Far Away Love: First Impression & Summary
After surviving the 10-episode worth of backstory, this drama finally grew on me. No offense meant, but I really think 10 episodes is way too long for character and plot development. Yeah, there were sweet, subtle hints of the developing romance between the OTP, but like I said it was “too” discreet for me. I’m not really the most patient drama follower out there. So after Episode 5 and there’s still no sign of a sudden and vital turn in romance, I became restless.
Thankfully, the show redeemed itself with the very emotional, tear-jerking Episode 11. Quite frankly, the series kicked off from there. It was the push button that triggered my relentless interest and the main reason why I am compelled to devote a part of my time to write recaps for this drama. Anyhow, I wrote a short introduction of the leads and supporting characters, as well as a synopsis for Episodes 1 to 11 in this post. I will begin my episodic recaps on Episode 12.
Meng Chu Xia (Li Fei Er) is a kind and optimistic single 28-year-old woman. In fact, she’s too kind that other people take advantage of her. She doesn’t talk back when scolded, even though she’s not at fault, making her the favorite scapegoat of her colleagues. It’s not that she’s dumb or something but it’s because she believes people are basically good. Somehow, she has lost her faith in true love, believing that it is only for the privileged few but not for her. It doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to get married. It’s just that, for her, marriage is all about finding a capable guy who can and will financially support her and her nephew Meng Xiang. Despite her bad luck in finances, she is fortunate to have three supportive best friends Ding Fei, He Ruo Nan and Er Peng. She is also the love interest of Li Tai Di.
Shen An (Park Hae Jin) is a smart, strict and, of course, handsome businessman. He is the President of Shen Group of Companies who recently returned to China to personally manage the company there and more importantly, to put up a new restaurant. He is also looking for someone to marry, not for love, but for business. He fell in love once but got totally heartbroken, so like Chu Xia, he’s not a fan of true love either. Because of what happened a few years back, he developed a sense of hatred against his Mom and he vows to be free from her manipulative grasps and become his own person.
Li Tai Di (Zhang Lun Shuo) is a rich but humble businessman who owns an IT company. He is one of Shen An’s business partner. He was Chu Xia’s senior during their university days. He is popular with women but ironically, doesn’t know how to deal with them. The only woman he’s comfortable with is Chu Xia so it’s not a surprise that he fell for her. After graduation, he asked Chu Xia to be his girlfriend but she declined. He then went abroad to study and few years after, meets Chu Xia again. Spending time with her and seeing her good-nature, his feelings for Chu Xia is eventually rekindled.
Meng Xiang (Leo Wu) is Chu Xia’s rebellious nephew. His problematic attitude may be due to abandonment issues since he was born out of wedlock, his biological Dad didn’t take responsibility for him and his Mom left him when he was five. Due to his familial situation, he is often teased by his schoolmates. Chu Xia offered to take care of him and since then, he called her “Mom”. Though a hard-headed punk, he loves Chu Xia much more than he shows.
He Ruo Nan (Qu Jing Jing) is one of Chu Xia’s best friends. She comes from a rich family of scholars. She is kind, charming and loyal to her friends. Because of her upbringing, she is modest and demure.
Ding Fei (Liu Yu Xin) is an independent, mature and career-driven woman. When a relationship is becoming toxic for her, she doesn’t waste time, calls it quits and moves on to the next guy. Though she changes partners as often as she changes her clothes, she truly loves each and every one of them.
Er Peng (Yan Jin Cheng) is Chu Xia’s male bestfriend. He is an employee of a lingerie company and owns a restaurant. He likes Ding Fei and often flirts with her, but sadly, it’s only one-sided.
Qiao Jia Ying (Song Yi) is Shen An’s childhood friend. A spoiled brat who harbors deep feelings for Shen An. Unfortunately, She An only sees her as a little sister. She plays the innocent, naïve young girl who adores Shen An, but in truth, she is deceitful and sly and will do everything to keep Shen An for herself.
James (Zhang Jing Dong) is Shen An’s executive assistant.
Yao Yao (Li Lan Di) is Meng Xiang’s classmate and only friend.
Meng Chu Xia borrowed, or more like, ‘innocently’ stole She An’s gold-plated mountain bike when she was desperately trying to run after her nephew, Meng Xiang and his friend Yao Yao.
