Review: The Rational Life [China]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A low-key, slice-of-life story with what feels like a secondary focus on a noona romance, Show is likely not for everyone.

If you’re looking for a noona romance with a little more intensity and fireworks, I feel like fellow C-drama Find Yourself is a better fit. However, if you’re looking for something that’s both down-to-earth yet kind of escapist, this might work for you. I say it’s down-to-earth because Show does touch on some themes which feel very relevant to modern society. At the same time, it feels a little escapist, because the speed and cleanliness of how things get fixed, can feel a bit like a Disney-inspired fantasy.

Overall, I liked this better in concept than in execution, but I do think that this could work well for some, given the right lens &/or viewing needs.

THE LONG VERDICT:

I’ll admit right off the bat, that I had high hopes for this show, because it came highly recommended by not just one person, but several different people. The general impression I got was, that Show is a more grown-up version of 2020’s Find Yourself.

Because I’d enjoyed Find Yourself very well, I was very keen to give this one a look as well.

Now that I’ve come out the other side, I’m gonna have to confess that, overall, I liked Find Yourself better. Call me shallow, but I just found the OTP relationship in Find Yourself a lot more cracky than the OTP relationship in this show. 🤩😅

That said, I do think that this show could hit the sweet spot, for certain specific viewing needs.

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. I confess that I don’t actually have a favorite among them. I found the OST serviceable in scoring our drama world, but I didn’t find myself gravitating to any of the tracks in particular.

To listen to the OST on repeat, just right-click on the video and select “Loop.”

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS / THE VIEWING LENS

Here are a few things that I think would be helpful to keep in mind, to maximize your enjoyment of your watch:

1. Show is more a slice-of-life exploration of the various struggles faced by adults dealing with life in the big city. The romance is a feature, but it really isn’t Show’s main point, despite the marketing.

2. The romance only really gets going in Show’s final quarter. I feel that this is helpful to know upfront, especially if you’re drawn to this show because of the noona romance marketing.

3. There’s a Disney-esque flavor to our story, in particular, the treatment of relationships. This might be a plus point, especially if you’re looking for something that’s assuredly family friendly.

4. The treatment of the romance, is more low-key and cute than explosive and intense. That’s just how Show rolls, and I think it helps if you’re prepared for this upfront. On the upside, Show does a good job of teasing out the growing bond between the OTP.

5. The Disney-esque resolution of things might feel comforting, if you need a break from the stress of real life.

6. This show benefits from being binge-watched. With how slowly things tend to progress in our story world, a binge watch would help you feel like you got to more exciting developments faster.

SPOTLIGHT ON KEY CHARACTERS AND RELATIONSHIPS

Because my overall experience with this show, is that I mostly liked everything better in concept than execution, I thought it would make sense for me to give our key players a quickish spotlight each, while I provide a quick rundown on what I liked about the concept, and didn’t like so much, about the execution.

I will also pick out the highlights I found most memorable, to share in the spoiler sections, as there’s just too much, to talk about everything in detail. This is one rare occasion where I’m leaving out more than 50% of my original episode notes, for this final review. I hope you guys don’t mind.

Shout-out to JJ, because I’d happened to use a similar approach to my notes on the penultimate notes over on Patreon, and she’d liked it so much, that I thought I’d adapt it for the main bulk of this review.

(PS: Those notes are included in this review, just slightly modified, for the spotlight on the penultimate episode.)

Qin Lan as Ruoxin

The concept

Our female lead Ruoxin is a successful legal consultant in her thirties and facing family and societal pressure to get married.

The execution

Upsides:

I think Qin Lan does a nice job of making Ruoxin soft yet steely. She’s rational, capable and businesslike, but she’s also kind, and sees the people part of the equation. She’s an outstanding person, for many reasons, and I ended up liking her very well, as our protagonist.

Not-so-upsides:

I have to confess that Ruoxin’s ultra soft-spoken manner took a bit of getting used to, for me. To my ears, it often feels like she’s not using her full voice, and I have to admit, it sounds kind of throaty and strange to me. At the same time, while Qin Lan is a beautiful lady, it does feel like she’s cast a little too young, in this role. Ruoxin is 34, and I have to hesitantly put forth the opinion that Qin Lan does not look 34. This doesn’t really impact Ruoxin’s personal arc, but I feel that it does have some influence on how the OTP relationship bears out.

[SPOILER ALERT]

E1-2. Within just our first two episodes, I can clearly see how tough it is to walk in Ruoxin’s shoes.

She has to work extra hard, and be twice as tough, in order to prove herself in a corporate environment where women tend to be taken lightly; she has to deal with the pressure that her mother (Pan Hong) exerts on her on a daily basis via multiple calls and messages, not just to get married, but to get her life together and do better at taking care of herself; she has to deal with a boyfriend (Tong Yue) who only seems to care about getting married, and who doesn’t seem to hear a thing she says to him; she has to face the societal judgment that’s slowly seeping through to her, for being a single woman in her thirties.

It’s tough being Ruoxin, but the thing is, Ruoxin’s pressures are pretty universal; it’s easy to imagine any other single woman with a career, in a country like China or even Korea, in a similar position. That makes her relatable.

While it did take me a while to warm up to Ruoxin – mostly because I was a little thrown by her no-nonsense persona, which can feel a bit brusque – I have come around to being on her team. In just these first two episodes, she’s shown a great deal of resilience and self-control.

Best of all, she isn’t afraid to speak up for herself when she feels the need to do so – and when she does so, she is firm, but also, calm, controlled and reasonable. She doesn’t raise her voice, just because someone else raises their voice at her. I’m beginning to see that she’s pretty darn awesome.

The thing is, Ruoxin isn’t even asking for that much, honestly. She just wants to be taken seriously at work, and be acknowledged for her capabilities and not for her womanhood. She wants to be heard, when she tells her boyfriend that she doesn’t like porridge, isn’t free to meet up with him, and isn’t ready to settle down. She wants to be understood by her own mother, when she says that she would rather be single, than settle down with someone who isn’t right for her.

On that last point in particular, I’m very impressed that Ruoxin has such clarity, when she’s in the midst of the situation. I only gained that kind of clarity on hindsight, and yet, here she is, ready to turn down the stability and societal credibility that Cui Lixin’s offering her, and staring down singlehood with a steely fearlessness in her eyes. I do love that.

