TEN YEARS LATE: Chinese Drama Review

Ten Years Late is a 2019 Chinese TV series that tells the story of six young individuals and their different approaches to building a new life in the big city.

Sypnosis: Jin Ran gives up his high-paying position in Japan for the sake of love. He takes up a job as the Chief Operating Officer of a tourism company and gets reunited with his first love Yuan Lai as he jumps at the chance to pursue her again. Career woman Xu Xin Yi crosses paths with professional gamer Ding An to start their lives as a couple, but things do not turn out as planned. Zhao Cheng Zhi, a lawyer, making strides in establishing his own practice, butts heads with intern Shen Shuang Shuang and her bright and bubbly personality brings excitement to his otherwise monotonous life (Source: MyDramaList).

My Expectations: This was definitely one of the dramas I was looking forward to watching in 2019. I love Shawn Dou, and I was committed to checking out all his leading roles for 2019. I even downloaded the iQiyi app to watch this show in full HD. In conclusion, my expectation was remarkably high. I also know a few other faces among the main cast, so I was assured that it was going to be a good watch.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: This was a great series to watch, but I will have to say that it was just there. Let me break it down by starting with the couples in the show. Here is my ranking of the three couples –

#1. Ding An and Xu Xin Yi3518d7bb-dc21-4ca4-92b5-79f01153779f-4007-00000393b00ed19aThey had CHEMISTRY. This pairing was the complete package, and if given the opportunity, they could be the main couple. Their story was compelling, and the love they shared for each other was evident for all to see. They made the show for me.

#2. Zhao Chen Zhi and Shen Shuang Shuang0b15ce0d-c1f2-40c0-a76c-db52c4af02b6-4007-00000393b97b9628This two had the typical characteristics of secondary couples. I still love them, though. They were cute and funny together. They brought out the best in each other and were very supportive of each other until the end.

#3. Jin Ran and Yuan Laif143fe40-9016-4145-8663-cb4dbdee531a-4007-00000393c3a7efcfUnfortunately, the main couple was my least favourite. Something was definitely missing. The constant on-off was a bit unbearable for me. It made me feel like they were never officially dating. I mean, the other two couples had more romantic scenes and spent more time together compared to our leads here.

Here are the elements and moments I truly enjoyed while watching Ten Years Late

  • One thing that kept me wanting more of this series was Ding An and Xin Yi’s relationship. I just loved watching them together. They were my anchor, and, sadly, they did not get to have a happy ending like the other couples.
  • I also lived for the sweet little moments between the other two pairings.
  • I admire the friendship, loyalty and trust they all had. Jin Ran, Yuan Lai, Chen Zhi,  Shuang Shuang, Ding An and Xin Yi were like a family that always lent a hand to each other in times of need. This very fact brought comfort to me after Ding An’s death because I knew that Xin Yi had people to look after her.
  • This is not too important, but I like that the progression of Xin Yi’s pregnancy was made to look as realistic as possible.
  • The cinematography for this drama was stunning. I love the colour palette for the show, it was so clean and captivating. I absolutely loved the snow scenes in Japan and the island scenes that were used during the tourism work.
  • Another thing was the fashion. Everyone’s outfit in the show was well chosen. It fitted each character’s trait to wear the clothes they had on throughout the series. I also would not mind stealing a few pieces from the ladies’ wardrobe.
  • Lastly, the soundtracks for this show were lovely. My favourite is “Fortunately, We Meet Again” by Juno Su. I featured this OST as my song for last week. If you have not read that post yet, use this link to check it out 👉🏼 Juno Su – Fortunately, We Meet Again: Song Of The Week

Now here is a list of the things that led me to conclude that Ten Years Late was not anything exceptional but only an okay drama –

  • Like I mentioned already, the main couple did not do much for me. They did get engaged in the last episode, but throughout the rest of the show, all they did was resolve countless misunderstandings. I will admit that they still had a few lovely moments together, but I needed to see them interact more as a couple because I was not sold. I just accepted the fact that Jin Ran and Yuan Lai are an item. The leads are supposed to carry a show, so when that is not happening, there is a problem.
  • The last few episodes were quite frustrating to watch. The sudden and intense focus on Chu Yun and Gu Sa was not necessary. Also, what it led to was heartbreaking to watch. I feel they could have spread out this tension more instead of packing all this angst into the last few episodes. Gu Sa could have been a closed chapter mid-series, and Chu Yun should not even be a character. This is just my personal opinion.
  • Ding An’s Death – This was a big blow to me. Just three episodes left, and they killed off my favourite character. I get that they wanted to prove the point that time waits for no one, so hold on dearly to your loved ones while you still have the chance, but I am still pissed. I kept on praying for him to survive. His death reminds me of Xiao Qiu’s last-minute death from the Chinese drama – Across The Ocean To See You. I kind of understand the writer’s decision for Ding An, but as a viewer, I was still disappointed and heartbroken.
  • Overall, while watching this drama, the storyline was not just flowing as expected. It kind of dragged. I found my self skipping some scenes to avoid being bored with irrelevant dialogues.

