Invincible Shan Bao Mei 2: Little Red Riding Hood

There lived a man, his wife, and their daughter in a peaceful little town. One day a fire from the nearby eatery spread to the man’s house. When the fire was finally put out, so was his happiness. The man’s wife burned live in the flame; his young daughter had severe lung damage that required long term hospitalization; the man was the only unharmed survivor, living in hatred and remorse for the rest of his life, vowing to one day avenge his loved ones.

This man was Wei Qing. The local eatery was Sun Wu Di’s Tian Xiang Lou.

Here’s a song of yarning and regret to continue the current mood and offset the goofy, rowdy atmosphere that is to come of this silly drama: Sheryl Crow’s “Begin the Beguine”, composed by Cole Porter.

After playing the pervert-prank on Shan Bao in Lucifer and accidentally getting Sun Wu Di involved in the gay man scandal, Wei Qing is promptly fired. He returns home to nurse this new financial puncture. Yet, the fact that he hasn’t had the money to pay for his daughter’s medical expenses for the past three months isn’t as a headache as it should be. The excitement of finding Sun Wu Di so close to him is a vicious feeling that eats through every inch of Wei Qing’s skin. He is ecstatic and nothing else mattered. Until Shan Bao’s loud, clear voice pierces through the front door and triggers Wei Qing’s internal security alarm in an instant.

Wei Qing jumps up in a frenzy to hide while his make up artist friend Kevin (played by Chen Han Dian) opens the door to face Shan Bao and cover for Wei Qing. Shan Bao came to explain everything and bring Wei Qing some food. Since Wei Qing isn’t home yet (supposedly), she decides to stay and clean the apartment. Kevin politely refuses the kind offer, which Shan Bao assures him is no trouble on her part. Being the passive-aggressive person that he is, Kevin watches as Shan Bao moves from one side of the room to the other while thumping his foot in agitation, hoping that she will not find Wei Qing.

Shan Bao finds a thick magazine hiding under Wei Qing’s covers. She picks it up and an article with huge heading caught her eye. It’s a survey of men’s preference on women’s cup sizes. She reads it out loud: Cup size B-C, preferred by 11% of men. Cup size D-E, preferred by 86% of men. (Then do the other 3% prefer F+?) Befuddled, Shan Bao murmurs to herself, “Why do you want them to be so big? When you get old, they’ll sag anyway. Besides, it flops around when you run. So inconvenient. It’s good to be small. Easier to buy clothes, easier to find bras.” She snaps the magazine close and gets ready to leave, “I will wait for Wei Qing’s call at home.” “Why do you think he’ll call?” asks Kevin in amusement. His curiosity prompts a long list of explanation. Aside from the fact that Shan Bao mistook Wei Qing’s indifference on her biceps and roast meat smell as a sign of unconditional love, she adds a little explanation to the stalker-ish behaviors Wei Qing caught her doing.

Wei Qing’s version: Shan Bao sneaked into the back room of Lucifer, cracked the code to his locker, and took out his uniform to sniff. *shudders*

Shan Bao’s version: She noticed that Wei Qing has been taking an hour off work each week to go somewhere. Although she doesn’t know where, she’s been filling up the hour’s missing work for Wei Qing so he wouldn’t get in trouble if his boss finds out.

Wei Qing’s version: Ever since Shan Bao found out where he lived, she has cracked open his mail box a few times to look over his mails. *goosebumps standing up*

Shan Bao’s version: She has noticed that Wei Qing has a lot of bills to pay so she’s been getting those bills and paying them for him. (psh I’ve got bills too. where is my walking, talking, breathing checkbook?)

After all she does for him, Shan Bao’s only wish is to eat Wei Qing’s famous Tiramisu steak. Listening to Shan Bao’s revelation, the corner of Wei Qing’s eyes dampen a little. As touching (and preposterous) as it may be, Wei Qing is clear that what he needs now is someone rich enough to handle his daughter’s medical expenses.

After Cun Xi became a father, his career outlook took a 180, not unexpected turn to become a full time baby sitter. Aside from going to Guang Ji to buy San-Bao rice for Xin Yi, his afternoons are occupied with duties of taking Xin Yi and the baby to the mall for shopping and a late lunch. The glorious days of sherry sipping and ballroom dancing are long gone. In place of the ex-ravishing (supposedly) chivalry is an overworked, ragged father of 30. Chen Xin Yi in contrast, just oozes brilliance next to him.

