From left to right: Feng Yue, Yan Qing, Shan Shan, Feng Teng, Yuan Li Shu, and Zheng Qi.
For 2 or 3 weeks, I’ve been chasing episodes of Shan Shan Lai Le (literally Shan Shan Has Come) or Boss and Me on Youtube. Shan Shan Lai Le is a drama adaptation based on a novel “Come and Eat Shan Shan” , authored by Gu Man. You can check out the English translated version of the novel in here. Peanuts and Lidge are also doing a brief review/recap of episodes so you could watch the unsub version and read them to understand what’s going on as well ! It’s around 33 episodes long which is quite a normal figure for mainland Chinese dramas. Now, I can begin my rave.
AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH CUTENESS OVERLOAD I COULD DIE. I don’t normally have much patience for dramas with episodes over 30 because they just can’t keep me riveted and I end up abandoning them [Battle of ChangSha, Hotel King(on the verge of it), and many more of those that shall not be named] but it speaks volume when I actually complete one. I’ve never actually finished reading the English translation of the novel either but I’m glad for that because I might start comparing it to the book. Apparently, the drama alters some certain details and plot which for me was okay, unless the book does it better which I have to find out someday. Nevertheless, I think the drama did quite well on it’s own and I’m never happier for a live adaptation.
For those that are in the dark about what the drama entails:
Xue Shan Shan(Zhao Li Ying) gains entry into Feng Teng Corporation , one of the most prominent and well known companies in Shang Hai. She starts from being a small assistant in the financial department and we watch as she progresses to fall in love with her big boss aka Feng Teng(Zhang Han). The drama starts by having her donate her precious AB Rh- blood to big boss’s sister who coincidentally or not so coincidentally has the same blood type. She ends up being a saviour and in return of her kindness, Feng Yue (big boss’s sister) makes her boxed lunch every single day as an act of appreciation. Which is really nice because Shan Shan loves to EAT. Which is how the novel title is derived. We see A LOT of food scenes although I don’t understand how Zhao Li Ying can remain so thin after eating that much. Shan Shan and Feng Teng literally build a relationship by having lunch together. They just eat together and you wonder how romantic that can be really. WATCH IT TO FIND OUT. Of course other than eating and talking, Feng Teng makes sure to exploit Shan Shan to the fullest in another way as well. Yes. They kiss numerous times here. I can’t get enough.
How much moar cute can they offer?
Cuteness overload here is defined by tons of hugging, tons of cute interaction (aka Shan Shan gets bullied by Feng Teng, a heroin who eats eats and eats, kissing and moar kissing ( I have a vague idea of mentioning it above earlier…hmm..). The dynamic between them is akin to a wolf and a white rabbit where you can imagine Shan Shan getting teased a lot. Not that I mind because Feng Teng is good in it. When there’s cute, I’m sure you’ll wonder what the melodrama will be. Well, Feng Teng and his sister are orphans which spares us from all the mother-in-law abuse which I despise. He does have a childhood friend who happens to have a one-sided crush on him for 12 years. The main challenge for our lover birds is how Shan Shan learns to overcome her insecurity over their gaping class difference. We see how Shan Shan matures into being Feng Teng’s partner, not necessarily an equal.
Shan Shan and Feng Teng eats,eats,eats.
The story is more focused on Shan Shan and it’s evident from the amount of monologues she has. We literally read her like an open book as they make her thoughts available to the audience. She may be very dense but she does think a lot about things and sometimes she is shown to be aware of what people ‘hint’ to her but choose not to let them bother her too much. I think the role is fit for Zhao Li Ying (see Cuo Dian Yuan Yang and my reviews of it here) and her actual voice does a good match. I’m just a little thrown off by her make up initially. Those who follow my blog will know that I stalk her projects (see Legend of Lu Zhen too) and yes I’m a fan so I’m biased. She has another upcoming period drama which I might check out, Hua Qian Gu, due for release in 2015. Zhao Li Ying is actually more well established for her roles in period dramas and she rarely appears in modern dramas. She has another modern drama project which she stars with Hawick Lau in A Wife’s Secret, which gave me the same vibe as Temptation of Wife. I avoided that one due to hard core mother-in-law abuse plots.
Zhang Han does a role that he is familiar with (see Queen of SOP and Queen of SOP 2), he looks like he jumped out of those sets and jumped into Shan Shan Lai Le. I never managed to watch Queen of SOP as reviews I read described it as draggy. No thanks for waste of time then.
For those who have greater exposure to Chinese dramas, you’ll be surprised to know that the actors do their own voice here. BIG GASP. It’s common for voice dubbing in mainland Chinese dramas due to variable accents as actors tend to be from different parts of China. So for those who are curious about how Zhang Han and Zhao Li Ying sound like, go ahead and watch it! It may turn your interest on, or it may do the otherwise. Zhao Li Ying has a cute voice while Zhang Han often gave me a feeling that he has sore throat.
I’d recommend this greatly if you need an appetizer into Chinese rom-com dramas or you need a break from melodramatic ones. It’s not dense with plot lines but it’s definitely good fluff that requires little brainpower but does not kill brain cells either. You could stay away from this if you had enough of Cinderella cliches. I’m still impressed by the fact that I feel relatively stress free watching this but it does not feel draggy at all. There isn’t much to the story but it does feel breezy and warm-hearted. Perfect for summer watch!