“My Dear Guardian” Falls Below Expectations

Starring Johnny Huang Jinyu (黄景瑜) and Li Qin (李沁), Chinese military romance My Dear Guardian <爱上特种兵> has been airing for three weeks. While many were originally excited for the adaptation, it has unfortunately not been able to hit the right spot. Weak reception is apparent as reflected in the lack of ratings on Douban and discussions on social media. The majority of viewers had pointed out the problems of the lackluster plot, unrealistic scenes, and the rough illustration of supposedly intense and high-impact cases.

Military romance dramas have become a fast-growing genre since Korean series Descendants of the Sun popularized the pairing between a soldier and doctor.  This year’s You Are My Hero <你是我的城池营垒> was a big hit in China. With comparisons being made between My Dear Guardian and the former two dramas,  it certainly becomes a lot more difficult to make any breakthroughs especially when bars are set so high.

Unlike the sizzling romantic chemistry and uniquely developed characters in the other dramas, character designs and couple chemistry were reasons My Dear Guardian disappointed fans. The romantic scenes between Jingyu and Li Qin sometimes appeared awkward, as this is likely a result of the forced cohabitation and immature bickering tropes that My Dear Guardian relies on to draw the duo’s relationship closer. Given their outright childish exchanges and impulsive actions which are uncharacteristic of their professions, viewers are quickly reminded the military backdrop barely matters as romance still takes center stage.

The marketing buzz had focused on the action scenes, which are fairly well-received with the great mix of hard-core intensity and thrill. However, the portrayal of serious crimes such as terrorist attacks, assassinations, and drug trafficking are deemed flat and awkward with some imperfect details that require suspension of disbelief.

Source: Wenyi

This article is written by Minna for JayneStars.com.

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  1. I think Johnny Huang hit on the head in an interview: “LMZ and Dr Xia are great as a married couple but not so great as a dating couple.” Johnny Huang said the characters are taking too long to get together and I agree, but at the same time, when did the falling in love phase start and why? It is beyond unrealistic how vile high school boyfriend Z. Ran is. We are only half way through the show though, so I am still going to watch because the leads are good looking and they can act. The highlight of the show of is actually: Dr Xia’s Professor, the widow he is going after, the widow’s son, and LMZ co-captain/assistant captain at the camp. He’s hilarious. Z. Ran, Mi Gu, and the other female doctor always competing with Dr Xia are unlikable and extreme characters.

  2. Lol, based on the clip that got linked, ML isn’t good looking at all. And they look like they hate each other to the gut, then the kissing scene: it’s like to avoid conflict, let’s get physical >_> sound like a recipe for a disastrous relationship! And that kiss is just awkward!

  3. I very want to like this drama but Johnny Huang acting is very weak here (from his line delivery to his chemistry with the LiQin).Just like a wooden doll staring into blank space w/ no loving expression. He is better in action. (I’ll give LiQin credit though she is very trying in the romance department and she gave a few great emotional performance, but her character is childish and annoying. Her shift from being a serious doctor and and unreasonable personality with the leading man is getting on my nerve.

    It’s too bad, so much potential.

    1. @sunnysun
      I did not watch it yet but yes Johnny is still new to acting and found fame early on in his career so had not grown much as an actor. I think it depends on the role too. Some roles he is better than others.

  4. My dad is watching it at the moment. I feel that the leads don’t have the chemistry. The problem with the plot is that it is the same cliche romance plot despite being in a military background. You could have put them in totally difference setting and it would feel the same blandness. The characters are not exactly likable either. I just find it hard to connect with the main characters.

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