- Title: Fake It Till You Make It
- Also Known As: 装腔启示录, Apocalypse, Zhuang Qiang Qi Shi Lu
- Director: Li Mo
- Cast: Cai Wen Jing, Han Dong Jun
- Screenwriter: Lang Qun Li, Li Tao
- Genres: Romance, Drama
- Country: China
- Episodes: 14
- Date of Release: Aug 18, 2023
- Original Network: Hunan TV, Mango TV
- Where to Watch: MGTV, Viki
- Adapted from the novel: “Apocalypse” by Liu Cui Hu
Writing Fake It Till You Make It drama review made me miss the time when I drank cold coconut water while chatting with my best friend. It was something we often do in our teenage years. Well of course we did not only drink the coconut water. Tons of snacks would scatter around us… Ahhhh, it was such a beautiful time, when a pack of potato chips did not have a significant effect on our weight.
Anyhow, this Fake It Till You Make It drama did not seem to be interesting at first. But if you were patient enough, you’d see that there were many life lessons you could take from it. In this review, I will show you what makes this drama worth your time and why you should not let it pass. So, are you ready? Let’s go!
Fake It Till You Make It Synopsis
Tang Ying and Xu Zi Quan were young and spirited white-collar workers who worked hard to earn money in Beijing. She worked as a junior lawyer in a legal firm while he was an investment banker in an investment company. One day they met at a flight and made a little contact.
Xu Zi Quan was interested in Tang Ying, but the interaction ended at the airport, where Xu Zi Quan lent her a power bank. Both of them were full of spirit and energy, ready to grab the success. But a few days later, they went home on the same flight with a worn-out appearance and tired face.
Living in a fast-paced big city was never easy. Tang Ying and Xu Zi Quan’s jobs appeared luxurious since they always dressed meticulously, and their lifestyle looked lavish. But it was only on the surface.
Both of them knew how stressful their job was. Every day, Tang Ying must deal with a backstabbing co-worker and a snobbish client. Meanwhile, Xu Zi Quan must deal with work pressure and a co-worker who secretly steals his project.
The interaction between them continues after a series of coincidences. They would flirt, tease, laugh, and banter like a couple. But deep down inside, they were not sure about their own feelings. Tang Ying never let herself fall in love with a man easily after she suffered from one-sided love for a decade. Meanwhile, Xu Zi Quan was afraid of commitments, yet he was a playboy who liked to flirt.
Would these lonely souls be able to overcome their fear and face their feelings? Or would they let go of the opportunities that passed before their eyes?
Fake It Till You Make It Review
Fake It Till You Make It did not give me a good impression on the first impression. The story seemed cliché and although the main leads meet and flirt a lightning speed (some of Cdrama got really slow in this aspect), it did not give me the right excitement.
But the thing that made me interested in this one was because of its short episodes. Despite every episode being more than an hour (other dramas are usually 45 minutes long), I try to endure it. And I was right. Fake It Till You Make It was worth my time.
Although the romance was a bit slow and running in circles, I fell in love with the witty dialogue, thanks to Viki’s subtitle correspondence. I could understand every sentence they said in this drama. I used to watch Fake It Till You Make It on MGTV and was confused with the subtitle.
I rely heavily on English subtitles because I could not understand a single word in Chinese. And in my opinion, Viki has the best subtitle among other streaming apps. Unfortunately, the release time was slower than the other apps.
Anyhow, back to the drama. Aside from the witty dialogue. I like to see the interaction between Cai Wen Jing and Han Dong Jun. They had a good chemistry between them, and their acting was all natural. Both of them were complements of each other. They banter like an old couple, talk like a professional, and flirt like a lover.
The relationship between Tang Ying and Xu Zi Quan was not the only one. I also fell in love with the sisterhood between Tang Ying and Lin Xin Zi. They were more than just sisters; they were partners and best friends. They relied upon each other, and nobody could destroy their bond or even sow discord between them.
Fake It Till You Make It was not only a romance drama. There was a substantial number of professional terms in this drama. There were not many intimate scenes compared to Zhao Lu Si’s Hidden Love or Jerry Yan’s Forbidden Flower. It reminded me of Vengo Gao’s drama, The Outsider. It is also an urban romance drama between two professionals.
The drama was 38 long episodes, but I could only find one kissing scene. thankfully, Fake It Till You Make It was way lot better than that kind of drama.
