This weekend, I fell down the rabbit hole of Chinese dramas. After finishing up Shan Shan Come To Eat (or Boss and Me), it was about one a.m., and like any good drama fan, it wasn’t “Oh, I should go to bed” it was more “what should I watch next?”
For the last few weeks, in our chat feed, Molly and Amber Kmuse have been going on about the drama Cruel Romance and, on a lark, I gave it a try.
I am happy to report, it is the crackiest, wackiest, ‘is this show for real?’ time I’ve had in a long time. Watching the first few episodes, I entertained the ladies with a running commentary—we had such a fun time I thought I’d share it with you!*
*Ahem. Just keep in mind, it was very late, I was a little punchy, and possibly a little swear-y.
Stephanie: I’ve decided to stay in China for a while.
Amber Kmuse: What are you watching next?
Stephanie: I’m trying Cruel Romance.
Amber Kmuse: Fun! I have to finish that now that the subs are finished.
Think I have around 7 episodes left.
Stephanie: The heroine’s laugh is fudging irritating.
Amber Kmuse: Hmmm, not sure if I noticed.
Stephanie: Who is supposed to be the hero in this?
Amber Kmuse: Mafia guy.
Stephanie: Which one?
The one who just murdered her parents?
Amber Kmuse: No. The guy she kisses on the boat.
Stephanie: Well that’s good.
Amber Kmuse: Lol …I remember wondering that at the beginning as well.
Stephanie: So long as I haven’t met him yet, I guess that’s fine.
Amber Kmuse: Lol
Stephanie: Good lord is he the guy rocking the white leisure suit?
I’m not sure if I can stomach that.
Amber Kmuse: Yup
Amber Kmuse: The only time he wears that though.
Stephanie: What have you guys gotten me into?
At least with her parents dead, she’s not laughing anymore.
Stephanie: Of course you’re not going to get the pocket watch—don’t you know if you’re in an Asian drama, apparently any touching of water (not of the angsty shower sort) will kill you?
Amber Kmuse: Water is death.
Stephanie: He does look very nice without his shirt on, I’ll give you that.
Amber Kmuse: Pretty
Stephanie: He cuts a nice form in the black suit.
Amber Kmuse: That is what he usually wears. Lots of black suits with the occasional leather.
Stephanie: Oh his second in command does not like her; I’m guessing he super gay-loves him.
Why is everyone looking for medicine?
And when is she going to let it out that she has some sweet ass martial arts skills?
Amber Kmuse: His head boss gang leader is sick, and he was supposed to go pick up some rare medicine. He dumped it in the ocean to save the girl.
Stephanie: Laugh. I got that.
Amber Kmuse: And those skills are never to be seen again.
Amber Kmuse: Not that kind of leading lady.
Stephanie: What the fudge???
Then why start off the drama that way?
And is she in the rickshaw of robbery and rape? Possibly death?
Amber Kmuse: I would like to point out that I did not suggest this drama for you, even though I love it. Not sure if you can overlook the plot to the pretty, pretty, thug leading guy
Stephanie: This show is making me cranky. Don’t start her off with spunk and skills if they aren’t going to keep up with it?
I thought you wanted me to watch this one?
You and Molly McMolly?
Amber Kmuse: No, Molly did.
Amber Kmuse: I just really enjoyed it, but did not think it was your type of drama.
I can overlook a whole lot that I know drives you crazy.
Stephanie: Its 1:30 a.m., not really time to be fudging with my drama watching
Does it get better?
Does she get better?
Oh, his shirt is off again.
Amber Kmuse: I think so… she is never the kick ass heroine, but she does stand on her own two feet and doesn’t always ask for help.
Stephanie: But he’s changing into another white leisure suit.
What is with this guy?
Amber Kmuse: But he does help her a lot… but at least she doesn’t ask for help
I liked that she wanted to make it on her own.
Although she unknowingly didn’t.
Stephanie: Now we’re at a night club. Flashes of Bridal Mask? Is he going to break out into a sweet-ass song and dance routine a la Joo Won?
