Checkmate (2022) poster
7.7
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 662 users
# of Watchers: 2,807
Reviews: 8 users
Ranked #4366
Popularity #4304
Watchers 662

Si Tu Yan is a young lawyer from Peking who was dismissed from his post for sticking to his principles. On the road to Harbin, he meets and befriends the wealthy and forthright Luo Shao Chuan. Together, the two of them solve a few cases, and Si Tu Yan becomes Harbin's most sought-after detective. Zhou Mo Wan, a woman who is highly intelligent and caring, completes the trio when they meet her on a case. They work together to solve many mysteries in Harbin and bring justice and reform to the city. (Source: ChineseDrama.info; edited by MyDramaList) ~~ Adapted from the novel series about Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, namely "Murder on the Orient Express", "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", "The Four Suspects: A Miss Marple Short Story", "The Dentist Murder", "Five Little Pigs (Beer Murder)", "The Kidnapped Prime Minister", "Three Act Tragedy" and "The Curtain", by Agatha Christie. Edit Translation

  • English
  • Čeština
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • עברית / עִבְרִית
  • Country: China
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Aug 10, 2022 - Aug 24, 2022
  • Aired On: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Original Network: iQiyi
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Score: 7.7 (scored by 662 users)
  • Ranked: #4366
  • Popularity: #4304
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

Where to Watch Checkmate

iQIYI
Free (sub)
WeTV
Free (sub)

Cast & Credits

Reviews

Completed
PeachBlossomGoddess
27 people found this review helpful
Aug 25, 2022
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 7.0
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.0

All style no substance.

I was really excited to watch this Republican period detective drama. Having enjoyed Hu Yitian and Zhang Yunlong's chemistry in My Roommate is A Detective, I couldn't wait to see them team up again in a similar setting. The adaptation of Agatha Christie's Poirot mysteries seemed like an added bonus. Sad to say, despite the visually sumptuous set and costumes, both the characters and cases are bland, uninspired and the pacing is very draggy.

While Situ Yan is the lead detective, he is not meant to be a literal adaptation of Hercule Poirot. Poirot with his known eccentricities including his fastidiousness and obsession with symmetry, is one of the the most distinctive, well dimensioned fictional detectives ever. He has a clear process and methodology that is based on human nature and psychology for solving the case. I would never cast Hu Yitian as Poirot and I am ok with the fact that Situ Yan is not Poirot. What I am not ok with is the colorless, cardboard characterisation of Situ Yan as simply a highly intelligent but rather lethargic lawyer with a strong sense of justice. Hu Yitian does his best with the role but he doesn't have much to work with. This is made worse by Luo Shaochuan, the money guy whose contribution to the crime solving aspects of the partnership is unclear. This character is so indifferently written it is not worthy of an actor of Zhang Yunlong's calibre. The two leads get little screen time together as they go down disparate paths in the investigations. Unlike their previous best loved collaboration, Zhou Mowan is more often Situ Yan's sidekick than Luo Shaochuan is. Thus we don't get to enjoy their banter and their incredible chemistry that builds up and fleshes out both characters as they work through the cases. While both female leads are well written and likeable, they crowd out the bromance.

When it comes to adapting these beloved Poirot classics, I am no die-hard Christie purist. I am receptive to and have seen good adaptations that take a fair amount of liberties with the original works. This can be successfully achieved because changes notwithstanding, the adaptation remains true to the essence of Christie; the psychology of the crime. This is where Checkmate fails to deliver. The supporting cast is very mediocre and lacks screen presence. Bland storytelling and poor pacing with unnecessary romantic digressions disrupts the build up in suspenseful tension into the final reveals. The cases must be evaluated convincingly from the point of view of each character, to assess their psychology as a sense of imminent peril escalates. Who was the victim? Why would someone want them dead? Who would cross that line and actually do the dastardly deed? This drama fails to make me feel invested in the human aspects - the victims and potential suspects; it fails to create a sense of urgency to solve the case or engender that mixture of sorrow, pity and revulsion for the perpetrator that is signature Christie.

