Find Yourself took a pretty main cast in Song Qian x Song Weilong x Wang Yaoqing and stuffed them into a story that mixed the worst parts of a syrupy sweet romantic fantasy with a frustrating and unimaginative love triangle.
The flirting in the first four episodes (minus the massage on the sofa that everyone seems to love) was pretty cute, but I just didn’t feel a sense of attachment to the OTP after they started dating. The OTP’s breakup was a matter of “when” not “if”, because the leads just wouldn’t communicate with each other. The pileup of trivial misunderstandings stemming from family/friend relationships weren’t even worthy of being kept secret and was clearly an excuse for the writers to drag out the “suitable partner” vs. “true love” conflict. He Fanxing is lucky to have such protective and loving parents, yet that doesn’t mean she’s willing to let her parents become the talk of the neighbourhood. The more open-minded and supportive her parents are, the more she doesn’t want to disappoint and make life harder for them. I understand where she’s coming from and don’t think a public fallout was needed to drive that point home.
The screenwriters didn’t explore the societal expectations and the stigma that comes with an older woman-younger male relationship as much as I liked, but the fact that they made an attempt to weave it into the drama made the saccharine love line feel more grounded. I didn’t see anything special about Yuan Song as a romantic lead, and my irritation towards him grew exponentially after the breakup. His double standards, hot and cold attitude towards He Fanxing and the way he trash-talked his ex in front of colleagues did not sit well with me at all, and I refuse to give him a pass for that just because he happens to be a young heart-throb who recently got his heart broken.
I empathised with He Fanxing’s predicament before and after the breakup, mostly because I never got the impression that she was a successful and savvy manager. I saw her mostly as a hopelessly romantic thirtysomething woman who is naive, somewhat dense and terribly insecure when it comes to romance. Given her characterisation, I didn’t see any problem with how she interacted with Ye Luming, or how unsuspecting she was of Ye Luming’s motives. He Fanxing made a bad move when she accepted and tacitly encouraged Ye Luming to play the role of boyfriend at the class reunion, but it was a predictable result of the tiny fibs she told her classmates, which eventually snowballed into something bigger.
Out of the supporting cast members, Wang Yaoqing as the initially charming exec who got stressed when girls cry was a definite standout. Ye Luming‘s sole purpose was to create misunderstandings for the main couple, but the actor boasted some strong comedic chops and really knew how to put his own spin on the archetypal CEO love interest role. Unfortunately, my affections for the character soured after he kept on trying to ingratiate himself with Fanxing’s parents.
The show took us for another spin on the merry-go-around love triangle after the break up, except He Fanxing was just getting pushed and pulled around by everyone in this new relationship. The heroine only got stranded in this quagmire because she doesn’t learn from her mistakes, and retreats back into her shell at the slightest tremor. Given we knew He Fanxing would end up with Yuan Song, I was hoping more time would be dedicated to exploring how the heroine breaks the chains and takes the initiative to split with Ye Luming rather than the other way around (I felt so bad for him after he saw Yuan Song’s name scribbled all over He Fanxing’s notebook). Unfortunately the pacing of the show in the second half left no room for such an outburst, leaving only one episode for the heroine to get together again with her true love.
The He family’s Home with Kids-esque setup was hilarious and provided a lot of the comical and heart-warming moments. I would’ve liked He Canyang (Zhang Yujian) better if he didn’t get into a relationship with the immature and childish Cai Minmin (Yu Shuxin).
Find Yourself is a drama that has obvious pros and cons, and is best treated as a family soap opera rather than a rom-com. Rather than the romance, I was in it for the slice-of-life moments, the quirky lines and oftentimes realistic conversations between the more interesting supporting characters. Overall, there were more hilarious moments than hair-pulling ones, and for that it gets a 7/10.