Last updated on December 28th, 2022 at 10:15 am
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We’re going to talk about a throwback drama today and it’s Hi My Sweetheart.
People seemed to like my Love and Redemption drama review so I’m back with another one.
Hi My Sweetheart Synopsis
This drama is about the wealthy, naïve, and dorky male lead, Xue Hai stepping into the real world for the first time by going to university in Hangzhou when he is from Taipei. Xue Hai goes by another identity in school called Lin Da Lang due to his family background. He meets Chen Bao Zhu, a badass female lead that is a misunderstood loner.
A Breath of Fresh Air
The drama first came out in 2009 (can you believe it’s been more than 10 years already?) and when it came out, I thought the synopsis was interesting.
At the time, the recycled storyline of a good girl falling for a cold guy that’s actually warm-hearted was getting a little boring. I’ve always loved dramas like that but we need to switch it up sometimes.
In this drama, the reverse happens. We have a fierce and gothic-looking female lead being paired up with a nerdy guy.
I understand why this type of storyline is not as popular.
People tend to favour the rich/bad boy that only has eyes for one girl.
Generally, the male lead in dramas tends to be handsome and suave. Instead, this male lead looked like a mix of dorky and nerdy.
I was curious to see how this couple’s dynamic would play out and could imagine that there would be some funny scenes.
First Impression of Rainie Yang
Rainie Yang (杨丞琳) played Chen Bao Zhu, the main female lead. I was familiar with Rainie because I watched Devil Beside You and Meteor Garden, two other iconic dramas she starred in.
I didn’t think much of her because it’s been way too long since I watched her dramas. My opinion of her probably wasn’t that strong then if I forgot about her. Whoops.
When I first re-watched Hi My Sweetheart, I didn’t think she was a good actress.
She was always glaring and yelling. I understand it’s her character but it comes across as unlikeable and too much. Wasn’t there another way to portray this type of character?
It wasn’t until the latter half of the drama that I changed my mind. Her character evolves and that’s when she wowed me with her acting skills.
Rainie’s Acting Skills
You can tell some actresses care too much about looking pretty when filming crying scenes.
Maybe it’s in the script but some actresses have two teardrops coming out of their eyes and that’s considered a crying scene.
With Rainie, it was like watching a flood unleash. She was so convincing in episode 16 that it made me tear up as well. She genuinely moved me. You couldn’t help but feel her character’s pain.
I can honestly say I underestimated her as an actress. Maybe that’s why I was so impressed with her. Because I had low expectations to begin with.
Her portrayal of her character made me see Rainie in a different light and respect her more.
I don’t think I would have enjoyed the series as much if Rainie didn’t play Chen Bao Zhu. It is her acting that got me hooked on the show.
Fun fact: she won the best actress award for this drama.
Show Luo’s First Impression
Her acting partner, Show Luo (罗志祥) had it tough because he had to play two characters: the socially awkward Lin Da Lang and the player, Xue Hai.
These two characters are extremely different. Lin Da Lang is kind, awkward and innocent (see the photo above on the left). Xue Hai (the guy on the right) is a player that breaks other people’s hearts without a second thought.
Lin Da Ling was just an adorable character. I find it endearing how he tries to save Chen Bao Zhu but ends up needing to be saved by her each time instead. Good effort though, lol.
After his breakup with Chen Bao Zhu, he transformed himself because he wanted to protect himself from being hurt by love again.
So I guess we did get a character we tend to see for male leads in dramas: rich, handsome, and a player.
Show Luo’s Acting Skills
Show Luo did a good job of portraying both although I have to admit there were also times when Lin Da Lang was cringe-worthy. Man, don’t get me started on the way he walks and the times he pouts his lips…
It’s probably how the character is written so it can be hard for an actor to pull it off. I think Show was trying to play up the cute factor as Lin Da Lang but I wasn’t really buying it.
Lin Da Lang’s Appearance
I have no idea what the production team was thinking about Lin Da Lang’s look. He was wearing overalls with a mushroom cut and those hideous glasses (no hate on people wearing glasses. I did for a long time but got Lasik).
Even though his clothes were tacky, you could see his muscles. It makes sense because Show Luo is an actor and a part of many celebrities’ image is being fit and looking like a celebrity.
