Absolute Boyfriend Live Action Episode 1 Recap
Jiro Wang is my sole reason for watching this [that and even though I wasn’t a HUGE fan of the manga, I find myself semi-liking the plot once its move out of high school into the adult world]. I also think this is a great thing to do while Chani-chan and I work on the Japanese version that aired several years ago.
Okay, so the lowdown of the plot of this is a young woman is unlucky in love and decides to mail-order the “perfect” lover after an encounter with a strange man. As she begins to bond with her robot lover, she slowly becomes aware of the long-time love of her best friend and neighbor and is thus faced with a dilemma: whom to choose? The perfect lover robot who is becoming increasingly human or the human lover who has always been by her side?
While this drama obviously can’t follow the plot of the manga completely [since that dealt with high schoolers and the teenage life], this version is actually MORE faithful to the original plot than the Japanese version. This is my first time seeing Kun Da act and I am in love! He’s just so cutely perfect in the more feminized leading man.
And I will preface this recap with this warning: If you watch the actually episode, be prepared for horrible, and I mean HORRIBLE dubbing. I’m okay with the voice actress doing the Mandarin for Goo Hye Sun’s character [even though it is borderline annoying for me], but the synching is horribly off and I find that horribly distracting. This is especially disappointing since Skip Beat! [this drama’s predecessor] had pretty great dubbing to the point you almost didn’t know the SuJu boys weren’t speaking the native language.
I must also say that after having watched several dramas starring Goo Hye Sun, I am beginning to believe that her acting hasn’t changed, or rather she plays the same characters over and over again. Watching her in this I am reminded of her portrayal of Geum Jan Di in BOF, Eun Bi in The Musical [that accursed drama that started promising and had a poopy ending, yes, I said POOPY], and her role in Take Care of Me, Captain. She hasn’t really seemed to stretch her wings as an actress because all the roles seem to be variations of the same theme.
Okay, now on to the recap.
We open with the young version of Guan Xiao Fei [Chen Shi Ying] sitting in front of a church looking rather unhappy. An adult stops and asks her what’s wrong. She doesn’t answer and the man [played by Jiro Wang], shows her a trick about putting your two hands together with the middle fingers bent in. He explains that fingers represent your parents, children, and siblings, and how the ring fingers represents your significant other. You can separate all the other fingers, but you can’t separate those two. [I won’t like, I SO had to try that out, and he’s right, you cannot get your ring fingers apart. Xiao Fei smiles at this and vows to find her soul mate and live happily ever after.
We skip to the future and the adult Xiao Fei [Goo Hye Sun] wakes up and rushes about to prepare for her confession to her coworker Shi Guan. After picking out the perfect outfit and packing his favorite dry noodles, she quickly searches for the pink bracelet she bought the other day [I’m guessing that all this pink is supposed to bolster her chances of succeeding]. Meanwhile, her neighbor Yan Zong Shi [Kun Da] is making breakfast for his little brother [We Shi Shen]. He’s like a mother hen scolding his brother for not washing up properly and even helping him prepare for school by packing up his gym clothes [I think in the manga the brothers were really close in age, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here]. When Zong Shi goes out to get the clothes, he gets hit in the head by Xiao Fei’s bra in her desperate search through laundry for the bracelet.
She puts it on and rushes out only to rush into Zong Shi who is returning her lingerie. He scolds her for being careless with her laundry and then realizes she is attempting to confess again. After referencing her as an airport that no one flies out of, Xiao Fei loses her temper and punches him [this is followed by a straight look at her punching fist, a yell, and the building doing a wobbly effect – cheesy]. Qing Shi comes out and wonders why his older brother is sleeping in the hallway. Zong Shi replies that he isn’t and Qing Shi smiles and says that means Xiao Fei jie beat him up again. LMAO.
So Xiao Fei waits all happily anticipating outside of work in order to catch Shi Guan before he enters his office. He is shocked by her approach and seemed perplexed when she presented her gift. He takes it and goes to leave, but Xiao Fei stops him and asks him out. He turns her down saying he already has a girlfriend. Xiao Fei falls over in shock. Then up pops his girlfriend and he tells her how he has her favorite dry noodles. This causes Xiao Fei to pop back up, scaring the couple. He introduces Xiao Fei to his girlfriend who then goes through the bag and finds the bra that Xiao Fei carelessly stuffed in after snatching it back from Zong Shi earlier. Talk about mortifying. He hands the bra back and Xiao Fei quickly hides it behind her back as Shi Guan and his girlfriend walk away laughing over her unique way of confessing with a bra. She falls down again as Zong Shi passes by, looks down and shakes his head.
