- Title: Exclusive Fairytale
- Also Known As: 独家童话, Du Jia Tong Hua, The Rabbit Overwhelms the Grass at the Edge of the Nest, Once We Come Across Love
- Director: Gong Yu Shi
- Cast: Zhang Miao Yi, Jun
- Genres: Comedy, Romance, Youth
- Country: China
- Type: Drama
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jul 27, 2023
- Original Network: iQiyi
- Where to Watch: iQiyi, Viki
- Adapted from the novel: “Once We Come Across Love” by Yi Jin
Dear readers, nowadays every time I opened my streaming apps and Youtube home, there was a particular genre that popped up everywhere. It was the youth genre, specifically school romance where young and cute faces adorned in school uniforms exude youthful aura. And like a moth that was attracted to the flame, I would click it whenever I see it. It has not been too long since I wrote the review of Hidden Love drama and When I Fly Towards You drama, and now this is another review post of the school romance drama, Exclusive Fairytale. Happy reading!
Exclusive Fairytale Synopsis
Ling Chao and Xiao Tu had been together since they were babies. Their parents were godparents for each other and they treat themselves as non-blood-related siblings. They spent most of their time together and had become each other support.
Their parents, especially their mothers tried to set Xiao Tu and Ling Chao up. Ling Chao’s mother was very fond of Xiao Tu because she always wanted to have a daughter. Meanwhile, Xiao Tu’s mother was fond of Ling Chao because of his brilliance.
As their birthday was only separated by days, Ling Chao and Xiao Tu were practically like a twin. They knew each other likes and dislikes, hobbies, and even their routines. They entered the same school from kindergarten to high school. Ling Chao was younger than Xiao Tu. But since his academic level was higher, Ling Chao become Xiao Tu’s senior at her high school.
However, there was a stark contrast between Ling Chao and Xiao Tu, their family’s situation. Xiao Tu grew up with her parents while Ling Chao’s father left his wife and son. For years, Ling Chao keep his mixed feeling of love and hate for his father. He become much more sensitive and mature compared to Xiao Tu.
Ling Chao’s life was inseparable from Xiao Tu’s. Therefore, when Ling Chao learned that somebody might replace his place in Xiao Tu’s life, he felt an inexplicable feeling. And that was the time Ling Chao realized that he fall in love with his best friend. Unfortunately, Xiao Tu did not appear to have the same feelings as him.
For the first time, Ling Chao feels a sense of urgency to chase her. Sooner or later, they would have to be separated since he was going to graduate earlier than Xiao Tu. And if he was slow, the little rabbit might run away into somebody else’s house.
Exclusive Fairytale Review
Exclusive Fairytale was a school romance drama starring Zhang Miao Yi and Jun SEVENTEEN. This drama was hyped mostly because of the actors. Zhang Miao Yi’s latest drama, When I Fly Towards You, still sat in the top ten on the Youku app. Meanwhile, Jun was a member of the Korean idol group, SEVENTEEN.
My knowledge of Korean idol groups was not enough to give you in-depth reports about Jun and his group. But when I checked the internet, Jun’s fan base was huge. And I am sure it would grow after this drama. Although Jun was famous worldwide after he joined SEVENTEEN, he was famous as an actor in China. He began acting at 3 years old, and his filmography was quite long.
The school romance genre often gives you positive vibes. This genre often comes in lighthearted stories mainly about family. The romance usually bloomed slowly, it was sweet and heartwarming, and would leave you smiling, grinning, laughing, and crying all the way from the first episode to the very last one. And apparently, this genre was all over Cdramaland nowadays.
This trend might be interesting at first. Until you found that almost all of them have the same troupe: it was always the female lead who fall in love in the first place. The boy would be surrounded by girls and the female lead had to fight for the boy. And don’t forget the friends around them who seemed to step out of the comedy skit.
But Exclusive Fairytale gives you a different point of view. It was the smart intelligent boy who fell in love for the first time, while the cute adorable girl was clueless for a very long time. It was he, who have to make the first move, got jealous of many boys who coveted her, and at the same time had to make her fall in love with him.
