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  • Gender: Female
  • Location: somewhere over the rainbow
  • Birthday: July 31
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  • Join Date: November 21, 2015

moondust

somewhere over the rainbow

moondust

somewhere over the rainbow
Eternal Love
66 people found this review helpful
Mar 1, 2017
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
Probably the first time a drama of this length has me thoroughly enthusiastic from beginning to end. More rare is the case of a drama adaptation not only breathing life to its book, but surpasses the original work in every aspect. The challenge is to stop oneself from the binge to see how this karmic game of fate, love, misunderstanding and tragedy takes three 'lifetimes' to resolve. Even if fantasy is not one's cup of tea, the love/romance here is one everyone can enjoy

*Story (10/10)
This drama has done a wondrous job keeping faithful to the original story while incorporating parts of its spinoff "The Pillow Book" about the secondary lead pairing.The Chinese title of this drama is "Three Lives Three Worlds: Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms" and like its name suggests, tells the story of Ye Hua and Bai Qian - gods who are separated yet bounded by fate to find each other in their lives again throughout the course of three arcs, for a memorable journey of emotional highs and lows balanced with good action and drama. Though there are 58 episodes, it is filled with plots to leave one consistently guessing what the next development is from beginning to end.
Just as one score settles, another rises.

Characters are fleshed out and although the main couple gets the bulk of the focus, secondary characters and their relationships are not cheated out of a good storyline either.

*Acting/Cast: (9/10)
Yang Mi's Bai Qian may be the protagonist, but Mark Chao is the highlight. To express so much with so little is what Mark does wonderfully, and his ability to portray two similar characters (Ye Hua & Mo Yuan) so differently with their set of own characteristics, mannerisms and reactions is impressive. As for Yang Mi overall she did well portraying the different personalities of her characters - from playful,mischievous Si Yin to naive and innocent Su Su and finally the aloof with an attitude Bai Qian - by far her best performance. Together these two produce the chemistry to keep audiences thrilled and satisfied. Overall the cast is well put together with several other memorable faces (Zhang Bin Bin, Dilraba etc) making the drama that much more enjoyable


*Last thoughts?
- All the sets, props, scenery and people are simply eye-catching, which keeps one visually interested all the way through.
- Aside from the visual fest and story, Mark Chao is another reason to rewatch


It's been a while since I enjoyed a romance-fantasy genre this much, this will be going straight into my archive of favorites. No doubt one of the best Chinese dramas have to offer

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Love Yunge from the Desert
8 people found this review helpful
Nov 24, 2015
Overall 6.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
The reason why the story part gets an 7/10 has more to do with the original novel written by Tong Hua. I would've given Tong Hua's story a 10/10 but the drama version has changed parts of the plot and development of characters to suit the likes of the production, and while not all that bad (some I liked and others not so much) it isn't commanding nor does it leave an emotional impact - an emotional legacy if you will, on the readers like the original does. Tong Hua's story makes you feel for the characters and did what they did, and as depressing as it makes the story - one will be left with a deep impression of each by the end of the book. The drama does rather the exact opposite, manages to make the characters and story more simple but less memorable. Gray areas turned black and white. For those who have read the book and are interested in starting the series, if you don't mind the book being 'watered down' and some of its central elements of subtlety, complexity and pragmatism being exchanged for more romance then this may be what you're looking for.

I understand that most good books out there adapted into television will never quite be what its original created. Nor do I expect it to be as good, that's not a fair standard to judge any adaptations by. However it seems out of touch with the mood and style of the original, which is what sets and moves the story along all the developments and contrasting relationships between characters.

Moving on, I think the drama is inconsistent. It either gets UNNECESSARILY draggy (had no business being such for those parts) or it moves too fast on things that could use more development or elaboration to say the least. The only thing that remains constant throughout is that the series eventually gets better - the best parts of the series are near the end.

By far the weakest link is the chemistry. There is none between the leads, and that is the make or break factor for a story that bases heavily off that. You will find yourself much more impressed by the secondary characters and their relationships than the leads.This is Angelababy's first TV series and I actually think she does a fairly decent job although her acting leaves much to be desired. Unfortunately the chemistry with her two male leads is also affected because of it. There is no standout performance in this, but a few decent performances in particular among the supporting leads and other secondary characters.

