Unrequited Love can be painful and yet the producers of “We Best Love: No. 1 For You” have astutely packaged this theme into a poignant portrayal of power packed performances, that leave you entirely shocked or bewildered.
It has been two weeks since the first season of the widely popular Taiwanese BL ended, and I still haven’t got over the feels. Majorly because I had my doubts about this show right from the bat, but “We Best Love” just blew my doubts into smithereens. I should be complaining and yet here I’m trying to formulate sentences to express my utter devotion to this beautiful love story. So you can obviously imagine how much this drama has affected my senses. It was utterly devastating to watch the two main characters journey, as one attempts to hide his emotions behind a facade (Gao Shi De) while the other is entirely oblivious to the said affections (Zhou Shu Yi). I’m normally not a huge fan of prickly characters like Shu Yi and yet this show managed to capture my attention. Let’s take a walk down the memory lane as we try to recollect the finer details of this masterpiece!
Gao Shi De
Sam Lin plays the main lead Gao Shi De. He is academically brilliant and the top of his class. As such, he is always at loggerheads with Zhou Shu Yi, his academic rival. Secretly, he has been in love with Zhou Shu Yi for over ten years, which he firmly believes will always remain unrequited.
Zhou Shu Yi
Zhou Shu Yi is portrayed by Yu. Shu Yi has spent a lifetime competing with his rival Gao Shi De and hates him. The tables turn when Shi De blackmails him into acting as his slave and thus begins their unexpected romance.
“If first place is the only way to make you see me, then I will never lose to you before you fall in love with me.”
Zhou Shi Ye and Gao Shi De have always been locked in an intense battle for the first rank since they were in school. The enmity spills into their University days as well, since Zhou Shu Yi can’t get over his obsessive need to win over Gao Shi De. Unfortunately, Gao Shi De learns one of his secrets and blackmails Shu Yi into compliance. Thus begins the “Cat and Mouse Chase” which inevitably leads to both of getting closer. As Zhou Shu Yi begins to appreciate Gao Shi De’s kindness and caring nature, Shi De’s true intentions are revealed. Will Shu Yi accept Shi De’s unrequited love or will his anger and confusion tear them apart?
Heavily Overused Enemies to Lovers Trope
Frankly I wasn’t expecting much after watching the trailer for this prequel. So I went on a limp and the first episode seemed a tad disappointing. But then the show suddenly swiftly shifted gears and picked up speed in the second episode. As we learn more about the rivalry between the main characters, it is obvious that the enmity is one- sided. Gao Shi De is rather carefree and his reasons for competing with Zhou Shu Yi has nothing to do with ranks or academic distinctions. As soon as we learn about this deflection, this one-sided love affair becomes more poignant. I fell in love with “Gao Shi De” in that MOMENT, because I understand, how tiresome it must have been for him. It’s not that Shi De CHOOSES to compete with Shu Yi. He competes with Shu Yi, because that is the only way to gain his attention. Shi De feels indebted to Shu Yi for a simple act of kindness that our prickly Master has long forgotten. As such, Shi De ha spend a lifetime following and watching over Shu Yi from the sidelines. Gao Shi De isn’t exactly a flawless character and as such when he gets the opportunity, he uses it to win some borrowed time with Shu Yi. He only wishes to gain Shu Yi’s friendship, even if he could never win his heart. Utterly heartbreaking and I was left sobbing, thinking about his selflessness!
The Journey from Enemity to Friends
The one thing I admire about this show is their deference from the usual norms. Instead of using the underlying sexual tension between the main leads as a way to bulldoze them into a relationship, No. 1 For You instead chooses to develop their relationship by crossing over the friendship boundaries. Shu Yi is highly sceptical of Shi De’s true intentions and is always on the high alert. Shi De on the other hand is looking out for his “New Friend” and helping him get over his recent heartbreak. Both are contrasting characters and yet suddenly they form an amicable friendship. The edges are smoothed as Shu Yi gives up on his prickly attitude and learns to appreciate Shi De. I love how each episode added a brick to their changing dynamics. They didn’t fall in love instantly, but it happened slowly, and I enjoyed every moment. Gao Shi De’s selfless attitude and his ardent devotion will leave you astounded. He only wants to spend some secret moments with the love of his life and desires for nothing more than that.
