I know, I know. In my last post I had a growing list of posts I was planning on but for the past 2 weeks, I had been rather addicted to a Hong Kong drama Love in Time aka Still have time to love you (還來得及再愛你). I mentioned it very briefly in my post about HKTV last November. I wasn’t even looking forward to it all that much because the preview looked very ‘Twilight inspired’ and the CGI was pretty bad. But I just finished another HKTV drama The Menu and I thought what the heck. It’s only 9 episodes and Hong Kong rarely makes idol dramas.
So I’ve already watched 11 episodes of the currently airing TW drama Murphy’s Law of Love and felt fairly indifferent to Danson Tang. I mean, he’s good looking sure, but he was already classified as ‘not my type’ and ‘too flower boy’. Right?! But then after 1 episode of Love in Time I’ve got to say Danson is totally hot in this. I just can’t stop staring at him. Woah. *fans self*
However, let’s put a disclaimer up front – only watch if:
- You love or at least have a favourable opinion of Danson Tang.
- You don’t mind drama clichés and cheesy storylines, lots of them.
- You can ignore some pretty bad CGI. (Although really, there wasn’t that much of it.)
- You love watching beautiful people with beautiful scenery.
- You’re willing to turn off your common sense and just go along with the ride.
OK the last point, I’m not trying to be snarky but I don’t think we should analyse the storylines or think about whether the plot makes sense because firstly – the pace is superfast. At 9 episodes of about 40 minutes, that’s less than 6 hours to cover a vampire backstory, a love story to develop and some sort of conflict at the end. But hey, that’s also the positive. Because it’s going so fast, you don’t have time to overthink it. And 6 hours? We can marathon that in a day right?
With that disclaimer in mind, let’s dive into the craziness and stare at all the pretty. Beware, this recap is ridiculously long I don’t know how it turned out like this.
The opening scenes start with two (I think we can already assume) vampires chasing each other in some type of forest.
Vampire Ability 1: They can run superfast.
We meet George Spenser (Terrence Yin) who tells the red eyed evil looking vampire – TX (Jeremy Luen) that according to the 3rd rule of the “Vampire Race” (literal translation is Blood Sucking but that kinda sounds weird) – Vampires must live peacefully with humans. They must not kill them for sport to prevent their identity being exposed. He also mentions the one who set the rules was Count Dracula himself. George is one of the enforcer of the rules. However, TX tells him the Dudley family have never followed the rules.
After just a few kicks, another vampire comes to the aid of George. Here, we meet the new star of the Vampire race – Roy Thackeray (Danson Tang). TX asks whether Roy is the ‘mixed breed’ George had been training, but George declares even though Roy is not a ‘pure bred’ vampire, his abilities are not below TX.
More kicks and superhuman speed (actually, the special effects here aren’t THAT bad, maybe I was expecting worse), Roy sends TX a huge sidekick and the other guy flies through the forest, dropping his coin. TX is injured and spits out blue coloured blood, but he manages to escape.
On a sunny morning, Lok Hei Lam (Michelle Wai) is doing her paper round. She sees a coin on the ground and declares – “Today is a lucky day! Add oil Lok Hei Lam!”
Drama cliché 1: The female lead is super optimistic.
At a university with a really fancy sounding name (聖薔薇德懿大學) – I’m just going to call it “St Rosa”, Hei Lam arrives in her bicycle. The bicycle’s bell fell off, and Hei Lam tells it not to break down yet, she hopes it’ll last her till graduation.
Her best friend, the super good guy Ngai Sum (Charles Ying) arrives. He gives her breakfast as we also find out Hei Lam is poor and counts every penny she spends. As he helps her repair the bell on her bicycle, three rich kids arrive in an Audi. Aderlina (Kathy Yuen) – the prettiest girl in college and her posse Max (Carlos Chan) and Heman (Wong Ho Ting). It’s obvious they don’t like Hei Lam.
Drama cliché 2: The female lead is poor and bullied by the rich kids at school.
As the rich kids leave, Hei Lam drops a coin. She chases after it but was completely startled when she was nearly ran over by a motorcycle. Woah, that’s one hot entrance there and kinda reminds me of Twilight. (Disclaimer: I regret reading 1.5 novel and watching the first movie of that ‘saga’. That’s hours of my life I’m never getting back.)
Hei Lam: Sorry about that.
Roy: If you want to die, at least don’t bring trouble to others.
Ah, the first words our leads say to each other. I’m sure it’ll get more romantic later on.
