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[Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] The Rise of Phoenixes 凰权·弈天下

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I also finished the drama (giving up sleep) this weekend. 

 

Overall thoughts:

The good:

- Amazing production, cast, acting and costumes - I don’t regret watching;

- Had some best epic dramatic scenes: ‘FZW and her family in front of the emperor’ was epic;

Spoiler

- Adaptation of the novel plot wise: despite being very linear and arc formula, certain segments of this drama was really good for specific segments; it had creativity in so many ways e.g. switching the blood curse

- Nini impressed me since this was my first time watching her TV drama;

- CK is amazing as always minus my thinking he is too intense at times that pulls me out of the drama;

- In light of the drama on its own, I even can accept the tragedy ending since they changed so much. 

 

Weakness:

- Pacing, direction and editing wasn’t consistant in terms of quality. It lagged too much from episode 1-25 and near the end. Some plot and characters were just dropped..(what happens to GNY)... the last episode was so rushed that after investing 70 episodes, they could have ended it with more closure. I get that they had to cut due to regulations and I wished it was done in a better way.

- Novel fans (like me) of course are a bit disappointed at how different at a fundamental level the characters of NY and FZW are from the novel. This is where the adaptation is the weakest. The drama made this into a story about political power plays among royals vs a story of a young lady who is on a journey to find her destiny. In the novel, FZW would never commit suicide. She was so much stronger. Same for NY. 

-I also really dislike how much emphasis they put on specific things when they didn’t need to. E.g NY overacting all the time; 2nd tier side characters etc. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, rosierosie said:

At the end, she calls out to Liuland, so to me, that is a more endearment name she use to call him. To me, it means she remembers him as he were when they first met. When they were young, childish and they were just ZW and Liuland, not ZW and the emperor. 

 

At the end, why did Prince Helieng sacrifice himself to save ZW? The big bald guy is ZW's brother?? But, why is ZW seems more important than him?? And who was the Huofeng girl that killed Prince Helieng at the end?? Somehow I dont understand why the big bald guy (ZW"s brother Zhang) works with Prince Qi, at the slave market, and trying to sabotage Prince Yi??? 

No, Prince Heliang did not sacrifice himself for Zhiwei. He got overpowered by his jealousy and listened to Zhang Sunhong (the 4th Da Cheng Prince). He pretended to aim an arrow at Zhiwei so Ning Yi would shoot him and Zhiwei would hate Ning Yi. He of course intended to survive Ning Yi's arrow.

 

And yes, the bald guy is the 4th Prince of Da Cheng and is Zhiwei's brother. Zhiwei is actually not more important that him. But they also wanted to use her as she is in a position of power and is close to Ning Yi. However, the ultimate goal is the revival of the Da Cheng Empire, so wether it was Zhiwei or Sunhong, it doesn't really matter. And Sunhong never worked for Ning Qi. He only pretended to be working for him but the reality was he was using Ning Qi so that the princes would kill each other and he can destroy the Tiansheng Empire.

 

4 hours ago, raifee said:

Ning Yi yes. Not Liulang lol. Who knows 

It's the same person. You think you can cheat heaven like that? lol

 

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On another note, I am looking forward to CK new drama with Zhou Xun, The Weary Poet. It looks like an exciting drama with plot, and actions.

 

Sigh~ I'm still feeling so sad for NY and ZW's fate. Watching BTS helps though :), it is funny on Croton youtube. Watch it, it will prob help to ease the sadness and ending of the drama. 

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8 hours ago, rosierosie said:

Sigh~ I'm still feeling so sad for NY and ZW's fate. Watching BTS helps though :), it is funny on Croton youtube. Watch it, it will prob help to ease the sadness and ending of the drama. 

Yes, they struggled so much and yet they still lost each other. So sad. But yes, the BTS are so funny. Chen Kun and Ni Ni's interactions off screen are so funny too because they are so playful. I feel like being playful off screen really makes the chemistry on screen sizzle. When the actors are reserved and shy off screen the chemistry becomes kinda lacking.

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3 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

Chen Kun and Ni Ni's interactions off screen are so funny too because they are so playful. I feel like being playful off screen really makes the chemistry on screen sizzle. When the actors are reserved and shy off screen the chemistry becomes kinda lacking.

omg, Yes! I love that about them. I find them so frikkin adorable! I've watched every single clip I could find on youtube with them, and I'm definitely going to watch yours on my break! Aside from Zhao Wei and Zhou Xun, she's the only other actress I've seen his eyes light up when he talks about her. And even though I doubt they'd ever date (Ni Ni seems to have a "type" and Chen Kun seems content being a single dad), in the interview where she talks about her character, she mentioned the relationship she had with Chen Kun as if it was so precious, and said she considers him a good friend. I really hope they come together for another drama or movie in the future. One with a happy ending, please! 

