Chinese Name: 漂亮的李慧珍
Brief Summary: Bai Hao Yu (Peter Sheng) returns to China to reconnect with his childhood friend Li Hui Zhen (Dilmurat Dilraba), but mistakes her best friend Xia Qiao (Sierra Li) for her. Embarrassed that she is no longer as pretty as Bai Hao Yu remembers, Li Hui Zhen begs her friend to pretend to be her and meet with him once to give their friendship closure. However, after struggling to find a job, Li Hui Zhen receives a coveted internship only to discover that her boss is Bai Hao Yu.
Stream It: Viki
Recommendation: Skip It and Watch the Korean Version
I really liked the original Korean version, She Was Pretty, so I was really excited to watch the Chinese remake. However, at 40 episodes, Pretty Li Hui Zhen was just not worth it. Maybe if it had been 20 episodes I would have recommended it.
Dilmurat Dilraba‘s Li Hui Zhen is very, very quirky but rather than being annoying, actually grew on me. She has a kind heart and tends to be pretty meek, but the moments in which she speaks up for herself are glorious. It’s Peter Sheng as Bai Hao Yu that I felt was the most lacking. He’s stone cold with no emotions for almost the entire drama. I never felt a connection between him and Li Hui Zhen and instead it felt like he was simply clinging to his memories. The flashbacks of them as children were the highlights of their relationship. I only knew what he was feeling because of his phone calls with his friend.
Also, can I just say that I have been seeing Zhang Bin Bin (aka Vin Zhang) a lot recently?! He was charming and funny in Pretty Li Hui Zhen and I thought he was well-cast. I was just thinking that he was overdue for a leading role and I see that he’s starring in a period drama with Dilmurat Dilraba!! Perhaps I’ll write a post dedicated to him soon.
What I enjoyed the most about this drama is the friendship between Li Hui Zhen and Xia Qiao. We aren’t given any backstory regarding their friendship but I just really felt the depth of their friendship. I know what you’re thinking – she deceives her best friend and prevents her from being with Bai Hao Yu sooner, and even gives Li Hui Zhen bad advice in an attempt to keep Bai Hao Yu for herself. And yet even as I was yelling at the TV screen, I understand Xia Qiao’s reasons. It’s too bad she didn’t fall for Lin Yi Mu instead. I really enjoyed their scenes together.
I have to mention how trendy Xia Qiao’s outfits were with all those off-the-shoulder looks! I swear at least 50% of the tops I’ve seen lately have been off-the-shoulder so they definitely did a good job in that aspect of the show.
I really liked Zhu Ying’s character. She was a kind, encouraging mentor to Li Hui Zhen. And lastly, I’m glad that Li Hui Zhen follows her dream in the end. That’s definitely the kind of message I like to see!