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"If this Best Choice Ever drama is not your cup of tea, you could just watch it to enjoy Xu Kai's good looks :)"

Best Choice Ever Drama Review

  • Drama Title: Best Choice Ever
  • Also Known As: 承欢记, Story of Joy, Cheng Huan Ji
  • Director: Tian Yu, Wang Cheng Xin
  • Cast: Yang Zi, Xu Kai
  • Screenwriter: Hu Xiao Yu, Li Jing Ling, Shinning Wu
  • Genres: Life, Drama, Family, Romance
  • Episodes: 37
  • Date of Release: April 9, 2024
  • Original Network: CCTV, Tencent Video
  • Where to Watch: WeTV, Tencent Video, iQiyi, Viki
  • Adapted from the novel “Cheng Huan Ji” by Yi Shu

Dear readers, It’s been very hot here lately. The humidity makes it unbearable. You could wring me dry and I would wet again in no time. They say, “Come to the tropical island where the sun shines all day.” While I’d love to be in the Swiss Alps, right now. Well, enough with this chit-chat. Let’s get to the review of Xu Kai and Yang Zi’s latest drama, Best Choice Ever. Enjoy!

Best Choice Ever Synopsis

Mai Cheng Huan wanted a good life for herself and her family. She had worked hard to achieve that for years. Mai Cheng Hua also had a soft-hearted boyfriend who loved her, even though he wasn’t very successful in his career.

This year, Mai Cheng Hua is 29 years old. Her mother, Liu Wan Yu, was concerned about it. She wanted Mai Cheng Huan to marry soon and urged her to talk about it with her boyfriend.

Yao Zhi Ming, a new boss at Botticelli, learned that Mai Cheng Huan was Xin Jia Ling’s girlfriend. He ordered Mai Cheng Huan to replace him in a business meeting. Only then did Mai learn that Xin Jia Ling had been lying about his family. He had been pretending to be poor during their three-year relationship.

Best Choice Ever Drama Review - poster

In reality, Xin Jia Liang came from a wealthy family. He didn’t have to work hard for money because his father owned a furniture store. The sudden revelation about their family’s financial gap shakes Mai Cheng Huan and Xin Jia Liang’s relationship.

Problems arose from the used-to-be-balanced situation between them. And after Liu Wan Yu’s excessive interference, they eventually break up. Back to being a single woman and the pain of being looked down on pushed Mai Cheng Huan to be more focused on her career. She moved out of the house to avoid her mother.

Mai Cheng Huan had the opportunity to show her ability when her nonbiological grandmother, Grandma Chen entrusted her with her most valuable hotel business, Xing’anli. Things did not go as well as Mai Cheng Huan wanted to be. Yao Zhi Ming, who turned out to be Grandma Chen’s grandson, had a secret mission to take over Xing’anli.

However, when Yao Zhi Ming saw how hard and persistent Mai Cheng Huan was to bring Xing’anli back to glory, his heart wavered. Gradually Yao Zhi Ming falls in love with Mai Cheng Huan. And as he interacts more with the Mai family, Yao Zhi Ming finds the warmth of the family he yearns for in them.

Best Choice Ever Drama Review

“Home is our driving force. And love is the reason we stay put.” (Mai Cheng Huan)

I came for the romance but stay for the family.

These words came to me when I wrote this article. Some of my readers know I love good-looking actors. I often choose my dramas because of their looks. Watching dramas is one of my favorite things, and I enjoy watching handsome faces on my screen. Xu Kai is definitely on my must-watch list. He is tall and handsome, and his crooked smile is captivating.

So, I got excited waiting for this drama for one and only one reason, Xu Kai. Yet, as the story progressed, I found myself laughing, crying, and of course… cursing, because of Mai Cheng Huan and her family. Xu Kai and his character, Yao Zhi Ming, had become an additional player in the drama.

Best Choice Ever Drama Review - poster 2

Watching Best Choice Ever drama made my blood boil, especially when Liu Wan Yu was on screen. Chinese people emphasize filial piety. This idea was rooted in the ancient time and was brought up by Confucius, a Chinese philosopher. Being filial means obedience to the parents and being responsible for taking care of them in their lifetime.

