Chinese Name: 遇见爱情的利先生
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!
Alright, so we learn early on that Xin Tong’s mother knows her baby was accidentally switched at birth with a wealthy family’s baby, and she has been searching for her biological daughter for 20(?) years because she’s the last piece of her late husband. When Xin Tong’s mother insists on moving in to the Ji household and begins constantly taking Zhi Zhen’s side, it is so frustrating and heartbreaking to watch. Even if Xin Tong isn’t your biological daughter, you’ve raised her for 20 years! Xin Tong seems like a perfect daughter, while your biological daughter is clearly a spoiled brat! Obviously, knowing that she can’t provide Zhi Zhen the benefits that the wealthy family can, Xin Tong’s mother doesn’t tell anyone the truth.
Anyways, how do Xin Tong and Yao Nan even fall in love? I honestly can’t remember, and I wonder if that’s because I skipped around in the first half of the series. Perhaps it’s because she doesn’t fawn over him like all the other girls Yao Nan knows. Initially, I was kind of rooting for Zhen Yu (Zhi Zhen’s adopted brother) because he is so kind to Xin Tong. But once he kept the truth from Yao Nan during Xin Tong’s mother’s fake texting, I knew that he was becoming selfish…
Yao Nan’s brother was truly despicable. His actions against Zhi Zhen were truly disturbing and I think I skipped too many episodes to fully understand that storyline. I am always optimistic about the villains redeeming themselves in the end, but this drama chooses to push the villains to the brink. Zhi Zhen and Yao Nan’s brother both do some terrible things in the last couple episodes.
Now I’m thinking instead of writing reviews, I should really just recap the ridiculousness of some of these dramas. Perhaps I will start this one from the beginning again but I don’t know if I can handle it.