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[Rant Review] HIStory 4 – Close to You

I watched this series back at the end 2021. I wasn’t going to write a review for this series because I hated it so much. But after seeing this series still be so highly rated with so many people completely ignoring or downright dismissing the disturbing content in this series has pissed me off all over again. So, here is my rant review.

This series was disturbing. I have been watching HIStory from the very beginning when HIStory 1 first started airing in 2017. This one was by far, the worst for me. Even Obsessed from season 1 didn’t make me this upset because at least with that one, we knew exactly what we were getting. Make no mistake though, I didn’t enjoy that series either.

Here in HIStory 4 we have a boy named Fu Yong Jie who is obsessed with his older step brother (Ye Xing Si) so he stalks him, physically assaults his brother’s friends because of “jealousy”, then gets his brother drunk and rapes him. And the writers still chose to give them a “happy ending” by having them become a couple. What made it even more disgusting for me was that the parents accepted this relationship. Even the mom who knew what her son did and had been doing. And not only does this creep rape his step brother, he films it…AND THEN SHOWS THEIR PARENTS!

Like, what the actual fuck.

It was also annoying that the age gap of this couple went completely unaddressed. The rapist brother was around the age of 9 or 10 when Ye Xing Si was graduating from high school, which would make this an 8 or 9 year age gap between the characters. Almost an entire decade. And the fact that this was not a NEW step brother situation with a pre-existing crush was a strange choice to me. In HIStory 2 Crossing The Line, there is a side couple of step brothers. Both had been in school together for many years and one developed a crush on the other. But then his mom and the other’s father ended up getting married which thwarted his romantic feelings for his friend who is now his step brother because of the marriage. So he chose to hide his feelings which of course end up coming out much later. 

I can understand this kind of story and feelings because the feelings were already there before the marriage of their parents. But in this series, these two boys have basically grown up together as kids. Step brother or not, how can you have romantic feelings for someone who has been your brother almost all your life? How can you see him as anything other than a brother? And for the older brother, how can you develop romantic feelings for someone you watched grow up as a young child, who then grew up to become your stalker and rapist? This is the main reason why the age gap bothers me. Ye Xing Si has been around Fu Yong Jie as a brother since he was pre-pubescent. That’s gross, yall!

I just don’t understand how or why the younger brother was not criminally charged, with his mother basically being his accomplice. She knew what he was doing and all she ever did was act exasperated and scold him a little bit. Wtf is that gonna do??

This is not romance, yall! It’s the farthest thing from romance. Does rape and assault happen in real life? Yes. And it would have been nice if the writers chose to have a real nuanced discussion about this. There is a discussion to be had as it pertains to attachment style and how it can lead to obsession. Or how finally feeling seen and loved can be mistaken for romantic feelings. The consequences that come after assault of any kind, but especially rape. The mental effects victims of SA suffer with. But no! The writers didn’t have a nuanced discussion about these things nor did they send the right message to viewers, so let me make it very clear: IT IS NEVER OKAY TO BE IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR RAPIST. ESPECIALLY WHEN THAT RAPIST IS ALSO YOUR STEP BROTHER WHO YOU WATCHED GROW UP.

This series needed to come with a freakin content warning. It baffles me everyday that this show has such high ratings and that so many people can turn a blind eye to such disturbing situations for the sake of seeing two men kiss and be sexy on a bed. The writers need to go back and re-evaluate this script and the message they are sending. If they want to address topics such as this, then they need to do a much better job of it and not romanticize something as horrible as raping someone while they are drunk and calling it love. This is not romance.

As for the second couple, I could tolerate them more than the step brothers, but I just couldn’t bring myself to care. They also had a more intense situation they had to handle such as drugging and a potential date rape. But at least it was not one doing it to the other. It was one trying to save the other from this happening to him by a disgusting higher up at the company they worked at. Did it end in the way I had hoped? No. I do not think appropriate and adequate justice was served to the higher up that did the drugging and SA. But it still wasn’t half as much of a dumpster fire as the rapist step brother situation.

There was also a cameo of a couple from HIStory 3 Make Our Days Count, Sun Bo Xiang and Lu Zi Gang. It was great to see them again, but it wasn’t enough to change my view of the series as a whole.

Lastly, please retire the trope of girls and women being so giddy and obsessed with two men being in a romantic relationship together. It’s weird. Throw it in the trash. If an otherwise heterosexual woman loves the lgbt community and wants to support, fine. But this abnormal obsession that the women in this show had was just overboard.

Overall, HIStory 4 was an extreme disappointment for me. I do not recommend it and I don’t care who disagrees.

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