Review: Summer’s Desire (2018)

Summer's Desire 2018

I’m so disappointed – I was really looking forward to the Summer’s Desire remake, since I recall enjoying the angsty 2010 drama version. However, while initially the storyline changes/additions seemed promising initially, the drama overall was too problematic. (Also, why is this poster/promotional image so sweet looking… so misleading!!)

summers-desire

Here’s a quick spoiler-free run-through of my issues with the Summer’s Desire remake:

  • The two male lead characters, Ou Chen and Luo Xi, are both appallingly controlling and manipulative, while the female lead character Xia Mo’s feelings never seem clear.
  • The story takes a turn in the last ~5 episodes that seems way too rushed and sudden, and spends too much time on certain storylines in the beginning.
  • Some of the conflicts with side characters weren’t adequately developed or resolved.

If you’re just curious about the ending, I recapped it here: Summer’s Desire Ending Recap

I liked the OST though – the songs are still stuck in my head. I liked Sophie Zhang as Xia Mo and Qin Jun Jie as Ou Chen. Huang Sheng Chi seemed a little too young for Luo Xi though and just can’t compare to Huang Xiao Ming from the original drama version.

***SPOILERS FOLLOW***

LAST WARNING: SPOILERS TO FOLLOW!

First of all, (unless I remember incorrectly) the Summer’s Desire remake changes the back story – the previous version’s back story was set in high school, but the remake sets it in college. I liked this change because it made Xia Mo and Ou Chen’s past relationship stronger and more mature. EXCEPT that past Ou Chen’s behavior was so controlling. They were sweet together, but he took issue with her spending time with anyone else… Given how smart and driven his character is, his behavior is just too ridiculous. Past Luo Xi is also cruel and manipulative.

Then we get to the present day where the drama begins, and when Luo Xi makes his return, he bullies Xia Mo but then they end up dating? What? Is it because Xia Mo feels that she deserves punishment for her part in sending him away? Luo Xi’s insecurity drove me crazy. He constantly wanted her to prove her love for him, and it was exhausting to watch. There were a few moments where he was likable, such as when he helped Xia Mo with her acting, but that doesn’t cancel his overall problematic behavior.

Ou Chen, on the other hand, starts off with some truly baffling actions. If you had lost your memories but had a feeling that this girl in front of you was someone who used to be close to you, how would you go about finding out the truth? Aggressively cornering them? Why didn’t he try to calmly befriend her, with kindness? He quickly let his obsession affect his company, so I can’t blame his friend for being fed up with him. The only scenes (until the ending) where I actually liked Ou Chen was when he was with his friends, and the flashbacks of them developing their company. Also, I hated Simon’s relationship with the paparazzi girl. It was just so over the top and such a conflict of interest on his part.

I forgot, the one other part where I liked Luo Xi was when he helped Xia Mo with her fear of the stage due to her childhood trauma relating to her mother. When it turned out that the guy Luo Xi worked with (management company head?) was the man her mother had been involved with, I wondered where that storyline would go – but it didn’t really go anywhere…

The only other thing I want to mention is that the best character was Pan Nan. Logical, understanding, loyal, and true to herself. There are so many other storylines I could complain about, but I don’t even have the energy to. Ultimately, I’ll only remember how questionable and unsatisfying this drama was.

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