At her locker, Hei Lam puts the strange looking coin in her jar. Looks like she built up quite a collection there. Her landlady and classmate, Man Si Tung (Rachel Lam) arrives and tells Hei Lam she left her phone in the kitchen this morning. Si Tung gives Hei Lam a bunch of discount coupons so she can save more money. As Si Tung browses through social media, they notice a new guy started at their school. A very good looking one, no less. (Guess who they’re talking about?) Word in the grapevine is that his name is Roy Thackeray -23 years old, adopted by English aristocrats and a top student at Cambridge. More importantly, he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Roy quickly becomes a target of every girl at school, including Aderlina.
Drama cliché 3: The male lead is super outstanding and all the girls immediately fall in love with him, except our female lead of course.
In class, the professor arrives and notices way more students (especially female students) in attendance. He wonders why everyone is suddenly interested in European history. If one of my classmates looked like Roy, I’m sure my attendance would’ve been way better. Anyway… The professor returns some homework to the students, and openly praises Aderlina for her work. Our heroine, however, is not so lucky. The professor is angry that her homework is full of juice, tea and soy sauce stains. Even worse, there were some rice grains attached to it.
Hei Lam apologises and says that it was because she didn’t have time to correct it. But of course the professor won’t have a word of it. He throws the paper away just as Roy walks in and catches it.
In the behind the scenes snippet though, it’s hilarious to see Danson missed this catch several times even if he makes it look super cool on screen LOL.
As Roy goes to take a seat, Aderlina made the effort to introduce herself as the President of the Student Council. However, Roy snubs her. All the girls rushes over to sit near him…
After the commotion, the professor continues with the topic of 18th century currency. He mentions the Dudley family and that symbol on the screen, is the same as the tattoo on TX’s arm… AND also linked to the coin Hei Lam found. The coin must have special powers as Roy begins to feel uneasy…
On the rooftop, Ngai Sum and Hei Lam prepares for judo practice. Hei Lam’s dream is to compete in the World University Judo championships in Osaka. After the practice, Ngai Sum reminds her it’s time – she has minutes left to redeem her afternoon tea coupon.
As Hei Lam rushes up the stairs, she bumps right into Roy’s chest. (HELLO THERE!) She apologises but Roy just scoffs and walks away. But then she realises the coupon is now missing. She rushes over to the carpark just as Roy is getting on his motorcycle. The coupon is stuck on his shoe.
He makes the casual comment that the coupon is only for $5, but Hei Lam goes on to explain all the things she can buy with $5. She’s money pinching alright.
Ngai Sum and Hei Lam also works at a seafood delivery company. They overhear the owner on the phone thinking of closing the store. However, Hei Lam suggests their wages can be reduced in this difficult time. Ngai Sum is a little shocked, but goes along with it. After the owner changes his mind, the phone rings. Hei Lam is going to deliver an order to a Mr George Spenser.
George is hosting some sort of bikini party at his house. Well, all the girls are in bikinis but the men are fully clothed. I’m disappointed already. Roy is brooding by himself in a corner wondering why George likes to host so many parties. George explains that they’re in a new environment. They should meet new friends and the best way is to throw a party. However, Roy prefers being alone and reminds George of their agreement – there’s only six months left.
Roy takes his wine outside to brood some more. But he was interrupted by a scantily cladded woman showing a lot of boobs. Roy just throws a towel at her. “It’s because of people like you, men don’t respect women.” (Can you hear my fangirl screams yet?!?)
Looks like it was all part of George’s plan to find a woman suitable for Roy. Despite Roy’s objections, George won’t stop trying.
Hei Lam arrives at George’s house to deliver the order. She asks where the bathroom is and just as she opens the door, George was there making out with some girl. He directs her upstairs to the other bathroom.
Guess who just came out of the bathroom? But wait, a bathrobe? There should be more fanservice here! (It’s like the perfect opportunity for a topless scene. *evil laugh*) Roy asks why she’s here and she just said the man downstairs directed her here. Roy immediately thought the worse, that she is one of ‘those girls’ George had been sending him.
Roy: Aren’t you the delivery girl? Take your clothes off.
He forces her into a corner and tries to kiss her. She protects herself with her judo skills. However, she fell backwards and nearly fell down the stairs. Roy pulls her back into his arms. But Hei Lam slaps him.
Hei Lam’s thoughts: Crazy. What kind of person do you think I am? I’m poor, but that doesn’t mean you can insult me like this!
Vampire Ability 2: They can read minds.
George sees what happened and is amused. He comments that he hasn’t seen Roy like this for a very long time, especially when Roy wasn’t even able to avoid the slap. George declares Hei Lam to be a very special girl.
Drama cliché 4: The leads have some sort of misunderstanding and she hates his guts, for now.
