A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

I have never wanted to be in detention this bad. I was a goody two-shoes in school so I never had that bonding session in detention after school before! It looks adorable!

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Episode 1 RECAP:

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We begin the episode getting shots of our heroine’s room. She’s Chen Xiao Xi (Shen Yue) looking well-polished and put-together and she proclaims that drawing is the most important thing in her life but when she was sixteen and in high school, a certain boy was the most important.

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Back to 2005 where our heroine waits on her bicycle for her crush, Jiang Chen (Hu Yi Tian). They live in the same building and go to the same high school. He’s smart and known to be the cool one. We then get a quick montage of her version of how “close” they are….. go to school together (he rejects), study together (she finds his location and he leaves), he walks really fast (so she often finds her face facing the door).

While it seems like her entire youth is spent chasing after him, she truly believes that secretly he’s waiting for her to catch up. Oh, don’t we all think like that with first love.

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Time to rake the leaves around the school. Jiang Chen walks to a more secluded area, to be away from the other kids but Xiao Xi tiptoes after him immediately. She tries to have small talks with him, happy about them being in the same class again, thinking it’s fate, but he laments that the school’s overall average must have dropped as well. She knows they dropped by five points and is happy she didn’t fail.

She clears her throat multiple times and side-steps closer to him. I love how she’s trying to be discreet but likes to scream out his name. XD.

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When she’s close enough, she cups one side of her mouth to confess, “I like you…”

He doesn’t pause or think twice. “I don’t like you.”

Her brain not functioning after the quick rejection. Lol.

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Her brain losing oxygen and brain cells. And she sways. Literally. xD

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Embarrassed, she runs away and yells back that she will find another approach. And her method is googling how to appear attractive to boys. 1) Beauty (small face), 2) Brains. She looks at the mirror and I’m happy to report she doesn’t look down on her looks. Brownie points!

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Next morning in class she returns a novel to a friend, claiming she doesn’t like it. He’s sharp-tongued Lu Yang (Sun Ning) and he says girls don’t like the same thing as boys. He tries to suggest another manhua to her but she turns him down. When it comes to passing in homework, our girl has no shame in copying Lu Yang’s answers and then flips her attitude saying it’s easy and that she has completed it a long time ago when she spots Jiang Chen entering the class. Heh.

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She follows the same tune later when they meet each other at the water station, thinking that the essay topic was chasing after one’s dreams; he corrects her, saying that their topic was about equality and justice. She’s horrified and we cut to her English teacher slamming her report on the table, calling out her horrible English and standing at 75th in school. The worst part is when she compares her to the honorable 1st placer Jiang Chen and wonders why she keeps going down in grades. Xiao Xi loudly proclaims she will improve and follow Jiang Chen’s model.

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After class, she’s staring blankly at Jiang Chen’s back while her friend Lu Yang thinks that they should form a team since they have the same grades (Dragon brother Tiger Sis). Lol. But her attention is fixated on a fellow female classmate, Li Wei (Lu Yan), who’s currently seeking help from Jiang Chen about today’s lesson. Xiao Xi then asks Lu Yang, “Is her face smaller or mine?”


He needs new glasses! Dejected about losing the beauty battle, she disappointingly tells him she can’t form a team with him since her face has gotten too big. Lol. As she walks away though, we see that Jiang Chen has been paying (secret) attention to her all this time. Interesting.

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That night she continues her google lesson and the next point is the girl being gentle and attentive, preparing things like breakfast. So she goes buying him buns and he tells her not to buy him buns anymore. Next day, she prepares fried breadsticks and does the whole act of trying to impress him in front of their building and belatedly realizes he has gone to school already. So the next day, she waits outside the building at 6AM with fried breadsticks. LOL. She slowly drifts off to sleep and he comes out, sees her, and leaves anyway.

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In class, when the teacher mentions a love letter written by a poet to his wife, Xiao Xi perks up with another idea, penning her own love letters. She seeks help from a book and even Lu Yang says it’s a lost cause and calls himself the Love God in school, receiving at least 30 love letters. He boasts to her about his good looks and humorous personality attracting the girls. She scoffs at first and begins reading the thick book….with a confused look imprinting on her face. She finally asks to see his love letters and for a good minute, he thinks she’s gonna write a letter to him (lol), explaining to her that his dad has announced that he can’t date any girls in the last ten spots at school. They exchange a deal.

