Negotiator is a newly released Chinese romance drama. The story revolves around Tong Wei, a woman who is bold, vigilant and never loses a battle. She crosses paths with Xie Xiao Fei, a self-absorbed successor of a large conglomerate, hellbent on opposing her on the negotiation table. After watching the first couple episodes I’d say the story is intriguing, with a mix of seriousness and flamboyancy.
Tang Wei (Yang Mi) is a fabulous protagonist who embraces her femininity and values self-worth. As an occupational hazard, Wei has excellent retorts and resolves problems with level-headedness. In addition, she treats others with respect and sifts through their qualities to discover their strengths. Wei has a cute, lovable side to her. For example, she and her friend throw their high heels at a certain obnoxious someone, the pair then runs off giggling and shoeless.
Xe Xia thus far has not been an appealing lead character. The immaturity of his actions and arrogant attitude makes it difficult to respect him. All that said, Xia may inevitably mature and blossom before our eyes, but for now the verdict is still out on him. Huang Zitao does well in portraying the character and is easy on the eyes.
The supporting characters are a mixed bag, some are bothersome and others quite fun. Yang Xiao (Zhao Chu Lun) surprised me when he switches from villainous to endearing. The transformation happens while listing all the specific desires people have and his examples become increasingly detailed, the reactions of his subordinates are priceless.
As for the rest of the drama, I have only two qualms. The first being the background music, which I find dramatically distracting (often muting till it passes). The second is the USA-China overlapping narrative during the first two episodes. Like many dramas (including Korean) these moments are cringey. Luckily this is easily solved with the fast-forward button.
Thanks for reading this review! For more drama musings, be sure to stop by my blog.
The acting is quite bad but nothing much to choose from right now.
I find the drama to be really cute. It has its cliches, especially if you consider Xie Xiaofei's character, and the story is as for the rough framework predictable, but all of it still makes for an adorable story.
As for the acting, I may not be an expert, but I think both Yang Mi and Huang Zitao in overall are doing a decent job. Honestly speaking, for Yang Mi it's hard for me to judge because she's one of my celerity crushes, but she's been in that field of work for a while and the role seems very real and the acting natural. As far as I can see, she's been delivering a great performance. In Huang Zitao's case, since I'm a fan of his, I may be judging harsher than necessary by saying that he still has a long way to go because I have higher standards for those I truly care about, but I don't think that anyone can truly say he's doing a bad job. Some scenes, as in when he's portraying your typical rich and arrogant heir, are alright and maybe even on an acceptable level. But, maybe it's just me, but I find the truly emotional scenes really well done, in those moments, it doesn't seem as if Huang Zitao is simply acting, but more like as if Xie Xiaofei is truly there. I think those glimpses show Huang Zitao's potential as an actor and I hope that in the future he will keep on improving, and hopefully also be daring in taking different roles and immersing himself in them. I can't talk for the other actors because I'm not paying them as much attention, but the cast in overall is quite decent, with some being better, and other worse.
Yang Mi’s acting is unnatural here. She’s trying to be cute to match HZT’s youngness. No chemistry beteeen them.
I'm trying super hard to find the chemistry between Yang Mi and Huang Zitao, but I can't help seeing her as the older sister… I agree she seems better suited for more mature roles and seeing her trying to be cute is a bit uncomfortable at times.
I like the drama overall, I'm riveted and look forward to the next episodes, it's not revolutionary, as a concept or plot, but it's well executed enough to keep me watching. I really like Yang Mi as Tong Wei, her character is very likeable and relatable.
I don't see where Yang Mi acting cute at all, Tong Wei is so polished, smart, cool and collected, witty and poised, yet warm hearted, a self possessed woman, who is attracted to Xie Xiaofei's wildness, but without trying to match it, they are like fire an ice.
There has been moments when Xie Xiao Fei made me want to pull my hair with his brashness and arrogance, but he has redeeming qualities a soft core and incisive intelligence that get revealed more and more as the story goes along, I think Zitao is doing a fine job, sure there is room for improvement but overall he's holding his own and has great moments, he's definitely meant to be a lead actor. Tang Wei and Xie Xiaofei definitely have chemistry, there are sparks between the two, they are complementary suitable to their characters you can sense Xiao Fei's burning passion for Tong Wei and Tong Wei's simmering attraction.
I completely believe that Xie Xiafei liked Tong Wei from the get go, I get why, although I wish Tong Wei's reasons for liking Xie Xiaofei would have been better, before they got together, instead of after because it felt sudden when they came together, but in the end I understood why she liked him, and look forward to their relationship developing and getting deeper.
The secondary characters are a mixed bag for me too.I feel like I've been through a roller coaster of emotions with them from hate to love, I think the writer tries to make all the characters be 3 – dimensional with their own backstories and subplots instead of just being plot devices which is commendable and makes the drama richer and more interesting.
In the end It's a an entertaining and addictive drama for me, I think all the actors are doing a good job overall, I believe in all of them and I'm not thrown off during their scenes, there is no awkwardness.
I'd like to be like as poised and smart as Yang Mi's Tong Wei, Huang Zitao's Xiao Fei has great comedic timing, I love his funny bits in the show, the business side of it is actually well done and interesting to me, I like to learn a little bit about Negotiation strategies, I like the production, I love the fashion.
