Review: Lucky’s First Love (2019)

The World Owes Me a First Love 2019

Also known as The World Owes Me A First Love, this 24-episode modern drama is available with English subtitles on Viki. It stars Xing Zhao Lin, best known for The Eternal Love, as Xia Ke, the CEO of a gaming startup, and Bai Lu, best known for The Legends and Arsenal Military Academy, as Xing Yun, the startup’s first employee.

I like that this drama doesn’t begin with our two leads meeting, but after they’ve worked together for a couple years. Since they already know each other so well, Lucky’s First Love is about overcoming familiarity and realizing that you’ve fallen in love with someone who is already by your side.

That being said, it takes quite some time for the romance between Xia Ke and Xing Yun to develop. In the beginning (and this is not a spoiler since it the storyline happens immediately), Xing Yun dates someone else and since it’s her first time dating, she’s not familiar with what to expect. There are huge red flags that she rationalizes due to her lack of experience. I was cringing so hard. Then almost immediately afterward this storyline, there’s another “obstacle” between her and Xing Yun, and it was even worse. Although most reviewers called this drama “light and fluffy” it actually stressed me out because I was waiting so long for them to get together.

However, I did for the most part enjoy the supporting characters and there were a lot of humorous moments. Although Xing Zhao Lin’s acting isn’t always that great, and Bai Lu’s wig gets a little annoying (it just drives me crazy that she has that center braid hairstyle the entire way through!), I thought the two of them had good chemistry and I loved their scenes together.

If you haven’t watched this drama, here’s the trailer:

Additional thoughts with some minor spoilers follow!

Continue Reading

Review and Ending Recap: Mountains and Ocean (2019)

Mountains and Ocean 2019

Mountains and Ocean aired in September 2019 and stars Zhuang Da Fei (aka Sabrina Zhuang) as Xia Rui Ning, a girl from a rich family and Ma Xin Yu as Shen Zhen, the daughter of a woman who works for the Xia family, who pays for her tuition to the same university. There is a bitter rivalry between the two of them. Huang Sheng Chi and Fan Zhi Xin also star as two brothers, Ye Lin and Ye Miao; Rui Ning has a crush on one brother, while the other falls in love with her. This drama is available with English subtitles on YouTube.

I knew this drama had a love triangle (kind of a square, actually)—and even worse, with two brothers involved. I was curious though, so I skimmed through episode 1 and 5, and then skipped to 10 and watched to the end (episode 24).

The dramatic first scene should have told me everything I needed to know about this drama. In his car, Ye Miao pulls up to a stop in front of the gate of his family’s mansion right before he would have hit Rui Ning, who is standing there with her luggage. Then the drama rewinds to the events of six years ago. It’s clear from this opening scene that this is not a lighthearted romantic comedy. From what I saw, the love triangle was handled well, and the worst part of this drama is the irredeemable second female lead, Shen Zhen. It’s pretty obvious which brother Rui Ning falls in love with, and I thought their scenes together were cute. The other brother is also likable and doesn’t become an evil, jealous schemer.

However, the final four episodes take an extremely melodramatic turn. If you’re curious, I have recapped the final episodes below.

Continue Reading

New Chinese Dramas on Amazon Prime Video: November 2019

Since I lasted posted about Chinese dramas on Prime Video in September, I’ve noticed some new additions!

Blossom in Heart (2019)

Deng Lun & Li Yi Tong’s new drama, also known as Begonia Rouge, is already on Prime Video! This Republican era drama is currently airing & concludes in December.
» Watch Blossom in Heart on Prime Video

Legend of Yun Xi (2018)

This historical drama was one of my favorites last year, with one of my favorite heroines ever. Yun Xi (played by Ju Jing Yi) is smart, generous, and skilled with treating poisons. Her arranged marriage with Zhang Zhe Han’s character blossoms into true love.
» Watch Legend of Yun Xi on Prime Video

The Disguiser (2015)

I don’t watch these Republican era spy dramas but if I did, I’d pick this one starring Hu Ge, Wang Kai, and several other familiar faces from Nirvana in Fire (my favorite drama of all time).
» Watch The Disguiser on Prime Video

