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The Starry Love
8 people found this review helpful
Mar 11, 2023
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.5

A Must Watch if You Love Xianxia

Let me get straight to the point, The Starry Love is nothing like other dramas in its category, and for that reason alone it deserves to be given a chance by anyone who likes xianxia. I have never laughed so much while watching a C-drama in my life, not just a xianxia, any C-drama. It has an incredibly addictive narrative style (every moment counts, you won't be compelled to fast forward or skip) and a very strong cast of supporting characters. It all makes for an unforgettable experience that will make you want to binge as fast as possible.

Typically, xianxias waste a lot of time belaboring the angst, having characters make decisions that frustrate the viewer and adding way too much filler just to pad each episode. Not this drama. The competently written script treats the audience with the respect it deserves, and to my incredible surprise, almost every single joke somehow manages to land.

The cast itself and the chemistry / acting deserves a special mention. This is a tour de force for Chen Xing Xu, who seemingly effortlessly plays a total of 5 roles giving each and every one its own mannerisms and body language, further establishing him as one of the most brilliant actors in China at just the age of 26 (25 when he shot the drama). Li Landi more than holds her weight against his performance.

Other dramas have supporting characters you care nothing about, here the secondary couple is more than compelling. They shine so bright you will actually look forward to switching to their storyline. Both main couples are lovely, though I definitely prefer the main leads.

Major props to the beautiful relationship between the twin sisters, who far from being annoying and childish, have the strongest, most heartwarming bond...and that bond is the cornerstone of the entire story.

If you like a nice balance of comedy, angst and action, and you wants a cast that's charming as all hell, give this drama a try. Every single character has a strong motivation for their actions and a relatable storyline. I particularly loved Yetan's (FL) strong, cunning and mischievous nature and how bold she was despite her traumatized upbringing. Qingkui, her twin sister, was kind and elegant, yet resourceful, strong and resilient. Shaodian Youqin has set a very high bar for xianxia MLs as someone who will definitely go EVERY length for the woman he loves.

As for the definitely could have been better had it been more extended, but it still doesn't take away from the strength of the rest of the story, and just how much fun this drama is overall. I hadn't enjoyed myself so much in a very long time and was addicted to the point of obsession waiting for every single episode to drop. Check this drama out, the odds are you won't be dissappointed, you'll fall in love.

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Sound of Colors
0 people found this review helpful
Oct 21, 2022
21 of 21 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 5.0

Read this if you're here for Wallace

Here we go: the first and only review for this long-forgotten, dust-covered idol drama from the days when Ruby Lin and Wallace Huo were still in their 20s and probably didn't imagine they'd end up married with a daughter ten years down the road.

I was compelled to watch this drama solely for Wallace Huo, I have no qualms in admitting that. I've watched almost everything he's been in and I'm particularly interested in the less popular dramas he shot during his "idol" days. There is no English subbed version of this that I know of, so be prepared to put whatever Mandarin you know to use, make use of Google Lens and skip a lot of the secondary couple's subplot involving the main leads' siblings which looked boring af anyway. It's a simple enough story so it won't be hard to understand at least 80% of what's happening.

That's still not 100%, so I say that as a caveat to this review. If you're completely into Wallace and/or Ruby, of course this is worth a watch. It's a bit of a curiosity item for the sole reason that these two ended up together in real life. If you don't already have a deep interest in either celebrity, skip it entirely. The drama is a mixed bag leaning towards a hot mess.

The Positive:
There really is a powerful love story at the core of this drama. When distilling the core of the story structure, it's probably one of the most beautiful love stories I've ever come across because of the poetic nature of it, despite the extremely sad and dragged out ending. Wallace was, as expected, pure eye candy--long, blond, crazy hair notwithstanding--and it's hard to look away if you're particularly entranced by his physical beauty.

The Bad:
Pretty much everything else? Wallace Huo got some pretty terrible dubbing in this which made the audio mixing sound crappy in parts. This is explained because despite the two leads being from Taiwan, it was a Mainland-Taiwan co-production, and it was actually shot in Nanjing, which explained why I was puzzled all the way through because the city certainly did not look or feel like Taipei.
Ruby Lin is adequate in the role but her one-note acting gets tiring really fast, especially because there's not a lot you can do with a blind character who'll be staring into space like a deer caught in the headlights all the time, not unless you possess superb acting skills. I didn't find her convincing in the role, but passable. Wallace is a little green in his role, but because he's got a natural charm to him, he manages to bring the swoon-worthy quality that he's known for.

The Ugly (and really Ugly at that):
A scene depicting an injured animal which was done in a way that was unnecessarily graphic really threw me off. There's also a scene where Wallace's character slaps a female (his best friend from childhood) which I found to be completely unacceptable, even accounting for the year this was shot (2005) and the circumstances of the scene. Already his character was pretty awful to this girl only to add insult to injury. Nothing justifies hitting a woman in anger. Nothing. The drama did not address this properly which is an indictment of Taiwanese society in the mid-2000s and I hope it's something that has changed for the positive.

There are two theme songs that are repeated ad nauseam throughout the entire drama. It's a short drama, but it still became incredibly repetitive, especially considering the drama could have easily been 5 episodes shorter.
All in all I have very mixed feelings towards this. It was worth a watch for me in particular, but unless you're a diehard Wallace Huo fan with loads of patience and endless curiosity, I wouldn't give it the time of day. It’s the sort of drama that relies extensively on endless convenient coincidences and leaves many plot holes unaddressed so you need to watch it with your brain turned off.

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100% Senorita
0 people found this review helpful
Nov 27, 2021
40 of 39 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 3.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 1.0

Disclaimer: I watched this for Wallace Huo and ALMOST dropped it regardless.

This drama made me so upset in parts I was in actual emotional agony. Part of it has to do with the script writers taking such a sadistic approach to Joe Chen's character, who was the far more compelling twin but was used as a sacrificial lamb throughout most of the story.

As much as I love Wallace Huo, Deric Wan's character had a much *much* more compelling arc as well. I mean, Wallace is insanely good looking so if you just wanna stare at him in his idol days for 40 episodes, it's well worth the price of admission, but never use "death and the maiden" as a trope in a story where it's competing for screen time against the lead couple. As an archetype, death and the maiden will always be far more interesting.

Fair warning, there is also instalove in this story, one of my least favorite tropes, with the additional theme of "fate" prevalent in everything, in a sort of mystical way that felt more depressing than optimistic.

I'm also not a big fan of the "poor little rich girl" trope, and ofc we get oodles of that here, complete with a rich twin who is always perfect in every way. Overall, I couldn't in good conscience recommend a drama with so many tropes that get subverted in almost perverse ways and with so many absurd twists and plot holes big enough to drive a trailer truck through them.

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