Ending Recap: Summer’s Desire (2018)

Summer's Desire (2018)

I noticed people are finding my blog by searching for Summer’s Desire‘s ending so I’ve written both a quick summary of the ending as well as a more detailed recap of episodes 30-36 (the final episode).

There are spoilers for the ending of Summer’s Desire (2018) in this post. Only continue reading if you really want to know what happens!

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Review: All Is Well (2019)

All Is Well 2019

All Is Well, which aired in March this year, is not the type of Chinese drama I typically watch. As you can tell from past posts, I gravitate towards idol dramas and historical dramas, even crime dramas, with a romance-focused storyline. Meanwhile, All Is Well is a family-themed drama centering around the relationship between three adult siblings and their elderly father after their mother passes away.

All Is Well 2019

All Is Well is on YouTube with English subs and I definitely recommend it if you are interested in complicated family dynamics and learning about Chinese culture. The cast is stellar, and this drama was produced by Daylight Entertainment, the same company that made Nirvana in Fire, Ode to Joy, The Story of Minglan, When a Snail Falls in Love.

Note: This post is spoiler-free!

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The Brightest Star in the Sky (2019): Episode 1 Recap

IMG_7068I’ve been looking forward to The Brightest Star in the Sky starring Huang Zi Tao and Wu Qian (Janice Wu) ever since the trailer dropped way back in 2017. I’m ecstatic that it finally started airing this month and that it is on YouTube with English subs thanks to PreciousZTaoBar 2.

I typically like to wait until a drama is almost done airing so that I can read reviews & marathon the drama all at once… but I’ve already waited for this one for so long so I thought I’d watch it and recap it. Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex9HmbVZNfU]

Tao’s character seems similar to his actual idol persona and I think he and Wu Qian are a great match so fingers crossed that this will be a fun contemporary drama. If you want to avoid spoilers, I will write up a First Impressions post after I’ve watched ~5 episodes.

Here we go with the recap!

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Halfway Point Review: Our Glamorous Time (2018)

Our Glamorous TimeOur Glamorous Time is a currently airing Chinese drama that can be streamed in the US on Viki. The drama stars Zhao Li Ying (Princess Agents, Rookie Agent Rouge, Noble Aspirations) and Jin Han (Princess Agents, The Princess Wei Young) in his first leading role.

I was initially intrigued by this drama because I’m still hopeful of finding a modern drama I like, and I liked Zhao Li Ying a lot in 2014’s Boss and Me. I find her very charming but haven’t seen her in anything else – I tried Princess Agents but it just didn’t appeal to me. I was even more hopeful about this drama when I discovered it was adapted from a Ding Mo novel. I enjoyed Love Me If You Dare and When a Snail Falls in Love, both of which were also adapted from Ding Mo novels. However, both of those dramas were light on romance and centered around crimes and police cases – Our Glamorous Time is very different.

Our Glamorous Time focuses on the business world, specifically the fashion industry, and the source of its drama is corporate rivalry and sabotage. Li Zhi Zheng is a former soldier who steps into a leadership role in his family’s company upon the death of his older brother and Lin Qian is a budding young fashion designer who wants to create her own original work. Both are very good-hearted people, and their romance is very sweet and easy (no love triangle, no endless misunderstandings, etc). Unfortunately, I find Jin Han’s acting really boring and I’m not sold on their chemistry. One of the other characters is absolutely awful but gets SO much screen time. There is another potential couple in the drama that I love though…

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT. 

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First Impressions: Sweet Dreams (2018)

Sweet Dreams 2018

Chinese Name: 一千零一夜
Brief Summary: A chance encounter inspires Ling Ling Qi (Dilmurat Dilraba) to dream of becoming a florist, and she idolizes Bo Hai (Deng Lun), the founder of a well-known floral company. Meanwhile, an experimental bracelet causes Ling Ling Qi to meet Bo Hai in her dreams.
Stream It: Viki

After watching the first few episodes, I was concerned that this was going to be a bust for me – I can’t stand dramas with a lead character who is hopelessly obsessed with someone. Luckily, this passes quickly, and there’s a lot I’m liking about this drama!

