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Completed
Shining for One Thing
132 people found this review helpful
Jan 29, 2022
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

I Like You, Always Have and Always Will

Shining For One Thing tells the story of a woman who is unsatisfied with her current life. One day, she gets a chance to time travel back in time by deleting messages in her old phone. She goes back and tries to do well on her high school examination in hope of changing her future, but she was always sent back. It was only after several times that she realizes that there is more of her return to the past.

Shining For One Thing indeed has cliche troupes: childhood sweethearts, unrequited love, smart guy-cheerful girl, high school memories, and more. But what makes this drama stands out from other drama is that it has a logical, coherent, and tear-jerking plot, top acting, beautiful OSTs.

The drama storytelling is progressively paced and satisfyingly engaging without hardly any dull moment or substantial fillers. I particularly enjoy the fusion of romance, youth, and time travel. Furthermore, the love story between Zhang Wansen and Lin Beixing is very touching, if I were to use a word to describe it, their love is eternal. No matter what time and space, they would always eventually find each other and be there for each other. The cinematography is generally adequate, but some shots were beautifully shot and the color grading and filter used makes the drama even more fleshed out! In addition, the use of music scoring and the Impeccable OST encapsulated every essence of the story. The OST added so much emotion to the drama, it complements the drama montages and also the cinematography.

Zhang Jianing (Lin Beixing) and Qu Chuxiao (Zhang Wansen) did exceptionally well here! They added so much emotional nuance in the character, that makes the characters feel real so vivid to the audience. In addition, there is depth and richness from both the characters, each of their story and development arcs is also fleshed out. Not only the main characters, the supporting characters also did very well! Mai Zi is one of the characters I really applaud for, as a character he always does his best to protect his friends, even if he suffered physically and mentally.

All in all, if you love angsty time travel romance drama, do give this a try!

For those who have finished the drama, here are some easter eggs and theories:
1. Zhang Wansen didn't die in 2010, if you search his phone number (+86 13021991397) on WeChat, you can find his contact! Meanwhile, WeChat was launched in 2011.
2. Zhang Wansen didn't die, he's comatose and brought abroad by his parents. Years later, he woke up. But knowing that Lin Beixing is about to get married to Zhanyu, he doesn't come back. But he has the opportunity to time travel with Lin Beixing again - this explains why he always predicted the exam questions correctly and how his speech is exactly the same with what happened in the future, because he was from the future

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Completed
Love Like the Galaxy: Part 1
236 people found this review helpful
Jul 8, 2022
28 of 27 episodes seen
Completed 8
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

Shining as Each Other's Light

Love Like The Galaxy (星汉灿烂) is adapted from the novel of the same name (星汉灿烂, 幸甚至哉). Love Like The Galaxy narrative revolves around Cheng Shaoshang, daughter of the Cheng family, who was left by her parents when she was a baby; and Ling Buyi, a general who’ trying to unfold the conspiracy behind what happened in the past. The drama narrative then starts years later, during the return of her parents.

Love Like The Galaxy storytelling is executed nearly to perfection; the story unfolds at a casual pace, with a gradual development of the characters, unravelling their background story and relationships. The drama also has an interesting storyline with a really well-conceived and realistically written character, every character is multi-faceted and complex, with their own background story. It also has a lot of interesting characters and relationship dynamics; their relationship dynamic is realistically and convincingly portrayed.

The first 10 episodes of the drama started off with a hint of comedic and light-hearted note, which is really pleasing. I absolutely adore the comedic elements in the drama with the storytelling approach. The drama's comedic elements are not forced nor cheap, it is genuinely light-hearted and funny, and I adore how they use wordplay. I especially love how Shaoshang is always on her wits to fight back against others who bully her or people around her. The first 10 episode shows Shaoshang's family dynamic, her relationship with her mother, father, brothers, and more. Some scenes were really heartbreaking to see but also heartwarming at the same time. Moving on, the drama gradually shows Shoashang’s growth, how she learns to rely on herself, find love and more. There are happiness, sadness, anger, disappointment and all.

It is comforting to see a drama that focuses on the family dynamics, not all on romance. I personally love how the romance between Ling Buyi and Cheng Shaoshang is taking time, instead of both of them falling in love at first sight. We can gradually see how Shaoshang starts to develop feelings for Ling Buyi because of his gesture and actions, which is more realistic. Though they have very different personalities, it is very pleasant to see how they learn to love, learn to grow up and face problems around them; they are made for each other.

The drama is directed by Fei Zhenxiang, who is known for directing Candle in The Tomb series. This drama is his first time directing a historical drama and he did a really remarkable job. He is able to show his unique and distinct style, and deliver the picture he has in mind. Also because of his experience in tomb raiding dramas, he is able to portray those bloody scenes really well.

Love Like The Galaxy also has really impressive cinematography and sets, it has beautiful wide shots, immersive tracking shots, and many more pretty shots. For now, I especially love the one-long take on episode 7 and the lantern festival shots! The shot is really fluid and immersive. Moreover, the cinematography and colour grading really reflected every atmosphere and situation, it will leave a deep impression on the audience. Through the cinematography and set, you can see that this drama has a big budget and it is allocated well. The fire during the lantern festival is not created using CGI, it is real, the production team spent 3 days creating a new building and for it to be burned down.

The characterizations of each role in the drama are immensely elevated by the excellent acting of Zhao Lusi and Wu Lei. They deliver such an in-depth and rich character arc, with a myriad of emotional expressions. Both of the actors are able to convey their emotions through micro expression and the way they articulate every scene is really praiseworthy. They have small actions that reflect their emotion, for instance, how Ling Buyi’s eyebrow slightly raised when he saw Shaoshang; and how Shaoshang looks away when she saw her mother being close to her cousin instead of her.

The character, Cheng Shaoshang was stellarly portrayed by Zhao Lusi. She did a very good job, it is unimaginable that others can pull off Shaoshang’s character in such a compelling way. Through this drama, she also manages to show everyone that she can also play dramas other than tianchongs drama. She manages to show the character’s sincerity, but also complex and intriguing at the same time, not compromising on what the character experienced. Zhao Lusi manages to infuse her character with kindness and righteousness, also with a sense of pragmatism. Throughout the drama, she also was able to portray layers of Shaoshang; Shaoshang’s facade of being ignorant and unruly but also her fragility and her longing to be loved by her family. Zhao Lusi also uses her own voice here, I love how she has this milky and soft voice that is really soothing! But also, because of her milky voice, some part with heavier elements makes falls short, due to her lack of emotional line delivery.

