Because of You is a Taiwanese BL drama about the three wealthy sons of a powerful tycoon. Each character is competing for a major stake in their father's business empire. All three brothers experience their own romantic storylines during the course of this ten-episode series.
At times, I see quick glimpses of an interesting plot or a sweet romantic moment in Because of You. Unfortunately, this drama is too muddled with toxic relationships and shallow character development. The scattered storylines never quite come together, resulting in an unenjoyable viewing experience.
Because of You Summary
Around 3 hours
Cute and sweet
Around 13 to 15 minutes
Jun Cheng, Jun Dao, and Jun Ping are three half-brothers who come from the wealthy Yuan family. Their father is a powerful business tycoon with lots of romantic entanglements and failed marriages. Year ago, the father once had a passionate romance that ended terribly. When this ex-lover passed away recently, he learned of her death after receiving a sudden phone call from her son Lin Xun.
The father suspects Lin Xun might actually be one of his illegitimate children, and feels guilty for not taking better care of him. He orders his three sons to track down Lin Xun, in hopes of making amends for the past. As an incentive, he offers to fulfill any request, which includes giving away the ownership of his business, if one of the sons brings Lin Xun back to him.
The oldest son Jun Cheng is already acquainted with Lin Xun, since the two of them had met in the past. Jun Cheng wants to bring him to see his father and claim his inheritance, but Lin Xun has no interest getting involved with the Yuan family. To Jun Chang’s surprise, not even the prospect of a wealthy fortune can motivate the humble and ordinary Lin Xun.
Meanwhile, the youngest son Jun Ping begins an investigation on Lin Xun. With his best friend Yue Rong helping out, their sleuthing brings this platonic friendship closer together. Unlike his brothers, the middle son Jun Dao doesn’t care about finding Lin Xun at all. He is more focused on getting loved up with his roommate Xiang Shi instead.
As Lin Xun becomes the main focus of the Yuan family, hostility and tensions begin to rise. Jun Cheng is particularly determined to get closer to him, and will take drastic measures to make sure his so-called brother is who he says he is.
Because of You Cast
Jun Cheng Lee Shi Kang (이시강) Lee Shi Kang Instagram
Jun Cheng is the oldest son in the Yuan family. He is of Korean descent. Jun Cheng has an eccentric personality and can be a little out of touch with reality. Out of all the sons, he is the most resentful of his dad, blaming him for his mother’s death.
Lin Xun Muji Hsu (徐謀俊) Muji Hsu Instagram
Lin Xun is an ordinary university student, who leads a very humble life with his single mom. He works a part-time job to pay for his mother’s medical bills. An altruistic young man, Lin Xun enjoys doing charity and helping others, even at his own expense.
Jun Dao Will Chang (張又瑋) Will Chang Instagram
Jun Dao is the middle son in the Yuan family. Unlike his older and younger brother, he doesn't put much of an effort in tracking down Lin Xun. Jun Dao lives together with Yiang Shi, and the two of them have a close relationship. However, he grows increasingly jealous of Xiang Shi's relationship with his female friend.
Xiang Shi Guo Yu Chen (郭宇宸) Guo Yu Chen Instagram
Xiang Shi is the close companion of Jun Dao, and they live together in the same house. Openly bisexual, he attracts the predatory attention of Yue Wu, who is very interested in him. Xiang Shi seems to be quite good at repairing electronics.
Jun Ping Jerom Huang Alouf (黃士杰) Jerom Huang Alouf Instagram
Jun Ping is the youngest son of the Yuan family. His mother refuses to divorce Jun Ping's father, ensuring that her son gets his share of the family inheritance. Jun Ping is currently a university student. His best friend is Yue Rong and they spend all their time together.
Yue Rong Wells Su (蘇韋華) Wells Su Instagram
Yue Rong is the best friend of Jun Ping. He is highly intelligent and gets the top grades at university. Yue Rong has a nervous habit of biting his nails whenever he thinks, which annoys his friend Jun Ping every time he does it.
Chiang Ming Chieh (張銘杰)
Francesca Kao (高慧君)
Dreamya Tsai (蔡詩羽)
Because of You Review
Drama Review Score: 5.4
In more capable hands, Because of You could have been a good BL drama. There were a couple of scenes where the series showed some promise, but those moments came few and far between. Mostly, Because of You does an awful job with its aimless storytelling, which isn't helped by the poor character development and the shallow romances.
