The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Flash Review: Well Intended Love [China]


Remember when LOTTTS of folks loved Where The Lost Ones Go, and I watched the whole thing, and still wondered what the fuss was about?

Er, I think I went and did it again, you guys.

For the record, lots of people love – like, really love – this show. This was recommended to me more than once, and came with descriptors like tropey, fun, but fresh. Now that I’ve watched all 20 episodes of this one, I’m gonna hafta say.. I think I just don’t get it. 😛

Like I said though, lots of people loved this one, so just because I didn’t love it, doesn’t mean that you necessarily won’t either?


To be honest, I did not like this one immediately.

After the episode 1 mark, I found myself feeling rather bemused at the ridiculous and very illogical plot points, the connect-the-dots writing, and the perfunctory acting. It all felt a lot more mindless than I’d been prepared for, really.

But, because everyone seemed to like this one so much, I decided to adjust my lens to something a lot blurrier, and give this one a bit of time to grow on me. Which it kind of did, by around the episode 3 mark.


Specifically, I liked that our male lead Yizhou (Xu Kai Cheng) seems to be nursing real feelings for his contract wife Xia Lin (Wang Shuang), and I rather enjoyed how unabashedly sincere he increasingly becomes, in his husbanding efforts. Sure, I wasn’t really sold on the OTP chemistry, and some of the interactions actually felt awkward to my eyes, but I was willing to look past that because I was tickled enough, by the concept of the earnest contract husband.

In the context of that, all the tropes that Show serves up become fun to watch, as Yizhou basically works to make his wife fall in love with him. The way Yizhou looks at Xia Lin is also often tinged with a spot of smolder, which definitely helped to up the crack factor.

So for a while, this drama became rather fun to watch for me, and I even managed to giggle out loud on a couple of occasions, as Show served up the hyper-proximity and other hijinks.

[SPOILER] For example, the shirtless fresh-from-the-shower scene in episode 3 was amusing to watch, and the shocked expressions on An Ran’s and Chu Yan’s faces (Sun Jia Qi and Ian Yi), when they walked in on what looked like a rawr moment, was priceless. And then things just got funnier afterwards, when Xia Lin accidentally knocks Yizhou’s towel off. Oopsie.

In the same episode, Xia Lin trying to test whether Yizhou is actually gay is super awkward, ack. But, I do like how Yizhou turns it around and says with a touch of smolder in his eye, that he’s very willing to demonstrate via his actions that he’s very interested in women. Ahem. [END SPOILER]


Basically, everything started going south for me after the episode 10 mark. Not only is Something revealed that just made me really angry, every other narrative arc after this point, felt like the writers were throwing everything and the kitchen sink at this story. It just didn’t feel like Show knew where it was going. Or, maybe it knew where it ultimately wanted to go, but wasn’t opposed to randomly bouncing off the walls until it was time to arrive at its destination.

Here’s a look at The Thing, and then an overview of the other things, that just didn’t work for me.


The Thing

In episode 10, just when our OTP is getting along, Xia Lin finds out that she never had Leukemia, and that this was all a ruse set up by Yizhou so that she’d seek him out and agree to a contract marriage. Um. WHUT. That is ridiculous, and I simply cannot excuse the fact that Yizhou basically commits fraud faking hospital records, so that he can put the woman he claims to love, through extreme emotional and mental trauma, thinking she’s terminally ill, SO THAT she will seek him out as her (fake) donor, SO THAT he can get her to agree to a contract marriage with him.

I mean. In what world is this ok?!? Grargh. This made me so flippin’ mad, I tell ya. Whatever happened to liking someone and treating them nicely?

To Show’s credit, Xia Lin does take him to task for it, and even moves out of the marital home because she’s so angry with him, but she forgives him and takes him back quite quickly, which didn’t sit so well with me.

The Other Things

1. What Show presents as romantic

The deeper I got into Show’s episodes, the more it became clear that Show’s idea of romance leans on the.. er, controlling and domineering side.

Yizhou has a habit of telling Xia Lin exactly what she’s allowed and not allowed to do, and he also has a habit of manhandling her, sometimes to the extent that she looks like an object being carried around. Additionally, later in the Show, when our couple is in a relationship proper (ie, no longer married by contract), Yizhou regularly asks for sex in return for favors, which didn’t sit well with me either.

All of this leads me to conclude that if you’re the kind of viewer that hates it when a man is overprotective and won’t let you be truly independent, then you’d likely find a lot of Yizhou’s so-called sweet and romantic actions suffocating and stifling instead.

For example, in episode 11’s epilogue, we see that when Xia Lin moves out of Yizhou’s house and goes house-hunting, Yizhou’s still secretly keeping tabs on the situation, and when it looks like Xia Lin will move back into her old apartment, he orders his assistant to just buy the apartment from the landlord. To some people, that’s going to look sweet because he’s trying to be protective. To others, that’s going to look controlling, because he won’t even let her rent an apartment on her own without getting involved.

Another example that didn’t land well for me, is in episode 14, when Yizhou chases down the bus that Xia Lin is in. The way he plucks her off the bus despite her protests, then puts her in the car, then kisses her before getting in the car himself, might be Show’s idea of romance, but it was pretty cringey from my perspective. There’s just something very “He-man knows better” about it which I might’ve been taken with in the past, but just doesn’t work for me now.

2. Everything and the kitchen sink

Basically, there’re a lot of narrative arcs that I didn’t care for very much, but which Show insisted on serving up, sometimes on an extended basis. For the record, in Show’s second half there’s:

  • Amnesia
  • Hypnosis
  • Fakeout death of a key character
  • Scheming unrepentant second lead who turns evil for unrequited love
  • Paternal angst
  • Maternal angst
  • Step-sibling angst
  • Kidnapping. Lots of kidnapping
  • Very misplaced revenge scheming

The deeper I got into Show’s episodes, the more my eyes glazed over at these narrative arcs that Show insisted on serving up. I just couldn’t get into it.



You would probably be wondering by now why I didn’t drop this show, since it wasn’t working for me on so many levels.

Basically, it was two things.

