金玉良缘 aka Perfect Couple – Episode 1 Recap

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I nearly died from laughing after watching the  first 3 fantastic episodes of Perfect Couple. Words can not adequately describe how much fun it was to watch physical and verbal comedy done to perfection. While the first episode was slightly more introductory, the rest of them were just pure fun to watch.Tong Hua is a master of letting her readers visualize her story, which is one of the reasons why all her novels are hugely popular. Of course, her stories are always vastly complicated and always leaves the reader in a state of indecisive contentment (I will probably write more on this at the end of the recap)  I want to share my joy of watching a show that I didn’t press fast forward in at all, it’s something that should be enjoyed not just by those who speak Chinese but anyone who is a fan of Tong Hua. Now I’m off to watch the next 3 episodes and will try to recap as soon as I can!

 

We open to a massive celebration in the town. Towns people are talking about the General Jin’s son who is getting married to a wealthy young lady today. A poorly dressed boy (girl) asks, who is getting married? The men answer the beggar that it’s Jin Yuan Bao,  the only son of General Jin. The beggar laughs about Jin Yuan Bao’s stupid name. As she walks away she steps on a rich looking girl’s feet. The rich girl demands that the beggar kneel and apologize and the beggar says that she can give the rich girl her shoes. The rich girls warns the beggar that the current magistrate is her distant uncle’s brother-in-law’s friend from the same neighborhood. As the beggar hilariously tries to count the connections, a thief goes and steals the rich girl’s bag, the beggar goes after the thief.

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A chase ensues and it’s clear that the beggar has some skills. A handsome man in white watches the chase from a second floor balcony, his right hand man comments that they’ve been following the thief, that the man in white was right that the thief would come this way. his man asks him if they should catch him now, the man in white answers that there’s no hurry, he wants to see how else does the thief would lead them to. They follow the beggar chasing the thief.

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At the house of Jin, the lady of the house decked in all finery is receiving a house placard written by the Grand Dowager’s own hand. The eunuch bows respectfully to the lady and says that since she is the Grand Dowager’s niece, they should be bowing to her. He asks where the young Lord Jin Yuan Bao, the lady smiles awkwardly and whispers-orders for someone to go and find their young lord.

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The thief’s kung fu isn’t ask good as the beggars and he throws the money bag in haste to retreat. The white robed man mutters, that stupid beggar, if the thief doesn’t leave we’ll never get to the bottom of this.

The white robed man tells the beggar to stop, but the beggar fights back ands asks who the hell the white robed man thought he was. The beggar flips the white robes man’s clothes around and sees a government issued pendant that marks him to be a detective. The thief sees this and tries to run away, he’s caught by the white robe man’s bodyguards. The white robed man grabs a piece of paper the theif tried to destory and realize the theif was part of a girl selling ring in the city.

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The white robed man deduces that based on teh quality and the distinctively Xi Yu (Hello DMY)sweet smell of the paper and the distinctive material it had, it was from Xian Jiao Ge, the dance house of the capital. The beggar asks loudly who the hell is the white robed man?

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The marriage party is just outside the city gates. A girl wrestles a bag out of her mistress’s hands and tells her mistress to stop this madness, she can’t keep trying to run away. All the times she’s tried, she has failed. The lady tells her maid that she doesn’t want to marry Jin Yuan Bao, especially since she doesn’t want to marry a stranger and she already has someone in her heart. The maid begs her mistress to stop, she might even like Jin Yuan Bao  once she sees him. The lady looks rebelliously at her maid.

The Jin welcoming party is outside the gates, with housekeeper and cousin to Jin Yuan Bao, Housekeeper Liu waiting for the Lady Jiang’s arrival.

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The Jin’s doctor comes up and smiles at Housekeeper Liu says, “Your skin looks dark, your eyes aren’t bright, and you look weak do you want me to give you a prescription?”

