Top 50 Actors of 2015

4Ml184

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Just saw this so I decided to share. These are the ones people searched for the most on Weibo, etc.

Translations:

1. Li Yi Feng / Lý Dịch Phong

2. Yang Yang / Dương Dương

3. Wallace Chung / Chung Hán Lương

4. Wallace Huo / Hoắc Kiến Hoa

5. Li Chen / Lý Thần

6. Hu Ge / Hồ Ca

7. Michael Chen He / Trần Hách

8. Hawick Lau / Lưu Khải Uy

9. William Chan / Trần Vỹ Đình

10. Chen Xiao / Trần Hiểu

11. Zhang Han / Trương Hàn

12. Ryan Zheng / Trịnh Khải

13. Deng Chao / Đặng Siêu

14. Huang Xiao Ming / Huỳnh Hiểu Minh

15. Lu Yi / Lục Nghị

16. Wu Lei / Ngô Lỗi

17. Lee Jong Suk

18. Kim Soo Hyun

19. Ray Ma Tian Yu / Mã Thiên Vũ

20. Du Chun / Đổ Thuần

21. Luo Jin / La Tấn

22. Lee Min Ho

23. Ma Ke / Mã Khả

24. Jia Nai Liang / Giả Nại Lương

25. Bosco Wong / Huỳnh Tông Trạch

26. Huang Bo / Huỳnh Bột

27. Qiao Zhen Yu / Kiều Chấn Vũ

28. Jing Bo Ran / Tỉnh Bách Nhiên

29. Ji Chang Wook

30. Wu Jing / Ngô Kinh

31. Nicky Wu / Ngô Kỳ Long

32. Tong Da Wei / Đồng Đại Vỹ

33. Chen Xiang / Trần Tường

34. Qiao Ren Liang / Kiều Nhậm Lương

35. Aarif Rahman / Lý Trị Đình

36. Zhu Ya Wen / Chu Á Văn

37. Ren Zhong / Nhậm Trọng

38. Liu Ye / Lưu Diệp

39. Yuan Hong / Viên Hoằng

40. Jin Dong / Cận Đông

41. Wang Bao Qiang / Vương Bảo Cường

42. Wu Xiu Bo / Ngô Tú Ba

43. Zhang Ruo Yun / Trương Nhược Quân

44. Wang Kai / Vương Khải

45. Zhang Dan Feng / Trương Đan Phong

46. Eddie Peng / Bành Vu Yến

47. Sun Hong Lei / Tôn Hồng Lôi

48. Wei Qian Xiang / Ngụy Thiên Tường

49. Ken Chang / Trương Trí Nghiêu

50. Mickey He / Hà Thịnh Minh

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The Four 2013: Review

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How was it? It started out quite  good, actually. Then the ending sort of killed it. Or more like the last ten to fifteen episodes. It just dragged on and on and got repetitive with some craziness that seemed endless. Otherwise, it would have been quite good. Too bad.

Main Cast/ Characters:

