Saturday, March 10, 2018

RECOMMENDATION: A Love So Beautiful (2017)


I've just recently finished A Love So Beautiful! I don't normally do detailed posts like these for a drama, but I really liked this one, and I stayed up until 11PM this week (despite having work the next day) to finish it, so it's worth sharing about on here. I won't deny it, but it has a cliche story line. You've probably encountered the same scenes in previous dramas you've watched. I also have to admit that I'm not really into high school plots, most especially if I know the actor/actress portraying the role is already in their mid-twenties in real life (although the characters here are still in their early twenties, so I reconsidered haha!). But then the show offers a light and fresh perspective around the daily things they encounter in life, allowing us to breeze through it together with them in the most enjoyable manner.

I want to share with you all my thoughts on this gem of a Chinese drama and why I like it so much.



Characters

The show revolves around the lives of our five main characters. I will describe them through my own words in the best way I've known how as I've watched them on screen:

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

Xiao Xi is a cheerful and upbeat girl with an honest admiration and love for her neighbor and childhood friend, Jiang Chen. She pursues him openly and is not afraid to let him know how much she cares for him from the smallest to grand gestures, such as waiting for him in the morning so they could go to school together or buying him breakfast. Her character is often portrayed to be clumsy, and she often gets low grades, however she remains positive and persevering all throughout.

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

Jiang Chen is a guy with a few words, known for his good looks and high grades. He is often distant and cold towards others, although he eventually opens up as he sees himself getting closer with his friends. His cold demeanor stems from his independent upbringing due to the early death of his father, and his mother not being able to take care of him as a child and only taking his younger brother with her to a city near her workplace. He often shoots down Xiao Xi's gestures of love towards him, although much to his surprise, he learns to care for her and looks out for her in his own subtle ways.

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

Wu Bo Song is the star swimmer of the show, and openly admires and takes care of Xiao Xi, although clearly one-sided. He gets low grades due to his absences in class because of competitions he needs to train for. He is the classic representation of a child who never got to make friends because he only focused on his sport. He considers Xiao Xi as his first friend, and since then knew that he wanted to be with her all the time, calling her 'boss' and standing up for her when needed.

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

Jing Jing is Xiao Xi's bestfriend. She is smart, has a strong personality, and isn't afraid to get into a fight. She always stands by Xiao Xi and gives her advice. She also thinks of ways on how to support Xiao Xi with her love for Jiang Chen, and comforts her whenever she is turned down.

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

Lu Yang is the ever so loud and nosy guy in the group. He loves comics and falls for fake contests. He brings the group together at times when there are conflicts, and has a one-sided love for Jing Jing.


What I loved about A Love So Beautiful

It's slow paced

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

The show spans from their high school to adult life, which I really like. However, they took their time with the high school time of their lives, which I first worried about because I wanted to see them grow up quickly and tackle more grown up issues. As I watched the episodes though, I couldn't help but see that beyond their playful banters was a laying of a foundation for their character development in the later episodes. Later on in their adult life, they would reference to the days they spent together, such as when they had more time and getting together wasn't so difficult.

Another thing that I liked about the show was that seeing them go through life together as high school students reminded me of my own high school days. It made me remember how high school for me was eventful, what with all the school projects, plays, school fairs, school organizations, and the like, which at that time for probably all of us were such a hassle, and that the slightest bit of disagreement from our groupmates was already a big thing and an issue to fight over about. This show makes you look back at your youth. I obviously haven't watched much high school dramas haha!


Friendship

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Jing Jing helped Xiao Xi with the recording for the school play, as it was her idea for Xiao Xi to join Jiang Chen's group as a scribe (and it was her idea so that Xiao Xi could spend more time with him hihi)

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Jing Jing conspiring to pool in allowance money together with Lu Yang and Wu Bo Song to get Xiao Xi Manchester United tickets for her birthday

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
The two girls trying to knit a scarf to give for Valentine's day

Girl power! I definitely loved the dynamics between Xiao Xi and Jing Jing. They empowered one another whether it was regarding their crushes, their studies, or standing up against the wannabe girls from their class. I also like how even though we all know that Xiao Xi loves Jiang Chen, she would still place Jing Jing first. Girl friends over boys, after all!


A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Jing Jing needed to meet her dad, although there was a class meeting they needed to attend to. The other three distracted the director while Lu Yang and Jing Jing ran for it!

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Cheers! Because Xiao Xi convinced her parents, with the help of her teachers and friends, that she didn't need to transfer schools. Cheers as well for Jiang Chen beating up the bullies behind Xiao Xi's back d'aww

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Helping out Lu Yang win a contest (although it was a fake one) and deciding to go on an outing to get the reward

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Which then led them to spending the night at the old school, and they got to watch the sun rise together

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
They all went together to cheer for Wu Bo Song in his swimming competition!

There's also the great dynamics of the five. There was a time during their senior year in high school that things started to get a bit more complicated. But then each one of them weren't afraid to show their loyalty to one another. They would skip class, own up to something they didn't really do just so the other wouldn't get into trouble, distract the teachers when they were scolding the other, and many more, just to give each other confidence and show each other that they've got each others' backs. It's the classic demonstration of the expression: We Gotchu!

Growing Up

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Xiao Xi and Wu Bo Song studying real hard for the university entrance exams 

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
What kind of person do you want to be? They posted their answers up here.

