Extravagant Challenge- Episodes 6-7 Recap

Extravagant Challenge

Episodes 6-7  Monster Recap

Intro

I marathon watched this so I guess it’s only fair I write it up together. I’m still in stitches over He Lian’s WTF face^^ 

Recap

Episode 6

Gong Xi has no idea what to do about the re-interpretation that she was challenged to make for the play to make it fit into her and Mary’s world view on the relationships between parent and child.

Nan Qin tells Gong Xi that she better not ruin Love Me section’s reputation and though she doesn’t have any real good idea on how to solve the situation caused by Gong Xi, she does tell her that an actress or actor isn’t supposed to question the script and that he/she will follow it to the end. That gives Gong Xi an  idea.

They go out to face the acting students and Gong Xi challenges them to try and act beside her and not react to her acting.

They start acting out the scene and Mary starts reliving her fears and her past as they are acting.

Nan Qin takes on the narrator role and tells us the background info ot what we’re seeing… and then we have random shots of the other students and the president… telling us what one person could have without wasting so much time… The scene unfolding between Gong Xi and the students and Mary, could have been much stronger if not for the incessant cuts of other people’s thoughts…

So basically what Gong Xi does is make Mary and the Students, realize that they are loved by the parent in such a way that it’s not by spoonfeeding them that info, but rather telling them that parents CAN actually hate their kids, and then letting them defend the opposite, letting them realize that all the things that the dad does is really because he cares. The actress ends up following Gong Xi by responding to Gong Xi using the original script that was written for Gong Xi’s character.

Then Mary cuts in and it becomes a case of Mary defending her own dad who’s far away and who can’t communicate well since the death of his wife on Mary’s birthday. Mary uses her grandpas words to answer Gong Xi who has continued acting and now returned to her original script and driven the final point in, bringing realization to Mary and to the girl in the script… Again it could have been so much better without the incessant voice-overs by the grandpa… just seeing him cry should have been enough.

Gong Xi and Nan Qin are filling in the papers for the classes when Mary and the Grandpa appear, freaking them out with their sudden appearance. Mary wonders why Gong Xi is going to pay in installments when her grandfather had offered to pay for it, but Gong Xi wants to avoid as much as possible being trash talked by envious people.

There’s a gag there about Gong Xi’s strength when she merely pushes Mary a little and sends her across the room into a pillar. It’s funny, but they undercut it with the voice-overs about Gong Xi’s talent by Nan Qin and the President.

Mary asks Gong Xi what she should do about getting closer to her dad. She asks GOng Xi what she talks about with her dad, and Gong Xi tells her gently that she doesn’t have a dad, Mary asks about what she talks about with her mom. Gong Xi doesn’t have an answer for that and is silent for a bit, making both the President and Mary think that perhaps her mom is dead too, but she tells them that she does have a mom.

She tells Mary that just calling to ask how her papa is should be enough to start renewing the relationship again. Mary is so cute^^ before running off to do as Gong Xi Jie has suggested she gives her a kiss on the cheek…

The LME president stays a little longer and asks that Gong Xi should tell her mom where she is and when he gauges Gong Xi’s reluctance he lets it drop, but he recalls her scene where she said parents could hate their children.

Gong Xi goes to have some quiet time in the company’s stairwell and receive comfort from the purple quartz stone “corn” given to her by her fairy prince. Director Shen finds her and scares the bejeezus out of her and she drops the stone down the stairwell.

When she goes down she runs into He Lian who looks at her with a certain degree of incredulity and surprise when she tells him that she’s looking for the quartz stone… it’s even more surprising that after listening to her tell her story to Director Shen, he asks if she’s lived in Tai Dong after pretending he’s just found the rock…. which is a dead give away that he’s somehow connected to her.

