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Completed
The Eternal Love 2
12 people found this review helpful
Dec 10, 2018
30 of 30 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.5

Enjoyable, but not as fun as the original

I loved the first season of The Eternal Love for its humor, romance and just the right amount of cheese. I also enjoyed the second season even if it’s not quite up to the joyous fun of the first.

What’s improved since season one:
** Better costumes - Clearly there’s a bigger budget with more elegant costumes and improved wigs.. I do miss 14th Prince’s colorful costumes from season one. (RIP yellow furry shoulder pads.)
** Better sets - They are missing the cool elegance of the first season interior sets, but they expanded all the outdoor locations with some truly breathtaking locations
** More court intrigue - If this is more your thing, the plot focuses more on what’s happening at court and less on the romance
** Some really cool plot twists
**Xiao Tan doesn’t scream nearly as often (she was really shrill at the start of the first season)

Good stuff they kept since season one:
** The chemistry between the two main leads is as strong as ever
** A lot of the great songs from season one are back again

What didn’t work as well as season one:
** A lot of the relationship building for the main leads was taken for granted (which the characters actually admit). The fun of the first season was to see these characters go from hate to love and well, it’s short-changed and brushed over. Big romantic kisses come out of nowhere. This season is definitely less about the romance which is what I loved about the first season.
** A lot of the great supporting cast is back, but their characters don’t get any development. They are there for specific plot points, and the characterization is short-changed. If you didn’t watch season one, you wouldn’t care about their characters from just watching this season. Sad really and I would guess the actors feel that way as well. I really hope this gets fixed for season 3.
** Lots of plot holes. It’s a complicated story so these things happen with time travel and parallel worlds, but there are lots of them.

Overall, it’s worth watching, but just lower your expectations just a bit. I’m still really looking forward to season three!

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Completed
The Wandering Earth
4 people found this review helpful
Feb 12, 2019
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.5
Enjoyable popcorn movie with big budget special effects and questionable science.

This movie reminds me of Armageddon (Earth in danger, group of unlikely people need to save the planet, lots of special effects, family), but this actually succeeds in making the story about the humans and family. There’s a greater focus on the characters even if many don’t get much story and the female characters are just as secondary.

There are some impressive visual effects and sets which helps offset some of the HIGHLY questionable science. Seriously questionable. But this is a popcorn flick and not a documentary so just enjoy the action and the ride.

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Completed
Story of Yanxi Palace
3 people found this review helpful
Jan 1, 2019
70 of 70 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
Palace dramas aren’t necessarily my thing because it’s a lot of talking (less doing) and lots and lots of scheming women. There’s only so much I can take a a high episode count gets tough for me to make it through. That said, there are good ones out there.

This feels more modern than most since the female lead has more contemporary attitudes and, well, breaks just about every etiquette rule. In almost every episode I think “she should probably lose her head for doing that” and it never happens. She gets away with breaking nearly ever rule and somehow, someone is always protecting her, Other than being the star of the show, there’s no clear reason why she gets away with it all. That started to bug me after a while. Also, at one point, she because a pouty, airhead brat and that’s a definite turnoff. For a character that’s supposed to be brave and smart, that felt like taking 20 steps backward. Ugh.

Anyway, there are some great plot schemes and fun moments. It’s funny to see plot similarities and differences from Ruyi’s Royal Love since there are common people with wildly different interpretations.

If you like Palace Dramas, this one is a bit livelier and a fresher take, but it doesn’t feel really historically accurate.

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Completed
Sweet Dreams
3 people found this review helpful
Nov 11, 2018
48 of 48 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 5.5
Story 3.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 3.0
I liked the start of this series: it’s cute, it’s fun, it felt fresh.

But then, the main characters were so limited and the story moves away from the dreams plot that the series starts to crash. Qi Qi is childish, not very bright and whiny for basically the entire series. Bo Hai is not only an iceman, but he does some terrible things which makes it hard to root for him. This is not a couple that I care about.

The secondary characters are better fleshed out with more dimension and seem more capable of leading this story than the main characters. It’s rare that this happens for me, but there’s a lot of talent (and handsome) in this cast.

If this were 16 to 20 episodes, this series would have been a lot stronger. Instead, the story meanders to the high stakes world of floral espionage (I kid you not). The early story runs out of steam so we get that odd story line and a finale that makes no sense so there can be some additional drama.

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Completed
Romance is a Bonus Book
6 people found this review helpful
Mar 17, 2019
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 7.0
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.5
If you want something to pass the time, here’s a drama for you. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some great moments in here, but it doesn’t balance the rom and the com very well and the back half stretches out so long that it gets...boring.

