2021 mid year drama updates

2 Jul

I’ve been on a drama slump in the past few years as evidence by the lack of posts here but seems like Word of Honor has turned it around! I’m still kinda on the mountain 4 months after WoH?? There’s still one reaction I’m following and also slowing listening to the 16 hours (!!!) worth of audio live stream session which AvenueX has done with couple of her friends. For those who understand Chinese you can check it out here.

But while still camping on the mountain, I’ve had a good run with dramas in the past few months. On the non-Asian drama side, I thoroughly enjoyed WandaVision series and am curious to see how it ties in with the next Dr. Strange movie. I’m following Loki now though it’s not capturing my attention as much.

Back to Asian drama … first off we have The Imperial Coroner 御赐小仵作, a small production which surprised many people with the strong script and proving once again that a story is ultimately what attracts real audience (not just fans of the stars who blindly support). We finally have a drama where people actually work! People communicate with each other! Characters that are supposed to be ‘clever’ actually demonstrate their intelligence! If you are a fan of detective stories this is definitely one to check one though I must acknowledge that as much as I affirm the drama, it didn’t elicit a strong emotional response from me. Given how common it is in idol dramas these days where toxic behavior is packaged as ‘romantic’, I’m very appreciative of how Imperial Coroner shows what positive, healthy relationships looks like, both romantic and platonic, between friends and within the family. On the flip side, the drama tension is driven mostly by the plotting done by the two villains and not the internal struggles faced by the main characters. Not saying it’s a flaw for The Imperial Coroner, because for the purpose of this particular story that’s not its focus and I was happy watching the OT5 work with gusto but it didn’t move me on an emotional level. All that said, I’m still giving it a 5 star recommendation!

Then out of the blue The Eternal Love 3 双世宠妃 3 dropped! If you scroll a few posts down you’ll see my last post on it back in 2017. It was a budget silly romcom which I enjoyed tremendously but even then I’m amazed they kept it up for 3 seasons. I saw a comment that said something like we’re already on season 3 but Yuwen Yue is still freezing in the river (those who watched Princess Agent will get the joke lol). Yes indeed, it’s more of the same type of comedy with nicer costumes and larger sets and while I don’t feel the urge to binge watch it like I did with the original, it’s something fun to watch while having dinner. I only watched a few episodes of S2 cos it had 2 Mo Lian Chengs from different timelines and the plot had MLC from S1 disguise himself so another actor played that character and I just wasn’t used to seeing not-Xing Zhao Lin romance Liang Jie. Fortunately in S3 we have the same actor pairing back again and I also rather enjoy seeing Liang Jie play both the fun Xiao Tan and the more serious Empress character. This will all make no sense if you haven’t been following the fantastical world of The Eternal Love haa, but hey, if you ever feel like just being a bit silly, you can start with the first season!

I checked out Ugly Beauty 皮囊之下 briefly too but the story pacing and acting was a bit grating in the initial episodes. The setup is interesting though so I will probably pick it up again when I run out of dramas to watch.

And finally! The drama which prompted me to start writing this post in the first place before I got side tracked: Love and Destiny 宸汐缘 (I’ve mentioned this before but C-dramas need better English titles and stop with the Love Love Love). I’ll make a separate post (if I don’t get lazy) that goes into more detail, but for me this was kinda like the opposite of Imperial Coroner. The xianxia (fantasy) genre isn’t something I fancied to start with and the plot for LAD is pretty standard as far as xianxia drama goes but boy oh boy, the acting from the two main leads was SO GOOD that they had me invested in the OTP. And really, I suppose that’s the magic of dramas, that they can transport you into a different world to laugh and cry with fictional characters. I binged watch 60 episodes of LAD in one week (!! ok but I admit I fastforwarded a lot of side plot) and have already started to re-watch just the OTP parts. XD

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