In Later Years – Hao Lei, Wang Ou, Tang Yixin
In Later Years is a family drama directed by Liu Xin, led by Hao Lei, Wang Ou, and Tang Yixin, with a special appearance by Song Dandan and Liu Yijun, co-starring Zhang Guoqiang, Cao Cuifen, Ma Boquan, and Wang Yanlin.
Based on the novel of the same name by Yi Bei, the drama presents a panoramic view of the internal and external crises faced by the mature family, showing the warmth and sadness of Chinese families.
- Hao LeiZhang ChunmeiMain Role
- Wang OuNi WeizhenMain Role
- Tang YixinLiu HongyanMain Role
- Song DandanWu ErhuSupport Role
- Zhang GuoqiangNi WeiminSupport Role
- Liu YijunNi WeiqiangSupport Role
- Ma BoquanSupport Role
- Cao CuifenGrandma NiSupport Role
- Wang YanlinSupport Role
The life of middle-aged woman Zhang Chunmei may seem perfect to outsiders.
Her son has been admitted to a prestigious university with excellent grades.
Her husband is a professor and a doctoral supervisor, successful in his career.
She herself is deputy editor-in-chief at a magazine and is likely to be promoted.
She has a house, a car, and savings. However, in reality, only Chunmei knows the bitterness she experiences.
Middle age arrives unexpectedly, bringing along a crisis. Her husband, Weiqiang, goes missing.
Chunmei examines various clues and concludes that Weiqiang is having an affair. However, when Weiqiang finally seems to have a change of heart and returns home, he asks Chunmei for a divorce.
Of course, this is not the only crisis of middle age. When numerous difficulties come crashing down on Chunmei, she begins to contemplate how to cope with the pressures of work and family in the face of life’s challenges and how to face aging with equanimity.
Zhang Chunmei had an unusually busy day. In the morning, she went to the TV station to participate in her sister-in-law Ni Weizhen’s program. Then, she had to urgently prepare for her mother-in-law’s birthday banquet and coordinate the gathering of the entire Ni family. Zhang Chunmei, who was in her middle age, seemed to have a perfect life in the eyes of others: her son had just entered the best university in the city, her husband was a professor and successful in his career, and she herself was the deputy editor of a magazine, owning a house, a car, and savings. Her colleagues often said she had achieved a life like “Sister Mei” and had no regrets. In addition, she was the backbone of the Ni family, taking care of everything big and small, and she thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of being the head of the family.
Unexpectedly, something happened during Ni Grandma’s birthday banquet. Zhang Chunmei’s husband and the youngest son of the Ni family, Ni Weiqiang, were absent for no reason, and their phones were unreachable. Moreover, during the banquet, Zhang Chunmei received a call from the dean of Weiqiang’s school, saying that he suddenly requested a leave of absence without stating the reason. This incident, which involved her loved ones, occurred without her knowledge, giving her a bad premonition. To save face, Zhang Chunmei could only say that Weiqiang had an urgent task at school and asked everyone to start eating. She had no appetite during the meal, and everyone else was uninterested. Zhang Chunmei had a sleepless night. She strongly suspected that Weiqiang’s disappearance was related to Zhou Qin. Over the years, she had investigated and followed them countless times, suspecting that they had a secret affair. However, even though she believed she had concrete evidence in her hands, Zhang Chunmei had never confronted them.
Chunmei was shocked, saddened, and helpless. She had a big argument with Weiqiang. Just then, a phone call forced them to cease hostilities. It turned out that Grandma Ni had taken the wrong medication and was admitted to the hospital, which added fuel to the fire for both Zhang Chunmei and Ni Weiqiang. Previously, in her search for Weiqiang, Chunmei had entrusted her mother-in-law to her sister-in-law Weizhen for care. However, Weizhen, being a television producer, was always busy and had no time to spare. With a mere momentary lapse, she failed to control Grandma’s medication intake. On the way to the hospital, Chunmei and Weiqiang blamed each other, but they agreed to keep their impending divorce a secret.
Director Li informed Chunmei that Grandma’s medication mistake was not a coincidence but possibly a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. This news created a tense atmosphere within the three households. Chunmei wanted to temporarily postpone the divorce and take care of her mother, but Weiqiang insisted on divorcing and said that Chunmei didn’t need to worry about his mother. In addition to Weiqiang and Chunmei, Chunmei’s sister-in-law Wu Erhu warned her husband, the eldest brother of the Ni family, Ni Weimin, not to try to take on everything. Taking care of their mother’s eldercare issue should not be their responsibility because their house was the smallest and their financial situation was the worst. Ni Weimin brushed it off, but he had other ideas in mind.
With her mother suddenly falling ill, Weizhen, filled with worries and self-blame, encountered yet another problem. Her work was already going badly. The program she was in charge of was once the flagship of the station, but it had become outdated and clearly underperformed in the market compared to younger teams.
Hongyan’s fake pregnancy was discovered by Erhu, who became furious. Erhu had already disagreed with the relationship between Hongyan and her son, Jun, and now she was even more offended. To appease Erhu, Jun promised to have a child with Hongyan as soon as possible.
Hongyan blamed Jun for not telling the truth from the beginning and now found herself in a difficult situation. She was also angry that her mother-in-law still treated her as an “outsider” who was only after their family’s house and household registration.
At that moment, a call came from her hometown saying that her stepfather had fallen and the hospital had issued a critical condition notice. Hongyan rushed back to her hometown, only to face a legal battle. Her stepfather had passed away, and the distribution of inheritance was still undecided. Several stepbrothers from her stepfather’s family had their eyes on the house he left behind, subtly hinting that they wanted Hongyan’s mother to sell the house and move out. Hongyan had a heated argument with her stepbrothers, deeply worried about her mother’s elderly care.
On Chunmei’s side, she didn’t take Weiqiang’s divorce suggestion seriously. She believed that something must have gone wrong with him for him to suddenly go crazy in his middle age. Because of this, she managed to find Zhou Qin, the suspected third party in Weiqiang’s affair, and wanted to join forces with her to “save” Weiqiang.
Weizhen was still feeling down about the imminent cancellation of her program. She happened to meet He Zhichao at a café, who revealed himself as a loyal fan of “The Thinker.” This brought some comfort to Weizhen, realizing that her program had still impacted some people. As a result, Weizhen developed a favorable impression of He Zhichao.
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