Wednesday, July 26, 2017

265. Ode to Joy 欢乐颂 (2016) Chinese

Liu Tao, Jiang Xin, Wang Zi Wen, Yang Zi, Bridgette Qiao Xin

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A

I started on this late, as I saw everyone tweeting about season 2, but I had been planning on watching it since back when I watched When a Snail Falls in Love.  But it was better than I thought it would be, because it is a girl power show.  The show is about the girls and not necessarily about the romance.  It takes forever for them to introduce the men, and I love it.  It totally passes the Bechdel Test as it certainly has more than two women in it and they all talk to each other about things besides men.  Not that they don't talk about men, they certainly do that too, but that is not necessarily what the show is about.  It is about their friendships, family, struggles, growth, and also about love.

It is about five women who live on the 22nd floor of the Ode to Joy apartment building.  Three of them are roommates renting the middle apartment.  The other two own the apartments on either end.  Each comes from a very different background and each has a very different personality.  I found myself relating to Andie and Xiao Qu the most, but I still related and loved them all.  I related to Andie's logical frankness, and Xiao Qu's not caring and saying/doing whatever she wants attitude.  I see myself in Guan Guan as I overwork myself and never actually try to get in a relationship.  I'm definitely Ying Ying when she is pulling those faces and bouncing off the walls to cheer people up.  I related the least to Fan Jie, as she's a drama queen, but I still can see myself being the mother hen advice giver all the same.  And who isn't a little materialistic, huh?  Basically what I'm saying is that I loved them all and I cared about them all.

I also loved how it addressed issues that women face in general and especially in China.  Issues such as male/son favoritism, marriage over careers, materialism, and cyber bullying, as well as other general problems such as whistle blowing, becoming a full time employee, blind dates, adoption, and mental illness.  This also meant that I was going to get super angry that these situations existed and that our girls had to struggle through them.  I practically screamed every time that Fan's family was on screen.  They're the worst!

It was definitely not a perfect drama.  It is prone to be over dramatic, and the need for a narrator to tell us the inner thoughts of our girls was a bit silly.  I was a bit wary of how they talked about mental illness and how big a deal it was.  But overall I just loved it and was super excited for season two, which I started the minute I had finished season one.  That was weird.  Talk about change in tone and filters.  But if you are looking for a good girl show (not a perfect one, but still progressive) then I do recommend this one.

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