To Love (2020) For Which I Rave...
This drama is all kinds of superb. I'm not normally one for hyperboles and I can't guarantee this won't go south towards the end but honestly this has the potential to be one of the best C dramas I've ever seen. Considering I'm notorious for dropping C dramas or FF through them, that does say something. C dramas even with highly regarded actors can't always be relied on to deliver the goods so I keep my expectations low despite the hype and keep an open mind. But this one has really sucked me in and I've fallen hard for it. Honestly I haven't felt that way about very many C dramas in months. If this show can avoid the middle-drag and the third act pitfalls or at the very least survive them relatively unscathed, I will be a very very satisfied customer.
Yes, it helps greatly that it's a contemporary crime show that manages to incorporate romance in a way that is both clever and engaging. I've watched quite a few mainland detective dramas in the last few years and while the cases are often intriguing, the romance seldom is. Sometimes it's the chemistry between the leads that's sorely missing. There are the rare exceptions like When a Snail Falls in Love where everything more or less comes together. This is another one of them. In this drama the romance is absolutely integral to the show in a way that many that I've seen aren't. It's clearly no appendage. It's key to understanding motives and rationales for events that transpire. What's even better is that the chemistry between the leads is fantastic. Whether you're a fan of either is irrelevant because they are both very good and convincing in their roles here.
The show also has plenty of twists and turns that keep the viewer on their toes. Like the interrogator, there are moments where you wonder if Yan Jin is on the level about everything.
Ji Xiao'ou is a lovely, kind cafe owner who through a series of circumstances gets involved with Zhan Yu as soon as she becomes acquainted with his hard luck story. Soon he goes to work for her at the cafe as a server and live musician. What she doesn't know is that the narcotics cops have their eye on him as a person of interest in their investigations into a powerful drug ring. They believe he might be a drug dealer known as KK. Xiao'ou first meets Yan Jin at a night club that she gets dragged off to by her friend. He thinks she's a honey trap and she think he's a first class jerk and lecher. As she's now about 30, Xiao'ou is under pressure from her mother to get married but what she really wants to do is build up her cafe and make it into a success.
Yan Jin who is a well-to-do restaurateur, is a former narcotics detective who has gone undercover using his present status to take down a drug ring. He is cavalier, funny, glib, charming and seems to be ridiculously good at everything. As one former colleague says, "He's outstanding. He succeeds in everything he sets out to do." To keep on eye on Zhan Yu, Yan Jin spends a lot of his time at the cafe attempting to ingratiate himself with Xiao'ou. She's unimpressed at first and suspects him of ulterior motives but soon discovers the truth of what the ex-colleague says. There's nothing he can't do and he's not modest about it either. As expected he charms the socks off her in no time.
Read more about it on Janghaven Forums.