Flash Review: Love Is Sweet [China]

It’s been 5 years since I became inspired by Chinese epic Nirvana In Fire, to put more C-dramas on my drama plate, and I think I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that modern C-dramas require their own specific lens.

My current conclusion is that a lot – not all, but most – of the C-dramas with modern settings (vs. period dramas) aren’t actually designed to be taken seriously. At least, I find that this perspective helps me the most, when it comes to maximizing my enjoyment of a C-romcom.

And this particular C-romcom is.. more palatable than average, I think.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Jiang Jun (Bai Lu) has a longstanding dream to enter the investment banking world, and sets her sights on MH, a top investment company. At her hard-won interview, she meets her childhood friend Yuan Shuai (Luo Yun Xi), who’s now an Executive Director at MH. However, curiously, he’s determined to prove that Jiang Jun isn’t suitable for the job, and sets out to keep her from joining MH.

OST ALBUM: FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE

Here’s the OST album in case you’d like to listen to it while you read the review. The OST is generally pleasant, though I have to admit it doesn’t quite stick with me after the show.

If I had to pick a favorite, I think it’d be Track 2, Blue Bird, for its moodsy-breezy vibe. Track 4, A Love Song For You, has a nice acoustic sound and a light-cheery feel that I like.

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS + LENS ADJUSTMENTS

Here’s a bunch of things to keep in mind, that I think will help to maximize your enjoyment of this show.

1. There’s a cartoonish quality about this drama world that feels akin to Boys Over Flowers, when Boys Over Flowers actually felt appealing to me. A lot of stuff is illogical, but if you can roll with it instead of nitpick it, the watch experience can have a silly-cracky quality about it.

Show has a degree of self-awareness, which I appreciate. In episode 8, I’m rather amused by how Jiang Jun’s best friend Xu Li (Xiao Yan) accurately predicts Director Qiao’s (Zhao Yuan Yuan) every move based on her makjang / absurd / exaggerated 狗血 urban novels. That was pretty meta.

2. You need to be able to appreciate or at least tolerate the 霸道总裁 (literally, Overbearing President) sort of thing, because wrist-grabs, “I’m doing this for your own good” and “Be good” are thrown about with relish, right away.

3. This story has shades of Well Intended Love about it, but is more benevolent.

[VAGUE HIGH LEVEL SPOILERS] Similar to Well Intended Love, our male lead is using his money and influence to manipulate the reality of his love interest, in order to get her into his orbit. But the big difference here, is that in this case, our male lead isn’t committing fraud in order to make his love interest think that she’s terminally ill and that he’s her only chance of survival. Here, he’s opting to suffer financial loss, in order to trick his love interest into moving into the apartment next door to his, at a discounted rental rate, which is more well-meaning and therefore more harmless and acceptable within our cartoony drama world, I think. [END SPOILER]

4. The corporate stuff can be quite boring at times. Feel free to skip-watch the parts that don’t interest you. That’s what I did.

5. Xu Li has a love interest and romantic arc of her own. I personally found it cringey to watch, mostly because I found her love interest Xiao Chuan (Wang Yi Lun) very stiffly and awkwardly delivered, and the entire arc, quite secondhand embarrassing to watch. I took to FF-ing through their scenes almost immediately. Feel free to do the same, if you feel similarly. I finished the show and have absolutely no regrets about skip-watching this arc.

6. This show occasionally has epilogues, so look out for them at the end of the episodes. When they’re there, they do tend to shed light on character backstories and motivations.

THE MAIN HIGHLIGHT: OUR OTP

Honestly, this entire story is just a platform on which Yuan Shuai and Jiang Jun can just play around and have fun falling in love, because that’s the main point of the show anyway. Nothing really has to make sense.

The reason why I stuck with this show, despite having little to no interest in so many of the surrounding stories, is because our OTP has excellent, excellent chemistry. Luo Yun Xi and Bai Lu share a chemistry that feels cracky-sparky, easy and natural. The skinship feels so believable and organic, that I often felt like I was a voyeur peeping at real-life lovers. For example, this couple kisses like they really really mean it. It’s a little startling to me, to be confronted with such full-on snogging in a drama; Show’s realistic in that respect, that’s for sure.

