Somewhere Only We Know (Chinese Drama Review & Summary)

Chinese Drama 2019

Somewhere Only We Know (Chinese Drama Review & Summary)

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  • Genre: Youth, School, Family, Coming of Age
  • Date Released:  January 2019
  • Origin: China
  • Cdrama: 24 Episodes
  • Available: Netflix

Cast:

  • Juck Zhang as Mu Cheng He
  • Li Ting Ting as Xue Tong
  • Deng Yu Li as Song QiQi
  • Sun Jia Ling as Zhao Xiao Tang
  • Li Jiu Xiao as Mu Hai
  • Fang Wen Zhang as Xiao Zheng
  • Gong Rui as Zhong Qian

 

Episode 1 & 2

I started watching this last night at Netflix and I have to say I found it really interesting.

Xue Tong was taking an exam in Marxist Philosophy when a ball of paper landed near her desk.  Ever curious, she picked up the paper and quickly read it but Mu Cheng He, who was the invigilator, confiscated the paper and then deemed her a cheater.

She protested, she did not cheat but Mu Cheng He was adamant;  he caught her red-handed with the cheat-note.

Xue Tong’s professor did believe Xue Tong because she was known as being studious and had garnered the sobriquet of being a hero’s daughter.

Xue Tong’s father was a taxi driver who had three violent robbers jumped into his taxi.  The father droved the thugs into the nearest police station.  This caused him to be fatally stabbed five times.  Because of his act of valour, he was declared as a hero.

Xue Tong was proud of her father but at the same time being known as the hero’s daughter put tremendous pressure on her.

She had to maintain a reputation of being studious befitting the sobriquet, she had to excel and cannot do wrong.

The cheating scandal blew like a wildfire.  Suddenly she was bullied.  There were rumours that her good grades were due to habitual cheating.

The school tried to sweep the issue under the carpet because Xue Tong was a hero’s daughter.

But Xue Tong had had enough of the constant whispering from others so she did everything to find proof that would validate her innocence.

Who better than Mu Cheng He, a PhD candidate in Physics.  The invigilator who started the cheating scandal.  He applied physics with trying to prove that Xue Tong did not cheat.  He conducted experiments about the trajectory of the ball of paper, where it came from and how it landed in Xue Tong’s vicinity.

His experiment was so spot on, that he found the exact seat of the culprit.  It was Song Qi Qi throwing it to Bai Lin.

Two best friends and roommates of Xue Tong.

Because of this misdemeanour,  Bai Lin thought that the school will expel her.

Senior Li, the president of the school body, said that she will be ok, it would take three strikes to kick her out.  However, she had to improve her grades and do extracurricular activities like joining the school body.

Xue Tong met a handsome basketball player Liu Qi, who lent her his slippers when her slipper tong broke.

Xue Tong and Liu Qi became inseparable and she can’t be any happier.

But at the same time, Xue Tong was also playing the student teacher, Mu Cheng.

She found his student credit access card and used it to buy snacks and junk food in a corner store where Qi Qi had found a job as a shop assistant.

Mu Cheng knew that it was Xue Tong who used his card.  He was very indulgent about it and just told Xue Tong to return it to him.

Xue Tong told Mu Cheng that she had taken Russian as her elective.  What she did not know was that the teacher of Russian, Mr Chen who was away, was being substituted by student teacher Mu Cheng.

Xue Tong and Mu Cheng started a cute flirtation already.

Episode 3

The three girls, Xue Tong, Bai Lin and Qi Qi, finally met their mysterious roommate.  She’s Zhou Xiao Tang, the bell of their university.  She was so popular that she was continuously inundated with presents by hoards of boys with a crush on her.

Xue Tong was upset because even Liu Qi, her crush, had also let it be known that he liked Xiao Tang.

Though Xue Tong was upset with Liu Qi because he was using her to get closer with Xiao Tang, Xue Tong was also getting friendlier with Mu Cheng.

Xue Tong was meant to meet Liu Qi on the rooftop in view of her confessing to him.  Xue Tong was unknowingly locked out on the rooftop by the security guard.

Mu Cheng heard her singing and saw her on the rooftop and went to rescue her.

Episode 4

Xue Tong was so upset that Liu Qi did not turn up for their rendezvous on the rooftop.  To cheer her up, Bai Lin took her drinking at Qi Qi shop.

They then continued drinking and singing karaoke in an establishment in the red light district.  It was unfortunate for them as the police turned up and arrested them for prostitution.

They were taken to the police precinct and they told the police that they did not know that the karaoke bar was a front for prostitution.

