*Available on US Netflix Streaming*
The Gist: Xiao Mai (Angela Zhang) always resented how confined her life was by lack of funds. In the middle of working hard to save up money to live in luxury, she is found by her biological grandfather, who is a wealthy mogul. Going by Emp, her grandfather brings her in to set her up with one of four prospective successors. As the favorite, Nan Feng Jin (Wu Chun) seems to be the best option. Unfortunately, Jin has no desire to succeed Emp and therefore pushes Mai away as much as possible, treating her terribly. That doesn’t turn Mai off to him, however, and she begins to feel conflicted about what a relationship with him would mean for his future.
After feeling a little ambivalent about her first, I really grew to love Mai. Her determination makes her an awesomely strong character to watch. She’s got a lot to deal with, discovering a secret rich grandfather and that her parents were kind of shady, and then being matched up with boys she doesn’t know. Not that those are all bad things, but they’re all BIG things and she takes them head on. Love the actress and love the characters.
*Minor Spoilers* At some point, Jin, Mai, Cai, and Li (Genie Chuo) bail out on Emp’s successor plans and strike out on their own for the real world. Jin and Mai take to it swimmingly as Mai is used to it and this is exactly what Jin has always wanted. Cai and Li have no idea how to live outside of the lap of luxury and start to fall apart right away. I really appreciate this turn because it’s unexpected and really dives into the heart of our main characters. It’s smart writing and didn’t really remind me of anything else.
While I did appreciate Jin and Cai (Calvin Chen), George Hu as Nan Feng Lin and Li Ang Lin as Nan Feng Ying were sort of non-characters to me. I was excited at first because the setup generally reminded me of Hana Yori Dango, which I love, but I feel like only Jin and Cai were developed enough to have us care about them. That meant that Lin and Ying were really just filler characters when they should have added more to the story. That said, there’s nothing terribly wrong with them, I just wanted more.
While I didn’t really have issue with the actor, Gu Bao Ming, the character felt a little stereotypical. I am so sick of the rich head of the family character that puts his company before his family. I get that he wants what’s best for the second generation, but it still drove me a little crazy. Still, there were some nice redemptive moments between him and Mai as they tried to get to know each other.
**SPOILERS** AH! Speaking of stereotypes, enough with a main character leaving at the end! I loved how they were tying things up. Mai being her grandfather’s successor is a brilliant move. Her charisma and determination makes her a good fit, even though she doesn’t know a lot about business. Plus, she can save the man she loves from a fate he hates and still gets to be with him… except then she doesn’t. It’s like great! Here’s all these awesome things, oh wait, go peace out to America for 3 years. While I appreciate that Jin and Mai will do a long distance thing, it’s just unnecessary and played out.
So… I liked RP, but I didn’t love it. The romance was cute, but it didn’t do as well as some other reverse harem dramas, bogged down by a lot of stereotypical moves that were only sort of interesting. I love the main actress, but I felt like a lot of the other characters were underdeveloped, which ultimately left me wanting a bit more.
Final Grade: B-