Wu Lei also did a very notable job! Seeing him in the drama, really makes me feel that he has really grown up, he is no longer the kid in Nirvana in Fire. Ling Buyi is a hard role to play since he has a cold and indifferent exterior, but at the same time he is also complicated, he is sincere and sinister at the same time. But Wu Lei managed to execute it to perfection with his articulation, bearing, stance, and his micro-expressions. He especially displays a remarkable line delivery, which shows Ling Buyi’s authority. Some might dislike how he only has this one expression throughout the drama, but I love it. Because you will gradually see how his character starts changing, how he began to smile more because of Shaoshang’s presence.

Love Like The Galaxy also has enchanting music scoring and realistic yet sweet lines. The drama has bold music scoring with traditional Chinese instruments that match every situation so well. The diegetic and non-diegetic sound is very fitting to every situation. Moreover, the dialogues in the drama are also very realistic. Though realistic, it still didn’t take away its romantic essence of it.

The drama also has some very interesting detail, such as:
1. Ep 11: Yuan Shen broke the shaoshang string while he was playing the guqin, foreshadowing that he’ll not end up with Shaoshang.
2. Ep 12: Shaoshang used a shaoshang string to save Ling Buyi. The string was drenched in blood, which also becomes a red string, connection to 月老, god of love
3. Shaoshang and her fiancées carriage detail:
- Luo Yao-open cart. He won’t be able to go through wind and rain (difficulties)
- Yuan Shen-carriage. He sat in main seat (self centered)
- Ling Buyi-big stable carriage. SS sat in main seat, he sat on side guarding her.
4. Ling Buyi is often framed in a wide shot and positioned in a high place. Showing that he has high and influential power, but also makes him look lonely. And It was only after he met Shaoshang, that those wide high angle shots gradually lessens.

Love Like The Galaxy is considered to release early, they released the drama and also working on the post-production at the same time. LLTG team still did a notable job in editing, but I can’t help to notice that in the latter episodes the CG was not as good and as smooth as in the beginning episodes.

All in all, do give this drama a try! After watching the first two episodes of the drama, you'll find yourself wanting more. The drama visuals, story, and emotion will pull you in deep. And every episode keeps on getting better and better, with unexpected comedic and heartbreaking twists and turns. You would find yourself watching back some of the clips just to appreciate the dialogue and actions.

P.s. I also love how they especially edit their trailer, unlike other drama where they just edit a 1-minute scene of the next episode, LLTG team especially meticulously edit their trailer, leaving the audience to guess and interprets what is going to happen in the next upcoming episode.

“Might as well expect less from others, and be better to yourself. You’ll live more comfortably.”

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Completed
One and Only
221 people found this review helpful
Aug 27, 2021
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

Beautiful Bones are Rare in This World

"Most people’s eyes are shallow, seeing only the skin-deep appearance and not the ‘bones,’ the appearance of the inside.”

One and Only (周生如故), formerly known as Memories of Chang’an is a 24 episode historical drama adapted from a novel “一生一世美人骨 – Beautiful Bones" by Mo Bao Fei Bao. This drama is probably one of the most anticipated dramas. The novel is adapted into two dramas, with two different timelines
1. One and Only, tells the story of Cui Shiyi and Zhou Shengchen’s past life.
2. Forever and Ever, tells the story of Shiyi who has memories from her past life and desires to find Zhou Shengchen

From the storyline, acting, production, cinematography, costume, everything is executed to perfection!! The production team paid close attention to all the details in this drama. Although there might be some differences and hitches in the first few episodes, the adaption from the novel to the drama is executed near to perfection. The first episode of the drama is done in a hasty and confusing manner, for those who don't read the novel might be confused about understanding what's going on. However, as you keep on watching it, you will gradually understand the whole story.

Bai Lu and Ren Jialun acting are phenomenal, both of them acts so well in the drama. They add so much emotional nuance that brings the characters to life. Bai Lu is so versatile in her acting, in this drama she acted as a calm and mature woman, and she really pulled it off. Every single of her emotion is very infectious, she will make you laugh, smile, and definitely cry... On the other hand, Ren Jialun, there is not much to say about him, EVERY SINGLE RJL HISTORICAL DRAMAS NEVER DISAPPOINTS - his aura, articulation, bearing and looks are perfect!! Both of the actor's chemistry also *chef kisses*. The way their longing for each other, the way they stare at each other, everything about their chemistry is immaculate!!

In addition, the screenplay is also immensely elevated by the excellent acting of the supporting actors. The interaction and chemistry between everyone are realistically portrayed. You can just feel how loving and kind is everyone at the Nancheng mansion. And of course, you can also feel how annoying the antagonist are in this drama.

The most commendable thing about this drama is the cinematography and music. Every shot in the drama is framed beautifully. The shots in this drama are so magical and breath-taking as if the novel really came alive. Moreover, the use of a soft yet vibrant colour palette and the perfect colour grading makes watching this drama a pleasant experience. There are also a lot of aesthetic details shots in the drama. All in all, the cinematography is a feast for the eyes!

The music fits really well into the whole atmosphere, especially the instrumental music. Unlike other dramas where they only inserted the instrumental in certain scenes, this drama did it differently. This drama blends the instrumental music and diegetic sound so well, adding so much nuance into each shot. In addition, the instrumental music is also very soothing to hear. The OSTs are also very beautiful and pleasing to hear.

One and Only is a slow-burn drama, therefore, it might not be everyone's cup of tea. However, it is still a really good drama with its romance and court intrigue. This is definitely a good drama for those who are looking for a slow-burn yet beautiful romance story.

P.s. remember to prepare a lot of tissues beforehand, this drama will take you on a rollercoaster ride ^^

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Completed
Forever and Ever
174 people found this review helpful
Sep 7, 2021
30 of 30 episodes seen
Completed 10
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

Zhousheng Chen, You Have Come Afterall

"If there was someone in today’s society who carried with her the memories of two lifetimes and she loved you, what a blessing that would be."

The long await sequel to One and Only (周生如故), Forever and Ever (一生一世) is finally here.

Forever and Ever is a really beautiful and heart-rending drama. The love story between Zhousheng Chen and Shi Yi is just ethereal. Shi Yi is an unwavering woman, “my heart has already belonged to someone, it will not change”. She kept her words; she did not fall for anyone else except Zhousheng Chen. Upon hearing Zhousheng Chen’s name, she approached him and gets her way into his heart. Meanwhile, Zhousheng Chen is not a proactive person, he never has to speak out loud about his feelings towards Shi Yi but everyone knows his love towards her. His love towards Shi Yi is evident through his small gestures, and most importantly eyes.