Character Analysis:

Gülnezer Bextiyar – Yuan Lai. 1e1907e3-cb00-4e5d-b8db-61992fe62086-4007-00000393f89f8da3I feel Gülnezer Bextiyar is an actress with potential, but most times, her characters tend to be quite flat. I hope that she gets a role that finally showcases her skills. She was okay as Yuan Lai, but this was definitely not her best. I also understand that it was hard for Yuan Lai to fully trust Jin Ran because of all the new findings that came up about him. But at the same time, I did not appreciate how she would just completely ignore him instead of directly asking him about what she had heard or seen. Some of the misunderstandings could have been cleared if she spoke up. All the same, Yuan Lai was brilliant and fabulous at her job. She was also very supportive of her friends. So an okay character, I guess.

Shawn Duo – Jin Ran. af6a4477-ebb2-42ab-9ced-f10cf5ad23c0-4007-0000039445f1c150Shawn did a fantastic job as Jin Ran, but again the chemistry between him and Gülnezer was not as strong compared to the other two couples. That aside, Jin Ran is someone who has made a few mistakes and was ready to start afresh and live differently. I feel that most of the misunderstandings between him and Yuan Lai could have been prevented if he was more open. Before even trying to rekindle their relationship, he should have told her about his time in Japan. At least that could have prevented all the constant time offs the main couple experienced throughout the series.

Kanazawa Hao Kim – Ding An.aa5861e7-c6e4-4188-a399-20080d7f50ff-4007-00000393d961abcaDing An… Ding An. I just cannot accept the writer’s decision to kill the best character of the series. After all the work he put into dating Xin Yi and getting married to her… SAD. He was finally going to get his family together, and he did not even get to see his child… SAD. Kanazawa Hao Kim did a fantastic job of portraying such a beautiful character. I love that he always went for what he desired, both with his career and love life. The chemistry between him and Wang Rain was superb. I will love to see them as a leading couple in a new drama because they indeed sold this series for me. Ding An truly loved Xin Yi with all his heart, and it really broke my heart that they could not be together till the end.

#4. Wang Rain – Xu Xin Yi. 43350cc7-d081-48c6-964b-53d6d457e056-4007-00000393e079a0a5I absolutely love her character. This is my first time watching Wang Rain, but I will be checking out her other works soon. She is an exceptional actress. I admired Xin Yi’s independence. Initially, she did not want to depend on Ding An in any way, but with time she learnt to let him in a little bit. She allowed him to be her emotional support. I love how she was always sure of what she wanted and did not compromise at any moment, but my one wish was for her to be a bit more understanding towards Ding An. Yes, they had a lot of sweet moments together, but most of their arguments were blown out of proportion because of their inability to hear each other out. She was definitely my favourite girl in the group. I live for her no-nonsense character.

#5. Jeremy Jones Xu – Zhao Cheng Zhi. afe98086-cdd9-4d2a-b3f4-37195c1d2033-4007-00000393ef6311c3I am so glad that his role was not made to be the frustrating third wheel to Jin Ran and Yuan Lai’s relationship. I hate when people refuse to let go of things that are clearly not working out for them. So I am so happy that he had the opportunity to get closure and move on to his own relationship. He still cared a lot for her as a friend, which was great. It took him a while to give in to his feelings for Shen Shuang Shuang, but he was fully committed once he did. I think he fell in love with her after that spider incident that almost killed him. Even though he did not want to be a lawyer, he was a great one, but in the end, he decided to chase his dreams of photography.

#6. Cecilia Boey – Shen Shuang Shuang. 5b117ed0-ebe5-44d6-a99e-8ade567b716e-4007-00000393e7b8e57cMy first drama of Cecilia Boey was Walk Into Your Memory, which was also released this year. I think she did great on that show, so I was super excited to see her in a new series. Her character as Shen Shuang Shuang started out a bit annoying and over the top, but with more episodes, she got better. She showcased how smart and depending she could be when situations called for it. I love how she easily fused into the friend circle. Her bubbly and caring personality definitely brought some diversity and balance among the girls in the group. At some point, I found her pursuit for Cheng Zhi to be quite overbearing, but for a character like his to take notice of Shuang Shuang, I believe her method was essential. I also appreciate how she changed her strategy from pursuit to making him work for her attention. He honestly needed to put in that work. Shen Shuang Shuang was also an excellent support system for Cheng Zhi and also a means to help him loosen up more. I definitely came to appreciate her presence by the end of the series.

Overall, my rating for Ten Years Late is 7.5/10 because although it was a good watch, it failed to meet my expectations. It had a good number of exciting moments but could not capture my attention all the time, so I found my self skipping some scenes. The acting was okay, the storyline was promising, but there were a few misses with the execution.

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

That is all I have for this post. I simply wanted to give a quick review of this drama since I just finished watching it. Feel free to leave your thoughts about this series in the comment section.


