Nirvana In Fire/Lángyá Bǎng/琅琊榜 (2015) – C-Drama Review

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by Ruby Gege

Hello all! It has been a while since I last reviewed something here. Work (and laziness) have unfortunately been occupying most of my free time. Other than that, I am simply just a horrible human version of a seal, preferring to lie on my bed all day long instead of thinking hard about the quality of dramas and films I just watched. But then, a few weeks ago, I came across this Chinese drama called Lang Ya Bang or Nirvana In Fire and decided… hmmm this seems interesting. At this point, the whole international fandom was going crazy over this wuxia historical drama and I was like whatttttt???? Of course I had to check the drama out and hell yeah, I was not disappointed!

My review of this 54-episode drama can be summarized in the following hypothethical conversation I’d have with myself –

Me – Eh, so how’s Lang Ya Bang? Hao bu hao (good or not)?  

Me 2 – OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS DRAMA I CAN’T EVEN TALK PROPERLY THIS DRAMA IS LIKE SO FUCKING GREAT HELL IT IS SO DIFFERENT FROM OTHER DRAMAS I’VE WATCHED IT’S LIKE AMAZING SO AMAZING YOU’VE NEVER EVEN WATCHED SOMETHING SO AMAZING THE STORY THE CHARACTERS THEY ARE ALL AMAZING IT IS LIKE A RELIGION OH MY GOD I DON’T MIND WORSHIPING THIS DRAMA DAY IN AND DAY OUT OH MY GOD! 

Me – Are you crazy? *smug face*

Simply put, this drama is everything their fans, viewers and critics alike have made it out to be. It is one of the best Chinese dramas to ever been made.

Why? Ah… so many reasons, I am not even sure where to start. Let me just mention 2 reasons here – 1) the story and 2) the characters.

STORY – 

The premise of the story is of a young general of an army, Lin Shu, who survived a battle 12 years ago. After his whole clan and followers, the Chiyan army, were declared to be traitors of the kingdom and were massacred, he changed into a new identity, Mei Changsu and became the Chief of the Jiangzuo Alliance (some sort of a kungfu/warriors’ group or something). And during this 4th century China, apparently there was also a ranking system made by the distinguished Langya Hall – a think-tank that ranked all things important from wealth, intelligence and warrior skills. Our Mei Changsu here was given the title of the Divine Talent by the Langya Hall and was pursued by the Princes competing for the throne. However, when Mei Changsu entered the capital city using the name Su Zhe, he chose to serve the least powerful prince who was his best friend when he was little. The story revolves mainly around how he worked to increase the best friend’s influence in the imperial court and how he manipulated the factions of power around him in order to put his best friend on the throne.

CHARACTERS – 

Since the drama is also famous for having a shitload (and by shitload, I really mean shitload) of characters, I will only talk about the characters I feel most attached, in a good and bad way.

Lin Shu/Mei Changsu/Su Zhe

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The man here had 2 sides of him – the caring, kind Lin Shu and the brilliant, manipulative strategist that is Su Zhe. With people he trusted around him, he was their beloved leader and friend. However, as a strategist, he was damn cold and distant. The first twenty episodes will get you thinking – aiya, this guy so heartless one arr? Why you never think of other people’s feelings? But that is what makes his character to rationally brilliant. He entered the capital with only one goal in mind – to put his friend, Prince Jing on the throne and consequently clear his clan’s name. He had to cut ties and destroy lives in order to achieve what he wanted and that, he did ever so confidently. He is, by far, the only hero of all the dramas I’ve seen to be unaffected by sentiments and emotions. It is fun and fascinating to watch both sides of him and oh my God, Hu Ge’s portrayal of this character is awesome. He, as other people would say, lived and breathed Mei Changsu – from his style of walking, his words, his mannerism and his facial expressions. I literally felt that he carried the whole drama by himself. Can someone award this man with a Golden Globe, please?

Prince Jing, Xiao Jingyan

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He is one intense dude. Like, really really intense. In the beginning of the drama, Prince Jing was a military general not involved in the competition for the throne. His father, the Emperor disliked him for his bold and brave nature, especially when he chose to stand true to his belief that the Chiyan army and his brother, the late Prince Qi were innocent of the treason charge. With the help of Mei Changsu, he slowly rose to the ranks, eventually succeeding the throne. The relationship between Prince Jing and Su Zhe is the main focus of this drama. Unbeknown to him, his advisor, Su Zhe, who had been supporting him through thick and thin, was actually his best friend and cousin who had been declared dead years ago. Prince Jing as a character is fiercely loyal and righteous, too righteous for his own good, to be honest. Without Su Zhe restraining him, he would have not achieved half the things he accomplished.

Princess Mu Nihuang

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Representing the subtle romantic element in the drama is our Princess Nihuang, Lin Shu’s fiance and also the general of the Southern Army. Alongside Prince Jing, she was among the few who believed in the Chiyan’s army innocence. Nihuang, though a character of moderate importance, is awesome and I love love love her immensely. She is a high-ranked military personnel, powerful in her own right, fearless and extremely respected by the people in the capital. Similar to Su Zhe, we only get to see their softer sides when they were with each other, somehow becoming their younger betrothed selves. She was also one of the few persons (Prince Jing included) that could unnerve Su Zhe of his calm collected self. Several of their scenes had made me cry, especially the part where the Princess brought Su Zhe to Lin Shu’s old house just to test his reaction once she suspected his true identity. Even though I wished so badly for her to have more scenes in the drama, I do understand why the writer kept her the way she was. It made more sense, story-wise. In the end, though, she remained our main character’s true love and despite unable to be together, their relationship was one based on trust and unconditional support.

