reviews

[Review] Be Loved In House: I Do

Be Loved In House is a Taiwanese drama that came out in the summer of 2021. Initially, I was confused and thought that BLIH was a part of the HIStory stories, but I was wrong. One of the main actors in this was in HIStory season 1 which is why I was confused.

BLIH tells the story of a young guy named Shi Lei who works at a company that has recently lost their director and is close to going bankrupt. The company ends up getting a new director named Jin Yu Zhen who is very cold, demanding, and immediately starts barking orders and making new rules to follow, with one of them being that no one is allowed to be in a romantic relationship of any kind as long as they are working at the company.

The employees don’t like this of course and make a plan to find the new director’s weak spots in order to get him to do away with this new, invasive and personal rule. They recruit Shi Lei to spy on Jin Yu Zhen since he is the team leader and the employee that has worked at the company the longest. But this is made all too easy when Shi Lei finds out that he will be sharing living quarters with the new director since he inherited the building Shi Lei lives in after he became the new director.

Over the course of time, Shi Lei begins to soften towards the director after he begins to learn things about him and gets to know him personally, and in return the director softens towards Shi Lei as well. But Shi Lei is feeling confused and nervous because he has never had feelings for a man before nor does he have much experience with love in general. In the same vein, Jin Yu Zhen is scared also because of previous trauma that he experienced from a long-term relationship that went sour and resulted in him getting into an accident, leaving him with a large and harsh scar on his stomach and chest.

As both men’s feelings grow for each other, they both have to come to terms with the things holding them back and decide to either walk away, or let go of fear and choose each other.

Be loved in house I Do

Characters

So, our cast of characters consist of our main couple Shi Lei, the team leader and Jin Yu Zhen, the new company director; Our side couple Wu Si Qi, a part-time employee and new lecturer at a nearby university, and Yan Zhao Gang, a cafe owner and former university senior of Jin Yu Zhen. Our side characters are Bai Zhao Qian and Wang Jing who are engaged to be married. And lastly, Yi Zi Tong, the long lost ex of Jin Yu Zhen and the reason for his current mental state and harsh stance on romantic relationships.

I liked all the characters except Yi Zi Tong. I did not trust him. He pops up out of no where near the end of everything only to try and play some kind of hero for Jin Yu Zhen when really, he should have just apologized for what he did to him in the past. Instead, he was cocky, arrogant, and sneaky and I just did not trust him. Even though he did a good thing in the end, I personally feel like he only did it due to his own guilt towards what happened. But instead of saying sorry, he felt he needed to “save” Jin Yu Zhen in order to change his mind about love. And yes, he actually used the word “save” which made me feel kinda icky about the whole thing. I didn’t like him.

Yi Zi Tong

Our side couple was purely fluff. No drama, no heartache. Just pure fluff lol. It could be a little cringe at times, especially when Wu Si Qi would act a little too childlike. But I think the actor was just trying to portray his character as young. He was the youngest employee at the company and the other characters did indeed treat him as a child sometimes, including nicknaming him Little Si Si or Baby Si Si, and saying things like “Our little Si Si is growing up so fast”.

I think it was weird for me sometimes because I had to remember that he was an adult with two jobs, but his character was really smart and able to obtain his two positions without ever having gone to college, so he was supposed to be between the ages of 20 – 23 I suppose, which…is still very young…but not young enough to be treated like a kid? Idk, it was strange for me, but did not impact how I felt about the series.

Be loved in house I Do side couple

Wang Jing and Bai Zhao Qian were funny and had an interesting relationship dynamic. I kind of wish we could have seen some more of their development as a couple, but the series was not about them so we did not get much of them or even get to see much of their chemistry on screen.

Shi Lei and Jin Yu Zhen were the stars of the show and actually really believable as a couple. Their relationship was slow burn which I LOOVVEEDD! And I’m so impressed that the writers and director pulled off a slow burn romance with such a short series. There were 13 episodes but each episode was only between 20 and 23 minutes long which is not a lot of time. But I enjoyed this couple on screen. At first, I really did not like Jin Yu Zhen. People like him grind my gears and I was getting frustrated that Shi Lei was not responding to certain things in the way that I wanted him to lol. When he would back off at certain things, those would have been things that I would’ve bucked up at and been more defiant, regardless of whether I was talking to my director or not. But that’s just my personality.

Actors

Aaron Lai, who played Jin Yu Zhen was an absolute star. His acting chops are no joke and he really played his character well. It was so cool to see him showcase the growth of his character so well. To see Jin Yu Zhen go from cold, stubborn, and demanding, to completely losing his cool and silently/internally cracking in the presence of his ex, to being a man completely in love and chasing after his love before he loses them. It was just so cool to see.