Whether they’re circling each other like faux-enemies, bickering like longtime buddies, or getting all hyperaware of each other, the air between them often gets quite crackly, and that in itself can be quite compelling.

Plus, because our characters have so much history between them, Show’s early use of up-close-and-personal shots works quite well, because the up-close-and-personal-let-me-share-your-air sort of thing doesn’t feel as much of an invasion of space as it would between two people who’d just met.

[SPOILER ALERT]

As an example, the drunken hyper-proximity outside Jiang Jun’s apartment in episode 7, where her breathy tipsy mumbling at Yuan Shuai’s neck gets him all up in a twist is pretty great. His efforts to moderate his breathing, even as he reels from the tingles on his neck, are so real.

For the record, my favorite OTP scene out of the entire show, is from episode 20, when our OTP finally comes together as a couple.

Yuan Shuai is galvanized by Qiao Na’s confession and taunt, while Jiang Jun is galvanized – ironically, also by Qiao Na – into getting upset with Yuan Shuai, which leads her to his treasure box, and his secret confession letter which he’d never given her. They are fittingly in sync, that they can find each other, even though Jiang Jun’s left her phone at home (I rationalize this is near the apartment).

I’d actually hoped for Yuan Shuai to say more in the way of a confession, but the way he hard-breathes, “I don’t want to wait any longer,” seems to tell Jiang Jun all she needs to hear, because her response is, “I love you.” It’s cute that she tells him that she’s about to cry, and he helps her stop the tears in the way he always has, by putting his hand over her eyes – only this time, he doubles up with a kiss as well. And I do love how gentle and heartfelt the kisses feel. YES. This is how you kiss the one that you’ve loved for years, and held in your feelings for, for years. With gentleness, tenderness and a sense of wonder. There is no sense of hurry or awkwardness about these kisses, and I very much approve. 😍

[END SPOILER]

YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY: Gao Han Yu as Du Lei

I feel like Du Lei (Gao Han Yu) as a character was created to be collateral damage in service of Show’s Main Event, the OTP story. I have possibly never felt more whiplashy about a character and his development, ever.

Essentially, Du Lei morphs into whatever kind of character the story needs him to be, in order to create drama, tension or resolution on its main story front. He’s almost like an X-Man, that way, ha. The thing is, I hadn’t realized this during my watch, and that made the whiplash feel all the more real. Now that I’ve warned you, though, you can just roll with it.

Gao Han Yu does his best with Du Lei’s various facets, and I did rather enjoy his nice guy moments. At those times, he gave me Kim Kyung Nam vibes, which is an excellent thing in my books. However, I have to confess that I found Gao Han Yu’s delivery of Du Lei’s more angsty moments too hard and overwrought. Those scenes generally felt forced and too theatrical, to my eyes.

As a silver lining, Gao Han Yu does clean up nice, and he looks especially appealing while boxing shirtless, heh. Show knows it too, since the shirtless boxing gets served up on several different occasions. 🤩

THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]

In Show’s late stretch, we get a 2-year time skip, and I have to confess, everything felt less interesting to me, after this point. It all feels like some kind of extended epilogue, to show us what happens to our characters after the main story is over.

I found myself skip-watching almost all the way through, pausing only to enjoy the couple moments between Yuan Shuai and Jiang Jun. There’s a lot of teasing and bickering, which I didn’t quite enjoy, since they’re jostling over work matters. Those times when Yuan Shuai gazes at Jiang Jun fondly, though, are lovely. I totally buy that affection; it feels so cozy and real.

The two big events in Show’s last stretch, are, 1, Du Lei going dark-rogue, when he realizes that Jiang Jun has no feelings for him and intends to resign, and 2, Yuan Shuai finally proposing to Jiang Jun.

I found the change in Du Lei to Sudden Big Bad very stark and weird, since I’d had it in my head that he was supposed to be the misunderstood decent guy. I mean, deciding to take Jiang Jun down because she won’t accept his feelings? Talk about a violent turnaround, from the guy who’d put himself on the line to protect her.