“It’s such a shame that you didn’t get to buy San-Bao rice from Guang Ji today.” Xin Yi starts, wrapping her arms around Cun Xi’s. “Umm.” he nods. “And Lucifer (Chen Xin Yi honey, it’s pronounced \ˈlü-sə-fər\.) is closed as well. Strange day.” Xin Yi continues. Her voice trails off when she spots the lingerie on the manikin’s perfectly shaped body. Cun Xi follows her. “Hey look, isn’t that Anna?” he points at the poster behind the manikin. (For all I know, they could point at a poster of a male model and we wouldn’t be able to discern with the correct camera angle. Lousy way to stuff Anna in.) “Yeah it is.” Xin Yi agrees. “Wow, Anna’s stage just gets bigger and bigger. And, look at her, still the perfect body.” Xin Yi gives Cun Xi a look and demands, “Are you saying I’m old and ugly now?” “Of course not!” Cun Xi hastily adds to appease her, “I mean, just look at you! A woman over 30, married and gave birth, yet you still look like you’re only 18.” Xin Yi smiles in satisfaction.

By the way, ever since the infertility myth cleared up for Xin Yi, all traces of depression alleviated at once and the couple became unstoppable in their pursuit of happiness in bed. And now, Chen Xin Yi is pregnant again.

While Xin Yi and Cun Xi are looking around at the different styles, a sharp scream erupted from one of the fitting rooms. Although in a normal situation, the hearer would pause and listen, then when no other sounds are being emitted, the listener would turn to leave, Chen Xin Yi is evidently different. She follows the source of the sound and enters the fitting room to find a collapsed Hu Shan Bao gasping on the floor.

Gasping because reading the poll in Wei Qing’s magazine has made her wish she had bigger boobs, although she doesn’t see the attraction behind it. Gasping because hers are so small. Gasping because after wearing the bras designed to show cleavage, hers still appear to be almost flat. Gasping because in her mind, romance will surly run away from her no-so-corpulence chest.

What other people would consider nosy, Shan Bao sees it as kindness. What other people would consider too embarrassing to put into words, Shan Bao has no problem revealing. She spits out all her woes of being the red riding hood. “Red riding hood? What do you mean?” Xin Yi asks. “Red riding hood is…

Little red riding hood is the girl whose grandma is eaten by the wolf. Since Grandma and one way of saying breasts sound the same in Chinese, a red riding hood refers to a girl with small boobs.

Xin Yi forms a silent “o” with her mouth, so that’s The Story of Little Red Riding Hood. (Yep.) To cheer this girl up, Xin Yi tells Shan Bao her own story. From going to the wrong bed to being destined for each other (after half a year of story telling,) Xin Yi concludes, “If it’s fated, then the chance of falling in love is 100%.” (What about those who don’t believe in fate? Sucks for them?) “If it’s fated, then the chance of falling in love is 100%?” Shan Bao repeats Xin Yi’s words, then the knot on her brows loosened.

Wu Di returns home at night to find Zu An packing. He chuckles to himself, not the slightest doubt that she is leaving him for good this time. When he sees her, seated by the bed, looking down at something nostalgically, he pulls the corner of his mouth up in a conceited smile, a tint of mockery glistening in his eyes. He leans over her, she’s stroking a bottle of Lolita Lempicka cologne. Sniffing the sensual fragrance, Wu Di inches closer. “Lolita Lempicka cologne” he says. “The first birthday present I gave you, because it represents the tender femininity sensitivity behind an iron mask.” Zu An answers, quieter than usual. She pauses for a brief moment and continues, “The next year, when it’s my birthday, you gave me the Lolita Lempicka perfume. You could’ve given me anything, anything lavish, but you chose to give me the same branded perfume.” She inhales to let the aroma take her to the happy days of the past. “If the perfume is what you want now, I can give you a hundred or a thousand bottles.” She tosses the bottle on bed and zips her luggage. He blocks her, half-heartedly asking what it is that she really wants. “I don’t want anything.” she answers coldly. “The man I’m in love with is the old, ragged Sun Wu Di who would cook dinner for me.” Not this cold, uncaring man in front of her. Not the man who would take her to expensive restaurants but never even notice how she’d been hopeful for the date, spending hours to look pretty just for him.

Then Wu Di’s phone rings, he picks it up and motions for Zu An to wait. At that instant, Zu An’s heart sinks. She picks up her luggage to leave. Wu Di tries to stop her after taking care of the business, but she is already out of the door, leaving behind a trial of silvery tears.

