Hai Hallo! Back with a recommendation for the c-drama series that I’ve really loved the last few weeks, it’s even arguably one of the best c-drama I’ve watched this year! That’s why I defended to make a review so that you have to watch it. Crush is based on the novel by Mu Fu Sheng, who also wrote Sweet Teeth (on the way, starring the cogans!) and the upcoming Lie to Love (starring Leo Luo and Cheng Xiao).
Crush is a slice of life genre – urban/modern romance, very thick with an aura of angst and even mental illness. You could say Crush excels in various aspects, which distinguishes it from other modern c-dramas, although there are some drawbacks as well, of course. To the extent that I really want to read the novel version, I hope someone will translate it, hiks.
The theme of the story itself is actually quite simple, CLBK, old love is blooming again. What makes it special is the character of the players and their accompanying conflicts. Crush tells the story of Sang Wu Yan (Wan Peng), a psychology graduate student who dreams of becoming a radio announcer. To fulfill his final assignment, he apprenticed at an SLB. It is there that he meets Su Nian Qin (Lin Yanjun), a temporary teacher who has a visual impairment.
Su Nian Qin is actually the mysterious songwriter of Wu Yan’s idol, Yi Jin. He is not a pleasant person, besides being anti-social, he is also quite arrogant, cold, easily angered. Even though he has flaws, he always tries to be independent. Wu Yan who saw his situation naturally sympathized, did not hesitate to help him when he was in trouble even though he often received an unfriendly impression from Nian Qin.
Nian Qin himself due to a misunderstanding became less respectful with Wu Yan. He considers Wu Yan only to fulfill the obligation to look for grades, instead of being a truly sincere teacher for children with special needs. However, Wu Yan who was attracted to Nian Qin from the first time he met, who was amazed by his eyes never gave up on being close to Nian Qin, he always tried to understand even though he was rejected many times.
Wu Yan’s efforts certainly paid off in time, Nian Qin realized that he was really sincere, for example with evidence of what he did for Xiao Wei, one of the children who had shortcomings like Nian Qin. Their relationship is getting closer and it doesn’t take long to fall in love with each other. It’s just that their love story is not as smooth as expected. Starting from the rejection from Wu Yan’s mother because Nian Qin was not perfect, Nian Qin’s family problems that Wu Yan didn’t want to know, Wu Yan’s mental state of something that made him depressed, to other misunderstandings that made their relationship completely fail.
Three years later they meet again, will their feelings remain the same?
The reasons why Crush is my favorite drama so far include; the story plot is quite different from most c-drama trope, acting and chemistry of the characters, cinematography, plot twist, to the soundtrack. As we know, it’s common knowledge that if you are a fan of c-drama, especially modern romance, it is certain that the story will have a happy ending, how not, in the opening section we are often treated to the ending scene of the story. Not to mention the male characters who are mostly tsundere and come from rich families. While the female characters usually come from ordinary but harmonious families. In essence, we know the packaging of c-drama in general, which distinguishes the taste in it.
Crush is no exception, we still get the common components, only with a touch of angst and a gloomy-dark look. Both main characters have their own problems, both are not perfect. Nian Qin has been visually impaired since childhood, feels abandoned and left alone, making himself a cold and selfish person. Whereas Wu Yan grew up in a family that pampered him, making him a warm and caring person as well. It’s just that when he suffered a considerable loss, he was also easily injured, under various pressures made Wu Yan depressed. These two imperfect characters try to accept each other.
One of the other c-drama habits is telling the story of the supporting cast, usually the best friend of the main character. In this case, I actually often skip it, because there are quite a lot of c-drama episodes and there are many queues, I have to do the skipping option for them, apart from I really want to focus on the main story. Even so I can still follow the storyline of their part which usually also supports the story of the main character.
For the acting and chemistry of the two main players, there’s no doubt, one of the reasons why this drama makes many viewers baper is because they are both really sweet and the chemistry is really strong! For his first acting, Lin Yanjun is really cool, moreover he plays someone who can’t see. In fact the main reason I first tried watching is because of him. I just met Lin Yanjun in this drama, I didn’t know that before that he was an idol of one of the Nine Percent members (I’m even more familiar with Kun). Same with Wu Yan, I fell in love with the look in his eyes! :p
There’s no doubt about Wan Peng himself, he’s one of the Chinese actresses that I like to watch in dramas. I like it when he always tries to understand Nian Qing despite receiving rejection several times, willing to fight with his mother to keep his dreams and feelings for Nian Qin, especially in the scene which is the plot twist of this drama, really unexpected.