He sprawls out a bunch of love letters that he’s about to send out and Xiao Xi promises to be the messenger in return for love-letters lessons. He starts his lesson by telling her to start out the letter strong: “I love you.” Lol! She thinks it’s too strong and too fast but he continues waxing poetic verses about loving the person’s eyes, eyebrows, shadows, etc. I’m cringing in my seat but Xiao Xi loves it.

After school, Jiang Chen is walking alongside Li Wei when she asks where he lives and he answers, right next door to Chen Xiao Xi, which is when our heroine wastes no time in squeezing in between them, “Let’s go home together!” and even adds a spicy question at Li Wei, “Are you going the same direction as us?”

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Jiang Chen bids goodbye and Xiao Xi hurries after him, leaving Li Wei behind. As they ride side-by-side, Xiao Xi boasts about writing poems today and starts repeating the cringey lines to him. He recognizes them immediately as lyrics and tells her she better spend her time on writing more reports.

At home, Xiao Xi’s friend asks for help at tomorrow’s campaign and Xiao Xi spills the secret that she’s busy writing a love letter. She quickly corrects herself in the chatroom, she’s writing it for a friend. The online friend claims it’s an easy task and lends a helping hand.

Some time later, we see our second male lead, Wu Bai Song (Gao Zhi Ting) wandering down the streets, stopping only when a loud female voice’s catches his attention. It is Xiao Xi practicing her confession in a gangsta way (100 reasons to have you leave the school! Who dares steal you from me!) I’m having second-hand embarrassment right now.

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Turns out he’s a new student and Xiao Xi’s gangsta confession makes him think the school has fallen from grace. “You’re the big boss? From a gang?” She nods yes to both and he’s stunned. As she walks away, she continues her tough act but patting him on the shoulder, “So don’t mess with me.” Of course, he sees through her and laughs behind her back. (He looks at her like she’s missing a few screws in the above screencap XD)

In class, a fellow student Lin Jing Xiao (Wang Zi Wei) picks Xiao Xi as the next person to write English words on the board. Uh Oh. She fails miserably every single word….and Bai Song struts into class late and spells out her next word ‘B-A-L-A-N-C-E’ correctly. The English teacher finds his arrogant attitude unlikable so she orders him to do spelling words too. He stands next to Xiao Xi and asks for help from miss big boss. Lol.

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So they stand there stealing glances at each other, hoping the other person would know. Lolol.

After a long moment, the teacher gives up and orders them to return to their seats. Xiao Xi whispers, “How come you only know one word!?” He opens up his sweater and it says balance across the chest. Hehe.

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He introduces himself as a swimmer and gets assigned to the empty seat behind Xiao Xi, next to Lu Yang. AHA. Loving this. But oh the pains of him looking at her back and she looking at Jiang Chen’s. Sigh. Lu Yang wonders why he’s calling Xiao Xi big boss and Bai Song cheekily says a small fateful encounter. Awww. I’m falling guys…. Good thing he’s a swimmer!! =P

Before break time, two girls armed with a love letter ask Xiao Xi where Jiang Chen is and our girl puts up a story of him transferring to a new school. Ha.

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During break time, Xiao Xi holds a handful of love letters in her hand and approaches Jiang Chen’s seat. She braves herself and prepares to put the letter in his bag but his sudden entrance into the class causes her to drop the wrong letter into the bag. It’s funny that when he chances upon a letter, he immediately reads it and looks towards Xiao Xi’s direction, who has a sulky face on. Does she know she dropped the wrong letter? HA.

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When class ends, she trudges over to his seat and tries to say something about the letter but Lu Yang drags her away to carry out her messenger duty. Unfortunately, one of the boys in the girl’s class catches wind and takes the letter away. He starts reading it out as Xiao Xi and Lu Yang try in vain to take it back while more boys surround them and obstruct their attempts. GAH. I don’t miss high school!!