The title of this drama showed how urban people survived in the concrete jungle. Fake It Till You Make It was an idea to projecting yourself as something you were not to attain a goal. And that was exactly what Tang Ying and those people around her did daily.
Smiling, praising, and acting nice to others while they had to hide the bitterness inside their heart. Pretending to be okay while they are obviously on the contrary. They kept a straight and friendly face while their co-worker and boss stabbed them from behind.
Everything they did for the sake of job, position, and money. It was a tiring thing to do. Being true to yourself was a luxury that Tang Ying and Xu Zi Quan only had when they were in their respective empty apartments and empty hearts.
There were many pretentious characters in this drama, so you better be ready. To be honest, I was somehow feeling a little bit offended but at the same time, I felt it was ironic because there were times in my life when I was a pretentious person too. I faked myself and pretended to be someone else.
It worked on several occasions, but it feels tiring. And at the end of the day, I feel empty. So, I feel related to Tang Ying and Xu Zi Quan. Even I could understand how Da Wang and Lu Mei Ling feels deep inside their heart.
Everybody in this drama feels lonely. They are looking for someone who could understand them. It was rare to find someone who would spend their time to listen or to talk. It was even hard to find someone who sincerely did it for you. These lonely people were symbolized by Alice, a lonely whale that could only communicate in frequency of 52 hertz.
Meanwhile, normal whale communication frequency was between 15-25 hertz. So, no other whale could hear Alice. But she still looking for another whale that could hear her. So, she swam across the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, all by herself. Without friends or families.
This story was based on the real story of a 52-hertz whale, colloquially referred to as 52 Blue. It was described to be the “world’s loneliest whale”. You could read the story about this whale all over the internet. Just google the 52-hertz whale or Alice (non-official name of the whale), and you’ll find the touching story.
Sometimes in a drama, there is an exaggerated scene. And I found one in Fake It Till You Make It. It was the scene when Xu Zi Quan teased Tang Ying by writing a perfume name in her palm. Xu Zi Quan wrote in her palm using a fountain pen. Do people still use fountain pens nowadays? I had this weird question popped up in my mind after I saw the scene.
Can you imagine how ticklish it would be to have a fountain pen tip brushed your palm? But it seemed that the flirty gesture worked because although Tang Ying called him pretentious, at least she remembered him.
After watching all the episodes, I must say that my favorite character was Wang Yu Su, Tang Ying’s superior after Da Wang resigned from the law firm. They met at the bus when a pervert harassed Tang Ying. Wang Yu Su suddenly stood up and slapped the pervert leaving him dumbfounded. She was so cool at that time.
Even though Wang Yu Su’s life was not perfect, I admire how logical/efficient/clear-minded she was. She was also a good leader because she guided Tang Ying and helped her to find her career goal. Everybody needed a mentor, and I was glad Tang Ying found one. Unfortunately, she did not have enough screen time. I wished they wrote a more elaborate story about her.
However, nobody was perfect in this drama. Every character has its flaws and it made me feel that Fake It Till You Make It was really close to reality.
Another thing I need to praise is the cinematography. The director took every scene from a perfect angle. The lighting was good too, you could feel the mood through the atmosphere. The set was meticulously arranged.
I like to see how different Tang Ying and Xi Zu Quan’s apartments are. Xu Zi Quan’s apartment was very modern and reeked of money. It was obvious that his career was successful because he could afford such luxurious apartments. Even the motorcycle in his living room was a bit too exaggerated but somehow it was well suited to his characters.
Meanwhile, Tang Ying’s apartment was inferior compared to his. She preferred something that brought comfort to her, and it was depicted in her fashion sense. Tang Ying often wore oversized clothes that although they looked sloppy, but it gives off a different charm to her. And I like it.
Han Dong Jun or Elvis Han was well-known for his role in Chinese Paladin S5 alongside Gulnezer Bextiyar. He also appeared in the main role in Siege in Fog and Wu Xin: The Monster Killer.
Aside from the Siege in Fog I used to watch but dropped in the middle, I haven’t seen his drama before. And even though I did not have much impression of him, I was quite satisfied to see him in this drama. IMHO, the acting was quite good, but I think he still lacked expression.
In this drama, Han Dong Jun uses his English name, Elvis, as Xu Zi Quan’s English name. I was confused when Richard called him Elvis, I thought it was a mistake but after I heard the name several times. So, this must be intentional.
