Daily Archives: September 23, 2010

Queen Not Getting Off Work (4 Gifts) Episode 1 Recap

Honestly, I find this drama a typical run on the mill. It hasn’t given me any full blast impression… just yet. But still, I’m willing to give it another try.  Like I’ve said, drama appreciation has always been subjective. 🙂 Besides, I’m loving JiaLiang and RuoTian.:)

I won’t introduce the characters anymore. Please refer to my previous post if you want.

Episode 1 Recap

2010-Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

The show starts with a random man (Alex) talking about Ren Shao’s “awesome profile” in front of art enthusiasts, which are mostly ladies BTW. This time, we’ll get to learn that Ren Shao is a certified artist extraordinaire, and is even dubbed as the Asian Andy Warhol (a famous visual artist). Among the group is RuoTian, wearing an impossibly high-heeled pair of shoes! She overhears the women’s hopeful expectations, but RuoTian knows better. RenShao will never show up, and so, she leaves, fully aware of where he might be.

It turns out our genius designer is busy playing “congkak” (a popular traditional Malaysian board game) in a secluded alley somewhere in Malaysia. Just when he was about to win, RuoTian suddenly appears and knocks the board off. This girl sure knows how to make an entrance!

She mocks his “bratty” attitude of not attending his own conference and he automatically replies with a cold “Who the heck are you?” She hands in her calling card, and introduces herself as Vivian (RuoWei’s English name). Straight way, she relays about the bet she made with her sisters: convince him to attend the College Reunion. He throws a rather sarcastic smile at her arrogance. He couldn’t care less. He already rejected that invitation and why on earth would he change his mind for a gossip girl like her. But RuoTian isn’t just your typical gossip girl.

And to RenShao’s surprise, RuoTian reveals the presence of the very person he is desperately wanting to meet. Indeed, he went to Malaysia just to get the cooperation of the famous Batik Master. But up until now, all his efforts proved futile. He must admit, this girl named Vivian works wonders. RuoTian walks off, leaving the flabbergasted RenShao behind. In bewilderment, he asks how she knew. And she turns around, saying: “That’s why you shouldn’t look down on gossips of women”. Eat that RenShao!

Ruo Yi’s narration: “This is my second elder sister Zhang Ruo Wei. She’s the Beauty Queen. There isn’t anything a Queen can’t do”.

2010- Taipei. Night time.

Police operatives, headed by Tong JiaLiang, are quite busy for a drug raid. However, per instruction says, they couldn’t just proceed until the Public Prosecutor comes. Of course, JiaLiang is not so happy about it and grumbles on the thought. And alas Prosecutor Chief RuoTian arrives, wearing another impossibly high-heeled pair of shoes!

Ruo Yi’s narration: “This is my eldest sister, Zhang RuoTian, a Public Prosecutor. To many women this is such a heroic title. RuoTian’s three favorite words are: To fight Forward!”

Jia Liang is a tad dumbfounded seeing the shoes, but mostly on the fact that the Prosecutor is a woman. When she moves toward the scene, he tries to stop her, implying that it’s not safe for a woman to join them on the frontline. But she won’t be deterred and used her position as an excuse to tag along. In the end, JiaLiang could only look at her with obvious disapproval.

And the team sneakily went inside the compound, successfully striking discord and panic on the party people. Unfortunately, Wu TianLiang (the suspect), was able to hide behind the bushes. He was about to escape when he accidentally bumps into RuoTian. And just like any other trapped suspect, he instinctively holds RuoTian hostage. But then again, Lady Prosecutor isn’t a bit scared and threatens to prolong his jail-time instead.

Looking for some escape route, TianLiang walks farther backwards. He miscalculated and falls straight to the pool along with RuoTian. JiaLiang jumps at the opportunity, gives TianLiang a punch and rescues RuoTian. He pulls her to safety, holding her rather too close for comfort. But instead of being grateful, she rudely remarks at his “antics”. Just imagine TianLiang’s shock. And this is what he gets for his gallantry?! Goofy friend (don’t know his name) laughs silently and he too gets some scolding. When he surveys the area, he sees a woman running away. He seems to know the girl, and calls her “Shu Er”. He rushes to get to her, accidentally or rather purposefully shoving RuoTian back to the pool. And RuoTian angrily shrieks that she’ll sue him for attempted murder! Haha!