Chinese people also view marriage as a very important event. A few days ago, I watched a clip about China’s Blind Date Corner on YouTube. It is a Shanghai Marriage Market where parents trade information about their unmarried children. I watched this scene in Simple Days and Islands. I thought it was just a scene made for the drama, but then I realized that this is the reality in China.

Parents go to the market with their children’s photos and information (including height, weight, salary, and whether they have a car or house) written on paper. They put the paper on the tree bark, umbrellas, tables, or even on the street.

Parents of a daughter are more anxious to find a spouse for their children. Because in China, women over 30 who are not married are called “leftover women.” I was taken aback when I watched this clip. it is hard to live as an Asian woman, but it’s harder to live as a Chinese woman.

Liu Wan Yu was anxious to make Mai Cheng Huan get married because she was already 29 years old. When Liu Wan Yu learned that Xin Jia Ling came from a prominent family, she was elated. In her opinion after Mai Cheng Huan married Xin Jia Liang, she would lived in glory and comfort. Mai Cheng Huan would not have to worry about money anymore.

Liu Wan Yu did not realize that all the money and comfort came with a price. If Mai Cheng Huan married into the Xin family, she would be looked down upon by her in-laws.

Blinded by the obsession, Liu Wan Yu keeps on forcing Mai Cheng Huan to not miss the opportunity to marry into a wealthy family. I was boiling with rage on the engagement ceremony scene and screamed with delight when Mai Cheng Huan left her home.

I found Liu Wan Yu’s character unbearable. She likes to meddle in other people’s business, has no sense of propriety, is impulsive, and is totally selfish. She is just as bad as Meng Ming Wei in Islands and Zhao Xiu Li in Born to Run.

However, although her character is bad, I have to admit that her cooking scene is quite satisfying. I drooled every time the Mais were sat on the table to eat. Those dishes seemed ordinary, yet my stomach grumbled at the sight of them.

I also hated Yao Zhi Ming in the first 10 episodes. He used Mai Cheng Huan to achieve his goal. Mai Cheng Huan was heartbroken when she learned about it. She thought Yao Zhi Ming saw her potential and ability. It felt hard to be betrayed. But it felt harder when you were betrayed by someone you trust.

As the story went on, I wondered why Mai Cheng Huan didn’t get angry when she learned Grandma Chen owned Xing’anli. Mai Cheng Huan is Grandma Chen’s closest person. But Grandma Chen conceals her wealth from her.

Yet, Mai Cheng Huan did not feel deceived by Grandma Chen. On the other hand, Mai Cheng Huan was furious when she learned the truth about Xin Jia Liang’s family. What did I miss at this point? Can somebody explain it to me?

Best Choice Ever drama has great dialogue. It’s witty and funny. The characters’ remarks made you think about your life. Their dialogue made you think, “Why is this so relevant to me right now?” or “Why didn’t I think of this before?” or “I hope my parents are as wise as Mr. Mai.”

Best Choice Ever Drama Review - poster 3

My favorite one is when Grandma Chen said “Eating alone is surviving. Eating with someone is living”. She said that to Yao Zhi Ming because she always worried about him who always acts like a lone wolf.

Sometimes you see narcissistic remarks. For instance, when He Dong commented on Yao Zhi Ming who wore Xing’anli’s uniform which was too short for him. Yao Zhi Ming threw him a sharp gaze and answered, “Haven’t you seen such long legs?”

Well… Our dear Xu Kai has really long legs since he is 1.87 m tall. 😁

The Casts and the Crews

I love the characters in this drama. They’re well-written and have both good and bad traits. Nobody is perfect, and it feels real. They all went through a lot and grew as people.

I was amazed by how Yao Zhi Ming changed. He used to be cold and ruthless, but then he met Mai Cheng Huan. She taught him how to treat people better. Yao Zhi Ming was surprised when Mai Cheng Huan still treated him kindly even after he hurt her.