Yan Yujin and Xiao Jingrui

 

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Even though most fans went gaga and huha over the bromance between Mei Changsu and Prince Jing, it is the friendship between Yujin and Jingrui that I find to be able to relate most. The fact that their fathers belonged to different sides does not hinder their bond. Before all the crisis in the drama began, they were travelling buddies in the martial arts world and brought Mei Changsu into the capital. Their personalities differed so much – Jingrui was the goody-two-shoes, serious son while Yujin was the carefree cheerful one. They spent their days hanging around the capital, visiting their friends and celebrating life in general (this was before all the crisis happened, of course). Not to mention these two are the most consistently good characters from the beginning to the end. The one touching scene I remember most is when Jingrui was about to leave the city with his sister and Yujin chased after him with his horse, asking him to come back without even asking him why he was leaving like all best friends would do. Despite being side characters, I love watching their moments together compared to our main bromance couple, whose affections for each other are just too intense for me to handle. (Aiyo, will shippers of Prince Jing and Mei Changsu kill me for saying these? Haha)

Prince Yu, Xiao Jinghuan

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Among the many princes fighting for the throne (Prince Qi, the Crown Prince, Prince Yu and Prince Jing), I enjoyed the character of Prince Yu the most. He is multi-dimensional – evil yet rational, calculative yet intelligent. He does not push for the throne directly yet worked to amass support and build his network of power meticulously. Prince Yu felt like a dual-role for the actor, Victor Huang, whose performance was convincing. Prince Yu was charming and noble from the outside but merciless and cruel from the inside. It was his battle of wits with Mei Changsu that made me so attached to the drama – wanting to see how Mei Changsu would defeat Prince Yu’s incomparable influence in the royal court. A part of me did not want him to die – I would love to see how Prince Jing fight him once Mei Changsu is out of the picture. Sadly though, that is not going to happen. Isk, isk… Prince Yu.

The Emperor of Liang

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My favourite character in the whole drama is… unexpectedly… the Emperor himself. As the drama progressed, I found myself not being able to support or hate the Emperor in entirety. Is he kind? Yes, he can listen to reasons. Is he cruel? Yes, he sentences people to death very easily. Is he a good father? Yes, he awards his princes accordingly. Is he a bad father? Yes, he made his princes fight against each other. Is he a powerful ruler? Yes, he is extremely charismatic, energetic and clever. Why, then, everyone around the emperor viewed him as if he is the cruelest man on earth? He said it himself in the drama – because he is the emperor and being an emperor, people changes. Everything in the drama – every events, conflicts and achievements – all of those boiled down to one thing, that is appeasing the emperor. In the end, it is his word that mattered, his order to be followed and his graces to win. He was the root of all the problem (he ordered our hero’s clan to be executed) and he was also the solution for it (he ordered Prince Jing to re-investigate the case).

Consort Jing, mother of Prince Jing

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Mother of Prince Jing, Consort Jing had endured many years of being a low-ranked concubine. Like her son, she remained mostly ignored at the beginning of the drama, which seemed to be her strategy of survival in the royal court. Prior to being a concubine, Consort Jing was actually a female doctor. Even within the confines of the palace, she still practiced her medical skills regularly, studying herbs and medicines. Unlike her son, she is the epitome of grace and resilience. She never let her emotions defeat her and embraced every challenges and praises with calmness. The only time she ever cried was when she discovered Mei Changsu’s real identity (she was actually Lin Shu’s aunt). Despite her personality, she is a sharp woman, knowing how to detect traitors and spies in her palace.

CINEMATOGRAPHY 

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I know this is not one of the main point BUT Lang Ya Bang would have not succeeded without the supreme cinematography. Every angle and every shot made me feel like I was watching a wuxia film, only that it lasted for 54 hours. The crew must have put in a lot of thought and ideas behind each frame, for all of them seemed to be conveying a meaning – from the way Mei Changsu moved his fingers to the way the wind moves inside the palace area. Among the things to look out for  are any tea-related scenes. It seems that even people during 4th century China took their tea culture seriously. The way the hand moved the pot, the way they poured it to the way they drank it.

ALL IN ALL – 

Lang Ya Bang is a drama centred on human relationships, revenge, court intrigues and the fight for power. A lot of dramas had tried to use the same formula before but what set the drama apart is its brilliant execution. Anddddd the crew made the right decision not to drag any of the story-archs.The drama ended nicely at only 54 episodes (other wuxia/historical dramas usually got dragged until 80 to 100 episodes). However, be warned though, the mental exhaustion of watching Lang Ya Bang is real! It made you feel so many emotions, think and analyse so many conflicts and doubt your affections for every characters. Never had I experienced this as a drama-lover before since the 2011’s Empresses in the Palace. It took me a whole week of my Chinese New Year break to finish this drama, without any distraction and commitment. It almost felt, guys I am not joking, like a short-term marriage with this drama. Hahahahahahahaha…

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[DRAMA REVIEW] FALLING FOR INNOCENCE

BY : FATMA CHINGU THE K-DRAMA ADDICT

Falling For Innocence (Sunjeonge Banhada)

Episode : 16

Starring : Jung Kyung Ho & Kim So Hyeon

My Rating : 3.0 stars

First of all…… IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME!!!!!

Being a company worker is sucking all my energy and writing is the last thing I wanna do at the end of the day. So that’s why I have been “missing” from this blog… But today I got a sudden urge to write! Thank god for that!

So without further due… let’s begin!

THE STORY LINE

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Introducing our bad boy…. James Kang aka Kang Min Ho. This Kang Min Ho fella is the infamous “Corporate Serial Killer” who works for Gold Partner, an investment company as the merger & acquisition consultant. But his ultimate objective is to avenge for his uncle misdeeds on his parents when his uncle stole the company 25 years back. Smells like a typical morning drama…

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And our leading lady is Elsa! (Just kidding)

She is the Head Secretary of Hermia (I don’t know this position really existed) and served the President (Kang Min Ho’s uncle) directly. Well I am puzzled by her introduction in this drama but later I found out that she was actually dressing up as Elsa for the President’s son school festivities. That’s a dedication. But maybe TOO dedicated.

She is engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Detective Ma Dong Wook. He seemed to love her so much.. so much that he described himself as the person who orbits around her. Like a sun and earth.

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So what’s the turning point? How on earth this two people ended up liking each other when one of them is in a steady relationship?

One thing that you need to bear in mind. In drama land, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

Our Kang Min-ho turns out to have a heart condition and needs a heart transplant ASAP. Without a new heart, he is estimated to live for another one month. He already given up the hope for a miracle to happen and worked his ass off to see the end of Hermia and his uncle.

However…… the magic happens. Thanks to the drama fairy he miraculously gets a heart and all the illness are gone for good. He is good as new. But can you guess where the heart comes from? Yes, its from Soon-jung fiance’ who was hit by a car and died on the same day Min-ho was sent to the hospital.

The drama logic people.

The heart must be from HER FIANCE’ not from some other random strangers. Random is not applicable here. It has to be related somewhere. The drama logic. So predictable.

The heart now is in Min-ho. When he wakes up, he experiencing some changes in himself. Suddenly he starts behaving like Soon-jung’s fiance’…

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And the best thing is he finds himself falling for Soon-jung. That puzzles him since he hated her so much before (she is the daughter of his uncle’s former manager who betrayed his father).