They book it online.

The police asked them to bring in a respectable guardian.

Xue Tong had to ask Mu Cheng to come and help them out at the police station.

Xue Tong and Mu Cheng were developing an affinity with their love of Russia.  He lent her his precious CD, Goodbye, Lenin, to listen to chill out.

Because Bai Lin was so drunk and unruly, Xue Tong stepped on her bag where she put the CD.

Hangovered Bai Lin did not attend class and would need a letter from the school medic.  When she went to the clinic she fell in love at first sight with Zhong Qiang, a swimmer.

Xue Tong and Mu Cheng continued to rely on one another.  She began helping him with his thesis on thermodynamics.  She had finally confessed to Mu Cheng that she destroyed his CD.

Episode 5

Mu Cheng took Xue Tong to the planetarium.  He explained to her the Einstein theory of relativity as well as the interstellar travels of Voyager 1.  Voyager 1 was launched by NASA in 1977 containing human information.  A few years ago, Voyager 1 had left our Solar System.

Bai Lin went on a field trip with the Student Council with Senior Li. While away, she saw a photo of Zhong Qiang being cosy with his ex-girlfriend.

Bai Lin was, of course, got very upset but then again Senior Li was there to cheer her on.  They were interrupted by the arrival of Zhong Qiang who declared to Bai Lin that he fell for her at first sight and his ex-girlfriend took the photo as the last memory of them together.

Zhong Qiang threatened to jump off the cliff if Bai Lin did not forgive them.

Meanwhile, Mu Cheng was away on a conference.  Xue Tong was actually missing him.

Then he turned up and everything is rosy for Xue Tong again.

 

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10

Episode 11

Mu Cheng invited Xue Tong to spend the day with him at the amusement park.

Xue Tong asked if they could go to the tower, where it has a reputation for a place for confessing.

Unfortunately, a schoolmate saw Xue Tong, so she and Mu Cheng ended up sitting at each opposite side of the pod with the schoolmate and her boyfriend at the middle.

Afterwards, Xue Tong asked mu Cheng if he had wanted to take her to the tower all along, sort of asking him if he was going to confess to her.

Mu Cheng was rather dense and told her that “no”, did not think of taking her in the tower.

Xue Tong got upset and started to keep away from Mu Cheng.

She even started to see her old crush.

At the end of her date with her old crush, Mu Cheng showed up and had a talk with the boy.  He told the boy to give up because Xue Tong his Mu Cheng’s.

Finally, Mu Cheng confessed to Xue Tong.  He wrote Я люблю тебя (YA lyublyu tebya) on the windscreen of his car.  It means I Love You.

And then they hugged.

Episode 12

Xue Tong’s mother who was a policewoman had been nagging Xue Tong for coming home late every night.

Xue Tong had been meeting Mu Cheng and they were totally loved up.

One day they were fyling a kite when Mu Cheng suddenly become disorientated.   He was so dizzy that he can’t drive the car.

Xue Tong was so worried thinking that her boyfriend has some terminal disease.  Mu Cheng refused to go to the hospital but rather slept off his dizziness.

He later told Xue Tong that he has Meniere’s disease which causes him to have dizziness and vertigo.  He got it when he was still a child.

Mu Cheng had asked Xue Tong if she wanted to go diving.  He then invited her to celebrate valentine’s day and then they will go aboard for some serious diving.

In the meantime, Mu Cheng went to celebrate the New Yew with his mother and stepfather and stepbrother.

While Xue Tong celebrated the new year with her mother and family.  She also had time to catch up with her childhood best friend.

Xue Tong was feeling particularly fond of her mother that she confessed that she has a boyfriend.

Thinking that her mother would go mental, Xue Tong was surprised that her mother was really chilled but told her that she was not ready to have a boyfriend of her daughter to meet her.

Episode 13 Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day did not go as planned for Xue Tong and Mu Cheng.  They were so looking forward to seeing each other but their plans were thwarted by Mu Cheng’s mother who brought home a blind date for Mu Cheng.

Mu Cheng told his mother that he was a Valentine but the mother did not believe him and took away his car keys.

He was forced to entertain his blind date.

He was honest with Xue Tong about his blind.  She was so disappointed but what can she do?!!!

Song QiQi had a surprise visitor at the shop where she work.  Her married lover came to visit her.  He waited for her the strike of midnight to give her a rose and then left at 12:01 to go back to his wife.  Despite a minute romance, Song Qi Qi was happy.

The annoying Bai Lin was waiting for her boyfriend to show up but being Valentine’s day, the trains and buses are overbooked, so he was stranded at his hometown.

