Sunday, August 11, 2013

Current favorite onscreen couple: The Crown Prince and Miss Big Teakettle in Legend of Mermaid

This post may be a little premature because I did not watch much of the earlier episodes of Legend of Mermaid but jumped to the TV episode 17 on my first view. After watching some pivotal episodes dedicated to the relationship of two secondary characters, I cannot contain my new excitement and fondness for them and need an outlet to release all the steam building up inside me. I am now completely enthralled by the comedic dynamic between the secondary couple portrayed by Ding Zijun 丁子峻 and Cao Xinyue 曹馨月. I love them a lot because it has been awhile since an onscreen couple could make me laugh till my stomach started to hurt.

Ever since The Patriot of Yue Fei, I grew quite fond of the Ding Zijun, who played the pathetic, cowardly, detestable and conflicting Song emperor, Zhao Gou. In Legend of Mermaid, Ding Zijun once again rewears the royal garbs and portrays the humorous and ever-so-sauve-wannabe crown prince of the Song Dynasy, Zhao Duan. The crown prince in this series isn't your typical royal prince who plots and spends most of his time around palace setting. He loves to wander outside world and seek justice for the wronged. (P.S. he's a big fan of his contemporary, Justice Bao <----dark skinned man with a half moon on his forehead).  Hence, he goes under the pseudonym, Zhan Feng, when he does his detective work as a high-ranking imperial guard. Zhao Duan is not your typical prince charming either because he loves to use his charms to woo beautiful women. In fact, he is quite the player! Well...in the comical sense. LOL.
Crown Prince Zhao Duan
At the other end of the spectrum is Zhao Duan's antithesis, Tang Xin or better known as Big Teakettle. This moniker is Zhao Duan's lovely petname for her. He first conceived it after Tang Xin threatened to beat him up if he did not compensate for breaking her teakettle. Instead of monetary compensation, he decided to shut her up and repay her with a teakettle 10 times the size of the original.
The devilishly wicked  Crown Prince in disguise dares our dear Tang Xin to pick up the gigantic teakettle
Tang Xin is definitely not the traditional damsel. She is tomboyish, strong, unrefined, loud, and practical about life. She is a mixed of Cinderella and ugly ducking with the four no's. No money. No house. No parents. No looks. But she definitely possesses the four have's I like in female characters. Have guts. Have spite. Have practicality. Have character. In summary, Tang Xin is an average working class girl who plans to retire as spinster with little prospect for a good marriage. She works extra hard hoping to save some money for retirement. The poor girl feels she is too lacking in breeding and family connections to solicit any descent marriage proposal and is reaching a ripe age that no decent man would want to marry her as a wife.

Though the crown prince and Big Teakettle are your typical bickering couple we often see in TVB romantic comedies, they are still obsessively entertaining to watch. I could not stop laughing at the crown prince's attempted sabotages of Big Teakettle's marriage prospects.

Despite their initial hostile encounters, Tang Xin and Zhao Duan grew quite close over the course of the series. Tang Xin often involuntarily reveals some of her most inner self to Zhao Duan. Seeing how hard she works without making much material improvement to her life, he decides to take matters into his own hand and becomes the fairy godmother to help fulfill Cinderella's dreams. He first gives Tang Xin a lavish makeover and uses his princely power/connections to setup a matchmaking session by introducing to some wealthy men.  Everything goes according to plan except for Zhao Duan's attitude toward Tang Xin start to unexpectedly change...
Zhao Duan is stunned by the results of Tang Xin's makeover. He could not take his eyes off her new look.
The new and improved Big Teakeltte
The usual bold and blunt Tang Xin shies behind Zhao Duan like a timid little bunny before the formidable Dowager Empress and the Emperor.

Tang Xin and Zhao Duan's formidable grandmother, the Dowager Empress
The runaway bride, Tang Xin
P.S. Don't expect this pairing to be similar to Xiaoyan'zi and the Fifth Prince in Huan Zhu Ge Ge.  The Crown Prince Zhao Duan in this story is no romantic who is willing to give up his entitlements and way of life for love. Though Zhao Duan's heart only belongs to Tang Xin, he still continues his flirtatious ways with women and feel entitled to the polygamous privileges that a man of his station brings. Consequently, this clash of ideology between Zhao Duan and Tang Xin, who has a modern woman's mindset, creates much friction to the relationship.

Episode 17 - Tang Xin's Matchmaking Session (Start from ~2:30)


If you find Cao Xinyue to look familiar, she played Liu Shishi's loveable maid in Bu Bu Jing Xin.

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