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The commotion grows bigger and now more students arrive to watch as one of the boys chastise Lu Yang for his horrible skills in public. Luckily, Jing Xiao steps into the scene and tells the boy off. He keeps yapping and calls her an old tomboy, so his mouth gets covered up by Bai Song a few seconds later who announces that it’s so smelly. Bai Song locks his arm around the boy’s shoulder, immobilizing him and proudly calls himself a handsome boy. Lol. Xiao Xi takes this chance to yank back the letter and Jing Xiao points a finger threateningly at the rude boy to stop him from attacking. Awwww!! Team underdog is in the making!

Bai Song points to Xiao Xi and calls her his big boss. “If you take her love letter, then you’re taking my butt wipes. How could it not be my business?” LOL. Jiang Chen steps out to warn everyone that someone is coming and you see Bai Song taking Xiao Xi’s arm while Jing Xiao takes Lu Yang’s arm. The moment slows as Lu Yang falls head-over-heels for his savior. <3

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The English teacher fumes over their verbal fight with the class next door and Lu Yang bravely stands up to admit it’s his fault. Aww. But then the arrival of a male teacher and he wants to collect all the letters, which Lu Yang points out they are in Xiao Xi’s possession. Oh boy, I just complimented you! Xiao Xi has a death hold on the letters but the male teacher snatches it out anyway….

….then he begins reading them. OMG. This is not right! But as he reads them, each letter has the exact same content. Lol. Which is when Jiang Chen realizes his letter is not written by Xiao Xi and looks pissed! HAHAHHA.

The teacher arrives at the final letter and you hear Xiao Xi squeaks nervously in the background, which is a cue for both of the boys – Jiang Chen and Bai Song to do something. Bai Song is a second faster and says love letters are personal and it’s not appropriate for him to read them. Jiang Chen then chirps in to say that the rules didn’t state that one could invade another’s privacy. Jing Xian also stands up to request a stop to his invasion and Xiao Xi apologizes next.

Frustrated at the legion of out-spoken students, the teacher throws the letters in the air and demands punishment letters for all of them.

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OMG. It’s detention time and I have never been this happy seeing a group of kids in detention before. HEHE. With the exception of Jiang Chen, the others exchange knowing, approved looks with each other. SO STINKIN CUTE!

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Poor Bai Song has never written a punishment letter before so he asks for help from Xiao Xi who agrees to help after she finishes hers but Lu Yang calls Bai Song hero and tells him to copy from his letter. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

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Xiao Xi sits thiscloseeeeee to Jiang Chen that I think her butt is off the chair somewhere. Lol. She asks if he stood up today because of her and of course he flatly denies it. She takes a peek at his apology letter and discovers he’s chastising the teacher’s improper behavior. HAHHAA. She doesn’t think he’s going at it the right way and offers to help since she’s the expert in here but again he ignores her. Heh. On the other side of the table, Lu Yang compliments Jing Xiao’s coolness and she coaches him to fight back the next time, “Our class is not that easy to bully!”

Bai Song looks up and chimes in that his love-letter skill isn’t up to par, and Lu Yang shyly replies back, “I’m only practicing.” Clearly tricked, Xiao Xi calls out his lie of being the Love God and everyone cracks a smile. Lu Yang asks if they want to go play at the internet cafe later and the girls zoom out of there so fast, it’s hilarious. The other two boys say no but we cut to them three playing games anyway.

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Bai Song loses and Lu Yang thinks highly of Jiang Chen for matching his video game skills. He then brings up the fact that they should form a band for going through thick and thin. Jiang Chen quibs, “Big Dragon bro, Little tiger bro?” YOU WERE SO EAVESDROPPING!! Lu Yang calls him out and they laugh about it. But when Jiang Chen calls Lu Yang by his name, he’s genuinely happy and surprised, “You finally remember my name!”

Catches off guard, Jiang Chen just coolly says remembering names is not hard to him. I sense a cute backstory coming up.

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So what were the girls up to? They are joining other girls for a fanclub meeting of someone and they are surprised to find each other in the mix. When Jing Xiao’s banner is messed up, Xiao Xi offers to fix by painting a new one on the spot.

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Jing Xiao thanks Xiao Xi later and then sneaks in another inquiry, “Who is the love letter for?” Fast on the take-up, Jing Xiao knew right away when someone says “it’s for the a friend” phrase. She even guesses correctly it’s for Jiang Chen and adds that this “friend” has visual problem for liking a boy so cold, and Xiao Xi defends her “friend’s” taste by saying she wouldn’t understand. Ha.

