Fall in Love is a Chinese web drama from YouKu that was released in June-July 2019. You can watch it on YouTube, although the subtitles are automatically generated and not particularly accurate.
I came across this drama on my YouTube homepage and randomly decided to give it a chance. The summary on MyDramaList was so vague that I had no idea what to expect, but I soon understood why.
Short version of my review: in the beginning, curiosity about the mysterious female lead compels you to watch Fall in Love, but once all the pieces are on the table the story becomes rushed and uneven and falls into some classic drama clichés.
Continue reading for my spoiler-free full review!
I was driven to watch out of a strong sense of curiosity about the mysterious female main character and her identity and backstory. Feng Ping, played by Camille Hua, works multiple jobs and is smart, calm, and composed. When another character bullies her, she remains polite but still stands up for herself. She’s a breath of fresh air compared to all the naive and overly selfless characters in c-dramas.
The male main character is goofy and has some surprising depth. I had initially written off Jia Nan, portrayed by Richards Wang, as an irresponsible rich boy but I’m happy to say that I was wrong. He cares deeply about his family and pursues his own projects.
Personally, I thought they lacked chemistry and despite liking them individually I was not emotionally invested in them as a couple. They do help each other grow though and learn together to have a relationship based on honesty and trust.
The supporting characters are a mixed bag, but my favorites were A Jiu (played by Jeremy Wang), Jia Nan’s assistant/bodyguard, and Er Yang (played by Chen Peng Wan Li), Jia Nan’s friend and one of Feng Ping’s employers. Jia Nan and A Jiu have a fun, close friendship and are always teasing each other or playfully bickering. A Jiu’s facial expressions were on point, especially his looks of disgust and eye-rolling.
As for Er Yang, as someone who knows both main characters, he’s absolutely tickled when Jia Nan starts coming by his studio to ask about Feng Ping and humorously questions her about their relationship as well.
I also loved Jun Hao, Feng Ping’s loyal friend played by Luo Zheng. I watched Luo Zheng on the boy-group competition show Idol Producer and he was awkward and lacked confidence, so I was pleasantly surprised that he actually acted his part pretty well! I liked his character’s loyalty to Feng Ping and his sense of humor (the security room scene is so funny).
As for Qiu Tian, played by Pu Tao, I think I wanted to like her more than I did. I liked her character’s role in helping Feng Ping reflected on how she treated friendship in the past but her storyline with Jun Hao was rather far-fetched.
I liked Yue Sheng (played by Wang You Jun) initially but he was a little too bitter and unable to look past his own wounds. Ming Xuan (played by Her Nan) was extremely immature and I thought their relationship progressed way too quickly. I did like her relationship with her brothers. (Close-knit siblings is a favorite theme of mine in c-dramas!)
A big yikes here as Jia Nan’s brother Hao Yun (played by Miles Wei) was a really nice and smart guy who deserved better. Lu Qiao (played by Li Ruo Ning) was 100% The Worst, a completely villainous character whose manipulative actions shocked me.
All in all, the mysteries in the beginning went in a direction I wasn’t expecting, and it’s nice to be surprised sometimes, but the drama didn’t follow through with going in a unique direction and fell for classic drama plot twists. I definitely started skimming in the latter half and just wanted to see how things ended.