Good Morning, Shanghai Episodes 1-13
I tried watching this drama several years ago, but ended up quitting it. Not because it as awful, but because the video quality was so low and the English subtitles were rather lacking. Now there’s better videos an the subtitles are complete! The earlier episodes have some bad grammar and confusion, but its overall good enough quality to understand what is going on.
You Hao Yun (Jang Na Ra) is a young Korean woman living in Shanghai with her family. Her name means good luck, but she has only had bad luck her entire life. She is running later for an important assignment of playing the piano at a wedding. Whose wedding? Wang Zhi Hao (Shawn Yue) is marrying long-time girlfriend Lin Xi Yan (Yang Xue). Things are not going to plan, however, and Mr. Wang and guests are wondering what is taking so long. Xi Yan decides work is more important than marriage and rushes off telling her groom to wait while she takes care of business. Thus the wedding is a failure and poor Zhi Hao falls even lower in his father’s eyes.
By the time Hao Yun arrives all the guests are leaving and the man who hired her is refusing to pay. She begs and pleads for the money since she gave up other jobs for this one. She then gets shoved to the ground and ends up with a bloody nose. This is witnessed by the adorable Zhou Min and his uncle Wang Ming Wei (Yan Kuan)—they are Zhi Hao’s adopted son and older brother (really his cousin, but Ming Wei was adopted by Mr. Wang after Wang’s brother died). Ming Wei takes pity and pays Hao Yun even more than she was originally hired for. The young woman cannot believe she could possibly have such good luck.
She rushes off to meet her friend Xiao Mei (Wan Wei Wei) and the two put a down payment on a ritzy apartment, although Hao Yun is very afraid that this is all a scam for such a good apartment to come cheap. She’s also terrified about broaching the subject with her father since she knows he’ll be completely against the idea of her moving out. And he is. He explodes at her and challenges her to a soccer kick off (he’s a coach for a team in Shanghai and the reason they moved from Korea) which she loses. Hao Yun then tells her mother about feeling suffocated in the house as she believes her family keeps missing her older brother who passed away who was superior in every way. Mrs. You denies that she ever felt such a thing and does talk to her husband about her poor daughter’s feelings.
Meanwhile, Xi Yan finishes her work and rushes off to see Zhi Hao. After agreeing to marry him and raise Zhou Min together, she is digging in her heels saying the boy must go because she doesn’t want to spend her newly married life saddled with a child. Oy. Of course our adorable little boy overhears this and decides he needs to run away from home so that his father can be happy. I hate this woman. I hate hate hate hate hate her. Nothing can make me like her character or pardon what she does.
Anywho. Hao Yun then learns she’s been scammed and has no apartment. Its at this time her father concedes and agrees to let her live on her own as long as she comes home once a week and calls home three times a day. Hao Yun has no recourse but to pretend to leave. She then meets our adorable little guy for a second time at bus station. She then spends the entire day with him since he’s all alone. Meanwhile, Zhi Hao is frantically searching for his missing son. Just as Hao Yun has gotten the kid to agree to go home, the police and Zhi Hao find the two (Hao Yun is dressed up as a man right now after playing with Zhou Min) and Zhi Hao halls off and slaps Hao Yun. She is then arrested for kidnapping. She refuses to give her personal information so that they can verify her identity and that she’s not a kidnapper, so she spends several hours yelling in jail.
Her friend had agreed to let her spend the night to avoid fireworks with the You family over getting scammed and ends up calling the house and talking to Hao Yun’s uncle. The two meet and worry over what could have happened to Hao Yun who is not answering her phone (which she lost thanks to Zhi Hao’s slap and getting taken into custody). Its at this time that Xiao Mei begins crushing hard on Hao Yun’s uncle and she starts calling him “dage” (big brother) instead of “shushu” (uncle). And this meeting is the start of their relationship. Shushu is gun shy after a failed first marriage and really wants nothing to do with women romantically while Xiao Mei is all for it and easily confesses her love. There’s a lot of back and forth with these guys. Ultimately Shushu decides to go for it. Hao Yun gives support, but the rest of the You family are against it as they see age and nationality too big an impediment…not to mention Shushu’s a divorced man.
