Drama update time! This time there are more Chinese entries than Korean because the kdrama world has been pretty dry for me lately after Goblin happened.
Eternal Love (三生三世十里桃花)
Or the desecndants of the sun China version. This drama got sooooo popular in China. I wished I had watched it while it was still airing so I could be part of the hype but marthooning it for 2 weeks also had it thrills and rush. This whole drama was so magical. this was my first drama where the main characters were immortal beings and I love the novelity of the whole concept. That fact that the characters themeselves were gods and not mere human beings placed new definitions on things we are already asccusomted to. Things such as death, injuries etc. Yet, themes of power, faithfulness, love were still all very relevant.
I really loved the overall visual of the whole drama. Each section of the world had their own unique characterics and it was clearly portrayed through the settings. The heavenly realm was very dreamy, pure, untouchable. The demon world was dark and sinister. Qing Qiu, the home of the fox clan , was very earthy, homey, natural. And as the saying goes, Clothes maketh the man. In this drama, the characters maketh the home. You can clearly see the parallels between the characters and their backgrounds.
That moment when Di Jun realises he has fallen in love with Feng Jiu (and afterwards decides to go down to the mortal realm). He knows love is impossible for him so rather than being a happy occasion, it pained him. Yet, his character would not allow him to just let this go so he finds a smart solution to go down to the mortal relam to create memories with Feng Jiu.
When Ye Hua did all those things for Bia Qian, especially fighting off the beasts and have his arm ripped. It’s so sweet that he’s so loyal to her. I mean it was pretty obvious he is very much in love with her but to go to that extent, that is just on another level. Many belive the three lives between Bai Qian and Ye Hua is 1) when she was Si Yin and when he was Mo Yuan, 2) their time together in the mortal relam 3) their time together as Bai Qian and Ye Hua before he got eaten by the Bell. But, to me I dont think their the 1st life counts because that is Mo Yuan, Ye Hua’s brother not Ye Hua and so their 3rd life began when they reuited after Ye Hua comes back alive from the Bell. So, really, this love of theirs is truly eternal.
Because of Meeting You (因为遇见你)
I really enjoyed this because the female lead speaks out to the feminist in me. I realise this is a thing with Chinese dramas ? Like how Bai Qian was sassy in Eternal Love, Guo Guo is talented, passionate and feisty. Her only flaw maybe that she’s too kind hearted so all sorts of crap keep happening to her. Other than that, I love that she makes all the right decision at all the right times (choosing embroidery, keeping Le Tong, staying with Yun Kai, rejecting her misguided biological mother).
The moment when Yun Kai found out that Guo Guo was in fact Yi Bei. He was so relieved. I feel so happy for them.
And of course all the times Guo Guo slayed with her embroidery works. I loved her very first piece of work, the Black Swan. It just showed how kind and sensitive of a person she was that she was able to see through the mask of a stranger to be able to create a dress that allowed the person wearing her dress to “唱出我心的歌声” (be my true self).
I loved Goblin for its comedy rather than its narrative. I thought the premise was refreshing and the conflict intriguing but as with most if not all Kim Eun Sook dramas, the excitement always dwindles down towards the end as the narrative always fails to deliver. With Goblin, I enjoyed the Reaper-Kim Sun romance more than the goblin-eun tak pairing. Reaper-Kim Sun narrative had a more wholesome ending as compared to the other couple. Their ending made more sense to me based on the rules of their universe.
When show revealed that reaper’s greatest sin that made him a reaper was that he was not courageous in his past life. Because he was filled with doubt, he trusted the wrong people and was unable to protect the one he loved and his country. I sat on this revelation for some time. On the one hand, I felt it was wrong to call it a sin, I felt that it was alright for us to have fears, I mean we cannot be strong all the time right? So, I felt that it was harsh on the emperor to punish him to be a grim reaper just because of his fear. If anything, he was the victim. On the other hand, I agreed I thought that he has sinned, if he had just opened his eyes a bit more, not be too controlled by his emotions, he would see his true supporters and would not cause so much problems. Concluding, I realise that ideal situation would be if the emperor had been rational but in reality, it is truly difficult to control your emotions, especially when you are the emperor and you have so many people trying to kill you. So, I think he should not have been punished. The universe could have just skipped the whole grim reaper part and onto their reincarnated versions.
I was so excited for this drama because my beloved Park Seo Joon is in it. But the drama tried too many things and by the end of the drama, many story lines were unresolved. The chemistry between Ah Ro and Sun Woo was also too bland. On the plus side, we have our cute Ban Ryu-Soo Yeon couple. The Sun Woo-Ji Dwi rivalry was good to watch too. I liked the direction it developed towards, how the boys had to weigh their friendship against the throne really puts both their friendship and their leadership to the test. The friendemy between Soo Ho and Ban Ryu was also another plus point.
When the whole group of them went to the other kingdom to get their people out. When Ji Dwi had to witness his own people being killed because he was being too much of a coward. When Sun Woo had to witness his own country people being killed because he did not have any power. When both of them decided to finally do something.
Soo Ho , Soo Yeon and Ban Ryu. That’s right #teamprotectbanryu. The entire time I kept yelling at the screen Noo Ban Ryu you are better than this. Ban Ryu was so misguided initially, he thought that he could only get validation from his evil dad so he has always seen himself as the bad guy. But no you dont, Ban Ryu, you can be your own person. I mean you are the only other person who passed the written exam from the first few episodes. Even though they never revealed what he wrote but I think it’s a hint that he too has some formidable political views of his own. And with the Hwi Hwa approving of it, I am sure it’s not anything bad. That aside, I am glad the siblings are there to see through the mask, to encourage him to leave that hellhole of a household.
Back to 1989 (1989一念间)
I thought that this drama was well written. It reminded me of “Back to the Future” but just an asian version with more family secrets and romance. The retro setting was a treat for the eyes and the chemistry between Ye Zhen Zhen and Chen Che was sizzling. The friendship between the “5 golden treasure” was endearing. Ye Zhen Zhen’s family are the warmest people. It got a bit slow towards the end when they dragged out the part where the couple was bidding farewell to each other. This time could have been better used to develop the time travelling mechanism. The time travel part for Chen Che was pretty clear but it was a bit iffy on Ye Zhen Zhen’s part. It felt more like fan service and did not provide a proper closure.
All the sweet moments between Ye Zhen Zhen and Chen Che. Esp when he serenaded her with song and guitar during the thunderstorm and when they turned away from each other so the other person would not see them crying.