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Novoland: Pearl Eclipse chinese drama review
Novoland: Pearl Eclipse
14 people found this review helpful
by becomingtia
Dec 6, 2021
48 of 48 episodes seen
Completed 8
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0

You either hate it, or you're absolutely obsessed with it. There's no in-between.

This drama is not for everyone.

But it is for people who have an open mind and an open heart. Because this drama gives you the story you need, but maybe not the one you wanted.

Let me explain.

This drama is a typical costume drama with court politics, schemes, epic battle sequences, and stunning costumes. Now, what makes it special is that there is a fantasy element to it. And it comes in the form of a mermaid. Unexpected, I know. The fantasy element plays a small role in the overall story, but an important one, nonetheless.

Also, there’s a romance between a student (Haishi) and a master (Fang Jianming).

With this information in mind, you expect that you’ll get a mix of court drama that ends with the main characters falling in love. And at its core, that’s exactly what the show gives you.

Except, it also gives you three very unlikeable characters at the start of the show (Haishi, Fang Jianming and the Emperor). One struggles with unrequited love, one is emotionally inept, and the other is taking grieving to a dark level. So, naturally, there are moments where you might dislike the show because the characters are dislikeable.

But this show makes it very clear halfway through, that it’s a story about massive character transformation. All these characters go from unlikeable to immensely likeable. And the acting is strong enough to make these transformations convincing.

And what keeps you watching the show, despite the frustrating slow-burn romance and some annoying subplots, is how unpredictable the show is. Trust me, once you start the first episode, you’ll see what I mean.

To me, the show really picks up from episode 30 onwards. It took me 30 episodes to realize this show would be on my favourites of 2021. But, because of how unpredictable the plot is, it’ll be a breeze to get to episode 30 where everything starts falling into place.

Finally, if you’re like me, and you hate sad endings, you might be surprised how much you won’t regret watching this show despite the tears you might shed at the end.

Favourite thing about the show: The dialogue and character banter (I would pause, rewind, and replay a lot of lines).

Technical elements: Obviously, the OST is stunning. Diamond Zhang is on the record which is an automatic green flag. Also, this is a high-budget production so expect epic battle scenes, rich costumery and lush cinematography.

Some trigger warnings: sexual assault, self-harm, major character deaths, violence.
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