Forever and Ever did a commendable job in delivering Zhousheng Chen and Shi Yi’s love story. The relationship between Zhousheng Chen and Shi Yi developed at a quick yet mellow pace. For those who didn’t watch One and Only, you might’ve felt a bit rushed and confused with the pacing of the relationship. However, they have waited for centuries to finally be together, they are given a second chance, and are finally together.

At the beginning of their relationship, there are awkwardness and courtesy between them. Though they are still polite to each other, their gaze and small actions just simply show how much they adore and love each other. Forever and Ever is the type of romance drama where gaze and action speak louder than skinship. The drama also has some comedy elements to it. If you have watched One and Only before, you might laugh and smile after seeing how Zhousheng Chen went from a cold and ice-y general went to a cute and chubby chemistry professor. Zhousheng Chen’s actions towards Shi Yi are actually just like any other romcom drama, but it’s not entirely like any other romcom drama. Forever and Ever manages to make all those cliché actions into something new and fluffy. For instance, when Zhousheng Chen carries Shi Yi’s bag while watching it, I am sure that you will let out a smile. Moreover, there are also some characters in this drama that will make you laugh, a big shoutout to uncle Lin!!

The second half of this drama is filled with sweetness and sugar! The romantic scenes in this drama will touch your heart, you can definitely feel every action and word that's spoken by Zhousheng Chen and Shi Yi, it is genuine and full of love. And there is no misunderstanding, breakup in here. Their relationship is just the cutest and the sweetest!!

The acting and chemistry of both Bai Lu and Ren Jialun definitely did not disappoint. The way Bai Lu and Ren Jialun convey their emotions through nuanced micro-expressions, and how they articulate every scene is just impeccable. Both of them managed to act so differently between One and Only and Forever and Ever, but still evoking the same affable charm and cute chemistry! Both Bai Lu and Ren Jialun need to get an award for their acting in One and Only and Forever and Ever. Both of their acting is infectious!! Especially Ren Jialun's acting in forever and ever - his portrayal is more three-dimensioned, ZSC in the drama is more lively, grounded, and vulnerable than in the novel. In addition, I also love how both Bai Lu and Ren Jialun uses their own voice in the drama!!

The entire drama production team has also successfully captured the essence and magic of the novel through the cinematography and script. The cinematography is dreamlike and majestic, with its warm color palette and color grading. Almost every shot in the drama can be beautifully framed. In addition, the drama also has a gorgeous wardrobe. I love how Shi Yi and Zhousheng Chen wear a subtle couple outfit, they have the same color scheme.

Forever and Ever also has an enchanting music score, filled with love and a hint of angst. Forever and Ever also incorporates One and Only background music in it, the combination of that two music makes the drama more beautiful. The music is effectively run in each scene, making each scene more beautiful and touching. The lyrics of the OSTs are really beautiful and meaningful. Reading the song lyrics while watching the drama will either make you smile or cry..

Due to censorship in China, the reincarnation storyline is censored, therefore, the production team alters the storyline. In the drama, Shi Yi doesn’t remember her past, but only fragments of it, and small impressions of it. For instance, during her visit to the city wall, she remembers a woman jumping down, but with different outfits and details from One and Only. In addition, I also love some alterations from the novel to the drama, instead of using a gun, Zhou Wenchuan uses a knife and... which led to the tragedy.

The strong forte of Forever and Ever is definitely its details and conversation. Every conversation in Forever and Ever is magical. The scriptwriter just manages to make every conversation meaningful. The correlation conversation to their past lifetime is done so beautifully. In addition, the parallels between One and Only and Forever and Ever is impeccably done, it is done is a subtle yet clear manner.

Here are some interesting details:
1. During Zhousheng Chen's past lifetime, he was only covered with the dusty white cloth when he died. This lifetime, he is allergic to dust”
2. Shiyi’s crocs: zsc 520 - Zhousheng Chen I love you
Zhousheng Chen’s crocs: 忙着赚钱。sy 520 - busy earning money. Shi yi I love you
3. In Shi yi's past lifetime, she jumped down in sequin shoes to marry Zhousheng Chen. And this lifetime, Shi Yi wore a sequin dress to marry Zhousheng Chen

The only drawback of this drama is it might be confusing for those who didn't watch One and Only or read the novel beforehand. For those who didn’t watch One and Only beforehand, watching Forever and Ever might be a little bit confusing, but not too confusing too. The drama provides few clips and hints of what happened in Shi Yi and Zhousheng Chen’s past life in Forever and Ever. But the drama didn't thoroughly explain Zhousheng Chen's family tree and hierarchy, so you might have a hard time understanding who's who and what's their relation with each other.

Overall, Forever and Ever is a very beautiful romance drama, even though the drama doesn’t stay 100% true to the novel, the drama still captures the very essence of the relationship and plot beautifully.

“I think, I must have used my beautiful bones as an exchange for you to have unrivaled beauty, as an exchange for you to remember me, as an exchange for you to be able to utter my name when your lips moved.”

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Completed
Love Between Fairy and Devil
274 people found this review helpful
Aug 13, 2022
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 11
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

Beautiful Forbidden Love

Love Between Fairy and Devil is a xianxia drama, which narrates the story of forbidden love between a devil and a fairy. The drama has everything a xianxia drama has: forbidden love, reincarnation, a cold male lead falling in love with the warm and bubbly female lead making it his only weakness, female lead with hidden identity and more. But what makes this drama stands out from other xianxia drama is that it has a VERY BEAUTIFUL visual sequence, graphics, and cinematography. Love Between Fairy and Devil successfully brought the 仙(fairy) element into their drama, and I think the drama has raised the standard high for the next xianxia drama.

The narrative of Love Between Fairy and Devil is straightforward, about a fairy unaccidentally saving the demon lord and they gradually fell in love. The screenwriter managed to write a very cohesive and compelling story, also with a coherent storyline making it easy for the audience to understand. The drama also manages to seamlessly combine comedy, romance, also angst in the latter part. Every character in the drama also has their own background story with their own personal motive, each character is there not only for the sake of getting the male and female lead together nor just to make the drama plot more lively, but each character is there making their own decision which gradually leads and builds up to the whole drama plot.

What makes Love Between Fairy and Devil distinctive from other xianxia is definitely its art department and how well they articulate it. The drama manages to articulate the vision of the fantasy world and everything that comes with it. It is beautifully and enchantingly portrayed that you would actually believe the presence of such world, where there are pink skies with whales, a pavilion full of flowers, a castle on top of a hill, and more. It has been a while since there is such beautiful and mesmerizing graphics in a drama. You can see that the drama spends most of its budget on its art department, starting from costumes, CGI, graphics, more (IQIYI also offers the drama in 4k quality!).