Anyhow, Exclusive Fairytale hits differently. Xiao Tu’s character was comical, but her reaction when she realized Ling Chao’s feelings was very much normal. She got panicked, scared, and confused at the same time. When something that had been a constant variable showed an abnormality, our first reaction might be panic and questioning what happened.
In my opinion, Exclusive Fairytale was comedy-romance drama (yes… not romance-comedy, but COMEDY-ROMANCE). When I start watching this drama, it immediately lights up my night. Literally! Because I ended up watching this drama with lights on, all night. And I had a very good laugh because of it. The amount of comedy they gave me was enough for me to have a burst of good laughter for a week.
The source of the comedy in this drama was of course Xiao Tu and her foolish behavior and one-track mind. But Ling Chao come second because of the way he chased Xiao Tu. Well, what can you expect from an intelligent computer-major college student with zero amount of love experience? Ling Chao might have all the dorm room squad helped him, but it only made the stupidity multiplied by four. They should be writing a book on How To Fail Chasing a Girl…😂
The only reason why their strategy succeeded was because the girl was Xiao Tu. If it was another girl, Ling Chao might fail miserably. 😁
Exclusive Fairytale’s story was very light. No complicated problems, no overly jealous love rivals, no bad parents involved, and no breakup for our lead characters.
Although the relationship between Ling Chao and Xiao Tu was a bit chaotic, they showed us that devotion was not the only thing that matter in a relationship. Communication was the key. And Jiang Juan Juan and Jia Si Wen’s story showed us how lacked communication would destroy a relationship.
This drama was Zhang Miao Yi’s second school romance drama in 2023. As a 24 years old actress, she had a very young face. The bangs and ponytails give her a younger appearance and it suits her. The makeup and get-up were only slightly different from When I Fly Towards You.
If you took a closer look at when she played Su Zai Zai, Zhang Miao Yi’s acts were more adorable, cute, and a little bit seductive. But as Xiao Tu, she looked like a little devil turned into a teenage girl. Everything about Xiao Tu was loud, fierce, and hectic. Zhang Miao Yi did a very good job as Xiao Tu. Kudos for her!
Contrary to his high level of intelligence, Ling Chao’s social skill was meh. He had a hard time remembering names and expressing his feelings. Ling Chao always walks around with a cold and indifferent expression on his face. He only showed his goofy side when he was with Xiao Tu, his family, and his dorm roommates.
This was the first time I saw Jun’s acting. As Ling Chao, Jun was quite good at expressing Ling Chao’s feelings. The cold expression suits him, but when he becomes a seductress, it suits him more😚. The only thing that made me unsatisfied was when he showed anxiousness when he realized that Xiao Tu might not be able to enroll in Yunhai University. I am sure Jun could do much better than that. However, Jun and Zhang Miao Yi’s chemistry was undeniable. They fit perfectly as Ling Chao and Xiao Tu.
Some time ago, I wrote a review of Gao Wei Guang’s drama, The Outsiders. It was about the relationship between a high-profile CEO and his employee. Although the actors were mature, the drama only had a very little skinship scene and if I am not mistaken, one kissing scene.
Meanwhile, school romance dramas such as Exclusive Fairytale, When I Fly Towards You, and Hidden Love had plenty of kissing and intimate scenes. This was a perfect description of how crazy hormones could be when we were young. And I guess the author and screenwriter did consider this aspect carefully…😅
Exclusive Fairytale was full of promotions for Jun. As a member of a famous Korean boyband, SEVENTEEN, Jun’s face were all over magazine, TV shows, and YouTube full of Jun and his group videos. In this drama, Jiang Juan Juan acts as a hardcore fan of idols named Wenjun, Junhui, and Wenhui.
It was a word game for Jun’s real name, Wen Jun Hui. And the pictures of Wenjun, Junhui, or Wenhui which were plastered on magazines and posters were Jun’s, he only had a different hairstyle, hair colors, and makeup. t was a LOL moment when I saw the confusion among Xiao Tu, Jia Si Wen, and Mr. Xue when they thought that Wenjun, Junhui, and Wenhui were the same person.
