Asian Drama Synopsis Fail: Breakout
Welcome to this week’s synopsis fail. I want to say that when I originally tried out my first drama from Singapore, the synopsis DramaFever has now isn’t what it had then…but who knows? I don’t think I would try this drama out now based solely on what is there now, so I really think the synopsis changed.
This week I explain the failure of the synopsis for Breakout which was a smash hit in its home country. I don’t know why, but it was. Sure, it has some big names in the Singapore drama scene and all, and it does have some great and outstanding performances, but I really don’t get it’s popularity. You can catch my review…or somewhat angry tirade about the 25 some hours I invested in watching it here: asianaddictsanonymous.com/2012/02/10/singapore-drama-breakout/.
On her 12th birthday, Tang Ying lost her parents and older brother to a tragic road accident. Although she survived, she lapsed into a coma for 13 years. When she came out of her coma, she was stunned to realize that she was no longer a 12 year old girl but a 25 year old young woman. Trapped in an older body with her memory still frozen at age 12, Tang Ying struggles to cope with reality which includes the cruel truth that her family is dead.
Tang Ying suspects that there is more to the tragic road accident which claimed the lives of her entire family. As a result, Tang Ying embarks on a rigorous routine to learn and to familiarize herself with a society that has changed tremendously in the years when she was unconscious.
During this time, she befriends Zou Jie Ming, an autistic but highly intelligent savant, and Situ Dong Cheng, a down-and-out former lawyer whom has lost everything he treasured in his life. Together, they embark on a battle against Yang Tianwei, a cruel, ruthless and cunning man. Tianwei’s children, Yang Zhenfeng and Yang Nianqing, assist him in his evil deeds. The truth is finally revealed that Tianwei was the one who planned and executed the murder of the Tang family, making it appear like a road accident. Will Tang Ying, Jieming and Dongcheng be able to nail him and bring him to justice?
Breakout is an exciting revenge thriller that was a blockbuster in Singapore as a showcase for hot new talent as well as a comeback vehicle for several more established stars. Tang Ying (Zhou Ying) was only 12 years old when a tragic car accident killed her family and left her in a coma. 13 years later, she wakes up in a society she barely recognizes, and begins putting together the cruel plot behind her family’s deaths.
So why are these synopses fails? Well, even though the first one gives more information, much of it towards the end is misinformation about what happens in the series and in the other one, while it’s not exactly inaccurate…it isn’t all that helpful since there really isn’t much there.
So what is true? We do have the 12-year-old Tang Ying who was in a horrible car accident that killed her parents and her brother. She was the sole survivor…wow…I was just thinking now how I just watched If I Stay … the sole survivor of an accident which killed her parents and brothers… funny (didn’t like the movie). Okay, enough being random. Anyways, Tang Ying is in a coma for 13 years and wakes up and is still frozen with her 12-year-old mentality. When she runs away from an aunt and uncle who wish to use her to gain her family’s immense wealth, she meets an autistic boy Zou Jie Ming and probably because their brains are rather different from other people’s at this time, they do become good friends. You can even say that Jie Ming loves her as probably more than a friend…too bad she’s hung up on a total jerk.
The problem is what comes next. Sure, our heroine eventually meets down and out lawyer Situ Dong Cheng, but they never really officially join hands with Jie Ming and form a partnership to discover the truth about the evil Tianwei and his children and how Tianwei was the mastermind behind the Tang family’s deaths. Tang Ying, in fact, hires a private investigator at first and it’s only towards the latter half of the series where Dong Cheng might step up and actually help her.
I think I would like it if the synopsis covered a bit more of the plot. Like about the endless cycle of revenge. Tianwei’s partners betray him thus that drove him mad and he went out and got revenge on all of them and their families, thus causing Tang Ying’s heartache and own quest for revenge. Tianwei’s poor children are all warped and twisted and his son ends up perpetuating the cycle while his mentally disturbed daughter tries to end it. The plot also ignores the romance that springs up with Situ Dong Cheng and Tianwei’s daughter, which is actually quite important. While I couldn’t sympathize with the monster that was Tianwei or his own decisions, you know that Tang Ying’s family wasn’t 100% innocent…well her father anyways…her mother and brother were. I do like how it’s put out there that the truth isn’t what it seems and that the Tangs and other men were not completely innocent in the matter. It’s true. Of course that didn’t warrant what happened at all, but you know.
The biggest part of this drama was the fragmentary story telling and after our innocent 12-year-old mentality is gone the leading actress was majorly annoying. I like the unstable daughter of Tianwei much better. Ah…I did love the acting of Jie Ming. Yes, I did. Anyways, not talking about the drama and its shortcomings for me.
I think it would be better if the synopsis went more like this:
On her twelfth birthday, Yang Ting’s life comes to a standstill when she and her entire family are involved in an accident which claims all of their lives and puts Yang Ting into a coma. She wakes up 13 years later unable to recognize her own face and unable to grasp the fact she is now 25. She runs away from her money-grubbing relatives and comes under the care of an autistic young man and his family. She slowly begins to uncover the diabolical truth surrounding her family’s deaths which introduces her to the evil Tianwei and his children. Tianwei’s revenge against Yang Ting’s family will only be complete with her death so he sends his son to do the job. His son confuses Yang Ting with his deceased first love and he struggles to do his father’s bidding while his little sister becomes more and more mentally unstable and finds herself falling for down and out lawyer Situ Dong Cheng who was ruined thanks to Tianwei. Will Yang Ting be able to break free of the vicious cycle of revenge? Will Tianwei’s children be able to find peace out of the darkness of their father’s shadow?