  • Hans Zhang (张翰) as Leng Xue (冷血). This is my first time ever watching Zhang Han. I must say that after watching this, he has become my second favorite Leng Xue. (The ultimate favorite is Law Lok Lam, lol.) He exuded the coldness quite well. (Or was he naturally that way? Joking, lol.) But when he opened up later and learned how to joke, he was really funny and cute. I liked both sides of him. Even at times when he didn’t mean to joke, he cracked me up with his attitude at times. His story, like others, didn’t lack of exaggerations. Leng Xue was actually raised by wolves YET they managed to go all out with weaving such a story. Good one. LOL! Yeah, that was sarcasm. But anyway, not bad, just some parts could be done without, especially the love triangles.
  • Yang Yang (杨洋) as Wu Qing (無情). Strikingly handsome and graceful. He was supposed to be in a wheel chair but then I looked past that, considering how in the past adaptations, they did make his character not in wheel chairs so I had those adaptations to get used to already, lol. His wheel chair was supposed to be super cool too so it wasn’t like he was a weakling or anything like that. Anyway, in here, I loved how Wu Qing was able to control his fan so gracefully–with it dividing into pieces to attack others and then returning in whole again. It was really exaggerated but it demonstrated how strong his inner energy was hence being able to control it so well. It also fitted in with Wen Rui An’s exaggerations in the books at times and how he emphasized the importance of inner energy. As for Yang Yang, he was major eye candy all right. However, I felt the whole opening his eyes really wide at times was kind of repetitive for me. Other than that, he was fine as Wu Qing. In fact, he exuded the pureness aura although he had been through a lot. (And was I the only thinking it was ironic that he didn’t care for Chu Li Mo at first when she liked him yet later ended up liking her when she was already with Leng Xue? I meant it wasn’t like he was mean to her at the beginning since he was the only patience one willing to teach her stuffs and look out for her YET he didn’t really care past that. But later when he realized how much she helped him and didn’t mind him having Ru Yan in his heart and having a piece of his past with him, he began to see her in a different light. He was also struggling at times, seeing how Leng Xue and Li Mo got along, etc. Then he reminded himself Leng Xue was his good brother, he shouldn’t think that way.)
  • William Chan (陳偉霆) as Zhui Ming (追命). Hilarious and charming. I just didn’t like the hair they did for him. It made him look like some middle-aged woman. (Mean, I know, but it looked that way.) After getting past the hair (although still super hard), his character was really fun and lovable. Sure, he got into some randomness too and I didn’t even know why he liked the spoiled princess so much but then I reminded myself that feelings were feelings. Aside from that, he was really curious and had his own radar hence being to detect and solve cases, just like the others. What was funnier was how in the novel, he was supposed to be the oldest YET he looked so young in here. Still, because of his portrayal, he had become my second favorite Zhui Ming. (My ultimate favorite is Lu Xing Yu.)
  • Mao Zi Jun (茅子俊) as Qie Shou (鐵手). Um, not sure how to describe him because he didn’t seem to shine like the others. I meant when he was together with the other three, he was awesome with his moves and all too, but when he was alone, his story bored me. The childhood story was tragic and all. I totally felt for him. I meant the romance and others. I felt like they sort of toned down on his character or something. He did indeed had his own story but I felt like it leaned more toward romance than letting him show off his skills. He did have them, but it wasn’t shining as much as the others. Something was missing. I didn’t have a problem with the actor.
  • Howie Huang (黄文豪) as Zhu Ge Zheng Wo (诸葛正我). The guards’ boss. He was supposed to be super wise and all. He was their leader after all. But I think they sort of stretched some plots too much, especially later on hence making him not as sharp as he should be. Yet I enjoyed his role nevertheless. I will admit that I didn’t like the idea with him allowing Chu Li Mo to join the guards and then promoting her so quickly. I felt he was moving too fast with his decisions regarding that. I understood why he allowed Chu Li Mo to be by Leng Xue’s side so she could calm him down later. Yet too much attention on her had caused many troubles for her and the massive bullying and jealousy from the others. I felt it was better to just let her be by Leng Xue’s side and be invisible. Even if she was still being bullied by others, at least she wasn’t targeted for being a favorite of Zhu Ge’s. In a way, he was happy to have found his shi mei’s daughter and was trying to help her with her acquired abilities YET I thought that was enough with helping her train, no need to make her sticking out like a sore thorn to the others. (I liked her and all, but I just didn’t want more trouble for her from other parties, that was all.)
  • Mickey He (何晟铭) as An Shi Geng (安世耿). The image they gave him made me feel like he was a eunuch more than a prince, lol. Mean but yeah. Then later on, I realized he was dressed in that way and dancing because he was mimicking his deceased lover. His story was indeed tragic and I was actually rooting for him to overthrow the king, but I gave up on him when he destroyed Wu Qing and Ru Yan. Hey, he couldn’t see the connection between his and Wu Qing’s? What he did wasn’t any different than the king. Yet I guess he had gone nuts by then so he didn’t care about anyone but himself. He was already repressed with not being acknowledged by the royal family so I think losing Die Wu was the final straw. Aside from that, like Mickey He singing the sub theme.
  • Janine Chang (張鈞甯) as Chu Li Mo (楚离陌). I’m a Janine fan so she was the reason I had started watching in the first place. She was quite talented in here and indeed one of the reasons why she was chosen by her father to be placed on the list and then eventually sent to the palace for the king. When I say ‘talent’, I didn’t just mean her ability to read minds and communicated with animals as well, but I meant her various talents that was required of the female population back then. Then there was her intelligence as well. Her character didn’t disappoint at first, but the plot later on stretched so much that her character had lost ground. That made her less awesome in a sense, reducing her firm standing at times regarding matters. Okay, I know in a way, it seemed like she was being ungrateful and didn’t keep her words (or so some people would think) with Ji Yao Hua about staying away from Leng Xue after Ji Yao Hua saved her from that one serial rapist. (Which I don’t remember anymore if she had promised or not, or it was left unfinished for her to think about it.) Yet I liked how strong and persistence she was in not giving up on Leng Xue (aka not treating him like an object to be tossed back and forth between them) and how she said love couldn’t be treated in that way. (Forgot the exact word but it was the part where she was hesitating and saying if she should follow Ji Yao Hua’s request, etc.) What made me lost it somewhat was when she was captured near the end and begged Ji Yao Hua to let Leng Xue go and how she wished she hadn’t appeared in their lives or Ji Yao Hua and Leng Xue would’ve been together. She didn’t beg at first, but did cave in later. I do understand she was just trying to protect Leng Xue and redeemed herself (realizing how much she had hurt Ji Yao Hua and only wanted Ji Yao Hua to stop hurting others), BUT that had made it pathetic. Why did she need to beg? (I agreed with Leng Xue’s decisions more even if it had appeared cruel in a sense. Like he said, they’d known each other–he and Ji Yao Hua that was, so how could she disappoint him like that? He meant it on the level of not trusting him or the rest of the others at Shen Hou place.)
  • Jia Qing (贾青) as Ji Yao Hua (姬瑶花). Like I said in the other posts, I felt it was really off with her character and I tried super hard later on to ignore it, but it didn’t really work for me. Even when the story was getting quite long-winded and inconsistent at times and I no longer cared to pay attention anymore, I felt like they should just scrap her character altogether or something. Okay, okay, that was mean. Considering how Jia Qing had earned my support for her after watching these past few years. But like I said before (and quite annoyingly as some of you might realized) with how her character was actually associated with Wu Qing’s character in the novels and NOT Leng Xue so that was why I was just plain annoyed and didn’t care for her as much as I should be. After putting all those aside (temporarily), I think I did feel sorry for her. An Shi Geng really roped her in with destroying her path and making her go on the road of no return. But that didn’t mean that I side with her regarding the Leng Xue situation. Not because I shipped the main couple, but it was more like I never cared to pity the other character just because she liked the main lead and didn’t get her feelings returned. (It goes back to the whole thing with watching modern dramas and rolling my eyes when people think since someone did so much for so and so, the other person should end up with that someone. In short: prize-winning strategy.) The inconsistent with some parts of the plot made it harder to sympathize with her also, considering how one minute she was sooooo righteous and being a model person BUT the next minute she wanted to take the easy road (or played favorites with some people and didn’t care to catch this one girl cheating while doing the exam–even if she knew the difficulties and/or pressures the other girl had to endure YET there were other ways to help like train the girl well NOT tolerate cheating, etc). In a way, it was just that she was torn and it was one of the reasons why An Shi Geng used that to lure her to his side. Yet what got me scratching my head was how she seemed to let go of the whole trying to win Leng Xue over already and even told that one lady not to kill Chu Li Mo YET later she went all out and acted like Leng Xue abandoned her and called Chu Li Mo a whore? Really? I got the part where she lost her father so she was devastated and had no hope. Yet how did that change so fast? Was there a cut somewhere that I didn’t see? An Shi Geng tempted her with the pills and then the next time she appeared, she was already working for him. Were the pills responsible too? (Okay, okay, love doesn’t make sense and make people do crazy stuffs YET some of the stuffs made her character inconsistent so it was hard to sympathize or like her.) What got me even more pissed off at her was how she blamed Zhu Ge Zheng Wo for pushing her further and siding with Chu Li Mo. He treated her like his daughter and trusted her and shielded her from the other guys’ wrath yet she did that to him? Okay, some of the scenes she did not witness firsthand YET she admitted to An Shi Geng that Zhu Ge Zheng Wo treated her like a daughter so An Shi Geng didn’t need to worry about her being discovered, etc.  So yeah, some of these totally threw me off and I didn’t care anymore. Not to mention the whole wearing red outfits when she turned badass. Really? It’s soooo overused of recent. (And for the record, red outfits in association with badass characters had been used in the past as long as I could remember watching stuffs in the ’80s and ’90s so someone didn’t invent the trends recently SO don’t act like Jia Qing had copied her. I’m not being contradicting by making fun of the whole red outfits trends one moment and then turning around to defend Jia Qing in another. What I mean is I’m so sick of it being used over and over again of recent. I also want to clarify that it has been around as a symbol of badass characters WAY longer already.) Despite all the gaps and confusion, I still felt Jia Qing did a good job. It was just that the plot made me feel annoyed and was unable to look past the whole novel links. (Because as hard as it is to believe, I actually loosened up regarding novel links in some situations.) I think that if they hadn’t included the love triangle, I would’ve liked it more. There were already too many romances going on in here. It would make her character better if they just let her have her own story with her father and how she was tempted and maybe betray them too but later realized she was wrong. Or was that too bland for some people? And what irked me more was how she was the big boss in the novel yet was reduced to just some small follower of An Shi Geng. It was all right that they didn’t want to make her 100% villain, but seriously? Oh, another thing was, I think they sacrificed some of Qie Shou’s awesomeness and scenes was because they focused all the other conflicts and time on her. Yes, here I am picking on her character again. But seriously, I felt after all the series was called The Four, NOT Ji Yao Hua, so I have the right to protest, for Qie Shou’s sake.
  • Emma Wu (吳映潔) aka Gui Gui (鬼鬼) as Lang Yi Yi (凌依依). Although she was really lively and vibrant, I couldn’t even get into her character until almost at the end of the series. I didn’t even know why she was in here and I felt her character was really annoying. I will say Gui Gui was pretty and had a cute image in here, but it was the character that irked me. What irked me even more was how she kept getting into senseless arguments with Zhui Ming and wouldn’t leave him alone at times, nagging him about stuffs. I only liked her character when she was torn with leaving at times and feeling she didn’t match with Qie Shou. Then there were some scenes near the end where she helped take care of Zhui Ming when he was poisoned and turned into a kid. There was also the part where she convinced Princess Zi Luo not to chase after the guys anymore and let them go do their own things–without having to worry for the girls, etc.