Meanwhile, Jiang Juan Juan said that they were three different people. And only she could identify which one was Wenjun, Junhui, or Wenhui. I have never thought this kind of advertising could exist. It was a genius idea…👏
This adorable drama was an adaptation of a novel titled Once We Come Across Love by Yi Jin. I’ve never read this novel, but I used to read one of Yi Jin’s novels, Can I Not Marry? It has the same cliché story, but I love the funny parts. Exclusive Fairytale’s story was better than the previous story. I just put this novel into my list, in case I do have spare time and need some laughter.
The director of this drama was Gong Yu Shi. There was not much information about him, except Exclusive Fairytale was his second drama. However, I was quite fond of how he directed this adorable masterpiece. I love every single detail in this drama. For example, Xiao Tu was a snack hoarder since she was in high school (I did not know whether she also did the same in elementary school and junior high school, but I guess hoarding snacks was her habit for years).
If you take a closer look at her desk in college, there were many snack hanging on her wall. When we talked about the scenes, I always like when a drama showed a scene where the character talked to the camera. It feels like I, the viewer, was a part of the story. And Gong Yu Shi also uses this kind of technique in this drama.
One last thing, if you wondered why this drama title was Exclusive Fairytale, it was a computer program that Ling Chao invented when he feel that his relationship was a long-distance relationship because Xiao Tu was very busy with her social appointment. The program was made for couples, so they could share their schedule and activities. It was specially made for those couples who were too busy to text or call their lover.
As a youth genre, Exclusive Fairytale starts earlier than other dramas. Hidden Love started when Sang Zhi met Duan Jia Xu when she was 14 years old. But Xiao Tu met Ling Chao when she was barely one month old. From the very first time, they already built some connections. As a baby, Ling Chao already showed his true nature, quiet and imposed. Every adult tried to make him cry or laugh, but no to avail.
Even his parents were worried Ling Chao developed a speech disability. But when Xiao Tu was brought to him, she cried and it was contagious. Soon after he listen to Xiao Tu’s voice, Ling Chao cried too. So the parents put her in the same crib to let the babies cry together…😅
Their interactions never stop even until they were in elementary school. Xiao Tu was like a walking typhoon. She almost destroys Ling Chao because of her affection for him. Once she made his foot fractured and had to put on a plaster cast. Before the foot healed, Xiao Tu made him injure his head.
It happened because a group of kids bully Ling Chao because of the plaster and he had to sit in a wheelchair. Xiao Tu saw it and got angry. She throws small stones at them. However, the stone did not hit the bullies. Instead, it hit the victim, leaving Ling Chao with a plastered foot and a bleeding head.😂
Ling Chao was annoyed by her, but could not get rid of Xiao Tu. Meanwhile, because of the bullying incident, Xiao Tu starts to learn taekwondo to protect her younger brother. It seemed that Xiao Tu did not remember that the injuries on Ling Chao were her doing…🤣
The love-hate relationship continues in their teenage years. They are more like siblings who care for each other in the weirdest and funniest way. Could not stay away for too long, but as soon they were put in the same room, they would start bickering. In their high school years, Ling Chao could admitted to Number 1 High School in Yidong because of his intelligence, Xiao Tu followed suit because of her achievement in taekwondo.
Ling Chao skipped a year and enter the 2nd grade, while Xiao Tu had to stay in 1st grade. Xiao Tu believed that he did it because Ling Chao wanted to avoid him. Did it work? Hell no! She keeps pestering him and they keep bickering every day.😅
However, no matter how badly they quarreled, Xiao Tu and Ling Chao already felt a sense of connection between them. They were always on good terms. Even when they got angry with each other, they would still stand up for one another. And this kind of contradictory relationship last for years. Before the romance hit them, Ling Chao and Xiao Tu were just like Sang Yan and Sang Zhi in Hidden Love.
It could not be said that Ling Chao and Xiao Tu were close to each other solely because they were childhood friends or neighbors. Xu Ling Long and Ye Jun grew up with them too. Xu Ling Long had a crush on Ling Chao but he would always avoid her. Ye Jun was Xiao Tu’s childhood crush because he was very kind to her. But when they grew up, Xiao Tu could quickly address her feelings for him as admiration. While she needed forever to understand her feelings for Ling Chao.
It was funny to see the mothers work hard to set them up as a pair. They sometimes call each other “in-laws” and always create opportunities for Xiao Tu and Ling Chao so they could spend some time together. Ling Chao’s father joined the mother’s team when he returned.