11 thoughts on “TEN YEARS LATE: Chinese Drama Review

  1. Boa

    You and I are of one mind – everything you wrote absolutely resonates with my thoughts about this drama, from the couples to the characters to the cinematography to the wardrobe! Overall, I liked the drama, but not enough to rewatch the whole thing through like I usually do with dramas I love. I would probably only skip to see some of my favorite scenes, but a 7.5/10 seems like an appropriate rating. I will say though, there is a relatable, almost familiar quality to the drama that I appreciated a lot. It made me nostalgic, for I have experienced a similar stretch of love lasting over 10 years. So, there’s that.

    What can I say? I only started watching this drama in the first place for Jin Zehao, and honestly, I did not expect to fall head over heels in love with his character the way I did. Ding Ang was quite literally my dream man. He was positive, loving, kind, persistent, ADORABLE, patient, respectful, committed, hot as f*** – you name it! – which made it extra painful when they killed off his character. I am an avid drama viewer, and I can say with utmost certainty I have never ever cried more for a character (or during a drama in general) than I did for Ding Ang. I cried for 7 hours, wound up with a bruised nose and eyes so swollen I couldn’t leave the house for 24 hours. The sudden realization that he was the closest to reaching all his dreams, only to have them ripped from his fingertips, was beyond devastating. He deserved a better ending, and I desperately wished to give it to him.

    Xinyi is like my role model. I love how independent and career-driven she was while also balancing her personal life. She was not your typical female character who got pushed around and NEEDED to be saved (she was blessed she had Ding Ang though because he went ahead and saved her anyway), and that’s what I loved. She knew her worth and never let anyone shake her. I am so glad they didn’t try to use her as Yuan Lai’s competitor in both love and career. That was what I thought they’d do at first when they kept saying Xinyi liked Jin Ran. I really wouldn’t have liked the drama then. On another note, Rain Wang is just so damn gorgeous. I cannot imagine another Xinyi!

    Like you, I did not care for the main couple much. My investment was in Ding Ang and Xinyi. What I adored about them was how much they wanted to be together, despite their little disputes. They fought for themselves and each other, and they were building such a breathtaking life. I loved their pet names for each other, the way Ding Ang did everything for her, from pulling out her chair and putting down a pillow so it’d be more comfortable to cooking her 3 different types of food for breakfast. I can only dream of being loved the way Ding Ang loved Xinyi (Jin Zehao, wanna help out a little bit…? Lol). But because of their dedication to one another, I personally felt it was out of character for Xinyi to blow up and ask for a divorce after the Chu Yun incident. Maybe they were trying to emphasize the pregnancy hormones, IDK, but I was genuinely so disappointed in Xinyi for how extreme she went with the matter. I understand why she was hurt, I believe any person would be after seeing news like that about their significant other, but considering Ding Ang had never done anything to hurt her before, it was frustrating that she lacked the willingless and cooperation to make things work. It shouldn’t have happened that way. Like you said, they should’ve resolved Gu Sa early and never brought in Chu Yun, but the writers were determined to make a mess. I also feel like they could’ve made a different mess that didn’t include killing off the best character but that’s a different convo. I sometimes imagine that if Xinyi had just stopped to listen to Ding Ang once, they might have had their happy ending. But that isn’t to blame his death on her. It was a tragic accident that happened because an idiot truck driver didn’t stop at his red light.

    The way their story turned out made me reevaluate myself in real life. I don’t ever want to feel the regret and pain I experienced second-hand to Xinyi. I felt the impact of Ding Ang’s death down to my bones, and I’m still reliving it to this day.

    Okay, enough before I start bawling again. I just needed to vent my feelings somewhere to someone who understood me.

    Thank you so much for your review!

    1. Thank you so much for this comment. Lately, I haven’t been motivated to post. I don’t think you noticed, but I have been off this blog for three months. Hardly do I get a comment so detailed. It shows you took your time to read my post, and I’m glad.

      Also, it’s nice to meet another Ding An and Xingyi couple lover. They held the drama for me, and just like you, I cried my eyes out when Ding An died. I wish the writer didn’t sacrifice his character. He was my dream man. I feel like crying now just thinking about his death.

    1. It’s been a while since I watched this drama, so I can’t remember all the details.
      However I do remember that all the couples except Ding An and Xu Xin yi had a happy ending.

  2. mariAH

    LOL! I don’t know if it was the real sound of the car engines but I just liked the throbbing sound.(both quiet and powerful) OHMMM…

  3. MariAH

    I definitely Agree with your review concerning Ten years late except for fashion especially Yuanlai clothing I could hardly stand.
    But as for cars , I really appreciated them.
    And in the end, I don’t feel like watching the rest of the episodes (I watched the first 15 episodes)
    However I must admit it’s the first time since a long time I haven’t finished a drama.

    1. Yea it definitely became hard to watch towards the end, but I tried my best to pull through.
      I’m not really interested in cars, so I didn’t pay much attention to them. Because of you, I feel the need to go back and check out the cars.😂😂😂

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