Lost Love in Time: Sorcery

 

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Pretty, so so pretty. However, I am having that meh feeling that I had when watching General and I. I want to so hard be addicted to it, but right now I feel like I can’t get into it. Lost Love in Times tells the love story between sorceress QinCheng and prince Yuang Ling of Wei. QinCheng and her faction of sorcerers are tasked with the job of protecting the royal family. Yuang Ling, the skilled 4th prince and general nicknamed “God of War”, becomes involved in a family struggle for the throne. Because he was the actual rightful heir the throne, the current emperor sought to have him killed and put his sons up to it. However, Ling survived due to QinCheng saving him. He was grateful to her and ended up falling in love with her as he recovered. Her mentor also decided to help Ling correct the power and political structure of Wei and even sacrificed his life for it. While Ling wished to take QinCheng as his wife, she believed that protecting him and his position as more important. Furthermore, the state did not approve of him marrying a sorceress. Thus, he decides to throw a coup on the day of his wedding with the help of QinCheng. They hoped to reset the land and bring about peace by overthrowing corrupt officials and healing the rifts between the royal family members.

So I love Liu Shi Shi and I like William Chan…and I even love the cinematography and costumes. BUT like I said before, everything is pretty, but on the surface. First of all I feel like the pair fell in love way to fast with absolutely no scenes showing how they got to know each other. Perhaps I am the slow burn type of person, but I wanted to see some development of a bond and not immediate pleasebemywife connection. To be honest, even the romance between the elders of the sorcery clan seemed more natural even though they just showed a few scenes of it! But, after I watched another 4 episodes, I did have to eat my words a bit. With the time reversal plot line, the romance came to a stop and the relationship started to be rekindled at a slower pace. What As for the politics, now that could be expanded on and intriguing. I wonder what happened between the two princes for them to be so vicious and at each other’s throat. I need to stop being so harsh and give it a few more episodes to sort itself out. Perhaps everything will align and hopefully suck me back in!

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Precious Youth: Youth Lost

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I love anything with Liu Shi Shi in it! Furthermore, it is refreshing to see her in a non-period role and in modern garb for once. Precious Youth tells the love story of Liu Ting and Xiao Jun, two young adults who fell in love during high school. Liu Shi Shi plays Liu Ting, an academically driven and the good pure daughter of a teacher at the school. Meanwhile, Xiao Jun is the troublemaker and “gangster” of the school who always gets into trouble because he is too mischievous. One day, after literally falling head over heels for her while getting into detention, he decides to pursue her. Liu Ting found Xiao Jun very fun and a large contrast to her “goody two-shoes” type of lifestyle. However, as a beauty at the school, Liu Ting also attracted other suitors. She also becomes the love interest of Hai Bing, whose father was the boss of Liu Ting’s father. In order to network, her mom pushed her to tutor Hai Bing, who was also a “gangster” type and “brothers” with Xiao Jun. It is because of this fight over one girl that broke the deep brotherhood between Hai Bing and Xiao Jun. Unfortunately, things come to a head as families disagree and Xiao Jun broke up with Liu Ting. Liu Ting was devastated and you could tell Xiao Jun just wanted her to have a better future. On the second female lead front you have Xiao Lu, ex-best friend of Liu Ting who was in love with Xiao Jun as well and pursued him to the ends of the earth. As they all grow up, Xiao Lu and Liu Ting enter an arts school. Xiao Jun does not go to college and decides to do the dirty work of society and tries to make connections to start up his own company. Hai Bing attends college so that he can better match up to Liu Ting. Even in college, Liu Ting is still attracting many suitors, but deep in her heart, she is still in love with Xiao Jun.

Giving hints of the Korean reply series, Precious Youth feels like a slice of life drama. I find the chemistry between Liu Ting and Xiao Jun palpable, but with Xiao Jun’s nasty attitude, I’m finding it harder and harder to root for this couple. Meanwhile, I admire Liu Ting’s persistency and consistency of her love to Xiao Jun. She does not care about their class differences. However, I’m not sure if this is naiveté on her front. I am interested in seeing how these relationships untangle as their are love triangles and squares everywhere! Plus, what a lovely way to see Zheng Kai act, as I’ve previously watched him only on the Hurry Up Brother variety show.

 