11 hours ago, rosierosie said:

On another note, I am looking forward to CK new drama with Zhou Xun, The Weary Poet. It looks like an exciting drama with plot, and actions.

Too bad it's only going to be a movie and not a tv series. Zhou Xun is an amazing actress, and I can't wait to see them together.

 

But my poor heart. I'm not ready to see Ni Ni romancing another actor yet. I read she's shooting for her new drama with Chen Chang(?). For once, I'm having evil thoughts, and not wanting her to get along with him as much as she did with Chen Kun. 

 

Btw, I don't understand what others mean by Chen Kun's acting is "overpowering." Do they mean he's hamming it up at times? To me, Ning Yi can be so fragile and emotional, and I feel this is consistent and true to his character, a man who had his childhood ripped away from him at age eight, and who feels undermined and unloved. 

 

The man has moments where he sheds beautiful tears, but he also gets real and ugly cries when he doesn't get what he wants, which I absolutely LOVE. The two scenes I can think of in particular is the one where he comes back with

Spoiler

Chang Zhongxin's head to bargain for Zhiwei's life but is refused by his father, and the scene after that where Zhiwei makes her second oath and turns him away. 

 

I honestly felt that every single actor in this drama reeled me in. Rather than just "acting", they were "living" as their characters. This series did an amazing job of world-building, too, and I felt completely transported. 

 

Just wanted to add that I found an article on Chen Kun here: https://www.recordchina.co.jp/b596249-s0-c70-p1.html 

Apparently Japanese girls were going a bit crazy for Chen Kun's looks as well (so I'm definitely NOT blind). Nishikido's fans thought they looked similar, and it became a topic on twitter. Nishikido is over a decade younger, so I find that to be a huge compliment. 

無修正写真でも完璧にハンサム」 
He's perfectly handsome even in unaltered photos. (Yes, girl, I agree.)

 

ikemen.png

Twitter user is saying he's so good-looking, she's going to die, and how she can't believe he's over 40 years old.

 

Here's Nishikido Ryo arriving in Taipei earlier this year (and I think Chen Kun was also there to promote something?). Do you think there are any similarities?: https://aramajapan.com/news/concert/nishikido-ryo-arrrives-in-taiwan-announces-kanjan8s-first-overseas-concert-at-taipei-arena/87751/

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, sonosong said:

omg, Yes! I love that about them. I find them so frikkin adorable! I've watched every single clip I could find on youtube with them, and I'm definitely going to watch yours on my break! Aside from Zhao Wei and Zhou Xun, she's the only other actress I've seen his eyes light up when he talks about her. And even though I doubt they'd ever date (Ni Ni seems to have a "type" and Chen Kun seems content being a single dad), in the interview where she talks about her character, she mentioned the relationship she had with Chen Kun as if it was so precious, and said she considers him a good friend. I really hope they come together for another drama or movie in the future. One with a happy ending, please! 

Yes please! I hope they can collaborate again in the future. I don't usually ship actors together because a movie is just a movie... but they are really so cute. I even watched them in Happy Camp where I didn't understand anything. I just enjoyed seeing them lean to each other and whispering. And I really love how Ni Ni isn't the reserved girly type in real life. She has no qualms at touching Chen Kun and offering her hand out to him when she was singing. She is more forward than him in real life same as in the show. Too bad I hear she is dating some other actor...

1 hour ago, sonosong said:

The man has moments where he sheds beautiful tears, but he also ugly cries when he doesn't get what he wants, which I absolutely LOVE.

This is exactly how I felt and exactly what I told my sister when we were gushing over the show! The one thing I usually dislike about Asian dramas is how concerned the actors usually are at looking cute. When they are angry, sad, happy... it seems they have mastered the art of looking beautiful at anything except for being real! Now I don't have a problem with beauty because I do like my characters to look cool and pretty, but sometimes I feel that the actors find it more important than expressing real feelings and that just sucks. But Chen Kun and NiNi are really good at just expressing themselves on screen without having you to think that they are trying to make the camera take the best angle for them to look pretty. When Zhiwei cried and Ning Yi called her hideous back when he first saved her, she really did look awful. As for Chen Kun, I really can feel that his performance is more important to him than looking pretty at the camera. There are a lot of times that his face distorts into something awful. But I love it.