Others:

  • Hao Ze Jia (郝泽嘉) as Nu Nu (奴奴). Leng Xue’s childhood friend–although she treated him like her master instead of on the same level later on when she met him again. She was loyal to her people and was quite stubborn at times. Yet in the end, she had chosen to protect Leng Xue. He declared her his sister later on and tried to protect her yet she was too impulsive to trust his words. It was understandable since their whole tribe was destroyed. Yet she had entrusted her faith in the wrong party and paid heavily. Regardless, it was tragic how things turned out.
  • Creese Li (黎一萱) as Die Wu (蝶舞) and Nan Gong Ru Yan (南宫如烟). Portraying two roles, but as Die Wu, we only learned of her through the eyes of An Shi Geng (via flashbacks). As Ru Yan, she appeared first in Wu Qing’s flashbacks and then later in the present time. Both of her characters attempted suicide, only one was successful. Not much was known of Die Wu, except for flashbacks throughout and An Shi Geng’s words, so there wasn’t much to go on. But her ending was seriously tragic. Ru Yan was seen gentle the majority of the time and seemed to be quite talented in Wu Qing’s flashbacks. An Shi Geng actually managed to rescue her and tried to turn her into Die Wu since she looked like Die Wu. She didn’t care to acknowledge him even after surviving. How could she when the only reason she had for living was death threats against her parents and the rest of her family? The time she was restricted, there wasn’t much development for her. (Obviously, I know, eye-rolling moment, right?) When she was finally rescued by the others and reunited with Wu Qing, I really liked her for her braveness and understanding nature. No wonder she captured Wu Qing’s heart.
  • Yang Ming Na (杨明娜) as Jiao Niang (娇娘). Elegant and graceful in her own way. She was also funny at times too. But she also had her wise moments. She often tried to help with solving conflicts–both among her siblings trying to fight for whatever reason (and the seriousness behind it all) and when she had to resolve the silly fights between the younger generation.
  • Wang Hai Yang (王海洋) as Yu Chun Tong (于春童). Traitor. Either when he was working as a constable or when he followed An Shi Geng, he betrayed them eventually. He was despicable and probably could be someone viewers hated without caring much. He got what he deserved and I didn’t care for him.
  • Jiang Yu Chen (姜雨辰) as Princess Zi Luo (紫罗公主). I found her irritatingly annoying at first. Not because she chased Leng Xue and ignored Zhui Ming in totality. I just found that she was soooo spoiled and hated her for causing so much trouble, wanting to go along and eventually got kidnapped and they had to rescue her and all. Yet later, I realized that at least she was honest with her goals and what she wanted. What was more, she didn’t want to pressure Leng Xue into marrying her with some deals. At first, I thought that was her and I felt like she had gone past beyond restored as a likable character. But her explanation later on and how she found out the real reason Leng Xue agreed to marry her, she severed their ties. It was also because she realized she didn’t like him the way she thought, but was just worshiping him because everyone dubbed him as a hero.
  • Wang Shuang (王双) as Mu Xue (慕雪). Mo Er Chi’s sister. At first, I liked her and how she got along so well with Chu Li Mo like they were sisters and made Li Mo felt like she could stay there. However, I seriously got annoyed with her in the later parts of the story when she kept nagging Wu Qing and tagging him. Yeah, I got it, she was worry for him and only wanted him to go on living, not dwelling on his past. However, she kept forcing him to acknowledge some stuffs that was annoying. Why make him forget his past? It was a part of him. Instead of letting him have his own space, she totally invaded it and forced him to acknowledge her existence. Perhaps that was the difference between her and Li Mo–with Li Mo wanting him to remember and not minding that he had such a past with Ru Yan versus how Mu Xue was even on the verge of jealousy with Ru Yan and even Li Mo later on. Also, she wanted to follow them that one time when they were chasing down An Shi Geng. It wasn’t like they were together so she wanted to tag along. She just wanted to be with him. He told her it was dangerous and all YET she didn’t listen. (I understand why Leng Xue wanted Li Mo to follow since he lost her one time already, not wanting to separate from her ever YET Wu Qing and Mo Xue weren’t together, how could she keep pestering him like that?) Ironically it was after her death that he acknowledged her and was depressed again. Even though it was clarified (or seemed to hint at the end) that he didn’t love her, just felt super guilty because she died saving him. (‘Cause he was seen holding Ru Yan’s old keepsakes again.)
  • Liu Xin (刘鑫) as Liu Chun Ping (刘春萍). Annoying and lame. I didn’t know why her scenes were there with her obsessing over Wu Qing and Leng Xue when they could use that to focus on other main events. Again, not targeting the actress but the character and how the writers had paved the plot.
  • Zhou Shao Dong (周绍栋) as Prince Xiang (襄王). He was just plain not bright. Got it that he wanted to protect An Shi Geng because of An’s tragedies of not being acknowledged by the royal family, but he was so easily tricked. Or perhaps that was why. But I didn’t think much of him. Glad that he didn’t become too much of the problem later on, realizing what was going on and how it would affect the majority of the citizens, etc.
  • Benny Qian (钱泳辰) as Yan Zhao (燕赵). One of the Four Evils.
  • Zhou Mu Yin (周牧茵) as Tang Chou (唐仇). One of the Four Evils.
  • Ma Wen Long (马文龙) as Tu Wan (屠晚). One of the Four Evils.
  • Cheng Cheng (程诚) as Zhao Hao (赵好). One of the Four Evils.
  • Marco Li (李耀景) as Wen Ru Yu (溫如玉). Another villain role and this one was minimal. He seemed to be very ruthless yet ended up being killed off by An Shi Geng, which wasn’t too much of a stretch but I guess kind of lame in a way.
  • Ma Kui (馬騤) as Wen Wu Chang (溫無常). Wen Ru Yu’s son.Wasn’t surprised he got offed by one of Wen Ru Yu’s disciple. He had it coming–with the other guy’s jealousy and all.
  • Hanson Ying (应昊茗) as Mo Er Chi (莫尔赤). Mo Xue’s brother. Didn’t care much for him although they did create some funny moments at first. I thought he was the comedian in here YET he ended up being one of the scariest beings in here, killing off his family so he could guarantee his thrown and eliminate all threats (even his father and little brother).
  • Liu Si Tong (刘思彤) as Bian Hong Yao (卞红药). Chu Li Mo’s mother. I thought she would never appear but will only be mentioned throughout. Yet she was a piece of the overall puzzle. It explained a lot of the tragedies in the past. But what was a stretch was how she was still alive after all these years of being frozen up. Okay, other factors in here were bending the word ‘exaggeration’ too, but this stuck out with me the most. Not that I wanted her to die, but it seemed too much of a stretch.
  • Yao Yue Li (岳跃利) as Chu Yan Liang (楚颜良). Chu Li Mo’s father. Weak and annoying. Didn’t think much of him. If it wasn’t for him, Chu Li Mo wouldn’t ended up being chased and targeted throughout. He had a choice to put his daughter in the list or not, but he chose to just so they could immersed in richness? I can’t remember if it was mandatory or not anymore, but I felt utterly annoyed with him for it.
  • He Jia Qia (何佳恰) as Ah Qi Nuo (阿绮娜).
  • Michelle Bai (白冰) as Nine-Tailed Fox (九尾狐). I actually felt sorry for her. She only wanted to save her husband yet paid with her life in the end. There were things she didn’t want to do, like how she actually imprisoned that one servant girl she tried to impersonate (not kill off) so it showed she wasn’t all bad. Like said before, she only taken a chance with saving her husband. Like many in here, she was deceived and used by An Shi Geng. Yet I sympathized with her the most. (Aside from Nu Nu that was.)
  • Han Dong (韩栋) as Zhang Sheng (张生). Nine-Tailed Fox’s husband. Interestingly funny to see Han Dong in here. Yes, this was before he had a popularity surge, but still funny to see him just a minor character. He delivered quite well–even with limited time.
  • Zhang Meng (张檬) as Hui Lan (蕙兰). One of the brides that got her husband stolen from her on the night of their wedding. What was even more tragic was how she got killed off because she was helping the others. Enjoyed her brief appearance.
  • Zheng Shuang (鄭爽) as Wen Bing Er (溫冰兒). OMG, I didn’t realize that was Zheng Shuang. She looked different from Legend of the Ancient Sword. Even though I watched Legend of the Ancient Sword after this but she looked so different so I didn’t make the connection until I check the cast list again to do this review. I really liked her character in here although she only appeared a bit. She was impressive and simple. I guess because I liked her green outfit and how she wasn’t in your face type of character. She was just there to help and contributed to the story.
  • Huang Ming (黄明) as Du Gong Zi (杜公子). The guy Princess Zi Luo used to rile Zhui Ming up when they were in disagreements.
  • Zong Feng Yan (宗峰岩) as Wu Hen Gong Zi (无痕公子). Serial Rapist. Wow, just wow. I didn’t know why they created his character and just plain kill him off right there. Like a mini case and showed how Ji Yao Hua wanted to just kill Chu Li Mo right there (and how she was torn, etc). But other than that, it seemed like just one of those side characters that could do without for the plot.
  • Wang Kui Rong (王奎荣) as Prince Zhu (朱王爺). Leng Xue’s adopted father. I seriously was convinced he was involved with killing all the people of Leng Xue’s tribe. I totally fell for it. Although, I know An Shi Geng couldn’t be trusted but Prince Zhu made it suspicious at times. It wasn’t until later when he was finally controlled and imprisoned that I was a bit more convinced he wasn’t at fault.