Overstepping Boundaries and Jealousy
You can only keep your feelings bottled for so long and that’s exactly where this story dives into the uncharted territory. Gao Shi De’s sudden confession confuses Shu Yi and he instantly withdraws into a shell. His attempts to date a random girl might seem ridiculous but that’s how every teenager feels when faced with the imminent change in their sexuality. Shu Yi might be arrogant, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was unprepared to accept Gao Shi De’s confession. While our main leads were at loggerheads, I prayed to the BL Gods for divine intervention. My prayers were answered since the University is blessed with “Nosy School Doctors” who love meddling into other people’s affairs. As such, Pei Shou Yi (Shi De’s cousin) decides to offer help and ruffles Shu Yi’s unruly feathers. The prickly cat sharpens his claws and fends off competition. I absolutely loved watching Shu Yi mark his territory, despite the fact that he was still unsure about his own fluctuating emotions. Mission Accomplished!
The Yearnings followed by the Grand Confession
“HOW CAN I IGNORE THE FACT THAT HE LIKES ME”
The one thing I admired about Shu Yi was the instant swift of affections. While he is still unsure of his own feelings, Shu Yi can’t stand the thought of Shi De giving up on their budding relationship. He might have been confused, but Shi De’s avoidance strengthens his resolve and clears his confusion. Once he decides that Shi De doesn’t get a say in this issue, he is a man on mission. There is no further hesitance on his part as Shu Yi hunts down his man and confronts him.
Shu Yi is hurting because he knows that Shi De might be in even more pain. I was expecting the confrontation, but I was left gobsmacked by the sudden confession. Shu Yi never does things half measured and so his love declaration was scaled upto epic levels. The only thing that left me wounded was watching Shi De cry in relief. For someone who has never expected that his feelings would get reciprocated, Shi De feels gratification and happiness.
CHEMISTRY BETWEEN THE MAIN LEADS
We Best Love might have been lackluster if the main lead actors Sam Lin and Yu didn’t have a great chemistry and even better camaraderie. They both share a great friendship offscreen which translates into explosive romance onscreen. Sam Lin is an easy going person and has already worked in quite alot of Taiwanese Dramas. Yu on the other hand is relatively new to the Taiwanese Industry and his Taiwanese-Japanese roots were certainly hindrances. Sam it seems was the one who drew Yu out of his shell and helped him get comfortable during their workshops and acting sessions. Hugely popular on the social media as “SamYu”, both these actors share a healthy relationship that is based on respect and adoration. The flirtatious banter and giggles are the main highlights of their Instagram Lives and Result Entertainment (We Best Love’s production house) is spinning this pair’s popularity into a marketable entity!
Intriguing Side Couples and their Romance
Liu Bing Wei [Shu Yi’s friend] and Shi Zhe Yu [Shi De’s friend] are a study in contrast. Zhe Yu is secretly in love with Shi De and Bing Wei is Shu Yi’s closest friend. This relationship doesn’t develop much in the first sequel, but we get glimpses of their growing closeness. Shi De’s rejection leaves Zhe Yu deeply wounded and that’s when Bing Wei steps in to offer support. In the ending credits of the sixth episode, Zhe Yu is shown as siding with Shu Yi after the five years leap. I was really shocked by this new development because Zhe Yu’s animosity towards Shu Yi is well known. I’m certainly intrigued to figure out the reasons behind Zhe Yu’s deflection towards Shu Yi and his animosity against Shi De.
Pei Shou Yi and his possible romance with student Yu Zhen Xuan isn’t widely explored in the prequel. This love story will be dealt in the sequel and I’m looking forward to the intense drama. Shou Yi is quite a complicated character. He acts strong but also displays unlikely shades of vulnerability. Yu Zhen Xuan on the other hand has a child like innocence, which tips the scales. I’m wondering how these two will get together and fall in love with each other?
This show has highlighted quite a few issues that plague the LGBTQ community. One of them was parental acceptance. While we left in the dark about Shu Yi’s Father and his reaction to the news, Shi De’s Mother wholeheartedly accepts their relationship. It was heartwarming to watch Shu Yi’s interactions with Shi De’s Mom who dotes on him and even adopts him as her own. If the society could accept such simple changes ardently, then the world would definitely be a better place to live in!
We Best Love can be literally categorized as the underdogs who stole the thunder. With a character driven storyline, vibrant romance and stellar star cast, Result Entertainment has managed to hightail “A Romantic Interlude” which is at par with the widely popular “History Series” franchise. The sequel “We Best Love: Fighting Mr. 2nd” premieres on 5th March and as such a short MV was released for the ardent fans.
The sequel it seems might involve an intense battle of willpower between our main leads. I’m totally looking forward to the next season, simply because I love the main actors as well as the characters they portray wholeheartedly. Watching Shu Yi fall in love was a religious experience, as such I’m certainly intrigued with the changes that will happen after the five years leap!
Rating- 4.5 out of 5