JiaLiang didn’t mind her though as he is busy looking for the girl, but then failed to find her. And so RuoTian directs her temper towards the suspect, who refuses to surrender willingly. She snaps and orders the police men to shoot at him without hesitation. Of course, the suspect had no choice and gave in.

Ruo Yi’s narration: “If RuoTian was born in the past, she would definitely be a King’s specially appointed General. Her beauty has made many men only watch from afar”.

Then, we find the third sister, RuoYi, arranging some things for the upcoming reunion. Her friend (don’t know the name again!) is quite amazed that her batch (which includes RenShao, RuoTian, RuoWei) is made up of “Celebrities”. He even praised her for convincing the world-famous Ren Shao to join. However, she honestly conveys that she couldn’t have made it, if not for RuoWei.

Meanwhile at work, RuoWei calls her staff for a meeting. There, she voices out her dissatisfaction in the 4.5% drop of last month’s sales. They talk about it and are resolved that it’s because they haven’t followed the trend of writing articles about men. Editor-in-Chief butts in; asking where are the men then? They couldn’t possibly have any difficulties in finding them since, they’re just around. RuoWei reasons that it’s not about finding men, it’s about finding “good” men. And the idea to write about the 10 places where good men hide pops in RuoWei’s mind. And hurray, an article for next month!

The staff (made up of 3 associate editors) mulls on some possible answers/places. Staff A (the chubby one) suddenly blurts out that they could interview the talented young designer Ren Shao. Of course, they know that meeting him is next to impossible. Except RuoTian, of course. And just as she says, the “good man” is already waiting for them at the conference room.

She thanks him for accepting the invitation,but he arrogantly clarifies that he’s just sticking to his promise. His coldness doesn’t affect her though, and asks Richard to give their guest some Sparkling Water (Me thinks, it’s a sort of soft-drink). And then Evil Girl (Shu Er) interrupts and demands that they give her ice water, adding that only their type of people drink Sparkling Water. Still calm, RuoWie casually tells Richard to give her cooled boiled water instead. Shu Er protests, saying that she wants ice water not cooled boiled water. RuoWei doesn’t give a damn and spits that they only have boiled water, so she better settle for that. And her unrestrained demeanor earns an admiring look from RenShao.

While RuoYi continues to busy with the preparations, she receives a call that Dad is missing and leaves in an instant.

Just to avoid any more mishaps, JiaLiang reports RuoTian’s foolish deeds to the Attorney General. And thus, the feisty Lady Prosecutor received chastisement. She eyes JiaLiang with contempt, and the latter could only look away. The General angrily instructs that the next time she comes for an operation, she better stay on the command center. She argues that since everybody already went in, where then is the Command Center? JiaLiang butts in and seriously answers: “The Command Center is right next to me”. They stare at each other, both unrelenting to be defeated. Thankfully, her phone rings. JiaLiang tells her to answer her phone first, but just to spite him, she cancels the call right before his eyes. She strides out and JiaLiang could only smile apologetically at the General.

RuoWei shows RenShao the program and sched for the reunion, but he isn’t interested with the details at all. Instead, he asks how she knew that he was in that alley. She willingly answers that it’s all a matter of logic and listening to gossips. She knows for a fact that he doesn’t like crowded places, and thus, isolated alleys suit his preference. Besides, she  heard about his issue on the Old Master. RenShao couldn’t help but admire her obvious luck. She then receives a call from RuoYi, but dismissed it immediately and proceeds to the “interview”. Realizing what she’s aiming at, RenShao laughs. It seems that her research is incomplete, or else she would have known that he doesn’t agree to any media interviews. A new challenge for the Queen, eh?

Waiting at RuoTian’s desk is her long-time boyfriend (Lin Sheng Jie). He is obviously enjoying the feel of being inside a prosecutor’s office (he’s a Law Grad but can’t pass the exam), and instantly stands when RuoTian comes in. She worriedly looks for her scarf (the one her mom gave her). And when JiaLiang suddenly joins them and returns her scarf, she’s appalled. RuoTian’s phone rings again, and this time she picks up. It’s from RuoYi, informing her that Dad is M.I.A. Overhearing her distress, JiaLiang offers some help and calls a friend, but RuoTian arrogantly declines.

