Wishing for Happiness: Eps 1-2

With Rainie Yang as the leading lady, it is a wonder that this mini-drama has pretty much gone unnoticed.  Also considering that she’s paired together with TONY YANG, I thought there would be way more hype.  But before all of you get ready to rabidly ship these two together, think again.  This is not your traditional rom-com, nor is it your usual melodrama.  Surprisingly Wishing for Happiness covers an incredibly sensitive subject in a very raw and poignant way.

Note: This is more of a mature drama.

Ep 1

“If happiness could really be as pure as a love song, how beautiful that would be.”

Wishing for Happiness is by no means subtle when it refers to its title, but oh my gosh is it good.  The drama opens with a very foreboding scene: Xiao Lan (Rainie Yang!) walks alone in a park, crying quietly to herself while thinking about happiness. 

Rewind, presumably to a happier time before this…Xiao Lan & her boyfriend Yu Xiang (TONY YANG) have a drinking party with all their friends. We are literally thrown right into the middle of Xiao Lan & Yu Xiang’s lives, with no narration/backstory/character introductions.  I love it because everything feels so much more candid and intimate in this scene. 

Yu Xiang takes the opportunity to cheesily and sort of romantically propose to Xiao Lan.  Awkwardly enough, a random woman who has been observing the party for a while walks up to Xiao Lan and congratulates her before KISSING HER.  LITERALLY.  ON THE MOUTH.  Talk about a twist.  I really was not expecting this AT ALL.

Ep 2

Everyone, including me, is very confused after the random mouth-to-mouth kiss between Xiao Lan and the stranger.  Yu Xiang tries to make sense of what just happened, so he calls out Xiao Lan on it.  I really thought the woman was just drunk and really was a stranger, but it turns out she wasn’t–the woman’s name is Min Yi, and she’s Xiao Lan’s ex-girlfriend.  WHAAAAAAAAT?

“I’m just a person who’s simply wishing for happiness.  Can’t I?”

This scene REALLY gets me right in the gut because of the tension and the awesome lines and EVERYTHING.  Yu Xiang is outraged and hurt, and now the feelings he was so sure he had for Xiao Lan aren’t so certain anymore.  He lashes out at Xiao Lan (mistake #1), who in turn puts him right back in his place.  She’s also hurt when she realizes that Yu Xiang cannot accept her for who she is and was.  She questions whether her sexual orientation really matters–whether Yu Xiang will feel any better even if she changes her answer.  All she wants is happiness..

“He can’t even accept your past.  How can he be the happiness you want?”

The relationship between Min Yi (the ex-girlfriend) and Xiao Lan is also quite intriguing.  There are hints all over that the two of them split up over unfaithfulness and differences in what they wanted in a relationship.  But I also wonder if their past feelings for each other are really over, or whether Xiao Lan still can’t forget Min Yi. 

Overall
Wow.  The first two episodes are short but incredibly powerful.  You would think that the drama would be more limited by its short running time, but on the contrary, I think it only adds to it.  The drama manages to accomplish so much in so little time, which is a major achievement especially when you consider how much tw-dramas drag ON AND ON.  I love how raw and direct this drama is..it really feels like we’re seeing real people, not cookie cutter characters that are larger than life. 

I think the biggest surprise in Wishing for Happiness is Rainie.  I was not expecting her to tackle such a sensitive role, so I’m glad Rainie has stepped out of her comfort zone.  I admit that her short haircut + collared shirt reminded me of freaking Jing Jing..but of course, leave it to Rainie, she pulls it off so much better.  Moreover her chemistry with Tony is great; the two of them play off each other really well and they are capable of elevating the scene’s intensity to the next level. 

That being said, Wishing for Happiness could do so much with this subject matter, as long as it doesn’t try to please everyone.  There is no way you can not step on anyone’s toes when handling such an emotional and personal issue.  I’m interested in seeing how it will handle Xiao Lan’s sexual orientation and whether Yu Xiang will be able to accept her. 

Note: This is a mini-drama, meaning that each episode is very short.

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18 thoughts on “Wishing for Happiness: Eps 1-2

  1. *thumb’s up* Welcome back and I’m so happy u did a review! I just saw the last ep too!
    Like u said, the very short and compacted mini movie just adds more to it.
    “Less is more” right? Haha!

