Review: Love O2O

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This Review of Love O2O Contains Spoilers in the Form of Fangirl Squees

Let me put this out there right away, I love this show.  Like a lot.  It is pure sparkling fluff, but I enjoyed every episodes of it!  This drama was a first for me in a few ways.  It was my first Chinese Drama.  I’ve watched some Chinese movies like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers, but never a drama.  It was also the first drama with more than twenty-five episodes.  Normally I shy away from dramas that are especially long as I’m afraid it will drag and I’ll lose interest.  It was also the first drama in a long time that I actively rearranged my schedule so that I could see the new episodes as soon as they were posted.

It has taken me a little while to get my thoughts in order for this review.  I’m not the most organized when it comes to notes for reviews, but I was especially disorganized with this one because I was spazzing with excitement each episode.  So please have patience with me and this rambling review!

What I Wanted:

  1. I read Amber KMuse’s post luring other drama watchers to join her on this adventure.  Mostly I wanted a cute show, which her post promised.
  2. As a gamer I wanted the MMORPG parts of the show to feel familiar.
  3. I needed an OTP that was amazing.

What I Discovered:

As I’m sure a lot of people in dramaland will understand a show doesn’t always live up to the excitement and pleasure that you can find in the first few episodes.  I’ve watched too many shows where I loved the first quarter and then my love diminished until at the end it was just an OK watch.  When I hit episode 10 I wrote about my initial feelings for the show, you can see that post here.  I was head over heels in love with the show when I wrote that post.  Honestly, I was so excited to have taken Amber’s advice to watch.  However, there have been a ton of times that my first blush of love faded as the show progressed.  That never happened here.  I often adjusted my day to watch the new episodes as soon as they were put up.  It was such an amazing feeling to be over the moon excited for the new episodes.  Now, I’m not saying that I haven’t loved a lot of other shows or been excited for the new episodes, but it has been months since I adjusted my schedule just to watch.

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If you play MMORPG then the game sections of this show will be so much fun!  I’ve learned that the game they play is an actual game!  Here’s a trailer for a Chinese Ghost Story 2.  Which made the game play shown very realistic because it was actual game play!  That was fantastic!  I also loved how much the game was a vital part of the lives of the people who played it.  When I am in love with a game and play it all the time I always find other players that I become friends with.  A guild of players or just a group of people who complete raids and dungeons together.  I’ve planned to meet up at a certain time online and then made sure my schedule could accommodate that.  To me the game was part of my life in a way that enhanced it and gave me something to look forward to.  So the way this show recreated that was amazing!  All the characters that played loved the game and it became an important part of their life!

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We need to take a moment to talk about the scenes which happened in game.  The characters took on their MMORPG characters.  I loved that so much!  When you play these games you can at times feel like you’re in the game and this was the perfect way to portray that!  The costumes were so extremely amazing, what I wouldn’t give to have one of those costumes as my own!  The hair, makeup, accessories, and weapons were all top notch too.  I could have watched them in costume for an entire show of its own.  The environments of the game were all CGI as well as the monsters.  It wasn’t bad, especially for a TV drama.  There were a few moments where the CGI was a little cheesy, but it really was OK.

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If every show dealt with their OTP the way that this show did, I’d be in heaven.  The show was certainly not stingy with skinship once the main couple, Wei Wei and Xiao Nai got together.  Xiao Nai can kiss, ahem… and he kisses Wei Wei every opportunity that he can find.  He also touches her often, holds her hand, and is just in general fascinated by their relationship.  Even before they hooked up the way that the show dealt with the couple was amazing.  Xiao Nai adores Wei Wei, it is totally love at first sight.    I love so many things about this couple, but one of the main things is that Xiao Nai first wolosaw her as a woman who shared his love of MMORPs.  He happened upon her in an internet cafe and saw her dueling another player and was impressed by her skills.  Later when he sees her again he falls for her beauty.  All the other love interests focus on how beautiful Wei Wei is, and that’s it!  So shallow!  Not Xiao Nai, he sees all of her abilities, skills, and talents, along with her physical appearance.

Once they are officially a couple Xiao Nai is so in love.  However, he respects her so much and totally knows that Wei Wei is an extremely intelligent and capable woman.  He is very aloof and the best at everything like many Chaebol characters from K-Drama land.  Yet he deviates from that arctype because he doesn’t force Wei Wei to bend to his will.  Also, when she encounters an issue or a problem Xiao Nai asks her what she wants to do and offers his support.  But he is in no way intimidated that she can and will take care of the issues on her own. Instead he is proud of her ability to do so.  Though he always is there if she needs him and would willingly take care of things if it comes to that.  Xiao Nai is the first to come to her defense, but never takes control of the situation without her permission.  Their relationship is comfortable, they talk about everything, they share everything, and they trust one another so completely.  I love this couple so much!  I’ll have a hard time not comparing future OTPs to this OTP.