I’m quite surprised that Du Lei accepts the grace that Yuan Shuai offers him, that he won’t report Du Lei’s crimes, as long as he stops all the illegal stuff he’s been doing and steps away. It occurs to me that Du Lei has hated himself for a long time, and the ugliness he shows while lashing out at Jiang Jun, is his way of leaning into the negative self image he’s held onto for so long. This perspective does make me feel more sympathetic towards him.

Yuan Shuai finally proposes to Jiang Jun, after some extended humming and hawing on both sides, with each of them wondering whether the other person really wanted to get married. I found the proposal cheesy and sweet, and I’m extra delighted that our resident cute doggo Wealth gets to play a key part. Attagirl. 😍

I’d kind of expected a romantic wedding, so our OTP’s choice of a literal mad dash to the Civil Affairs Bureau to get their marriage license was a bit of a surprise to me. But since everyone’s happy and in a good mood, I just shrug and roll with it.

Show culminates in a highlight reel of all our characters being contented and happy, and we end with Jiang Jun and Yuan Shuai squealing in excitement at the news that she’s pregnant. Aw. One more addition to their cute little family. That’s not a bad way to finish our story, I hafta say.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Excellent OTP chemistry on a shoestring plot. Good for a spot of mindless fluff.

FINAL GRADE: B-

TRAILER:

MV:

44 thoughts on “Flash Review: Love Is Sweet [China]

  1. Pingback: Year In Review: 2020 | The Fangirl Verdict

  2. Julianne Lin

    I’m glad you enjoyed this to some capacity! I did hear that the one and only saving grace of this drama was absolutely fantastic chemistry (which tends to be true with Bai Lu’s dramas lmao — good chemistry she has with most everyone saves a lot of her shows; I love her). I’ll admit, precisely because modern romance genre in China is very rarely taken seriously, I haven’t really watched any drama this yr at all. This yr has been the year of excessive modern romcom, a LOT of heavy mystery/thriller, and a middling amount of other stuff — mostly romcom and police-investigation mystery/thriller though. There have been so many REALLY good mystery/thriller stuff this yr that’s also socially thought-provoking — I just frankly haven’t been in the mood for that this year. There are also quite a few gems like Crossfire that have been REALLY good this yr. Like, there are a lot I’ve heard were really good (and I know 100% I will adore Crossfire once I convince myself to continue watching — I mean I stopped for no other reason than “I got distracted”). But I basically haven’t finished watching anything; in fact in the second half of the yr I can barely convince myself to START anything. So major drama slump from me this yr. Lots of kpop instead, LMAO.

    Reply
  3. Gloglo

    I loved, loved, LOVED this show! Thank you for recommending it, Kfangurl. I would have never found this little gem in a hundred years if it weren’t for your review… It is my first experience of C-drama and I can already see it won’t be the last.

    I must admit that this is my kinda jam: a sweet, funny, slightly absurd, self-aware rom-com with great acting. You can tell Leo Luo has been classically trained. I was also not surprised that he majored in ballet. He’s one of those actors who knows how to use his whole body. He and Bai Lu were completely in sync. That’s why their chemistry was so magnetic. I don’t think there was a single mediocre performance in this show, not even from the younger actors, and, I will admit I don’t often get this feeling with a lot of kdramas I have watched and enjoyed.

    I hear some saying this is “just fluff”. I mean, yes, it is “fluff”, but not “just”… How many big name rom-coms out there fail to hit the mark as well as this show does? The writing, directing and acting of “fluff” shouldn’t be underestimated… There is a right way of doing this kind of thing and this show got a lot of it right. Yes, the production value of the show is not great. China’s entertainment industry certainly doesn’t seem as prosperous as Korea’s.

    As for Yuan Shuai being controlling at first others have mentioned, I mean… This is a rom-com set-up. Characters in rom-coms normally do preposterous over-the-top things to get the story to a certain point. Yuan Shuai forcing Jiang Jun to move near him is as silly and OTT as her having a tear allergy… I think it’s a mistake to take this heightened characterisation and eccentric scenarios seriously, much less when the drama itself doesn’t.

