Netflix’s new Taiwanese anthology tells 10 romantic stories set during the pandemic. Episode 1 is based in 2020, with people beginning to open up after a difficult time of coupling up. There’s a special anticipation for followers of Taiwanese shows with this well-known cast. The first episode is titled Reality Dating Show and follows event manager and model Wei Ting, who finds an opportunity in a reality show. It’s basic puppy love in a world of “fake” reality. The episode begins with Wei Ting giving an audition for a reality dating show called “New Tenants.” It’s prime pandemic time, so everyone’s wearing masks and maintaining social distance. A young man named Chang Yung delivers coffee to the audition room, and the producer can tell there’s a sparkle in his eyes that audiences will love.
What Happens In The Episode?
Despite the producer asking Chang Yung, the coffee guy, to remove his mask and show her his face, he takes his leave. On his way out, he notices that Wei Ting has a broken mask and hands her an extra one he carries in his fanny pack (remember those things?). Wei Ting auditioned for a “dating” show, but she’s already got a boyfriend who lives abroad and can’t be with her during the pandemic. He’s mad at her for choosing to do a dating show and asks her to decide between him and the show. Wei Ting finds his proposition ridiculous, and he ends up breaking her heart for it. She needs this opportunity to make it big, though, even if it means making sacrifices.
“New Tenants” begins with four people, two women and two men, all single and ready to mingle. Chun-To is an interior designer who has his own studio, a businessman if you will. Joe is an accountant, and Yin Yin is a street dancer. Immediately, Wei Ting makes the effort to pair up with Chun-To, who knows what’s up. The whole point of this show is to try and pair up, so they become the first couple. After their first date of a movie and dinner, a new tenant joins the house mix. To Wei Ting’s surprise, it’s the masked guy who still remembers her.
Considering he’s the new guy on the show, he’s already seen one episode, and he knows who is who. He definitely gives off different vibes from the other two men, who seem more mature and a little bit more established. Yin Yin, though, takes a liking for Chang Yung, who is young and handsome.
At night, when the show is done shooting, Wei Ting and Chang Yung end up meeting coincidentally at the convenience store nearby. They’re much easier with each other with the cameras off, and they get along really well. A few days later, Chang Yang becomes popular on the show, with people flocking to his coffee shop. Yin Yin visits too, trying to make an amiable impression. At night, the show celebrates Wei Ting’s 24th birthday, and she thanks her new friends for being there for her. After hours, she visits the convenience store again to sing a song for her now-ex. She expected him to pick up her calls and makeup on her birthday, but she was wrong about that. When she reaches the house, Chang Yung is on his way out because he’s having trouble with his stomach. She goes to the hospital with him, and as he waits for an IV, he sings Wei Ting her own song to make her feel better about the whole situation (this guy’s memory is something).
By day, Yin Yin tries to get closer to Chang Yung, but by night, he spends more time with Wei Ting. During an episode, the cast visits the “hot springs” (a public sauna), and Yin Yin tells Wei Ting that she’s going to confess her feelings. Wei Ting promises to support her, but it’s clear she’s thinking about Chang Yung herself. Finally, at mealtime, in front of everyone, Yin Yin musters up the courage to tell Chang Yung that she likes him. He admits he likes her too, but as a friend. Immediately, there was a massive public backlash against Chang Yung, who rejected innocent Yin Yin.
The producer, on the other hand, has other ideas. She suggests that he play along as the heel and make a scene in the house for everyone to mistreat him for rejecting Yin Yin. Even the cafe is left empty, but the show moves forward. As the show is nearing its end, Chun-To asks Wei Ting to be with him even after the show is over. He brings up British statistics and says that if a man stares at a woman for 8.2 seconds continuously, it’s love at first sight. Making it look all rose-tinted, Chun-To hopes for Wei Ting to be with him for much longer than 8.2 seconds.
Do Wei Ting And Chang Yung End Up Together?
As the show is coming to an end, Chang Yung apologizes to the rest of the cast (on camera) for making a mess of things. He compares his emotional outbreaks to a cup of coffee (maybe this part is a bit lost in translation) and apologizes to Yin Yin for rejecting her. She too apologizes for reacting the way she did to his rejection, saying she was embarrassed, but he was honest and true to himself. Finally, Wei Ting speaks, and she turns to Chun-To, telling him that he’s taught her what love is and how thinking about how sad she’ll be if she doesn’t get to see him again after the show is over is true love. She mentions the convenience store in her speech before asking him to be with her, and he accepts, even though we haven’t for a second seen them at the convenience store together. It turns out it wasn’t just Wei Ting who was playing along for capitalism, but Chun-To as well. Joe, on the other hand, really expected to find true love in the series but only made friends. But he does get a message from what we can assume is an old fling or friend who may turn into something more.
In the end, when everyone has said their goodbyes, Chang Yung asks Wei Ting if she will go out with him. Of course, she says yes. Both of them know that they each did what they had to on the show to make their money, fame, or whatever it was they needed, but they also got to make a real connection with each other, which was the best gift they received from “New Tenants”.