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Ever read a fanfiction written by a twelve-year-old whose biggest concept of conflict is that she doesn’t have a boyfriend even though she’s only twelve? Now, imagine if this twelve-year-old had rich parents who paid for the most top-notch cinematography in order to make this fanfiction into a television production. And there you have it; this is what Long For You felt like from beginning to end.
I’ll give the production crew props for such pretty promotional posters and consistently beautiful shots throughout the drama. I genuinely appreciate their efforts in presentation which frequently resulted in brilliant results. But "don't judge a book by its cover" gets a whole new kind of importance in this show's context.
The story was absolute crap. That MDL has this listed as related to You Who Came from the Stars is an absolute insult to the Korean drama industry. I didn’t even like that drama as much as most people did, but I can still say with utmost confidence that You Who Came from the Stars would mop the floor with Long For You any day of the week. Aside from similar plot elements, you can’t even begin to compare the two. Forget being on the same level. They aren’t even in the same building. Or continent.
I have honestly never been so frustrated by a drama plot due to its lack of proper flow. What exacerbated this was the fact that the synopsis was the reason I started watching it: what’s not to like about a story that combines supernatural elements with romance? Yet, Long For You somehow took an interesting concept and turned it into something that was worse than nothing. The stunning cinematography was wasted on a plot that, again, felt like it was straight out of the mind of an immature pre-teen.
Conflict in this drama never feels like conflict. It always feels like a very slight inconvenience. Take for example, the main female character. You can tell from the story’s summary that she’s lonely as all hell. But the most we get of this characterization in the actual show is at most one minute of her being like, “Oh, woe is me. I am so. So. Lonely.” Are you now? Because I’m sorry, but just saying that you’re lonely doesn’t mean sh*t, especially when it only comes up once or twice. The problems in this show were written trivially, almost like the writers couldn’t wait to get back to the romance, but felt the necessity to include something else.
It was quite the shame, as well, that the romance sucked. There was zero chemistry between the main couple and zero logic behind their getting together other than the dramaland rule that states "main female lead and main male lead must end up together." For me, every time I saw them on screen, it was easier to picture them as brother and sister than a couple. Gross. The secondary couple was comparatively much more fun to watch, in addition to the situational pairing of the two male leads. These two pairings made this show slightly bearable.
We now arrive at one of two reasons why I didn’t drop this show like a hot potato: Song Wei Long. Not his acting, though. Kid’s got a long way to go. But there’s just something about those not-yet-legal-age eyebrows that entrance you. I swear I’m not being creepy. Going off of this, though, none of the acting really captured me as being amazing. Though, I imagine it must’ve been hard for the actors to play characters that are about as dimensional as a piece of paper that has been transported into the first dimension.
I’ll conclude this review with the second reason why I kept watching. I just wanted to see how bad it could get. It’s been a while since I’ve completed watching such an utter trainwreck. I’m sure you’ve gathered, but it only got worse with time.
(Also, if you would like to spare the production crew with the excuse that 20 minutes an episode at 20 episodes total is too short to do anything amazing, I will ask you to contact the closest weeaboo available. They can provide you a very long list of anime that construct stories infinitely better than this show's. And in only half the episode count.)
tl;dr: I'm more disappointed in myself for finishing this than I am in the producers of this show.
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I liked the fantasy/romance storyline, in some scenes it felt kinda disjointed, like they skipped over something, but I didn't mind that much since I still got a sense of what was happening and this made the storyline move along quickly. Afterall, this is less than 25 minutes an episode, so it's more like a 10 episode drama, instead of a 20.
The cinematography was on point, I felt like I was watching a high budget movie and there is a ethereal aura to the filming (it had that Goblin feel to it), The OST was great and went with the drama perfectly. I also loved everyone's outfits, props to the stylist.
What I enjoyed most was the leading female's character. She comes off as this happy go lucky person, but you soon realize very quickly that she is actually very wise and strong from the knowledge/experiences that she accumulated over the course of her 1000 year life.
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Interesting: immortal girl trying to find another incarnation of her first love.
However, although enjoyable, the story didn’t flow as well as it could and the developments seemed a little rapid/disjointed at times. On the plus side, there were no obvious annoying or out of place events.
I dare to disagree with the review above. It was not the best drama I watched; but it was quite nice. It certainly didn’t feel as if the female lead was a twelve-year old whose only life aspiration was finding a boyfriend. I admit, she was quite capricious (especially at the beginning, this changed with time), but it makes sense from a perspective of someone who has been traversing the earth for 1000 years, who got to experience almost everything that life had to offer, except for a peaceful life with the one she loves. Furthermore, since she looked like a normal 20-year old, it would seem weird if she suddenly exposed her accumulated life-wisdom (but if you watch carefully, she was quite canny under-cover).
The male lead’s character (Shi Yi) was ok, but a little uninteresting. He was quite reserved and didn’t really do much… Second lead (Li Zhe) was of more interest – he understood Xue Ji very well, was always protecting her and seemed quite capable in life, in spite of his own problems…
The second couple was also fun to watch…
I really liked Zhou Yu Tong in Love Through a Millennium and this show didn’t disappoint me. One could argue that she was not very expressive in this drama, but in a way that seemed quite appropriate to me – at the end of the day she is a 1000-year old girl, so had a lot of opportunities to learn to hide her emotions and not to expose her inner suffering…
Song Wei Long is also a very promising actor, but at times I felt he was quite stiff. This made sense at the beginning, but was a little over the top as the story progressed.
The supporting actors were also very good.
Very nice, one of the better ones I heard in a while. Check out the song??? (Gang gang hao)
There is a full OST list on Chinese wiki (https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%88%91%E8%88%87%E4%BD%A0%E7%9A%84%E5%85%89%E5%B9%B4%E8%B7%9D%E9%9B%A2).
Sadly, to date, no English subtitles are available. However, if you have a basic grasp of Chinese, I recommend to have a go at this show – the language is not very difficult, and a lot of events make sense even without understanding everything that is being said (but I recommend spending some time to translate some of the phrases in the first 1-2 eps to understand the issue with the family politics and the inheritance).
Not too high, because of the simple story line. The romantic scenes are not very abundant and quite scattered, so if you like to rewatch for the sake of those, it wouldn’t be very convenient. However, the episodes are very short and the shots (both outdoor and indoor) are really beautiful, so it might be possible after all…
- beautiful cinematography (this show is truly beautiful to watch!)
- interesting story
- very nice OST
- not a breathtaking acting – actors could be more expressive…
- did not make the most of the story concept
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