Disappointment continues to linger here, and the more that I watch of this, the more that I am disappointed with the storyline. Not only does it feels like it is stretched in numerous directions but like I have mentioned numerous times before, the stories lack something to bring it all together. It is also because of the development of the storyline that hinders the development of our characters and the relationship that they have with each other.
As of now, this drama does not know where it wants to head as a whole body. The individual stories are heading down their own path but it is because of the numerous stories all fighting for the dominant position that leaves this drama questioning where exactly does it want to take the story to. Is it Ji Qing, Yi Ren or Shan Shan who is dominant here?
Shan Shan and Yong Xin enter a bowling club where Shan Shan sees the CEO of Black Beauty Commercial. She also spots his assistant, Xiao Han/Han Zhen Jie, and recognises that he could be the one who copied Ji Qing’s idea. So she puts her plan to action. She gets Yong Xin to accidentally bump into Xiao Han, who spills a drink on Xiao Xian which scores the man’s attention. As an offer of apology, the man offers Yong Xin and Shan Shan a position to being an assistant to the host of his new show. He also invites them to join him bowling which Yong Xin happily agrees to.
Xiao Han informs the girls that the slogan for their new show is “Rent a day of beauty to decorate a lifetime of colours” which Shan Shan immediately perks hearing a familiar phrase. Xiao Han’s mobile rings and Shan Shan spots the caller ID to be “Xiao Xian Baby”. She excuses herself and records Xiao Han’s conversation with Xiao Xian who reveals that idea is not rightfully his. He decides that he cannot let Xiao Xian contact him.
Ji Qing is in a dilemma wondering what can possibly top her the outcome of her original idea and today is the last day before her time is up. Xiao Xian calls and calls her baby but he is not picking up. That’s when Yong Xin delivers a present – Shan Shan’s recorder – to Ji Qing that reveals why Xiao Xian’s baby is not picking up any calls. Ji Qing immediately rushes out with Xiao Xian chasing her trying to explain that she did not know that her baby was part of Black Beauty.
Da Shuai informs Yi Ren that he is going to move out but he is not going to give up on her. Their love is real, their past is real and their beautiful past memories is also real. They have Duo Duo, a family and his mother. The truth is that they are a family and that is not going to change. He is going to return and she will admire him. Before he leaves she reminds him to call his mother often. As if right on cue, Sheng Hua calls, worried about her. She informs him that she is fine and invites him over.
Sheng Hua arrives and Yi Ren has breakfast prepared for him. He tells her that she doesn’t have to do that; he is with her because he wants to take care of her.
Ji Qing and Xiao Xian arrives just after CEO Black Beauty, Du Chao Chao (Ji Ya Wen), gives Xiao Han a lashing for copying someone else’s idea. Ji Qing talks down on Chao Chao for being so low that not only he who copies but his subordinates do so as well. Chao Chao counters that it is her subordinate’s fault which causes an argument between Xiao Han and Xiao Xian. Pushing the argument aside, what they have to prioritise first is to solve this issue. Ji Qing tells him to drop this idea and offer a public apology and he informs her that he is going to spill the whole truth about her negligence. Ohhh, threats hey? He offers a different way of solving this. He suggests that he can discuss with the company or he can withdraw the idea and create some other promotional event for the brand. But Ji Qing is not buying unless he publicly apologises because this will make her seem that she copied the idea. He tells her that there is only one option left – he will first cooperate with Make-Up S (the company in the midst of this mess) and then in exchange he will cooperate with her. Ji Qing doesn’t like this idea and assures him that she will think of a better plan because this idea will never belong to him and goes to take her leave. That’s when Chao Chao softens and decides that he is going to hold a meeting with her CEO and he admits that he did copy. Ji Qing likes this sound of this idea.
Ji Qing calls Shan Shan but she doesn’t pick up. So she texts Shan Shan her thanks and asks for her forgiveness but Shan Shan makes no reply.
Hao Ming is diligently trying to lighten Ji Qing’s burden by trying to think of ideas when he gets a blood nose. He quickly cleans up the mess just as Ji Qing arrives. She reveals the truth about who the culprit behind this and her guilt towards Shan Shan. He is quick to comfort her on this matter and even offers to go with her to apologise to Shan Shan. She tells him that never in her life has wanted marriage this much. (Naaawwws, he is such a loving hubby-to-be!) He tells her to push all that matter aside and discuss their marriage plans but that’s when he gets a blood nose. He makes up the excuse that he is just overworking himself.
Hao Ming and Ji Qing arrive at the nursing home to speak with Mummy Zhao. Ji Qing goes to apologise when Shan Shan makes her appearance. Shan Shan tells her that she is not going to accept her apology since she doesn’t trust her. Ji Qing sincerely apologises anyway and even offers Shan Shan a job. Mummy Zhao replies that Shan Shan already has a job at the cafe and furthermore, her apology doesn’t matter because regardless of what she says Shan Shan is not going to change her mind about her.
Hao Ming tells Ji Qing that they have to take things slowly. For Shan Shan being able to find out the truth about the culprit in such a short amount of time proves that she is a valuable girl and Ji Qing is not going to allow a valuable girl pass through her hands.
Ji Qing and her best friends arrive at Shan Shan’s cafe and Shan Shan doesn’t even take a budge, not even when Xiao Xian apologises to her. Ji Qing is not content until Shan Shan accepts her apology and comes back again but Shan Shan is still not taking a budge. Ji Qing assures herself that she is not going to give up.