Amber Kmuse: Haha nope… although he does sing a song in the OST
Stephanie: At least he lost the silly hat
I have no idea what is going on in this club.
Who are these people? Would I know if I were paying more attention?
Who is this exposition fairy?
Amber Kmuse: They are rival mafia people.
Stephanie: Good lord. This is the worst exposition scene.
Amber Kmuse: The girl is her half sister who left home 10 years earlier.
Stephanie: Not sure if I met the girl yet.
Now I’m seeing a cute guy in some sort of 1930’s orgy.
What year is this supposed to be?
There is a Gentlemen Prefer Blondes poster
Amber Kmuse: 2nd lead… 1st love of her half sister, who dumped him to date his brother, who has the power.
Stephanie: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is 1953.
Amber Kmuse: Yup, not accurate.
Stephanie: Is the turtleneck historically accurate?
I don’t think so.
1920’s—you get a pass on that one drama.
Second lead is CUTE.
Amber Kmuse: Are you really expecting historical accuracy? He is so pretty.
I like that actor.
Stephanie: It totes looks like she’s carrying around a picnic basket.
Why is she following him?
Amber Kmuse: The 2nd lead?
Stephanie: Yeah? I understand he’s cute, but I’m not sure what hat has to do with the plot.
Amber Kmuse: Didn’t he say he could get her inside?
Stephanie: Oh, its a little clichéd for her to be in a red cape, isn’t it? Red Riding Hood off to meet the Big Bad Wolf?
And apparently, I’m done with episode one!
I’ll continue on with the four but I don’t know…
Stephanie: Ummm… so the singer is her missing sister?
Isn’t that convenient?
Amber Kmuse: Yup…half sister.
Stephanie: Sister’s got a bit of evil coming off her.
Amber Kmuse: Couldn’t you tell from the bitch bob she has?
Amber Kmuse: The evil 2nd lead hairstyle.
Stephanie: And the drunken set of her tiara?
Duuude, his brother took his girl?
She deserves the bitch bob for that alone.
The violence is comical in this.
i.e. comically bad.
They are spinning like they suddenly found themselves on an ice rink.
Amber Kmuse: Seems pretty standard for Chinese dramas. At least the ones I have watched.
Stephanie: Oh, so now the heroine is just going to faint at the sight of violence??? This is not the heroine we were promised.
uhoh… some douche is trying to start the slow clap.
Amber Kmuse: I thought she hit her head? I could be wrong since it has been months since ep1.
Stephanie: I’m thinking rival gang boss?
Oh, I’m now in episode 2.
Amber Kmuse: It has been a while.
Stephanie: It ain’t a party until someone brings a machete.
The hero is a cocky SOB. Here’s hoping HE doesn’t mysteriously lose all his fighting skills at some point like the heroine did.
Amber Kmuse: Haha. Not as far as I have watched.
Stephanie: HAHAHAHA! The guy just impaled himself on the pin. Whole new type of ‘pinning’ do you think they are going steady now? Didn’t realize it was that sort of drama.
Amber Kmuse: Pin of fate.
Cherry Cordial: Wow, I walk away from the computer for an hour and you’re watching Cruel Romance?
Stephanie: Things move fast when you can’t get off the couch.
Cherry Cordial: This is the one I told you reminded me of a Jayne Ann Krentz novel.
Stephanie: DUDE YOU’RE RIGHT!!!
Cherry Cordial: Just think of her as the spunky JAK heroine and you’re set.
Stephanie: Except she is no spunky JAK heroine
I can’t take this guy seriously with the bloody pin mark on his face. I hope it scars that way.
Cherry Cordial: Eh, she’ll get there.
Stephanie: She’d better
Henchman #3 has amazing cheekbones.
Does Sister Bitchbob still love the betrayed brother?
Sister Bitchbob reminds me of some Korean actress.
The wife from A Gentleman’s Dignity.
Stephanie: So does baby gangster brother have abandonment issues? He’s not going to take being the b-lead well.
Why did he scoop her up? And why does she need to be scooped up? She’s pretty much a dud heroine. She doesn’t deserve the mantle (the Red Riding Hood mantle) of a Jayne Ann Krentz heroine. She’s more… uhhh a bad writer heroine.
