I’m not quite sure how to recommend Miss Rose to folks, because it either gets you right there in the gut and you love it, or it’s just an easy on the eyes nicely paced drama that won’t linger in the mind or heart after it’s done. I find the drama brimming with wonderful touches and stunningly restrained in its delivery. This might be the least histrionic and makjang drama in recent memory, the bridge stunt aside. When the ex-boyfriend returned I was excited for some mano-a-mano posturing and a dick-waving contest to commence, yet it never happened. Instead the two men have been respectful and aware of each other without making a fuss over what is beyond their control. If Si Yi picks Cheng Kuan, Yi Chun would graciously bow out. If Si Yi picked Yi Chun, Cheng Kuan would understandably pick up his heart and walk away. It’s so mature I’m rather stunned that more dramas won’t tone down the silly slap-happy screeching and allow characters to quietly figure out their feelings while behaving in positive ways that don’t undermine our intelligence.
I’m also pleased that Vivian is stepping up, not because I like her, but because she’s realized that she has to behave like an adult to at least have a chance at winning Cheng Kuan back. Yes, she’s resorting to playing little underhanded games, but no one falls for it and the complications are much greater in reality anyways. I also think Puff is doing a bang up job as Vivian, way better than Tia did playing the antagonist in Office Girls, which further confirms for me that Puff’s got a longer future in acting after I watched her in Inborn Pair, whereas Tia is winning here because she’s playing such a sweet character in Xiao Ke. I understand why some folks have a soft spot for Yi Chun, and I do as well. But it’s just that, a soft spot, whereas my heart has been given to Cheng Kuan who has been nothing but a direct forward trajectory towards Si Yi from the moment they met. He hasn’t done a single thing I would raise an eyebrow at, and he’s clearly going to do way more to win a chance to be with her. What a guy, folks, what a guy.
Screw 12 – A hypothetical question:
Si Yi asks Cheng Kuan if he’s alright, having noticed he wasn’t in the office all day. Cheng Kuan asks Si Yi if she would still be concerned about him if he was no longer her Deputy General Manager, if he was no longer at Guang Qiang? Si Yi immediately answers yes, then assumes he might be transferred back to corporate and asks about it but Cheng Kuan doesn’t explain further.
Si Yi takes out the rose necklace and gives it back to Cheng Kuan, explaining that it really is much too expensive a gift for her to accept. She slips the box in his lap under the table. Cheng Kuan opens it up and looks at the necklace, before closing the box and slipping it back inside Si Yi’s purse when she’s looking elsewhere.
The waitress delivering soup accidentally spills the hot liquid on Si Yi’s arm. Cheng Kuan quickly gets up and announces that he’s taking her to the hospital treat the burn. Ting Ai gleefully texts Vivian about Cheng Kuan’s destination and suggests Vivian meet up with them. The GM calls Manager Kang who confirms that he’s done what he was told and leaked the news to the media about the government bid impropriety. Cheng Kuan takes Si Yi to the bathroom and rinses off the burn. She insists she’s alright but he wants to take her to the hospital anyway.
They run into Yi Chun outside as he wraps up his call and he’s also worried upon learning that she got burned. This turns into a party as Vivian also saunters up announcing that just so coincidentally she’s not feeling well and needs to go to the hospital, lying that she so happened to be here dining with friends.
Yi Chun takes in the awkward situation and offers to take Si Yi to the hospital. Si Yi suggests that Cheng Kuan take Vivian to the hospital, and Vivian concurs noting that Cheng Kuan’s secretary has her own knight in shining armor here. Vivian takes Si Yi’s bag from Cheng Kuan’s hand and hands it over to Yi Chun and the two pairs part.
In car 1, Si Yi also tells Yi Chun in the car that she doesn’t need to go to the hospital and just wants to go home. In car 2, on the drive to the hospital, Vivian declares that she doesn’t need to go anymore and tells Cheng Kuan that she wants to go to his place to talk. Cheng Kuan sighs and keeps driving.