Best Choice Ever Drama Review - poster 5

Mai Cheng Huan has a positive mindset which is something Yao Zhi Ming could not fathom. She truly believes that she can achieve anything by working hard with a sincere heart. And Mai Cheng Huan proved this to be true. She got the recognition she deserved after working hard for Xing’anli. Her sincerity also won the heart of the coldest (and most handsome) man alive.

All of the excitement I got from this drama was thanks to the hard work of the cast and crew. They created this wonderful and heart-wrenching drama. The directors are Tian Yu and Wang Cheng Xin. Best Choice Ever is Wang Cheng Xin’s first drama, while Tian Yu is the man behind Memory of Encaustic Tile and I Don’t Want to Be Brothers With You.

The screenwriters of this drama are Li Jing Ling, Hu Xiao Yu, and Wu Xiang Ling. Best Choice Ever is Wu Xiang Ling’s third drama after Love the Way You Are and Please Classmate. Meanwhile, Hu Xiao Yu is the one behind A Love So Beautiful and A Little Thing Called First Love. Li Jing Ling is my favorite screenwriter. She worked on many popular dramas, including Unchained Love, Love the Way You Are, The Blue Whisper, and The Rebel Princess.

Yang Zi and Xu Kai never failed to amaze me. Yang Zi’s presentation of the strong-willed Mai Cheng Huan is amazing. She managed to show us the frail side of Mai Cheng Huan and the strong side of her. I was brokenhearted when she wept on Grandma Chen’s shoulder after she left her house.

Meanwhile, Xu Kai made me misunderstand him completely. I thought his acting was regressing because of how stiff he was as Yao Zhi Ming at the beginning of the drama. I was wondering why Yao Zhi Ming looked like a two-dimensional character.

But later, when Yao Zhi Ming’s character undergoes a change, you can see how good Xu Kai is. Yao Zhi Ming used to be inhumane. He is full of negative thoughts. The only thing in his mind is how to take advantage of others and how to avoid disadvantages. He lacked a human touch and never felt love before.

After Yao Zi Ming got to know Mai Cheng Huan, he started to open up. His life is more colorful and he has more emotions. And Xu Kai did a good job of portraying those changes. I still could feel the shiver when I saw his crying scenes. It’s truly heart-wrenching.

After this drama, I decided that Yang Zi and Xu Kai looked better in modern dramas rather than historical ones. I loved to see them in a modern hairstyle. And Xu Kai truly looked hotter in a suit rather than in a traditional robe.

Xu Kai and Yang Zi have a good chemistry on screen and you could not miss how natural their acting was. But in my opinion, the best chemistry is not between Xu Kai and Yang Zi, but between Xu Ling Yue and Gala Zhang who played Mao Yong Xin and Mai Cheng Zao.

They surely looked cute together. Mai Cheng Zao lacked of mother’s warmth when he was young and now he could feel the love and warmth from Mao Yong Xin. If they were real people, I would pray for their happiness.

The other supporting actors are also great. Especially He Sai Fei who played the role of Liu Wan Yu. Her performance skills are top-notch. Her version of Liu Wan Yu gain many curses from me. She made me torn between love and hate towards Liu Wan Yu at the same time. He Sai Fei also showed her skill as a professional opera singer in this drama.

Meanwhile, Yao An Lian who acted as Mai Lai Tian could balance He Sai Fei’s fiery acting. Yao An Lian is a seasoned actor with an impressively long filmography. you could check on his work in A Dream of Splendor and Have a Crush On You. And don’t forget my favorite Grandma, Wu Yan Shu. This beautiful grandma never failed to amaze me since I watched her on the Meet Yourself drama.

The Story

Best Choice Ever is a novel adaptation of 1996’s novel Cheng Huan Ji or Bringing Joy to Parents. From the title we could see that this is not the romance story you’ve been looking for. This is about the relationship between Mai Cheng Huan and her mother. Sadly, I have no idea about this before I watch this drama.

