I marathoned through the last episodes, because the holiday afforded me some time away from dramas in general, and I wanted to save this precious baby so I can savour it all at once. It did not disappoint me at all. In fact, it warmed my heart up so much that I want to save a special space for it in here. C’mere, you.
The last 3 episodes sealed my love for this drama, really. It was never a quick-paced drama to begin with, but every single time the OTP are onscreen, they make it worthwhile. From Lei Lei’s slow realisation that she loves Yi Kang and can’t live without him to Yi Kang’s tender show of affections toward Lei Lei and giving her the time and just enough space to accept him.
I was disappointed at first with the fakeout in Episode 11, because I almost believed in it. I wanted them both to have the courage to be honest about their feelings, and for Lei Lei to have said it first, even if it was a dream. It at least gave us more smoochies.
Lei Lei needed more time ultimately, not because she didn’t know that she loved Yi Kang, but she needed to believe in him. It’s realistic, even if it grinds on us impatient drama-watchers. If there was someone as perfect as Yi Kang, it’s absolutely understandable to fear that he will one day disappear, or not love you anymore. (The former seems more likely, alien abduction maybe?)
One thing about the perfection of Tony and Sonia is that they made me care about no one else but them. Usually, I would watch what happens to the secondary characters in the end even if they are OTT or silly, I just wouldn’t be as invested. In The Pursuit of Happiness I couldn’t care less about any of the other characters, not even Lei Lei’s BFFs who are lovely. Helen and Wei Ting have never really struck a chord with me, mostly due to me hating him and Helen being rather bland. So I quite gladly daydreamed my way through their scenes, willing for Yi Kang and Lei Lei to pop back up.
Seriously, how do you say no to this?
Ultimately, Yi Kang is probably the most perfect leading male character ever. (I have never finished In Time With You, but I suspect he will beat Li Da Ren single-handedly in awesomeness.) There wouldn’t be another guy who is that sensitive and considerate and who loves a woman so completely like he does. When he reappeared at her home with the agent I knew something magical was going to happen. I was really pleased that he didn’t swoop right in with a kiss, but went for a hug first. Everything that happened after that just killed me.
Let me ramble on a bit more about the amazing performances by Sonia and Tony. Sonia, mainly for making her character so relatable despite her being a goddess (and therefore so out of reach), and also for all her brilliant moments of vulnerability. I’ve always known that Tony has got some acting chops, but it’s the first time I’m experiencing it first-hand. And the man is awesome at it. He makes Yi Kang the down-to-earth guy that he is, and his delivery is perfect. Watching him goof around in the BTS and then turning into Yi Kang onscreen is fabulous. I think he and Sonia elevated the script that, in the hands of some other actors, might have been a tad cheesy.
Thank you, drama (and Tony Yang), for bringing us dramaland folk Huang Yi Kang. To you I will always be grateful – it’s been a great start to 2014 for me.