My Roommate is a Detective is one of the most hilarious offerings in drama land right now that’s more enjoyable as a sit-com than a detective mystery. Hu Yitian plays consulting detective Lu Yao, a goofier version of Sherlock Holmes who loves to snack on baked plant seeds. He’s definitely more expressive here than in The Handsome Siblings, and provides much of the comedy in the show.
The drama is available English subbed on Youtube here.
Zhang Yunlong as the no-nonsense police officer with connections to the criminal gangs and Xiao Yan as the idealistic reporter with a knack for coming up with the best tabloid headings are also much more natural than how I remembered them in previous projects. Although they’re playing the typical sidekick roles seen in every other detective comedy, at least the characters don’t suddenly turn into idiots just to create some dramatic misunderstanding.
The drama spends less than 2 episodes on one case, and relies mostly on the hero’s astute reasoning skills and intellectual prowess and a final 10 minute monologue by the killer explaining his motive and asking for evidence to solve the mysteries. The cases feel like a condensed version of the stories you see on variety show Who’s The Murderer 明星大侦探 (I personally recommend Season 2 > Season 1 > Season 4), but then again, I am watching more for the camaraderie between the leading trio rather than the gritty crime-solving, so no big complaints from my side.
Underneath all the comedy, there’s actually quite a few pieces of dialogue that deserve applause. The most memorable conversation so far is the one between Lu Yao and Bai Youning when they’re discussing whether or not to continue investigating the mysterious head honcho behind the ‘Robin Hood-esque Vampire’ case:
“Miss Bai, you’re a brave, upright and compassionate person, and I have no doubt that you would sacrifice yourself for the greater good. However, as a coward, I only want to live out the rest of my years in peace. I’m sure an ideal world would be happy to give people like me some breathing space.”Lu Yao
It’s refreshing to see a drama hero that acts and speaks like a normal human being rather than a saint. I’m also hoping for a growth arc for Bai Youning, and am looking forward to seeing how Bai Youning will resolve the conflict of values between her and her gang boss father.
The 36 episode drama is English-subbed on Youtube / iQiyi app.