Yi Chun notices she looks worried and Si Yi shares her concern that Vivian might give Cheng Kuan a hard time by misunderstanding what happened earlier. Yi Chun explains that those two are adults and they can deal with their emotional issues and Si Yi needn’t worry because she can’t and shouldn’t do anything in this situation. Spoken like a true mature human being.
Si Yi understands what he’s trying to say and turns to look out the window, still worried about Cheng Kuan because she knows he has something on his mind since he was not at work all day.
Back at Cheng Kuan’s apartment, Vivian asks him for another chance. She asks if they can make up because she doesn’t want to give up. She asks him to get engaged like they had planned and get to know her properly because he doesn’t know her well. Cheng Kuan sighs and says he’s known her for over 10 years now.
She promises to change and says so without her usual disdainful airs. Cheng Kuan refuses again, explaining not that he hates her, but that he simply cannot grow to love her. He apologizes but Vivian doesn’t want his apology. Vivian asks him to start now and try to like her, admitting that her behavior in the past was due to her own immaturity. She ends the conversation by saying she’s tired and wants to take a bath.
In the bath, Vivian thinks to herself that she thought she would never lose Cheng Kuan, that he would never leave her. Now she doesn’t know what to do to keep him. After her bath, she calls up Manager Kang and asks him for a favor.
Cheng Kuan sits in his office and looks at picture of him, Si Yi, Sheng Jun, and Xiao Ke during their trip to Ping Xi. He frames the one where they are holding their sky lantern with the words “we must all be happy” written on it. He stares at it and a smile forms.
Vivian wakes up the next morning and finds herself alone on the bed. I don’t even want to assume that they slept together before when they were just “dating” per President Jiang’s order, not that it would make any difference since they are consenting adults. She walks outside and finds Cheng Kuan sleeping face down on his desk. She walks over and sees the framed picture and picks it up.
Si Yi heads off to Cheng Kuan’s apartment to deliver urgent documents per Manager Kang’s orders. Yi Chun calls her offering to drive her to work and takes her to Cheng Kuan’s place. Si Yi walks up and rings the doorbell, looking surprised when Vivian opens the door dressed in her sleeping gown. Vivian takes the documents and Si Yi tries to leave when Cheng Kuan wakes up and walks out.
Si Yi quickly explaining why she is there and makes a quick exit. Vivian walks her to the elevator and reminds Si Yi to keep her distance from Cheng Kuan. Vivian says her dad is hearing rumors and isn’t happy about it, so Si Yi must not want to cause problems for Cheng Kuan, right? Si Yi agrees and promises to maintain her distance.
When Si Yi goes downstairs, Cheng Kuan calls her asking why Manager Kang told her to deliver documents that aren’t even important and urgent. He realizes what likely transpired but doesn’t press further. Si Yi asks him for the day off and hangs up.
Si Yi tells Yi Chun to go to work by himself since she just took the day off. Yi Chun can tell she’s upset and offers to accompany her for the day. Si Yi tries to decline but finally accepts. Cheng Kuan looks out his window down below and sees Yi Chun and Si Yi getting into his car. He tells Vivian that he needs to go to work now and asks her to leave.
Si Yi walks through a museum slowly taking in the exhibits and artwork. Yi Chun snaps a picture of her and sends it to her via text with the note that she’s the prettiest thing in this museum, which elicits a smile from her.
Cheng Kuan and Sheng Jun arrive at the office and find out from Manager Kang that their company is front page news with reports that they won the government bid improperly.
Cheng Kuan is called before President Jiang who is furious about this scandal. He orders Cheng Kuan to take care of it immediately, chiding him for being distracted lately and making a mistake he normally would never make. Vivian speaks up for Cheng Kuan and asks her dad to temper his anger. She sticks up for Cheng Kuan, pointing out that the entire matter looks fishy and since Cheng Kuan has already apologized and promised to take care of it, the President should let it go.
Cheng Kuan and Sheng Jun walk out discussing how Vivian is totally backing Cheng Kuan in front of her dad. Sheng Jun thinks the sun just rose from the West today, though Cheng Kuan admits he would rather Vivian act like her old self. The GM calls Cheng Kuan and lectures him on improprieties and causing problems for the company.
