A very easily enjoyable, light-hearted show with classic romance-comedy tropes that ended up unconsciously becoming addictive to watch and hard to stop (especially at the end of Season 1...) (*trying my best to be objective in this review*)
While Master Devil uses many familiar romcom tropes reminiscent of Itazura na Kiss and Hana Yori Dango (amongst others), the show stands out well in being a GOOD well-written romcom WITHOUT all the unnecessary angst, frustration over stupid/extreme characters or developments, and exaggerated/pointless drama.
The plot is well-balanced and well-written in being reasonable in its developments, while staying true to the classic tropes of romcoms. There is not only a good balance of romantic development between the leads, but also ample time given for the female lead Chu Xia to independently develop her own story arcs and interactions with other characters without the male lead.
The plot is written in a more realistic way for instance, such that it is NOT a girl-against-the-whole-world trope like the desperation felt in Hana Yori Dango. Similarly, the characters are also written quite distinctively and developed in a reasonable way. Contrary to the title, male lead Qi Lu really isn't an ass at all, even if he may be unfriendly. Many of the supporting characters are really nice, and even the antagonists themselves aren't completely irrational or hateful in their behaviour.
Admittedly still, there is still about ~10% of plot development that doesn't quite make a lot of sense and requires suspension of disbelief, e.g. the first episode lol. (But all will be well once you get over that bridge.) However, I feel like the amazingly funny/cute character interactions would completely make up for this~ (especially interactions with the male lead ;))
It was really a breeze completing this show, helped by its short 20-minute episode length and addictive previews. Forgiving the laughable CG (from the first ep) and not-that-great OST due to its lower web-cdrama budget, the young actors and plot still held the show up well and hit all the right notes for me in delivering almost everything I'd have wanted to see in a classic romcom, without the frustration.
That being said, it's EXTREMELY important to leave a disclaimer that these 23 episodes is NOT a completed story and will be directly continued in the upcoming Season 2 (which I'm still dying in anticipation for). Hence, with the HUGE POTENTIAL for romantic development being left in the air for Season 2 to pick up from, I have been left in a state of withdrawal, which also makes for the high rewatch value of the show, simply from being classic, light and cute.