Chinese Drama: Negotiators (谈判官)
Broadcast Date: Feb 4, 2018
Airs: 2 episodes every day except Friday & Saturday (1 episode on those days)
Total Episodes: 42
Leads: Yang Mi & Huang Zi Tao


Tang Wei (Yang Mi)

As the top negotiator at her company ACEA, Tang Wei’s attention to details and boldness in taking calculated risks makes her an unstoppable force on negotiating tables. With seemingly no interest in anything other than work, Tang Wei has no intention of getting distracted by romance even if our perfect second lead (a successful lawyer) has been faithfully waiting for her to return his feelings for years. Losing her parents at a young age, our heroine is used to facing all of her problems head on and solving theming swiftly…until our hero descends in her life as a VIP client that she can’t reason away. There is a mystery to Tang Wei’s parents’ death and working hard to become the best negotiator is her only hope of solving that mystery and clearing her father’s name. The mystery has something to do with our hero’s family so that will come in play later on as an obstacle to our two leads’ romance.

Xie Xiao Fei (Huang Zi Tao)
A second generation chaebol and the only heir to his family’s conglomerate empire based in the US. Disgusted with his father’s pursuit of money at the expense of his family, Xiao Fei lives the life of a spoiled rich brat despite having a sharp business sense. With dreams of making his mother’s native town into a beautiful resort, Xiao Fei reins in his rebellious side and allows his father to send him back to China as their family business first foray into the possibility of eventually moving the headquarter back to their native land.
Having already had a few random run ins with our heroine in the US, Xiao Fei quickly becomes intrigued with Tong Wei once they started working together. Quite used to being the prized catch in women’s eye, Xiao Fei confidently confesses to Tong Wei only to have her replies in amusement “If you like me that would make my life into a horror movie. Wait, or a comedy. A comedy horror. Is there such a thing?”

Ninja’s First Impression: 

I was cautiously hopeful about this one when the project was first announced. Negotiators is the spin-off of Les Interprètes (2015), which actually makes me kinda weary since that one started off really well but then went all melo and draggy on me. Still, that’s kinda the risk one has to take with C-dramas so I didn’t let that stop me from checking this one out. My other worry was the 7 years age difference between the two leads especially since this one wasn’t marketed as a noona romance so I was afraid our hero would look like an immature kid next to Yang Mi. Fortunately, much to my surprise, this pairing has plenty of chemistry and looks great together on screen.

I usually have trouble liking spoil rich bratty characters right off the bat, but I am really liking the hero’s character here. Actor Huang Zi Tao has done an impressive job in making his character’s bratty side endearing and charming that it is easy to imagine how our heroine will eventually fall in love with him. It also helps that the scriptwriter has given the hero’s character just enough hints of sharp intelligence and inherent kindness to his personality that as a viewer my first instinct when the hero starts acting spoiled is to think “Ah…he must be lashing out to hide his pain.”


As for the heroine, the capable no-nonsense character who hides a secret trauma is not very refreshing perhaps but I think it works for the story. This is a rather familiar type of role to Yang Mi so she handles it easily. With Yang Mi’s dramas sometimes I feel like she is too reserved in her acting to show much chemistry with her co-stars but judging by the on screen chemistry between her and Huang Zi Tao thus far, I am optimistic that Negotiators might be an exception.

All in all, I am finding Negotiators a very easy watch and am crossing my fingers that the pacing will be good.




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