Just One Smile Is Very Alluring 微微一笑很倾城 is every gamer’s dream come true. I’m no gamer and I still fell in love with the premise. It alternates between realities in a way that reminds me of W-Two Worlds minus the suspense thriller so it’s quite perceptive for the show to do well, turning up the cute in a light-hearted college romance.
Episode 1 begins in the City of Jinling where a team of fighters battle a ferocious monster. A few perish until a female warrior and her arrow-wielding comrade take down the creature with their seamless combination of attacks. The architecture rebuilds itself and the dead regain a life. As it turns out, the people of this world are merely avatars in an online game.
Zhen Shui Wu Xiang (Zhang He) asks to speak to his wife and gaming partner Lu Wei Wei Wei (Zheng Shuang) in private. He mentions that they’ve been virtually married for six months and he wants to buy her dinner or at least see her picture. Wei Wei stares at the screen hesitantly but the computer blacks out before she can respond.
Her roommate Er Xi (Mao Xiao Tong) owns up to accidentally dropping the laptop causing it to break so she is forced to accompany Wei Wei to get it fixed. On the way, all the girls gush at a billboard of campus heartthrob Xiao Nai (Yang Yang) who will be at the upcoming basketball game. Wei Wei and Er Xi, like everyone else, talk about snagging a seat extra early to beat the crowd.
At the store, Wei Wei calls out a salesman for conning Meng Yi Ran (Ma Cun Rui) but Yi Ran refuses Wei Wei’s help and makes her out to be a busybody. Er Xi fumes and sheds light into the girls’ history by explaining that Yi Ran won the school beauty contest last year wherein Wei Wei was a close second causing instant tension between them.
Wei Wei goes to an internet cafe to duel against a fellow player, winning the round and proving her abilities as the only female in the top ten leaderboard. While in action, she unknowingly catches the eye of Xiao Nai who has a smile creeping up his face.
Back at the dorms, Zhen Shui Wu Xiang messages Wei Wei to break their wedding vows. Even though he doesn’t offer a reason, he appears apologetic, which Wei Wei shrugs off, saying that there are no hard feelings on her end.
Wei Wei learns that the truth behind the breakup is because Zhen Shui is getting married to Xiao Yu Yao Yao. She walks to the bridge to check it out but stops due to a sudden bout of stomach problems. Her character is left on standby, immobile and attracting the attention of the masses who wonder whether Wei Wei means to crash the wedding.
After the bathroom break, Wei Wei is shocked to see the comments and gossips piling while she was away so she creates a distraction to disperse the crowd. With everyone out of the way, Yi Xiao Nai He aka the strongest contender in the gaming realm comes up and proposes a marriage.
First Impressions: Seeing Xiao Nai smitten at the sight of Wei Wei in her element is the most adorable love at first sight ever and a marriage proposal so early in the game? It’s only online, I know, but it’s a clear cut sign that Xiao Nai will actively pursue Wei Wei and those are always the sweetest parts of the story.
Zheng Shuang (Sword of Legends) may have gotten flak for failing in dramatic roles but she shines as Wei Wei, showing off a strong, capable and down-to-earth persona. She lost so much (too much) weight though but I guess that’s beside the point. Regardless, Wei Wei seems to be the best match for Xiao Nai who blew me away during the few minutes that he was on. I’ve seen Yang Yang (The Lost Tomb) in other things yet he seems different and thoroughly convincing as the swoon-worthy, too good to be true guy that is top of the ladder in school and in life. I’ve turned into an unabashed fan, and might I add that he’s beautiful?
That said, I enjoy the meta references to wuxia gaming that are probably funnier to those invested in the genre but even if you don’t have a clue, it is simply a fairy-tale that experiments with the boundaries of realism in a fresh and fun concept – well-written, well-developed and well-executed. There is no need for a mind-blowing plot in rom-coms like these because it’s how you get there that counts. Keeping my fingers crossed that the show continues to turn up the charm and romance because isn’t that why we’re here?
For synopsis, cast and ratings, see 2016 Chinese dramas.