Darren Chen. That’s the article.

Darren+Chen.+That%27s+the+article.

Lauren T. Vu, Staff Editor

Puck to the chest. Puck to the forehead. Puck to the shoulder. The dramatic montage of Sang Tian and Wen Bing’s 100-puck-blocking punishment in the third episode is the perfect summary of “My Unicorn Girl.” The name of this Chinese drama is so cringe-worthy that I have difficulty even including the title in my article, but it perfectly foreshadows the content of the show. 

This drama is merely a series of repressed memories. To write this review, I had to delve into my unconscious to recover them, an act I hope I will never have to do again. Some highlights: Sang Tian, female protagonist who pretends to be a boy so she can join the ice hockey team, fake-passes out so that hottie hockey star Wen Bing would give her CPR (a kiss to reverse her bad luck); falling; accidental kisses; wigs falling off; fainting; more falling. Cheesiness and predictability combine with a horrible plot and annoying characters to form one of the worst shows I have ever seen. 

The first four episodes culminate into final scenes that makes you wish you were like Wen Bing—his main claim to fame being that he has an eye disease. In a predictable pattern, I began to realize the exact moment when each episode would end just by seeing Sang Tian trip over nothing and Wen Bing catching her. The scenes freeze at the most awkward moments and transition to the montage of screen captures from that episode, just for the next episode to continue the cycle of cringe.

The only reason I stuck around for the entire show? Two words: Darren Chen. I was first introduced to this gorgeous specimen in “Meteor Garden”, a drama that is far better than *insert title here.* His soft facial features and slender fingers are my prime distraction from school and applying to college. Darren Chen is the reason why I downloaded two Chinese social media apps and attempted to download Douyin, China’s equivalent of Tiktok (it is still a work in progress, but I will get it). “Darren Chen’s other woman” is the translation of my display name on Twitter.

I wish Wen Bing could help me with my homework.

So yes, maybe I allowed myself to be blinded to the faults of this show by his ethereal beauty and his gentle yet bratty personality as Wen Bing… but I did at least recognize several parallels between the two shows, which just goes to show how unoriginal the storyline of “My Unicorn Girl” is: rich, attractive guy with mommy issues falls for relatively poor girl who goes to the same college as him. However, in “Meteor Garden”, the mommy issues take nearly half of the show to resolve; in “My Unicorn Girl”, the mom becomes a cooperative cheerleader after three episodes of lukewarm conflicts. Then there is also the hunger strike in “Meteor Garden” that is reminiscent of MUG’s Sang Tian standing outside for hours to convince Wen Bing’s mom to let her son continue going to Liuye University. There were parallels on the side of Sang Tian’s actress, Sebrina Chen Yao, as well. A combination of Sebrina Chen’s “Maiden Holmes” and Darren Chen’s “Meteor Garden”, “My Unicorn Girl” takes the cross-dressing and eye disease in “Maiden Holmes” and adds it to the mommy issues and class differences of “Meteor Garden” to create a failed hybrid. 

Even though the plot is lackluster, I found myself rooting for Wen Bing and Sang Tian. The one original aspect of this show is the possible queer subtext, which is limited, but still present. Even before Wen Bing finds out that Sang Tian is a girl, he is already interested in her; he even secretly leaves her an umbrella while she sits and cries in the rain. Conclusion: There is no way he is straight. He continues to be her guardian angel even after he finds out her true identity; his small acts of kindness make my heart crumble to pieces at the thought of never having my own Wen Bing. He protects Sang Tian’s secret and is never weirded out by holding hands with or kissing the girl dressed as a boy, so perhaps he is a bisexual king—Li Shang from Mulan vibes! The wig gets old fast, though; halfway through the show, I started urging Wen Bing on from behind my screen to snatch her wig.

I admit, I am extremely biased towards the love of my life, Darren Chen. However, if I were to choose my favorite character objectively, it would be Sang Tian’s brother, Sang Zhan. Sang Zhan is the brother I wish I had: a brother who answers at his sister’s beck and call and is an overachieving wingman. The way Sang Zhan goes out of his way to make Sang Tian x Wen Bing a reality is fresh and unexpected. He even has the power to make one of the most annoying characters, Meng Na (second only to Wei Lian, who you must watch the show to learn about—I hate him so much I cannot bear to mention him for more than a sentence), likeable—their relationship is way more fun and quirky because of their extreme personalities, compared to Wen Bing and Sang Tian’s more casual dispositions. Sang Zhan and Meng Na also look different enough to be lovers rather than siblings. Wen Bing and Sang Tian look like literal twins: they share the same hair color, they have the same fashion sense, and even their actors have the same last name! 

Despite the corny train wreck of a plotline, “My Unicorn Girl” feels like a warm hug—the type of show I’d revisit again and again because it makes me feel whole. This drama also made me realize that I wasted my entire life playing basketball and badminton when I should have been pursuing ice hockey. The things I would give to be Wen Bing’s favorite teammate… 

This drama is yucky. But also, so, so delicious. We might think we are too cool for a cheesy love story, or we might be too jaded for a naively innocent rom-com, but sometimes you just need that stupidity and naivete to feel blissfully young again. I watch “My Unicorn Girl” just to feel something. For those of you who are constantly disappointed by the men in your own life, need a cringe-fest, or a feel-good drama to numb your brain cells like me, go over to iQiyi to experience “My Unicorn Girl” now.