The second time they bump into each other was when Shen An shielded Chu Xia from an enraged wife at his newly opened restaurant. The wife angrily confronted Chu Xia, thinking she was his husband’s mistress. However, in protecting Chu Xia, Shen An accidentally snagged an expensive fruit display. He arrogantly demanded that she pay for it. But since she doesn’t have the money, she escaped but not before smearing cake all over his face.
The third time they met, Chu Xia was apologizing to Yao Yao’s parents for her nephew’s behavior. Shen An eavesdropped on the conversation and assumed Chu Xia was the father’s mistress. Unfortunately that day, Chu Xia left her wallet and she was forced to borrow money from strangers. And as it happened, Shen An and his date is the only customer there. Shen An reluctantly lend her some, and as retribution, he chucked a whole cake at her face.
The fourth time was when Chu Xia was having an awkward chat with her ex-boyfriend and his fiancée at a bar. When she saw Shen An, she introduced him as her boyfriend just to save face. At first, Shen An didn’t want to help but when he heard of the ex-boyfriend’s uncalled for remarks, he rode along. As payment for his help, Chu Xia volunteered to wash Shen An’s coat which was accidentally stained. But for some clumsy reasons, the coat got ripped and she covered it up with bed sheet cloth. Not knowing that the coat was sewn, Shen An wore it at a very important gathering. It, of course, caused him severe embarrassment after people in the event noticed the hand sewn patch.When Chu Xia and Meng Xiang walked by Shen Group’s building the next day, Shen An confronted Chu Xia about the coat. But to his surprise, Meng Xiang called him “Dad”, hinting that he was an abusive husband and irresponsible father.
When not bickering with Chu Xia, Shen An is busy managing the company and going to blind dates. Usually, he was accompanied by Jia Ying, who tried her best in driving off any potential candidates. It so happened that one of his dates was Ruo Nan (Chu Xia’s best friend). Among all the ladies he dated, Ruo Nan proved to be the best choice. Eventually, Shen An asked her to be his fiancée. However, Shen An didn’t see her as a lover and was very vocal about that fact. But still, Ruo Nan fell in love with him.
Meanwhile, Li Tai Di, Chu Xia’s senior and a very successful owner of an IT company came back to China. He was Shen An’s business partner and trusted friend. He liked Chu Xia since then but he preferred to wait until she notice him so as not to jeopardize their friendship.
As a good friend, Ruo Nan asked Shen An to hire Chu Xia at Shen Group. Shen An refuses at first but later on concedes after hearing the truth about Chu Xia’s life from Ruo Nan and Tai Di, provided that she Chu Xia maintains 3-meter distance from him.
Days passed and Ruo Nan noticed that Shen An was more open with Chu Xia, so she asked Chu Xia to chat with Shen An using a mobile app in her behalf. For her sake, Chu Xia agreed. After pretending to be Ruo Nan, it became apparent that Chu Xia is more compatible with Shen An.
One day, Ruo Nan and Chu Xia decided to bake a cake for Shen An and Meng Xia respectively. However, Ruo Nan mistakenly brought Chu Xia’s cake. It was a combination of odd and seemingly weird flavors. But to Ruo Nan’s surprise, Shen An loved it. He asked her why she baked a cake like that and she answered using Chu Xia’s lines. After hearing her explanation, Shen An was moved and proposed to her. Though Ruo Nan was happy, she felt guilty knowing that She An unknowingly liked Chu Xia.
Jia Ying discovered that Ruo Nan wasn’t the one who baked the cake and Chu Xia was the one who regularly chatted with Shen An. She used that knowledge to blackmail Ruo Nan and prevent the wedding.
The night before the wedding, Meng Xia ran away from home. Chu Xia’s friends and Li Tai Di helped her find Meng Xia. But unfortunately, while driving to where Meng Xia and Chu Xia were, Ruo Nan and Yao Yao met a grave road accident. Yao Yao was severely hurt and Ruo Nan died. Before Ruo Nan departed, she made sure that Shen An took care of Chu Xia. Shen An yielded. After the burial, the Chairman (Shen An’s Mom) talked with Chu Xia about the promise Shen An made to Ruo Nan but Chu Xia made sure she didn’t took it to heart. In fact, she already resigned at Shen Group and refused to accept Shen An’s help.