Back at home, Hei Lam is angry and rants to her landlady. They talk about Hei Lam’s finances, and we find out Hei Lam’s family is in debt which is why she’s working so hard to earn money. However, when Hei Lam’s mum calls her, she keeps a happy front. Yes, we know our female lead is an optimistic ray of sunshine now.
But as day turn into night, our hot vampire Roy is being all emo playing the piano. (I really like this music by the way…) George teases him again and suggests there should be a big birthday bash for Roy next month. Roy says no but George insists. Despite Roy’s objections, George suggests they race it out to decide…
They race through the forest and accidentally knocks over a log. The log rolls down on a road just as Hei Lam is passing through in her delivery scooter. She’s injured and of course Roy rushes there to help her. He apologises. Hei Lam wonders why, but Roy says he’s apologising for what happened the other night.
He looks at her injuries and suggests she should go to a hospital. However, Hei Lam insists she’s okay and just wants to deliver the food. Roy carries her just as George drives by.
The conversation in George and Roy’s heads is pretty hilarious. (They can read minds, remember?) George is such a cheeky bastard I’m laughing so hard.
George’s thoughts: It must feel really good hugging her so tight, right?
Roy’s thoughts: Get out of my way, I’m taking her to a hospital.
George’s intention is to find Roy a girl, so he doesn’t get in the way and let Roy use his car. Roy drives to a house, and makes the delivery himself.
Hei Lam’s thoughts: He normally tries to be so cool and pretends he’s all that. Why is he suddenly so nice and helping me? Should I thank him?
He gives her the money for the delivery, including $500 HKD of tips. Hei Lam asks how he got so much tips and he just responded:
Roy: I just tried to be cool and pretend I’m all that, ok?
Teehee. Now he’s just messing with her mind. Roy asks whether Hei Lam is willing to go to a hospital now, but she’s still insisting she’s ok. Well, it’s time Roy uses his special power here. One blue flash of the eye and she’s fast asleep! LOL. Wouldn’t we all want this ability at some stage?
Vampire Ability 3: They can make people fall asleep by flashing their blue eyes.
At the hospital, Hei Lam wakes up and realises she’s in a hospital. A top, private (very expensive) one no less. Roy tells her she just has a fracture in her leg, but after some tests the doctors recommend she stay for 3 days. She scolds Roy for taking her there, since she can’t afford it. But he just coldly responds with he paid for it already and she can stay for the 3 days or just leave now. She asks why he’s being nice to her and his response? If he sees an injured puppy he would rescue it too. (OK, he didn’t say puppy, but the subtitles did… and that sounds nicer.) In the heat of the moment, Hei Lam declares she’ll repay the money and wants Roy to stay away from her.
Back at George and Roy’s bachelor pad, Roy returns and George immediately teases him about his relationship with Hei Lam. George tries to read Roy’s mind, but Roy blocks it, proclaiming he’s entitled to privacy too. George suggests Roy may have something with Hei Lam, but Roy declares it to be impossible.
We see a short flashback of Roy and a girl running for their lives. A red eyed vampire injures Roy and takes the life of a girl called Siu Suet (aka Little Snow).
Is this an advertisement for Roy’s accessories? Like how much more hotness are we going to get? OK, despite being totally distracted by all of Roy’s brooding, we see two clocks in his room. I think it’s counting down to the 10th May 2014. (This drama was filmed in 2012 by the way.)
At the hospital, something odd is happening. Just as Hei Lam is getting into an elevator, there’s a blackout. Roy senses something is wrong and rushes there. He sees visions of TX and Hei Lam covered in blood. He finds her in the elevator and she faints.
Nothing serious though. Looks like she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time as the blood was from a woman suddenly giving birth in the elevator. She wonders why Roy came back, but he just leaves without responding.
George arrives at the hospital as well. They can both sense TX had been there. Since Roy severely injured him, the only way to recuperate is to drink fresh blood, and a hospital is the best place to find it. Roy wants to go after TX, but George says he’s long gone. He should buy some flowers for his ‘friend’ instead. Oh George, he’s already shipping our OTP!
Back at home, Ngai Sum visits Hei Lam and gives her some money. He wants her to use his money to repay Roy, so she doesn’t owe him anything. Hei Lam refuses, saying a debt is a debt, no matter who she owes it to. Ngai Sum disagrees and the landlady teases him. He clearly carries a torch for Hei Lam, but she just sees him as her best friend. They all wonder why Roy treats Hei Lam so well, and the landlady suggests that since 90% of the girls at school are crazy about him, Hei Lam is the only one who hates his guts. He might just want to win her heart and then dump her.
