Only Side by Side with You – Final Impressions

I’m not sure what it is with Chinese contemporary dramas, but so many of them start off pretty well and then lose their way at about the midpoint – this is one of those, for me.

This was a nice PR piece about how China’s really into building drones – they must be because someone wrote a drama all about them! It’s nice that you’ve got a female lead (Bai Baihe) who’s all geeky over the science of building and flying drones, but they toss in the meet/angst angle of her having gotten key data from a swain (Li Xian, trying to impress her/woo her but she really only has eyes on the tech plans) who stole/borrowed them from his buddy/main rival (William Chan) at an elite military unit. The papers are missing and Chan’s character is drummed out and Li’s gets off pretty much scot-free. Chan’s guy lives a hard life, yadda yadda… He does buff and broody pretty well, and makes a good attempt at trying to build chemistry with Bai, even though she’s often a lot more interested in things with motors.

For me, Li’s the disappointment in this one, which is a shame since I enjoyed his work in the cheesy Dr Qin Medical Examiner as the eager detective and the wanna-be X-Files(ish) Tientsin Mystic. He just comes across as less mature when compared to William Chan. There’s a little character subplot about Bai’s disapproving army dad that was kind of a snoozer too.

I confess, after about episode 20 I started skimming and skipping just to call it a day. If you’re a big fan of William Chan, give it a try, and if you’re lukewarm about him or any of the cast or the premise, skip it.

Oh, I’ll leave you with one very funny (unintentionally) bit in the final episode (after the jump)…

They wrap up with all the HEAs on the beach where Bai’s character is going to demo her crowning achievement, a drone that can fly a person (a la Uber) and she sets it off flying. Then Chan’s character comes up to the group, gets down on one knee to propose and takes her hand (which is holding the big-ass drone’s controls and is supposed to be flying the darn thing) and puts a ring on it. Meanwhile I’m thinking the drone’s gonna take someone’s head off or plunge into the ocean! Hah! They close the series by saying that China demonstrated this type of drone for real at the big tech expo in Vegas this year.

#bai-baihe, #li-xian, #only-side-by-side-with-you, #william-chan