A phone call from Taiwan has disrupted Wu Ping Fan’s quiet life abroad. Her twin sister Ping An is in a coma due to a car accident. Suddenly, the simple, kind-hearted Ping Fan is forced to put on a new identity: a “mob boss.” To become someone entirely different is hard enough, let alone trying to manage Yi Ching group and deal with a rival group led by her sister's deceptive nemesis, Rong Fu Xiong, who will stop at nothing to see her dead. Just when it seems as if her charade cannot be maintained, Ping Fan meets a man who’s willing to lay down his life for her, Gu Le Jun, and he becomes her bodyguard. Slowly they grow closer and a bond of trust begins to form. However, what Ping Fan doesn't know is that Le Jun is an undercover cop seeking evidence to convict Ping An of her crimes. How will she overcome the obstacles in front of her? Can she trust the man she loves? Add Synopsis In Spanish
Cast & Credits
tl;dr - Skip to the Overall Rating section at the bottom for a basic recommendation.
The tone of the show was consistent; it knew what it wanted to be. From the first episode to the last, it was dramatic (comes with the genre), but it had a good balance of humor and romance and knew when to lighten up. After all, it is a generally feel-good kind of show, one that I would classify as a comedy in the original sense of the term. It never felt dark or gritty; just serious and sometimes perilous at times, and then would relax a bit with something cute and/or cheesy and make me smile like crazy.
The synopsis might sound spoilery to some but it just basically gives you an idea of what happens in the first episode. Yes, everything is set up in the FIRST episode, even one plot thread that is left hanging until episode 17 before it is nicely tied off by the very end of the show. So basically you are in for a ride to know exactly HOW this sweet, innocent woman who has never been part of the “underworld” has to adjust and fool everyone into thinking she’s her sister, the Female Star Killer boss of Yi Ching Group. And how the other characters with their own conflicts and secrets achieve their goals and react to each other. It’s quite entertaining.
It takes a little while for the romance to develop but that just makes it feel more natural, and any other way would be too rushed. After all, there are secrets and misunderstandings that keep the characters apart at first. At the beginning of the series when the characters are getting to know each other, I sensed that spark between the two main couples and it definitely was all paying off between episodes 7-15 with plenty of cute and romantic moments to keep you feeling warm and fuzzy. Things get dark by episode 16 but this is building up to the climax and the storm will pass soon—don’t give up hope.
Oh yeah, big plus here for me: NO LOVE TRIANGLES. HALLELUJAH! I was expecting the first male lead (Le Jun) and first female lead (Ping Fan) to get hijacked by some stupid love triangle shenanigans with the second male lead (Tian Xing) but AMAZINGLY this never happened! Because Le Jun and Ping Fan have eyes only for each other. Meanwhile, Tian Xing becomes enamored with the unexpected second female lead (Jing Xuan) who is a nurse at a hospital that these characters end up frequenting because they are in the mafia and always getting into fights, of course. Now there was a bit of concern with another character who tries to court Jing Xuan but in the end I didn’t have to worry about it. So if you are like me and can’t stand those silly love triangles, this is probably a good show for you! (=^w^=)
The plot features a lot of tropes and cliches, but rather than being annoyed by them, I felt like they were used in ways that made sense, were set up logically/plausibly (as much as you can in a fictional story), and propelled the story along. That is to say, I got the impression they were not included for their own sake, but to create a sense of a greater picture that simply involves some elements that we're familiar with. Or even if they WERE just included because the writers thought they had to, at least there was a REASON for it and it was explained in the show to make you believe it. Honestly, we are watching a romantic drama, what do you expect? We're HERE to see Ping Fan bandage up a wound on Le Jun's muscular, swoon-worthy shoulder and to see Tian Xing woo Jing Xuan ineffectively by showering her with flowers and gifts because he thinks that’s what girls want. :P We drama fans signed up for this stuff, this is what we expect and they deliver on every occasion.
Still, I think I should mention that some parts are kind of cringy. Some more than others. Most of the time the cringe is light and I was expecting it so it didn’t bother me, but oh man, there was only one big offender that stands out in my mind. Somewhere between episode 12-14 (I think, I don’t quite remember which episode exactly) was a Certain Scene (no spoilers… you’ll know when you get there) that was so cringy I almost couldn’t watch it… I thought it was going to be a dream sequence because it was so absurd but it was real. Sigh. I am impressed that somehow I survived the cringe and the writers still managed to make it relevant to the plot and move the story forward so it all worked out.
The pacing and editing was great! I admit I'm no expert when it comes to this kind of thing, but I thought the scenes flowed from one to the next naturally, spending a bit of time with different characters and letting the story unfold in a way that was engaging and kept me hooked. Even the introductory 1-2 minute recap sequence at the beginning of each episode was fresh and fast-paced to remind you what happened in the last episode (in case you go a few days or weeks between episodes) and I found myself watching them even when I was binging 3 episodes at a time. None of the episodes dragged or felt like filler—19 is the perfect number for the story they were trying to tell and they used their time wisely to wrap up all the plot points and address everything that I had questions about. As far as I was concerned, the writers had the whole story planned out and knew exactly what they were doing.
