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Love Is Sweet 半是蜜糖半是伤 [2020]


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Love Is Sweet 半是蜜糖半是伤
Directors: Yu Zhongzhong, Wu Jianxin
Writer: Wang Wentong, Liu Jinfei, Liu Shiba, Ding Yanqing
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Episodes: 36

English Subs: iQIYI (Subscription Required)


Starring
Luo Yunxi as Yuan Shai
Bai Lu as Jiang Jun
Gao Hanyu as Du Lei
Xiao Yan as Xu Li
Riley Wang as Li Xiao Chuan

 

What happens when you put a sheep and a wolf together in the same field? Jiang Jun is an educated woman with a double degree in economics and psychology. Her parents' liberal ways of raising her gave rise to her strong, independent, and idealistic character. After graduating from college, she begins to work for a non-profit organization to follow her dream of helping others. However, her father's sudden death leaves her on a crucial crossroad in her life. She decides to join MH, a top investment company, to fulfill her father's dying wish. Jiang Jun runs into her childhood friend Yuan Shuai, whom she had been separated from for 10 years due to an unfortunate incident. He tries to keep her from entering MH. Furthermore, someone seems to be plotting against her and she must rely on her wits, will, and charm to succeed not only in her career, but also in love. Credit: Wikipedia

 

Plot/Story (Rating: 7/10):
Jiang Jun and Yuan Shai were childhood friends who lived in the same neighborhood and went to the same school. Jiang Jun had an interesting allergy to crying, she would get sick if she cried. Yuan Shai was tasked by Jiang Jun’s father to protect her from crying. Through this task, you see young Yuan Shai fall in love with a young and naïve Jiang Jun. I liked that as we are introduced to Yuan Shai’s love for Jiang Jun, it's all one-sided and continued to stay that way. The childhood love never caused a barrier, it complemented their love. Jiang Jun learned to appreciate and love Yuan Shai before she found out that he loved her. When she learned how much Yuan Shai had always loved her, we got, arguably, one of the best scenes in the drama. Kissing in the first snow fall should look like this going forward, right? Haha!

Spoiler

 

 

The bickering and bantering between the two leads were fun to watch, but don’t worry, there were more bantering than bickering. Jiang Jun, being the independent woman she is, never shied away from speaking her mind in front of Yuan Shai. Often, we get female leads who depend on the male leads and it was great to see the opposite. I felt like Yuan Shai was a bit of the comedic relief in this drama even though he was also extremely serious when it came to work or if someone wronged Jiang Jun. The things he did to get Jiang Jun’s attention were hilarious and I found myself laughing so much every time he had an excuse for her to stay with him or by him longer. My favorite, and probably the reason why their relationship progressed, was when he decided to help his assistant with a lie to his girlfriend. The lie helping the assistant pretend to be rich; basically, Yuan Shai’s life was the assistant's life and the assistant’s life was Yuan Shai’s. This meant giving up his apartment to his assistant and the girlfriend. After he gave up his apartment, he convinced Jiang Jun to let him stay in her apartment with her.

 

The second lead, Du Lei was the tragic character in the drama. He grew up in a household with a strict father who had high expectations and a sister who told him exactly what he needed right down to the type of tie he can wear. Even though he was supposed to play Yuan Shai’s rival, it was difficult to dislike him. He had this cold exterior all the while trying to find his place in life. We get to watch him discover himself throughout the drama and as you know, every tragic character has a turning point -- his was the dating app project. It was through this project and his encounters with Jiang Jun that he learned what happiness truly is. 

 

Every drama has a side story, and for Love Is Sweet, it was the story between Xu Li (Jiang Jun’s best friend) and Li Xiao Chuan (Yuan Shai’s cousin). Li Xiao Chuan is a computer genius who is oblivious to love because he has never experienced it before. Xu Li is a novelist who writes about love but has yet to experience true love herself. Li Xiao Chuan creates a dating app that promise to help you find your 100% match except they were less than a 1% match with each other. To Li Xiao Chuan, someone needed to be his 100% match before he considered them as a potential love match for himself. Whereas Xu Li believed that love is about discovery and it deepens the more you spend time with each other. I found it refreshing that she was the first to confess to Li Xiao Chuan. She knew what she wanted and wasn’t shy about expressing it, which played into the drama’s premise of having strong women characters. 