Love Better Than Immortality (2019)

Here’s a recent historical fantasy drama starring Zhao Lu Si from I Hear You and Oh! My Emperor and Li Hong Yi from Master Devil Do Not Kiss Me. (They also starred together in another drama this year called Prodigy Healer.) There’s a time travel aspect to the plot, as well as a love triangle.
» Watch Love Better Than Immortality on Prime Video

Love Under The Moon (2019)

This 48-episode modern drama starring Victoria Song and Ou Hao seems slow, angsty, and sad…
» Watch Love Under The Moon on Prime Video

Our Glamorous Time (2018)

I don’t actually recommend this one and dropped it at episode 25. It also seems that Amazon is missing the last 10 episodes (for a total of 50). This drama about the business partnership and romance between a sharp soldier and a talented fashion designer seemed promising initially but became nonsensical and convoluted.
» Watch Our Glamorous Time on Prime Video

Continue Reading

First Impressions: The Love by Hypnotic (2019)

The Love By Hypnotic 2019

I’m pleasantly surprised by The Love by Hypnotic, a historical romance web drama currently airing on Tencent (concluding next week on November 13). The first few episodes had me laughing out loud non-stop, and I have reached episode 15 (out of 36) in just a few days. I’m watching on YouTube with English subtitles via Tencent Video. If you’re looking for a fun romance-centered historical drama, definitely give The Love by Hypnotic a try!

Li Ming Yue (played by Ling Mei Shi) is a princess from Xiyue who is brought to Beixuan to marry Li Qian (played by Alen Fang), a prince. Li Ming Yue has the ability of hypnosis, and after using it on Li Qian, he discovers that he is able to recover lost memories from his childhood.

For a historical drama, the plot so far has been very focused on their romance. Ming Yue is playful and spirited, in opposition to Li Qian’s calm and serious demeanor and their interactions are so fun to watch. Yes, I’ve seen so many dramas recently with cold/stony male leads, but I don’t consider Li Qian one of them because he does show emotions. (Also, the sleepwalking is hilarious.)

Continue Reading

Review: My Girlfriend is an Alien (2019)

My Girlfriend is an Alien 2019

This was such a fun drama and despite some flaws, is one of my favorites of 2019.

The summary I’ve seen for My Girlfriend is an Alien makes it sound so bizarre but the basic premise is: the female lead, Chai Xiao Qi, is an alien who gets stuck on Earth unintentionally and needs to get her homing device back from the male lead, Fang Leng, a CEO who happens to suffer from a specific kind of amnesia that causes him to forget the women in his life when it rains.

Wan Peng and Hsu Thassapak were so great as the leads and had a lot of chemistry. I thought Wan Peng really pulled off the clueless boy-crazy alien without being annoying. (Maybe a hint of cringeyness at times, but overall I thought she was endearing!) They had plenty of cute moments and kissing scenes, and I laughed so hard when Xiao Qi kept trying to touch his chest. I really loved that this story wasn’t instalove for her (just instalust, lol), and she approached everything with a positive attitude.

Continue Reading

Chinese Dramas on Amazon Prime Video: September 2019

Chinese Dramas on Amazon Prime Video

I’ve seen a lot of Chinese dramas added to Amazon Prime Video this year, but it seems difficult to actually find them so I’ve put together this list of some notable dramas I’ve stumbled across on the site. There are a good number of dramas from this year & the past three years! (Please note: all Amazon links in this post are my affiliate links.)