It is a very visually stunning series, with gorgeous costumes, sets and people. However I will probably selectively rewatch this for the good parts near the end.

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The Princess Wei Young
39 people found this review helpful
Dec 9, 2016
Overall 7.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.0
What a journey for Weiyoung. Though the latter half of the drama fell from grace somewhat, certain elements stuck through and made it overall an enjoyable watch. But it did not deserve 54 episodes of repetition that got seriously old past the halfway mark.

Story (6/10): For those who read the novel and are curious about the drama version, it would be wrong to even call it an adaptation for it is nothing like it. "Inspired by" is far more fitting and is to be used loosely here. In a nutshell, the drama version of Princess Wei Young is about a Liang princess who tries to avenge her fallen kingdom by taking up the identity of a forgotten, illegitimate daughter of a Prime Minister in the enemy state of Wei and along the way meets those who either want her dead or love her for her wits, character and bravery. Of course, the drama is littered with people who want her dead because how else will we know she is the heroine?

The premise is exciting enough, though nothing entirely original. But it did deliver in terms of entertainment for the first half and had everything you would want in a drama: good pacing, decent story, romance, action, a likable and brainy female lead who isn't afraid to punish her enemies seeing as this is a revenge drama. Then up until halfway, the story soon became draggy and repetitive with similar conflicts in different guises, lack of development/depth in characters who even seems to have gone through reverse development all of a sudden. Even Weiyoung who was supposed to be resourceful yet showed signs of being a damsel-in-distress in the presence of her Prince Charming (aka. Tuoba Jun), completed the transformation into a full on Mary Sue and in my opinion, stopped being everything we loved her for in the beginning. It no longer became a tale of retribution or justice, but pure laziness on the writers' part.

I blame the production for dragging the series out to 54 episodes, when it could have - and should have- wrapped up by 30-40 episodes.



Acting (7.5/10):

All I can say is if there is anything worth watching here, it's the chemistry between the leads Luo Jin and Tiffany Tang. The type to give you butterflies from the way they look at each other. Luo Jin is such a wonderfully talented and natural actor, he never overacts and his crying scenes are so well done. Not usually impressed by Tiffany Tang, but she did well here and I think a lot of it has to do with her chemistry with Luo Jin (4th collaboration and reel to real relationship!)
Didn't think much about the rest of the cast in terms of acting, but a few grew into their characters as the show went on. Vanness there is something awkwardly charming about the way he portrays his character - it grows on you even though his character becomes gradually more despicable. His dubber deserves a star.


Rewatch: For the romance maybe, and especially strong beginning up until episode 30 or so. Could skip the rest until the end. But sadly no, won't be rewatching this personally.


I almost feel like the drama deserves two ratings, one for the beginning up until episode 33 then for the rest.

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Wu Xin: The Monster Killer
10 people found this review helpful
Nov 23, 2015
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 7.0
This is what I call a sleeper- one that nobody expects it to be as pleasant as it turned out to be. The acting is strong overall with several decent performances and this is impressive in my opinion, despite being a young cast made up of fresh faces. This series may just be the break needed for some of these young actors. The story is interesting, packed with good monster-fighting action and develops at a good pace. Most unsuspecting however is how emotional the story actually is.

I am so glad this series exposed me to Elvis Han who's got this sense of charming maturity and appropriate acting chops to give a very honest performance in his Wu Xin role. But who am I kidding without the following mention: the boy's got abs !!! But the best (and also favorite) performance probably goes to Ian Wang as Commander Gu Xuan Wu. The series wouldn't be the same without him - he is as loyal as a friend as he is obnoxious and grandiose, a comedic relief and above all a refreshing contrast to our main male lead Wu Xin. He dominates the screen with his humor and charisma and his expressions are such a treat to watch.

