Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: A Love So Beautiful (Ep. 1)

I’ve been hearing about A Love So Beautiful (致我们单纯的小美好) for a while now, and needed a new drama to watch while I work out since I’ve caught up on Memories of the Alhambra, so I decided to check it out! It’s also conveniently on Netflix so I can actually watch it on the big screen, which is nice. I like it so far — it’s cute and very reminiscent of other very similar school/youth dramas, but the pacing so far is great and I like what I’m seeing.

Recap

Chen Xiao Xi (Sheng Yue) narrates and says that right now, drawing is her only focus in life. But when she was 16, Jiang Chen (Hu Yi Tian) was her life’s focus. Xiao Xi has liked her childhood friend/neighbor Jiang Chen forever, though he merely tolerates her. She’s delighted when, by a stroke of luck (the score minimum being lowered 5 points), she manages to test into the same class as him at Chen Xi High School, a prestigious school. Xiao Xi tries to figure out how to make Jiang Chen like her, and turns to search engines for answers.

She tries bringing him breakfast in the morning for their walk to school, but he rejects her. One morning, she waits for him but he never shows up and she’s late for school. She realizes that he must be leaving early. She tries to get up extra early in order to catch him, but dozes off while waiting and misses him leaving.

Xiao Xi decides to try writing him a love letter, and enlists the help of her good friend Lu Yang. He claims to be super popular with the girls, and offers to give her love letter advice if she delivers his love letters to some upperclass students. She agrees, but soon finds out that his “advice” consists of feeding her lines from song lyrics.

Xiao Xi practices reciting one of the confessions on campus, but the words are clunky and angry-sounding and attracts the attention of new student Wu Bo Song (Gao Zhi Ting). He jokingly asks if she’s a gangster and starts referring to her as his “boss”. Later, he shows up late to her English class, where she’s in the middle of being publicly shamed for not studying her vocabulary, and gets assigned to sit right behind her, much to her dismay.

Xiao Xi, already a poor student, gets even more distracted in class and picked on by her teachers as she tries to work on her love letter to Jiang Chen. She eventually comes up with one of her own and tries to sneak it into his bag, but spooks and accidentally puts in one of Lu Yang’s instead.

Lu Yang gets Xiao Xi to deliver the first of his love letters to an older female student, but a male upperclassman steals it and starts teasing Lu Yang relentlessly in front of a bunch of other students. Lu Yang wants to just leave, but Xiao Xi insists on arguing to try and get the letter returned. Lin Jing Xiao (Wang Zi Wei), one of Lu Yang and Xiao Xi’s classmates who is accused of being “boyish” shows up and stands up for Lu Yang. Lu Yang starts looking at her adoringly. Bo Song and Jiang Chen also show up to defend their classmates.

But news of the altercation has reached Zhang Shi Liang, the head teacher, who admonishes the class for being unruly. He demands all the love letters from Lu Yang, but Xiao Xi is the one who has them in her possession, so she gets in trouble too. Zhang starts reading all the letters in front of the class, and it turns out that all of Lu Yang’s letters are exactly the same with lines borrowed from song lyrics. He starts to open Xiao Xi’s letter, and she immediately tenses. Both Jiang Chen and Bo Song notice, but Bo Song is the one to speak up first. Jing Xiao and Jiang Chen also jump in saying that Shi Liang is being unfair. It’s enough to distract him, though he demands that they each write a repentance letter. The five of them bond over their shared punishment.

Chen Xiao Xi goes to a Chris Lee fan meet-up and runs into Jing Xiao. The image of Chris Lee on Jing Xiao’s banner is slightly damaged and she’s about to get torn apart by their fellow fans when Xiao Xi intervenes with a solution. She paints a new banner, saving Jing Xiao from the fandom’s bullying.

The next morning, Xiao Xi reluctantly drags herself out of bed to try to get Jiang Chen breakfast. She’s a bit late and not expecting him to be there, but when she stumbles downstairs, Jiang Chen is there waiting for her.

In a flashback scene, we see that Jiang Chen had noticed Xiao Xi the morning that she got up extra early to try to catch him and looked at her with some tenderness.

Thoughts

This show seems cute so far! It’s very similar to other school/youth themed dramas and I’m getting a lot of Answer Me, 1997 vibes with the childhood/friend crush and fandom scenes. Nothing really stands out to me yet (and the voice dubbing is a little annoying) but it’s cute. The pacing is pretty good — I like how we just jump right into all the relationship set-up with Wu Bo Song being the clear “bad boy” second romantic interest and Lin Jing Xiao getting set up as the best friend/love interest for Lu Yang.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s