One, there’s a burgeoning loveline between Yizhou’s assistant Wen Li (Huang Qian Shuo) and Xia Lin’s bestie Jia Fei (Liu Jia Xi), and I thought they would make a cute couple. I also thought there was lots of potential for hijinks, with Jia Fei operating under the mistaken assumption that Wen Li’s gay and is holding a torch for Yizhou.

Two, I was kinda curious as to how Show would end, what with all the various complications that it had introduced.

Was I rewarded for my patience? Well, maybe a little?

[MINOR-ISH SPOILER] Wen Li does eventually make his feelings known to Jia Fei, and I thought it was rather sweet that such an introverted man, who’d never thought he would love someone, would be able to express his feelings to the woman he loves.

On the other hand, the kidnapping arc which occupies most of Show’s final few episodes, is just mindnumbingly bad. It feels like Show is just bloating up the screen time with Xia Lin’s repeated attempts to escape, and I didn’t even understand the code that Xia Lin sends in the drawing in the end, that tells Yizhou where she is. [END SPOILER]

At least it got me to the ending – which I’ll talk about now.


Dude. This counts as one of the most underwhelming finales I’ve ever watched, seriously.

Let me back up a bit.

Episode 19 was when I hit a wall with this show, and couldn’t carry on without heavy use of the Fast Forward button, because it felt excruciating to watch otherwise.

So in episode 19, Mom turns out to actually be a Heartless Person, who never actually cared that much for Yizhou to begin with. Which makes no sense, since she’d started seeking out Yizhou long before this opportunity to attempt a takeover of his company, and had seemed to miss him over the years, but whatever. I was just glad to get through all the business wars coz that was boring even when watched in Fast Forward. By the end of the episode, Yizhou wakes up from his coma, and it looked like we were finally on track for a happy ending.

Which we kind of were, until Nan Jintian (Yang Hao Ming) comes back from the presumed dead and kidnaps Xia Lin all over again, which, argh. Headdesk. Coz, have we not had enough of this kidnapping thing yet?

Long story short, Nan Jintian gets taken down by the police, and we time skip to Yizhou and Xia Lin’s second wedding anniversary. Wen Li breaks out the guitar and sings a (terribly out of tune) love song to Jia Fei, and proposes. She gladly accepts, and while everyone’s cheering for Wen Li to kiss his girl good and proper (truth be told, it’s a lot less elegant than I make it sound. It was more like everyone chanting  while clapping in unison, “Tongue, tongue, tongue..!” Which, cringe), Xia Lin goes into labor.

The epilogue shows us that Yizhou proceeds to mind the baby in the midst of meetings at the office, while Xia Lin goes back to work, which, okayy. The writers of this drama must have never cared for a baby before, coz that’s basically impossible. In the meantime, Chu Yan deepens his friendship with Xiaoyou, with him rescuing her from her bodyguards, and her rescuing him from nosy reporters. The end.

Clearly, I don’t sound very impressed with Show’s finale, but that’s also due in part to how Show stopped working for me pretty early on. I think if you enjoyed all the bits that I didn’t like, that you’d probably be quite satisfied with where Show leaves us, because Show does stay true to its general tone.

As for me, I really should’ve dropped out once I realized that Show and I weren’t a good match. Sigh.. Could’ve, should’ve.. I’ll learn my lesson next time, I promise. 😛


Objectively pretty terrible, but if you feel the cracky bite you in spite of it all, then this could work for you.




Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

86 thoughts on “Flash Review: Well Intended Love [China]

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  3. The only reason why I continued watching was for Chu Yan and Xiao You to be honest! The second season is airing and I basically fast forwarded all the scenes with the two main leads to watch Chu Yan and Xiao You. They did tone down the male lead’s messed up controlling behavior, however there is still some in it. I’m glad someone else also recognized how messed up the main character’s “love” for one each other was, I went on to youtube videos and nobody else seemed to point it out! I would love if you review the second season too!


    • Hi there Emma, yay that we feel similarly about this show! I was just as bemused and confused as you, because I saw the same positive, glowing comments on YouTube, and I basically felt like I’d watched a different show. 😝😆 I sampled a few minutes of the first episode of the new season, and I can’t say I care for it. I can’t bring myself to keep watching, and I’ve heard that the male lead character is just as bad in other ways like being controlling, even though he doesn’t pull the health scam, and so I’m gonna hafta pass on Season 2. Just one round of this insanity dressed as romance is enough for me..! 😬


      • Hi! I’m a big fan of easy-going happy-ending dramas (I like to watch things that show the happiness in the world even if it’s fictional) and you’re my go-to reviewer before I start watching anything. Thanks to you I have gone through 12 or so C-dramas and K-dramas since mid January of this year, and i’ve loved them all. (Also I can now smell trope from 30 miles away). I also I generally don’t like to waste my time starting a show I know I won’t be satisfied with at the end (thus I read reviews first). I never leave comments, but for some reason I really felt strongly about sharing my view here.
        I watched season 1 and thought it was extremely problematic and didn’t leave much of an impression overall. Didn’t give it a second thought and it was quickly swept under the rug of my mind amidst better storylines I found. Reading the announced for season 2 had me shocked, what else could they POSSIBLY have to say about this? I had severe doubts about season 2 because I thought to myself, “oh, NO I have to watch them go through it all again?!” but to be honest I have been enjoying the journey far more than season one.
        I’d rather pretend season 1 didn’t exist and accept this as the only season hehe. No spoilers below as I explain my thoughts:
        The overall problem resolution and communication between characters has vastly improved. People actually talk, apologize, explain, make amends, and show respect (I won’t say it’s all all perfect, but I’m pleased with the attempt). Male lead reflects and admits most of his initial problematic behaviors and it didn’t have me cringe because the story didn’t make him a crappy person. He seems to actually have a personality here and some depth. First several episodes had me worried they didn’t change much, but I grew more and more pleased with the rewriting as it went on. It was a much healthier version of their romance and, story-wise, far more believable (though of course, still dramatic) than the first season. Xia seems stronger and more reasonable and Ling is not the terrible person he was. Chu Yan had an absolutely lovely story, improved character, and I didn’t want to shake him at all this season (there were several moments of this desire in the last). Wen Li and FeiFei seemed way more organic and I loved seeing them develop. Aside from an extremely tropey story-wise hiccup in episode 14 that is not my taste (which i’m sure will resolve quickly) I’m inclined to say I think season 2 is worth a watch!
        It’s lovely to see the writers acknowledge some severe story and character mishandling from season 1 and remedy it. It’s like they’re saying “Alright, we get it, we did too much and we did things wrong, but we see that and we can improve these guys.” Maybe i’m being too optimistic and I have one episode left until the end, but overall I’m very happy they gave us these characters with reworked story and growth. It doesn’t fix the writer’s decisions from season 1, but I’m glad it seems like they can admit it was wrong and show us something better.