However when she asks, he covers it by telling her that that kind of rock is mined near Tai Dong so it’s obvious that’s why he knows (but who goes about knowing what kind of stone is mined in what area? geologists maybe…)

Then he starts hitting her self esteem hard by being a jerk and prying into the reason for her entrance into the entertainment business… Gong Xi gives him a stiff smile and tries to walk away from him… but he does have a point when he tells her that if she runs away from just his questioning what is she going to do when she does debut and her past is dug out and presented to her, because nothing’s really a secret for artists…

She gets pissed off and flips him the bird and then high tails it out of there.

Manager Du finds He Lian brooding outside the LME building,(where’s the hordes of fans? I’m sure if it were real life Siwonists would be surrounding him) He Lian tells him that he’s just thinking about how much a person can change over the years… In a flashback we see a younger boy, presumably He Lian, with blond hair (Siwon with blond hair?) handing cutie pie crybaby lil’ Gong Xi the quartz stone she uses as a pick me up in the present.

After the scene with He Lian pans away we’re brought to peek into practice/training with Gong Xi and Nan Qin, who actually get into a fight during a mimicry exercise… whenever Gong Xi praises Nan Qin, Nan Qin puts her down, or declares her a rival instead of comrade, etc until they’re on the floor rolling around having a cat fight… they end up having to hug each other as punishment.

They have a heart to heart – albeit Nan Qing unwillingly- during the punishment where both realize that if they become friends they’re each other’s first real friend, because Gong Xi no longer counts Shang as one. Nan Qin  doesn’t want to become friends though because she’s always been self-reliant.  This just makes Gong Xi want to be her friend even more.

He Lian is still mulling over what happened with Gong Xi. We see him characterized in his own memories as a “fairy” with wings and all looking down on a crying Gong Xi by a stream.

He breaks out in a laugh as he then remembers the finger he received from her the other day.

Gong Xi gets scared out of her wits by Director Shen as she tries to avoid He Lian. Manager Shen’s there to give her a job for the Love Me section… Nan Qin gets her hopes up only to have them crash down around her as she finds that she’s an audience member… then they’re called out to replace a regular, and Nan Qin agrees.

Cut to Gong Xi in a chicken suit, complaining that there’s no way she can memorize her script on such short notice, and wasn’t it Nan Qing who accepted? but Nan Qin tells her that she accepted it for Gong Xi.  And then she proceeds to pull Gong Xi to the backstage area…hehehe.

As Gong Xi’s excitedly praising the hosts skills of entertaining the crowd goes wild and Bu Po Shang enters… Gong Xi is besides  herself in anger…

During a break she goes off to find a weapon… and she has a daydream about hitting and getting her revenge from Shang that way, but she cuts herself off realizing that murder or assault would get her arrested.

The show assistant PDs come with a basket and she gets an idea and off she goes biking in her chicken suit, searching for something… that looks suspicious like a candy box… she makes it barely on time.

 

She hears Shang answering the questions about shows he likes, saying he doesn’t have time for shows.  hehe We get a real cute cut about how he really is at home, watching comedies for hours, getting excited by himself and trying to get a tired Gong Xi into them too.

We see that the eggs must have been changed by Gong Xi because the question is only something a person who knew him from childhood could know… for example his real name… which is supposed be a really lame one… and he turns it around and sounds cool, but telling the crowd that he changed his name to  mark his entrance into the music biz, and if he revealed his real name, he would have to leave, the fans go wild.

Then he gets a question that ask he demonstrate his special pudding eating trick, but he turns that into a magic show and looks even cooler… (I want to know how that was possible? did he somehow attach them to the napkin and stuff them somewhere for later private consumption?)

He realizes that the Chicken is acting weird and a struggle breaks out with him and Gong Chick… At one point he realizes tha tit’s a girl in the suit because he feels her boobs… (though he did say that “I’m sorry, you’re not my type” despite thinking that the chicken was a guy… he’s so into himself, he thinks EVERYONE must be too!) However he tells her that the girl must be ugly to be inside a chicken suit. The hosts play it off as an impromptu wrestling match which the Chicken wins…

In the end however she get’s scolded and banned from the station and Shang gets too look cool in a mini concert as an apology from the show producers for the Chicken’s behaviour.