Song of the Desert: Call of the Wild

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Why yes, I am a fan of Tong Hua and Liu Shi Shi as this will mark my THIRD traditional drama with this writer and actress. I don’t know what it is about Liu Shi Shi, but she is casted perfectly each time into this writer’s traditional dramas a female lead who is strong, independent, smart….and creates a little male harem for herself. Again, we are thrown into the political intrigues of ancient China where warring tribal lords are fighting against the Emperor. This time Liu Shi Shi is Xin Yue, a girl raised by wolves in the desert who is then acclimated to civilization by the nomadic tribes of Da Mo (desert). However, due to political strife between the tribes, she almost loses her life as a warlord overthrows the current regime. Devastated, she goes back to her wolf family and into hiding until she meets two special people. One is Jiu Ye, a mysterious merchant who she tried to steal some clothes from. Jiu Ye has a disability and has very weak legs. However, he is the lord of Shi Enterprise which has a large influence amongst the Chinese empire as well as the people of the desert. The other one is General Wu Ji, illegitimate nephew to the Emperor who manages to achieve great military power at a young age. She manages to save Wu Ji from desert robbers and also lead the group back to the city. Enticed by Ji An, the capitol city, she decides to make a living there herself, just for fun and to find these two people again. With the help of Jiu Ye, she manages to take over a dance house and become a prominent business woman. She even manages to help a quiet, but beautiful woman named Qin Xiang to become a concubine to the Emperor. However, this friendship is doomed as Qin Xiang has her eyes set on revenge on the royal family due to a past family tragedy. At first she falls in love with Jiu Ye, who refuses to return her affections due to his noble idiocy about his disability and impotency. Meanwhile, Wu Ji, has already fallen in love with Xin Yue as she is a vivacious girl. While to others he is brash, proud, and stony cold, he always loves teasing Xin Yue. After being rejected one too many times by Jiu Ye, Xin Yue decides to let go of this love and go back to the desert. However, Wu Ji captures her on her way back and convinces her to hang out with him instead. While he is making war on the tribes, she dresses up as a man and participates in the battles with him. Slowly he becomes engraved in her heart.

Now I know plenty of people are aboard the Hu Ge/Jiu Ye ship, but frankly I did not feel a pull towards him at all. Yes, he is quite handsome, but that melancholy air about him is really a downer in contrast to Xin Yue’s playfulness. His noble idiocy was really frustrating at times and frankly I skipped over most of their scenes together. Now, Wu Ji is a whole different story. While most arrogant seemingly secondary leads are annoying, Wu Ji pulls everything off with smoldering looks and charisma. I could not resist his mischievousness and his perfectness for Xin Yue. He treats her like his equal in all manners, including on the battlefield and pushes her to her best. He knows she isn’t one to be coddled and they live in a relationship based on mutual trust and communication. It’s definitely a drama with plenty of scenes to fangirl about.

PS. Liu ShiShi looks so gorgeous in snowy scenes (Bu Bu Jing Xin + Imperial Doctress)

 

The Imperial Doctress: Female Physcians

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I am extremely picky with my Chinese period dramas, versus ones from other eras. They tend to be 40+ episodes, so it has to be really riveting for me to stick with it for that long, especially if much of it will include political intrigue. Lucky for me, I found a project that two of my favorite actors/actresses is in. I have the pleasure of watching Liu Shi Shi (Bu Bu Jing Xin) and Wallace Huo (Love Me if You Dare)! The Imperial Doctress is a drama about the first female physician in the Ming dynasty to become well known. In an patriarchal society, women were basically to do nothing but the arts at home. Our main character, Yun Xian’s whole family use to be imperial physicians for the royal family. However, due to the naiveté of Yun Xian when she tried to help her family with the medicines, she ended up accidently cause d her whole family tragedy. She was tricked by a mysterious person as a child to put extra medicine in a broth that was to be given to the empress. Thus, her grandfather ended up being put to death and her family exiled. During this hard time, her brother who was to take up the family tradition ended up dying as well due to Yun Xian not having the knowledge to help her brother at her young age. Years later, the father finally manages to change the family name and rise again as an official. However, he forbids his only daughter to study medicine with her grandmother. Her grandmother does not want the long passed down knowledge of medicine to die out, but the father is adamant about his daughter not repeating the same mistakes. However, Yun Xian is unable to watch anybody die in front of her and takes any opportunity possible to exercise her skill. By chance, she manages to save a prince, Qi Yu, who is being hunted down by another faction of the royal family. They of course fall in love with each other. Because we need a love triangle, she also manages to attract the emperor’s attention as well. However, she does not know Qi Zhen is the emperor as he is loudmouthed, brash, and mischievous. He has a deep heartache and is trying to go against the empress dowager due to a tragedy involving his birth mother in the past. Meanwhile, the empress dowager is going against the emperor and wants to put Qi Yu on the throne instead as the ‘son’ she raised isn’t listening to her. With this politic mess and Yun Xian’s persistence to practice medicine as a woman, I am looking forward to the drama it will bring!

I’ve always adored Liu Shi Shi in ancient drama settings. She has an elegant look about her that fits well with that era. I also love the spunkiness that her characters have. As we all know, Liu Shi Shi attracts all kinds of princes and emperors like she does in Bu Bu Jin Xin. As for Wallace Huo, I can attest to his acting from Love Me If You Dare and enjoy the brash character he adopts in this drama. However, it does make me sad that he is not endgame in our drama. Wallace and Liu Shi Shi are on fire, and most stills we see have them together. However, this is not to say that she doesn’t have good chemistry with Huang Xuan, prince and future emperor. They are also pretty adorable together. Though it does feel different than your usual dramas where the girl ends up with a “second lead type of guy” rather than the usual “brash” one. Or which one will she end up with really?