I did not expect myself to like it as much as I did, since track record for this kind of genre in the past seemed more about eye candy than anything substantial. If that's what you were thinking then be prepared to be proven wrong and taken in for a pleasant surprise . Although categorized as action/thriller and for some - horror, I really enjoy the humor in this. It is smartly done and appropriate. Where they managed to insert humor in the most unlikely or random of places is something audiences do not expect but will thoroughly enjoy.

The soundtrack is great, I particularly love 'The Longest Journey' by Li Qi and the beauty of its lyrics.

Overall I am glad I gave this a chance (the fact that it's a short 20 ep series sold me on it to be honest) and here I am now hoping for a sequel. "Don't judge a book by its cover" is best way to describe this series - get ready to be taken in for a surprisingly eventful and emotional journey, you will not be disappointed. I can promise you that you will be getting more out of it than you ever expected .

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The King's Woman
13 people found this review helpful
14 days ago
Overall 6.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
Looking for a reason to start this drama? You can stop reading now. But if you're curious for a realistic take on what appears to be a promising yet angsty historical romance, then continue at your own discretion.

Story (7/10):  

  In more ways than not, the premise is unconventional - not only by Chinese dramas standards, but in the realm of romance. If one is even slightly familiar with early Chinese history, then the idea of a forced relationship with a man whose ruthless tyranny is more infamous than his merits in unifying what is now China, has all the ingredients for an interesting romance. A romance tying into real historical characters and their famed personalities, leaves one curious to see how this equally unstable yet devoted ruler thaws his way into the heart of the object of his infatuation, after taking her away from the life she wanted and those she loves.

 Throw in a second lead (Jing Ke) whose name is synonymous in history with balls rivaling the Great Wall for his assassination attempts on the emperor, and imaginations be running wild from all sorts of directions this story can go, and the immense potential it has. Sounds very ambitious, doesn't it?
And yet it fell flat. Over-saturated with unoriginal, predictable tropes that take away substantial momentum from the bigger picture, and in the end achieved nothing for plot and characterization. Despite active ingredients for what could have been good storytelling and real conflicts, poor characterization is probably what ruined the drama. Characters that garner neither sympathy nor respect, whose actions make no sense of the insensible, and mostly controlled by situations rather than in control of. Drama begins with a plot only to end with none (minus the part where they stuck to history).  Seriously, will someone please think of the plot?!

And then there's flashbacks. The only thing more overused is good ol' flashbacks with the cheesy music, to cement itself as extremely lazy, poor writing at its finest.  One flashback in particular has me thankful for helping me realize self restraint levels I never knew existed.
Because everytime it comes up the urge to shave myself bald before pulling my hair out from seeing it for the 100000th time is real. To paraphrase another user, the excessive flashbacks is "an insult to audiences as if the lot suffers from amnesia" couldn't be more accurate.

And ultimately, all is left are frustrating characters, unfulfilled potential and whole lot of disappointment.

Acting (6.5/10):

Not much to be said here. The cast does little to connect the audience, poor characterization aside on writers' part.  Dilraba is wholly unimpressive as the leading lady , and proved herself as lacking depth to carry heavier roles like her character here.  As for Zhang Bin Bin, he delivers as a mean guy with tender moments, but lacks the magnanimous charisma of a unstable frightening ruler that is Qing Shi Huang. Seriously just read up the guy on Wiki for those unfamiliar with Chinese history. Chemistry between the two however, might be the only saving grace for the drama, if ever is one.

Supporting characters played by actors for Han Shen and Li Zhong are more convincing than mains.

Music (7/10):  The OST is good. And by OST I mean two songs for the entire 48 episodes. One in particular is the jack of all trades, used for happier moments to tragic ones, rain or shine, Li Er with Jing Ke, Ying Zheng, etc you name it.  One can even guess when it cues and where. The producers of this drama tend to have a single favorite for everything, from music to flashbacks. Besides that, the OST reflects well the tragic theme of the drama, and is memorable. Though may be a function of being hounded into one's memory.

Rewatch: (5/10)  only reason I can imagine anyone wanting to bother with this is for the leading pair during more romantic moments. One is better off finding those YouTube MVs for all those "swoonworthy" moments instead.
 
