If you’ve seen our reviews for Meteor Garden and Put Your Head on My Shoulder you’ll know that we’re a big fan of Chinese dramas here. They often deliver all the warm fuzzy moments and cringey humour that makes for perfect escapism – while also showing off a host of gorgeous cast-members. This time, we’ve reviewed a drama the plot of which delivers every single thing one could ask for from one’s Netflix binge: Well-Intended Love (奈何BOSS要娶我).
Well Intended Love, which currently has two seasons on Netflix, follows the romance between Xia Lin (Wang Shuan), a D-list actress with leukaemia, and Ling Yi Zhou, the powerful CEO of a company. Xia Lin needs Ling Yi Zhou (Xu Kai Cheng) in order to receive a bone-marrow transplant, and the two strike up a deal – he’ll help her if she agrees to sign a marriage contract.
If it sounds absurd, it’s because it is.
But the show itself feels somewhat aware of the fact, and doesn’t shy away from the absurdity of the plot. Their awkward romantic situation is then compounded by kidnappings, a case of amnesia, an arson investigation, hypnosis, love triangles, estranged family members returning out of the blue, multiple conspiracies, and so much angst. The show’s creators clearly didn’t think it too much to include plot points from every other drama that exists, and despite the chaos, it worked out well for them.
The viewer follows the tropey, often predictable plot with some bemusement at first, but it’s easy to become hooked. The smouldering looks from Ling Yi Zhou, and Xia Lin’s embarrassment whenever they end up in, for lack of a better word, sexy situations is endearing and fun to watch. There are definitely moments in which it feels like the show has no clue where it’s going, but when, finally, Well-Intended Love seems to run out of dramatic events to include, the whole thing is wrapped up nicely with a happy ending.
Cue season two.
Well-Intended Love season 2 is exactly the same as season one – by that I mean exactly the same.
It’s not a continuation of the story, but a baffling reimagining of exactly the same events – marriage contract, love triangles, estranged family – with the only difference being that the characters are living somewhat different lives. Xia Lin starts season 2 as a big star, while Ling Yi Zhou is still a big shot CEO. His best friend from season 1, however, is not Xia Lin’s best friend, and his rival.
This was a very puzzling move on the part of the series creators, and when it’s not being utterly confusing, it can feel very repetitive – particularly as it acknowledges and echoes events from season 1, giving them a new season 2 twist. For fans who couldn’t get enough of the characters in the first season, this second version of Well-Intended Love will come as a welcome surprise. For those who are looking for new events and characters, it would be better to move on to another show, like one of the two we reviewed previously.
Well-Intended Love is, indeed, a great way to unwind, have a chuckle, and distract yourself from the events of 2020, but it’s in no way life-changing viewing. It did win a few awards – but definitely not one for plot creativity – and it’s peculiar amalgamation of every single possible plot is somewhat refreshing. Loads of viewers rave about it, but perhaps in the end this series is an acquired taste.
Watch it, or don’t. Either way, get in touch with us on social media and let us know what you thought of it!