Tong Wei is a genius negotiator who is the star of the US-China Business Council. Male lead Xie Xiaofei is the sole heir of a wealthy Chinese-American corporation, but wants nothing to do with his family business. He vents his frustrations on Tong Wei, though their bickering relationship soon takes a romantic turn. Will their love withstand business storms and challenges from their families?
Cast & Credits
1) Are a fan of one or both of the lead actors (Yang Mi and Huang Zitao)
2)Like noona-dongsaeng romances
3) Are interested in a brainless drama to watch to pass your time (I used it as a brainless stress-reliever in between studying for midterms, which was fun)
It tells the story of Xie Xiaofei, a seemingly bratty, annoying and childish young man. However, he turns out to be someone with a good heart and certain opinions/ideas that you may agree with. However, he is quite bratty, although also likable, but also annoying. He's quite bipolar, and a very conflicting character. I had an intense like/hate relationship with his character. However, after the big thing with his family, he kind of starts to mature, so there is change. May not be the amount of change you’d wish he had, but decent enough.
Tong Wei, is a closed-off, serious, strict, career woman, whose life is turned upside down when Xiaofei enters and causes a series of funny and not funny mishaps in her life. However, the pair is very likable, and probably the only likable parts of the drama. I know that most people were kind of put off by the age gap, but they do mention it in the drama that the woman is older.
What I liked:
1. The main couple is very cute (until the last like 3 stressful episodes)! Especially if you like noona-dongsaeng romances.
2. The drama is pretty well-paced. Despite the plot holes, I still found myself wanting to watch the next episodes.
3. Yang Mi’s fashion/clothes in this drama is A+++!! Literally loved most of her outfits
4. That it kept itself together (for the most part) longer than Les Interpretes. It got extremely frustrating for the last 4-5 episodes, but hey, at least not the entire latter half of the drama like Les Interpretes
5. Tong Tiantian was annoying as hell in the begining but redeemed herself about halfway through
6. There were some decently funny parts!!
7. I really like the OST songs
What I disliked:
1. The supporting characters my goodness. Most of them were annoying for a large portion of the drama (although Tong Tiantian and Shang Bichen were more bearable as the drama progressed and Tong Wei's aunt had a reedamable moment LOL)
2. Tong Wei selling her house to make money to help pay Xie Xiaofei's mom's medical bills??? Like girl......I wouldn't do that if this wasn't dramaland
3. Lawyer dude Qin Tianyu was annoying as hell sometimes. Like Tong Wei told him quite a few times that she didn't like him, yet he was still so persistent LOL
4. Zhao Chenxi............my goodness where do I start with this annoying supporting character!!
5. The story did have its plotholes throughout, and were quite bearable most of the time. UNTIL the last like 5 episodes I was basically riding on the wildest rollercoaster ever I was so confused and frustrated lmao.
6. Tong Wei's best friend was such a hassle and obstruction sometimes LOL. Plus she is the kind of women I would NOT want to be.
7. The whole Tong Wei and Shan Shan's tragedy thing in the last few episodes.......I won't say more because that would be too spoiler-y
8. The drama is called "Negotiator" but there really wasn't THAT much negotiating LOL.......maybe they should change the name.
So I would say that the overall acting was okay by the entire cast. Many of you may have seen Yang Mi in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, where she showcased brilliant acting. Her acting in this one was okay. The character itself is very serious and work-oriented, but her character livens a bit more as the drama progresses. I liked a lot of her crying scenes, but even those, she didn't cry like crazy because of how reserved her character was. I especially liked her crying scene when she was arguing with Xiaofei in front of Chen Xiaoxi's house, as well as that scene where she found out about Shan Shan's fate.
As for Tao, he posted on Weibo when the drama just started airing that this was the first drama he's ever filmed (even though his other drama aired earlier) and I feel that as a debut drama, he did pretty well. I do think his emotional/crying scenes were better than his angry scenes. He makes me laugh when he's angry LOL but his crying scenes were actually pretty good.
Setting aside how annoying their characters were, the supporting actors in this were actually okay too. I must say, Dylan Kuo being the only Taiwanese-accented person in the entire cast threw me off a lot at the very beginning because his pronunciation was SUPER obviously different LOL but I guess I eventually kind of grew used to it. The guy who plays Sun Hao......does not sound like he was dubbed.......his voice sounds really raspy(??) and kind of annoying LOL or maybe that's just me but he's not in the drama that much so it's okay.
