• Last Online: 16 days ago
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Indonesia
  • Contribution Points: 0 LV0
  • Roles:
  • Join Date: October 28, 2018




The Thunder
6 people found this review helpful
Feb 10, 2020
48 of 48 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
This review may contain spoilers

An Almost Perfect Drug-crime Drama

After going through an emotional roller coaster for 48 episodes — from being excited to questioning some plot holes, from laughing out loud to crying my heart out, from hating one character to loving another, from shouting, “NO DON’T!” to shrieking “OH YES!” — finally, this is my final review of the series.

1. Good premise. I cannot say that it’s unique, only that I’ve never seen something like this before. Now, who in this world ever think of an entire village producing drugs, and while the police are trying to catch them one by one they have to deal with clan problems and fight each other?

2. Good script. Well, except for some plot holes that’ll make you raise your eyebrows and some unnecessary, badly written scenes, that’s it.

3. Great acting. The entire cast were excellent: Wu Gang! Wang Jinsong! Huang Jingyu! Honestly, it’s the first time I saw HJY in any drama and he’s like a pleasant surprise for me. I mean, I know he’s a very famous celebrity, but I never knew that he is such a great young actor! This series was my first experience of seeing his performance, and he’s already won my heart. And there were some hidden gems, too, like Ma Yujie, Hong Junjia, and Liu Ruoyan. Really, really liked their performances here. Producers should give them more dramas.

4. Good music score and soundtrack. They really fit into the atmosphere and the tone of the story.

5. The best characters: Lin Zonghui and Ma Yunbo. Yep, those three-dimensional, well rounded, well written villains. And Ma Wen! Loved her so much! The worst one? Li Fei. Yes, you read it right. It’s him. BUT HUANG JINGYU PLAYED HIM SO WELL. The annoying, the being stubborn, the recklessness, the conflicted self, even the emotional crying at Song Yang’s death. He did it all amazingly.

6. The best things: Li Fei + Ma Wen partnership, and Li Fei + Zhao Jialiang father-and-son relationship. The worst thing: the product placement. Really, it’s everywhere. I know you needed money to run the show BUT PLEASE!

7. The things that I have mixed feelings about:

a). The underlying triangle love between Li Fei - Ma Wen - Chen Ke. Though at the bottom of my heart I’d have liked to see Li Fei & Ma Wen more than partners, my sensible side wanted them to be like Hou Liangping & Lu Yike in "In the Name of People", just friends and partners. That’s it. No romance whatsoever. But then they made her like Li Fei, too, while we could already see the romantic spark between Li Fei & Chen Ke (though they kept their feelings to themselves out of respect for Song Yang), and I felt my heart sank. However, they handled it pretty well. I mean, Li Fei had already had his hands full with the Tazhai case, so even if he really had feelings for Chen Ke he didn’t pursue it, nor did Chen Ke (because she still felt guilty about Song Yang). And despite her feelings for Li Fei, Ma Wen also didn’t say anything because she knew where Li Fei’s heart lay. And I think the ending was just the best for them (at least what’s being hinted by the English subtitles).

b). Speaking of the ending, there was so much anger about it. Well, I was broken-hearted, too. But I didn’t mind about it. I mean, how do you suppose they should have ended up? Happily ever after? Yes, they could have. But I think it would’ve felt awkward. What I did mind here is the way they handled it. There are just a thousand ways to kill someone at the end of a story, but not by virtue of a sudden impulse of an ever calculating villain.

The Thunder is not perfect, I know. But I loved almost everything about it. I loved the premise, I loved the narrative as a whole, I loved the superb acting (even the supporting actors/actresses really did a great job!), I even loved the directing. There are some annoying flaws, yes, but I don’t mind them.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Word of Honor
1 people found this review helpful
May 6, 2022
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.5

A Very Satisfying Wuxia Drama

I’m not here as a BL drama fan (because I’m not), but as a long-time wuxia drama enthusiast since childhood. A year after it aired I finally decided to watch this drama because I’ve recently been in the mood for some historical actions (I’ve watched The Longest Day in Chang’an and Ancient Detective before). Also, I’ve actually been planning to see it for quite a long time, for in the middle of its high fame last year I came across a fanmade video of its fighting scenes on YouTube and I was so fascinated. So, why not? And here I am now, loving it so so much. I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect drama but I gave it a high score because it’s very, very, very good in so many aspects; but there are also some things that I don’t like about this drama, so I will point both of them out. Watch out, it’s gonna be long.

