歡樂頌 Ode to Joy [UPDATED]

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I was seriously anticipating this drama because a lot of cast is from The Disguiser and Nirvana in Fire *cough* Wang Kai. It’s a metropolitan drama with five women living in the same apartment complex in Shanghai. I really enjoy watching the stories of these women. They’re all really different from each other but get along well. I like how although there is romance in it, the focus is on their friendships and their own troubles with themselves.

First off, An Di (Liu Tao) from apartment 2201 is totally boss. She’s one of the coolest characters I’ve seen in a drama. She is a genius who graduated some an ivy league and goes back to China to help the company of a friend. I think she’s a good role model to any women. She doesn’t have friends and has some psychological troubles but the way she handles business and people is absolutely boss. It’s nice to see her slowly become great sisters with the other girls living on the same apartment floor. Although she is pretty cut throat, she is super nice to the girls and gives them rides to work and helps them with their business problems. At work, she’s the real deal and can to some impressive multitasking. Paired with her cool cars, she is the epitome of a business woman. You can tell from the start, she has a few internal issues, how she doesn’t trust people or get close to them. She avoids any physical contact with anyone and buries herself in her workload until she meets the girls living on the same floor.

Qu Xiao Xiao (Wang Zi Wen) from apartment 2203 comes off as really bratty and snobby at first but she slowly grows on to you. She isn’t so much academically smart like An Di but really smart and clever when handling people. Her family is really rich and they ride around in a Rolls Royce, but she uses her money and connections to ultimately help others. She’s a little sneaky sometimes but usually for good reasons and you realize that she is really quite funny. She has a batch of rich friends on the side that are really good at investigating people. Xiao Xiao uses them to investigate the other girls’ boyfriends to check on their backgrounds and their secrets. At first most people probably hate her but she’s actually really nice, especially when she helps An Di put down the rumors. Her extensive connections allows her to pinpoint the bitch who passed rumors about An Di being a mistress. She isn’t directly confrontational but uses other people’s weaknesses to expose them. Xiao Xiao would do great in politics.

Fang Sheng Mei (Jiang Xin) is plays the big sister of apartment 2202 (I feel like I might have the room numbers wrong but whatever). I didn’t pay much attention to Jiang Xin in Hua Qian Gu but man this girl is gorgeous. Sheng Mei is a really beautiful woman looking for a good wealthy guy. She’s materialistic in a sense that she looks for guys with good cars and tries to look like a rich girl but I think she’s an incredible friend and sister to the other girls. Being one of the older ones, she’s really mature and knows what she’s doing. She’s the woman that knows exactly how to handle men and what they want. However despite the fact that she’s looking for a man, she’s really strong on her own and like An Di and Xiao Xiao, is good at handling people. My favorite part was when she and her suite mates storm the apartment of Qiu Ying Ying’s ex-boyfriend. They were just there to gather belongings but Sheng Mei takes another step and wrecks the room in a very boss way.

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Qiu Ying Ying (Yang Zi) is my least favorite out of all the girls I would say. She’s very naive and immature in some ways. I think her honestly and straightforwardness is definitely a good thing but not used in the best ways. She’s sort of dumb, for the lack of a better word. She gets offended easily but stays very strong. I wish she was less annoying and just shut up sometimes. Ying Ying talks too much and isn’t very productive or helpful.

Guan Guan (Qiao Xin) is the typical good girl who is used as a lackey at her internship. She is piled up with loads of work and has to work overtime a lot. Because her background is pretty average, she has to work harder to compete with the other interns in the company. She is incredibly kind and works very very hard but not in the smartest ways. She represents the mistakes a lot of people are taught to be like, the perfect student. She is not assertive enough and gets taken advantage of by others. However unlike Ying Ying, she thinks before she acts and is helpful.

You’ve probably notice my lack of mentioning any men yet. The romance in this drama is pretty slow and the focus is on developing the main women first. I’m really looking forward to seeing more Wang Kai.

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After spending time together as friends, An Di finally decides to date the man she met on the internet, Wei Wei. I think they fit each other way too well. Both super smart and Wei Wei understands her well and doesn’t mind taking his time to get to know her. An Di has doubts about herself but becoming sisters with the girls on the same floor has sort of warmed her up and given her more social confidence.

Gosh Xiao Xiao is so funny when she’s pursuing Dr. Zhao (Wang Kai, I forgot the character’s name cause everyone calls him Dr. Zhao). You’d normally think that her methods would never work in real life, but I was beginning to think what if it really worked? Dr. Zhao was uninterested at first but I thought it was really cute when he finally gave in to his feelings…at a club haha. Xiao Xiao is immature at times but she’s so clever and funny no one can stop her. Even though she can just live off of her family’s money and never work, she still chooses to work hard to get her new business going. Her power of networks helps her get information easily.

When An Di was getting bashed on the internet by some random girl, Xiao Xiao had her gang investigate and find out who it was. She may be immature but she definitely knows how to handle stuff. The culprit happens to be an old acquaintance of her’s and so she knows where the weaknesses are and plots in a way where no one ends up seriously hurt and the problem is solved. A true player of politics haha.

Sheng Mei is one of those frustrating characters that make bad choices because of pride. Because she takes her image so seriously, she has a difficult time accepting the men that she likes because their status isn’t very high. By chance, her old college classmate contacts her since he is moving to Shanghai. After seeing him for so long, she is impressed, thinking that he is a big boss now and drives a BMW. Xiao Xiao being Xiao Xiao has his car investigated by her gang of friends and she finds out that it’s not really his car and a car he borrowed from his company. She also discovers that he isn’t in the best financial state, but still pretty okay. Although Sheng Mei truly likes him, she sort of gives up hope on their blossoming relationship.

An Di finally finds her brother who was thrown into a nursing home because his foster families couldn’t deal with his psychological sickness. It seems like autism to me but I think it’s supposed to schizophrenia because apparently their mother had it too but you don’t find out until later. What was nice about this whole ideal was that Wei Wei was by her side the entire time. He’s a real gentleman and extremely mature. An Di had a mental breakdown after seeing her brother in years but Wei Zhong managed to calm her down and clear her mind. Ying Ying and Guan Guan don’t have much going on. They to continue to work hard in both work and supporting the rest of the girls. Ying Ying hates Xiao Xiao’s guts but acknowledges her.

I know I haven’t updated in a really long time! I’ve been so busy with my internship in Hong Kong but I will try to post more. As always, thanks for reading!!

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