Name: Mr Fighting
Date: July 2019
Number of episodes: 44
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Dreams
Based on book/manga?: Yes, Mr Fighting by Zi You Ji Guang
Why did I press play? Loved the synopsis and main cast.
Initial Thoughts: This is a quick first impression of Mr. Fighting
Right off the bat, this drama has a slightly indie/alternative feeling to it. This is due to the more gritty “real-life” feel. For example, Fu Zi supermarket job, Hao Ze Yu basement apartment, the market area they first meet (while he’s eating watermelon), and Fu Zi’s neighborhood and house. Visually a lot is going on and you feel thrown into a story and word that has been there for decades. The story takes place in Beijing and we get so see a small spectrum of places particularly the contrast of the main characters humble living situation and the places they go to “network”. The color palette, main characters wardrobe, occupations, and style all work together to make everything relatable to the viewer. The characters their lives aren’t intimidating. They are all easy to love and root for.
The story is also alternative because it doesn’t have a stunning female lead, rather Fu Zi is written as a chubby and quite unattractive girl, who has a sassy personality and heart of gold. It makes you wonder which direction the story will go. Then two main leads already have chemistry – not physical at this point, but rather their personalities are compatible and they look like they can become great friends. It’ll be interesting to see how their relationship changes.
Speaking of which, Fu Zi and Ze Yu hustling strategies are a total hoot! For example, all the savvy cost-cutting things Fu ZI does to get him a proper portfolio photos. It all ends up being a bit of a disaster. They have to work with what they’ve got and there is no magic wand – even if that means soliciting the help of local “famous photographer” student – who happen to fail to get into college 4 times for being too “creative”.
The main cast is an electric bunch. All superbly talented and experienced actors, they take the story and bring it to life.
This drams is top quality and well giving a go! Although I will say it does take a few episodes to get use to the style of everything and appreciate for the gem it is.
Thoughts in Ending
Mr. Fighting has a perfect ending. It is immensely satisfying, realistic, heartwarming, provides closure, and is consistent with the rest of the drama. Ze Yu matured and no longer sees his career as being more important than Fu Zi’s daily life. He reunited with her humbled and ready to be in a mutually supportive relationship. Not one where she is seen as a pseudo assistant. He can no be there for her in a way that she needs. That year of separation was needed for the important transition to take place. I’m sure there will still be diva moments from him, but nothing that can’t be worked through. Their relationship is built on such a deep foundation, they will find a way to navigate his careers in the future, although as the drama keeps telling us, who knows what the future will hold?
It was heartbreaking when Fu not only lost her father but the cut does with the relationship with Ze Yu. In reality, there wasn’t much to cut as they barely had contact. She did the right things because he couldn’t offer anything, yet expected inconceivable patience from her for the indefinite future – it’s not fair to her and her dad could see it.
It needs to be noted that Deng Lun was raw in this drama. In many of his monologues or conversations about the struggles of making it as an actor felt real. It felt as if Deng Lun was talking and not Hao Ze. It was moving as the actor and character felt like one.
Who are the main characters? Which actors play them?
Hao Ze Yu played by Deng Lun
Fu Zi played by Sandra Ma
Niu Mei Li played by Ni Hong Jie
Fu Zi’s father played by Han Tong Sheng
Theme: Caring about those around you and pursing your dreams.
What it’s good for? Unwinding after a long day or saving up episodes to gobble up over the weekend.
*photo credit: Viki.com