First Impressions: Live Your Life (2021)

Live Your Life (2021)

I signed up for an MGTV subscription to watch Remembrance of Things Past (which is one of my favorite dramas of 2021, review to come!) so I thought I might as well watch some other dramas on there. Live Your Life (好好生活) just began airing on October 5, and I checked out the first 12 episodes. Note that it’s listed as Love Your Life on MGTV.

Verdict: Started off interesting, but I’ve started skimming the episodes. I hadn’t realized that in addition to the relationship between the two main characters, there are also storylines for three of the female lead’s friends. I do enjoy stories of female friendship and career pursuits, but find this drama somewhat lacking.

Cai Wen Jing plays Wu You, a 28-year-old employee at an e-commerce platform who determinedly tracks down a customer to revise his review. This customer is, of course, the male lead He Xi Ya, played by Lin Yu Shen. One of the reasons I was interested in this drama is because I get tired of watching the latest idol dramas with leads in their early 20s, and amazingly I have seen neither any of Cai Wen Jing or Lin Yu Shen’s dramas. Anyways, He Xi Ya is the CEO of a skincare company and he’s a very no-nonsense, sarcastic man, whereas Wen Jing is enthusiastic and friendly. I really like that Wu You is confident, not easily embarrassed, and stands up for what she believes in. Although He Xi Ya and Wu You don’t particularly like each other in the beginning, they grow to respect each other.

I should also mention that this drama employs the ‘main characters move in next door to each other’ trope. I roll my eyes because I’ve seen this in sooo many dramas, but I understand that this ensures that our main characters keep encountering each other, especially in non-business settings. It’s really Wu You who causes the humorous moments, and she’s likable enough for it not to be cringey. (I especially enjoyed the balcony scene, lol.) Although I’m curious to see their relationship develop, I haven’t really felt a spark between them so far.

There’s also a backstory (and mystery) to be explored: two years ago Wu You was on her way to register her marriage with her fiancé, but she was in a car accident. The person driving the other car was He Xi Ya’s girlfriend. We’ve learned a little bit more of He Xi Ya’s side of the story so far, but have yet to see what happened with Wu You.

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Review: You Are My Hero (2021)

You Are My Hero (2021)

Can you believe we’re almost halfway through 2021? I’m going to go ahead and name You Are My Hero, which aired in March, my favorite modern Chinese drama of the year so far.

You Are My Hero is a 40-episode drama that mixes high-stakes, action-packed situations with a very sweet first-love romance, and it’s available on Viki and YouTube with English subtitles. I was initially skeptical about the pairing of Bai Jingting and Ma Sichun but they proved me wrong! Although there’s a six-year age gap between them in real life, they matched extremely well and had great chemistry. I hadn’t seen Bai Jingting in anything previously, but he really pulled off the humor and now I’m excited to see more of his acting. I was already a fan of Ma Sichun after seeing her 2015 drama Love Me If You Dare and 2016 film Soul Mate.

It’s refreshing that there are no prolonged misunderstandings for the main couple’s storyline, but it did sometimes veer into cheesy/cliché territory when I personally would’ve preferred a more slice-of-life vibe. Also, there were some frustrating storylines for the supporting characters that caused this drama to lose some points with me. Overall though, I watched this as it was airing and it held my attention for it’s entire 40-episode run!

Keep reading for more of my thoughts on the characters and storylines, with only minor/vague spoilers as usual.

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