Sheng Ming Lan (Zhao Li Ying) has been mistreated by her legal mother and half siblings her whole life after her mother’s death. Although she is the daughter of an official, she is the sixth child, and is often looked down on despite her beauty and intelligence.
|Character relationship map|
This drama boasts strong character background and development for the main characters and supporting characters by starting from the beginning of childhood. The strong cast doesn’t fail to disappoint to bring the characters within the historical context to life. I’d give a review of the main actors’ acting, but they actually don’t appear until a couple of episodes in- like at least past three episodes.
|Ming Lan (Zhao Li Ying) left. Gu Ting Ye (Feng Shao Feng) right. The story follows theses two characters from childhood starting in episode 1.|
My personal pet peeve about this drama, despite the strong character development and robust cast, is the pacing of the story. It’s rather slow. From an eye of a cinematographer or photographer, the drama has many beautifully crafted shots. It does come at an expense of the pacing of the story. The lighting of the drama takes a little getting used to, because the crew decided to light every indoor scene by candles. Hence losing the contrasting colors historical dramas carry with the extravagant colorful costumes. And even though it’s a love story you won’t see any of the slow-motion white-light filters. (I think it’s a refreshing way of storytelling. It allows the actors’ natural chemistry to shine through.)
From the storytelling aspect, it can feel like a drag with the lengthy conversations and extra shots. If you’re looking for a flashy, fast-paced drama with a soundtrack to go with it, then this is probably a drama that you can skip. There are some high-stake scenes, but you’ll have to take into consideration the context and step into the shoes of the character to potentially be invested in this drama.
|Behind the scene shot.|
|Qi Heng (Zhu Yi Long) as a supporting actor and potential love-interest of Ming Lan.|
strong character background
story pacing is a bit slow
Non-deal breakers that you might want to take into consideration for your own drama-viewing purposes:
not a lot of popping colors
not the typical-editing visuals
minimal use of music
This is my first impression of the drama. I’ll keep watching this drama for the story and the acting. Although I might just wait until all the episodes are out.