Invincinble Shan Bao Mei 1: Two Fortuitous Meetings

This love story dates as far back as 17 years ago. It doesn’t start with a kiss, it doesn’t start with going to the wrong bed, and it doesn’t start with a butter knife either. It starts with a kidnap and a lunch box of sambo/san-bao rice. (Irugnotmis’s one minute cooking lesson: Sambo is the Japanese term for “The Three Jewels”. It refers to chicken, duck, and pork in the case of this particular dish. The roasted meats are seasoned differently, cut up in thin slices, and paired with rice.)

And I present to you, *dramatic music playing* the relatively abridged version of the fortuitous meeting for the reasonably impatient: (After all, I did make my regulars wait a few days for this recap. Blame it on the naughty internet connection.)

Claire (郭静)’s Response (回音)

There are actually two separate stories.

Story 1 went like this:

Once upon a time, in an eatery called Tian Xiang Lou, lived a father and his son. The father was so successful with his business that his Tian Xiang Lou soon became the most famous dining facility in the region. He earned lots of money and became rich. One day, two of his well trusted underlings decided to knock a few gold coins out of their masters. So they planed and kidnapped the man and his son and asked for a big ransom. They took the man and his son in an abandoned house and waited for the money. The father and his son loosened the rope and ran away while the two kidnappers were away buying food. They ran and ran, until they hit a river. The father looked around and saw two large barrels. He put his son into one of the blue barrels and told the kid never to trust people easily again and closed the lid. He tossed the blue barrel into the river and crawled into a nearby barrel. So then, the man and his son Sun Wu Di drifted across the river. (This blue barrel lived long enough to see both the river and the moutain roads of Jiang Mu Island.)

Story 2 happened this way:

Beneath the juniper tree, there sat a happy little girl called Hu Shan Bao. Her family opened a roast meat shop in town, so every morning, she would get up at five o’clock to chop meat for her father. Today, she had prepared a box of San-Bao rice for her crush, hoping he would make her his girlfriend. She took out her three-layer lunch box and offered the boy the treat. The boy took one look at the lunch box then another at Shan Bao, and he walked away.

The two completely unrelated stories started to curve inward, finally, they intersected at this point:

Shan Bao followed her crush to the river while Wu Di drifted down stream. She heard a muffled cry for help and sought to find the source of the plea. Once she spotted the blue barrel, her inner superwoman took control. She put down the lunch box and lifted a tree trunk lying idly by the river. She threw the big trunk next the barrel to stop it from floating away, and, with her strong, meat-chopping little arms, she lifted the barrel and brought it ashore.

After saving Wu Di, Shan Bao’s inner superwoman receded into the background. The girlie Shan Bao came back and offered the food to her crush. The boy has been watching the rescue mission with his mouth shaped in a perfect “O”, when Shan Bao asked to be his girlfriend, he firmly rejected, saying that he would never like a girl with monstrous strength and roast meat smell. (Children can be bluntly honest some time.)

A heart broken Shan Bao walked back to the barrel for her lunch box. Wu Di, who has crawled out of the barrel, asked Shan Bao if he could have the food to fill his starving tummy. Shan Bao was by then, too busy crying to let the matter distract her. She waved to dismiss the question and walked away.

Wu Di took one bite of the San-Bao Rice and fell immediately in love with the taste. Consequently, the memory of the girl “crying, commiserating his adversity” and “offering him the delicacy in the face of starvation” enveloped him with rapture that lasted well into adulthood. (You see, egotism may be acquired as early as childhood.)

While Wu Di ate at his heart’s content, his father floated away in the barrel. (Some crude humor there.)

And thus, they diverged again. Until that one night, 17 years later, when Qing Xia dragged Anson to bust a myth with her.

There’s been a rumor spreading wide and high that a roast meat shop called Guang Ji is haunted at night. Whether it’s paranormal or paranoia, Qing Xia has decided to uncover the truth and tour the shop at night. Anson had no choice but to oblige.

If you ask me what are the three musts for an actor in a supposedly horrific situation, I’d say they must 1) know how to scream, 2) know how to sustain a scream, and 3) know how not to lose his/her voice after screaming continuously for n minutes. Anson and Qing Xia did the above three with vigor and passion.

But Qing Xia’s bravery ended when she met a flat-chested ghost in kimono and ran away in fright. Of course there are no real ghosts. They are the four employees of the roast meat shop having an early Halloween dress up because none of them want the roast meat shop to continue operating.

The reasons are simple, ever since being cold shouldered for smelling like roast meat, Shan Bao’s #1 goal has been to close the roast meat shop and hopefully land in the arms of her cavalier smelling like a princess. Shan Bao’s older brother Hu Da Dao wanted to become a designer and start his own brand of clothing while Chi Xin Jie and Xiao Sa Ge wished to venture on a romantic exploration. The four of them taped the scene and planed to post it on the internet to scare away customers.