    Interesting, and refreshing, cultural stuff I found in this Cdrama is the fact that the older generation hardly makes an appearance. In Kdrama parents do create a lot of the problems and I was glad to see that this show didn’t have any of that. Also I loved how Jiang Jun and Yuan Shuai’s “living together” was treated so naturally. I still have to find a Kdrama in which something like that is not turned into a huge big deal…

    Apart from the hero and heroine, their very engaging banter, and those great love scenes (I don’t think I have seen this kind of sensuality in any Kdrama, apart from perhaps Healer… **Any recommendations?) I simply adored the character of Du Lei – He did indeed feel very “manga” (as Jiang Jun’s friend described him). The whiplashy feeling you mention, Kfangurl, in your review, although certainly present, did not bother me in the least. Du Lei is a melodrama archetype: He’s damaged and completely subservient to his love for the heroine. Everything he does if for her, the good and the bad. It kinda made sense that he turned all twisty again in the end, as he hadn’t had the closure of speaking openly about his obsessive feelings for Jiang Jun. But yeah, you’re right, the character is certainly used to move the plot here and there -He deffo game me the vibe of a more sinister and cartoonlike Young-do from “Heirs”, which I enjoyed very much ;). I also found the stuff between Du Lei and his “sister” very interesting. It made their side of the story feel darker and more threatening, to counterbalance, I suppose, the “sugar” of the main storyline.

    As for the music, I thought it suited the show fairly well. That song they played in all the dramatic moments (“The things I do for love”, I think it’s the title) was quite catchy and did the job of bringing a tear to my eye more than once… What more can one ask from any drama?

    This is a big thumbs up from me 🙂

    Reply
  4. Annette Chung

    I’m watching this right now! You’re pretty much spot on. This is a fluffy, no brainer type of show. And sweet. Can’t forget the sweet. I admit I’m also confused about Du Lei. I just think that poor boy grew up in a dog eat dog world, that any kind of kindness or decency has long died a painful death to make way for survival instincts. He’d never been shown love, and he wasn’t allowed any kind of attachment. He was rejected by his dad over and over again for “not being good enough”, and people often compared him to Yuan Shuai. Anyone would break, in that kind of state, I think. Sometimes, you end up hurting the ones who reject you the most, because you cannot stand being rejected anymore. His leaving his family and his dad earlier in the show gave us that hint.

    I’m enjoying myself, so far! At first, I wasn’t feeling Yuan Shuai as a character. His overbearing, domineering character takes a bit getting used to. But you’re so right about the kisses. Gosh, I’ve never seen such passionate and heated kisses on a drama before. My TV fogged up. Hahaha… I’m not complaining! I wish more shows are like this! No? Is it just me? 😉

    Reply
  5. Usi

    I started that for Bai Lu but dropped it very fast. I worked too long in Investment Banking for getting any romantic vibe. And I just can’t get over Leo Lu’s fragility. I constantly want to feed him or shave his hair off that his head stops looking so giganormous…or both. He is an okay actor but, well…nope, not my cup of tea.

    Reply
  6. Asperugo

    The social distancing has probably melted my brain and lately I’ve watched quite a few of these Chinese romcoms. I saw the google translated subtitles use a term “brain hole girl” and that’s really how I’m feeling 😀

    I tried this one as well, because so many people loved the chemistry between the leads, but something was off. I didn’t feel the main couple at all, especially the male lead. There was something unpleasant about him, but I can’t point my finger at exactly what. Maybe he reminded me of someone or something, but anyways his “aura” was not working for me. These type of shows live or die by the main couple, so I had no reason to keep watching. Also the living together situation was ridiculous. I bet it’s possible to write a good comedy without forcing the people to live together. And don’t even get me started on that possessive, over-protecting CEO abusing his power… I guess a lot of people were able to overlook these, if they really liked the male lead or the couple.

    Another reason for people liking this might be, that they tried to make the female lead more independent and multi-dimensional. I didn’t feel they did enough, but it was not as bad as the standard poor, disadvantaged and naive girl, who is ready to serve her “savior”. For some this kind of female lead might feel refreshing, while also not veering too far from the standard.

    I just finished Begin Again and it was so much better than Love is sweet. Making the female lead the cold CEO alone made it feel more fresh and that feeling remained till the end. There were some obvious plot holes and flaws, but compared to others it did really well.