Am I being too harsh? Perhaps. However, as a frequent watcher of Chinese historicals, I can't help but feel unimpressed. Maybe a better writer, production team and leading cast would have brought out a better outcome. Went into this excited but came out with shattered expectations. Unfortunate because the cinematography, filming (minus choppy editing)and costumes are gorgeous,  and despite the complaints, I wanted to like this so badly for parts I did enjoy. However redeeming aspects are largely overshadowed by what is not

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Schemes of a Beauty
4 people found this review helpful
Dec 3, 2016
Overall 8.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
Schemes of a Beauty follows the life of Empress Dou Yifang (Ruby Lin) of Han, who founded a peaceful and flourishing era of Han rule in Chinese history along with her husband Emperor Wen (Sammul Chan). The lot of the tale however, is there is more to a beautiful woman than meets the eye in the world of ancient politics.

There's quite a lot to like about Schemes of a Beauty, yet many instances where things could be greatly improved, given the premise and star-studded cast. And like most Chinese dramas, it is guilty of dragging issues and inconsistency in writing, as well as poor execution in certain parts. Having said that, I can forgive the dragginess for its necessity to the development of the plot rather than trying to be something it is not.

Acting: The main leads Sammul and Ruby as the Emperor and Empress, are decent. I would not say they carried the drama, as it is a story that involves contributions of many characters and actors, but they delivered. They had good chemistry, and were convincing as a young married royal pair who always placed their obligations to their country first, yet remained devoted to one another over the years though not without conflicts. Neither were standouts but Ruby did steal a few major scenes when needed. The strange thing about Ruby Lin is she is no outstanding actress, but seems to have great chemistry with whoever she works with - both actors AND actresses (aside from Sammul, she also worked really well with Yang Mi and Luo Jin), and in every drama, there is bound to be a scene or two (usually the pivotal moments too) where she completely steals it.

But Sammul and Ruby are hardly the only stars, in fact the real dealbreaker lies in the strong supporting cast rounded out by Yang Mi, Mickey He, Luo Jin, Wang Likun and guest stars Feng Shao Feng and Myolie Wu. Dare to say most touching and heartfelt performances came from the secondary cast, and the veteran actresses were spectacular.

Story & Characters: The characters are some of the most multi-faceted and balanced I've seen. But perhaps the greatest thing about the story is that none of the secondary characters are robbed of a great storyline either. Overall I like how nothing was ever truly predictable, there were even instances where Dou Yifang who we all know to be super intelligent has outdone herself. Also great is how the story plays out over the years and follows the lives of multiple characters not just the main ones, and how they are all intertwine.

Parts of the drama can be draggy, and overall tone and content is heavy. A solid drama, especially the very strong start to the drama, with very well developed characters and relationships.

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Scarlet Heart
4 people found this review helpful
Nov 25, 2015
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
The most complete drama I've seen to date. I don't plan to repeat what's already been mentioned by all the other glowing reviews but I will say this: after watching Scarlet Heart my standards for dramas have never ever been the same. Only a handful of dramas I've seen since then are considered 'great' and even fewer or barely any in the 'exceptional' category- where Scarlet Heart is safely sealed with a plaque of its own.

Since everyone already addressed what's so great about the drama in all these other reviews, I shall make this my own and share what I enjoyed most. These include:

- the attention to detail that may not seem much at first glance but overall accumulates into all the difference in the world in terms of production, plot development to overall story and how everything comes off

- Maertai Ruoxi's relationship with the princes whom she has a different relationship with each. Some of them are her good friends - one even becomes her confidante, while others become her romantic interests and eventually the 'one' for her. Even her relationship with others such as some of the wives, servants in the palace, and the Emperor - are unique in each their own. No two are the same.

-The meticulous development of each character and their relationships with each other over the years. Brothers who turn into rivals, strangers who turn into loved ones, friendships in the most unlikely of places (or is it?) - you see the processes and driving forces behind all of it, instead of it just happening like in most dramas. Even if you don't agree with some of it, you understand it.