I also very much appreciate the glimpse of softness and vulnerability, that we get at the end of episode 2, when she asks her digital assistant Xiao Xin, whether she’s lovable, and whether Xiao Xin will love her forever. I appreciate that glimpse, because it shows us that all this strength that Ruoxin puts into living her life, doesn’t come easily to her. There is a toll that it takes on her, and there is a part of her that desires to be truly happy with someone else.

All in all, I really like Ruoxin, and find her relatable as well as aspirational.

[END SPOILER]

Dylan Wang as Qi Xiao

The concept

Our male lead Qi Xiao is young, fresh-faced and just out of school. He’s keen to make a mark in the world, and he’s got a dream and passion for jewelry making.

The execution

Upsides:

Dylan Wang makes Qi Xiao energetic, determined and likable. One of his most appealing traits is his sense of loyalty, and I liked this about him right away.

Not-so-upsides:

The way Dylan Wang portrays Qi Xiao leans a little too young and goofy for my personal taste. This is less of an issue when we’re looking at Qi Xiao in a professional context, though there are occasions when I find his actions on the immature side of things; it’s more of an issue when it comes to the development of the OTP relationship, which I’ll talk more about next.

Show mentions several times that Qi Xiao is mature for his age; I just wish that Show had emphasized that a little more, because I think it would have been helpful on the romance side of things.

[SPOILER ALERT]

E5-6. I love that Qi Xiao follows up on his promise to take Ruoxin to the amusement park, even though she appears to have forgotten. And how clever, that he thinks to suggest it to Sijia (Lin Xin Yi), as an alternative to going out to dinner to celebrate her conversion to permanent employee.

I actually like that, on top of having fun on the rides, Ruoxin and Qi Xiao actually spend a good amount of time just talking. And, I like that the conversation ranges from personal to more philosophical. In this way, I really feel like they’re getting to know and understand each other better, in stages.

Yay that the misunderstanding about Luo Luo (Gong Fang Ni) finally gets cleared up, and it’s nice that Ruoxin gets a new perspective of Qi Xiao too, when he talks about his online business and how he takes care of his mother. And how cool, that Ruoxin tells Qi Xiao that she’d originally wanted to major in Astronomy, and even why she didn’t end up working for a law firm. Also, I find it very significant, that Ruoxin would even go so far as to tell Qi Xiao that she doesn’t want to become like her mom. That’s so.. personal. They are learning important things about each other, and I like that.

[END SPOILER]

The connection between Ruoxin and Qi Xiao

The concept

Qi Xiao and Ruoxin become colleagues, and in spite of their 12-year age difference, romance slowly blossoms between them.

The execution

Upsides:

Show does a very good job of teasing out the growing bond between Ruoxin and Qi Xiao. Because they spend such long hours working together, it’s easy to believe that they would grow closer rather quickly.

Although I did chafe a little at the slow burn of the OTP relationship, at the same time, I appreciate the benefits that come with it. Mainly, it feels like the bond between Ruoxin and Qi Xiao is organically grown, and has been built from the ground up. Even though they’ve only worked together for a matter of months, we’ve literally watched them weather many storms together, and learn to work together, and understand each other, on a day-to-day basis. Because of this, it becomes easy to buy that they’ve grown fond of each other, to varying degrees.

Not-so-upsides:

As I alluded to earlier in this review, the age gap between Qin Lan and Dylan Wang is quite obvious. I’d noticed it from the start of our story, but didn’t want to be ageist about it, and so I worked to ignore the fact that Qin Lan looks more like her real age, than Ruoxin’s age of 34. I had mixed results with this. I think my struggle might have been lessened, if they’d just allowed Qi Xiao to vibe more mature for his age.

Another thing is, when the OTP relationship does finally take off, the treatment of the relationship leans way too cutesy for my taste, and the skinship that we do get, looks awkward and stilted to my eyes.

[SPOILER ALERT]

E7-8. There’s an interpersonal rhythm that’s developing between Ruoxin and Qi Xiao which I appreciate a lot. It might feel like a smallish thing, but I feel that it really shows how much time they’ve spent together, and how much ease they’ve developed around each other.

Plus, there’s how they get into the groove of touching on personal topics while working together, which I feel is definitely accelerating the bond that’s forming between them. I like how they’re becoming more comfortable about telling each other more personal things, like how Qi Xiao tells Ruoxin about his phobia of being left behind by the people that he cares about. And, Ruoxin’s in tune enough with him, to easily make the connection, to why Qi Xiao chooses to live with Su Yang (Chen Peng Wan Li), even though his family home is in Shanghai. I like that.

E17-18. This set of episodes, it’s really nice to see Ruoxin and Qi Xiao working together; there’s a sense of comfort and ease, and a very personal slant, to it all, which I think works really well.

It’s not super obvious, but there are elements to their interaction that indicate to me that their relationship has gone beyond purely professional, and there is personal care mixed in as well. It’s not romantic – at least, not yet – but it’s also not just business anymore.

Like the way she takes him along to dinner with Ziyan, and how the three of them play arcade games together afterwards. It’s so friendly and absolutely not business-y at all. Or like the moment Ruoxin touches Qi Xiao’s leg, to stop him from speaking up at the meeting. Or the tone of their conversation afterwards, as they talk over coffee, about why it’s not good for him to volunteer.

Or like the moment when Ruoxin adjusts Qi Xiao’s helmet strap for him and tells him to be careful on the road, and how Qi Xiao insists on putting the helmet on for Ruoxin – and she doesn’t protest, but allows him to put it on for her. I think the very fact that she doesn’t protest, indicates a level of comfort and ease, to their relationship. This episode, I also notice that Ruoxin’s getting more comfortable touching Qi Xiao, like the way she puts her hand on his cheek to push him away, when he’s teasing her.

It’s in how they relate, rather than what is said, and I actually really do like how Show is teasing out this connection. This way, their connection feels organic and grown from the ground up, and I start to believe in the idea that these two will be able to weather difficulties together.

The key point, this set of episodes, is when the test drive event gets into trouble, and Ruoxin trusts Qi Xiao to solve it. The way she anxiously waits for him on the road, because there’s nothing she can do but trust him and wait, and the way he shows up with other riders and lots of car seats in tow, thus putting all her fears to rest, feels like such a significant moment.

