Ummmm, I both want to bleach my brain and cannot stop watching, as far as the recent cdrama Sealed with a Kiss, starring Hawick Lau and Liu Ying goes. It's as if China looked at Thai lakorns with envy and decided to make one of its own, only with better production values.
It's based on a very popular novel which seems to have time-traveled straight from the 1920s, the era of The Sheik and Elinor Glyn.
The premise goes a long way to explain my bizarre reaction - Liu Ying is the hapless heroine, the beautiful and naive young woman, who gets blackmailed by the ruthless businessman Hawick Lau into becoming his mistress (otherwise her uncle goes to jail). Hawick does it as some sort of bizarro revenge against Liu Ying's now-dead parents who ruined his family, or something. But then he falls in luuuuuuuuuurve!
OK, the premise is pretty brain-bleaching, but tbh, I probably wouldn't have been so 'my eyes! my brain! my morals!' if the relationship started that way but then they ended up having a functional supportive relationship.
BUT NO!!!! I have just finished the first ep, during most of which I have spent my time screaming at the screen 'die die die pig!!!!!!' at Hawick's character. Let's see, during the course of the first episode he (1) abuses her emotionally, pretty much calling her a worthless whore who is not good at faking affection and who can have no volition of her own (2) borderline abuses her physically - I don't think showing people is a good thing (3) controls her life - he is pissed off so she gets lets go from a project she likes at work
Did I mention that he's married to a woman who bought-blackmailed him into marriage (but he refuses to sleep with her evah, LOL). Which, you'd think, would give anyone with an ounce of empathy plenty of opportunity to understand why blackmailing people into relationships is bad. But apparently not.
Oh, and he gets pissed off because she fantasizes about another man when they have sex and because she doesn't ever kiss him back - I mean, how dare she not love the man who coerced her to be his mistress and than treats her like a slave! Ungrateful hussy! I mean, it is utterly incomprehensible that she is hoarding all the fancy jewelry he gave her so she can get enough to escape. We are supposed to get that he's in love with her however this started and is extra-bastardy to her because (a) she doesn't love him back (b) he is in denial and wants to prove to himself he doesn't love her, but these are explanations not excuses.
Hey, genius, maybe treating her well, will get you further?
Anyway, I want to stab him in the face and twist twist twist! But yet I cannot stop because this thing is as addictive as it is repulsive - their relationship is such a trainwreck, you never know what will happen next, and they do have amazing chemistry. Guuuuuh, I despise myself but I cannot stop!
On the plus side, Yang Mi's good taste in boyfriends is confirmed. I've only seen Hawick in period stuff before, clothed to the throat, but there are some nice things underneath those garments.
Also, the series was a huge hit and now they are making a mini-sequel. I saw some promo pics and give up - he's handcuffed and grabbing her toes! The protagonists clearly have a relationship not understood by a normal brain.
Have a MV which pretty much sums up the appeal to my lizard brain - they are fucked up people!
( Another MV )