Intense Love (2020) Summary & Review: Zhang Yu Xi & Ding Yu Xi Are The Perfect Actress-Doctor Combo

Intense Love (2020) Chinese Drama Review
  • Cast
  • Cinematography
  • Music
  • Rewatch Value
  • Storyline

The very worst thing you can do is to discover an especially delectable treat when you absolutely cannot consume it.

For a long time, I only watched one type of Chinese drama: historical pieces. I’m not really into fantasy, but I had a taste of my very first romantic comedy Chinese drama last year and I have been hooked.

This wouldn’t be a problem if I wasn’t writing exams. I have my final papers in just a few weeks, but somehow I can’t get off the YouTube app to make myself actually useful.

I am drafting this review of Intense Love on a Monday morning after a long weekend that extended from Thursday till Sunday, and you guys, I have literally watched one Chinese drama every single day.

Intense Love is just one of the very beautiful Chinese dramas that have kept me busy, and this one is actually a new favorite that I’m probably going to be talking about forever.

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Intense Love has 24 45-minute episodes, and it’s available on Mango TV YouTube channel, WeTV, Viki, and Amazon Prime Video (with a subscription), but it can be watched on the rest for free.

Intense Love Chinese Drama Summary 

This drama starts with a little engagement party where both the bride and groom are missing. We soon learn that they have been engaged since childhood, and while they aren’t necessarily opposed to the engagement, they aren’t thrilled by it either – They are more content letting everything be run by their family members until the marriage when they show up.

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Our male lead, Zhou Shi Yun (played by Ding Yu Xi) is a brilliant doctor but he is shy, somewhat cold, and doesn’t talk a lot. On the other hand, our female lead, Su Jian Bei (played by Zhang Yu Xi) is a popular actress who is kind-hearted, sweet, and extremely talkative.

The two meet as adults when she is rushed to the hospital after an accident. In a daze after being treated, she kisses him, realizes his identity, notes that he isn’t disturbed by his non-appearance at their engagement party, and so she decides to take revenge on him.

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Her brilliant plan to take revenge is to seduce him until he falls in love with her and then break his heart by dumping him. She does this for a very short while until she realizes that she’s just as bedazzled by his presence, and then they fall in love for real.

Jian Bei chases him down day after day, at first lying about her feelings, but eventually keeps proclaiming her love for him and gets him to reciprocate. After an unfortunate situation where she is targeted by a colleague’s fans, she starts living with Shi Yun, and it’s while they are cohabiting that their love blooms even more.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Wu Di, who doubles as her agent, has a relationship with his best friend, Xiao Yuan Song, who is also a doctor. After he gives up his apartment so that an unfair clause in a contract isn’t triggered against Wu Di, they start living together, and they fall in love more and more.

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There’s a massive health scare because he mistakenly switched his samples and was diagnosed with the last stage of uremia. This brings them closer, but eventually, we find out that he wasn’t actually sick and that the mix-up had occurred. In time, their relationship moves forward, and she learns to confront her past fears about cheating in a relationship, while he grows to be more mature.

For our primary couple, they face one thing after another, especially in relation to her celebrity status. During this drama, it gets to a point where she genuinely has to rebuild herself from the beginning again, and he’s there all the way, holding her hand.

Review of Intense Love (2020) C-Drama 

First off, I’ve watched several romantic Chinese dramas, especially ones with a cold man and a bubbly girl, but this might just be the very first one where the girl is bubbly yet deeply introspective and incredibly brilliant despite being kind-hearted.

You guys, Jian Bei knew about some evil done to her, and while she recognized her anger, she was more interested in moving past it and figuring out a way for her and her former aggressor to live and be happy at the same time. Her goal at every single point in this drama was to uplift women and make them feel seen and heard, and I just loved that about her.

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Even though for a time in this drama, it felt like her primary purpose was to ward off third parties interested in their relationship (interested in Shi Yun mainly), I still loved that we got to see a lot of her very good attributes because they were amazing.

Now, I know the title of this drama is Intense Love, so it sort of hints at an explosive romance, but no matter how I look at it, it’s more that their chemistry is explosive and not necessarily the romance. I know everyone has a way of seeing things, but when I hear the word “intense” being used to describe something, I totally imagine a very propulsive, easy-to-light romance, possibly between two people with very strong personalities.

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And usually, I feel that this is more suited for dramas where the relationship is very toxic, but somehow the leads still end up finding their way to each other time and time again. A drama that I would have called Intense Love basically because of the personalities of the characters and the storyline itself is Circle of Love, which had the most psycho male lead ever.