In this moment, she feels helpless and vulnerable, and in this moment, he definitively saves the day. This is him, giving Ruoxin a sense of security, just not quite in the way Director Xu had described. And, I’d argue that this is the kind of security that Ruoxin’s more interested in, since she’s already said that she wants to be able to stand on her own achievements and success, rather than be provided for, by someone else.

E27-28. I completely believed Qi Xiao’s worry for Ruoxin, as he finds his way into the building and up to their office floor, and I like the detail, that as he shouts for her while trying to determine her location, it’s her name that’s on his lips, and not his usual “Sister Xin.”

His worry is pushing his true feelings to the surface, and I buy the idea that this situation would drive him to finally be upfront about his feelings for Ruoxin. I also like the idea that all the worry, tension and anxiety strips away everything else, so that we can clearly see their relationship dynamic.

He yells at her out of pure worry, and she tries to explain herself, indicating that somewhere along the way, she’s started to feel accountable to him. It’s just as Ziyan pointed out; even though Ruoxin is Qi Xiao’s boss, she lets him nag her, and she listens to him. Plus, from the expression in her eyes, it’s clear that Ruoxin feels guilty for making Qi Xiao worry. It’s very telling indeed.

I like the visual of them sitting side by side, yet separated by the glass door, because that feels like an accurate representation of how they are emotionally so close, yet so far, in this moment. Also, I imagine that the glass door provides some kind of psychological shield for Qi Xiao, that gives him a little extra courage, as he finally tells Ruoxin exactly how he feels about her.

Ruoxin’s reaction is very well-played, I feel. There is a clearly noticeable fear in her eyes, besides the look of discomfort. I believe that Ruoxin’s been happy with the blurred lines between her and Qi Xiao, mainly because she doesn’t believe that they could ever actually take things further into an actual relationship, and therefore, she’d have to turn Qi Xiao down if he ever came clean to her – which would signal the end of their close relationship. I feel like that look in Ruoxin’s eyes, is her bracing for the termination of their undefined closeness.

I actually really like how Qi Xiao breaks down his feelings for Ruoxin:

“I’m an adult. I know how I feel about you. This has nothing to do with our age. When you’re not with me, I miss you. I worry about you. I get angry at you for not taking care of yourself. If it makes you happy, I’ll do my best to do everything I can. When I’m with you, even if we don’t talk, as long as I can sit beside you, I feel at ease. I’m happy. I think this is love. I’m drawn to you.”

I also really appreciate that Qi Xiao looks right at her, while telling her all these things, even though he’s really nervous about her rejecting him. He stands firm in the moment, and doesn’t back down, and the way he speaks is deliberate and measured, like he doesn’t want to rush it. I like it a lot.

Also, just to clarify, that while my subs translate his last sentence as, “I’m drawn to you,” I prefer the original dialogue, which translates literally, more or less as, “My heart has moved, towards you.” Doesn’t that have a more poetic feel to it?

And so, when Qi Xiao asks Ruoxin to tell him that she’s never felt anything for him, the actual dialogue uses as a similar phrasing as the last sentence of his confession, so it would literally translate, more or less, as, “Tell me that you don’t like me; that your feelings have never moved towards me, even a little bit, ever.”

I like that Qi Xiao’s tuned in enough to Ruoxin, that the very fact that she hesitates to say it, means that she does like him.

I have to admit, though, that I paused the video to laugh, when the lights came back on, and the glass door removed itself from between them. It just looked really corny to my eyes, even though I fully appreciate the significance, that this is the moment that the invisible obstacle between them is finally removed.

I also like the way Qi Xiao doesn’t let the moment slip away from him, and presses in to ask if they can’t give it a try. Ruoxin’s shy, hesitant nod, and Qi Xiao’s wonder and joy, is pretty sweet, and I’m happy that our OTP is finally established.

E29-30. I appreciate the effort Show puts into demonstrating that both Ruoxin and Qi Xiao need to do some calibration, as they settle into their relationship.

Ruoxin is used to paying for their meals, because she’d been Qi Xiao’s boss, and needs to adjust to the fact that Qi Xiao desires to assert himself in a provider sort of role in their relationship, by paying for their meals as a general rule, going forward.

On the other hand, Qi Xiao needs to adjust his expectations, in dating a more mature, grounded and experienced person. Su Yang may have had Sijia diving into his arms at the jump scares in the horror movie, but Qi Xiao enjoys no such thing, because Ruoxin isn’t easily scared, and loves horror movies, to boot.

These aren’t huge deals; they are small but important adjustments that Ruoxin and Qi Xiao need to make in their expectations of each other, and in the way they related to each other. I’m glad that Show shines the spotlight on this, because these minor adjustments really do matter a lot, in the over scheme of things.

[END SPOILER]

The friendship between Ruoxin and Ziyan

The concept

Ruoxin and Ziyan (Bao Wan Jing) have been best friends since college, and continue to support each other through thick and thin, despite their very different personalities and life stations.

The execution

Upsides:

I like that we get to see how Ruoxin and Ziyan stay in touch, mostly via phone calls and text messages, because their lives are so different. We are privy to many of these calls, and therefore, it feels easy to believe that they really are very much involved in each other’s lives.

Not-so-upsides:

This is likely a personal thing, but sometimes I felt their meet-up scenes, complete with gestures of affection, and some teasing and ribbing thrown in for good measure, come across a little staged. 😅

[SPOILER ALERT]

E7-8. I love the advice that Ruoxin gives Ziyan; that Ziyan should do what she truly wants to do. At this point, it feels like there’s so much noise around Ziyan, that it’s hard for her to figure out what she really wants. It’s great that she has Ruoxin to cut through the noise, and also, speak words of affirmation and support.

[END SPOILER]

The thing with Ziyan and Zou Cheng

The concept

Ziyan and Zou Cheng (Kang Kang) have been married for some time, and although they’d agreed not to have kids, now Zou Cheng has changed his mind.

The execution

Upsides:

Via this relationship, we see several issues surfaced. There’s the pressure on the couple to have kids; there’s societal expectations of what kind of behavior is acceptable for a wife; there’s also the changing expectations and ideals of the individual within a marriage. It’s all so true to life, in all its nuances and complexities.

Not-so-upsides:

While I felt this arc was well teased out, I found the resolution rather too pat and easy. This felt like an uneasy fit with the initial nuanced exploration.

