Why is it that I keep writing reviews for dramas that I didn’t end up liking?! I promise that after this one, I’ll post a list of my favorite 2020 Chinese dramas.
You Complete Me (小风暴之时间的玫瑰) is a 40-episode Chinese drama that aired in December, available with English subtitles on Viki and YouTube, and the beginning wasn’t actually terrible. However, I started losing interest at around episode 25 and had to force myself to finish it. There’s some inconsistency in tone and direction, and a character is introduced about halfway through who had no redeeming qualities!
First of all, I have to mention that I’m not a huge fan of Qiao Xin/Bridgette Qiao or Hu Yi Tian. I’ve tried a few of the dramas Qiao Xin stars in, and there’s just something about her acting, her voice, and her facial expressions, and possible also the roles she plays. As for Hu Yi Tian, I’ve seen parts of A Love So Beautiful, his supporting role in Go Go Squid, and one episode of My Roommate is a Detective, and I’m just not impressed by his acting so far.
You Complete Me begins with a focus on the business storyline, which is how our main characters Lin Wo (Qiao Xin) and Gao Shan (Hu Yi Tian) meet. The plot moves quickly as Gao Shan schemes his way into rising in the ranks at an investment firm and finds himself crossing paths with Lin Wo and working together to investigate this and that. (Sometimes I was confused by what their respective job responsibilities actually were.) I really like that they start off on the wrong foot, rather than having an instant connection.
In the beginning, there are not-so-subtle hints that Gao Shan is out for revenge because of his father’s death, and sometimes the directing made him come across as too sinister. Trying to create a mysterious mood is one thing, but it was just too sharp a contrast to the other scenes. Gao Shan is calculating and smart, and he’s up against a formidable opponent at the firm, which keeps things interesting in the beginning. Meanwhile, Lin Wo starts out as young and naive, overly trusting, but there’s also something likable about how she wants to earn her accomplishments based on her own merit and how she stands by her belief in people’s goodness. I like that over the course of their relationship, they learn from each other.
However, their first obstacle is one I didn’t expect—Lin Wo’s best friend, Wu Dong Na (Zhong Qi/Tiffany Zhong). Initially, I really liked Wu Dong Na because she’s supportive and realistic, but I didn’t like the way her career goals end up conflicting with her friendship. I can’t decide if it’s a breath of fresh air or not that she tells Lin Wo she won’t give up pursuing Gao Shan. After all, how do you know you don’t have a chance if you don’t even try? When her backstory is explored more, it added more layers to her character and perhaps made her choices understandable. Wu Dong Na is someone who has always had to fight for what she wants, and even those who were supposed to love and support her tried to make her sacrifice her own dreams for theirs.
My favorite character ended up being Su Yuan (Zheng Hao/Sean Zheng), who is Gao Shan’s colleague at the investment firm. Su Yuan is from a wealthy family and is pretty lazy prior to becoming Gao Shan’s friend. I liked his growth over the course of the drama, as he stopped relying on his family’s money and started working hard for the first time in his life. Once he sets his eyes on Wu Dong Na, his heart is set.
While Gao Shan has his revenge storyline, Lin Wo’s other story arc is about her relationship with her father. Lin Wo has spent years hating her father for not being by her mother’s side when she was dying, and rejecting his efforts to help her. I don’t want to spoil it, but I really enjoyed the direction that this story arc went in! Now for the worst storyline in this drama… Bei Xiao Rong (Hu Hao Bo). I really disliked that he came out of nowhere and just inserted himself into Lin Wo’s life, and she just let him? First he needs a place to stay and help finding a job, and then all of a sudden he gets a job at a prestigious investment firm? It just didn’t make sense. I disliked that his character was hyperfocused on Lin Wo. Sure, it was a little fun in the beginning to have situations where Gao Shan was jealous, but Bei Xiao Rong’s behavior was so clingy and it seemed unrealistic that Lin Wo, who prides herself on being independent, would rely on him as a friend for so long?
To sum it up, this drama is centered around the business plots for the first 16 episodes, then some really dramatic things occur back-to-back, and all of a sudden there’s more of a rom-com vibe for a while until Bei Xiao Rong ruins everything and dramatic things happen and Lin Wo becomes hysterical. I only recommend this drama if you happen to be a big fan of Qiao Xin and/or Hu Yi Tian. Otherwise, I swear there’s better out there.