But Xiao Tu’s father was adamant to let his daughter get to know other boys. Mr. Xiao was the only person who was excited when Yin Zihan visited their house. Meanwhile, Xiao Tu’s mother and Ling Chao’s mother were anxious. It was foreseeable when only Mr. Xiao who got shocked when he found out that Xiao Tu and Ling Chao were in an ambiguous position on the sofa.
While Xiao Tu had a very good connection with her parents, Ling Chao grew up estranged from his father. Mr. Ling worked away from his wife and son. Ling Chao grew up only with his mother and he could figure out how hard it was to raise a son.
Thankfully, there was Mr. Xiao who could fill the gap, although he was just a godfather. Later when Mr. Ling return to live with his wife and son, the father-and-son relationship hit bumpy roads first before it could slowly ease.
The lack of parental love made Ling Chao grow up faster. He was more mature and independent compared to Xiao Tu who was spoiled by her parents and Ling Chao’s mother. Yes, it was true that Ling Chao’s mother spoiled Xiao Tu better than her parents. Mrs. Ling always wanted to have a daughter so she treat Xiao Tu like her own. She would buy Xiao Tu cute underwear as it was just a normal thing to do. Meanwhile, Xiao Tu’s parents held admiration for Ling Cao given to his intelligent brain. Something that their daughter lacked.🤣
Ling Chao had to thank Yin Zihan for making him realize his feeling for Xiao Tu. If he did not appear and shown that Ling Chao’s position could easily be replaced by another, Ling Chao would never felt a sense of crisis. But he was not the only one who felt that way. Ling Chao’s mother also felt that she might lose her “daughter” if Yin Zihan marries Xiao Tu.
So because of Yin Zihan Mrs. Ling urged her son to chase Xiao Tu. Ling Chao’s parents already gave their blessing for him to chase after Xiao Tu in episode 16. When his mother asked Ling Chao about what kind of feelings he had for Xiao Tu.
Ling Chao immediately answered that he wanted to raise a family with her. And I was like “Whoaa!!! Seriously?” They were college students and he already thought that far. But then I realized that Ling Chao was a person who had a sharp focus. He would never waste his time on some useless romance.
Their relationship was finally confirmed in episode 17. It really took more than 10 episodes for Ling Chao and Xiao Tu for
There were several love rivals that Ling Chao had to face. Because apparently, although Xiao Tu was a careless and childish girl, many boys liked him. Started from Yin Zihan who liked her a lot when they were in high school, Zhou Xing Yu, who fell in love with her because of her righteousness, and Jiang Hu, the scumbag who thought Xiao Tu was falling in love with him.
I’m not sure whether I should put Ye Jun’s name on the list because it was obvious that he did not romantically attracted to her. On the contrary, Ye Jun seemed to know about Ling Chao’s feelings for Xiao Tu since the beginning. And he also realized that Xiao Tu’s feeling for him was just admiration. Meanwhile, there were only Xu Ling Long, Yin Xin Lan, and several bypassers (like the flower girl) who liked Ling Chao. And all of them were rejected on the spot.
My favorite second male lead was Yin Zihan. He was cute, friendly, and really care about Xiao Tu. It was too bad, he had to go abroad during their 3rd grade. I wonder if Yin Zihan stay while Ling Chao had to go, what would happen? Would Xiao Tu fall for him?
There was a second couple, Jiang Juan Juan and Jia Si Wen. However, their relationship journey was not as smooth as Xiao Tu and Ling Chao’s. Jia Si Wen fell in love with Jiang Juan Juan when they were a desk mate in high school. Jia Si Wen used to be Yin Zihan’s deskmate.
But Mr. Xue, the homeroom teacher, suddenly thought that Xiao Tu and Jiang Juan Juan should never sit together because they keep talking all day. So he switches the deskmates. It ended with Xiao Tu sitting with Yin Zihan while Jiang Juan Juan sat with Jia Si Wen.
Jia Si Wen and Jiang Juan Juan liked each other, but they did not have the same brain frequency. In other words, they were clueless about each other train of thought. Jia Si Wen did not know that Jiang Juan Juan was someone who abided by the rule and rituals of dating. In her mind, a couple should stay together all the time.