[SPOILER ALERT]

E9-10. I really feel for Ziyan. It’s such a perplexing thing, to suddenly realize, one day, that your only value, in the eyes of society, is as a baby-making machine. And it feels like such a betrayal, for Zou Cheng to speak disparagingly of her travels, when he’d been the one to tell her, when they’d gotten married, that he wanted to give her a princess’s life.

UGH. Not gonna lie; in my eyes, Zou Cheng is a bit of a traitor, for doing this. If he’d told her, with stars in his eyes, that she ought to quit her job and just be a princess for life because he’d take care of her, then it’s duplicitous of him to now disdain the very thing that she’d done, at his encouragement. I want to throttle him, is what. 😤

I’m just relieved that Ziyan’s too strong of a personality, for him to successfully gaslight her. She speaks up for herself, and defends herself just fine, which I’m thankful for. It’s just.. her efforts to get a job and prove her worth are met with so many obstacles, that I worry she just won’t be able to catch a break. And where would that leave her? At the mercy of a husband who’s trying to gaslight her? That’s not great.

E19-20. I like that Ziyan approaches the time out with Zou Cheng, with an air of calmness about her. The fact that she manages to remain calm and reasonable, as she explains why she thinks they both need to take some time to figure things out, goes a long way towards getting Zou Cheng to calm down too, I feel.

I like that Ziyan isn’t afraid to admit the areas where she thinks Zou Cheng has a point, and is putting her money where her mouth is. It’s a big step for her to actually start to pay her share for the apartment, and I think it’s an important aspect of her finding herself and her value again.

While I think it’s nicely poignant and all, for Zou Cheng to come home to an empty apartment, and start to realize how things must have looked and felt from Ziyan’s perspective, I can’t help feeling that this is prettied up for drama, and not actually very realistic. I feel that it’s actually quite unlikely that someone who’s had such a strong conviction for such a long time, of his virtue and irreproachability in their marriage, to have such a sudden turnaround, with such deeply empathetic realizations, in one fell swoop.

E21-22. I’m glad to see Zou Cheng and Ziyan coming to a healthy truce, in their marriage relationship. Although I did find Zou Cheng’s turnaround rather abrupt, I rationalize that Zou Cheng had started out as someone who’d adored Ziyan a great deal, to the point of almost idolizing her. So perhaps it’s not so far-fetched, that he’d have those feelings rekindled, in the midst of reflecting on things from her point of view. (I still think it’s a little tenuous, but I’m willing to roll with this rationalization.)

I really do like the note on which they reconcile. Zou Cheng’s point, that a marriage should be about both parties being willing to wait for the other person, for a while, sounds sensible to me. It’s true that both parties in a marriage can’t be on the same page all the time, and neither can they grow at the same pace all the time either. It makes sense to me, that a big part of making a marriage work, is adjusting your expectations around this, and being ready to embrace the wait that comes with wanting to match steps with your spouse.

I also appreciate that Ziyan articulates that this isn’t just about Zou Cheng; that she’s also been struggling to like herself, and find herself. I definitely think it’s mature of her, to consider whether it’s the unlikable her, that’s brought out the unlikable him. This willingness to consider her own culpability, is one of my favorite things about Ziyan.

[END SPOILER]

The thing with Su Yang and Sijia

The concept

Su Yang’s trying to find a job, so that he can stay in Shanghai, and that’s what’s holding him back from even considering a relationship with Sijia.

The execution

Upsides:

They are both so bashful and cute, and Sijia is just bold enough, amid her own awkwardness, to make her interest noticeable. It’s quite adorable, for a start.

I also like that Sijia ends up supporting Su Yang in very practical ways, through the course of their relationship. Their relationship turns out to be sweeter and more hopeful than I’d originally imagined.

Not-so-upsides:

Unfortunately, I have to admit that the more screen time we get with Su Yang, the more I feel like Chen Peng Wan Li, who plays him, has a pretty limited acting range. I find some of Su Yang’s reactions rather unnatural and stilted, to be brutally honest. 😝 This made Su Yang’s growth arc also land in a rather unnatural manner, I thought.

[SPOILER ALERT]

E11-12. I like the beat where Sijia helps Su Yang sort out his contractual issue. I love how Sijia’s so clearly on his side, and so gung-ho about stepping in to help make his situation right. Not only that, I’m happy to see her provide the support and guidance that he needs, in order to speak up for himself. In that way, she’s teaching him that he’s stronger than he realizes, and I like that a lot.

[END SPOILER]

Pan Hong as Ruoxin’s Mom

The concept

Mom is worried for Ruoxin, and very keen for Ruoxin to get married and settle down.

The execution

Upsides:

Mom has a valid point about loneliness, and the tragedy of dying alone. It’s not hard to see why Mom worries for Ruoxin.

Not-so-upsides:

When Mom is in a calm mood, I have no real issues with how she’s played, but when Mom is angry or upset, she tends to be very theatrical and rough. I found that quite jarring.

There’s something weirdly exaggerated about the way Mom is delivered, that feels just a touch too much to feel natural. I rationalized that maybe Mom’s just a bit of a drama queen, but.. I have to confess that that didn’t really work so well, for me.

[SPOILER ALERT]

E9-10. This episode, I’m really glad to see more dimension from Mom, than simply always giving Ruoxin a hard time about getting married. The way she smiles when reading texts from Ruoxin, the way she talks with pride in her voice, about her daughter, and the way she gets so deeply upset, when she sees that cola-splashing video, really colors in, for me, just how much she cares about Ruoxin. I mean, I’d already gathered that Mom’s anger and exasperation at Ruoxin was rooted in care, but it was just really refreshing to see that care expressed in a different manner. I love how protective Mom is; it literally felt like Mom was ready to hunt down the guy who’d dared pour cola over her daughter, so that she could skin him alive.

And, I love that Mom shows up at Ruoxin’s apartment, with her favorite foods. Food as an expression of love, is such a common thing in Asian families. Mom queueing for hours, just to get Ruoxin’s favorite mooncakes, is a Big Statement, to tell Ruoxin just how much Mom cares for her. Aw. 🥰

[END SPOILER]

Calvin Li as Director Xu

The concept

Show introduces a rival for Ruoxin’s affections, and it makes sense that, unlike Qi Xiao, he’s much more age-appropriate, and is a great catch on paper.

The execution

Upsides:

It’s great that Director Xu sees and appreciates Ruoxin’s excellence and professionalism at work, and chooses to work with her. He does turn out to be a good boss and a good political ally.