Episode 7

Shang’s  looking cool as he plays the keyboard… (I wish they actually had him singiNg instead of just playing the keyboard). She gets the urge to be able to be at his level, so that she can truly compete with him, instead of just doing petty things that backfire on her.

Somehow, because of the Chicken’s reaction to Shang’s taunts to her sexiness he realizes that it’s Gong Xi… and he starts to laugh at her… such a brat I want to slap him… he’s so full of himself! (but he’s still pretty)

His manager comes to apologize for the weird chicken worried that it’s a hater, but he tells her no… it’s actually a fan who really deeply cares about him… heh. He’s so thick-skinned.

Gong Xi meanwhile wanders around the TV Station still in her suit, and comes across a pensive Dun He Lian. She tries to back away, but he hears her knock into some benches and follows her… she ducks into her chicken costume and puts on the head so she’s no longer headless as he asks if he can use of her phone.

His face falls visibly when she says she doesn’t have a phone, and she can’t leave well enough alone, so she goes back to him and asks if he needs a call, but that’s not it… She looks around and her eyes fall on his script and she realizes he probably needs the internet to look up a phrase or something.

He smiles and deflects and tells her don’t worry that’s not it… blah blah… but she doesn’t fall for it and tells him ” You’re deflecting by smiling” and his smile falls off and instead a serious almost horror worthy face meets her eyes.

She immediately falls to her knees and asks him forgiveness for her attitude, it was just that she doesn’t like him much so she wanted to gloat, but she’s truly sorry… he starts laughing and accepts the apology. He tells her that since she’s sincerely apologized he can’t hold his anger at her, also because she’s the first one to tell him to his face that she doesn’t like him. She wonders at the smile and laugh that are much more genuine than any he’s shown on shows before.

They look over the script and it turns out he’s been taking a phrase literally instead of just a figure of speech. And Gong Xi tries to hold  back her laughs and wonders out loud if he’s a foreigner if he can’t figure out that common place phrase.  She falls down as a light causes her to remember how Shang looked awash in the stage light.

He Lian is worried that she fell down and tells her that it’s better to take off the suit so she can breathe better, but she says that she wants to stay in it for a little while since she’s been fired from the job.

He tells her that if she is brought down so low because of that she won’t make it in the business, she should just use it as a growing experience. Then he goes off to illustrate it by counting the times he’s been fired, he runs out of fingers and he’s still not done with the list. He tells her that because in the beginning he didn’t know how to follow the directors he got fired a lot.

Manager Du comes in to look for He Lian and is surprised to see He Lian relaxed and talking to the Chicken. He lian introduces Chicken as his friends and the manager is surprised that an antisocial guy like He Lian has a friend.

By herself Gong Xi tells herself that maybe She should become friends with He Lian as herself… he has a good side to him too.

Then she has a weird dream in which Shang, Nan Qing and He Lian gang up on her to cut her up in little Chicken bits… Her dream He Lian even flips her the bird.

The next day Gong Xi comes across He Lian, but she tries to avoid him and ignores his greeting as she walks away. He catches up to her in front of the women’s bathroom and he asks her how come she didn’t point at him with her middle finger this time around. She apologizes for that time sincerely, he laughs as she bumps into his arm in her apology. Then he asks her if she’s thinking that he’s pretty unmanly for holding onto a grudge, and she admits that she used to but not anymore… and then the have an awkward smiling at each other moment..

As they walk out of the building He Lian asks her why she’s not wearing her uniform and she tells him that it’s because she stands out too much in it. He tells her that she should own the pink suit and make it work for her, because standing out is important in the entertainment business. She asks him about a commercial company in which she’s entered an audition. He reminds her that standing out is important when she starts thinking about the competition that will doubtless be there.