 

1 hour ago, sonosong said:

I honestly felt that every single actor in this drama reeled me in. Rather than just "acting", they were "living" as their characters. This series did an amazing job of world-building, too, and I felt completely transported. 
 

Yes. I don't think anyone was left behind in the acting department. Everyone carried their weight in the show. What I saw was complete balance in acting, although there are just more interesting characters and less interesting characters, but such is true with life.

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11 minutes ago, Pollen Ainne said:

Too bad I hear she is dating some other actor...

Wait, who is she rumored to be dating? I thought she just broke up with Jing Boran this year?

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1 hour ago, sonosong said:

Wait, who is she rumored to be dating? I thought she just broke up with Jing Boran this year?

Oh well my bad. I am not actually updated when it comes to actors or any celebrities. I only saw it from somewhere on my feed but it could be completely not up to date. I am so sorry. So she is actually single right now? That must be why she was being so free. How nice. :D

 

As for Nishikido Ryo, I have no idea who he is and I find Chen Kun much more handsome actually. But since I have no background on him, I find it hard to see him as attractive. But then I don't know much of Japanese celebrities except for Kento Yamazaki who is going to star in the movie Kingdom next year and Takeroh Satoh who played Kenshin in Rurouni Kenshin. In the music industry, I only know Taka who sings for One OK Rock. And that is the extent of my celebrity knowledge of Japan. I don't even know much about Hollywood actors so I think I can be forgiven. lol

 

Anyway, as for Chen Kun's looks... I have a hard time finding anyone handsome or beautiful without seeing any talent or virtue behind them. It's more like I can't see people until I actually look at them. And I don't usually look until they interest me. So Chen Kun was not really attractive to me until I recognized him. Now I see him as swoon-worthy.

 

Now that I think about it... I think Ning Yi might have my disease in worse form, which is why he was not attracted to any girl. He could only see Zhiwei as she was the only one who impressed him. Makes sense now.

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@sonosong  CK is an amazing actor and I have been a fan since 2008 after watching Painted Skin. Also, I grew up with the C-entertainment industry and have seen various shows all these years. TROP has its own unique place in terms of leveling up the production and quality of C dramas. However, it still has weakness. There is no malicious intent to attack this show or CK. It is just my honest thoughts that his acting pulled me out of the drama at times...I became thinking about his acting more than following the story. I also find some supporting actors and actresses weak. It is a just a difference of thoughts and likes. 

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2 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

So she is actually single right now? That must be why she was being so free. How nice. :D

Based on the timeline, she was shooting for TRoP when she was still dating Jing Boran. They broke up afterward. It's probably hard to keep up in a relationship when your schedules are so busy. I'm glad her costar was Chen Kun. She looked like she had TOO much fun on set.

 

As for Nishikido Ryo, he's an actor and singer in boy group Kanjani8. Very famous in Japan and considered a bit of a heartthrob. Gained recognition for his role in 1 Litre of Tears and as the antagonist in Last Friends. It's just the article mentioned that they believe it really was Chen Kun who responded to a fan who posted about the similarities, and they were all trying to verify if it was really him. According to some of his Japanese fans, he is also a fan of anime I heard, especially Naruto? Anyway, CK is a much more seasoned actor and is pretty high spec in the looks department. Nishikido isn't quite there yet, but he has his merits. 

 

@stella77 Since you were the OP that brought up the "overpowering" comment, I'll take this moment to apologize. I didn't realize you were the OP, so I talked into the air, heh. My question was genuinely, "What was meant by 'overpowering' another actor?" I've only ever heard that term used positively when analyzing an actor's acting before in comparison with a lesser actor. Never heard it used to say that it took someone out of the story. I was genuinely curious to know what was meant by that, that's all. Differing opinions are welcome!

 

However, just to clarify, I do agree with you that the series has its weaknesses, especially in terms of pacing. The frequent use of flashbacks to tell the story was also frustrating at points. Everything after Minhai Arc seemed rushed and erratic. But the good outweighed the bad for me, and that's why I brought up the world-building and acting of the principal characters, as well as the dedication to detail and cinematography by the crew.