Not-so-upsides:

It’s by design that neither Ruoxin nor I cares for Director Xu as a suitor. While I’m pleased that their relationship stays strong on the professional front, it does feel like the transition from slightly skeevy maybe-romantic interest to super positive, super professional business ally leans a bit unnatural.

[SPOILER ALERT]

E13-14. I have to say, I’m rather stunned by Director Xu’s move, of asking Ruoxin out to dinner on her birthday, and disguising it as work – when he really means to make it a very personal, very romantic sort of affair. That feels dishonest and sly, and I didn’t like that. It shows that he didn’t even consider the possibility that Ruoxin might have plans with other people, for her birthday.

Not only that, I have to say, I really dislike the way he approaches the whole dinner date. If he’s trying to take things romantic with Ruoxin, he’s surely doing it in a very unappealing way. Everything he does during this dinner event screams negotiation and marketing, like he’s working to secure a contract with the best candidate, after screening many other candidates.

Worse, all of his efforts to “negotiate” are framed in a way that does not take into account Ruoxin’s own wants or preferences. He frames everything from his point of view, and what’s useful or helpful to him. It’s like, “I’ve deemed that you are the best of the many women whom I’ve screened; you should be grateful that I’m offering you this prized position that other women would kill for. You may accept, and thank me now.” UGH.

There is absolutely no whiff of actual consideration for Ruoxin, nor of sincere emotional attachment, in his “offer” to her. And the way he has that ostentatious necklace brought out, and insists on putting it on for her, despite the stricken, uncomfortable look in her eyes, is just so tone-deaf. He’s more about calculating what’s best for him personally, and bulldozing his way through to get it, than about actually wanting to get to know Ruoxin in a personal capacity. It’s very off-putting to me, honestly.

I feel that Ruoxin handles it in the best way possible, given the circumstances. She clearly doesn’t want to accept his offer (that was clear from the glint of horror in her eyes, the moment she realized she’d been tricked into attending a personal dinner), but she also doesn’t want to offend him, because he’s her boss, and she doesn’t want to jeopardize their work relationship, which has been lopsided, but serviceable and functional, up till now.

It would be supremely unhelpful, if this relationship were to become awkward, because it would make it difficult to work with Director Xu, and working with Director Xu has kind of become a lifeline of sorts for Ruoxin, in her effort to overhaul her prospects at the company.

She does a great job keeping it gracious and appreciative, while drawing the line with Director Xu. I like how she taps on a personal story to explain her decision, and show Director Xu how important it is to her, that whatever success she achieves in life, comes from her own efforts.

Certainly, no one likes to be turned down, and the male ego can be a very delicate thing, so I don’t blame Ruoxin for feeling anxious about how Director Xu would react the following day. After all, we’ve seen before, how a person can appear really kind and sweet, until they’re rejected; that’s when people can turn really ugly.

Thankfully, Director Xu doesn’t turn ugly; I gives him props for that. However, it does feel like he hasn’t given up quite yet. Also, to Director Xu’s credit, he does make an effort to give Ruoxin some personal space, when he realizes that she has a life outside of work too. It would’ve been nice if he’d begun with the assumption instead of having to be reminded about it, but ok, I take the point that sometimes we have blind spots and we all need to start somewhere.

[END SPOILER]

THEMES / IDEAS

Aside from the various themes and ideas already mentioned earlier in this review, I really liked this quote from Ruoxin.

E9-10. “As they say, we are all but little ducks swimming. Others only see what’s above the water. Peacefulness and the leisure of living. But no one knows what happens beneath the water. How our feet desperately struggling to paddle. No matter the difficulty, we can always overcome it because everything will pass. So let’s just continue to paddle, okay?”

It’s so true that everyone has their own difficulties and struggles, and we often don’t see what they are.

SPOTLIGHT ON THE PENULTIMATE STRETCH [SPOILERS]

E31-32. We are getting close to the end of our story, and ready for a Final Conflict, so it makes sense that all is not well in paradise. To be honest, though, I’m not sure how well this is landing, for me.

In principle, I get that Ruoxin and Qi Xiao need to start facing some of the challenges that come from their May-December romance. At the same time, we’ve had so little time with them as a couple, and even then, they’ve been taking some time to settle into this relationship, and there are some things which are still awkward and tentative between them. It just feels like a bit much, for them to be thrown into the angst of dealing with external pressures, when they haven’t even had time to figure themselves out as a couple properly yet.

While some might argue that real life comes knocking when it wants to, it does feel like a bit of a weird fit for this show specifically. For one thing, Show’s Disney-esque touch to the treatment of the relationship makes me think that it would be more in character for Show to, in the spirit of Disney, accord Ruoxin and Qi Xiao some space to figure themselves out as a couple, before throwing them into the midst of angst.

Another thing that niggles at me is, I feel like Show is simply running out of time, and that’s why it can’t afford to do that, even in the spirit of Disney. This does bother me somewhat, because it’s not like Show didn’t have time. If Show had just gotten the OTP minted before the three-quarter mark of our story, we could have had it all – is what I’m thinking, and that thought makes me a little disgruntled, honestly.

Generally speaking, I liked the developments this set of episodes more in concept than in execution. Here’s a quick overview of the various things floating around in my head right now.

Agreeable Concept: I can buy that Qi Xiao and Ruoxin still need time to settle into their new relationship, and I can believe that Qi Xiao’s eager to amp up the skinship, while Ruoxin prefers to take things slow.

Questionable Execution: I find it inconsistent that Qi Xiao needs to screw up his courage to put his arm around Ruoxin, when just a few episodes ago, we’d seen him cuddling up to her at the studio, like a little koala. This sometimes cozy, sometimes awkward kind of skinship situation between our OTP feels kind of whiplashy. I also don’t care for the flaily arms and thrashy legs, when Qi Xiao’s mission to get Ruoxin tipsy – and therefore, I’m assuming, more open to skinship – fails. This leaned too childish to my eyes, and does not actually make me want to root for Qi Xiao as a romantic lead.

Agreeable Concept: I buy the idea that Qi Xiao reaches a realization after his conversation with his mom, and works on giving Ruoxin a sense of security and confidence, and that this shift in Qi Xiao’s approach makes Ruoxin happy enough to give Qi Xiao a kiss.

