Once We Get Married (2021) Summary & Review: Wang Zi Qi & Wang Yu Wen’s Fake Marriage Drama Is Flawed But Interesting

Once We Get Married (2021) Chinese Drama Review
  • Cast
  • Cinematography
  • Music
  • Rewatch Value
  • Storyline
3.8

I wanted to watch Once We Get Married last year, but due to some circumstances, I kept postponing and postponing until I realised I was swarmed with so many dramas that I couldn’t make time for it.

In case you don’t know, I really got into Chinese dramas last year, so it’s safe to say that I have missed many of the best romantic comedy pieces of the past decade. The joy of watching it now is that I get to binge-watch as much as I want without waiting for weekly releases. 

Anyway, I decided to start watching all the dramas I missed, and Once We Get Married is one of the most popular romantic comedy Chinese dramas that stars two very talented actors and has a dedicated fan base.

Unfortunately, it isn’t available on Netflix, so I watched it on YouTube. But as far as I know, it is also available on their official app, Viki, and MGTV, with 24 40-minute episodes from start to finish.

You should know though that due to copyright reasons, several parts of the YouTube video are muted, but it isn’t so troublesome that you miss anything important. Most times, you can probably infer what is being said because this usually happens mid-scene.

Wang Yu Wen plays Gu Xi Xi, the female lead, and if you haven’t watched this drama, you might recognize her from her role in Tiger and Crane, where she played Zhao Xin Tong, or The Love You Give Me, where she played Min Hui. On the other hand, Wang Zi Qi plays the male lead, Yin Si Chen, and he also starred in The Love You Give Me as Xin Qi.

In Chinese dramas, we have a lot of crossovers, and many actors and actresses work together on multiple joint projects, and this is one of those situations.

Our male lead and our female lead in this drama also starred as the leads in the 2023 secret baby romantic Chinese drama The Love You Give Me. And to be very honest, I preferred Once We Get Married to The Love You Give Me, which I actually had to drop halfway through because it became a little boring.

What is Once We Get Married About? 

Once We Get Married follows Gu Xi Xi, who sources wedding gowns for her clients, and the deal around this is the more expensive the gown, the higher her commission. She runs this business with her best friend, and while they try their best, they are barely floating.

Meanwhile, Yin Si Chen is the CEO of a large shopping mall, and his eternal dream is to sell some very special couture wedding gowns in one of the shops in his mall. He decides to approach the maker of the wedding gowns to strike a deal, but he knows the man has been reluctant and very specific about how he wants his gowns sold, so he decides to use any underhanded method to get the gowns.

In a moment of weakness, he hires our female lead to get those gowns, but then he learns from his secretary that getting those gowns won’t be possible for the female lead because she isn’t exactly the most reputable wedding gown acquirer. So, he decides to take matters into his own hands.

Gu Xi Xi needs the money desperately because, for one, her mother is being financially abused by her grandmother and her father, who even has a mistress outside the home. And she needs money to sustain her lifestyle, so she is desperate the minute she receives the advance payment from the anonymous stranger who wants the special couture wedding gowns. This then puts her in direct opposition to Si Chen, who is also very determined to get those wedding gowns.

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A lot of things happen in this drama. But at the end of the day, they both realize that their best bet is to get into a fake relationship so that they can each get what they want. In time, they start living together, and it is while they are cohabiting together with his grandmother that they start falling in love slowly.

This is basically the gist of this drama, although I tried not to drop too many spoilers because a lot of other things happen that push them even more together. For one, there is a love triangle on both sides, and they are two very different characters, so this is very much a cold person falling for a girl who is all sunshine, but I promise it’s very interesting.

Review of Once We Get Married Chinese Drama 

As I said above, there is a love triangle on both sides, meaning the male lead has a girl who is totally in love with him but whom he tolerates out of politeness, while the female lead has a man who is also deeply in love with her but she simply regards him as a very good friend.

I found this very peculiar and totally unnecessary because it simply bulked up the episode count, with some episodes simply about our male lead being jealous. That doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate a well-crafted jealousy scene, but when it goes on and on, it can become a little tiring to watch.

Now that I’m done watching and I’ve had some time to think about it, I think it’s not even really the love triangle itself that bothers me, but rather the aggressiveness of the two third parties to their relationship. You actually have to watch this drama to know what I’m talking about, but the girl that likes the main lead and the boy that likes the female lead are so forward and direct about how much they are challenging the relationship that it just felt a little too disrespectful for me to even root for or understand them.

