In Time With You
Li Yi Chen- You Qing
Chen Bo Lin- Li Da Ren
I’ve started watching a new drama. Before I start this recap I’ve got to confess that I don’t normally watch T-dramas. I’ve at most watched 6 as compared to the over 30 k-dramas and over 20 J-doramas. And out of those relative few T-dramas I’ve watched, 3 of them have been Li Yi Chen’s (Ariel Lin)-ISWAK, TKA & Love or Bread. This time it’s her new drama titled In Time with You . I have to watch it, especially since they’re saying that she’ll probably retire after this. sigh. And just when I’ve been trying to get into T-dramas.
On it’s own, this drama has a chill and laidback kind of atmosphere that I’m digging. It doesn’t seem like it will be a drama about some BIG thing that happens, but more like the little things that build up over time. I can tell even from this one episode that I’ve watched that Ariel is the main pull of this story. She’s perfect, or imperfect, but she IS You Qing.
The beginning was kind of interesting but basically what it was trying to point to us is that time isn’t always at our side, sometimes it’s running away from us and we chase it, like when we are 17 and want to be older, sometimes it’s chasing us and we try to run away from it like when we’re 30 and want to be younger.
So we find out that You Qing has turned 30 and her best friend who according to her, she’s fated to meet and but destined to not love, Li Da Ren isn’t letting her forget it. He sends her an e-mail that basically says : Happy Birthday, you’re old now! hahaha . He sends her a meme which states the 50 signs of old age. She’s completely mad and not happy or thankful for that reminder.
How do these two different people know each other? He’s a manager of an airline, she’s a district manager of a store, where do those two lines meet? Through a series of flashbacks throughout the episode we see young You Qing and young Li Da Ren change from competitors to acquaintences, to friends, to their current status of bickery BFFs.
For him high school and college was not necessarily easy, but he got along with everybody and had a laid-back attitude so he never had major troubles. However You Qing has been a champion for the mistreated since her high school days so her time in high school and college was fraught with tension, betrayals and disappointment, when the people she championed let her take the fall. But her courage, fortitude and her championship of the weak attracted Li Da Ren to her side and made him want to stick by her even if she only ever saw him as a friend.
Her answer to his email is funny and shows that she has a sense of humour despite being a very intense kind of person. She tells them that since she’s a gift from god, thank you very much, she doesn’t need him to congratulate her on her birthday.
Her birthday however is not all happy as she keeps on thinking on the 50 signs of aging that Da Ren sent her as a joke. She finds out that some of them are turning true, for example she goes to receive her free gift from a face cream provider and they change her usual to the “Mature Skin” edition. Which leaves her a little depressed about. Then when she’s in the elevator a young girl is talking on her cell phone and starts saying that women who are 30 are old ladies. yeah not a good feeling on her birthday, it leaves a sour taste in her mouth to have to hear it on that day especially. This makes her a little curt with her assistant/friend who brings a small cake to her and starts singing for her.
Throughout her day she has troubles pop up which she deals with in her direct, to the point, though not unkind way. For example she was misunderstood to have gone against a co-worker’s shoe project because the girl was her ex’s new girlfriend. So before it become a major problem between them (she already heard gossip and was told to not bother new girlfriend by her ex), she tells her, ” I didn’t go against you because of Henry, it’s because I am old and I remember those days of being 17 more clearly, and what I wanted at that time wasn’t ballet, I dreamed of buying my first high heeled shoes, of wearing them and walking everywhere with them, even if I didn’t walk well with them and got blisters on my feet. I hope that you will capture the heart of that 17 year old and make those shoes as beautiful as the ones you just designed and make them comfortable for her.”
She is very direct and cool, but as I said, she never said anything unkind, or hurtful, she just doesn’t like to, as she said, be misunderstood.
As an apology for the joke he played on her Da Ren invites her out to eat to celebrate her birthday. She accepts, smiling that at least that one friend is good. As she begins to prepare for her dinner, a pregnant coworker/ girlfriend asks her to come see her at the hospital since she’s gone into early labor.
Once there You Qing is by her friends side worried but cheerfully telling her that since the doctors are pros nothing will go wrong. Meanwhile we’re treated to a lonesome face picking at the food as he waits for her. Da Ren is so obviously in love, it’s not even funny. You Qing on the other hand has been presented with the little baby and she laughs, “Happy Birthday.”
