13 February 2016

Su Ran Ran's Husband Hunting Journey [苏染染追夫记] Episode 1 and 2

Chinese Title: 苏染染追夫记 (Su Ran Ran Zhui Fu Ji)
Total Episodes: 50 (each 20 minute long)

Wow. This is actually good?

And to boot each episode is only 20 minutes long, making this very easy to watch. Of course, that's not the only reason to love this drama. 

My Synopsis: Su Ran Ran isn’t exactly hunting down her husband-to-be. More like, she’s being hunted by her husbands-to-be. First, there’s a man with a mask, then there’s her betrothed, and then there’s her much admired senior (Um. Think 'sunbae' or 'senpai'). Oh yeah, she’s also got nine older brothers beckoning to her every call.

There’s more to her life than men though: she’s been poisoned since birth by a powerful clan and she’s lost three months of her memory. Every night she dreams of a man calling out to her but she can’t remember who he is. However, remembering him will take her life. (Okay so maybe this drama is all about the men in her life).

Episode 1:

Su Ran Ran
Su Ran Ran is the King’s niece. She was born with a poison but luckily she was saved by a skillful man (Wu She). However, the poison is still within her. When she was 8 years old, she was taken to Tai Yi Shan where her health can be properly monitored.

Despite being apart, her brothers all overbearingly adore her. Each of them have their field of expertise. For now, just try to remember three of the brothers:

#3: Su Ze
Third bother, Su Ze, specializes in archery.

#5: Su Nan
Fifth brother, Su Nan, specializes in everything that makes females swoon (e.g. music, knowledge, etc.).

#7: Su Jian
Seventh brother, Su Jian, specializes in all things female (e.g. make-up, clothing, etc.).

Su Ran Ran also has an older cousin (female!):

Cousin: Liang Tian (behind her is #3 Su Ze)
Liang Tian. She specializes in all things noble-female-like: Chinese harp, reading, etc.

So much pressure to be in this family. 

Left: Du Yao Bing (Shi-Jie); Right: Su Ran Ran
The three brothers I mentioned above (3, 5, and 7) are chasing Su Ran Ran because she’s running away from her marriage that the King has endowed her with. She successfully loses them with the help of her ‘Shi-Jie’, Du Yao Bing, who is a disciple of senior ranking at Tai Yi Shan

I will call Du Yao Bing as “Shi-Jie”. 

The escapee, Su Ran Ran, falls asleep in the forest. Then a man’s hand softly caresses her cheeks and ears. 

Xiao Mu Chen (Er-Shi-Xiong)
She wakes up thinking that she dreamed of ‘Er-Shi-Xiong’, Xiao Mu Chen. He’s the one that carried her into Tai Yi Shan and cared for her. Consequently, Su Ran Ran is very fond of this Er-Shi-Xiong. However, their relationship distanced three years ago. 

Lin Lang
Ri Xuan
In the same forest there’s a battle brewing between Lin Lang (the girl in red with a creepy smile) and Ri Xuan (the guy in the mask). They’re from the same clan, Yue Ling Gong, and Lin Lang claims she’s on a mission to retrieve the “Yue Liang” flower seeds. Ri Xuan is stopping her from stealing the seeds.

She’s also got quite a knack for annoying Ri Xuan especially when she mentions Yue Ying, the girl he loves. She also mentions Ye Qing Tian but that doesn’t bug Ri Xuan that much. The story gets more complicated. Ri Xuan exposes her motives of wanting to kill Ye Qing Tian to take her position and her mission today is just a farce for something else.

Lin Lang is no match against Ri Xuan but Su Ran Ran's appearance disorients Ri Xuan completely.

Su Ran Ran = Yue Ying
Seizing the opportunity, Lin Lang uses her bells to hypnotize Su Ran Ran into killing herself which makes Ri Xuan fly to her rescue, calling her Yue Ying (i.e. the girl he loves). He manages to save her but she ends up trying to kill him instead. Even with her slow motion, she easily digs her sword into his shoulders but all Ri Xuan cares about is her safety as he caresses her face. So it was him that was in her dreams (if it was a dream that is).

Er-Shi-Xiong comes in at the nick of time to relinquish Lin Lang’s hypnosis on Su Ran Ran. Her (#3, 5, and 7) brothers also come to take care of her.

Meanwhile, Ri Xuan, who has left to chase down Lin Lang, faints in the forest. Before he faints though he was sweetly staring at the hand that caressed Su Ran Ran's face. 

Episode 2:

Su Ran Ran is safely in her brother’s care and they’re on their way back to their home in the city. She explains to her brothers what happened in the forest and at the mention of a man named Ri Xuan, tears roll down her cheeks. Su Ran Ran has no way of explaining these tears nor does she know the man except that his name is Ri Xuan.

But the man knows her.

