Completed
Marry My Husband
0 people found this review helpful
13 minutes ago
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 8.5
This review may contain spoilers

WAY TO START 2024

If you're contemplating whether to watch it or not just do it cuz this is definitely a must watch and it is sooo much better than a lot of kdramas out there...
THE PLOT: The storyline is simultaneous with the webtoon and the delivery is amazingg....they've really brought the webtoon to life....there are a couple variables here n there...some are great the others not so much (the entrance of miss yu ra for example) Overall you're in for a hell of a ride with this one and it's like basically a whole package of romance comedy betrayal and revenge and to top it all off we have our badass female lead...
THE ACTING: The actors here are insaneeee like they're really good at what they do.....at first I couldn't really see lee yi kyung and song ha yoon play villains cuz their previous roles have been soo different (like laughter in waikiki and fight for my way) but goddd they served!!! The way they portrayed their characters is just wow.....song ha yoon was amazing as the psycho best frnd and like can you even imagine lee yi kyung as a cheating husband who's gonna kill his wife....like they were just so good (fr i've almost forgotten the soft song ha yoon from ffmw). Also not to forget our main leads: park min young was spectacular as always and did an amazing job (specially all that weight loss just so she could look the part of a patient was just insane like the dedication to do that fr) and na in woo was the best eye candy fr (i do feel like his character lacked a bit of depth but thats fine)
Also the chemistry was great but like that's not the main thing that's going on so it's shifted to the side a bit but romance was there.....like u get it just some really impressive work by these guys..
THE THINGS I PERSONALLY DIDN'T LIKE: The addition of yu ra- like wth she wasn't even in the webtoon and she sure wasn't a genius idea istg the drama was going so well till like the 10th episode and then this lady comes out of nowhere and it's just annoying...i feel like they added her plot just to increase the number of episodes (as if shorter kdramas don't work here smh).
Also the pacing was a little slow after half time (compared to the webtoon). Plus the romance wasn't as great (or prominent) as the webtoon one which is a shame but honestly the plot makes up for it (even tho we all secretly wish they had more scenes)
Also they really started adding some kdrama cliches which was a little annoying tbh (like the psychotic ex gf, the truck accident etc.)
THINGS I LOVED: The side characters: godd they were good like in their own ways they did amazing....even tho they were the side characters they had their stories too.....Also the depth they've added to mr. lee's character here is a really great addition...Plus obv the whole plot was done very well
SO CONCLUSION: GO WATCH THIS IF U HAVEN'T ALREADY and give it a rewatch if u finished haha cuz the pros definitely outweigh the cons by a high margin

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Completed
LINE Drama: I Can Only Say It on LINE...
0 people found this review helpful
19 minutes ago
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers

Just a Commercial for Line

You could literally go without watching this one.

If you're fans of any of the actors it's a short and fun watch, but nothing too special.
You could go without watching it.

All it is is two friends messaging each other about what happened at the reunion that one of them couldn't attend. They reminisce about their high school life and talk briefly about their current lives.

It's literally text on the screen with the background as memories that we get to see.

Maybe if we knew who the characters were it would be a fun watch, but because we don't there is nothing to love or hate about it.

It's literally just a commercial for LINE.

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Completed
Ready, Set, Love
0 people found this review helpful
1 hour ago
6 of 6 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0

A dystopia/utopia(you can decide) where women outnumber men and dating shows resemble squid game

I really liked this, I know not everyone will love this but I really did. It was ridiculous in all the right ways and one of the most entertaining dramas I’ve seen in a while. The romance, the characters and ultimately the rebellion against tyranny are all handled exceptionally well and I would recommend this to anyone interested in sitting in one place absorbed for more than 6 hours.
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Completed
Manner of Death
0 people found this review helpful
2 hours ago
14 of 14 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.5

the show that i WOULD recommend to everyone .

if you saw the headline, you may be questioning why is that. Well, let me tell you why.

At first, when i heard about this show, i weren't really convinced to watch it. I just thought it wasn't my cup of tea. Little did i know it would become one of my fav shows.

The story is REALLY well written, and when i saw 'really-well-written' i mean it. The story is like a big mystery, it's addicting and you never know what will happen. Literally, i couldn't stop watcjing this series because i was so into the story. ( i ended up watching this whole serie in 1 day. )

As for the acting, i have nothing to say. It was perfect. I just sometimes forgot that all of it was not real, the acting made me forget that those silly guys were just actors.