Meanwhile, Cai Wen Jing or Elvira Cai used to act in Hu Tong alongside Zhao Lu Si. I think this is the first time I saw her drama. Yet I could not shake off the de ja vu feeling that I used to see her somewhere else. But she did a good job in this drama. Although sometimes I feel a bit confused when I see her expression.
Such as when she saw Wang Su Yu in Zhang Lu’s office. She should have been surprised (in a good way) to see her there, but how could I feel that she was more taken aback (in a bad way)? Well, it might be my impression. What do you think, dear readers?
My overall impression of Fake It Till You Make It was you have to be patient with this drama. If you are looking for a romance, then this drama might not be the best for you, since the business story was pretty complicated.
But do not miss the scenes, because, through the hardships in their workplace, Tang Ying and Xu Zi Quan developed into a more mature person. However, to be honest, I was quite tired of watching the workplace scenes and I had this urge to skip these scenes.
“The best solution for wisdom tooth is to decisively pull it out, not to continue enduring. Just like in our lives, indecision will lead to chaos”, said Wang Yu Su to Tang Ying in episode 11.
Fake It Till You Make It was rich with witty dialogues like this one. Watch the drama slowly and be prepared to harvest the life lessons provided. My favorite was still the one below.
“I think love is not a noun, it’s a verb”, said Xu Zi Quan to Tang Ying.
The story begins when Tang Ying and Xu Zi Quan go to Shanghai on a plane. They sit side by side, only separated by an empty seat. Xu Zi Quan was a gentleman (playboy) who was attentive toward the opposite sex. He helped Tang Ying who was cold by asking for a blanket from Zoe, the flight attendant.
But his overly friendly attitude made Tang Ying wary, even though he left a deep impression on her. Like, hey… who could avoid a charm attack from a handsome man like him?
On the way back to Beijing, they were on the same flight again. Tang Ying sat in front of Xu Zi Quan, but they did not seem to realize it because both were not in a good state of mind. Tang Ying knew that she made a mistake in her mission and caused money loss for the company.
Even though it was not solely her mistake. Meanwhile, Xu Zi Quan failed to close a deal with a target company and he had to think of another way to get close to the person in charge of the company.
Xu Zi Quan was a sociable man who knew many people. Because he was charming and a good talker, many girls fell for him. He often went to date several of them, including Lin Xin Zi, Tang Ying’s stepsister. Tang Ying learned that the person who went on a date with Lin Xin Zi was the same person whom she met on a plane. So, she deleted Xu Zi Quan’s WeChat number.
However, Xu Zi Quan already had a deep impression on Tang Ying. So, when they met again after Xu Zi Quan took Lin Xin Zi home after a movie date, he immediately said that he did not have any feelings for Lin Xin Zi. He even tricked Tang Ying into having a meal with him because he got her work ID with him. And how did Xu Zi Quan get Tang Ying’s ID? By coincidence of course.
At work, Tang Ying was surrounded by many people. The closest to her was her superior, Da Wang, and her co-worker, Ziyao. Tang Ying’s relationship with Da Wang was superficial. Da Wang seemed to make use of Tang Ying’s diligence to finish all her job so Da Wang could do her own thing.
Da Wang always shirk off the job and gave it to Tang Ying. However, it was she who always messed up the project but blamed it on Tang Ying. She also made multiple mistakes by talking badly about their client. With her low productivity, the boss was waiting for the right time to fire her. Therefore, when Da Wang insulted a client with a mic on, she was fired immediately.
In reality, Da Wang was not in a good condition. She was diabetic and needed an insulin shot daily. But she keeps it a secret. Although Da Wang tried to control her condition, in the end, she always gets hospitalized. And it was not such an easy time for her. There was a time when she was laid in the hospital ward, tired and weak. But she still had to put her lipstick on and get ready for a video conference. Because she was a senior employee, she could not say no.
Da Wang could not eat sweet cakes. So, when Tang Ying brought her cakes, she did not eat them causing misunderstanding on Tang Ying’s side. After she no longer became a lawyer, she changed her career path to a food blogger. She had quite many followers and had posted several videos. In her miserable life, Da Wang finally be able to chase her dream and quit being a pretender anymore.
To succeed in career and personal life was a dream of all young workers around the world. Although it was an ideal thought, in real life, sometimes we must choose, and it has never been an easy thing to do. Everybody has their own belief and priorities. So, we should never judge others based on their choices in life.
After Da Wang resigned from the law firm, Tang Ying got another superior, Wang Yu Su. This time, she meets a perfect match. Wang Yu Su was a tough woman who was friendly and recognized Tang Ying’s potential. They met for the first time on a bus.
