Friday, December 13, 2013

Gloomy Salad Days

It's an old Taiwanese drama from 2010 that I've just watched it now in 2013. I actually love the fact that Taiwanese Drama still sticks to fantasy genre instead of just feeding us, the audience, with a lame romantic story of the rich and the poor. I'm sick of that kind of drama. And to be honest, I love fantasy drama, even though they have a very very ridiculous story-line. I still can enjoy how the stories are made without any similar pattern with other stories. I mean, at least I don't see that rich boy and that poor girl anymore.

Back to the show! 'Gloomy Salad Days' is also known with 'Death Girl', and IT IS the story of the Death Girl, named Du.


Below is quote taken from the opening of the drama:

"So, you're the Death from the legends?"

"I'm just the guardian of this bridge.
Only when you can't cross it, would I then become Death."

The quote refers to the legend of Death as the guardian of Bridge of Helplessness. To keep the bridge for not falling down, she must go to the world to find people who are willing to be her rock to support her bridge in exchange to she granting their wish. The wish is usually related to the disappearance of  someone. Thus, Du will take someone's lives. Here it is when someone get stuck in between life and afterlife, at the Bridge of Helplessness, due to their inability to cross the bridge and walk past their own barriers, asking help from Du instead.

There are 20 episodes with several different stories that are taken from social issues happened in reality. Go to Drama Wiki or Wikipedia to see the summary. The main thing of this drama is Du's rock that taken from Bridge of Helplessness. Only who speaks of death and keeps that rock will summon Death. The main character is Du and Shen Qi. Shen Qi is a sickly boy who is able to see Du without the rock, and later he falls in love with her.


Du


Shen Qi

What I'm gonna write from now is just my comment about each story in it. And it contains SPOILER.

Episode 1-2: Huang He and Xiao Qing

I love this episode because of a shocking twist in the end. And it was really really tragic how Huang He, a top star student both in academic and his juvenile delinquency, committed suicide because of the emptiness he felt after reaching great score in his study and making so many chaos and hatred in his gangster life. Huang He found Du's rock in abandoned area of their old school building. He once said, 'my score cannot even getting any better, I also cannot do anything worse than what I do now.' He had reached his limit, and ironically, felt guilty of his sin for asking Du to get rid of his illegitimate child with her science teacher, whom we would know later that the baby was still alive and it was even not his baby. Tsk! This young mafia already did so many sins in his life, but felt guilty of a sin that even not exist.

Episode 3-4: Xiao Lin

This is the saddest and the most tragic story of all episodes in Gloomy Salad Days. My tears kept flowing down seeing a dying Xiao Lin, alone in her dorm, starved to death. Xiao Lin was a new student who placed Huang He's desk in which Du's rock was put before. She asked Du to make her able to be together again with his father who has affair with a young bitch, and her mother who's stressed and become a drunkard, therefore both of them neglected Xiao Lin. Du granted Xiao Lin's wish because that girl could not make it happens by her own. Du took her life and her parents'.

Xiao Lin

The weird thing of this story is the appearance of Ah Jie, a graffiti lover and the son of famous calligraphy writer. I thought he's gonna be the main character for next episodes since he also has problem with his father, but he doesn't appear again until the last episode.

Episode 5-6: Nicole and Xiao Tang

Shocked by the tragic endings of previous episodes, I had no hope in seeing someone will live happily ever after at the end of the story. However, these two episodes made me relieved. Nicole and Xiao Lin was friends. Xiao Lin promised Nicole everything's in her room would be Nicole's if she could be together again with her parents. Du's rock was now in Nicole's hand. But, although Nicole asked Du to make her drunkard and abusive father disappear, she didn't end up turning into a rock. She now lives happily in the city, Taipei, starting her new life. Xiao Tang who likes her so much is also there, studying at NTU for the bright future. I was happy with this good ending, but as you can see, I couldn't write much about this.

Episode 7-8: Li You and Ah Guo

Because of her current positive view of life, Nicole was able to pass her barriers. She threw the rock out of the window. Later, a new student found it and kept it as his lucky stone. He's Li You. Li You is my favorite character in this drama, besides Du, of course. I love how he can be so wise and understanding so much. I even think if Li You exists in this world, and he tells me that he likes me like he likes Xiao Ju in the drama, I think I can change my sexual orientation. Yes, Li You is a man who trapped in a woman body. I was glad at the end of this story, even though Li You decided to move out from school, he was still alive, love and be loved by Xiao Ju.


Li You


Xiao Ju

Episode 9-10: Xiao Ju and Qiao Qiao

Happiness can't last forever. You know the feeling when your favorite character's life is ruined by some other characters, you won't put any sympathy for all of those. That's what I feel for Xiao Ju and Qiao Qiao. I don't care with the fact they are lesbians and getting bullied by netizens. I just think they are stupid by selfishly act on their own, ignoring the possibility of getting things better, even making situations worse, worse, and worse until everyone couldn't handle it. I hate how Xiao Ju loves careless and troublemaker Qiao Qiao more than she loves the wise Li You. In this episode, Li You killed his self. Glad Xiao Ju and Qiao Qiao ended up by drowning them selves into the sea after asking Du to bring them away from this world. They left the rock on the sea shore. Shen Qi who wants to prevent another's life taken was not able to come on time. He picked the rock and kept it.

