Skate Into Love (冰糖炖雪梨, lit. Rock Sugar Stewed with Snow Pear) is a 2020 sports-focused rom-com starring Janice Wu as Tang Xue, a former speed skater who gave up because of injury, and Steven Zhang as Li Yu Bing, a hotshot hockey player who was childhood friends with Tang Xue.
The show starts off cheesy but strong, with Yu Bing hiring Tang Xue on as an assistant in order to get revenge for the years of bullying and trauma he experienced as a child. But Tang Xue is headstrong and not easily bullied and eventually, the two realize that they like each other.
Both Tang Xue and Yu Bing have their own share of other suitors, as well as close friends and roommates whose stories and romances we also get to see, but most of the focus is on Tang Xue and Yu Bing, their romance, and their respective sports careers. Tang Xue starts to rediscover her passion for skating, but her career-ending injury has her parents on edge, and her years off the ice leave her in far worse shape than her peers.
Skate Into Love has a lovable cast of side characters and a ton of healthy drama relationships. My favorite side character is probably Zhang Yue Wei (Han Jiu Nuo), one of Yu Bing’s good friends and Tang Xue’s rival on the speed skating team, but I also enjoyed Tang Xue’s frosty, but complex relationship with her cousin, Zhou Ran (Chu Yue).
Unfortunately, the latter half of the show had a few minor plot arcs that felt unnecessary and contrived and overall the show started losing its substance. Skate Into Love never lost its light, fluffy feel, but it also never became anything more than that. In the end, it felt like a very long hype piece or commercial for the Beijing 2022 Olympics. There were one too many “inspirational” speeches that all kind of said the same thing and usually involved some patriotic, “we are doing this for the country” rhetoric.
Overall, I would recommend Skate Into Love to those who enjoy similarly light, blandly pleasant dramas like A Love So Beautiful or Love O2O.