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His doctor explained to him that these symptoms might be from the cellular memory which happens only to a few patients that undergone transplant procedure. He refused to acknowledge his affection for Soon-jung when its only the “after-effects” of the surgery. But our doctor asked him to embrace that and said;-

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Amen to that.

So that’s how the love story officially starts. But where is the love triangle? That is where this guy comes in…

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Another rule in drama land… the second male lead needs to be as miserable as possible.

By the way his name is Lee Joon Hee and he is the legal director at Hermia. He’s been crushing on Soon-jung since they started become friends 25 years ago but he’s missing the chance because Dong wook has a dip on her first. Our poor Joon-hee was hopeful that Soon-jung would finally come to him after Dong wook’s death. However, his wish was crushed and burned to the ground when Min-ho came along (loaded with Dong-wook heart and love for Soon-jung) thus he vows to make himself the next leading man in Soo-jung life..

Yada yada yada~

Well the plot operated mainly on the cause of death of Dong-wook. Moments before Dong-wook’s death haunted Min-ho in his dream one night after another. Hence he attempted to untie the mystery with the help of Dong-wook’s junior who happened to be Soon-jung’s bff. Together they are Peter Pan and Wendy (since Dong-wook often refers himself as the “Peter Pan” of the police force).
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That’s deep. Someone inside of you…. 

Back to the story….

As the story progress, a few people surfaces as the potential murderer from the ex-worker who involved in impure ingredient scandal (that almost caused Hermia to go bankrupt) to Joon-hee’s dad to our second lead, Joon-hee…. and the murderer is I’M NOT TELLING!

But well my synopsis has been pretty elaborate so you could guess who is the perpetrator…

So I should end here… Now lets move to my thoughts on the story shall we?

MY THOUGHTS ON THE DRAMA

Lemme just say I totally adore Min-ho omo omo omo~

I swear he makes a cute man-child. Not in a cringe-worthy style but hit-your-head-to-the-wall-because-he’s-too-cute reaction. Butterflies everywhere.

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 OMO OMO OMO

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 I totally can feel you from across the screen… oh the FEELS

Well his character is the highlight of this drama. Post-operation of course. So technically my favorite character in this story is Ma Dong Wook since his heart has affected Min-ho’s behaviour ever since the transplant. He is more or less a virtual identity who coexisted with Min-ho. Ouh that’s too scientific for an explanation.

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Nonetheless, its the feels that count.

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Plot-wise I go to say that the story is not new, its been done before for instance the drama Summer Scent starring Song Seung Hoo and Son Yejin also has the same theme (celullar memory). Also I think that the concept of chaebol story/romance is overused as of late, this drama included. I skipped the “corporate” scenes because I feel that there is nothing interesting to watch there.

The murder mystery part of the story also feel lacking to me. Halfway through I find myself fed up with the turnaround way of the writer wants to reveal the murderer. For god sake, its freaking predictable!! Hence,I do not bother to watch those scenes.

Romance~

Well this one made up for everything. Her hesitance towards Min-ho at the beginning is the right thing to do since she just recently lost her fiance’. So I have no complain on the push-and-pull pattern in the romance story.

Min-ho on the other hand is totally adorable in every phase. But for me the “in-denial” phase is the most entertaining.  This is one example:

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The doctor was like, “Gotcha!”

Therefore in conclusion, this is an okay drama for me. Maybe I’ll only re-watch the drama again but only those that have Min-ho in it.

Okay, till the next drama!!!!!

Shameless (US) : Season 5 – What Happened So Far?

By the Gorgeous Palah Chingu

Warning : This post contained a lot of spoilers.

Shameless : Season 5
My Rating for this season : 4.5/5

First of all, sorry dear readers and followers for not updating this blog ( at least 1 post per week). It seems impossible (due to my laziness, of course). However, I need to let off some steams due to many series that i watched concluded their season in the most satisfying (yet i wanted more) kind of ways. For example, How To Get Away With Murder (season 1). Anyway, that’s not why i’m here. Today,I am going to review or babbling or whatever you guys wanted to call it, each characters in SHAMELESS and what did they bring to the table in this season.

1) FIONA GALLAGHER

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Fiona and Sean.
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Fiona and Gus*my bias. kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
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Fiona and Jimmy/steve

 She’s getting married to a guy she barely knew. Classic Fiona. When it comes to successfully destroyed herself and tangling in the complicated emotions, feelings and shit, she is the best. What were you thinking? Dont get me wrong, ( GUS is sweet, gentleman and everything that girl could wish for) but getting married a few weeks after she knew him, Nuh-uh, it doesnt work that way, dear!. Like i said, Fiona love to wreck herself and yes, she did when she fucked her ex-boyfriend, JIMMY/STEVE, right after the she’s got married. Things went south and Gus distancing himself from Fiona. Come on, who doesnt? You just fucked your ex boyfriend a few weeks after getting married. This is too fuck up. Fiona is trying her best to make the marriage work but i felt that this relationship wont last longer. As much as i would love to see FIONA-STEVE back together, I hate seeing GUS getting hurt in the middle of it.

2) LIP GALLAGHER

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Lip Gallagher
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Lip and Amanda
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Lip and Prof. Helene

He’s always been my favorite character. He maybe an asshole when it comes to love, girls and relationship but he valued family above anything else. If you watched ‘The Originals’ Series, he is a bit similar to Elijah except he is Ghetto-ish and not a gentleman at all. Actually, i loved lip and his current girlfriend, Amanda. It’s such a shame if they really broke up this season. They have this compromise of being in an open relationship which Lip is totally cool to do it given that Amanda provides him a financial support. However, A new character appeared, which is one of Lip’s professors interested in him and they ended up fornicating. Amanda seems jealous about but since Shameless has 2 more episodes before season finale, we’ll just have to wait and see. [Crossing my finger] Please dont break up!!!

3) SAMMY GALLAGHER?*because she is a frank’s eldest daughter but she’s not sharing the same mother with the rest of GALLAGHERs

Episode 407
Sammy & Frank
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Sammy, being the needy daughter.
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Sammy & Chucky

This girl is lunatic. I mean by lunatic, not normal crazy like us, but really mad. We all know what happened last season when Frank tried to lure her in donating her liver (but failed due to some incompatibility issue). This girl got way crazy this season. She’s practically invited herself to live with other Gallagher’s siblings and make herself as 2nd Fiona. Since Fiona got married and got a job, she couldnt make time to care for Debbie, Carl and Liam. Fiona’s absence in the household leaving an opportunity to take over and taking care the household. Sammie felt that Her daddy (that’s what she called Frank) cant live without her after the operation. She used this chance to redeem her childhood which Frank was never in it. She has a mentally-handicapped son named chucky that she brought with her in the house.