And the flashback scenes between him and his ex where the viewers finally get to see what happened between them was so intense. The way he cries and portrays a man so desperately wanting his boyfriend to love him and not to leave him was pretty hard to watch. He really evoked some emotion inside me, so bravo to him.

Hank Wang, who played Shi Lei, was also a good actor and I loved how defiant his character was. I really enjoyed seeing the growth of his character as well. He went from hating his new director, to being more open minded about him, to questioning his sexuality yet never denying it, to basically confessing to Jin Yu Zhen. It was interesting to see because in the beginning episodes, I really wasn’t sure how they were ever going to start liking each other. But as they began to fall for each other, I began falling for them at the same time. And that, my friends, is good acting!

Be Loved In House sweet kiss
*~ chuu chuu ~*

Deyn Li, who played Yi Zi Tong was a good actor as well because I disliked his character, so that must mean he was doing something right lol. As for the other actors and actresses, they did a good job at rounding out the cast and making it feel like they were a little found family.

Story

The story itself was nice. I did initially think that having a new director come in and demand that no one get into a romantic relationship even outside of work was a bit much and unbelievable. No boss has the right to dictate their employee’s personal lives and I hope no country actually enforces this? I’m not Taiwanese so idk if this is something that could actually happen.

The overall plot/story is one of hate-to-love which is a trope I tend to enjoy in stories and I think it was done well in this series. A company with a new director who makes a rule about absolutely no romance, but then falls in love himself is something that I would actually choose to read in a book.

One thing that I would’ve loved to see more of is more of Jin Yu Zhen’s change in feelings for Shi Lei. While we did get to see some, the main focus seemed to be on Shi Lei and how his feelings were changing for the director. I think this might have been because we know the director is openly gay already, but Shi Lei is not, and the series starts off with him having a crush on a girl at the cafe he and the other employees frequent. It was still nice, but felt a tad unbalanced.

Speaking of balance, I think the series did a good job at balancing the emotional weight of the series. Some things were serious, some things were really sweet, and others were goofy and funny. I think these are great elements in a romance series and I was happy to see it done well here. Some other things were cringe (like the side couple), but let’s be honest. I practically live for the cringe lol.

Be loved in house funny gif

Locations/Scenery

I liked the locations and scenery in this series. When the characters weren’t out in the city, then they were inside really pretty cafes or outdoor parks that were really beautiful. Taiwan seems to be a really beautiful place with plenty of options for great scene shots in movies and dramas. One day I will get to visit this country.

Music

The music was recycled and the same few songs played over and over again. I didn’t hate it. The theme song and closing song were really fun. But more variety would have been nice.

Overall

Overall, I really liked this drama and I’d watch it again. I legit paid for a VIKI membership in order to watch it so I am glad that it did not disappoint. If you enjoy the hate-to-love trope in dramas or even in books, then this series is for you. If you like slow burn romance, this series is for you. Our couple does not get together until the end, but I promise you it is worth the wait! To see two people so in love with each other and passionate in their intimacy is A1 acting in my book 👍🏾. Did I still cover my eyes when it happened? Yes. Yes, I did lol. But here’s a little bit for ya.

Shi Lei and Jin Yu Zhen kiss
Shi Lei and Jin Yu Zhen
Shi Lei and Jin Yu Zhen
Shi Lei and Jin Yu Zhen kiss
Shi Lei and Jin Yu Zhen

I also want to give a shout out to supportive moms and friend groups! Shi Lei was very upfront with his mother about how he might have romantic feelings for a man and straight away she was supportive. Not in the cringey “fugoshi” way or whatever the frick that word is. But supportive in a motherly way. She loved her son and she simply wanted him to be happy and to find the one, whoever that may be for him. If it was a man, then she would still love him.

The friend group was also really supportive. They didn’t care that Shi Lei and Jin Yu Zhen were gay; they already had a gay person in the friend group anyway which was Wu Si Qi. Their shock came from the fact that the person that Shi Lei liked was the director, who he hated so much in the beginning, and the fact that the director liked him back enough to chase after him when he was the one to create such an invasive rule in the first place. It was funny, but I loved their support and always being a shoulder for She Lei to lean on.

Rating

Idk what to rate this series, honestly. I liked it, but a concrete number rating just doesn’t feel right, so I will just say that I recommend this series. Give it a watch if you enjoy any of the things I mentioned above. If you are like me, you will not be disappointed 🙂

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