You guys, Jian Bei and Shi Yun were so very sure of their feelings from the very beginning, so there was never really an issue of a love triangle, even though several other people were competing for their affections at every point in time. The both of them had the best chemistry I have ever seen in a Chinese drama, and I genuinely hope that they get to work on another joint project in the future.

Our male lead is very shy, as I said in the summary above, but you guys, he is incredibly intense. Shi Yun has this stare when looking at our female lead where it’s almost as if he can’t take his eyes off her. Because of his shy and introverted nature, he didn’t talk a lot. In fact, it was almost as if he felt he would freeze if he said more than two words at the same time. The longest he ever spoke at once was when he proposed to her and when he went to threaten the actress who had been causing problems for Jian Bei.

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Even though at the beginning Shi Yun didn’t know what to make of his fiancee, he soon fell deeply in love. It was so nice seeing her slowly break his cold exterior to find the warm-hearted, sweet, and loving man who was beneath that hard surface.

I didn’t mention this in the summary because I don’t really think it’s the most important thing about the drama, but as usual, we have a second male lead who is marinating in the anguish of unrequited love, and unsurprisingly, there is also a girl who is deeply in love with our second main lead. What shocked me about this was the fact that the girl who is in love with the 2ML doesn’t actually end up with him.

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Another thing I really appreciated about this drama and I liked the way it was depicted, was the politics that goes on in show business, especially when we think about record labels who pit artists against each other to compete for deals and whatnot.

At the end of the day, a record label is a business just like any other, and what they want is to reap the most profit, but I feel that it’s very Machiavellian of them to sometimes sacrifice their basic humanity while chasing profit. The attitude of the record label tells on the artist’s actions, and this drama really shows the desperation that comes off from the second female lead, Gao Zi Tong, when she’s forced to make some kind of decisions because of pressure from the record label.

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Also, we got to see a fair bit of the way artists are bullied by their fans for something as simple as dating, because a big problem in this drama was the fact that she signed a contract with a sponsor that forbids her from entering into a relationship or having any kind of love-related scandal in the year they would work together. When news came out about her relationship, it was mayhem for both of them because it was almost as if her career was over.

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In fact, the drama starts with Jian Bei being rumored to be in a relationship with Xu Jia Wei, the second male lead, and in time we find out this is something he actually engineered together with his agency in order to boost his popularity. He did this reluctantly because he genuinely liked our female lead and he didn’t want to harm his potential with her. But rather sadly, when the rumors started making the rounds that they were actually in a relationship, she was the target of hate and scorn by a lot of his bitter and pained fans, and one even attacked her in the hospital.

Another shining light of this drama was the friendships between our female lead and her agent and our male lead and his best friend. I love the idea of having a family with your friends when all of you are roughly at the same stage in life and all of you connect with each other and bond so well. I loved that they all had that sense of community at every point in time.

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But one thing I will say that felt and still feels a little odd was the fact that our male lead never really has any kind of dilemma in this drama. Towards the end, they do break up because of a wrong action of his, but it’s never as if he has any overarching questions about himself to answer. For example, Jian Bei’s main question is to determine for herself how seriously she has taken her career, and towards the end, she makes moves to challenge herself more and more every day. He never does anything like that.

That is not to say that the drama’s quality is affected by this, but it would have been nice to see him grow a little bit. Even if it isn’t any type of external dilemma, perhaps making it so that he learns to rely on his community or the people around him or something, but it would have been great.

Now that I’m done watching and I’ve had time to think about everything I saw and to marinate in my feelings about this drama, I think the most beautiful thing about it was the fact that their feelings never wavered from the beginning up until the end. There was never a point where we had to think about whether this person liked the other or whether this person still had feelings for the other. It was always so clear Jian Bei and Shi Yun were both obsessed with each other, and I loved it so much.

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So, you guys, this is Intense Love, which aired in 2020 but could very well have aired yesterday because of how timely, romantic, and sweet it is. I totally recommend this drama to anyone who wants a somewhat light-hearted romantic Chinese drama to keep themselves busy this weekend.

As I said earlier, you can watch Intense Love on YouTube, Viki, Amazon Prime Video, and WeTV – watch it and let me know what you think about it!

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Don’t forget to check out the blog for even more reviews of some very popular and even the most obscure dramas so that you make a very fantastic choice before you get started. 

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