First impressions: New Xiao Shi Yi Lang promises a different twist that is a welcome change because I’d rather they leave the classic untouched to come up with something else altogether. The recent adaptation delivers in that respect showing a grander and darker Xiao Shi Yi Lang. The good don’t seem that noble and the bad much worse, chock-full of throat slashing scenes that is miles apart from the wholesome 2002 version.
There are a number of storyline changes as well, which leaves me more curious than anything else. That’s about all the praises that I can sing because the rest on my list is just a whole lot of complaints.
Xiao Shi Yi Lang looks considerably older than Lian Chengbi and it’s odd to envision them as rivals given their disparate appearances.
Gan TIng Ting as Shen Bijun is the most beautiful woman in the martial arts world with features so stunning that it’s repeatedly acknowledged in the series. Even though Gan Ting Ting is pretty, it is still a bold claim to make and I find that she and the actress who plays Feng Si Niang bear such a close resemblance so to say who’s prettier is highly debatable.
Personally, my vote goes to Xiao Gong Zi played by Zhang Han Yun (Lan Ling Wang Fei). She is smart, cute, certainly diabolic but very intriguing and she is the drama’s saving grace, if it ever needed one.
Behind Shen Bijun’s prim and proper facade is someone condescending, superficial and stuck-up, always turning her nose up at Xiao only to need his saving later. I wonder why they bothered to give her martial arts skills. Is it to stay faithful to the novel? Because Bijun’s strength is in her passion and quiet resolve, and clearly not her ability to defend herself so a fighting Bijun that is kidnapped time and again makes her not the brightest bulb on the porch.
For synopsis, cast and ratings, see my list of popular cdramas in 2016.