Fangirling Chinese Novels

Proud of Love – Episode 1 to 5 Review



Surprise !!! I’ve decided to write a short review. Although I complained about the drama, nonetheless it is still entertaining enough for me to write about it. The drama is rather well-received online in Youku with about 100 millions of click rate in the first week of broadcast and after 10 episodes. Viki has started subbing it and they are pretty fast. The Viet subs are also out. The raw is also doing fairly well in Youtube because many are watching it for the BL (Boy Love) content. Haha, I don’t know whether this is a good or bad thing. Anyway forget about the novel, just enjoy the drama by itself, then you won’t be disappointed.


The beginning of the drama is a big disappointment because it is so stupid and none of the characters resemble the novel. Xi Xi’s mum is dead when it is supposed to be a happy family in the novel. RIP, may your soul come back and strangle the scriptwriter who killed you off 😛 Xi Xi’s dad is so different from the novel. He is a good-looking and immaculately dressed businessman, not looking like an uncle with a belly who sells fish in the market. Many of you may be Vivian’s fans after watching Our Times but I am sorry to say that she is just not cute and beautiful enough to be Xi Xi. It is like casting Michelle Chen as little Dragon Girl. She is supposed to be a dance student in the novel but her dancing skill is cringeworthy. She is now a performance student in the drama. Before the soul swapping, she is portrayed as loud and aggressive, slapping Zhou Zhou and asking Tang Tang to marry her. What happened to the demure and pretty Xi Xi in the novel? Lastly, Zhou Zhou appears with a butler? Even though he is from a rich family, he is very low-key about it. He won’t dress like a playboy and fight over taiyaki with a girl. Come on, he is a gentleman !!!


The first 2 episodes are obviously filler with some outdated Taiwanese slapstick and Japanese style. Hence my precious advice to you is skip them except the kiss between the 2 male leads at the end of episode 1. At this point, I felt like giving up on the drama but I persevered because of my love for the novel and my support for the author. Both of us will watch this to the very end even if we’ve to eat some heart attack medicine together lol. By the way, this is only season one and there will be season two so we may need to take long-term medication. You are entitled to your own preference and opinion but please leave constructive criticism only. Don’t simply bash the drama or the cast like calling them ugly or because they’ve Taiwanese accent. If you did watch the drama, you can see or feel that the cast did do their best. Hence they deserve some respect. After all they are mostly newbies so don’t expect Oscar-winning acting skill.

Due to the overwhelming complains about episode 1 and 2, the director decided to re-edit these 2 episodes into 1. So, if you are watching the director’s cut version, you’ll need to jump to episode 3 after watching episode 1. No additional shot was added, he just deleted some redundant scenes.  I find it pointless to do so, just confuse new viewers only. I also don’t feel the director’s cut version is any better, just save you some time from watching some silly scenes.


Episode 3, where the soul swapping has taken place is the most funny episode and resembles the novel the most. Even though the soul swap happened in a haunted house which is different from the novel, I’ve no complain. In fact, I find it rather appropriate, scared the soul out of them lol. When they wake up in the hospital, Xi Xi realises she is in Zhou Zhou’s body as she doesn’t have a breast and has short hair whereas he has long hair and a different voice. Stone’s portrayal of Zhou Zhou with Xi Xi’s soul is kind of adorable and hilarious. So, I am starting to warm up to him.  I don’t really fancy Vivian’s portrayal with Zhou Zhou’s spirit in her body. It is not that her acting is bad, just that her character is annoying and boring.


Awwww, Stone’s expressions are just too cute after the soul swapping so join me to fangirl him lol. I’ve never seen his reality show or Grade One. For a newbie, he can be considered pretty good. I’ve read some unfavorable comments about him but this won’t deter me from enjoying his acting. Someone mentioned he looks old for the role which I beg to differ. He was born in 1993 so only 23 years old, around He Zhi Zhou’s age. Yes, he does not really have Zhou Zhou’s aura but this is because the drama is very different from the novel. I feel that he managed to make this character his own. I heard from his interview that he has put in a lot of research and effort into playing this role. He may not look as handsome as Yang Yang, the face that launched a thousand ships, nonetheless he is rather cute and sweet in his portrayal of Zhou Zhou 🙂 Oh, I think I’ve already mentioned that he is cute many many times, lol.


Xi Xi is very ecstatic to be able to live in the same dormitory with Tang Tang. Hence Stone can’t help jumping into Tang Tang’s bed and rolling around, ROLF.


I’ve a headache. Let me rest for a while.

The bathing scene is one of the highlight of episode 3. Firstly, there is Zhou Zhou bathing Xi Xi. He scolds Xi Xi for not wearing a bra as this will make her breasts sags. He proceeds to criticize her for being so smart yet doesn’t know how to wear a bra and shows her how it is done, lol. She refutes his claim by saying she just wants to feel comfortable. Wow, Stone is good at putting on a bra, so professional haha……….