Additional Observations:

Tidbits I Could Live Without:

For such a long show there is surprisingly little that I didn’t like.  What I was frustrated with or annoyed with all centered on a few supporting characters.  However, even though I didn’t like these tidbits, they never dragged the episodes down or made me feel like the show was plodding along.  But, I do think that the show tried too hard to give everyone screen time, which is why these story lines weren’t wrapped up sooner.  If the show had been twenty-five episodes instead then we could have avoided a lot of what you’ll see on my list below.  Or, reduce the stories of some of the supporting cast and gives us more of the OTP after they get married!  It would have been alright with that!

First, Yi Ran and her roommate Nana.  Yi Ran is the university beauty, voted on by the students of course.  Being beautiful and wealthy is as deep as her character gets.  She bases her whole identity on the boy she has a crush on, Xiao Nai.  Yi Ran is easily manipulated because she has no original thoughts of her own, no initiative, and no idea how to be anything but pretty and in love with someone who doesn’t know she exists.  She spends the whole show doing what her roommate and friends tell her to do and then throwing epic tantrums when things don’t work out for her.  All the while blaming everyone else for her failures, especially Wei Wei.  Nana is the worst kind of gossip and lives for stirring the pot to see what trouble she can whip up.  And then blames everyone else when things don’t work out for her.  Their stories were tiresome, even more so when Yi Ran’s only goal was to show Xiao Nai what a terrible person Wei Wei is, except it really is Yi Ran who is the terrible person.  I will say that by episode 28 Yi Ran finally matured past middle school and apologized to Wei Wei for her actions.  But it was way too late in coming.

tumblr_ntmyaq3z2e1sklk1uo9_1280In the game Wei Wei was partnered with Shao Xiang, he wanted it to be a romantic coupling, however, she only viewed it as a means to complete quests together.  So Shao Xiang breaks their in game marriage and then immediately marries a character called Enchantress.  Wei Wei is nonplussed by this and yet Shao Xiang and Enchantress continue to cause drama with Wei Wei.  She is as confident in game as she is out and only stands up for herself, but they continue to spread rumors about her nasty temperament and actions.  They really have a fit when Wei Wei couples with Xiao Nai in the game.  Eventually they all meet in real life, as they all live in Beijing.  When Shao Xiang sees Wei Wei he is inflamed with desire because she’s so beautiful and dumps Enchantress.  From then on he tries to woo Wei Wei and feels wronged when she won’t date him immediately or leave Xiao Nai.

There is one more character that annoyed me.  Cao Guang.  He is an entitled little rich btumblr_ntmyaq3z2e1sklk1uo5_1280oy who thinks he knows everything and obviously his views of the world are the only ones that matter.  He’s as bad as Nana with gossip.  He starts to spread rumors about Wei Wei before he’s ever met her.  Cao Guang happened to see her get out of a very expensive vehicle and posted on the forums that she was obviously a prostitute.  Then when she confronts him and shows him that he had no idea what he was talking about since the car belonged to mother of the boy she tutors he is inflamed with desire and tries to woo her.  When she turns him down very nicely, he figures that the only way to woo her is to be devious about it and trick her in the game.  He pays someone to find out her username so he can stalk her online.  However, the person provides him with Wei Wei’s roommate’s username.  After being uber sweet and romantic to Er Xi, the roommate, he betrays her and tells her that she’s the worst sort, thinking she’s Wei Wei.  When he discovers his mistake he’s not man enough to own up to it and it is up to the girls to handle it.  This story line was given way to much air time for my tastes.

Tidbits I Loved to Pieces:

I loved so much about this show.  I’ve touched on some of those things in the what I discovered section, but I absolutely need to mention a few more.  First, for a thirty episode drama it didn’t feel that long at all.  The show length was forty minute per episode with some of that being credits.  tumblr_obtgpwqreo1u2m7gqo9_1280Despite the over long screen time of the characters that I did not like, I never felt like an episode was dragging or totally unnecessary.  Which made this already cracky drama even more cracktastic.

The friendships in this show were so amazing.  Xiao Nai’s  and his three roommates, which I call the stinky sock boys, are as close as family if not more so.  They don’t keep secrets, they always tell one another everything, and they work together towards their ultimate goal of having their own successful gaming company.  Not only that, but once Wei Wei is in the mix the boys adore her, both in game and in real life once they meet her.  Just like Xiao Nai they immediately come to her rescue and defense and yet totally understand she’s very capable all on her own.  On the flip side Wei Wei’s roommates are so much fun!  Especially her best friend, Er Xi, I would have watched a whole show based on her.  She was freaking adorable!  But the girls were all so loving and supportive of one another.  It was so great to see a tumblr_obtgpwqreo1u2m7gqo10_1280brotherhood and a sisterhood in the same drama.

Throughout the whole of the show Wei Wei has internal dialogue both in real life and when she’s playing the game.  I loved it!  Because it is so how my internal thoughts work too!  I dissect what I just did and wonder why I did it!  I scold myself for what I deem to be a silly action or statement  I fangirl over things.  I squee when my crush sees me or talk to me.  I thought it was a fantastic touch as it helped to show her vulnerable side and her scared side and also her confident and frustrated sides too.