At school the next day, Hei Lam arrives in her delivery scooter rushing to speak to Roy. Someone delivered a new scooter to the shop and she thinks it must’ve been Roy since he has the time and money. Roy says it wasn’t him and just walks away. Hei Lam follows him and wants him to take back the scooter, but just as he tries to push her away, he accidentally pushes her into a pool.
He pulls her out of the pool and gives her mouth-to-mouth. We count this as their first kiss right? But when Hei Lam wakes up, she slaps him! Ouch. She apologises though but he just leaves her. However, Hei Lam also realises her homework is all wet.
Because of the ‘little mishap’, Hei Lam is late for class. Not only is she late, she has to wear her judo gear since her clothes are all wet. The professor is of course not pleased, and again chastises her in front of the whole class. If she doesn’t improve, she’ll fail and won’t graduate.
Our mind reader Roy, can hear Hei Lam’s thoughts.
Hei Lam’s thoughts: I need to graduate. I must graduate! Otherwise, the past 4 years had been wasted. How can I face my mother? We won’t have money to last another year!
However, Hei Lam’s fate is about to change as the professor announces their next assignment. Two students must work in a team on a topic of their choice. Of course all the girls want to pair up with Roy, but he raises his hand and suggests to team up with Hei Lam, because she’s a struggling student and he wants to help her.
At a bar, George is there chatting to some girl while Roy seems a bit angry. Roy asks George about the scooter and George just casually brushes it off as ‘repairing the damage he has done’. Roy is annoyed about it all, since Hei Lam slapped him again. But George is totally amused (just like the rest of us) by Roy’s cold cold heart slowly being melted by our heroine and suggests Roy should give the relationship a shot.
George: So she slapped you twice already. Is your power weakening, or did you purposely not avoid so you can take advantage?
I swear George is like a fairy godmother in this drama, trying to bring the leads together. But again, Roy dismisses it as ‘impossible’. Yeah, we’ll see! OK, so if humans aren’t Roy’s cup of tea, what about demons? The girls in the bar turns out to be some scary looking demons, but Roy’s like he’d seen it all before.
Roy: Humans say demons are scary, but actually, humans are scarier. Everything has changed. In the past, humans were innocent. They only want food and shelter. They’ll even help each other. People were sincere. But for the past 100 years, selfishness, greed, doing evil just to get what they want… it’s already become a world where humans eat each other. We’ve seen too many people die. They’re innocent.
In a flashback, we see George turned Roy into an immortal vampire. Roy is upset because his whole village is dead. Although he survived, he was turned into a monster. George said it’s because he couldn’t stop Marcus, and didn’t understand what was wrong being a vampire.
George: We have endless power and endless life.
Roy: And endless pain.
Even though George suggests he can use his powers to help others, Roy doesn’t believe humans are worth helping. Humans will just kill each other and destroy themselves anyway. Looks like George has been trying to change Roy’s view for 100 years without any luck, and promised that if Roy still feels that way, he’ll freeze him on the 200th anniversary of Siu Suet’s death…
Well, Roy has a pretty bleak on humans, and definitely sets the story up for Hei Lam to change his view by her hard working nature and optimism.
The next scene is hilarious because I’m pretty sure George did not just bump into Hei Lam. He wants to buy her egg waffle (OMG that is like my favourite HK street food!!!!) but realises he doesn’t have any money. So he asks Hei Lam to treat him. This girl is way too nice because she agreed, given her money pinching personality. They sit down to eat and George explains his relationship with Roy.
The cover story is that Roy is his cousin. George explains that Roy is so cold to others because of his pitiful past.
George: When he was 5 years old, that slippery road, a careless driver… that was how he lost his parents.
I am seriously in stitches here since Terence Yin has great comedic timing. Hei Lam is probably too young to know THIS SONG since it’s from the early 90s (I think). And the part about the slippery road and the careless driver were stolen from the lyrics HAHAHA.
But George just continues to make more stuff up about Roy, like being a bit of loner when he was child and a stutterer. He only recovered after some surgery. (OK, he had to make this up since Roy can’t have surgery like 200 years ago right?!?!) I’m still laughing. But Hei Lam totally buys it and starts to view Roy in a more positive light. You’re a good man, George.
So it looks like George bought all sorts of stuff (including a mouse?!) and Hei Lam is the one who carried them. Our ever scheming George is of course just trying to lure Hei Lam back to his place, so she and Roy can ‘talk about their homework’ there. Smooth! Roy comes home and just greets Hei Lam rather coldly and heads upstairs.
George: He’s very useful when you have a high fever.
