[HKTV] Once Upon A Song Episode 03

The romantic development is stepped up a notch this episode and fortunately, any angst we’re forced to endure is served with a hefty helping of humour. Then again, perhaps I only think so seeing as I first watched the episode after coming home from work (and would think just about anything amusing by then, ha).

It may be quite obvious by now, but I also thought I’d mention: my understanding of Cantonese is actually quite limited (and one could even say my vocabulary doesn’t extend very far beyond conversational terms at all!); thus, whilst some of my interpretations of the future and past, could be slightly inaccurate, I do, do some research (as to be evidenced in this recap), to best keep on track. It only goes to show though, the things dramas can end up teaching/inspiring in us, right?

Episode 3 Recap

We rewind to Chi Ching’s father telling Chi Ching that he’s overjoyed to be meeting face-to-face with her again, but, Jade and Jade’s mother remain his current priorities. He leaves and we see now that Chi Ching had baked the forgotten cake especially for him.

From the sidelines, Ying Jun clocks Chi Ching’s tears worriedly. He makes to approach her but when Chi Ching finally lifts her head, (Ying Jun’s been beaten to the chase and) it’s Keith who stands before her. He apologises, for only having anticipated that the reunion would be a happy one.

Chi Ching, disheartened that even the places originally housing her happy memories have now all changed, cries into his shoulder. Still in hiding, Ying Jun sinks to his feet, both saddened for Chi Ching and frustrated by his own helplessness.

It’s a dazed Chi Ching who Keith drives home, although she puts on a brave face and swears she’s fine. She sends him on his way but not wanting to go home herself, takes to wandering the streets. Turns out though that Keith had been unconvinced by her reassurances and had followed her in his car (and that came across sounding very creepy actually).

As he now watches her crestfallen, he thinks back to when he had first offered to fulfil one of her dreams for her; then, Keith had revealed to Chi Ching that her father’s recognition that she was his daughter, was all thanks to the video of her singing having gone viral. Keith had arranged a meeting for the two already but he had hoped that in return, Chi Ching would participate in his company’s next project’s – the musical-film’s – auditions.

Whilst he’d conveyed he would be happy for her successful casting, given her talent, he had also admitted that he very much expected Jade would only agree to film the movie, if Chi Ching was to audition. Hearing it would be of benefit to Jade, Chi Ching had readily agreed. Back in the present, it begins to pour.

Keith rummages in his car for an umbrella (to be Chi Ching’s knight in shining armour), but this time it’s him who’s out-manoeuvred. Seeing the opportunity to practise what he’s observed, Ying Jun runs towards Chi Ching to bestow her with both his umbrella and a live-performance of Singing In The Rain; Keith appraises the spectacle with a dubious look (as do I) before taking his leave.

Soon after, Chi Ching also gets up to leave, cutting off Ying Jun’s show with her declaration of being fine (and in her position I’d do the same if it meant being spared from getting apples thrown at me and rain-water kicked into my face LOL). The poor hapless boy can only run after her and offers to check the reports when Chi Ching wonders aloud if a rainbow would likely be forecast for tomorrow.

Helping to close up Dai Wei Gor’s café, Ying Jung bemoans that the same song performed by Dai Wei Gor, when executed by him, could lead to such very different responses from Chi Ching. Learning that Chi Ching is particularly fond of rainbows, he broods that it must all be a matter of luck then, before he can present Chi Ching with one to lift her spirits.

To this, Dai Wei Gor alludes that luck can be fashioned through one’s own hand… before pulling out a deck of tarot cards, ha! Moreover, he’s changed for the occasion, “out of habit… and professionalism – all so that the readings will be more accurate” LOL.

From the ‘Six of Cups’ (associated with goodwill, innocence and childhood) picked out by Ying Jun, Dai Wei Gor reads that Chi Ching must currently be troubled by a childhood-related circumstance. He also predicts that in spite of Chi Ching’s current unhappiness, there is a boy beside her, fiercely protecting her. Ying Jun asks if this must refer to himself and Dai Wei Gor concedes: the card doesn’t say, although, if it’s what he thinks is true then it’s his truth.

He allows, “Sometimes one’s faith in oneself/effort overpowers fate right?”. It’s on this note that he urges Ying Jun to finish off the mopping already, hahaha. Dai Wei Gor spreads out the cards again to conduct his own reading and when Ying Jun comes dangerously close to toppling to the taletop candle, Dai Wei Gor cries that he wouldn’t hold back if Ying Jun similarly upended the luck in his future; he relaxes however, to note he’s drawn the upright ‘Lovers’.

Ying Jun congratulates him for the impending Fateful Encounter and asks out of curiosity what an inverted Lovers would mean. Dai Wei Gor lists numerous misfortunes: separation, miscommunication, disillusionment, solitude (and the like) and revels in his luck at having avoided them. He tells the card he’s been waiting a long time for it but what he doesn’t notice after rising from the table… is the card (magically) reversing itself, dun dun dunnn.

