Bad Friends


Reviewed by: sukting

November 05, 2003

Rating: three

How long
20 episodes

Foreword
If you are sick of love dramas, this is the right one for you. It talks about loyalty and friendship between 4 young men, regardless of their status. It is quite different from other dramas. Do laugh and cry with them.

Introduction on characters/story

1) Jiang Cheng – Ahn Jae Wook

His father opens a medicine factory but he has no interest to own it. He is only interested to set up a band with his 4 friends. Although he passes his entrance exams, he chooses to travel around the world for many years before coming back for his father’s birthday. It is okay if someone is not cut out for studies but I don’t really approve the irresponsible way that he is doing. All these years he doesn’t keep in touch with the family – doesn’t he know that they worry for him?

When he returns, he gets in touch with his friends again. They are together again but tragedy strikes his family. His father is framed for using illegal drugs and the factory comes under Uncle Xia’s control. Uncle Xia is Mr Jiang’s subordinate and has been power hungry all along. He and his friends set up an online website calling them ‘bad friends’ – which contributes the name to the serial.

Jiang Cheng is disheartened upon seeing a photo of his father and a woman in bed. After realizing that it is fake, he decides to work in his father’s company to find evidence to clear his father’s name.

He falls in love with Uncle Xia’s daughter, Yin Shu and both face a lot of opposition because Mr Jiang suffers a stroke and later dies. Mrs Jiang blames her for it while Mr Xia doesn’t like them to be together too. They are a couple in the end. When he gains control of the company, he is very generous to transfer the shares to all his friends. But his friends never forget him to give him a treat on a yacht.

Ahn is better in portraying friendship than romantic scenes. I do like the chemistry shown between all of them. And he is in his best-looking form in a business suit. Many are astonished when seeing how young he looks as a high-school student too.

2) Zhang Xiu Yan – dunno the actor’s name but he is the power hungry Manager Wu in ‘Hotelier’

He is the scholar of the lot who is the only one who manages to get into university and obtains a Master overseas with Mr Jiang’s financial aid. He works in the medical industry too and is a great helper to Jiang Cheng. When Qi Zhe beats Zai Yong up, he gets their senior Lawyer Liu to help them. He often gives him first hand news that he discovers. Once, they are trapped by Zai Yong and thus Xiu Yan is forced to betray them. Their friendship is being tested but all forgive him in the end. However, he helps them in the end and keeps the bribed cheque as evidence to bring the Xias to court.

3)Qi Zhe

He is a ganglord but he is very loyal to Jiang Cheng. Upon knowing that his family is in trouble, he gives them help. When the professor who opposes to the usage of the illegal drugs is being kidnapped by the Xias to prevent him from showing up at the company meeting, he personally comes to rescue him from danger. He holds the kidnappers with his gang so as to let Jiang Cheng escort the professor to the company. They manage to get there on time and he is the key person to his success. Poor Xiu Yan has tried his best to delay the meeting by asking many questions and is out of ideas then.

Qi Zhe also sends his men to protect Zai Yong’s mistress when she is in danger for revealing Zai Yong’s business secrets to them. Zai Yong’s mistress holds a diskette that contains all his information. All friends protect her in Shang Mei’s shop but Shang Mei’s eyes are injured when Zai Yong’s men come to harass them. Qi Zhe is deeply in love with her and do laugh at this underground boss for cooking delicious food for her. He takes good care of her – he is even willing to donate his eyes to her. She is touched and marries him in the end. Have another good laugh at their wedding – his subordinates turn up in black and Shang Mei laments that this looks like a funeral instead.

Even on their honeymoon, all his friends harass him the whole night and follow along. They end up trading blows and stay in the prison cell. Don’t miss it! He finally goes straight by concentrating on his nightclub in the end.

4) Zhou Kun

The most simple-minded man among the lot. He is very comical. With no skills, he ends up being a thief but becomes a good friend of Policeman Zhou. During certain operations, he is always the slowest to respond. Policeman Zhou later becomes their good friend in searching for evidence against the Xias. Shang Mei is hesitant to keep him at her cyber shop because he knows nothing about computers. He often ends up creating more trouble and he loves food. There is one occasion when Qi Zhe prepares food for Shang Mei and he eats half of it. He falls for one of the night hostress in the nightclub. Using the verses that Qi Zhe has created in prison, he woos her. She finds it familiar as her boss often recites it. Zhou Kun is quick to say that he is the one who created them and Qi Zhe picked them up from him.