        • Hi there searchingforjulesie, it’s great to finally meet you! 😀 Thanks for coming out and sharing your thoughts, I’m really pleased to know that you’ve found the reviews helpful, and that you’ve been enjoying the blog. ❤

          Yes, Season 1 is indeed problematic, and I still don't understand the hype over it, to be honest. 😝 I actually sampled E1 of Season 2, but I have to confess, I didn't make it very far at all, before my reflex to drop and run kicked in..! Maybe I'm just too traumatized from Season 1 to be ready to see these characters again. 😅 I'll keep your positive remarks in mind though, just in case I ever feel ready to give this story another try. I'm really glad Season 2 has been working out for you though!! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

    • Im so confused about what the second season is about? is it a continuation or like a new concept i dont understand.


  4. I feel like I need to rewatch Sunny Happiness to detox after this. A much, much better Chinese (Taiwanese) version of a contract marriage..


  5. Thanks so much for your quick review! I love these kinds of reviews where there’s plenty of humor and snark, not a million screenshots, and gives an opinion along with the overview. I’m here because I’m in episode 5 and thinking it’s super weird that ML is making all these advances on FL if they’re in a contract marriage, to the point that I was cringing during what should have been a sweet birthday cake decorating scene. So it makes sense but it utterly disgusting now that I know he manipulated the whole basis of the contract. I knew it was a bad idea to step away from Viki to try this “Netflix original”. Thanks for saving me from wasting more time with this one.


    • Glad you found the review useful, shererie! 😀 I think you’re making the right decision to step away from this one, though Show’s legions of fans would likely disagree with me! 😆


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  7. Painful to watch. The romance is one sided. The girl doesn’t even like being kissed. Lol


  8. I actually gave up on this drama in episode she finds out she’s not really sick. I got the title of the drama in that instance but I was just not willing to finish it. Good on you for doing so lol. Now I don’t have to go back to watch it, but I might just go back to watch that last episode 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good on you for dropping out when you did! I should’ve done the same. I was hopeful that Show would get better, but it never did. 😖 It just wasn’t for me. I suspect that if you do go back to check out the last episode, that you’ll end up patting yourself on the back for dropping out when you did. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      • I usually do that when I can’t stand a drama anymore. I’m like okay lets jump the end. 90% ive missed absolutely nothing lol


        • Lol! I should learn from your ruthless dropping ways! 😆 Also, it’s true that every time I’ve pushed to the end of a drama I’m not loving, just because everyone else loves it, I find that it wasn’t worth it, after all. 😛

          Liked by 1 person

  9. I have actually seen this a couple times and it is so so bad that it is funny to me. It goes way beyond being mere makjang and delves into the land of the uber ridiculous. I think only one show I have seen was as ridiculous, Nip/Tuck – pretty much my gold standard for off the wall ridiculous drama, lol. I mean
    sure, I have seen some crazy asian dramas too, but nothing I have seen held a candle to Nip/Tuck…until this show. AND, this one managed to be just as wackadoo in fewer episodes too. Quite the achievement, lol.


    • Lol. I think it’s pretty cool that you could enjoy this show in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way. I think the thing that dumbfounds me, though, is that the majority of this show’s fans (of which there are many, coz this show was so highly buzzed about) actually enjoy this as a straight-up rom-com. I still don’t get the appeal as a rom-com, but as they say, one man’s meat is another man’s poison! 😆

      Liked by 1 person

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  11. OMG! I just finished ep 10 and everything was cringey (except for the secretary and girl friend). I was looking for some summary then I found this. I had the same thoughts!I mean, what tha actal F? The guy is so creepy! He’s super rich but I guess he’s not that intelligent to think of ways to pursue the girl? I don’t know why people loved this plot.


  12. I felt the same way as you. I’m on episode 15 right now, when she’s talking about the mother’s past with her controlling husband, but had to see in which direction it was going in to see if I still wanted to watch it. I was hoping she’d leave the main guy and go for the friend lol although I knew that wouldn’t happen.


  13. I just walked right into that reveal in episode 11…After that had to go somewhere to vent. In my extreme opinion, this is downright an advertisement for domestic abuse and should be forbidden. This show literally shows the split between “he did it out of love” and sociopathic behavior that keeps women trapped in horrific abusive relationships. Social care workers and therapists worldwide are fighting really hard to break down that delusional thinking. Here we get with a nice bow labeled as rom-com. What the hell is this. I’m reading now there a ghost that also makes an appearance somewhere? Like what.


    • I feel your angst, Kokolino! I couldn’t believe my eyes too, when I got to the reveal. I completely agree that this is very problematic writing that essentially helps people to normalize extremely dysfunctional and unacceptable behavior. I don’t know if this is a trend, but there are more shows out there than I’d like, that glamorize the idea of the domineering and controlling male lead. Once upon a time as a drama newbie, I was ok with that, but now I find it quite off-putting, to put it bluntly.

      About the ghost though, that’s my bad. I think my phrasing might’ve been rather vague on that. It’s just that the character is presumed dead for a period of time, and then makes a surprise reappearance later in the show, alive and well. So there’s no actual ghost – though that doesn’t actually make this show that much better, I’m afraid!


