General and I: Epic Angst

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Chinese traditional epics usually have the same trajectory: childhood loves, pain and suffering for 2/3 of the drama, and then 1/3 happiness and death. However, depending on how long the drama is and how tightly the story is written makes all the difference. General and I is quite long, a whopping 62 episodes. The drama starts out pretty good with our female heroine, Bai Ping Ting having both the brains and beauty. Her role in society at that point is the maid of a young prince of one of the three warring kingdoms in China. However, she actually functions as a war tactician due to her great knowledge of the battlefield through ancient texts. She attracts the attention of Chu Bei Jie with her knowledge prowess. Her fated soul mate is not the prince with whom she grows up with, but Chu Bei Jie. Bei Jie is a war god/general who is fierce on the battlefield and a brilliant tactician. He is also the half brother of the a king from a different kingdom. When both were younger, Ping Ting’s father had saved his mother. Thus, he remembers her forever and vows to find her. One day, Bai Ping Ting and her Prince He Xia, get trapped in a plot where their entire family is wiped out due to the fight for power. These two become separated and eventually Ping Ting is saved by Chu Bei Jie as she floats half dead down the river. She later finds out that it was Bei Jie who helped annihilate her adopted family due to a deal he had made with the other kingdom. He had thought he was helping achieve peace between both nations, but he was tricked by the other kingdom. While Ping Ting dislikes him at first, eventually she falls for him as he treats her preciously. General Bei Jie loves her for her intelligence and kindness of heart. He thinks she matches him in every way and actually enjoys it when she beats him in battle. However, He Xia is trying every which way to exact revenge on Bei Jie as he blames all his tragedy on him. Because Ping Ting ends up falling in love with Bei Jie, she chooses to leave He Xia’s side to support her husband. Many obstacles stand between Ping Ting and Bei Jie. Each of them makes multiple sacrifices for the benefit of the other.

THE PRETTINESS. Angelabby and Wallace Chung are such a treat for the eyes. I enjoy Wallace’s acting, but unfortunately I can’t say as much for Angelabby. She is serviceable, but I feel like she has one expression for all her feelings. Everything is beautiful, people and costume-wise. However, it just isn’t as engaging as I thought it would be. I must also comment on the awkward CG backgrounds at times. It is clearly very computerized and doesn’t look natural at all. Sometimes I get so distracted by the background, that I miss out on important scenes. While I am about half way through, the drama is definitely starting to drag a little. The beginning was quite interesting as it featured their battle of wits against each other. However, now it is just petty palace intrigue coming from both sides, an Imperial Consort and a Prince turned Prince Consort. I hope that these two lovebirds make it through and have some happiness for all their sufferings.

Silent Separation

何以笙箫默 - Silent Separation

What I love about the show

The pace: I hate that a lot of dramas tend to use several episodes giving unnecessary details and adding conflicts that are not needed! I am at episode 11 so I am praying that it remains that way.

I am slowly becoming a fan of Wallace Chung and Tang Yan. Coincidently, I am also watching Too Late to Say I Love You with Wallace Chung, which I plan to talk about soon, and Lady & The Liar. Wallace Chung is so intense. Even when he is not talking, I can feel the emotions he is trying to convey. Tang Yan is just too cute and natural. If only her BFF Yang Mi could take acting classes from her…

Too often in dramas we have a clear break up. Here, there wasn’t a legitimate break up hence the title Silent Separation. I think breaking up without an explanation is common and it should be discussed more often in dramas. People break up without understanding what happened.

Also we have a different depiction of America. Dramas tend to portray America as this wonderful place with glory and riches. It’s refreshing to see how the female lead’s life in America wasn’t all sweet. She was confronted to a lot of difficulties, especially financial ones.

The side story between the female lead’s college friend, Xiao Xiao, and Yuan Feng is the last thing I am anticipating. So far they’ve been bickering a lot and Yuan Feng is into someone else. I hope that their feelings will evolve quickly. The chemistry between them is great and their bickering is hilarious!

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Plot

He Yichen and Zhao Mo Sheng were college sweethearts who broke up seven years ago. The reasons of the break up are not clear for both of our leads and they still harbor feelings for each other. When Mo Sheng returns to China, after 7 years in the United States, she hopes to run into Yi Chen. Yet, so many things have happened during the 7 years. Yi Chen is now a successful lawyer and Mo Sheng a successful photographer. Mo Sheng is no longer the happy and confident person she was in college. Her family life was troubled and being in an unknown country made her reserved and shy. In addition, Mo Sheng got married…

Things get more complicated as Mo Sheng’s ex-husband (I am not sure if they got divorced. I don’t remember seeing them sign the divorce papers) comes in town. Yi Chen was already trying to clumsily rekindle the romance with Mo Sheng but he’s taken aback when he learns about her marriage. Plus Yi Chen’s possessive sister is still in the picture…

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