    Reply
  7. Kun

    I kind of just ended up watching montages/clips of cute couple moments on youtube instead of the actual show lol. This is definitely something I noticed because I started checking out a few cdramas recently and the modern ones all feel so removed from reality it was a bit jarring. Things just kind of happen and I am so confused as to why, that along with some of the shows not having proper subs has kept me from getting into cdramas that much. But yes, the couple moments in this show are very very cute, great chemistry 🙂

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Ahaha! SO true! Things often happen with very little explanation. 😂 That’s why a cartoony BOF-esque lens is useful, I think! The only reason I found this worthwhile, was the OTP chemistry. The naturalness of the skinship and the easy comfort between the leads really stood out for me.

      Reply
      1. Kun

        Another thing I have noticed is the dialogue in cdramas tends to lean stiff to me. Not sure if this an issue with things being lost in translation but also noticed it with a few different shows but then again I didn’t have this issue with NIF so maybe I am just checking the wrong shows out.

        Reply
        1. kfangurl Post author

          I agree the dialogue tends to lean stiff in many of the modern C-dramas (though there are admittedly many that I haven’t seen).. did you watch The First Half of My Life? That was so elegantly done, a rare gem of a modern C-drama, I feel. It’s not a rom-com though, so that might be a factor. 😅

          Reply
  8. JMA

    I just finished Something Just like This and I really enjoyed it! Definitely Cdrama lens viewing required but I enjoyed the friendships, villains that actually weren’t all bad, and look into the internet broadcasting world.
    I also mostly enjoyed Love is Sweet—I, too, ffwd through secondary couple’s story. I was actually more interested in what was between Du Lei and his “sister”. Also, Du Lei after time hop was just weird. Why not create a whole new character instead??? Made zero sense.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Oof, the thing between Du Lei and Linda was very weirdly written, imo. [SPOILER!] I mean, they’ve lived as brother and sister for literal decades, and when he leaves the family home, she practically demands that he like her romantically? 🤯 I found that quite disturbing, actually.

      As for why not create a new character after the time skip, maybe it was a cost thing? Might as well use the actor they’ve already paid for – and save on the effort of writing a separate arc for him..? 😜

      Reply
  9. reaper525

    I started to watch Love is Sweet a while ago but I put it on hold at episode 5.
    I know you and I are going to disagree again.
    The FL stubbornness puts me a little off. I think ML is right about everything he does and I am on his side. He does things because he cares for her and combines it with logical thinking.
    Don’t get me wrong I like when the OTP quarrels a little but with them it is not very fun or interesting.

    I saw so many great snippets but it looks like they are from later episodes.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Aw, that’s not true that the ML is right about everything, Reaper! 😆 I mean, he’s pushing her away from a job she sincerely wants to do, and then he uses deception to get her to move into the apartment next door. There are some problematic things there already, even if his intentions are positive, wouldn’t you say? 😉

      I find that with this show, it’s best to fast forward through all the parts that don’t interest you. The reward is OTP chemistry that feels very natural and real. When they get along, ie, when they aren’t bickering, they are great together. ❤️ Oh, it might interest you to know that the tone of the bickering becomes friendlier after several episodes. That is, they don’t feel like enemies anymore, even though they do still bicker. That did make a difference, for me.

      Reply
      1. reaper525

        Really? I still think he is right tho. She just takes everything the wrong way.
        The tear allergy made things a little difficult. I mean after school she never cried again. The second she meets him she cries again. So in his mind he still tries to protect her.

        Oh okay I might pick it up again. I hope she stops being so damn stubborn.

        Reply
        1. kfangurl Post author

          But he evicts her from her apartment, behind her back and against her will? Surely there’s something wrong with that? If someone did that to me, I’d be hopping mad when I found out too, so I can’t say she’s being unreasonably stubborn either.

          Reply
          1. reaper525

            Well she got that new apartment for a small price and it is a lot better than her last one so I don’t see the problem ^^

            Reply
            1. kfangurl Post author

              It IS a problem though. She has the right to decline, and she has the right to decide to stay in her old apartment if she wants to or likes to. She was denied that choice, and was forced to look for a new apartment, against her will, all because he thought he knew better, and because he wanted her nearby. That is a problem.