Friendships / Romances / Others:

  • The Four Guards as Good Brothers. Regardless of their attitude or randomness at times, they really lived up to being brothers. They were really loyal toward one another and would put that on top of anything else. Like that one time Zhui Ming insisting on saving Wu Qing, not chasing after the princess, etc. Even if he knew that they should save the princess first (because of the law of the land and how the royal family was important, etc). Then there was how they all supported one another throughout.
  • Hans/Leng Xue and Janine/Chu Li Mo. They were sooooo addicting to watch. To be honest (possibly brutality honest), they were the only couple I cared for in here from the start. It was just that they were more intriguing to watch for further developments. It was just that the others annoyed me at one point or another. Anyway, I was trying to see how they would finally stop fighting. It wasn’t like they were bad, but it was because they were clashing at times. I really liked how Leng Xue got out of his shell near the end. It was so cute. I also liked how she tried to find out what was wrong with him, not blindly believing that he had changed. She finally left him alone, but it was because he didn’t want to tell her, not because she hated him for abandoning her. Then later when Princess Zi Luo declared that he was free from the marriage deal, he chased after her and she made him yell the love declaration so loud, lol.
  • Howie Huang and Yang Ming Na. Collaborated once as husband and wife in the XAJH. Although there wasn’t much about them in here but I loved them together. They were the other couple that I liked. Even if they were an older couple and possibly many do not care for. But I enjoyed their moments. Somewhat cute yet still retained a sense of maturity, not trying to make them all mushy like the younger couples in here.
  • Yang Yang/Wu Qing and Ceese/Ru Yan. Seriously, their story was soooo tragic. They had their cute moments but I felt they were the most matured couple, having been through so much already. Too bad it had turned out that way for them.
  • William/Zhui Ming and Jiang Yu Chen/Zi Luo. Again, I didn’t care much for them at first, but did like his character a lot. Later on though, she was paying back major time for her past tortures of him. It was hilarious to watch and I felt they were so cute.
  • Mao Zi Jun/Qie Shou and Gui Gui/Yi Yi. Like I said many times before, I didn’t care much for them. Not until later when their stories got more complicated. The struggles between him trying to get her to stop the other thing was taking too much time as well. It wasn’t until Zhu Ge Zheng Wo stepped in and sorted it out for them that things moved along, lol. Zhu Ge knew all along and wanted them to resolve their own matters, but he didn’t realize they were that slow hence giving them some pointers. So after that, it went smoother and how nice it was to see her character evolved and his being able to focus on the main situation again. Sure, they could be cute, but I think their story needed to be worked out better.

Discussions and other rantings:

  • Was Chu Li Mo a third party? This was emphasized throughout the story. Well, it was more like from the girls following Ji Yao Hua. Their wild imagination was really on high during the beginning of the story. Even if ranking with Chu Li Mo’s real identity and how she was nowhere near the comparison of the backgrounds of both the princess and Ji Yao Hua, but that didn’t make it their advantage over Chu Li Mo. Considering how Leng Xue wasn’t into those stuffs. He was after all a prince himself. Yet he didn’t look down on others because of that ranking. He rated them on a different scale. Not to mention how he was much too serious the majority of the time. Hey, his nickname said it all. But back to the main question, was Chu Li Mo a third party in Leng Xue and Ji Yao Hua’s relationship? I seriously didn’t think Leng Xue and Ji Yao Hua had anything going on–even WAY before Chu Li Mo came into the picture. I meant sure, they were good comrades and had gotten along quite well over the years they’d known each other. Leng Xue sure was protective of her at times too, because of how her old wound had affected her health and all. But I think she was in the siblings zone already. If he had ever liked her, he already reacted. Because he was a straightforward type of person and he was quite possessive. (So not a good trait, lol.) BUT that was too obvious with him being sooo protective and possessive over Chu Li Mo in the later parts of the story. Even if others had decided that he and Ji Yao Hua were a couple in the past, it didn’t affect him. Some people might claim that not explaining might just equal to admitting. But he didn’t care to say those stuffs to everyone. If they wanted to assume, just assume. His most obvious reactions were directly toward Ji Yao Hua. So it wasn’t like he was leading her on or anything. He always treated her like a sister. That was it. And he did try to explain to Ji Yao Hua at one point, saying that he wanted to say it out a long time ago already YET she stopped him and said she understood. Of course, she only wanted to preserve some dignity and didn’t want to hear him say it out so thoroughly (which was understandable). Then in the later parts when he was poisoned, Leng Xue had emphasized many times that he didn’t want Yao Hua to keep taking care of him like that, because it was also torturing him that he couldn’t do anything for her in return. In a way, I felt he was taking care of her like a little sister and was protective of her since whenever because of that connection. It was like he only had her as a sibling for a while, then along came Chu Li Mo and he fell in love and wanted to focus on Li Mo AND then his sister was envious of the attention she no longer got so there it went. It felt that way to me. I’m not trying to convince anyone to ship Leng Xue/Li Mo. I just felt that Ji Yao Hua’s feelings toward Leng Xue were always one-sided so the whole whore-calling was soooo immature.
  • The ending. I think I declared it one of my favorites of recent series too early. Because the last ten episodes were excruciatingly painful to watch. Or was that the last fifteen? ‘Cause I swear some stuffs could be cut out. Like everyone had something to say at times. It was dragging out too much. I don’t mean discussions to solve cases, but if there were side situations, everyone had to say it. Or some side nagging with whatever the situation was. It was driving me insane. This, like recent series, was definitely character driven and not plot driven.
  • Hans Zhang vs. William Chan. Okay, some people were fighting because of how Zhang Han seemed to be in the limelight and William not so much. Or more like their characters. This series was filmed in the same year as Legend of the Ancient Sword. I read somewhere this one might have been filmed first. (NOT sure, I wasn’t paying attention to the other one at first, only followed this one at that time.) Around that time, Zhang Han was really popular (still is) and so he had many projects and more opportunities. William didn’t become SUPER popular until after Legend of the Ancient Sword was broadcasted. So stop fighting.
  • More cases, please. Seriously, I was intrigued at first, like really pulled in. But the cases sort of deteriorated and gave way for many cat fights and unnecessary side stories so that had lost my interest later on. Yet I tried to hold on for the main plot to see how it was going. Not to mention how some of An Shi Geng’s flashbacks were taking up too much time. It was getting quite repetitive. In fact, most of the flashbacks were driving me insane. It took too much time. Maybe if they cut some of those out and included more explanation for what they did later on, it would be better. Because they did have quite a few story arches that seemed like good ideas, but weren’t executed as nicely as should be.
  • The costumes and hairdos. Seriously, some were all right. But others got me yelling “What in the world?” at other times.
  • Fighting techniques. Seriously, these past years, I think I’m beginning to stop caring about them being lazy and taking the easy way out. But this is one of the rare ones that I could sort of make up some excuse for them. Mostly because Wen Rui An’s martial arts emphasize a lot on being able to manipulate inner energy and all. So I would say it wouldn’t be too much since he did exaggerate a lot in some fighting scenes and its descriptions. So I won’t pick on the production team for that.