Firstly, the drama costumes are very beautiful, the costume department puts a lot of thought and effort into their costume. Everyone's outfit is fitting to their character and demeanour. DongFang QingCang’s outfit is mostly black but also with a hint of gold, showing his sovereignty as the moon supreme. Xiao Lan Hua’s outfit is in bright pastel colours fitting with her character and personality as a fairy with a bright and bubbly personality. Other than the main characters, the side characters also have very pretty costumes, such as Chang Heng’s war costume. Moreover, the drama also has very beautiful headpieces, especially for the male characters, which are rarely seen in other historical dramas.

Secondly, the graphics and CGI of each realm, location, and power special effects are rendered so smooth that it resulted in an ethereal and mind-blowing result. Such as DongFang QingCang’s hell flame, when he summoned the dragon, the arbiter hall, and more. The drama is meticulous in every aspect from its colour palette, visual art, CGI, and lighting, everything is well thought. I especially love the scene where Rong Hao and Chang Heng entered the painting, they really ook like they're in a painting, they look 2d, which beautifully reflects the beauty of China's culture.

Thirdly, I also love how the drama sets a certain persona and design for each tribe and realm meticulously. For instance, in the fairy realm, the gods use bright and light outfits and headpieces with overexposure to the lighting. The fairy realm has a very heavy element of the Chinese culture, meanwhile, the demon/ moon realm has a hint of medieval elements in its location, outfits and more. The drama team also paid attention to those small actors/extras like the guards, their outfit is not sloppy, it is fitting to the overall persona they set. Such as the moon palace guards has dark and big outfit which looks intricate!

Yu Shuxin plays Xiao Lan Hua (the orchid fairy), but she’s also Xi Yun, the goddess. I think she did a really good job in acting as Xiao Lan Hua, a character like Xiao Lan Hua can be easy to hate since she might come out as being too fake or too flamboyant, but Esther Yu manages to pull off the character effortlessly. She is able to radiate different energy in different situations but still remembers the essence of her character, a warm and bubbly fairy. Some may dislike her character because she is a damsel in distress, often waiting for others to save her, but it’s understandable since she is only a “lowly fairy” with limited power. Other than acting as Xiao Lan Hua, Yu Shuxin also acted as DongFang QingCang and the goddess, and she's able to pull off the three characters flawlessly. She is versatile, she is able to change her demeanour and articulation according to each character. Yu Shuxin also used her own voice here, I personally love her voice, I find her voice very fitting to the character. I am definitely looking forward to her future work!

Wang Hedi showed tremendous improvement since Miss The Dragon. His acting is much more natural here, he is able to show real expressions and blend into the character. Despite being the moon supreme with no emotions, he’s still able to show slight emotions and show how his icy heart sea slowly melts. I think he did a great job portraying the emotionless moon supreme, DongFang QingCang, through his body and eye language, he is especially good when he is being majestic and when he is attacking others. As he is also slowly transitioning into someone with emotions, he gradually makes more micro-expressions and gestures to show how he’s gradually starting to fall in love, have empathy and more. His crying scenes are also very infectious, you would empathize with him and feel what he's feeling as well because that is how good his crying scenes are.

Moreover, Love Between Fairy and Devil also has a very beautiful soundtrack and background music. The soundtracks are very ethereal and fitting to the drama, it is stunningly beautiful that it will make you think of all the magic, beautiful places and situations in drama. The drama also has notable music scoring, the music scoring used in the drama intensifies each and every scene.

Another special mention to the whole production team of Love Between Fairy and Devil. The actors, production team, and marketing team, all have done a very outstanding job, they are passionate, putting in all their heart into it, thus producing such a best drama! The production team doesn't hesitate to spend money to where it should be spent, such as the special effect, outfits, music scoring and more. The production team also spend a lot of effort and thought on the drama's posters and artwork. The drama soundtrack artwork is STUNNING, unlike other dramas where they just used background or a picture of the couple with some borders and stick the title on it, Love Between Fairy and Devil has some really meticulous and well-thought album artwork. The soundtrack's artwork is paintings of their character with very beautiful scenery, if you haven’t seen it, I am highly suggesting you take a look at it because it will definitely render you breathless.

One thing that I find a pity is that the ending is too rushed, I would love to see more of DongFang QingCang and Xiao Lanhua's happy life :"))

Overall, do give this drama a try! Love Between Fairy and Devil is definitely a top-tier xianxia drama, there isn't any dull moment in it, and the drama will definitely make you hooked and render you breathless.

P.s. do check out their behind the scenes video!

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Completed
A Romance of the Little Forest
62 people found this review helpful
Oct 12, 2022
35 of 35 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0

A Romance of the "FOUR" Little Forest

A Romance of The Little Forest (两个人的小森林), is another sweet basic romantic-comedy drama narrating around a bubbly girl with her cold eventually turned warm lover. But what makes this drama stand out is the chemistry and adorableness between the two leads and.... when the main couple is actually not the main couple.

The drama narrative revolves around an internet beauty influencer chasing a botanic professor and eventually, both of them fell in love. The drama has any other cliche troupes you can find in other rom-com dramas, but the female lead's bubbly personality, adorable antics, and sweet funny and witty dialogues will make you want and unknowingly enjoy the drama!

Yu Meiren, the internet beauty influencer as well as a professor in ornithology (study of birds) is played by Yu Shuxin. This character is made especially for her, she is able to embody the character, and nobody can pull it off so accurately than her. All the adorable antics, carefree attitude, bubbly expressions and more. Though her character may come off as a 傻白甜 (those sweet, innocent, gullible female leads), but she is not. She is sweet and cute, but she has the brains and courage - she is willing to take risks for what she believes in and what she loves; she is not afraid to express herself. Especially during the end of the drama, where she finally comes to terms with her appearance and make-up.

Zhuang Yu, the botanic professor, is played by Zhang Binbin, and he did a great job, he manages to infuse himself into the character! Zhuang Yu is a cold and serious professor, but rather than making him a totally cold person, he uses subtle micro-expressions in the earlier episodes when Yu Meiren is around him or doing something funny. The subtle expressions definitely help the audience to understand and see the process of him falling for her.

What I loved about the drama is the chemistry of both leads and their character development after meeting each other. Zhuang Yu always reassures Yu Meiren - reassuring her that she is pretty the way she is, reassuring her well-being and more. And after meeting Yu Meiren, Zhuang Yu also became more lively! He can speak romantic words, that maybe cheesy but it is also romantic at the same time.