Because of You didn't know what story it wanted to tell. Even at the start, the convoluted plot was not clearly defined, but at least we got some semblance of a storyline about three brothers competing for a family inheritance. Of course, there were many noticeable plot holes, which were either laughably explained or pitifully overlooked. As the series progressed, the main plot pretty much faded into oblivion, completely overtaken by the three romances.
Without an overarching plot, Because of You disintegrated into random romantic moments between the three different couples. This wouldn't be so bad if the romances were actually engaging, but only the main couple shared any sort of spark between them. The other two pairs had no depth, featuring generic characters with little personality. Because of You should have just scrapped those boring relationships and focus on polishing the storyline between Jun Cheng and Lin Xun.
I'd like to think that the quality of BL dramas has evolved significantly over the years. However, Because of You is a disappointing setback with some of its problematic elements, including predatory behaviour and sexual harassment that are handled too lightheartedly. Overall, this series is very rough around the edges and it needed some serious retooling to uncover any hidden potential.
The story in Because of You is not handled with much thought or care. It suffers from a convoluted plot that doesn't make much sense from the start. Why would such a wealthy man use this method to track down his illegitimate son? This plot becomes even less believable as it develops, with characters breaking into houses illegally or kidnapping someone just to take his DNA sample. Of course, none of these extreme actions have any consequences, because Because of You hasn't thought that deeply and doesn't care about realism in the story.
The death of Lin Xun's sickly mother feels like it should be an important event, but this is glossed over like yet another plot point. Because of You is hardly interested in exploring Lin Xun's grief after his mother just died. It only cares about how her death can kick off the family inheritance storyline. This is a common problem with Because of You, which is so focused on moving the plot along that it neglects any emotional development.
Around the midway mark, Because of You stops paying attention to the plot. The main story just fizzles out after the dad discovered Lin Xun was not his son. The show doesn't try to dig deeper or introduce a new plot afterwards; it simply gave up on crafting a narrative. Those last few episodes feel totally aimless, comprised of random romantic sequences between the three couples.
Jun Cheng and Lin Xun
Because of You made an interesting decision to cast a Korean actor as one of the leads. It was pretty unique to see and hear a Korean character in a Taiwanese BL drama, and the transatlantic element of the romance does excite me a little. One day, I hope we get a fully international BL series starring actors from many different countries. Like one big cultural fusion with Taiwanese BL, Korean BL, mixed with all the other countries in the world. How cool would that be? 🤗
I was not on board with the Jun Cheng and Lin Xun romance at first. For the first half of the series, I detested Jun Cheng's character, who was so rude, violent, and arrogant. I seriously questioned why this drama made the lead so unlikable, and didn't think they could redeem him after he kidnapped his love interest. He literally tied up Lin Xun and locked him inside a closet, like what the fuck!
Jun Cheng does become more appealing later in the series, once his bizarre personality is unravelled. It turns out that his character seems off-putting because he is so out-of-touch with reality. Imagine a spoiled millionaire who lived inside a bubble his whole life, so sheltered that he can't sit in a chair without putting a handkerchief on top of it. The more we see of Jun Cheng, the weirder he became. And honestly, I'm kinda here for it.
Once I've warmed up to Jun Cheng, his past transgressions seemed less severe, and I started appreciating his romance with Lin Xun more. They had a couple of cute, standard BL scenes together that worked for me. There's a spark between the two actors, who grew more comfortable with each other as the series progressed. While this romance is far from perfect, their connection is one of the few things in Because of You that I don't find myself hating.
Jun Dao and Xiang Shi
I honestly have no idea what relationship these two have. At first, I assumed they must be boyfriends, but the series kind of backtracked and labelled them as Just Friends. Regardless of how you label their romance, their scenes are thoroughly boring and add nothing to the plot. The two characters have no personalities or defining traits for viewers to grow attached to.
The one moment that stood out for me was when Jun Dao got into a fight with Xiang Shi and came close to hitting him, after shouting: YOU LIVE HERE, YOU SLEEP HERE, MY FAMILY OWNS YOU!!! 😧 For a moment there, I thought Because of You was gonna go in a dark direction and explore the theme of domestic abuse in a gay relationship. Prior to this fight, Jun Dao also had another encounter where he grabbed Xiang Shi too tightly and gave him an injury in the staircase. I’m seeing a PATTERN of abuse and it looks SINISTER.
