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C-Drama Review: Delicious Romance A Surprise Hit Modern Drama in 2021

When it comes to great expectations of highly anticipated dramas to air in 2021, "Delicious Romance", was not on everyone's list. Even among C-Drama's most loyal viewers, no one assumes this modern series can make it through the stiff competition of viewership.

But it did! So how this surprise hit of 2021 impresses the viewers?

The plot:

Delicious Romance sets in 2020, in the early part of the pandemic period. It follows three urban ladies in their 30's who are best friends, Liu Jing (played by Li Chun), Fang Xin (played by Zhang Hanyun), and Xia Meng (played by Wang Ju) whose lives reflect today's pressing challenges faced by modern women: finding balance in work and relationship while striving to become independent and established.

Liu Jing is a perfectionist food blogger who is meticulous about her love life, Fang Xin is a divorced anchor who seems unlucky in the field of love despite her prized standing in the society and her beauty, Xia Meng is a successful executive in the company who puts pressure on her boyfriend because of their unequal achievement and standing in career.

Unable to handle the pressure in their relationship, Xia Meng and her boyfriend broke up. She then met a simple-minded personal trainer, Lu Bing (played by Zhang Fan) whose love she feels genuine. Afraid she might scare him off if he will find out about her profession, Xia Meng is hesitant to disclose her real job.

Fang Xin gets off from her unhappy marriage but suffers difficulties in the legal battle of her divorce, she also encounters harassment and hostility from her female colleagues.

Liu Jing lives with her traditionally-minded parents and is picky about finding love, but soon she finds herself caught up in an even more chaotic romantic adventure setup when she falls in love with a handsome single father, and a rich businessman.

Liu Jing finds herself in the center of making the right decision without sacrificing her happiness and not disappointing her parents.

Review:

Delicious Romance is directed by Taiwanese Lesle Chen and Chao-Jen Hsu. Its narrative centers on varying issues faced by modern women: romance, relationship, friendship, handling pressures in the workplace, and finding the right person to be with while balancing everything and stay sane.

What made it surprising is how this drama clicked with the viewers, and earned a high rating in Douban, China's drama rating site similar to IMDb, considering how highly critical Chinese viewers to modern series. 

It portrays women in more relatable experiences while showing China's fight to combat COVID-19 on a positive note, which is probably why this drama passed through the stiff censorship in the mainland, despite navigating queer topics in the story like LGBTQ, a topic still considered a taboo in Chinese entertainment industry. 

It's one of the women-centric narratives where women are portrayed as independent, strong, goal-oriented, and courageous. This type of narrative is dubbed the "She-era",  which more Chinese drama directors are trying to present to appeal to a growing female audience. 

Delicious Romance has a unique style, injecting humor than misery, realism than mere dreams, and the narrative that, yes life can be hard, but we can get through this. 

The three women characters are being portrayed as vibrant, real, and modern people who want to take matters into their own hands when it comes to realizing dreams in life while staying happy. And on deciding which path to take, with an aim to make their lives better and independent. 

What made Delicious Romance really a nice narrative is its focus on women's drive to being independent, emotionally strong, and relevant. Their goal to become established, at the same time awareness of their vulnerabilities and the human side of falling in love. It sends a message of balance and fairness on a personal level.

The setbacks in relationships and romance and hostility in the workplace provided these three women enough wisdom how to understand life better.

It's just a light drama, full of wit, enthusiasm, humor, fun, and love. Set distinctly from the heart-wrenching, stressful heavy dramas we often watched on television. 

Most review sites recommended this drama to watch. It has only 20 episodes, and fast-paced, so it's fun to watch without getting bored. 

Viewers rated this drama in Douban with 8.1 out of 10 which is already high. In mainland China, for a series to be considered high-quality and best recommended, it should have a viewers' rating of 6.5.

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