What I find lacking (irritating) from the drama and I believe most people find it too is... the second couple has more screen time (and probably a kiss scene) than the first couple. The second couple's narrative is also very classic, a village girl falling in love with a CEO and so on. The drama dragged the second couple's storyline so long and draggy causing the main couple's scenes to be cut by a lot. In addition, a lot of the main couple's kiss scene and sweet scenes in the drama is also cut short, the scene kiss scenes are even longer and more 🔥 than the one that made it into the actual cut. However, if you are craving more for their chemistry, you can watch the behind-the-scenes! Their behind-the-scenes are full of fun, sweetness and comedy!

A Romance of The Little Forest is truly an enjoyable drama, maybe not the best romantic comedy drama but it sure has its charm! Overall, if you are looking for a sweet romantic-comedy drama that will make you squeal do watch this!

P.s. this drama also has really good and enjoyable OSTs

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Completed
Chef Hua
36 people found this review helpful
Dec 5, 2020
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

Yummy Drama

This is probably one of the most enjoyable drama. While watching this drama, you will feel light-hearted. I really love how the whole drama focuses on Hua Xiao Mai's cooking and her 'dream'. Usually, other cooking dramas like dating in the kitchen don't really depict its title, it only has the cooking and kitchen part at the early episodes, but at the latter episodes there is no dating in the kitchen anymore. But at Chef Hua, they managed to keep the show core plot, they did not go astray from the main plot. This drama doesn't have the fight for throne, love triangle, evil scheme, bla bla bla bla. It is totally a light hearted drama, it is like showing the audience a day in a chef villager in the past.
Also the cinematography is AWESOME!! I love the cooking shots. Even though some of the cooking shots bothered me bcs of the fingers smh .. but the angle lightning and everything made up for it. In addition, the OST is also very catchy too!! If you are looking for a light drama, I definitely recommend this drama!!

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Completed
My Journey to You
89 people found this review helpful
Sep 5, 2023
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 8.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 6.0

A Riveting Werewolf Game

My Journey to You is a 24-episode original script drama written and directed by Guo Jingming. It narrates the story of Yun Weishan, who infiltrates the Gong family for a mission. Amidst the mission, she encounter love, friendship and gradually discovers herself, what her heart wants. Each episode is around 1 hour long, although it might seems a little bit too long for a drama, but the drama manages to masterfully blends elements of espionage, intrigue, martial arts with romance as the sub-plot.

Set against the backdrop of the jianghu (martial arts world) with Gong Family and Wu Feng as the prominent player, My Journey to You mainly revolves around conspiracies, hidden agendas, and a game of wits that will keep you guessing until the very end. However, these suspenseful moments are perfectly balanced with comedic heart-warming interactions and thought-provoking dialogues, making it a series that is as emotionally engaging as it is intellectually stimulating.

🔗 Introduction to My Journey To You character summary: https://twitter.com/afterrnoont/status/1698267612042641644?s=20

What My Journey to You apart is it’s intricate and fast well-paced storytelling (initially). In the beginning, each episode unfolds like a carefully orchestrated symphony, revealing layers of deception. Each episode also packs a punch, leaving viewers on the edge of the seat from the beginning till the end!! Every character in the drama is also very intriguing. Each character feels like a fully fleshed-out individual with their own unique personality, motivations, and backstory. The drama have skilfully crafted a tapestry of lives that intersect and collide in compelling ways!! Yun Weishan and Shangguan Qian are morally grey, smart and calculating. their dynamic is so interesting to watch because on one hand they have this protective camaraderie between them, but it also feels tense, just like you’re waiting for the impending betrayal. Meanwhile each Gong siblings are also very unique, each of them has their own motive, but overall it's still for Gong's family interest and good!

Another aspect that sets My Journey to You apart is its high-quality production. This is a big budget and high-quality production that features exemplary cinematography, elaborately authentic sets, exquisite costumes, well-executed action choreography, as well as beautifully shot natural landscapes. In addition, the editing, scene transitions and sequencing of the narrative progression appear cohesive and relatively seamless. The colour palette of this drama is also beautiful and eye pleasing!! The colour palette is sparse and dark toned with a dash of white, gold, and red sometimes.

At the heart of this drama is an ensemble cast that delivers remarkable performances. My Journey to You has a stellar cast, that delivers a profoundly compelling performance from the main role to the supporting role. Each actor nuanced portrayal of their characters adds depth and authenticity to the story. Yu Shuxin and Lu Yuxiao performance in the drama are really commendable! Yu Shuxin manages to show a different side of her, she provides us with further glimpses of her versatility and range with a vastly different and never-seen-before side – she can not only play a cheerful innocent character, like Xiao Lanhua, but she can also pull off a serious character with many layers. Lu Yuxiao also delivers a strong performance; her micro expressions and eye glances makes her character more fleshed out and rich! Another commendable actor is Tian Jiarui, although this is his first drama, but he has managed to show how good of an actor he is!! We can definitely look forward to his future works!!

However, there are also some aspects that made the drama fall short. Personally, I find that the drama becomes a little bit dull midway. The drama still progresses, it seems like it's moving but to nowhere. The drama make you keep on guessing and guessing but little answer is revealed. Another aspect that mainly turns me off the the male lead weak characterization (not to the actor), which is a speciality of Guo Jingming's drama whereas he tend to make the second leads of his drama stand out more than the main leads. Also another huge disappointment of the drama is that it has a dissatisfactory ending with unanswered questions. Although there are some answers, but the main answer remains to be a question. It feels disappointing and frustrating - you spend almost 24 hours watching the drama only to be left with more questions.

Drawbacks aside, All in all, My Journey to You is a is a remarkable drama with an engrossing plot, impressive cinematography, and art direction. If you love mystery suspense with a blend of wuxia drama, this is a good watch!

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Completed
Sweet Teeth
81 people found this review helpful
Aug 22, 2021
22 of 22 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0

Old-fashioned Sweet

Sweet Teeth is a drama adapted from a novel (世界微尘里-A Speck Amid the Dust of The World). The drama tells the story of Zeng Li, a down-to-earth girl and someone who didn’t have the courage to love due to her past. However, it all changes until she met Ai Jingchu.

The drama narrative revolves around Zeng Li and her two best friend’s love story. There are 3 couples in this drama:
1. Zeng Li (librarian) and Ai Jingchu (dentist): both of them start off on the wrong foot but eventually fall for each other
2. Wu Ying (doctor) and Liu Yucheng (traditional Chinese medicine student): Liu Yucheng basically fall in love at first sight with Wu Ying, and starts to pursue her
3. Ma Yiyi (Influencer) and Deng Haoran (entrepreneur): both of them have known each other for a long time because Deng Haoran is Zeng Li’s stepbrother. And round and round, their feelings towards each other sparked again.

