I have been in two minds about watching this Chinese “Bromance” for obvious reasons. But since my best friend insisted that this drama series is good and also because it has some similarities to the recent mini-series “Capture Lover,” I decided to watch it. And I wasn’t disappointed! In fact, I’m wondering why I didn’t catch up with this online sitcom sooner.
– Edited by TheFNGee
Gu Qing Pei
Shang Bai portrays the suave, calm, and collected businessman Gu Qing Pei. He has recently joined Yuan Industries as the New Director and is immediately tasked by the Chairman to reform his unruly son Yuan Yang. Qing Pei is sharp, extremely calculating, and is a complete workaholic.
Yuan Yang is the heir to the Yuan Industries. At odds with his father Chairman Yuan because of his apparent second marriage, Yuan is arrogant, rude, and out of control. He neither respects his father nor his stepmother. He was previously employed in the military, and as such, he does most of the talking with his fists. He correctly decides that Gu Qing Pei is a hypocrite and makes life hell for Qing Pei by creating new troubles at their workplace.
On elite businessman Gu Qing Pei’s first day of work at his new workplace, the Chairman throws his vigorous and arrogant son Yuan Yang at him. Yuan Yang sees through Qing Pei’s hypocritical mask, but due to his father pressuring him, he can’t hit him. Therefore, Yuan Yang learns for the first time that there are things that can’t be taken care of by money or fists. He continuously tries to get Qing Pei into trouble, but Qing Pei sees it lightly and calmly resolves every issue. However, things are about to change when Yuan Yang asks his friends to do a background check on Qing Pei and finally finds Qing Pei’s Achilles heel.
The show starts with main lead Yuan Yang being rip-roaringly drunk at a friend’s home. Suddenly he wakes up and rushes out. The scene then shifts to Yuan Industries, where the employees are overexcited to welcome their New Director. He enters the office as the employees flag him on both sides, and we are finally introduced to Gu Qing Pei. He has a gentle demeanor as he talks to him, and the women employees are charmed instantly.
As Gu Qing Pei stands in his new office, the scene shifts to a flashback where he is in a heated argument with his ex-wife. She has problems with his workaholic nature, and they decide to part ways. The next scene is where Qing Pei is discussing Yuan Industries with an associate. From their conversation, it is clear that Yuan Industries is in financial trouble, and Qing Pei is mostly joining the firm for his own financial gains.
The scene shifts back to the present where Chairman Yuan arrives to welcome Qing Pei officially. But to Qing Pei’s unfortunate surprise saddles him with Yuan Yang, his arrogant son.
They have a heated argument where Yuan Yang disregards his father’s intentions to have him learn from Qing Pei. But Chairman Yuan puts down his foot and asks Qing Pei to employ whatever tactics are necessary to shape his son into a responsible individual. He also warns Yuan Yang that he won’t be allowed to return to his military camp and so learning the ropes is the only way out for him.
Later in the parking lot, Yuan Yang blocks the passage of Qing Pei’s car. They have a confrontation where Yuan asserts that he would never get along with Qing Pei. He openly challenges Qing Pei’s decision to reform him. Qing Pei, in turn, reiterates the instructions about reporting to Chairman Yuan. Yuan Yang backs off but promises repercussions.
At night, both of them have conversations with their close friends. Qing Pei’s friend feeds him complete information about the Yuan family, specifically Yuan Yang. Yang’s friend, on the other hand, divulges information about his recent divorce. Both of them seem to formulate a plan to tackle the other.
The next morning, Yuan Yang is again late to the meeting. Qing Pei addresses the employees and shares his ideas with them. After the meeting ends, Chairman Yuan scolds Yuan Yang for being irresponsible. Yuan Yang barges into Qing Pei’s office and confronts him about instigating the criticism by his father. All his credit cards have been blocked, and he is enraged. Qing Pei tries hard to reason with him, but Yuan Yang is insolent. As he tries to leave the office, Qing Pei pulls him back. Losing his temper, Yuan Yang backhands him and warns him not to get involved.
At last, as a peace offering, Qing Pei invites him for lunch. Yuan Yang accepts but calls his friends to join them. The group, as a whole, order too many drinks with Yang trying to get Qing Pei drunk. But unfortunately, the tables are turned, and Yang is the one who ends up drinking too much.
Yuan Yang wakes up in a drunken stupor to find himself shirtless on the conference hall table. The employees are gawking at him and clicking his pictures. He immediately dresses up and rushes to Qing Pei’s office. Qing Pei has a private room located off of his main office to rest. Yuan Yang barges inside and confronts Wing Pei about embarrassing him. Qing Pei calmly points out that it was his own mistake. Yuan Yang indignantly confesses the truth and threatens dire consequences. The battle lines are drawn.
Yuan Yang’s Stepmother is skeptical about Chairman Yuan’s decision, but he reassures her that Qing Pei is the right person to guide Yang. Qing Pei, on the other hand, gets a call from his ex-wife. It seems that despite the divorce, they are still on good terms. Qing Pei enters the office to find Yuan Yang waiting for him. He gives him a set of instructions, but Yang refuses to pay heed.