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Review: Summer’s Desire (2018)

Summer's Desire 2018

I’m so disappointed – I was really looking forward to the Summer’s Desire remake, since I recall enjoying the angsty 2010 drama version. However, while initially the storyline changes/additions seemed promising initially, the drama overall was too problematic. (Also, why is this poster/promotional image so sweet looking… so misleading!!)

summers-desire

Here’s a quick spoiler-free run-through of my issues with the Summer’s Desire remake:

  • The two male lead characters, Ou Chen and Luo Xi, are both appallingly controlling and manipulative, while the female lead character Xia Mo’s feelings never seem clear.
  • The story takes a turn in the last ~5 episodes that seems way too rushed and sudden, and spends too much time on certain storylines in the beginning.
  • Some of the conflicts with side characters weren’t adequately developed or resolved.

If you’re just curious about the ending, I recapped it here: Summer’s Desire Ending Recap

I liked the OST though – the songs are still stuck in my head. I liked Sophie Zhang as Xia Mo and Qin Jun Jie as Ou Chen. Huang Sheng Chi seemed a little too young for Luo Xi though and just can’t compare to Huang Xiao Ming from the original drama version.

***SPOILERS FOLLOW***

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First Impressions: Here to Heart (2018)

here-to-heartChinese Name: 温暖的弦
Brief Summary: Wen Nuan (Janine Chang) broke Nan Xian’s (Zhang Han) heart seven years ago. She returns from abroad and takes a job at Nan Xian’s company and gets promoted to his assistant. Meanwhile, they both have a fake significant other…

I am on episode 20 and I am not only frustrated by this drama but also infuriated. I was looking forward to this because I like the two leads, Janine Chang and Zhang Han, but the pacing is awful, the story is underdeveloped, and some of the characters are unbearable. Here are my rants, which are as spoiler-free as possible.

1) Nan Xian (Zhang Han) treats Wen Nuan (Janine Chang) coldly and cruelly. He manipulates and schemes. He is unbelievably petty. I understand that she broke his heart and he’s still not over it, but all he does is play mind games. He clearly must be smart to have become so successful – so why can’t he consider the possibility that Wen Nuan had a good reason for breaking up with him? Especially since A) she returns and works as his assistant, and B) she’s cleary changed from the vibrant girl he once knew.

2) Wen Nuan’s actions are also excruciating to watch. She’s such a passive character and constantly puts herself in the position to be hurt by Nan Xian. There are so many times when I wanted to yell at her to just quit. The worst is when Nan Xian puts her in the middle of his vendetta against Lin Lu (and I’ll get to him later). She clearly still has feelings for Nan Xian so the way I see it, she could either stay far away from him or try to make peace with him. Instead, from the start they just don’t talk about anything so they’re continually stuck in the same place.

3) In episode 20, we still have no idea why Nan Xian and Wen Nuan broke up. Since there are a whopping 46 episodes, I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised, but come on – give us a reason to root for the leads!

4) Initially, Lin Lu wasn’t much to root for either but as the drama has progressed, he’s definitely come through as the better man. He’s a good friend to Wen Nuan and he’s good to his parents. (His scenes with Wen Rou, Wen Nuan’s sister, are actually really endearing. I really enjoy their friendship.) Even though he makes mistakes, his heart is in the right place. He has never tried to hurt Wen Nuan deliberately, unlike *somebody*. I feel bad for him, and with 26 episodes to go, I hope he doesn’t turn into a villainous character because that would be the last straw.

5) Yi Xin is so obnoxious, and the flashbacks both made me despise her and feel bad for her. She schemes as much as Nan Xian so they deserve each other, but we know she’s not going to end up with Nan Xian and it’s really his fault for leading her on (and using her to torture Wen Nuan). Also, Pan Wei Ning’s relentless devotion for her is so random and annoying.

