I finally made my way to watching this. LOL! In fact, I decided to kick some of the other series aside to focus on this one. Besides, it’s only 12 episodes, so why not?
Before I dive in and then after watching, I swear I was looking toward Season 2. Yet after hunting down to read some news, I just want to plain drop it and go for the novel. I’ll just imagine the cast in their roles (minus the extra characters, of course). It’s really sad. I didn’t know about so much senseless dramas going on behind the scenes while following the drama since I only grab pictures and read bits and pieces here and there so I didn’t realize so much had been going on. But after reading some more stories from this one site, I was really shocked. (Check out shimokuren‘s comments for all the details.) Seriously? How petty could some people get? But I guess A LOT. I have to confess (if it wasn’t obvious before), I want to watch this because of Ken Chang hence most of the updates before. I do know about the novels (after hunting around to do updates) and it’s on my ‘to read’ list. That was it. Now that I’d learned of all the mess, I don’t think I want to watch anymore. Besides, Ken Chang rarely appears anyway. Not to mention, I don’t know how much cutting is going to go on with future seasons. ‘Cause I thought because of my broken understanding, I didn’t get the story. But the reason why some scenes were so confusing or if details didn’t add up, it was because of the cuts.
Li Yi Feng (李易峰) as Wu Xie (吳邪). I felt it was similar to his acting in Legend of the Ancient Sword, except he wasn’t possessed. But I think I understood why in the other one since his character was called ‘wooden-face’ many times and how he was so sheltered since little so it made sense. But this one, I couldn’t understand why there was inconsistency with him at times appearing to be lively and getting into schemes with High Shao and Wang Pang Zi yet at other times seemed clueless or passive.
Tiffany Tang Yan (唐嫣) as Ah Ning (阿寧). She didn’t appear much in here, but her character was intriguing enough. In a way, it was refreshing to watch her portraying a fierce character after all those recently ‘trying to be cute’ characters. (Which I swear I had to drop, sorry, but more because of the roles and not totally because of her.)
Yang Yang (杨洋) as Zhang Qi Ling (張起靈) aka Xiao Ge (小哥). At first, I didn’t recognize Yang Yang because I only watched him recently in The Four when I was catching up. Not to mention his face was covered for the majority of the time. The image was also different (of course) so it was harder to see the connection. But when they showed different angles, I realized it was indeed him. I was impressed with his acting in here (more than in The Four) because in the other one, he only had to look good and smiled most of the time. (Sure, he looked devastated enough when there were tragic scenes and I sympathized with him. But it was kind of repetitive at times.) In here, he had to act with his eyes a lot and how he didn’t exaggerate was a bonus. Then his mysterious aura plus the action scenes. Who in the world could resist, right? What made me feel kind of strange was how he was less involved later on. But then when I read about the cuts, it made a lot of sense why he wasn’t around anymore.
Liu Tian Zuo (劉天佐) as Wang Yue Ban (王月半) aka Wang Pang Zi (王胖子). Hilarious since the beginning. I think he was natural throughout and lighted up the scene whenever he appeared. Yet he sure jinxed them a lot. Since although he saved them at the beginning, but his miscalculations had led them into even more trouble. Then his snarky remarks.
Ken Chang (張智堯) as Wu San Sheng (吳三省) aka Third Uncle (三叔). I’m a Ken fan so I will be bias, lol. I liked him as the strange Third Uncle. He cracked me up at times with his overly paranoia too. Yet he proved quite experienced. I was really excited to see him, but it didn’t seem enough.
Wei Wei (魏巍) as Pan Zi (潘子). Loyal and brave. I thought he would be some fierce, hostile character but he ended up being part of the comedy team too.
