Ye Ling Shuang is a young woman who can foresee great tragedies and disasters before they happen. Although she is pure of heart, her gift has become a curse – and she has been shunned by those who think she brings bad luck. Only a young and beautiful princess shows her kindness. But that same princess is given a deadly choice by the dastardly Emperor Gao of the Chao Kingdom. She must either marry him – or die. She refuses to give in to him, which gives him the excuse he needed to attack her people. A conflict breaks out, whereby Ye Ling Shuang is taken prisoner. But she has now vowed to take revenge on the Emperor. And, using her talents, she wins freedom – and then promotion. Soon, she finds she has caught the Emperor’s eye. But he is not the only one who wants to win her heart: Wu Yu, a surviving prince of a clan that was all but wiped out by the Emperor, also loves Ye Ling Shuang. Although he finds it hard to express his love, he springs into action when he sees that the Emperor has fallen for the woman he loves. Will love cause the cruel Emperor to change his ways? Or is Ye Ling Shuang destined to be with the angelic Wu Yu? (Source: Viki) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
Editors Chopped This Sh*t Up! And Youku Gave The Final KO.
I honestly feel that all the other fantasy dramas of 2022 have got to thank the editors of this drama for giving them a chance. For those that don’t know and are just reading the editing is bad, the show lost 11 episodes to pass the censorship review that all cdramas must undergo; taking it from 36 episodes to 25.
That’s a lot of content lost. Most of the first part of the story is gone as well as the last part. This means the setup is awkward and so is the end, and only a severely edited middle is left.
The usual answer to this usually to re-edit but a re-edit seems to require another review and in the current precarious climate, it’s possible a show already on thin-ice due to a scandal and some of the show’s content didn’t want to risk potentially not passing the review at all and decided to air as-is, which gives us the current version of SJFY.
So what’s wrong?
It’s obvious from the start there’s been more than one editor. Scene quality is random - some scenes/sequences are high quality and some no better than home video. Post production is also high and low suggesting that the scandal may have affected post production as well, especially if the later editor had to use raw footage.
The biggest loss with the edits, however, seems to be to the characters themselves. Very few of the main characters have full storylines. Only the vice couple seems to have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Ye Lingshuang/Bai Lu and Yu Xiuming originally had an enemy to lovers storyline but 95% of the revenge angle has been cut. To make this work, many of PXR’s scenes were either cut, rearranged out of order, or redubbed. This has led to a character with fragmented motivations and to some viewers, a mediocre performance. However, the fault in this also seems to lay with the editor/post production as the BTS videos have several powerful scenes of PXR’s acting and yet those scenes either didn’t make into the drama or the post production doesn’t keep up.
Yi Wuyou has it even worse. His scenes have been cut to the point that he is more of a cameo role rather than the lover who turns into an enemy like marketing suggests. When he does appear, he has also been redubbed and his appearance is so small in the drama that it feels unfair to judge him because there isn’t much to judge.
These cuts heavily damaged the interrelationship between the two and greatly weakens the love triangle Youku sold. Viewers might have gotten by on the main leads love line which is very good but most of the more passionate moments between the leads have been cut down or deleted as well to a point that has led to complaints throughout the show.
So what works?
The main leads chemistry is the key driver for the story. They may not seem a match at first glance, but their acting makes it easy to fall for their relationship which despite the cuts, is very well done. Its step by step and slow burn nature may not appeal to an audience used to hot and heavy sensuality but the gradual process of the leads love story feels the most realistic out of the many Cdramas I’ve watched over the years and as a viewer, there is a sense for why they fall for each other and that the years between them are quiet. They’re quite addicting and the lack of scenes between them makes every interaction feel precious and I’ve actually rewatched their scenes together several times.
It’s also a relatively healthy relationship considering the trope and in comparison to other dramas. Yu Xiuming, the male lead, is emotionally intelligent and values the female lead for her intelligence. From the beginning, there’s a constant sense of him guiding Yezi to be a better version of herself. Yu Xiuming also walks the talk as Yezi’s protector and actually protects/saves Yezi throughout the show. And, Yezi challenges Yu Xiuming and while some viewers may not like her decisions or opinions, it shows that she’s got a mind of her own within the relationship.
The other thing that works is the acting. Feng Shaofeng’s veteran acting skills bring Yu Xiuming to life with a delicacy not often seen in fantasy Cdramas. And PXR, when her scenes, haven’t been butchered, is able to keep up. They both bring characters who are as interesting to watch alone as they are together. The older cast members such as Minister Fan and Minister Jie also deliver stable performances. The actor who plays Cheng Wu is also a delight.
The music although not profound is very good and suitable for the show. The opening song is especially pretty.
The costumes and sets are also nice, although some of PXR’s most beautiful sets, the empress sets, did not make it into the show. But the costumes and sets that did make it, have their own flavour and fit the star theme threaded throughout the show. In my opinion many of the complaints about the quality of them actually seem to be filter issues.
Finally, in the scenes/sequences that seem to be the original cut (One way to check is the filter. The better scenes usually have a blue or golden filter), the cinematography, shots, and acting are really well done. Hence my early comment about the other shows of 2022. Just from these few shots, the quality feels high. You have great acting, good chemistry, good cinematography, decent script and plot, novel pairing, interesting concepts, and a good flow. It feels like a properly thought out grown folks fantasy in those moments and those moments, despite its cuts, make it the only fantasy drama I’ve felt excited to watch this year. Based off these few good scenes, it really feels like if the show maintained the same level of quality throughout, then SJFY would have definitely have been a heavyweight contender this year. Believing this, I can only hope that the audience will one day get to see a more complete version.
Giving this a 9.5 cause they did cut down on Yebei towards the end and that deserves a star on its own.😂
Not happy with this one!What can I say? Not a big hit for me. Both ML and FL are great performers but their acting couldn’t pull this off no matter how good they were. The story wasn’t consistent, had many plot holes and ultimately a rushed ending. The leads fell in love but I couldn’t understand when. The FL had powers but you never really see them. Powers were sealed but no one knows why! They were unsealed, no one knows when. I’m really not sure what the story was about. Really!!!
Not a rewatch for me.
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