Mr. Cinderella is a Vietnamese BL series about the unlikely romance between a doctor and a gangster. The leads come from different walks of life, but they meet over an incident with a stolen cell phone. After the gangster gets beaten up in a brawl, the doctor helps the injured patient with his recovery. As they share living arrangements, their relationship becomes a lot closer.
The nonsensical and melodramatic story prevents Mr. Cinderella from being enjoyable. The plot developments are too stupidly ridiculous. While I find the two leads attractive, their romance is patchy and incoherent. This series also suffers from several problematic scenes, obnoxious characters, and clunky flashbacks. The BL drama has the makings of a guilty pleasure, but it's ultimately a poor product that I can't endorse.
Mr Cinderella Summary
Around 5 hours
Spicy and romantic
Around 30 to 40 minutes
Dung is a poor bartender who lives and works with his friend, Thinh. Both young men are drifters without families or permanent homes. Thinh gets into trouble with a group of gangsters who disrupt his place of work. Dung stands up for his friend and chases away the gang. However, his employer blames Dung for causing trouble and fires him from his job.
As Dung walks home, he stumbles upon Khoa and a petty thief. Unbeknownst to Khoa, the thief has pickpocketed his mobile phone. Dung sees what happened and chases after the criminal. Meanwhile, Khoa has no idea what happened until he returns to work. Only then does he realize his phone is missing.
Dung successfully catches the thief and retrieves the stolen phone. Unfortunately, he encounters the same group of gangsters from the bar. They seek their revenge and beat him up violently. Khoa arrives and rescues the injured man, bringing him to a clinic for medical attention.
Khoa works as a doctor at a private clinic with his employees, Huynh and Thao. He gives Dung free treatment and assists with his recovery. The injured man must put his broken arm in a sling for a while. Initially, Dung is reluctant to accept the medical help because he can't afford it. However, the doctor makes an exception and provides his services for free. Khoa's generosity comes from believing Dung is a good person who helped him retrieve his stolen phone.
Khoa learns that Dung has no job, family, money, or home. Khoa takes pity on the underprivileged young man, so he offers Dung a free place to stay at his home. The two men become unlikely roommates despite coming from different walks of life. They form a close relationship, mixed with sexual tension. However, Khoa's ex-boyfriend Huynh is jealous of their rapport. He views Dung as a freeloading gangster who doesn't deserve Khoa's kindness. Hyunh intervenes and tries to stop their bonding.
Mr Cinderella Trailer
Mr Cinderella Cast
Nguyen Ba Vinh (Nguyễn Bá Vinh)
Dung is a poor bartender with no family, money, or home. He lives with his friend and coworker, Thinh, who shared the rent with him. Dung loses his job after picking a fight with a group of gangsters. After meeting Khoa, Dung befriends the doctor and becomes his roommate.
Nguyen Ba Vinh
Nguyen Ba Vinh (Nguyễn Bá Vinh) is a Vietnamese actor. His first BL project is the 2020 drama, Nation's Brother. He also appears in You Are My Boy, The Most Peaceful Place, and Mr. Cinderella in 2021. Ba Vinh is the lead of Want to See You (2022), Love Bill (2022), Vian (2023), and Mr. Cinderella (2023).
Truong Minh Thao (Trương Minh Thảo)
Khoa works as a doctor at a clinic. His staff, Huynh and Thao, are smitten with him. Khoa feels sympathy for Dung's situation and invites him to live together. Despite their different backgrounds, they become roommates and friends. Khoa is openly gay and dated Huynh in the past.
Pham Nguyen Tuong Vi
Tran Vu Duc Duy
- Dung's actor (Ba Vinh) stars in the 2022 Vietnamese BL series Want to See You. The story portrays the experiences of a blind protagonist. The actors who play Thao, Thinh, and Nguyen also appear in that drama.
- Khoa's actor (Minh Thao) has a supporting role in the 2023 BL comedy Stupid Genius. He portrays a teacher in a high school.
