Singing All Along: Rebel Chants

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Another period drama for me to marathon! The one thing that Mainland dramas does well is traditional epics. With birth secrets, warring factions, and angsty romance, it is enough to keep me watching 5 episodes at a time. Singing All Along tells the story of LiHua, daughter of royalty whose parents were killed during an overthrow of a dynasty. However, due to the trauma of watching her parents die, she does not remember her past. She ends up growing up happily in the rich Yin family. LiHua is of strong mind and body. Even though she is female, she enjoys martial arts and is well versed in the ancient teachings, including military warfare. She hates being cooped up in her family home and even cross-dresses as a boy in order to attend school. Meanwhile, LiuXiu is also descendant of royalty whose ancestors were part of the proud Han Dynasty. However, because their family was overthrown by the Mang dynasty, they were made commoners and stripped of their wealth. LiuXiu, as children who had went to the same school as LiHua had not only fallen in love with her, but also had taken care of her during her traumatic past. These two friends were separated for many years due to LiuXiu’s elder brother not wanting her to remember her tragic past. However, LiuXiu always had LiHua in his heart and yearned to ask for her hand in marriage one day despite his poor current circumstances. Things come to a head when LiuXiu’s brother decides to plan a revolt against the Mang dynasty. While LiuXiu is hesitant at first at such a rash action, he is soon convinced this is the right way to go as the current dynasty is bringing about chaos and hunger for the commoners. LiHua, who is starting to remember snippets of her past due to a kidnapping incident where LiuXiu saved her, decides to join forces with the Liu family. She also believes the current emperor is corrupt and wants to help overthrow it. Her ambition pushes her to cross-dress as a man in order to join the growing revolt army. LiuXiu admires her tenacity and intelligence which leads him to want to keep her by his side even though it is risky if she is found out to be a female or the dangers of battle. LiHua not only proves herself to be an able soldier, but a smart tactician as well.

I absolutely love strong female leads, especially those who can participate in battle alongside of their life partners. This is my first time watching Ruby Lin, and she gives off an air of the roles Liu Shi Shi used to play for her Tong Hua dramas. Ruby is not only the producer, but also one of the main leads. She plays strong-willed, playful, and angsty all very well. As for Yuan Hong, I’ve always liked him since he played 13th prince in Scarlet Heart. He plays a gentle scholar who gradually becomes war-hardened. His eyes are so expressive! I really enjoy the chemistry they have together. The side romances are also quite moving, especially the early one between LiHua’s eldest brother and her cousin-in-law. Singing All Along is beautifully filmed and the characters are given appropriate depth.

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