Questionable Execution: I don’t know how I feel about this idea of skinship as reward. Also, the kisses themselves are so stiffly and awkwardly delivered, I found myself wishing that they’d stop. 🙈 On a related note, Qi Xiao’s changearound is so quick, that I’m not thoroughly convinced that this is a genuine shift in his thinking, or if this is just him saying what he thinks are the right things.

Agreeable Concept: I don’t love the idea of Gu Yu Tao (Qian Yong Chen) being a meddling jerk to stir up trouble in paradise for our OTP, but I get what Show’s trying to achieve with this.

Questionable Execution: I find myself disliking the writing around the whole trip. In particular, the way the ex-classmates behave, all teasing Ruoxin and Yu Tao about being compatible, when Ruoxin’s already announced that she has a boyfriend, strikes me as really quite annoying. The whole thing feels very staged. And, Gu Yu Tao being a smug know-it-all who also lies, doesn’t help.

Agreeable Concept: I get that Ruoxin’s mom would be upset at finding out that Ruoxin’s dating Qi Xiao.

Questionable Execution: It still bothers me that Mom gets so dramatic and harsh when she’s angry. After showing us Mom’s softer side for so long, I found it jarring to see Mom pushing her way into Ruoxin’s apartment and throwing things on the floor.

Agreeable Concept: I like the idea that Qi Xiao’s mom (Tian Miao) gets through to Ruoxin’s mom by sharing her own experiences and worldview with her.

Questionable Execution: I find the portrayal of both moms rather too exaggerated and over-the-top to feel natural, and I found the scene kind of painful to watch. I had to keep reminding myself to only take the good (the concept of the sharing), and to gloss over the bad (the exaggerated delivery).

In case it sounds like I dislike this show, I don’t. However I am rather disappointed at the overall execution, because I feel like there was potential for Show to have been better. Hopefully Show brings it all home in a nice, tight manner, because we only have 3 more episodes left.

THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]

For all my various grumblings about Show’s general handling, I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised that Show brings it all together quite nicely, for the final landing. Yes, it’s rather pat and there are neat bows in just about every direction you look, but Show makes it all feel good, and leaves us with a sweet sort of aftertaste which I find very appealing. Nicely done, honestly.

One of the main things that I like about the way Show approaches the ending, is that there is no whiff of noble idiocy, in our Final Conflict. Yes, there are some misunderstandings between our OTP, but instead of having it stretch out for several episodes, Ruoxin and Qi Xiao clear it up within an episode or thereabouts. And all other tension in our Final Conflict, has to do with an external event that Ruoxin and Qi Xiao work through together. I liked that.

Ruoxin and Qi Xiao sitting down to talk about their relationship with Ruoxin’s mom is one of the most heartfelt moments of this final stretch, and I enjoy this scene a lot. It’s a little cheesy, sure, but I lapped up the teary confessions from both Qi Xiao and Ruoxin, where they detail what they love so much about the other person. This kind of cheesy stuff is great for the soul of the relationship, I feel like. And, I’m glad that this heartfelt sharing is the thing that gets Ruoxin’s mom to decide to accept their relationship.

I also appreciate that when Mom questions them about how long they think their love will last, that Ruoxin points out that no one can know for certain what will happen to a relationship, regardless of the age of the people in that relationship. That’s such a valid point, and I’m glad that this is where Show stands. A couple with a more socially acceptable age gap could easily break up, while a couple with a more unconventional age gap might last for the long haul. You really don’t know, and you really shouldn’t judge the potential longevity of a relationship on something like age.

Even though the whole jewelry design and plagiarism thing leans a touch simple, neat and pat, I find that this arc has just enough tension about it, to make it interesting to watch, and has just enough poetry baked into it, to add to the lyrical sort of flavor that our ending serves up.

It might lean cheesy in the execution, particularly with Qi Xiao’s presentation at the competition finals, but I do really like the idea that his inspiration comes from two things that are so organic to our story: Ruoxin’s love of the stars, and the love story that he shares with Ruoxin. It’s a lovely sentiment that he shares, and it’s also a lovely thought, that it’s Ruoxin and his love for her, that brings him the deepest inspiration.

Su Yang quits his job and starts a new company, with Sijia’s support, and ends up doing really well, yay for him. I’m glad that his small and steady steps of courage finally bear fruit, and I’m pleased to see that in the process, his relationship with Sijia has only grown stronger.

I’m also glad that we get a bit of time with Ziyan and Zou Cheng, because they had dropped off our screens for a stretch, in order to give more screen time to Ruoxin and Qi Xiao. The vibe between them is a little too lovey-dovey to my eyes, to feel organic, but I appreciate that they’re working things out so well between them, and now are putting up a united front, even when it comes to the issue of whether or not to have children.

Like I said, a little pat and neat, but I’m fond of these characters, and therefore, I’m happy that they’re happy.

I am pleased to see Ruoxin essentially get a double promotion at work; she’s proven herself to be dedicated and capable, and she fully deserves the recognition. I’m a little sad to see Lisa (Zhang Yan Yan, Grand Princess Liyang from Nirvana in Fire!! 🤩) leave Shanghai, though; I really feel like she and Ruoxin work very well together. But, it’s comforting to know that Ruoxin is well regarded by one more person from Headquarters, now.

Also, it’s been long in the coming, but it’s still rather satisfying to see Director Liu (Wei Yi Bo) quit the company, essentially because he hasn’t been doing well, with the new changes and the restructuring. It’s also kind of satisfying to see Director Li and Director Ruan (Wang Yi Nan and He Bin) trying to get on Ruoxin’s good side, now that she’s going to outrank them, with her second promotion.

Of course, Ruoxin’s too gracious to gloat at any of this; I’m just glad for her, that the tables are now finally turned, and people in the company will have no choice but to take her seriously.

Last but not least, I love Ruoxin’s parting voiceover, even as we watch her and Qi Xiao continue to live life together, with a positive outlook for the future.

“I’m Shen Ruoxin, 35 years old. An unmarried senior executive. I’m a rational lady who has my life and goals figured out. Compared to an innocent 18-year-old or a 20-year-old who’s still searching, I like myself better in my thirties.

Although nobody thinks I’m cute anymore and I’m aging by the minute, the 35-year-old me, compared to my past, knows me better than ever before. I know what I want. Be it career, family, or relationships, I’m gradually beginning to steer my life. I’m sure of myself, yet I still fully embrace the unlimited possibilities of the future. I like the current me very much. I hope that the current you feels the same.”

