Creating innovative, raw, and humorous stories that leave an impression, Taiwan is no stranger to gay romance.
Their BL dramas provide stark competition to other BL markets, so it shouldn’t be surprising that they’d also offer the same kind of love to a GL production. In an entertainment world saturated by Boys Love romances, it’s refreshing to see Girls Love content enter the scene, especially one out of Taiwan. Best known for dramas and films such as Trapped, Crossing the Line, We Best Love, and Your Name Engraved Herein, Taiwan comes prepared to leave viewers wanting more.
They are certainly giving us more.
Presented and Produced by Rabbit & Wolf, Dear Uranus is a Taiwanese mini GL web drama starring Erol as Ruo Ning, Vivian Chen as Ying Qing, Juuko Zhu as Jing Chen, and Xue Yi Jie as Lin Man. In only three episodes, this drama still provides the excellent production quality and great acting we expect to see from a Taiwanese drama. Better yet, it’s produced by a well-known Taiwanese lesbian couple. Although I love BL dramas, I am always excited to see content I can relate to as a bisexual female. Dear Uranus gave me that. It gave me strong, beautiful women who are falling in love.
With only three episodes at eleven minutes apiece, I was not expecting anything outstanding or complicated, but I was surprisingly immediately drawn into both the story and the characters. Their emotions felt real, and the intricacies of their lives sparked my curiosity. Ruo Ning seems to have a complicated relationship with her father and Taekwondo. Ying Qing is an adorable, clumsy classmate who has been secretly in love with Ruo Ning. Lin Man is the Captain of the Taekwondo club who has feelings for her friend, Jing Chen. Jing Chen is a complex character dealing with a broken heart. From the get-go, their relationships and personal issues are laid out on the line without being exaggerated.
The only part of this show that felt over-the-top is the love triangle. Jing Chen is attracted to Ruo Ning at first sight, aggressively pursuing her amid flashbacks of her unforgettable relationship with her ex. Ruo Ning is a rebound pursuit. Jing Chen hopes to replace her former girlfriend with Ruo Ning while Ying Qing is adorably pursuing Ruo Ning in a not-so-subtle but super sweet way.
I get it; you’re wondering how either of these realistic pursuits of Ruo Ning is over the top, right?
The reasons why Jing Chen and Ying Qing are pursuing Ruo Ning aren’t unrealistic; it’s the very obvious tug-of-war scenes where Ruo Ning is stuck between the two while Ying Qing and Jing Chen pull on her arms. They are two very different women in a fight for one woman, but the way it’s represented in a tug-of-war fashion felt more like a scene from a manga than a scene from a drama that otherwise feels relatably real.
WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
The show concludes by asking the audience which woman they would choose if they were Ruo Ning. It felt very “Choose Your Own Adventure,” which probably ages me because I was a big fan of those books as a child. After each chapter, the reader is given a choice about the ending. Based on that choice, the reader then flips to an indicated page. Having options is empowering, and I like how this show presents that.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH
Dear Uranus showcased essential things not seen in many of the aired BL dramas. Not only is this a romance centered around women, but it also points out the importance of consent. In a scene between Jing Chen and Ruo Ning, Jing Chen pushes Ruo Ning aggressively against a table covered in flowers in an attempt to kiss her. Ruo Ning eases her away gently and says, “Try asking me first.” It’s one line, but it holds a lot of power. Surprise kisses can be sweet but when the other person is being aggressively pursued, although she isn’t letting off any signals that she wants to be kissed, “no” is a powerful thing.
The same goes for bravery.
In a touching scene between Ying Qing and Ruo Ning, Ying Qing offers Ruo Ning a necklace. It represents Uranus. I won’t spoil what Ying Qing says because I feel like it’s the show’s central theme, but I like how it expresses strength of character. There are people out there who exude bravery in a way that draws others to them. Ruo Ning is that person for both Ying Qing and Jing Chen.
IN THE END
There is no definitive conclusion for this show. It ends on a cliffhanger in how, I assume, a possible season two will begin. I hope we get the second season because viewers are left with a lot of unanswered questions. And, for me, the main question isn’t over who she should choose. I want to know why Ruo Ning feels so pressured to be great. I want to know when both Jing Chen and Ying Qing will start to realize their attraction to Ruo Ning is blinding them to her problems. I want to know if Jing Chen ever comes to terms with her past. I want to know more about Lin Man because her devotion to Jing Chen touched my soul. And finally, I want to know who Ruo Ning chooses. If it were me, I would select Ying Qing because I feel like Jing Chen has a lot of misplaced affections. However, I am not Ruo Ning, and I’m curious if she will choose the complicated, risky path Jing Chen represents or the not-so-complicated path Ying Qing offers.
My only real complaint with this short drama is the build. I love slow-burn romances, and this builds very quickly with no long, drawn-out stares (I like to call these eyegasms) or tender, electric-filled touches. Instead, it feels rushed, as if they have somewhere they want to go with this but not a lot of time to get there. I needed more chemistry, but I do love how I felt when Ying Qing looked at Ruo Ning. I love how she secretly adores her. For me, the eyegasms and tender touches all emanated from Ying Qing’s character, and I truly hope she gets more reciprocation in a second season.
All in all, Dear Uranus is a short but empowering Taiwanese GL romance that gives us strong women, strong characters, and strong feelings. I hope we see much, much more of this kind of content. Thank you, Taiwan!
Rating- 3.5 out of 5