- Maertai Ruoxi is not your typical heroine. None of the main leads are perfect; in fact they aren't truly good either but rather 'grey area' types. The truly good have no place in the world of imperial politics (like the 13th prince), and the truly bad ones never get out alive (think 9th prince). Ones in the grey area may seem like 'winners' but in reality- they lose more than anyone can realize - in different ways that may not be exactly apparent or is it something they realize themselves even. These are the fates illustrated among the various members of the imperial family - from princes, wives and servants and even (or shall I say especially) the 'chosen' one - the Emperor himself.

One feels a true sense of attachment to all the characters (yes, even the bad ones) and the relationships with one another by the end of the series, as you see the transition and development of it all as it happens over the years and why they do the things they do. Rather a weird comparison but it's like watching your kids grow up except I've never been a mother, and these are all adults and people who existed well before my time. Maybe it's safer to describe it as a really bad breakup once you finish the series with a serious case of withdrawal, unable to forget the emotions it drew out of you and the attachment to the character/story that you gave so much time and emotions into but really doesn't give anything back to you. Other than change the way you see dramas from now on and the emotional rollercoaster that leaves you aching, thrilled and satisfied by end of its journey

Rewatch? If you are okay with going through the heartbreak and extreme range of emotions the first time around, it just might be worth it for the beauty of the experiences again

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Sungkyunkwan Scandal
4 people found this review helpful
Jan 15, 2016
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
This was a real treat of all sorts. Though not entirely original with your typical gender bender genre: girl disguises herself as man, overcomes obstacles in a traditional society dominated by men while falling in love with her best male friend who does not know that "he" is really a she; one will truly root for the main character the whole way through the heartwarming journey.

However what truly made this so special was the beloved Jalguem Quartet which sealed the deal for me, and stole everyone's hearts whether you are Team Yoochun or Jaeshin, while Yeorim isn't left out either getting his fair share of the love though the latter can be debated as an understatement. And of course being amused every single time how the "pretty boy" hat is Park Min Young was doing exactly that in the drama - stealing the hearts of helpless Joseon ladies (and men...I'll say no more) and viewers alike who can not help but root for our daring brainy heroine as she defies tradition and expectations. Looking back now several years later one can safely say is a first real glimpse of what started it all for several stars (who were all about 24 at that time)who have gone on to have established acting careers. The expressive Yoo Ah-In, charismatic Song Joong Ki and lovely Park Min Young, while Yoochun from JYJ is a pleasant surprise for one of his first ever try at this acting thing. The Quartet also got along well on and off set, and the chemistry onscreen shows. For the bromance-shippers of Song Joong Ki and Yoo Ah-In, of course this came as no surprise.

I do also want to credit the drama and its writers for making this more than just a gender-bender comedy . For one, even though the drama's premise is that of an empowered female as the clear-cut star I want to thank the writers for NOT making the males into idiots (with exception of few intended ones) which happens a lot for this genre so to not overshadow the female or something. In fact she was surrounded by brilliant men, which makes her empowerment even more credible. And I do also appreciate their touch on a rather controversial issue even by today's standards, but was entirely the taboo of taboos back in those times. It is the first in an ancient drama I've seen, and done ever so gracefully.

All in all, it was a very easy drama to watch, and the characters so easy to fall in love with. This is up there as a personal favorite of mine. Soundtrack and everything else only served to be a nice compliment to all that was going on. I tend to skip with dramas, but did not do so once with this one. Never a dull moment with Sungkyunkwan.

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The Empress of China
2 people found this review helpful
Dec 2, 2015
Overall 8.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
First of all 90 something episodes is just insanity - so for those who are curious about rewatch value, for that reason alone the rewatch value goes down no matter how good a production is. HOWEVER, if you didn't mind all those hours of your life gone after the first time then I guess it's worth it for the overall high quality production (rightfully so with its massive budget) and an eye-catching aesthetic fest that is the most vividly stunning accessories, makeup, costumes, sets and people galore that can make one easily lose track of time when watching and can never get bored of. The production is the best I have seen to date for a historical series. All the concubines and of course Wu Meiniang has the best outfits. I believe she did not wear the same outfit twice in this drama.