- What I like about this drama:
1). The story. The entire wuxia story, really. After the first few episodes I got the feeling that this drama (or the original book, if the story is exactly the same) is some sort of a fanfiction of Jin Yong’s famous works. Not only the sects (Shaolin, Emei, The Five Mountains Sword Alliance, The Beggar Sect), but also the formula: the star-crossed lovers (one from the upright side, and the other from the evil side; but they are in love no matter what others say), the hypocrisies of those self-righteous people in the pugilistic world, the struggle and endless fight over a precious thing which makes people think they can be the best and rule the world, the vibes and so on. I don’t remember there are any modern wuxia dramas these days that have this kind of “classic formula” because it’s either wuxia romance, wuxia detective, wuxia conspiracies, or xianxia stuff that I’m never interested in. But Word of Honor has this formula, and it’s very well written, well developed, and very well executed. Although I’m not satisfied with some of the plotlines (due to editing and cuts, I guess), in general, the jianghu story is very, very satisfying.
2). The romance between the two main leads. I have to say that it’s also very well written and well developed. It’s been a long time since I watched a very heart-wrenching love story which is sad not for the sake of being sad, but for the characterization of the two lovers and what they have been going through in their life. And everything just makes sense: the sadness and the anxiety, the differences in opinion and how they deal with it, the acceptance of the other’s evil deeds and background, the sacrifices for each other. It’s all there because it has a solid foundation, not merely for the sake of being romantic and angsty for no particular reason. And it’s so so beautiful (and hilarious, too, thanks to Wen Kexing’s endless flirting and quirky humor) to watch.
3). The acting. First thing first, I want to say that I really, really like both Zhou Zishu’s and Wen Kexing’s characters. They’re like completing each other: while ZZS is calm, wise, and has integrity; WKX is funny (people in the drama say “lunatic” but he’s just funny, really; coz every time I saw him I just wanted to laugh), carefree, sly, and very complicated and devastated inside. Tbh, I’m not a fan of either Zhang Zhehan or Gong Jun but I have to say that their acting is really, really good. They can represent each of their character really, really well. I feel that they are indeed meant to do these roles. (P.S.: I really, really like Gong Jun’s eyes expression every time he turns evil and “lunatic”)
4). The costumes of both main leads. Tbh I don’t like the costumes of the other characters because they look too “modern”, but I really love those worn by ZZS and WKX. And the hairstyle, too. Zhang Zhehan and Gong Jun seriously look so handsome and dashing in those long-hair styles.
5). The soundtrack. Well, I mean the opening song sung by Liu Yuning. I have it on the loop and cannot stop.

- What I don’t like:
1). The props and the lighting. The props don’t look ancient enough and the lighting somehow weakens the “wuxia vibe” of this drama.
2). I’ve mentioned above that I don’t like the costumes of the supporting characters, but here’s another problem: the clothes worn by the female servants made me think they’re in the Tang Dynasty but the uniforms worn by the palace guards suddenly threw me to the Ming Dynasty. So, what dynasty are they exactly in??? This is so confusing.
3). The fighting scenes. Well, I got mixed feelings about it after seeing it with my own eyes for the entire 36+ episodes. It’s enjoyable to watch but the movements are so repetitive to the point that you cannot differentiate which gongfu of whose. Each sect, each hero is supposed to have their own signature movements but no: they just swirl and swirl and ZZS has no other movement than swaying his sword left and right. And I actually love the way WKX fights using his fan but that’s it? Really? Throwing it to his enemies all the time?
4). While this drama is not particularly feminist (though quite women-friendly), it’s not misogynist, either; but there’s still sexism that bothered me when I watched it. First, in episode five ZZS said to Zhang Chengling, “You’re a man, you cannot cry in the future”. I mean, WHAT? Seriously? And Cao Weining’s character really has that “male heroic syndrome”. What’s with this desire to protect Gu Xiang all the time when he knows she is a very capable fighter and can protect herself?

Well, that’s it―the list of both what I like and don’t like about this drama. All in all, though, Word of Honor is still a very good wuxia drama for me. I just love it and fall for its love story. I binge-watched the last 16 episodes in two days and got hangover for the entire day after finishing it. I don’t know if I can move on after this.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Under the Power
0 people found this review helpful
Mar 4, 2021
55 of 55 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.5
This review may contain spoilers

A Very Engrossing, Attention-grabbing Wuxia Drama

I usually distance myself from any wuxia drama which is not any of Jin Yong’s adaptations. No reason in particular, it’s just I cannot imagine there’s a good wuxia drama with exciting jianghu conflicts and a complicated love story and revenge usually resulted from it. Moreover, there are not many wuxia dramas (good or not) in this xianxia era so I’ve generally been stuck to historical/palace/mystery/crime/political genres. And to be honest, I was just planning to watch Dear Mayang Street (merely because I’m a fan of Xu Weizhou) but I‘ve never seen Tan Songyun in any drama before (I don’t watch Go Ahead, sorry! >_<) so I thought I’d just watch this drama to get a glimpse of her acting.

And here I am now, a month later, crazy over it. And falling so hard for Ren Jialun, too.