Also you may be annoyed by dubbing at times (I thought it was fine since I love dubbing lol). They had issues passing SARFT the first time, so their characters were all dubbed after stuff was changed. The English dubbing might feel kind of whack too since the actors were saying Chinese and then they were dubbed over with English. But I mean......at least there wasn't TOO much of those parts, and it's not like the actors can speak English very well LOL.
The instrumental music was sometimes quite bothersome….they were kind of too loud at times (which is why I docked off some points)?? But the OST songs I really liked!!! I listen to a lot of Chinese music, so I really liked the opening and ending theme songs, as well as the other OST song sung by Yisa Yu. I have all 3 of these songs on my phone and have been listening to them quite often these days.
I would rewatch the parts with the main leads!! I really thought they were cute, and I’ve already rewatched quite a few of their scenes. But nothing else aside from the main leads LOL I watched this drama because I’m a big fan of Yang Mi and I often times enjoy noona-dongsaeng romances (thus fulfilling the two bullet points I had listed at the beginning of this review).
I used to think Huang Zitao was kind of annoying (me being a semi-kpop fan and all) but throughout the past month of watching this drama and scrolling through Weibo, my view of him as turned from annoyance to neutrality and a bare liking. His Weibo stories of him watching the drama were quite funny.
I'm hoping Jaywalk Studio can pick better modern cdramas for Yang Mi and her talents in the future.......I feel like they always pick up awful modern cdramas LOL it really wastes the potentials of their talents!! ://
In essence, a guilty pleasure drama XD
At the beginning, I thought the drama's biggest asset was the budget put into clothes, scenes. In other words, I tend to think that the bigger the budget, the better the story. I can't explain my logic behind that, but enough of that.
This was one of the reasons that I started watching. The plot at the beginning was just a tad slow, but I understood very quickly that the drama needed some time to introduce everything to me properly. I kept watching anyway.
The contrast between the male and female protagonists' characters was exciting and promising, and so because of that contrast, I knew I was in for an adventure full of life lessons. I enjoy watching that.
I wasn't entirely wrong when I said I knew I was in for an adventure full of life lessons. The writers did make sure to overload the drama with life lessons, but ultimately they ended up going too far with that sentiment.
While the writers probably intended for the drama to be realistic, they were not able to balance realism with satisfying the audience. With that being said, I believe all screenplay or drama or anything of this sort should be entertaining enough for the audience to keep watching. But as I advanced through episodes, I realized where the entertainment ends.
The drama started with more than 3 potential couples, where the majority of them were yet to be officially established. Great, the writers supplied us with other couples' stories so that we don't get tired of following the protagonists' storyline all the time. That was a smart tactic. However, without spoiling who loses and who wins, let me tell you - you'll be disappointed by how the couples say goodbye to you. It is especially disappointing because the writers spent so much time on all of them, polishing and defining them, only to discard them in the light of the only relevant pair - the protagonists. In fact, one of these couples was ruthlessly used and then thrown away by the writers to keep the protagonist storyline going. When I say this, it may sound like a normal deal that was only meant to serve as a life lesson in the drama, but let me tell you - there was no follow up after most of these couples' stories ended. As a member of the audience, I feel cheated that the drama took such a turn. All this hype for nothing. Towards the end of the drama, there was a lot of confusion over why some key scenes were not in the drama - by key scenes, I mean those that would only make sense to be included, and yet they were omitted. One episode later, I found out that those key scenes or moments may have happened, but we know nothing of that because there was a time skip that wasn't mentioned at all. Whoever directed this, really did a bad job at not making the plot frustrating, because there were several timeskips that were not mentioned - although I can't explain why it's so bad without spoiling the plot, they ruined my understanding and patience for the drama.
As someone else mentioned in another review, this is a brain-dead drama that is only slightly enjoyable while it lasts, but then you will get disappointed towards the end of the story. Although the writers intended to give us a life lesson, they gave us a 42 episode drama, which when summarized, is just protagonists arguing from the start to finish. Do yourself a favor and watch something else. This is not worth it.