I normally refrain from watching shows that are super popular when they’re airing. Why? Cause I’ll get swept up with all the reviews and comments on how great/perfect the show is…only to realize that it’s full of loop-holes and everything is mediocre at best. Maybe the love from everyone else makes me a harsher critic of the show, but because of this habit(?) of mine I tend to watch popular shows half a year (or longer) after its done airing. When all the hype has shimmered down and I can watch peacefully (aka less like a grumpy grandma). However, I broke my rule with this drama. Eternal Love/Three Lives Three Worlds was a beautifully made drama that can certainly live up to its popularity, but only if you’re into a slow-paced romance.
There are definitely some areas that were frustrating to me, areas that could’ve been further developed (or undeveloped LOL), and things that I wished were different. The romance between the main couple was detailed and you can feel how in love they were (mainly Ye Hua). However, because of how detailed the main characters were we only got a taste of all the supporting roles and their stories. This is probably the only ‘downfall’ of the show for me. Only because I wished there were more to other supporting roles. I actually wish this drama is longer just so I can see what happens to everyone. I would not recommend this drama if you’re looking for something fast paced. This drama is something that slowly builds over the span of 58 episodes.
Like most Chinese dramas this is based off a novel. The novel is by Tangqi Gongzi and for the most part I heard that the drama is incredibly like the novel besides the relationship between Bai Feng Jiu and Donghua Dijun. Which can be found in a spin-off novel titled Pillow Book. There are a lot of copyright/plagiarism allegations on the Three Lives Three Worlds novel. I'm not going to go in depth about them, but I'm pretty sure you can easily find articles on it. To whoever credit is deserved, the plot is beautifully written and I loved most of it. There are a couple of reasons as to why I got frustrated, but they mainly dealt with character development rather than the plot itself. For example, Li Jing went from being a rebellious prince with so much personality to a mopey king focused only on past mistakes. Besides this, I actually found myself wanting more and more. Mainly Yan Zhi and Zi Lan though…I loved them so much. Someone please write a fanfic for them. I'd read it.
I actually started this drama because of an interview I saw of Mark Chao. I know everyone was hesitant on staring this because Mark wasn’t your conventional pretty boy and was comparing him to Yang Yang (actor who’ll play Marks role in the movie), but there was something so genuine about him in his interview that I started the drama right away. Mark brilliantly portrayed the role of Ye Hua! For the most part his character was stoic, but when he showed emotions…I felt shivers. From the way he looked at Bai Qian, the way he softly smiled, the way his eyebrows furrows, or his breakdown from sadness/grief…he basically threw my emotions and heart in a frenzy. I can go on for days as to why I love Mark Chaos acting, but I’ll stop. Needless to say, I'm super excited to see his future works.
I have never seen a drama with Yang Mi before (I’ve only heard of her cause she married a HK born actor), but I loved her portray of Si Yin, Su Su, and Bai Qian. She went from being an aloof and mischievous disciple to being kind hearted and easily manipulated human and finally to being a well-respected and classy queen. There was something about her that never changed when she portrayed these different characters and that made it more convincing that they were all the same person, but different lives. Kudos to her! Though I do believe she does better with her mischievous scenes over her emotional ones.
The rest of the cast was great! I don’t want to delve into each character since there are a ton of supporting roles, but I loved them all. I think everyone did incredibly well on their portrayals whether they were to be liked or hated. I also want to make a shout out to the voice actors. I think they did incredibly well in bringing emotions out.
The soundtrack has been on repeat for days.
At the moment no, but maybe in the future.