[Review] Ode to Joy

I was a little reluctant to watch Ode to Joy at first because the story line didn’t seem that interesting but I’m glad I did because it was a lot more entertaining than I thought. The drama was released back in mid-2016 starring Liu Tao, Wang Ziwen, Jiang Xin, Yang Zi and Qian Xin with a total of 42 episodes.

Synopsis: This simple story is about 5 women in 3 apartments sharing the top floor of an apartment building as they each go through family, financial, relationship, and career related struggles. They started off as frenemies and ended up as reliable friends and floor mates that helped and supported each other through personal problems.

What I like about this drama is that is it more realistic than fairy tale. Introducing the characters: we have the cool and charismatic Andy (Liu Tao), the annoying but smart and cunning XiaoXiao (Wang Zi Wen), the money hungry but loyal big sister Fan Shengmei (Jiang Xin), the happy go lucky Ying Ying (Yangzi) and the timid and quiet Guan Juer (Qiao Xin).These ladies in the drama are very different and it’s nice that the story doesn’t try to force them to get along. They started out with conflicts and misjudgments and even after the wrinkles have been ironed out, you still see some reserve judgements they have for one another till the end (and that’s normal). Also, the actresses that portrayed these characters fit the bill really well.

For me, It’s is a fun and angst less kind of drama that I can watch without feeling like it is draggy (like most Chinese dramas) even though there are 42 episodes. The story line moves along at a good pace and there are so many twists and turns in the character development that makes the drama a little unpredictable. For me, Andy’s story was the most interesting and twisted (but it could also be because I’m biased toward Liu Tao…) and Fan Shengmei’s was the most shocking and emotional. The other 3 doesn’t have much of a background story but Qu XiaoXiao was a fun character to watch.

But instead of just me blabbing, please vote to also let others know if this is worthy drama to watch or not.

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9 thoughts on “[Review] Ode to Joy

  1. To be honest, I actually love Xiao Xiao character the most. Ying Ying and Guan Juer was the scenes I skippedbthe most, they were annoying.

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  2. I was really looking forward to this drama when the cast was first announced (the NiF cast, Yang Zi and Jiang Xin). I liked the focus on the group dynamics and how the characters felt like people that exist in real life. The drama felt a bit dull though and I kinda lost interest towards the second half. Would still recommend it as one of the better modern C-dramas in recent years. Plus the acting is A+ (Jiang Xin esp. is amazing!)

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  3. I love Chinese modern dramas like this one, because it makes the characters realistic instead of portraying them as one dimensional characters to to fill a storyline. These 5 characters resemble us or people around us to a little bit of an extreme, but you can pretty much see a glimpse of someone you know in each of them. I like how you see the good and bad parts of each of their personalities, not the simplistic so good everyone steps on you or evil to the core characters you see in most dramas (kdramas especially). As much as some parts annoyed me, I didn’t skip anything, because I love seeing the characters evolve, learn to see things from a different perspective and grow into a better version of themselves. It’s more of a lessons on life handbook than a typical drama, and that’s what I love most about it. It’s rare for me to hate a character in the beginning, but love them at the end, but that’s how my feelings for Xiao Xiao were. I could not stand her at the start of this drama, but by the end she became my favorite. She is spoiled, snarky and can be a real bitch, but then you realize that there are parts of her that are quite admirable. It’s so funny you wrote this review now, because I was so deprived of Wang Kai/Wang Ziwen interactions waiting for episodes of When a Snail Falls in Love that I rewatched bits and pieces of Ode to joy this past weekend so it’s still fresh in my mind. I cannot wait for Ode to Joy 2 to come out next year.

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    • Love ur review! reviews like this make writing reviews so much more fun! =D
      hahah. I re-watched this drama also when I couldn’t find a good one to watch. But it was mainly Andy’s and Xiao Xiao’s parts that I watched.
      Looking forward to Ode to Joy 2 too!

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  4. I couldn’t finish Ode To Joy – Wang Zhi Wen’s voice was really grating (not the character though somehow) and somehow my interest was not sustained. Somehow I am not a big fan of contemporary c-drama unless it’s lite and easy (Shan Shan Lai Le or Best Get Going). Just a personal preference I guess!

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  5. i saw this fanmade clip of xiao qin & wang kai. my ship that never sailed despite all the stuff they been together

    but i didn’t continue ode to joy bc i couldn’t deal w/ wzw (also reason why i didn’t start that new drama..)

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  6. I love this drama not only because it’s about sisterhood and relationships between the characters but it talks alot about society (especially Chinese society) which i can relate to. And of course the direction and style it had was so subtle yet you can’t miss it.

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