  14. I came looking for an honest review of this show after getting to episode 10…. I was flabbergasted that this was supposed be a happy ending romance….like he literally coerced into marrying him…but even before that he stalked the crap out of her…and shes just supposed to be okay with that in the end?! Nahhhhh


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  16. Oh my goodness! The FAKE murder plot so bad I looked for Jussie Smollett to be listed as a key script writer!! Not to mention wasting Police time investigating WHY only ONE room in a hospital would catch fire?? Wow! Netflix, you need a seeing-eye dog to proof read your scripts! Or, if the dog was worth his beans, the dog would have pooped on this hot mess and saved time and money!


    • Lol. Your rant made me giggle, Joey! 😆 Yes, this script was VERY problematic indeed! In Netflix’s defense, I don’t think this one is a Netflix original. And this one is hugely popular in spite of its terrible, terrible story, so I suppose Netflix was giving the people what they wanted..? 😅


  17. I’m an older woman and I know the classic and overworked plot lines, love triangle, amnesia, unknown or sketchy birth parents. The really over hacked stuff of EARLY K-POP. This show is pure, straight up SLICED CHEESE!! When the contract marriage comes in, they go meet GRANDMA in the hospital, and you KNOW in your gut Grandma wants a grandchild so bad she could taste it. That’s when I thought Grandma would be around. Folks, get a good look at Grandma in the hospital, ‘cause she is a Ghost. She only appears for her granddaughter in law, after the creepy lie comes out that she was NEVER sick, BUT she calls Grandma because her creepy husband is keeping her HOSTAGE!! Abusers take note, the only time I cheered was when the wife grew ONE brain cell and left!! ABUSE IS NOT A PLOT LINE!!! I never figured out where the dog went, yep missing dog I have ZERO idea who creepy mystery neighbor is, who tied up and abandoned HIS dog to catch the dim bulb contract bride. Who was he?? I am so lost. You’ll need WHIPLASH insurance to watch this pile of mess. I’m still sad over Drama Fever closing, Netflix is producing every script that was thrown away in all the low budget bombs I’ve seen over the years. To show abuse, murder and worse — a lot worse, for a 14 year old RATED show is beyond the pale. Avoid this one. Keep away from children! It will make you gag every 5 to 7 SECONDS. You’ve been warned, watch at your own peril!


    • Ugh, you’re so right, the abuse was just NOT OK, and I was so angry with Show for framing it as romantic. I just couldn’t roll my eyes hard enough! 🙄🙄 I’m sorry you suffered through this – and I’m sorry I suffered through this too. 😭😭 For something more earthy, have you tried Suddenly This Summer? It’s available in HD on YouTube, with English subs. I’m about halfway through, and enjoying it very well. 🙂 It’s NOTHING like this one, I promise! The playlist is here, and for your convenience, you can check out episode 1 here:


  18. A+. Right on the dot! I didn’t like it either and I’m not even up to the 10th episode.


    • Thanks, heh. I do think you’re very wise to drop this one early.. I finished the whole thing and lived to regret it. I could’ve so spent those drama hours elsewhere! 😆


  19. Yes this show sucks and I thot I’d give china drama a chance since I’ve been so korean focus but it’s disappointing to say the least.
    The plot is flimsy and the conversations lack depth and cringy.

    Don’t waste time watching.


    • Eep. I’m sorry this was your first introduction to Chinese dramas, Evelyn! There are good ones out there, I promise!

      If you are in the mood for youthy rom-coms, A Love So Beautiful and Put Your Head On My Shoulder are fun. Suddenly This Summer is also a young romance story, but a little more earthy and poignant. Love O2O is a light rom-com with a gaming slant. For epic romance, I highly recommend Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. It’s a bit of a slow burn (takes off in the teen eps), but it’s so worth it. For something for strategic and exciting, I love Nirvana in Fire. For a mature take on personal journey and romance, I loved The First Half of My Life. I hope you’ll find something to love, among these suggestions! 🙂


  20. Cringy moments are typical chinese drama work. They never depict good female roles, always the woman who would compensate. But if I compare this to other chinese televovelas, this is the most successful point-stirring. I mean, it actually addresses the domineering/controlling personality as wrong whereas in other chinese romance (with controlling male leads), never. What I didn’t understand her though is the dates don’t match again. So June 8 is supposed to be both their birthdays, but it seemed that Ying Zhou has a different birthday also which falls midyear between Xia Lin’s and before their first anniversary (bec it wasn’t celebrated yet).


    • Your comment makes me feel that C-romcoms might just not be for me, Reese. 😅 I actually was pretty dissatisfied with how Show addresses the male lead’s deception/bad behavior. I felt it was too easily glossed over, and that other aspects of his domineering personality were dressed up to look romantic, when they should have been called out too. I’m still hopeful that I will find a C-romcom that I love, but so far, I haven’t been very successful. I’ve had more success with the youth dramas and melodramas and period dramas, so not all is lost! 😉


  21. The list is on point! I’m telling myself, WTF is happening on this show? Like thuuuh, put all the cliche to make it work??? Hahaha! What kept me watching this is their romance tbh! Hahaha!


  22. Thank you for your well written review. I should’ve read it before wasting few hours of my life.

    The alarm bell started early. I found it unsettling that a registered organ donor could turn down someone desperate request to save her life is such a cold, borderline mean, manner. And yet I ignore the alarm thinking that Show will somehow able to redeem him. And yet, it just keeps getting worst. I could never understand nor forgive the obvious deception on someone’s life and wellbeing. Being immature and emotionally stunted is one thing, but I find his actions go beyond that, crossing the line to criminal acts. A far cry from the title of “Well Intended Love”. I got so annoyed with the writing at this point and loathed the main lead character so much that I dropped the show like a hot coal.


