General and I

General and I (2017)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 450 users
Reviews: 14 users

Brilliant strategist Bai Ping Ting and prince-general Chu Bei Jie of rival kingdoms find themselves torn between loyalty to the country and their passionate love for each other.

  • Native title:

    孤芳不自赏
  • Also Known as:

    Gu Fang Bu Zi Shang; A Lonesome Fragrance Waiting to Be Appreciated; 孤芳不自赏电视剧版;

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Jeana
7 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
6 days ago
  • Overall 1.0
  • Story 4.0
  • Acting/Cast 1.0
  • Music 6.5
  • Rewatch Value 1.0
What an absolute load of bullshit this show was. I don't think I have skipped so many episodes and fast forwarded so many scenes in any show before in my life. I had such a bad taste left in my mouth after I ended this, that I had to quickly download Master's Sun and use that as a relief to swallow this catastrophe down.

To be completely honest, I think the premise read more of this show is quite exciting and I bet the novel it's based on would be something spectacular. I will even admit that I really liked the idea behind the General's and Ping Ting's character. They were supposed to be strong and witty people in their own right and that was essentially what lured me in. But by God, that's not what this drama really ended up being.

Matters were made worse by the horrible acting. There is a lot of negative stigma attached with AngelaBaby but I did my best to keep an open mind and not be influenced by all the drama. Unfortunately, it was a wasted effort because she literally cannot act. Half of the time she's a blank board and in the other half she looks like a psychopath with her crazy eyes and creepy smile. I liked what her character was supposed to be but she destroyed it quite effectively.

Wallace Chung is a good actor but all the edgy scenes really didn't make him cool instead Chu Bei Jie mostly just comes off as an asshole who's trying and failing to assert his dominance over everybody.

The overdramatization makes everything more unbearable. With all that flying in the air, jumping over mountains and exaggerated facial expressions, General and I can't possibly expect the viewers to take its bullshit seriously. I watch Asian Dramas for their sincerity and poignancy, not whatever this superficial serialization was offering. So fucking disappointed.

It didn't help that I started watching it in between episodes of Eternal Love, which is why its flaws were even more noticeable than they would've been if an incredible show was not there for comparison. I really tried to give it a lot of chances but by the eighth chance, I thought it better for my sanity to skip most parts.

This is an unpopular opinion and if you are someone who has diligently watched all of its episodes and have arrived on a different conclusion, then good for you. Boos should always do their yous.
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anopinion
20 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Feb 10, 2017
  • Overall 6.5
  • Story 5.5
  • Acting/Cast 7.5
  • Music 8.5
  • Rewatch Value 4.0
I had extremely high expectations for General and I. I'm a long-time fan of Wallace Chung; I've liked him since his role as Nalan Xingde in The Secret History of Kangxi. After I heard that he was going to take up the role of Chu Beijie in General and I, I promptly went to read the entire novel. The novel itself certainly impressed, but I can't say the same for the drama read more adaptation.

The reason why the novel stood out is because of the balance of power between the male and female leads. They are intellectual equals, quite unlike Kdramas where the male leads tend to be more dominant, and unlike the trend of female-centric Cdramas where the female leads tend to be smarter while the male leads are really just supporting characters who wield huge power to lend a hand in times of emergency (Princess Weiyoung). I think they tried to maintain the same balance in the drama as well, and I'll give them a little bit of credit for that.

From now on, I'll talk about the divergence between the novel and the drama, and my thoughts on whether these are sound/positive modifications:

1. First up, the character conceptualisation. In the book, the Jing An - He family was executed by the Yan king because their achievements are so great that the Yan king finds it unsettling. Chu Beijie did not play a part in inciting the Yan king. He merely pushed the decision by deliberating losing the battle which made the Yan king even more uneasy. There's no talk in the novel too about Chu Beijie wanting to cease battle to protect the civilians. In fact, I remember distinctly that Chu Beijie wanted to expand the territories of Jin; he was battle-hungry. There is clearly a huge difference in the personalities of the character for the drama and the book. I can see why it was changed. It's to make Chu Beijie a more likable character who regards the welfare of the civilians above everything. Personally, I prefer a male lead who isn't this "perfect" and one-dimensional really. I don't like this, but I can see people preferring it. The biggest change in Chu Beijie is how weak he's become in the drama. He was captured and tortured three times! For his love, of course, very "romantic", but I do prefer the book where he was a lot smarter and didn't have to rely on the damsel to save him in times of distress at all. Bai Pingting also didn't need any rescuing in the novel as well. On the other hand, the drama just turned into this cycle of Chu Beijie saving Bai Pingting, then vice-versa, and rinse and repeat again.

