When it comes to Chinese dramas, I tend to marathon them. Breaking away after watching 10 episodes, I am finally here to write about this hilarious sausagefest. Destined to Love You is set in the 1920’s era and takes place in a military academy. In the beginning, Bao Bao, our main character is circus entertainer by trade, but is trying to escape from loan sharks and save her ailing mother. She manages to slip onto a train heading to LongCheng and makes friends with a psychology professor, Xiao Han, a lady who is heading to the military academy to teach. She is also heading there to marry her first love and with whom she is in an arranged marriage with. Meanwhile Xiang Hao, wayward soldier who lived on the streets for about a year is being dragged back to the military academy that he had rebelled and quit from. He is a very skilled soldier, but a huge jokester and prankster. He takes nothing seriously except loyalty for his brothers in arms. Of course these Bao Bao and Xiang Hao cross hairs due to multiple understandings. Unfortunately on the train, several people are already trying to assassinate Xiang Hao and Xiao Han is accidentally thrown off the train and into the river beneath. Because Bao Bao is trying to save her mother, she decides to pretend to be Xiao Han in order to get military health benefits. Of course Xiao Han has not really died and seems to be still recovering.
Cruel Romance / 锦绣缘·华丽冒险 / Jin Xiu Yuan · Hua Li Mao Xian
Well, well, well what do we have here? Is it a Lady and Liar knockoff or is it something of it’s own? I would be lying if I said I didn’t see hints of Lady and Liar in Cruel Romance in the beginning. However, after 4 episodes, the similarities are only apparent at the start and the paths are already diverging.
With Cruel Romance, we have JinXiu, a girl of a prominent family in the more rural areas of China who is pretty spunky and dislikes being fit into the ladylike mold. However, one night her entire family befalls tragedy after she helps a wounded individual. Her family is executed at gunpoint by this unknown evil enemy and she sets out on the mission of finding the enemy with only a controversial compass that the wounded man passed into her possession. On her way, she meets Zuo Zhen, triad leader, Er Yei (hello there White Wolf pt. 2), whom she saves on a ship and who saves her as well as they land in Shanghai. While in Shanghai, she meets Ying Dong who becomes her friend and someone she has a crush on later. He is actually her brother-in-law as JinXiu’s long lost sister is married to his brother.
However, that sister hates JinXiu’s guts because her mother and her were pushed out of the family and starved on the streets JinXiu’s other came into the family. While in Shanghai, JinXiu passes of the compass to YingDong (not that she knows it was him) and still tries to search for her parent’s killers while being pushed and bullied by her sister. Luckily, we have Zou Zhen looking out for her as well as Ying Dong. By episode four, we have Zou Zhen, who really hates romance and entanglements with women, gradually appreciating JinXiu as they save each other’s lives multiple times. Oops, and I almost forgot, our villainous Japanese gentlemen who has some nefarious plans. But wait! He lost his love before who coincidentally looks like JinXiu! That will be a mess for sure!