Zhi Hao firmly scolds Zhou Min for running away and takes him to his special place—a place where only those Zhi Hao loves can enter. It’s a place where he spent a lot of time with his mother before she passed away. She used to play the piano and he’d sit on the bench and listen to her. Anywho, Zhou Min finally gets his father to forgive jie jie (big sister) who was only trying to help him. Zhi Hao calls the police and they release Hao Yun. They also give her Zhi Hao’s contact information. The girl is spitting mad, so you bet she’ll look him up.
The next day Hao Yun meets with her uncle and they try to get her back into the house without letting her family know what really happened, but they fail miserably. Thus Hao Yun leaves with no place to go. She goes straight to LJ Communications where Zhi Hao works. There she runs into Zhou Min. Zhi Hao is working on finding a nanny and until he does Zhou Min is stuck hanging around outside the office since Mr. Wang doesn’t like him being around. Zhou Min has also expressed his dislike for his grandfather (who, unbeknownst to his sons for nearly half the series, has terminal liver cancer—his doctor is always trying to get him to come in for treatment and tell the kids). Zhou Min head for home and Hao Yun sets aside her anger so the kid is not alone.
Again Zhi Hao freaks out. He’s relieved when he gets home to find Zhou Min there, but he isn’t happy at all to see Hao Yun. These two clash horribly every time they meet and this hurts Zhou Min because his precious jie will play with him and always treats him well…unlike his dad’s finacee. Hao Yun vows that she never wants to run into him again and if she does then she’ll do whatever he commands. lol. The girl stalks off and even forgets the money Zhi Hao was giving her as a form of apology for what happened the other day. Throughout this series, Hao Yun’s leaving is always circumvented by her forgetting something or another.
Somewhere in all of this Ming Wei and Xi Yan end up working together. He originally gives his business to someone else because he doesn’t like what Xi Yan is doing with his little brother, but he caves with her attitude. He doesn’t seem too bad here, but just wait. It’s later revealed that his father committed suicide because Mr. Wang drove his own brother into a corner. Sure we got hints that Ming Wei wasn’t the perfect son and did aspire to be the heir, usurping Zhi Hao’s rightful place. But you didn’t really get any malice from him until this part. Once he hears about the truth from his father’s colleague (whose hitting him up for a job and money) he decides to get revenge. This means toying with Xi Yan who has decided to play the field and date both brothers. She’s completely mercenary and not doing any of this out of love, buy just because she hopes to further herself. The only thing she cares about is herself and her career and that’s it. Kids are so much smarter than adults in these cases as Zhou Min instinctively doesn’t like the woman who doesn’t really want him and completely loves the woman who does. Ming Wei’s thinking is first he’ll hurt his beloved little brother, which he knows will hurt his adoptive father and then he’ll go for the jugular…er the company.
Really, when it comes to Xi Yan, our leading man is a doormat. She stands him up so often for work and for Ming Wei its completely amazing he has the patience to be with the wench. Again, Zhou Min is smarter since he realizes that a person like that who can’t keep one promise and is always leaving them alone is bad. And a very annoying quality of Xi Yan is her ability to turn everything around on others when its herself who is in the wrong. She needs to be slapped, hard.
Of course since Hao Yun said she never wanted to see Zhi Hao again he happens to see her while driving home. He remembers what she said about being his to command if they cross paths again and he laughs and goes after her. Hao Yun is scared since some drunk had come after her and thinking it was still him she screams and shoves Zhi Hao who takes her down with him and the two share an accidental kiss. He then takes the girl home and lets her borrow the spare bedroom for a night. She is gone in the morning after leaving a rather poor breakfast.
Oh…and wouldn’t you know it that Hao Yun’s father’s team is owned by the Wang family’s company? Zhi Hao is the new manager or whatnot. How funny is that? Hao Yun has to keep hidden from daddy and Zhi Hao while she plays for the ceremony. Afterward, she backs into a chef and smashes a cake into Zhi Hao’s face. His anger is waylaid when Zhou Min is missing again. This time the kid is playing a neighbor’s house and almost falls into a pond to get a ball. Hao Yun saves him and nearly drowns (she can’t swim since she’s terrified of water due to her brother drowning to save her life). Zhi Hao rushes to the rescue and she is then at his place once more to recover.
Hao Yun leaves the next morning but has to come back because she forgot her bag. Zhou Min really wants her to stay so Zhi Hao makes Hao Yun an offer to be under contract as a nanny for three months (that’s how long his marriage to Xi Yan has been delayed). Hao Yun agonizes over this, but eventually agrees as she does need a place to stay until she earns the money again to move out on her own.
