drama: Office Girls goes dramatic

(Roy Qiu…why you so hot part 19)

I’m still here Qin Zi Qi and Shen Xing Ren. And I’m both sad and happy to know that there are only three episodes left before we see the end. Sad because Office Girls is really a fun watch, without the office witch and the draggy parts. Happy because I really want to see the story moving forward, curious as to how the writers will resolve QZQ’s identity.

Confession time: I skipped episode 19.

I’ve heard feedback, especially from @marylngoh that it’s not worth wasting my time, so I kept away not wanting to ruin the drama with an episode that is not meant to do anything but stretch it till SETTV has its fill of the ratings game.

But episode 20 is so back, baby. The main plot points are starting to unravel because after all, Office Girls is about a plain, well, office girl who toils hard so she could buy her mother a house, and a cocky retail heir who was forced down the totem pole of his father’s corporation to teach him a valuable lesson about life and hard work.

In the process, office girl has lost her savings due to a carelessness and now her mother, for whom she dreamed of buying that house, is dying. Rich heir, meanwhile, has eschewed his spendthrift ways and has shown maturity by actually showing responsibility and excelling at work, and now, even ready to give up the chance to inherit his father’s fortune–something he was keen to have his hands on at the beginning–for the sake of saving the mother of the love of his life.

Roy Qiu has always played serious, broody roles so the character of Qin Zi Qi is quite a change of pace for him. He looks like he’s enjoying himself indeed and it’s a joy to watch him. But his root has always been in melodrama and it’s obvious in episode 20. While he captures the right comic timing and naughtiness of his character, he shines in quiet moments when what is required of him is subtle acting that shows his transformation from a brat to a grown-up man. Just like in this scene with his mother when he asks for help and she tells him to break up with Shen Xing Ren.

He is delighted when his mom tells him she’s giving money as a gift… and the change in his expression when she imposes the condition that he breaks up with Xing Ren is just so… wow. In just a few seconds onscreen, Roy is able to translate expressions of hope, happiness, disappointment, even a hint of longing that maybe he can give in to his mother for this chance to help Shen Mama, but no, he can’t and there’s the pain of knowing that his own mother won’t help him and so with reluctance that grows into determination, he finally turns her down.

(Not sure if the videos will play because Sanli’s army has swooped on YouTube.)

I also like the scene when he arrives at the hospital and he listens to Shen Xing Ren and Shen Mama talk inside the room about their future kids. There’s no unnecessary bawling or sobbing like one would see in K-dramas with an actor standing outside the hospital room where a beloved lies dying. Even the acting of Alice Ke and the actress who plays the mother are subdued and not over the top.

My favorite support character in this drama is Qin Baba. I like the way he challenged his son to stake on a wager with him. And he’s not the stereotypical ruthless businessman in dramas, he has a soft heart, especially for his son except that he knows it is absolutely necessary to teach him a tough lesson about life first if he was going to inherit the business he has painstakingly built. I love Qin Baba (and couldn’t help wondering what’s his backstory with the vain Madam Qin who does nothing but strut around and meet fellow witch Zheng Kai Er in her very free life; but I’m not surprised either that they divorced).

What I missed in this episode though was that background marching music everytime Qin Zi Qi would meet his father. It always had a hilarious effect but I suppose it wasn’t appropriate in this scene.

And once more, Roy shows that subtle acting again that comes from within when he tells his father his choice between his inheritance or Shen Mama. No histrionics, no bulging of the pupils like they would pop out, no vein popping either.

Oh Zi Qi, I am so proud of you mah boy!

The last three episodes should be exciting to watch. More than waiting for the retribution of the witch, I am looking forward to the implications of Qin Zi Qi’s decision on his real identity and how this will affect his relationship with Xing Ren.

Dear Office Girls writers, except for that draggy patch–which may not be your own choosing but that of the network–you have been innovative and creative in telling a story oft told. Surprise and impress your audience with the last three episodes, hao bu hao?

Qiu Ze, I understand more now why you are so hot, with this episode. Why you act so good?

Copyright © 2012. theasianpopculturist. All rights reserved.

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8 thoughts on “drama: Office Girls goes dramatic

  1. Ok, I haven’t been watching the last two episodes cos I’m drowned under my work. But back in my mind, I was also hoping not to catch an episode that I would end up regreting wasting my time. Seems like I can just skip ep 19 and go straight to ep 20! Shall watch it real soon..

    And yes, I love Roy’s acting. He really improved tremendously over the years. I love how his eyes can convey all the right emotions without going overboard. Just nice, just right and very captivating!

    Did you watch his mainland dramas (My Daughter and Waking Up Love)? I enjoyed both dramas despite the lengthy episodes! Good stuff (more eye-candy times)!

    Happy 2012!! Hope it will be a great year for you!

    (my 2011 was rubbish too.)

      • Haha, that’s fine. Good things are worth sharing!

        Yes, he is (*squeals*)!!

        For ‘My Daughter’, there’s two main stories, revolving around the love/career of three sisters. Roy is in one of the lead story, which is the funnier one. The other story revolves more revenge/misery. I tend to fast forward when they were on this story. But of cos, Roy’s story had his fair share of melodrama…

        For ‘Waking Up Love’, it’s the mainland version of ‘Prince turns into frog’. Taiwan version was by Chen Qiao En and Ming Dao. Thankfully cos I didn’t catch the Taiwan version, I find the mainland version nice. But of cos, there’s some parts that’s pretty draggy/unrealistic. But yes, I watched cos it’s Roy. Hahahaha.

        I love Roy’s hair and outfit in Waking Up Love. Similar to Office Girl.

      • thanks for the info and the tips!
        I’ll wait till OG finishes before I launch into any RQ dramas. I’m sure I will be having serious withdrawal syndrome once OG ends so My Daughter and Waking Up Love would be the perfect antidote. I just hope they are not serious sob-fests. I hate melodramas.

  2. reading about how much you liked this show makes me want to watch it to. Though I don’t know if I can stand overacting and the lack of plot progression for 23 episodes.

    Is there a lot of overacting? I’ve been told there is.

    Would you recommend it to someone who particularly likes independent or morbid films? would there be enough suffering for me to enjoy?

    • whoops if you like indie or morbid films and looking for suffering… this ain’t the drama for you.
      Office Girls is a breezey rom-com drama. the overacting part some may be referring to pertains to one of the support actors–and it’s a physical comedy–but there’s no overacting between the leads (Roy Qiu and Alice Ke).
      why do I like the drama? it’s entertaining and quite down-to-earth. there’s no fantastical plots, in a sense, it’s realistic even if this is about an heir to a retail business who is forced to work as a lowly employee in his father’s company without anyone knowing about his identity. the situations are real.
      “lack of plot progression for 23 episodes” — that is not accurate. lack of plot progression started only in episodes 18-19 when the network was trying to stretch it and take advantage of the ratings. otherwise, it’s been fast-paced. business is business and ratings matter for these networks so c’est la vie.

      • ‘lack of Plot progression’ for me mean’s they have nothing else to deal with but mundane things and not touch on the main topic at hand. If it takes them at least 21 episodes to deal with his identity issue then I would call that lack of plot progression.

        However, reading some summaries on the series, it seems to be a coming of age type story for Roy Qiu’s character, would that be correct?

        I’m a big sucker for coming of age stories. One of the reason’s I enjoyed ITWY and 49 Days (korean drama).

      • the drama was meant to end at 14. let’s just say some plots take time to develop and not just one or two episodes. I like the character development that the writers put into it especially Roy Qiu’s character. why don’t you just watch it and decide for yourself.

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