Once the video [watch here] is posted on youtube, it became an instant hit. Not only did it attract more customers the next day, 99% of them came to see the flat-chested ghost. Unluckily for Ji Cun Xi, who came to buy San-Bao Rice with the baby at the wrong time, he had asked Shan Bao to hold the baby while he dig through the bags for a pacifier, not knowing Shan Bao will become the new tourist attraction. When one customer finally took notice of Shan Bao’s breasts, the scavenger hunt came to a complete halt.

The curious crowd surrounds Shan Bao to get a better look, who’s still holding the baby. And Cun Xi gets pushed out of the picture. After losing Souvenir, Ji Cun Xi exhibits a slight PTSD tendency when it comes to handling babies. He swims across the sea of people, struggles his way towards Shan Bao to protect his baby. When he finally gets the apple of his eye back, the store owner has called stop and casted everyone out of the store. No San-Bao rice for Cun Xi.

If the Sun Wu Di trapped in a barrel was one helpless child, then 17 years of steering through life has taught him to become a friendless narcissist who makes absolutely certain that gullibility won’t be one of his weaknesses. The business he inherited from his father continued to bloom. Wu Di now owns his own live television program to promote cuisine. Specifically, his cuisine. His quick wit on camera charms women from all ages; his 80’s-Hong-Kong-night-club styled opening allures viewers from all socio-economical status; he is, privately, a jerk detested by all.

Watch, he’s doing it again. While Sun Wu Di is promoting the instant San-Bao rice package, the timer broke. As resentful as he feels towards his staff for not doing a through prop check prior to the show, Sun Wu Di hides it behind a wide smile and pulls out one of his invincible tricks from up the sleeve: he grabs one of the show girls next to him by the hand, twirls her in a half circle, and gracefully waltzes into a kissing pose. Bending down, he speaks to the camera,

A French kiss happens to last one minute as well. 5 seconds for eye contact. (hypothetical situation 1: eww she has a big fat zit *bits inner lip*) Body contact, 10 seconds. (hypothetical situation 2: arms are hurting! damn it, all she needs to do is eat one less egg custard in the morning!) Exchange breathe, 10 seconds. (hypothetical situation 3: ugh, forgot to wipe my mouth after eating fish. oh well. :D) And stop breathing, 35 seconds. *MUUUUUUAH*

As his fans suffocate a wild scream in front of the TV, Wu Di saves the day once again. After all, his name does mean invincible.

Once the lights are off, the fastidious swine ungraciously dumps loads after loads of accusation on his already dispirited staff. They may feel discontent towards Wu Di, but still, he is their boss. They can either get fired or suck it up.

Like every man with high self-regard, Sun Wu Di is not invincible when it comes to beauty and seduction and is highly confident of getting away with it. And true to his unappreciative nature, having a perfect girlfriend does not keep him in line either. Although perfection entails tolerance, a perfect girlfriend also knows it when she sees a hopeless relationship. So, Ji Zu An decides to dump Sun Wu Di, in a restaurant called Lucifer. (lol great place to end a relationship.)

Meanwhile, Shan Bao comes to Lucifer to see Wei Qing, the man of her wildest fantasies AKA the restaurant’s chief. (Umm the devil’s chief, I like that. 🙂 ) Shan Bao is paranoid that the whole world knows about her small beasts and wants to explain everything to Wei Qing, who is too busy cutting the sizzling steak and stealing covert, flirtatious glances at rich women to care. Besides, he sees her as an annoying, pervasive fan of his.

The fandom started a month ago when someone in the restaurant ordered lunch from Guang Ji. Surely, Shan Bao came to delivery the order. Wei Qing was sick at the time, listless with a stuffy nose. He was lying on the couch when Shan Bao put down 20+ lunches on the desk. Having no energy himself, Wei Qing commented, “You are strong.” Shan Bao broke into a surprised shy smile and replied, “Really? No one has ever said I’m strong as if it’s a good thing. You’re the first!” She took a step forward and leaned over Wei Qing. “What?” he asked. “Did you not smell it? Lots of people say that I smell like roast meat.” Being seriously sick, Wei Qing couldn’t smell a thing. Shan Bao lingered long enough to see Wei Qing faint. She, naturally, took him to the hospital. When he woke up and saw her, he murmured again to himself, “Thankful you were there (to save me).” Misunderstanding can go far, Shan Bao translated it into: I’m happy that you are with me. As in, I want you to be with me. She then made the decision to stay by his side to make him happy. (Ah, she’s too cute.)

