Killer and Healer is one of those Chinese Bromances which you primarily watch, for the amazing chemistry between the show’s main leads (the ambiguous storyline is pretty cliché ).
Set in the Republican-era, Killer and Healer revolves around the friendship (blatant romance) between Police Chief Jiang Yue Lou (Mao Zijun) and Doctor Chen Yu Zhi (Ian Yi). Directed by He Shupei (The Winner Is Love), the 36-episode drama premiered on MGTV’s YouTube Channel on 3rd March, 2021. This show is MGTV’s first foray into the BL genre and as such, the channel was prompt on delivering the promise. MGTV is quite notorious for not providing English Subtitles for most of it’s on-air dramas. Being pitted against YouKu’s “Word of Honor“, the channel however have upped their efforts to draw attention from the international fandom. Although the script is borderline regressive, the most interesting fact about this show is the unhindered chemistry between the main leads. It is entirely refreshing and unlike Word of Honor (where the main leads are forever in a state of war with their emotions), Chen Yu Zhi and Jiang Yue Lou are more open about their affections. Watching them together is sheer joy and one of the main reasons of the current popularity of this rather abysmally scripted drama. Without further ado, let’s review the show and figure out whether it’s worth your time!
Jiang Yue Lou
Mao Zi Jun plays the role of Jiang Yue Lou. Jiang Yue Lou heads the Jingcheng Police Station and has a highly temperamental nature.
Chen Yu Zhi
Ian Yi portrays the role of Chen Yu Zhi. He is a compassionate doctor who is righteous and kind.
Zhan Jun Bai
Chen Yu Cheng plays the role of Zhan Jun Bai. He is the Executive Director of the Government’s Financial Department.
Yu Tang Chun
Patrick Quan portrays the role of popular Opera Performer, Boss Yu. He had a tumultuous childhood and currently suffers from throat disease, which makes it difficult for him to perform.
Guo Shu Tong plays the role of Chu Ran. Chu Ran belongs to a family of scholars, whose current financial status is declining. She is a honest reporter and is close to both Yu Zhi and Yue Lou.
Killer and Healer follows the journey of two men who are polar opposites-one kills, while the other heals. One is a violent cop and the other is a compassionate doctor. Together they support and redeem each other during troubled times. Jiang Yue Lou heads the Jingcheng Police Station in Jing City and is temperamental as well as highly reserved. Smugglers tremble at the mere mention of him. While investigating an opium case, Jiang Yue Lou has a chance encounter with the righteous doctor Chen Yu Zhi. Their relationship starts with major misunderstandings and arguments. But slowly they grow closer as Yu Zhi helps Yue Lou with his ongoing investigations. Yue Lou in turn tries to help our young doctor while he is arduously searching for his sister who was kidnapped and trafficked to Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the main antagonist Director Zhao Jing Ming continues to create new problems for both of our main leads as they try to figure out the mastermind behind the crime syndicate.
The Abundant, Heartwarming Romance
Killer and Healer is probably one of the very few Chinese Bromances with well-defined relationships. The show cannot be exuded for the rather lacklustre script, but the amazing chemistry between the main leads Mao Zi Jun and Ian Yi makes it entirely bearable. Like most romantic clichés, Yue Lou and Yu Zhi’s relationship starts with disagreements and misunderstandings. Yu Zhi gets caught in an unwanted situation because of his moral code of conduct and Yue Lou suspects him about his possible connections to the drug mafia. A second chance meeting in Hong Kong makes Yue Lou’s suspicion grow even stronger, as he is investigating an opium case. Yu Zhi is in Hong Kong searching for his kidnapped sister who is being trafficked offshore. Despite their initial misgivings, Yu Zhi and Yue Lou grow closer as they investigate their individual cases. I really enjoyed the pattern though, their relationship took alot of time to develop because Yue Lou has major trust issues. Despite that Yu Zhi for some reason gives him a sense of comfort and belonging. Life and death situations puts them in close quarters, as Yu Zhi slowly realizes that Yue Lou suffers from depression.
Both of them are polar opposites and that makes them perfect for each other. Yue Lou has a highly volatile nature and is prone to rapid mood swings. Yu Zhi on the other hand is entirely calm, collected and has a soothing demeanor. As they put aside their differences, you can see how much Yue Lou grows to appreciate Yu Zhi’s presence in his life. Apart from Commissioner Bai (whom Yue Lou considers as a father figure), he doesn’t trust anyone easily. And yet, our honest Doctor manages to warm his way into our reserved Police Chief’s heart. There are major disagreements, yet Yu Zhi never loses his calm around Yue Lou, even in the most dire situations. He understands Yue Lou’s mental health concerns and tries his level best to help him. Yue Lou on the other hand is too possessive and protective of Yu Zhi. His feelings are always on the surface and his subordinates Song Rong, Sun Yong Ren actually encourage their interactions (because clearly their Chief seems to be in a better mood, whenever Yu Zhi is around).
