Last updated on January 13th, 2024 at 01:04 am
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This blog post will go into detail about Only for Love and explain the reasons why most people will not bother watching this drama.
Let’s get started!
Only for Love Synopsis
Only for Love is about a female reporter, Zheng Shu Yi that gets broken up with because her ex-boyfriend of 5 years, Yue Xing Zhou chose to be with another girl. Shu Yi mistakenly thinks his new girlfriend is the young and smart CEO, Shi Yan’s niece, and uses work as an opportunity to get closer to him as revenge on the couple.
Only for Love Main Characters
Zheng Shu Yi
Zheng Shu Yi is a career-oriented modern woman. She is ambitious, determined, and successful in her career field.
Her outward appearance attracts a lot of suitors although she doesn’t have much dating experience.
She originally schemes to get closer to Shi Yan because of her ex-boyfriend but soon finds herself genuinely falling in love with him.
Her character might remind you of Liu Ling from My Sassy Princess. Both of them are bold with their intentions and make the moves to secure their man.
Like his counterpart, Shi Yan does extremely well in his industry. He has a strong work ethic, not to mention good-looking.
That’s why although Shi Yan is young, he can jump through obstacles and become a successful business-savvy CEO at 27 years old.
Shu Yi caught his attention before they interacted and the two gradually developed a relationship after her relentless pursuit.
Only for Love – The Romance
The onscreen romance in Only for Love sucked. The onscreen romantic chemistry between the lead couple is worse than Immortal Samsara.
Shi Yan and Shu Yi are in a ‘some’ kind of relationship for more than half the drama. Although Immortal Samsara had choppy editing, there were still some really great scenes. I can barely list one memorable scene in the first quarter of the drama.
The romance does pick up but the chemistry with them isn’t felt by the audience.
Shi Yan is quite passive in the relationship. He’s a smart man of a few words but you would think as the male lead, he would have more to say.
Many romantic moments between Shi Yan and Shu Yi are through texts. Shu Yi would say all these cheesy pickup lines that fell flat and the male lead would hardly react.
The dialogue between the two of them in person doesn’t get much better. It’s quite boring.
Even the steamy scenes couldn’t save their chemistry.
Also, why are they always in a car?
Only for Love is labelled as a contemporary romance drama but it’s the popularity of the two leads and not the chemistry between them that is carrying the show.
What’s Wrong with Only For Love
Warning – this section is quite long compared to other drama reviews.
Those who have read my other drama review blog posts before will know I tend to have a ‘best of’ section in a drama but it was tough to come up with them for Only for Love.
1) Weird Filters
In Chinese dramas, it’s normal to have some filters but the skin smoothing filters are so strong in this one that it was hard to focus on the drama. The overly bright lighting made it seem unnatural and it was way too obvious.
The plot was all over the place. The slow pace led to nowhere and they dragged the storyline for far too long. Their business segments also did not add much to the story. Only for Love did not need to be 36 episodes.
3) Bland Characters
There’s not much background story to the characters so it makes it hard to feel attached to them.
For example, there’s a scene where Shu Yi attempts to apologize to Shi Yan but she goes about it the wrong way. If the audience was more attached to the character, there might be more affection and empathy towards the situation. Instead, the reaction was more annoyance because how could she not have known how to act in that kind of situation? She’s a twenty-something-year-old and not a teenager anymore.
4) Wardrobe Design
The wardrobe in Only for Love was not it. Bai Lu was decked in designer clothing and accessories from top to bottom but it was ill-fitting. You couldn’t even tell it was designer clothes until people were pointing out on the internet how expensive her clothes were in the drama in real life.
The wardrobe team dressed her in bulky clothes that she couldn’t pull off. Bai Lu usually looks good in her other dramas so what happened?
Wang He Di wasn’t spared from the situation either. He looked extremely uncomfortable in his stiff suit and looked like a kid playing an adult.
Only for Love Main Cast
Bai Lu is a rising star with projects under her name like The Legends, Love is Sweet, and One and Only.
In 2023, she had three dramas out – Till the End of the Moon, Story of Kunning Palace, and Only for Love.
She’s an interesting one because she has a few popular dramas under her belt but no big hits yet. She seems to always miss it just by a few inches. Originally, there was potential that Only for Love could be the role that skyrockets her to popularity but she missed her shot again.
Unlike some of her competitors in the industry such as Ju Jing Yi, Bai Lu is decent in acting. Only for Love is not the project I would recommend for her to show off her acting skills.