ShengJie and RuoTian rushes to help RuoYi. Somehow RuoTian feels that RuoYi is upset, even though the latter won’t show it. She feels she’s not a good daughter because she’s not like RuoYi who stays beside their dad’s side. ShengJie tells her that she’s just thinking about it too much and asks why she’s angry at the Police Officer (JiaLiang). And she complains that the man is just a total jerk. He wants to control her every move, every freakin’ time. He’s just like all other Officers who discriminates because of gender. And thus, she ends up criticizing the flaws in the judicial system. Feeling insecure, ShengJie jokes that he doesn’t have the slightest idea coz can’t even pass the exam. Self-pity much!

RuoWei, RenShao and Evil Girl Shu Er takes a car ride to the venue. RuoWei and RenShao shares about their opinion on music and love, and it’s revealed that both doesn’t believe in true love. RuoWei then remembers to call RuoYi. But then, she’s not at all concerned about their family situation, and leaves RuoYi to handle the problem.

Ruo Yi is getting pissed that her sisters doesn’t care a bit about their father. In exasperation, she lets out a scream. Josh (owner of the flower-shop) hears her outburst and asks that if she’s there for the camellia, then she better wait for tomorrows delivery. And then a sudden memory comes to her mind. She thanks Josh for reminding her and leaves in a hurry.

And she guessed it right. Dad is in the flower field, looking at where the camellias used to grow. Dad is getting paranoid when he didn’t see the camellias and so RuoYi tells him that she already bought the flowers and promises to take him to mom’s grave. This eases Dad’s worries and he agrees to go home, but then he nearly stumbles and RuoYi notices that he is running a fever. At the hospital, the doctor informs RuoTian, RuoYi and ShengJie that Dad may be suffering from Alzheimer’s, but then, the diagnosis needs reconfirmation and they need not worry too much.

Upon hearing Dad’s condition, RuoWei remains indifferent and is more worried about her make-up. Her attitude made RuoTian angry and they fought.

RuoYi’s narration: RuoTian and RuoWei always argue when they see each other. But this is the first time they actually went overboard. Maybe they are just refusing to accept that Dad is sick or just hiding their anxiety in their arguments.

Reunion time. RuoWei delivers her speech. RuoTian isn’t a bit pleased, she even recites RuoWei’s overused lines, mocks at her pretenses and makes a scene. Just to divert the attention, RuoWei introduces her sisters. She gives more credit to RuoYi, who is clearly unaccustomed to attention .  RuoWei then calls RenShao.

And RenShao shocks everybody with his speech. He calls Evil Girl, and she automatically flaunts her bare chest. RenShao explains that the self is the real beauty.Clothes, shoes, accessories just helps, but to understand beauty we must fully understand one’s self first. If not, then we are just conforming to the trend. This earns an applause from RuoWei and the others follow. Everybody finds his speech rather enlightening except RuoTian who muses out loud that all she’s witnessing is a Moral Crime. Haha!

And the classmates reminisce the good times. Everybody admires RuoTian’s accomplishment, but then it’s a given coz she bested everyone at school. However, when the classmates asks about ShengJie’s work, he gets insecure. RuoTian saves his face and answers that he has a Doctorate in Law. Just in time, ShuEr passes by and flashes ShengJie a provocative smile. The two-timer automatically succumb to her charm and followed her outside.

As for RenShao, he’s hiding inside a private room just to avoid some groupies. RuoWei helps him dispose the eager fans. Though grateful, RenShao snootily adds that it’s her job in the first place, since she forced him to attend. RuoWei  teaches him the way out. But before he leaves, he can’t help but ask her how much she betted just to take him there.  She signals “1”, which stands for one dollar. And so he smirks. All of that trouble for just a dollar? Obviously this girl is crazy.

Outside, RuoYi stumbles upon RenShao. I meant that in a literal way. This is the moment she fell in love with him.In her mind: “I don’t understand, maybe because of his  cologne, but my heart seems to beat faster”. She was lost in a daze, and so RenShao wakes her up.