 

I can’t speak for the c-entertainment industry as a whole. You do have a lot more experience than I do. I’m coming from an international viewer’s perspective, having tried and failed to watch dozens of Chinese dramas over the past decade. Just got a little too excited about this one. Like I mentioned before, I went into this drama only because I recognized his name from Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. I still have a lot to learn about c-dramas.

 

 

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1 hour ago, stella77 said:

@sonosong  CK is an amazing actor and I have been a fan since 2008 after watching Painted Skin. Also, I grew up with the C-entertainment industry and have seen various shows all these years. TROP has its own unique place in terms of leveling up the production and quality of C dramas. However, it still has weakness. There is no malicious intent to attack this show or CK. It is just my honest thoughts that his acting pulled me out of the drama at times...I became thinking about his acting more than following the story. I also find some supporting actors and actresses weak. It is a just a difference of thoughts and likes. 

There is no problem, no one is saying your views are wrong. We are merely expressing our opinions as well. tRoP is definitely not perfect. I think a lot will agree that it has editing problems from the Minhai arc and on wards. And I am still not convinced they could not make the ending better, tragic or not. In fact I complain about it so much everywhere. lol. We just have different opinions about the acting which is fine. Different things appeal to different people.

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21 minutes ago, sonosong said:

According to some of his Japanese fans, he is also a fan of anime I heard, especially Naruto? Anyway, CK is a much more seasoned actor and is pretty high spec in the looks department. Nishikido isn't quite there yet, but he has his merits. 

Yes, I saw that interview he had with GQ (see this is obsession because I don't usually know this stuff) that he and his son enjoy watching Naruto together. Dang, I really need to get over this. lol

 

21 minutes ago, sonosong said:

As for Nishikido Ryo, he's an actor and singer in boy group Kanjani8. Very famous in Japan and considered a bit of a heartthrob. Gained recognition for his role in 1 Litre of Tears and as the antagonist in Last Friends. 

Unfortunately I haven't seen any of those movies. I do watch jdrama more than any other asian dramas. And I actually finish them because they are usually short. But I have never seen those ones you mentioned. Maybe because I usually watch the ones adapted from graphic novels.

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@Pollen Ainne Dang, girl, I'm with you on the obsession thing. Recently lots of international fans are swooning over him. I found his first series, Love Story in Shanghai, on DVD in Japan, so I bought it off an auction on Y!. It's under the name "Ame no Symphony" there, so there's gotta be some rain motifs? Also Sayonara, Vancouver. Farewell, Vancouver in English?  Have you not seen him in Balzac yet???

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55 minutes ago, sonosong said:

@Pollen Ainne Dang, girl, I'm with you on the obsession thing. Recently lots of international fans are swooning over him. I found his first series, Love Story in Shanghai, on DVD in Japan, so I bought it off an auction on Y!. It's under the name "Ame no Symphony" there, so there's gotta be some rain motifs? Also Sayonara, Vancouver. Farewell, Vancouver in English?  Have you not seen him in Balzac yet???

Balzac just looks so old though, I was doubting whether to watch it. But I guess I should. The only reason why I wish Chen Kun was younger is so I could enjoy more of his films as a lot of them are just old. I only watched his newer ones. He also wasn't as great an actor as he is now, although that is just basing on the trailers, which might not be an accurate way to gauge his talents. But seeing him now, it just feels so different. And he wasn't as attractive either. At least not to me. I think he has grown so much more refined and I like it. I am looking forward to the Weary Poet definitely.

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I must add that besides the plot and the acting, I love how unique the costumes and outfits are made for the characters in the drama. ZW's outfits are so pretty and colorful, it is colorful simple, but it is still very elegant looking even though it looks plain, but it has that unique twist to it. Also, NY's outfits are very nice too, like ZW's, the fabric looks simple and plain, but it still shines. I lol at some girly patterns on the fabric for NY's outfits, like the flower designs or butterfly? I was thinking such a powerful man to wear such girly patterns, but he actually pulls it off. Besides that, the BTS shows how hard the crews and actors worked very hard for the drama. Every little things are put into details, it is very amazing. I wondered, what happens to the set and outfits when they are done using it?? Anyways, I also wish they have a diff ending, because now that I think about it, it is not in ZW"s personality to give up and commit suicide??? Her character from the beginning shows she is strong, and it was just so easy for her to just jump off the cliff and die??? I am contradicted myself, but I wish there was a diff ending too. 