This serie is a mastepiece, and i won't shut up about it. All of my friends already know about it cuz i always talk about it. (they're anoyed by me lmao). But yea, this series is really good.

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Completed
One and Only
0 people found this review helpful
2 hours ago
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers
A drama showcasing nothing but the meaning of what true love is. even if there is not a single kiss or flirting or confession but their eyes can tell everything you want to know even without professing their love they are together. They can't live without each other.

The ml didn't profess his love because he knew that if they get together then it will be the fl who will get hurt due to the oath he took, even when he was dying he didn't say anything but his face and the words he left can tell everything and the way fl also jumps off the building for him was something that no one today will do.

If this was a true story then definitely this love story would have become a legend. I seriously want to rewatch it as it is very very tough to move on from it. If someone want to know what true love is then definitely watch it as it also gives a morale that kiss, flirting or confessing is not everything in love but its trust, understanding, support and caring for each other as even without kiss, flirting or confessing love can be their.

STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!!

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Ongoing 26/32
Judge Dee's Mystery
1 people found this review helpful
3 hours ago
26 of 32 episodes seen
Ongoing 1
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

Everyone is responsible for the Result of their own actions and decisions.

The main question presented in the series is, Should one support lesser evil to achieve greater good?

This series is adapted from the Dutch author Robert van Gulik’s novel of the same name. However in my opinion it is loosely based rather than adapted as the original stories are changed quite a lot. Youku gives a disclaimer in the beginning of each episode, "It is a work of fiction. Any resemblance (to real historical figures) is purely coincidental". Judge Dee (also known as Ti Jen-chieh or Di Renjie), the hero of Robert van Gulik’s 'Judge Dee' mystery series, is purportedly based on the historical Di Renjie (630–700), chancellor of Empress Wu Zetian during the Tang Dynasty, who earlier in his career served as a district magistrate.

This series includes a total of 9 cases solved by Judge Di Renjie. Each case is resolved within the span of around 3 to 4 episodes. In the beginning of the series, Di Renjie( Zhou Yi Wei) is portrayed as a disillusioned person, uninterested in joining the court. Without a doubt, he is a brilliant person having forward thoughts, suitable to help shape a dynasty. On the other hand Empress Wu Zetian (Zhong Chu Xi) is Introducing many 'new' reforms in the country benefitting the common people. However she is facing massive opposition from the majority of courtiers who believe a woman should not be given too much authority.

Empress Wu Zetian is impressed by Di Renjie but she thinks he needs more experience before he can be of any help to her. So after passing the imperial examination, Di Renjie is appointed as a magistrate of Penglai county, a remote frontier. At the end of the 4th episode Di Renjie appoints Hong Liang (You Yong) as his inspector, Ma Rong (Zi Ling) and Qiao Tai(Ji Ta) as his attendants. This ragtag group goes to the Penglai county to start their journey. In Penglai county Di Renjie meets Cao An (Wang Li Kun) who becomes Do Renjie's confidant and lover, becoming a soundboard for Di Renjie's inner thoughts and conflicts. Throughout the series the Empress Wu transfers Di Renjie to different places where he encounters different problems, faces varied situations and resolves the plight of local people. Empress Wu wants Di Renjie to gain experience so that later he could serve as her advisor in the court.

Di Renjie is warned by Grand Secretariat Wei Wuji - "you think all the new is good and right. But the 'new' means changes, chaos, severed heads and bloodshed and saber rattling and fight. "

Di Renjie is of the opinion, "A reform means replacing the old with the new. We should examine it's purpose and means. Now, new policies have been enacted. The new laws benefited the people, allowing them to live in peace."

In ancient China, a judge's role was that of a father figure in the society. He was a link between the rulers and the common people. Di Renjie proves to be an exemplary judge because besides his great observational skill, deduction ability, attention to detail and lightning fast reflexes, he also has compassion for people and a strong drive to uncover the truth while serving justice. Even when presented with bizarre cases, he finds a rational explanation. He disbelieves in coincidence and fate and is convinced that everything is planned, dictated by logic.

There are three story arcs to the series, the major arc is the change in the system due to Empress Wu's reforms and its implications faced by officials as well as Di Renjie gaining experience in order to later aid Empress Wu in court politics. The second arc is to discover Di Renjie's father's past, to understand what circumstances led him to commit suicide. Somehow Cao An and Heiyan are connected to his father's past. The third arc consists of all the short cases that Di Renjie solves.