 

The drama faltered because it was too long. There were an additional six episodes of absolute unnecessary nonsense. By this point, they had nicely wrapped up much of the storylines and then reintroduced them again in these remaining episodes. There was a time jump, and it was like the drama started all over again except worst. 

 

Jiang Jun and Yuan Shai have climbed up the ladder in their careers, both considered unstoppable and are respected by everyone in their field. Due to their busy schedule, they have not decided if they want to get married or continue as they are. Yuan Shai doesn’t want to see Jiang Jun work so hard and Jiang Jun doesn’t think Yuan Shai need to provide for the both of them because she is more than capable of taking care of herself. There are lots of misunderstanding that ensued because of this. 

 

Du Lei was a pitiful character throughout the drama already and they added pathetic on top of it. The last remaining episodes had him participate in situations that were tarnishing to MH and shifting the blame to his subordinates. It also had him confessing his love to Jiang Jun in the most embarrassing and shameful kind of way. Why?! Xu Li and Li Xiao Chuan go through their own tribulations. We see both of them got married and now are struggling on if love can continue to exist and grow with consistency, communication, etc. or do you always need some sort of “freshness” to grow your love. 

 

The best thing to come out of these remaining episodes was seeing Jia Yuan Ji woo the heartless Qiao Na. He stops by the office and decorate it with flowers accompanied by really bad off-key singing for the last two years to try to win her over. (Side Note: Jia Yuan Ji is the son of the rival investment banking company that Yuan Shai befriended and Qiao Na is Yuan Shai's colleague at MH). 

 

If you plan on watching this, do yourself a favor and skip episodes 31-35 and then just watch the marriage proposal for episode 36. Haha!


Cast/Acting (Rating: 9/10)

Spoiler

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All the cast members were great in the drama! I loved watching all of them, even Melvin Sia as Lin Tai Mo (the villain in the drama). Luo Yunxi did a wonderful job playing the serious yet funny executive director, Yuan Shai. Jiang Jun's sophistication and fierceness were definitely shown through Bai Lu's acting. The chemistry between Luo Yunxi and Bai Lu was undeniably sweet (see what I did there? Haha!) and out of this world. It's been a while since I've seen two actors have this much chemistry onscreen. I mean, those kissing scenes were pretty hot. Haha! I really don’t think they could have casted two better actors to play the roles of Yuan Shai and Jiang Jun. I mean, just look at how cute they are! 

Spoiler

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Production Value (Aesthetics/OST/Cinematography) (Rating: 9/10)

Aesthetically, I think all dramas in general have been beautiful to watch. The production value on many of them are insane and it's no different with Love Is Sweet. I absolutely loved the OST in this drama. I don't think there was one song that seemed misplaced or I didn't like. Whoever picked the music did a wonderful job! Gao Hanyu who played Du Lei and Riley Wang who played Li Xiao Chuan both sung a song each for the drama too. :heart:

Spoiler

 


Re-Watch Value (Rating 7/10)
I found myself re-watching some of the cute moments in the drama, so I do think the drama is definitely re-watchable minus the last six episodes. Haha! 

 

Overall, Love Is Sweet had your typical tropes: childhood friends turned enemies, bickering and bantering between the two leads, male lead protecting the female lead, second lead syndrome, love at first sight -- you name it, it probably showed up at least once during the drama. What I appreciated is that despite all of this, the drama did not drag them on for too long and some of them became the reason why I continued to watch the drama. Plus, if you have never watched a Luo Yunxi drama before, you should always start with one of his best one, right? Haha!

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