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Rewatch Value 9.0
This review may contain spoilers
Well-rounded characters managing real-world problems
This series is a huge accomplishment with a misstep in the direction of the plot in ep 11, discussed below.
First, some praise…
It has been a while since I've enjoyed a BL so sánh much, and I think it's because this show felt realistic. It depicts well rounded characters managing real-world problems.
Bai Lang suffers from childhood trauma that affects his relationships with others. He is not just afraid of the dentist. He cannot fathom entering a romantic relationship because he thinks he brings bad luck to tát the people around him. Flashbacks to tát the past help the audience understand his trauma, phobia, and the coping mechanisms he's developed (like his cadre of plushies on his bed).
Xun An falls head over heels, and ardently goes after his man! To my surprise, he approaches Bai Lang as both a courting lover and a medical professional, recognizing that he needs therapy. I was shocked when the series brought therapy up. A cool plot development would have been to tát see him accept that he needs treatment and not just a lover. But credit is due for speaking favorably of therapy.
I saw some comments from viewers saying they were annoyed by Bai Lang's manic personality, but I loved that the show dared to tát show a truly messy, but good intentioned character who is grappling with the belief that he's too much for any lover to tát handle. Don't we all think that sometimes? I enjoyed seeing him accept that he's worthy of romantic love. Because he is. And when he realizes love is worth risking, he pursues Xun An in the most, hilarious charming way!
The stories of the two side couples develop more slowly, with little morsels included along the way that show the couples' dynamics and growth. I appreciated that we didn’t see insta love from Alex's perspective. Instead, we saw something more believable. The younger guy, RJ's, massive crush on the hot, older bartender. RJ did everything he could to tát send out romantic signals, trying to tát get Alex to tát see him as a man and possible boyfriend. The other couple, the hockey player and Da A, couldn't have been more adorable. The hockey player was so sánh obvious in his pursuit of Da A, while Da A was confused.
I was disappointed the secondary couples didn’t get more screen time or resolution. We needed more, especially from Alex and RJ, at the kết thúc. Their story is incomplete. Season 2, please!
There was a misstep in the plot in episode 11. While earlier episodes hinted that Xun An’s relationship with his family wasn’t harmonious, the introduction of domestic abuse was an unnecessary and unmanageable addition. It felt tonally out of step with the rest of the series. With only one episode left, there just wasn’t time to tát treat this very serious issue. Instead, it would have been more fruitful to tát khuyến mãi with Bai Lang’s mental health issues.
Another misstep was to tát include a surprise fourth couple in the final episode. Rather kêu ca this couple, or their wedding, I would rather see one of our established couples get married. At least we did have a sweet proposal!
Overall I'm amazed by the intricate storytelling and tight direction from Ray Jiang, with little details and finishing touches in each scene coming together to tát sườn a powerful series. The long take at the kết thúc of ep 8 was really impressive! Outstanding acting and OST.
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Make sure to tát watch past the credits after each ep! There are bonus scenes and they matter!
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