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On 11/12/2018 at 1:20 AM, mspilgrims said:

I have a question: in ep. 63 Prince of An of Dayue wants to marry ZW. Is it a political move or did he really fall for her? After she loses her memory, he seems affected by her. What do you think?

I think it's political move mixed with wanting the kind of love that Ning Yi and Zhiwei had. Political in that Zhiwei is Ning Yi's weak point, and he caught her to gain an upper hand. Actually going through with the marriage is little impulsive but he's suspicious the whole time, I think he was waiting for someone to break their role and going AH HA I CAUGHT YOU. It's like a stubborn child testing his belief and thinking he had full control over the situation and he really didn't. I think he was little moved by Zhiwei's confession but not in love, too little time for that. Even if he liked her a lot (and this is unclear since they cut out so much), he wouldn't give up his ambition for her.

 

On 11/12/2018 at 7:24 AM, rosierosie said:

And who was the Huofeng girl that killed Prince Helieng at the end??

Yue Ling, the lady who have been working with Zhangsun Hong (yeah his last name is Zhangsun), pretending she's working with Ning Qi, slept with the emperor at his weakest.

 

On 11/13/2018 at 8:12 AM, sonosong said:

As for Nishikido Ryo, he's an actor and singer in boy group Kanjani8. Very famous in Japan and considered a bit of a heartthrob. Gained recognition for his role in 1 Litre of Tears and as the antagonist in Last Friends. It's just the article mentioned that they believe it really was Chen Kun who responded to a fan who posted about the similarities, and they were all trying to verify if it was really him. According to some of his Japanese fans, he is also a fan of anime I heard, especially Naruto? Anyway, CK is a much more seasoned actor and is pretty high spec in the looks department. Nishikido isn't quite there yet, but he has his merits. 

Nishikido Ryo! I love that boy, he was fabulous in 1LoT and Attention Please!! (skipped Last Friends because it was tad heavy for me at the time...then it's been in backlog ever since), but I don't think he's good looking, hahaha. but jactors have mostly been the type that win me over with their acting. I like....Yamapi and YamaKen's face. Nishikido Ryo might have become more attractive as he aged though, Matsujun did. I swear I love Matsujun too!!  @Pollen Ainne Please watch 1 Litre of Tears! It's fantastic. <3

 

and yup Chen Kun likes anime! He's the spokeperson for Fate/Grand Order (it's a mobile game spin off a major franchise, he got into it via Fate/Zero I think?) and he cosplayed as FSN!Archer/Lancer/Gilgamesh! He's also the producer for The King's Avatar/Quan Zhi Gao Shou, a very popular Chinese anime (probably the most popular one internationally speaking).

 

On 11/13/2018 at 6:56 PM, rosierosie said:

I wondered, what happens to the set and outfits when they are done using it?? 

The costume designer is a very well known one from HK. He's art director for most of Wong Kar Wai's films I think, also editor of a few. He also works with number of other well known HK film directors. Oh hey, he was nominated for Best Costume Design for Grandmaster! He's the art director for Zhou Xun's Legend of Ruyi and Ni Ni's debut movie The Flower's War costume/production designer.

 

The set was built for Chen Kaige's Legend of Demon Cat (2017), it's being used in the new drama Ever Night. They did a lot of interior decoration so I think the big stuff were torn down. The costumes and small props have been auctioned off and I think proceeds goes to charity? Chen Kun bought most of Ning Yi's clothes though LOL.

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7 hours ago, rosierosie said:

I must add that besides the plot and the acting, I love how unique the costumes and outfits are made for the characters in the drama. ZW's outfits are so pretty and colorful, it is colorful simple, but it is still very elegant looking even though it looks plain, but it has that unique twist to it. Also, NY's outfits are very nice too, like ZW's, the fabric looks simple and plain, but it still shines. I lol at some girly patterns on the fabric for NY's outfits, like the flower designs or butterfly? I was thinking such a powerful man to wear such girly patterns, but he actually pulls it off. Besides that, the BTS shows how hard the crews and actors worked very hard for the drama. Every little things are put into details, it is very amazing. I wondered, what happens to the set and outfits when they are done using it?? Anyways, I also wish they have a diff ending, because now that I think about it, it is not in ZW"s personality to give up and commit suicide??? Her character from the beginning shows she is strong, and it was just so easy for her to just jump off the cliff and die??? I am contradicted myself, but I wish there was a diff ending too. 

