A Final Word on Cruel Romance / 锦绣缘·华丽冒险

I know this is hardly fair, but I can’t help comparing this drama to Lady and Liar due to the fact that they came out in the same time frame and that they are about almost the same things!! While the beginning and end pretty much align with L&L, this drama did have it’s shining moments.

Plot: Again, we have a super powerful Er Yei aka Zhou Zhen aka Triad Leader Supreme who controls all the economy in Shanghai. In the beginning, he hates getting entangled with women, finding them bothersome. Through some coincidences, he meets Jin Xiu, who is on the lookout for the evil people who killed her entire household. In Shanghai, she manages to meet her long-lost sister who absolutely hates her guts due to the fact that her dad pushed her and her mom into the streets. She indebted herself to the Japanese to make a living for herself and is now engaged to the most rich gentleman in Shanghai, Xiang. Through the beginning of the drama we have Jin Xiu struggling to stake a claim in Shanghai while her sister tries her best to kick her out. We also have Er Yei falling for Jin Xiu slowly and being very possessive of her. Meanwhile, Xiang’s little brother, YingDong, also tries to make a pass at her for a while in order to forget his past love with Jin Xiu’s sister, Min Ju. Add in a Japanese overlord, whose past lover looked like Jin Xiu, and now is dead-set on obtaining Jin Xiu in replacement of his Yangzhi, we have ourselves a right mess. The first half of the drama focused heavily on all of these people’s relationships with each other, a push and pull. Then our climax moment is when Jin Xiu falls fully in love with Er Yei and gets pregnant with his child. However, she is tricked by the Japanese overlord over who killed her family, and ends up losing the baby and separating from Er Yei for 2 years. The second half of the drama turns distinctly into a fight against the Japanese invasion in China. Jin Xiu, Ying Dong, and Er Yei have joined the Patriotic Rebel group that fights against Japan. In the end, some good people die, but of course not our important ones. By the way, the same set of side bros (smart bro and fighter bro) have issues and our fighter bro dies bravely for the cause. We are given hope against the Japanese invasion and a happy reunion between Jin Xiu and Er Yei. VERY RUSHED ENDING! I’m not sure what happened when they cut out the last 8 episodes, but it ended too fast, with too much unexplained and threads untied.

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A Final Word on Lady and Liar (千金女贼)

This is the first time I watched such a long drama, 46 episodes, without skipping over anything! With marathoning it at 6-7eps per session, I finished it in record time. I very much enjoyed the drama which is set in my favorite era.

Plot: Overall, I definitely enjoyed the rollercoaster of a story that Lady and Liar rode. Misunderstandings were definitely used to the max in they story where Jiang Xin blames Bai Lang for nothing and everything. While it did get annoying at times even just to move the story along with so many misunderstandings in place, the drama manages to smooth it out at the end. Our loose ends are all tied up with inheritances returned to the right families, truths that all come out, and our half-baddie characters receiving moral redemption. As much as I liked the rest the drama, I must admit the ending was a dud for me even though it was a happy one like I had wished. Bai Lang survived his suicidal mission with some last minute sacrifices and had a tearful reunion with his wifie and a shot into the future with his daughter. But, in a way, it lacked all feeling as the moments before his supposed death was more emotion-wrought. However, I’m not going to look a gifted horse in the mouth, and I’ll take it. However, I feel like the version I watched online had a lot of scenes cut as I see in some flashbacks, things I haven’t watched. And at times, some relationship depths don’t make as much sense. I wonder if I can find an uncut version somewhere.

Characterizations: Bai Lang is your white knight in shining armor in all the ways you can imagine. Literally, a self-sacrificing gentlemen to the max. One of his quotes perfectly describes him, “can’t right one wrong, even if he tries a hundred times”. While he did make the huge mistake of keeping Jiang Xing in her amnesiac state, I believe throughout the drama, he has done more than enough to atone for his sins. He has helped her in every turn and never brags about it, but does it quietly and not letting her know that he had helped. He has saved the damsel in distress about a billion times. To me, he is the reason I watched this drama. As for Jiang Xing, I liked her more in the beginning than in the middle or end. While she was spunky as a magician, her constant misunderstanding and little temper tantrums got real old even though Bai Lang was tolerating her because he loved her too much. Thank God, he was harsh to her near the middle and end to get her to grow up and be more independent. As for Xiao Han, she was delightfully hateful as Fake Jiang Xin and pitiful at the end. While I enjoyed hating her for all her bad choices as she killed off so many people, I felt sorry for her circumstances that led her to this lifestyle. We got to see a quick redemption arc for her as she realized her wrongs. For Shen Shao, the second male lead, I don’t hate him, but nor do I like him. For me, he was just there, a crutch for Jiang Xin and I had wanted to see more his past relationship with her. As for the rest of the supporting cast, I enjoyed their background stories, especially those of Bai House.

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Lady and the Liar (千金女贼)

千金女賊

Lady and the Liar

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.

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