As she begins her stint as a nanny, many mishaps happen. She drunkenly climbs into bed with Zhi Hao and the next morning beats him mercilessly thinking he crawled into her bed and not the other way around, thus causing Zhi Hao to lose the necklace which carried the picture of his mother. His father has a similar necklace that is currently in Hao Yun’s possession as she accidentally ran into him on her bike causing him to drop it. She and Zhou Min get into an accident when her bicycle brakes fail, and Zhi Hao inadvertently becomes her cleaner when her family pays her a visit to see how she’s living. She and Zhi Hao constantly fight during their time together, but they also have some good talks and cheer and comfort one another. Of course Hao Yun falls for him and of course she can’t confess because he has a fiancee and she doesn’t want her bad luck to go to him as well…meh, he’s got his own bad luck so you’d think it would balance out, right?
Not long after her nanny stint begins and her family pays her a visit, her grandmother goes out by herself to a piano store and tries to buy a piano for her granddaughter. She wants to hear her precious Hao Yun play (Granny has Alzheimer’s or something like that started as she isn’t quite there all the time). Of course she doesn’t have money and Granny ends up getting sent to the police station. Hao Yun scolds her grandmother for doing something like that. Granny then tells Hao Yun about how her and her grandfather met and got married. The two then take a nap together. Hao Yun gets up to go collect Zho Min from school, but her grandmother is unresponsive. Hao Yun listens to her chest and nothing. Granny has passed away. It’s really sad for me (since I was also with my grandmother last December when she passed away). It’s tragic for Hao Yun as she was the closest to her grandmother.
The You family files back to Korea for the funeral and to bury Granny. Of course Zhi Hao has no idea this happened and is only angry that Hao Yun forgot about Zhou Min and his son was left waiting outside for hours after school ended and even got a bad fever. When Hao Yun returns, he does not let her explain and kicks her to the curb (she had even bought fish to fill their empty fish tank with her). After she leaves, Hao Yun’s uncle shows up drunk and reveals everything to Zhi Hao. After Zhou Min had just finished scolding his father for not listening to jie jie’s story, he feels rotten.
Zhi Hao then goes to his special place to lock up. He had rushed out when Zhou Min had called and told him about the weird man outside (Shushu). There he finds Hao Yun and he brings her back with him to sign a new contract. She then calls him once she’s settled back in since she can’t face him and thank him. She does reveal that his words and kindness are helping her through a soul-trying time. See, these two are cute and get closer and closer. So much more compatible than the social climbing worm of a woman.
Hao Yun brightens up the next day and Zhi Hao is impressed by this quick turnaround. He did tell her it was hard to understand she was going through a tough time thanks to her bright personality and smile. Hao Yun tells him that smiling covers the pain and is a lot harder than he could possibly know. The two end up returning to the special place later that day so Hao Yun can get the miniature piano her grandmother technically stole for her. Hao Yun then opens up about what happened to her brother when she accidentally drops the miniature piano in the water and falls in. Zhi Hao then says she shouldn’t worry about bad luck and should also confess her love (as she admits she’s the queen of loving in secret because of her bad luck). I love this scene as it took her a long time to realize that Zhi Hao had stripped off her wet top clothes and replaced it with his own dry shirt. Her realization at long last was hilarious!
Ming Wei is meanwhile romancing Xi Yan and even reveals that Zhi Hao only likes her because of her similar resemblance to a his mother. Eww. That’s a horrible reason to keep a woman like that around you. And not to mention very unhealthy. I’m actually surprised that Hao Yun who always sticks her nose into his business never bothers to point out how unsound that is. Oh well. And on top of romancing that disgusting social climbing woman, he’s also turning over Zhi Hao’s top secret cell phone project to the enemy! When this seed goes bad, he gets totally rotten! Oh, and when Xi Yan thinks that Ming Wei will be the natural heir being the eldest and most competent…plus the greediest in his desire for the company…she ditches Zhi Hao only to learn Zhi Hao is Mr. Wang’s only son. Pffft.
