Happy Together


Reviewed by: sukting

September 02, 2003

Rating: three-point-five

24 episodes

Foreword
This serial is about family relations. There are 5 siblings – only Tai Feng isn’t related to blood related to the other four. Their parents died and Can Zhu’s grandmother took Wen Zhu, Can Zhu, and Zhi Shuo away, leaving Tai Feng and Lun Zhu to fend for themselves. At the time, Tai Feng was only 15 years old so he gave Lun Zhu up for adoption.

Now all have grown up – will they acknowledge one another and reconcile? Zhi Shuo is engaged to Xiu He but Cai Lin can give him riches. Who will he choose in the end?

This is the second serial where Song Seung Hun and Lee Byun Hun work together after ‘The Boxer’. Both are so delighted with the arrangement. This is also the second time Song works with Jin Gui Li after ‘Popcorn’.

Finally, another highlight is this serial is the first time that Jeon Ji Hyun and Cha Tae Hyun work together before ‘My Sassy Girl.’ Interested to see which version is better? On the whole, it is quite attractive to watch because all act quite well.

Introduction on characters

1. Xu Tai Feng – Lee Byun Hun
He is a baseball player but is retrenched after breaking a leg. He falls for Xiu He when staying in the hospital. But upon knowing that she belongs to his younger brother, he gives up.

Upon knowing his step-family’s presence, he wants to join them but only Wen Zhu accepts him. He is a cheerful man and always tries to cheer Xiu He up when she is troubled. He also tries hard to take care of his son, but he has no monetary means to do it. He suffers a lot of hardship before his dream comes true.

I don’t really like this character. He talks too much. Lee is okay in this serial. He is not as fantastic here as he was in ‘Beautiful Days’. Sometimes, his expressions can be too exaggerated.

2. Xu Zhi Shuo – Song Seung Hun
He is a public prosecutor but he works like a cop. He often overworks himself so that he can give his family a good life. Cai Lin is interested in him and he finds it hard to resist her charms. He is unsure whether he should accept her help. Luckily he finds out what he actually wants and marries Xiu He in the end.

I don’t like this character. He is indecisive when it comes to choosing between love and riches. His acting is quite okay although he is not that impressive in crying scenes.

3. Xu Can Zhu – Zhao Ming Xiu
She is the eldest sister in the family. She has to work hard to open a comic shop at home to earn extra income. But her uncle sells their home away. She is determined to forget the past so she never wants to see Tai Feng again. But fate causes her to look after his son, and she learns to love this cute nephew. She later meets his friend, Piao He, and both start a romance. She is very strong as the big sister – it was a good choice to cast the actress in this role.

4. Xu Wen Zhu – Quan Du Yan
She is the only one who accepts the other two siblings because she remembers how well Tai Feng’s father treated her. But I dislike her spiteful behaviour towards her elder siblings. She never gives up looking for Lun Zhu and upon finding her, she tries to ‘purify’ her look so that she will give a good image. Later, Wen Zhu moves out to stay with a gangster, Bi Dou. Luckily this man has a heart of gold and she marries him.

The actress is very impressive in the two acknowledgment scenes with Tai Feng and Lun Zhu. She also portrays successfully the character's rebellious nature.

5. Xu Lun Zhu – Jeon Ji Hyun
She is the youngest sibling and was given away when she was little. As she misses her siblings, she refuses to go overseas. She only remembers Tai Feng because she has stayed longer with him. However, she is disappointed when he doesn’t remember her. Knowing that he is out of a job, she invites him to stay with her. Lun Zhu overworks herself but fortunately Can Zhu donates a kidney to her. Jeon is quite impressive as the quiet and reserved girl.

6. Zhao Bi Dou – Zhao Zai Xian (the father in ‘The Piano’)
He is so different from his tragic role in ‘The Piano’ because he is so comical here. I will relate some scenes below. He really makes me laugh so much!

7. Shen Ye – Cha Tae Hyun
He is Bi Dou’s sidekick and works as a boxer in the nightclub. He pretends to be a university student to get close to Lun Zhu. He worries over her health and takes good care of her. You will also laugh at how Bi Dou and Tai Feng object to him being their future brother-in-law! He provides the most laughs here.