Heavy Sweetness (2018)

More commonly known as Ashes of Love or Heavy Sweetness, Ash-like Frost, this very pastel-heavy & hugely popular fantasy romance drama stars Yang Zi, Deng Lun, and Luo Yunxi.
» Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Princess in the East Palace (2019)

This popular historical drama from earlier this year is more commonly known as Goodbye, My Princess. If you’re looking for a tearjerker, you’re in luck.
» Watch on Amazon Prime Video
» Read My Review

Legend of Fuyao (2018)

This fantasy adventure drama spans multiple kingdoms & a very large cast of characters. Yang Mi was great as usual, but I found Ethan Juan a real scene-stealer with his cunning & charm.
» Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Love Me, If You Dare (2015)

Wallace Huo plays a criminal psychologist with a very high IQ but low EQ, who falls in love with his assistant, played by Sandra Ma, while solving some very violent cases. A must-watch for fans of crime thrillers!
» Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace (2018)

Another Wallace Huo drama! I actually haven’t watched this, because it came out around the same time as The Story of Yanxi Palace, which kind of tells the same story but from a different perspective. I loved Yanxi Palace SO much that I just can’t root for Ruyi.
» Watch on Amazon Prime Video

In Youth (2019)

Here’s a 2019 modern drama for you, about a group of young adults pursuing careers and love. The two leads, played by Zhang Yun Long and Qiao Xin, work at a PR firm. I loved the male lead’s tight-knit group of friends but I did skim through the middle portion of this drama. (Aside from Qiao Xin, the main cast are all rising stars in Yang Mi’s entertainment company, Jaywalk Studio.)
» Watch on Amazon Prime Video

The Legend of Haolan (2019)

If you fell in love with Wu Jinyan after The Story of Yanxi Palace, this is her follow-up historical drama which I have heard great things about! I haven’t watched it yet because when it came out, I was still recovering from Yanxi Palace.
» Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Legend of Dragon Pearl (2017)

I confess that I’m not a huge Yang Zi fan but I actually liked her in this drama! Qin Jun Jie stars as the male lead and I thought they had great chemistry (also, they dated in real life).
» Watch on Amazon Prime Video

The Flame’s Daughter (2018)

I didn’t finish watching this drama and I can’t remember why, but I was very intrigued by the pairing of Dilraba Dilmurat and Vic Chou (who I will always think of as Hua Ze Lei from Meteor Garden). The supporting cast is great and includes Vin Zhang and Liu Rui Lin (a lot of Jaywalk Studio faces here).
» Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Continue Reading

Review: Conspiracy of Love (2019)

Conspiracy of Love 2019

Conspiracy of Love is a 2019 iQiyi web drama consisting of 24-episodes. I previously wrote a recap of episodes 1-3. This is a suspense/mystery drama with a twist.

My immediate reaction upon finishing this drama was: wow, what did I just watch?? But not in the good way.

I really liked the first 9 episodes. When the story seemed to be about the female lead trying to uncover the truth/get revenge using all kinds of methods and entering a partnership with the male lead, it was enjoyable. They were an even, balanced match—both smart and driven, with their own goals. I thought they were a pretty cute pair. The male lead’s best friend is also a fun, kind-hearted character.

But after episode 9, the plot becomes increasingly convoluted and nonsensical. There are so many different people involved, their motives were murky (I never did understand Xia Yu Xuan), and a certain aspect was pretty far-fetched. From episodes 13-21, the plot just kept going back and forth with no progress, and then in episodes 22-23, the characters finally just flat-out explain everything. Even the final episode was disappointing; I was hoping for some fun scenes to reward me for getting through 23 episodes of ridiculousness. If you are watching for the romance, you’ll be especially frustrated. *sigh*

Note: On iQiyi, this drama is separated into two seasons of 12 episodes each.

Continue Reading

My Girlfriend is an Alien: Episode 1 Recap

My Girlfriend is an Alien Episode 1

I started watching the currently-airing web drama My Girlfriend is an Alien because I’m always curious about storylines involving aliens, and I am LOVING it. I have watched through episode 16 and despite things getting a tad repetitive in episodes 9-12, I’m still really enjoying it. The female lead is so charming, and since she’s not familiar with human norms you can’t really fault her for her behavior. There are so many scenes of her touching the male lead’s chest, lol.

