperature and using his body to keep her warm. Honestly, he is too cute for words. I ship them so hard it already hurts.
Clueless Viki: It ain't even that cold.
No, everyone is clearly sweating. 
With all practicality, the wolfdogs would have spooned little Ze Ming for warmth, so that's the way he should have treated her. Not facing each other. But, hey, it's a little thing compare to, yunno, everything else.
When morning comes she's still very feverish and Ze Ming runs out to find medicinal herbs for her. (he is risking his life for this. How very touching) (Um, where did he learn his medicinal lore from?)As he hand feeds her tenderly, her feverish thoughts are revealed (lust, this is lust). 'Perhaps Ze Ming is the wolf man from the legend, but he has a side to him that's even gentler and kinder than humans. Ze Ming, I'm willing to be your friend.' Ze Ming is having his own feverish thoughts as he flashes back to the day before, and the kissing couple they'd observed. He leans in for a tender kiss and gets slapped.
Virgin Viki: Whoa, whoa, whoa!  Hold up, my friend!
Honest Viki: Come on girl, you went in for it too, we ALL saw you.
I'm with Honest Viki on that one. Her eyes closed and everything.


Oh, this is not good. It's not good at all. But Derek Zhang is an absolute doll and I love the Wolf Boy and ship him with Mi Mi, even if I know she's going to irritate me. The plot is predictable, the scenery is glorious, the CGI is cringe-worthy, and the Viki comments - my goodness, do they ever make the drama better.
I always found them intrusive in the past so I never let them show but I think when it's a drama like this they are now a must for me. It works out, because I don't think anyone else here is watching - and what's a squeecap without a peanut gallery? Crowd-sourcing! How trendy are we? (Ohh, I could do that for Woozy, too, if I continue. Hmmm.) Anyway, I hope you like it.
JoAnne, this is beyond bad. I salute you, brave soul. 
I'm just tagging along for the fun.