8. Xu Tai Zhi
He is Tai Feng’s son from his previous lover. He is abandoned by her mother when she remarries, so he follows his father. He is sensible and mature. This boy is so cute and adorable. Tai Zhi is upset when his father leaves him in Can Zhu’s care because he doesn’t have money to support him. At first, Tai Zhi is frightened of her. But when his father takes him back, he realises that he misses Can Zhu.

This boy isn’t acting at all – he is so natural. I also laugh at the way he talks to the adults. He seems so mature for his age!

9. Piao He
He stutters when he talks, but he owns an eatery. He is Tai Feng’s good friend and supports the latter during his ups and downs. He's a very simple-minded, helpful man.

10. Chen Xiu He – Kim Ha Neul
She is a kindergarten teacher. She is happily engaged to Zhi Shuo but she never expected so many setbacks in her love life. She puts Tai Zhi in her class and Tai Zhi grows very attached to her. She is cheerful and always gives Zhi Shuo encouragement when he is down.

Quite good acting from her as a sweet and suffering person.

11. Zhao Cai Lin – Jin Gui Li
She is a very confident person. That is why she doesn’t hide her feelings from Zhi Shuo even though she knows that he belongs to someone else. Those who didn’t see them together in ‘Popcorn’ will also be disappointed that they don’t end up together here. Jin is quite okay in emotional scenes although she looks too demure to be a lawyer.

12. Chen Bi Zhong
He is Xiu He’s father and is a baseball match umpire. As stern as he may seem, he is a thoughtful man.

Favourite character
Tai Zhi – he is so cute. If you watch this serial, it is hard not to like him.

Most hated character
Cai Lin for trying to be a third party.

Story

Zhi Shuo catches Wen Zhu at the bar. He gets so mad that he handcuffs her and sends her home.

Tai Feng knocks into Bi Zhong and both end up being hospitalized with casts on their injured legs. They yell when the cast is removed. A very amusing sight.

Tai Feng declares that he will woo Xiu He even when he knows that she is engaged. This annoys Zhi Shuo and both brothers then start to recognize each other here.

Xiu He brings Tai Feng to visit his father’s grave. But she brings him to the wrong tomb and makes him shed tears for nothing. What a terrible mistake!

Xiu He can’t bear to leave Zhi Shuo as he needs to work late. She leaves reluctantly. Upon alighting, Zhi Shuo also feels the same way and jumps back on the bus. He sends her home before going to work. How sweet he is!

It is Can Zhu’s birthday but no one remembers it. She is so lonely that she ends up dedicating a song and singing to herself.

Shen Ye buys roses for Lun Zhu to give to her at the ice-cream outlet, but he is too shy and uses the helmet to cover his face! He shows jealousy when she treats Tai Feng better than him.

Tai Feng is angered to see Cai Lin with Zhi Shuo together. He cleans Zhi Shuo’s old shoes for him secretly when Zhi Shuo leaves his shoes on the staircase.

Tai Zhi comes and look for Tai Feng. He shakes his head upon seeing how immature he is. He is worried for their future as his father has no head for planning at all.

Cai Lin tells her father that Zhi Shuo is her boyfriend so that he can help them to keep the house. Cai Lin asks Zhi Shuo why he keeps this matter from Xiu He. He cites an example: if he has a fever, she will still take care of him even if she develops pneumonia. In the end, she will faint but will not let him know about it. Cai Lin is jealous upon hearing it.

Wen Zhu searches everywhere for Lun Zhu. You will be touched by her deep concern for her sister.

Xiu He forgets to get her ring back after letting Tai Feng look at it. At the engagement, Bi Zhong even wants his wife to remove her ring for Xiu He to use as a replacement. Luckily, Tai Feng returns the ring on time but he is hit by Zhi Shuo, who thinks that he is trying to ruin the event.

Tai Feng buys a pair of shoes for Zhi Shuo, but tells Xiu He to lie that they are from her. He knows that Zhi Shuo will never accept them if he knows about it.

Shen Ye lets his sidekicks bring different flowers to Lun Zhu's shop to let her choose. He then tells them to carry her things. She is unused to him treating her so nicely.

Wen Zhu finds out Lun Zhu’s identity when she visits Tai Feng. He blames himself for not detecting earlier as she also grows flowers the same way that their mother used to do.

