This drama was shown over Starhub 825. I read that it topped the charts in Taiwan but that was not the reason I watched it. You can still watch it over the internet hosted by many sites (but not if you cannot understand Mandarin or read the Chinese subtitles.) I was attracted to how society generally stereotypes housewives as boring and useless.
I found this drama quite similar to Korean drama in many aspect – the pace, the characters and the storyline.
An Zhen is a housewife, married to Rui Fan for ten years and they have a five-year-old daughter. An Zhen’s cousin, Wei Ern arrives from USA one day to stay with them and proceeds to seduce Rui Fan. They have an affair. An Zhen is devastated and begs Rui Fan not to divorce her but Wei Ern is adamant that they get a divorce. Rui Fan, bored with married life and bored with An Zhen, forces An Zhen to sign the divorce paper while An Zhen lies in the hospital, injured from an accident, by promising her the house and half his pay as compensation.
An Zhen looks for a job and meets her boss she nicknamed Cauliflower because of his hair. He falls in love with her. Meanwhile, Rui Fan loses his job as he deals with the mentally ill Wei Ern, who eventually leaves him for she is no longer attracted to him when he has nothing.
Rui Fan tries to get back with An Zhen. In a touching scene. he tells her how he wishes that he could go back to the ordinary days they had, where he played with their daughter while she made dinner. He is willing to exchange the rest of his life for this one ordinary day. Tenderly she touches his tear-stained cheeks and tells him, ‘But I can’t go back anymore.’
Sometimes, ordinary days (平凡的日子) are the happiest days, and Rui Fan regrets too late. Rui Fan’s sister and brother-in-law provide the comic relief to the otherwise serious drama. The script is well written although there are some very long-winded parts. Some scenes also tend to drag on with nothing happening, just the characters staring at each other. But in other scenes, the director tries to let the body language do the talking – the clasp of the hands as An Zhen and Cauliflower shake hands as she rejects his love, and the clasp of hands in the final scene as she accepts his love.
In the last episode, An Zhen, now a manager, tells her group this on motivation:
有人努力, 是因为他们害怕失去; 有人努力, 是因为他们自觉不足; 有人努力, 是因为他们没有退路;
(Some work hard, it’s because they are afraid of losing; some work hard, it is because they realise they lack; some work hard, it’s because there is no choice of turning back;) I thought it was quite profound. What is your motivation for working hard?
I know what some of you are thinking…die lah, now Vicky is really a TV addict, what with Korean and now Taiwan dramas!