I feel that somehow the method of solving the cases in the beginning didn't allow room for the audiences' deductions because only after Judge Di reaches a conclusion, the audience become aware of the importance of the clue. Hence the audience becomes mere spectators to the brilliance of Di Renjie and not active participants in the case solving. The latter cases were quite simple as they were mere means to drive the story of emotions versus law forward. To be a good judge, it is a prerequisite to be sagacious and impartial in upholding law, irrespective of the people involved. This becomes the underlying theme in latter part of the cases.

Special attention is paid to details in the Script in order to recreate the culture, customs and traditions of ancient China. The lavish sets gives a feeling of grandiose. Detailed ornate costumes provides authenticity to the characters. The colour grading gives more cinematic aesthetics, the series is suited to be watched on the big screen to truly appreciate the picturisation. Cinematography is fantastic, comparable to any high budget cinema work. Breathtaking visuals of locations accompanied by strategic upbeat background music during key moments transports the viewers to the era of splendour. I feel a resemblance of the opening score and background score to the sound track of the movie 'Dune'.The intensity and tempo are a little different but the same kind of instrumental score accompanied by similar vocal is included in this series. Especially when the background music is played during strategic points of the case, it gives a hair raising subliminal effect.

The icing on the cake is the stellar cast at the helm of the project. The series has managed to rope in some popular as well as veteran actors. All the actors perform their roles zealously making it possible for the viewers to experience the splendor of the era.


Overall: It is a good series, it is like a gourmet meal to be savoured slowly because there are lots of subtle dialogues, the whodunit is not as important as experiencing the culture of the period. Those looking for quick gratification and thrill of case solving may find it a little slow paced.





I have compiled notes on Detective Dee, Dutch author Robert Van Gulik, Empress Wu Zetian. I have also written summary of each cases in the discussion section of the drama page. Don't forget to read it for more information and details of this series.

Leaving links below for the notes.

1. Basic information
https://mydramalist.com/discussions/judge-dees-mystery/122837-basic-information-about-the-cases-and-judge-dee?pid=2949011&page=1#p2949011

2. All Nine case summaries, starting from case 1.
https://mydramalist.com/discussions/judge-dees-mystery/122837-basic-information-about-the-cases-and-judge-dee?pid=2957009&page=1#p2957009

I will also leave Clickable links of the above mentioned discussion section as a comment to this review.

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Completed
Love Deadline
1 people found this review helpful
by Lov
4 hours ago
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.5

Cute and interesting!!

The concept is the basic one of other series, you look for love, the difference is that you do it for marriage. The participants were very spontaneous,each one with their own stories and ways of thinking, many changes of location and twists. The various tests were also interesting. The cast reacting to the series were very entertaining, even with their reasoning and reactions. Watching it in the original language also gave an added effect, cute scenes, disappointments and also many clothes changes. I recommend it.
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Completed
Battle Through the Heaven
0 people found this review helpful
by CV_58
5 hours ago
34 of 34 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 5.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 4.5
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 4.5

Watch at your own risk

This show is totally unbearable. After watching 4 episodes, I became bored and was on the verge of yawning. Then, I skipped most of the episodes and only watched the ending. Thank goodness it was a happy ending.

The leads, in my opinion, are miscast. I didn't even feel the chemistry between them and the fact that the ML has a baby face which made the FL has some sort of different age gap from him.

The plot is either a prequel or a fresh spinoff in the BTTH universe. Fortunately, I haven't watched season 1 before so I won't mention that one.

Acting is really, really bland as if I'm reading an uninteresting newspaper article. And the fighting choreography... don't get me started at it. They only did some sorts of wiring and twirling here and there without any direction.

Will never rewatch it anymore. Overall 5 stars out of 10. To me, it have been a decent score rather than those 1 stars. I'm sorry but I can't find any memorable parts of the show. Try to look elsewhere or watch the leads previous/future projects which are far better than this.

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Completed
Scent of Time
0 people found this review helpful
by ymynym
5 hours ago
30 of 30 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

after all, to err is human.

Definitely a breath of fresh air in a very saturated Cdramas world. Also one of the best I've watched in a long time.

It's not very often for cdramas (and asian dramas in general, really) to capture the bad side of humanity and presented it as redeemable. Many dramas tend to have characters in opposite extremes of evil vs good spectrum with no place anywhere in between. This drama does not shy away from that. The main character made a mistake, realized it too late, and painstakingly tried to correct her mistakes when she got the chance. The story is very well paced with clear plot. None of the characters are 2 dimensional. Overall very engaging to watch till the end.