Ohhhh her head is on shoulder—does he catch a case of instalove?
Whew. Nope. He’s rolling his eyes.
Must be a slow working bug.
Amber Kmuse: Of course. Heaven knows she is not bright enough to have instalove
Stephanie: Doesn’t that make the instalove come faster though?
Amber Kmuse: You don’t know how love dense she is yet
Stephanie: Ooooh… we’re dudes, chillin’ out on a balcony—aren’t we emo and baddazz.
That building does not look very 1930’s.
B-lead is not looking as cute. Maybe he pales in the force of the lead’s white suit.
I had the same problem with Pretty in Pink. CHOOSE DUCKY! The white tux makes me want to vomit, you look so pasty
Amber Kmuse: I liked his white suit
Stephanie: Sorry, we can no longer be friends
Amber Kmuse: Glad it was not a constant look… but as a break from the leather
Stephanie: Awwww… does Sister Bitchbob regret her choices?? Sorry lady. Once you throw away perfectly good b-leads you can’t get ’em back
Amber Kmuse: I take it back… I wish it had been a grandma’s couch suit instead
Maybe a nice plaid 3 piece
Stephanie: Dude. First a Red Riding Hood reference and now a sleeping beauty shot?
Ewww that outfit is soo ugly. What is with all the ruffles? And the purple? That can’t be historically accurate.
But I like the maid’s hair bow.
Amber Kmuse: All the damsels in distress wore ruffles and tiny tiny shoes.
Always wondered how she walked in those.
Stephanie: So are we supposed to believe she just recognized her sister from 10 years ago?
Amber Kmuse: Yup
Stephanie: Oh, does she have instalove on the b-lead? Don’t give him any hope, you’re just going to break his heart when you dump him for the leisure suit guy
Yes, you intimately know your sister who you haven’t seen in 10 years and have no idea what sort of life she’s led.
I just noticed leisure suit’s cleft chin. I approve.
He looks pretty hot in this scene.
It might be because of the set.
Amber Kmuse: He is always hot……
Sorry, he is my c-bias.
Stephanie: I think he’s extremely passable. I just have to shake off the leisure suit.
Why is his minion always dressed as a newsie?
Amber Kmuse: To down play his cheekbones.
Can’t have him shine too bright.
Stephanie: Nothing like a tension-filled sashimi scene.
Yeah, we get it sashimi man, we get it.
Hey guy, can’t you tell, he doesn’t use guns, he prefers to make sushi of his enemies.
Amber Kmuse: I think that he actually says that, minus the sushi reference.
At some point.
Stephanie: You don’t SEEEM like a liar.
The liar radar is strong with that one. It must be the bow earrings the heroine is wearing. You can’t be an evil infiltrator with bow earrings.
WHAT is with the sound of the flashback girl voices??
Okay, while the girl is being a bitch, she has a point. If Sister Bitchbob says she doesn’t have family, why are they just going to believe someone off the street?
Something tells me this meeting with the sister is not going to be the heartwarming reunion the heroine is looking for.
Amber Kmuse: Of course not… her sister had a bitchbob. No warm fuzzies if you wear the bitchbob
Stephanie: How did it suddenly become 14 years?
I think they are getting their timeline confused.
Amber Kmuse: Is this the flashback?
I surprisingly remember the early episodes pretty well, considering I am just going off your comments.
Stephanie: Okay, why would she slap her? I know she’s irritating you, but do you just go off and slap a stranger?
Pooh, is this like a first and second wife or a concubine thing?
Amber Kmuse: Yup… he ditched 1st wife… Bitchbob’s mom, for mistress
Stephanie: Okay, so maybe Sister Bitchbob has a reason for her anger. Go be your bad self.
Good on the heroine though for not taking the money thrown at her.
Oh come on! Seriously.
Sister Bitchbob’s Minion #1 has no reason to have such a beef with the heroine.
“She’d better not come back or I’ll get her?”
Amber Kmuse: Yup… she is a tad crazy
The heroine does have really nice shoes
Oh look! The newsie is back!
