Review: My Story For You

Full Review 

Name: My Story for You – 为了你我愿意热爱整个世
Writer/director: Maboa Feibao
Date: June 2018
Number of episodes: 48
Genre: Romance, Drama
Based on book/manga?: Yes, Love the Whole World by Tangjia Sanshao (based on his real-life story)

Why did I press play?  The promotion artwork (the released way in advanced) was intriguing. For example, the color palette and the characters in 1998 and 2017. Besides I was keen to see Zheng Shuang in another drama – I had only seen her in LOVE020 (who share the same author).

Initial thoughts/The good and the bad: During the first episodes the drama is so-so. It’s difficult to pin down the genre and where the story is heading. There is a slow and relaxing unpredictability about it.

To tell its story, this drama connects big picture events and its trickling down effect. For example, the tech boom and its rapid crash. This “big” issue changed the projection of Chang Gong life (and daily life).

This drama follows almost two decades of the character lives. It addresses growing pains that come with transition form young adults into adulthood. Below is a list of unavoidable issues.
  • College: Dropping out, graduating, pursuing postgraduate studies, etc.
  • Entering the workforce and dealing with the challenges that come along with it
  • Struggling to adjust/and or keep up with the changing economy.
  • All the jubilation and heartbreak of entering into serious relationships.
  • Finding a place to settle down, e.g. purchasing a home.
  • As an adult, all decisions about your life, fall on your own shoulders.
The most moving and the heart of the story boils down to one question. “How have you spent your time?”
In the end, they all have different answers. The most heartbreaking and memorable answer Han Dongs.

The bad: If I had to nick pit, there’s a couple of negatives things in this drama. For example, several drawn out scenes.

Who are the main characters? Which actors play them?
Li Mu Zi played by Zheng Shuang
Zhang Chang Gong played by Luo Jin
Zhang Yao Yao played by Zhang Yi Shang
Han Dong played by Pang Han Chen

Quite frankly the cast is incredible and the acting of a high standard. The only exception is Han Dong older girlfriend (I could not track down the name of the actress). It felt like watching a robot. Nothing bothered her, nor caused a reaction – she is frustrating to watch. Towards the end she has the moment, it’s the brief expression in response to Dong’s response to her proposal.

An entire post could easily be dedicated to each character. But I’ve chosen to discuss only one. It’s not till the end you realize Mu Zi is the most significant character. 

Mu Zi
Mu Zi is a complicated character and it doesn’t help that it’s hard to know what she thinks and she bottles up her emotions. She’s somewhat allergic to serious discussion and only speaks up if something is really bothering her or a discussion unavoidable. It’s during these vulnerable moments we learn more about her. For example, joining Gong on a long distance drive. Another example is her hurt and anger during her first dinner with her in-laws as a married couple. Instead of welcoming her, they give most of the attention to Gong’s pseudo-ex-girlfriend – can’t blame her frustration.

Gong’s intense drive and total immersion in work endeavors always take priority. This trait of his prevails in poverty, wealth, or anything in between. Over and over again, she is put on the back-burner. For example, without consulting her accepts a low paying job from his mum, instead of a higher income job, to you know… put food on the table – to me, this choice is bizarre. Another example is informally coercing her to support his writing.  How can she say no to his new found passion? With his personality, how can she say, “no, I’d rather you come to bed at a reasonable hour and spend some time in the evening together?”. Paradoxically early on he quit his truck driving job, to be there for her in case/when she becomes sick.

In his own way and on own time he shows his love for Mu Zi. And he does love her. Often he even acknowledges the sacrifices she’s had to make more so to others that her. He is the rock for his family, acquaintances, and friends. He is level-headed, upright and introspective. He believes he can have a better future and isn’t ashamed to go after it. I respect his practicality and acceptance of growing up in a poor family. As far as pre-marriage days, he pursuing is second to none. While on the road as a truck driver he wrote Mu Zi a whopping 137 love letters! 

Mu Zi loves Gong with all her heart and it’s evident he is the only one she wants to be with, no matter the hardships. This often leads too many sacrifices on her part and conceding to adapt to Gong and his family. Sadly, she voluntary sets strict boundaries with her parents. This creates unnecessary isolation and lack support for her. It is also important to mention she has the burden of dealing with health complications.

Towards the end, certain scenes hint that she never felt entirely secure in his love for her. After two different situations, she thinks either he wants to divorce her or because of his questionable actions, she may divorce him. I can’t help but wonder what would her life be like if she lives in an environment that allowed her to flourish? What does she think of her time spent?

Zhang Chang Gong played by Luo Jin – What a performance! He carried the drama from start to finishing and this is no easy task. With consistency and endurance, he portrayed the nuances of a complicated man. He successfully acted out a wide range of emotion, from laughing to crying. It seems his dedication to acting is comparable to his character’s dedication to success – Bravo!

My final comment is this, the drama is a wonderful, intelligent, and comprehensive story. Once you finish episode 48, there is a feeling of loss, as bid the characters who became like friends farewell.

Theme: Growing pains

What it’s good for? Heavy dose of reality and empathy.

In the new Drama Delight shop, you’ll find a delightful bookmark and postcard. Personally designed by the author of DramaDelight – me!

 

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