The storyline is not new, it has all idol drama cliche tropes: the cold yet brilliant male lead, the scatter-brained yet warm female lead, slow motion, drunken love confession and more. Though the storyline is not new, the script is written in a very heart-warming way that it lulls you into the drama. Two complete strangers, getting to know each other, learn and understand each other and eventually fall in love.

The pacing of this drama is so fast, but looking at its only 22 episodes it makes sense how they are trying to squeeze everything. The love story between all the three couples progresses really fast, to a point that you don’t really feel the chemistry between the leads, they are only together for the sake of the script (unless you read the novel before). However, in the second half of the drama, you can start to feel the chemistry between the couples. This drama does not have any really heavy conflict, most of them are sweet moments!!

Wu Xuanyi acted as Zeng Li in this drama and I can say that she pulled it off. She did a good job in pulling off the typical 傻白甜, sweet and silly girl. However, she did exaggerate her acting too much in some scenes, that I cringed at some of her scenes. On the other hand, Bi Wenjun is kinda stiff and robotic in the first few episodes, however, it gets better in the later episodes. The supporting actors in this drama did a really commendable job. All of them acted so well in their own role, to a point that they outshone the main lead. Nevertheless, while watching it, you’ll slowly fall in love with every character.

As a part of the Iqiyi Sweet On drama lineup, I feel that this drama has weaker cinematography compared to other Sweet On series (for now). The shots and sequences are taken simply and beautifully, it evokes a warm and home-y feeling. However, there are also lots of shaky shots, weird close-up shots, and choppy editing.

The drama soundtrack definitely plays a huge part in this drama, as it elevates the whole drama atmosphere. The soundtrack has an ecstatic beat and flow that goes really well with the drama. It is also very memorable.

Though Sweet Teeth has some cliches, its supporting actors, well-written and heart-warming script makes it unique and special. While watching it, you can feel a warm glow, as if you are basking on the beach watching the sunset.

If you looking for a hearty laugh, fluffy love story and interesting supporting and side characters, this drama is definitely for you!!

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Completed
My Little Happiness
46 people found this review helpful
Feb 1, 2021
28 of 28 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

Cliche storyline, but fluffy and impeccable chemistry

If you are looking for something lighthearted, fluffy, and something that gives you butterflies on your stomach whenever you watch this is the one!! This drama has the cliche storyline: childhood friend, bright fl, and so on. However.. what makes this drama special is the main lead's chemistry and the dialogues + scenes in the drama.
Most of the scenes in the drama are well-executed starting from the angle, editing and so forth. And I really appreciate the scriptwriter and the novel writer, the pickup lines and love story are just GENIUS!! especially the wifi name and password, that blew my mind. This drama is probably one of my fav rom-com drama of all time, this doesn't have annoying 2nd fl or ml, and all of their problems are solved maturely. Shao Qing and Cong Rong solve their problem maturely, they understand and support each other, they don't put shackles on each other (if you know what I mean)

Also, the second couple is also really refreshing, it is rare to see a nice second couple storyline, even though the second couple kinda overshadows the main lead storyline, but it is still okay. The OSTs in the drama are also catchy and pleasant to hear. and of course, I shouldn't miss out the kissing scenes, DADDI TANG IS INDEED A DADDY, HE'S SUCH A GOOD KISSER .... With all of that, I don't see myself moving on from this drama anytime soon.

I am not the type of person who rewatches dramas, but I can definitely see myself rewatching this drama in the future. Even now I have rewatched some clips (esp. kissing clips..) several times :")) This drama really warms my heart and makes me smile like a total fool istg!!

With it, MY LITTLE HAPPINESS IS DEF RECOMMENDED

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Completed
Make a Wish
51 people found this review helpful
Jul 17, 2021
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0

The Cutest Meow!!

This is probably one of the best cat/ animal and human dramas!! I ran here after finished watching the drama. Most dramas with this type of genre tend to screw it up with its nonsensical script and cringe-y acting, however, I feel like this drama has got it right in almost all aspects!! Watching this drama definitely makes me smile from ear to ear.

The drama script is very well written and detailed, the drama focuses on small things such as how a cat acts and behaves, such as forehead stroke, nose and hair rubs, how a cat bosses its owner and so on. These types of details are often forgotten in other similar genre dramas. This drama is also REALLY ADORABLE AND FUNNY AS WELL!!

When it comes to acting, both leads are really good and natural in their role. Both of them have very natural and comfortable chemistry. Almost all of the casts in this drama acted really well, the female lead portrayal of a cat is just so realistic, I can literally imagine her as a cat. The female lead is also naive and innocent but not the point where she is annoying. The male lead acts so so so naturally. And of course, we have the mom who acts so well that makes all of us wanna slap her hahaha. Even though the relationship progress is kind of a slow burn, but it is still so cute and fluffy!!

The cinematography aspect is average, just like any other sweet idol romance drama with average shots and a bright colour palette. However, the OSTs of this drama is really cute!! it's really fitting with the overall ambience.

Overall, definitely give this one a try!! You might enjoy it more than you thought~

P.s. This drama has a clear ending so no worries ^^

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Completed
The Blue Whisper: Part 1
84 people found this review helpful
Mar 20, 2022
22 of 22 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

Mermaids Only Listen to The Heart's Voice, It Says You are Worth It

The Blue Whisper: Part 1 (与君初相识) is a 22 episode drama adapted from the novel 驭鲛记, The Blue Whiper by 九鹭非香. The Blue Whisper is set in a universe where there are magical races (demon) and spiritual masters (human with longer lifespan). The narrative revolves around Ji Yunhe, a spiritual master but also a nine-tailed demon fox and Chang Yi, a mermaid and the lord of north.

Helmed by Zhu Ruibin, the director from Ashes of Love, The Long Ballad, Noble Aspirations and more; you can have a high expectation for this drama! The Blue Whisper has a high-quality production that features a splendid set, lavish costumes, remarkable cinematography, brilliantly choreographed scenes, an enchanting music score, and more.

The Blue Whisper sets, props, scenery and people are simply eye-catching, which keeps one visually interested all the way through. Unlike most historical dramas lately, The Blue Whisper has a vibrant and bold colour palette and outfit which makes it refreshing to see! The drama also has exemplary cinematography, the use of soft filters and vibrant colour at the same time provides a pleasant and vivid viewing experience. Every shot is also beautifully angled creating a feast for the eyes. Moreover, The Blue Whisper also has a beautifully done and well-rendered CGI and special effects. The use of authentic set designs and props also further enhance the realism of the whole universe.

