[Episodic Thoughts] “Outbound Love” Episode 3
Outbound Love <單戀雙城>
TVB Series 2014
Cast: Ruco Chan, Aimee Chan, Tony Hung, Lin Xia Wei, Matt Yeung, and Samantha Ko
Disclaimer: This is a watch as I write episodic thoughts and some information may not be accurate since this is memory based. Certain dialogue is reproduced with some creative license adopted. I apologize if there is any mistake. All opinion remains my own.
Since this episode talks mostly about how someone feels about someone or something, I decided from henceforth to add FUNNLING METRE which is Funn’s “Feeling About This Episode And Series Generally Thus Far In A Few Short Words or emoticons or pictures or blood or whatever” Metre. I need to do this because I want to motivate myself to keep going with these recaps.
This will be a short recap.
Finally it is revealed why Kei Ying was so upset and here I am not sure whether she is a slut or she genuinely thinks her best friend wasn’t really into the guy who is either a really consistent lying player or is a reformed player. Because in 2 consecutive episodes I have heard the same dialogue from the same guy. And this episode proves my point why 2 actresses are serious miscast for very different reasons.
Anyway Kei Ying was the one who introduced Nic to Sik Sik. It also appears Kei Ying was Nic’s financial adviser or rather agent in that respect and they were having a sexual relationship. Not affair, not love, just sex. She was upset because in the car he told her the girl she saw was Sue his Malaysian ex girlfriend and happily she thought he was still a player until he said he was marrying Sik Sik because Sik Sik makes him want to quit playing and settle down. She was upset because she thought he wasn’t serious about Sik Sik. Now from the viewpoint of a BFF shouldn’t she feel more for Sik Sik when she thought he was a player because Sik Sik was serious with Nic even if he wasn’t serious with her? I find Kei Ying such a confusing person. Slut or BFF? You decide. Anyway she patched things up with Sik Sik when Nic told her she wouldn’t tell Sik Sik about him and her since Kei Ying wouldn’t want to lose her BFF. In return, Nic bought her a HKD50,000-00 diamond earrings that she wanted, the same one she told Chin Jun that if Sik Sik seeks her forgiveness, do it with that same pair of earrings she couldn’t afford. Sik Sik saw the receipt in Nic’s wallet and was happily imagining Nic buying that expensive earring for her until she saw Kei Ying wearing it and Chin Jun speculated (in a joking sort of way) that she was given a “break up” gift by Nic! Kei Ying decided to be half honest as in telling Sik Sik about Sue and advised Sik Sik “If you want to marry him then you must trust him”. Sik Sik being gullible and happy go lucky believed her unquestionably and later met with Nic who gratefully looked at Kei Ying and as they all walked away, Nic intimately brushed Kei Ying’s back as I suppose a grateful gesture. Not far away a sullen angry looking man looked on.
Let’s take a big guess. Sue’s ex boyfriend from Malaysia perhaps?
Continue. Back to Malaysia as in Penang and peppered with some Malaysian slang and then some obvious missed chances, story shifts to Ruco with the most untalented dessert chef Chun Chun (Xiawei). He encouraged her to never stop learning and to make a good dessert is first to seek love. She agreed she was perhaps untalented and her brother was paying for her living expenses. Anyway she was going back to HK for her brother’s engagement party.
Meanwhile Ruco almost bumps into 2 squabbling women arguing in Malay and I suppose they must be Malays even if the actresses are Chinese so I wonder why they argue in Malay in the first place. The gist of the argument is over one guy as in who he liked more and etc and he avoided them, called his mom and asked why he so ordinary looking with glasses and all could still attract the unwanted attention of the opposite sex. If he wasn’t Ruco, I would have said such a statement is sort of ego boosting aka “sai meng” aka “sunning your fate” literally aka boasting your good fortune. What a weird moment.
Back to HK engagement party night or whatever, frankly I didn’t care. Short version; striptease by men, everyone happy and Nic left a pub with a girl in tow who kissed him and he kissed back and then he stopped and said the exact same thing to Sue and then to Kei Ying about not wanting to cheat his fiancee and he fretted and the girl insulted left. My question is, was he being genuine or was he dumping ALL his girlfriends with the same excuse? And how many girlfriends he had at the same time anyway? Same dialogue, same situation, same look.
I would have hated this guy except he really loved his sister, even bought her his next door’s super expensive condo unit and generally he is a nice guy except he can’t keep his lips to his fiance alone. I suppose Sik Sik will dump him when she finds out how he repeatedly cheated or almost cheated on her and cheated on her with her BFF. Ohhhhh drama.. still yet to come… when?! If she doesn’t get her heart broken she won’t go to Penang and I won’t see more of Ruco! Come on, break her heart already!!
Meanwhile did I mention Chin Jun is in love with Sik Sik? That he dumped Applebaby after Applebaby tore his picture with Sik Sik? Does it matter? No of course not so we move on.
Sik Sik disagreed with her father going on some trip to Tibet, had a huge argument and suddenly, QUITE SUDDENLY we are told she felt her father hated her because her mom was killed, hit by a car buying her lemon liquorice which she insisted when she was a child. She told Chin Jun that she knew her father loved her eldest sister more but she felt she needed to be honest about how she felt about her father’s trip, if not she will feel regret forever.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere came this revelation. And in that one scene, wayyyyyyy too much “I feel”, “He feels”, etc. Way too much feeling and too little what they all think. I do know this scene is just to illustrate how straightforward Sik Sik is. Right is right, black is black, etc. She also forgives easily, gets over things easily, a really perky optimistic girl. Which makes me really feel Aimee is a total miscast.
