Years after her family’s unjust execution, Shen Zhao’Er (Sun Qian) disguises herself as a man to become a physician for the cold-hearted Military Commander Ji Heng (Huang Jun Jie).
It’s been hard, but I’m victorious at last! After long months of effort, I’ve finally managed to finish a drama. Woohoo!
The Best Siblings
One of the things I loved the most in Dr. Cutie was the relationship between the siblings. For the most part, they’re very honest with each other, and know each other like the back of their hand. Ji Heng enabling his brother’s pranks and laughing to himself in the background even though he’s got no idea what’s going on was a pure delight to watch. Ji Heng and Ji Zheng are a true, united pair, understand each other and stand by each other through hell and high water. Which is just fantastic to watch, especially in a historical setting, in which sibling relationships tend to be fraught with envy, scheming and betrayal.
I also came to really like the male lead, namely, Ji Heng. Although he does seem to fit the cold-hearted manly military man stereotype at first, he quickly shows that he can be fair, protective towards all those under his roof (guest or servant alike), and he doesn’t shy away from giving rewards where they’re due. He’s kind of a jerk, sure, but what made me fall in love with him was his playful nature. You’ll see.
The Fine Art of Bullshitting
This girl is an expert bullshitter. No, really, she is. You’ll find yourself grinning in advance when she gets herself in a pickle, just waiting to see what sort of far-fetched excuse she’ll come up with this time.
The problem is that she lacks sincerity as a result. While you can definitely see that Ji Heng’s feelings are very genuine, it’s difficult to believe in her love for him. Why? Because she’s constantly looking for how she profits from relationships. Poor A-Zheng offers her his friendship, and all she can think is “yay, one more person to protect me if the Commander gets mad at me!” before accepting with a huge smile.
In other words, all she thinks about is money, and how to live longer. Which I kinda get, but at the same time, there should have been a switch between this mentality and a new, more selfless, loving personality so the audience could clearly see that she was growing as a person, and truly coming to love these people. Instead, all we get is that she’s using them, their sincerity, and their kindness, and that’s just wrong in a romcom such as Dr. Cutie.
On top of that, everything the brothers think she does for them, she actually does out of obligation or accident. She never willingly sacrifices herself for them the way they endanger their considerable fortune and even their lives for her. Yet, she reaps the benefits as if she had.
In the end, the show only manages to make Shen Zhao’Er out to be a gold-digger, and that’s just sad.
Sadly, there’s one more thing which really put me off this romance, namely, its pacing. In fact, the pacing of the entire show is pretty terrible. The main plot points are as follows: Zhao’Er’s quest for revenge, and her secret identity as a female.
The thing is, both of those plot points are already pretty flimsy on their own (I can’t think of anything else that happened over the course of the drama), but they were also dragged aaall the way to the last seven episodes, at which point Zhao’Er and Ji Heng were suddenly crazy in love and super intimate?
I honestly felt like I’d missed an episode or something.
Also, there was literally so much buildup about one specific plot point, and then it just fell so flat I could almost hear it go splat.
But the absolute worst thing about this romance, I think, is that the cutest scenes between the couple actually happen… in their daydreams! What a waste.
In the end, you know what I loved the most about Dr Cutie? The production values. Everything was gorgeous. The scenery, the framing of every shot, the costumes, the music. Every scene is a feast for the eyes, and I fell in love with every one of Ji Heng’s costumes. As for the score, it’s very romantic, and I’m just so sad they never released an album, because it really deserves it.
All in All…
Dr Cutie is a decent show, and worth a look if only for its gorgeous production values and score. The romance is nothing to write home about, but even if she’s hard to really like, you’ll at least have a good laugh watching Shen Zhao’Er’s antics.
Title: Dr. Cutie
Starring: Sun Qian, Huang Jun Jie, Zha Jie
Aired: 01/18/2020 to 02/12/2020
Number of episodes: 28
Genres: Historical, Romance