Poor Zhi Hao. He gets dumped by his girlfriend and goes out drinking when he’s supposed to be making a speech for the company. When he learns from Zhou Min that Hao Yun has left him alone to rush the speech over, he heads on out where his father gives him an earful about how disappointed he is. While at this ceremony (celebrating the contract that Xi Yan helped Ming Wei get) Hao Yun ins roped into being the voice for the beautiful yet untalented woman Ming Wei’s assistant got for the ceremony. You see, Hao Yun’s dream is to sing her own songs while accompanying herself on the piano, but because of her brother dying in her place (and him being good at piano) she has horrible stage fright thinking everyone judges her.
Earlier, Hao Yun asked for her payment for being the voice to be a simple photograph of Zhi Hao and Mr. Wang because Zhi Hao has no pictures of himself and his father. Zhi Hao misunderstands her and says she left Zhou Min home alone all day for money. Hao Yun jumps out of the car and he takes off. He then notices her purse and the red envelope. He opens it and sees it only contains that picture and he rushes off to find Hao Yun where she is being cornered by two guys. He jumps in to save the day and gets his rear kicked leaving Hao Yun to come to his rescue. Lucky for the two, cops come and the men run away. Zhi Hao did get slashed in the arm and the two go to the special place and take care of each other’s scrapes and cuts. It’s here that Zhi Hao reveals just what the special place is and tells her she will never enter it again since it is only for the people he likes. Major blow for our leading lady since she’s already head over heels for him.
They return home where Xi Yan is trying to woo Zhou Min who wants nothing to do with her. She finds Zhi Hao’s long lost necklace and steals it. The irony is that same night he finally looks under the bed for it. He just missed finding it. The snake tells him its all his fault as it was a test when she broke up with him which he failed miserably. See? She needs to be slapped. Hard. Or worse. What she does is infinitely more vile than the evil things Ming Wei plots. He does learn about his adopted dad’s illness, but he’ll spare no sympathy for the dying man. The look in Ming Wei’s eyes frightens their family doctor so much that he actually warns Mr. Wang not to trust Ming Wei any more.
Zhi Hao takes Zhou Min and Hao Yun out on a family date and gets Hao Yun up on stage to face her fears. She does successfully play the piano after a lot of hesitation. She does tell him off for this, but he says it is something she must face. It is. It’s amazing how good these two are and how they turn around and can be so bad. Well…mostly it’s Zhi Hao being bad. He turns on Hao Yun whenever he’s angry and he’s usually angry because of Xi Yan. Shakes head. It’s also very ironic that these two are so alike and give each other so much advice that they both need to take. If only they would listen to themselves.
Ming Wei is riding high after selling his lil’ brother out and he gets Hao Yun to come in. Looks like the starlet’s performance using Hao Yun’s voice was a giant success so they want Hao Yun to use her voice once more for the starlet’s single. These two call each other “benefactor” as they have both done each other favors. Ming Wei paid her the money she needed when the piano job fell through and she gave him a voice when he needed one. Later he invites her out to a meal as repayment, but she declines to have a family day with Zhi Hao and Zhou Min. Of course Zhi Hao blows her off as soon as Xi Yan calls him over and as soon as he and his son gets there she’s off to handle some work emergency. So…Hao Yun goes with Ming Wei to her uncle’s restaurant and you know Shushu’s curious who the man is. He’ll probably get the wrong idea. We aren’t going to get a love triangle there because Hao Yun is firmly in love with Zhi Hao now.
I really am enjoying this drama. I will say this, though, Shan Yue’s Zhi Hao is very aggravating in how hangdog he is. When he’s being belittled by his fiancee or father, he says nothing and just keeps his head down. I like that Hao Yun told Zhou Min when he felt badly about her getting arrested to keep his head up as a man should always do so. Zhi Hao needs to take this advice. He also needs to take the sass he shows when he’s with Hao Yun and apply it to his dad and Xi Yan.
Oh. That hair style!!!! I HATE IT! Someone needs to cut Zhi Hao’s hair stat. Sometimes it looks ok, but then there’s those awkward hair flipping moments that just don’t work on guys to get it out of his eyes. It’s just not right. I haven’t watched too much of Shawn Yue, but he’s an excellent actor and really conveys the emotions of his character well. Jang Na Ra…she really does play the same types of characters. There’s nothing wrong as she’s quite good at the roles she plays, you know? I highly recommend checking this drama out when you have the time. It’s 24 episodes and for me, marathoning this along with Cruel Romance has been really easy.