Oooh now she’s showing some spunk.
uhoh—it must be love, she just grasped the manboobs.
He seems so scandalized! “You dared put your hand upon my boob?”
Oh, it’s been about 20 minutes, and he hasn’t saved her in a while—they were due for something to happen.
Wouldn’t it be funny if during this fight scene they accidentally gave her a bitchbob?
Yep, your spider sense are correct—everybody wants to muuuurrrrder you, everybody.
See that pregnant woman? Yep, she probably wants to murder you too.
Gotta watch out for those covert machetes.
See? I told you the pregnant woman was packing heat.
Amber Kmuse: I imagine her hair would miraculously grow back. No 1st lead bitch bob allowed.
You know there is no actual baby.
YOU DARE TALK TO ME LIKE THIS?
Well how else are you going to catch that case of instalove?
Seee? Pregnant killer is not gone for good
What’s up with the guy in the hair?
1) Its super hot 2) I don’t think they did that in the 30’s
Rawr. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this guy.
How did bad guy get on the scene so fast?
And the guy with the hair was taken wayyy too easily, I’m disappointed in him.
His hair has now lost its allure.
Bad guy tied her to a pillar? How very bodice ripper.
Okay—no one else can see the resemblance between her and her sister but this one bad guy magically can?
I call BS.
And he shall be called Rapey McRaperson.
Amber Kmuse: Haha. I remember this scene.
Stephanie: Doesn’t she resemble a nun in training? Just a little bit?
Amber Kmuse: I can see that.
Stephanie: Oh, so the hero is magical now? He can make doors just magically fling open?
Amber Kmuse: And even without taking his shirt off.
Stephanie: Maybe I wouldn’t have laughed so hard if he hadn’t been wearing a shirt.
Amber Kmuse: Can’t you see a heroine’s shirt buttons popping off at the sight of him?
Stephanie: She is awfully tidy for someone to have survived a car crash, a street fight, abduction, and then being tied to a pole.
I look worse, and I’ve just been sitting on my couch today.
Amber Kmuse: Hahaha
I am sure she smells bad.
Stephanie: Dude. Who drew the short straw and had to go to the fight wearing a dynamite belt?
Ooh! Leisure suit got shot for her?
The police come into the middle of a fight, see a girl tied up, and then just give them a stern talking to????
That’s big fucking coils of rope tied around her.
Something hinky is going down.
Amber Kmuse: Totally crooked
Stephanie: Thanks for saving my life! A lot.
If it weren’t for him your life wouldn’t be on the line—alllll the time.
Dude. She didn’t even watch him go? That’s cold.
Bad guy stole alll the doctors?
This show is hilarious.
Aaawww she’s gonna save him with some soup.
You know, when they give you chicken noodle soup when you’re sick—it’s not actually making you feel better.
How did she get up to his bedroom without being stopped?
Better question, how did she find his bedroom?
I Spy maaaaannnn booooooobs.
She’s going to doctor him?
“Are you a doctor?” “No, but I like, you know, saw my dad do this tons of times. I totes know what I’m doing”
Amber Kmuse: Lol
I saw surgery on TV. I totes got this.
Stephanie: Oh noes, now you’re going to have a scar on your perfect man-flesh.
Amber Kmuse: As if a scar would dare reside in his carefully-waxed chest.
Well, if he didn’t have one with the gunshot, he will from impaling himself on that scalpel.
Amber Kmuse: Lol
Stephanie: And why did they have a surgical scalpel just hanging around??
And after operating, she’s still perfectly clean.
Dad, the surgery was successful, guess I can support myself as a doctor now. Never mind the fact that I made the patient impale himself, using unsteralised equipment, and then left before, what I’m sure will be, the inevitable post surgery infection set in.
Amber Kmuse: She gave him soup… that is all he needs for after surgery care. Healed by the power of luvvvv.
Stephanie: I have all the prettiest accessories! I shop at Claire’s Bitches!
Oh, for the love of fudging christ. She’s swearing revenge on the sister? Oh this is where you want to go show? Fudge you.
It’s time for your sponge bath… gotta keep you healthy, yeah, that’s it, healthy.