Qing Pei meets up with a former associate, President Sun, who asks for help finalizing the North Central Project. Qing Pei politely declines to assist even after Sun tries to blackmail Qing Pei’s morally questionable actions concerning their last acquiescence. Qing Pei enters his private room to find clothes strung on the floor. Yuan Yang has stripped off his clothes and is sleeping instead of working. When Qing Pei tries to reason with him, Yang again goes out of control and backhands Qing Pei. Qing Pei leaves after warning him that if he doesn’t behave, then his salary will be suspended.
Qing Pei next orders him to act as his driver and gives him a set of files to read. Yuan Yang lazes away his time at the table allotted to him. He is waiting for Qing Pei in the parking lot. As Qing Pei walks out, he is about to get hit by a speeding car when Yuan Yang rushes in and saves him. They have a charged moment, but Yang backs off this time.
Qing Pei takes Yang to shop for new office attire. I must say, Yang, cleans up well. He looks quite handsome in suits, and Qing Pei approves. As they walk out, Qing Pei gets a call from his ex-wife and hurriedly leaves. Yuan Yang follows Qing Pei and catches him having dinner with a new woman.
Qing Pei and his ex-wife are taking a stroll with Yuan Yang following them. His friend gives him information that the lady is Qing Pei’s ex-wife. Seeing them hug bugs Yuan Yang and he walks up to them. Qing Pei is shocked to learn that Yuan Yang has been following him. He sends off his ex-wife and warns Yang to stay away from his personal life.
Qing Pei devises a new plan to get Yuan Yang under his control. He advises Chairman Yuan to take back his investments in the various properties that Yang owns. Chairman does as requested, and early morning, we have an angry Yang barging into Qing Pei’s apartment. He entirely thrashes Qing Pei’s personal belongings. Qing Pei is calm and collected as he orders Yang to get ready for office. Yang, yet again, skips going to the office and instead goes to the boxing ring. His friends arrive, and together they decide to get Qing Pei embroiled in a sex scandal.
Qing Pei has to leave immediately for a takeover to Namlin. Chairman Yuan requests him to take Yang along, and Qing Pei reluctantly agrees. As Yuan Yang arrives, Qing Pei orders him to get ready for their afternoon flight. Later, as usual, Yang barges into Qing Pei’s private room to while away his time. However, he is surprised to find Qing Pei sleeping there instead. They have an argument again, and Yuan Yang joins him in bed. Qing Pei’s secretary sees them together and gets the idea that they are dating.
After the meeting ends, Qing Pei leaves Yuan Yang to rest and goes for a walk. Yuan Yang is having second thoughts about staging the sex scandal, but his friend proceeds with their plan. As Qing Pei has a drink in a local bar, he starts feeling dizzy. The bartender has spiked his drink. A call girl accosts him, but he rushes out of the bar. He gets back to his hotel room, but the call girl forces her way inside his room.
The Chemistry Between The Main Leads
Hot and explosive! It is like watching two Titans clash. Gu Qing Pei is cold and calculating while Yuan Yang is a disciplined military man. They are at complete odds but caught in situations that they both can’t escape. The initial episodes work well at setting up the inevitable confrontation. Gu Qing Pei is a workaholic but has only his own personal interests at mind. Yuan Yang, on the other hand, is disinterested in his family business and has a lot of issues with his own father.
I love watching the “Enemy to Lovers” trope, and that is the focus of this show. Because it is a Chinese Bromance, the real romance is filtered out and diluted here. But that doesn’t dull the apparent chemistry between the main leads Shang Bai and Gao Ming. Both play their roles with conviction and get you instantly hooked. You can’t help but notice how flustered Qing Pei gets when Yuan Yang gets into his personal space and the way his eyes light up when Yuan Yang dresses up in a suit.
Despite hating him, Yuan Yang has a protective streak a mile wide, or maybe it’s just his military training. He loves getting into Qing Pei’s personal space, leaving him entirely flustered. Also, he has no qualms stripping down to his underwear in Qing Pei’s private room and treats it more like their bedroom.
Qing Pei, on the other hand, has loads of patience. Despite his underhanded techniques to handle Yuan Yang, it’s clear he doesn’t want to meddle in the Yuan affairs. He has been caught in this situation unexpectedly and can’t figure out how to get out of it. But the way his eyes travel up Yuan’s half-naked body certainly shows an overt interest in what he sees. I’m enjoying the struggle and the sexual tension these two characters bring out in full view.
My Opinion About This Drama
The storyline is a heavily overused trope. We have heard this convoluted plot in quite a lot of Gay Romances. And yet, this drama draws attention because of the apparent conflict and chemistry between the main leads. Qing Pei’s calmness strikes an unusual chord, and although he is conniving bastard, you still feel sorry for him. Being saddled with the stubborn and childish heir of the Yuan Industries leaves the poor guy exhausted, yet he never gives up.
All the plotting and scheming at times might put you off, but the actors Shang Bai and Gao Ming have a magnetic presence, and you can’t help but get vested in their storyline.
I’m interested in knowing how far Yuan Yang will go and what underhanded tactics he will use to get Qing Pei under his control. Will Qing Pei fold and accept defeat, or will he fight back?
Keep watching this space for further updates on this explosive “Tom and Jerry” saga!
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars [See our Review Guide]