Sunny Happiness really is a happiness drama, regardless of how much times I watch it. I don’t know what has gotten into me recently but I just had the sudden urge to rewatch this despite having a handful of dramas that I am currently watching. I watch one ep and then I just had to go forth and watch the second ep and so forth. And once I started watching it, I just had to marathon through it, day and night! Surprisingly, I loved this better this time around better than I did the first time. Oh, and for reference of eps, I am talking about the Taiwanese version and not the Chinese version. (:
This storyline recycles the plots found in other dramas by combining it altogether into one. It has the unknown child and “custody fight” (Autumn’s Concerto (AKA Next Stop, Happiness) anyone?) and the accidental pregnancy and marriage for the sake of the child (Fated To Love You anyone?). Despite this, the story still managed to create a strong and solid plot. In fact, it stood solid from start to finish whereas a lot of dramas tend to fall once the climax has been reached. Never did I once felt that this drama was going to head on a haywire. However, there were scenarios in the plot which I found to be unnecessary and dragged on (namely, the last three eps). Though it wasn’t exactly draggy if you consider its length but it was just an unnecessary complication with the OTP’s relationship because it was basically the second leads vying for their opportunity to be with the lead which we all know is impossible.
In fact, I think what happened here was that the second leads came into the game a bit too late. The love triangle between Yong Yong (Janine Chang), Yun Jie and Xiang Yun Chao (Li Yin Feng) didn’t come into play until about the last two eps! Of course, we all knew that Yun Chao never stood a chance against his older brother so I found that love triangle to be unnecessary. Furthermore, after everything that the OTP had been through together, their hearts already belonged to each other so with Yun Chao in the picture it was a no brainer that he would be the loser in the game. There was also a love triangle between Yong Yong, Yun Jie and Wang Lan (Zhou Zi Han) which happened much earlier. However, I found to be absurd because Wang Lan claims that after eight years, she still loves Yun Jie but here comes the question of why did she choose to keep Xiao Nian a secret from Yun Jie and why she never once considered to preserve their relationship. What’s even more absurd is that she claims that Yong Yong was the one who ruined her relationship with Yun Jie, yet Yong Yong was the one who brought her to see Yun Jie after eight years! Without Yong Yong she would have never met Yun Jie again and they would have never even have gotten to become friends after their separation.
Something about this drama really perks up my interest. I just love it, actually, I love everything about it. What really made this drama gel together was that everything had a valid connection with one another. With a lot of dramas, certain characters and scenarios are introduced without having any relationship with each other, but everything introduced in drama, regardless of how big or small it is, has a valid reason for its purpose. Every character played a vital role to the development of the story, and if just one of the characters is not present, the story would have gone haywire. I know this might not make any sense to you, but you really have to watch the drama to see how everything that exists in the drama has a purpose. And when I say everything, I mean everything! There was the accidental pregnancy which brought the OTP closer together, Huang Si Han (Li Zhi Nan) who helped Wang Lan to understand that happiness is not based on what she wants and the tension between Xiang Jun Jie (Mike He) and Xiang Yun Chao. Everything existed for a reason and they all binded well together.
I love that this drama is not so far from reality. Of course, considering that it is a drama, it can only be so close to reality, but everything that happened wasn’t that out there. I think why it appears that way is because everything that happens follows one another without a halt whereas with a lot of other dramas there would be a huge gap between one situation to another. I loved that realism found in the sham marriage. The OTP initiated the marriage, and then everything happened following one another. It just flowed so nicely together!
I loved the way that Yong Yong was written out to be. She is a down-to-earth, kind, giving, honest, friendly and selfless girl. She always thinks of others before herself and even if it means sacrificing her own happiness she would do as long as the other party would be happy. It doesn’t matter of what becomes of herself, she is willing to do it. She put her own marriage on the line for the sake of saving the orphanage and had no opinions of objections to herself when she discovered that she was pregnant. At that time, her feelings for Yun Jie were not that pronounced but she married him regardless, and she even agreed to leave after she gives birth! What I love about Yong Yong is that she is innocent and always thinks of others before herself. This is what brought her and Yun Jie together, because Yun Jie was the complete contrary of who she is.