I think they spent way too much time and focus on her story with the first Emperor Taizong, not that I didn't like their relationship. Her story with his son Emperor Gaozong could have used some of that time/elaboration in my opinon for a few reasons:

1) Wu Meiniang has much better history, chemistry and development with the son Emperor Gaozong than father. Historically speaking she was a non-factor during Taizong's time, neither favored nor was much known about her at this point until....

2) Emperor Gaozong who is the young handsome son of Taizong. He is also similar in age to Meiniang unlike the former, therefore this couple got these going for them. Historical speculation also plays on their side, as it was widely believed that even before Emperor Taizong passed, she had an intense affair with Prince Li Zhi (future Emperor Gaozong). Or at least Li Zhi was infatuated with this particular beautiful concubine of his father's and she seemed to return the sentiment too. And the 'sparks' between these two continued after the son became emperor, eventually giving her the significance in power to become who she became. Of course the drama has their own version of this relationship so you'll just have to see for yourself

This series is not without its criticisms of course and the most common one yet is how the political shrewdness and cruel reputation of China's first and only female Emperor has been greatly downplayed in this drama to essentially being a non-issue. Instead we get a lot more focus on her romantic life and all these developments illustrating the 'humane' side of her.
Here's how I see it: this drama is more of a 'romantic' chronicle of her life and ironically aims to do exactly what the garnered criticisms concerned - focus on the more humane aspects of Wu Zetian's life story which contrasts her notorious reputation. Many historicals in the past have already beat the dead horse about that so this is rather a different take on this controversial figure. This matter is a double-edged sword, and which side you're on depends how you look at it I suppose.


The performances are solid from a generally well-rounded cast and you gotta give them more credit for keeping audiences interested throughout a long 90-something episode journey. Not once was I bored of the relationships between the leads, in fact once Gaozong takes over the drama becomes more captivating (and rightfully so as this is where Wu Zetian's legacy truly begins). The theme songs used were beautiful and really captured the element of this drama perfectly.

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Lost Love in Times
2 people found this review helpful
17 days ago
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
If you are expecting some great love story as promised, a love that defies all odds, held together by fate and karma , then be prepared to feel slightly underwhelmed. Viewers are better off treating it as the heroine's tale as she embarks on the mission of a lifetime (literally);  or a "second chance" type of journey - to undo the rather tragic outcome early on that set the main plot in motion

But the best part of this drama, is the visually pleasing production and costumes (for the most part).

Story (7/10)
  The director has a gift for tweaking changes to novels to tell the story much better than its original work. But despite efforts to flesh out each character or every plot development, it fails to build any real momentum to keep viewers interested or invested despite the length. Overall story is decent though boring... (yes I've said it!), and characters are balanced.  The main plot and focus of romance end up downplayed to make room for supporting elements and subplots, something they could do without, or at very least, cut out of a lot of. 

Acting (7/10)
 Chemistry between the leads is a real issue and one I fail to be convinced by. And more so when sold about a love so great each is defying odds to be together.  This lack of chemistry prevents any real emotional connection to the couple. Multiple times throughout the drama I didn't feel the leads were in love until they declared so, but this was more so in the earlier half.

 With all due respect to William Chan, his acting range is limited at best. If anything he has the visual presence to pull off alpha male prince and eyes that command charisma easily, if only he knew how. As a fan of Cecilia Liu, this is far from a standout performance and even disappointing, when you consider the kind of performances she is capable of.  
 
Xu Hai Qiao as the second lead Yuan Zhan is probably the best performance/actor, and between the main characters whose actions and feelings for the one he loves is at all believable.

Music (7/10): Music is good overall. Ending OST is nice

Rewatch (4/10):  premise more exciting than actual story,  and a whooping 56 episodes that failed to keep me interested the first time means an unlikely rewatch for me.

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Legend of Lu Zhen
3 people found this review helpful
Nov 23, 2015
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
Legend of Lu Zhen, oh where do I begin?