Yoki Sun (孫耀琦) as Chen Cheng Cheng (陳丞橙). A made-up character–or so I had read somewhere. I seriously was excited to see Yoki in here and thought she was hilarious at first and then soooo cunning later. As an active follower of her since Shen Yi Da Dao Gong, I felt she did a good job with her role. I will say that I do understand the frustration of novel fans when the writers had created such a character and distracted the audience from the original plot. I totally get it! NOT KIDDING, because I had some major frustrations in the past with trying to explain to some people why I was against some ‘scene-stealer’ that ended up being a heroine in this one novel adaptation yet they dubbed me as a hater. SO yes, I get it, I’m not just saying it to get some people off my back, but I seriously get it. Anyway, even if I felt somehow her character was written well (like how one felt she was senseless yet it was a mask to deceive the characters from the start because she had a hidden agenda), I think they (the writers) shouldn’t have gone ahead with it. (Even if there was the whole thing with her management company backing up with budget and all or whatever. I can’t stand people sacrificing arts because of some deals or senseless disagreements.) I think I will always go back to Shen Yi Da Dao Gong to enjoy her performance, not relying on this one. (Even if she didn’t turn out as a villain, I still like her because I guess I’m a fan of food so I found those scenes funny. Yet I do understand why some people are turned off by food, not just because her character was a made-up one.)
Leon Lee (李晨浩) as High Shao. Another made-up character, right? I think his character distracted us from paying attention to Wu Xie and other characters. Okay, I found him fun and random at times, but it so distracted us from the main plot. The episodes were already short, do we need episode filler scenes too? I’m sorry to pick on him and go easy on Yoki, but having one senseless character is one thing, but too many is just too much. Either go with him or Yoki’s character. Not both. Because I think Wang Pang Zi was already a comedic relief for the drama so there was no need for even more. It’s over-killed.
Edward Chang (张晓晨) as Jie Yu Chen (解雨臣). Some of his scenes were cut too, because he had some fight scenes with Yang Yang’s character. Yet I can’t wait to find out more about his character. So it was a shame how things turned out. I guess it’s a good thing to check out the novels.
Ying Er (穎兒) as Huo Xiu Xiu (霍秀秀). I found her character as intriguing. Will she return in Season 2 (if they don’t kill the whole production already because of their petty moves in the past) or will she be replaced? I wish there was more. But I also read that because of the senseless dramas behind the scenes, her scenes were cut too. So yeah…
Lu Xing Yu (卢星宇) as (魯國公).
Su Qing (苏青) as Yao Guang (瑤光).
Cheng Pei Pei as Old Madame Huo (霍老太太). Fierce all right. I wonder what was her problem. Again, will have to check it all out in the novel.
Li Xin Liang (李昕亮) as Liu Tai (六太). Works with Ah Ning for some unknown boss (only seen on-screen to give commands but wasn’t named). Annoying since he was on the opposing side. But I guess it couldn’t be different since he worked for his boss after all.
Huang Ming (黄明) as King of Lu Shang (魯殤王).
What was good?
Actions scenes. I wish there were more. But I guess the cuts explained why there were so little.
The cast. I didn’t have a problem with them, but maybe more for their roles at times.
The chemistry between Li Yi Feng and Yang Yang. I thought I was the only one seeing there was something going on between the two of them! LOL! Not kidding. (I read some comments that others saw it too, lol.) I think those were the only times I felt Li Yi Feng’s acting wasn’t awkward. Somehow, they were a good team.
The cuts. YES, it messed up the story and I didn’t understand why some stuffs happened anymore. Like how Xiao Ge was so involved in protecting Wu Xie and leading the way at first and then he wasn’t seen around much later. In fact, I felt it strange he wasn’t so involved in the plot and was seen spying on them at that one event they were trying to sneak into. Yet he did later appear to hold off the gang for them, but wasn’t seen anymore. Now it made sense as to why. It probably got cut. Then who could forget the scene where he was suddenly without a shirt when they were still in the tomb. I thought I blinked for 2 seconds and missed it.
Final thoughts? So hunting down novel to read. It would definitely explain some of the questions I have.
Oh yeah, almost forgot, recommended? Perhaps not to novel fans, but if you’re watching for your favorites, dig in. LOL! But the missing parts will drive you insane anyway. It’s only 12 episodes so if you have time to kill, yeah. If not, don’t sweat it.
One of the most popular search terms circulating on Weibo of recent is “Sun Yao Qi Villain.” That had caused quite a rile among fans and viewers alike. However, it could be explained that her character turned out to be a villain near the ending. Or so I heard.
*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.