Houskeeper Liu looks at the little doctor and says, “When I am on my deathbed and i need something to help me leave this earth, i will look to you.” Undeterred and probably uncomprehending, the young doctor utters excitedly, “of course, you’re going to try my medicine? whenever you need it, let me know!”

Back to the beggar, the white robe man, and the thief. One of the White Robe Man’s underlings introduce him as Jin Yuan Bao, the best detective in the capital. The beggar lights up in hearing this exclaims “You’re Jin Yuan Bao!?”

Jin Yuan Bao haughtily corrects him by saying, “wrong! I am the amazing detective Jin Yuan Bao.”

The beggar goes in for a hug and Jin Yuan Bao stops him with a fan, asking what the hell is he doing. The beggar says that Jin Yuan Bao is his idol. The beggar proceeds to try pull down Jin Yuan Bao’s pants and had to be pulled off Jin Yuan Bao. At the same the Jin Yuan Bao is hollering what the hell and smacking the beggar with a fan. Jin Yuan Bao tells his men to throw the thief in prison.

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Jin yuan Bao’s mother has sent people to find Jin Yuan Bao, because the Empress has sent the personally written placard to the house. Jin Yuan Bao ignores this and tells the servant that he has to follow the case. The servant asks where Jin Yuan Bao is going and he answers – the dance houses (chinese alternative for prostitution house).The beggar listens with great interest. The servant looks on speechless.

Lady Jiang (Jin Yuan Bao’s fiance) arrives at the gates where Housekeeper Liu greets her. She lies and says she’s unwell and wishes to be housed at a guesthouse. He agrees. The doctor pipes up that if she has traveler’s disease (diarrhea) he will help, his name is Gu Da Fu, and he is the doctor for the Jin house. Housekeeper Liu pulls him away from the carriage and asks what the hell is the little doctor doing. The little doctor answers back that he’s memorized Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Chang Xiang Si reference, anyone?) and he’s really good at his job. The women in the carriage roll their eyes at the overly helpful doctor and the housekeeper who’s trying to shut him up.

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Jin Yuan Bao arrives at the prostitution house and goes to sniff all the women there. The lady of the house comes in and recognizes him and asks who he wants to accompany him. He asks if this was all they had to offer, the woman smiles and says that there is one girl who rarely sees customers. Jin Yuan Bao orders the lady of the house to bring the girl, giving her a giant piece of gold.

The woman goes to see Chu Chu and begs her to see Jin Yuan Bao and shows her the gold piece. Chu Chu who normally doesn’t see customer agrees. Jin Yuan Bao smells her scent and recognizes that she’s the one whose helping sell girls in the city. He smiles at her and says, “If I set my eyes on you, you won’t be able to escape my attention.”

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Meanwhile, the beggar has disguised herself as a bearded man and hides in one of the empty rooms in the prostitution house. She looks at herself and sighs saying, even the beard can’t hide my womanly charms. She draws dots on her face. She opens a draw and sees a whip, candles, and rope, which she wonders what it’s for (I’m laughing at Tong Hua’s audacity) She also sees the lists of girls that are being sold. But before she can investigate further, Chu Chu has lead Jin Yuan Bao into the room The disguised beggar quickly hides under the bed.

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He tries to stop her closing the door and says, I need to order us some food. She smiles at him coyly, “Arn’t I enough for you to eat.” She pushes him on the bed. He asks her to dances saying sweet things about how beautiful she is, under the bed, the beggar gags at his cheesy words.

 

Meahwhile the Mistress Jin, Jin Yuan Bao’s mom is asking where the hell is her son. The servant looks down and says that he’s working a case. She asks where he went and the servant reluctantly tells her, the prostitution house. She says, “What?!”

Jin Yuan Bao proceeds to ask her questions about what she does on her off time, if she was interested in side businesses.   She tells him she’s only interested in eating him right now. He gets nervous and says that he needs girls to dance as entertainment for his wedding, perhaps Chu Chu might know of some? Clearly he’s not eager to bed her, though he needs his questions answered.

