“DNA Says Love You” Series Review (Ep.3 to 12)

My first impressions of DNA Says Love You hinged entirely on the subplot of the Lone Lamp Ridge, because the first two episodes were really building up on the theme. What I thought would end up going in a direction of reincarnated lovers, and a fatalistic plot of finding each other in every lifetime, ended up being more of a childhood best friends-to-lovers plot, with an unexpected, but still somewhat predictable plot twist.

The story revolves around Pu Le Chien and Amber, a somewhat mysterious (but at the same time not really) figure, who after the adventure of the Lone Lamp Ridge in the first four episodes, spend most of the time just hanging out and exploring their relationship instead. We also get a couple of episodes that delve into their friends Xiao Li and Ah Guan and their relationship, starting from their backstory up to a bit of tension that gets resolved fairly easily in the next episode.

There really isn’t much to say about the show, because contentious plot points got dealt with pretty quickly; the obstacles they were presented ended up not feeling as grave as the creators intended them to be, given how fast they got resolved. The pacing alternated between fast and slow, with the tension never really building up enough that made me get on the edge of my seat waiting for what would happen next.

Part of the reason for why I felt underwhelmed was the big plot reveal that Amber was actually Zhuang Xi-Wen, otherwise known as Wen-Wen, the childhood best friend of Ah Le and Yu He. It had been obvious from the beginning, but what I was interested in was how the show would explain that Amber was in fact Wen-Wen. He vaguely referred to it as a chromosomal abnormality, indicating that while as a child he had the appearance of a girl, his chromosomes were that of a male, and the reason why he had had to abruptly shift abroad was to undergo treatment.

This made me think- not about the show itself, because they tackled this in a very straightforward manner; they acknowledged that while Wen-Wen and Amber were the same person, they were different at the same time, and Ah Le was in love with Amber for who he was and not who he had been. What I thought about instead was how much we need more trans, intersex, and non-binary representation in BL. While BL series have come a long way, they still almost entirely revolve around relationships between cis-men. Involving more trans, intersex, and non-binary people in the creation of shows as well as showing their storylines would give opportunities to some of the most marginalised groups even within the LGBTQ+ community, that they are otherwise deprived of. DNA Says Love You was a step in that direction, and I hope in whatever capacity, it sets a precedent for more diversity in BL series.

Overall, this show wouldn’t be the first thing I’d recommend to someone if they were looking for a series to watch, but if you have the time that you want to invest in a moderately engaging series, give this a go.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

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