At least she arrives home to someone who takes notice of her. Meanwhile, Shan Shan is standing outside the couple’s home uncontent (that’s not a word, but I couldn’t find a better way to word this) with what Ji Qing has and what she lacks. (I suggest you guys get some curtains) Ji Qing goes to Shan Shan’s cafe once again. She apologises and assures her that she will never bring up the “rented lover” again and invites her to work at her company. Shan Shan enforces that she is the one who willingly asked for her and she has to remember that. Ji Qing agrees and promises that she will fulfil the promise that she made.
Ji Qing and Hao Ming get their wedding pictures taken with Hao Ming assuring himself that his report will be fine.
Ji Qing asks Yi Ren how her progress with Sheng Hua is going and decides to become a matchmaker for her. She decides to look after Duo Duo for the day so that Yi Ren can take initiative. Hao Ming also asks his friend how his progress with Yi Ren is going and Sheng Hua happily replies that it is developing quite well, except he hasn’t heard from Sheng Hua.
Hao Ming visits Da Shuai to find him working as a cleaner. Da Shuai tells him that once he gets the hang of it, he will open his own cleaning company (please don’t fail at this). He asks Hao Ming whether he supports him or Sheng Hua but Hao Ming avoids the question. Hao Ming goes to leave but feels a bit queasy and faints. Ai Wen informs Hao Ming that he has to get a bone marrow examination done. Ji Qing arrives and Hao Ming makes Ai Wen tell Ji Qing that he just overworked himself.
Sheng Hua sends Yi Ren home and she tells him that she is home alone tonight but he doesn’t get the hint. The next day they spend their first official date fishing. He uses the fish that they caught to tell her that good things come in time and fresh is not always best, just like them. He takes her hand and tells her that the wait was worth it because she deserves the best.
Sheng Hua and Yi Ren go to pick up Duo Duo and see Da Shuai there. Seeing Da Shuai, Yi Ren releases her grasp from Sheng Hua but he takes her hand because she is his girlfriend. Duo Duo rushes to her daddy’s side and Da Shuai tells her that he is working at a far place and she must be good to not worry her mummy. He also reiterates that he has not given up on Yi Ren.
Ji Qing is becoming more and more reliant on Shan Shan and jealousy sparks in Xiao Xian’s face. Xiao Xian is still unsure of Shan Shan as a person.
Shan Shan arrives at Ji Qing’s place to drop off an outfit and pick up a pair of shoes for her. Ji Qing also leaves her the necklace that she gave her that Shan Shan returned. Shan Shan looks around her place and thanks her; in the past she could only admire her from the outside but now she can enter her life. She tries on Ji Qing’s clothing and mentions that if her father was here she could have been her father’s princess too. She is going to make Ji Qing regret taking her by her side.
Meanwhile, Hao Ming arrives home and thinks that Ji Qing is home when he sees her car parked outside. Hao Ming opens the door to room when he faints. Another doctor (Ai Wen is one an overseas trip) informs Hao Ming that he has to take another examination. The doctor also reveals to Shan Shan (thinking that she is Hao Ming’s fiancée) the state of his medical condition. Hao Ming request that she keep this a secret.
I feel like calling this drama slow with its progress but I can’t do that because it isn’t actually slow but rather the way that it is progressing feels slow, but in reality it isn’t. There are different stories here for each of the characters and these stories do not really intertwine with each other, rather they stand alone so consequently, when I watch it, I feel like the development is happening quite slowly. What I want to see with the storyline is one story being the focus and the others being the ones to push that main story to the limelight. As of now, when you watch it, you see Hao Ming and Ji Qing’s story being limited, as is Yi Ren-Sheng Hua-Da Shuai’s love triangle and Shan Shan’s revenge plan. I thought that Hao Ming and Ji Qing’s relationship was supposed to be the focus here but now I can’t tell which story is the focus. Each of these stories are both the shadow and the headline which together delays the storyline as a whole.
Having heard the many wonderful praising comments towards Chris Wang as an actor, I know that he is a brilliant actor but this role hinders his abilities. There isn’t much room for him to shine nor develop. His character is locked in its one position. There is no range for him to space himself across; he is just that one loving hubby towards Ji Qing and without her he is nothing. I know that Chris can do better than this, it is just that his character is locking him in.
Tiffany has undoubtedly improved with her acting skills but again like Chris’ character her character is closed in. I have seen numerous times of her playing a dominant character like this. She always plays those who is outspoken and a professional role. And here she is again with another similar role so there isn’t much for her to show herself. Furthermore, her character here is quite one dimensional.
I think all the characters are quite one dimensional here except for Shan Shan (but then again, Shan Shan is creepy!). Each of the characters here only have one side to them and so it is difficult for them to develop their character. We only get to see the same character over and over again that we can literally predict the next step that each of these characters is going to take. This is another reason why the plot is deteriorating; the characters aren’t strong enough to take their own stories in their own hands. As for Shan Shan, she is just creepy! Her character is more dimensional than the others but her character develops quite slowly. We know that she is on her way to revenge, and well, that’s about it.
I actually do not like where the story is heading. I don’t want to see these useless conflicts and extra stories. I want to see something actually related to “rented lover”. I want to see obstacles towards Ji Qing and Hao Ming’s marriage related to “rented lover” and not a Shan Shan who is Ji Qing’s assistant. Maybe the writers should have wrote Shan Shan to be the secret girlfriend that Hao Ming had or something, just something related to “rented lover”.
Despite the cast (everyone knows Chris is an amazing actor and there is Li Kang Yi (as Yi Ren) who scored herself a nomination for Best Actress at this year’s 101 Golden Bell Awards) the storyline and characters does not live up to what these actors can portray. It is no wonder the ratings aren’t stellar. I just hope that as this story progresses, the actors will take a turn with their characters and thus, the storyline.