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She smiles and undresses him and says, “All men are the same, you may eat the fresh fruit, but look for new things. Tonight it’s just you and me. And pushes him down. The beggar tries to crawl out from under the bed, but bumps her head. Chu Chu leans down to look but didn’t find anyone.

Jin Yuan Bao regains his composure as Chu Chu asks if he brought anyone tonight. The beggar has escaped to the side of the room, peeking at the couple. she bumps into the drawer and Chu Chu jumps up. Jin Yuan Bao sits as if nothing as  happened. Alarms raised, Chu Chu asks Jin Yuan Bao to get out. Jin Yuan Bao is about to leave when the beggar, hiding behind the bed mutters, “No, don’t let him go yet.” and accidentally tips over the headboard.

Jin Yuan Bao and Chu Chu looks at the bearded man (disguised beggar) in confusion. The beggar clears his throat and starts yelling at Chu Chu, saying that she promised him that he was her one true love and now she’s meeting with some little white faced man (Jin Yuan Bao), just what did Jin Yuan Bao think he was? The beggar starts fighting Jin Yuan Bao and Chu Chu escapes in the confusion.

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The beggar chases Jin Yuan Bao, all the while shouting nonsense. The beggar looks at Jin Yuan Bao lecherously and Jin Yuan Bao shudders. Jin Yuan Bao tries to scramble and escape but the beggar grabs him by the pants and tries to pull them down. Jin Yuan Bao crawls under the bed and the two meet at the other end.

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Outside, Jin Yuan Bao’s men hears a commotion but before they can go, masked men attacks them.

In the room the beggar is better at Kung Fu than Jin Yuan Bao and soon as taken off Jin Yuan Bao’s robe. Jin Yuan Bao protectively covers his chest, asking “What sect or faction are you from, why are you trying to take off my clothes?”

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The beggar lungs at the now derobed Jin Yuan Bao who leaps for the ceiling and hangs on with on hand on the ceiling beam and one hand on his pants. The beggars tries to pull off his pants, swtiching one side to another. Jin yuan Bao has to do a bit of acrobatics and switches hands and alternatively keeping his pants up. He has no choices and screams “Someone come in here and save me.”

The beggar laughs and says, “Scream as loud as you want! No one will save you!” and pulls him down. Jin Yuan Bao backs away, as the beggar laughs, “run if you want!” and flips him over, about to pull down his pants. Jin Yuan Bao’s men run in just in time and fight off the beggar, as they are about to chase after him, Jin Yuan Bao tells them to stop, saying the guy was too powerful. They ask how they will find Chu Chu and Jin Yuan Bao’s mystery attack and Jin Yuan Bao starts drawing their likeness.

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As he draws he deduces that Chu Chu and the mystery attacker were not working together. One of Jin Yuan Bao’s men ask if the mystery attack was drawn in by Jin Yuan Bao’s beauty. Jin Yuan Bao smacks him and tells him to shut up.

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Meanwhile the beggar runs away and has his friend look to see if anyone followed. The friend says no, and the beggar sighs in relief. He asks the Beggar if he saw the birthmark on Jin Yuan Bao’s butt, and the beggar says no. the friend asks if they should go back to E Mei,  and the beggar refuses. She says that since beggar’s adoptive mother wants to know if Jin Yuan Bao was her true son, the beggar would definitely do this favor for her adoptive mom. They are not leaving until the beggar can confirm that Jin Yuan Bao is or isn’t her adoptive mom’s lost child.

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Jin Yuan Bao has returned home, and his mother berates him for not showing up today at the placard giving ceremony. Jin Yuan Bao says that he doesn’t want to marry the Jiang daughter, he wants to marry because of love regardless of the age and looks of his partner, not some arranged marriage. The mother explains that this marriage is set in stone and will bring shame to the family if it doesn’t happen. She tells him to follow her.