Si Yi sits in a restaurant on the beach and looks out the window wondering what she should do. Should she keep her distance from Cheng Kuan, or do her job and be the best secretary to him. Yi Chun sits own and says he ordered her favorite dish, steamed shrimp still in its shell. He offers to peel it for her and she accepts. After lunch, Yi Chun suggests a walk outside since the weather is so nice. LOL, if that isn’t rolling black clouds and an impending typhoon in the distance then Yi Chun clearly is blind.
Yi Chun and Si Yi walk along the beach and then turn back towards town. Si Yi is still quiet and deep in thought so Yi Chun draws a man and a woman on his index and middle fingers and gets Si Yi to smile by pretending his hand hurts and then making the two finger couple embrace cutely. This elicits a smile from Si Yi and then she sincerely thanks him.
Si Yi tells Yi Chun “The most precious emotion between people is when I don’t need to say a word and you understand me completely. Thank you for not asking me any questions. Thank you for your consideration. At this time, thank you for accompanying me.”
Si Yi grabs Yi Chun’s arm and squeezes it to express her gratitude. Yi Chun just smiles and follows behind her as she ambles off. Okay, this made me cry, because these two would have been amazing together if only Yi Chun didn’t temporarily have a brain and heart transplant 6 years ago.
They continue walking and Yi Chun admires the beauty this area with the beach and the mountains nearby. Yi Chun hands Si Yi a set of keys. He explains that he bought a house recently and it still needs a lady owner. He asks if she will be that person, and if she will tend to the roses in the garden with him. Yi Chun outright asks Si Yi if they can start over again. Si Yi stares at him but before she can answer, her cell phone rings. It’s from Miao Jin telling Si Yi to hurry back because there are protesters outside the office. Yi Chun and Si Yi rush back, with him wondering why she’s stepping into the fray. Si Yi explains that she was working on the government bid project with Cheng Kuan so she needs to be there for him now.
Outside the office, the media and protesters have gathered and Cheng Kuan addresses them to explain that they submitted the bid in time but it was simply missing one page which was delivered shortly thereafter. There was no impropriety and no one paid off any government officials. The protesters have clearly been planted by the GM and Manager Kang and they continue to remain riled up and start tossing tofu and steamed buns at Cheng Kuan.
Si Yi arrives and runs to shield Cheng Kuan, yelling that she is his secretary and she was the one who begged the government official to accept their bid. She accepts full responsibility and bows down to apologize. The protesters continue to throw food stuffs and Yi Chun can’t watch anymore and runs out to shield Si Yi along with Cheng Kuan.
After the protest is over, Manager Kang calls the GM and happily reveals their plot has succeeded.
The Luo family sits in silence with everyone having a sour expression on their faces. The camera pulls over and we see them all glaring at Yi Chun as he sits next to Si Yi and checks out her bruises from being pelted with food. He chides her for stepping into the line of fire but she defends her actions as taking responsibility for her work.
Yi Chun offers to put medicine on the bruise for Si Yi, which is when the Luo family moves into action. Mom takes the medicine away and announces that she will take care of her daughter. Brother-in-law Tom reminds Yi Chun that he’s a man and needs to keep his respectful distance from Si Yi. Awesome sister Si Qi has the best line of the night with “Medicine applied by a bad man will make your hand rot off, sister, so I suggest you not put any on.” Ahahahaha, and poor Yi Chun sits there in awkward silence as he absorbs their ill treatment, though Si Yi does tell them to lay off since Yi Chun was nice enough to take her home.
Tom snarks that it’s getting late and “someone” is refusing to leave their house so they can get some rest. Finally Dad speaks up and asks Yi Chun to leave since its getting late. Si Yi offers to walk him out and does so despite her family’s objections. Downstairs, Si Yi tells Yi Chun not to mind her family and he says he understands and accepts it. Si Yi opens the door to let Yi Chun out just as Cheng Kuan walks arrives. There is round of silent staring before the Luo family circus descends and gets in on the action.
