No. 1 For You is a Taiwanese BL drama about two ambitious university students. They constantly challenge each other in sports and school. As these rivals compete for the #1 title on campus, they develop a passionate relationship along the way.
The romance in No. 1 For You takes a while to get going and almost spends too long on useless plots. Once this series hits its stride, the scenes are fun, lighthearted, and engaging to watch. There are plenty of sweet and sizzling BL moments between the main couple.
No. 1 For You Summary
Around 3 hours
Cute and sweet
6 episodes + side story + sequel series
Around 30 minutes
Whether it's sports or school, Zhou Shu Yi has spent his entire life getting second place in competitions. That's because he always has to compete against Gao Shi De, an ace student who's athletic, intelligent, handsome, and all-around talented.
It vexes Shu Yi that he cannot triumph over his lifelong rival, who seems to succeed in everything that he does. Even in university, Shi De transferred to the same school as him, and Shu Yi cannot get a break from losing all the time.
While Shu Yi resents his rival, this feud is actually one-sided. In reality, Shi De doesn't care about competing or winning all that much. Secretly, he has an obsessive crush on Shu Yi since childhood, but the two of them never grew close because of their competitive relationship. Although Shi De knows his feelings aren't reciprocated, all he wants is to win over Shu Yi and become friends with him.
Recently, Shu Yi is heartbroken when the girl he liked had started dating his good friend instead. Shu Yi puts on a brave face in front of the couple, pretending that he's happy for them. When he's alone, however, Shu Yi feels dejected and gives a tearful speech about his hurt feelings.
While he is sobbing his heart out, Shi De has been secretly recording a video clip of this confession. Later, he uses this video clip to blackmail Shu Yi, who doesn't want his friends to see this embarrassing footage of him. After negotiating, the only way that Shi De would agree to delete this video is if Shu Yi ever beats him in a competition.
No. 1 For You Cast
Zhou Shu Yi is a competitive student who always comes second to Gao Shi De. He can be very petty, and not beneath playing cheap pranks in an attempt to destabilize his rival. Shu Yi comes from a wealthy family, and even has a chauffeur driving him around everywhere.
Sam Lin (林子閎)
Gao Shi De is an ace student who's smart, athletic, and always successful in everything he does. He has a secret crush on Zhou Shu Yi since their childhood days, although these feelings are not acknowledged or reciprocated. Shi De's father passed away when he was young, and he has a close relationship with his mom.
Ray Chang (張睿家)
Evan Luo (羅德弘)
Richard Lee (李齊)
Belle Hsin (辛樂兒)
Zack Fanchiang (范姜彦丰)
Shi De's mother
Helena Hsu (許乃涵)
No. 1 For You Review
Drama Review Score:7.5
In my review, I have a lot to nitpick with No. 1 For You. However, let me start with some of its positive aspects. This BL drama features a handsome cast, solid production values, and a stellar rapport between the two lead actors. While not all the storylines are executed smoothly, there's a strong focus on the BL elements. This series will offer you plenty of romantic moments to gush over.
I want to commend the two actors for their great physical chemistry with each other. I love the way they dive in with their intimate kisses, not holding back whatsoever. Not every couple in BL dramas is capable of kissing so comfortably and affectionately. It might sound frivolous, but I do rate the actors based on how well they kiss, and I think these two did a remarkable job.
The rest of my review will be more critical of No. 1 For You, highlighting its shortcomings in the story and character development. For starters, the plot is shaky, the secondary characters are one-dimensional, and the main relationship takes too long to rev up. Plus, the series ends in a weird place, and it doesn't feel satisfactory unless you also watch the follow-up sequel.
With that said, my opinion of this BL series is still pretty positive overall. Its pros outweigh its cons, and I enjoyed watching No. 1 For You despite some of the glaring flaws.
The story in No. 1 For You was…fine. It was a pretty typical story for a BL drama. Originally, I liked the exciting premise behind No. 1 For You, which focused on the two rivals competing against each other in school, sports & everything else. There could've been so much storytelling potential in the competitive dynamic between Shu Yi and Shi De. Unfortunately, they didn't explore this concept beyond a small handful of scenes.
What we got instead were a bunch of ordinary plots about love triangles, unrequited crushes, and obsessive stalker plots masquerading as romantic gestures. It's such a shame because they had an opportunity to tell a unique BL story from a creative angle. Instead, No. 1 For You squandered all the potential with the most generic storylines possible.
