My Son-in-Law


Reviewed by: sukting

April 10, 2004

Rating: three-point-five

How long
11 episodes

Foreword
Are you interested to find out the real face behind a superstar? Is he as cool and wise in public and also in private? You may wish to watch this serial to find out.

Story

Ying Yi Lang is a cool singer with no family. He looks very unfeeling and lonely. Many female fans are crazy over him and label him as ‘the most desirable man to hug’. In reality, he is lively, childish, innocent and careless to create lots of blunders. His poor manager, Xiang Gen has to deceive the media.

Once he has to remove his piles and XiaoYing comes to his room by mistake. He pleads with her not to publicize the news and is surprised that she doesn’t know her at all. He is attracted to her and both go steady secretly. It is hilarious when both visit a restaurant. He even wears the motorcycle helmet on upon entering the eatery!

There is a day when they play chess at his place. He says that he is going to mention something to her. Xiao Ying gets hysterical, thinking that he is asking for a breakup. She never expects him to propose to her. He then decides to visit her family.

Her elder sisters are excited but not for her father or nephews. Feng shows their father a magazine which shows the label. He is angry, thinking that he is a gigolo. Upon knowing that he is a songwriter and a singer, he worries that his income may be unstable. So he wants to know how much he is earning a year. He is shocked to know that he is earning what he earns for 10 years!

Upon seeing his stunned look, Ying Yi Lang thinks that her father might be thinking that he isn’t earning much. But in fact, he is shocked that he earns so much! But he rejects him because he can’t make their relationship open. Wu Yue asks him to stay with him. He loves Xiao Ying so he agrees. Another reason is he longs for family warmth too. But he finds it too hard to please everyone and many are trying hard to get used to an extra person at home.

Ying Zi’s father wants him to return home for lunch but he is late for an interview. He is not in the mood to talk much to the sponsors for his album and doesn’t touch the food at all. The family members are unhappy over him for coming late. But they melt upon knowing what has happened and they start to cook for him.

Laugh at the scene where he thinks Ying Zi is in the bathroom and wants to give her a surprise. Xin turns out to be the person. He clears the rubbish and accidentally throws away the lucky draw coupons that Feng is keeping for a Hawaii trip draw. He then decides to give all a treat to Hawaii. He can have his marriage registered there and have his honeymoon there too.

He tries to clear the work by going non-stop and ends up getting a high fever on the day when they are about to set off. All grumble and Xiao Ying chides them for being selfish. She impulsively wants to move out with Ying Yi Lang but he stops her. He sincerely wants their support and approval for marriage. After saying this, he faints. All feel guilty when they discover that he plans a schedule for them and completely forgets what he should do with Ying Zi over there! They decide to hold the wedding ceremony at home.

Feng gives Xiao Ying her wedding dress while Father lends out his traditional gown. Wu Yue gets two copies of marriage certificate forms ready – you will know why later. Ying Yi Lang is so excited that he signs his name wrongly for the first piece! All get gifts ready for the couple and they are overjoyed.

Ying Yi Lang and Ying Zi visit the supermarket. Their photograph is secretly taken by a reporter. Ying Yi Lang teaches Nu how to draw and he gets scolded by Xin. Later, Xin forgives him. Nu longs to learn how to cycle and Ying Yi Lang offers to teach him. However, he has to attend a press conference to clear the air about the pictures and he forgets about his arrangement with Nu. Nu ignores him for a few days.

Ying Yi Lang waits for him a few days at the open ground with Ying Zi. Nu finally arrives to learn from him and he succeeds. He is proud and is on good terms with Ying Yi Lang now.

Wu Yue buys an apartment and wants to move out. Father is angry and chases her out of the house. One young singer throws her weight around. This angers her and quarrels with her. The top wants her to apologise otherwise she will lose her job. She does it unwillingly but is still unable to get the person back.

She decides to get help from Ying Yi Lang. But he is away to film a commercial. She is worried that she will get sacked. Teng Gen informs him and he rushes back quickly. He has sped up the filming progress and wants to help her out. He treasures family ties and will not leave her in trouble.

Feng’s son, Liang is a high school student. One female classmate tells him how much she adores Ying Yi Lang as a cool and manly guy. Liang nearly laughs till his stomach bursts as he knows his true self. He finds Ying Yi Lang nosy and careless instead. She calls him to ask for homework. Ying Yi Lang receives the call and tells her to get along well with Liang. She finds his voice familiar but Liang dismisses it as he doesn’t wish his privacy to be infringed.