    • You were smart to drop this one early! I wish I’d had the foresight to drop it as early as you did, but I kept on hoping things would get better. I guess I’d just come across so much love for this one that I just couldn’t believe it was that terrible. 😝


  23. I finally finished this show and have so many feelings about it…I agree with so much of what you have written. I will say that I started this show because I saw its ad flutter through my Netflix and thought Xu Kaicheng was so cute (completely superficial and shallow reason, I know). Once I started, the first five episodes were entertaining and funny (especially the misperception between Xia Lin and Jia Fei had over Ling Yizhou, Chu Yan, and Wen Li’s supposed love triangle) – I found myself often laughing out loud. But the acting was stiff and awkward, especially Xia Lin, who often pursed her lips and furrowed her brow with an expression that attempted to look embarrassed but seemed strange. Still, I held out because I thought Ling Yizhou was an attractive character – I tend to like those tropes where the male lead is stiff and cold to others but a softie to the one he loves. And THEN episode 10 happened and it’s like the show decided to eviscerate his character and their relationship and the entire story just went off the rails. Why, oh why??! I still finished the show mostly because I was curious and, honestly, I was still rooting for this couple, but it was completely nuts. The bodyguards and house arrest? I couldn’t believe show made Ling Yizhou into such a stalker-creep! Argh.

    I found that whole storyline distasteful (to say the least) but also really a missed opportunity in some sense. I can see why this show is appealing to many viewers, because Ling Yizhou’s single-minded devotion to Xia Lin is super attractive, and his smolder and flirtiness with her were a big reason why the show was so addictive for me in the beginning…BUT why did it have to be tinged with possessiveness and control??? I feel like there were more interesting dynamics to explore without the whole he-planned-this-ruse-from-the-beginning plot line: the power imbalance dynamic between them, how does a D-list actress like her make her way in an industry and society that is heavily connections-based, is it possible for her to exert her own agency after being together with someone who has so much wealth and social power, what is the line between control/manipulation and protectiveness/wanting what’s best? The show skirts these more serious topics and could have explored them in interesting and nuanced ways, but instead chose to go with lazy writing and make Ling Yizhou into an abusive husband who then suddenly reforms in 2 episodes. So, in order to keep watching, in my mind I had to pretend that episodes 10-13 just didn’t happen. Beneath all of this hot mess is a story that could have been really interesting, and a couple that had a deeper emotional connection, and it’s because of the glimpses of that shadow story that kept me going…and yes, because I still find Xu Kaicheng so handsome in a three-piece suit.

    P.S. My favorite characters were Jia Fei, Wen Li, and Chu Yan. I hope they get better story lines in season 2, especially Chu Yan and Xiaoyou.


    • Hi there Nao, I feel you so much, on your experience with this show! I will agree that Xu Kaicheng is enough eye candy to be a legit draw on his own, but the writing in this one tanked so hard, I am amazed that anyone found it romantic or appealing in any way, really. Yizhou WAS a stalker-creep, and I just don’t like how Show tried to romanticize it. Ugh. 🤯 It really was VERY distasteful, and I would have much rather watched a story that explored the issues you raised. That would have been so much more interesting and at the very least, it would have kept Show from romanticizing manipulative, stalkery, criminal behavior. 😝

      Is there really going to be a Season 2 of this? Oh dear. 🤯


  24. Hey Fangirl, I’ve read three of your reviews to shows I’m currently watching on Netflix. Marriage Contract, Husband Oh-Jak-du and and Well-Intended love which is the only one I’ve finished of the three. I must say that its weird how each and every feeling you had about each of the shows is exactly how I felt about them. It’s nice to find someone who shares my opinions on drama based TV. I live in South Africa and I seem to enjoy marriage contract based dramas, korean-based and others . I can only access them on Netflix though. Do you have any other recommendations?


    • Hi there Lynette, welcome to the blog! 😀 I’m so glad you found me! ❤ I have a soft spot for contract relationship dramas as well. Have you tried Because This Is My First Life? I thought it was solidly good, even though I would have preferred a different treatment of the last 2 episodes. Other than that, it was very thoughtfully written, and very enjoyable. If you're open to trying Japanese dramas, We Married As A Job is absolutely charming and lovely. Marriage Not Dating is another one that I enjoyed very much, it leans comic but has a lot of heart. If I'm not mistaken, all of these shows are available on Netflix. You can browse their reviews from this list. 🙂 I hope that helps! ❤


    • Since Drama Fever died, in the middle of the final episode of a 29 episode drama! I’ve been relying on Netflix and the pickings are slim. I can say I’ve watch “Boys Over Flowers” 2009 South Korean version so many times, I’ve actually learned to LIP READ Korean!! Has to be just over 100 times I’ve watched it, I’m disabled and have insomnia as my reasons for looking for something mildly interesting to watch! What other sites are available? I like Korean, Japanese and Thai dramas. I speak many languages, and I watch these shows to keep my skills alive. I am retired US Military and my job required fluency in many languages. Amazon Prime has very few and Youtube only has fragments of shows. I’m missing “Secret Garden” and “Coffee Prince”. These are gems and never go out of style. They are true Classics. Any ideas on where to find the good programs? Thanks in advance.


      • Hi there Blue, welcome to the blog. 🙂 I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble sleeping, but am happy to suggest a few options to widen your drama selection. Besides Netflix and Amazon Prime, you might want to explore Viki and Kocowa, which are the other legal streaming sources available.

        I’d like to also mention some options on YouTube. KBSWorld has a YouTube channel (here) where they upload selected drama series with English subtitles in their entirety. Many of these are family dramas, which tend to be in the 50+ episode range. I have some personal favorites which are currently available, which I’d like to suggest: Seoyoung My Daughter, My Father is Strange, and Five Enough. I very much enjoyed these 3 shows, and recommend them as solid watches. 🙂 I’m also currently watching Mother of Mine on KBSWorld. It hasn’t finished airing yet, but if you’re interested to check out the episodes that have already aired, you can check out this playlist. 🙂

        Another thing you might like to explore on YouTube, is Chinese dramas. There are actually many Chinese dramas available on YouTube, most with English subtitles available.
        1. Kukan Drama Channel (here) has Put Your Head On My Shoulder, which is a fun little bit of young romance.
        2. YoYo Television Series Channel (here) has a selection as well.
        3. Huace Global Fun Channel (here) has A Love So Beautiful, which is a cute youth romance that is still very popular now.
        4. China Hunan TV Official Channel (here) has some options as well
        5. This channel has Like a Flowing River, which was the top rated show in China while it was airing. You can check out Episode 1 here. All is Well is a family drama that did very well as well, and its first episode is here.
        6. Mango TV (here) also has some options.
        7. Croton Mega Hit Channel (here) has Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms (here) which I LOVED. They also have Love O2O (here), which a fun modern romance with a gaming slant.