Best Choice Ever Drama Review - poster 6

So, if you came for the romance between Xu Kai and Yang Zi and were hoping to see some sweet fluffy romance between them, you’ll be disappointed. Anyhow, to quench my thirst, I think I would rewatch She and Her Perfect Husband drama for the nth time. In this drama, Xu Kai provides me with everything I want, which are sweet romance and kissing scenes. And if you feel the same way I did, I recommend you watch this drama. 😉

At the beginning of the drama, the story introduces us to the beautiful Mai Cheng Huan and her family members: Mai Cheng Zao, the sweet younger brother; Mai Lai Tian, the wise father but weak husband; and Liu Wan Yu, the suffocating mother. I call it suffocating because Liu Wan Yu loves her children, especially Mai Cheng Huan.

However, the way Liu Wan Yu loves her daughter is close to controlling. It was evident that Mai Cheng Huan often followed her mother’s words only to please her because Mai Cheng Huan knew that if she did not follow her wish, Liu Wan Yu would not stop pestering and nagging.

Liu Wan Yu is a biased mother who cares too much about her daughter but ignores her son. She projected her unfulfilled dreams of living a good life to Mai Cheng Huan. Liu Wan Yu wanted a nice house, good cars, and enough money to live a comfortable life.

For Liu Wan Yu, Xin Jia Liang is a good candidate for Mai Chegn Huan’s husband because he can provide her with a good life. However, she overlooked the fact that Mai Cheng Huan has already questioned her relationship and feelings because of Xin Jia Liang’s deception.

Mai Cheng Huan and her brother is a very obedient person. They were sensible and very considerate towards their parents. They tolerate Liu Wan Yu’s dominant and demanding traits for years. But then Liu Wan Yu was deceived by the Xin family for the second time, resulting in her forcing Mai Cheng Huan to marry Xin Jia Liang. Only then did Mai Chen Huan feel that she couldn’t take it anymore.

Although Mai Cheng Huan left the house, which I think she should done earlier, she still cares about her family, especially her mother. They still think about each other but are too proud to reconcile. Mai Cheng Huan seemed to wait for an apology from her mother. While Liu Wan Yu was too proud to admit her wrongs.

For me, the most pitiful character in this drama is Mai Cheng Zao. When he was a child, Mai Cheng Zao was sent to live with their grandma in the rural area. After his grandma died, he still had to endure the hard life in his aunt’s house.

When he returned to Shanghai, Mai Cheng Zao had to sleep on the balcony in a camp bed. He did not have his own room because their house was a two-bedroom apartment. But he is still a good child who is sensible and considerate towards his parents.

The Mais might be poor. Yet Mai Lai Tian and Liu Wan Yu managed to raise two good children. Mai Cheng Huan and Mai Cheng Hao are agile and persevere like their mother. But they are also kind and wise like their father. It was a good combination though. And it was good that they could take the best from both sides.

Yao Zhi Ming, our handsome male lead, appeared as the new boss of Botticelli. He was there for a secret mission. To eliminate Zhang Pei Sheng’s enemies. They had been colliding to pave the way for Zhang Pei Sheng. In return, Zhang Pei Sheng would help Yao Zhi Ming to get a promotion so he could enter the headquarters of Yueda Group.

But to get what he wanted; Yao Zhi Ming must acquire Xing’anli from his grandma. Things got more complicated when Grandma left the hotel to Mai Cheng Huan on her will.

Yao Zhi Ming’s role in Mai Cheng Huan’s life is to give her guidance about how to be a boss. His presence did not have much impact on her. On the contrary, it was Mai Cheng Huan who changed his personality. Because of her, he started to take other’s feelings into consideration. He started to enjoy the warmth of people and learned how to forgive. He also changed the way he dressed because of Mai Cheng Huan’s words.

I used to think that Yao Zhi Ming would help Mai Cheng Huan to open up about her feelings after her relationship with Xin Jia Liang broke. However, Mai Cheng Huan did not need his help in this area.

Just like Mao Yong Xin said, Mai Cheng Huan is the kind of person who would sleep and on the next day, all her problems would vanish. She is not the kind of person who would drown herself in sorrow. Mai Cheng Huan had a positive mind and never ceased to find a solution for every problem she faced.

Mai Cheng Huan is one of the toughest female protagonists I’ve ever seen in Cdaramaland.