    *copy and pasting what I’ve been saying about this drama*
    “Good writing and directing and acting really go a long way!
    That 22 hours of BS from LF doesn’t come close to this 25 minutes of mini drama! XD”

    I really enjoy this project because of the sensitive and not widely talk-about topic in this sexual orientation context! In 99.9% movies/dramas, it’s about wanted happiness between a man and a woman. But in reality, there’s more than 0.01% who’s not heterosexual and I think the writing here is just genius, covering the other orientation!! It’s soooooo new and unique! I also like the directing! And acting, OMG. No wonder the 2 actresses won Best Actress award! They were awessssome!
    Rainie, esp, in the last ep!!! And Tony, is awesome, as always!
    I hope Rainie and Tony collaborate real soon, this time, in a movie or a drama PLEASE!

    • Ahahaha I KNOW I was amazed that Wishing for Happiness is so mature and well-written! Especially after experiencing Love Forward!

      I totally agree with you all the way! I love the more unconventional interpretation of searching for happiness in love. I’m really curious to see how Xiao Lan will find her true happiness!!

      By the way do you know the name of the other actress?

      • U bet! It’s 張榕容 (Chang Yung-Yung / Sandrine Pinna). It wasn’t her first time playing a lesbien (neither was Rainie); they are so pro ne! She has just won Asia Pacific Film Festival’s Best Actress (Joseph Chang won Best Actor <3) And speaking about awards, Taiwanese TV Golden Bell Award will be announcing the nomination on Sept 25. I'm so watching it LIVE and rooting for Tony for Ex-Boyfriend!!!!

        Back to the drama… I think if I was Rainie's character, I would be selfish and not tell Tony's character the truth when I started going out with him at the beginning. He's such a great catch – I would wait for him to fall madly in love with me and then tell him the truth when the times come! Haha! I'm so selfish!!

        • Ok thanks! Interesting, she’s a French-Chinese!

          BWAHAHA I would so do the same thing!! All for TONYYYYY!!!!! But on a more serious note, I get why Xiao Lan didn’t tell him in the beginning. She was just scared he wouldn’t accept her and that they wouldn’t be able to have a relationship because of it..

  2. This sounds interesting, I’m really glad Raine Yang’s character isn’t one of those “innocent, optimistic, poor” female lead that is typical to TW-drama.

    So Xiao Lan is Bi? This reminds me of something that happened in the HK entertainment circle a few months ago. Two popular female singers were rumored to dating for many years. Apparently they broke up, but X ended up dating Y’s best friend (a guy). The new couple announced the news to Y on X’s birthday party, and Y broke down in tears instantly in public…

    • Oooh! Joey and Candy drama! =P Hebe from S.H.E was also rumored to be a les! I just hope that artists would just come out and admit it! It’s really not a big deal anymore. My beloved gor gor Leslie was gay! and my favorite TW host Kevin Tsai was as well. Come out of the closet already!

    • It’s nice seeing a more realistic heroine for a change. Not your super down-to-earth, pure heroine..and not your typical spunky annoying heroine either. She’s just..human.

      Wow that’s intense. And especially since they’re in the spotlight in the media

  3. EP 3 SPOILERS BELOW!!!!

    Translation:
    00:23
    Xiao Lan – why don’t you come back?
    Xiao Yi, we haven’t seen each other in half a year. You wanted me back now – is it what you really want? Or you just can’t accept that a man could give me happiness?
    Your sudden appearance has make lots of things clear to me. But it doesn’t change one thing and that is, I don’t love you anymore.

    Can we talk? Xiao Lan, I’m sorry.
    Xiao Lan, don’t be like this – let’s talk. I’m sorry, really.
    Can you say something? Can you stop?
    You’re not speaking to me – I don’t know what to do. I’m sorry, I really am, ok?
    You kept appologizing, do you know what you are sorry about?
    Forget it.
    This came so sudden and in front of my friends… I over-reacted a little bit, it’s not that bad right?
    That’s why I’m not upset. You also don’t have to appologize for anything.
    Xiao Lan – Xiao Lan, don’t go.
    I’m returning this.
    Chen You Lan.
    Let’s go.

    Wait.
    What are you doing? Yi Xiang, get down.

    Xiao Lan – I really love you. I love the present you. The one in front of me…
    Yi Xiang, I’m the one who should appologize. I thought the person who can give me happiness is the one I love. I always thought you are my happiness.
    Until the moment you propose to me, I realize I couldn’t lie to myself.
    It is not the person who can give me happiness is the one I love. But the person who I love is my happiness.
    I like how you’re simple and kind.
    I’m sorry.

    *the postcard content is the lyric of the song: Wishing For Happiness*

    The happiness we wanted is just like a love song – simple. But the love song that we believe in may not be the same one.
    Good morning.
    Good morning.
    Is this yours?

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