4) DEBBIE GALLAGHER

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Debbie tricked matty into sleeping with her.
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Debbie confessed to Derek.
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Debbie and Derek as official boyfriend and girlfriend.

Debbie, Debbie & Debbie. I am sorry but she’s not really giving what i need from Debbie. Debbie who used to be an outsider and doesnt really care has turned into someone needy, clingy and (whatever cliche words you can use to describe a teenage girl). When she wanted to get pregnant and try to persuade fiona into giving her permission, i swear to god, i just want to slap her. You can have sex but to throw you life away by getting pregnant? No way man. I support fiona in whatever decision she has made including dragging you to the abortion clinic.

5) FRANK GALLAGHER

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Frank and Dr. Bianca
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Bianca before she committed suicide in Costa Rica.

FRANK, FRANK, FRANK. I really hate him. I just couldnt handle how a father could be so freaking reckless, cold hearted and manipulative bastard. He played sheila to bear the responsibility of himself,  Sammy into taking care of him, the parent’s of his liver donor and of course, he somehow managed to find some sick doctor into running away and living her life as she will die the next day. Only this time, He fell in love so hard with the doctor. The cancerous doctor does not want to fight the cancer because she only has 3% chance of surviving. He tried to persuade her into living healthily and tracked her medicine time. Unfortunately, it didnt work. The doctor killed herself when they are in Costa Rica. He returned to USA as a heart broken man.

6) CARL GALLAGHER

Episode 305
Carl Gallagher
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Carl and Debbie.
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Carl in Juvie Detention Centre.

Carl and Debbie in this season is such a cute brother and sister. They always hissed and bickered at each other but come on guys, siblings are supposed to be like that. This time they are having some sort of competition of ‘who will be the one between them to lose their virginity’. Of course carl would cheat and using some sort of trick to earn that title. Debbie on the other hand, conceded but she vowed will not stop until her virginity is gone. It’s crazy but that’s what happened. Carl who always loved being the menace among  other gallaghers proved again that he is indeed irrational teenage boy. He entered the drugs world and being a dealer in such a young age. He took a wrong step and end up in the juvie world. He could get away from juvana if he said to the judge that he regretted his action but we are talking about carl here. He enjoyed his ‘thug phase’ and wanted to stay in the juvie. He insulted the judge and the court gave him a maximum sentence. Again, another headache to Fiona.

7) IAN GALLAGHER

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Ian and Mickey
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Ian and Mickey having fun with each other.
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Ian and Monica

Ian’s character is probably having the most unexpected turns in this season. We all know that Monica Gallagher have this disease and Ian is the one who inherited it from their mother. This soon caused a chaos in the family as most of them could not handle ian’s unpredictability. He kidnapped his boyfriend’s son, he locked that baby in the car and he almost endangered that baby’s life when he encountered unfavorable situation with the police. Of course we couldnt blame him but dude, please take your pills. I know you say it’s not you and you dont want to live the rest of your life depending on that pills but considering you almost killed your sister, you are way out of line. The break up is the worstttttttttttttttt thing ever. I am so rooting you and mickey will end up together. What the fuck? Breaking up is not the solution. I really like you guys. You guys made dysfunctional love sweeter than ever.

8) VERONICA AND KEV

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Kev returned to Veronica
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Kev & Veronica

It’s just a phase guysssssss. This thing happened in marriage. However, it’s funny how the roles reversed between two of them. Veronica or Vee that we all love being sass and funny didnt enjoy the new kev. The three babies should be a pure joy to  Vee but she just didnt feel that way. Kev has shifted all of his attention to their babies and left Vee felt loveless all the time. They often fought about it causing Vee to move out temporarily. Due to that, Kev felt so frustrated but managed to take care of their babies separately. Both of them are miserable without each other but just too egoistical to forgive each other. Time passed by and they both try to moving on but they just couldnt do it. Vee try to go on a date with her high school lover but she just couldnt bring herself to sit on the table. Kev is just a different story. He joined lip business venture selling weed in school and turned himself into coed’s magnet. They called him ‘the rape walker’. He just manipulating the chivalry to ensure the girls would invite him to bed. Yes, he has alot of sex and he confessed to vee. (of course, again, it’s a normal sentence man would use to a girl which is it’s just not the same with you). Vee forgave him and he promised that he will try to save their marriage together with her.

[DRAMA REVIEW] IT’S OKAY, THAT’S LOVE

BY: MAERTAI FATMA (the avid drama fan)

Episodes: 16 (Finished airing)

My Rating 

5 out of 5 stars (the ultimate durian)

Casts

[credit to source]

 Thoughts

How do I begin to express my satisfaction for this drama? The casts are superb, the story is fresh and even the soundtracks are tasteful enough for me to keep repeating them all day long! In short I’M IN LOVE.

I watched a few Noh Hee-kyung’s (the writer) drama before (That Winter the Wind Blows, Padam Padam) but they are not my cup of tea because the stories are too heavy for me to handle as her style of storytelling are more towards raw human sentiments and blunt expression of life. Those are good (excellent, in fact) traits for a drama but to be frank I watch drama as an escapism so I prefer shallow romance drama rather than complicated slash deep kind of story. But for this drama, I made an exception.

To be frank I am motivated to watch it mainly because of Do Kyungsoo (fangirl alert). Who is he? Anyone who followed me on Twitter would know that I am obsessed about this fella and his idol group, EXO. Some of my friends actually unfollowed me because of that. *laughs*

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Isn’t he the cutest guy on earth? (Note: This is a rhetorical question)

More than that I am glad I am watched this drama since the story transcends my expectation greatly and I was able to relate to the characters in the most humanely way possible. It transformed the stigma of mental illness into a heartwarming tale about people. The perfect description: DISCOVERY OF LIFE

 Anyway back to the story…..