Best Choice Ever’s story finished with a happy ending after an event that turned this family upside down. Each and every member of this family had a chance to get to understand each other’s minds. They apologized for every hurtful thing that they did to one another. In the end, the event helps them to become stronger as a person and a family. You can read the full detail about it on Best Choice Ever ending explained post.

The Character

Mai Cheng Huan

Mai Cheng Huan’s diligence and passion for work were unquestionable. She had been one of the top performers in the company for three years. The sweat, the tears, and the long overtime work are all for the sake of her family. She wanted to support and provide for them.

Best Choice Ever Drama Review - Mai Cheng Huan
Best Choice Ever Drama Review – Mai Cheng Huan

Mai Cheng Huan realized that her mother always yearned for a comfortable life, something that her father could not give her. To make up for that, Mai Cheng Huan lives a frugal life and works really hard to earn money.

From the outside, Mai Cheng Huan looked soft and frail. But from the inside, she is a strong and stubborn woman. Mai Cheng Huan’s steadiness, mature personality, and competitive nature helped her to achieve her dream.

Grandma Chen gave Mai Cheng Huan her precious Xing’anli because she saw Mai Cheng Huan’s potential. In Grandma Chen’s eyes, Mai Cheng Huan only lacked the opportunity to show her worth. Mai Cheng Huan got the stage she needed to prove herself in Xing’anli.

Mai Cheng Huan loved Xin Jia Liang very much. But because he is a spoiled person, she ends up becoming a nanny for him. When she was with Yao Zhi Ming, both of them were at the same frequency. Both of them were mature and driven. They communicate well and this relationship brings an equality that Mai Cheng Huan yearn for.

Yao Zhi Ming

Yao Zhi Ming or Eric is cold by nature. He is a ruthless, decisive, and cunning businessman. He would do anything to achieve his goal, including by manipulating others. Yao Zhi Ming did not have many friends. The only one who was close (and able to withstand his difficult personality) was He Dong, who also worked as his assistant.

Best Choice Ever Drama Review - Yao Zhi Ming
Best Choice Ever Drama Review – Yao Zhi Ming

Although his life seemed good, Yao Zhi Ming carried a huge emotional baggage from his childhood. His parents were not on good terms since his father is a gambling addict. Yao Zhi Ming lived alone in Switzerland after his father was imprisoned and his mother abandoned him. Yao Zhi Ming hated his parents and only regarded Grandma Chen as his only kin.

Initially, Yao Zhi Ming only intended to use Mai Cheng Huan because she is Xin Jia Ling’s girlfriend and his grandmother’s favorite person. But the more he gets to know her, Yao Zhi Ming realizes that Mai Cheng Huan is an innocent, honest, and sincere person. He started to feel that he could not leave her alone and started to protect her at all costs.

Mai Cheng Zao

Mai Cheng Zao is Mai Cheng Huan’s younger brother. He just graduated from the second-tier college and was looking for a job. Unlike Mai Cheng Huan, Mai Cheng Zao had been growing up with their grandmother from Liu Wan Yu’s side. Back then, due to financial problems, Mai Lai Tian and Liu Wan Yu could not raise him so they had no choice but to send him to the countryside.

Best Choice Ever Drama Review - Mai Cheng Zao
Best Choice Ever Drama Review – Mai Cheng Zao

Just like his sister, Mai Cheng Zao is also a very obedient and sensible child. He is a kindhearted boy and diligent, but a little bit too soft. Mai Cheng Zao has a very good relationship with his sister and has silently loved Mao Yong Xin for years.

Mao Yong Xin

Mao Yong Xin is living her dream as a jewelry designer. She owned a jewelry boutique located in the center of the city after she divorced her husband, Song Huai Min. Mao Yong Xin is a broad-minded and modern person. She is also a brave and independent person.
Her husband, Song Huai Min is a jewellery designer. They got married soon after she graduated because back then she was already pregnant.

Best Choice Ever Drama Review - Mao Yong Xin
Best Choice Ever Drama Review – Mao Yong Xin

But marriage life is not something she dreamt about. Song Huai Min is a deceitful and selfish person. Mao Yong Xin grew tired of her life, and they got divorced. Song Huai Min got custody and Mao Yong Xin received some money which she used for her business. Although she could only be with her son on weekends, Mao Yong Xin’s love for Ding Ding is as strong as ever.