Funny Moments:

  • The majority of Leng Xue and Chu Li Mo scenes. They were a riot to watch, clashing so much from the start yet developed into a much cuter relationship. Then one of the epic moments must be where Princess Zi Luo wanted Chu Li Mo’s room, because it was the one next to Leng Xue’s room. Leng Xue walked in on their conversation and asked what was wrong. After knowing the situation, he told Chu Li Mo to listen to the princess and let her have the room. Chu Li Mo asked where would she be sleeping. He told her in his room, LOL! That was a riot! Loved him for that! Not that he was going to do anything since he was a gentleman after all. But he wasn’t caring for those cat fights or BS, even from the princess.
  • Zhui Ming scenes. He was a riot all right. So dramatic and so playful. I totally enjoyed his crazy moments, even if it was outright sabotaging others when he was in disagreements with the princess. Maybe it was William. Not sure. But yeah, loved those moments of his.
  • Zhu Ming and Qie Shou scenes. They were seriously too funny together. I enjoyed those scenes even more than when they were with their significant others. They were a riot with being too nosy and trying to get into everyone’s business when they were at Jiao Niang’s place. Like when they interrogated Wu Qing and tried to find out what was going on, etc. Wu Qing bumped their heads together (literally) and told them that they were too nosy. LOL!

Recommended? I think you could watch for your favorites. ‘Cause I enjoyed it somewhat but the later episodes dragging on (as said many times in this review) totally got me disappointed. It was definitely killing the pace.

Tian Di Bu Rong

*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

So what about it? Hey, I was waiting for this one for a while so it was not like it was random to watch it. Though I implied that I was sick of this era’s costumes and stories but with such a cast, I had to check it out. (I’m a sucker for that, lol.) And did I mention I’m sick and tired of those cat fight scenes? However, IF there were cliched moments, at least the outcomes were usually not as cliched so it was something to look forward to.

The Four Women:

  • Ady An as Du Lan Yan. When I realized the little girl at the beginning was Ady’s character, I couldn’t help but think of the similarities between this and Autumn’s Concerto–though AC was after this. (Not to mention the change in cast of AC.) Her father died and her stepmother wanted to sell her to the brothel, luckily her servant friend rescued her in time and she was able to run away. Oh yeah, there was also the case of her master being a pervert too and tried to peek at her when she was getting ready to take a bath. Her character grew strong later on to continue living YET I keep feeling this injusticeness because of all the tragic obstacles she’d gone through. She suffered so much right from the start–even when she was so young and did not know the world outside her yet. She was taken in and trusted with duties as the head servant, but was envied by one of the servants thus bringing forth troubles. Her suffer seemed never ending, even to the last point of her life, she had to sacrifice for others.
  • Rain Lee as Jiang Yu Ping. Wow! Okay… Though it was another daring role for Rain but somehow after the initial scene, I felt like rooting for her after seeing how Annie’s character, Yue E, was trying to borrow some money from her. I rather let her help her lover than Yue E because that would equal to helping that pervert that ruined Lan Yan’s happiness/life. Then she fell into the trap that she set, which was ironic and made her character less brilliant or powerful. Rain delivered quite well with her performance. She was definitely scary in her plots and her ruthless killing rampage to get what she wanted. Though till the end, she never got what she wanted either. But it was funny that she fell into her own trap aka thinking she did not care less for Chao Zong yet she had fallen so deep and was willing to resort to any means to get him back by her side and then later getting back at him for what he’d done to her (though it was her own doing with fooling with fate).
  • Michelle Yim as Yin Xi Hong. Honestly, I was looking forward to another clever performance from Michelle–though her acting was wonderful, her role said otherwise. All right, she got the authoritative look and the elegant image, but her intelligence could be reconsidered. She failed to see past Chun Ni’s motives and was being manipulated by Chun Ni’s behaviors that made it hard to swallow. Yes, she only wanted someone with great care to details and having a gentle person around was more preferable than the loud mouth daughter in law YET she was not able to see past the fake exterior. Though they redeemed her character later as the story unfolded and sent the story into another path, letting us see more beyond her harsh ways and unreasonable demands yet it was still a shame. It was no doubt that Michelle delivered well with each scene.
  • Annie Yi as Li Yue E. I don’t know whether to clap her for being so authoritative or scold at her for being so stupid. She thought she was smart to marry her maid away so her husband would not think of that maid anymore BUT unknowingly created a way for him to get to the maid and claim her as his. Supposedly in control and clever yet it was all an exterior and a joke. Or it was all a front to hide her weakness. It was not a surprise either that her character was do away early in the series since she was the weakest one – though it was implying at first that Lan Yan was the weakest. Her endurance level couldn’t be compared to others.

More of the Four Women:

