Title: 我们都要好好的 Hope All Is Well With Us
Broadcast Period: May 8, 2019 – May 31, 2019
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5
When Xun Zhao is diagnosed with depression and told that she is not in a condition to raise her child, she decides to leave her family. In her search for her identity and independence, she finds herself working for Elisa at WIN Magazine.
After his wife leaves him, Xiang Qian loses his job and struggles as a single father while also looking for another job. After moving from place to place, he becomes neighbors with Elisa, who ends up falling for him and helping him as he adjusts to the new challenges in his life.
I decided to watch this drama because I loved Liu Tao and Yang Shuo’s chemistry in Ode to Joy, so I was disappointed by how few scenes there were of the two of them together in this drama. The drama covers their lives post-divorce, so most of the 44 episodes are of them being apart from each other and not really knowing what the other was doing as they grew into different people. But after getting over this disappointment, I really enjoyed watching their individual journeys of growth. This drama is on the more mature side of the drama spectrum and portrays the “pragmatic” side of love.
I love how they emphasized that no one was wrong. Their relationship just stopped working after being together for a decade because they wanted to head in different directions and their needs from their partners had changed. After getting married and becoming a mother, Xun Zhao lost her sense of self. She was struggling on her own because her husband would always be at work. Living this way was a major cause of her depression, and when her doctor says that she could negatively affect her son, she decides she must leave him. Xun Zhao (寻找) means “to seek, to find” in Chinese, and this drama is about her journey as she finds and re-discovers herself.
For me, one of the highlights of the drama was when it contrasted Xun Zhao’s reaction at her first WIN fashion show (when she was depressed, overwhelmed, and anxious) with her reaction at her own WIN fashion show at the end (when she’s confident, proud, and successful). You really get to see how much she has grown as an individual. She’s no longer just Xiang Qian’s wife or Hao Han’s mother. She is Xun Zhao, the next editor-in-chief of WIN Magazine. She is so proud of the work that she has done and has become confident in her abilities. She is independent and mentally in a good place so that she can provide for herself and her son. Liu Tao is such an amazing actress and does a fantastic job of portraying this character growth throughout all the ups and downs of the journey.
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Xiang Qian is a very career-oriented man who prides himself on being able to fully provide for his family. He feels he has accomplished his duty as a worthy husband and a father by doing so. Xiang Qian (向前) means “[to move] forward” in Chinese and he’s always moving forward in his career, to the point where he leaves his family behind without realizing it. Early in the drama, he sees all the medication that Xun Zhao has been taking and becomes aware that there is a problem. He takes the steps to help his wife by getting her a psychiatrist and even accompanying her to go see him. But while there, he falls asleep and takes a work call, so we clearly see that (1) family is not the first priority, even when he knows there’s a problem, or (2) he doesn’t see her depression as that serious of a problem. Neither reason screams good husband material.
After the divorce and losing his job, we see him struggle trying to find his way again. He was so used to being successful in work and in family (the way his family was before fit his ideals of a perfect family). As Zhang Hao Han put it, Xiang Qian isn’t really taking care of him; he is taking care of Xiang Qian. The bonding and growth of the father and son was very heartwarming to watch.
Hummer Zhang is one of those kids that I hope never grows up. He is such a scene stealer in every drama and movie that I’ve seen him in. He’s is just so cute yet so mature in this role. Xiang (向) means “toward” and Hao Han (好汉) can be translated as “good man, hero” in Chinese. Even though his parents don’t directly tell him, he knows they’re divorced. He struggles with why his mother left him, but he easily forgives her when she comes back into his life and convinces his father to do the same. You can see how mature he is during these golden nugget conversations with his father and when you see how other five-year-olds (Wan Wan’s daughter) in this drama acts.
Helping these two as they overcome the challenges of living without Xun Zhao is Elisa. Whenever Xiang Qian needed babysitting help, Elisa would be there to help him. Although she has a poor first impression of Xiang Qian at first, Hao Han’s cuteness and openness helped her to see the kind of person Xiang Qian really was. She tried her best to get Xiang Qian back on track. She bought him all the finance and investment magazines she could find and asked him finance questions to try to re-engage him with the financial industry.
Elisa faced a similar childhood as Hao Han because her father was always working and her mother had died young, so she was forced to be quite independent. Although she gets the editor-in-chief position through nepotism, we quickly see that she is very capable and was the best choice for the magazine, especially when the other choice was Vivian. The way she handled her relationship with Vivian was one of the few things that annoyed me about her character.
As editor-in-chief and as the owner’s daughter, she had the power to fire Vivian all along, but she didn’t! Elisa was in the bathroom too when Vivian openly admitted to Xun Zhao that she had leaked confidential company information. That is grounds for dismissal! But on top of this, she had actively tried to sabotage photo shoots which could’ve cost the company a lot of money. While I appreciate that we can see how resourceful Elisa is when she finds her way out of all of Vivian’s plans to bring her down, I hated how unrealistic it was that Vivian wasn’t fired for all the things she did that was in the company’s worst interests.
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Elisa was also key to Xun Zhao’s development. She motivates and guides Xun Zhao through most of the challenges in the workplace. She sees the potential that Xun Zhao has and gives her the power to do things her own way.
One of my favorite scenes was when she literally sits back and watches as Xun Zhao tells the photographer what to do during a photoshoot. When the photographer wouldn’t comply and stated that he was the expert, Xun Zhao takes over and takes all the pictures herself. At the end Xun Zhao tells him that the company won’t pay him since he didn’t do the work, and Elisa just sits and says it is within Xun Zhao’s authority to make that decision.
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I really give Elisa credit for helping Xun Zhao become the woman she is at the end of the drama.
MAJOR SPOILER WARNING
Thoughts on the Ending:
Throughout the drama, I hoped and expected that Liu Tao and Yang Shuo would end up back together in the end. After all, my reason for starting this drama was to see them together! So while I am a little disappointed they don’t end up together again, I have to admit that it was the best ending for their characters because they didn’t grow into the person that their partner needed them to be. Xiang Qian is still the kind of person who would put his career before his family. This is evident when he decides to go to Hong Kong for a few years for work and leave Hao Han with Xun Zhao. I don’t think he ever fully understood her reasons for leaving him and their son behind so he didn’t really change into the person she needed. I don’t think he’s the kind of partner who would take on a portion of the parenting responsibilities so that his wife could work and advance in her career. I believe he’s still the same person who wants to be the sole breadwinner for his family and be able to provide enough so that his wife doesn’t have to work and can dedicate all of her time to being a housewife. This is no longer the person that Xun Zhao is nor the person she wants to be, so she’s no longer the partner that’s right for him. (I don’t think Elisa is the right partner for him either. Fortunately, the drama makes that a very open ending.) So while my shipper heart is disappointed that it ended this way, I know that this is for the best because nothing changed to make their broken relationship work again.
Liu Tao and Yang Shuo were fantastic in this drama and are the reasons I finished watching this drama. I’m rating this four stars because there were some parts that I skipped over and really hated (stalker Hu Nan, everything that had to do with Vivian, etc.). Overall, this drama is still a very enjoyable watch for Liu Tao and Yang Shuo’s performances.
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