Zhang Yuxi is really perfect for slightly-spoiled-but-kind-at-heart princess roles.

Zhang Yuxi has been a bias of mine since My Dear Princess, and Intense Love 韫色过浓 is definitely her best project since then. While it falls into the age-old trap of losing its spark after the leads confirm their relationship, it’s cute while it lasts. Based on the book of the same name, the 35-episode series stars Zhang Yuxi as an actress trying to get out of her arranged marriage with an equally unwilling doctor played by Ding Yuxi. The marriage was set-up by their grandparents since they were young. However, for some reason their families never had them meet each other until the engagement party at the beginning of the series.

Zhang Yuxi’s Su Qinbei is slightly spoiled, over-confident, and cute as a button. The last time I’ve seen a celebrity this cute was Dilraba’s Gao Wen. Ding Yuxi, on the other hand, is your typical hard-working genius male lead wanting to save lives instead of taking over the family business.

When Su Qinbei ends up in the hospital but is ignored by Zhou Shiyun, she decides to seek revenge on him by making him fall in love with her to dump him, only for the plan to back-fire since she’s already fallen for him. Things are complicated by her rumored celebrity boyfriend and his stalker fan aka Zhou Shiyun’s cousin.

The main plot is extremely fast-paced and very cute. I love that neither character spends too long in the awkward self-denial stage, and both characters are extremely likable. The chemistry is there and Zhang Yuxi is absolutely adorable. Unfortunately, once they move in together there’s really nothing moving the plot. The two side couples, neither of which were in the novel, are dramatic but fail to capture enough interest once the tension is gone in the main plot.

Zhang Yuxi is really perfect for slightly-spoiled-but-kind-at-heart princess roles in rom-com. I don’t know how she would do in more nuanced roles, but she has great comedic chops and I would love to see her in bigger roles. Hopefully, now that she’s signed on to a bigger company (Huace), she’ll see bigger roles. This was a pretty solid option for Ding Yuxi’s first lead role that introduces him as male lead material. Between this and The Romance of Tiger and Rose, his agent is doing a really solid job with his two low-budget drama choices so far. Combined with his upcoming film with Ren Min, he has a great path ahead of him.

The drama is directed by Cai Nong and adapted from the novel of the same name. It’s available with English subs on Youtube here.

Intense Love – Zhang Yuxi, Ding Yuxi

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