Wang Yu Su helped Tang Ying catch a pervert and took him to the police station. After everything settled, they introduced themselves. Wang Yu Su already know that they would meet again at Junheng Law Firm. So, she was not surprised when Lawyer Zheng introduced them.
Meanwhile, Xu Zi Quan also had difficulties in his work. He got a mentor/superior named Richard. A Taiwanese who used to work on Wall Street before he moved to Beijing. Xu Zi Quan had several subordinates as well. They were Jin Hao, Jiang Cheng, and Mu Zhuo Yun.
Unfortunately, several failures showed that there was a mole in his team who reported his contacts and strategy to another team. The leader of the other team was a woman named Ada. She had enmity with Richard, so their teams always competing. To the point, they would use any means to secure a project.
The enmity between Richard and Ada started years ago. Back then, Ada and Richard used to work together as a team. But when Ada was on maternity leave, Richard usurped her project and got promoted because of it. Since then, Ada used all means to bring Richard down, including by persuading Xu Zi Quan to join her team. But Xu Zi Quan said that as long as Richard was around, he would never join her team.
Tang Ying and Xu Zi Quan have shared woe and weal before they got together. Both of them were involved in the Walrus Project. This failed project made Tang Ying severely scolded by the boss, while Xu Zi Quan was punished by going to Anbei for a year. However, because of this project, they also got to know each other personally.
The time when they were on the same project was the time when they often flirted with each other. Tang Ying started to be attracted to Xu Zi Quan, but she was wary and tried not to fall in love with him.
There was a reason why Tang Ying did not want to fall in love with somebody. When she was young, she was ready to confess to her love interest. But then he refused her. Cheng Ke also said that falling in love with someone she shouldn’t be brings a disgrace to oneself. But although she was rejected, Tang Ying still kept her one-sided feelings for a decade.
Xu Zi Quan could not deny that he had been interested in Tang Ying since their first meeting on the airplane. But he was also reluctant to be involved in a relationship. He had been single for three years after he broke up with a jealous girlfriend. His ex-girlfriend was always suspicious of his colleagues, especially the interns. She often called him during meetings and demanded him to turn on the camera or listen to their meeting.
But in the end, she asked for a breakup because she fell in love with someone else. This baffled Xu Zi Quan because she always accused him of infidelity, but she was the one who had been unfaithful.
Tang Ying was different from the coquettish women Xu Zi Quan often met. She was independent, tough, smart, and stubborn. She was also immune to his charm, and I am sure Tang Ying made Xu Zi Quan curious about her. Xu Zi Quang’s attentiveness won her heart.
The relationship between Tang Ying and Xu Zi Quan was not always smooth. There were people between them, so jealousy was inevitable. They also were separated for some time after the failure of the Walrus project. The estrangement started when they went for dinner after a romantic motorcycle ride.
Tang Ying caught someone named “the sweetest peach in the world” called Xu Zi Quan. She got angry and sneered that Xu Zi Quan loved to classify girls as fruits to remember them. Xu Zi Quan could not say anything at all, especially when she said that if he wanted to attract a girl, he should at least remember the name.
They met again at an art exhibition. Tang Ying asked for his help to find an appropriate dress to accompany Ma Qi Yuan. He got jealous especially when Yu Chuan Chuan provoked him by saying Tang Ying should be Ma Qi Yuan’s newest girlfriend. He got brokenhearted and decided to get revenge when he met her another day.
Xu Zi Quan told Tang Ying that he did not like to see her smiling at other men and kissed Tang Ying. He told her that he would break her heart as well. But in the end, he admitted that he only wanted her.
They would meet another difficulty when Tang Ying had a vague promotion. Her boss promoted her position at the law firm and gave her more workload. She was so busy handling new cases. However, her salary did not get a raise. And at the same time, Xu Zi Quan started to question the meaning of his career.
The story was not only about Tang Ying’s personal life but also her sister’s love life. Lin Xin Zi was a beautiful young girl who worked in the advertising industry. She was equally rational as Tang Ying when it comes to finding a lover.
However, if Tang Ying refused to enter a relationship, Lin Xin Zi was willing to do it. After she broke up with her boyfriend and got totally brokenhearted after she saw him with another girl. However, the breakup happened because they had different expectations in life. Lin Xin Zi was a carefree person who enjoyed her freedom while her boyfriend was looking for a partner who was the opposite.