The next morning, Ying Jun seeks out Chi Ching only to learn from her aunt that she’s already left the apartment. Chi Ching’s aunt asks what he’s after and he divulges that he’s here to gift Chi Ching a rainbow. Flashback to Ying Jun’s attempts to dye Chi Ching some rainbow roses; it’s an idea so sweet and innovative, I would be delighted by them in her position… but therein lies the problem.

As Dai Wei Gor points out (supportive of Ying Jun’s romanticism or not), Ying Jun’s artistic abilities leave enough to be desired that “[he] would be better off just going outside and waiting for a real rainbow to appear [after all]” LOL! Still, ever-reliable Dai Wei Gor offers Ying Jun one further piece of important advice. Cheering someone up requires not only sincerity but good timing (so very blatant example of foreshadowing here aside) – he tells Ying Jun to get cracking.

It’s a different rainbow-creating trick which Ying Jun therefore now demonstrates to Chi Ching’s aunt and she’s vocally impressed by his understanding of Chi Ching. Ying Jun however admits his understanding is but shallow and entreats Chi Ching’s aunt to tell him the secret behind her niece’s love for rainbows.

Meanwhile, Chi Ching has been invited out by Keith to go early-morning bike-riding. When she questions the scheduling of the activity, Keith replies ‘cryptically’ (as his intentions are more than a little obvious to us, though to his credit, the gesture is still very cute) that “the day [in] being slightly overcast and without the burn of the sun, is the perfect weather for bike-riding!”.

As a more convincing argument, he proffers that as a child, he (and his mother) too had been abandoned by his father, but bike-riding brings back pleasant memories of his dad; all children have such memories, he says, so they should just forget their unhappy thoughts and replicate such happy moments today. Chi Ching smiles at his intentions and Keith pedals away, reminiscing on his childhood cheerily.

That is until, Chi Ching calls after him and informs him that she doesn’t know how to ride a bike; it had been him after all, who had assumed all by himself, that all children held such memories (ha! Touché). He raps her gently on the forehead asking why she only thought to mention this now and the cute continues as he gives her a crash-course (no pun intended) on bike-riding.

Under her breath, Chi Ching thanks Keith, only for the goof to make her repeat herself and break out into a huge grin behind her back. When he receives a call from an insurance company, he quickly hangs up with the lie that he’s in a meeting (aw). The smile is quickly wiped off his face however, at Chi Ching’s excited cries that she can ride on her own now; in Keith’s eyes, the bear is back and the one lending Chi Ching a helping hand.

Keith assures himself he’s seeing things and when he reopens his eyes, the bear is gone. This time it’s Chi Ching who raps him on the head for spacing out. He smiles and it only grows wider as he watches her face light up at the rainbow which makes its very timely appearance. As the two make their way to the childcare, Keith warns Chi Ching to be prepared – he’s organised for Jade to be one of the audition’s judges to ensure the two will meet.

Chi Ching asks if it’s not a given she’ll make the preliminaries and Keith reasons that appearances still need to be kept up, or what would Jade think? At Chi Ching’s intuitive answer, Keith jokes that she’s not so slow on the uptake after all. In response she’s smugly (but cutely) triumphant at dodging his forehead-rapping attempt this time.

Their moment however, is interrupted by the arrival of Ying Jun, who fusses over Chi Ching’s scraped hand (from a fall off her bike earlier). After a brief introduction, Keith excuses himself and when Chi Ching’s gaze lingers on his retreating back, it’s Ying Jun’s turn this time to break out a suspicious glance. He follows after Keith (who’s wearing the newspaper hat, aw!) and under the pretext of helping with the mural, Ying Jun warns Keith to stay away from Chi Ching.

Keith correctly guesses that Ying Jun must only be helping then, to ensure his (ASAP) discontinued presence in Chi Ching’s life. Drolly, he thanks Ying Jun for the help and takes a break. Ying Jun in his pettiness however, insists (without realising he’s shooting himself in the foot, oof) that what will make Chi Ching happiest, will be seeing the rainbow he’s prepared for her.

The mention of rainbows piques Keith’s interest and Ying Jun gets his (short-lived I dare say) moment to boast that he of course, is the one who most understands Chi Ching; he knows after all, that before Chi Ching’s mother had “left [Chi Ching]” (died or literally just abandoned, it’s a little vague although the spelling of the word apparently indicates the former), she had told Chi Ching every time a rainbow appeared, it would signify her watching over of her daughter.

Suddenly, the social worker assigned to overlooking Keith’s case arrives and Ying Jun jumps to corroborate Keith’s explanation that Ying Jun is but a passer-by (offering an objective critique) and that Keith’s 100 hours of community-service have been faithfully completed (ha! And here I was thinking our CEO would return the petty favour and insist Ying Jun had helped, just so he would be able to loiter about the childcare and Chi Ching for longer).

Elsewhere (at a convenience store), Dai Wei Gor’s faded star-status is recognised by a cashier and she scrambles for an autograph. Returning to his café, he (finds Ying Jun persevering with the rose-painting as Ying Jun relays that Chi Ching had already seen a rainbow that morning and) unpacks his many complimentary bottles of milk.