Something else that I just adored was the show made a huge effort throughout the whole run to show how capable and smart our leading lady was.  Her first reaction to a problem was understanding it and then working to resolve it, on her own.  When she’s an intern in Xiao Nai’s company he doesn’t hover, she is assigned to someone else and they give her tasks to complete.  The guy she’s assigned too doesn’t like women so he gives her the hardest jobs.  Wei Wei doesn’t whine or complain to Xiao Nai, nope!  She tackles the problem head on using her big brain and does the job by herself by the deadline.  It was extremely enjoyable to watch a main lead gal who was smart, confident, and didn’t need a man to make her life better.      

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Final Thoughts:

If you are in need of an easy show that is cracktastic with an amazing OTP then this is totally the show for you!  I will most likely watch this show again… maybe a few times!!!  This show has inspired me to read the translated novel by Gu Man.  And, to try out other Chinese dramas.  This was such a fun ride and I am truly sad that it is done!  If you have checked out this show yet I totally recommend that you do!  If you have watched it, what are your thoughts?

Noona’s Rating

Overall 9.2
Story/Writing 9
Cast/Actors 9
OST 9
Sets/Costumes 10
Feels 9

7 thoughts on “Review: Love O2O

  1. Excellent review. I chanced upon it while still looking up stuff about this drama, because I’m still suffering from withdrawal symptoms. I love Yang Yang’s real life personality so was curious to watch this even though the synopsis seemed too fluffy. So glad I did, because it has also become one of my faves. This is the first time in a very long time that I catch myself smiling like an idiot while watching a drama. It was like a breath of fresh air. I’m so sick of overly passive aggressive male leads and overdone romantic gestures. We didn’t get any of that here, I mean I don’t even think they ever said I Love You to each other, but you can feel it. What we got instead was a healthy, supportive relationship where they work things out. I usually get bored after the male and female lead get together, but I can honestly watch 100 more episodes of them just being a couple. I love their cute banter moments, I love the way they rip into people that try to tear them down, and I especially love how he lets her fight her own battles. My favorite part of this whole drama was when they were talking about how to deal with Cao Guang. She sounded like she was ready for a fight and he said he’ll tag along to be her lookout, he’ll only step in if she needs him. I can’t deal now that I don’t have 2 episodes to look forward to each day, I have watched that last episode so many times, it was pure perfection.

    Most drama watchers only watch k-dramas and have no interest in trying out any c-dramas. I’m the complete opposite. I used to watch k-dramas, but am now heavily invested in c-dramas. I’m so glad you decided to give this a try. Gu Man’s other 2 novels have also been adapted into dramas and are quite popular, although not as cute as this. China makes hundreds of dramas a year, some are really good, some are really bad. You really do need to choose carefully. Most of them are long though, much longer than this one. If you really want to watch an amazing drama, I highly recommend Nirvana in Fire.

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  2. I’m still about halfway, but I’m enjoying this drama very much. And I’m a MMO gamer, so I love it especially because it doesn’t portray gamers by their stereotype of people who can’t do anything for themselves. They have balanced lives, friendships, and are good at what they do.

    The romance is very sweet, and though I wish they would have made Xiao Nai a little more talkative, I am really enjoying the lack of pretension and self-inflicted angst.

    And I really wish this game had English servers….

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  3. I read the translated novel a while back on someone’s rec and liked it quite a bit. Haven’t tackled the drama yet though, as I don’t really have time for new shows atm. I also have a feeling it might be a bit too “pure sparkling fluff” for my taste.🙂 Well, you never know, maybe later when RL get’s less busy and I need something easy to watch.

    I’ve watched a fiew cdramas over the years but it was last year when I was bored and looking for something other than kdramas to watch, I stumbled upon ‘WuXin the Monster Hunter’ and got totally hooked. I’ve seen quite a fiew cdramas after that, ha. Right now the only drama on my roster that I haven’t put on hold is ‘The Mystic Nine’. Always time for Fo Ye.^^

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  4. Wasn’t sure if you were going to post a review but glad u did:) reliving the moments of Love O2O coz I admit it’s been more a couple weeks (i think?) and my withdrawal is waning so chancing upon your post was such a nice surprise.

    What Xiao Nai and Wei Wei had was so swoon-worthy and the friendships too and the tidbits that you could’ve lived without I actually didn’t mind since it created just enough drama to make things interesting. This is my first modern c-drama as well, at least this year.. now what to watch next?

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  5. Hi! I read your review and it’s superb! And the drama itself is superb! I am totally agree with you on everything lol. Do try read Gu man’s work, it’s fabulous and I loved the drama adaptation of them. If you’re new on Chinese dramaland then welcome! There’s so much treasure you can find. And If you’re trying to watch another drama I’d suggest some like historical one Return of The Condor Heroes starring liu yi fei, or Go Princess Go, it’s low budget drama but got a nice story line and strong plot. Do try bu bu jing xin though, that’s all historical. If you’re into modern one then try My Sunshine and Boss & Me, they’re Gi man’s work. I didn’t watch much modern one so for me Love 020 is still and forever my fave!

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