Finding Mr. Right? But it’s never for the intended purpose of marriage. Carrie Bradshaw TW version here we go!
The story unfolds with our protagonist, Hai Ning (Sonia Sui), at the wedding of her employee. She watches adoringly as her long term boyfriend takes center stage to make a congratulatory speech. Her boyfriend, Cheng Hao (Jerry Huang), is the famed author of a series of books on dating and love. He introduces the newlyweds by saying “when you find someone who loves you just as much as you love him/her, it is a miracle. And marriage is the way to keep that miracle going.”
Cheng Hao returns to his seat and grabs Hai Ning’s hand under the table. He pulls out a diamond ring and tries to put it on for her, but she successfully pulls her hand away.
Suddenly everything stops and a spotlight shines on Hai Ning. She gets up and launches into a soliloquy to the audience about how she met Cheng Hao after a coincidental meeting at the library. He vowed that he will become a famous author, and so she decided that she will be his editor.
In a few years, she gets into a famous publishing company and helps Cheng Hao become a bestseller. Then she jumps ship and takes the offer to be the head honcho at a smaller firm, taking Cheng Hao with her. Even though he is famous, he has not written anything for a while now because he is dependent on Hai Ning to write book outlines for him (just like how she wrote his speech).
A few days later in present time now, Hai Ning returns home to find Cheng Hao cleaning her house. He asks her about wedding dresses and she totally ignores him. Instead, she opens up the wedding favor (a box of cookies) and finds a handwritten note inside that reads, “Love is finding someone who will love your hand in the wind while watching fireworks,” which actually came from their books. (The line fulfills all the criteria for Asian drama cheesiness)
Cheng Hao puts the moves on her, but she claims that she’s too busy reading resumes for new employees since all her editors quit after getting married. He insists that sexy time will help him with his writing and that getting married will inspire him to write more books. She finally relents and goes to put on the lingerie her cousin Tian Xin (Guo Shu Yao) gave her earlier. Too bad for Cheng Hao because he fell asleep while waiting for her… he be missing out!
After a failed night, it’s interview day! A bunch of unqualified editors show up and they are all women! Hai Ning has her heart set on finding a male editor this time, and finally a guy named Zhong Wen (Chung Hans) comes dashing in. Hai Ning notices the rip on his shirt and wonders what game is he trying to pull here.
She can’t find his resume, but he asks for a chance anyway so she starts with a question about love, but he is totally confused. After some hesitation, he answers and summarizes a book he read recently called The Personals (actually the same Chinese name as the drama series, but translate literally). Turns out he was actually interviewing for a delivery boy position, and he came to the wrong place!
In any case, Zhong Wen leaves the book for Hai Ning to read, and after he leaves she opens to book to find her name on it. It’s the book she sold to a secondhand bookshop a few years ago! I sense a story coming on soon… Love triangle anyone?
Zhong Wen inspires Hai Ning for a new book idea. She gathers a team together for a meeting and plans out a book related to personals. Suddenly there’s a call for her and she asks the secretary, Mei Feng, to tell her the message directly. Despite the Mei Feng’s reluctance, she informs the whole team that a news media crew unearthed a picture of Cheng Hao with a blonde girl in a hotel room and the crew is on their way over right now. The team takes a look at the photo and it is of Cheng Hao and Pei Pei (Patty Wu) together! Pei Pei is the previous editor who just got married!!!
Hai Ning asks Bei Bei (not to be confused with Pei Pei), the resident PS expert to crop some of the team into the picture to make it seem like everyone was there. They produce the pictures just in time as the media crew arrives. Hai Ning successfully diffuses the situation, but it dawns on her that this might not be the first time an incident like this happened. It is no coincidence all her editors quit after getting married.
What is Cheng Hao’s excuse? He has affairs because she will not get married. (Seriously??? What kind of lame excuse is that?!) He even goes all out to say she’s not disinterested in getting married but because she is secretly afraid of marriage. Yeah well, if I have a boyfriend like him, I would be afraid of marrying him too!
She asks him to leave and he continues to promise that he will not have affairs if they get married because he thinks marriage is a commitment. Hello, and dating someone for this long is not??? How thick skinned is he that he can bring up marriage at this juncture?
A girl’s gotta talk to her besties about situations like this of course, so Hai Ning confesses to Tian Xin that she doesn’t believe Cheng Hao’s words. Like the good friend that she is, Tian Xin tells her it is best that she doesn’t think about him anymore, and to even cut him from his job. Hai Ning is still unsure, so Tian Xin suggests that she go ahead and have an affair as well.
Just then, Zhong Wen shows up at Hai Ning’s door with a flower delivery from Cheng Hao. She takes the opportunity to show him her discovery about the book and offers to pay for it, and he immediately gifts it to her instead.
And the next day, Hai Ning announces to the team (minus Cheng Hao) that she is going to write the new book instead of Cheng Hao. They post up a Facebook ad and so let all the love triangles and games begin!
Save Room for Dessert:
- Tian Xin self describes as a materialistic romantic fashionista who lates broccoli and late people (haha!)
- At one point Cheng Hao goes the secondhand bookstore in search of The Personals but Zhong Wen literally JUST bought the book moments ago. Must be fate!
- This drama is based off of 1998 Taiwanese film The Personals starring Rene Liu and Wu Bai. The film screened at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Category.