When she arrives at the restaurant where she was supposed to meet Da Ren, she sees that he’s standing there in front of the dark restaurant with their meal in take-out containers. He scowls at her about the time and she shrugs in apology and he smiles in return and takes her to another place where they can share the meal. This was done without a word. It’s amazing, only friends who’ve known each other for so long and so well could understand that she’s truly sorry for making him wait and that he actually doesn’t mind and forgives her. It’s great, and it makes me envious. Where’s my Da Ren?
During their meal they have fun chatting and then it becomes serious when he brings up a question she’d posed him earlier that day. Which was to ask him why he once said that she would never be someone he’d fall in love with. He wants to know why she brings that up now since it’s a comment he made back when they were 17 and barely acquaintances. She says that she just wondered since her ex had told her today that she’d better change or she’d end up old and alone.
Da Ren doesn’t answer the question about his comment but he gives her a giftbox. She happily opens it, completely distracted from her earlier question, and looks at the gift. Two lions, with square manes. She doesn’t understand it but Da Ren tries to explain something along the lines, that she like the lions are unique and very special, they are attractive in their own special way, perhaps because of their imperfections.
She interrupts him and asks him seriously, what about her isn’t perfect? Tell her now. He’s taken aback, but she keeps pushing him, and he snaps that Now. she doesn’t get it, and he restates that right at that moment, with her pushing and pushing is her at her most imperfect. It doesn’t sit well with her, because then so her need to be honest, to find out the truth is imperfection? and Da Ren is flustered and pissed off that she didn’t react to the rest of what he said but fixated on part where he mentioned “imperfection”. I think he’s more mad that she tries so hard to be perfect, that is what he finds imperfect about her, he just wants her to be, relax and not be the Type A personality she usually is.
They both are mad and look away from each other, like if at that moment they couldn’t stand each other a second longer.
But she smiles first, because she understands he wasn’t trying to offend or be mean. and she says “It’s really nice… to have you” and like a child he smiles at her and becomes cheery again.
They get back to joking and he brings up a bet. It’s a sad kind of bet, because we can see that he likes her and doesn’t wish for her or even him to beat the other. The bet is that The one who gets married first before the age of 35 will receive a big check from the other as a wedding gift. She enthusiastically accepts and says “You’ll lose!” He just smiles a little sadly.
You Qing arrives home and finds her mom waiting for her on the couch. Her mother wakes up when You Qing hugs her and smiles. She prepared a cake for You Qing and wanted her to eat it before tomorrow came around. They go to the kitchen table where the cake is set up and start eating it, talking all the while about random things. You Qing thinks back to the delivery she witnessed and asks her mother if her birth had been a hard one. Her mother laughs saying that as soon as they arrived at the hospital You Qing was born so she’d thought ” She was born so easily, raising her will be easy” but instead she’d found it very hard to raise her headstrong daughter who did whatever she wanted whenever she wanted, including running away at the age of nine. You Qing pouts but laughs because she knows that her mother is only joking and really loves her, so she gets up and hugs her mother tightly. Her mother is delighted about the hug and leans in, but then suddenly pulls back, “wait you aren’t breaking up our mother-daughter relationship, right?”. LOL. I love this pair already!
The next day Da Ren and You Qing are back to work. Da Ren runs into his employee who wrangles a promise for dinner together in exchange for the favour she’d done him the day before. He accepts, but most notably, in his mind instead of the girl, he starts seeing You Qing.
He tells his imagination’s You Qing “People still see me as handsome, possibly you’re the only one that doesn’t.” I wanted to squeeze him in that instant. Why so precious Da Ren?
I find it interesting that she’s always being chased by the hairy monster that is time, ever since she turned 30 that day. It’s interesting because it’s kind of universal to start thinking that time is running out once a woman passes that age, people often see it as the beginning of middle age and halfway through the process of becoming “OLD”.
When a woman reaches age 30 without being married and having kids, people start giving pitying looks. Seriously the woman is not dead just because she’s 30. I like that in this drama, they’re taking head on that hairy monster Time and showing how much life, and youth You Qing still has despite having passed that feared mark of 30.
I think that this drama, isn’t going to have a really deep plot. There won’t be HUGE misunderstanding, Da Ren won’t suddenly turn out to be her BROTHER, they won’t suddenly have to live together and they won’t have to save each other from some evil witch that is manipulating everything everybody does. No I don’t see that happening with this drama. Instead it will focus on the relationships You Qing has with everyone around her we’ll see her discover Da Ren’s love for her, perhaps in a moment that might be unfavourable, since they seem to me to be a pair of people whose timing doesn’t seem to coincide.