Pretty Li Hui Zhen (漂亮的李慧珍) – First Impressions Ep. 1-5

Synopsis:
Li Hui Zhen used to be elegant pretty but is now disheveled and dorky while her childhood best friend Bai Haoyu who used to be chubby and dorky is now handsome and successful. In order to protect Haoyu’s memory of her, Hui Zhen got her friend Xia Qiao to assume her identity. However fate intervenes and Haoyu turns out to be her new boss.

First Impressions:

It is probably too early to say anything since I’m only at episode 5 out of episodes but so far I’m really really liking it! I’m not normally a fan of rom-coms and since it’s a remake of the kdrama She Was Pretty I kind of expected it to be a little cheesy. And cliche. But after five episodes I am hooked. Dilmurat Dilraba as Li Hui Zhen is just so lovable. She managed to somehow instill the right amount of dorkiness without being too over-the-top and cringey. Plus she is so gorgeous, despite supposedly being dorky and ugly. It’ll take a lot to truly uglify her.

I am loving the friendship between best friend Xia Qiao and Hui Zhen, though of course, Xia Qiao is going to betray her down the line (pretty expected) but I don’t think I’ll be able to hate her for it. Already I’m feeling sad for her and the way she’s falling for Haoyu. If I were her I would too.

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Now on to the guys. I’m having a serious case of second-lead syndrome now. I’m not normally one for second leads and I’m always always always rooting for the main lead whether it is manga, anime or dramas. And even in Bel Ami where I had my first case of second-lead syndrome, the gap was pretty close. But…I don’t think I can say the same for PLHZ. Peter Sheng as Bai Haoyu is…horrible (no offense to Peter fans out there). I hope his acting gets better soon but judging from the other reviews, I doubt it. There’s a difference between acting the cool, suave persona and being a piece of wood. Peter Sheng seemed like the latter. His moves an dialogue are controlled and even when he sits, it’s as if he’s always at attention. He seems more suitable acting as a robot than a real human being. The way his character is written doesn’t help with his likability. I’m actually liking the young Bai Haoyu better than the adult one. Bai Haoyu’s character is one that is serious and focused solely on his job but at the moment all I’m getting is rude, has no regard for people other than Hui Zhen (and not even the real one) and a puffed-up ego. Aaron Yan did a much better job in Just You.

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In contrast Vin Zhang as Lin Yi Mu is sooooooo adorable, and natural. I’ve read that he’s not very popular as compared to Yi Mu’s korean counterpart but since I haven’t seen the original (and not planning to) it doesn’t matter to me. I can’t help but squeal inside whenever Yi Mu is on screen, nevermind that his antics seem a little childish. But I love love love his character. He’s just so outgoing, natural, and far more likable. I wish they’d end up together cuz’ they’ll make such a cute couple!! Sigh.

Verdict:
Definitely going to continue watching. I love the vibe and subtlety of that the series is promising and I want to see how the friendship between Xia Qiao and Hui Zhen is going to turn out (not so much the romance though unless she ends up with Yi Mu).

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