        I hope this helps, and that you’ll have an enjoyable time exploring these various options! 🙂


  25. I read you with appreciation often, but was so grateful for this post. I started series due to good reviews, but was so bewildered by stiff acting and dialogue and odd plotting that by episode 4 I looked again to see if you had reviewed it. Now I can give up without feeling Im missing anything…bigs thanks!!!!!! I don’t always agree with you but your insights are great.


    • Aw, I’m glad this review saved you some drama hours, Maj! 😀 There are lots of fans who loved this show, but I think it’s safe to say that if this show didn’t work for you pretty much right away, then it wouldn’t work for you in the long-run. 🙂


  26. Ditto. This is exactly how i felt. Honestly don’t get what the hype was all about. The acting of the 2 leads were quite mediocre, and I can’t believe the hype generated actually warrant a sequel! WHY?!?

    I watched this right before catching Hello Again, TW drama 你又念大学吗 staring TW’s Amber An and Bruce Hung. Now, that is one heck of a rom-com with all the right ingredients! Brilliant acting, great chemistry between the leads and as well the rest of the cast coupled with and an amazing OST! i especially love how they threw in a sensitive storyline and dealt with it in the most surreal manner. Highly recommended.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol. I can feel your frustration for this show through my screen, eysl! I can’t understand why this show is so popular, nor why it needs a sequel either. 😛 But I know I’ll be staying far away from the sequel when it comes out! 😝

      Wow, Hello Again sounds quite delightful indeed – thanks for the recommendation! I’m putting it on my list. ❤


  27. I basically stopped caring at the same point, when the big lie reveal happened – I just don’t see how that can ever be justified even in this heightened alternate reality. It had a certain crack factor if you turned off your brain – I finished it, but I’m pretty sure that was mostly for the male lead’s eyelashes because other than looking at the pretty there wasn’t much to enjoy.


    • I’m with you amber, that big lie just couldn’t be justified from my perspective either. And yes, this one definitely requires you to turn off your brain! 😝 If I could go back in time and do it over, I wouldn’t actually start on this one, to be honest!


  28. Since this is my first C-drama, I felt a lot of culture shocks compared to Kdrama and dorama. Still, I accepted the premises and THE THING as I wanted to see how the Show solve and repent for that. Not bad until about ep. 11-12, but after the Evil repeatedly and illogically happened (you’re right, just too much kidnapping), I bailed out and only looked for Wen Li and Jia Fei loveline on YouTube.

    The OTP was cracky at first, the male lead is just handsome and manly (too manly apparently since he man-handled his wife too much). The female lead is always awkward I wonder if the character was written that way or the actress’s interpretation was somewhat off and cringy… Too many things going on and somewhat all over the place, I really wonder if tasting C-drama a wise choice? Is there a better show out there?

    Regardless, I learned that C-drama are struggling with subtitle, and they offer a sloppy but hawt scenes. After “Well Intended Love” I tried Taiwanese drama “Hello Again”. Much better and feel like 90s kdrama, but the OTP is really cute and that’s what usually gets me going. I even watched their behind the scenes as the leads are funny and fun.


    • Ack, I’m sorry this was your first experience of a C-drama, Andechii! 😝 In terms of C-rom-coms that feature adults (vs young adults), I haven’t come across one that I’ve loved. But, I do highly recommend A Love So Beautiful (youthy rom-com), Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms (fantasy period romance) and The First Half Of My Life (mature look at relationships). All of these are available with English subs, and I hope you’ll like at least one of them! 🙂

      Thanks for mentioning Hello Again, someone else also suggested it to me, I’ll put it on my list! ❤


  29. Pingback: Flash Review: Put Your Head On My Shoulder [China] | The Fangirl Verdict

  30. This drama just popped up on Netflix so nice to get a review right away. I also saw a takedown on this drama on MDL that ripped it to shreds. The whole possessive romance set up sounds like a bad romance novel circa 1982. The fact this stuff is usually written by women is I guess a bit ironic. Anyway, I keep hearing that it’s fine through episode 10 so there does seem to be some measure of agreement that things go sideways at that point.

    I’m not touching it. I am getting much pickier about my c-dramas because they are just too long. I’ve even dropped Put Your Head on My Shoulder because I feel like it’s just all been done before….maybe too many dramas under my belt. I don’t know, but I don’t have it in me. Watching dramas shouldn’t be a chore.


    • You’re so right, Kat, watching dramas shouldn’t be a chore. So even if it’s just a mood thing, if PYHOMS wasn’t working for you, it’s the right decision to drop or shelve it. As for Well Intended Love and similar romance stories with possessive romance at the center, it does puzzle me too, why women continue to write such stories. But I guess to quote Beez’s point on another post about a similar point, a woman from a society with a more traditional gender roles, it can feel romantic for the right man to be possessive, so there’s that. 🙂 That said, it’s still a great idea to give this one a miss. I don’t think it would work for you. 😉


    • Uhg. I’m on episode 17, and angry rant with

      He just found out she was kidnapped and he got drunk after Ran tells him that he and his wife’s relationship won’t be the same even if she’s found. His wife, who he CLAIMS to love is kidnapped and he goes to get DRUNK?! He put more effort than that into finding his friend who he believed was dead. Like WTF?! If her only value to him is her reputation, then she really is just an object for him to possess and this entire relationship is unquestionably unhealthy and abusive.

      I didn’t agree with how quickly she forgave him either, but I got it in the context of their mutual friend’s death. Stuff like that makes you appreciate/reconsider those you love. I could even forgive the apartment buying since she didn’t have any money and I he wanted her to have a safe place to stay. But that entire character arc of him learning that love is about mutual respect of your partner as an individual and not control over them goes OUT OF THE WINDOW when the IDEA, not even the actuality, of her reputation being “tarnished” because she was kidnapped KIDNAPPED is enough for you to go drink and doubt her.

