I'll be the first to admit that over the past couple of weeks I've been incredibly annoyed by the writers of Love Around. Why they found it necessary to throw in a bunch of overly tragic side characters this close to the end is still something of a mystery to me but after a little reflection, I can (almost and only very grudgingly) admit that these characters do serve a purpose; which is why I thought I'd take an even closer look at them today and get your thoughts on them as well.

1. Pei Ni

Pei Ni first appeared as a way for Zhou Zhen to take care of Liang Xiao Shu and Sound of Asia without being directly involved with either of them. Of course we all know that this act of kindness on Zhen's part was quickly overshadowed by his decision to use Pei Ni as a decoy girlfriend in his attempt to break Xiao Shu's heart. It was for this reason alone that I instantly hated Pei Ni but to be fair, it's not like she was in on the plan. In fact, she probably has no idea Zhou Zhen ever used her in this way, so I suppose I have no choice but to let that one slide. Since then, Pei Ni has been used to develop the character of a certain self-centered and childish DJ and for that, I'm glad. I've always wanted to like James but have been put off by his immaturity and incessant need to sweep his hair off his forehead. *SO ANNOYING!* Since learning the tragic story of single mom, Pei Ni and her terminally ill daughter Qian Qian, James has really started to mature; so much so, that I can now overlook his occasional hair swoop and appreciate him as a kind and caring man whose interest in Pei Ni goes much deeper than the superficial crush which it first appeared to be. For this reason alone, Pei Ni has earned a place in my book as a worthy side character and I hope things really do work out well for her and James by the end.

2. Qian Qian

Up next is Qian Qian, the terminally ill daughter of Pei Ni, whose every appearance makes you want to smile and cry, all at the same time. Qian Qian is a sweetheart, there's no doubt, but I have to be honest, her first appearance irritated me more than anything else. At the time, I could only see Qian Qian as a tragic and seemingly insignificant character, whose very existence seemed to bog down the flow of the story and add nothing more than a sad back story for Pei Ni but now I can see that she's had a much more significant role. (And no, I don't mean giving us an excuse to watch Xiao Shu and Zhen be overly cutesie together at an amusement park.) Let's face it, if it weren't for Qian Qian's near death experience in the parking lot of Zhen's hotel, James would have never had a chance to be the hero and Xiao Shu would have never gotten her memories back and we all know that it's these memories that are going to have the biggest impact on the next three episodes. What is Xiao Shu going to do, now that she knows the truth? What's going to happen to her father? Will he fess up? Will he deny it? Will he continue to screw over his family just to save face? See, we wouldn't be asking any of these questions if it hadn't been for Qian Qian, which is why she too, has earned my side character stamp of approval.

3. Pin Ying

And now we come to Pin Ying, the one character we've all been cringing over for the past two weeks as we wail, "WHY!?!" Why on earth the writers decided to bring back a most hated character and transform her into a tragically pitiful sob story is so beyond me. No matter how hard I try, I cannot bring myself to like Pin Ying, especially now that Xiao Shu is starting to believe Pin Ying and Zhen are back together. *Grrr!* Still, she does serve a purpose and though I hate to admit it, it's a rather important one, as it seems Pin Ying is the only one able to talk some sense into Zhou Zhen. Apparently once you become blind, you become incredibly insightful into the heart and mind of your ex and are therefore able to tell him things about his currently messed up love life that he refuses to hear from anyone else. *Go figure!* It's only after talking to Pin Ying that Zhen realizes leaving someone to ensure their future happiness is, in fact, totally lame. One can only hope that after a couple more talks with Pin Ying, Zhen will realize he's been a total douche these past few episodes and will go running back to Xiao Shu with the world' best apology, so we can finish this show knowing they're going to live happily ever after. It's this hope alone that allows me to tolerate Pin Ying and very grudgingly allow her to pass as an acceptable side character.

So now that I've given you my take on these overly tragic characters, I'd like to hear yours. Am I right to give them my side character seal of approval or should I have kept with my initial reaction and just written them off as useless bunk? I'd love to hear your thoughts so be sure to comment below!