Perhaps crushes are meant to be unfulfilled fantasies. If they ever fructified, it wouldn’t be a crush anymore, and all the halo around the person would just disappear. That would make it ‘love,’ which is much harder to get over. It is a matter of debate whether Ko Chia Hao loved Huang Shao Kuang or if it was simply a crush. We believe the latter because experience has taught us that it makes a person far more dramatic than love does, which is what Chia Hao was. There is a Hindi song that comes to mind called “Ishq Wala Love,” which was mercilessly made fun of when it was released because ‘ishq’ essentially means ‘love’ so it felt like a case of bad writing. But I have always believed that this song was simply misunderstood. In the context of the relationships of the leads of the movie, for whom the song was composed, it specified the distinction between puppy love and actual, irrevocable love that makes it easy for you to commit your entire life to that person. When watching “The Perfect Dodgeball Game,” this is the song I was thinking about, and it would have been nice for Chia Hao to have it on his playlist during the latter half of his journey in At The Moment Episode 5.
How do Chia Hao and Shao Kuang start living together?
For Chia Hao, life is a game of dodgeball. He has always known that he is gay, but since he lives in a homophobic society, he is not out in the open and has to carefully deflect the balls he cannot catch, just like the game. As a child, when he was dared to ask out a girl on a date, he sidestepped the whole thing by citing the schedule and saying that he would ask her for supper instead. When his mother tried to set him up with someone, he cleverly ruined the date by comparing her to his mother and painting himself as a mama’s boy. Such has been his way for most of his life until he starts noticing the new intern in his office, Huang Shao Kuang. The intern is as troublesome as can be, and his special target always seems to be Ko Chia Hao. There is just something about some people that makes them such a delight to annoy, and Ko Chia Hao was that person for Huang Shao Kuang. It could also have been one of the joys of his life, as he was sleeping in the office after breaking up with his girlfriend. Shao Kuang invites himself to Chia Hao’s place for a shower and a night of sleeping on a proper bed. Chia Hao unwillingly thinks of Shao Kuang as a friend, and he wants him to try and get over his ex. Shao Kuang says that the two of them are compatible as friends, and perhaps it is a case of the tolerance that comes with having a budding crush, because otherwise, Shao Kuang is very whiny and annoying.
Chia Hao finds himself fantasizing about kissing Shao Kuang, only to be woken up from his dream with a reminder that Shao Kuang is a straight man. But the undeniable feelings have started, and Chia Hao desperately tries to fight them off by keeping up his cold demeanor. In reality, a third person may think that Shao Kuang liked Chia Hao. The way he constantly irritated him, asked for his attention at all times, and went to him for advice gives the impression that he is a closeted homosexual who has yet to acknowledge his feelings for Chia Hao. Perhaps that is what gave Chia Hao hope.
Are Chia Hao and Shao Kuang dating?
Shao Kuang and the entire office think that Chia Hao is engaged to Hsin Hua, who is the boss’ daughter, and that they are getting married soon. For a second, it looks like Hsin Hua doesn’t like the intern because she suspects the closeness between her fiance and him; however, it is important to remember that Shao Kuag is not most people’s cup of tea. One day, he completely breaks down because his ex-girlfriend and he got into a fight, and Shao Kuang is unable to deal with that. Chia Hao tries to reassure him, and in a moment of weakness, he ends up kissing him. Shao Kuang is shocked, and he leaves the house after pointing out that he is a straight man and Chia Hao is already engaged to someone else.
Chia Hao is upset, and he desperately tries to get over Shao Kuang. He even goes on a different date, but only ends up whining about Shao Kuang and throwing up all over his date. As the man leaves in disgust, Shao Kuang comes over to take care of Chia Hao. He takes him back home and cleans him up. Shao Kuang never hated Chia Hao. He was simply taken aback by the moment and left because it had gotten a little uncomfortable. He may also have felt some sympathy for Chia Hao, who was struggling with being closeted. There is a scene where Chia Hao imagines Shao Kuang throwing a ball at him, which is followed by everyone else doing the same thing, and Chia Hao is able to dodge none of them. That must mean that dodging has always been Chia Hao’s armor, and once he stops doing that and starts living his truth, he is afraid of getting hurt by everyone he knows.
At the end of the At the Moment episode 5, titled “The Perfect Dodgeball Game,” Chia Hao is making plans with Hsin Hao for a wedding, and Shao Kuang decides that he will help his friend. This is not as noble a moment as Shao Kuang may have believed because, while he was encouraging Chia Hao to live his truth and helping him out of an unwanted relationship, in reality, he was forcing Chia Hao to come out without him having agreed to it. Asian entertainment still doesn’t seem to have understood the concept of letting people come out on their own terms. Regardless, Hsin Hao was never getting married to Chia Hao. She is the only person in the office who knows that he is gay, that he was her best friend, and nothing more. Shao Kuang and Chia Hao part on good terms, with their friendship intact. With time, Shao Kuang becomes that straight crush that every gay person seems to have at least once in their lives. Chia Hao has started talking to someone called Jiang Jiang Tuo, and that may probably lead to a relationship.
How would this episode look as a full-fledged movie? It would be interesting to hear the gay community’s perspective on their straight crushes, as we have often heard that it is quite a common occurrence. There can be something more here, and we hope that gets developed.