Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: Meet Me @ 1006 (Ep. 1)

I’m in a bit of a slump with the current dramas I’m watching, so I decided to pick up Meet Me @ 1006 (1006的房客, lit. “the resident in 1006”), a Taiwanese sci-fi/fantasy romance from 2018. It looks quirky and fun and features Greg Hsu as a side character — what’s not to love?


Recap

Defense lawyer Ke Zhen Yu (Lego Lee) faces off against prosecutor Mu Si Ming (Ken Hsieh) in the courtroom during a high-profile case involving Wu Ji Rou (Aggie Hsieh), who has been accused of murdering her judo champion husband, Jiang Cheng Hao. At first, the trial seems to go in Zhen Yu’s favor. He has evidence indicating that a gangster was the likely culprit instead of Ji Rou, but the tide turns when Si Ming receives some last-minute evidence. He accuses Zhen Yu of fabricating evidence to hide Ji Rou’s guilt.

Zhen Yu loses his cool and accuses Si Ming of framing him. He gets dragged out of the courtroom.

A disappointed Wu Han Wen (Tender Huang) tells Zhen Yu that he’s fired — he’ll find a better lawyer for his sister. Zhen Yu cynically responds that he doesn’t need to fire him. He’ll be disbarred anyway for fabricating evidence.

Zhen Yu leaves the courthouse unnoticed while Si Ming holds a press conference accusing Zhen Yu of fabricating evidence in order to win at all costs and vowing that he’ll make sure Zhen Yu faces consequences for his actions.

Zhen Yu notices something fall out of the hand of someone being loaded into an ambulance. He picks it up as the ambulance drives away — it’s an origami pegasus.

Zhen Yu gets kicked out of his law firm by his business partner and moves into a new apartment. At night, he drinks wine by himself and dozes off on his couch. He wakes up to the sound of a woman’s scream, but shakes it off and tries to go back to asleep. Then he hears footsteps in his apartment. Someone goes into the bathroom.

Zhen Yu cautiously investigates and hears the sound of the shower running. He slips on something on the ground as he approaches the shower, then falls through… into an empty, dry tub. He wonders if he’s really that drunk, to have imagined seeing a ghost.

Zhou Da Jun (Greg Hsu!), Zhen Yu’s paralegal, is also jobless so the two of them game at an internet cafe. Da Jun asks if Zhen Yu is okay, noticing his newly gray lock of hair. Zhen Yu forces a smile and acts like everything is fine — he’s living in an apartment owned by his father and the bright side of his fall from grace is that no one is looking for him. He asks if Da Jun has had any luck finding the fake informant, but the man seems to have disappeared.

At night, Zhen Yu drinks alone again and ends up talking to his still-packed moving boxes. He tries to sober up a bit in the bathroom and grabs his razor to shave, but then drops it, alarmed, when he finds himself holding a woman’s razor. He gets even more alarmed when he sees a woman walk by in the mirror’s reflection.

Zhen Yu finds the woman sitting with her back to him at a desk, robotically describing a gruesome death. Zhen Yu thinks she’s a ghost seeking aid. He doesn’t want anything to do with a ghost, but she keeps talking, so he summons his courage and reveals himself, saying that he can’t help her but maybe Mu Si Ming can. She doesn’t immediately respond, so he takes that as her assent and scurries off to bed.

After he’s gone, she brushes her hair behind one ear, revealing that she’s wearing AirPods.

Cheng Jia Le (Nikki Hsieh) is a beat reporter who has been relegated to running errands and busy work during her first week at her new job by a boss who doesn’t know her name. When a coworker needs a partner to accompany him to an interview, Jia Le immediately volunteers even though the coworker is sexist and doesn’t like working with women.

Zhen Yu rolls up to a small noodle shop where the shopkeeper recognizes him as the disgraced lawyer from the news. She tells him that this meal is on the house, but he shouldn’t come back. She doesn’t cater to people who don’t have a conscience. Zhen Yu insists on paying, telling her to keep the change and that he’ll definitely be back.

Jia Le returns to the dojo she grew up at to pack up some things to bring back to Taipei. When the coach at the dojo (Ryan Kuo) asks if she’s okay, noticing that she seems subdued, she lies and says that she’s doing great and her job is going well. She jokes that maybe she’ll come back to visit sometime and teach at the dojo to make some extra money, but he tells her not to. He knows that being a journalist is her dream and says that she should focus on chasing her dream to the best of her ability.

He puts his hands on her shoulders and reminds her that no matter where she goes or what happens, this place will always be her home. She can always fall back on and rely on the people here.

On her way out, Jia Le catches the other members of the dojo gathered around a TV, watching a news segment she filmed at a hot spring. One of the men makes fun of her. She flips him over her shoulder and pins him to the ground until he yields.

Jia Le taunts him for not even being able to beat a girl. How does he expect to win at the Asian Games? But he’s ready with a barb of his own, calling her out for abandoning the dojo when she was the most talented athlete there. Her father was the one who opened the dojo and placed his hopes in her, yet all she did was run off to be some pretty-faced reporter.

Jia Le seems hurt by his words, but wipes away a tear of frustration and retorts that at least she’s trying her best.

At night, Jia Le gets a text from her boss praising her for her good work on the hot springs segment. He still gets her name wrong. Jia Le talks to a photo of her and her father, guessing that he would probably want her to continue judo like everyone else. But she wants to be a journalist so she can have an impact on more people. Is that so wrong? She curls up in bed.

Zhen Yu is about to drink another bottle of wine by himself at night after watching yet another news segment about himself, but decides to go to bed early instead. He doesn’t want to see more ghosts. He lies down on top of his covers and dozes off.

At exactly 10:06 PM, a supernatural light emanates from Zhen Yu’s origami pegasus and the apartment rearranges itself.

Zhen Yu wakes up in the middle of the night to find Jia Le clinging to him, asleep. He gingerly tries to extricate himself from her grasp, but she just clings harder and then starts groping him.

Eventually, Jia Le wakes up and slowly realizes that she’s touching a real man in her bed. They make eye contact, then scream and spring apart, starting to throw things at each other.

Jia Le scurries out of the room, Zhen Yu tries to follow but she holds the door shut. Then she remembers how she accidentally gave him a hand job and his body remembers the same. She starts trying to force her way in to attack him; he holds the door shut while praying to all the gods he can think of.

The clock flips to 10:52 PM. Things start disappearing from the apartment, and then Zhen Yu vanishes.


Commentary

I like this first episode! The characters easily fall into tropey buckets — Zhen Yu the arrogant, overbearing hero and Jia Le the plucky, hardworking heroine. But I don’t mind because it seems quirky and goofy, with the overexaggerated humor of a classic rom-com, and a dash of sci-fi mystery to keep things interesting. Lego Lee has some really exceptional facial expressions, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but is very much the zany Taiwanese style. I don’t love anyone yet, but I don’t hate anyone either.

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