  • Who won the prize for being the dumbest? Must be Yue E. She thought she was authoritative, clever, and effective. YET she was not able to seek out the truth or cared for it. She liked to be lied to so she got just that. It was a pity and super frustrating to see her victims being disposed of by her. She was so oblivious it was hard to believe that she was maintaining the family business. But it might be better explained as her being blind when it came to love YET her actions caused severe consequences to others. Yes, she later took revenge on her husband but she shouldn’t be given credit for anything since it was part of the others’ plot as well. She only wanted to do things for herself, NOT doing anything extraordinary like wanting to take revenge for other women. Nothing wrong with that since the dude was her husband after all, but I just want to say that it shouldn’t be looked as an action to redeem herself but more of something she wanted to do to secure whatever was left of her happiness. At least it did not drag long with the conflicts.
  • Who was the most clever? I was aiming for Yu Ping at first with her scheming nature and being able to deceive others with her notable and/or respectable image since she was carrying on a secret affair with Chao Zong. But she made the mistake of letting Chao Zong go court Lan Yan with the intent of seeking revenge for her good sister, Yue E. (There was no doubt about Yu Ping being manipulated and deceptive regarding different schemes but that did not mean she was clever as an overall.) I only had one person left since I was waiting for Michelle Yim to appear, thinking that she was the clever person in here since the others seemed weaker or would eventually be broken down. However, I was wrong. Xi Hong was so easily deceived that made me disappointed. She of course would have no idea that such a girl would play such a trick on her, trying to please her to gain access into the Shen family. But I thought she would be more cautious considering how her family business was and how successful they’ve become. So who was it? I have to say no one. Lan Yan grew and became strong and I do not doubt her intelligence but she was not able to take control of her life for the first part of the series and later falling to other fate so I didn’t want to consider that. She did not have the power like the others. Though she did prove herself capable later with the family business and household maintenance, but she still was not able to control her overall destiny. Among all the other three powerful women, I expected more but they failed too to capture my attention in the cleverness department.
  • Who was the bravest? I have to say Lan Yan. Yes, she was the weakest among the four women, lacking the power or skills to defend herself. Yet she was the bravest to go through such trials at the beginning and how she managed to overcome all obstacles that was tossed her way. She was down at times–which was inevitable–and needed help here and there, but she faced a lot of tough things that others were not able to IF presented their way. Yu Ping was considered a daredevil in a way and should not be given the credit as brave. She did what she did because she did not care for the consequences. Yue E wasn’t brave to face the reality of things, such as what her husband did at first OR how she chose to be oblivious to matters and wanted to dispose of it as soon as possible. Xi Hong was a notable woman YET she was not able to withstand some things. That was why I felt Lan Yan deserved the title. She learned and grew, BUT that wasn’t just it. She endured a lot of pain through it, toughening up, and pulling herself to move forward each time. Her chance toward the end to prove her capabilities and showed her intelligence and bravery to strive on because of how she lost her child was also very powerful. She was able to turn things around on her own–with help of Leng Yun cheering her on, but through her courage and hard-working attitude, she was able to regain the asset of the Shen family again–without waiting for Chao Zong to come and rescue her OR anyone in that matter. Too bad she was not able to control her fate at the end. But her bravery should not be taken lightly.

Others:

  • Feng Shao Feng as Shen Chao Zong. I wanted to dislike his character for being a leech and relied on Yu Ping’s financial help at times for his businesses YET it was hard to hate him as the story unfolded. There were often mix feelings at times yet there was no definite line as to his character. He was convincing as the manipulative guy at first but was also persuasive as the pitiful guy later on. There was this complexity to his character that was hard to grasp at times, which made his character different from the other guys in here. Probably because he was scheming in his own nature and loved games so he was experienced, but I really liked that he was the only one who was able to see past and observe from a distance what was going on in Lan Yan’s life and what really happened, knowing she was the victim, not like the others who were scolding at Lan Yan at first. It was a bit disappointing though that he was like any other men who had a BIG FAT ego and wanted to be the hero all the time. He did not care to acknowledge Lan Yan’s talent and abilities to run the house. Nor did he care to acknowledge that she had lost so much so now she was fighting back. He only cared about his own reputation. Yet it soon passed and showed us that he was not like that or did not mean it. He valued his family–though how messed up they seemed to be – so he thought Lan Yan was chasing them all away for her benefit. Perhaps it had to remind us from time to time that he was human and his character was often switching  back and forth in conflicts. It was not easy being him. His life was always so colorful–even if he had caused half of the troubles himself.
  • Mickey He as Leng Yun. Lan Yan’s childhold friend. Second cutest guy in here and his intro scene was equally cool. It was strange that Xin He should meet him before he was able to reunite with Lan Yan. I don’t know whether to say he’s an honest person and a considerate person, always putting others’ life before him OR call him dumb. Since he let go of Lan Yan just like that to let Da You had his way. Yes, he wanted to repay Da You and he was definitely caring about Lan Yan’s future but he did not know that he had push her to the pit. Yet later I got past that and maintained my positive attitude toward him. He was always so righteous and so honest that he might be caring for others too much and put himself last (almost like Lan Yan). He was very supportive of others and always did his best to help. A great guy overall.
  • Qiao Zhen Yu as Su Xin Hai. Xin He’s older brother. Though he seemed careless and not attentive to details hence running into trouble with his previous job, BUT I thought he was very observant regarding how he asked regarding Lan Yan’s bruises when they bumped into Lan Yan that one time. Unlike his sister, he did not form an opinion immediately BUT just bring up possible topics for discussion with Leng Yun, not jumping to conclusions. Yes, he commented that IF those rumors were true, then Da You must be hard to live with, etc BUT he did not play the blame game right away. He was already biased toward Da You because of Wu Shuang, but he did not stress strongly. Though acting out of rashness and wanting to take revenge for Lan Yan thus losing his job again, but I felt that scene was a hallmark for his character. Yes, he shouldn’t have done that since he had sacrificed his job BUT it showed a strong sense of righteousness that his character possessed and it drove the rest of the plot forward, freeing Lan Yan, etc. And yet he had to pay such a heavy price for his life. Qiao Zhen Yu delivered once again, this time as the honest guy. Xin Hai was careless at times yet had a kind heart.
  • Li Fei Er as Su Xin He. Lan Yan’s best friend and was seemed as a witty servant at her intro scene. I honestly thought that her character had been ruined on purpose to garner more dramatic scenes toward the end. Honestly, she was very clever at first yet she seemed possessed later on with her actions, especially after Shao Yu died. Yes, she was trained by Yu Ping and was heavily influenced by it, but it gave her no reason to act that way. I felt there was this fake exterior to her by the time the series reached its ending. It was like she was portrayed as the intelligent, cautious, and gentle person at first but as the story moved forth, it seemed all fake that she was being supportive toward Lan Yan or believing others too quickly. Yes, she was shocked when she found out a certain part like she thought Lan Yan was cheating on Da You at first BUT she was Lan Yan’s best friend, shouldn’t she let Lan Yan explain? It was like all empty talk. She redeemed herself but it seemed her character had lost some witty element to it. She was just like others who used their eyes to see, not their hearts to listen. The whole scene with her misunderstanding with Shao You was also ridiculous since she was the one who initiated the whole caring for Leng Yun too much YET she made it like Shao You was responsible when she was demonstrating in front of them (i.e. wiping the sweats for Leng Yun that one time). Oh yeah, the thing with how she believed Yu Ping so fast and learned from Yu Ping was crazy too. It could be said that she wanted revenge for her husband and all BUT her actions made it unforgivable since she clearly knew what was right and wrong from the start–at least it was led on her morality was strong. Yet she let that one girl died so she could reach her goal. I thought that by the time she learned that her brother was actually killed by Yu Ping, she would stop BUT she did not. It seemed like it was too late. She had gone too far, been poisoned by Yu Ping too much to return. I thought her sibling bonding with her brother would stop her but it didn’t. So I had two conclusions regarding her contradicting actions at various points of the series: (1) her character had been sacrificed for the dramatic purposes of the plot–like I pointed out earlier, or (2) it was all a fake exterior in the beginning to deceive us into thinking she’s a goody good girl.
  • Deng Jia Jia as Kuang Chun Ni. Another despicable character and probably the most responsible for driving Lan Yan’s life into the worst. She was jealous of Lan Yan thus causing troubles and indirectly driving Lan Yan to the worst fate imagined. I feel that it wasn’t like she wasn’t pretty OR anything, she looked great with the off-screen pictures BUT the production team made her hair looked so strange and the make-up was overdone or it seemed like a bunch of smudges, not bringing out her gorgeous side at all. I thought her acting was really good. I did not realize it at first since she was just some annoying character to me. But her transition to knowing only of her baby and taking things simple made it quite convincing contrary to her fierce actions from before. She brought those expressions out really well. I wouldn’t believed it if someone had told me beforehand that she would make peace with Lan Yan later but watching it made it convincing enough.
  • Zheng Guo Lin as Jiang Shao You. I didn’t like him at first and was on the edge of hating too because he was causing troubles for Xin Hai and Xin He. Not to mention how he was gambling away the family fortune. Yet in the later episodes, it showed that he was a kind person who was willing to use his money to help the homeless kids and also find time to play with them. Perhaps his death was the most tragic–after Xin Hai’s–since he suffered so much with all those burn marks trying to save Yu Ping–a person he respected and thought was his only relative–yet he died by her hands because she did not want him to become her baggage. It was so sad to watch his life slipping away just like that. He was betrayed by the person he trusted the most and he was always so innocent, always believing her and treating her like real family.
  • Wilson Guo as Lu Da You. I don’t know whether to despise him or to pity him. Since his heroic actions were seen when he leaped into the burning house to save Leng Yun YET was forced to obey to that one despicable man. Perhaps he should not be blamed as much since his sister’s life/happiness was at stake. BUT still, that was a cruel thing to do to Lan Yan. What was even more despicable about him was how he kept crying out with his pitiful tones that caused others to sympathize with him and disregarding Lan Yan, thinking that she was the one at fault. IF he was so brave, he would have fought back (even IF he couldn’t win) and not take it out on Lan Yan and play the pitiful card. He can’t tell others what was going on since he needed to save some face left for himself, not wanting to air his problems for others to see BUT he was not capable of fighting his own battle that made it more frustrating. What was even more of a bigger joke was him telling others that it was his house and they shouldn’t kick him out at the scene where the others were trying to resurrect Lan Yan. It was true that it was his house, YET it was a joke because he never defended the house or was able to protect his family in the first place SO he could not say anything. The fact that he kept criticizing others for their lack of occupation or incapable of providing for others made it too ironic since he had a house and had an occupation BUT was not brave enough to OR was not  capable of protecting his wife and sister in the first place. Who was he to criticize Leng Yun or Xin Hai? Perhaps his death was the part that almost everyone was looking forward to because it moved forward the plot even more, releasing Lan Yan finally. However, it was also the cause of Xin Hai’s death, which was really ironic. It was like he had to bring along Xin Hai as well.
  • Xiao Yu Yu as Lu Wu Shuang. I just don’t like how they did the make-up and hairstyle for her. It made her image more annoying than cute. It was hard to get past the style to like her character. It got better with her character development later and I tried to see past the hairstyle they gave her so it was all right. But the production team should be more careful in that area since I felt she was somehow robbed, not having the as young and cute looked as her role was. Though I must say that she was bearable at times but I was not able to forgive her for killing Xin Hai. YES, she misunderstood and thought that he killed her brother YET she did not trust him enough OR understand him enough. She said that she loved him BUT I felt it was too much of a joke. Yes, she died with him BUT it was stupid. She chose NOT to believe him YET she chose to die with him? I don’t get that logic. It wasn’t like she was so good to her brother or they got along so well. YES, she did lend him the remaining of the money in order for him to ask for Lan Yan’s hand in marriage with Yue E at the beginning, BUT their bonding seemed a joke the rest of the time. It was normal that they fight BUT I thought it wasn’t strong enough for her to get so emotional over things. She seemed to care about Xin Hai more than her brother at first SO it was ridiculous that she did not believe him (Xin Hai). She should know Xin Hai better than that. She jumped to the conclusion and just killed him like that.

