While typecasting is not usually a good thing, it seems to have worked well for Chinese actress Zhao Lusi who’s repeatedly starred in dramas that fall into the trend of light-hearted romances that don’t take itself too seriously.
Often armed with a plot where anything goes, time travel is undoubtedly a popular choice. The Romance of Tiger and Rose 传闻中的陈芊芊 marks Zhao Lusi’s third time travel drama after Oh! My Emperor and Love Better Than Immortality (technically, fourth if we’re counting Cinderella Chef). Zhao Lusi plays a screenwriter who gets stuck inside a script of her own making in a place where women are in charge. Except she’s not even the heroine but a side character. Leading man Ding Yuxi is a prince from an enemy state where men take charge. They butt heads, hearts flutter and you get the gist.
Zhao Lusi who’s found a niche in these web dramas addresses the notion that acting skills are not needed for the type of genre. In a recent interview with Ruxi 入戏, she shares, “There are so many tianchongju 甜宠剧 (sweet dramas), but the ones you can accept are not many because it has to be sweet without being cringey for it to be good.” Zhao Lusi explains that filming sweet romances is just like filming any other drama. There are bloopers and scenes have to make the cut, so it’s not true that it’s much easier to film than others.
With made for web dramas usually smaller in scale, so many get made but it does take that one ‘silly yet addictively sweet’ drama to stand out. With all the problems in the world, I get the appeal.