Amber Kmuse: Now let it go a bit lower
Amber Kmuse: Sigh her lack of appreciation for the art of sponge bath is disappointing.
Amber Kmuse: Stupid dense virgin.
Stephanie: She should have at least, I don’t know, inspected the wound. i.e., his chestal area.
Is that yet another new character?
And the plotlines finally meet up.
boom-shakalaka! We have ‘scar checking.’
She was caught touching his man-flesh again.
She had better fucking say she wants her watch back.
“She seems to be pretty good.”
So are they going to make her their honorary doctor?
Amber Kmuse: Lol …how could a woman not check his man flesh?
Stephanie: Booobs. Man booobs.
Molly: Okay – what show are you watching?
Cherry Cordial: Cruel Romance.
Molly: You ladies are cracking me up! What episode?
Stephanie: No, no, she’s not interested, she just almost keeps getting murdered by being around you.
All of them.
Molly: I’m up through 25.
Amber Kmuse: You have missed fun, Molly.
See what happens when you have a life?
Molly: I know!!!!!!!! Damn it!
Stephanie: It’s only natural she’s wants to check out the mammaries while she was there.
SHE”S ONLY HUMAN.
Molly: How insanely HOT is the lead guy?!?!?!
Stephanie: Don’t you think someone would notice if there was a team of evil-doers just murdering people through the city?
Stephanie: Why does b-lead care about the church?
Molly: What episode are you on??
We just started.
Molly: OMG. LOVE that show.
Stephanie: Boooobs again.
Molly: Yes – the memories…
Stephanie: She can’t stop touching them.
Molly: I wouldn’t be able to either!!
Just wait—he gets hotter.
Amber Kmuse: You have to call them something other than boobs or moobs.
Maybe man pecs.
Because I’m a 12-year-old boy.
Amber Kmuse: I need masculine.
Molly: Yes—he deserves something more manly. So far, he gets my vote for hottest male lead of 2015.
Amber Kmuse: Lol… that is what my 7-year-old calls them.
Chiseled chest muscles.
Manly man parts.
Hot man chest.
Amber Kmuse: Masculinly waxed pectorals
Stephanie: Pretty sure she’s walking into a trap.
Good lord. Evil guy is hot.
Amber Kmuse: She’s always walking into a trap.
Stephanie: And her bow earrings match her bow hairband.
Molly: God, I love that show.
Stephanie: Shouldn’t there be some sort of passcode or something? How does she know he’s not handing the very important man-jewelry over to the bad guys?
Stephanie: And is just me that finds the bad guys wearing capelets funny?
The bad guys are all a little hot.
Molly: Yes—so much eye candy.
Stephanie: DON’T LEAVE THE WARDROBE!
DUDE. You are a loser if you have the watch for 2 seconds and you lose it to the bad guys.
Amber Kmuse: One of the reasons I love cdramas is that everyone is hot. From the leads, bad guys, to newsie sidekicks.
Molly: Amen to that!
Stephanie: You are definitely not showing your b-lead credentials.
I can’t believe he fudging just left the fudging watch there.
Stephanie: Ooooohhhh Did the new hot bad guy instalove her?
Amber Kmuse: He does love Bitchbob. That tells you he is not the brightest b-lead
Oh no… Stephanie is going to rant about why bad guy likes her.
Stephanie: Nah, this is the other guy. The bad guy who had the flashback to his dead girlfriend.
I’m having a hard time keeping the characters apart.
Wow. What a coincidence. She just happens to look like the bad guy’s dead girlfriend. And how did she manage to stay alive after being shot IN THE HEART???
Amber Kmuse: That’s why you need ugly old actors to be bad guys.
Stephanie: Whoever this guy is, he’s good at murdering people. Good thing he’s on her side.
Now that the hero is out of commission for a while.
Molly: Why? So it’s easier to hate them?
Amber Kmuse: To many high cheekbones and chiseled chests start to look alike.
Molly: Hey—the more the merrier is my motto.
Amber Kmuse: Too bad they could not all be in the same room and have a chest off.