Ri Xuan has been unconscious for the past two days (because of Su Ran Ran) and it was Er-Shi-Xiong who saved him. Ri Xuan and Er-Shi-Xiong are acquaintances but the exact relationship between them are unknown. Together though they have a common goal: to remove the poison in Su Ran Ran. Er-Shi-Xiong is to prepare the “Yue Ling Flower” and Ri Xuan is to find the “Jiu Ban Ling Zhi”, both are ingredients for the antidote. The “Yue Ling Flower” has just six more months to mature but the whereabouts of the “Jiu Ban Ling” is still unknown.

Ri Xuan: These past three years you’ve taken really good care of her. From now on, I’ll take care of her.
Er-Shi-Xiong: You will harm her.
Ri Xuan: I definitely won’t give up.

Shi-Jie also knows Ri Xuan. She was certain he’d be at Tai Yi Shan if people from Yue Ling Gong had trespassed because he needs to protect Su Ran Ran. It's been three years since she last saw him and she thought he had given up.

Ri Xuan resolutely tells her: My life is hers. As long as I’m alive, I definitely won’t give up.
However, Shi-Jie tells him some bad news: Su Ran Ran is to marry a general’s son.
Ri Xuan: I’ve said this before, as long as I’m alive, I definitely won’t give up and she definitely won’t marry someone else.
Shi-Jie smiles in relief: I was waiting for you to say that.
Ri Xuan: Why are you different from them?
Shi-Jie: Because you two are fated to be together.

With that, she gives him a horse to ride to the city in pursuit of Su Ran Ran. Yay! These two will be together right? Dramas cannot defy the power of Fate.

Even though Su Ran Ran is already in the hands of her brothers, she’s unwilling to return home because that would mean she would have to marry some unknown man. Her brothers try to convince her they’ll find a way out of the marriage just as long as she returns home with them; they miss her, you see. Failing to convince their sister to return home, #7 resorts to lying about their mother’s health, claiming she’s in a dire state. #3 and #5 follow along. And so Su Ran Ran is deceived.

Back at home, Su Ran Ran’s parents are eagerly waiting for their daughter’s return. Dad is grumpy about the arranged marriage because no dad wants their daughter taken from them, especially not this dad. Mom (who is perfectly healthy) is sad too but she wants her daughter to be happy and happiness is equivalent to marriage, according to moms of those times. I like the power dynamic in this couple. Mom has the upper hand but she lets Dad take the honours. And Dad is just a giant kid. 

At Yue Ling Gong, Ye Qing Tian is updated of Lin Lang’s disobedience and Ri Quan’s pursuit of Su Ran Ran. She’s sad from the latter part of the news. Okay let’s move on.

Before arriving home, Su Ran Ran and her brothers make a pit stop and here she accidentally bumps into a man. This man seems to have the condition where one falls in love at first sight.

On their way home, the sleeping Su Ran Ran has another nightmare. This time it’s Er-Shi-Shong trying to kill her. Huh.

Finally arriving home, all the men of her family rushes to welcome Su Ran Ran. Dad beats them all in reaching Ran Ran first. However Ran Ran dodges all the men to see her dire mother. And so the entire family is on the run to Mom’s room.

Meanwhile Su Ran Ran’s ‘Cousin’ (‘Biu-Jie’) is patiently waiting for their return while recalling what she heard from Su Ran Ran’s parents the night before: Su Ran Ran is poisoned but no one knows about this, not even her brothers. Apparently this news can send rumbles throughout the Court and affect the King. 

- - - Comments - - -

What can I say? I have a thing for masked men.

The girl acting as Su Ran Ran, Yin Qi, really reminded me of Zhao Li Ying. At first I didn’t find her beautiful but after seeing her smile, it really is quite sweet. Her ability to act out a cute, naive girl that everyone loves mirrors Zhao Li Ying's ability in making me love her characters. As for the men, none of them are good looking. Oops. Even Ri Xuan, acted by Jin Vernon, isn't that handsome. He looks better with a mask. But! He’s got charisma oozing out of him. He also knows how to work his angles very well (in some angles he actually reminds me of Feng Shao Feng). And I value an actor for his acting skill much more than for his looks anytime. I swear! (I swear I try to be.) 

Superficiality aside, I'm a sucker for these romances. A man's undying love and his willingness to exchange his life for the happiness of the woman he cherishes. There's also this hate-love thing that will happen later. These kind of tropes are my guilty pleasures. They just never get old.

I like how this drama starts off with Ri Xuan already in love with Su Ran Ran. It saves me from nit-picking on why any man would love her, not that she's not great, but right now she's just a kid. Already I'm curious as to know what happened to their love (assuming it was mutual) and why did she lose her memory and those are making me click to the next episode after yet another episode. And I'm completely on board with her falling in love with him all over again.

Although the drama won't be something extraordinarily grandeur (considering it's just a web drama and the entire cast are practically newbies), I know I'm in for a good story-telling. I am so done with dramas spending millions of dollars on special effects. I just want a good story. I'm completely fine with simple dramas  as long as it satisfies my heart. Plus my brain needs to rest from Love That Makes You Cry.

Su Ran Ran's Husband Hunting Journey Episode 3 and 4

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