2. Next, we have the process of falling in love. Oh god. This is probably the most annoying aspect of the drama. In the book, Bai Pingting was captured by slave traders during her escape (when the Yan king was trying to kill the He family). She was then sold to the Hua family in Jin and became attendant to the
young mistress. She caught the attention of Chu Beijie while playing the zither. Chu Beijie thinks that she is Miss Hua, they fall in love, and Miss Hua makes use of Chu Beijie's affection towards "her" to cancel her previous engagement so that she can marry her beloved. Bai Pingting's servant identity was revealed, and she eventually stayed in Chu Beijie's manor. Even though the two of them are in love, they are wary of each other. Bai Pingting wants to know her young master He Xia's whereabouts whereas Chu Beijie knows that Bai Pingting isn't who she claims to be (Yang Feng). After some mutual scheming and whatnot, they separate. Isn't this a refreshing storyline? But in the drama, they chose to make the leads childhood sweethearts. If I wanted to watch childhood sweethearts, any bloody Kdrama will do. Why add in such a cliched plot device? Damn. Furthermore, Chu Beijie recognised Bai Pingting as the little girl he met, and decided that he must FORCE her to marry him. And somehow she gradually loves him back, for no rhyme or reason at all. What the hell?

3. The addition of a lot of vertices to the love polygon. Jealous, unscrupulous female character who loves the male lead, check. Another female character who falls for the male lead while the leads are separated, check. In the novel, it was just a love square and it was complicated enough already.

These are just some of the more obvious changes. And all adverse ones in my opinion. The drama honestly would've been much better if it was more streamlined and stuck to the novel like gum to the underside of the table. 62 episodes is way too much. I guess they had no choice but to extend the story with such stupid tropes to keep it going.

To add on, here are some of the flaws in production:

1. A glaring one is the green screens that they used. The first episode had really well cheoreographed fight scenes with pretty natural looking scenery. From then on, it just seemed like a lot of the characters were cut and pasted onto the background. It's so awkward to watch. So much money pumped into the production and this is the result? I can understand that Angelababy was pregnant and perhaps they had to speed up filming, thus leading to this. But I can't help but feel a little cheated. Looking at the trailers alone, I expected a gorgeous-looking drama on or exceeding Princess Weiyoung's level. Nevertheless, the end-product was far from that.

2. Also, the dubbing. Wallace's dubber is just horrible. He has this slightly unorthodox pronunciation, kind of Cantonese-like, which makes him (actually, his voice) sticks out like a sore thumb. Plus, the voice totally doesn't suit the character. You can definitely get used to it, but it took me more than 10 episodes (still don't like it).

3. Styling. I'm pretty sure Princess Yaotian looks great in real life, but her styling in the drama does nothing for her. It looks horrible! The guys' long hairstyles looked like crap on all of them except Ze Yi and Fan Lu as well. I mean, Wallace Chung and Sun Yizhou looked fantastic with the man bun I have no idea why they had to give them the long hair/dreadlocks. I know it's to differentiate between the different territories but really it's so inconsistent that it's useless.

4. Chu Beijie's deliberate act-cool moves *cringe* (dramas need to stop doing this to their male leads). Forcibly trying to make your male leads "cool" tends to achieve the exact opposite effect. Also, why does he need a mask?

Now here comes the positives. Well, the non-negatives. Some of these are not even well done but just good enough:

1. The cute loveline between Fan Lu and Zui Ju. I didn't pay much attention to this subplot in the novel itself. However, the actors portraying the two characters actually brought more appeal to this storyline in the drama compared to the novel. Zui Ju is probably the most likable character in this entire drama, despite the bad acting (so, so bad). I was worried that they were going to alter this storyline when they gave Chu Moran and Zui Ju a lot of interactions during the time Chu Beijie broke away from the Jin court. Thankfully, they didn't change it that much.