 

The two main characters, Jang Jae-yul (famous novelist/Radio DJ) and Ji Hae Soo (Psychiatrist) met for the first time during as a talk show’s guest for the episode featuring Jang Jae-yul latest fiction on characters with psychiatric condition and the two got into a hot debate about the “inner psycho” in every individuals from the perspective of a psychiatrist and a novelist. The crowd goes back and forth as they pointed out their arguments.But above all, Ji Hae-Soo has caught Jang Jae-yul attention (he’s a sapiosexual I guess) but she dismissed him coldly. Well she’s dating someone so its only right to reject. (though I would leave anyone for Jo In-Sung)

Nevertheless, there is one person who always love him… Han Kang-Woo  *screams*

Gang woo is Jae-yul’s ultimate fanboy and an aspiring novelist. They met three years back when Jae-yul was attacked by his brother, Jang Jae-bom, who was recently released from the jail (he was sentenced for the murder of their abusive step father). As both of them share the same background i.e. come from a poor family with abusive father, Jae-yul doted on Gang-woo. Lets just say they share a great bromance.

His real brother, Jae-bom on the other hand was sent back into the jail after the attack. He is bitter towards Jae-yul for the reason that Jae-yul testified against him 11 years ago when it was Jae-yul who stabbed their step father. Talk about grunge.

Jae-yul afterwards moved into the share house where Hae-soo, Jong Dong-min (Hae Soo’s senior) and Park Soo-Kwang (suffers from Tourette’s syndrome and works at the cafe downstairs) live. Hae-soo protested for him living in the house but her efforts ended up in vain as it turns out Jae-yul is their landlord. In the end she (forced to) accepts him being in their house. It was never quiet as they bicker at every chance their eyes met. Hae-soo and Jae-yul’s bickering (till loving) scenes never bore me since it realizes into a (very) sensual chemistry. Meow~

Both of them became closer after Hee-soo’s tragic breakup with her boyfriend who cheated on her with his junior. The reason? Cause his anaconda (pun intended) couldn’t get into her panties even after 300 days of dating. Men and their lust. Predictable.

Soon after that, its Jae-yul who gets into her pants. Mr. Ex-Boyfriend IN YOUR FACE!

 {credit to source}

However his approach was not sinister. Instead it was sweet as he witnessed her moment of  vulnerability which has validated Jae-yul’s love towards her. Their physical intimacy becomes an illustration of Hae-soo’s leap of faith into a venture that she has been afraid to take all her life. From then on, Jae-yul has transformed into the most romantic boyfriend anyone could ever have..

 So where the heck is the conflict?

Turns out Jae-yul is schizophrenic due to the distress following the tragedy of his stepfather who have been killed by his mother (he kept this as a secret and put the blame on his hyung instead). His defence mechanism has eventually eat him alive as his mind created a non-existent person, our cute Gang Woo. So basically his condition makes him living a fantasy in real world and its a concern since this illness would eventually ends as a suicide.

Jae-yul is laughing by himself while in his head he imagined that he runs with Gang Woo.. 😦

Hee-soo surprisingly chosen to stay beside him despite her family objection. She chosen Jae-yul over her own self-interest thus it is evident that Hee-soo has deep affection towards him. Oh how beautiful!!!

Personally its hard for me to watch Hee-soo clenched her fist trying to refrain herself from getting close to Jae-yul since her presence makes his illness worse. Its heartbreaking really /wipes tears/

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Why I love this drama?

Simple. Its a fresh story with abundance of characters that warms me inside. The chemistry between the leads and supporting roles makes this drama satisfying and enjoyable.

It has open my mind on the issue of mental health which has been sidelined by the stigma “all mental patients are crazy people” and it occurred to me that everyone should take this seriously as much as other types of illness.

The cinematography is strikingly similar to “That Winter the Wind Blows” which used so much close-ups in their scenes but why complain when Jo In-sung is filling your whole screen? Fret not!

In conclusion, this drama has achieved its objective to break the misconception of mental illness besides successfully created another OTP (One True Pairing) with wonderful chemistry and beautiful scenes together.

Now I am looking forward to Noh Hee-kyung’s project.

[DRAMA REVIEW] ANGEL EYES

By: Maertai Fatma (Chingu) —-> still can’t move on from BBJX

Casts:

Goo Hye-sun as Yoon Soo-wan

Nam Ji-hyeon as young Soo-wan

Lee Sang-Yon as Park Dong-joo / Dylan Park

Kang Haneul as young Dong-joo

Episodes:

20 (Completed)

My ratings: 

4 out of 5 stars

Quick recap of the story:

The drama revolves on the theme of an unforgettable first love.

Yoon Soo-wan lost her sight in an accident which killed her mother and Park Dong-joo’s father, a firefighter that attempted to save her mother but ended in vain. Ever since the accident her father has distanced himself from Soo-wan because she reminded him about her mother. So she is pretty much alone through the time she was growing up. Dong-joo in his teenage years has been an exemplary son, top student in his school and also helps his mother earning for the family since the death of his father years before. Every morning he would deliver porridge to houses around the neighborhood. Soo-wan who practiced her lines for her part-time job in the observatory every morning has caught his attention. He could even recite the lines by heart and of course he has a crush on her.

They actually met for the first time when Dong-joo’s class came to the observatory for a field trip. He was excited to find her there and tried to approach her a couple of times but was ignored completely. He was oblivious to the fact that she is blind since she walks around without a walking stick and took her actions as being not interested. The poor lad was heartbroken but later he bumped on her outside of her house during his morning delivery and discovered her handicap. Seeing that he definitely made up his mind to pursue her.

He tried to expose her to new things in life.Though at the start she relents and told him that he would never understand her since he could see (and he tries to be “blind” by walking around in blinds) but later he was able to convince her that his intention to befriend her is true.

Soo-wan was later introduced to his family and they embraced her warmly. Its fascinating to see how the relationship between Soo-wan and Dong-joo’s mother is developing so quickly. She even calls her Omma (Mother in Korean) though they are not related by blood. Dong-joo’s mother was then injured after been hit by a car early in the morning and she told Dong-joo to give her eyes to Soo-wan in case anything happens, since she knew how much Soo-wan wishes to regain her sight again. Unfortunately, Dong-joo’s mother died due to lethal injection (someone does not want her to expose the identity of the driver who hit her) and Soo-wan got herself a donor. Little she knew that it was her Omma. So the title of the drama I believed refers to Dong-joo’s mother.

Dong-joo was not able to stay until Soo-wan wakes up after her surgery because he needed to go to US for his sister’s treatment. He did left his address but Soo-wan’s father hide it. Why would he do that? Before he tried to “killed” Dong-joo’s mother by removing her oxygen mask for a brief seconds knowing that she wanted to donor her corneas to his daughter. So he felt guilty and blamed himself for her death thus explained him trying to keep Soo-wan away from Dong-joo in any way possible since Soo-wan was so attached to his family.

