“Couple of Mirrors” Series Review (Ep.7 to 12)

I will be honest and upfront while accepting my morbid disappointment with this highly anticipated Sismance.

Co-produced by Bilibili and China Huanyu Entertainment (the trendsetters in Chinese BL industry), comparisons were bound to happen. Does Couple of Mirrors measure up to the levels of its successful predecessors Winter Begonia, Heavens Official Blessing, Legend of Exorcism? Unfortunately, it doesn’t and that is regrettable. Because I was expecting great things from this GL projection and it could have been a trailblazer; only if the storyline wasn’t riddled with cliché subplots and loosely interpreted thriller elements. The censorship was already a huge deterrent, add in the fact that GL dramas don’t get the same kind of reception as their BL counterparts; Couple of Mirrors was certainly at a disadvantage. Without further ado, let’s go review the remaining episodes, where I vent my frustration!

The second half of this miniseries focuses entirely on Xu You Yi and Yan Wei’s domestic life; as You Yi decides to proceed with the divorce, despite her pregnancy. Obviously, they are met with various roadblocks, until Zhou Heng’s treacherous intentions are revealed. All hell breaks loose, when Yan Wei gets arrested as a suspect in Chu Hui Zi’s murder case. You Yi joins hands with Detective Jiang Wu to prove Yan Wei’s innocence. While our happy couple are awaiting the baby’s birth, tragedy strikes again. Zhou Heng tries to kill You Yi and kidnaps their newborn baby. Caught between Yan Wei’s tumultuous past and You Yi’s dangerous present, will these two have a chance at happiness?

Inner Strength and Dexterity

Couple of Mirrors could have been one of the best GL productions of 2021. It certainly had the makings for the same- flamboyant costumes, great settings and a refreshing cast. But none of these factors worked in its favor; the show suffers from predictable subplots and cliché stories that are forgettable and ordinary. The only saving grace is the simmering chemistry between main leads Zhang Nan and Sun Yi Han. But a great chemistry can only drive the narrative so far. My major issue with this miniseries is lack of initiative. Set in the Republican Era, the show majorly circles around only one problem- Zhou Heng’s infidelity. He seems to be accountable or at least related to all the murder cases that keep flocking onto You Yi’s doorstep. The poor girl keeps getting caught in a web of deceit and betrayal, while her disloyal husband makes baseless assumptions and cheats on a whim. I fail to understand his logic, because it seems like Zhou Heng did love You Yi while they were dating. Miscommunication can be a major deterrent in married couple’s life and as You Yi rightly points out-

“Even if everything you said is true, this isn’t reason enough for you to cheat or kill someone”.

Couple of Mirrors does take a subtle dig on the societal mentality where women are expected to be forgiving and adjustable, while men can cheat to their heart’s content. I truly appreciate You Yi’s character, because despite being through hell; she still stands tall and never gives up on her convictions. Her innate strength is truly inspiring and exemplary.

Undying Devotion and Love

The latter half of the show focuses on the strong connection between our resident assassin Yan Wei and her pouty houseguest You Yi. After deciding to divorce her cheating husband, You Yi settles down in Yan Wei’s apartment. Obviously they belong to two different worlds and it was hilarious watching them find a middle ground. While You Yi loves extravagance and is used to living an exuberant lifestyle, Yan Wei is pretty much a utilitarian. It was interesting to watch Yan Wei adapt herself as well as her home to suit You Yi’s needs. She seamlessly adjusts herself to accommodate You Yi and to make sure that her needs are met. Starting from expensive costumes to the latest typewriter, Yan Wei endeavours hard to assure that You Yi has a smooth pregnancy. Although we still don’t have any idea of Yan Wei’s source of income, because her photo studio isn’t exactly buzzing with customers (pretty sure she undertakes side missions). Zhang Nan and Sun Yi Han have a sparkling camaraderie which translates into some amazing chemistry onscreen. Although the storyline fails to grab your attention, You Yi’s mischievous shenanigans and Yan Wei’s hesitant smiles become the sole reason to watch this Girl’s Love. Of course, Yan Wei’s daredevil acts are another reason to watch this show, because Sun Yi Han excels in the fight choreography scenes. You feel appropriately shocked and also surprised by his resilience. Yes, it is that good. From battling goons to threatening Zhou Heng’s egotistical Father, Yan Wei does everything with elan. Frankly, their contrasting personalities are riveting and yet they merge together beautifully!

Final Impressions

The promotion posters for this show are quite misleading, because if they had projected even an infinitesimal amount of romance as depicted in these pictures; then Couple of Mirrors would have been a runway hit. Instead, the scriptwriters relegate most of the screen time to the fraudulent cheating done by Zhou Heng. It seems like they couldn’t find a better way to drive the narrative and as such, running circles around the same problem was the only solution. I’m unaware of the romantic context in the original manhua by author noftB, but I’m pretty sure that it would have been better than this adaptation. I’m morosely disappointed with the odd ending, where Yan Wei surrenders herself after presumably committing another murder. Why now, when they have a baby to look after? Is she regretting her choices? Will You Yi spend the next fifteen years waiting for Yan Wei’s release or will she move on with her life? Who was sending those dreaded white roses to You Yi? We are left with so many unanswered questions and if this open ending is the indicator for a possible sequel; then I’m totally disheartened. Two utterly gorgeous and headstrong women, their baby and an oddly weird cat do make an adorable makeshift family. If this kind of love story is your cup of tea, then surely go ahead and give it a watch.

Rating- 3 out of 5

☆ We have some amazing promotional posters of the show. Frankly, these two have such an astounding chemistry, which was regrettably left unexplored.

☆ Stills from Bilibili’s Publicity Event

☆ Zhang Nan and Sun Yi Han truly deserve the world, just look at their poignant chemistry!

Here’s hoping that we get more qualitative GL adaptations in the near future!

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