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For some reason, I thought I had written a first impression on the blog about this show but I was wrong! I’d only written a reaction post and uh, oops. Now we’re jumping to a mid-season thoughts because yes, after almost a year, I’ve (kind of almost) made it to the halfway point. I will be at the halfway point once I watch the next two episodes…lol
I did mention in my reaction post that there was some missed potential here, that this could have been a nice gay couple (bi-couple?) situation, and I still think so! But I’m also really happy with how it’s been developing so far.
It’s been a while so as a recap…
Two Fathers is a series following two guys who slept with the same woman. On the day she gives birth, she has the clinic call them both, however, instead of seeing them, she sends the doctor to give them a note. In the note she confesses that she doesn’t know who the father of her child is, that she doesn’t want to give up on her dreams, and that they can keep the child. Signed, Wen Wen, don’t look for me
Instead of fighting over the child (though they do end up doing a paternity test at some point), they both decide to raise her together. It also helps that they were actually roommates back when they were in their college days. They name the baby Wen Di and start cohabiting, making a list of rules to keep their household in order. One of those rules, the most important one, is to not fall for the same woman again
From there, their journey as first time fathers begins!
The first episode is such a fun watch. It starts off with the plot I just described and then we see a montage of clips where (white top) Wen Zhen Hua and (grey top) Tang Xiang Xi are raising Wen Di. They start off not really knowing what to do and wanting the other to do the messier parts of parenthood, which eventually leads to the moment in the Netflix trailer – the part where Xiang Xi is running late to Wen Di’s event at school.
I absolutely LOVE the dynamic between Wen Zhen Hua and Tang Xiang Xi (and no, it’s not just my fujo heart speaking!), and I love how you can see that they really brought up Wen Di well, considering their sudden circumstances.
They are both characters that are stereotypes but also so much more. Zhen Hua is your typical neat freak character who makes sure his house is always clean and probably wouldn’t trust you to clean the dishes if you came over. Out of the two, he’s the stricter dad, the one that puts down house rules like making sure Wen Di gets to bed on time and hands out punishments when necessary. Or, you know, says no to snacks when going shopping
He makes sure to make healthy meals, all three of them, so that his family doesn’t have to worry about health issues, and well, he does everything. I would love having a househusband like him! But of course, Zhen Hua has to take it up a notch because he also owns a flower business
Where does he find the time?!
Meanwhile, Xiang Xi is the complete opposite, which is funny because he’s a lawyer (co-owns a firm) and I’ve always had that “uptight” image for people of the law. But Xiang Xi? Nope. He is goofier, connecting with Wen Di on a more friends level. He’s also not entirely onboard the “no snack” rules that Zhen Hua attempts to enforce, often sneaking in chocolates and other snacks into their groceries…and their home. He’s a character with no patience, as we can see when he ends up helping with the laundry, and he can’t tie his tie, which always ends up with some hilarious moments…especially in public. In some ways, you can’t help but think what would he ever do without Zhen Hua!
But even though they are so different, they’ve really cultivated a family and home environment that values communication and respect. We will sometimes see them having more intimate moments, where they talk about their problems and their troubling past, and it’s just so beautiful to see!
There are also so many fun and wholesome moments in the dining area, which is when we often see them (the three of them) having everyday conversations
If Wen Di ever has a question about certain words or phrases that are being used (fun moments), about her own insecurities and problems at school (and with her friends), this is where those talks usually happen. Again, I find it so awesome and wholesome. But time at this table isn’t always happy. There have been tense moments and sad moments
Also, I LOVE to see what Zhen Hua cooks up. Please cook for me!