While Xiao Fei sits depressed in the office, her friend Luo Mei Jia [Cherry Hsia who played the actress playing Mei Yue in Skip Beat!] is making her rounds with the mail cart. She is pretty and ultra feminine and has all the guys in the office asking her out [she turns all of them down]. She sees Xiao Fei and stops her cart to ask how it went. She is disappointed to hear that Xiao Fei failed once again. Xiao Fei wishes she could be as pretty as Mei Jia who has no problems attracting men. Mei Jia then says that Xiao Fei is pretty in her own rights. Why, doesn’t she resemble Korean idol Goo Hye Sun? Ah, got to love these references in dramas. Zong Shi walks by and hears this and says that Goo Hye Sun would be offended to hear that [chuckle]. Xiao Fei gets angry and yells and he then says not to pull him down with her on her runway just because she was rejected. This earns him yet another punch from Xiao Fei who hates the runway reference [it has to do the with the Chinese characters in her name] the most. A coworker comes by and asks him why he’s sleeping in the hallway. Zong Shi replies he isn’t the type to sleep at work and the coworker immediately understands he was punched out by Xiao Fei yet again. How unlucky. Poor Zong Shi. Everyone knows Xiao Fei beats him up regularly. Oh, and I have to say when Zong Shi gets his face pinched by Xiao Fei, I am wincing for Kun Da the actor as there is no way you can do that without it hurting.
At lunch, Mei Jia wonders why Xiao Fei and Zong Shi [who grew up together, went to school together, and even work together] just don’t become an official item. Xiao Fei cannot believe this. She points out that Zong Shi has never had a girlfriend [just like she never managed to snag a boyfriend] and Mei Jia says it shows just how important Xiao Fei is. Xiao Fei shakes this off as just because Zong Shi loves to bully her [yes, verbally, while she bullies him physically]. Back at work, Xiao Fei is scolded by the section chief for ordering funeral flowers vs. the congratulatory flowers for an opening shop. Today is just not her day.
She leaves works and heads to a park alone where she recounts her rejections, starting with college and ending in elementary school. She has never once been successful. She yells out that she doesn’t want to be an old lady sitting in a park alone. She then realizes she is sitting next to an older woman and apologizes only to find out that the old lady was waiting for her husband. This really hits Xiao Fei hard. She gets up and kicks pine cones and finds a phone with a weird ringtone on the ground. She picks it up and answers it. The owner [who was watching her from the roof of a nearby building with a telescope, thanks her for finding and picking it up and arranges to meet her.
When she meets the man, she is shocked to see him dressed so eccentrically. His personality is pretty special to boot, too. He says that to repay her, he will get her special deals with his online store. Xiao Fei turns him down as her breast enhancer that she bought online was a total failure so she vowed never to buy online again. The man, Lei Wu Wu [Na Wei Xun – LOVED him in K.O. One] won’t let her go without doing something for her though as that phone is very essential to his job. Annoyed by his persistence, Xiao Fei reveals her greatest desire is to have a boyfriend. Oddly enough Lei says that he can help her and hands her his business card. He tells her to go online and then says the website is a secret and she will be very unfortunate if she leaks the site. After Lei disappears, only then does the stunned Xiao Fei realize that he called her by her full name. How does he know when they just met and never introduced themselves? You have to love it when he asked Xiao Fei if she wanted a Fahrenheit CD [if you didn’t know, Jiro Wang is part of Fahrenheit, which was a 4-member group until Wu Chun left].
Xiao Fei goes home and stares at the card, wondering over the man with the strange name, dress, and behavior. She cannot believe she told a total stranger she wanted a boyfriend. At this point, Zong Shi comes over and scolds her for sitting in the dark and her messy apartment. Xiao Fei tells him he doesn’t have to come over and Zong Shi replied that he promised her mother to take care of her. Xiao Fei says that she isn’t a dog who needs feeding and Zong Shi says she is actually a lot like a puppy. Seeing Xiao Fei’s dispirited attitude, Zong Shi leaves after taking away the instant noodles and leaving Xiao Fei with homemade pasta. Xiao Fei slurps up the pasta and vows to find a great boyfriend to show her friend.
After eating, Xiao Fei goes online and checks out the website. When she sees the talk about the ideal lover [or “darling” in this case], she wonders if it is human trafficking or an inflatable doll. After seeing that there is a free two day trial and she can customize the product [the only one offered is Nightly Series 01], Xiao Fei goes to town in placing the order for her perfect boyfriend. She falls asleep to wake up to her doorbell ringing early the next morning. She is shocked to find the men from Kronos Heaven have already come with her delivery. Talk about fast. She opens up the huge package and screams as a naked man [Jiro Wang] falls on top of her. She freaks out thinking the man is dead as the body is cold and there is no pulse. She goes to get Zong Shi for help when Lei calls to ask how she likes the product. He explains that she needs to activate when she complains about receiving a corpse. He then tells her to look at the instructions and hangs up.