Soo-wan regained her sights but finds Dong-joo missing. Her father on the other hand found Dong-joo in US and by chance Dong-joo and Soo-wan’s father met each other. Dong-joo looks up to him as a doctor who tried to revive his mother after she coded. Both of them unexpectedly developed affection for each other as a father and son. Dong-joo becomes a doctor thanks to Soo-wan’s father.

12 years later Dong-joo, now known as Dylan Park, returned to Korea just to see Soo-wan again and hoping that their love hasn’t died just yet. However, 12 years is a long time for someone to wait and Soo-wan turned out to be engaged to another man (the neurosurgeon worked in the same hospital as Dong-joo). He was devastated at first but then realized that he just couldn’t do without her. Soo-wan on the other hand took a while to realize that he is Dong-joo because she never really know how he looks like. Dong-joo’s persistence to rekindle their first love has brought them together.

The story reached its climax when Soo-wan discovered that her father attempted to kill Dong-joo’s mother for her sake. No matter how much love both of them have that is the bitter truth that makes Soo-wan gave up on her relationship with Dong-joo. She has so much anger towards her father and blamed him for everything that happens. But blood is thicker than water. No matter how much she hates her father in the end she forgives him and acknowledged that his action was only motivated by her father’s love for her.

Sadly her father died of heart complications. Soo-wan lost her sight again as a result of psychological trauma after her father’s passing. Dong-joo as a faithful lover, stayed by her side and tried his best to nurse her to health. Dealing with depressed person is a tough job but nevertheless Dong-joo sticks by her side night and day. She was finally cured but afterwards decided that both of them should move on without each other.

In the end, Dong-joo being the persistent boyfriend finally get Soo-wan to give up and their love story finally found their happy ending. YAY!

My thoughts on the Leads

Before I watched this drama, I read a lot of fans are shipping the main couple and many have praised Go-Hye sun’s performance as Soo-wan. For me I am most excited for Kim Ha-neul as the young Dong-joo because he is one of my favourite young actors. He was so charismatic in Monstar and The Heirs but my oh my he looks horrendous in this drama. His hair makes him looks like a dork and this dork ain’t cute. He looks super ugly.

The younger versions of the leads are exceptional and makes me want to watch them more and more. Their portrayal of two teens in love are so adorable. I squeals in excitements during their romantic moments. Oh how I love them together.

As for the grown up version, I would like to highlight on Go-Hye sun’s performance. Frankly I have so much prejudice against her and I almost want to ditch this drama off my to-watch list when I saw her name on it. Well good things comes when we are not expecting them. Soo-wan’s character demanded so much from her, ranging from a happy-go-lucky girl to a depressed woman. I give her credit for this plus her kissing scenes with Lee Sang-yoon are swoon-worthy. No more only-touching-lips kinda kiss which is too mild for a couple who are passionately in love and are in their early 30s.

Our male lead, Lee Sang-yoon is my crush thanks to his cute pair of dimples. I first watched him in “The Goddess of Fire” where he acted as the Crown Prince (1st Lead) but in the end he looks like he’s the third wheel. In this drama however he is all the way the 1st lead and I am more than happy to see him as a (tenacious) man in love with his first love.

More than a love story

This drama seems to have a deep message on family and love in general. What makes me love this story is this drama has branched out to put the spotlight on parental love. Both leads have parents who love them the most and it is apparent through their decisions. I have to admit I do have soft spots for parental love. Moreover, this drama also taught that we do not need to be blood related to become a family. Soo-wan and Dong-joo’s mother, Dong-joo and Soo-wan’s father both have bonded and able to love unconditionally. Most of the drama fans would focused on the love story between the two leads but personally I think their parents’ unconditional love have become a major part of the story which I really appreciate.

Why not 5 stars

Well the story has loopholes here and there.

Why would Soo-wan leave a perfect fiance for her first love whom she has not meet for 12 years? Its true that first love is unforgettable but logically it would only remained as memories. But maybe they never really ended their relationships in the first place therefore the flame still there(?). Well a person’s feelings is an enigma. No logical answer would suffice.

Secondly, the supporting casts have too little contribution to the development of the story. Well they are only the supporting acts but the plot is too focused on the leads hence shadowed the stories of other people in the drama. I would like for the villain to have more story rather than pooping out at the very last minute. The guilt was put on Soo-wan’s father for too long it becomes too much to bear (as an audience it kills me since I know he’s not the killer).

Lastly, the second lead is too pathetic because in the end he lost the girl and also his mom (she’s the one injecting the fatal dose to kill Dong Joo’s mom). It turns out that he was the one who hit Dong Joo’s mother but his mom has covered out for him and convinced him that the woman he ran onto is perfectly fine. I mean he’s a sweetheart so he does not deserved this kind of ending. Give him some love juseyyo!!

So as a conclusion, Angel Eyes is a good watch and I definitely recommend this drama for Kdrama lovers out there. Till next time! I leave with this memes (taken from this drama):

R.I.P Detective Barry Frost – Overview of Rizzoli and Isles

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

My Rating: 4/5
My Rating: 4/5

I’ve discovered Rizzoli and Isles 2 years ago and has been a fan since then. Yes, it is an underrated show considering some of my friend’s reaction who never even heard of the show. It didnt affect my commitment to keep watching the show though. What i love about the show is the main character are both independent, smart and down-to-earth women. They (Detective Rizzoli and Medical Examiner, Dr. Maura Isles) hit it off their chemistry very well as a good colleague who constantly helped each other out to solve many homicide cases in Boston Police Department Unit. They are a good colleague first before the relationship grew  and progressed as best friends to each other. The clash of personality between them is what makes the show entertaining and enjoyable. Detective rizzoli is a top recruit for homicide unit, have a strong headed attitude and a personality of ‘I dont care as long as it work’. She have a family where every single one of them is a bit dysfunctional. She might sometimes appeared very annoyed with their presence but deep down she loves each one of them. Detective Rizzoli has its own romance but she didnt pursue it. She felt that she loves her career more. She couldnt bear the idea of leaving homicide department for good to be with somebody. For her, that’s not the right choice if she did it. Yeah, she was devastated for not going with him but she will not be happy if she follow him there.