But our little family isn’t the only selling point of this series
We do have many moments in the series where we follow Wen Di and her adventures at school, which usually include Ceng Zheng Xiong (boy in blue shirt) and Xu Yu Wei (girl with pigtails). I think there have been some really nice moments with them but personally, I am not as invested in them, especially with the heavy “relationship” dialogue that is often pushed on Wen Di and Zheng Xiong. Though, NGL, it brings about some amazing reactions from Xiang Xi. No, he is not above fighting a child
But if you ignore that, I think the relationship between these three is really sweet. I really think they have the making of a legendary trio
A few others I can’t help but love are the Fang family. One of the main love interests is Fang Jing Zhu, who is Wen Di’s new teacher. She’s a character that is very passionate about teaching and always wants to try her best. She also is very prone to causing car accidents. Nothing, it seems, very serious, but it’s enough that her family confiscates her car. Lucky for her, her dad owns a vehicle repair shop but unlucky for his stress levels, he’s often having to give out free repairs
The Fang family is very interesting. I have a bit of a love-dislike relationship with Mr. Fang because he’s clearly of the past century mentality type of guy. His goal currently is to marry off Jing Zhu, who he believes, is losing any type of charm with the passage of time. He also thinks she’s not very good looking and her personality is too headstrong. Who could possibly ever like his daughter? I wonder who she got all that from. But he’s also very sweet sometimes and even with all his talk, his family very much loves him
When he meets Wen Di, he completely falls in love and pretty much adopts her, often inviting her and her family over for dinners.
He really brings a lot of the comedy to this show
Also!! The sibling relationship between Fei Zhu and Jing Zhu is amazing!! I love how they’re always bickering and making fun of each other, but then will have serious conversations and help each other when they need it. I love how much I see my family reflected in the Fangs and how they interact. We might be adults, but we’ll always act like kids and goofballs, especially around each other
They mainly play a supportive role in the series but down the line, they do start to have more of a main side role, but I’ll leave that to another post
The last piece of the puzzle is Wu Yong Jie. Yong Jie is a very mysterious character and not many people really know her or even want to know her. She’s often called an alien, which, being such a nice guy, Zhen Hua objects to. Sadly, it’s the people around him, his employee and Xiang Xi, who often make the “alien voice” or call her an alien. Is she an alien? Not the type that people think of, but there is something almost otherworldly about her. She can see auras and never really speaks in a way that people can understand. In a way, she saves her words and actions for those who are important to her
Wen Di, like everyone else in this series, is one of these important people. Yong Jie is an artist and, much to the detriment of Zhen Hua’s clean freak little heart, becomes Wen Di’s art teacher. In some ways, Yong Jie doesn’t function entirely alone. I think we get to know her best when she’s a unit with Zhen Hua, who will often go clean her house, makes her food, teaches her what is socially acceptable, and translates much of what she says
Like the Fangs, her role in the first part of the series is very limited. If I hadn’t seen her in the opening credits to the series, I would not have thought she was a main character and a potential love interest. Especially considering that most of the first half of the series is dedicated to the relationship between Xiang Xi and Jing Zhu
Am I enjoying this series? Yes, even though my consumption of it might make you think otherwise. I really love how this series is so many things. It’s mainly a story about a girl and her two fathers, but it’s also a story about her growing up, of her bringing together people that might not normally be chum-chum, and about parenting. It’s also a romance series and wow, is it slowburn. I love how organically it’s all coming together. There is no love at first sight or even a point where you can say, and that was when they knew. The characters all get to know each other before any of that even comes into play, which is so important! I love a good foundation
There’s a lot of fun banter, especially of the insulting variety, which is what my family grew up on. I wouldn’t exactly call Xiang Xi and Jing Zhu’s relationship enemies to friends to lovers, but it’s sort of like it. When the two met they really stepped on each others’ toes and even as friends, they like to push each others’ buttons. With each episode we also learn a lot more about the characters and even see them in situations I didn’t think I would when I first started, which is very nice
Also, because the story is set in the classroom sometimes (and Jing Zhu is a teacher), we often get some moments where we are forced to think critically about family dynamics. I felt those and I’m sure anyone who loves found family will too