The Blue Whisper narrative is brilliant and captivating, even if you don’t read the book beforehand, you would understand the drama as the overall narrative is easy to follow and well-paced. The drama storytelling is progressively paced and satisfyingly engaging with hardly a dull moment or substantial fillers. There are some light-hearted scenes with pure comedy, and some of the drama’s dialogue is also witty and sprinkled with light humor. Although some may find the troupe of lying to each other in order to save them is kinda cliché but this one doesn’t bore you.

What I adore from this drama is that every character in the drama is extremely well-written, each has its own distinctive personalities and qualities; they are multi-faceted and complex. Each character is properly dimensioned and balanced, even the “bad” characters have shades of grey, no one is black or white. They have their own background story and obsession, which leads to their action; thus, you might even feel their actions are justifiable. Although the main couple is the focus of the story, other characters and their relationships are not cheated out of a good storyline too! In addition, I also love how the side characters build up and enrich the whole story, instead of being just there for the necessary of the drama plot. You care for the characters and even if you don’t like some of the characters, others will most certainly capture your interest and heart.

Ji Yunhe and Chang Yi is stellarly portrayed by Dilireba and Ren Jialun. Both actor’s facial expressions and emotions are compelling. Their acting can make us relate and feel the character’s happiness, anger, pain that you can’t help but shed tears for them. Both of the actors can also convey their love, heartbreak and everything through their eyes and micro-expressions. It is unimaginable that anyone can pull off Ji Yunhe and Chang Yi in such compelling way other than Dilireba and Ren Jialun. Furthermore, Dilireba and Ren Jialun also have explosive chemistry; there is a great rapport between them and the romance are very good. They look fitting together and there are many squel-worthy moments.

Ren Jialun’s portrayal of an innocent tailed fish to an overbearing North lord is excellent! But what I find really commendable from his acting here is his acting of an innocent and pure tailed fish, it is unlike something he has shown before, he has acted as a cute and innocent 8 year old kid before in Under The Power, but here he is totally different he evokes a different charm. Ren Jialun character didn’t speak a word on the early episodes (until eps 3) but he still managed to convey his emotions with his eyes (sorrow, happy, anger and more). That’s what I find really amazing from Ren Jialun, he can simply convey his emotions with his eyes, and here with his pouty lips.

Dilireba also did a very commendable job! Dilireba has the ability to blend into every role, and in my opinion, Dilireba’s performance as Ji Yunhe here is several notches above all her works so far. The way she conveys her emotions through nuanced micro-expression and articulating every scene is beyond words. Especially on those scenes where she was laughing and crying at the same, when she turned into the nine-tailed demon fox. Every single Dilireba performance here is really praise-worthy.

Also, special mention to Hu Yixuan, she is adorable. Luoluo is loyal, bubbly, and clueless and Hu Yixuan manages to portray her and her lovable quirks so precisely. I bet she’ll steal your heart! Her scenes with Dilireba is also heart-warming and cute to see!

The Blue Whisper music scoring is also incredible. Sa Dingding is the music director for The Blue Whisper and she did a really great job! Every single OST and background sound is hauntingly beautiful, it’ll give you goosebumps. Each song also encapsulates a deep, beautiful and meaningful story. The poignant classical instrumental piece that accompanies the scene also sets a dramatic and emotional tone.

Overall, The Blue Whisper keeps you engaged and engrossed, you’ll find yourself wanting more new episodes!

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Completed
Crossroad Bistro
37 people found this review helpful
Jul 28, 2021
30 of 30 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

Growing Up is Hard, But Companion Makes it Easier

Crossroad Bistro (北辙南辕) narrates the story of five women who opened a restaurant together. With each other companions, they found friendship, love, and learn how to grow up in life. In terms of the production, technical execution, performances, and music, this drama is perfect!!

The script of this drama is so well written, you can see just how much the writing team put so much effort and attention into the characters. Every single character in it is written realistically, they are well-dimensioned. The characters are written so well to the point that you can relate to their action, and you unconsciously built a connection to them. I love how the writers make the characters develop and grow. I loved every single character and their personal journey arc.

The delivery of the amazing script is accompanied by stunning cinematography which makes this drama arguably one of the best adult dramas. Crossroad Bistro is directed by Feng Xiaogang, it is his drama comeback after more than a decade of not directing a drama. You can already see in the first episode how spectacular and stunning the cinematography is. Through the cinematography, you can see how high-quality production this drama is. Each shot uses soft filters and a warm and cold colour palette are used accordingly, which gives the audience a pleasant viewing experience. The angles of the scenes are also beautifully taken, each and every shot in the drama are exquisitely taken, it is a feast for the eyes!! Other than the amazing cinematography, this drama also has really beautiful authentic sets. Overall, all the shots really evoke and gives off Beijing ambience.

This drama has a simmering pace, not too slow yet not too fast. It has eventful moments but also slow moments. This drama does not have draggy problems too, the problems encountered are realistic, and the problem solving is done in a timely manner too (they do not drag it). And I also love how the drama does not specifically focus on one or two women in the middle of the drama, they still made the five women the main focus of the drama. All five women in the drama have equal screen time and their own developed storyline.

The casts of Crossroad Bistro are also well-chosen. Each actor and actresses fit in their role so perfectly, as if the characters are written for them. All of the casts' acting is a joy to watch. Even though the five girls are not 24/7 together in the drama, they still showcased really powerful chemistry between them. Everyone in this drama has great chemistry with other casts, not only with their love interest. Moving on, the music of this drama is also beautiful, the music encapsulated the essence of the story - the essence of growing up, love and friendship.

I definitely recommend this one to those who are looking for an adult drama to watch!! If you loved Dear Missy, My Best Friend Story, you will definitely love this too!!

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Completed
Rainless Love in a Godless Land
50 people found this review helpful
Nov 19, 2021
13 of 13 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.0

Breath of Fresh Air

Rainless Love in a Godless Land is an urban fantasy drama which main premise revolves around kakarayan (him), kawas (gods), humans and nature.

The narrative of the drama is straightforward and uncomplicated, enabling the audience to know the background and past incidents that shape the present. At the beginning of each episode, there is a short folktale regarding kakarayan, kawas and more, enabling audience to grasp the background story more easily. With its relatively little number of episodes, the plot unfolds at a fast pace. In the first episode, the drama was already telling us that there is the creator of the world (kakarayan) and gods (kawas) in this world. However, kakarayan will stop giving blessings to the world because of human’s ignorance and negligence.

The main storyline and characters build up are taken from Amis People culture, one of Taiwanese indigenous culture. The concept of kakarayan, kawas and everything originated from the Amis People. And the drama has also portrayed their culture in correctly, such as their chest covers, skirt, the colour scheme (red, black, green, white). They definitely did justice in portraying the Sikawasay (medium for communicating to Kawas and Kakarayan) through the vivid and bright coloured clothes.