Title / Tên: Fairly Legal (美人谋律) / Mỹ Nhân Mưu Luật
AKA / Tên Khác: Tang Dynasty’s Strategic Law (大唐谋律) / Đại Đường Mưu Luật
Episode Count / Tổng Số Tập: 40 Episodes / Tập
Episode Length / Tổng Số Phút Trong Một Tập: 45 Minutes / Phút
Genre / Thể Loại: Drama, Romance, Ancient, Suspense / Tính Kịch, Tình Cảm, Cổ Trang, Huyền Nghi
Airing / Thời Gian Phát Sóng:
Director(s) / Đạo Diễn: Li Hui Zhu (李慧珠) / Lý Huệ Châu
Producer / Giám Chế: Yang Mi / Dương Mịch
Online Broadcasting Platforms / Những Liên Mạng Phát Sóng: iQIYI (爱奇艺), LeTV (乐视), Sohu (搜狐), MangoTV (芒果TV), QQ (腾讯)
Plot Summary / Tình Tiết: Young Chun Tu Mi was borned from a military household. Originally intended to be an obedient young lady of a small household yet unfortunately her father was wronged and imprisoned. Because there was no male figure within the household, Chun Tu Mi–who had studied the laws–didn’t have any choice but to enter the courthouse and seek justice for her father, hence she had to walk on the road of a barrister. For a woman to lodge a complain, she had to face numerous problems and obvious criticisms. Even affecting her marriage. Yet due to her persistence and her family’s support and encouragement, she saved poor people, fought against nobility, never feared the powerful, was crafty and full of wisdom, uncovered countless of unsolved and mysterious cases, sharing and shouldering the burdens of the country’s difficulties, and willingly became the king’s little pawn. In the end, Chun Tu Mi grown into the first ancient greatest female barrister. At the same time, she also won over the affections of the future crowned prince Han Wu Wei, the minister of Dali Kang Zheng Yuan, and the foreign country prince A Su Rui. In the end, Chun Tu Mi chose to face trials and tribulations with A Su Rui, joining the two countries together by marriage. / Thiếu nữ Xuân Đồ Mi sinh ra trong một hộ nhà quân sự. Đáng lẽ dự định rằng sẽ ngoan ngoãn an phận làm thiên kim của một hộ nhỏ. Ai ngờ, phụ thân bị oan phải vào tù. Bởi vì trong nhà không có nam đinh, cho nên một người đã từng học hiểu về pháp luật như Xuân Đồ Mi phải bất đắc dĩ lên công đường vì cha thân oan. Và vì vậy đã phải dẫm lên con đường làm trạng sư. Một cô gái đi kiện cáo, cô đã phải đối diện với biết bao nhiêu gian nan và phê phán hiển nhiên. Đến nổi ảnh hưởng tới cuộc hôn nhân của cô. Nhưng vì sự kiên trì của cô và sự ủng hộ và cổ võ của gia đình, cô cứu dân nghèo, đấu quyền quý, không sợ cường quyền, giảo hoạt đa trí, phá vô số nghi nan kỳ án, vì quốc phân ưu, và cam nguyện làm con cờ nho nhỏ trong tay hoàng đế. Cuối cùng, Xuân Đồ Mi trở thành cổ đại đệ nhứt nữ trạng sư. Đồng thời, cô đã dành được cảm tình của Thái Tử Tương Lai Hàn Vô Úy, Đại Lý Đại Thừa Khang Chính Nguyên, và Dị Quốc Vương Tử A Tô Thụy. Cuối cùng, Xuân Đồ Mi chọn lựa con đường đồng cam cộng khổ với A Tô Thụy, đi hòa thân.
Yang Mi (楊冪) as Chun Tu Mi (春荼蘼) / Dương Mịch vai Xuân Đồ Mi. Tang Dynasty’s Greatest Female Barrister / Đại Đường Đệ Nhứt Nữ Trạng Sư (大唐第一女状师). Chun Tu Mi is a kind-hearted, full of sympathy girl. Because she wanted to seek justice for her father, she had to pursue the barrister path. Yet having been through a series of legendary stories, she finally acquired her true love. / Xuân Đồ Mi là một nữ tử thiện lương, tràn đầy sự thông cảm. Vì cha thân oan, cô phải đi trên con đường trạng sư. Nhưng trải qua vô số trường kỳ cố sự, cô đã kiếm được tình yêu của chính mình.
