Perhaps after writing two reviews for Fall in Love With Me this week, I’ve kind of got T-Dramas on the brain, or perhaps I just like to mix things up once in a while, I not really sure which is the case but whatever the reason, I’ve decided to feature the Taiwanese drama, Easy Fortune Happy Life, for this week’s “Friday Night Drama.”
Originally airing on TTV in 2009, Easy Fortune Happy Life is an interesting mix of stories as the story that unfolds in the present slowly sheds light on a story that took place decades before and shows that sometimes fate has a funny way of bringing people together. Years ago, a young country herbalist by the name of Huang Chun Xiang came across a badly wounded hunter in the forest near her home and being the kindhearted soul that she was, she immediately brought him home with her and nursed him back to health. As time passed, the hunter and the herbalist fell in love but once the hunter’s wounds have healed he decides he needs to go back to the world he left behind and promises Chun Xiang that he will return for her someday. Chun Xiang clings to that promise for the rest of her life but the hunter never returns.
Decades later we find that Chung Xiang has moved on with her life, as she is now raising her grandchildren, Xie Fu An (Chen Qiao En) and Xie Pi Dan, but she still clings to the hope that someday her long-lost love will return. Following in her grandmother’s footsteps, Xie Fu An has become a skilled herbalist and it’s during one of her visits to the local hospital that fate steps in and brings her face to face with the very hunter that left her grandmother waiting for all these years. Aged and ailing, this poor man is left to suffer, alone on his death-bed while his family squabbles over who will inherit his fortune, just outside his door. While his family sits back to wait for his death, Xie Fu An steps in and saves the man who broke her grandmother’s heart and as he floats in and out of consciousness, he sees a face he recognizes from his youth, the face of his first love, Chung Xiang.
Thanks to Fu An, the hunter-turned-billionaire recovers and vows to make up for all of the years he’s left Chun Xiang waiting by vowing that Fu An will be the sole inheritor of his fortune. Naturally this does not set well with his grandson, Yan Da Feng (Lan Cheng Long), who has been training to take over his grandfather’s successful pharmaceutical company his entire life. Spoiled, selfish and cruel, Yan Da Feng quickly devises a plan to insure his position as the inheritor of his grandfather’s company by hiring a hit-man to take out Fu An. Not long after, Da Feng’s grandfather announces that the only way either of his grandsons will inherit his company is if one of them marries Fu An and Da Feng has to rush to save the woman he wanted dead only moments before.
The plot from here just gets more and more complicated as we find that Fu An saves the life of Han Dong Jie (Roy Chiu), the hit-man Da Feng had hired to take her out, and as such Dong Jie vows to protect her, declaring that it’s demanded by the code of honor he lives by. Unable to refuse, Fu An and Dong Jie end up spending quite a lot of time together and they develop a genuine friendship which becomes a sort of safe-haven for Fu An her as her life goes from complicated to just plain old messed up. As you can imagine, the complication in Fu An’s life is none other than Da Feng, who was forced to come up with a new plan to inherit his grandfather’s company. As trying as things are for Fu An, they’re a thousand times worse for Da Feng as he soon learns that even the best laid plans have a way of getting the better of you.
Being an older drama, Easy Fortune Happy Life is a bit slow-moving, compared to more recent dramas, but it’s not without its merits. I enjoyed the ties between the story of Chung Xiang’s lost love and Fu An’s finding love and I enjoyed having a strong leading lady to cheer for, as so many Taiwanese dramas are lacking in that area. However, I could never bring myself to get behind Da Feng as he was just too bad to ever be good. Just when I thought he had turned over a new leaf and would become a worthy hero, he does something so stupid and awful that I found it ridiculously difficult to forgive him (as in, I never did). What made liking Da Feng even more difficult was the fact that Dong Jie was practically perfect in every way and I spent pretty much this entire drama wishing some Dramaland miracle would occur and the heroine would ditch the hero and end up with the second lead. Sadly my wishes never came true and I ended up suffering from a sever case of Second Male Lead Syndrome for most of this drama but I survived and can tell you now that Easy Fortune Happy Life is worthy of a weekend marathon… Just try not to flip too many tables in the process.