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As you usually expect with older Chinese dramas, even though this one was released in 2021, our female lead isn’t exactly portrayed as stupid. I am always a little hesitant to watch old romantic comedy dramas because more often than not, the comedic parts of the drama are usually at the female lead’s expense and these don’t hold up well with time.  

So even though she is a person who has supposedly managed her business for years before meeting the male lead, she is intentionally made less intelligent to bring out the comedy in the drama. In this case, our female lead, though a little odd, is still brilliant from start to finish, and I love that she eventually showed her backbone in the final episodes.

The romance in this drama is very sweet, that’s what I will say right from the beginning. But I do feel that you should know that many old Chinese dramas, and even some recent ones, have vague references to abuse, which is something that I feel should never have made it into the script because it’s simply irritating. For example, at one point in this drama, our main lead, out of jealousy because he wasn’t able to help our female lead with a proposal, tosses her tablet which contained the work files which she had worked on with the 2ml into water.

It sounds unbelievable, right? I mean, Si Chen actually damaged her tablet with water because he had spent time working on another proposal in secret for her, but she got help from someone else, and he wasn’t happy about that. 

He then tried to tell her that he actually had an even better proposal for her, which she brushed off very casually and then told him that she had the proposal she worked on by herself saved to her cloud files, so he didn’t need to bother, and that’s that. They never address his appalling behavior, and this is something that happens time and time again in the drama.

I would have been furious if this happened to me or if it happened to a friend of mine and I heard about it. But then again, it’s a drama, so we don’t actually have to get worked up whenever we see this. But, it’s also very annoying to watch, and I really hope that whoever writes the script knows that abuse like this is intolerable, and putting it on such a huge platform for people to see is very irresponsible of them.

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I know that the primary aim with acting in a drama or even bringing any dramatic production to life is to make money, and the way they make money is if people flock to the drama. Naturally, people will flock to dramas that resonate with things that they enjoy, but I feel that the misconception on the parts of the showrunners, that is the scriptwriters and the producers, is that viewers want to see every cliché be reenacted in a single piece.

You guys, I’m not joking when I say that every single cliché you can imagine is in this drama. Just look at this: he is rich while she’s poor, there is a love triangle, there is a problem with the media, he has problems at work, they have several accidental cases, they sometimes have to share only one bed, they have the matchmaking grandmother, they have the best key underlings, and of course, their best friends also get together.

Now, this isn’t me saying I am strictly against clichés because I know that doing something totally different will probably break a drama. But sometimes, I feel that a drama simply doesn’t have to do every single thing. 

This is something that I felt strongly about when I watched Queen of Tears just last week, and the thought of what could have been with that magnificent drama and the even more magnificent cast is still a sore spot in my mind. I personally do not think that a drama needs to do every single thing, and I think we’re better off with shorter dramas that focus on a single storyline so that it doesn’t feel drawn out.

Is Once We Get Married Worth Watching?

To be honest, I’d say it’s worth watching if you want something lighthearted and incredibly fluffy to keep yourself busy for a couple of hours. This drama isn’t excessively dark, and it doesn’t have a complicated storyline, so it’s pretty good if you just want something to binge on one weekend.

As I said, it has 24 episodes, and each episode is 40 minutes, which is on the longer side, I think, but it’s still enjoyable. And one marvelous thing about Chinese dramas is that they’re very accessible, so if you have the YouTube app, you can watch the complete series for free.

I think you’re going to enjoy Once We Get Married if you like contract marriage Chinese dramas or dramas where our leads live together, or if you can stand the love triangles.

Conclusion

As I always say, I think the most lovely thing about Chinese dramas is that we get to grow with our characters, and that’s an experience that I always cherish. 

In this drama, we see our female lead start from a person who is simply doing what she can to make money to eventually making very important decisions for the sake of her business and her own happiness, even at the cost of greater financial gain, and I think that is wonderful.

And just as I said when I first started this review, I am on a mission to watch all the best romantic comedy Chinese dramas that have been released in the last decade. So if you have any recommendations for me that you’d like to hear my thoughts on, please let me know in the comments section.

You are absolutely free and totally welcome to browse around the website to get even more to-the-point Chinese drama recommendations, and I promise you are going to love them. For now, you can check out this list of the best Chinese dramas with the most lovable, strong, and totally badass female leads.

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