Arts and Entertainment

Everyone Loves Me: A Unique, Yet Classic Take On the Romantic Comedy

“Everyone Loves Me” is a fresh take on the eSports romantic comedy genre, with good casting and a unique plot line

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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By Filie Chen

Throughout recent years, C-dramas have grown in popularity alongside the Chinese eSports industry, which now has a user base of over 480 million people in China alone. The mingling of these two influential elements of Chinese pop culture has led to the rise of popular gaming-centered C-dramas, such as Go Go Squid! (2019), Falling Into Your Smile (2021), and Love O2O (2016). A new and unique addition to this genre is Everyone Loves Me (2024).

This drama, which stars Lin Yi as male lead Gu Xun and Zhou Ye as female lead Yue Qian Ling, begins with a romantic predicament: Qian Ling has had a crush on Gu Xun for years but never had a chance to express her feelings—until Gu Xun and Qian Ling share an office. Using advice from a close online gaming friend, Qian Ling attempts to charm Gu Xun, but to no avail. Finally, she abandons her pursuit after being publicly rejected by Gu Xun at their graduation ceremony. That being said, not all is lost, as Gu Xun realizes that the online friend he has a crush on is, in fact, Qian Ling. As she and Gu Xun start to work together to create the next great triple-A game, Gu Xun attempts to rekindle his relationship with her.

Everyone Loves Me is a classic romantic comedy with cheesy jokes, awkward romance, and incredibly good-looking characters. Nevertheless, the pacing within the show is incredibly slow at times, making it almost painful to watch. This is especially true during the first few episodes, where Qian Ling tries multiple times to make Gu Xun fall in love with her. As a part of these attempts, actress Zhou Ye portrays a character who pretends to have a childish personality but actually has the opposite. This, among others, is an example of Qian Ling’s duality, which Ye expertly performs. On the other hand, Ye’s performance is lacking in scenes where Qian Ling is meant to be sad, as the actress never appears to commit fully. Another notable casting choice was Lin for Gu Xun; the actor plays his character with an air of confidence and youth, a vital characteristic due to Gu Xun’s trailblazer nature in the gaming industry.

Throughout the show, all of the characters—even the main leads—lack depth. There is a lack of character development across the entire cast, as the writers allow the plot to be driven by slowly revealing characters’ personalities. This is especially evident in Gu Xun, whose “real” personality is revealed to Qian Ling only after he rejects her, therefore leaving the viewer wondering what Qian Ling liked about him other than his looks. This example highlights the need for clear reasoning behind the characters’ actions. Without that, viewers have an insufficient understanding of the show’s relationship dynamics and each character’s true desires. Nonetheless, Qian Ling is a positive standout due to her unique career; there are few C-dramas with a female lead who makes a living from art. Beyond this fact, however, the characters fall under common tropes like the love rival, the best friend, and even the ugly duckling, resulting in a predictable viewing experience.

While similar to many other romantic comedies, Everyone Loves Me distinguishes itself by maintaining a natural, lighthearted atmosphere. A factor in this romance is the chemistry between the main leads that helps maintain the tension between the characters while also fueling sweet, romantic scenes later in the show. Another factor is the show’s frequent yet skillful use of romantic tropes, such as the hidden office romance. This, in particular, is dealt with in a refreshing manner as it is quickly discovered by those around them. 

Gaming remains a prominent theme throughout the plot in different forms. In the show’s beginning, gaming serves as a form of connection between Qian Ling and Gu Xun—something that they can both engage in. Yet, toward the latter half, gaming became part of their work environment as they worked to create a Triple-A game. This shift helps to freshen the plot and eliminate repetitiveness, making the show stand out amongst its fellow eSports C-dramas, which tend to focus entirely on gameplay. While eSports may seem like a peculiar choice in the genre, it is incredibly popular within China and is a very successful industry for the country, which has the largest eSports market in the world. The prominence of eSports C-dramas can attest to this fact, as television reflects and influences popular culture simultaneously. This is amidst the Chinese government making attempts to limit the amount of time and money spent on video games. This clear separation of interests between the government and popular culture in China reflects a larger question that the whole world seems to be facing: what should be done about the increasing prominence of technology in everyday life? Should it be embraced or faced with caution?

Everyone Loves Me is an incredibly entertaining drama whose vibrant—albeit stereotypical—cast of characters paired with its usage of romantic tropes serve to create a great comfort show. What ultimately sets this show apart from others within its genre is the dynamic role of eSports throughout its plotline as well as its well-executed casting of charismatic actors. Despite the occasional frustratingly slow period, Everyone Loves Me is ultimately worth a watch, especially for those who enjoy lighthearted romances and other eSports C-dramas.