I have to say that this is one of the more well-executed episodes so far in the series. I love the natural acting, the MIDI-style soundtrack and the way the narrative unfolds reminds me of old video games, which goes really well with the main theme of this week: real-life video game quests!
The story revolves around Ronny’s epic quest to recover Asher’s assignment after accidentally loading a virus onto her bulky vintage computer, along with Asher’s own quest to persuade unimpressed student admin officer Karen Ford to grant her an assignment extension. Ronny spends a whole night working his way around the attacked computer, but all he gets in return from the computer is a repeat of, ” You have been impregnated by the Sperm virus. Hahahahahaha.” With the deadline fast approaching, Asher has to go to the administration office to ask for an extension, however, the officer insists that “computer problems are not a valid excuse for special consideration”.
“Okay, so what would be a valid excuse? ” asks Asher.
“Medical issue. Death in the family. Military service. Jury duty. Relationship breakdown…” says Karen.
That’s when Asher has the idea of faking a romantic relationship with her close friend Ronny. However, she needs photographic proof of dating and the breakup. But how can she do that when Ronny is away asking Trojan Wang for help with the Sperm virus?
One thing leads to another, and at one time, Ronny opens the door to see Asher exchange an “open-lipped kiss on the mouth” with another Asian student Joderick. It finishes off with hints about Ronny and Asher’s relationship in the following episodes.
Rushed character development is one of the biggest problems with Ronny Chieng: International Student, as with many other sitcom shows. Because each episode explores a certain theme, it takes away from the series’ character growth or build up because, out of nowhere, Ronny falls in love with Asher. Their “romance” therefore isn’t fully developed, considering Asher appeared in less than ten minutes total across all three episodes.
If you have watched the TV series Friends, you can see that the producers plant little details and incidents that hint at Ross and Rachel’s relationship throughout Season 1 until they officially started dating. In Ronny Chieng: International Student, however, I feel that Ronny only falls in love with Asher because the screenwriters want him to.
Nevertheless, I truly enjoyed this episode and can’t wait to see if Ronny can take their relationship to the next level in the following ones!
Ronny Chieng: International Student, airs on ABC every Wednesday night, 9.00pm. Episodes are available on ABC iView immediately after broadcast.