At first it’s interesting as we meet all the characters and see the female lead settle into her new job. Then things get cute and romantic as different possibilities open up. Then we run out of conflict since there really aren’t evil schemers and there aren’t enough plot twists to build any obstacles or interest. This is an odd drama that takes place at a work place, but doesn’t seem to know a lot about the work they do.

So the story sort of floats around with lots of characters that I care less and less about. There was a lot of promise at the start of the series, but it didn’t hit any really strong emotional points. Sure the two leads are adorable, but not enough for 16 episodes with little plot.

For a better Noona romance with better developed characters and chemistry, watch Something in the Rain.

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Completed
Long Day's Journey Into Night
2 people found this review helpful
May 13, 2019
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 5.5
The story and characters take a backseat to the mind-boggling camera work and some innovative visuals which are the real stars of this movie.

The story is a bit surreal and non-linear and the characters are pretty flat. You don’t even see the lead characters face very often. (Mostly it’s the back of his head or in profile.) The characters and relating to the characters just aren’t that vital to the movie.

However, the writer/director loves doing long takes to really set a mood with lots of details and textures. The nearly hour long 3D sequence is (practically?) one long take which is beautiful and astounding. Some really interesting filmcraft here.

So if you are a film buff, there’s lots to admire and analyze here. If you want an involving story, this probably isn’t your best bet.

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Completed
Ever Night
2 people found this review helpful
Jan 6, 2019
60 of 60 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.5
There’s a lot to like about this drama: interesting main characters, innovative fight sequences, lots of plot so the middle doesn’t drag too bad, lots of references to other popular movies, but with a twist.

With all that going for it, I really should like it more. What’s not working? A cast of dozens and dozens underdeveloped characters.

There’s tons of characters which get introduced, serve a minor plot point and then reappear kind of randomly. Coupled with lots of dropped plot threads and it adds up to a writing team that couldn’t figure out how to balance pacing, plot and characters. Everything is a little off balance. If the writers ouldjust focus on the key characters we needed to care about, then I could get more emotional involved with the show. Instead, it was entertaining, but at a distance.

A couple of critical characters really needed more emphasis including Sang Sang, the lead character. She gets short changed A LOT. Since her character is soft-spoken and humble, hiding her isn’t helping things any. Sigh. Just another example of what didn’t go right.

Some of these dropped threads may be because they were counting on additional seasons to tell the story. So much feels incomplete which is pretty sloppy storytelling.

It was refreshing to see a lot of new and different faces. For once, the cast doesn’t look like they are all spokespersons for luxury brands once the wigs come off. It’s great to see a wide variety of faces and personalities.

Unfortunately it looks like they didn’t sign all cast members back for the next season so it will be ingesting to see what the new faces will do to the characters.

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Completed
A Korean Odyssey
1 people found this review helpful
Mar 15, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.5
It’s such a fun premise with a great upbeat, playful tone, but this series has issues developing some storylines so the second half goes in circles.

This is sort of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer without Buffy — it has the same premise of demons and gods living like humans and a similar humorous/scary tone. It sets up a lot of fun and stylish characters with clear motivations which sets up a great series.

Then...then we get to the love story which is short-changed. Things are assumed and not developed and then the writers didn’t know what to do in the second half of the series. The series starts to chase it’s tail and I lost interest.

Too bad since there was a lot to like, but it just didn’t follow through all the way.

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Completed
Something in the Rain
1 people found this review helpful
Mar 11, 2019
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.5
Ah, a romance that’s not a rom-com. There are humorous moments, but this is focused on the deep emotions between the two lovers.

It feels like a really adult romance since there aren’t scheming backstabbers and ridiculous pranks. The drama takes its time setting up the budding feelings and the dizzying joy of that initial honeymoon phase.

Of course there are obstacles in their way. Yes, a few characters are petty and one-dimsnional, but it’s more realistic than many dramas.

The two leads are terrific with lots of range and interest. She’s strong and flawed and weak. He’s an adorable puppy when he’s in love.

I didn’t expect a whole #MeToo subplot which was fascinating and tough to watch. Kudos for shinning a light on sexism and harassment in the workplace.

Overall, it’s a lovely serious and romantic drama.

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Completed
Accidentally in Love
1 people found this review helpful
Mar 8, 2019
30 of 30 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.5
Despite the title, this is really a comedy with some romance and not a balanced rom-com.

It’s super cute due to th adorable lead female (who was also so cute in The Eternal Love). She’s funny and cute without all the cutesy cliches that other actresses use so this is refreshing. The entire series rests on her and she carries it off.