Bai Lin managed to get a ride from a minivan which was charging an exorbitant fee.  When she got to her boyfriend’s hometown, he received a call from him that he was near her house.  Annoying Bai Lin screamed her head off and told him that if was not in front of her before Valentine’s Day was over, they were through.

She then posted a weibo update.  Her senior, who has a massive crush on her, turned up to look after her.  He did so well too, though Bai Lin did not notice it one bit.

Her boyfriend turned up, at last, he was so scared that Bai Lin might break up with her.  He removed his top off and showed her his present for her for Valentine’s Day.  It was a rose tattoo on his chest.  But on a closer look, Bai Lin found that it was a fake.

He boyfriend told her that all the tattoo parlours were closed.

The gorgeous Xiao Tang was not having a romantic time on Valentine’s day.  Her boyfriend told her that he had a meeting so he can’t meet her immediately. A beautiful bouquet of roses arrived but it was meant for another girl.  It has a reminder of the time and place of their date.

Xiao Tang went to the restaurant and found her boyfriend on a date with another woman.  She told them to enjoy Valentine’s day and broke up with the man.

Meanwhile, Mu Cheng finally got away and met Xue Tong.  He took her to a flower shop where he ordered a bouquet of Bulgarian roses.  Unfortunately, as he did not show earlier so they were all gone.

What was left was seeds of Bulgarian roses which were supposed hard to grow.  It was given freely to them by the florist.

They went back to Mu Cheng’s house and they planted the seeds immediately and then each made a wish to spend all their Valentines with each other.

Episode 14

Mu Cheng and Xiu Tong went to Malaysia for their diving.

They shared the same room but nothing happened.

Xiu Tong was rather frustrated seeing that the place they went to was full of honeymooners and lovers.

She had not slept with Mu Cheng.  The only intimacy they shared was holding hands once.

But on the last night, Xiu Tong was in a mood, frustrated.

Mu Cheng then gave her a really long snog and that made her happy but not for long because when they landed back to China and went back to Mu Cheng’s house, his mother was there and she was not very impressed at how young Xiu Tong was.

She also got very upset when he found out that the two went to Malaysia to do diving.

Diving is strictly prohibited for Mu Cheng because of his disease.

Xiu Tong left the mother and son to fight it out.

She then started ignoring Mu Cheng’s calls and texts and devoted her time helping her best friend, who was a member of a pro-animals group.

They followed a restauranteur who bought snakes as a delicacy for his restaurant.

Xiu Tong and her friend got caught by the dealers and they would have been beaten up if Mu Cheng did not turn up along with the police.

The experience shook Xiu Tong so much she asked to go home with Mu Cheng as she did not want to be alone at her house as her mother was on duty.

She was hesitant to enter the house.

Mu Cheng was looking at her concernedly.

Xiu Tong reached out to him and kissed him deeply.

He looked at her and then picked her in his arms and shot the front door and the bedroom door.

The next morning they both woke up in bed happy.

Episode 15

Mu Cheng and Xiu Tong became subject of gossip especially when their photographs looking rather friendly were posted in the university’s intranet.

Their friends supported them and Bai Lin asked her senior to speak to the intranet moderator to remove the photos.

To minimise the rumours Mu Cheng and Xiu Tong agreed to only see each other on weekends and outside school.

Meanwhile, Qi Qi finally revealed to her friends that she has a boyfriend but what she did not tell them was that he was married.

The immensity of being the other woman finally fell on Qi Qi like a tonne of bricks.  She was having a happy lunchtime date with her boyfriend when his wife turned up out of the blue.

From then on she tried to keep away from her boyfriend.  She felt very very sad as her boyfriend tried to tell her that she was important to him and that if they talk they can come into some sort or arrangement.

Qi Qi left and continued sitting and crying outside in the rain.

The next day she fainted in the shop where she worked.

Episode 16

The boyfriend found Qi Qi at the hospital and stayed with her until she was discharged.

Their mutual love of Lorca’s poetry had bonded them.

But their relationship was living under borrowed time.

The boyfriend’s wife came to Qi Qi Russian lecture and slapped her in front of her professor and classmates.

Her affair with a married man spread like wildfire.

She then decided to take a break from uni.  Her boyfriend also called her and said some cruel things to break up with her.

Episode 17

Love The Way You Are (Chinese Movie Review & Summary)

Chinese Film 2019

Coming Soon

Love The Way You Are (Chinese Movie Review & Summary)

Love The Way You Are poster

  • Genre: Romance, Youth
  • Release Date: 20 June 2019
  • Origin: China, Adapted from a novel
  • Film: 1hr 30 min

Cast:

16 June

Poppy, photo by JMorton

 

“I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.”
– Galileo

 

16 June

 


Happy Birthday!