Rainless Love in a Godless Land has a captivating and refreshing storyline, with a progressively and engaging pace. The drama storytelling is executed near to perfection, there is not a single dull moment or cliched plot devices. In addition, the drama also uses a lot of different plot devices and themes that work harmoniously well together. The drama manages to blend comedy, romance, fantasy, tradition seamlessly. With it, it makes you entertained and engaged.

Rainless Love in a Godless Land also has a wide variety of complex and realistic characters with strong and fleshed out performances from the casts. The female lead of the drama, Xie Tianti is acted by Joanne Tseng. She has acted in many remarkable dramas and you definitely do not need to worry about her performance. Meanwhile, the male lead, Orad (the rain god) is acted by Fu Mengbo which has also delivered a stellar performance. But Alice Ke as Toem (Cloud god) definitely steals the show. How she portrays her role is definitely *chef kisses*!!

The drama also has a beautiful and mesmerizing production and cinematography. You can just see how the big budget is allocated into impeccable cinematography, exquisite set, beautifully shot landscape, and more. Every shot of the drama is of high quality, there is also some breathtaking panorama scenery. This drama also uses minimal CGI, mostly relying on a real set. Such as, the void space (on xie tienti's dream and more), it is all made from real sets and props. The use of vibrant and bright colour palette also makes the drama a pleasant viewing experience. In addition, I also love how the drama does not use any airbrush or skin smoothing filter on their faces. It has also a really pretty yet simple outfit, the outfit is what one would wear every single day, but its outfit mix and matched very well done.

Another commendable aspect of Rainless Love in a Godless Land is its music scoring and OST. The OST is made up of different songs with different genres, yet everything is so compatible with the drama. My personal favourites are 最後一秒鐘 (the last second) by九澤cp and 想對你說 (Too Much to Say) by 原子邦妮 Astro Bunny. But still, every single of the OST are enjoyable and good to hear.

All in all, Rainless Love in a Godless Land is an excellent produced drama that definitely deserves more attention. The urban fantasy genre drama makes the drama a refreshing drama in the current market.

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Completed
Hidden Love
284 people found this review helpful
Jun 21, 2023
25 of 25 episodes seen
Completed 7
Overall 9.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

A Girl's Secret Crush Diary

Hidden Love (偷偷藏不住) adapted from the novel of the same name, is a youth romance drama revolving around Sang Zhi, and her secret admiration towards Duan Jiaxu, her brother’s friend and how it develops to a relationship.

Hidden Love is a captivating and heartwarming youth romance drama that explores the theme of love, friendship, and personal growth. The drama sticks closely to the novel, keeping the dialogues between the characters. In addition, the drama also manages to beautifully capture and translate the novel to life, capturing the nuances of the character’s relationship and also seamlessly intertwines comedy with poignant moments, romance, and many more.

Although Hidden Love treads some of familiar tropes of a youth romance drama, but it manages to distinguish itself with its heartfelt storytelling, nuanced character development, and some freshness into the genre. Sang Zhi isn't like any other young female lead who blindlessly chase after Duan Jiaxu, just because love at first sight and so on. However, just like any other young girls, she began to develop feelings gradually and secretly. Duan Jiaxu is also a very good male lead, whereas he truly looks upon Sang Zhi like a litttle sister, being kind to her, defending her, guides her, and more.

Hidden Love manages to strike a balance between tender moments of romance, family moments, and also youth leaving a lasting impact on its viewers. The comedic timing of the talented cast is impeccable, delivering punchlines and physical comedy with finesse. Although the drama primarily focuses on the youth and romance, but it also touches on deeper emotional themes. Moments of introspection and personal growth are woven into the narrative, allowing the characters to overcome their past and discover new aspects. Those elements bring an additional emotional depth to the story, ensuring a well-rounded viewing experience.

Chen Zheyuan and Zhao Lusi is the perfect Duan Jiaxu and Sang Zhi! Both of their performances are nothing short of brilliant, both of them are able to bring Sang Zhi and Duan Jiaxu to life. Zhao Lusi is able to bring innocent Sang Zhi to life, she brilliantly portrays Sang Zhi from a young age to adulthood. Her cute little actions are so convicing that makes one think that she really is a high school student! On the other hand, Chen Zheyuan also did a brilliant job in portraying Duan Jiaxu. He uses micro expression and his expressive eyes to act and communicate. Both of their performance transports and immerse viewers in the lives of their characters, making us feel their every emotion, as if we are experiencing the joys and sorrows together with them. Both of their chemistry is also palpable, enhancing the authenticity of the relationships portrayed on screen and making viewers deeply invested in the drama.

The supporting cast also adds depth and charm to the narrative, bringing a diverse range of personalities and subplots that enrich the overall storytelling experience, keeping viewers engaged throughout the drama. For instance, Sang Yan, Sang Zhi’s brother. Sang Zhi and Sang Yan’s on-screen witty banter and comedic timing add a genuine touch to the storyline. The banter between the two siblings looked so realistic, just like any other siblings argument; many of their actions looks genuine, and feels like it is unscripted!

Hidden Love cinematography manages to capture the innocence of youth, the sweetness and pain of one-sided love, and the intimate moments between the character. However, I personally am not a fan of the drama’s green/ grey muted filter in the earlier episodes, which I find it makes the drama looks a little bit dull. However, as the episode progresses and Sang Zhi grow into an adult, the filter became better! There are also few moments when the pacing feels slightly uneven. Some scenes could have been trimmed to maintain a tighter narrative flow in the earlier episodes. However, in the latter episode, a lot of the scenes are cut down, which may leave viewers a little bit confused and unsatisfied with the closure. Nevertheless, these minor hiccups don't overshadow the drama’s overall charm. The overall execution, engaging performances, and heartfelt moments compensate for the drawbacks.

Hidden Love soundtrack also perfectly encapsulated the whole drama, enhancing the overall viewing experience. Composed of enchanting melodies and emotionally charged ballads, perfectly complements the narrative and adds an extra layer of depth to the series.

All in all, Hidden Love successfully captures the essence of a youth love journey. It is a delightful concoction of youth romance drama! With the actor’s stellar performance, engaging story, it offers a fresh delightful take on the youth-romance genre! You will find yourself with smiling, laughing and swooning watching the drama ◝(ᵔᵕᵔ)◜

FYI. the male lead DOES NOT develop any romantic feelings for her until she is an adult

Hidden Love extra chapter (6) - Wedding Night: https://twitter.com/afterrnoont/status/1680883026438537216

Hidden Love extra chapter (7) - The Daily Routine of Life with Two Kids: https://twitter.com/afterrnoont/status/1680630598761861120

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