One particular factor that made me choose this drama over any other of Tan Songyun’s to try is the theme and the background setting. Yes, it’s about jinyiwei―those (in)famous Imperial Guards of China’s Ming Dynasty. Brotherhood of Blades I & II are my favorite Chinese wuxia movies and this drama is set in the same dynasty with the same jinyiwei background and pretty much the same vibe (even the same style of directing and fighting choreography, if you ask me). So the first time I dived into it I was already hooked up, though the two main leads really provided me with so much laughter. But honestly, the thing that I initially thought was sort of weird about it was its soundtracks. Zhou Shen’s opening song and Heart Wall sang by Ren Jialun himself got me thinking, “why so sad? it’s a mystery wuxia drama, anyway.” But of course, this drama is NOT really about mystery, if you just put aside the female lead’s family background.

It indeed starts with a mystery, though, where the Palace loses an important beachline defense map and the Imperial Guards are investigating it (oh, I so LOVE the opening scene where Lu Yi is doing his job so ruthlessly, and that’s when I fell in love with RJL’s acting at the first sight! >_<). But then the one instigating the theft is reported dead at his home, so the Imperial Police Department takes the case. This is when Lu Yi and our female lead Yuan Jinxia meet for the first time and, of course, do not have good opinions about each other. But then the two (different) security departments under the Emperor have to work together to solve the case, which brings them to even bigger and more mysterious and treacherous cases leading up to the political conspiracy of the higher-ups.

I really, really thought it’s a mystery wuxia drama until later on I realized that there is so much romance and where the entire narrative leads us. But even then I wasn’t sure if I should call it a romance wuxia drama or something, because even if it’s all about Lu Yi and Yuan Jinxia gradually realizing and revealing their feelings for each other and blatantly caring for each other in front of others (poor Cen Fu! :DDD), I sensed that romance is not what this drama is about. And it is proven once we get into what Yan Shifan is doing in Hangzhou―Lu Yi-Jinxia’s romance is all what we see on screen, yes, but deep under the surface it’s about corruption and court politics and rotten officials and revenge and all that. And their love story is entangled in this huge mess, and that’s what makes this drama so much interesting to me.

Truth to be told, the court political conflict here is actually so much more complicated and engrossing than that in Nirvana in Fire. The problem is it’s not as well-written, and pretty badly directed, and very badly edited that sometimes I had to pause and thought, “oh, wait...” because I felt that some parts of certain scenes were missing. But thankfully, the acting of almost the entire cast is just amazing. I already know what Ren Jialun actually is like as a person after watching Back to Field S4 (once again, I watched that show for Xu Weizhou―who was a guest in two eps―but he was there, too, with Tan Songyun), but I’ve never seen his acting before. And that opening scene when Lu Yi is torturing the prisoner has truly caught my heart. I remember being shocked and thinking, “oh, WOW! Ren Jialun!”, because when you can be a very different person on screen and in real life, then you are a good actor. That’s it.

And of course I have to applaud Tan Songyun’s performance. We all know there are just so many dramas with cross-dressing female characters recently, but I can say that TSY is the only actress who can do it really, really well. You want a tomboyish girl, she gives you a tomboyish girl. Almost no make-up, absolutely no pretence, just naturally doing what she needs to do. And, oh yes, please don’t forget about Ye Qing. Her character is not exceptional, but her acting is really good. And even the actress who plays Zhai Lanye has done a very good job! Love her :).

And now, can we talk about Yan Shifan? Yes? Okay. We all know he’s the main villain in this drama, surely nothing good can be said about him. A corrupt official? Yes. A cunning politician? Yes. A man with a BDSM sexual preference? Yes. BUT, he only loves one woman in his entire life. This side of him, I think, is very interesting. It makes him more human than what we can see from the outside. And Han Dong does his character very, very, very well. I just LOVE his acting as Yan Shifan. It makes him very eccentric, makes the audience “oh I hate you so much but you are so charismatic just how can I deal with this?!” And his triangle love story with Zhai Lanye and Lin Ling is so much more engaging than that moronic, cliche, annoying one between Lu Yi-Jinxia-Xie Xiao. No joke, really.

I just wish this drama could be better made: better written, better directed, better edited, with better CGI and overall setting (coz seriously, one fake house for almost ALL the officials’ family home setting? one place for both the Imperial Guards Office and Wu Shuoxu’s residence?). And I surely wish they didn’t end the story that way. I mean, it’s not rushed (or, too rushed), it’s just a little bit awkward. Why don’t they show it when Lu Yi confronts the Emperor about the Xia family’s case―the way Mei Changsu confronts the Emperor (played by the same actor, by the way) to clear his family’s name, I mean, that’s pretty much the same thing, right?―and only having Yang Yue tell Jinxia about it in the middle of the street? WHY? And some time after that, the Emperor just pardons everyone like nothing really happens -___-

All in all, however, it’s still a pretty good drama with good premise and good acting and I enjoyed it very very much. It really is a pleasant surprise for me.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?