One day, Liang is shocked to see the teacher he likes, Qian He walking into a bar that he stands out there. Ying Yi Lang happens to pass there in his car and is worried. He decides to help him out by visiting there. Xiao Ying thinks that he has an affair and is furious. Later from a home visit, Liang finds out that Qian He has to do it to raise money to treat her ill father. But he manages to dissuade her to work there.

Xin overreacts to men. She lies that she gets Nu from artificial means but he is the offspring of her lover, Qu Tian. He has wanted to further his dentistry studies overseas and she doesn’t tell him about her pregnancy then. Ying Yi Lang tries to find out whether he still loves her by visiting his clinic and finds out that he is already married. Both decide to keep from him.

Ying Yi Lang becomes Wu Yue’s long term guest. The programme’s popularity rises and makes her happy. Her family is worried that she has no boyfriend. But she is having an affair with her married boss. Because of rumours, this boss tries to dismiss her and avoid her phone calls. Father gets to know about it when he gets calls from the boss’s wife. Ying Yi Lang is angry when they want to change another host.

He stands out for her and she retains the job. Ying Zi comes to visit Wu Yue too. She passes over the tapes that Father has recorded. He says that he doesn’t like her to work irregular hours but yet he tapes down all the programmes that she is in charge of. She is in tears and moves home.

The reporter who takes pictures sends more pictures to the press. This gives Ying Yi Lang pressure and his new album is coming out soon. Feng brings friends to his autograph session and he nearly collapses from the chair upon seeing her. This is sure a classic scene when he signs on his book with trembling hands. He is so busy that he neglects Ying Zi. Ying Zi has wanted to get a book but it is sold out.

She goes to her mother’s grave alone on her death anniversary and cries there. Feng is unhappy and tells Ying Yi Lang about it. He hugs her there and consoles her. However, their pictures are taken again. Feng gives Ying Zi the book. She knows that she wants it so she gets it for her. Ying Zi is touched.

All go on a spring bath tour to Feng’s husband, Bin’s public bath house. Feng protests to no avail because Ying Yi Lang can’t be seen in public with them. Feng has quarreled with Bin and thus stays with Father. Ying Yi Lang gets to know how Xiao Ying has burned scars on her body. Her elder brother, Zheng quarreled with Father. Both men overturned a kettle of hot water and scalded her badly. Zheng left home. Since then, she had been wearing long sleeve clothes to cover up the scars.

Her late mother was guilty about it and heard that hot spring water could help to remove the scars. So she suggested to try it out. It later became a yearly family affair. Ying Yi Lang manages to persuade Feng reconcile with Bin.

Xiang Gen tells Ying Yi Lang that the news of his marriage status is leaked. Reporters start gathering at his home and no one can go to school or work. They can only order food from Bin. All his contracts are put on hold. His popularity dips as his fans can’t believe that their macho idol can agree to stay with his wife and even takes over his wife’s surname. Even his filming of a movie that costs 2 billion yen is stopped.

He finds out that the person who takes the photos is Zheng. He asks him out. Suddenly, Nu is sent to hospital and Zheng still publicize the news. Ying Yi Lang is so angry that he beats him and ends up in the police station. Xiao Ying decides to divorce Ying Yi Lang. He agrees and moves out.

All feel lonely and he is in low spirits. Boss decides to hold a return concert. The venue is the place where he first started out. Ying Yi Lang is worried that no one will come. Nu gets a kidney transplant from Zheng. All forgive him and he reveals that Ying Yi Lang writes to him daily to beg him to save him.

Ying Yi Lang is disappointed at the poor turnout. However, he reveals on how he misses his family and it is broadcast on radio. Many fans flock in after listening to him. The whole family comes to see him at the end of the concert. He stays with them again. Wu Yue is amused that he still agrees to use their surname. He replies that it doesn’t come across his mind as he is so used to it.

Assignments start to flock in. Boss and Xiang Gen is pleased that he is still using the same cool image at work. They think that they finally see a change in him after all. But upon receiving Ying Zi’s call, they are alarmed to see him back to square one again! They sighed and shake their heads.

Introduction on characters

1. Ying Ting Ying Yi Lang – Tomoya Nagase
Ying Yi Lang is serious at work and all think that he is single because of his sad past. They are wrong as he is a warm person and is not that manly – he is rather childish.

Tomoya is great! He is very cute, comical and convincing as the blur and talkative Ying Yi Lang at home. He is also formidable as the cool man at work. Tomoya shows the change well and appropriate. Many are won over by his versatile acting. He is a suitable successor for Takuya as he acts and sings well too.

2. Xiao Ying – Zhu Nei Jie Zi
She is quiet and traditional to follow Ying Yi Lang’s demands. Both are married but she seems like his kept woman. It breaks her heart when he declares on television that he doesn’t know her. She endures the torture in silence so it is high time to reveal her identity.