Mr Cinderella Review
Drama Review Score: 5.5
Mr. Cinderella is a terribly written BL drama with a nonsensical story. The plot developments are foolish, outrageous, and incoherent. Occasionally, the events seem so ridiculous that the series crosses into the territory of a guilty pleasure. It appeals to the messy side of me, who loves trashy entertainment. Nonetheless, Mr. Cinderella has far too many quality issues with problematic scenes, obnoxious characters, and excessive flashbacks. Everything about it gives off an amateurish vibe.
The most annoying part of Mr. Cinderella is perhaps the dumb gangster drama. It isn't fun to watch the nameless hooligans chase after the protagonist like Pac-Man. A close contender to the worst storyline is anything involving the main character's ex-girlfriend. She brings clinginess and ugly confrontations with a whiff of homophobia. I highlighted a few offensive examples, but this series has a long list of absurd and aggravating subplots. Mr. Cinderella specializes in contrived conflicts, exaggerated melodrama, and cartoonishly evil villains to power the narrative.
Sometimes, the dumb shenanigans circle back to being hilariously campy. For instance, Hyunh's character begins as a petty ex-boyfriend before his malevolence reaches soap opera levels of theatrics. As his evildoings escalate, I look past the lack of logic and enjoy the juicy antics. Against my better judgment, I'm stupidly invested in the messy drama and feel curious about how the events unfold. With that said, the series isn't skillful enough to elevate its tacky plots to delightful silliness. The buffoonery frustrates me more than I find it amusing.
The BL romance is patchy and develops erratically. Dung and Khoa grow uncomfortably close without knowing each other that well. The characters flirt a lot, but the superficial interactions don't persuade me about their inexplicable attraction. Also, Khoa offers free lodging to his love interest as a gesture of kindness. However, some of his predatory actions and perverted dialogue make me doubt his good intentions. Despite the shortcomings, I still like Dung and Khoa as a quirky couple. They share sparks in a few cute, endearing scenes.
Mr. Cinderella has two appealing leads. I harbour a crush on Dung's actor (Nguyen Ba Vinh), whose long eyelashes, lean physique, and roguish charm produce an attractive package. His costar (Truong Minh Thao) also looks dashing, although his forceful acting goes a bit overboard in several moments. Together, they make a hot couple on-screen, satisfying the shallow BL fan in me. In addition, I think Huynh's performer (Kan Hy) plays the antagonistic role impressively. There's a hospital scene where he yells at Dung's ex with explosive anger, leaving me shaken.
Mr. Cinderella balances its intense drama with lighthearted comedy, but the humour is hit-and-miss. A few iffy exchanges cross the line of indecency. This series suffers from being needlessly overboard. It does too much with over-the-top melodrama, tasteless jokes & convoluted storylines. I want to champion the BL drama as a corny guilty pleasure, but the incessant nonsense overpowers the entertainment value. Ultimately, Mr. Cinderella is a crappy product with a half-witted plot and an underwhelming romance. I can't even recommend it ironically.
Mr. Cinderella has a ridiculous story with obnoxious melodrama, unpleasant conflicts & tasteless humour. The silly nonsense is sometimes entertaining, but it often frustrates me.
The patchy romance doesn't develop coherently or complexly. Dung and Khoa grow uncomfortably close before they know each other well. However, they're a quirky pairing with a few cute exchanges.
The two leads are physically attractive and make a hot BL couple. Generally, the acting is okay with a few ups and downs.
Mr. Cinderella has a happy ending where the leads solidify their relationship. Although the characters get into a heated argument, they resolve their differences amicably.
The series looks okay, even though the production values have a noticeably low-budget feel. The visuals and audio are serviceable, but don't expect a remarkable quality.
Mr. Cinderella is a poorly written BL series with an absurd plot & needless melodrama. It comes close to being a campy guilty pleasure, but the foolishness overpowers the entertainment value.