And if they were in a long-distance relationship, they should always report each other activities. And this was something that Jia Si Wen lacked. He was not able to contact her all the time because he was studying to be a geographer. And a geographer should go to remote places to do what a geographer should do.
When a lover lacked communication, it would jeopardize their relationship. And apparently, both Jiang Juan Juan and Jia Si Wen suffered from it. Their characters also play a huge role in this problem. Jia Si Wen was a shy and passive boy, meanwhile, Jiang Juan Juan was a straightforward and bold girl.
Even when they got together, Jia Si Wen was too nervous that he talk a lot about meteors and sunset and many things that nobody could understand. While Jiang Juan Juan was impatient and cut him off by saying “I like you too”. If only they have the time to talk openly about their feelings and everything related to them, they would never have a sad breakup.
But, if they never broke up, then Jiang Juan Juan would not become mature and Jia Si Wen would not realize how much she meant to him.
The ending of this drama was of course happy. However, Ling Chao had to work hard to make Mr. Xiao approve of their relationship.
Ling Chao (played by Jun) was a genius kid who excel in every subject since he was in kindergarten. He was always passionate about computers and programming. Since he was blessed with a brilliant mind, Ling Chao easily entered the best school in Yidong City. When he graduated From high school he could be admitted to the number one college, Qingbei University. Yet, he chooses Yunhai University for specific reasons. Ling Chao analyzes everything in his life and he was a very logical person.
Nobody was perfect in this world, indeed. Ling Chao served as a good example here. He was so tall and handsome as hell, yet struggled socially. He barely could remember names, rarely smile and was a bit TOO straightforward.
As the only son in his family, Ling Chao was close to his mother. Especially after his father left them to work in another town. Ling Chao realized that his mother had some kind of excessive fondness for Xiao Tu because she always wanted to have a daughter.
Instead of being jealous, he just let his mother do whatever she wanted to. Including bought underwear for Xiao Tu. He also knows how to protect Xiao Tu, because he realized that if something happened to Xiao Tu, his mother would be sad.
Ling Chao looked cold, indifferent, and tense. But in reality, he was a sensible and sensitive person. He always looked serious and calm. But when he was with Xiao Tu, he was silly, funny, mischievous, and often get jealous because Xiao Tu was too popular.
However, aside from his flaws, Ling Chao’s devotion to Xiao Tu was admirable. He never waver and he always tried to get her heart because he realized that she was the only one for him.
Xiao Tu (played by Zhang Miao Yi) was literally a small rabbit. She never stop moving around and her energy level was high. She was a real-life Energizer Bunny. She was older than Ling Chao and always regarded herself as the older sister and he was the younger brother. Even though Ling Chao was waaaayyy more mature than her.
Xiao Tu grew up in the same neighborhood as Ling Chao. Their apartment was in the same compound but on different buildings. Xiao Tu’s parents and Ling Chao’s parents have been friends for years. Therefore, Xiao Tu and Ling Chao could be together since they were young because of this relationship.
Xiao Tu was a courageous and righteous person. She always tries to protect the weak and the people around her. It was cute to see how anxious and confused Xiao Tu was when she knew that Ling Chao might like her.
I think she might already develop feelings for him, however, she just has not realized it. Xiao Tu was the opposite of Jiang Juan Juan. She never cared about the lover’s routines and rituals. She did not need flowers or an excessive way for a confession. A simple thing was enough, because for her, what mattered most was the feelings.
I really admired Xiao Tu for her positive attitude. She never regarded somebody as bad, until they really showed it. But she was not someone who could be cheated on easily.
Exclusive Fairytale was a lighthearted drama that would warm your heart. The story was funny and romantic. It was entertaining enough that you might want to rewatch it over and over again. I knew that because there was a big possibility I would choose this drama whenever my mood level was low. The amount of laughter that this drama gave me was enough to lift my mood quickly.
I was glad that the production team made this drama in a short 24 episodes. It feels enough, not too long nor too short. Perfect for a quick getaway from a hectic week. And if you decide to watch it, don’t be alarmed if you ended up binge-watching it for the entire weekend. However, trust me, no matter what method you used to watch this drama, I am sure you would enjoy it to your heart’s content. Happy watching!