Commemorating:

  • Father’s Day 2019
  • Russian Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to go to space on this day in 1963.  To this date, she still holds the record the only woman to have flown solo to space.

 

Tamako In Moratorium (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)

Japanese Movie 2013

Tamako In Moratorium (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)

Tamako in Moratorium poster

  • Genre: Family, Drama
  • Date Released: October 2013
  • Origin: Japan
  • Film: 78 Minutes

Cast:

 

  • Tamako Sakai – Atsuko Maeda
  • Yoshitsugu Sakai – Suon Kan
  • Jin – Seiya Ito
  • Keisuke Sakai – Keiichi Suzuki
  • Yoshiko Sakai – Kumi Nakamura
  • Yoko – Yasuko Tomita

This drama is so clever.  I have to say I watched it expecting to see something climactic in the end because all the initiating forces were there.  Thus kept you interested hoping for a dramatic or at least heartwarming ending!

It started in Autumn.  Tamako was a 23-year-old woman, who had just graduated from university.  She seemed to have promptly returned to her father, who was divorced from the mother, who was currently working and living in Tokyo with another man.

Anyway, Tamako had turned into a complete sloth who instead of looking for a job and enjoying young adult life was instead can be found, sleeping, eating, reading manga or playing video games.  She was completely dependent on her father, who runs a sports equipment shop.

Her father does the cooking and he was quite good at it as well, he does the cleaning and he was very thorough too, plus he does the laundry, even washing his daugther’s undies.

The way she was abominably treating her father, you would think that he had done something really wrong with her, like incest for instance, but know her father was affable and quite good to her.  He even spoils her with an expensive gift when he gets drunk.

At first, her father would ask her why she was not looking for work?  What was the point in going to university?

Tamako replied that it was not the time, she will around to it… soon.

Autumn rolled into winter, winter into spring and spring into summer.

Tamako remained unemployed but she did try to send an application to become an idol.

Her father saw the photos she had had taken of her in cutsy poses (Again the rather hush hush way Tamako and the boy talked of keeping secret the pictures taken, I thought it was nude photos.  (This was from the clever use of a near-nude new year’s calendar somewhere in the film which subliminally insinuated it.

The photographer was the highschooler.  Again, I put drama in this relationship as well.  I thought Tamako would fall for the young boy because of sheer boredom and loneliness from being coop up at home.

But no, again it was a non-starter.

She tagged along with her father to go to her uncle’s house for free food.

Tamako heard that her father, who had become rather cheerful lately, had begun dating an accessory teacher.

Tamako was intrigued and was against the idea at first.  But her aunt said that her father should start looking for a life companion as Tamako will sooner rather than later be leaving home not that she was grown up.

Tamako tried to find out everything about her father’s new girlfriend.

She send the schoolboy to the centre where the woman taught.

The boy said that she was kind, charming, a divorcee owns a cat, etc.

Tamako asked if she was pretty.

The boy said he doesn’t know but probably.

Tamako can’t help it but see for herself how the woman was.

She went to the centre herself and even attended the accessory making session.

The woman was very kind and soon enough Tamako was telling her that she doesn’t have any problem with the woman dating her father.  Tamako warned her though that her father was very pretentious.  He cooked at home and add decoration to his food like putting parsley on top of the food.  She also told her that he had hairy legs.  She also said that her father nagged at her but cannot find the courage to tell her to move out.

The woman said pointedly to Tamako that now she knew why her father can’t find a girlfriend, it was because Tamako is mean.

During another dinner with her father, he finally told her that by the end of summer, she should move out.

This seemed to have shaken Tamako a bit because she started helping in the shop.

That afternoon, while eating popsicle with the boy, they got talking about his love life.

He confessed that he had broken up with his girlfriend.

When she asked him why?

He said the feeling had just naturally vanished.

Left alone, Tamako pondered about feelings which naturally vanished.  She then said to herself, I have never heard of that one before.

The film ended…

At first you feel like what had just happened?  Nothing had really happened yet?  Why is it finished?!!!

But it was just like taking paracetamol.  The effect is not instantaneous, you have wait and ponder a little while to realise that the film was really clever.  Behind non-eventful scenes lie self-summary of the film.  You are left to add your self-contained dramas to the film.  Or just say what a b******t film.

By the way, the lead actress was excellent.  She was so annoying in her laziness but she was so pretty, you forgive her.