Love Is Deep (2019): First Impressions and Episode 1 Recap

After finishing watching Fall in Love, Unrequited Love, AND Go Go Squid (review coming soon) recently I really needed a new drama to fill the void. I tried a couple episodes of Retourner Le Monde a Toi (Gu Li Na Zha’s new drama set in the fashion business) but wasn’t feeling it, and watched half the premiere episode of Mr. Fighting because I like Deng Lun and Ma Si Chun, but I wasn’t sold on that either. But then Love Is Deep hooked me!

Love Is Deep is about a girl who has loved her boyfriend for many years and worked alongside him as he started his own company. When she realizes he doesn’t love her the same way, she quits her job and decides to pursue her own dream of designing pet toys. Meanwhile, she develops a friendship with a handsome surgeon and his younger sister. The leads are both very likable and there are a lot of fun supporting characters. This drama is available on YouTube with English subtitles.

It was only after I started watching that I discovered this drama is based on a novel and I Hear You was based on a novel by the same author! Admittedly, I Hear You disappointed me but it did have a number of positives so here’s hoping Love Is Deep is better!

Episode 1 Recap

Zheng Dingding (Kang Ning) is at a doctor’s appointment. Her doctor Ning Weijin (Hu Yun Hao) schedules a surgery to remove a lesion on her chest. She overhears others saying that Ning Weijin is the youngest professor in the history of the hospital. He seems to notice a cat keychain on her bag.

There’s an emergency at the office so Dingding rushes back and makes a quick decision to resolve the problem with the servers. The company runs an online store and it’s their anniversary celebration.

Ning Weijin tells his underlings to schedule Dingding’s surgery for the entire day, and one mentions that the surgery will only take 30 minutes. Ning Weijin also says he’ll personally contact the patient about the surgery. Seems to be out of the ordinary behavior for him.

After the crisis is resolved, Dingding checks her phone but there are no messages from Chen Xun, who is both her boss and her boyfriend. When Chen Xun finally calls her, he thanks her for her hard work but says he needs to delay his return for another day. He asks her to switch out the flowers for the anniversary celebration event, which he’ll be back in time for. He says he has something important to announce that day. This phone call seemed pretty cold and business-like.

When Dingding passes along Chen Xun’s instructions to her friend and employee Xiao Feng (Chu Qian), he guesses that Chen Xun must be planning to propose since they’ve been together for so long, it’s about time.

At his home, Ning Weijin takes care of a cat and scolds it for being troublesome like its owner. (Also, his house is really large and very nice…)

At a store, Dingding tries on a dress for the anniversary celebration party and Xiao Feng makes her try on a wedding dress as well. She imagines Chen Xun proposing to her, as Ning Weijin walks into the room behind her. Dingding’s parents video call her and noticing her wearing a white dress, they ask if she’s getting married. She says he might propose, and her mother mentions she’s wasn’t pleased that he hadn’t asked already.

Ning Weijin informs Dingding of the scheduled surgery time. When he looks at the keychain on her bag again, Dingding explains that she makes pet toys and gives him one.

As the party is about to begin, Dingding takes the elevator up to find Chen Xun only to find him with his ex-girlfriend, Wen Zixin. She walks back into the party, where everyone congratulates her because they’ve heard the gossip about the proposal.

Chen Xun walks down the red carpet to the stage with Wen Zixin on his arm. In his speech, he makes his announcement: Wen Zixin will be their company’s celebrity spokesperson. The employees are surprised and it’s silent until Dingding begins the applause. (It’s so inconsiderate of Chen Xun to blindside her like this; he should have told her in advance.)

Dingding is leaving the party when Chen Xun yells her name. She says she’s leaving early because she feels unwell, and when he begins to explain about Wen Zixin, she cuts him off and says she trusts him. She does ask if he’s been in touch with Wen Zixin all this time, and he replies that he just ran into her by chance while he was on his business trip. She’s about to tell him about her surgery time when Wen Zixin interrupts and greets her with a hug. (I don’t trust her for a second.) Wen Zixin thanks her for the roses and says she had just casually mentioned them, not expecting him to take it seriously. Wen Zixin takes him away to meet some company president, and Dingding never gets to tell Chen Xun about the surgery.