Next morning, Xiao Xi shuts off two alarms and falls right back to sleep, still pondering whether she should bring Jiang Chen breakfast and mumbles that love is fate, one cannot force it. So she walks out groggily later, eyes on the ground before a pair of legs enters her vision.

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It’s Jiang Chen!

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He waited for her?!

Dang, I have to give out brownie points for Jiang Chen now! I wasn’t ready to give it out. Ha.

Xiao Xi’s face brightens bigger and bigger and I’m glad he coolly says “Let’s go” because her smile might reach her ears and that wouldn’t be cute. Hehehe.

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Her continued smiling face as they walk side-by-side baffles him and he wonders why, and she gives the simplest answer, “I’m just happy being able to go to school with you.” I also need to mention that her breakfast bag is now hanging on his bike. 😉

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In voiceover, she laments the fact that he never received the letter but somehow deep down, she thinks he has. Ohhhh….

After the episode ends, we have an extended scene of the morning where Jiang Chen rode off on his own after seeing Xiao Xi sleeping in front of their building. Turns out he approached and even smiled at her sleeping face. When he raised a finger to touch her forehead, she said his name in her dream and he stopped mid-air, then went off to school by himself. Aw.

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——————– END ————————

Kappy: I came in expecting to adore this drama, but I didn’t expect to love it and dishing out brownie points for the girls and boys, and basically everyone! Because how adorable are they?! I love that our female lead has sass and spice in her tiny body to fight for what she wants. And it totally caught me off guard about Jiang Chen’s hidden interest for Xiao Xi! It usually takes me a few episodes to get the groove of cold-nonchalant boy liking bumbling-earnest girl, but I’m quite on board with them with liking them. But what is making me bleed is the second male lead swimmer man. He’s not as handsome as Jiang Chen but his cool attitude and the way he looks at Xiao Xi = ❤ ❤ ❤

  1. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    Love the story… reminds me of the It Started with a kiss… the guy is as cold as Joe Cheng… kkkk.. thanks for the recap KAP

  2. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    I’m with you on this Kap, I didn’t expect to enjoy this drama too.

  3. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    Feels so happy that the show is currently being subbed T.T I’m really enjoying the drama, bless the cute puppy love and friendship~

        • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

          @ Kappy:

          What did I do wrong? Why did you delete my post?

        • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

          @ Kappy:

          That’s very strange. My post came back. ??? Thanks!

        • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

          I don’t know what happened. Lol. I don’t delete comments unless you’re cursing another commentator. Just came back from work. Sometimes if you haven’t cleared your caches, you will see the old version of a post. Is what I think happened.

        • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

          the same thing happened to me thus I end up double posting. It started recently., So now I will refresh the page twice to see my comments..

  4. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    keheheh it was worth starting wasn’t it xD – but it’s one of those dramas where you cringe so bad at every scene but can’t help watching through finger covered eyes. I’m in it mainly for the height difference. Every ‘stand-off’ is freaking adorable because she always has to be standing on something ^.^

  5. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    Oh this drama is so sweet….I couldn’t get into a lot of the highschool romance dramas but this was oddly addictive. The guy reminds me of a mix of Sheng Yi Lun and Im Joo Hwan (one of my fav kdrama actor)…and he nails most of the microexpressions so well. Shen Yue is also adorable with her open crush but I feel it’s mostly her charm that is carrying the character. Someone commented that it was like itazura no kiss but between two normal leads…haha.
    Between this and the wonderful “Because this is our first life”, I’m in drama heaven these days.

  6. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    Ahhhh!!!! Need to watch! Looks so cute!!! Need something light and cute atm because real life is just ugh! Thanks for the recap!

  7. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    How is the heroine in this? I can’t stand heroines like in It started with a Kiss/Playful Kiss who are klutzy, braindead, crush crazy doormats.

    • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

      You should watch it, I am sure you will like her. She has the right balance.

      • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

        Thanks for the response. I might try it as so many of you seem to love it!

  8. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    Kappy, I came across a new drama 可惜不是你 / Unfortunately Not You. do you know any details on this?

    • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

      That’s one of the dramas in my queue to post. Lol.

      • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

        so many news ones, how do you keep up!!! thank you for all your time. You should have a tab for Coffee donations. I will love to buy you a coffee.

  9. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    Kappy!!!! I read your first two lines, didn’t bother to read the review i ran to search and watch it. LOVE IT!!! Reminds me of Big boss meets mischievous kiss but mostly big boss. I can’t stop comparing Liao Danyi and Jiang Chen. The part where she was running for monitor and having speech issues, Me: Ye Muxi where are you when we need you? W e need you to come show her how it’s done. Lol i love how we were all hoping Liao Danyi Liked Muxi in big boss and were always waiting for a sign that took a while but finally came and explained his actions which we suspected but he was sooooo cold and book dimensional we weren’t sure. But in this from the first episode you see how he does like her and understand his actions, e.g when he said she is not suitable as class monitor then she losses the money. One thing that endeared me and won me over with this is how he isn’t like most leads with his specs. Dude said he won’t go play games but ended up there. That made him more…human and made me love him. Love this and finally read your review!

    • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

      I haven’t watched The Big Boss yet but it’s on my list. Lol!

      I’m glad the first two lines hooked you because it was my favorite scene in episode 1!

  10. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this drama. Like seriously, someone needs to make a gif of Jiang Cheng turning his head around at the end of ep 1 when he waited for Xiao Xi in the morning.

  11. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    Kappy, thanks for the recap. Love it so far. The writer has a nice touch. I like the cast too

  12. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    This a really good coming of age, sweet romance, friendship drama. Simply love the fact that Jiang Chen already has feelings for Xiao Xi, although he doesn’t let on for her to know he does, he always pays attention to everything she says and does, you know he takes note of everything and also later on he does the sweetest things for her without spoiling it for you guys. I feel sorry for Bai Song, actually my heart aches for his pain. Love their friendship, that is what makes high school bearable.
    Jiang Chen is very jealous of Bai Song, our poor Xiao xi has no idea whats underlying non verbal man chat these two guys are sending each other in regards to Xiao Xi,

    Highly recommend this drama. I know it is subbed so far on youtube to ep 5.
    There is a thread on Soompi Forum under Global entertainment mainland china all dedicated to A love so beautiful.

    Please continue to recap, love reading your thoughts and everyones comment

  13. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    Just checking the second male lead’s name is pronounced as Bo Song right? I keep hearing it as Bo Song in the episodes but you guys spell his name as Bai Song here, so I’m just a bit confused.

    So addicted to this drama right now. After finishing ep 12 and rewatching teasers and trailers on YouTube, I read the novel in 2 days.

    • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

      You might be right but due to my work hours, I watch stuff at midnight and hence I don’ hear much when the volume is 15%. Lol. I go by their character names stated on baidu/douban. 吴(柏)松 Wu (Bai) Song. Alternative forms = Bo (伯) and Po (迫). But my comprehension level is not top-notch here….so…. XD Don’t be confused since it’s the same sweet boy in any form and shape.

      You have commitment, finishing the novel!

      • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

        He is quite the sweet, protective, self-sacrificing type.. but I think in some instances, his attentions create a sort of unwanted pressure on Xiao Xi..and it changes the dynamic of the group and makes things awkward especially when everyone in their group can feel the tension between Jiang Chen and Wu Bo Song. Where are you up to?

        I do feel a bit worried that the show is spending too much time on their high school days cause they do have to show them in university.. and then their lives together as working adults.. And we only have 12 episodes left .. and that’s not enough.
        Unless there’s gonna be a Season 2?

      • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

        Thanks Kappy! I think I’m gonna rewatch eps 1-12 and reread the novel too while waiting for the next episode.. All the feels! Gahh.. there’s no cure for this addiction!

        BTW.. do you all think he looks like Eddie Peng too? He’s like a younger, skinnier version of EP!

        • 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

          Kappy, can you delete the earlier comment about Eddie Peng on my behalf? I didn’t realise it was on this post because it didn’t appear a few secs ago. Sooooo sorry. Sooo, sooo sorry.

  14. 30 thoughts on “A Love So Beautiful: Episode 1 RECAP “Dear Jiang Chen.”

    Where can I watch this with eng sub? It is blocked on Youtube. 🙁

What do you think?