I had a particularly hard time connecting with Shi De's character. Here's a guy blessed with good looks, athletic genes, high intellect, and an unbreakable winning streak. By all means, he should be calm, confident, and capable. Yet, Shi De is so peculiar, emotionally stunted, and socially awkward around Shu Yi. What we see outside on the perfect package doesn't seem to match the damaged goods that we get inside.
Shi De goes overboard in all his interactions with Shu Yi. The kissing, the blackmailing, the stalking… He's super intense and it's way too much. While Shi De is a very smart and calculating character, nothing he does feels logical or sensible. His actions don't make sense, his feelings don't seem authentic, and he just doesn't behave like a real person. I don't understand why Shi De is obsessed over some infantile childhood crush from over a decade ago. I don't understand him at all.
Shu Yi and Shi De
I do like Shu Yi and Shi De as a couple, but it took them too long to get together. It's weird how slowly their relationship progressed, because there were so many instances that Shi De made his feelings blatantly clear. He literally kissed Shu Yi on the lips by the end of Episode 1! He outright professed his love to Shu Yi in Episode 3! I don't know why it took Shu Yi until endgame to notice that Shi De has been crushing on him pretty hard. Um hello, it's pretty obvious? Did you not notice all the hints along the way?
Once they officially got together, that's when No. 1 For You hit its stride for me. As a couple, we got to see a different side to the main characters. Plus, all of Shi De and Shu Yi's interactions were adorable together. Unfortunately, this was also the final episode, and it's such a pity that we didn't see more of their relationship until the end.
We really didn't need five whole episodes of Shi De pining after Shu Yi. They could've become a couple sooner, and a few of those episodes would be better utilized to portray their relationship scenes instead.
Bing Wei and Zhe Yu
Okay, here's a secondary romance that got almost no development. I didn't know who these two irrelevant characters were, and didn't care about why they were attracted to each other. Apparently, Zhe Yu was supposed to have a secret crush on Shi De, which was so strange because they barely shared any scenes together.
Both Bing Wei and Zhe Yu felt like entirely disposable characters, like a footnote to the main romance. It's clear that No. 1 For You didn't care much about developing their relationship. For me, they should've just scrapped this romance altogether.
The acting was pretty decent. I thought both actors did an acceptable job with the material they were given. The script itself is a little limiting, so it's tough to evoke a strong acting performance from these basic storylines.
The best part about the actors is their kissing. You can tell they're very immersive with their kisses, and it's refreshing to see from BL actors.
Out of everyone, Shu Yi felt like the most authentic character in the series. Yeah, he's moody, immature, and a little mouthy, but that actually makes his personality more believable. Most of the other characters in No. 1 For You were pretty one-dimensional, whereas Shu Yi seemed a lot more dynamic. He had character development, an emotional complexity, and a natural likability that made him interesting to watch.
Sorry for being completely shallow, but please allow me the opportunity to fangirl over THE HOT DOCTOR. 🤤 I was pretty much obsessed with Shou Yi's character from start to finish, and it was all because of superficial reasons. Look at this tall drink of water, just oozing raw masculine sex appeal without even trying. I was salivating every time he appeared on screen.
A fun piece of trivia is that Shou Yi's actor (Ray Chang) starred in the 2006 movie Eternal Summer, which was one of the pioneers in LGBT films in East Asia. He won a Golden Horse Award for his performance.
Skin & Nudity
There was a lengthy scene with lots of shirtless actors in the first episode. A swimming competition was taking place, so it was the perfect excuse to showcase the actors physically. We got to see a lot of pecs, abs, and V-shaped abdomens. However, this was the only shirtless segment in the entire series. Nobody strips off in the rest of the episodes.
I can't be the only one who thought Shi De came across as a creepy stalker, right? Remember the time he deliberately broke all the doors in a room, so that he'd get locked up inside with Shu Yi overnight? Um, that's like something I'd expect while watching a serial killer before he kills his victim… 😨
Your mileage may vary, but I found Shi De's feelings towards Shu Yi to be unhealthy and obsessive. The intensity of his actions seems disproportionate, especially since Shu Yi didn't reciprocate these feelings from the start. In the real world, Shi De's actions would warrant some sort of lifelong restraining order.