3. Father
He is stern to want the best for his children. That is why he is also very strict with them. He dotes on all his daughters and is shocked that his son can be so nasty to them. He accepts Ying Yi Lang reluctantly but later, he treats him as part of the family.

4. Feng
The eldest sister who quarrels with her husband and moves away from home. She is talkative and inquisitive so the job as a telephone operator suits her well. However, she is also helpful to Ying Zi in getting the signatures in Ying Yi Lang’s autograph book.

5. Xin
The second sister who works in a science laboratory. She lies that she doesn’t know who Nu’s father is but it turns out to be her university lover. But she is determined to bring up Nu alone upon knowing that he is married. She is grateful to Ying Yi Lang for being the man in the home besides her father.

6. Wu Yue
She is a DJ and her first desire is to want Ying Yi Lang to help her when he moves in. All are surprised that she is a kept woman and her father is angry with her. Later, she realizes that men are so important in life after all if they can be so selfish. She starts to think that Xiang Gen is a better person.

7. Liang
He leaves home after a quarrel with father and has not returned since. Filled with hatred, he even betrays his beloved youngest sister just to get money. Ying Yi Lang manages to make him feel guilty and he starts caring for his family members.

8. Nu
He is Xin’s son and has low self-esteem because he has no father. He has been lonely all along but he hits off well with Ying Yi Lang, treating him like his father.

9. Zheng
He is Feng’s son who is a high school student. Unlike his high school classmates who are crazy over Ying Yi Lang, he finds him irritating. But when he faces love problems, he turns to him for help.

10. Xiang Gen
Ying Yi Lang’s manager who manages his work well. He settles Ying Yi Lang’s schedules and promotions. He is interested in Wu Yue and tries his best to woo her.

11. Boss
No one will believe that he is the boss with his golden hair. He is with Ying Yi Lang at his worst moment when his mother dies and his father is missing. He is like a father to him to bring him up since 15 years old. Thus they are very close and he tries very hard to build his career.

12. Bin
Feng’s husband who is actually a very nice man. He is just too mild mannered to quarrel with Feng. All will be happy when Feng finally moves back to stay with him.

Most favourite character
Ying Yi Lang – he is so funny. But yet he is so different when he is so cool.

Most hated character
Liang – he is very inhuman to hurt Ying Zi. Doesn’t he feel remorseful for leaving such an ugly scar on her hand and still wishes to hurt her further?

Songs
They are sung by Tomoya himself. The themesong ‘one person’s toothbrush’ is a direct hit.

Interesting facts

After this serial is released, the song group ‘Tokio’ becomes popular with many. Many could only describe Tomoya as unable to reach. No matter whether he was in Japan or Taiwan to promote this drama, he was hot everywhere. Many called him ‘Ying Yi Lang’. The CD sales were good till it became top of the song lists. His personal photo album also went out of stock.

Tomoya used the ‘Ying Yi Lang’ identity to receive television interviews or meetings with the press. He made the idol went directly into the real world. Many almost forgot that the Ying Yi Lang before them was actually Tomoya – because he was so cool throughout!

What happens if a superstar becomes your family member and is forever pursued by the press? It was said that the producer got this idea when Takuya just got married. It easily became the most attractive serial for 2001. Many really laughed when Tomoya acted seriously to promote personal albums and also photo
albums in the serial.
Because he was too hot and many liked his cool plus melodic image, many found him good in expressing comic scenes too. So he was the unexpected winner in the 29th television acting awards. His close contender Feng Chuan Yue Si (the deaf mute artist in ‘tell me you love me’) lost to him.

Zhu Nei Jie Zi built up the chemistry with Tomoya as a married couple through little fights and arguments. Surprisingly, it went well with the viewers.

The sequel was in 2003 but the actress is Noriko Sakai this time. Only the boss is the same and the cast is completely changed. Wonder whether it did well in Japan because I had no news on it?

Conclusion

The story can be quite nonsensical just to please the audience. There are so many deliberate scenes just to let viewers shed tears for the characters. Yes, there is a need to stress the closeness between the family members but is there the need to do it so often? Moreover, I can’t imagine a boss who looks so comical and wild. Xiang Gen makes a finer choice.

I don’t really like it and this can drag to a full episode. However, the good acting makes up for the flaws. Tomoya deserves to win as he is really good. Sometimes, Ying Yi Lang really looks like an idiot at home but at work, he is so professional. I welcome the change in him. I am also curious to know how Tomoya is like in real life – is he the cool or the talkative Ying Yi Lang?


Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : *** (Scale of 5)


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