She arrives the next day at the audition the next day only to be hit by some kind of puffy pink thing by a girl who is chewing out Nan Qin.  It’s a girl who flaunts her money and constantly thwarts Nan Qin’s opportunities. Let’s call her Brat. Gong Xi defends Nan Qin and then they both get wrapped up in talking with each other that they completely forget about her. She gets pissed off and instantly three lackeys appear ready to powder her nose, give her a cup of tea and put on a violin performance.  She’s annoying I don’t like her so I don’t want to talk about her anymore.

Nan Qin is ready to give up because she knows that money buys off producers, and directors, and this time probably won’t be different.  Which is demonstrated by how after Brat’s awkward, clomping ballet performance… I don’t know much, but I felt that she wasn’t skilled at all, I didn’t see a graceful swan I saw a clunker. The producers became enthralled by her “Talent” = Money. The Girls in the audition room gang up on the judges in protest, the only ones who don’t are our Love Me section girls.

Nan Qin and Gong Xi have a talk outside of the audition room after a horrible session of explaining what a brigh life event they’ve had so far… the judges have already discarded them from the possible winners.

A weirdo listens in on them ( oooh is that  Papa Cheng from In Time with you?) as they’re discussing. Nan Qin has no hope for winning the audition because in her experience everybody can be bought, Gong Xi gets pissed off and slaps her.  The guy gets startled and drops his chips.

Why do you have no trust towards yourself, and everyone else in the world too? Even if she has all the money and can buy people’s hearts, she can’t buy your talent! If you give up now, you’ve just handed over your talent and admitted defeat to money, if you did that, you’d be exactly like all those people who were bought!

Nan Qin is moved aas she hears Gong Xi tell her that she shouldn’t give up because then she’d be betraying the self that has dreams, because she hasn’t tried everything yet. The guy in the back is also moved, and seems to think about what just happened.

After that inspiring talk Nan Qin asks Gong Xi about her plan but Gong Xi has no idea… as she sits there she remembers He Lians words and she and Nan Qin realize just what would be eye-catching.. Nan Qin pouts and says no way she’s wearing that to the audition but caves because she can’t think of a better eye-catching thing.

Manager Du talks to He Lian and asks if he’s really now acknowledging  Gong Xi because he’s not harsh with her like he was in the beginning. He frowns and tells manager Du that he won’t make that mistake again. Manager Du protests that he’s not saying that He Lian should be mean to her! However He Lian is back to brooding about whatever has made him want to forget his past.

Gong Xi and Nan Qin arrive at the auditions wearing the Love Me uniforms and though they’re laughed at Nan Qin stands strong against Brat’s taunting.

As many probably realized the wierd background observer during Nan Qin and Gong Xi’s argument is the commercial director.  He’s decided the concept for the commercial, it’s friendship! So instead of one actress they’re going to hire two!

The Brat’s lackey’s walk in on the planning session and offer bribes to the director but instead get cussed out and told to pass along the message that money doesn’t buy talent. Brat is pissed but she’s clearly not realized that she really doesn’t have much talent besides having a lot of money.

The auditionees have to pick numbers from a box… something that Gong Xi’s afraid to do since she thinks that it’ll be a “go Home” kind of message written on the piece of paper. They get 3A and 3B.

Turns out that the director wants them to act out a scene where they are mad at each other because one got confessed to by the guy the other likes. Brat complains that since Qin and Gong Xi are friends they shouldn’t act together, Qin solves it by refusing a resorting, instead suggesting that they just react to each other without previous brainstorming.

Qin appears calm, but Gong Xi is besides herself… she keeps imagining herself as the powerful panther… and actually climbing on the table and saying “Mrauwr.”

When they finally face each other, they stare at each other for a long time and Nan Qin slaps, her and Gong Xi stares at her hurt… the people at the audition are surprised by the silent and intense acting that gave across how much they’ve been hurt by each other despite caring for their friendship.

