Drama

Review: Put Your Head on My Shoulder

Genres: Comedy, Romance, Youth

Any Chinese drama fans must have heard of the recent Put Your Head on My Shoulder (PYHOMS) or seen a trailer. There are many Chinese dramas that are being subtitled in English as they air this year. I feel so lucky! But if you’re not sure why you should check this drama out or what it focuses on, draw yourself in closer.

WARNING: EPISODE 1 SPOILERS

Overview

What is this drama: primarily a fluffy romance between a science nerd and an aspiring advertising student. They’re both students in the same university, but there are always pressures from the outside so our main girl is stuck in an accounting course that her parents chose. I have to hand it to Chinese dramas with the parents though, despite all these pressures you can really feel the love for their children. And the meddling this turns into. This drama showed it from a positive perspective, for the most part, and we could feel the strong support from family members. The real support team was the friendships though. It was great to see!

There’s dorm-life, the main leads living together as roommates, fake-relationship shenanigans, meddling parents and friendships that get strained. But what I liked about the way PYHOMS handled these was resolving issues in a calmer way and getting rid of any melodrama that would have been over the top. Give it a try and see what you think!

Character introductions

Si Tu Mo / Mo Mo (played by Fei Xing)

If I had to describe this character early on: hopeful and strong. She looks at the bright side and plans for the future but she’s also tough enough to go on with her daily life when things don’t work out.

Episode one: accidentally gets into a bicycle accident and gets her dress ripped. She’s off to an interview. When her bag gets switched and she realises, she tries her best anyway and thinks about other interview prospects.

You might already recognise this actress from Master Devil Do Not Kiss Me which was another light rom-com and Fei Xing’s first main role in a drama.

Gu Wei Yi (played by Lin Yi)

Same to our main lead: methodological and kind. Straight away we see the way he analyses situations and reacts as best as he can. It could have been easy to make him oblivious to the feelings of others. However, his greatest strength is learning and improving. He reminded me of Xiao Nai from Love O2O with naturally picking up things and being perfect academically and in sports, but Gu Wei Yi is also fallible. He tries and fails and learns from them which made him much more believable. Though who wouldn’t want a Xiao Nai/Nai He that naturally aced relationships from the get-go?

Episode one: accidentally gets into a bicycle accident and checks if they’re all okay. Sees a problem and offers a solution based on the timing. Does he get it right? Yes, but also no. Can you really get angry? And when a bag switch messes with them both, he’s quick to come up with solutions and accepts the situation for what it is: an accident.

First love and first romance

The majority of the fluff isn’t with the main leads necessarily, the bonds between all the characters make this drama shine. The science bros offering advice and keeping each other updated is really cute. They offer another perspective and guesstimate, calculate and follow-through with progress and results. But when you apply this to situations with numerous variables and fluttering first love, you know it’s not going to help. Their welcome efforts and sincere interest are a balm to the soul.

Can I also mention how much the friend, Zhou Lei (played by Zhang Hao Lun, according to this site) grows on you? Was it just me that found him cuter as time went on? So innocent and sincere? Hilarious and hard-working?

Jie Er (played by Yi Sha) had a great progression and the workplace scenes were so interesting. Circle was a bigger part of the story than I thought he would be! Who else was I focused on: Lin Zhi Cun (played by Zhou Jun Wei, according to this site)

 

Cat vs Dog

So the sound effects in this drama also lead to the cuteness. They’ve given Si Tu Mo really cute cat meows that match when she’s trying to be cute, when she’s feeling guilty etc. And Gu Wei Yi has dog barks to the same effect. It’s also a good way to explain their personalities and quirks that are completely different but that complement each other.

Bonus: Easter eggs

What I really liked about this drama was the happy-go-lucky atmosphere and the Easter eggs at the end! After each episode would be a bonus scene or perspective from another character. Really cute expressions and actions came out and I would look forward to seeing an extra. There were also previews at the start of most episodes that could be misleading but always hoped to be the extra motivation you might need to find out more!

Side character story-lines

Usually, a drama gets its melodrama by focusing on one couple and giving them many challenges, getting more and more over the top. Focusing on side characters and side couples combats this. We get more than a few side couples and see how their different relationships and personalities balance or clash. I have to say, that guy with the watch was a hidden gem and I wish I saw more scenes with him!

Gu Wei Yi or Fu Pei: What’s your type and breaking from the mould

Often drama-goers are given two guys interested in our lead and we ship them for different reasons. There are two types we can see going into this drama. The guy that likes to be looked after, and the type of girl that likes taking care of someone. The guy that likes to look after the girl, and the girl that likes to be cared for.

Then we have our actual ship: Gu Wei Yi as an always improving and thoughtful lead, with Si Tu Mo as an independent lead that knows what she does and doesn’t like. She would fall into the likes being taken care of category, but that doesn’t define her character. Gu Wei Yi also deviates from the traditionally caring for someone by controlling the role of their actions that this has become. Why? Because he aims to support and encourage her and this isn’t seen through his direct actions.

Let’s talk about love triangles and third wheeling for a moment though. Early on we hear from Si Tu Mo that she’s in love with Fu Pei (played by Xiao Tian Tang) less than 10 minutes in and a popular story-line. He’s her childhood friend, they get along great but something is stopping them from actually being a couple. He also works as a mutual friend between Si Tu Mo and Gu Wei Yi and helps them initially meet and mediates later on. It felt like Fu Pei dropped into a plot-device to get situations underway and progressing, which might be why I couldn’t connect to him. Then again, everyone has different takes on characters and he must be a popular type to be the second main lead.

Si Tu Mo tries really hard to be with him and he puts her in this weird more-than-friends-but-less-than-lovers way that can only hurt them both. So he can flirt with whoever he wants but will feel betrayed if she even implies she’s interested in someone else. To anyone that did not understand the green hat (bowl) reference: a guy that wears a green hat means his girlfriend/wife is cheating on him. You’ll see people generally avoid the colour green for a hat and sometimes clothing (you might remember in Love O2O that our main lead wouldn’t change his hat colour to multicolour because that included green, which was overkill but funny). Personally, I don’t like that kind of ‘Some’ relationship that goes too long where there’s ‘something’ there but it can’t be crossed. It can be an important stage when feelings are confused (and it was excellent in In Time with You), but not here. Gu Wei Yi is a contrast to Fu Pei in that he’s quite clear with his goals and intentions but this is a bigger personality quirk that I can’t quite get into.

Really, the more episodes I watched the more I wanted to talk about every episode! Did I mention this is based on a novel? From the same creator of A Love So Beautiful. I haven’t read it but I wonder what the differences are. Any readers or recommenders?


What are your thoughts on this drama so far?

Thanks for reading!

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