Ever since then, she’s been his faithful stalker. Somehow she got access to his locker, his personal mail box, and even his apartment. Until eventually, her erotomanic tendencies took over and she started to believe they are an item.

As Wei Qing is telling Kevin about Shan Bao, she comes in to explain. To get rid of her, Wei Qing plays dirty and tells her to wait for him in the men’s bathroom while Kevin calls the police to report a pervert lurking in the men’s room.

The two people’s stories are about to intersect a second time as Wu Di enters Lucifer to meet Zu An, not knowing a break up awaits him.

After being dumped and splashed with quality wine, Wu Di enters the bathroom to clean himself. Guess who he sees in there?

Shan Bao hears the sound of a man entering, without giving him so much a chance to make a sound, she blabbers on, “I really like you. Even when I have to watch you from afar, being able to see you makes me happy.” Sun Wu Di thinks to himself, “Oh, it’s one of my fans.” Shan Bao continues, “Even… with things you’ve used, I would collect them and put them near my bed. Because you used them. They have your trace and your smell on them…” Wu Di winces in disgust. “I know you’ve seen the video… It’s ok if the whole world misunderstands me, but it’s not ok if You misunderstand me. Because… I do have breasts… Even though they aren’t that big…” Wu Di snorts and suppresses a laugh. Hearing no response from outside, Shan Bao continues, “If.. if you still don’t believe me… then, then I’ll let you check!” With that, she opens the door, closes her eyes, and spreads her arms wide in a Titanic, you-fly-I-fly-let’s-fly-together pose.

She opens her eyes and sees Wu Di. You can just imagine her reaction. To push the embarrassing matter deep into the abominable pit of humiliation, two policemen walk in to take Shan Bao away. Before going with the police, Shan Bao drags Wu Di down the pit with her, calling him a gay man and her co-conspirator. And, they are handcuffed together. (My fatigued brain is screaming “My Lucky Star”. Anyone else?)

Shan Bao’s brother comes to bail Shan Bao, while Wu Di’s ex-girlfriend bails him.

To demonstrates his irresistible charm to his just broken up girlfriend Ji Zu An, Wu Di grabs Shan Bao by the hand and kisses her full on the lips. Zu An is hurt but it only confirms that her decision to leave Wu Di is right. Shan Bao throws Wu Di over the shoulder in frustration.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the most unromantic first kiss of a hopefully romantic relationship.

I finally posted this. I know. 😛

For you Fated to Love You followers out there, Cun Xi will make another appearance in episode two, along with Xin Yi. (Guess I have to recap episode 2 as well.)

Now onto drama-specific ramblings: Hong XiaoLin (洪小鈴), model and actress, began her first scene in My Lucky Star as the girlfriend dumping the boyfriend after being presented with a piece of jewlery, and now, she’s doing it again here! Give her a few more first camera appearances like this, she can do without the English Opening or the Queen’s Gambit and have her own opening named exclusively after her. 😀 Good thing Zu An said bye bye to Wu Di, because it would be weird to see the girl half a head taller than the love interest in the context of an idol drama.

As peculiar as the protagonists’ remeeting 17 years later is, I like it. And, I’m grateful that the supporting casts didn’t get too much camera time.

I am mildly amused after watching the first episode. There’s essentially no structured plot other than the typical guy-girl pairing we can recite backwards in our sleep, loaded with somewhat insensitive jokes and small moments. Good thing is, the small moments are actually funny. In a lightheartedly-silly kind of funny.

7 thoughts on “Invincinble Shan Bao Mei 1: Two Fortuitous Meetings”

  1. Well, it is very interesting, although the male lead ain’t that manly. I hope you continue recapping, i am now addicted to your writings…

  2. So that’s how they interlap!! Interesting. But somehow….the storyline isn’t as impressive as I hoped it would at the moment. it is comical and funny….maybe a few more episodes later, the story will start to get better, well for me atleast? I hope so.

    Thanks iurgnotmis for the update!

  3. no, the male lead isn’t manly at all, but he sings well. 🙂

    and yeah, the two dramas are connected in trivial ways. nothing exciting.

    as always, don’t have your hopes up for plot improvements when it’s Tdramas we’re talking about.

  4. lol ur actualy recaping this serie are u doing to recap every ep? but i appreciate ur recap have u ever thought of writing a book ur words are amazing it makes u feel as if ur there and as Tuttie said i too am addicted to ur writing thanks u so succh i love u !!!!!!!!!!!

  5. “While Wu Di ate at his heart’s content, his father floated away in the barrel. (Some crude humor there.)”

    Haha When I watched the first episode, I remember I went back a few times just to watch that over again. It was a total ‘LOL’ moment.

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