Fake It Till You Make It (2023) is a 14-episode romance Chinese drama that aired on Sep 9, 2023, and I started watching it on Oct 9, 2023, which I finished watching that same day.
I was fortunate to come across a YouTube short of this drama, which reminded me that I had once encountered it. However, I wasn’t interested at the time because I was unfamiliar with the director and the actors’ work. After watching the short, I decided to do a bit of research. I discovered that I had watched dramas featuring the main actress, Elvira Cai, in the past, namely ‘The Blessed Girl’ and ‘Mystery of Antiques.’ What surprised me was how different she looked from my memory of her. Additionally, I watched a drama starring the male actor, Elvis Han, called ‘Never Gone’ and ‘Siege in Fog.
With this recollection, even though I had not watched any of the director’s works or the scriptwriter’s and adapted from a novel, I really wanted to give it a try. This was mainly because I am still unemployed and broke at the same time.
PS: Not sure if it is available on Netflix as i watched mine on Viki.
In a busy city of the pretentious, opposite’s attract for Tang Ying and Xi Zi Quan who meet on an airplane by chance. What starts between them is an ambiguous game of flirting, exciting each other‘s love lives. Tang Ying, a stubborn lawyer and Xi Zi Quan, a mature and charming investment banker, go from testing each other to removing their masks and building trust to regain themselves.
Fake It Till You Make It” revolves around individuals in their 30s who are grappling with challenges in various aspects of their lives, including their careers and relationships. They make relentless efforts to impress others, often resorting to deception. In this drama, every character portrays themselves as more accomplished, wealthier, and happier than they truly are, which eventually leads to increased stress.
The drama delves into the backstory of each character, revealing how they initially embarked on this pretence. While the characters may appear to lead glamorous lives, the drama takes its time to peel away these layers and unveil the intricate challenges they confront in both their professional and personal lives, one notable aspect that captivated me was the introduction of some of these scenes:
- One of the supporting characters engages in afternoon tea with affluent women, presenting themselves as if they have the most adoring and wealthy spouse in the world, who will shower them with luxurious handbags.
- They feign expertise in tea, impressing their customers by cramming information the night before.
- The female lead, who suppresses her grievances and disdain for her abusive boss, responds to insults with a forced smile and a nod.
- The female lead’s sister is completely content with her controlling boyfriend, understanding that his actions stem from a place of love. They must convince themselves that they are content and believe that everything will eventually be alright.
In Fake It Till You Make, we are introduced to our female lead Tang Ying, haunted by past heartbreak, and longs for a new relationship but dreads the prospect of rejection and the male lead Xu Ziquan, a flamboyant individual, who refrains from committing to a lasting relationship
When both of their paths intersect, weighed down by their individual baggage and absorbed in their careers, they struggle with the challenge of prioritising their love. Eventually, they come to a realization: they must take a leap of faith, fully committing to each other, irrespective of the outcome, as long as they give it their all.
Lin Xinzi is the female lead sister who has always pursued the ideal love, envisioning it with a man who epitomises ideal looks, status, and wealth. Yet, when she thinks she has found “the one,” she discovers herself suffocating in Xu Jiabai’s obsessive embrace. After parting ways with Xu Jiabai (ex-boyfriend) and meeting Xia Tian, she learns that relationships need not conform to a preconceived script and that life rarely unfolds as planned.
The value of Fake It Till You Make It lies in its endeavour to delineate the characteristics of such individuals, enabling viewers to recognize them in real-life scenarios and make informed choices when navigating such relationships.
As the drama observes, between pretence and reality, we often find ourselves trapped in various roles, we say what must be said and do what must be done, staunchly believing that this is life. Just as pretence reaches its zenith, we stumble upon a universal truth — prosperity, success, and happiness – these elements are never meticulously planned but are derived from our actual experiences.”
Watching this drama will make us understand, why the path we choose should be uniquely ours; and discard the well-crafted script we are living. Through struggle and determination, seek a life that truly belongs to us. It’s alright if we falter, and it’s perfectly fine if we lose our way. What matters most is living in accordance with our heart’s desires, for that is the essence of true freedom.
Favourite Things From The Drama
- The friendship ring worn by Tang Ying and Xu Zi Quan, the main characters, makes me want to wear one with a friend.
- The evolution of their meeting, from strangers on a plane to engaged partners by the end of the drama.
- There are hardly any loopholes and the story goes on smoothly.
- Natural looks for all characters! No white makeup, white filter, smoothing of skin or over-the-top filter.
- I appreciate how the drama depicts the harsh realities of a competitive job market in an ever-changing economic landscape and underscores the importance of adaptability.
- This drama unbelievably has just 14 episodes and the content is so precisely and comprehensively packed with all the necessary details.
- It is a mature, slow-burning romance between two intelligent and self-possessed individuals who grow to appreciate and cherish each other’s company.
- The two main characters have been finely tuned to possess equal intellectual prowess, a strong focus on their careers, and distinctive aesthetics. Both exude maturity in their conversations and worldviews, showcasing mental and emotional fortitude. They are driven by ideals, yet each displays a touch of selfishness. Their pasts carry stories that have shaped them, and admirers pursue both of them ardently. In their own ways, they exhibit authenticity and a touch of genius.
What I kind of dislike
- I am not really good at maintaining relationships, so watching this drama made me realize the importance of sustaining them.
- This drama reminds me once again that I don’t know how to ask my acquaintance for a favour, and it makes me doubt if marketing and communication are the right careers for me.
- Certain episodes seemed to slow down in sections where the plot lacked significance, and that time might have been more effectively utilized for the progression and conclusion of the main and supporting couples’ relationships.
- The final episode, regrettably, felt lacklustre with a surplus of redundant dialogue, but we did, nonetheless, receive the gratifying happy ending we had anticipated.
- Have you watched the drama? if yes, What are your own favourite moments or aspects from the series, and were there any parts you found less appealing?
- The drama’s central message revolves around the idea of authenticity and finding one’s own path. How do you relate this message to your own life and experiences? What lessons or insights have you gained from watching “Fake It Till You Make It”?
- Have you ever encountered situations in your own life where you felt the need to maintain a façade? How did you handle it?