Ahh. What a kind, encouraging and aspirational note on which to leave our characters. Very nice indeed.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Flawed in its execution, but ultimately sweet and comforting in spirit.

FINAL GRADE: B+

TRAILER:

PATREON UPDATE!

The next drama I’ll be covering on Patreon, in place of The Rational Life, is The King’s Affection, mostly because of our leads. I really like Park Eun Bin, and I recently loved Ro Woon in She Would Never Know. I’ve taken a look at episode 1 and so far, I like it a lot!

Here’s an overview of what I’m covering on Patreon right now (Tier benefits are cumulative)!

Early Access (US$5): Yumi’s Cells

Early Access Plus (US$10): +Lost (Human Disqualification)

VIP (US$15): +The Bond [China]

VVIP (US$20): +Hometown Cha Cha Cha

Ultimate (US$25): +The King’s Affection

Ultimate (US$25): +My Name (bonus show!)

If you’d like to join me on the journey, you can find my Patreon page here. You can also read more about all the whats, whys, and hows of helping this blog here. Thanks for all of your support, it really means a lot to me. ❤️

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
43 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
astronerd
astronerd
5 days ago

as an engineer-in-the-making, i strongly follow newton’s first law of motion. i am in a constant state of inertia unless prompted by an external force. this time, it’s The Rational Life. ive been a longtime follower and lurker of the blog. 2years (!!) i always told myself i’d comment later but never did owing to various reasons, but this. this has finally compelled me to share my thoughts. xD

in my opinion, the rational life is a wonderful, well-done show. i can see why it wouldnt work for many people, but it totally worked for me. from the crazy mom to the office politics to the romance being secondary. i enjoyed it all. rouxin’s mom reminds me of my own and the corporate politics intrigue me (it’s also good knowledge for when i will step into the workplace in a few years.) the slowburn romance excited and agonised me in equal measures, and the side characters all got their own fully teased out arcs which i love. it’s been a while since i sank into a show and binged it as i did TRL, so im very happy and satisfied with it. it is an underrated gem. <3

in case you didnt know, there are three follow-up episodes to the show, an extended epilogue of sorts. they are not yet eng subbed but i think you would be able to watch and enjoy them. do share your thoughts with us if you do 🙂

PS: congratulations on the vogue india collab! i am very happy for you. i’m indian, and having my drama world and real world collide like that felt like a crazy, unrealistic dream but i’m so happy it’s true! i loved your quotes in the interview as well as the full-length answers you posted on the blog 😀

astronerd
astronerd
5 days ago
Reply to  astronerd

to clarify what i say in the first paragraph, there have been many posts on the blog ive loved and discussions i wanted to participate in but i didnt/couldnt because sometimes i wouldnt have the time to or sometimes i felt like what i had to say didnt matter as much or wasnt as deep and funny or profound as what others were saying. so. 😬
i want to comment more here and also start my own blog but ,,, i mostly dont have enough time due to real life commitments to studies, etc.

astronerd
astronerd
5 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

thank you so much KFG! your words give me confidence. maybe i will lurk around and comment a bit here and there before going to blogging. it is definitely a big time commitment so i hope to incorporate it in my daily life through some writing practice every day and then start publishing posts.

as for the special eps, here are two sites you can check out:
https://www.olevod.com/index.php/vod/play/id/25879/sid/1/nid/36.html
https://duboku.cc/%E7%90%86%E6%99%BA%E6%B4%BE%E7%94%9F%E6%B4%BB/special5.html

happy watching!

Eric Lancaster
Eric Lancaster
16 days ago

I was one the recommenders for this show. I agree with everything in the review comparing it to Find Yourself, but enjoyed this one much more. This show did not have great spark (they should have worked harder on that) but I could cheer for the relationship the whole way. Best points:

  1. Both leads act consistently kind, honest, and respectful towards each other and everyone else. Compared to Begin Again (where FL is almost psychopathically dimissing of ML’s feelings in that she acts ashamed of him while happy to be seen as SML’s girlfriend – yuck, so disrespectful that I couldn’t cheer for the relationship at all). And in Begin again the whole way the ML stoops to the manipulative dishonest level of SML in the end to win – also yuck.
  2. FL shows class and restraint at many points. Despite having ample justification to humiliate her ex, she refrains. This is a useful antidote to the tendency in CDrama to dramatize heroes and heroines publicly humiliating their enemies. FL is a particularly admirable sort of female hero in that she portrayed a lot fo strength without cruelty. In way too many CDrama the leads encounter arrogant rich people but respond by showing that they are even richer and can be even more arrogant to humiliate them in public – not healthy, not mature.
  3. I loved that the leads were competent but not super people.
  4. Liked that judgmental mom turned out not to be that bad in the end.

One interesting idea for a discussion – what are the unwritten rules of Cdrama? Some I’ve noticed:

  1. Everyone must always reconcile with abusive parents, no matter how horrible the abuse was. Parents rarely take consequences for this behavior but get forgiven in the end.
  2. The police and police officers are never wrong. Public officials are never corrupt. Contrast to Kdrama where almost all officials are corrupt – and the one who doesn’t won’t survive the 8th episode. in China there is a ton of resentment against strong people abusing their power (or must be since this plot point is as common as breathing air) but the corruption is inevitably pushed into ancient history or onto a private actor – the lawyer can be corrupt but never a prosecutor or judge, the businessman but never an official. I wonder if this rule does them any good – the same emotions are explored in either case. People aren’t that dumb.
  3. People announce (more or less randomly) that they are doing some random activity (go to France to study baking) to bring glory to China. In KDrama (esp older ones) characters would go to America to study whenever the plot needed to get rid of them, but they don’t say stuff like this. in JDrama there is a ton of earnest enthusiasm for ridiculous activities (“I will be the world’s best washing machine repair person!”) and people do leave but no one does anything for the glory of japan.
  4. Everyone must decide to get married and have children. Almost no one actually gets that abortion that they are considering.
  5. Any pregnant woman who falls down for any reason has a miscarriage.
Shyama Madan
Shyama Madan
18 days ago

I loved this one. I couldn’t help thinking, as I watched it, that this is what Encounters should have been! Or aspired to be! This one has the heart that was frozen out by the icy leading lady in Encounters. Also, can’t help wondering what an awesome job Park Bo Gum would have done in Dylan Wang’s place. I’m not normally a big fan of noona romances, but I loved this one! Not even one cringey moment!