Sorry to say this to Hyun Bin in the K-drama Secret Garden, but Stone can wear the bra better than you, lol. Some people compare this novel/drama to Secret Garden. I can tell you that no plagiarism is involved since both are as different as day and night except the soul-swapping plot, a rich male lead and teaching you how to wear bra. The Korean doesn’t have exclusive right to soul-swapping theme and a rich male lead can be found in nearly all dramas.


Then there is the scene where he has to bath. Mind you, it is Xi Xi’s soul who has to bath with the guys lol. Zhou Zhou is rather shy and has to use a towel to cover himself. Anyway it is Zhou Zhou’s body so Xi Xi has nothing to lose. Then he is having nosebleed, watching Tang Tang’s naked body lol. If you don’t understand the ‘pick up the soap’ joke, you can read my explanation in my translation. By the way, don’t blink your eyes at 23.08 minute 😛 I blinked my eyes and missed that but my assistant who shall remain nameless brought that to my attention, ahahahaha…..I hope everyone who is reading this is above 18 years of age 😛 Otherwise this episode is not for you.


Episode 4 and 5 are kind of lame and crude with a fair bit of nonsense and adult jokes so anyone who is under 18 years of age is banned from watching them 😛 Because of what happened in the bathroom, it is rumored that Zhou Zhou is a gay. The drama is playing this up which resulted in many BL (Boy Love) cut scenes in Youtube. Poor Stone and Guan Hong losing their first on-screen (nose) kiss to each other lol.


Having Zhou Zhou cutting Xi Xi’s hair and vice versa are staying true to the novel.  It turns out rather hilarous in the drama. The extra bit where they fight with each other and Tang Tang comes to intervene is quite funny, so BL 😛


Another part which is funny is Xi Xi’s soul slapping Zhou Zhou to get her revenge, heehee…..


Pervert, Jerk, slap you, slap you !!!

I’ve never liked Xia Wei Ye and Chen Han in the novel and find them even more irritating in the drama. OMG, Xia Wei Ye thinks Zhou Zhou likes her just because he praises her manicure. In the novel, I ship Zhou Zhou with Xi Xi but in the drama, I think I may ship Zhou Zhou with Tang Tang since they’ve so much chemistry together lol. Arrrgh, Zhou Zhou even carries Tang Tang piggyback, so sweet haha. Look at the way Stone looks at Tang Tang, exactly how a girl in love will look at her crush. ……..Add oil 😛


Ling Chao Xi makes an appearance at the end of episode 5. She is so different from the novel. She is now Tang Tang’s colleague instead of classmate. Why in the world is Tang Tang working part-time as a bartender? I can’t see any Rio wine being promoted here like in you know which drama 😛 He is portrayed by a Taiwanese actor called Guan Hong. Some netizens think that he looks like Luhan, quite girly. For those who don’t like him in the novel, you may like him better in the drama since he is rather devoted and sweet to Xi Xi.


In  conclusion, I want to share with you the MV with English translated lyrics of the sub-theme song called Soul mate sang by Hebe, a member of the Taiwanese group SHE. I like this song for its melody and lyrics. The MV was filmed in Kagoshima, Japan which I visited recently. A very nice place.

13 thoughts on “Proud of Love – Episode 1 to 5 Review

  1. Thank you for the warning! I’ll stick with the novel.

  2. Hahaha don’t tell me Tang Tang will fall in love with the main guy. I ship these 2 faces together. The main girl can go to sleep.

  3. My Sheep is not silly enough to accept this kind of role. 😀

  4. Hi peanuts,

    I heard there is a sequel to this novel. Would you translate it too? Is there any bodyswap in the sequel?

    • There is no soul swapping in the sequel to the novel but I think there is soul swapping in part 2 of the drama. Let me finish translating book 1 first which has a long way to go. It is very diff fr the drama so it is ok if you’re going to watch the drama.

  5. Thanks Peanuts for the reply! muahhh!

    I feel the book has more depth regarding the characters.

    The drama is a stereotypical Asian idol drama where an arrogant and hyper-competent guy from a rich family meets a feisty and cheerful girl from a humble background, only this added with some bodyswap element. I am tired with this kind of story. The drawback of this kind of story is that the main guy character is very boring, except perhaps in the interaction with the main girl. You can see it in this drama. Before the swap, the actor who plays the character is boring. After the swap, the actress who plays that same character is boring. If the characters were played according to the book I think they would be more interesting moments.

    Secret Garden is also similar but at least the girl is a bit tomboy so there is some fun in seeing the guy “outgirl” the main girl while in the girl’s body. Also it’s a back and forth swaps so more interesting story could be developed from that.