Stephanie: Okay, there is a message in the back of the watch? Why didn’t the good guys just pop the top off the back?
Molly: Stephanie, I can’t believe you’re still up watching this. Isn’t it 4am your time? Crazy girl…
Stephanie: Dude. I was just saying that.
What can I say, these are going down smoooooth.
Molly: Not that I haven’t done that myself…
Stephanie: And by smoooooth I mean hilariously.
Amber Kmuse: Lol
Amber Kmuse: As smooth as our hottie’s chest.
Molly: Amen to that!
Stephanie: She’s embroidering the bad guys tattoo? Dude.
That is some arts and crafts dedication.
Molly: So gotta watch more of that when I get home tomorrow…
Okay—going to bed. The in-laws get up early. 😛
Have fun, ladies!
Pull an all nighter.
Stephanie: You know you want to.
All the cool kids are doing it.
Molly: Shut up!
Stephanie: And by cool kids I mean me.
Molly: I’m all haggard tomorrow.
Amber Kmuse: Hey… I’m cool as well. Maybe not 4 am cool.
Stephanie: You’re regular bedtime cool.
But you aren’t a quitter.
Like someone else.
Molly: Hey. I’ve done that before. I’m not a spring chicken. Can’t bounce back. So sad…
I so want to though!!!!!
Stephanie: I feel like I’m going to have to fast-forward through Sister Bitchbob’s evil plans.
Molly: She’s a nightmare.
But you need to know what’s going on.
Amber Kmuse: Yup… a bitchbob among bitchbobs.
Stephanie: Do you think brother has any idea that his wife used to dick around with his brother?
Amber Kmuse: Yup
Amber Kmuse: Oops, was that rhetorical?
Molly: That situation sucks.
Sorry—delayed spoiler alert!
Stephanie: Whoever is the set dresser has a hard-on for window treatments.
They are putting them everywhere.
Sister Bitchbob came a’callin? This can’t be good.
Molly: Never is
Stephanie: And why is she always traveling with her evil minion?
Molly: Always is.
I hate her as much as Bitchbob.
Stephanie: Especially since there is no logical reason for her to hate the heroine so much.
Stephanie: Yeah. Throw her stuff out the window, you know, because she can’t go outside and get that shit.
Espeically considering they didn’t even get it over the balcony.
Amber Kmuse: Lol
Molly: I remember that scene!
Stephanie: Awwww b-lead is trying to make her understand Sister Bitchbob. Can’t make sense of crazy.
Amber Kmuse: He is an idiot b-lead.
Too bad since he is pretty.
Molly: Not as pretty as main lead though.
Stephanie: I can’t wait for him to fall in love with her, see how bad Sister Bitchbob is, and then tell it to her face.
She gets some sort of power from still having him after her
She is spunky! I love how she doesn’t want someone to pay for her. She is worthy of Jayne Ann Krentz heroine status.
Amber Kmuse: Lol…
Molly: Love that about her.
Stephanie: If you really wanted the hero to die, maybe you should have kidnapped all the daughters of doctors too… Just to be super safe, the horses of doctors. You never know when you’ve got the next Doctor Mr. Ed on your hands.
Amber Kmuse: Hahaha
Going Moses-style biblical.
It was Moses right? Where they killed all the babies?
Amber Kmuse: Rusty on my old testament.
Some prophesy, so they killed everyone to avoid it coming true.
Stephanie: Ohhhh, and we have shirtless.
I love how he’s just gently cupping his own manboob.
Amber Kmuse: Yay for shirtless.
Amber Kmuse: Haha better.
Stephanie: She’s moved from groping the manly chest area to kissing it?
He never stood a chance.
Whew. It was almost a whole episode between him saving her.
Vase. The only real weapon against a machete.
“You’re my person.”
And done episode 4.
I hate to say it ladies. This show is addictive.
Amber Kmuse: Glad it worked its magic on you. Was concerned it wouldn’t.
Stephanie: It’s a lot of fun.
It’s not a good show.
But you know what? It’s making my blues go away.
If it weren’t 4:15 I’d keep going.
Molly: I understand! It’s addictive.