At the end of the day no matter how flawed or serious the inconsistencies can be in a drama, the overall audience will only remember the entertainment factor and how engaging the series is. I think Lu Zhen is one of them.

Legend of Lu Zhen has a more than satisfying story development with the politics, her achievements within the Departments of the Palace,and perhaps some of the most serious OTP action I've seen in a historical drama, so die-hards of the romantic kind have lots to squeal their butts off. However there is a lot that is predictable and not much originality is to be found here, though their creative use or mesh of certain elements is something to be applauded for and it worked in producing some real goodies. Best way to describe this series is it makes up for all its weaknesses with all that is great, so the end result is an imperfect entertainment.

I love everything about the character of Lu Zhen - she is resilient, capable, and intelligent as she can be naive, stubborn and cunning, but at end of the day her heart is still in the right place no matter how she doesn't hesitate to punish or get back at those who have wronged her. Above all, she is fair and has a good sense of who deserves what. I especially like that she isn't afraid to get her hands dirty (within reason) because the other person truly deserved it (usually for something they did to her anyway) and she doesn't mope over it too much or at all. I tend to avoid dramas with Mary Sue types so I'm glad Lu Zhen isn't anywhere near.

Best part is she is pretty consistent about that from beginning to end; though her naivety also landed her some growing pains which only seasoned her political sense. Inexperience seems to be the only thing that has ever held her back from doing or being that much more. For those reasons, her character seems real and not one dimensional.

As for the actress herself Zhao Liying is cute as a button, and makes Lu Zhen that much more likable. I love how she did not overact for her first female lead role (although some of the many fight scenes between Gao Zhan & Lu Zhen were guilty of that.. probably not the actors' fault though). Speaking of Gao Zhan, I think this is considered one of Chen Xiao's best performances for a reason. He is good as the charismatic and forthright prince who can hardly contain his passion within those eyes of his. While there was never a doubt about his love for Lu Zhen, it's more so how he learned to respect her and allow her to breakthrough the traditions of that time- that I find refreshing. Respect is one of the most important things in relationships and romance that can be easily overlooked in a lot of dramas I've seen, so it's nice to see that.

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Queen In Hyun's Man
2 people found this review helpful
Apr 18, 2017
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
Under no circumstances should this one be missed if you're a sucker for the following:

- Time travel
- Romance
- Historical

So much said about Queen In Hyun's Man and FINALLY able to take this one off the drama bucket list in 2017 is an experience hard to describe. But here it goes. A drama-altering experience much in the same way Kim Boong Do's future experiences forever changed the way he looked at things once he is back to that reality of his. In my case, this rewrote all expectations for time travel romance, while asking me to re-evaluate - ever so politely- all time-travel drama watching experiences I've had prior to this. For one, this drama interweaves between both past and present elements/worlds throughout the entire plot.


Story (9/10): Action is excitingly divided between the past and modern worlds, unlike most works of this genre where the character is stuck either in the past or future and the aspect of time travel fails to be relevant 95% of the time. While most time-travel pieces conclude the power of fate/history in remaining true to its course, this one explores the impact of one's actions and the precarious position of history as a result of it.

Let me make this clear. This is not a perfect drama. In fact, loopholes and flaws are clear at times. Characters and core premise are non-dimensional for the most part, but the charm of the characters, emotional twists and unpredictable turns in the telling of the tale to keep audiences thrilled down to the last minute, largely make up for it. For this, I am glad to let them pry the get out of jail free card for a 9 score.


Acting/Chemistry (9/10):

Something is just so charming about Yoo In Na as Choi Hee Jin that the attraction towards her character is so believable because of it. Ji Hyun Woo isn't what you call captivating at first glance but doesn't take long to grow on you thanks to his chemistry with Yoo In Na. Seriously one of the most romantic pairings in dramaland, so I bet you can imagine how toyed with my poor heart felt when I learned this ship ACTUALLY sailed in real life just to sink shortly after.