They also left themselves enough room to squeeze in quite a few kissing scenes by the end of the show, but that’s what you came for, right? Gotta watch ‘em smooch. Ain’t no romance drama without the smooching!
Last note: WHAT A CUTE INTRO! The opening theme is catchy, cute, and fresh. I liked the style they used with the cartoony animated effects overlaid on… well, it’s hard to describe, but the way the characters are presented in the intro is kind of an exaggeration of their roles in the story? In a good way… it felt appropriate for the opening. Everything about it sets you up to expect a comedic, yet dramatic, romantic story featuring two main couples. I was slightly disappointed that they always show Ping Fan with long hair in the opening and in the commercial break scenes, when she has short hair in the rest of the show (except the first episode, obviously), but that’s just a nitpick. I’m about to fangirl again thinking about it. \(>3<)/
I loved all the casting choices they made for each character! Personally I was captivated by the performance of each of the mains. Especially the actress who played Ping Fan/Ping An! She was amazing! She put on this whole different persona for each sister, she has a completely different vibe and way of moving/making facial expressions depending on which sister she is acting at the time. And she is ADORABLE! Oh my god, that cute grin she makes is enough to make my heart melt. Oh, Gu Le Jun, you never stood a chance against that smile. The girl who plays Jing Xuan is also adorable with those little curls at the tips of her hair and she has such a cute voice. The actor for Le Jun makes a convincing bodyguard type and has a winning smile that he shows on rare occasions (mainly after episode 6). Tian Xing is quite fetching in his black suits and styled hair, especially when he goes making puppy eyes at Jing Xuan. Oh goodness.
They all played their parts well. There may have been a bit of over-acting for the supporting characters but it was for comedic effect and felt purposeful, not like it was bad acting or anything. You will care about all these characters and want to know how their story ends.
An interesting note: Each character had their own wardrobe or personal style, wearing particular kinds of clothing, which I think helped not only to differentiate them from each other but also to tell a little about their profession/character. For instance, the strawberry-loving Xiao Zhi always wears a dapper patterned vest that doesn't quite match the “black mafia” theme the rest of his peers have. Ping An wears a lot of leather and tight pants while Ping Fan has a more casual, light, and cutesy style. Le Jun has no-nonsense rugged wardrobe in neutral/earthy colors. I also noticed that Jing Xuan is always wearing light colors (like white, beige, and blue), while Tian Xing wears dark colors-- a sort of visual contrast between the "white" and "black" professions they represent. This was very consistent throughout the entire show, though it took me a while to notice it. I just like this kind of attention to detail. Great visual cues to support the overarching themes. Whoever was in charge of costumes deserves some recognition!
I would have given it a higher score but there is just one problem with the way they presented the music in this show. And only one flaw, really… Whenever anything vaguely dramatic/surprising happened, the SAME SONG kept playing at the SAME PART of the chorus and it got kind of old after the second episode. But they will keep playing the SAME SONG about 4 times per episode right up until the last minute of the last episode, so it’s better if you just get used to it. The song is “I’m Burning” by Ian Chen and it’s a great song, I actually like it… it just gets old when they play it so much. I would have preferred if they saved it for the MOST DRAMATIC moments and not just as a cue for each commercial break. Man, that chorus “I’m burning…” is going to haunt my dreams from now on. (;=__=)
All the other songs were fine, though nothing really stood out to me. Could be because I only watch these shows when I wear headphones and I keep the volume down to preserve my hearing, so I couldn’t hear the music so clearly all the time. But the other music choices were fitting to the mood of the scenes and I have no complaints. Would have gotten a higher rating here if not for the “I’m Burning” repetition that I mentioned above.
---Rewatch Value: 6.5/10
I’m not the kind of person who rewatches shows so I gave this a lower rating. But this one was quite a journey! It would be interesting to see it again, knowing in advance all the background information that is slowly revealed with each episode. It puts the characters into a different light and makes you say “Ah, that’s why that happened!” If you do rewatch, maybe watch it with a sister/close relative or friend who likes chick flicks or dramas. I personally would not watch it again but that’s just because I already have so many other dramas on my list to get to. (<u<;) Watch at least the first 2 episodes before dropping it. And remember that when things start to get rough, it will be resolved within 1 or 2 episodes!
---Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Everything in this show was part and parcel of the genre, plot, and tone they were aiming for and I think it worked great! No drama is perfect, but for what they did here I will heartily give them a round of applause and recommend The Masked Lover to people who are looking for some adorable, suspenseful, emotional, and sometimes cheesy comedic romance with a structured, well-planned plot.
The summer which is given above is not 100% true
this drama is 10/10 drama just go for it