      I skipped the last part of your review because I’m hoping this drama redeems itself. I want the B couple to be together; Wan to quite his job as an assistant and open a restaurant where Fei writes scripts all day and he takes care of her. LinLin to leave him and become a successful actress with enough money to be a single Mom if she wants. Her departure to make him see he needs therapy and he spends the rest of their lives trying to win her back. And the movie star to get with the food delivery girl – assuming she isn’t using him.


      • Hahaha! I had to giggle at your alternate ending! 😆 I’m assuming you’ve found out by now that Show’s idea of a good ending is kinda quite different from yours? 😝 For what it’s worth, I like yours better! 😀


  31. Well, I haven’t watched this show but if the hype is somewhat like where the lost ones go then I am absolutely not going to watch it. I also started with where the lost ones go because of the hype around it but I really didn’t liked it at all.


    • I personally don’t think you’d be missing anything much, soumya.. this one has quite a lot of problems, and I think it’s best enjoyed by completely switching off your brain. I really only enjoyed the second quarter of this show, unfortunately. 😛


  32. This is the worst show I’ve ever seen.
    I can’t believe the downright abusive relationship that underpins it and the way in which it was romanticised. Chu Yan should have supported her to emancipate herself from this toxic person she was tricked into saddling herself with. A woman freeing herself from abuse would have made a much better back half.
    I am sorry I watched this show. More than that – I am sorry shows like this still exist.


    • I’m kind of shocked that you’d stick with this one after the Big Reveal, Dame Holly! And to think that you stuck it out to the end! 😬 It really is objectively terrible, and I’m sorry that I stuck it out to the end. The only plus side for me was that I could practice listening to Chinese. 😛


      • At first I was just kind of fascinated and stayed watching to see how ridiculous it could get. I mean fake car accidents and hypnosis to cause amnesia? It was just so silly.

        After the “twist” I should have stopped immediately but I was curious as to how the show would handle it. And when he imprisoned her in the house I was just so horrified I couldn’t believe it was happening. As such, I watched way more of it than I should. I actually didn’t get to the end. I got to the point where she came back to him and he gave her diamond-studded tracking devices so he could stalk her better. At that point I realised she was actually going to end up with him and the awful controlling abusive behaviour wasn’t going to stop (or even be framed as bad).

        Honestly, after I finally stopped watching I was just so angry – that this got made, that it’s so widely watched, that it’s so popular it’s getting a season 2. Every time I think the world might be getting better in terms of the way woman are portrayed on television, something like this comes along to depress me again.


        • Oh dear. It sounds like Show maybe scarred you more than you bargained for, Dame Holly! I was watching partly out of morbid fascination as well, and I also wondered how Show would handle the “twist,” which on its own really made me angry, but I was also mad at Show for resolving it so easily. 😤 I didn’t enjoy the controlling behavior either and it was just very weird to me that it was all presented as him being romantic and caring. 🙄 I can hardly believe this one is getting a second season, but I can see why they’d want to serve up a second season to the legions of fans who love this show. I can only hope Season 2 will present a healthier OTP dynamic, but I will probably hope for that from a safe distance, coz I don’t want to do this again! 😝


  33. I quite enjoyed the first 5 episodes, with the contract marriage and gay misconception… but the reveal killed a lot of the joy… and I continued only because of the friendship with the second lead… and the secondary couple… Currently stuck on ep 15… and after reading your review I think I will drop it.


    • I think it’s safe to say you made a good call dropping it, Dorotka! I only really enjoyed it up to about E10. I kept hoping it would get better again, but it never did, for me. 😛


  34. Funny thing was that I really hated the story watching it the first time and FFW a lot. I rewatched it while sewing (I prefer simple stories then since my mind has to be somewhere else) and started to enjoy it. Probably I’m more masochistic than I thought since the acting of both the MC is terrible. I adored pink loving Mr Assistant too and the couple is the only one who has a healthy and normal relationship. They quite are the only normal people in this Drama. I regard this series as Junk Food and who doesn’t like having some from time to time? I still remember watch Splatter movies as teenager laughting my ass off instead of being scared by them since they were so absurd. It is the same feeling what this series left. The “sex scene” was the one most hillarious. It looked added post-production since there seem to be only one unknown person in bed. I still want to ROFL while writing this.


    • Oh my goodness, you watched this thing twice? 😱😬 That’s pretty amazing, Usi! But, I’m glad your second watch turned out better than your first, and that you found a way to enjoy this one! I guess with the right lens, almost any show can be entertaining..? 😅 Or, this one was just so bad that it became good? 😆 And YES, the bed scene really was hilariously bad, lol.


      • It was soooo bad, it became good for sure. It just was hillarious. If I ever feel really down again I surely will watch that for its absolutely absurd story, terrible acting of the OTP, weird directing and cute Assistant…with a big bowl of Popcorn, of course. If you enjoy drinking alcohol probably you should try again while beeing totally drunk ;). It is an Ed Wood type of Drama :D.

        Liked by 1 person

        • 😂😂 I do think that your idea of a fun drama watch is slightly different from mine, Usi! I can’t see myself reaching for this one again, even for a so-bad-it’s-good kind of fun watch. 😅 But, y’know, I’m so happy it works for you – at least you salvaged this one? 😆


  35. Put Your Head on my Shoulder is MUCH MUCH MUCH better. I’m not a huge fan of romance dramas in general, but I swear I can almost say it’s the best romance drama I’d seen in a while. It’s very very sweet and nothing much happens but romance. BUT the leads are very well written in my opinion. The girl is very nice and kind and works hard…BUT isn’t overenthusiastic and loud and doesn’t get irrationally defensive OR let people walk over her. She’s very reasonable and when certain things happened with the second lead she treated them very reasonably. She lets herself have negative emotions but also doesn’t take them out on other people. I love her…a lot a lot. Most people adore the male lead, and I do too, but I just wanna say I love the female lead equally and I feel like she doesn’t get enough credit for doing an awesome job (as a character as a whole as well as decent, natural acting).

    The male lead at first might seem to be the tropey science-y guy with high IQ low EQ and is aloof. EXCEPT he’s really just an awkward potato but isn’t mean AT ALL. Even when he just met the female lead he was honestly just a very caring person who notices details and takes care of you in the little things. This shows in that he’s pretty nice to his roommates too and helps them out with small things all the time.

