I am kind of liking the shift in Asian dramas nowadays depicting women in roles that are not relegated to the typical damsel in distress. One example is the Taiwan hit The Fierce Wife starring Sonia Sui in the title role as Xie An Zhen, a simple housewife whose life revolves around her husband Rui Fan (Wen Sheng Hao) and her daughter Meng Meng.
An Zhen’s life is considered quite ideal until the arrival of her cousin from the US, Lai Wei En (Amanda Zhu). With Wei En having no place to go, An Zhen not only agrees to take in her cousin but also helps her land a job in her husband’s company. Unbeknownst to her, despite her kindness, her cousin plots to seduce her husband and steal him away from her, and she succeeds. The 23- episode drama follows An Zhen’s evolution from victim to an empowered woman and how she manages to rise from the ruins of her marriage to find her own self worth.
The drama starts off a bit rough, the storytelling a bit slow paced. However, as the episodes progress and as Wei An’s true motives are revealed, one gets hooked to the drama and begins to root for An Zhen, the kind and naive wife, who is being cheated on under her very own home. One can’t help but begin to hate Wei En, who I believe is an effective antagonist who only needs to make a face and throw a bratty snit to get the viewer’s blood pressure boiling. She is such an effective antagonist to the point that even during the time the production tries to establish the justification for her dysfunction, viewers find it hard to connect with her character or feel sympathy for her. I was also not a big fan of Rui Fan, who, instead of trying to work out his dissatisfaction with his marriage, ran into the arms of the treacherous Wei En at the first opportunity. When the repercussions of his adultery caught up with him, I wanted to dance around and celebrate for the shabby manner in which he treated his wife, who did everything to make him feel like a king.
I liked the characters of Kang De and Zhuang Zhuang, An Zhen’s siblings in law, who provided the support she needed when her world was falling apart and also provided vital comic relief to balance out the dramatic tone of the series. I especially liked the character of Chris Wang as Lan Tien Wei, the young entrepreneur who falls in love with An Zhen and helps her develop into the butterfly she was supposed to be all along. He was very cute especially in the scenes where he tries to challenge her to do better and prove to her husband that he made the wrong choice in dumping her in the first place.
I personally am not a big fan of dramas that feature married couples. I prefer the lighter romantic comedies with only a hint of drama in them. But The Fierce Wife got me hooked to it because of the story echoed the realities in many women’s lives. It inspires women to find their inner strength and shows them that with courage and confidence, they can go beyond the stereotypes and reach boundaries beyond their expectations.
And the ending, while it is not straightforward also offers a lot of possibilities for those who deserve it. A very good drama, this one. I highly recommend it. My mom finished it in three days and she could vouch for it as well.