Dr. Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli
Dr. Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli

Dr Maura Isles is everything opposite of Detective Rizzoli’s persona. If Rizzoli prefers silence, Dr Isles wants to have a conversation. If Rizzoli wants to break a rule, Dr Isles will be there to forbid her (or at least, ask Rizzoli to consider other option). They check each other balance and kept each other out of trouble. Unlike Rizzoli’s clear family background, Dr. Maura Isles came from a very stiff and less affectionate family. Her adopted parents raised her well but she never felt the love and warmth of parents let alone siblings. When she met Rizzoli’s family, she immediately felt like she’s home. Dr. Isles is a brainy one and kept talking about trivia and facts whenever people approached her with any topics. If people didnt know her well, they would assumed she’s a bit of show off. Even their fashion sense is against each other taste, Maura enjoyed dress up fancily while Rizzoli (if it is allowed) she might appear to Boston Police department with her pajama. When Dr. Maura Isles discovered her real parents identity, she just could not accept it. Luckily, Rizzoli was there to console and advise her on what needs to be done. Both characters have their ups and down but it didnt affect them in their work and profession. It is a crime-thriller series but it combined all of other values. It is not entirely CSI (but more like family-friend in the background story, Homicide department as the center of their work and a bit of cases they solved in each episode). The show is inspired from the novels written by Tess Gerritsen. It may not be famous but it has constant viewer due to the steady rating of the show.

Agreed!!!!!
Agreed!!!!!

Why i like this show? Because majority of the show i’ve seen, the main character is portrayed by a man, or best friends (both are men), or a straight-heterosexual couple that will centralized on the male partner. Not that i have anything against men but when i see this kind of show which centered female character, i just wanted to keep watching. Since the show is good enough for me, i committed myself to watch it every season. Deep down inside i wanted Rizzoli and Isles becomes more than a best friend and involved in romantic relationship. I know it’s not going to happen but God,  if it did happen, it would be a dream come true. However, In the early season, Rizzoli and Isles always rejected guys who they did not want to date by faking themselves as a lesbian couple. It was really cute and super hot in the same time. Rizzoli had a stable relationship with a soldier named casey before they broke it off due to the long distance relationship and neither one of them ready to give up their career. Isles on the other hands loved to mingle with those who are interested in her and if she finds it it will not working out accordingly, she walks out of it with no strings attached.

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Lee Thompson Young as ‘Detective Barry Frost’
Detective Barry Frost is one of the closest friend to Detective Rizzoli
Detective Barry Frost is one of the closest friend Detective Rizzoli ever had.

However, Everything changes when the actor who portrayed Detective Barry Frost committed suicide before the production started  their shooting for season 5. Lee Thompson Young found dead in his apartment and suicide has been confirmed by the authority as a reason for his death. I had no idea at first but when i watched season 5, the absent of Detective Barry Frost in the unit is stated as he was taking a vacation at that time. It all change when they make a character of Detective Barry Frost died in the accident. It was so sudden that i myself could not brain it. Without his character, the whole works of homicide might seems too procedural and stiff. His habit of bickering with his fellow officer,Frankie and his constant teasing of Sargeant Korsak old school style is how the show spun off their humorous side. His habit of throwing up in any dustbin near the homicide area is also one of things that i would miss from him. Despite being a good detective, he possessed a low tolerant of a gory and bloody crime scenes .Anyway,that’s when i looked up to find the explanation of this show creator on why they killed off his character. ……..and that’s how i found about his death. As i (an avid viewer) find it difficult to cope with the character ended up dead all of sudden, I am sure the other casts finds it more difficult to cope with the loss of their fellow actors. Episode 2 of Season 5 paid a tribute to Detective Barry Frost by Detective Rizzoli ending her eulogy in Frost funeral describing Frost as a good friend, a great detective and a loving son.

There is rumor saying that new character will appear in the upcoming of Rizzoli and Isles episodes in season 5. He may not replace Detective Frost’s spot but lets hope he can fill the gap that Frost left behind in the show.

DESPERATE LOVE / Qīngchéng jué liàn / 倾城绝恋 – The Blurred Lines Between Love, Imprisonment and Marriage

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*WARNING: SINCE THE DRAMA REVOLVES MAINLY ABOUT THE HELPLESS SITUATIONS THE FEMALE CHARACTERS WERE TRAPPED IN DURING THE ERA OF HISTORICAL CHINA, MOST OF THE CONTENT HERE  WILL REPRESENT A FREEDOM-LOVER’S POINT OF VIEW.*

RATING – 3/5 (Good Durian… Thought it’s philosophically bad, it’s still good…)

There is so many things I want to write about this drama. Generally, it is a good melodramatic drama. Wait, change that to super over-dramatic because I think there’s always someone evil creating new evil conflicts in each episodes. But then, rather than the evil characters themselves, the reason why I love and hate this drama at the same time are the misgivings I have about it. The drama touches on a wide variety of women issues such as freedom, marriage and societal expectations on virtue and purity that I think make the drama worth discussing here.

Standing up to its title, Desperate Love, this story REALLY is about a love so desperate between Princess Mei Li and Prince Jing Xuan, or whom Mei Li affectionately addressed as Jing Xuan Gege.

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Princess Mei Li

Our pre-evolution Mei Li is a bright and innocent princess of a Mongolian state, holding the title of a Gong Ju or a State Princess. Because of her outgoing and protocol-free personality, she was often ostracized by the members of the Imperial Harem. Gong Ju also signifies her to be of a lower rank than the Imperial Princess or Gege. Now I know the difference between Gong Ju and Gege! Nonetheless, she was the favourite of the Empress Dowager, who soon persuaded to bestow Mei Li the title of a Gege as well.

The title of Gege should have settled all of her problems with regards to her status. However, the sudden passing of her father made her an orphan, thus without any family and money to boast her reputation. Her only saving grace was the Empress Dowager’s love and attention towards her, which provided her with some importance in the eyes of other people. Other than that, due to all the problems she created due to her personality, she was not really favoured as anyone’s daughter-in-law and it can be said that all potential mother-in-laws with eligible bachelor sons avoided her like a disease.

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Princess Mei Li and Prince Jing Xuan

Our pre-evolution Jing Xuan gege(which is also used to call someone an older brother) is the Emperor’s cousin and an important general in the empire. He was a super masculine man with a cold exterior, a manly man to the core. Which pretty much sums up everything about him. Mei Li loved and cherished him, and also looked up to him. Our Princess Mei Li and her Jing Xuan gege fell in love quite instantly, having a sweet romantic relationship.

Unfortunately, their relationship did not end well, particularly due to the fact that Jing Xuan gege had already been betrothed to another noble lady, Su Ying. Since betrothal was a serious family business back in the day, Jing Xuan somehow did not have a choice but to marry her. After a great deal of misunderstanding and conflicts, Jing Xuan and Mei Li eventually broke up.