I have seen Mike play numerous rich beau roles before but with his character as Yun Jie, gives off a much softer effect. I think that this is due to his pairing with Yong Yong. Before he met Yong Yong, he appeared to be a heartless guy who didn’t know what it means to love after his broken relationship with Wang Lan. However, upon meeting Yong Yong, she opened up his heart and helped him to view the world with a different eye. She taught it what it means to love from the heart and what it means to love selflessly. You can really see the way that he changed as a person because of him, and it makes it more touching to know that it was Yong Yong who changed him!
Initially, we are introduced to Yong Yong as having a Cinderella family. She has two step-sisters and a stepmother all of whom are reliant on her for her income. Yong Yong is the supporter of the family and is also made to do the housework. However, upon her marriage to Yun Jie, her family literally makes a 360 degrees turn and are there supporting her. Initially, I thought that her family didn’t even care about her. I soon discovered that I was wrong and that they really love and care for her, especially her second sister, Jin Wen (Liao Hui Zhen). Jin Wen supported her decision, stood with her every step of the way and helped Yong Yong to realise where her happiness and heart lies. I also love that after the accidental pregnancy was revealed, her father (and stepmother and step-sisters) went to talk it out with the Xiang family. I didn’t really think that her family cared much for her but at that point I realised that I was wrong. I love this change with the family, and it was one of the many reasons that made me love this drama so much!
Mike He and Janine Chang did not strike me as a likely OTP in both of the times that I saw this drama, but somehow as I watched it, they manage to convert my original thoughts. It is quite interesting watching their relationship develop because they are a two people with conflicting thoughts coming from conflicting backgrounds. However, they were brought together by a contracted marriage and because of that marriage they grew closer and grew to understand each other. They changed each other; Yun Jie helped Yong Yong to think for herself while Yong Yong helped to reveal Yun Jie’s inner kind heart.
Throughout their sham marriage they grew to love each other but none of them took a step forward to openly admit their feelings to each other. They both did little hidden things for one another such as him waiting for her at the amusement park and her preparing him lunch boxes but they both hid in the shadow of one another. Even though it did take 16 eps, but I am glad that they finally came to admit their feelings for one another! What makes me love them is that their characters were well written and that Mike and Janine had impeccable chemistry! Their chemistry was adorable, a bit shy and just sweet! I never thought of them as a likely team but now I am hoping to see them onscreen together as a couple again!
Surprisingly, I found myself loving Yun Chao and Kong Xin Jie (Li Jin Ming) as a couple. They played a couple of which Xin Jie loves Yun Chao dearly while he was only with her for her money. I wanted desperately for Yun Chao to love her back. I wanted him to show some feeling towards her and not give her the cold shoulder. She loved him and what she did was to gather his attention but he couldn’t give it to her. I just wanted them to be a loving couple. They would have been perfect for each other if they got together for the right reasons.
Yong Yong and Yun Chao’s friendship entered the picture quite late but regardless I still loved it. The really connected when he drove her to visit her father and I think this was when I really started to love their relationship. I loved how their relationship stems back to high school pen pals because that really helped to bring their friendship in even closer! He treated her a way which he could never treat Xin Jie and this was what made him realise that he could no longer hurt Xin Jie.
Just something that I have to mention, the OTP’s relationship happened essentially in two months! TWO MONTHS! From marriage to pregnancy it took only two months. If you add only the miscarriage timing, it would probably be in total three months. This is my only disappointment with the drama. I wished that the timing could have been longer to add to the realism! It just happened too fast when the time period of the drama itself seems to have gone through at least a year or two. Well, what the brothers have in common is that they both know how to create lightning relationships! Ahahahahas!
^Guest appearances by Annie Chen, Ming Dao, Janine Chang, Mike He (and Li Yin Feng) in Happy Michelin Kitchen (third and final instalment of the Happy triology)
This drama was nothing from what I expected yet I grew to love it so. It is definitely not a perfect drama but in my heart it is perfect. I loved it, it was sweet and adorable to watch and just a no-brainer to watch. It really was a joyous to watch and I am sure I am up to re-watch it yet again in the future. (:
[Credit: As marked and Google Images]