First Impression: To Be With You (2019)

To Be With You 2019

To Be With You (我要和你在一起) is a Chinese drama that is currently airing. With 65 episodes and not a single cast member I recognized, I wouldn’t have given it a try if it hadn’t appeared in my YouTube suggestions, but I’m SO glad I did because I am 22 episodes in and enjoying it so much! The leads have excellent chemistry, there is plenty of humor, and it’s well-paced. You can watch it on YouTube but there are no English subtitles.

Quick Intro to the Story:
Lin Meiya (Chai Biyun) returns to China after studying abroad in France for the past few years, excited to reunite with her boyfriend, Chen Zhe (Zhang Tao), whom she has known for 20 years. However, instead of proposing, Chen Zhe coldly breaks up with her, leaving Meiya devastated. Unbeknownst to Meiya, Chen Zhe has been secretly dating Ou Rui (Chang Shixin), the president of the company he works at, for the past two years.

On the same flight back, Meiya and Ou Yang (Sun Shaolong) accidentally take home each other’s luggage and soon find that Ou Yang’s best friend, Li Dong (Wan Siwei), has known Meiya for years due to his family’s one of many restaurants being across from Meiya’s dad’s food stall. It just so happens that Ou Yang is Ou Rui’s brother and the vice president at the company—which Meiya’s professor has recommended her for a job at. (What a small world, right? lol.) Ou Rui is smart and diligent, but her father outlooks her as his successor in favor of Ou Yang, causing her to resent her brother.

Rounding out the characters are Li Weiwei (Zoe Shen Tao Ran), Li Dong’s spoiled younger sister who has her eyes set on Ou Lin, and Xu Siyu (Wang Yuanhui), Meiya’s best friend who is from a rich family.

I Know What You’re Thinking…
Sounds like a typical dramatic storyline—rich man poor woman, corporate scheming, family inheritance squabbles—but I’ve found it so enjoyable because when common tropes are utilized, they are done well. It’s dramatic, for sure, but not over-the-top, and there’s a fair mix of humor and heartwarming moments.

Chai Biyun and Sun Shaolong portray Lin Meiya and Ou Lin so well (serious kudos to the casting director) and have fantastic chemistry. While Ou Lin is that stereotypical rich heir who doesn’t want anything to do with the family business, he’s not dumb or unreasonable but passionate, driven, and smart, and also, mischievous. He has one particularly charming goofy smile that gets me every time. Lin Meiya is hardworking and kindhearted (and apologizes way too much), and has an openhearted, silly personality that borders on being over-the-top, but Chai Biyun pulls it off and makes it funny instead of cringey. She’s fierce and loyal. It isn’t instalove, thank goodness.

Li Dong is a great character, shrewd and well-spoken, and has some excellent lines. There are many storylines that are developing, with some very conniving ‘villains’, and I’m really curious about how things will unfold. With a little over 40 episodes left (SO many, my gosh), I’m hoping this doesn’t let me down.

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