Grumping over poor customer service, Xiao Fei digs through the manual instructions and is horrified to learn she must kiss the robot to boot it up. She does so reluctantly and the robot quickly boots up and greets her. He automatically wonders if they shall “do it” there or in her bedroom. Xiao Fei, realizing what he means, freaks out, especially given the fact that he is naked. She rushes to find him clothes and comes up with her father’s pajamas just as Zong Shi comes. She quickly hides Night away and sends Zong Shi away [he came to bring her breakfast and take back the Tupperware from the other night]. Zong Shi is suspicious of her actions [especially when she says she will wash and return the dish herself, plus he hears a sneeze], but he does go away.
Xiao Fei scolds Night for sneezing. Apparently it is a function to keep him from being too perfect and he was just testing it out. Xiao Fei quickly changes herself and runs off to work after telling him to do whatever he wants around the house except for leaving through the front door. She then rushes off as she is late to work.
Mei Jia invites Xiao Fei out to a group gathering, but Xiao Fei declines as she has something going on. Plus, she’s taking the next day off [I’m guessing to make the most of her 2-day free trial]. After work, Xiao Fei heads off to buy some clothes for her new robot as he can’t go around wearing her father’s pajamas. Xiao Fei happily realizes that this is what it must feel like to buy clothes for her boyfriend and is very happy. On her way back from shopping she sees Shi Guan and friends and ends up following him into a café where he bashes her to all of his friends about how he has standards and would never even waste time leading her on just to sleep with her [OUCH].
While Xiao Fei is being dissed completely by Shi Guan, Night has been cleaning up the apartment when he notices his ring’s stone go black [in the Japanese drama it was a bracelet and it only seemed to change color when he was actually with Xiao Fei aka Riiko]. This means that Xiao Fei is unhappy. He quickly goes to rush out the door, but then recalls how his girlfriend ordered him not to. What’s a robot to do?
Having heard enough, the angry and hurt Xiao Fei goes up to the table and throws a glass of water in Shi Guan’s face. He is angry and accuses her of stalking. Xiao Fei tries to calm down and hold back her tears when up pops Night. He puts his arm around her and wonders if the jerks made her cry. Shi Guan and cronies tell Night to drop the act and repeat what he said. Night pushes Xiao Fei behind him and takes on Shi Guan and his dumbass friends. Needless to say Night easily kicks their rears. He then takes Xiao Fei and gets ready to go, but he turns back and hits a table with his fist vowing that they will end up like that table if they hurt Xiao Fei again. I admit, I expected him to smash that table hard, but he hit it pretty normally. Shi Guan and his friends don’t take it seriously at all until the table falls apart completely after Xiao Fei and Night leave. The guys then decided to run after the two [does that make sense? Absolute not.], but are tripped by Zong Shi who had been sitting in the café and heard everything.
Xiao Fei is really grateful to Night and wonders how he knew where she was. Night responds that he had been programmed to fly to her side when she was unhappy [one of her input ideals]. This reminds Xiao Fei that Night is a programmed robot and not a human. She then wonders how he left the apartment since she ordered him to stay. Night explains that since he could not go through the door, he smashed through a window. They two rush home where Xiao Fei laments over the loss of her window. She orders Night to call someone to fix it and he says that he can do it himself. Xiao Fei then goes to sleep in her room [after denying Night entry since she wants to be alone]. Night looks at his ring and notices that the color still hasn’t completely cleared. Xiao Fei still isn’t happy.
The next morning, Xiao Fei wakes up to Night cooking breakfast. She is pleasantly surprised, but her happiness is again cut short when Night keeps referencing he was programmed to do this or that. I like how Xiao Fei expects Night to start melting or explode when eating human food and Night comments that only happens in movies, not dramas [again, the meta references]. After breakfast, Night asks her to go out shopping with him, but Xiao Fei insists on staying in. This causes Night to start stripping, so Xiao Fei says she will go shopping instead. The shopping cheers Xiao Fei up, which makes Night happy. As the two walk along, they encounter boys playing soccer and one of them knocks into Xiao Fei, sending her cell flying over the edge of the bride walkway thingy. Night immediately leaps over the edge and catches the phone. He lands in the path of a speeding bus, but easily sidesteps it. This action drew a huge crows and Xiao Fei quickly rushes up to him and pull him away, scolding him for doing something so dangerous.
We end with Xiao Fei thinking about how no matter how much she likes him, she can’t keep him and he will be going back after his trial. We’ll see, won’t we?
I have to say that I am enjoying this drama so far. Jiro’s acting is pretty spot on. The Night in the manga was definitely more human-like than what was portrayed in the Japanese version which had Mokomichi playing a very stiff, obviously robotic Night. Jiro manages to capture the essence of a naïve and powerfl robot while also showing more human characteristics. I am also loving Kun Da as Zong Shi. He just…yeah…fits the role. Now I needs must see what else he starred in.