Lun Zhu faints at a performance. Shen Ye can’t get into the ambulance so he drags the driver away and drives to the hospital instead. In this scene, Cha shows his anxiety well.

Bi Dou gets worried when Wen Zhu doesn’t turn up for work. At first, he threatens to punish her. But later he asks her if she is sick.

At first, Wen Zhu thinks Bi Dou is asking her for the loan that she owes him but he gives her food instead, as she can’t drink wine with an empty stomach. This man is slowly showing concern towards her. Later, he even hits a client for bullying her.

Tai Zhi tells Zhi Shou that Tai Feng thinks very highly of him. He also idolizes him. The serious Zhi Shuo can’t help but smile. When Can Zhu shouts that breakfast is ready, he quickly holds Zhi Shuo’s hand, saying that he is afraid of her. Zhi Shuo holds his hand and pacifies him. The boy is melting my heart in this scene.

Shen Ye carries Lun Zhu on his back home after her discharge. She is heavy but he refuses to admit it. Later he cries in the bar as he is so afraid of losing her. Quite a touching scene.

Cai Lin swims with Zhi Shuo and Zhi Shuo loses. He is shocked when she admits to liking him.

Zhi Shuo goes to buy a necklace for Xiu He’s birthday. But he misses her birthday celebration as he has to catch a criminal. Tai Feng celebrates with her at Piao He’s eatery and she gets drunk.

Shen Ye is worried when Lun Zhu doesn’t go for dialysis. He commands all his men to go for checkups to search for the right kidney to donate to Lun Zhu.

Bi Dou and Shen Ye quarrel upon knowing that they have fallen for the sisters.

Zhi Shuo starts to feel ashamed for going out with Cai Lin and her father. When he sees Xiu He on his way home, he hugs her and begs her not to go, but she returns him the ring because she does not want to hinder his career.

Shen Ye wants money to be Bi Dou’s wedding emcee. He hopes to get the money for Lun Zhu’s dialysis.

This is so dramatic. The two gangsters hit Tai Feng hard earlier and now they address him as their ‘big brother’.

Wen Zhu’s announcement of marriage comes as a complete shock. All except Lun Zhu support her decision.

Lun Zhu spends her money to buy a tuxedo for Tai Feng to wear for Wen Zhu’s wedding.

Tai Feng turns up with Lun Zhu, wearing the tuxedo and old sports shoes. At the wedding, Tai Feng holds Wen Zhu’s hand and refuses to let go. Bi Dou demands that Tai Feng release Wen Zhu's hand. All his sidekicks are about to hit Tai Feng when he suddenly tells Bi Dou to take care of his precious younger sister.

The photo taking session is hilarious. Shen Ye tries to stand beside Lun Zhu. Tai Feng and Bi Dou push him aside. Tai Feng tells Shen Ye to get lost as he has no right even to look at his pretty youngest sister. Bi Dou says that Shen Ye has no connections with her so he has no chance! Piao He rushes in on time for the picture-taking.

Who gets the bouquet? Lun Zhu hopes to get it but Piao He gets it instead! He later gives it to Can Zhu who arrives only after the ceremony is over.

Xiu He sees Tai Feng’s weird dressing of the tuxedo with sport shorts. So she buys him a pair of shoes to thank him for her birthday cake.

Lun Zhu feels terrible and takes a photo at the studio with Tai Feng. She never turns up at the amusement park as arranged because she is admitted into the hospital again.

Xiu He is upset to see Zhi Shuo with Cai Lin, and she falls sick. Zhi Shuo also has a fever later because he feels miserable after having made this dreadful decision.

Piao He and Tai Feng discover that they have not brought enough money to the amusement park. Tai Feng forces Piao He to return home. Tai Zhi sighs and takes out from his bag the pocket money which he has saved all this while!

Tai Zhi dreams of staying with Tai Feng again. He tells Piao He to work harder. Piao He in turn teaches him to count stars so that he can fall asleep. Zhi Shuo suffers from insommia and holds the necklace that he hasn’t given to Xiu He. Seeing him troubled, he teaches him the way to fall asleep.

The gansters fight to donate a kidney to Lun Zhu. Shen Ye claims that as his own kidney is not acceptable for transplant, Bi Dou's would not be acceptable either.