RenShao helps her gather her things, and then recognizes her as Vivian’s sister.  By accident, they see ShengJie and ShuEr making out. RuoTian and RuoWei happens to be in the area. RuoYi prevents the awkward encounter and buys some time.

But then, RuoTian isn’t an outstanding prosecutor for nothing. She knows something is wrong and eyes the two-timer and his “mistress”. ShengJie gives an obvious lie. No doubt, he can’t pass the Board Exam! ShuEr dares RuoTian to arrest her then. RuoTian nearly lost her cool but RuoWei reasons that ShuEr is just a child and it’s a waste of time to deal with her. RenShao watches the drama and drags ShuEr away.ShengJie then tries to persuade RuoTia, and as the couple walks off, RuoYi thinks to her self: “Looking at ShengJie and RuoTian, I remember Dad. I wonder are there really princes and princesses in this world who will live happily ever after.”

The girls visit Dad at the hospital. RuoTian worriedly asks if Dad is okay. To her dismay he can’t remember her, but can recognize RuoWei. Hurt and feeling betrayed RuoTian goes outside. She thinks over their family bonding times. RuoYi joins her and lightens her mood, saying that he can’t remember coz of the illness. But RuoTian argues then why did he remember RuoWei. RuoYi kindly replies that maybe because RuoWei looks like their mom. Still, RuoTian contends that Dad loves RuoWei more than any of his daughters.

RuoYi (in voiceover): Why do I feel that sister has been betrayed by the two men she loved the most in one night? Seeing her like this, my arrogant sister is really hurt.

Rouwei joins them and sadly relays that Dad doesn’t also recognize her, and thinks she’s their mom.

RuoYi (again in voiceover): Though sad, I really like times like this. I like RuoTian and RuoWei’s tears. It makes me feel as though I’m not different  from them, makes me feel that we’re still sisters, still a family.

And RuoYi begins to tell the story of a Queen (their mom). Once upon a time, there was a princess who’s not only pretty but smart as well. She’s not in a hurry to marry her prince coz she knows even without him, she could still have her kingdom. The princess always says this: “When you understand beauty, wherever you go it will show”. She studied in France and went back to help other girls become attractive princesses as well. The King (their grandfather) allowed her to lead the fashion department. There she diligently pursues her dream and welcomes every applause. But in one lonely corner, she found love (their dad) and broke everybody’s heart. She married the cellist and gave up her dreams. She lived a simple life and gave birth to 3 princesses. On her 38th birthday she gave each princesses special gifts. To the eldest: a silk scarf, to the second: a mirror, to the third: suitcase and lastly, to the baby in her stomach: a pen.

RuoYi volunteers to quit work and take care of Dad. RuoTian strongly disagree. She can’t just  quit and sacrifice everything! RuoWei suggests that they send Dad to a Nursing Home instead. The other sisters oppose. RuoTian settles on hiring a nurse and take shifts. This time, RuoWei doesn’t agree.  It’s impossible for her to stick to her schedule (especially during night-time).

RuoYi  insists on quitting. Clearly, she’s the only person who could do that. Suddenly youngest sister (Sasa/RuoYu) comes in, overdressed and weirdo looking.  It seems that the elder sisters forgot to inform her about Dad. Annoyed, she declares that she’ll make sure she won’t be left out again. She walks off and for a moment,  RuoTian imagines RuoYu might be committing suicide and rushes to her room.

When she sees RuoYu standing on top of a chair, she pushes her over the bed.  RuoYu is taken aback. She’s not going to hang herself! She’s just putting away her favorite decor.Seeing the luggages, the other sisters suspect that she’ll be going on a trip.

Meanwhile, ShengJie is sleeping at home, surrounded by a pile of books and reviewers, when his phone rings. Guess who’s the caller? Shu Er!

On the other end of the line: RenShao sees ShuEr slouching on the chair and reprimands her for the bad posture. She’s conceited, so she dismisses his reproach. ShuEr: “If I have such a bad posture, then why did you choose me to be your model? Is it because I look  like my sister? You first love?”

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