Episode 11-12: Xiao Dao and Li Qiang

At first, I didn't find these two episodes interesting. I also started to miss the tragic happened on first episodes of this drama. The story is getting common. BUT, Xiao Dao died in a way that I could say I would appreciate it. Accidentally, the rock was put in his bag when he visited Shen Qi at the hospital. He was now able to meet Du. For the sake of friendship and justice, he asked Du to get rid of Kou-san, a powerful and rich man who harmed so many people including Li Qiang and his family. Du reassured Xiao Dao about his wish and told him the consequence of becoming her rock to support the bridge. Xiao Dao accepted whatever it is in order to make Kou-san go from this world. Then, he bumped his bike to Kou-san's car, resulting the death of both of them. I started to like Xiao Dao when he died. By the way, Xiao Dao is also good looking, just like the characters from Final Fantasy. Okay, this story is not as bad as I thought.


Xiao Dao

And the rock was picked by Pei Pei, Xiao Dao's god's sister, and she put it on the table in her new motorbike club's room as the remainder of Xiao Dao.

Episode 13-14: Xiao Lun and Da Dong

After meeting lesbians in episode 7-10, now appears Xiao Lun who is gay and sissy. This case is kinda popular in this reality, a sissy boy is getting bullied by 'the man'. People will force the boy like Xiao Lun to change to be the real man, because if he doesn't, he will always be bullied wherever he is. Instead of trying to accept Xiao Lun with his characters and sexual orientations, people tends to force him to change.

When he was bullied, he ran away into a class room to hide. The room was the motorbike club in which the rock was there. He met Du. The rock once again changed hands.

Xiao Lun and Da Dong

Then, something's tickling happened. Da Dong, the bully, in fact, is also a homosexual. Before this, he was shown being so proud of his masculinity. He bragged to his school friends that his brother is a National Boxer and he wants to be like him. He bragged to his family that at school, no one dares to bully him because he's strong. The fact is he's the same like Xiao Lun, a gay. No matter how hard he tried to suppress his feeling, this secret was still leaked. He forced kiss Xiao Lun inside the haunted house. He beat him until faint when Xiao Lun kept saying he is a gay, and helplessly asked Du to not let Xiao Lun woke up in order to keep his secret safe. Xiao Lun was in coma after that. Later, Da Dong regretted it and asked Du to bring back Xiao Lun. And this time, it's a relieving ending once again.

Shen Qi, once again, took the rock and together with Xiao Lun and Da Dong buried the rock in the school yard. Days later, his brother Shen Quan worked there as the new substitute teacher and he found the rock.

Episode 15-16: Ya Zhen and Shen Quan

I don't want to say much about this story. It's really too much and becomes ridiculous. The producer has lost his ability to make the good one. At least it teaches a good moral: 'responsibility'.

Episode 17-18: Du He and Gao Chao

I think the producer is agree with my opinion of the last two episodes. Therefore, he decided it was enough to tell a story of someone else's life. Now the story focused on Du He a.k.a Du a.k.a Death Girl. Behind Du's cold way of speaking to her 'rocks' so far, she was actually a girl who also cannot cross the bridge, confused whether it's better to live or dead. Du He's body lied at the hospital, being coma for 5 years. 

And Gao Chao! Gao Chao is Shen Qi! No..I mean Gao Chao is also Aaron Yan, who acts as Shen Qi. It's kinda confusing why they choose the same actor to play totally different roles. It's not even about reincarnation because there's only a 5-year-gap between Gao Chao and Shen Qi. Later, Shen Qi also found out that Gao Chao is still alive and currently lives with her new fiancee in Japan.....this makes me think Gao Chao is a jerk. The only connection between these two is they both have a crush on Du...at different times.

One possible reason why Gao Chao and Shen Qi are played by the same actor is they want to build romantic couple of Du and Aaron Yan, which somehow is failed because they suddenly force Gao Chao to go and replace him with Shen Qi. Du and Shen Qi's romantic scene is limited since they lives in two different worlds. Therefore, this feeling is kinda over-exposed in Gao Chao and Du He's story. Hugging, kissing, passionate bed scene happens during Gao Chao and Du He's scene. But what happens after?! Gao Chao left to Japan without Du He, and even leaving her in coma. Now, Shen Qi comes. Even though they are both Aaron Yan, I cannot be trapped. They are different person. This Gao 'Aaron Yan' Chao is too weird to exist in the story.




Du He and Gao Chao

Episode 19-20: Du and Shen Qi

Shen Qi lost his rock, and at the same time, he met Du He, who had awaken from her coma. The End.

In my opinion, the ending is too flat for that supposedly to be a drama who provides tragic from the beginning. Well, not even a single happy ending will satisfy me.

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