              Reply
              1. reaper525

                I know I am going to get scolded for the third time but….
                He rented an apartment (hers) for a higher price and the landlady accepted his offer. Technically the landlady threw her out because of greed. Which means he just indirectly gave the first domino stone a push. He placed some other domino stones in her way but it was up to her to continue the row. -> The new domino stone he put in place was the cheap apartment.
                Like this: He put the other apartment he owned on the market with a low rent. That is all he did. And she saw it (better her friend saw it) online. There was even a chance she might miss it. He instructed the real estate agent to only give it to her. They looked at the apartment and the friend pushed her to take it. There was also a chance of her not taking the apartment. It actually looked like that for a second. He didn’t interfere with anything else.

                I don’t know why it is a problem. There were at least 5 possible outcomes for this scenario and he got lucky.
                If a random person did so nobody would see it as a problem.
                What if a stranger wanted to rent the apartment she lived in and made the same deal with the landlady? Then she would be out of the apartment and wouldn’t have that amazing apartment as a possibility. You can literally tell that her being thrown out could have happened at any moment bc of the landladys greed. On this planet you can buy anything if you have enough money.

                Reply
                1. kfangurl Post author

                  Ok, so let’s be clear that this is a silly drama that isn’t supposed to be taken seriously. But since we are hashing out the principle of it, this is how I see it: The problem is his lack of consideration for her opinion. He never asked her if she’d be ok to move out of her apartment. Instead, he manipulated the situation to what he thought was best, mostly for his own purpose. Essentially, he played her like a pawn on his chessboard. I don’t think that’s ok, whichever way I slice it.

                  Reply
                  1. reaper525

                    I think I see this from a very logical point of view whereas you come from a more moral/emotional point of view.
                    I truly get what you are saying. And it probably isn’t right. I just don’t see it as a PROBLEM. There are a lot of other things out there that I consider a problem.

                    Reply
                    1. kfangurl Post author

                      Again, this is a silly drama, so I find it quite funny and odd that we are breaking this down so deeply, BUT, for the record, here I go: I think it’s important to take into consideration that emotions play a large part in how human beings make sense of the world and make decisions. We are not robots and never will be. Well, some people are more logical than average, like you, but many people are a stronger mix of both. So, it would therefore offend most people to be treated in the way this ML treats the FL, in terms of the housing issue. And if she is offended, then it becomes a problem between them that needs to be resolved, because otherwise it gets in the way of them forming a friendlier, closer bond.

                    2. reaper525

                      It does make sense. You humans and your emotions 😀 😀
                      I will just retreat here. And agree with you.

                    3. kfangurl Post author

                      Lol. It is refreshing to stand on the same ground with you, Opposite Friend, even in a little friendly “debate” like this. 🙃

                    4. reaper525

                      Well we barely stand on the same ground 😀
                      My mind does work differently. I have been told before that I am not human but a marsian soooo 😀

                    5. kfangurl Post author

                      🤣🤣 Well that makes the rare occasion of standing on the same ground – even though it’s only after some intense discussion – something to celebrate! 🥂

                    6. reaper525

                      I just read this description of a new show that will air in 3 days.
                      Can you give me your thoughts on the description below?
                      “For her work, best-selling crime author Yeo Joo researches how to make a murder look like an accidental death. Next to her is her younger husband, Woo Sung, who is a family man and works as a divorce lawyer. Woo Sung still thinks he’s a sexy, attractive partner, and lives on with his wonderful marriage life. However, lately, Yeo Joo, who would rather be a widow than a divorcee, starts finding some of his behavior suspicious. Could he be cheating on her? Could Woo Sung possibly be enjoying a thrilling affair behind her back? Yeo Joo tells it straight: If he cheats, he will die.”