    • For character development, the book has more depth. But on the soul swapping theme, the drama covered more ground. I enjoy the soul swapping part the most but I find the novel is inadequate in explaining the swap and swap back. After the swap, the novel is more rational than the drama & the humor is truly funny, not slapstick. But after the swap back, the novel loses steam and becomes typical.

      Have you finished watching the drama? Actually it is more than that. We’ve a very strong childhood sweetheart Tang Tang in the drama. In the novel, Xi Xi doesn’t really love Tang Tang very much. But in the drama, she is crazy abt him. Hence many Chinese drama fans want her to end up with Tang Tang.

      I think there will also be back & forth swaps in the drama which is different fr the novel.

      • Hi Peanuts,

        To answer your question, yes I have finished season 1. My overall impression is that I am not that favourable toward the drama. The first 2 episodes before the swap look like parody of Asian stereotypical idol drama while the few episodes after the swap seem like a parody of typical bodyswap movies/dramas. After that the middle episodes somehow improve and becomes better although some humours still feel forced. For that I am willing to give the drama a favourable rating, however I am disappointed with the last few episodes of season 1 after the swapping back. They are so confusing and convoluted in my opinion. The transition of Xi Xi’s feeling was not handled well. As you said, Tang Tang in the drama is a likeable character so any change in Xi Xi’s feeling must be convincing so that the audience will buy it and take it as believable even though they may not support it. but here it feels too sudden and not convincing. For the drama this is an important plot so I was somehow disappointed that it was not handled well.

        By the way, I am curious whether the other swap between their friends also happened in the novel or is it a drama-only plot?

        • I beg to differ as I dun think the last few episodes are confusing. XX actually chose TT since she likes him since they were kids. Yet, bcos of the soul swap, she kind of developed some feelings for ZZ. This is understandable since they went thru a lot with each other in each other body. As I’ve written, there is high probability of more soul swapping in Season 2 since season 1 ended with her searching for the mirror to swap soul again. Season 2 will focus on the triangular love. They can’t be 2 clear-cut with XX’s feelings since they still need to sell Season 2 which has not been filmed yet 😛

          But season 2 will definitely be 100% different fr the novel, all will be based on the scriptwriter’s imagination. If base on faithfulness to the novel, have to give this drama a fail. But overall it is ok, tolerable bcos of Stone’s cute portrayal of XX lol.

          Only 1 swap in the novel between the leads. The soul swapping in the novel is very simple & straightforward. The emphasis in the novel is not on soul swapping. If the drama follows the novel after they swapped back, it’ll be 2 typical like u complained. So, I’ve no problem with the scriptwriter changing it. But I can’t understand why the scriptwriter can’t follow the novel while their souls were swapped bcos I truly enjoy that part in the novel. Never mind, just read my translation 😛

  6. Are you sure they haven’t filmed Season 2 yet? Cause I found photos of the series which I swear have never been in Season 1! You sure the 2 seasons weren’t filmed in one go?

    From what I have seen in the photos the expressions of ZZ are pretty cool and it doesn’t look like it is XX’s soul inside. That’s why I am not confident that the leads will swap again because it doesn’t look like that from the actor’s expression. Or maybe XX is getting better at pretending as ZZ?

    Here is the link to the photos, given to me by my boyfriend.
    (scroll to the last post)

    Oh ya my boyfriend asked me to send regard to you. He understand Chinese and according to him the viewers’ reaction to the series is very polarized as the readers of the books hate it and many of them abandoned it very early while those who haven’t read it think that it is fun to watch. So when I told him you as the fan and translator of book enjoy both the novel and the series as stories independent from each other, he thought that it is refreshing that there is a fan of the novel who is open minded and enjoys both.

    • Oh, I forgot abt those posters. I saw them in the drama’s weibo b4. May post them here later. Anyway can’t tell much fr those posters except HZZ looks rather serious. The director said bcos it is a webdrama, they can make changes base on feedback. So, they may modify what they had filmed. They even asked who the audience wants XX to end up with. If there is no soul swapping, I may not watch 😛

      Say thanks to your bf for me. Actually there are some Chinese netizen like me who support the novel as well as the drama. This is bcos we support the author. That poor woman got criticized badly for selling out for money and doesn’t care abt her novel which is not true. She explained that she can’t take away the scriptwriter’s job. With hindsight, she should have asked for more say in the finished script but she has no experience or power. Anyway all water under the bridge now. The drama may be very unfaithful to the novel, it is still entertaining and the production & cast are ok.

  7. I really enjoyed the drama thanks for ur amazing review I wish there was a second season ,I am really dying to fine the song played in ep 16 when they were about to swap souls back if anyone can help pls save me >.<

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