The relationship between Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai changes a lot. They can be hostile and volatile in one moment, but sweet and tender in the next.

You may have heard of Addicted, a popular BL drama in its heyday, which ended abruptly due to a censorship crackdown by the Chinese government. This series focuses on two high school students who didn’t like each other at first. Over childish pranks and cheeky banter, their relationship improves until they become friends and possibly something more.

Addicted is as popular as it is polarizing. Any time a BL series gets banned, it only increases your curiosity and makes you want to watch even more. While some elements of the story are provocative and considered problematic, the series is hardly as controversial as it is made out to be. Addicted definitely doesn’t deserve to be censored and cancelled midway.

Addicted Drama Summary

What is the show called?

上瘾

When was the show released?

2016

Where was the show made?

China

What is the language used in the show?

Mandarin

What is the show’s genre?

Slice of life

How would you describe the show?

Happy and upbeat

How long is the show?

15 episodes

How long is each episode?

Around 25 minutes

Plot

Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai had a rocky relationship at the start of Addicted.

High school students Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai first meet each other in the classroom, where their relationship gets off to a rocky start. During an interaction, Bai Luo Yin’s rude and dismissive attitude earned him the ire of Gu Hai. Determined to get his revenge, Gu Hai pulls a series of provocative pranks on Bai Luo Yin. The nature of these pranks escalates in intensity, with Bai Luo Yin joining in as he retaliates against his aggressor.

Over time, Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai grow closer as they get used to each other’s eccentricities. A turning point in their relationship came after Luo Yin got bullied for coming from an impoverished single-parent home. After Gu Hai beats up the bully, Bai Luo Yin starts warming to his former adversary. The two of them enjoy spending more time with each other, forming a close friendship.

However, the nature of their friendship also escalates in intensity. Gu Hai even spends nights in Bai Luo Yin’s home, sleeping in the same bed as him. Many times, Gu Hai oversteps his boundaries and becomes very affectionate with his friend. Bai Luo Yin tries to resist his advances, but finds himself giving into Gu Hai’s deepening feelings for him.

Unbeknownst to both of them, Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai are actually stepbrothers. Bai Luo Yin’s mom recently married Gu Hai’s rich and powerful father. Gu Hai has an extremely turbulent relationship with his family, resenting his stepmother no matter how much she tries to earn his trust. Gu Hai is determined to antagonize his stepmom and her side of the family, not knowing that his new stepbrother is actually Bai Luo Yin.

Watch Addicted Drama Trailer

Addicted Drama Cast

Characters

Bai Luo Yin Timmy Xu (许魏洲)

Bai Luo Yin is a serious and intelligent high school student from an impoverished family. He lives with his divorced father and has a rocky relationship with his mother, who remarried into a rich family. Bai Luo Yin spends most of the series fending off Gu Hai’s advances towards him.

Gu Hai Johnny Huang (黄景瑜)

Gu Hai is a mischievous and rebellious high school student from a wealthy family. He lives with his domineering father and resents his stepmother, who recently married into the family. Gu Hai develops an interest in Bai Luo Yin that deepens over the course of the series.

Supporting Cast

Yang Ming is played by Chen Wen (陈稳).

Yang Meng

Chen Wen (陈稳)

You Qi is played by Lin Feng Song (林枫松).

You Qi

Lin Feng Song (林枫松)

Jin Lu Lu is played by Lou Qing (婁清).

Jin Lu Lu

Lou Qing (婁清)

Bai Han Qi is played by Song Tao (宋涛).

Bai Han Qi

Song Tao (宋涛)

Jiang Yuan is played by Liu Xiao Ye (刘晓晔).

Jiang Yuan

Liu Xiao Ye (刘晓晔)

Gu Wei Ting is played by Wang Dong (王东).

Gu Wei Ting

Wang Dong (王东)

Addicted Drama Review

Review

Drama Review Score: 6.5

C
Story

★★★☆

Romance

★★★☆

Acting

★★★☆

Ending

☆☆☆☆

Well, I have to make the obvious pun and state that Addicted is an easy show to get addicted to. This BL drama is consistently entertaining, and there’s rarely a dull moment in the eventful plot. You won’t be bored by Addicted, which is an entertaining high school love story with a shockingly passionate romance. The turbulent relationship between Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai creates an exciting dynamic to watch, and there’s an electrifying chemistry present whether they are feuding or flirting with each other.

How is the story?

Good story

After a rocky start, Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai do get a lot friendlier with each other.

The most engaging part of Addicted is the volatile relationship between Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai. The two of them don’t start out on the best terms, which only makes it more exciting as they warm up to each other. Some of Gu Hai’s provocative actions can shock you, and the lengths he’ll go to get Bai Luo Yin’s attention might seem totally inexplicable. However, I like that he’s so bold, passionate, and unpredictable. He keeps both the viewers and Bai Luo Yin on our toes, making this a wild journey to watch.

Even when they get closer, there’s still a vibrant dynamic between them, with Gu Hai showing too much passion and Bai Luo Yin not always reciprocating on the same level. You can expect lively banter, sizzling sexual tension, and the surprisingly tender moments between the couple. It’s just a lot of fun watching their interactions together!

Addicted does a terrific job at developing the main characters, fleshing out their personalities and backgrounds. Both Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai are well-rounded protagonists, who are engaging to watch even if you don’t always agree with their actions.

Stepbrothers

Their stepbrother dynamic, which they don’t discover until much later in the series, adds an interesting complexity to their relationship. I like seeing Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai interact with their families. This is a great way to flesh out their characters, making their personalities and backgrounds more well-rounded. It also introduces a natural form of conflict into the narrative, injecting a lot of adrenaline and emotion into a handful of episodes.

How is the romance?

Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai

Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai talking in bed. Note the picture of Bai Luo Yin by Gu Hai's bedside. Too cute!

Addicted is full of classic BL moments that will make your heart pound a little faster. Some of the best moments are like classic BL tropes played out in-person, and you’ll appreciate them as a fan of the genre.

There’s one extreme incident where Gu Hai oversteps his boundaries, kidnapping Bai Luo Yin, tying him to the bed, and forcing himself in a non-consensual encounter. However, many other scenes are much more lighthearted. Whether it’s teasing each other at school or having a late night chat in bed, Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai feel as engaging in low-key scenes as they are in their throes of passion.

The romance between Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai is very strong, even if its intensity feels very full-on. There are sweet and tender moments between them of course, but there are also plenty of toxic and volatile exchanges between this couple. This isn’t the healthiest relationship and we shouldn’t glorify it too much.

While their relationship crosses some problematic boundaries, Addicted is really successful in portraying a compelling BL romance. As a couple, they aren’t always realistic, and aren’t always wholesome, but you’ll be entertained by them.

Intimacy

The intimacy between the couple is more of a mixed bag. It’s evident that the two of them are close. They do make a lot of physical contact, but it’s usually in the form of Bai Luo Yin pushing Gu Hai away any time he gets grabby. These guys look more like they’re wrestling each other instead of showing affection. Later in the series, it’s heavily implied that the two characters do the deed, but they always censor the juiciest scenes. Even the kissing is a little lacklustre. Don’t get your hopes up about seeing a normal and consensual kiss between the couple.

While the characters have a lot of physical contact, it looks more like the actors are play-fighting or wrestling each other on the bed. Their kisses are also quite forced with mushed mouth pressing against each other. With that said, the actors have great chemistry with each other and I do enjoy their back-and-forth banter.

How is the acting?

OK acting

The acting was a bit rougher at the beginning, but it improved noticeably as the series progressed. Their acting feels a lot more relaxed once the actors have gotten used to each other.

Who’s the best character?

Bao Luo Yin

Tough to choose between the two leads, but I think Bai Luo Yin ultimately gave the more restrained performance. I love his whole moody and standoffish persona, which softens over the series, even as he denies his growing feelings for Bai Luo Yin. Gu Hai is also fun to watch though, since he can be very forward and mischievous.

Is there any nudity?

Shirtless scenes

No. Both leads have a few shirtless scenes scattered throughout the series, but they cut away any time you expect to see more.

Are there any triggers?

Problematic

Yes, there are definitely some problematic elements in Addicted. The romance between Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai isn’t always consensual. There’s one particularly extreme moment where Bai Luo Yin got kidnapped and tied to Gu Hai’s bed.

In addition, there’s quite a bit of violence. Some of their pranks also go too far and may seem outrageously reckless.

What’s the best part?

Last few episodes

Those last few episodes when Bai Luo Yin finally gets more comfortable around Gu Hai. Most of the series is about Gu Hai pursuing an unwilling love interest, so it’s fun to see the roles reverse and for Bai Luo Yin to reciprocate the same feelings.

One of my favourite moments is when Bai Luo Yin steps out to the living room in just a towel, and then casually disrobes himself in front of a bewildered Gu Hai. It signifies that Bai Luo Yin is so at ease around Gu Hai and he has dropped many of his previous barriers.

What would you change?

Chinese censorship

Are you sobbing uncontrollably because Addicted got cancelled and we'll never see this couple again?

It’s impossible to review Addicted without discussing the gigantic elephant in the room. This BL drama has a premature cancellation, where its second season got scrapped after the Chinese government cracked down on the show for promoting LGBT themes.

This decision is infuriating, but unsurprising to anyone familiar with the Chinese government’s history of silencing pro-democracy activists, human rights lawyers, millions of civilians in concentration camps, and anyone that dares to champion equal rights. The Chinese government has never been a fan of the BL genre, as evidenced by smacking down a ten-year prison term on a BL fanfiction writer. Her name is Tianyi, and she’s currently spending her time in jail for writing a BL story.

The Chinese government-mandated censorship made it impossible to fully enjoy Addicted, a BL drama that got clipped at its wings just when it was about to soar. At its peak, Addicted was so popular that it could have been one of the biggest juggernauts in the BL genre. Sadly, it never got to reach its full potential, and the series ended on an unsatisfying cliffhanger that will never be resolved.

Imagine starting to watch a BL drama, getting emotionally invested in all of its characters and storylines, but then it just ends midpoint without any type of closure. That summarizes the Addicted experience for you. 😞

How is the ending?

Chinese censorship

Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai sleeping together in the last episode. Thanks to the series cancellation, you'll never see them together again.

The Chinese government-mandated censorship stifled any potential that Addicted might have. Usually, BL dramas are pretty good at wrapping up the story neatly without loose ends, but this is clearly not possible with Addicted. The series ends abruptly on a minor cliffhanger, and it will always have an imperfect resolution that will leave you feeling unsatisfied.

In my review score, I docked some points from Addicted’s grade due to the censorship crisis, which I can’t overlook. This is not the fault of the people who made the show, but it nonetheless happened and restricted the overall quality of the BL drama.

Despite the compelling relationship between the characters, I just can’t fully recommend a BL drama that won’t ever have proper closure. I’m so disappointed by what happened to Addicted, and it still stings even all these years later. This experience will always make me feel jaded if I watch any other Chinese BL dramas in the future. 😞

Addicted Drama Online Resources

Links

  1. Probably you could have noted that the Addicted books have been translated expertly into English on Wattpad by PrinceOfMidnight07. So it is possible to read the whole story as written by the author, although the video version script does differ slightly from Volume 1’s text. The rest of the story makes clear why it has been claimed on YouTube that China cracked down on the plot’s development due to it taking place in the Chinese military.

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