Of course, Because of You didn't take on such a heavy storyline, which is for the best considering how they handled all the other plots. Still, that scene left a bad taste in my mouth, plus their whole power dynamic seemed really toxic and unhealthy. Just because you're rich doesn't mean you own him, asshole. Leave him while you can, Xiang Shi!
Jun Ping and Yue Rong
Compared to the previous couple, Jun Ping and Yue Rong fared a little better. At least this couple seemed normal, mildly pleasant, and inoffensive, even though they were pretty boring to watch. Despite sharing a lot of scenes together, their relationship never developed in a meaningful way. They had a very superficial romance that lacked substance, and there isn't much to say about them.
Wei Zhi and Chui Ying
The romance between Wei Zhi and Chui Ying was surprisingly compelling. It's like watching an epic soap opera, and I kind of loved how melodramatic their flashbacks were. Chui Ying seemed like such a hardcore character, holding an unresolved lifelong grudge against her former lover even right before she died. And oh my god, I felt ~chills~ when she aborted her baby with Wei Zhi, just to completely cut ties with him. Yo, mad respect. 🤘🏻
Hear me out, but I actually think this romance should've been featured more, serving as the emotional core of the series. Imagine a tragic love story where two former lovers ended their relationship in a lifelong feud, but their two children fell in love and succeeded in a romance where their parents went wrong. We could've explored narrative themes of revenge and reconciliation, while contrasting the relationships between the two generations. THIS should have been the central plot in Because of You, not that silly half-assed storyline about competing for a family inheritance.
For a short while, Because of You accidentally tapped into this interesting storyline, and it got me excited thinking about all the potential. Sadly, Because of You didn't know how to handle a complex plot, wasting an opportunity to elevate the quality of the series.
The two leads put in acceptable performances. Jun Cheng's actor (Lee Shi Kang) is full of animated expressions and he's good with the over-the-top comedy. Lin Xun's actor (Muji Hsu) has a calm energy and looks comfortable on screen.
I don't think the actors in the other couples were as strong. They didn't seem too experienced, and some of the scenes felt like I was watching an actor's workshop.
I admire Lin Xun simply because he's a nice, humble guy full of positive energy. He's kind, generous, and even donates money to homeless people in his neighbourhood.
Lin Xun seems like an emotionally intelligent and well-adjusted character, especially you compare him to someone as eccentric as Jun Cheng. Maybe his personality flaw is that he's too naive and trusting of strangers, but his altruism served as a good foil to the greediness in the Yuan family.
Ultimately, I like the simple message behind his character: you don't need money to be good or happy.
Skin & Nudity
There are plenty of shirtless scenes in Because of You. Nearly all of the characters (except maybe Jun Dao?) strip off at one point or another. These were mostly scenes of the characters shirtless in bed, taking a shower, and frolicking in the pool together. You see a fairly decent amount of skin in this BL drama.
Out of everyone, Jun Cheng definitely made the biggest impression with his shirtless scene. He has the type of body that makes you sit up and take notice! 👀
Because of You features numerous problematic elements, including ridiculous kidnapping plots, unhealthy toxic relationships, and multiple instances of sexual harassment.
Yue Wu is a terribly written character and her predatory behaviour towards the men is unacceptable. She repeatedly makes physical advances towards Xiang Shi, who makes it very clear that he isn't interested. There's an uncomfortable atmosphere every time she forces herself on Xiang Shi, as he backs away from her in distress.
Later, Yue Wu barges in on Jun Ping taking a shower, and she just watches him in the open like a total perv. She literally sits down on the bathtub, gawking at him while he tries to cover up his naked body. What's wrong with this girl? Does she not understand the concept of boundaries? GTFO!
I also hate this is how Because of You portrayed the only prominent female character in the series, turning her into a boy-crazy sexual harasser. Let's treat women with far more respect and retire these harmful tropes from our BL dramas.
The cliff scene
Episode 9 featured a surprisingly poignant moment between Jun Cheng and Lin Xun, as they visit the sea to spread his mother's ashes. By this point, I have given up on expecting any emotional nuance from Because of You, but then they give us such a thoughtful scene completely out of nowhere.