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Completed
Cooking Crush: Uncut Version
0 people found this review helpful
5 hours ago
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.0

Not great, but not horrible.

Rom-Coms aren't really my thing, I watch them to lighten my mood. That being said, I base all of my ratings on how much I enjoyed the show overall and not on its genre. There are moments that are laugh out loud funny, but there are moments that are extremely draggy and boring.
The bad:
The series has way too many flashbacks. The editing feels disjointed. The overuse of the OST 'Baby Crush' makes you cringe when you hear it. The ending is rushed. There is a lot of wasted potential.
The good:
Even with all of the bad, the show was cute enough to make me continue watching. While I'm an OffGun fan, and also a fan of Neo, Aungpao really stole the show. Despite his age (17) his portrayal of Dynamite was really engaging.
If you're looking for something cute to kill time then watch it, otherwise I'd give it a pass.

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Completed
Hidden Love
0 people found this review helpful
5 hours ago
25 of 25 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
One of the best cdrama I have watched so far can't understand why people are disliking it on the basis of age gap like seriously it is not like they 10 or 12 years of age gap , it's just 5 years and we can clearly see that at the age of 14 she only had a crush on him when she was at her adolescence, any girls at her adolescence can have a crush it's not new and the ML started to like her back when she was an adult not when she was a child . And for those who were saying that ML was getting closer to her , so it's basically she treated ML as a family and he felt warm which he hasn't felt before which was depicted in the drama about his past , so it was natural for him to get closer to FL .

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Completed
Who Are You
0 people found this review helpful
6 hours ago
18 of 18 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
This review may contain spoilers

Remake from a South Korean drama

This is one of the amazing remakes in Thai Drama industry. I first love this storyline from it's origin country which South Korean version. I loved how they add some contrast comparing to the original version of this drama. The story still went well and very awesome and I am very glad the casts did a very well job in portraying their roles in this drama. The main characters was successfully engaged to the audiences by these casts and very well introduced. From the main casts to the supporting up to guest casts everyone was really good and amazing. They were good in dwelling themselves into the characters personality.
The soundtracks were nice, they invites the sympathy that the drama need and that is very amazing. I would love to rewatch them in the future, and recommend them to others who might be interested to watch Thai dramas. Overall it's very lit!

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Completed
A Killer Paradox
1 people found this review helpful
by Oni
6 hours ago
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0

A hero sent from heaven or an unpunished sinner

Another series that comes to ask big, complex questions about justice and morality, thrusting us into a world where the lines between right and wrong are blurred. Mostly leaning towards the drama of The Vigilante 2023, but here the way they've gone about it is interesting and innovative with some tropes being used to dig deep into them with unremarkable black comedy.
What I liked is that the main hero is not the center of the story, but rather it was written as a transition between several main characters in a vicious pursuit, and we can understand the reason for this in the end as their points of view change.
Therefore, this show, with its dark atmosphere, its dark moral structure, and the disturbing ending that does not give you a clear answer, came only to show you the characters with all their flaws and allow you to watch them exist in that shadow reflected from their consequences, circumstances, or their own imaginary ideas.

However, unfortunately...
After setting up an interesting premise, the show fails to delve into the depth of the story, and quickly falls into a state of extremely slow burn. Especially since I was expecting another dark psychological crime drama from director Lee Chang Hee after his long absence since (Strangers from Hell 2019), but I did not understand where the flaw was here: Is it in the scenario or in the plot?
It is true that it makes this new drama, A Killer Paradox, different from other works in KDrama and distinguished by its directing style, and it is no wonder that this series is good in this aspect. Rather, this series should be among the best directed this season, especially with the consistency of the musical background to highlight the comedic tone. Dark and give life to the display.

⚒️? However, somehow it slowly lost its charm as we approached the end. The first four episodes are good on all levels and in all aspects. After that, the story continues with all kinds of deception and unnecessary twists, and sometimes the rhythm of the episodes as well as the development of the story is disjointed, chaotic, and slow until the end of the episode. The eighth (last) one I already knew where it was going (away from the detective story) and it wasn't surprising that it turned out that way.

♻️ In general...
It is not what you would expect from a suspense series about a serial killer or a hero with superpowers who targets bad guys, as indicated in the summary of his story. It is just a crime, investigation and chase series with a story with a dark atmosphere and revenge quests, far from being a fictional story. It has a chaotic plot, is relatively slow and boring.
In general, it could have been produced as a long, dark film, omitting the plot of the murderous detective because it is sideways and was only used to add more tension and events to the scenario. I personally did not like adding that character, but I understand that he had to be there to make the story more clear. However, the ending caught the eye. My attention to his past.

