Ni Ni and Liu Shishi’s “My Best Friend’s Story” Tries To Do Too Much
Starring Ni Ni (倪妮) and Liu Shishi (刘诗诗), Chinese TV drama series My Best Friend’s Story <流金岁月> premiered on December 28, 2020 to much fanfare, primarily due to the highly-anticipated collaboration between the female leads, in addition to a star-studded supporting cast featuring Chen Daoming (陈道明) and Tony Yang (楊祐寧).
And while My Best Friend’s Story is doing decently well in viewership ratings, it’s definitely not up to the standard one would expect in a drama series featuring two of China’s biggest TV stars.
My Best Friend’s Story is based on the best-selling novel The Golden Years by Hong Kong writer Yi Shu (亦舒). Set in 1980s Hong Kong, the novel follows two best friends searching for identity and purpose as they learn to grow up in the fast-paced, cutthroat city that is Hong Kong.
For the Chinese adaptation, the story was re-written to take place in modern-day Shanghai. It stars Ni Ni as Zhu Suosuo, the bubbly, positive and independent modern city woman who is on the search for her Mr. Right. On the other end of the spectrum is Jiang Nansun played by Liu Shishi, a quiet yet resolute woman who struggles to break out the mold of a traditional family. Despite their opposite personalities and different upbringings, the two women are best friends who give each other emotional support.
They had both went through vastly different childhoods. Suosuo grew up in a poor family with separated parents, and had to rely on her aunt and uncle to take care of her. Nansun came from a family of old money.
Suosuo worked her way up to success in the city, while Nansun worked hard to break away from the traditionalist views of her family. Her parents were also born from wealth, so they never had to maintain a career for a living. Nansun—a homonym of “grandson” (nansun; 男孙)—also has to bear the prejudice views of her traditional grandmother, who had always wanted to have a grandson.
Suosuo and Nansun’s personal stories are relevant and compelling, but My Best Friend’s Story tries to do too much in little time. Much of the spirit of the original novel falls on the chemistry and relationship between the two best friends, but the TV drama went a step ahead to expand their own personal journeys, neglecting the journey they are supposed to share together. Subplots get convoluted, new characters get jumbled together, and not enough screen time is provided to show off the chemistry between the two main leads.
My Best Friend’s Story premiered December 28, 2020.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.