The romance series is led by 2 big names – Xiao Zhan and Yang Zi as the titular main couple. Lin Zhi Xiao (portrayed by Yang Zi) is a final-year university student, an optimistic young girl who is a little mischievous with her extremely understanding mother but a super strict & disciplinarian father (who is also a disciplinarian teacher at school). Their family life is turned upside down when Zhi Xiao’s father is diagnosed with cancer. Starting on the wrong foot with doctor Gu Wei (portrayed by Xiao Zhan), the Lin family slowly builds the trust and goes through the journey as a family.
As both Zhi Xiao and Dr Gu Wei get to know each other better, Dr Gu is attracted to Zhi Xiao’s optimism, commitment & love for her family while Zhi Xiao slowly falls into Dr Gu’s mature charm – a cold exterior but a warm & understanding heart to his patients and family members.
Although the Lin family is deeply troubled with the health crisis, they stick together to face the surgery and subsequent chemotherapy sessions. Their love grows as a family, bonding the small nucleus family even closer. As Zhi Xiao has a strained relationship with her father due to their different personality, the health crisis actually opens up their different perspectives of each other – providing avenues to strengthen their father-daughter relationship.
Zhi Xiao also has 2 good friends in San San and Yin Zhi, who are in different stage of their relationship. San San is driven to start her own business, and is being pursued by the playboy Gu Xiao, Dr Gu Wei’s younger cousin. Meanwhile Yin Zhi is a stable but a little “sticky” relationship with university mate Jin Shi.
Romance Through and Through
After finishing the series, I actually like the romance series and is a little surprising even to myself! I usually stay clear of full-blown romance series especially if the focus is really on love stories only. However, I could not resist the temptation of the main attractions in Xiao Zhan and Yang Zi of whom I have watched them in various different series previously (and obviously like them).
The main storyline represents quite a traditional love story – a matured, dedicated and kind male lead falling for an energetic & optimistic younger female lead. The story is surprisingly realistic, with not as many misunderstandings usual in love series. The situations portrayed are so mundane, that the audience can experience it in real life. The series is meant to milk out all the sweet moments from the main couple, and it succeeds very well. There are so many super-sweet scenes, surely to get the audience to ship for the main couple!
Xiao Zhan is actually great at showing the different sides of Dr Gu Wei – the cold exterior deemed as professionalism in the medical line vs the determined lover who experiments & adapts his rigid routine to fit into Zhi Xiao’s lifestyle. I like how determined Gu Wei is once he knows his own heart, and protects Zhi Xiao in his own way. I like how he is firm with his parents, but never losing his temper at them – explaining very clearly that he knows what he wants and he is an adult that is able to make his own choice. This is such a positive & mature way of managing conflict in the family, even though there are still scathing remarks from the parents. I like it how Gu Wei “protects” his territory when he is threatened with Shao Jiang’s interest in Zhi Xiao, ensuring that he is present but never forceful. I like it even better how Gu Wei reaffirms Zhi Xiao’s position in his heart, proclaiming her as his girlfriend in front of condescending medical officers who continuously make fun of him and close colleague, Dr Gao Xi. It is slightly disappointing that Zhi Xiao is not there to witness how protective he is.
Zhi Xiao’s character is actually very loveable – girl next door, unassuming, kind soul, optimistic, trusting, and a little bit of mischiefs but deep down a very good & obedient girl. Who doesn’t like such positive vibes? I like how the series showcases great communication in their relationship, and the level of trust both parties build over time.
Learning Romance Through Friends
The romance journeys of the 3 girls are different but when they compare notes – more often than not the journey becomes more difficult! Although girls do discuss such experiences, in their youth, they forget that individual personality is different.
The advice the two girls give to Zhi Xiao while she is away for an overnight vacation with Gu Wei is so funny. More likely creating more fright and uncertainty for Zhi Xiao.
San San’s method of drowning sorrows through clubbing and alcohol really doesn’t suit the other 2 girls. Although seemingly carefree, she is actually quite protective of her own heart, only opening up to Gu Xiao after much persistence from the playboy. Yin Zhi on the other hand, is a little more demanding of time from her boyfriend to the point of not able to respect personal space & time.
However, all 3 girls are close enough to always lend support to each other during their cloudy days. Girl power!
Father-Daughter Relationship – Sweetness Revisited
The series also explores the tough love shown by an authoritative father towards a little wayward daughter. Deep down, Lin Jian Guo loves his daughter very much, always wanting the best for her. However, the differences in their personalities are just difficult to iron out.
I love the way how the series depict a seemingly strong father running away to his hometown before surgery, only to be tracked down by a fierce daughter scolding him in front of other passengers. 😀 And a sulking father with tails behind his back scurrying behind the daughter.
I love the dynamics of this father-daughter duo. Loving even more the letters that he pens for her – total of 7 letters, each letter for 1 year starting with her wedding day. A little bittersweet – but very much realistic. The cancer and such journeys are often fraught with difficulties and uncertainties. Each individual’s journey is different and often the planned medical sessions have different impact to their bodies as well.
The series is a little long at 29 episodes, and at times seem to be a little slow at times. However, the sweet moments are aplenty, almost covering you with honey all over. Watch it for a fuzzy-warm feeling, realistic love journey of a young couple, with sprinkles of laughter as you enjoy their journey to unite two hearts. A neat freak super-professional doctor and an optimist but resilient cellist, what a combination!
I think the main reason why the series is such a success whereby audience doesn’t feel cloistered is both male and femald leads depict the kind of personality and journeys that many people aspire for, especially when they are young. Think cute and mischieveous girlfriend, but naive, sweet and actually quite understanding and obedient too. Think matured protective boyfriend who is able to help the family (especially as the surgeon and doctor!), understanding, compromising and can lead the direction in their lives. Surely enough to satisfy the audience’s needs for a full- blown romance.