After she woke up from the sadness, Lin Xin Zi found a way to evaluate her potential lover. She made a spreadsheet to evaluate all the candidates. The one with the highest score was the most potential lover. And it led to Xu Jia Bai, her next boyfriend. Lin Xin Zi felt he was the most sincere and kindest person who ever liked her. She moved into his house after they got together.
The ending of this drama was a happy one. Even though I feel like it was a little bit rushed, I could not ask for more, because it was quite satisfactory, especially when Tang Ying dealt with her love rival. I wrote the complete ending of this drama in Fake It Till You Make It ending explained post. Please kindly read it too. Thank you.
As someone who came from another city outside Beijing, Tang Ying (played by Cai Wen) used to live a hard life as a Beijing drifter. Unlike Xu Zi Quan who was able to buy a house in Beijing, she lived in a rented house and had been moving several times. But this hardship shaped Tang Ying to be a person with perseverance. She was never back down over anything and would strive hard for her goal.
Tang Ying might look like a soft person, but she was sharp, stubborn, and hardworking. She was focused on improving her career. The only thing that lacked was experience and guidance. So, when she met Wang Yu Su, she finally find her career goal and how to achieve it. This is something that she did not get from her former superior, Da Wang.
Tang Ying was a woman who thought that all men were untrustworthy. She forbade herself to be involved in an uncontrollable relationship. Therefore, Tang Ying was never really involved in a relationship. And it happened because of her bad experience with love.
When she was a teenager, Tang Ying fell in love with her tutor Cheng Ke. But when she confessed, Cheng Ke rejected her harshly and blocked her number. Tang Ying was brokenhearted but kept the feeling for ten years. Only after she met Xu Zi Quan, Tang Ying started to open her heart.
Xu Zi Quan
Xu Zi Qian (played by Han Dong Jun) worked in an investment company. He was a hard-working person, very determined, and smart. He came from a well-off family and always lived a good life. He was a Beijing resident, therefore he afforded to buy a house in Beijing.
Xu Zi Quan was a person who lived a systematic life, was very neat and loved to see things in order. Totally in contrast to Tang Ying who could sleep inside a messy room.
In my opinion, Xu Zi Quan was a natural-born playboy. He loves perfume and often uses it as a way to approach a woman. Xu Zi Quan was attracted to Tang Ying when he smelled her perfume on the plane. He also uses perfume as a way to flirt with her (remember when he wrote a perfume name in her palm?). He also gave Lin Xin Zi a perfume on their first date, the same perfume that Tang Ying used on the plane… LOL
However, in terms of relationships, Xu Zi Quan was not a reliable person. Even though he was attracted to Tang Ying and got jealous when she was near another man, Xu Zi Quan could not erase the fact that he was afraid of commitment. He admits that he avoided relationships and the responsibility that comes with it.
Xu Zi Quan also used to be alone so he had a problem sharing his feelings and thoughts with Tang Ying. He rather keep it by himself because he was afraid the negative feelings would affect their relationship.
Lin Zin Xi
Lin Xin Zi (played by Bao Shang En) was Tang Ying’s stepsister. Yet, they had a very good relationship as sisters and best friends. She was a carefree woman, who loved to wear short skirts, shorts, or camisoles.
As a social butterfly, she got many pursuers. Yet, Lin Xin Zi had a hard time finding a potential lover. She seemed like a person who never loved others wholeheartedly because she was wary and always protecting her heart.
As a sister, Lin Xin Zi was undoubtedly the best. She loves and cares for Tang Ying and always makes time to contact her or to have a meal with her. The sisters treat each other as the most important support system. Whenever Tang Ying needed help, Lin Xin Zi would make time for her. And whenever Lin Xin Zi needed her, Tang Ying would rush to find her.
Fake It Till You Make It was a good drama that full of life lessons. This 14-episode long drama was a perfect entertainment for your weekend. However, since every episode has more than 1-hour duration, you should be patient because the story pace is a bit slow. I like this drama, but I guess I would not re-watch it. There have been many new dramas aired lately, so I rather watch a new one.
Fake It Till You Make It story mainly about business and flirting between Tang Ying and Xu Zi Quan. The romance was a slow burn, and this might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But trust me, if you decide to watch the entire episode, I assure you that you will not regret it. And even if you do, I wish Han Dong Jun’s handsomeness could cheer up your weekend. I hope you enjoy this Fake It Till You Make It drama review. Happy watching!