As usual, after watching a heavier drama like Legend of Fuyao, I found myself craving something silly, light and cute. This time I decided to go with Accidentally in Love 《惹上冷殿下》, a web drama about two students who meet at the same college, despise each other at first and then eventually fall in love. Because it stars two actors I’d seen in supporting roles on some other funny dramas I enjoyed, I decided to give this one a try.
In the series, we first meet Chen Qing Qing (Sun Yi Ning, “Eternal Love”), a girl raised by her wealthy grandfather after her mother died. The night before her arranged marriage to the son of another important family, she has a dream that her parents appear to her, wishing for her to be happy and have the life she truly wants. She takes this as a sign, sells off her wedding presents for cash and sneaks out of her own wedding to fly to Yuncheng to attend Ming De College, the same school where her parents met. Her grandfather quickly cuts her off and sends people to find her.
To hide from the people her grandfather has sent, she disguises herself with a wig, fake freckles and glasses (with no lenses) to transform from goddess to nerdess. When she accidentally loses her bag with all the money she has and gets in trouble while trying to beg, she ends up running into Si Tu Feng (Fiction Guo Jun Chen, “Go Princess Go”), an image-conscious, local pop idol, who disguises himself as a girl to get away from work obligations, and is hiding from his management. They pretend to be making out in an alley to evade their pursuers which leads to their first accidental kiss.
When Tu Feng realises that the person who has Qing Qing’s missing bag is his good friend, Gu Nan Xi (a new talent, Elvis Ma Li), he takes her to get it, and then uses her to get back at his father by announcing his own engagement in the middle of his father’s wedding, complete with a kiss in front of the guests. The guests include Lin Yi Yang (Zhao Yi Qin, “It’s Not Easy Being King”), who blames Si Tu Feng for the death of a girl they both knew, and Xin Ya (Cheng Mu Xuan, “As Flowers Fade and Fly Across the Sky”), a friend who also carries a torch for the young singer.
Thinking he will never see Qing Qing again, Tu Feng promises to break the faux engagement if his father cancels his wedding. But when it turns out that both are enrolled at the same school AND end up having to be seatmates, sparks begin to fly as they first torment each other and then realise they like one another.
With only one ally on her side, her new roommate and business partner, Zhang Fang Fang (another newcomer, Zhou Mo), Qing Qing is determined to survive on her wits to help her earn money and to find her father. But then more complications arise, causing her to use her true appearance as a “disguise” to help her out of sticky situations; a disguise which has caught the attention of Gu Nan Xi, who has a crush on this new mystery girl, Qing Shen.
This drama is full of tropes galore, and if you are stickler for plot logic, you are going to find a lot of flaws. (How do you get locked in a library, but not think to call anyone on your cell phone for hours? And how does no one figure out that Chen Qing Qing and Qing Shen are the same person after she keeps switching disguises back and forth at a picnic with the same group of people?) But if you enjoy a light and fluffy bit of web drama, this is a sweet series with an adorable cast that doesn’t get too heavy and has a lot of laughs.
I’ve watched 18 of the 30 half hour episodes so far and enjoyed them. (And you can easily find the first ten episodes subbed into English on YouTube.) The leads make for a cute and funny couple who you really want to see have a happy ending. Guo Jun Chen has grown up a lot since he was Alan Yu’s tango partner in “Go Princess Go”, but his physical humour and facial expressions are as hilarious as ever.
But I especially loved watching Sun Yi Ning transition from the more demure maid she plays in “Eternal Love” to the boisterous and loud Qing Qing, who could even outdo Tan’er in the feisty and fierce department. For me, she stands out the most in this series and I really look forward to seeing more from her.
I also have really been enjoying the secondary couple, Fang Fang and Yi Yang, each of whom have their own troubled family histories which begin to bond them together. While Zhao Yi Qin didn’t stand out much for me when I saw him in “It’s Not Easy Being King” or “Memory Lost”, he definitely makes his mark in this role.
The second leads were a little disappointing to me as they never really seemed like much of a threat to the couple. Xin Ya, the school queen bee, just comes across as annoying, and Gu Nan Xi is too kind-hearted for us to think he’d ever betray his friend to try and get the girl. I’m sure in the final six episodes there will be some big events to test the couple, but mostly I’m looking forward to watching Si Tu Feng and Qing Qing’s grandfather act out one of those kung fu master-disciple training montages. (The clip on Tencent’s site was hilarious.)
If you need a palate cleanser after Fu Yao or before taking on The Rise of the Phoenixes, or if you just want something to binge on the weekend when you really don’t feel like being productive or trying to follow a dense storyline, this is a silly show that makes for a fun, lighthearted watch.