Mr Cinderella Series Explained
There's some room for debate and interpretation about the "Cinderella" in the story. Officially, Cinderella is the nickname Dung used for Khoa during their childhood friendship. However, this label also refers to the hardships both protagonists face in their lives. Khoa & Dung have shockingly tragic backstories. One of the unintentionally funniest moments is when Khoa talked about growing up as an orphan after his parents died. Dung tries to one-up him by saying, "At least you met them. I don't even know mine." Not him turning this into a sob story competition!
In Dung's case, he drifted through life aimlessly without love or companionship until Khoa offered him a home. In Khoa's case, he suffered from dysfunctional relationships until Dung gave him this whimsical romance. You can make an argument that both characters are Cinderella and they are each other's Prince Charming. In theory, I like the concept of these two unhappy individuals who meet one another and restore joy in their lives. However, the poorly written story strays in random directions. I wish they removed the other subplots and focused on the modern fairytale between the leads.
I like Dung! He's a lovable rascal with a heroic sense of justice. Dung gets unfairly labelled as a "gangster", but his actions speak otherwise. He's always trying to do the right thing. Dung sees a random stranger getting mugged and immediately chases after the thief to retrieve the stolen phone. He also stands up for his friend Thinh, who is being harassed by the hooligans. Dung's first instinct in every situation is to help others, even if it means inconveniencing himself.
Yet, Dung is also hilariously petty. When Khoa gets attacked by the ex-girlfriend in Episode 4, Dung refuses to intervene and protect him. It's like payback for Khoa standing idly during a fight in an earlier episode. Dung gives the doctor a taste of his own bitter medicine. How would you feel when someone doesn't step in to help during your attack? Symbolically, Episode 7 echoes this theme when Khoa's sister insults Dung, but his boyfriend wouldn't defend him. Dung constantly calls out Khoa for being a passive bystander during injustices.
Khoa is a generous guy who offers free meals & lodging to an underprivileged guy with no money. I was skeptical about him inviting a stranger to live with him. However, it's also a testament to his character's charitable nature that he wanted to help Dung. Not everyone can be as altruistic as Khoa. With that said, Khoa's intentions around Dung are muddled. He tries to flirt, but his behaviour comes across as lecherous instead.
For example, he invites Dung to stay at his house overnight. The next day, Khoa suddenly asks Dung if he's watching an adult video at his home. It's a socially awkward comment, right? Instead of greeting him with "good morning", you overstep and ask this question to a guy you barely know. The sequence of events makes it seem like Khoa is coming onto his houseguest. I start questioning whether he invited Dung to live with him out of altruism or seduction.
Dung and Khoa
Dung and Khoa have a quirky dynamic. A gangster and a doctor rarely cross paths, befriend each other, or live together. Their living arrangement is unusual for sure. The series jokes that Dung is a freeloading gangster mooching off Khoa. However, I view their relationship differently. They resemble a domesticated couple. Dung is like Khoa's househusband who cooks and cleans for his man after returning home from work.
I like this couple, but their relationship scenes aren't written well. The flirtatious exchanges sometimes give me second-hand embarrassment. The exhausting drama with the exes also makes the BL relationship an unpleasant experience. In addition, Mr. Cinderella tried exploring Dung's sexuality, but those scenes felt awkward. Generally, the series throws too many crappy subplots at this couple. Their chemistry is lost underneath the extraneous storylines. Despite liking the pair, I don't want to drudge through the unnecessary content just to watch them interact.
Two memorable Dung x Khoa scenes stand out for me. The first is when Khoa takes off Dung's pants in Episode 2. I'm convinced this is when Khoa falls in love with Dung. Do you see the way he ogles at Dung's underwear-clad package? That's the look of somebody impressed with what he's seeing!
The second moment is the sexy bathtub scene. Early on, that one-second clip caught my attention in the opening credits. I used it as my motivation to continue watching this series. I waited for episode after episode, but that moment never arrived. I almost lost my patience, wondering when they'd hop into that bathtub already! Unfortunately, that erotic encounter doesn't occur until literally the last scene. The series strung me along for eight episodes, playing with my expectations. I have nobody to blame but myself lol.
