There are shows that are so good you can’t stop raving about, and there are shows that you watch for guilty pleasure. The Taoism Grandmaster 玄门大师 which is largely led by a rookie cast and some veterans feels more like the latter to me, but it’s not any less enjoyable.
Synopsis: It is a drama that ventures into familiar territory of heroes saving the world. Thousands of years ago, the wolf tribe was expelled from the human world. Their eventual return has long been prophesied along with one hero who will stand as the Taoism Grandmaster to defend against the baddies.
First Impressions: The search begins with 49 aspiring grandmasters portrayed by an entirely newbie cast. That would normally be a red flag for me, but not when it’s a show that knows how to play to its strengths, and there seems to be strength in numbers. The teachers and students could have been part of any regular school with new transfers, the popular kids, the rich kids and the bullies, and even as they embody a big fat cliche, they are surprisingly loveable.
Compared to polished dramas that take themselves too seriously, this one feels right at home with color-coded costumes and silly dialogues like, ‘May the dao be with you.” While it may have subpar production value, it does a serviceable job delivering fantasy and action filled with magic, weapons and elements that feel like an actual game.
With the cast being so large, I honestly can’t identify all the characters by name, but the cheesy bits about friendship and camaraderie drew me in – even the bad eggs are not so bad after all. Having marathoned ten episodes, it’s actually kind of cool. It stars Thomas Tong Mengshi, Wang Xiuzhu, Pei Zitian, Xu Hao and more.