Guest Blogger: Snow Violet
I am called Snow Violet but you can call me Snow 🙂
I’m so happy to be guest blogging on Drama MLKY with Coco here! You’ll see me around a lot more writing here and there.
I also have my own site called Snow Violet Writes (www.snowvioletwrites.wordpress.com) where I review Asian novels so check that out if you are a bookworm like me 🙂
So until then,
See you around on the site!!!
So, My Heroic Husband.
The Chinese title is literally called 《赘婿》which means, ‘Son-in-law who lives with his wife’s parents’. How descriptive haha.
I’ve heard that there are a lot of expectations for this show to do well, being one of the bigger titles in 2021.
The themes covered are also predicted to be quite progressive which is equally as fascinating. Things like gender equality and the freedom to pursue what you want in life.
So, it was no surprise that I decided to watch the first three episodes. I am intrigued by what the show has to offer.
This post will include a mini recap, expected trajectory of the series and final verdict for continuing the show.
So strap in and let’s begin!
We have Joy of Life vibes radiating from the first few minutes of this show.
An anonymous writer writing a story, transmigration into a fictionalized version of dynastic China and even our male lead was the money-loving brother of Fan Xian. (If you don’t get the reference, watch Joy of Life haha)
Left: Zhang Ruoyun as Jiang Haochen. Right: Guo Qilin as Ning Yi (the body that Jiang Haochen will transmigrate into).
I’m interested to see Guo Qilin’s acting range since while this is not his first role as a main lead, this is the first time I’m seeing him in a show that is quite hyped.
This seems too good to be coincidence but that’s just me haha.
Jiang Haochen is a modern corporate man from the 21st Century who transmigrates into the body of Ning Yi. The son of an impoverished family who has to marry into the Su family as a matrilocal husband to get rid of his family debts. (Lol did you see the gender reversal here?)
The Su family are cloth merchants and Ning Yi’s bride-to-be owns one of her family’s shops and hand-dyes her own cloth. Her name is Su Tan’er.
Su Tan’er is preparing for the grand opening of her store and is making sure everything goes smoothly. However, being ancient China, it is rare for a woman to own a business so her family tries to undermine her in every possible way.
During the wedding, shenanigans happen as Wu Qihao gatecrashes the wedding and tries to beg Su Tan’er for marriage. When she says no, he brings in this random woman and child to try and frame Ning Yi for fathering a child out of wedlock (Wow buddy…I like you already).
Dai Xiangyu as Wu Qihao, the guy that Su Zhongkan (Second Uncle) wants Su Tan’er to marry. The most punchable face ever…
Luckily, Ning Yi is crafty and manages to make a fool out of Wu Qiming and the wedding goes as planned.
The next day, Ning Yi pays his respect to Su Xian (Grandfather) and Su Boqian (Father). The former reminds him of his duty to the household which is basically not to do anything that will dishonour them etc. The latter straight-up refuses to see him.
Su Tan’er prays hard for her store opening to be successful.
That evening as Ning Yi and Su Tan’er retired to their separate rooms for the night, it started raining heavily and servants burst in to inform her that the storage room of her store was flooding and all the cloths were being soaked. Su Tan’er and her staff desperately try to save her stock before tomorrow’s grand opening.
The worst thing that can happen before a grand opening…when your stock becomes unsellable.
It’s depressing to be Su Tan’er right now, desperately trying to save it.
Despite all efforts, every single cloth was ruined and now Su Tan’er has nothing to sell.
Wow…it’s as if you were aiming for this all along *rolls eyes*
She struggles to make the decision to announce to all the waiting customers that the store cannot open when Ning Yi comes and uses his business expertise to make the required profit for the day in the form of some kind of IOU scheme.
He invited the customers to participate in some spin-the-wheel activity by throwing sewing scissors at the spinning wheel. On each part of the wheel were different discounts that the customers have to hit.
If the scissors landed on a discount, you were guaranteed cloud gauze (the cloth the shop was supposed to sell) at a lowered price the next time the customer enters the shop. Customers were also encouraged to invite their friends to participate to gain more discounts.
I never studied business so I’m not sure of any explicit examples I can give for the modern world but I’m sure it is being used extensively, I just never noticed.
It turns out that Su Zhongkan was the one who sabotaged the roof of the storage room through Su Tan’er’s closest aid, Sun Erhu.
He was actually a spy for him. Instead of firing the guy, Ning Yi suggests keeping him so they can watch Su Zhongkan’s actions through him.
The episode ends rather funnily where Ning Yi goes to a brothel because he was so bored being trapped at home and gets caught by Su Wenxing’s spies who spread the message to the entire Su family.
Note that he wasn’t there for that kind of fun, he was there because he wanted to know more about the world he was thrown into since being transmigrated.
As punishment, he was sent to school to study ‘male virtuousness’ lol.
A fair warning to those who are in touch with their modern sensibilities, the amount of misogyny in these few episodes is astonishing.
Everyone wants a piece of undermining Su Tan’er and this is only just her family.
It is a little odd that EVERYONE doesn’t like the fact that a woman is running a store.
Of course, there are those who abide by this norm but I am sure that there are few exceptions.
It is even more puzzling that this is a merchant family. As part of the nouveau riche, families like the Su family would have had to contend with old nobility who look down on them just because they are technically “new money”.
Wouldn’t it be advantageous to advertise a daughter who is good at using money? Running a store is just as complex if not more so than running a household.
However, perhaps to appease the old nobility, nouveau riche families would have to act like them so there is also the possibility that a new money family would discourage a woman from owning a business for the purpose of better marriage prospects in the old nobility.
Regardless of the context, I do understand what the show is going for with the misogyny.
Generally, a woman is not supposed to do men’s work and must be prepared for marriage. We have a woman who wants to be different and her family is vehemently opposing it.
The Su family is very unlikeable from the very beginning (with the exception of Yao Ping’er (mother) and Su Xian who I am generally alright with at this point in time) and our male lead represents our feelings about the entire situation.
He literally spoke my mind in Episode 2 when Su Zhongkan and Su Wenxing were putting Su Tan’er down in front of everyone.
The male lead, Ning Yi/Jiang Haochen, for his part is very normal, at least for a businessman corporate kind of guy. He is likeable and while I wouldn’t say ‘relatable’, he isn’t someone who would cause my ‘Wait, this isn’t right’ senses to tingle.
As for Su Tan’er, she has an almost ‘resigning’ kind of vibe. She has to marry but she knows Ning Yi (or at least Ning Yi before Jiang Haochen entered his body) so it is not so bad. She is surprised by his changes in personality but does think so much of it, as long as he doesn’t cause any more trouble.
Ning Yi’s personality as well as Su Tan’er is not very clear from the get-go. Their relationship is also very contractual and business-like.
I have to watch more to see where their characterizations will end up. This is a good thing for me because this show’s success will highly depend on character development and not on story arcs.
I would expect the show to have a lead-up to a final story that is the epitome of everyone’s characterizations that will leave us feeling complete and satisfied.
The show is funny and I would like to see how the humour will evolve over the episodes. In addition to that, I am wondering how the characters will develop.
So therefore, I am continuing the show despite the blatant misogyny that will most definitely put a lot of people off.
I think when confronting these kinds of issues in a historical context, it is important to reflect on perspectives.
You can take a long time to come to a conclusion but in the end, it is just another window into a society that used to exist in human history.
I like that this show is showcasing that perspective and despite frying our modern minds, you have to admit, we love to see a modern person blast someone for having an outdated (at least in our eyes) view on gender roles haha!