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Last class of the school year

Remember that time when you had to choose a college course you want to pursue and the university you wanted to study in? For some, this is something they've already known way back then, while for others, it's a question that they are unsure of and are reluctant to face, which is totally normal. I knew at the point of the show when they were finishing with high school that a lot more challenges lay ahead of them.

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

I liked how all five of them still stuck together even after high school. They truly made the effort to spend time to update each other with their lives, getting together once in a while to just simply see each other. Although it did eventually come to a point wherein they got busy as well, which is a reality in life.

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

Growing up also meant dealing with conflicts. I would say that there were some immature decisions made by the characters which I wished they didn't have to make, but it paved way for them to grow out of their shells and really get to know each other more. High school after all is one big bubble of familiarity, wherein you see the same people everyday, eat lunch together everyday, copy assignments from each other, but beyond all those things is when things get real. If there's one thing I don't like about dramas, it's definitely the part wherein they don't finish their sentences. This then leads to a bigger misunderstanding and emotions get in the way, then ultimately the relationship turns sour. But I like how this show quickly resolves the issues. That tense feeling only lingers around for a bit.

Love

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Jiang Chen and Xiao Xi locked outside of the arena

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Jiang Chen giving his scarf to Xiao Xi because it was snowing 

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Jiang Chen disinfecting Xiao Xi's wound

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
No words for this huhu so sweet

And of course, there's the love part of the show. There were two contenders for Xiao Xi's heart all throughout the show, which were Jiang Chen and Wu Bo Song. These two were the exact opposites of each other, what with Wu Bo Song being the star swimmer and always actively and visibly showing how much he loves Xiao Xi until the very end. On the other hand, Jiang Chen appeared to be cold and snobbish, although has always been looking out for Xiao Xi from behind the scenes. I had second lead syndrome for this show..... but in the latter episodes I came to understand Jiang Chen more. I mean, wouldn't it make most sense to go for the guy who is expressive about how much he loves you? But I admire how Xiao Xi never wavered, how she has always been completely honest with her feelings.

Do you guys know the movie: Flipped? Wherein the girl was madly in love with the guy at first, but at some point of the show, the complete opposite happens, and the guy comes to a realization of what he had been missing out on, then he resolves to pursue the girl with all he has? I could liken that situation with Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen. Xiao Xi at first was very open and it all would have been so easy if Jiang Chen just said yes and they became together. But then as they grew up, as they shifted priorities, Xiao Xi began to doubt if all those years of love for him was even worth it. Things change at this point, and she is no longer the open and expressive high school girl we once knew. I personally liked this character development for her because at least now she thought more for herself, and this time around, Jiang Chen learned how to be more expressive with how he truly felt.


A Love So Beautiful (2017)
A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Wu Bo Song supported Xiao Xi's race by wearing a mascot costume and ran at the side of the track

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Wu Bo Song cheering up Xiao Xi by letting her get on the floater and pushing her around the pool with it

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Wu Bo Song faking his temperature so that he could be confined together with Xiao Xi inside the school clinic and keep her company

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Wu Bo Song made it 'snow'! :') because Xiao Xi wanted it to snow so badly

Credit needs to be given to our second lead as well. Wu Bo Song never forced Xiao Xi to get to like him nor did he get in the way of Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen's relationship, because he knew very well (and sadly so) that Xiao Xi only had eyes for Jiang Chen. I'm over with dramas centering their conflicts around the second lead, that they would make the second lead sabotage the relationship of the main leads..... that's an old formula that I hope they never use anymore. Haha! And I really love dramas that aren't petty like that. All that mattered for Wu Bo Song was that Xiao Xi was happy.

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Lu Yang 'named' a star after Jing Jing

A Love So Beautiful (2017)
Lu Yang broke the rules together with Jing Jing, so she wouldn't have to do her reflection alone in front of the student body

There's also Jing Jing and Lu Yang! Despite Jing Jing's difficult personality, Lu Yang manages to show how far he is willing to go and stand up for her. I like the scenes where he gets her mad on purpose just because there are some things she doesn't want her to know yet. That was how he get to push her away from him without revealing everything because he probably didn't have the guys to. She'd only about his real situation through her friends

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In sum, this coming of age drama has been a great watch. I'm not the kind of person to want to watch a series all over again, but this one could be an exception. It remains true to its title, A Love So Beautiful. It strikes me to be a drama that is pure and chooses to love despite each one's flaws, despite the secrets and the difficulties in bringing out one's raw emotions, but that's what makes it beautiful.

It's a light and easy to watch drama at the start, then takes you around twists and turns as you go along till you reach the end where it all wraps up nicely as it should be. I could include more screenshots and favorite moments, but that would be it for now. Go watch!

In case you want to watch it, make sure to watch all the epilogues! There are explanations :) and cute scenes as well.

2 comments

  1. Seems there's a lot more to this story than I thought! Nice character breakdown Anna. I get to watch some episodes when I chance it playing on the bus home from work.

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    1. Yes, there is! It's really a delightful show to watch; it made me feel nostalgic about my younger days. You should continue watching! The character development is very evident, which is one of the things I enjoyed watching, because I got to see them grow up in different aspects. Thanks for dropping by, Carlou! This was a pleasant surprise for me. Haha!

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