The scene takes place in a beautifully picturesque location, where the two characters stand on a rocky cliff by the seaside. The dialogue was serious and mature, as Jun Cheng and Lin Xun reflected on their parents' turbulent relationship. Later, Jun Cheng's offbeat humour helped to lighten the mood, choosing this moment to confess his love for Lin Xun, who is mortified: "Yuan Jun Cheng, what's your problem!? Who would pick such a timing!?"
This scene ends with Jun Cheng and Lin Xun sharing a proper kiss, and they even included an aerial shot of the kiss from above. Like wow, Because of You really pulled all the stops with this scene, huh? If only the storyline leading up to this moment was better constructed, the emotions would've landed with more of an impact. Nonetheless, this scene surprised me in a good way, displaying an artistry to Because of You that I wished I saw more of.
Too many changes
This isn't a question that I can give a single answer to. Because of You requires so many changes in order to become a better BL series. The whole show needs to be reworked from start to finish. Think about what story you want to tell, only include the scenes that are essential to the story, and focus on the emotions behind the journey. Most likely, many of the extraneous characters and storylines should be axed in the final product.
In general, I wish the series handled its storytelling with as much thought and nuance as the cliff scene in Episode 9. That should've been the standard of quality, not a rare exception to the consistent mediocrity.
The ending in Because of You was so anticlimactic, with the brothers and their love interests gathering together for a meal. They talked, they ate, and then they gave a toast. That's basically how the series ends.
Nothing special happened in the ending, but of course nothing had been happening for the past few episodes since the main plot ended. I can't believe there's going to be a planned sequel for Because of You. There wasn't even enough story to fill the first season, so what could they possibly include in another season of this? 🥱
Because of You Episodes
Because of You has a total of 10 episodes. Each episode is around 13 to 15 minutes long. It's a medium-length BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 3 hours. There might be a planned sequel in the works.
⭐ Best episode
Episode 9 was probably the best episode in Because of You by default, since the other episodes are really not that good. 😓 The scene at the cliff with Jun Cheng and Lin Xun is the emotional highlight of the series, and it takes up a large part of the episode.
💕 Most romantic episode
In addition to Jun Cheng & Lin Xun's seaside kiss, Episode 9 also featured the first kiss between Jun Ping and Yu Rong. This episode also had a sweet moment between Jun Dao and Xiang Shi, who aren't fighting or bickering like usual. In this episode, all three couples seem to make positive progress on the romantic front.
😭 Tearjerker episode
Episode 5 featured two emotional flashbacks between Jun Cheng's dad and Lin Xun's mom. The first flashback was about Chui Ying breaking up with Wei Zhi. The second episode focused on Lin Xun deciding to abort Wei Zhi's baby. Both flashbacks were packed with high stakes and epic melodrama, making for a compelling viewing.
💋 First kiss episode
Episode 8, 9, 10
All the kissing scenes happen towards the end of the series. Jun Cheng and Lin Xun share their first kiss in Episode 8, during a drunken stupour between them. Jun Ping and Yu Rong have their first kiss in the bookstore in Episode 9.
In the same episode, Jun Dao and Xiang Shi have a peck on the cheek, but they have a much more passionate making out session in Episode 10. Out of all the couples, I think this pair probably had the most intense kisses.
👨❤️💋👨 Episodes with intimacy
There isn't any sexual intimacy between the couples. However, the two older couples (especially Jun Dao and Xiang Shi) do get quite physically affectionate, constantly petting and touching each other. At one point, Jun Cheng thought he lost his virginity to Lin Xun in Episode 8, but it was a big misunderstanding since he doesn't know what sex feels like. 🙃
💪🏻 Episodes with skin
Episode 3, 7, 8, 10
Xiang Shi gets shirtless in Episode 3 and 10, in shower and in bed respectively. Jun Ping and Yu Rang frolic topless in the hot springs in Episode 10, while Jun Ping has an additional shower scene in Episode 7. Both Jun Cheng and Lin Xun have their shirtless scenes in Episode 8, when they ended up in bed after getting drunk.
👨🏻🤝👨🏻 Episodes as a couple
I honestly thought Jun Dao and Xiang Shi were a couple from the start, but apparently they're just "friends" or "roommates" or whatever. In any case, all three pairs end up becoming official couples by the end of the series.