Name: My Best Friend’s Story
Writer/director: Qin Wen/Shen Yan
Date: December 2020
Number of episodes: 38
Genre: Friendship, Romance, Drama (Melodrama)
Based on book/manga?: It’s based on the Hong Kong movie “Last Romance”. The original writer of this story is Yi Shu.
Why did I press play? The plot focusing on friendship tickled my fancy.
This drama starts out strong. It fills your stomach with butterflies as you anticipate a great story on the horizon. I’d say this hope last about a quarter of the serious and then dissipates and you’re left feeling blindsided by the disappointment of faltering plot, strange character development (not even development), and uncomfortable acting.
- Overall the casting is fantastic. Each actor does suit their respective characters and none of them are the same over overlap.
- The lack of hostility in Suo Suo’s workplace. It’s refreshing to have colleges accepted each other and work together from the get go.
- The production quality, cinematography are of a high quality. Although I would have preferred a brighter color palette.
- The friendship between Zhu Suo Suo and Jiang Nan Sun is beautifully executed – it makes you want to give your own friends a call and spend time together. They deeply care and enjoy each other. Although I must say Suo Suo can be harsh towards Nan Sun, particularly pertaining to her constant referral to Nan Sun’s lack of real world experience. She can be quite bossy and interfering, but ultimately means well and does respect Nan Sun’s decisions. When Nan Sun falls into tough times, Zhu Suo Suo gives all that she has (and doesn’t have to help Nan Sun.
- Ni Ni’s acting for the first half is extraordinary. Hear ease in front of the camera is impressive and she adds so many little naureances to the character: differing tone of voice, expressions, mannerisms, and unique and unexpected reactions.
- No surprises here – Tian Yu (secretary Fan) acting is on point and although his characters is not a lead per say, he anchor the drama with is screen presence. There is a reason he won an award for best supporting actor for his role in “Joy of Life” (an AMAZING drama).
- Dong Zi Jian (Xie Hong Zu) acting and character (at the beginning) elevates this drama. His character looses pizazz, logic, and consistency as the story goes on. The scene we first see and meet him is one of the best in the drama and I rewatched several times. When mildly inebriated he shares his struggles from the hearst, you hang on his every word. His performance in this scene is outstanding. The only issue is Suo Suo or rather Ni Ni’s unnatural response. It didn’t feel natural and made be cringe. On side note, later on she attempts to manipulate him by pretty much stalking him to a high end karaoke (not sure what it’s called) by giving him expensive alcohol and apologize. Fortunately, he sees right though her act and she gets nowhere and leaves (presuming he would call her back). Venetull he does call her and magically two of his friends decided within that hour persion to buy a house each. I don’t care how rich someone is, I don’t think two friends in their early twenties just buy multi-millionaire dollar houses within iness that 12 hours without looking at it properly or thinking about it. They were probably also inebriated at night, but yet still bought the houses in the morning. If they are that rich, wouldn’t they sleep in to nurse hangovers and fatigue from staying up till late?
What’s not so good.
- The provocate promotional artwork does not fall inline with the tone of the story. The trailer of the original 1988 Hong Kong version is more in the line with that vibe.The posters serves the original better (bust still not 100%). But is simply does not suit this modern one and creates a misleading tone for what the drama will hold. This is not a sultry drama and there are zero sultry scenes – what exactly were they thinking?
- About midway it transformed into a major melodrama. It’s as if the story became lost at sea and the writers tried to bring it back to shore with ridiculous plot twists. It because more wreck rather than a smooth landing.
- Suo Suo’s character who started so interestingly become the biggest problem ad frustration in the later part. I do feel the actress is also at fault. After a while you do see the actress and not just Suo Suo. It’s as if she become aware that she did such a good at the beginning and basked in that, instead of delving deeper into her character. Consequently the character’s vibe becomes irritating and conceited. I’d also say her character unfortunately slips into a Mary Sue role.
- About Suo Suo’s romantic relationships: She in a blink of an eye dates Mr. Ma. And is willing to move in the Ma (and potentially marry) based only a few superficial hangouts. After discovering his deception confesses that a major criteria for a man is for him to be both rich and accomplished. There was obviously little affection for Mr Ma – she barely seemed heartbroken or had a sense of loss – another proof that their relationship was shallow. All it took was a nice car, dinners, and a Gucci bag.
Less than a month later a millionaire (maybe Billiore) and really cool guy pursues her and yet now “Mrs Thing” won’t even give him a chance.
Although she is more than happy to receive finicaly benefits from him such as: to Having him for him to pay for Nan Sun’s grandmas’s fancy hosotal room and for him to stay at her house to help out. I don’t even think she thanked him and sort of just accepted it like it was the most natural thing in the world for a guy you barely know to fork out thousands of dollars. This is moment where I lost a lot of respect for he and she become irritating.
- Wang Yong Zheng character is at odds with Tony Yang. He is fabulous in “This is Not What I Expected” and “All is Well”, but he doesn’t suit this overly outgoing and free spirited guy. It’s awkward to watch.
- How can Suo Suo a recent graduate, outshine her highly competent and experience co-workers? Even if it was luck, it seems unrealistic. Plus it makes no sense why she wears such skimpy clothing to a corporate office. She has a look of “busted” when the big boss tells her to dress professionally.
- After a while it was as if NiNi become self aware she was doing a good job and you started to see her the actress come forth and Suo Suo stopped feeling as real. There is an air of being conceited. It put you off and makes her hard to watch. Ni Ni is the one that drew me in and then the one who pushes me out.
- Thankfully Zhang An Ren’s secret “weasel-ness” became apparent. He was a very annoying dead-pan character and the scenes with him were on the boring side. What exactly did Nan Sun see in him? What did he see in her? I did quite like his old flame that moved to the city. She did have an agenda for coming, but her characters stability and thick skin is admirable.
- SPOILER – I checkout out the last episode and felt immense relief that I gave up on this drama.
Who are the main characters? Which actors play them?
Jiang Nan Sun played by Cecelia Lui
Zhu Suo Suo played by Ni Ni
Ye Jin Yan played by Chen Dao Ming (CEO & Founder)
Xie Hong Zu played by Dong Zi Jian (likes Suo Suo)
Fan Jun Gang played by Tian Yu (Jin Yan’s assistant)
Wang Yong Zheng played by Tony Yang
Yang Ke played by Lawrence Wang (Suo Suo’s direct boss)
Zhang An Ren played by Eric Yang (Nan Sun’s boyfriend)
Theme: Your guess is as good as mine.
What’s it good for: Getting your hopes up.