I think someone mentioned this before a dozen pages back, but apparently CK loved his outfits so much, he bought them all  xD. This contrasted rather humourously with how the actor for Ning Cheng replied in an interview (with quite a sad-ish face) that he couldn't bring any home because they were too expensive. If I'm not misremembering, there was a little caption on the screenshots of the two different responses given at their respective interviews stating how one is clearly the boss, and the other isn't. :'3 Oh goodness. 

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5 hours ago, rosierosie said:

I must add that besides the plot and the acting, I love how unique the costumes and outfits are made for the characters in the drama. ZW's outfits are so pretty and colorful, it is colorful simple, but it is still very elegant looking even though it looks plain, but it has that unique twist to it.

I love that even when the colors of her garments may seem more muted, the material used were so beautiful. I always notice the textures and the patterns. I actually like that brown one she wears during the scene in

Spoiler

Jinshi when Ning Yi tells her that moving on doesn't mean giving up.

 

14 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

Balzac just looks so old though, I was doubting whether to watch it. But I guess I should. The only reason why I wish Chen Kun was younger is so I could enjoy more of his films as a lot of them are just old. I only watched his newer ones. He also wasn't as great an actor as he is now, although that is just basing on the trailers, which might not be an accurate way to gauge his talents. But seeing him now, it just feels so different. And he wasn't as attractive either. At least not to me. I think he has grown so much more refined and I like it. I am looking forward to the Weary Poet definitely.

Np, I understand. I read the novel in high school and watched the movie partly because I was curious as to how they'd adapt it into a film. He and Zhou Xun did have a few raunchy scenes in there, so I guess that's another reason to stay away lol. 


I'm also curious to see more of Ni Ni's films as well. Knowing that TRoP is her first foray into a TV series, I'm absolutely impressed. I need to watch more cdramas to gauge, but Ni Ni is my number 1 pick for younger actresses right now for bringing a deep emotional sensitivity to her performance. I got to Ep 53 last night, the scene where She and Ning Yi

Spoiler

meet on the bridge, and she tells him she's marrying Prince Helian. The moment Ning Yi touches his palm to her cheek, the pain on her face was so raw and real that it was so hard to watch without wanting to cry myself. 

Ugh, excuse me while I go into a corner and weep.

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On 11/12/2018 at 7:32 AM, stella77 said:

 

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Weakness:

- Pacing, direction and editing wasn’t consistant in terms of quality. It lagged too much from episode 1-25 and near the end. Some plot and characters were just dropped..(what happens to GNY)... the last episode was so rushed that after investing 70 episodes, they could have ended it with more closure. I get that they had to cut due to regulations and I wished it was done in a better way.

- Novel fans (like me) of course are a bit disappointed at how different at a fundamental level the characters of NY and FZW are from the novel. This is where the adaptation is the weakest. The drama made this into a story about political power plays among royals vs a story of a young lady who is on a journey to find her destiny. In the novel, FZW would never commit suicide. She was so much stronger. Same for NY. 

-I also really dislike how much emphasis they put on specific things when they didn’t need to. E.g NY overacting all the time; 2nd tier side characters etc. 

 

 

Agreed on pacing and editing. I liked handful of well edited scenes, flashbacks can be helpful but fairly annoying when they were events that happened recently. I was pretty engaged by 8, having fun from 13 onwards (novel scenes!!), I felt like it was dropping bombshells left and right from 15, probably when I got used to its pacing. Then that major Minhai cut and after it was okay for a bit, then lol super rushed last 10 episodes. Another 10 episodes please, and also just less.....misunderstanding.....yknow. The misunderstandings stick out so much for a drama that spent 50 ep building a trusting relationship. Compared to the novel which was the straw that broke the camel's back. The team is fantastic at details, and I love the side character development and tidbits, BUT I would trade those for better pacing, because it's a better audience experience for casual fans. 70 episodes is SO HARD TO REC!

 

I think they tried to warn the novel fans considering interviews saying they changed 90% of the script. i expected the change since Ning Yi was promoted as the main character, but I was expecting both Zhiwei and Ning Yi get equal focus, but they couldn't balance it and cut too much of Zhiwei scenes so arrrrghhhh. I get the impression they filmed enough scenes that Zhiwei and characters surrounding her would be propped up better. If we got to see THAT version, I think they kept the core part of the novel (the soul, so to speak) enough that I'd be happy about. (scheming against each other notwithstanding) To be fair, OP dark otp would never fly in the mainstream cdrama market.

 

 

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