Comments

My complaint is still timing, cutting out unnecessary things, but I’m liking how everyone’s acting is going, they are believable as their characters, and I rarely think oh! that’s really Dong Hae, etc…

I actually do have to praise Dong Hae, because when he came out as an artist in a variety talk show in the drama, He gave off, Bu Po Shang’s attitude: confident, arrogant, bad guy that the fan girls love, I didn’t feel like it was an extension of Donghae’s real tv show charisma which is everything but smooth and cool (he’s such a goof up normally :P)

Siwon has gotten the hang of his character, and he has way more expressions now, and they’re coming accross to me as less “acted” and more natural, so I can buy into his character more despite having weird moments of realization that that’s not his real voice…

Ivy is great so is Bai Bai, who has despite  my initial dislike of Nan Qin slowly crept up on my like meter.

hmmm, there are some things that don’t work for me for example the manga-like exaggeration that the director still hasn’t really gotten a grasp on how to make really funny instead of strange… for example the sudden slow mos and the weird prolonged screaming during them… I think that could be shortened, the slow mos last a beat longer than necessary… the physical gags that could be funny are made unfunny by voiceovers cluttering and drawing my attention away from the action.

I am still worried about where they are going to cut off the story, and how they are going to resolve issues that they’ve brought up that haven’t really been resolved even in the manga, or are they going to leave us hanging here too?

That said I still think that this drama is delivering on what it promised to be fun and an entertaining way to spend an hour.  It has really funny moments when it’s not trying to hard like the moment when Gong Xi was so upset that her plans to ruin Shang on the show don’t pan out.

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7 thoughts on “Extravagant Challenge- Episodes 6-7 Recap

  1. PeanutButterSpread says:

    I’m loving Donghae as Shang/Sho xD He’s playing the cool, yet douchey brat so well and it doesn’t help at all that he’s so pretty with the hair and eyeliner combo. I really do want to smack Shang/Sho, but Donghae is making it so difficult to. And his scenes with Ivy are always so hilarious (though the beginning was heartbreaking), but they play off each other really well. I think it’s evident when you see them on variety shows. Their personalities are goofy and tend to gravitate to each other.

    Then there’s Siwon. OMG Siwon, I’m loving him more and more as Ren/Lian. Especially when he flipped Gongxi off in her nightmare, that was hilarious! His expression was just priceless. I think he’s startling to settle well into the role too. I think in the beginning, Siwon was probably trying to capture the whole Ren/Lian “mask” and came off as stiff and unnatural instead. Now that’s he’s showing Ren/Lian’s more caring side, he’s showing more layers and depths for the character.

    Though if I have one complaint, it’s that the show needs more Shang/Sho to antagonise Gongxi. The show shines whenever Ivy, Siwon and Donghae are on screen.

    Also, love Lian’s manager and his POP Phone xD

    • Hi PeanutButterSpread! Sorry about the late answer… it’s been a hectic couple of weeks for me >_<'

      Oh I know how you feel! Donghae is so pretty as Shang (well he's always good looking, but anways…) that it's hard to hate him… hahaha, but he's doing a great job in the role anyways!

      The Nightmare Flip-off was the best! He Lian's expression was just soo awesome, (a part of me that can't stop my E.L.F. tendency can't stop laughing because that's probably the only time I'll ever see Siwon do that, he's such a fervent Christian)

  2. KStyle says:

    Omg Raine, I didn’t even realize that this was your blogspot til I looked at who you followed and then DING lightbulb went off like oh snap it’s Raine from OT Fridays. YAY!!! And more YAYs for the Skip Beat recaps cuz I can’t find them anywhere.
    you make me feel like I’m watching the show versus just reading it so….

    Thanks so much!!!

    • Actually dear, I’m Min/Minnetter from DB OT my dear friend Raine is on her own site at Raine’s Dichotomy But I am glad that you’ve enjoyed my Skip Beat/ Extravagant Challenge Recap, hope you drop by again.

  3. Yo! So the manga-ness of the show is kinda annoying. All the explanations are okay in manga cause there is no action to ‘show not tell’. The voiceovers really drive me nuts. I’m liking Qin way more now cause she actually has depth.

    Siwon…smiling. Siwon…smiling.

    I think this episode turned me onto him. Really…truly…*drool*

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