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—–

It took two days for me to recap this episode. Tong Hua has an amazing way of bringing characters to life that makes you want to keep watching. However, as these episodes came out during my vacation, I was watching the show in snippets. Honestly, the first episode was fun and the premise is pretty good. Though the  But it was the next two episodes that really sold the show. It simultaneously reminds me of the stephen chow comedies in that it’s got the best of physical and verbal sparing. Tong Hua never just writes one dimensional characters and I really love her female characters. Just because we don’t have a name yet (in the drama) of Tang Yan’s character doesn’t mean she’s not way to awesome for words.

However, as a fan of Tong Hua’s books, I do have to say that her stories have a tendency to lacerate the heart. Reading some chapters is like gladly and willingly walking on broken glass for the sake of seeing your favorite characters do things that make you smile and cry at the same time. She is a master of angst and creates memorable people without fail. I am a huge fan of her writing. But being a reader of her books I know that even her good endings leave the reader with a huge hole in their hearts. I was pretty much a wreck after DMY and I can’t even start on CXS, because the tears will start flowing. So it is with great eagerness and trepidation that I watch this drama.

It took me about two episodes to fall in love with the female character. As the male lead, I have to say,  Wallace Huo plays the prickish character with grace and charm. So much so that I can’t wait to share the next episode!

 

 

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6 thoughts on “金玉良缘 aka Perfect Couple – Episode 1 Recap

  1. carolies541 April 23, 2014 at 11:54 am Reply

    I’m entertained by ep1-3, it’s been quite some time ever since I enjoy a c-drama because the recent c-dramas have too much Makjang and ridiculous plots. This drama actually kind of reminds me of Wallace Huo’s Guai Xia Yi Zhi Mei for the tone, pacing and comedy. Tang Tang looks cute as usual, in Paladin 3, they’re the only couple I cared about so I’m super happy to see them reunite in Perfect couple. Planning to watch ep4-9 later.

    • karenedramaddictions April 25, 2014 at 7:20 am Reply

      The constable office in Perfect Couple is actually the same one they used for Guai Xia Yi Zhi Mei!

      • carolies541 April 26, 2014 at 8:08 am

        Now that you mention, I just realize they’re the same person, LOL!!

  2. karenedramaddictions April 24, 2014 at 12:43 am Reply

    To be honest, the stills released before the drama aired made me quite apprehensive about the drama. It was pretty and all, but bordered on looking over exaggerated with the comedic scenes and even the names of the characters.

    But after watching the first 3 episodes, I found the story rather engaging and there restraint on the comedic elements – enough to make us laugh but not too much to make me cringe.

    If I have to find fault, it would be the choppy editing where one scene cuts to another, before cutting back to the same scene again.

  3. Visitor May 9, 2014 at 3:16 pm Reply

    Thank you for the very nice recap and discussions! I was semi-leery after watching the first couple of episodes but I find this series has reasonably pleasant supporting characters; overall it’s a fine light-hearted series. I’m fine with the 2 leads though I don’t like absolutely everything about the actors or characters. The “persistence” of Tang Yan’s character and the loudness of her speech sometimes sends me rushing to turn down the volume.

    Vivian Wu does a nice job. The actors for multiple characters; Jiang Xiaoxuan, her bf, Wallace Huo’s (Jin Yuanbao’s) cousins, etc. are reasonable.

    My “thing” is that I find Lu Yi a better actor than Wallace Huo in general. But I prefer this series to Gong 3. I like Wallace Huo fine. It’s just that I prefer Lu Yi’s work. If only I could watch a version with Lu Yi in this series.. 🙂

    Not fond of the the lady actress who plays Jinbao’s biological mother though. Her lines also have too much cliche (Spoiler: it’s hard to believe she was the late general’s great love. Her acting was mostly ok, but .. ).

  4. karened May 10, 2014 at 10:51 pm Reply

    Lu Yi’s acting is good! And I miss his Shao Nian Bao Qing Tian days..He could do a less exaggerated but just as adorable Jin Yuan Bao (not that I don’t like Wallace’s JYB of course!)

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