Feng Shao Feng (冯绍峰) as A Su Rui (阿苏瑞) / Phùng Thiệu Phong vai A Tô Thụy. A Su Rui is the Prince of A Su, a neighboring country to the Tang Dynasty. While traveling within the Tang Dynasty, he met and eventually fell in love with Chun Tu Mi. In the end, they were able to be together. / A Tô Thụy là vương tử của Nước A Tô, một nước láng giềng của Đại Đường. Trong lúc du ngoạn tại Đại Đường đã quen được Xuân Đồ Mi và đem lòng thương Xuân Đồ Mi. Cuối cùng, họ cũng được ở cạnh bên nhau.
William Chan (陳偉霆) as Ye Cha (夜叉) / Trần Vỹ Đình vai Dạ Xoa. Assassin (杀手) / Sát Thủ. Ye Cha is the leader of a top-ranked assassins organization, having a secretive background and acquiring advanced, unmeasurable martial arts techniques. Exuding a dangerous and mysterious aura. Yet risked his life countless times in saving Chun Tu Mi, having difficult of expressing his own trust. / Dạ Xoa là thủ lãnh của một tổ chức sát thủ cao đẳng, thân phận thần bí và có võ công cao thâm khó lường. Ngoại biểu nguy hiểm và hắc ám. Nhưng đã nhiều lần xả thân cứu Xuân Đồ Mi. Y là một người khó biểu lộ được sự tín nhiệm đối với người khác.
Mabel Yuan (袁姗姗) as Ren Ruo Yi (任若绮) / Viên San San vai Nhậm Nhược Ỷ. Ren Ruo Yi is Chun Tu Mi’s best friend since childhood. Likes Han Wu Wei. In the end, died protecting Han Wu Wei. / Nhậm Nhược Ỷ là bạn thân chơi từ nhỏ cho tới lớn của Xuân Đồ Mi. Thương Hàn Vô Úy. Cuối cùng, vì bảo vệ Hàn Vô Úy mà chết.
Li Yi Feng (李易峰) as Han Wu Wei (韩无畏) / Lý Dịch Phong vai Hàn Vô Úy. Han Wu Wei is the future crowned prince of the Tang Dynasty. Met Chun Tu Mi at the imperial garden, and eventually fell in love with her. At all times and in silence, tried to protect her. / Hàn Vô Úy là thái tử tương lai của Đại Đường. Tương ngộ với Xuân Đồ Mi tại ngự hoa viên và đã đem lòng mến mộ Xuân Đồ Mi. Luôn luôn âm thầm bảo vệ Xuân Đồ Mi.
Wallace Chung (鍾漢良) as Kang Zheng Yuan (康正源) / Chung Hán Lương vai Khang Chính Nguyên. Kang Zheng Yuan is a minister from the Kingdom of Dali, possesses an impressive amount of family wealth and status. He is a very talented person in regard to the law and possess an overflowing amount of literary talent. Likes Chun Tu Mi and treats her like his own child. / Khang Chính Nguyên là đại thần của Nước Đại Lý. Gia phú dồi dào, địa vị thanh cao. Là một vị pháp luật kỳ tài, tài hoa lỗi lạc. Thích Xuân Đồ Mi và coi cô ta như con gái của mình.
Viann Zhang ( 張馨予) as Liu Xin Xin (柳欣欣) / Trương Hinh Dư vai Liễu Hân Hân. Assassin (杀手) / Sát Thủ. Liu Xin Xin is a heartless and ruthless demonic maiden. Continuously forge against Chun Tu Mi. Likes A Su Rui. However, in the end, made peace with Chun Tu Mi. / Liễu Hân Hân là một nữ ma đầu tâm độc, thủ cay. Luôn luôn châm trích Xuân Đồ Mi. Thương A Tô Thùy. Nhưng cuối cùng giảng hòa với Xuân Đồ Mi.
Wu Xiu Bo (吴秀波) as Xu Zheng Xing (徐正兴) / Ngô Tú Ba vai Từ Chính Hưng. Tang Dynasty’s Minister (唐朝大臣) / Đường Triều Đại Thần.
Yoki Sun ( 孙耀琦) as Zhang Jing Yu (张静玉) / Tôn Diệu Kỳ vai Trương Tịnh Ngọc. Naive daughter of a wealthy family / Thiên kim thơ ngây của một đại hộ.
Hawick Lau (劉愷威) as Chun Da Shan (春大山) / Lưu Khải Uy vai Xuân Đại Sơn. Farmer (农夫) / Nông Phu.