Ying Jun comments that this must be his perfect time for Dai Wei Gor to make a comeback. At having his suggestion scoffed at however, Ying Jun presents the contract Dai Wei Gor had originally shunted off to him as scrap paper, as reinforcement of his solemnity. He asks how Dai Wei Gor could possibly refuse to be a musical director (of Cheong Tao Group’s latest investment film no less) when the offered salary is so substantial.

Dai Wei Gor merely claims to be so decidedly against the issue that “even a meteor on its crash-course to Earth won’t change [his] mind”. Only moments later, with a magical twinkle in her wake, a woman (Bernice Liu at last, *gasp*) enters the café looking for our Dai Wei Gor. At the sight of her (and her dancing to Singing In The Rain, the latter being all just a part of his imagination ha!), Dai Wei Gor is left slack-jawed and breathlessly offers his greeting.

The two sit down and the woman asks sweetly that Dai Wei Gor sign the copy of the contract she’s brought along – she’s to be the film’s dance choreographer (ah, so she’s Agnes Man?) and she really hopes to work with him. Dai Wei Gor signs the contract without further questioning and our mystery lady snatches the paper away, tone changing instantaneously with her departure.

Ying Jun interprets Dai Wei Gor’s swift going back on his word as being a direct consequence of Lady Mysterious and thus it’s to Chi Ching’s aunt we go for our answers. She explains that at the age of 20, Dai Wei Gor had already produced a solo album and was on the path to instant fame and fortune, alas! Ying Jun interrupts with the theory that Dai Wei Gor must have given up his career for love and Chi Ching’s aunt confirms it.

After Dai Wei Gor had broken up with his girlfriend – a Taiwanese actress – she had had a miscarriage and all the headlines had henceforth referred to him as the scummiest of all scum. Sealing his destructive fate in stone, to further complicate things, Dai Wei Gor had assaulted his celebrity sunbae (and yes I used a Korean term because I couldn’t think of a more precise English equivalent haha!).

Ying Jun focuses on the tale of Dai Wei Gor’s ex and when he asks for a description of the actress, Chi Ching’s aunt describes that she would have been like all the others, having long hair, large eyes and an enviable hourglass figure; Ying Jun need only think back to his initial encounter with our Lady Mysterious to tick off all these qualities.

At the same time, alone at his café, Dai Wei Gor now re-watches an old music video he had filmed with Lady Mysterious smilingly. Lady Mysterious regards a photo from the same shoot with similar fondness… before abruptly stabbing a knife into the photographed Dai Wei Gor (and gosh the background music is scary!).

It’s a new day once more and with Chi Ching heading off to sign up for her audition, Karlie offers to participate alongside her, to be her support when Chi Ching is to cross paths with Jade again. Karlie contends that they’ll need a make-over and that the “shocking colours” they come to wear are what will ensure their garnering of the judges’ awe and interest.

Chi Ching on the other hand, maintains that their singing, dancing and acting must still be above par if they’re to qualify, and thus they practise. It’s precisely through a misunderstanding derived from their acting practice too (as they act out a confession to Ying Jun), that Chi Ching has no choice but to explain her intentions to her uncles (as her aunt has the day off and is out to play cards all night, ha).

Though her Uncle Do, Re and Mi offer fervent objections to Chi Ching’s case, ultimately they cave and promise to keep Chi Ching’s secret when she blackmails them individually with items exposing their affections for her aunt LOL. Chi Ching cheers at her uncles’ support of her and it’s on this happy note today (for everyone but the uncles haha) that our episode ends.

Overall Thoughts

This episode was a fun one (other than the musical scenes which seemed to be a slight letdown in terms of execution and believable integration) and seemed to just fly by – so much so in fact, that it’s only when I seriously stop to think about that I realise I may just have been duped and watched nothing but fluff and filler. Still, if certain checkpoints need to be cleared before we reach the meat of our story – which I’m assuming will be the meta-film’s production – then I won’t complain if it’s done with some cute to boot.

Now that we’ve got another side-story, having learnt a little more about Dai Wei Gor’s past (lady love included), things take a bigger turn towards the interesting. In regards to the more focal love-triangle, things seem to be panning out similarly well as Ying Jun is such a clueless puppy; it’s almost hard to not sympathise with him because of this and his jealousy becomes more of a reflection of his earnest affections at this point, rather than painting him as a vexing ‘cockblocker’.

Simultaneously, Keith and Chi Ching are certainly, as I’ve mentioned before, appealing in terms of aesthetic-compatibility (excuse my superficiality here) but with this episode, I’m also happy to see two romantically-involved characters in a drama not being polar opposites for once! Though sharing daddy issues is surely, a tacky commonality, at least it’s a more believable and relatable setup than say, a hero who is the only person in the world who can understand/’heal’ the heroine.

Undoubtedly the two still serve as the equivalent to a Korean chaebol-Candy pair, but I do think because of the fact that in Cantonese at least, honorifics aren’t typically used in (casual) conversation (I could just be ignorant here!), their relationship is able to be portrayed as being less distanced (by differing socio-economic standings) and hence is more plausible.

Given the many things which we must already overlook – like why drama CEOs can almost always not be doing their job and how Keith and Chi Ching actually, suddenly got so chummy in the first place – I’ll say these smaller touches are a good thing and am ready for more, more, more!

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