Thirty-seven-year-old Zi Jun leads a peaceful life as a housewife, yet is unaware of the cracks in her marriage. She is taken aback when her husband asks for a divorce and is unsuccessful in her attempts to save their relationship. After an initial period of denial, Zi Jun heads back into the workforce with the help of best friend Tang Jing and her boyfriend He Han. Tang Jing is an independent, career-oriented woman, and the way she deals with He Han’s romantic affections for Zi Jun will also be a major plot point in the drama. ~~ This is a drama adaption of Yi Shu’s novel of the same name.
Cast & Credits
This drama deals with serious matters such as divorce, remarriage, single parenthood, family problems and so on, however everything is told in a really peaceful way and it's what makes this drama so interesting and appealing in my opinion, I kept thinking and questioning myself about all those issues that are generally hard to talk about and more importantly to handle. I always appreciate when a drama doesn't only give me entertainment but also intellectual nourishments.
Obviously what truly made me love this drama was the deep and powerful friendship between Luo Zi Jun and Tang Jing and also the growth of characters and they all evolved either from bad to good or good to bad, it was truly convicing and realistic.
Regarding Zi Jun/Tang Jing's friendship, I absolutely loved their poised, calm and mature personalities, they truly complement each other, Tang Jing is more emotive and full of pride while Zi Jun is more calm and strict but when they're together, they look so happy, jovial and relaxed. I have to say that Tang Jing left a big impression on me, she's such a true, selfless and sincere friend and she would absolutely do anything for her friend in need, she doesn't care about what others may think , she just does what she thinks is the best for Zi Jun, and always helps her even when she's extremely busy, that's how good she is. Their friendship to me feels so real and friends like Tang Jing are rare, it's just sad she's too proud. And this quote tells how Tang Jing in Zi Jun's heart means everything "I don't know what character or abilities I have that bestowed me such a great friend, who shares my happiness with me, carries my troubles for me. If in this world there are others who I can't be unworthy of, who I can't disappoint, then Tang Jing is certainly the most important one of all", it truly moved me.
Now I'll move on to the characters and I have to say they were all superbly beautifully presented, there are some I disliked obviously and they infuriated me so much but the actors did such an amazing job portraying them, I mostly think of Ling Ling, and JunSheng (though he wasn't really detestable) for example and anyway without them the drama wouldn't be this much stimulating and engaging. I can only praise all of them, I must admit that what got me truly interested in the drama was the atypical synopsis and the title really caught my attention too, but also seeing that Jin Dong was one of the leads was a great plus for me as I do really admire him as an actor, he was outstanding as always but I wasn't too fond of his character "He Han" though He Han is always full of great advice, so smart and rational, and someone we can rely on, but apart from that I didn't feel much for him but still it was another breathtaking performance by Jin Dong. However my revelations with this cast were Yuan Quan and Ma Yi Li and "The First Half of My Life" was my first drama with them and will definitely not be the last. They both played two fascinating characters but Zi Jun is the one that had a bigger impact on me, it was so beautiful seeing the Luo Zi Jun from the beginning who's a naive, frivolous, insecure, vulnerable woman growing into a responsible, independent and calm woman and at that a woman who doesn't show any of her insecurities/shortcomings in front of strangers and what I liked is that she knows how to seperate her private from her professional life. Ma Yi Li was simply mind-blowing as Zi Jun, truly gorgeous, classy and ravishing; such a delight *.*.
I'll briefly mention one character that made me smile a lot, I know that Zi Jun's mother is a little bit too nosy and annoying, I just couldn't help but like her, she's a pure bundle of energy and I think we do need people like her in our life, someone who'll cheer for us and bring only positive energy when we are so down, that's why I liked her so so much. The rest of the cast was nice as well, I particularly liked the interactions between Old Zhuo, the Jiang Zi's owner and He Han but I have nothing much to add about the rest, though they all had significant roles.
I won't add much about the drama nor the several topics it deals with as I think it's better to watch to see for yourself but one thing I loved in this drama is the realisation, it's so gorgeous and realistic and I particularly loved the flashbacks in black and white which in my opinion intensify some of the most powerful and touching scenes, the settings and sceneries (aaaw that Jiang Zi restaurant *.*) were also beautiful and I truly enjoy watching these dramas that take place in Shanghai, the views are always stunning.
A drama I fully recommend to everyone even to non Cdrama lovers as it deals with actual topics that might be interesting to others who are looking for something more realistic with a touch of slice of life.
As for the rating to be honest I was really hesitating between an 8.5 and a 9 because eventhough I loved this drama and I consider it to be the best drama of 2017 until now and definitely in my top 3 best Chinese modern dramas I was expecting something a little bit different for the second part of the drama but the ending was so satisfying that I decided to go for a 9 and anyway it was such a great show, seriously I already miss all of them, especially Zi Jun.
Story: All surrounding characters in their mid 30's to early 40's. I love how naturally every plot point occurs in the story. Nothing feel forced it doesn't feel like the writers were adding in a lot of filer. The dialogue is everything and a basic conversation between two chracters is always interesting.
(Fair warning the female character is whiny in the beginning but she gets better I promise.)
Acting. Top notch! A1! Everyone in this cast played their chracters to a T. If you've watched Jin Dong in other dramas you know what kind of chracters he gets type cast as. He lectures and gave me surgeon character feels at some point but his execution of his monologues are always great so it didn't deter me from watching the drama. The chemistry ,not just between the female and male lead, but the entire cast can be felt and I really loved it.
Music: Smooth jazz, loved it.
Rewatch: not unless there is a season 2.
Give this drama a try I promise you will enjoy.