The loudest criticism of Bai Lu is her looks. In Only for Love, she’s supposed to play a gorgeous character but the general public mocked her for taking this role. She’s known to be one of the four most average-looking Chinese female Chinese actresses along with Zhao Lu Si, Esther Yu, and Yang Zi (oddly enough, I like a lot of their dramas).
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and each of them is pretty in their own way. People are too cruel when it comes to criticizing people’s appearance.
Wang He Di
Wang He Di exploded in popularity since Love Between Fairy and Devil. It makes sense that he was attracted to his role because with his looks and height, he is the perfect actor to play a domineering CEO in theory.
He also has supporting evidence that he can pull off this kind of role in Love Between Fairy and Devil and the drama, Unchained Love.
However, reality hits differently with Only for Love.
First off, he dubbed his voice in the drama. Dylan is from Sichuan province and his accent is quite strong. Viewers were complaining that it was too distracting. It was a step forward for him to use his real life in this drama but with this negative feedback, it shows that Dylan still has a long way to go with voice acting.
His voice is also not suitable for the domineering era because it’s not deep. Instead, it shows his youthfulness. During the drama, when he talks, you can tell he is trying to actively suppress his accent with limited effect.
As I mentioned earlier in the post, the wardrobe department didn’t do him any favours either.
These few factors alone make it hard to convince the viewers that he’s a domineering CEO.
Dylan’s acting also took a fallback. He was able to change the public’s opinion when he was Dong Fang Qing Cang in Love Between Fairy and Devil but then things got iffy again. His acting has been inconsistent.
With Only for Love added to his filmography list, he needs a few more solid performances for the general public to acknowledge his acting skills.
Qin Shi Yue
Qin Shi Yue is Shi Yan’s niece and Zheng Shu Yi’s intern.
She meets Yu You, a gentle professor and Shi Yan’s friend and soon develops a crush on him.
Shen Yu Jie is the actress who played this role. It seems like 2023 is the year where supporting characters are shining. Look at Wei Da Xun, Ryan Cheng, and Lu Yu Xiao from My Journey to You.
Shen Yu Jie is the breakout star of the drama. She’s the one that I had my eyes glued on whether it’s her bridging the gap between Shu Yi and Shi Yan or her girly moments with Yu You.
Although the two actors play an onscreen couple, their real-life age difference is 11 years. You wouldn’t be able to tell the large age gap with their faces alone but her character’s behaviour are telltale signs. Her determination to chase after Miles Wei is somewhat annoying but you can play it off as age as she is still very young both in the drama and in real life.
Miles Wei has been in quite a few dramas. One of his more popular ones is Perfect and Casual where he is a professor.
In Only for Love, he plays a professor again.
This type of role is his comfort zone. It could be because he’s older. Miles was in his early thirties when he filmed Only for Love. His face and voice do match the gentle mentor role.
Maybe it’s because I’ve watched his other projects already but it seems like he tends to play the same type of roles. There’s nothing else new or interesting he showed through his role as Yu You. That’s not to say he did bad as Yu You though.
Final Thoughts – Only For Love
Only for Love is considered a flop drama for both Bai Lu and Dylan Wang compared to their popularity. It’s not either of their best work so don’t judge them too harshly if this is the first drama you’ve ever watched with them in it.
If you watch Chinese reality shows, Bai Lu and Dylan Wang seem to be extroverted in real life and get along well. There is more chemistry between the two actors on reality shows than between the two characters in the drama. It’s not completely their fault. It’s also the script, lighting, directing, and dialogue that add up to what this drama is.
Usually, I give a drama a good 5-7 episodes before calling it quits. Despite all these shortcomings, I continued to watch the show for the two of them because this was a contemporary Chinese drama I was looking forward to.
I wanted to so badly like this but it’s a disappointment even being fans of both Bai Lu and Dylan Wang. The Chinese drama, Only for Love hardly has any redeeming qualities so it’s understandable why it’s universally panned by the audience.
Only for Love reaffirms my belief that it’s hard for a modern drama to succeed. Actors have a better chance with historical dramas. That’s why most popular Chinese traffic stars have at least one famous historical drama under his or her name.
To sum it up, Only for Love is a filler drama. You might want to tune in if you honestly don’t have much else going on or are curious to see why it’s harshly criticized by the public.
It’s a huge pass from me.
Now to You – Only For Love
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