Hei Lam: Huh?
George: Don’t you think he’s so cold towards others?
Bad bad joke!!! But I’m still laughing! What is happening to me… George’s work isn’t done yet, as he asks Hei Lam to name the little mouse he just bought. She named it “Bor Bor” (aka Ball Ball). Okkkaaay. Moving on. George suggests they drink champagne and just as he pops the cork, it flies towards Hei Lam and Roy instinctively pulls her into his arms to ‘protect’ her. Now that was unexpected!!! Teehee.
Of course they pretend nothing happened.
I don’t know how much of the assignment they completed but Hei Lam ended up showing him some of the games she played during her childhood. Roy of course doesn’t know those games but we can finally see a tiny smile on his face. Since Hei Lam is hungry, he says she can use his kitchen and she cooks her best (or possibly, only) dish for him – Curry Fried Rice.
Just remember this is only 9 episodes so they’re developing in lightening speed. I like this pair already.
After their ‘study session’, Roy takes Hei Lam back home in his motorcycle. Ngai Sum, who has been (not so secretly) waiting for Hei Lam, expresses his annoyance seeing them together.
The next day at school, Roy returns Hei Lam’s phone as she left it at his home. All the girls at school heard this and of course they’re jelly. It doesn’t help that George turns up as well, in his exaggerated fashion, inviting Hei Lam to Roy’s birthday party. Roy objects since he never agreed to a party but George won’t hear a word of it. George also mentioned Hei Lam & Roy ‘kissed’ already. Even though he’s only talking about the mouth-to-mouth incident, Hei Lam immediately becomes Public Enemy No. 1 amongst the school’s female population.
Now, other girls are pranking Hei Lam including hosing her when she’s in the toilet and just hits her with basketballs as she walks past the court. They’re not even hiding it aren’t they? Ngai Sum steps in and even got hit by a ball. She tries to comfort Ngai Sum by saying there’s definitely nothing going on between her and Roy.
At the cafeteria, things go from bad to worse. Some random girls ruin her lunch and a guy (?! What, he has the hots for Roy?) starts to distribute some bad photoshopped photo of Hei Lam – with her head on some nude model’s body. Hei Lam’s had enough and asks what has she done to them to deserve this? But of course, everyone just snickers and just watches as Hei Lam gets more angry. Roy arrives and sees what’s happening.
Hei Lam’s thoughts: Lok Hei Lam, don’t cry. If you cry, you’ll lose. I have nothing to be ashamed of.
Now, how can Roy sees this and do nothing?
Roy: She didn’t do anything. I have the right to be friends with whomever I want. I asked her to do the assignment with me. I asked her to come to my house. I took the initiative. If anyone’s not happy about it, then mess with me. Is that clear? If you understood, then don’t bother her again.
Aderlina can’t take it anymore and asks Roy why he’s always helping Hei Lam. Gees, because she’s one of the only few sane ones around here? (The landlady is also sane, and Ngai Sum.)
Aderlina: I don’t understand what’s so good about her! Why are you always helping her! Average figure, plain looking, poor background with average grades. These type of girls are everywhere!
Roy: We all know who’s behind this, stirring things up. From this minute, her business is my business. Whoever messes with her, is messing with me. From this moment, if anyone hurts her physically or mentally, they have to bear the consequences.
Are you melting? Because I AM. I’ve become a Roy fangirl. Maybe I should watch Danson’s original voice version because I’m fairly sure it’ll sound a gazillion times sexier. *wink wink* Oh yes, of course he takes her BY THE HAND and leaves the cafeteria.
(END OF EPISODE)
Woah, that was one long recap and it took much longer than I expected. However, since it’s the first episode and lays much of the ground work for the rest of the drama, I thought I’d just go crazy. I’m not sure I want to keep doing such detailed recaps for the next eps, however, at the very least I’ll be screencapping like crazy because every shot of Danson is killing me. 😉
With regards to the drama itself, episode 1 didn’t particularly ‘Wow’ me at first but there were some positive aspects. Despite my initial concern this is just a Twilight copycat, it’s really more of a composite of all the idol dramas we’ve seen and loved or loathed. There’s even comparisons with Meteor Garden, but I guess that’s more because our female lead Michelle Wai looks a lot like Da S back in the day. So overall, I think it’s a solid start. The storyline is pretty cheesy but I’m not complaining. Also, Terence Yin’s George is super hilarious. From the first scene, it seemed like he’s a serious character but he’s turning out to be a welcoming comic relief. I love how he’s trying to bring our leads closer together.
The first episode was longer than the rest, at almost an hour. Future episodes is only around 40 minutes each.