Cruel Romance / 锦绣缘·华丽冒险 / Jin Xiu Yuan · Hua Li Mao Xian
Well, well, well what do we have here? Is it a Lady and Liar knockoff or is it something of it’s own? I would be lying if I said I didn’t see hints of Lady and Liar in Cruel Romance in the beginning. However, after 4 episodes, the similarities are only apparent at the start and the paths are already diverging.
With Cruel Romance, we have JinXiu, a girl of a prominent family in the more rural areas of China who is pretty spunky and dislikes being fit into the ladylike mold. However, one night her entire family befalls tragedy after she helps a wounded individual. Her family is executed at gunpoint by this unknown evil enemy and she sets out on the mission of finding the enemy with only a controversial compass that the wounded man passed into her possession. On her way, she meets Zuo Zhen, triad leader, Er Yei (hello there White Wolf pt. 2), whom she saves on a ship and who saves her as well as they land in Shanghai. While in Shanghai, she meets Ying Dong who becomes her friend and someone she has a crush on later. He is actually her brother-in-law as JinXiu’s long lost sister is married to his brother.
However, that sister hates JinXiu’s guts because her mother and her were pushed out of the family and starved on the streets JinXiu’s other came into the family. While in Shanghai, JinXiu passes of the compass to YingDong (not that she knows it was him) and still tries to search for her parent’s killers while being pushed and bullied by her sister. Luckily, we have Zou Zhen looking out for her as well as Ying Dong. By episode four, we have Zou Zhen, who really hates romance and entanglements with women, gradually appreciating JinXiu as they save each other’s lives multiple times. Oops, and I almost forgot, our villainous Japanese gentlemen who has some nefarious plans. But wait! He lost his love before who coincidentally looks like JinXiu! That will be a mess for sure!
Instead of progressing on my job searching, what do I do but start a new drama? I remember maniac Ride anxiously awaiting this drama, and decided to have a go as I wait for Cruel Romance (the same time period/style but with Huang Xiao Ming) Set in the 1920s’ era, one of my favorite time periods, the Lady and Liar is full of birth secrets, lies, and mystery. Jiang Xin, our main girl, makes her living as a magician with her father, but they live in poverty. However, we find out that she is adopted and that her true family is of high class and has been trying to find her the past few years. Jiang Xin, though poor, lives happily in the slums and is in love with a gentlemen from another high class family. However, that man used to be doctor before an accident made him blind. At her urging, he decides to travel to London to receive operation on his eyes. He tells her to wait for him to come back. Meanwhile, the White Wolf is our main male lead and is an astute businessman. However, he isn’t called the wolf for nothing as he is very calculating and constantly has people trying to kill him to take his place. After Jiang Xin saved his life during a magician act, he falls in love with her. Though he tries to press his suit with her, she rejects him totally and prefers to be with her blind gentlemen. After the White Wolf decides to let her go, Jiang Xin is found out by her true family. She had tried to sell a necklace that had her family token on it to get money for her dad’s sickness. Her true family then sends for her, but she gets into an accident on the train. A female thief that she knew before decides to “let her hand go” and steal her necklace while they were hanging from a cliff. The thief takes Jiang Xin’s place in the high class household while Jiang Xin gets amnesia from the accident trauma. Meanwhile, the White Wolf is also in town and finds out about Jiang Xin. He decides to keep Jiang Xin next to him and lies that they were deeply in love before.