Maybe they could have dressed him up in baggier clothes? It could have been more convincing as the dorky guy character rather than seeing his muscles when wearing fitter clothes.
Their Chemistry Together
Rainie Yang and Show Luo didn’t have the strongest chemistry together but I was rooting for them regardless. They are the main leads at the end and I obviously wanted them to have a happy ending.
Second Lead Characters
There are a few cast members (side characters) I want to point out. Xue Hai’s older sister, Xue Bo, the second female lead, Mo Li and the second male lead, He Yan Feng.
Xue Bo played by the actress Fang Fang needs to chill.
She had a hard time letting him go and letting him be independent.
She was way too overprotective because their parents died when Xue Hai was young.
Xue Bo had to step in as the parent figure in his life. I found it funny how much older she is.
She seems more like his grandma or mom than older sis but we’ll go with it.
What’s up with Mo Li?
She didn’t do anything for me.
Usually, this second female lead is evil and tries to plot ways to split the main couple apart. In this drama, she is bland and stands only as a pretty face.
She didn’t add anything to the drama.
It could be Maggie Wu, the actress that played her but her character wasn’t interesting.
I skipped a lot of the scenes with He Yan Feng played by Lee Wei.
He’s the second lead so he has feelings for Chen Bao Zhu but she already gave her heart to Lin Da Lang.
Sorry, dude! He’s also someone that I don’t really care for.
Did Hi My Sweetheart Break Stereotypes?
The characters in the series somewhat broke stereotypes.
For once, it’s the guy that’s pure, simple, and kind-hearted and the girl is tough, loyal, and hardcore.
However, the drama itself has a lot of clichés. It’s so unnecessarily dramatic that I chuckled a few times. Hey, it was entertaining so why not?
Also, this premiered at a time when a lot of dramas had at least 2 or 3 of these points:
- The male lead has a weird hairstyle
- One of the leads gets amnesia
- Time Jump
- A Transformation Scene (from ugly to pretty)
- Exaggerated scenes for comedic effect
I can overlook the hair.
I can also keep watching amnesia in different dramas and not get bored.
It’s a cheesy romantic thing if you think about it.
You forgot about the other person but because you love them so much, you can’t help but fall for them again.
All the other bullet points BUT I don’t like the exaggerated comedic scenes. The production team added effects in the drama as if it was a comic book.
If it was cringe for me to watch those scenes as a view, it must have been hella awkward for the actors.
When this drama was showing those scenes, I was stone-faced at almost all parts. Yeah…not funny to me.
Hi My Sweetheart OST
I have a short anecdote.
I was in high school science class and was listening to music on my school’s laptop. Younger me didn’t plug my earphones in and accidentally played the theme song out loud. The whole class was quiet and one of my classmates even said, ‘it seems like Nicole is into rock music.’ It still makes me laugh when I think about that time.
I enjoyed the OST in this drama especially the song, 雨愛by Rainie Yang. It’s my favourite but I also like the following songs:
- 匿名的好友 by Rainie Yang
- 愛不單行by Show Luo
- 愛瘋頭by Show Luo
That’s more than half of the songs in the OST that I like (which is rare).
It also doesn’t hurt that both leads are talented singers. The production team probably did cut out some unnecessary expenses by hiring those lead actors.
Who Should Watch Hi My Sweetheart?
I recommend this show to people who want a fluffy, cliched love story. There were some unexpected emotional scenes in the drama but for the most part, it’s light-hearted.
It’s also a drama with not many episodes.
Some dramas are too long. To the point that I would skip the whole thing because I know myself well enough that I wouldn’t finish it.
Hi My Sweetheart is 17 episodes long. You can binge-watch it in a day if you wanted to.
The drama dragged a bit in the beginning but give it a chance. Watch it until the end to truly appreciate Rainie and Show’s performance.
If this type of drama isn’t your cup of tea, there are many other amazing Chinese dramas out there.
Final Thoughts on Hi My Sweetheart
Writing this drama review is making me nostalgic.
There was a period when all I would watch were these types of dramas. I will always have fond memories of them since it’s connected to my childhood.
Now to You
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