One of the turning points in their relationship was when Keying (Yu Zhi’s sister) gets killed by the drug mafia (they were targeting Yue Lou instead). I was actually afraid that Yu Zhi would blame Yue Lou for his sister’s sudden death and their relationship might turn sour. Their confrontation scene will be forever etched in my mind, because although Yu Zhi does lose his calm initially, later he apologizes and accepts that he doesn’t blame Yue Lou for his sister’s death. Yu Zhi understands that the guilt will further aggravate Yue Lou’s health concerns and as such he chooses to help Yue Lou investigate the drug mafia instead. Their blossoming relationship comes to a full circle as Yu Zhi falls sick and Yue Lou nurses him back to health. I’m amazed by the recurrent theme of mutual understanding and love that these two represent. Although they have their own differences, they always manage to find a middle ground. This defines a healthy relationship!
Yu Zhi is certainly quite smart and has good investigative skills. So much so, that it might make you wonder why he chooses to be a Doctor? As both of them try to find clues that might get them closer to the drug mafia’s secret location, Yu Zhi often finds himself caught in untoward situations. Yue Lou is obviously worried sick about his safety and this leads to more close quarter conversations. The amount of intense staring these two indulge in, would certainly put the straight romances to shame. Both of them spent their most of their time smiling at each other, being adorably flirtatious and their chemistry is a blessing. Yue Lou has this annoying habit of holding onto Yu Zhi’s neck, whenever they have serious conversations and this closeness certainly sets my heart aflutter!
Helping Yue Lou gets Yu Zhi into major trouble as he is turned into a scapegoat and is arrested. Obviously Yue Lou goes berserk and even shoots his own colleague in the ongoing altercation. The fact that Yu Zhi’s safety is utmost on his mind is a clear indication of their relationship and he even goes to the extent of apologizing to Chief Jin (whom Yue Lou doesn’t respect much). I was left aghast by Yue Lou’s subsequent actions to appease Chief Jin, because it shows how much he cares about Yu Zhi. Yue Lou has spent his entire lifetime alone and Yu Zhi is fast becoming the center of his universe. He would go to any extents to defend and protect his man!
The Increasingly Confusing Couple
Zhan Jun Bai and Yu Tang Chun make a handsome couple, but their dynamics are pretty confusing. Jun Bai is the rich Executive Director of the Financial Department and an Opera Enthusiast. Boss Yu is a popular Opera Performer who is currently suffering from throat ailments, which make it detrimental for him to perform on stage. Despite that, he continues to perform and his performances have subtle nuances that draw Zhan Jun Bai’s attention. Both are highly suspicious in their interactions. While Zhan Jun Bai seems intelligent and is well respected in his circles, his actions often draw suspicions. His unusual interests in Yue Lou’s personal and professional life will make you question his real intentions. Boss Yu on the other hand is trying to figure out if Jun Bai is associated with the murderer of his late mother (Zhan Jun Bai’s Uncle might be the possible culprit).
Both have their own hidden agendas and as such are constantly acting detrimental to each other’s interests. Also, Zhan Jun Bai’s affections keep deflecting between Boss Yu and Chu Ran (he becomes interested in her after learning about her close friendship with Yue Lou). Zhan Jun Bai is quite calculative and although he seems to have genuine interest in Yu Tang Chun, it is difficult to trust him. As such, when Boss Yu risks his own life to save Zhan Jun Bai from a possible murder attempt, I was left aghast. Opera Performances seem to be the only common interest between these two, but that doesn’t explain his sudden fondness for Zhan Jun Bai. I’m guessing it must have been a calculated move to earn Jun Bai’s trust and manipulate his emotions. His idea seems to work because the guilt ridden Jun Bai brings the injured Boss Yu to his home and tends to him personally. This couple will most probably have an angsty ending because their relationship is too unstable and tumultuous.
The storyline isn’t noteworthy and there isn’t much to discuss about it. The main attraction is obviously the sparkling chemistry between the main leads. Mao Zi Jun infuses Jiang Yue Lou with the craziness, that depicts the character’s depressing moods and volatile nature. But his flirtatious nature is equally endearing and so is his obvious love for Yu Zhi! Ian Yi on the other hand has mastered the art of subtlety, as such his Yu Zhi exudes calmness and his thoughtful nature increases the charm of this introverted character.
I’m saving reservations on the rest of the cast, specially the second lead couple, because we still aren’t entirely abreast with their motives or fleeting emotions. The script is slightly disappointing and easily deductible, however the cinematography manages to replicate the Republican era and the resplendent costumes tailored to details are certainly praiseworthy. A worthwhile watch if you are looking for a light romance to accompany you on lazy nights. Watching a handsome doctor catering to his angry policeman and their adopted cat should definitely be high on your watchlist!
Rating- 3.5 out of 5