Mao Yong Xin has been friends with Mai Cheng Huan for years. She regarded the Mais as her family, Mr and Mrs Mai as her godparents, and Mai Cheng Zao as her younger brother. She is not an orphan; her parents came from a wealthy family but they were too busy to take care of her.

When Mao Yong Xin faced a problem, it was the Mais who helped her. Therefore, Mao Yong Xin cares about them more than she cares about her own parents.

Xin Jia Ling

Xin Jia Ling pretended to be poor during his three-year relationship with Mai Cheng Huan. In reality, he came from a wealthy Xin family who owned Deshan Home Furnishing, a furniture retailer giant in the country. He pretended to be poor because he had some wariness of Mai Cheng Huan was only after his money.

Best Choice Ever Drama Review - Xin Jia Ling
Best Choice Ever Drama Review – Xin Jia Ling

But as years went by, he was afraid to tell her because he knew that Mai Cheng Huan would be angry because he deceived her. But this is not the only reason. Xin Jia Liang felt that his father and sister belittled him and his mother still thinks of him as a child. Only when he was with Mai Cheng Huan, Xin Jia Liang felt like he had some dignity.

As a man, Xin Jia Ling was not the one you could rely on. On the contrary, he relies on Mao Cheng Huan who really takes good care of him. Xin Jia Liang is a spoiled child and a weak-willed person who cannot stand up for Mai Cheng Huan. This is the character that made Mai Cheng Huan finally give up on him.

Mai Lai Tian and Liu Wan Yu

For Liu Wan Yu, her life is full of hardships. Her husband could not provide her with enough money and was not able to fulfill her dream of living a good life. That unfulfilled dream made Liu Wan Yu a money-oriented person who really cares about her reputation. She put all her hopes on Mai Cheng Huan’s shoulder, making her bear the burden of her wishes.

Best Choice Ever Drama Review - Mai Lai Tian and Liu Wan Yu
Best Choice Ever Drama Review – Mai Lai Tian and Liu Wan Yu

Liu Wan Yu is an impulsive person. She was fast with her words and often she never realized that every word she said would hurt the ones around her. She is also fast in her actions. Liu Wan Yu regarded herself as a righteous person and everything she did came with a good intention.

But as Mai Lai Tian said, Liu Wan Yu always did everything with a good intention but resulted in a bad outcome.

The wise and calm Mai Lai Tian is Mai Cheng Huan and Mai Cheng Zao’s father. He worked as Yao Zhi Ming’s driver and was not good with words. Although he seemed like a henpecked man, Mai Lai Tian actually could see things through. He pretends to be a timid husband because he knows that her wife’s temper is like a firecracker. If he could not maintain the balance, their family would already burned to ashes by now.

The relationship between the family members was harmonious because of Mai Lai Tian’s hard work to calm down Liu Wan Yu. He helped soothe the rift between his wife and children.

The Conclusion

Best Choice Ever is NOT a romance drama. This drama is all about Mai Cheng Huan and how she strives to face all the problems in her life, which mostly came from her mother. This drama has similar vibes to Islands drama and Born To Run. And if you like those dramas, I am sure you’ll love this one too.

And please take note that in this drama you would see Liu Wan Yu’s character as a very annoying mother. However, there were many lessons to be learned from this story. And if this drama is not your cup of tea, you could just watch it to enjoy Xu Kai’s good looks.

Well, I hope this review can help you to make a decision whether watching the Best Choice Ever is truly your best choice ever. I’ll see you in another post of drama review. Ciao!

Iya Moyya
Iya Moyya
"A Chinese drama and movie lover for the past 5 years. I contemplate everything, everyday" - Do you like my writing? You can support me by clicking this donation link: Buy Me A Coffee ☕️, thank you!


  1. Hi , I think you always write a long review which contains spoiler. However your writing is good and it makes one to read . I would like to request you not to write long reviews. This drama is not so bad and it is different from other modern dramas.


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