“Plus Minus” First Impressions (Ep.1 & 2)

Relationships are complicated. Happiness in love is never guaranteed. And learning to let go is always a process.

A co-production between Taiwan and Japan, the Taiwanese BL Plus Minus not only delves into the intricacies of broken relationships, it connects viewers to loyal friendships and a realistic look at love.

Following the growing relationship between lifelong friends Zheng Ze Shou (Max Lin) and Fu Li Gong (Shi Cheng Hao), it opens with a playfully drunk Zheng and a level-headed Fu. It’s evident from the start that their polar opposite dynamic is part of their appeal. They balance each other, a quality reflected by the drama’s title itself.

The first two episodes primarily focus on building the backgrounds of each relationship. Zheng is playful and outwardly objective to marriage, the main reason behind this being his mother’s abandonment as a child. Fu is a quiet, seemingly responsible man, obviously in unrequited love with Zheng. They are both lawyers who live together, each suiting their roles in vastly different ways.

Although the acting is a little over the top at moments, the friendship between Zheng and Fu is endearing. Their dependency on each other pulls at the heartstrings. Although it seems that Zheng needs Fu more than Fu needs Zheng, I think there’s an underlying need in Fu that will be explored later.

The same goes for the secondary couple, Yuki (Zheng QiLei) and Jian (Matt Lee). The free-spirited bartender, Yuki, and the laundromat owner and single father, Jian, aren’t given as much screen time in the first two episodes, but they left the deepest impression on me. I have a certain affinity for single-parent roles because I’ve been there. I know the responsibility, the fear, and the complicated emotions one feels after coming out of a relationship. Therefore, Jian spoke to me as soon as he entered the screen. I am invested in this storyline, the idea of a single father burned by love and a bartender who doesn’t seem to be looking for commitment.

The groundwork for the Plus Minus series has been laid well, introducing viewers to each character and connecting them to us in a profound way.

While I found some of the moments dragged a little and others somewhat exaggerated, something about how each of the characters interacted kept me invested and intrigued. Especially the profound moments. There are a lot of words of wisdom in Plus Minus, and I am soft for inspirational touches.

I am also super interested in our bar owner, Nikita. What role will she play?

The intricacies make moving forward with this series that much more intriguing.

For a drama that delves into polar opposite relationships while imparting deeply thought-out advice, check out Plus Minus on Viki and Gagaoolala.

Rating- 3 out of 5


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