Dung and Khoa
OMG. I can't believe how much the love triangle drama escalated in the later episodes. At first, I thought Huynh was just your garden-variety ex-boyfriend. His character acts petty and jealous, but he's ultimately harmless. To my surprise, Mr. Cinderella presses the berserk button and turns Huynh into a full-fledged soap opera villain. Holy baloney, he has gone cuckoo in the last few episodes. His descent into insanity actually entertained me. If you're going to make the story ridiculous, this is the intensity I want!
The most memorable Huynh moment is the ending of Episode 6. In a flashback, we see his character deliberately stepping barefoot on the pieces of glass. He hurts himself on purpose to sell the sympathy ploy to his ex-boyfriend. Oh my god, I screamed so loud! This scene is juicy! Until that point, Huynh masqueraded himself as a rational individual. After this moment, there's no way to redeem his character. Huynh's antics are so over-the-top that I go from hating him to respecting him as a villain.
Huynh and Thinh
What makes Huynh's character transformation startling is that the series had established him in a secondary romance. We thought he was headed towards a cozy relationship with the sweet and innocent Thinh. They even kissed in Episode 5, so the couple made significant progress. Yet, the series defies our expectations and destroys this pairing without hesitation. Thinh is clearly the better love interest, yet Huynh insists on obsessing over his unattainable ex-boyfriend.
I like this juicy soap opera twist! Thinh isn't the ideal rebound boyfriend we thought he would be. Instead, he gets discarded as a pawn in Huynh's scheme to reunite with his boyfriend. However, Thinh's character is too one-dimensional, and I don't really understand what he sees in Huynh. It cheapens the twist, as if the story pairs off Huynh & Thinh together as merely a plot device. Mr. Cinderella could've done more with this couple. If the viewers are emotionally invested in their romance, it would've made Huynh's betrayal hurt even more.
Nguyen Ba Vinh
Full disclosure: this section will focus on the physical looks since I don't have much to say about the performances. 🙊 Let's talk about Dung's actor (Nguyen Ba Vinh). Total hottie, right? The shaggy haircut is almost a disservice because it hides his lovely long eyelashes. He might be the best part about Mr. Cinderella because I discovered a new BL crush. Honestly, the two leads in this series make a good-looking couple. I wish the story served them better to sell the romance more enticingly.
This actor stars in a new 2022 BL drama, Want to See You, made by the same production studio as Mr. Cinderella. I don't have high hopes for the story, but I wanna see him in another series. I'll definitely check out Want to See You just for him~ 😙
Mr. Cinderella seems like a low-budget BL, so I don't want to rag on the production values too much. I didn't give a high artistry score, but I see glimpses of a few pretty shots here and there. I also like the action sequences where the characters run away from the gangsters, as the camera follows their movements smoothly. Generally, the drama doesn't look terrible. The production is serviceable, but it doesn't feel that elevated.
A minor detail is the limited wardrobe choices. All the characters wear the same few articles of clothing throughout the entire series. The limitations relate to the budget constraints, so I'm not critical about it. However, these little details make a difference in the visual presentation. Clothes are how the characters express themselves and showcase their personalities. Mr. Cinderella misses an opportunity in this department where other BL dramas (with bigger budgets) can do better.
Mr. Cinderella has a happy ending where Dung and Khoa reunite in the final episode. Previously, Dung ran away from home after a heated argument. Khoa's sister insulted him, expressing that a lowly gangster isn't suitable for her wealthy and well-educated brother. Dung is upset because Khoa didn't defend him. The doctor allows his sister to humiliate Dung without speaking up. Khoa realizes his silence is incriminating. He feels apologetic, but Dung hasn't returned home in days.
The final episode begins with Dung returning to Khoa's home because he's hungry. *lol* Anyway, the characters apologize to each other and go back to an amicable relationship. However, Huynh becomes increasingly jealous of their reunion. He confronts Dung in an epic rooftop showdown and tries to kill his rival with a syringe. Khoa stops him just in time, stating clearly that he will never love Huynh again. Huynh is devastated. Afterwards, he quits his job at the clinic. He has one last chat with Khoa, who confirms they can never be friends again.