After they walk away, Dingding turns around to find Ning Weijin standing there. He treats her to some ice cream/frozen yogurt and encourages her to speak up about what’s bothering her before walking away. (This is such a strange encounter.)

Back at her home, Dingding looks at her phone when she gets a call, but it’s only Xiao Feng so she ignores it. Clearly she’s waiting for Chen Xun’s call. She picks up a video call from her dad and when her parents ask about the proposal, she shows them her bare hand. Her dad understands that she’s unhappy and stops her mom from asking questions and hangs up so Dingding can rest. Dingding resists calling Chen Xun. (Yes, you go girl!)

When Dingding finally arrives at the office the next day, Xiao Feng rolls his chair in and asks if she knew about Wen Zixin. Xiao Feng questions how Chen Xun could ask Wen Zixin to be their celebrity spokesperson after how deeply she hurt him in the past. Dingding says she trusts Chen Xun, causing Xiao Feng to suggest that while that may be true, what if Wen Zixin has her sights on getting back together with Chen Xun? He advises her of her two choices: let go of Chen Xun or fight to the end.

In his office, Chen Xun is reprimanding Dingding for submitting an order incorrectly when Wen Zixin walks in announcing that she’s solved the problem. Wen Zixin sees how unhappy Dingding looks and comforts her about Chen Xun’s bad temper while scolding him on her behalf—what a power move, playing the hero and acting like she knows him best. Chen Xun tells Dingding to get some rest, and as she leaves, she turns back to see Wen Zixin sitting at his desk and Chen Xun leaning over her, the same way they used to work together.

Chen Xun takes Wen Zixin home, and she tells him she’s booked the tickets for the meeting with the company president she had introduced him to. It just so happens that the flight is the same time as Dingding’s surgery. It turns out, since Wen Zixin hasn’t found her own place yet she’s been staying at Chen Xun’s home and he’s been staying with a friend. Chen Xun gets a video call from Dingding but changes it to an audio call when picking up. He asks her to take care of the company the next day while he’s away, and still Dingding doesn’t tell him about the surgery! After they hang up, Chen Xun and Wen Zixin walk into his building, and Dingding walks out from across the street where she had been watching all along. (She had something in her hands; I think she had prepared food for him?)

The next day, Dingding hands Chen Xun her resignation letter. He apologizes for the way he spoke to her the day before and asks her not to be mad at him, but she dodges his attempts to reach for her hand. She tells him they should break up, and he explains again that there’s nothing between him and Wen Zixin. She says she trusts him but she’s tired. He suggests she take some time off and then return, and gets angry when she continues to dodge his hand, saying she’s always been responsible. She walks out of the office tearfully as everyone watches, passing Wen Zixin on her way into the office. In a voiceover, she thinks about how she believed she could replace Wen Zixin in Chen Xun’s heart but she’s still the one circling the two of them. She admits she’s lost, and Xiao Feng runs after her.

Dingding shrugs Xiao Feng off, and he heads directly into Chen Xun’s office. He asks Chen Xun why he didn’t run after Dingding. Chen Xun replies that he’s working and giving Dingding time to calm down. Xiao Feng tells him about the surgery, saying that it’s his last chance to win her back. Wen Zixin encourages him to go… but says she can’t handle the meeting on her own.

Dingding is at the hospital signing the paper before the surgery when Ning Weijin appears before her asking where her family is.

Dingding is kind, loyal and hardworking, while Chen Xun’s behavior is extremely inconsiderate. She wants to break up and he thinks she should just calm down? I admire her for being decisive about ending things with Chen Xun even though she clearly cares for him deeply, and has been by his side for so long. I’m excited that the storyline is about her pursuing her own dream.

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