In fact, her character is more of an alpha than the leading man which leads to some fun situations and school musical. It’s great that he’s totally fine with it and let’s her be her. The actor may not be a believable idol, but he’s adequate against her winsome character.

So if you’re looking for a big romance, this isn’t it. If you want a fluffy comedy, then this is cute.

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Completed
Lost Love in Times
1 people found this review helpful
Nov 25, 2018
56 of 56 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 5.5
Rewatch Value 5.0
A missed opportunity as there's a lot to like in this series, but some major problems too.

Let's start with the good: some great aesthetics, terrific fight scenes and a distinctive look for the characters due to the funky head gear and a wardrobe designer who hasn't met a print they don't want on camera. There's also a significant quest which helps to justify the 50+ episodes. So good so far.

But then...sigh

The writing on this show is uneven. The first section is rushed and viewers have to take for granted that there is a great big love affair here. This needed a bit more development considering it's the central plot point. After that, we get a lot of plots that don't go anywhere. They just serve as distractions and they don't even get the courtesy of being wrapped up before the story moves on. Ugh.

Also, so much of this is spent in discussion rather than showing what's happening. It's so conveluted things don't make sense like how they got to the ending.

Lastly, the lead male actor is attractive, but.....boring. He doesn't have the range to make the character really interesting and half way through I had no clue why we were supposed to cheer him on. Every other prince was more interesting and better developed. So aside from the main character, everyone is great.

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Completed
The Heirs
1 people found this review helpful
Nov 18, 2018
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 5.0
Story 3.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 3.5

Lots of relationship angst that doesn’t always make sense

Where the to start? I know this is a romance, but they don't actually establish the relationship between the leads before they go straight into angst. He then goes into stalker mode and head games and, wow, not a healthy relationship.

This show is about guys using women and making all sorts of poor decisions. It gets wearing and I couldn't really care about them at the end.

It's a shame since there are some good actors and some characters with potential, but those characters get sacrificed in the name of plot points and then this falls apart. Ugh.

Points for featuring a mute character and naming the American school after Robin William's character in Dead Poet Society.

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Completed
One Smile is Very Alluring
0 people found this review helpful
Jun 20, 2019
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 6.5
I enjoyed the drama, but thought it ran way too long so I was very curious to see a movie version. As expected, it’s a bit skimpy on the character development due to time constraints.

My biggest problem is the cast. Angelababy is slightly better than her drama counterpart, but WeiWei is still a giant set of eyes in tiny skirts that looks shy and wide-eyed as everything happens to her. As Xiao Nai, I prefer Yang Yang considerably more. Overall, they are not a very interesting couple and since the relationship must move quicker in a movie, they don’t develop the same kind of feels so the movie falls short.

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Completed
Well Intended Love
0 people found this review helpful
Jun 19, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 4.0
This has every single modern romance cliche with an uninteresting cast of characters.

it’s starts off okay and despite all the common tropes (rich boy/poor girl, cold boy/lively girl, chance encounter, evil ex’s, love triangle, etc...) it’s still effective.

And then the story continues and we get into ridiculous plots with evil characters who manage to still get away with things. The actors aren’t that interesting, but the script doesn’t do them any favors either so I don’t know who to flault.

But when a guy is apologizing for being too controlling, he could not give her earrings....with a GPS tracker. Come on!!! How is this an acceptable way to NOT control your girlfriend? UGH!

A stupid quibble — whoever is doing the hair on the men needs to find a new job. it’s not flattering and I feel the desperate need to send them all some conditioner since their hair looks painfully dry and brittle.

Anyway, skip it since there are better ways to spend your time.

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Completed
Nice To Meet You
0 people found this review helpful
May 27, 2019
53 of 53 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 5.0
It’s either a credit to the to lead actors or I am just a gluten for punishment, but I finished this drama.

Both of the leads are great and can sell some awful storylines. They are the reason that I made it to the end of this series.

The writers think the audience is too since the flashbacks are excess, sometimes random and sometimes quoting something that happened 10 seconds before. Literally. ugh.

There is no character development. The really awful characters get away with everything and the good guys are so stupid they let them. I liked the second male lead in Goodbye My Princess, but his character is so inconsistent (and stupid) that I started to question his acting capabilities. The writing is THAT BAD. Characters pop up for their plot point and then leave for a half dozen episodes for no reason. it’s super lazy writing.

And the plot! So predictable and every cliche you can imagine.

Really I watched for the adorableness of Zhang Ming En, but towards the end, the writers really shortchanged him with very little material. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

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