Mom rushes forward to welcome her Kuan Kuan and adorably wonders why he brought an egg as a present but not enough eggs for everyone to nosh on. Cheng Kuan tries to explain the egg isn’t for eating, saying his mom believes its good for reducing swelling. Mom understands and smiles happily. Si Qi rushes forward calling him brother-in-law and cooing over how considerate he is to bring an egg over.
Everyone rushes him upstairs while Yi Chun watches this uncomfortably. Dad steps in and tells Si Yi to go upstairs, thanking Yi Chun again for taking her home. Yi Chun has no choice but to bid Daddy Luo good night and leave.
Si Yi sits on the couch while Cheng Kuan rubs the egg over the bruise on her arm. Mom shows Cheng Kuan how best to rub it and tells him to take it from here. Tom eggs (har har) Cheng Kuan on, telling him that a guy can’t let a pretty lady get away so easily. Si Qi pipes up to tell her sister that a present from a good man needs to be properly appreciated and used, and will lead to her having a good life. LOL.
Her family wisely excuses themselves and gives the two of them some privacy. Cheng Kuan rubs the egg and asks Si Yi a hypothetical question “What if you didn’t have Tang Yi Chun around and I didn’t have Vivian, is there a chance for us to be together?” Si Yi stares at him before answering that love is nearly everything to a woman so there are no hypothetical questions of this type she can answer.
Si Yi thanks Cheng Kuan for protecting her today and one day she hopes its her turn to protect him. She asks him to go home and rest since its getting late. Cheng Kuan asks if she’s trying to push him away and Si Yi quickly says no. She just doesn’t want to know that a girl is waiting at home for Cheng Kuan since it must not make her feel good.
Cheng Kuan asks again if his question wasn’t a hypothetical, then what would her answer be? Si Yi doesn’t answer so Cheng Kuan puts the egg in her hand and bids Si Yi good night before leaving. Si Yi sits there and finally answers “Deputy General Manager, if that question wasn’t a hypothetical, I would say yes to anything you asked.” She tightly clasps the egg in her hand.
Vivian watches a news report on how Cheng Kuan’s secretary Luo Si Yi stepped up and claimed that she was responsible for the current scandal. Vivian calls Cheng Kuan but he doesn’t answer her call as he slowly walks home. Vivian vows that she will be able to keep Cheng Kuan from leaving.
Si Yi is in bed rubbing Cheng Kuan’s egg on her arm when Si Qi jumps in to snuggle with her. Si Qi finds it all so romantic how Cheng Kuan protected her from those protesters. Si Yi doesn’t think it was romantic and takes the blame for causing problems for Cheng Kuan. Si Qi tells her sister not to take the responsibility all on her shoulders but Si Yi wants to protect Cheng Kuan and this is the only way. She’s decided to quit, otherwise the evil trio will pin the blame on Cheng Kuan.
Si Qi hears this and says “this is love then”, pointing out that Si Yi is giving up a long time good job for Cheng Kuan so this must be love. Si Qi asks if Si Yi is feeling herself softening towards Yi Chun since he’s doggedly pursuing her again.
Si Yi reveals that she’s actually forgiven him already. Because of what he did, she learned how much she was loved by her friends and family, and in the end she managed to overcome the heartbreak and is just fine. Si Qi reminds Si Yi that she can forgive as long as she doesn’t forget what happened. Si Qi adds that there is someone else that is much more worth Si Yi cherishing.
As Si Qi toddles off to bed, she suddenly stops and runs back to the bed and gives Si Yi a bear hug with an “I love you, you have to be happy.” Awwwww, sisterly affection FTW!
Si Yi sees the boxes of tissue paper Cheng Kuan gave her and remembers him encouraging her to move on and use up all those tissues if she needs to. She smiles and takes out the boxes of tissues from the bag which is when she sees a card wedged between two bottom boxes. Si Yi opens up the card and in it Cheng Kuan asks if she has moved past her heartache (since presumably she got to the bottom of boxes to discover the card) and reveals his hope that he can bring her happiness. Si Yi smiles and vows that its her turn to protect Cheng Kuan.