Mei Li, after an accident where she unintentionally killed her foster sister, transformed from a bright girl to a depressed super sad melancholic woman. She was traumatized by the event, always blaming herself and somehow ended up punishing herself very severely. At first, I thought the grief would not last forever, but damn, it did. From that point onwards, our Mei Li gege turned to a weak and weaker person, becoming more and more helpless in controlling her destiny. She LITERALLY surrendered herself to fate, deeming herself unworthy of happiness.

Sometimes, I just want to shake her shoulders and shout “Live your life, woman!!”

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Yong He, who was not even half as intense as our Jing Xuan gege….

Although Mei Li was heartbroken, she got over Jing Xuan gege after a while due to her best friend, Yong He, who had always been in love with her. She, too, was falling in love with him as well. Their relationship differed greatly from Mei Li’s previous experience. Unlike the macho dominant Jing Xuan, Yong He was a laid-back humble guy, who treated Mei Li as an equal. His love, therefore, seemed more sincere.

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And thus, our Jing Xuan gege turned super obsessive and desperate…

Unfortunately, our Jing Xuan gege refused to let Mei Li go. He turned into an obsessive bastard and started bothering Mei Li, forcing her to return to him. Even though Mei Li had stated very clearly that she was in love with Yong He, Jing Xuan refused to believe it. The three of them reached a point of no return when Jing Xuan literally BLACKMAILED Mei Li to marry her, forcing her to leave Yong He.

It was interesting to note that Jing Xuan tried his best to break his engagement with his betrothed, Su Ying. However, since the betrothal was granted by an Imperial decree, he could not get out of it because it would signify that the Emperor’s words carried lesser value. He accepted the fact that he had to take Su Ying as his first wife and Mei Li, the love of his life, had to accept the rank of a second wife. However, he decided that he would hold the wedding ceremony with Mei Li first, as he wanted to spend his first wedding night with her.

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Literally… the Blackmail Wedding of Mei Li and Jing Xuan

It was sweet in a very disturbing manner. I felt bad.

However, Jing Xuan really earned my hatred when he discovered that Mei Li did not bleed after their first night. From then on, he deemed Mei Li as an impure woman and was convinced that she had slept with Yong He before marrying him. Which really angers me. I mean – what the fuck were you thinking, Jing Xuan?!!! Who the fuck told you to force a woman to marry you? She CLEARLY refused you but you were so persistent anyway. Now, when she failed to exceed your expectations, you got mad??? Are you fucking serious? Can I just slap you in the face? Or anywhere that hurts? You said you loved Mei Li. You NEVER said you loved the virgin her!

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But then, he was a man from the 18th or 19th century. What to do… Virginity of their brides meant the world to them. Haish….

Mei Li’s life turned from bad to worse after she married Jing Xuan. Stuck in a marriage where her husband had always the suspicion of her impurity, she gave birth to a premature child, whom Jing Xuan was convinced was not his but Yong He. Furthermore, Mei Li had to endure endless abuses from her mother-in-law and Su Ying, the first wife who was so bitter and jealous towards her as Jing Xuan clearly favoured Mei Li. See, polygamy never works people. Sharing a husband is not a fun thing!20130216133041d6b10

However, from a tormented husband, Jing Xuan evolved to a loving husband and father. Even though he thought Mei Li’s son was not his, he treated him like his own son (but Mei Li’s son was actually REALLY Jing Xuan’s). He cared for Mei Li more than his own life and over the years, they really had a beautiful loving marriage together, marred only by the stupidity and anger of his mother and his first wife.

The Happy Family
The Happy Family

As usual, our Mei Li was helpless. I am not sure what was wrong with her but there was definitely something wrong. When Jing Xuan was away or outstation, her mother-in-law and the first wife would beat her, scold her and treated her like garbage. What angers me is that she NEVER fought back. She did not stand up for herself. She did not say no. She did not try to find justice. Somehow, just because she was the second wife and held the most junior position of a lady in the house, she thought she deserved the abuses as well. Only when her child was treated badly that she begged her husband to interfere. 

What the fuckery is this? For God’s sake, Mei Li, you were a fucking IMPERIAL PRINCESS!! A GEGE!!! GEGE, MIND YOU!!!!! THE EMPEROR PROMOTED YOU!!! THE EMPRESS DOWAGER WAS YOUR GRANDMOTHER!!!!!!!!! WHY THE FUCK DID YOU ACCEPT THE ABUSES SO WILLINGLY??? WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOUR SENSE OF SELF??!!!!!

So, how does the drama end? Are you guys wondering will Mei Li ever stand up for herself? Well, worry no more… Because guess what – she killed herself. In the end, she committed suicide when Jing Xuan was out of the city. Why? Because the rumours of her being an impure wife was widespread. The mother-in-law was going to kick her out of the house. For Mei Li, suicide was the only way to retain her honour. She killed herself to prove others wrong (for the love of God, I still don’t see the connection between virginity and suicide. No, sex and death don’t go together!!).

Jing Xuan blamed his mother and his first wife for Mei Li’s suicide and instructed that if he dies, he wanted to be buried next to Mei Li and his first wife’s burial plot shall be 300 miles away from them. It was a huge insult to the first wife, as the gravestone is considered the eternal home after death in Chinese culture. After a few years, Jing Xuan died a hero during a war and was re-united with Mei Li in the next life.

THE END.

Now…. aside from the great dramatic feelings I gained from this drama, allow me to clarify this – I find no valuable lesson at ALL. I mean… what great lessons for improvement can one take from this drama? How can one be inspired? Indeed…. how can one possibly do that when the main characters are either weak, irrational or completely dependent the notion of love? Like… can’t you guys move on??!!! Not just Mei Li but everyone. The drama really lives up to its title, Desperate Love, as everybody seemed so desperate to love or be loved.

Mei Li was essentially a prisoner in this story. A prisoner of imperial culture, of obsessive lovers, of discrimination due to her Mongolian roots and second-wife status, of the marriage trap, of impurity rumours… so many things chaining her, at times I felt like jumping into my laptop screen and saving her. How can a heroine have ZERO individual improvements in a plot? How can the writer be so evil and heartless? How can you represent a heroine like this… or even the hero…. Where are the evolution from bad to good to better? Why did everything turn from bad to worse to very detestable?

Still, I really enjoyed the drama. Because it had all the dramatic elements that make a series so addictive. It could have been so much more, though. Mei Li in the beginning had so many potentials – outspoken, able and free. She could have been lifted up so high. But all I could see was her fall, which ended in her death.

Damn it, drama, why do I hate to love you so?