Romances/ Relationships:

  • Chao Zong and Lan Yan. The most tragic couple in here. I did not like the idea of them together at first BUT they really convinced me with the plot moving along. They’ve been through so much yet was not able to live together at the end either. I think ‘tian di bu rong’ was aimed at them. Since ‘heaven could not tolerate’ them together, always wanting to separate them no matter what. The fact that they never gave up made it even more memorable. Yes, there were times they lost hope, but they always hang on and never stopped loving each other. Sometimes their trust was tested, but it was quickly resolved to reunite them once again, fighting together and facing all challenges thrown their way. So what if they did not win the last battle? They were irreplaceable to one another. Lan Yan’s death scene was worth a box of tissues or two. Seriously, it was NOT dragged out at all. Quite well done with the scenery and tragic setting. Beautiful flowers and Chao Zong playing his flute. (BUT I rather she not die.)
  • Leng Yun and Lan Yan. I thought they were the most tragic couple at first but my perception changed later when they finally reached the point of friendship. (I seriously thought the two kids who portrayed their younger versions were equally cute and lovable with the flashbacks.) Yes, it was quite dramatic at first of how they reunited and realized it was too late. Then there was hope, then there wasn’t. It was too much. But they were able to get past that. They both moved on–or at least Lan Yan had. Leng Yun ended up being the supportive figure by her side, always helping her. They reached the point of being friends and later possibly family because of how they looked out for each other later on – with him being there to help with matters while she always listened to his problem and being supportive during each situation. It was a cruel twist of fate for them yet it helped them learned and grew through time. I also liked how the wishing tree was their shared spot. It was like there for them from the beginning to the end. They shared many memories and stories there. It was sad that he would never know that she had already died since the last wish fell to the ground after he left. But perhaps it was better that he did not know since he would never be happy again if he were to learn of Lan Yan’s fate.
  • Leng Yun and Xin He. I thought that they were the most compatible at first yet it was hard to maintain this frame of mind as the series progressed and things got really complicated. They matched wit per wit at first with intelligence and skills. Yet it was a shame that they (the script-writers) had ruined her character. She turned into a deceptive, cunning person. (It could not be blamed fully since she had lost so much BUT it was like she did not have strong will to drag herself away from the scene OR she did not know when to stop.) Leng Yun was rash at times too and drove her to the other side yet I felt she was more intelligent than that so I had more expectations toward her than him, considering how he had fallen into Yu Ping’s trap in the past. What was even more ironic was they ended up together anyway. Okay, so they (the script-writers) tried to justify her character by redeeming her with helping them that one time AND how she bang her head and lost her memory. BUT that was like Leng Yun had to take care of her. It was like they (the script-writers) were afraid that he would end up alone so they needed someone for him to concentrate on. I rather he was the fearless wanderer, traveling around to help others at the end than end up with her. She needed to pay back for killing that one girl. Going crazy DID NOT punish her. It just made her forget all her wrongdoings and let her start anew.
  • Shao You and Xin He. I would never expect to like this pairing so much and thought that they were the most adorable pairing in here. I meant it was so random YET addicting to watch because it was both innocent and somehow natural at the same time. Very strange feeling yet it was refreshing to the hectic atmosphere of the show as an overall. I really like their opposites attract chemistry YET I was quite disappointed that they ruined her character by making her wipe the sweats for Leng Yun in front of Shao You and the others that one time. She was not the type of person to be close to a certain someone so easily AND it made less sense that she would do that after she was married. Why did they (the script-writers) have to throw that in? I know Shao You was acting up later too, but I think it honestly wasn’t his fault. Any person would be pissed off seeing that, NOT just him. Xin He herself would never do anything indecent or overboard like the case stated, especially how strict the rules in their town were. Xin He  was misunderstanding Lan Yan that one time, SO it proved that she knew and kept to the codes. She wouldn’t throw unnecessary attention onto herself. She knew her limits and knew how to behave appropriately. Luckily, the problem was resolved quickly (or so I thought) or it would be really lame. However, I couldn’t forgive the script-writers for killing Shao You and ruining her character as well later on. It also made their relationship a big joke AND made the scene where she was crying out, wanting to die with him when she thought he got kidnapped a bigger joke. It was not about revenge for him anymore. The fact that she wanted to jump back to Leng Yun made it ridiculous and I felt bad for Shao Yu even more. Yes, she had no one else and how she deeply fell for Leng Yun earlier made sense to go back to him (and she did deserve her own happiness) BUT I just feel it was a joke with saying how much she loved Shao You. OR like stressing how much she wanted revenge for Shao You when she still did not know Yu Ping was actually behind it. What was even more was how she betrayed Lan Yan later and caused the Shen family to get kicked out too. Too bad they wasted a good development of the relationship, possibly emphasizing that some people change for the worst?
  • Siblings: Xin Hai and Xin He. Yes, she was harsh on him BUT I was  glad that she pulled him away from the Lu family and saving him face. They both truly cared for each other and looked out for one another until the very end. The most tragic scenes must be his death and her recounts of their childhood memories afterward. It was worth lots and lots of tears. They had a strong bond and was forced to separate just because of a misunderstanding OR more like a deceptive trap. However, it seemed like a joke since Xin He’s reaction to the truth about his death was NOT enough for her to stop her wrongdoings. She kept going and going. It was like her brother was not important enough for her to stop and start anew – alone or with someone. She only cared for other things later. Yes, she was the only one left but it did not mean she was entitled to go cause troubles for her friends who stuck with her through thick and thin.
  • Xin Hai and Wu Shuang. A big fat joke as I said earlier. I found their chemistry cute and funny at various points of the series. But I thought it was too much later on. Perhaps they were similar in that they were too innocent and were simple-minded. But I felt like she never trusted him enough to even measure up to him OR could declare that she loved him–as said before.