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Prince of Lan Ling
2 people found this review helpful
Nov 21, 2015
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This is probably the most complete Chinese drama I've seen to date in terms of everything from acting, story, emotions, etc. The other one would be Scarlet Heart (Bu Bu Jing Xin). I think the real star of this drama is Ariel Lin who gives us the most down-to-earth and heartfelt performance and it really wouldn't be the same without her. For the guys, it will be Daniel Chan who is easily the perfect choice for his character, and just everything about the way he portrays his King of Zhou - the way he emotes his feelings, charisma and way he holds himself - gives the best performance in this drama. Warning for those interested in seeing this: Probably the worst case of Second Lead Syndrome one can ever catch. It may not be a big budget drama compared to a lot of other Chinese dramas with better sets, costumes and makeup but the development and sincerity of the characters and story- easily surpasses a lot of these bigger budget ones. It isn't all about what catches the eye but also the feelings and for that this drama is a hit for a reason. 10/10

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Introduction of the Princess
1 people found this review helpful
Dec 1, 2015
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.5
I still haven't figured out why this drama holds such a special place in my heart, but it really does. Even after rewatching it multiple times and seeing the flaws ever more clearly each time, I still love it.

I simply love the story and find it fascinating enough to be rewatched again and again. While the story is not without its plotholes (more so due to drama not explaining some of the characters' backstory when necessary therefore confusing at some parts) the actors in their respective roles are getting it done, and general chemistry of the cast gels everything together. Every relationship I can think of that actually mattered in this series had good development backed up by good chemistry ...whether it is as lovers or unrequited love, to twisted familial relations between mother-son, husband-wife, siblings etc. One of the strengths of the drama lie in the deep portrayal of the different dimensions of the characters, illustrating who they actually are and what they mean to one another in an unspoken/mutual way at the end of the day before all that royal status.

The acting in this one is really good with the best performances coming from the older royal generation (both the male leads' mothers) and the male leads themselves - Wallace and Yan Kuan as the respective kings of rival states. Both are impressionable and very well-casted for their characters, that I cannot imagine anyone else portraying these characters. Wallace as Liu Liancheng will make your heart as torn and perplexed as the character himself. To date this is still my favorite Wallace Huo performance and role even though the amount of time he gets is little compared to his other works. As for Yan Kuan I've decided he is not a man of our time, capturing the quintessential ancient male hero all too well in every possible way.


The drama is one big show of eye candy - be it the gorgeous palace sets and costumes of the different kingdoms and particularly the very attractive and talented male cast. If there is anything Ruby Lin is doing right in her first producer stint, it is her eye for casting .

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She Was Pretty
3 people found this review helpful
Jan 7, 2016
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
The story of She Was Pretty is nothing new here, childhood sweethearts who grow up looking for one another except with the twist of puberty not being too kind to our female lead while the ugly fat duckling grows up into a cool handsome swan. However despite the cliche premises, I adored the story and all the extra elements they injected, such as the metaphorical 'hidden character' in the painting which is symbolic, and the mystery behind several characters. And lots of squeal-worthy, cozy moments to be had here if you're looking for that.
The other characters and secondary relationships are also strong in this one, that to say it is complimentary to the main story does not do it justice. What made the series alive to me was that the other characters outside of the main couple, also faced very real problems and did not get cheated out of a good profile or storyline. Yes I'm talking about Siwon's Shin Hyuk who might just be the best Second Lead ever (possibly even more popular than Sung Joon the male lead).

I would also like to defend Hwang Jung Eum here. I see enough criticisms about her overracting, but I simply think that Kim Hye Jin was written to be this clumsy, OTT bumbling fool, a rather stark contrast to what she was in her childhood heydays, and a complete opposite to the calm, collected and cool that her childhood sweetheart had become. Her over-the-top antics is therefore necessary, and big part of the comedy here. Siwon does not disappoint either with some very natural comedic chops and Park Seo Joon can deliver the different sides of his character when needed while stealing a couple key scenes.

However with all the potential presented for a great story which I could only describe as strong in the beginning, it started to become underdeveloped as the show went on. Not weak or bad, but fell somewhat flat considering the promise and places it could go from all the ideas writers were throwing at us in the beginning.The latter half did not live up to what was built in the first few episodes.

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