Cheng Kuan is headed to work the next morning and his mom is worried about the current turmoil at work. Vivian arrives and enters because she has the keys to the apartment and is very nice to mom. As Cheng Kuan and Vivian head off to work, they talk outside the apartment and we see Mom listening at the door.
Cheng Kuan asks Vivian to return his house key but she refuses, claiming she will not accept his decision to end their relationship. Cheng Kuan doesn’t want to keep going in circles on this issue but Vivian insists its all because Cheng Kuan fell for that old secretary Luo Si Yi. Vivian asks if this isn’t true? Cheng Kuan doesn’t want to talk to her anymore and turns to leave.
At work, President Jiang tells Cheng Kuan that since Luo Si Yi stepped up and accepted responsibility, this whole thing will blow over if they fire her for this. Cheng Kuan refuses since he ordered her to do it and he’s her boss so the buck needs to stop with him. President Jiang refuses, saying that Cheng Kuan is vital to the company. He orders Cheng Kuan to fire Si Yi by tomorrow or else.
Thoughts of Mine:
I watched a ton of Taiwan idol dramas since the industry transitioned over in early 2000 from producing period and makjang fare to light breezy rom-coms. I can safely say that Miss Rose really feels different from the typical idol offerings, especially considering that its produced by SETTV, the network known for comedic hijinks, ratings grab fan service, and tossing in the kitchen sink of angst in the second half. So far MR has used comedy deftly and sparingly, and sometimes right when something is about to get serious a funny quip livens the mood expertly. There hasn’t been any fan service skinskip, especially when the OTP so awkwardly kissed already in episode 3 and then shared a bed that involved no blush worthy moments. And finally, I don’t see the deep dark angst coming anywhere. If Si Yi leaves Guang Qiang, no big deal. She’s not a butt poor heroine with orphan little siblings to feed. She’s got family and financial support, not to mention swell catch Yi Chun who still loves her and is waiting to scoop her up if she’s willing. If Cheng Kuan leaves Guang Qiang, it’s also fine. He’ll land a job anywhere, and really what he owes President Jiang is something money can repay since it’s gratitude.
I appreciate how the drama continues to tread lightly on the love square, never allowing the unexpressed feelings to turn into brooding sessions where the characters just mope all the day and never do anything. Yi Chun isn’t moping for Si Yi, he is actively working to win her back and being stoic about his chances. Si Yi isn’t moping for Cheng Kuan or Yi Chun anymore, she’s worried about him but willing to take steps to do what she thinks is best for him. Cheng Kuan can mope all he wants, but instead he’s genuinely stressing about serious issues that will arise with him ending his relationship with Vivian, but still proceeding to do it anyways. And Vivian is too selfish to mope, as she turns moping sessions into plotting sessions on how to win Cheng Kuan back using a combination of pleading, acting nice, and occasionally losing her temper. In this love square there are going to be winners and losers, but the drama never posits that anyone will die or be completely shattered if they lose out on love. I appreciate this so much.
I would genuinely be torn between Cheng Kuan and Yi Chun if the latter didn’t break Si Yi’s heart so cruelly before. If they both met her at the same time, who’s the say one is better than the other for her. In many ways, it’s impossible to deny that Yi Chun also gets Si Yi completely. What the drama shows is that there are no do-overs, not because a person gets only one chance. Si Yi has admitted that she has forgiven Yi Chun, and if there was no Cheng Kuan, I wouldn’t be surprised if they got back together and ended up being happy forever. The problem is that a person may miss the right chance, so when they come back again, the opportunity is gone forever. Even if Si Yi has forgiven Yi Chun, her heart is now longer free for him to win again, another man has won it in his own sincere way. That is why I’m completely rooting for Cheng Kuan without reservation, because when faced with the choice between career and love, he’s willing to take the hard way to achieve career success so he can preserve his love. How can we not applaud this guy’s heart and guts?