The kiss at the bridge
I love all the kisses in No. 1 For You, but the kiss at the bridge was definitely the most memorable moment. At the end of Episode 5, Shu Yi confesses his love for Shi De, culminating in an emotionally charged kiss on the bridge. They picked the perfect time and location to shoot this scene. There was a gorgeous view on the bridge, overlooking the picturesque city landscape in the middle of the night. The aesthetics looked so modern, so elegant, and so special.
This kiss was the much anticipated climax of the love story between Shu Yi and Shi De. No. 1 For You nailed the moment perfectly with a powerful emotional buildup, beautiful cinematography, and a very intimate kiss. Everything I wanted out of this moment was divinely executed, and this has to be the most successful scene in the entire series.
The secondary characters
I thought most of the secondary characters in this drama were uninteresting and undeveloped. No. 1 For You should have trimmed the supporting cast, because they just didn't have enough material for all five secondary characters. They served no purpose and their content was really stretching thin. Definitely keep the hot doctor character, but we could've easily scrapped (at least) two of the four generic friends, combining all their storylines together.
With a smaller cast, each secondary character would get more development. Plus, the storylines wouldn't have felt as scattered and all over the place.
The ending in No. 1 For You was pretty lacklustre, to be honest. Just when the two guys finally got together, they had to separate again because Shi De must go to America for a few months. Sure, they continue having a long-distance relationship, but it's such a weird, open-ended way to conclude the show. Technically, Shu Yi and Shi De are together, but also not really?
If you watched the side story special, the ending is even more confusing. Shu Yi randomly sees Shi De holding a baby with some woman, and then decides to break up without any other explanation. Okay, that makes NO sense whatsoever. I don't know if the special is supposed to be part of the canon storyline, but it was a sloppy mess.
The good news is that No. 1 For You has a sequel series, Fighting Mr. 2nd, which takes place a few years later. This means the ending we see here isn't the actual conclusion, but more like a stopping point in the middle of the story. For this reason, I'm going to be more lenient towards the unsatisfying ending in No. 1 For You, knowing that the story will continue in another series. I'm actually kind of excited about this sequel, and hope that they made some improvements over the first season.
No. 1 For You Episodes
No. 1 For You has a total of 6 episodes. Each episode is around 30 minutes long. There is also a 9-minute special episode that takes place after Episode 6, meant to be watched before the second season (called Fighting Mr. 2nd). This is a medium-length BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in around 3 hours.
⭐ Best episode
My favourite episode in No. 1 For You is Episode 6. This is the episode where Shu Yi and Shi De officially become a couple. Shu Yi meets Shi De's mom, and they have some really cute interactions together.
💕 Most romantic episode
Shu Yi and Shi De spend some quality time together once they become a couple. It's nice to see that Shi De's affections get reciprocated, so he doesn't appear as awkward or creepy as before.
😭 Tearjerker episode
Shi De and Shu Yi go through a lot of emotions during Episode 5, as they are still working out their feelings for each other. The emotions explode at the end of this episode, after Shu Yi confronts Shi De on the bridge.
😡 Most triggering episode
In Episode 3, Shi De purposely broke all the doors to lock himself in the clinic with Shu Yi overnight. I was so disturbed by what he did and felt a little scared for Shu Yi's safety.
💋 First kiss episode
Shu Yi and Shi De share their first kiss in Episode 1, which takes place underwater in a swimming pool. They also have an iconic kiss in Episode 5, after Shu Yi confesses his love for Shi De. After becoming a couple, they kiss again in Episode 6.
💪🏻 Episodes with skin
Shu Yi, Shi De, and a couple of their friends get shirtless in Episode 1. There's a pretty lengthy scene at the swimming pool.
👨🏻🤝👨🏻 Episodes as a couple
Shu Yi and Shi De only become a couple in the last episode. When Shi De leaves for America, they become a long-distance couple for a while. And then, the second season happened and they're SPLITSO.
No. 1 For You Season 2
Fighting Mr. 2nd 2021 series sequel Drama review
After watching No. 1 For You, viewers can continue the story in its second season, Fighting Mr. 2nd. This is the sequel of No. 1 For You, continuing the story a few years after the events in the first season.
In the sequel, the characters have graduated from university and they are now working together in a tech startup office. The relationship between Shu Yi and Shi De takes a dramatic turn, so expect lots of sexual tension, workplace politics, and steamy romance!