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Completed
A Journey to Love
3 people found this review helpful
7 hours ago
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 5
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0

Did not quite stick the ending, but still a very enjoyable watch.

Subjective Gut Rating: 8.25 (almost a solid 8.5)

Just as many have commented and reviewed, “A Journey to Love” was an exciting, fun, and engaging drama for most of the episodes. Unfortunately, along with other fellow viewers, I was disappointed in the last 5-6 episodes. Even so, this is still a drama worth watching.

—-----------------------------------------------
What I Like:

Fight/Action Scenes - It has been a while since I last watched a drama with very satisfying fight scenes that don’t rely on CGI. There are still some posing and slow motion, but comparatively, the fight scenes are fast-paced, realistic and choreographed well. There are many war scenes, as well as just regular fighting amongst each other. These scenes are also spread throughout the drama. All actors and actresses look the part and I don’t see anyone weak who acts like they are flailing around with their swords.

The Gang of Brothers - Who would have thought I will love these side characters more than the main leads. The buddies from the Six Realms Hall/Liu Dao Hall are such a fun bunch. They provide many comedic moments. Initially, I wasn’t sure if the comedy jives with the vibe of the drama, since “A Journey to Love” appears to be a serious drama of assassination, palace politics and wars. But I love these guys so much. Each of them brings something different to the group. And when the last few episodes happened, I was so sad.

Alen Fang/Yu Shi San (13) - I bet 13 is the most loved character in the drama. I’ve seen Alen Fang in many other dramas before, mostly as a supporting role. The last drama I saw him in was “The Longest Promise” and he played the beloved Zhi Yuan. Zhi Yuan is such a different character from 13 but Alen did such a great job. It’s lovely to see more and more viewers know and acknowledge Alen’s acting. He shines so brightly that Liu Yu Ning, as the main lead, pales in comparison.

Princess Yang Ying - This is my first time watching He Lan Dou and she has quite a difficult character to play in Yang Ying. I found He Lan Dou’s acting a little rough in the beginning and it took me a while to get used to her cross-dressing role. But she grew on me and I like her acting and her character more and more. It’s lovely to see little Yang Ying grow in front of our eyes. From the forgotten and timid princess to an independent, strong-willed and feisty lady of the house.

Ren Xin - A true assassin and the best of the best. She doesn’t stop killing, from ep 1 to ep 40. Finally we have a strong female character who is strong from the beginning to the end. Her romance softens her hardened heart a little, but deep down she’s still the trained assasin. I enjoyed Liu Shi Shi’s portrayal of Ren Xin. LSS exudes elegant yet arrogant charisma. Her posture and head were so straight that I wondered if LSS needed a massage after every scene. LOL

—---------------------------------------------

What I have Mixed Feelings or Don’t Like:

Li Tong Guang - I like him and then I don’t like him. His obsession towards Ren Xin is a little dramatic, but it’s not like I’ve never seen this before. This is my first true time watching Chang Hua Sen and I don’t think his acting is quite up to par to play such a polarizing character. He wasn’t bad, but at times he seems to have tried too hard to act crazy, and his acting lacks maturity. Other times, I feel that he did quite a good job as someone intelligent and ambitious, yet still cares about the lives of the common people. Maybe if this Li Tong Guang is played by another actor, I might have liked him more as the default gray character of a drama.

Romance - I love all things romance, yet I am not loving the romance between Ren Xin (FL) and Ning Yuan Zhou (ML). It’s not horrible. They look good together, and Liu Shi Shi has the perfect height to stand next to the super tall Liu Yu Ning. But I am not feeling their chemistry. I think Liu Yu Ning’s acting is adequate but not amazing, and especially not good during romantic scenes. There are also way too many slow motion romantic scenes and there was one kiss that took forever for the lips to touch. On the other hand, I love the few scenes Yu Shi San has with Chu Yue. Their scenes are so limited but I feel the chemistry between them so much more. Their night of fun together brought a lot of joy. The conversation/confrontation the day after was emotional and really tugs at my heartstrings. And the last scenes of them together make me feel so, so sad.

Pacing - I was really enjoying the different arcs in the first 70% of the drama. I thought it was well-paced and I was invested and engaged. The combination of comedy, action, camaraderie, and palace politics are pretty well done. Then the last arc with the northerners happened. It’s like someone presses on the gas pedal and everything speeds up. Why was there such a rush in the end? Was the drama edited and chopped up because of the 40-episode limitation? Was that the writing’s fault? I am not sure.

