16 December 2014

幸福兌換券 Happiness Voucher

Title: 幸福兌換券 Xìngfú Duìhàn Quàn
English Title:
  • Happiness Coupon
  • Happiness Voucher
  • Love Cheque Charge
Country: Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Language: Mandarin Chinese
Year: 2014
Episode: 74
  • 胡宇崴 Hú Yǔ Wǎi (George Hu)
  • 袁艾菲 Yuán Ài Fēi (Phoebe Yuan)
  • 謝坤達 Xiè Kūn Dá
  • 翁滋蔓 Wēng Zī Màn (Smile Weng)
  • 是元介 Shì Yuán Jiè (Jay Shih)
  • 趙杰 Zhào Jié (Jet Chao)
  • 張本渝 Zhāng Běn Yú (Jessie Chang)
  • 夏如芝 Xià Rú Zhī (Cherry Hsia)
  • 賴琳恩 Lài Lín Ēn (Lene Lai)

胡宇威 Hú Yǔ Wēi - 愛就是 Ài Jiùshì (Love Just Is)
He Bu Fan, also known as Thomas He, has a serious demeanor and a very fastidious personality. He hates wasting time, and he thinks three minutes is enough to take care of things.

In 2011, Shi Bo Hai asked Bu Fan to break up with his girlfriend Xu Man Man in his stead. Man Man was completely devastated when Bu Fan broke the news, and he is appalled that she is creating a scene in public by screaming and crying out loud. Eager to get away, Bu Fan gave Man Man a voucher where it is stated that if she is not married by the time that she is thirty years old, then he will marry her.

Fast forward to almost three years later, and Man Man coincidentally runs into Bu Fan as he is giving a lecture. Angry at Bu Fan for reprimanding her about her lack of courtesy and humiliating her in front of an audience, Man Man shows him the voucher he has given her in the past and demands that if he always honors his promises, then he should marry her.

Happiness Voucher is an entertaining drama about people who are destined for each other, and how fate is helped along by fantastical matchmakers, pesky kids, and well-meaning friends. It is also about what it means to be a family.

Although it is long with 74 episodes, I was willing to give it a chance because actress Smile Weng is part of the cast. She was satisfactory in her portrayal of her character Tian Xin Ping, although her acting lacked some depth in some scenes.

Xin Ping's love story with nerdy Wang Bai Hao, also known as Ma Tong, is pure sweetness galore. It helps that the actors look good together, and they have great chemistry with each other. I wish these actors will do a romantic comedy drama together where they are the main lead couple.

Bai Hao is portrayed by Jay Shih and I must say that he's one talented actor to watch. I'm impressed by his performance in this drama, and I'd probably keep an eye out for his future projects.

Unfortunately, Xin Ping and Bai Hao are not the lead characters in this drama. I knew they wouldn't have a lot of screen time, but I figured I can still watch the whole thing if there are other fascinating characters.

He Bu Fan is my favorite character in Happiness Voucher, and I watched the drama until the end because I wanted to see where the production will take the character, such as if he will eventually change or if he will remain the same.

He Bu Fan, also known as Thomas He: ... You're not allowed to work overtime.
Xu Man Man: Excuse me. What if you need to work overtime?
He Bu Fan, also known as Thomas He: Then it proves your abilities are inadequate, that you are unable to finish your work during work hours.
He Bu Fan, also known as Thomas He: Do you understand? Working overtime doesn't mean it's quality work or efficient work.
-- E03

He Bu Fan, also known as Thomas He: If you can't resolve a problem, then don't be concerned about it. There's no meaning.
-- E05

He Bu Fan, also known as Thomas He: If it's an impossible task for you, don't ask other people to do it.
-- E05

Although Bu Fan is presented as weird, I personally don't find him peculiar simply because I can identify with him. I share most, if not all, of his views such as his drive for personal development and his desire for perfection.

For instance, I have excellent standards and high expectations for myself, and I tend to have the same level of standards and expectations for others. I know everyone is different but I feel that I'm doing a disservice to other people if I have lower standards and expectations for them.

I also share a lot of his habits such as not wanting to engage in small talk, not touching and generally not wanting to be touched by other people, and following a strict schedule for work.

For instance, I'm really bad at initiating conversations even with people I'm close to, and much more with acquaintances and strangers. It's not that I don't want to converse with other people, it's just that I prefer to talk if I have something important or meaningful to say, and I'd rather not say anything at all if I'm just going to say pointless things.

I have a personal interest with how Bu Fan is going to be presented by the end of the drama, and it's safe to say that I don't want him to change into a different person because I like him the way he is even though he has faults. So I'm quite relieved that he essentially stayed the same, although he certainly became more polite.

Shi Bo Hai is also a very interesting character, and I think he's one of the best second male lead characters ever. It's really difficult to explain who he is in the context of the drama because of the confounding plot but in a nutshell, Bo Hai is Xu Man Man's first love and Bu Fan's close friend.

I think Bo Hai is amazing because although he is still in love with Man Man, he is quite supportive of her relationship with Bu Fan so much so that Bo Hai creates situations wherein romance will potentially develop between Bu Fan and Man Man. I mean, it is surprising how much Bo Hai willingly assumes the role of matchmaker between the two even though it breaks his heart into pieces.

幸福兌換券 Happiness Voucher