The series concludes with Dung and Khoa living in the same house again. Khoa gifts his boyfriend a necklace, which is a family heirloom. The meaningful gift is representative of Dung's significance in his life. Afterwards, they share a passionate kiss. The final scene shows the couple taking a bath together. There's some preposterous resolution to the drama with his sister, but I won't bore you with the details. Anyway, the leads share one last kiss in the bathtub before the end credits roll.
A funny moment in the Mr. Cinderella ending is when Huynh gives medicine to Dung, who immediately questions if it's poisoned. Dude, I had the exact same thought! Initially, Huynh pretends he wouldn't do something so evil. A few seconds later, he drops the act and tries to kill Dung with the contaminated syringe. *lmao* Honestly, Huynh's murder attempt is within expectations. I knew he'll transform into a full-on soap opera villain for the ending. The only suspense is which weapon he would use.
Realistically, Hyunh deserves to be behind bars, so he should consider himself lucky to walk off scot-free. It's a bit ridiculous Khoa would show mercy towards his murderous ex. However, Khoa's character has shown incredible kindness throughout the series. He doesn't seem like the type to seek revenge and ruin someone's life, even if they deserve it. I like the final conversation between Khoa & Huynh, which gives closure to their irreconcilable relationship.
Even though Huynh isn't in jail, his character still suffers in a sad, lonely ending. Firstly, he doesn't get back together with his ex. They don't even remain friends. Secondly, he blew an opportunity to be with Thinh, a sweet guy who genuinely liked him. At the end of Mr. Cinderella, Huynh emerges as the biggest loser. The moral of the story is don't be an evil ex with homicidal rage issues, or else you'll live unhappily ever after!
Mr. Cinderella Episodes
Mr. Cinderella has a total of 8 episodes. Each episode is around 30 to 40 minutes long. The last episode is around 35 minutes long. It is a long BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 5 hours. Mr. Cinderella started on November 28, 2021 and ended its run on January 16, 2022.
Mr. Cinderella has released a sequel, continuing the love story years later. It features the same lead actors. The second season includes a total of 8 episodes. Mr. Cinderella 2 began on September 23, 2023 and finished on November 11, 2023.
The first episode is a bit cheesy, but I enjoyed it enough. Khoa rescuing Dung from the three gangsters is like the modern-day Prince Charming saving Cinderella from her step-family.
The moment where Khoa pulled off Dung's pants is when he first fell in love with him. He saw that underwear-clad package and it was ~love at first sight~. 😝
This episode is dull and seems to go nowhere. I want less attention on the annoying supporting cast and more emphasis on building the relationship between the leads.
I like some of the relationship scenes between the leads in this episode, but hate the dumb drama with the exes. Dung's ex-girlfriend attacking Khoa is overboard and too much of an escalation.
Thinh seems smitten with Huynh. I don't know why he's hung up on his ex when this sweet guy is available. Hunyh channelled his inner Cruella in that confrontation with the ex-girlfriend. *lol*
OMG, the way I SCREAMED at that final shot of Huynh stepping his foot on the glass. He's a full-fledged psychopath! Okay, this storyline transitioned from stupidly outrageous to hilariously camp.
Ugh, the constant drama is exhausting. Do we need another antagonistic character causing tension between the leads? The series hardly focuses on their sweet moments.
The Mr. Cinderella ending is ridiculous & illogical, but I got used to it by now. I waited for the entire series for that sexy bathtub scene. I can't believe they saved it until the final moment of the drama.
Mr Cinderella Behind the Scenes
Mr. Cinderella Information
O2 Production is a Vietnamese BL studio that has made various gay dramas and movies since 2019. Its first project is the short film, Ngay Em Den. The studio's portfolio includes Nation's Brother (2021), The Most Peaceful Place (2021), and Mr. Cinderella (2021). It has also made Want to See You (2022) and Love Bill (2022).