New Review: My Amazing Boyfriend (2016)

My Amazing Boyfriend, wide for blogWho would have thought that the first entry for 2016 in my best rom-com list would be a Chinese drama – albeit one with a Korean lead. Yes, I’m talking about My Amazing Boyfriend. It’s a fun rom-com action fantasy about an actress who gets mixed up with a handsome 400-year-old man with superpowers.

Here’s the detailed review (for a condensed version and more K-rom-com recommendations, go here):

My Amazing Boyfriend
A hilarious rom-com action fantasy about an unlucky actress, Tian Jing Zhi (played by Wu Qian), who awakens a mysterious 400-year old man with superpowers. Bound by blood ties to her, he moves in with the initially unwilling, rather volatile and very expressive Jing Zhi, looking for his mortal enemy.
Wait a moment … an actress and a mysterious being with superpowers? Doesn’t this sound familiar? Yes, this is the Chinese drama “inspired” by My Love from the Star and the looks of the male lead, Korean model Kim Tae Hwan, won’t let you easily forget it. But no worries: Even though there are some similarities, this is clearly not a remake. In fact, it is fun to see how the writer comes up with a different story, given the similar premise. The drama is also different in tone – more crazy over-the-top comedy chunks (balanced by some serious action/thriller aspects) and less heart-wrenching melo parts. It’s sort of like an indie version of the MLFTS blockbuster with its big stars and its big budget. Okay, enough of these comparisons. What I really want to say is this: This drama can completely hold its own and the sooner you abandon any comparisons to MLFTS, the more fun you have watching it.
Other details: There are 28 episodes but each episode is only 45 minutes long. So in the end, it’s more like a 21 episode K-drama timewise. The episodes’ intro section (about one and a half minutes long) gives away too much, so I highly recommend skipping it. Sometimes the show feels a little heavy-handed (e.g. there’s an episode consisting almost only of flashbacks) and the ending could be improved. These are minor issues. Two drawbacks, though: The intentional over-acting comes with a price – we are more amused but we are also less emotionally engaged. Plus, there is a change of tone and focus two-thirds of the way in from a mix of rom-com and thriller with a touch of melo vibe to mostly thriller. Some people might like that. Me – not so much. Very good (first 2/3), good (last 1/3).
MGTV (China). Written by Shui Qian-Mo.