Yeah, Huang Zitao is not blowing me away with his acting, but as you mentioned, he has potential. It will be exciting to see how he matures as an actor as he gets more experience under his belt. I bet you were happy about this show being a fan of both the leads!
I was wondering about the age cap. In this drama she is 27, but I don't know how old he is meant to be the show?
Hopefully the chemistry improves and becomes awesome. It's still early day, fingers crossed!
This is a great comment and the insight you provide! I really like the line "all the characters be 3 – dimensional with their own backstories and subplots instead of just being plot devices which is commendable" – this is so true!
It did, it made me really happy.:D
I only know that he is younger, because he once called her jiejie (older sister). But it should be only a difference of a few years, maybe around 24 years old, or else they surely would have made a bigger deal out of the age difference in the drama.
I don't agree, she's not trying to act cute. Her character is in my eyes adorable, but she's portraying a cool, intelligent and level headed woman.
I feel the acting in Memories of Love is slightly better so I am finding Memories Of Love more bearable.
Just watch how Yang Mi laughs. She will put her hand over her mouth. She’s doing it A LOT in this drama to the point that she must think it’s cute.
I wasn't impressed. I like Yang Mi, but her acting in this drama just feels off. It's almost like all those years of acting and doing a great job, just feel off the face of earth, and she cannot act for whatever reason in this drama. Her acting is just not "real". You can't feel it.
Zi Tao is a beautiful man. But, his acting is off as well.
I watched a few episodes and they were all boring. Nothing seems to be "happening". The characters are dull. The acting are below poor. The story-line is mediocre.
Maybe it's just not my type of drama. Who knows. But the acting for sure fails on all actors. Seems like an amateur film.
I know what you mean about a flat plot, where nothing is really happening. Last night I watch episode 7 and I feel that finally the story is starting, like all the episodes before that was setting the scene and foundation for the story.
I hope the Legend Of Dugu gets subtitles soon so I check if Legend Of Dugu is a better drama.
I tried Memories of Love, but couldn't get into it. Have you watched Mr. Right or Nirvana in Fire II?
I really like this drama, it's getting better & better with each episode. Huang ZiTao is especially good, he's a great actor. He has a difficult role as in the beginning his character is not very likeable in the things the character does. But when it's played by ZiTao, I'm immediately charmed by him. He's really funny, when his facial expression changes, he can make me laugh at anything! He's really the highlight of the drama for me, even if the character's action is predictable, the way ZiTao acts is not. The only thing I wish for is for XieXiaoFei not to have so many crying scenes, it's unnecessary & doesn't fit the character. However that said, HuangZiTao is excellent in those scene. He's a great actor overall, he can play funny & sad, sometimes at the same time.
I also like Dylan Kuo's acting, I feel the character's love & dedication for Tong Wei through Dylan's acting.
Yang Mi is fine, she doesn't have a lot to do here but look great in clothes, her character as it's written is the most sympathetic, but it doesn't take great acting to play Tong Wei, which isn't a slight against Yang Mi, she is fine.
I like the chemistry between Huang ZiTao & Yang Mi. There's 7 years difference between them in real life, but there's 9 years difference between her & Dylan Kou in real life & no one talks about that age difference, it's just accepted. The ageism against women should stop. Older women can be with younger men, it happens in real all the time, so why not in dramas? And, they are very sweet together. A sense can be obtained that XieXiaoFei needs a steady, older woman's love.
Overall, the drama is very enjoyable. I look forward to seeing it every day & especially love Huang ZiTao in it, who takes me along through XieXiaoFei's journey of self discovery with humor, joy & sadness, without him, it would be a much lesser drama.
Totally, the show and acting gets better with each episode. As we learn more about Xe Xia, ZiTao as an actor has more to work with, therefore his acting gets better with each episode. I think has acting was limited at the start since his character was shallow, but he more freedom to act now that the character has more substance.
I really like your comment "…even if the character's action is predictable, the way ZiTao acts is not", I have found his reactions and nuances very natural. For Example his facial expression when he hears about Tang Wei parents for the first time. I love how straight forward he is, especially when he pursues Wei. In contrast I find Dylan Kuo's character creepy while pursuing Wei.
Really enjoyed reading your comments and thoughts!!
Whoops, the comment below is meant to be a "reply" to yours.
Are you joking about Tao is easy on the eyes? I found him the least attractive with his excessive makeups and liner. Only a narcissist would be that vain about himself. It’s not the makup artists fault for his makeup because he wears that much amount outside of his series.
He looks like a girl. Sometimes he looks like Yang Mi’s sister that it’s hard to believe they’re romantically involved.
OMG I so agree with you. It’s nausea seeing his face. Even 3.3 score on watercress aka douban with 25k people evaluating it agrees with you. Tao is part of the problem!!! Yang Mi going through a midlife crisis casting such young grass.
Omg, I agree with the make-up thing. I originally commented on that in my post, but decided to take it out. His eye-brows and eyeliner…!!! ha, really is a much.
That's interesting that he may have insisted on that make-up and not the make-up artist. I do like him in this show, but every now and then the eyeliner definition throws me off!
Subs for Legend of the Dragon Pearl has started so I will check that out.
I have the same thoughts, but I will still watch this show because I like Yang Mi
Yes! I've been waiting for so long!!! Can you tell me where they are beginning to sub?