The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Flash Review: Well Intended Love [China]

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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?

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

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.

STUFF I LIKED

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]

STUFF I DIDN’T LIKE

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.

[SPOILER ALERT]

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.

[END SPOILER]

WHAT KEPT ME GOING

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.

THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]

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. 😛

THE FINAL VERDICT:

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

FINAL GRADE: C+

TEASER:

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Author: kfangurl

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

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

  1. 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.

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    • 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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  2. 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 🤔😂🤔

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

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      • 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 😂

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    • 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. 🤯

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  3. 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.

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    • 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. 🤔

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  4. 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.

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    • 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!

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    • 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. 😅

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  5. 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.

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    • 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.

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      • 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.

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        • 😂😂 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? 😆

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  6. 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.

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    • 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. 😛

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  7. 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.

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    • 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. 😛

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      • 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.

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        • 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! 😝

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  8. 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.

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    • 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. 😛

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  9. 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.

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    • 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. 😉

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

  11. 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.

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    • 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! ❤

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  12. 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.

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    • 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!

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  13. 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.

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    • 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. ❤

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  14. 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.

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    • 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. 🙂

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  15. 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?

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    • 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! ❤

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  16. 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.

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    • 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. 🤯

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  17. 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.

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    • 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. 😝

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  18. 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!

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  19. 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).

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    • 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! 😉

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