I need to blog this separately and ahead of my post on Office Girls’ finale because I don’t want to ruin the tone of that.
I just want to formally state a complaint.
Dear SETTV/Office Girls writers,
I did not stick around for 25 bloody episodes just so that evil witch will be forgiven by just a mere “dui bu qi” and crocodile tears. (As Dao Ming Si said, what do we need the police for if sorry is enough?) Goodness, she can’t even get her act together. Tia Li is so unconvincing as the repentant Zheng Kai Er, always looking like the helpless heroine. Unfortunately, she is not the lead in this drama and there’s no prince in a white horse out to save her. Oh wait, there is Paul. My poor Paul. I’m sure she’s gonna milk all his moolah. But way to go Kai Er, you got the rich heir of your dreams, latch on to him quick!
It’s not that I hate the actress, I couldn’t care less about her and can only hope that I won’t have to see her in any future Taiwan dramas. I hated the character, true, and although I am all for the spirit of forgiveness (makes me think Sharon Mao wrote the script to this one with the way forgiveness was being thrown around like you were at a confessional box), I just felt that the story was not convincing enough that this person deserves to be forgiven after all that she has done. It was like a criminal getting away with a mere spank. Perhaps it is the fault of editing or lack of time to show that, but hey, they spent almost 30 minutes just focusing on Zheng Kai Er’s bloody epiphany! Or maybe Tia Li just falls short as an “actress” to portray repentance enough for one to feel sorry for her. I certainly did not and wished they would just get on with the program.
I have a feeling it’s crisis management for her company. They don’t want her to be typecast in such witchy characters so they needed to do something or else the public will always remember her as the schemer in Office Girls. Besides, Tia Li is being packaged as a member of one of those Korean-like pop groups, maybe the Perfume of Taiwan? (I have a friend who might bristle on that comparison.) So they need to protect her uh, image.
Fair enough. But did they really have to spend almost three full segments chronicling her path to enlightenment? If they trudged further, I wouldn’t have any doubt Kai Er would have made it to heaven as an angel, complete with church choir background music no less.
I do appreciate the conscious effort of the writers to negate her sob story of being an orphan and having to support her mother’s medical bills, that’s why she turned out the way she did. That is not to underestimate what she went through but other people in real life have it harder and yet they grew up to be decent individuals. Of course, Office Girls is not real life that’s why we have a witch getting away with the crime and even gets herself a rich prince. Oh but it happens in real life too, look around you. It’s just that, what’s the lesson that the story is trying to impart? It’s okay to be scheming because people forgive easily anyway? Not saying she should have gone to jail but they should have just stopped short justifying the character until it was hard to swallow already.
SETTV writers do tend to play up the childhood of a witch to explain why she became like that, just like the witch in The Fierce Wife. It’s just so cliche and very manipulative. But then, dramas are manipulative that’s why we get hooked.
All right, fine, she says sorry, asks for forgiveness and understanding, gets it, quits her job… BUT SHE DOES NOT FADE INTO THE SUNSET! SHE EVEN GETS INVITED TO THE WEDDING!!! This is really my beef. If this were real life, she wouldn’t even dare show her face there. In the drama, of course she’s thick-faced so maybe no surprise there at all. But did they have to include her in the final scene?! She’s the fly in the ointment, seriously!
Okay, maybe I am being too petty and should just focus on the happy ending. But was it a satisfying ending? Really? That’s for another blog.
P.S. There’s really nothing wrong aiming for world peace in the end I guess.
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