M V
M V(@amyvegaache)
18 days ago

I’m watching it right now and I’m enjoying it a lot. I have recently been to into cdramas and found a gem “Go ahead” and I always enjoy your reviews so I would love to read your review of this wonderful family drama :))

M V
M V(@amyvegaache)
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

It’s really good, so warm and touching . Don’t leave it too behind, haha, you won’t regret it 😝

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  M V

@MV – Thanks so much for the suggestion. I have added to my list and suggested over to the group in Patreon. Did you see The Bond? Several of us just finished The Bond and now KFG has been covering it on Patreon. We loved it so much and needed something new!

M V
M V(@amyvegaache)
18 days ago
Reply to  JJ

No haven’t seen it yet? is it good? these days I’ve been into slice of life dramas 🤩 Plus loved Steven Zhang in Go Ahead❤️

Last edited 18 days ago by M V
JJ
JJ
17 days ago
Reply to  M V

@M V – Flat out loved it. I think its considered a slice of life drama. Some of us have been watching Steven Zhang in Day of Becoming You which is light and easy. Steven is such a good actor!

manukajoe
manukajoe(@manukajoe)
18 days ago

KFG do you speak Chinese? Did you watch English or Chinese subtitles? I watched a few episodes of this but it feels too fake. Had the same experience with Find Yourself. Wonder if it’s the English subs on Netflix.

manukajoe
manukajoe(@manukajoe)
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Yes that’s my experience, and I just don’t get why this would be appealing to the audience. That said, there are a few shows that have a more grounded feel, like 我的前半生 and 暗恋橘生淮南.
And 棋魂。

Last edited 18 days ago by manukajoe
manukajoe
manukajoe(@manukajoe)
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

I got to about Ep 10 😀

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

– Well, I have not watched too many Cdramas as of, yet. I think this was one of my firsts and I think which I think KFG suggested. I can only speak for myself obviously, I found the female lead character to be strong, smart, resourceful, calm, taking charge of her own life and surviving in a corporate predominantly male environment. I found the Show to be enjoyable and light to be an easy binge watch. And I did love the music the Show used and I also like the themes they attempted to address throughout the Show.

Ill have to look into the other Shows you suggested. Thank you 🙂

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@KFG – Thank you 🙂 Ill put it on that ever growing list. 🙂

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

– Ah yes! We have been watching 棋魂 and enjoying thoroughly!!!! I put the other two on my list, thank you 🙂

manukajoe
manukajoe(@manukajoe)
18 days ago
Reply to  JJ

How far are you? I fizzled out around Ep 10, partly due to having to watch on Viki which app didn’t work well with my TV.

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

– We made it to Episode 13 and still enjoying at this point 🙂 Hope you can get back to it somehow. Its also on iQIYI.

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

– I dont speak Chinese and I watched with English Subs and I could even tell the Subs werent so great on Netflix. Seems to be consistent issue across the board with Kdramas and Cdramas on Netflix.

JJ
JJ
18 days ago

@KFG – Really hard to disagree with any of your comments on this one. I still loved Ruoxin and she is one of my favorite female characters in Kdrama and Cdrama land right now 🙂

I definitely agree, binging this one is the way to go!

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@KFG – Awwwwww, you are welcome 🥰🥰🥰. So glad we were helpful not sure how because you so have this covered! And just for everyone else to know this was a second watch for Leslie and I. I am so glad you gave the show a B+ ❤️

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@KFG – YAY!!! Sometimes the Disney touch isnt that bad of a thing, eh? 😉 I am glad you enjoyed the ending. I just loved this Show faults and all 🙂

Awesome! I am so glad we did because it was fun watching this one with you ❤️

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@JJ – Wait, Disney touch is an escape from the real world??!!! 😉 Most definitely! I think its nice to have a balance as suggested some more Shows with a grounded feel to them. Always nice to have options.

Oh thanks for the reminder!!! Someone else suggested Go Ahead, I think over on Patreon. Or I found it because we are also watching the light and fun “Day Becoming of You” and has Steven Zhang in it, total cutie and a GREAT actor. I added it to my list !!!!

Thank you, yes we are still feeling bereft over The Bond ending and we still continue to discuss the Show on the Drama Exchange over on Patreon.

Oh, some of us checked out Melancholia because you mentioned it 🙂

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@KFG – I already posted your suggestion to the “Otter Gang” in Patreon Drama Exchange Spoiler Free Zone!!!! So excited 🙂

Oh say it isnt so!!!! SOB. I didnt even start The King’s Affection as Shahz dropped it after a couple and I thought Trent gave up as well, could be wrong. But reading your first set of notes, I am glad I did not even get past the title song 🙂 I tried the starting the Show, but the title song wasnt working for me at all. Hope you enjoy KA, we will be waiting anxiously for you to start Melancholia. Well, I say this now with only watching the first 20mins 😂

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@KFG – Possibly 🙂 I think Shahz also liked Episode 1. I am gearing up to start Mr. Queen as I can only handle one sageuk at a time, I think.

Oh, we also have started the Cdrama crime thriller with Bai Yu Long Night and even I am hooked. Its only 12 episode and we are at Episode 8. Another suggestion from a fellow Patreon member and Shahz peaked at first for me 🙂

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@KFG – As usual – Mom is sooo right! Thankfully, watching with Shahz and I am using Mute lots 🙂

Alexandra
Alexandra
17 days ago
Reply to  JJ

Kfangurl, I also liked the first 2 ep of King Affection, but then it started to get boring and then even more boring that I fast forwarded ep. 7-8 and then didnt feel like watching anymore. I ended dropping everything you dropped so far so Im really curious if youll like this one. I really like the FL (loved her in Do you like Brahms?) but the rest of the cast is not that convincing and I believe the plot is lacking too.

I agree with you about The Rational Life, I liked it although the acting was not that good in some parts. It has a good vibe though 🙂

Leslie
17 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

I was happy to take a second ride on The Rational Life with you, KFG. And, as usual, your thoughts added new perspectives to my watch. I think your grade is very fair – and agree that the end game bumped it up to the “+” category. Your lens adjustments will be very helpful to viewers. As you know, I endorse your recommendation to binge this one, or at least watch it quickly! 👍🏼