Shen Ye is angry with Piao He for eating the food he has bought for Lun Zhu. He tells him to leave but Piao He chases him out of the room. He even attaches a note saying ‘no gangsters allowed’ on the door to prevent him from going in.

Wen Zhu’s kidney is too small and weak while Tai Feng’s blood group is different from Lun Zhu's. Both are devastated by the news. They decide to ask the other siblings for help. They have a big shock when Lun Zhu comes to meet the four of them! She doesn’t wish to miss the chance that she has waited for 13 years to happen.

Zhi Shuo is so shocked that Cai Lin’s father suggests an engagement. He nearly drops his own ring.

Shen Ye and Bi Dou greet Zhi Shuo. Bi Dou tries to explain his own position. He has a shock when Zhi Shuo reveals his background. Bi Dou has no education and has worked as odd job workers. His impressive crime record consists of petty thefts. Shen Ye feels so ashamed. Zhi Shuo says that he will not forgive him unless he turns over a new leaf.

Tai Zhi gives Can Zhu a rose before he leaves with Tai Feng. He promises that he will buy more when he has more money. He hugs her to thank her before he leaves reluctantly. She refrains from hugging him back. She goes into Zhi Shuo’s room and recalls how Tai Zhi read, slept and played in the house. She is in tears when she discovers how much she misses him.

Zhi Shuo goes for the checkup but is hesitant to visit Lun Zhu. He is disappointed when his kidney doesn't suit her. Can Zhu’s kidney is suitable. Both sisters hold hands for support before going into the operation room.

The two brothers fight when Xiu He goes traveling after Zhi Shuo decides to marry Cai Lin. Tai Feng goes to visit Xiu He. Zhi Shuo hides at one corner upon seeing them together.

Bi Dou stops Shen Ye from visiting Lun Zhu in the hospital, saying that he will pollute the air because he has germs.

A gangster leader wants to meet Zhi Shuo. Tai Feng gets suspicious and follows. Both brothers get hurt by his men. Zhi Shuo is unconscious in the process. In the ambulance, Tai Feng's sobs wake Zhi Shuo up. Zhi Shuo asks Tai Feng why he did not dodge and let the knives land into his stomach. He is stupid as no one can have two lives. Tai Feng is in tears upon hearing this.

Tai Zhi rushes to the hospital and scolds Tai Feng for not running fast enough. Later he is surprised to see Zhi Shuo on another stretcher. He is shocked and proud to know from him that Tai Feng saved him!

Bi Dou respects Can Zhu and gives his savings to pay for Lun Zhu’s operation, assuring that the money comes from his own and not through dirty means.

Cai Lin comes to visit Zhi Shuo and notices Xiu He hesitating to visit him. Zhi Shuo confesses that this incident causes him to wake up from his dream. Upon knowing that Xiu He has come, he rushes out to see where she is, but she leaves because she thinks he has chosen Cai Lin.

Tai Feng resumes his job as a baseball player and drags Zhi Shuo out of the hospital. They see Xiu He there and the lovers reconcile with each other.

Shen Ye and Bi Dou turn over a new leaf. They are busy working under Piao He in the kitchen. They suspect him of taking revenge because he forces them to cut onions!

Xiu He finally marries Zhi Shuo. Bi Dou’s car is their marriage car. Tai Feng wears a tuxedo and waits anxiously for Zhi Shuo’s arrival. Zhi Shuo is there just on time, but he is still wearing his wet uniform. He panicks and suddenly sets his eyes on Tai Feng.

Tai Feng screams and refuses to give in to him. But he has no choice in the end and is forced to wear Zhi Shuo’s wet clothes.Zhi Shuo changes into it and calls him ‘brother’ tenderly. Tai Feng is overjoyed. All are happy at the wedding. Of course, Shen Ye gets kicked again for getting close to Lun Zhu.

Conclusion
This serial is worth your time because it tells you that money might not necessarily buy happiness. The siblings can be poor and may not get along at first. But they are still reunited in the end. This shows that they are not hard-hearted. I like the setting, it is quite different from the typical love romance drama serials that most offer.

The cast's natural acting made the serial enjoyable, and the fast pace is a bonus. Do watch it if you get the chance.

Ratings :

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

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


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