Ending - Was I surprised how ‘brutal’ the ending is? Not really. I don’t dislike the ending per se. I am a little surprised by the sheer number of deaths. I’ve watched C-drama historicals enough to know not to love a character too much, as they might not make it to the end. I just wish their deaths would be spaced out. I don’t think I have the time to mourn for each death, and the drama did not take a breather before moving to the next one. This ties back to my criticism of the pacing.

Dubbing - How I wish everyone used their real voice. Unfortunately, Liu Shi Shi/Ren Xin and Chang Hua Sen/Li Tong Guang. The other main cast did and I applaud them for it, especially for Liu Yu Ning/Ning Yuan Zhou and the young He Lan Dou/Yang Ying. But all dubbing was done in the studio and none live.

—---------------------------------------------

Although this drama is not perfect, I have quite an enjoyable time watching it. It’s able to hold my attention until about ep 35. If the last 5-6 episodes are paced well and the main romance has better chemistry, I would have rated this an 9.0. But now, I am just going to give this an 8.25-8.50. I will still recommend this drama for the fun bunch of guys, great action scenes and an engaging plot.


Completed: 2/22/2024 - Review #406

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Completed
A Tale of Love and Loyalty
0 people found this review helpful
8 hours ago
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.5
This review may contain spoilers

Unfulfilled Promise, Identity Crisis, Disappearing Orgasm

I. Introduction:

This short-length drama opens with the palace being besieged by usurpers of the throne, and Empress Su Yan (FL) having asked her ex, Prince of Nanchuan Yuwen Yuan (ML), for backup. Emperor Yuwen Yingren (2ML) who is of ill health suggests that no assistance would be forthcoming, but lo and behold, the Nanchuan army arrives to save the day. The first few episodes promised dog-blood melodrama but this is ultimately undelivered. There were some scenes suggesting a more light-hearted comedy, which were quickly buried in angst, suspense, and conflict scenes before you could even bark a quick laugh.

The drama suffered from an identity crisis, as if the production team could not decide whether to deliver angst, romance, comedy, or otherwise. While the drama has some beautiful visuals and the storyline held much promise, its lacklustre delivery and continuity gaps leave it feeling ultimately underwhelming, like a disappearing orgasm. By the way, no happy ending.

II. Story and Plot:

The drama started with a tight, logical structure as to why the FL abandoned the ML to marry the 2ML. There were curious twists to the usual palace drama storyline, e.g., the 2ML's early scenes left me wondering if he was concerned for the FL in a brotherly manner or did he develop feelings for her, or if he was most concerned for the throne and everyone be damned.

But the latter half of the drama was dragged down by lazy scriptwriting and editing, e.g., a random scene of the FL crying over a dying ML appearing out of nowhere, the FL taking a full episode to chat and then murder the 2ML, the theoretical-physics-level mental gymnastics required to understand why the 2FL would do what she did knowing what she knew or whether the FL and ML ultimately resolved their misunderstandings, and the random comedy that is episode 19 stuffed at the end because it wasn't just the black sheep of the 20-episode family, it wasn't even in the bovine family!

III. Characters

MJJ as the FL singlehandedly carried this drama. She was a beautiful, weepy, tired woman who just wanted to gently honour her late sister's memory. RL required MJJ's acting to deliver the melodramatic scenes between them. RL has too boyish a face to carry the ML role--he was unable to express the necessary cruelty his scenes required. But if you enjoy his abs, you will have the opportunity to view them. PQ delivered his scenes as a weak emperor better than his scenes as a lunatic. It was missing just a tiny bit of OTT to truly express how mad he had become.

IV. Production Aspects

The soundtrack is commendable, truly enhancing the melodramatic scenes to the appropriate level of angst and tragedy. There were beautiful quality costumes and set, but if I had one complaint, it would be the scene where the FL is rolled out on a makeshift battering ram. The tragedy was ruined as it made me laugh out loud.

V. Conclusion:

This is a visually beautiful but narratively predictable and weak drama. While it offers fleeting moments of entertainment and showcases impressive scenes that raised its overall score, its uneven development of plot points, continuity gaps, reliance on beautiful people to fudge bad writing, leave it feeling ultimately forgettable. If you're looking for an easy-to-watch drama with beautiful visuals, this might suffice. But for those seeking more complex storyline or even more romance between the two leads, look elsewhere.

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