There’s actually nothing special about the conflict itself, about misunderstanding, about acceptance. You could say there are 3 timelines that we can separate and each have conflicts; the time of introduction and approach, the period of being alone and the time of meeting again. In the introduction and approach section, apart from introducing the characters and the emergence of feelings of love, this section also tells about the problems experienced by both parties. Nian Qin and his family, while Wu Yan, both his relationship with Nian Qin and his dream of becoming a radio announcer were not approved by his mother. The period of being alone, aka three years later after breaking up, in this time span, both of them focus on themselves, their dreams and the responsibilities they carry. The last part is about forgiveness, second chances and acceptance.
As for the plot itself, I actually quite agree with many viewers who think it’s a typical slowburn drama, not too slow and not too fast either. In contrast to most dramas which are quite long-winded at the beginning of the episode, Crush is quite fast and does focus on the development of the relationship between the two main characters, in episode 8 we will immediately know the results, even though the total is 24 episodes, usually in episode 15 and above the relationship between the two main characters newly entwined. It seems fast but not instant for the development of the chemistry of the two, because the author does focus on their relationship so it is built slowly, in addition to supporting actors – there are but do not take the excess portion. For me, 24 episodes is actually not enough, hahaha, I want to see Lin Yanjun longer, apart from that there are some plot holes that are quite disturbing, I’ll talk about it later :p.
Another advantage that I rarely find in most c-dramas, the cinematography and unobtrusive dubbing. You could say Crush has the most aesthetic cinematography of all I’ve ever seen! Unusual scene-taking techniques. For example, in the scene where we meet for the first time in the park and there is a violinist, the scene is reversed. Then at Nian Qin’s section to the apartment and just looking from afar, there is a scene taken from between the walls of the fence. When Wu Yan took Nian Qin’s umbrella, the scene was slowed down. While Wu Yan was listening to music on the side of the road, Nian Qin looked in the car while listening to music as well. Anyway, there are so many beautiful scenes.
Not to mention the soundtrack that is placed in a very suitable scene. For example, when Nian Qin carried the sick Wu Yan and descended the stairs, the song As I Believe played. There is a change in the ending soundtrack also following the changing timeline, which is also singing by Lin Yanjun himself! Both the opening, ending and all the songs that perch in this drama are very easy listening . Plus the color tone is quite warm and gloomy, the aura that seems dark makes Crush’s visuals really spoil our senses. And the drama posters, gosh, this is the first time I’ve seen various versions and they’re cute too, if a mandarinfess child says it’s suitable for pre-wedding inspiration. LOL.
Favorite scene, so many! Apart from taking part in one of the scenes above, I especially liked the part when Wu Yan watched Nian Qin while walking from behind, then it was also the turn when Wu Yan wanted to go home to the apartment, the streets were dark, the next day it was full of lights. The scene when we were separated at the station, duh, I really felt how worried Wu Yang was. The kiss scene is also very memorable! Very sweet, unfortunately not much, lol. But enough with the many sugar scenes.
Discussing the shortcomings, first about the attitude of Wu Yan’s senior and idol on the broadcast, Nie Xi. At first he was very friendly even like a teacher and brother to Wu Yan, but once he found out that Nian Qi was dating him, his attitude changed otherwise. Often giving assignments, whatever Wu Yan did was always wrong. However, in the next few episodes, without any explanation or anything, his demeanor suddenly changes again. I don’t know if it’s because the editing process isn’t neat or it’s sped up, which obviously makes me confused by the sudden changes.
Second, in addition to the surprising and unexpected plot twists, there are plot holes that are not explained until the end, making the audience draw their own conclusions and making me really want to read the novel version. I can accept the plot twist, actually there are signs that I didn’t realize, it’s just that it’s more of a solution, like there’s no such thing and just left it alone. In fact, one of the important aspects is seeing Crush himself telling the story of an old love blossoming between a boy who can’t see and a girl who suffers from mental illness. It’s a shame, even though they have very strong capital but don’t dig deeper.
Well, indeed, if it is discussed again, it will be a very heavy drama even though there are many conflicts, maybe it will prioritize the love story, the background of the character is only a companion. So I really hope that the novel will be translated because the story itself is really good. So this drama version is suitable for those of you who want to watch an unusual love story and really focus on the development of their relationship. It’s suitable for those of you who see the guy is really into girls, so jealous and overprotective.