Incredulous that anyone would want to leave him, Wu Di yells after her, “Fine leave. But you can’t live without me. I give you 10 seconds to turn back. 10, 9…” It’s a lost cause. She is not turning back. Angry now, Sun Wu Di barks, “Even if you all leave me, I’ll still live better than all of you. Because, I’ve always been alone.”

The next day at work, Wu Di’s fastidiousness reaches a whole new level. Thanks to Zu An’s leave last night that keeps him rotting in a foul mood. Wu Di decides to go to Guang Ji to unravel the secret behind the flat-chested ghost. Naturally, being Sun Wu Di and being the snob that he is, nothing good ever comes out of his mouth. Despite his lack of courtesy, girls swooning over him nonetheless. Chi Xin Mei, the Feng Jiao “lookalike” is ecstatic at the sight of Wu Di. (psh, if they want to make some sort of connection between two dramas, they shouldn’t have the same actors play different roles in each drama.) She attacks him like a bear would with honey. Chief Guang, Shan Bao’s Cantonese dad is irked by Wu Di’s condescending comments. He points at the menu pasted on the wall and challenges Wu Di to name one, he will cook it right on the spot.

how can I pass on a screen shot when it's of food?

The dish doesn’t look too appetizing, yet Wu Di is swept away by it and scored it a high 90. The denunciation quickly turns into a full scale promotion for Guang Ji. Suddenly proud, Chief Guang (if his last name is Guang and he’s Shan Bao’s dad, then why is Shan Bao’s last name Hu?) leads Wu Di to his sauce room where the secret of Guang Ji’s delicacy is waiting to be unlocked.

After much stalling and no suspense building up, the door swings open to reveal a naked Shan Bao holding a cupping glass. Just as the preview had promised. (Although, I can’t help but to think that if it were in the context of a French film, the characters would just shut the door and leave without making a fuss.) Now, remembering the camera is still rolling to capture every scene, Wu Di quickly enters the room and closes the door behind him. Without looking, he takes off his jacket and covers Shan Bao, who is still shaking from both the shock and the embarrassment. A notable chivalrous act on Sun Wu Di’s part. Unfortunately, the dazzling bravery diminishes as soon as Wu Di opens his mouth to point out that Shan Bao’s biceps are as big as they appear to be. At the sound of the taboo, Shan Bao’s reflex reacted faster than Wu Di’s instincts. She throws him over the shoulder, breaking a door in the process. (I was unaware of the range of motion she is capable of performing under the circumstance. I was expect her to grip onto the jacket tighter in order to refrain from revealing more skin than she had already revealed. But then again, she has already revealed anything.)

Why was Shan Bao in the room, naked with two cupping glasses? Well, she hasn’t entirely gotten over the fact that no custom made bra can make her cup appear a size bigger. (Might I recommend inserting a padding or two?) When she saw a small protrusion of the skin under the cupping glass when her father was using it to treat his sore back, a light bulb flashed in her head. To actually chose the very room Wu Di and the others were to enter was just a convenient “accident”.

Of course, like any girl, after bawling and crying for an eternity, Shan Bao sets off to find Wu Di, demanding to have the tape back. And of course, being the jerk that Sun Wu Di is, he teases her and promises that he will air it to take advantage of the impact it will have on the rating.

It cracks me up that the second episode starts with a review of the “no boobie girl”. In English. Accented English. If I could get past the laughing, maybe I can get a better idea of what the man was saying. It doesn’t help when as soon as the preview ends, Nicholas Teo’s feminine dance opens the episode and evokes another wave of sporadic chuckle. I’m definitely getting the laugh of the day.

Now onto acting related rambling:

I’ve never seen Chen Han Dian (Wei Qing’s friend Kevin) act so normal. Normal as in not purposely trying to stir laughter. He certainly tried, but it was a lot less hysterical than when he was on talk shows.

Chen Qiao En AKA post-it Chen Xin Yi is exceptional when it comes to angst ridden romance, especially scenes require excellent control of the tear ducks. Comedy is just not her thing.

Brief Announcement:

About this drama, it’ll be one of those slow cooking things where I don’t bother inserting pictures and progress slowly with the recaps. So, thanks for the waiting in advance.

4 thoughts on “Invincible Shan Bao Mei 2: Little Red Riding Hood”

  1. Like the new layout.
    I don’t really think this drama will ‘flourish’ like everyone thinks it will. With how it started out, it was okay. It didn’t catch me as fast as some other dramas did. What do you think of the show?

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