2. The acting. Angelababy gets a lot of flak for being unexpressive. I don't actually think that she is that bad. I'm just slightly bothered by her constant smile, which just distracts me a little when the occasion clearly does not call for it. It may also be an after effect of plastic surgery though. Imo, she improved towards the end of the drama. Everyone else were just on par. The duo above (Zui Ju and Fan Lu) were cute but they are obviously very green. I'm not picky about the acting as long as it doesn't come across as unnatural, so in this aspect the drama gets a passing mark in my book.

3. Yaotian's ending. I liked He Xia and Princess Yaotian's romance more in the novel, even though the author didn't really touch on it much. In the drama, the two had very little chemistry (actually, chemistry was virtually non-existent for both pairings). Yaotian's ending is the same, but the way it ended was slightly different. I think they didn't want to make He Xia look too bad. But I actually like how "evil" he is in the book, and how tragic this pairing became. I thought it added more flavour to the story.

4. The OST. I must say, they have some really nice songs. My favourite is the duet by William Wei and Claire Kuo, followed by Tan Jing's song. The opening and ending themes don't appeal to me though.

In summary, I think the drama definitely falls short of expectations. It had good source material, but did not make good use of it. It had a huge budget, but didn't spend enough effort trying to refine the drama. If anything, the production itself just screams unprofessional to me. I do wish that they won't rush the filming so much, and gave more time to post-production as well. It could have been at least a pretty drama to look at, but now it's just... a huge disappointment. I usually write reviews only when I really like a drama, or when I hate it (don't ask me why I watch it all even though I dislike it, it's a childish question). General and I belongs to the latter. I'll give it a personal 4.0, but I'll scale this to a MDL rating of 6.5 [1].

-- Footnotes --

[1] The drama has a rating of 3.6 on Douban as of the time this review is written which is far closer to my personal grade but MDL just has biased ratings. You can see it. Candle in the Tomb, a fantastic drama, is rated 8.3 on MDL and 8.2 on Douban. G&I, an awful drama in comparison, is still rated 8.0 on MDL but only 3.6 on Douban. Therefore, if you are a longtime Cdrama watcher, 3.6 is probably fair and what you should take into account when deciding whether to watch or not. (Just revised my rating to 6.5, because 7 sounds average, but the drama is really below average.)
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Make a Recommendation More recs (2)Recommendations

- both have a smart female lead
- both male lead are prince who became king
- both male lead in this dramas, only love one person (stick to one)
Recommended by keifferodartseam
I f you are ready to watch 50+ episodes of historical angsty drama..then don't miss out on Empress Ki. This is another drama that can get you completely addicted..not to mention great acting by Ha Ji Won and Ji Chan Wook..
Recommended by crazydramagal

Comments (362)

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  • Reply
    dramaeli 2 days ago

    never read the novel. one of my favourite c-drama so far. a hint of sensuality so rare to see in oriental dramas

  • Reply
    Mimi 3 days ago - edited

    So disappointed in this drama, the novel was amazing had so much expectation at first but then this drama just dragged out way too much also idk if it's me or what but Angelababy acting wasn't that great however her costumes were amazing. I watched it till the end only because of Wallace Chung but still he couldn't save the show *sigh*

    • Reply
      moondust 3 days ago

      No it's not just you. Anyone with any expectations for acting will think she's terrible - though she did improve and wasn't all terrible 62 episodes later. She is breathtaking tho - which isn't what Bai Pingting is supposed to be in the novel/manhua.

    • Reply
      Mimi 3 days ago

      Lol I noticed that first bc in the beginning of the novel/manhwa bai pingting got kidnapped n they said that she was not pretty and here's Angelababy looking all pretty and breathtaking like you said

    • Reply
      moondust 3 days ago - edited

      Tell me about it! I was genuinely happy when they first announced the airing of this drama, FINALLY we're gonna see a female lead who is described as very plain but her brains is what made a man much more beautiful than her fall heads over heels for her, just to be given some overused drama trope about childhood love. Sigh

      They took a GREAT novel and turned it into wasted potential

    • Reply
      Mimi 3 days ago

      I feel you like really why did the director changed it like yeah go ahead add things you want but like make it better not worse

    • Reply
      Jeana 3 days ago

      Y'all needa go watch Empress Ki then :")

  • Reply
    Liang-Ying 9 days ago - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    mini-fish 18 days ago - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Yasi Yasi 22 days ago

    Who played ruo han?