    The romance is really really sweet and the chemistry is really good. The acting I can’t say is like…omg phenomenal because the characters aren’t like extraordinarily challenging, but they’re both very natural and make their characters come alive. The overall production is just really well done. It’s by the same production company as Love So Beautiful but imo I like this one better because I couldn’t really relate to the high school life in China + I think the cast is more well-chosen for Shoulder than Beautiful.

    Idk I also don’t wanna skew your expectations. It’s really JUST a pure romance drama with lots of fluff and candy.

    On Well Intended Love I think I went on and off…I watched it at a time where I was bored with everything and unsatisfied with like most Chinese dramas. I liked it at first, but then I think I just lost interest in general and didn’t finish it. I think I liked it at first because it reminded me of the campiness of Taiwanese dramas back in their golden era 2000-2010 ish.

    Also the recent Detective L (unrelated to Death Note lol) is decent. It’s got solid plot, solid pacing, good acting, solid production quality…BUT as a detective show, it also isn’t unexpected in any way…very average. I think I LOVE the visuals, the effort they put into reproducing the 1920 Shanghai feel, and I love the characters and acting. BUT while I think the cases are fine as in, small holes sometimes but no big obvious logic holes, nothing about the cases are unexpected that make you think “what? I didn’t see that coming”. So I like it as an overall production, but quite a few people find it mediocre. Ok at first it tries very hard to mimic Sherlock. It’s especially obvious in the first episode. But it gets better lol.

    Listening Tower, the wuxia drama I’ve been anticipating forever, just came out. Haven’t seen it yet but kinda excited. The trailers have been very stylized esp for a webdrama so I’m hoping it’s good. But also it is functioning on a webdrama budget, so despite the effect, the directing…it’s obvious the built sets are pretty low budget lolol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can’t comment on Well Intended Love but I’ve just started on Put Your Head On My Shoulder and it’s very good so far. It’s got a cheery, happy, bright and bubbly tone and feel (colours and lighting too). I’m enjoying it so far and heard good things about it! You should try if you’re in the mood for a fluffy show!


    • Thanks for making a case for Put Your Head On My Shoulder, Julianne! That did help me adjust my lens and expectations going in, and as you know by now, I ended up liking it very well (except for the secondary romance, which, bleah, lol). As for Well Intended Love.. I guess it’s good that you lost interest and didn’t end up finishing it, coz it just got worse and worse, in my opinion. It would’ve been a better decision for me to have dropped it when it got bad, but I foolishly hoped that Show would get better. 😛 But also, I found the Chinese simple enough to make for a good lil exercise in practicing listening to and reading Chinese, since I watched this without English subs. So, that was a silver lining, ha! 😆

      YouTube’s suggested Listening Tower to me a few times, but I haven’t checked it out. I’ve become a little wary of low budget web dramas, after being bitten a few times, so I think I’ll wait to hear how other people are finding it, before I decide whether to give it a try. 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  36. I guaffed aloud when reading that list of crazy in the 2nd half. 😁 This drama seems to have just about everything I loath in a plot. Glad I never even considered it for watching. I’ve noticed that very few contemporary cdramas work for me so I haven’t watched that many.


    • HAHA! Yes, that list of crazy in the second half is quite something, isn’t it?! 😆 To think that I’m not even making any of it up! You were right to give this a hard pass, this is definitely not the kind of show that would pass the mark, for you. I’m finding that I specifically have trouble with C-romcoms that feature adults. I’ve had more success with the youth romcoms, and the adult melos, but the adult rom-coms that I’ve tried all just fall flat for me, somehow. I always wonder whether that’s just how it is, that C-romcoms just don’t work for me, or if I just haven’t been watching the right ones. 🤔


  37. Hmmm… I went this sounds familiar. So, as soon as I looked up my notes and read your review, I was reminded that the whole ruse thing is what stopped me from even starting this one. I marked down Well Intended Love as “not interested”. There are a number of Kdramas in a similar vein that I just couldn’t get out of the starting blocks with (i.e. I lasted one or two episodes, maybe even half an episode). At the end of the day, I’m not even sure how to categorise this type of story 🤔😂🤔


    • Is there a category for “awful apologia for domestic abuse”?


      • Very apt Dame Holly. There should be such a category! Apologia could even be applied to a number of drama settings.

        Speaking of which, after Saturday, ScoMo is in the ascendency and the Bill Australia couldn’t afford didn’t materialise. My democracy sausage was a custard and cream donut 😂

        Liked by 1 person

    • You were wise to give this one a wide berth, Sean! I didn’t know much about the drama going in, except that it was wildly popular, and so the ruse totally blindsided me. I was SO ANGRY with the writers, with the character, and with Show in general, ugh. I think I continued just to see how Show would try to justify it. It was so lame and so wrong and so dumb. Ack. I still can’t fathom how anyone thought the ruse was a good idea. 🤯


  38. I didn’t really understand the hype behind this one either. I was mostly intrigued by how the male lead resembled a young Wallace Huo and watched until the OTP got together and then kinda just forgot about it. Didn’t even get to the all the craziness and it sounds like I dodged a bullet!

    Btw have you heard of or watched Put Your Head On My shoulder? I think it’s by the same author that wrote A Love So Beautiful and it’s also been getting pretty good reviews so far. I’ve been fast forwarding through the non-OTP parts but it does have some really cute OTP moments and some legit LOL bits. Male lead reminds me of a young Lin Geng Xin (who’s incidentally BFFs with Mark Chao), and I do love the way he looks at the female lead. I feel like you might like it if you’re in the mood for something fluffy and light.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You absolutely did dodge a bullet, Owl Star! 😆 This one went off the rails so hard, in the second half. I tsk at myself for sticking it out to the bitter end, coz that ending was so underwhelming, ugh. 😛 I probably don’t know Wallace Huo’s face well enough; I couldn’t see the resemblance – I just remembered the male lead as the terrible ex-boyfriend from Moonshine and Valentine. 😆

      Thanks for recommending PYHOMS, I did end up liking it a lot, and YES, his soft gaze was very lovely indeed! 😍


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