The official translated summary is somewhat confusing, but the basic premise is that Chai Xiaoqi (played by Wan Peng) is an alien who gets stuck on Earth after she’s attracted by Fang Leng’s (played by Hsu Thassapak) hormones and saves him from a car explosion, becoming separated from her spaceship and losing her communication device in the process. In order to get the device back, she seeks him out. Fang Leng is a capable CEO who secretly suffers from a psychological condition that causes him to forget the women he’s met when it rains, and he enlists Chai Xiaoqi for help in treating his condition.

The other major characters include Chai Xiaoqi’s boss, who takes her in, and Fang Leng’s younger half-brother Fang Lie, who becomes a close friend of Xiaoqi’s. (If you watched Fall in Love, you’ll recognize Fang Lie! He’s played by the same actor who played An Yue Sheng. I feel like his acting has improved in this drama.) There’s also Fang Leng’s assistant and his doctor, his father and stepmother, and an old flame seeking to get back together with him. Oh, and Xiaoqi has a talking turtle.

Continue Reading

Review: Love Is Deep (2019)

Love Is Deep 2019

YIKES. After I wrote such a positive First Impressions & Episode 1 Recap, Love Is Deep turned out to be overwhelmingly disappointing. This drama is frustrating 40 episodes long because the same issues kept arising but the characters never seemed to learn and grow from them. I began watching half-heartedly in the second hand and the final storyline was awful. I can’t believe how they wrote the ending.

Ding Ding, the female lead played by Kang Ning, dreams of designing pet toys and finally begins pursuing her dream, facing the challenges of running an online shop and creating original designs. I loved that this was a major storyline that didn’t get pushed aside for the relationship. In fact, Ding Ding actually put her work first at times, which I really liked. That’s a valid choice! 👏

Ning Wei Jin, the male lead played by Hu Yun Hao, is a talented young surgeon, and although unexperienced with love, he is reliable, caring, and mature. I personally didn’t swoon over him but he was excellent boyfriend material. I liked his relationship with his younger sister Ning Wei Xuan and his best friend Gao Ren. He (and his sister) have a difficult relationship with their father.

The real highlight of this drama was Ding Ding’s best friend Xiao Feng, who gave the BEST advice. You could always count on him to call her out on her behavior. Basically, every time Ding Ding’s ex-boyfriend re-appeared in the storyline (which was way too many times), it would cause an issue between Ding Ding and Ning Wei Jin. It made Ning Wei Jin feel like Ding Ding wasn’t letting go of her ex, and Ding Ding never seemed to understand or care about how he felt. It seemed hypocritical on Ding Ding’s part given how she felt when she saw Ning Wei Jin with his close female friend.

As for the supporting characters, Ning Wei Xuan is a really energetic and lighthearted, and relentlessly pursues her brother’s best friend Gao Ren. Their scenes initially are so much fun—another highlight of the drama for me—and had me laughing out loud. However, there was a point when she really crossed the line and I no longer found her antics funny. I really wanted her to reflect over her actions and grow up a little. Also, while I loved Gao Ren, the introduction of the other doctor really showed how immature he was in comparison. (That other doctor deserved better.)

In conclusion: If you start to feel like you want to drop the drama, especially because of the storylines with the ex, then you should probably drop it before the last few episodes.

SPOILERS FOLLOW!

Continue Reading

Conspiracy of Love (2019): Episode 1-3 Recap

Conspiracy of Love (谋爱上瘾) is a 2019 iQiyi web drama that began airing on August 12. It’s a revenge drama; the female lead Shu Bei lost her parents at a young age and enters Sheng Shi Group and gets close to its successor Sheng Jun for revenge.

Having watched several dramas in a row with innocent, kind-hearted female leads, I wanted something different and I’m seven episodes into Conspiracy of Love and enjoying it immensely. Although sometimes Shu Bei’s calculating actions make me cringe, I admire her craftiness and determination. I really hope she’s able to find some emotional closure for what happened in the past. I like her relationship with Sheng Jun because he’s not her target and they use each other, so it’s not unbalanced. Their bickering is very enjoyable. I also like that other characters are formidable opponents so it’s not like Shu Bei’s the only person who is scheming.

Sorry, there are no screencaps in this recap. Maybe for the next post though!

Continue Reading
1 2 3 8