  • Reply
    forever_shawol 22 days ago - edited

    Guys watch Eternal Love/ Ten Miles of Peach BLosson it's amazing I never skipped a moment of it...if you want to watch a good C-historical with beautiful cinematography,outfits and GREAT PLOT I recommend that if you were disappointed in this one

    The best thing for me from General and I is honeslty the outfits and THE OPENING SONG Ugh sooo good

    • Reply
      QAS 18 days ago

      Best thing was Chu Bei Jie, 2017 Man of the Year. Ye Hua is runner up.

  • Reply
    Mssankacoffee 23 days ago - edited

    I'm on episode 51, and I'm irritated that this drama is forcing itself to get to 62 episodes, when it is a 40 episode drama at most. This started out with so much promise and I really enjoyed it up to mid point. Loved the chemistry between Angela and Wallace and loved the two main characters. BUT this drama drags after midway and smart characters start acting selfish and stupid, making bad judgements and decisions which are not in keeping with their character; too many assumptions and misunderstandings, dialogue becomes lame and non-sensical, too many frustrating scenes and too many scenes that don't add to the story or action. With few exceptions, the hero and heroine are often surrounded by idiots who are no help in a crisis and actually get them into trouble. ***SPOILER*** Her best friend Yang Feng is one such example. I got so sick of her that when she was attempting to commit suicide I prayed for her to be successful and hoped that Ping Ting would not return in time to stop her, because then we would not have to hear her sniveling and crying and complaining.

    Then there is Bai Ping Ting's fondness for acting the 'suffering noble idiot' which is boring and inconsistent with her character! The hero and heroine are portrayed as being so smart and yet they don't clue into the people that use and abuse them .....I could go on but I won't. In short what started out to be sweet is now a sour taste in my mouth. I'm disappointed because I love Chung Wallace, and even though his acting is the usual superb, the rest of the drama has too many flaws. I'm going to try and read the book to assuage my deep dissatisfaction!

  • Reply
    ilovedramas 25 days ago - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Tata 25 days ago - edited

    Não consigo mais assistir =/

    • Reply
      Marirsg 23 days ago

      Eu também não :( Os episódios sumiram e eu não sei porque!! D:

    • Reply
      Milenia Oliveira 19 days ago

      eu tbm n to mais conseguindo.. ;-

  • Reply
    kppopeira da flauta 25 days ago

    de chorar mt nss kkk

  • Reply
    kppopeira da flauta 25 days ago

    super recomendo

  • Reply
    Surprise-Lobotomy 29 days ago

    I changed my mind

  • Reply
    Surprise-Lobotomy Feb 20, 2017 - edited

    I want my very own ping ting please

  • Reply
    Red Feb 19, 2017 - edited

    one question.. is this tragic too?

  • Reply
    forever_shawol Feb 18, 2017 - edited

    Angela's acting was pretty bad tbh she was stiff and had the a blank facial expression but the love story line and scenes with Wallace was amazing.
    It honestly could have been cut down to 40 eps I felt like every episode had a handful of unnecessary parts

    • Reply
      QAS Feb 20, 2017 - edited

      I agree with you about the length of the drama. I had to skip the Bai Lan State scenes with He Xia, Princess Bai and Prime Minister. He Xia started to look very handsome and lean in the last few episodes.

    • Reply
      peacewon 24 days ago

      angela baby seems to have the knack to make whatever drama she is in tawdry and icky. YAY for her.

Details

  • Country:

    China
  • Type:

    Drama
  • Episodes:

    62
  • Aired:

    Jan 2, 2017 to Feb 10, 2017
  • Aired On:

    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Network:

    Hunan TV
  • Duration:

    45 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    8.0 (scored by 450 users)
  • Ranked:

    #575
  • Popularity:

    #118

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