Favorite Scenes (not that I don’t like other scenes but thought these stood out the most AND I already mentioned some other favorites in the other parts):

  • The confrontation between Yue E and Lan Yan. This was the part where where Yue E discovered that her husband stepped out of the Lu resident so she went into the house and confronted Lan Yan with seducing her husband aka being a despicable person. I really admired Lan Yan at this point for no longer begging Yue E to help her or to believe her. The damage was already done. What else was there to  clarify or say? It was too late. And the person who needed to wake up was Yue E, thinking that she was the most tragic person OR thinking she could handle the problems. She wanted to put the blame on the others yet it was her husband and her fake ways that had led to the outcome. Like Lan Yan said, she was so ignorant or think she could handle it but she did not know how many had suffered in the past or been in the same fate as Lan Yan, having no say or was unable to call out for help.
  • The confrontation between Chao Zong and Yu Ping. She was clever yet she under-estimated things big time regarding the matters of the heart. This part was where they met at their secret location after Yu Ping killed Chao Zong’s dog and hired a hitman to warn Lan Yan off. What Chao Zong said was very true and memorable. It was: “Sorry, my heart is very small, it could only hold one person.” Yes, he was the least person in here to be talking about loyalty YET it was so true since he finally cared for someone enough to shrug off business matters and much more. He was willing to sacrifice his business and fight for his happiness–whether it was right or wrong.
  • Lan Yan claiming that the old Lan Yan had died with her child and the new Lan Yan was born. I was surprised though I knew it was inevitable. I meant I thought they would drag out the whole tragic Lan Yan scenes since it was like that in the past and then also when she was trying to get along as best as she could with the rest of the Shen resident. But the turn around was really well done. Yes, she knew those tactics and knew how to take control yet she only wanted to live a peaceful life. It wasn’t like she was dumb. In other series, it would show that the girl was wise too BUT it seemed like she never take actions. I like how the turnaround was in here. We get to see her intelligence and planning come into play. She was not to be messed with–if only the others would know.

Dislikes:

  • Make-up/ hairstyles. Honestly, I have stressed this point with several characters and I feel that the majority of the cast, even the male cast were robbed. Every one of the female cast were not bad looking nor less gorgeous–one over the other–yet the majority of their hairdos were wrong or off. The make-up for some look like smudges or overdone. It was really hard to imagine the guys falling for them because of said reason. (They did mention in the series at various times or references to how each of the women were of beauty SO that was something.) I think Li Fei Er was the luckiest among the supporting cast and Michelle Yim being the luckiest among the main cast–since their images were better. It was about the right touches for them, except for Fei Er having to endure the strange hairdo later when Xin He was married. Xiao Yu Yu and Deng Jia Jia were cute and gorgeous in their own rights yet was given such an image that they seemed to pale in comparison to others, which was sad. It was mostly because of the hair that got annoying, but their portrayals were still notable, especially Deng Jia Jia. For Ady, it was that little piece of hair sticking out in the middle of her forehead that made it unbearable. They got rid of it later but still was not forgivable. The costumes were brilliant so that made up for it IF only the make up and the hairstyles accompanied then it would’ve been perfect.
  • The fact that Xin Hai died. The reason why I say this is NOT just because I’m a Qiao Zhen Yu fan BUT it’s because it was too frustrating. He was too kindhearted hence falling prey to others’ trap. He was careless and he paid major time for it BUT he did not deserve it. If that means being simple minded is a crime, it’s just ridiculous.
  • The fact that Shao You died. Like I mentioned above in two different categories already, I was horrified that he actually died. I thought he would’ve made it till the end, considering how the male cast was already on the lacking side. The fact that he died made it even more tragic. After his death, there were only two main male characters left. It wasn’t the only reason that made me feel robbed. But it was how I had grew to love his character so much. His childishness at times and his kind heart. He honestly believed Jiang Yu Ping and if he had not risked his life trying to save her, then he wouldn’t meet with his fate. He didn’t deserve to die like that. Though he did not die too blindly like Xin Hai but his death was the most horrifying because Yu Ping had personally killed him – unlike many times before that she had indirectly caused others’ death.
  • How they ruined Xin He’s character. I hated the fact that they did this. Although she was misled and deceived by Yu Ping but I could not forgive her or the script-writers for making it that way. I thought she would stop her actions when she saw how the other girl was suffering so much. Yet she still went through with the plan. She was driven by the misled idea that she wanted to avenge Shao You’s death BUT it was unforgivable that she resorted to such despicable means. Not to mention everything crumbled later (reasonable or not) when it got worse with her intentions or priorities. Don’t want to get repetitive since I already said it many times during this review.
  • The fact that no one knew it was Yu Ping who was responsible for it all. I meant she did not have to suffer for about 10 people that she killed in here. Yes, Leng Yun knew. Lan Yan knew. Chao Zong knew. But she was not brought to justice properly. I felt robbed. Or was it emphasizing the chaotic times and how things were never brought to light in small towns like that?
  • No one knew that Xin He was the one who told on them. It was the scene where she found out Lan Yan wasn’t pregnant like Xi Hong told the townspeople and went to tell on them. IF the others would’ve known, I don’t think the outcome would be like that. Yes, Leng Yun and Lan Yan might forgive her or sympathize her BUT I felt it would’ve been better letting them know. Of course it was obvious with how she was following that one dude BUT it was too easy on Xin He at the end. I rather Xin He die. That sounds cruel. BUT since Lan Yan had to die anyway, why let Xin He live happily? It was like encouraging people do bad things since it would turn out all right in the end anyway.

Recommended or not? I’m not saying it’s a must watch but it was interesting in its own right. There were frustrating points in the series or unbearable parts but it was unpredictable with various stories. So that won me over for the most part. But those who like happy endings shouldn’t watch since it’s not a happy one. Though it was memorable and tragic.

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