                    7. kfangurl Post author

                      Ah, I’ve heard of this show, its literal Korean title translates as, “If you cheat, you die,” but the title that seems to be used internationally is “Cheat on me if you can.” I can’t tell what kind of tone the show will have, because from the description, I feel like it could be satire, or hammy-funny, or it could go dark-thriller, or it could go strong melo. Or maybe some kind of mixture. The trailers lean towards humor (some trailers are lighter and some are darker, but they all seem to gear towards funny), so unless the actual show is going to completely ignore the tone of the trailers, it seems like Show will attempt to make this some kind of funny? 😅

                    8. reaper525

                      Thank you for your assessment.

                      And also Nam gong min was announced as the lead for Awaken that will start to air so and I was so excited until I found out Seolhyun is the FL. Life can be so cruel 😀

                    9. reaper525

                      I don’t know … everytime they cast an idol that can’t act for popularity reasons, it usually turns the whole show bad.

                    10. reaper525

                      Well I will just wait until you watch it and if you like it …. I probably won’t 😀
                      But like seriously Seolhyun is like an even worse version of Suzy… why cast people like that…

                    11. kfangurl Post author

                      Let’s see! I still have many dramas on my plate to finish up, so I might not be able to start on Awaken for a while. 😅 As for casting.. it’s the whole popularity again, unfortunately.

                    12. reaper525

                      Well I am watching 0 dramas right now. I even cancelled my viki pass….
                      So I can wait ^^
                      Yeah the popularity thing…..

                    13. reaper525

                      Just had a glimpse and the first ep ^^ not watchable for me 2 bad actresses and a complete wacky story line. Nam goong min can’t save this one.

  10. Miss T

    Being someone who watches only C-dramas, and with my personal taste favors the historical genre — mostly wuxia — I find myself watching more modern C-dramas than the historical ones this year. There are a lot more varieties, most notably the short iQiyi crime stories. You may want to consider checking the most talked about ones this year: The Bad Kids (12 eps), The Long Night (12 eps) and my personal favorite A Murderous Affair in Horizon Tower (16 eps). I am not a gamer, yet I was addicted to Crossfire for the camaraderie of the gaming teams, across different timeline. Some also praised the family/slice of life dramas Go Ahead, Nothing But 30, 20 Your Life On.

    Reply
    1. CarpControl

      A+ on the rec, with the Light On series by iQiyi (i.e. long night & the bad kids)… plus Horizon Towers! 🙂

      Reply
    2. kfangurl Post author

      Thanks for the recommendations, Miss T! 😄 I need directions to the best C-dramas, for sure! I’ve added your suggestions to my list – hopefully I will enjoy them as much as you did, when I get to them! 😊

      Reply
  11. seankfletcher

    Love is Sweet sounds nice overall – shoestring plot – lol – love it 😂 C-dramas in modern settings do come in all shapes and sizes. I am finding it more and more difficult to finish these types of dramas though. For instance, if I look at Begin Again as a case in point, I made it to episode 15 and that was it. It is a contract marriage scenario. The first ten episodes were enjoyable, funny and covered a myriad of topics. The whole time I had my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t start to tank. Then it happened. I started to wonder at what age group/audience it was aimed at. There was nothing wrong with the acting. Then I read the time skip coming up is six years and I thought, that’s it for me.

    Generally, I enjoy the more serious period C-dramas, but as we know, they tend to have a sad ending, which I enjoy less and less as time goes by. As for the fantasy ones, I tend to drop them left, right and centre!

    But of course, underneath it all, there are those little gems here and there and I guess that’s what I tend to look for (with my fingers crossed the whole time).

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Tee hee. Thank you for enjoying my description of the plot, Sean! I thought it was pretty apt, even if I do say so myself. 😜 Sorry to hear that Begin Again didn’t work out for you. I get what you mean about plowing on through the sea of dramas, in hopes of finding the gems. When you do find one, it feels so worth it. Like you, I find myself enjoying the more serious period C-dramas as well, though I am intimidated by their general protracted length and their tendency for sad endings. 😅 I’m currently enjoying The Rise of Phoenixes, even though word on the street tells me to brace myself for a sad ending. 😝

      Reply
      1. seankfletcher

        I do have The Rise of Phoenixes on my “Plan to Watch List.” Yes, the word on the street is it does have a sad ending, so I keep umming and ahhing about watching it.

        Reply

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