5) Hong Yuan

He is the computer whiz among them besides Xiu Yan. He is the first person to spot the picture as a fake to inform Jiang Cheng to clear his father’s name. He also invents tracking devices to search for the professor when he is kidnapped. He falls for Jiang Cheng’s sister, Tai Xi but she likes Qi Zhe instead. However, he manages to get her in the end when she is impressed by his wits. Do make a look out for this guy because he resembles singer So Wing Hong in looks although he is shorter.

6) Xia Zai Yong

He studies in the same high school as the four guys but he is at loggerheads with all of them. He is a prefect and likes to report their rebelliousness to the principal. They have never liked him and often call him ‘Complain Xia’. Jiang Cheng has a hard time working under him later. He is jealous that Jiang Cheng gets recognition from other colleagues for doing well and promoting healthy drugs. So he tries to disapprove whatever plans he comes up with. He even tries to drive them away from their home.

He is angrier when his beloved younger sister falls for his enemy. He tries to matchmake her with a rich man’s son and tells Jiang Cheng to back off. Unfortunately, his plan backfires. Hungry for success, he tries to earn more money by bringing in illegal drugs to sell. When Jiang Cheng disrupts the meeting with the professor, he has to change his ground for thanking him to alert him. However, he never fails to try to defeat him. Unfortunately, he is still a sore loser in the end.

7) Policeman Zhou and Lawyer Liu

These two are good friends of the 4 four. Policeman Zhou often pities Zhou Kun for having to take care of his grandmother so he lets him off all the time. Lawyer Liu tries to throw his weight around by saying that he is a big shot. But in fact, he has no case for half a year because he beat up his client for doing evil deeds. He always likes to claim as the elder among the 4 although he is shorter than all of them. Zhou gets promoted while Liu becomes famous for helping them in the end. The two initially don’t see eye to eye with each other but get along well to become sworn brothers after a fight.

8) Xia Yin Shu – Song Yun Ah

She is gentle and is very soft-spoken. Who will expect her to run away with Jiang Cheng when she is supposed to go to Germany for further studies on that day? She works in the medicine factory and is delighted to see Jiang Cheng daily. Despite knowing her father and brother’s misdeeds, she still supports Jiang Cheng. However, she decides to leave home later when her family and the Jiang family can’t forgive her. This is really escaping from reality.

I don’t really like this weak character although Song is pretty here. She is only involved in love all the time and does nothing else. A very boring character.

9) Shang Mei – Jin Zhi Xiu

She is a tomboy who likes to wear baggy clothes and a cap. She and Hong Yuan become friends with the four when they escape on a train, thinking that they have killed someone. They even invite her to become their lead singer when they set up a band. She tries so hard to win Jiang Cheng’s attention. She is very hostile to Yin Shu but this is understandable. Who can tolerate both of them being so intimate openly? Once, Jiang Cheng invites her out for dinner. She is so overjoyed that she goes for a makeover to do her hair and wears a dress. What awaits her is also Yin Shu’s presence. She is very disappointed and leaves.

Qi Zhe declares his love for her and it takes her a long time to accept him partly because of his background too. But both have a blissful marriage. Jin’s acting is quite okay although I would love to see more scenes of Shang Mei wearing dresses after her marriage.

10) Jiang Tai Xi

She is Jiang Cheng’s younger sister. Pampered from young, she can’t accept the harsh truth that the medicine factory is no longer their family property. She starts keeping late nights and when Jiang Cheng reprimands her, she wakes him by talking back, saying that he does the same. This wakes up Jiang Cheng’s senses and he starts to work instead of lottering around. Tai Xi also changes and goes back to her studies when her relationship with Jiang Cheng improves.

She likes Qi Zhe and always likes to cling to him. Qi Zhe has lots of explaining to do to Shang Mei at first even when she isn’t in love with him then. She doesn’t like Hong Yuan initially but upon seeing how he cares for her and Qi Zhe is married, she starts to like him.

Favourite character
Jiang Cheng for caring his family and friends. You will never forget the scene where he kneels to beg Zai Yong to let Qi Zhe off for beating him.

Most hated character
Zai Yong, he likes to torture Jiang Cheng whenever he has the chance.

Interesting facts
It is said that Ahn and Song are lovers after filming this serial. But they break off because her father dislikes someone from the entertainment circle to be with his daughter. I am amused – if that’s the case, other men can also choose not to woo his daughter because she is an actress too.

Conclusion
It is worth watching because of the close-knit relationship among the men. The actors are very natural although some are too old in the high-school uniform. But the process of seizing the power back from the villains is still not exciting enough. It could be better.

Sukting's Ratings :

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

On story : * * * (Scale of 5)

Screenshots:
http://www.imbc.com/tv/drama/badfriends/


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