Somewhere along the way we are shown flashbacks as to how Nic met Sik Sik. Doesn’t matter, because whilst it was dreamy and all, kinda further illustrates … come on you know what I am going to say don’t you?
Anyway, let’s move on…
Sik Sik is very very happy that she has 2 BFFs who genuinely loves her. Except she doesn’t know the female BFF was screwing her boyfriend and her male BFF is really in love with her hence conditional love. It would seem the only one who is unconditional is Ruco who helped her, rescued her, etc etc etc. Can this series be any more obvious? Anyway Kei Ying tellingly said to Sik Sik “I haven’t been treating you well! I swear I will treat you better!” and Chin Jun said “I will always treat you well!!”.
Ahhh tragedy! Tragedy of conditional friendships!
Episode ends with Aimee explaining what is Nyonya and Nyonya food.
Short huh? I can do more detailed but what’s the point? Main story has yet to start and the rest are just pointless fillers.
I am still very very bothered with the inconsistency presented by the dialogue which Ruco has to utter. He is doing fine but the dialogue is a total fail to me. Wanna know how to do a proper local slang sort of dialogue? Watch Jack Neo’s movies. Yes, Singaporean food are not as good as ours but their movies in terms of locality and flavour is much better. More fluid, more natural, more consistent.
Why I am bothered is because Nyonya is still called some Cantonese version. When Ruco was saying “Cin Cai” (see Episode 2 for explanation on what is that term) and “sui” (bad) and what nots, come to crunch time failed totally. Like…
He was explaining about Nyonya dessert as in “kou” which is very HK-ish way of saying thing. If you must say sui or cincai or whatever, you must know we say “kuih” as in Nyonya kuih . Kuih is same as kou. But that is minor point. However adopting minor point can make the major point more.. local? When he said “min bau” which is perfectly ok since it means bread in Cantonese but here I will say we use the word “lor-di” which is the Chinese way of pronouncing “roti” which is Malay for bread. But this is minor since we do say min-bau. Moot point, hamburger is in Cantonese “hon-bou-bau” but here we say perhaps burger. Again that is minor but sometimes if you want to insist on an actor to use certain distinctive slang and show 2 chinese women bickering in Malay, why not get the basics right or rather more localised like kuih, lor-di and what nots? Why not go all the way? I know Ruco is trying his best since he didn’t write the dialogue but this is not helping his character who is so HK guy in Malaysia trying hard to just blend in when the way he speaks sets him apart. But then so does the way he dresses and etc.
Apart from that, I am bothered with Aimee being the first lead in this production. I like her, I have said so many times but I am beginning to think she is not ready to lead. Sometimes I feel she is lost in the background and this is one series no other female stars even outshine the other and she manages to be so dimming, you know what I mean? Aimee is cute, she is competent but she doesn’t fit the happy, gullible, nice, cute, dreamy Sik Sik. This sort of role you can see many young Taiwanese actresses doing them and doing them well even if I seriously hate their accent and the way they talk. Aimee lacks that dreaminess and I can’t cheer her on because I don’t buy her character at all. I feel she is too jaded looking to be Sik Sik. And for Sik Sik to work, it has to be a very charming likable actress. I am not sure Aimee is charming in that sense. That sort of way where Sik Sik has to dominate the scenes without being overbearing. Aimee just doesn’t have that stand out quality in her.
On the other hand, Samantha Ko will be a better choice as Sik Sik. She has that dreamy quality, that sort who daydreams, who is always giggling no matter what, sort of not too street smart hence the male characters rushing to protect her with their lives. Samantha as a maneater is such a miscast.
I am never a fan of Lin Xiawei and I cringed when she put on the so called BB voice (like that Applebaby did) when she thought her brother was throwing her things way. I cringed big time. Xiawei’s Chun Chun is someone simple minded who is keen on finding the path to making great desserts. If you cut out the BB factor and simple mindedness but add in someone who seeks to better herself and on the way find true love, I will say Aimee is a good actress for such a role. It would have been better is Aimee is Chun Chun. Xiawei is such an uncharismatic actress, I look at her and I yawned. And this is only episode 3!
As for the guys, they fare better.
Matt Yeung is ok except his character is one note with same dialogue. And I never realised he has such a huge head until this series who loves to go up close and personal. And lucky devil; he had passionate kissing scenes with 2 actresses already!
Tony Hung is ok. I have no comment. Except maybe the cake he made for Aimee’s Sik Sik (supposedly made) was one ugly cake. I am not looking forward to his scenes with Xiawei which I feel pulls the focus away from the not yet in focus main couple.
Finally Ruco. Nothing much for him to do. Dialogue fails him, delivery is ok but so far kinda “lepak-ing” without much to do aka hanging around with nothing substantial to do.
Episode 3 is not bad but I feel the focus must be brought back to main couple, to Sik Sik. Everybody else is such a distraction.
Themesong is still god awful and end song is the themesong which makes it double awful.
I really wanna love this series but I am feeling even if she runs to Malaysia later on, the story is past redeeming itself. Let’s hope it won’t be as such. I am however dreading how Ruco will repeatedly and unconditionally help her because well… Malaysia has no leng lui for him to fall in love with and he simply had to fall for the one who needed saving the most. Which brings me to the point I have been repeating again and again. You know which point!
This Episodic Thoughts is written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at http://outboundlove.blogspot.com.