“We Best Love: Fighting Mr.2nd” Series Review

Fighting Mr. 2nd is the show that said, “Let’s do this right.”

The second season of the We Best Love series has ended, leaving viewers satisfied but wanting more. This show promised everything I love in a drama, from the enemies-to-friends-to-lovers trope to realistic relationship problems. With Shu Yi and Shi De, Fighting Mr. 2nd tackled young love amidst a plethora of confusion, miscommunication, and inferiority complexes. Their intense young love is relatable, from the way they lost themselves inside the romance that became their world to the way they both allowed walls to develop between them based on their insecurities.

First love is never easy, especially when low self-esteem is involved. Often, young couples fear that talking through things will cause more problems than living in the moment, which opens doors to misunderstandings. It also opens doors for others to come between them, as is the case with Shu Yi’s father. Fighting Mr. 2nd does a brilliant job of representing all of this with Shi Yu and Shi De’s relationship, but it also expresses how vital communication and forgiveness are. Rather than write off what could have been a toxic character, Fighting Mr. 2nd uses Shu Yi’s father to show viewers that humans are flawed but that mistakes don’t have to define us. Being a good parent isn’t about not making mistakes. It’s about recognizing when errors have been made, learning from those mistakes, and then working together to overcome them. It is easy to see how much Shu Yi’s father loves his son. From the first moment the series introduces his father, this is apparent. Because of this, I never disliked him. He wanted what was best for his son, and although he went about it wrong, he made up for it later by revealing he simply wants to see his son happy. This need for happiness leaves room for them to grow, move forward, and repair the damage done. It even leaves room for a stronger future relationship. Although issues within families can create a divide, going through rough patches can also build a more intimate relationship if they work together.

Then enters Shou Yi and Zhen Xuan. The secondary couple in Fighting Mr. 2nd owns my heart. It’s not because they’re the second lead, though I admit I often fall for second lead couples. They represent something different, something big that isn’t usually dealt with in a romantic series. Unlike Shu Yi and Shi De, Shou Yi and Zhen Xuan have a relationship overshadowed by personal mental illnesses. The obstacles in their path aren’t miscommunication, sexual confusion, or inferiority complexes; it is emotional roadblocks formed by their separate mental diagnoses. Zhen Xuan’s Aspergers and other disorders mean he is over-sensitive to his environment. He is easily overstimulated, and he tends to cling to things that make him feel safe.

“You were the first person who asked me whether I was painful.” ~ Zhen Xuan

Shou Yi sees the pain inside Zhen Xuan, and Zhen Xuan immediately connects with this. He connects with the way Shou Yi takes care of him. He connects so profoundly that everything about Shou Yi feels safe to him. But reality is harsh. The safe space we often create for ourselves can be the most dangerous. Zhen Xuan is a man who feels too much, and Shou Yi is a man who feels too little. Because of his Affective Disorder, Shou Yi doesn’t connect with human emotion the way the rest of the world does. The truth is, neither does Zhen Xuan. They may not seem to fit, but they balance each other.

Zhen Xuan needs someone who can ground him, someone who protects him from overstimulation, while Shou Yi needs someone who helps him feel something. They are two men with different disorders, the diagnoses a mental tower that separates them. “Go Away” and “None of Your Business” become words that protect the walls, but they also become the challenge these two need to scale those same walls. Zhen Xuan has spent years maturing, years preparing to face Shou Yi, even if many of those years were filled with daydreams of romantic bliss. In the end, Zhen Xuan is grateful for that. He doesn’t ask for more, and it’s because he doesn’t ask for more that Shou Yi responds to him. They call to each other.

But also let’s not forget Bing Wei and Zhe Yu. Although these two didn’t get much screen time, this minor supporting couple represented a healthy modern relationship amid the Shi Yu/Shi De and Shou Yi/Zhen Xuan storm. Which is the entire reason the We Best Love series holds a special place in my heart.

Three couples.

Three different types of relationships.

Three representations.

Three authentic endings.

I love how true Fighting Mr. 2nd stayed to all the characters. All of the couples received either a happy ending or a new beginning. There are lots of tears and heartaches, but there are also a lot of smiles & laughter. And still, in the midst of it all, there is Shou Yi and Zhen Xuan, two men who react differently to the world around them because they ARE different. But they also fit in. That’s how society should be. That’s what Fighting Mr. 2nd gives us.

I am glad it’s not over. I need more of this kind of representation. More of this kind of truth.

Rating-4.5 out of 5

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