The first case is Murder on the Orient Express, a well known case that has been adapted to death. While this version does not stand out, it stays close to the original and is fairly well done. Although Roger Ackroyd is also quite well done considering how difficult it is to adapt an unreliable narrator case into this format, from there, things start to go downhill. These cases are masterpieces; material changes should be weighed carefully and not made with the misguided idea that such impeccable Christie plots have scope for improvement or merely for the sake of delivering a surprise twist. Which is what they did to one of my personal favourites. They went for the plausible alternative solution which simply did not fit the human nature aspects of the case. And thus fails to deliver Christie's magic wow factor, the thrill and the chill and that sense of shock, sorrow and acceptance that it all made sense; that it is the best and only solution. It devolves further as cases are stitched together in a cut and paste fashion that is increasingly incoherent. The final case bears little resemblance to what I think must be the original. While it took no genius to spot the the final antagonists a mile away, their motives are uninteresting and unconvincing and the ending is frankly farcical.

If you are a Christie purist, I would say avoid this drama. You will feel they have desecrated some of the author's best works. If not, this is a watchable if unexceptional adaptation. The production values are quite good and the Republican period setting in Harbin has some novelty appeal even though the drama overall is all style no substance. This is a 7.0 for me but I would have rated it 7.5 if they didn't ruin Five Little Pigs and finish in such an absurd manner.

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Completed
Miss Alexandra
14 people found this review helpful
Aug 24, 2022
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

A successful adaptation!

Just finished watching this amazing drama .
Let me summarise it for you in case you won’t read my whole review!

SOLVING CASES , 10% ROMANCE , Smart FEMALE LEADS , Cute Bromance, Gorgeous Sets and Clothes and good writing ! No time was lost with unnecessary things .

I know this drama and My roommate is a detective have many things in common such as the same 2 actors playing the male leads , similar time setting and it’s about solving cases (also made by the same company ) but they are still 2 different dramas after all . I think that if you will compare them too much you probably wont enjoy this one .

First of all I feel like I have to mention that the time setting and genre of this drama are exactly my type so I was waiting for this one ever since it got announced.

As someone who also watched previous Agatha Christie adaptations such as Poirot and Miss Marple I find this drama to be a very well made adaptation which not only lived up to my expectations but also went past them!

The cases are a bit longer , taking about 3 to 4 episodes to be solved but the way they lay down the details of each case was actually really interesting and kept me curious till the end .

Now if you wanna watch this drama thinking it will have much romance then I will just let you know that this drama has very slight romance , if I had to give it a % I would say it would be maximum 10% romance and 90% solving cases
Nevertheless the ‘let’s say 2 couples of this drama were really enjoyable! Because guess what? They finally made the female leads to be actually smart and not disturbing the male leads from doing their job but actually Helped them solving cases .

I really loved Situ Yan’s and Luo Shaochuan’s chemistry, as usual they do really great together and complement each other’s acting .
Situ Yan was a far more serious person , which I would compare with Hercule Poirot , meanwhile Luo Shaochuan was more playful and confused reminded me more of The Chief Inspector Japp , and at times of Hastings. For the ones saying that Luo Shaochuan’s character was dumb and didn’t help at all , I would like to disagree. I think his character was a good satirisation of the typical policeman of that time , and even now . I found him rather adorable, especially in the last episodes when he even became jealous !

The sets were absolutely stunning ! Loved the train , the downtown of Harbin , the church , the inside of the houses and OF COURSE THE SNOW ! i enjoyed the snow scenes , I think this would have a very high rewatch value during winter .

The fashion was pretty good , way better than some other republican dramas that claim to be set in this era ? I especially loved Jingxuan’s engagement dress from the last episode, found it absolutely beautiful. The setting of this drama is supposed to be mid 1920s from what I’ve understood from this drama .

Now the SOUNDTRACK ahhhh. It was such a delight. I loved the opening song and how well its lyrics and sound fit with the drama , I will definitely have it on replay for a long time .
The ending song was also a pleasing surprise, as someone who likes classical music I totally loved how mysterious yet relaxing the ending song was , matched perfectly with the video and vibe of this drama .

To conclude with , This is a very good drama which I totally recommend if you like detective dramas and the republican era . If not , this might not be your cup of tea !
Nevertheless this was a 10/10 ! And I might hope for a season 2 maybe ? I think I could never get tired of this duo and them solving cases ! Hu yitian and Zhang Yunlong rock the republican dramas ! Till next time ?

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Details

  • Drama: Checkmate
  • Country: China
  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Aug 10, 2022 - Aug 24, 2022
  • Aired On: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Original Network: iQiyi
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 7.7 (scored by 662 users)
  • Ranked: #4366
  • Popularity: #4304
  • Watchers: 2,807

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