6) Why are there so many flashbacks?! The ones from seven years ago add value, but the ones from 15 minutes earlier in the episode are so unnecessary. We didn’t get amnesia in the past 15 minutes (but I kind of wish I did so I could forget this drama).

7) Wen Nuan’s sleep-calls were referenced a couple times early on and then never again. What does it mean? Is it important???

I do not recommend this drama at all, but I did see someone say that if you start at episode 29 it’s watchable so if I make it that far, I will report back.

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Love & Life & Lie: Episode 1 Recap

Alright, I will give recapping a try! Love & Life & Lie is a 2017 Chinese drama starring Zhen Dong Yu (Sparrow) and Chen Xiao (Romance of the Condor Heroes). We’ll see if I can make it through all 41 episodes.

Ep1-1
Love & Life & Lie begins with our female lead, Xin Tong, taking on three students at a taekwando class. It turns out, she’s not a student here but a delivery person who makes regular deliveries to this class. She gave up going to college to support her mother by working part-time jobs, but sneaks in to classes when she can.

Ep1-2
Xin Tong stops by to see her mother, and we see that she is kind and caring. Her mother feels guilty that Xin Tong has given up college, but Xin Tong is positive and cheerful. She seems like a character we can root for.

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Review: Love & Life & Lie (2017)

lovelifelieChinese Name: 遇见爱情的利先生
Episodes: 41
Quick Summary: Liu Xin Tong (Zhou Dong Yu) is a kind-hearted, hardworking girl who foregoes college to help support her mother. When her life intersects with the family of wealthy businessman Ji Bai Jun by chance, her mother gets a job at their home and they move in. She meets Li Yao Nan (Chen Xiao), and they fall in love, but he happens to be the fiance of Ji Bai Jun’s daughter, the spoiled Ji Zhi Zhen (Ye Qing), who hates Xin Tong and her mother. Ji Zhi Zhen’s adopted brother, Ji Zhen Yu, also falls for Xin Tong, while Yao Nan’s younger half-brother has been secretly plotting…
Stream It: Viki
Recommendation: Watch it if you’re into melodrama?

Ok, Love & Life & Lie seemed promising in the beginning – the cast was appealing and Xin Tong is a very likable character. She’s the classic selfless, hardworking girl, but also knows how to stand up for herself. I loved her cousin Shan Shan, who was a true friend to her. I confess, I skimmed through the first half of the drama and watched all of the last half. There were a lot of villains in this drama, which made this a very tumultuous watch. I can’t 100% recommend it because I was SO frustrated constantly, but you could do a lot worse.

Zhou Dong Yu (Xin Tong, the female lead) was fantastic, while Chen Xiao (Yao Nan, the male lead) was cute but had questionable acting skills. Ye Qing was Guo Guo in Across the Ocean to See You, so clearly she can play spoiled, bratty characters, but I’d love to see her as the lead sometime soon!

***SPOILERS FOLLOW***

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Review: Boss & Me (2014)

Boss and Me 1Chinese Name: 杉杉来了
Episodes: 34
Quick Summary: Xue Shan Shan’s (Zhao Li Ying) rare blood type brings her into the life of her boss, Feng Teng (Zhang Han), whose sister also has the same blood type. (I’d rather not give any other details away!)
Recommendation: Watch it!

I read a review of Boss & Me that said it was really cute, and it was right! Boss & Me was so sweet that I don’t know how it’s taken me so long to discover it. The greatest strength of Boss & Me is that it won’t piss you off. After Royal Sister Returns, I was not about any ridiculous, overdramatic storylines, and Boss & Me delivered. I loved all the main characters. Even the “villainous” characters were not entirely awful.

I loved that Shan Shan wasn’t the brightest, but she worked hard, had a positive attitude, and stayed true to herself. Even in the crucial plot moments, I found her very reasonable and not over-the-top in her reactions. Zhao Li Ying is seriously adorable. Zhang Han is just okay, and I didn’t particularly love Feng Teng, but he was acceptable.

***SPOILERS FOLLOW***

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