Crystal Liu Yifei’s “The Tale of Rose” a Hit, Director Wang Jun Explains the Ending

Crystal Liu Yifei's "The Tale of Rose" a Hit, Director Wang Jun Explains the Ending

Last night was a big night for drama lovers as both hit series, The Tale of Rose and The Double, dropped their remaining episodes leading up to the finales. It’s clear this was intentional, marking another face-off between director Wang Jun and Yu Zheng. This echoes their previous clash in 2018 with Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace and Story of Yanxi Palace. Though thematically different, it made for a busy night for viewers, depending on their preferences. And if you’re a fan of modern dramas, The Tale of Rose is the one for you.

peng guan ying and liu yi fei

Crystal Liu Yifei’s String of Dramas

Crystal Liu Yifei once again proved her star power with her role as Huang Yimei aka Mei Gui in The Tale of Rose in 2024. The show hit 31,000 on Tencent’s heat index, the highest and fastest for an urban drama on the platform. This continues her streak of successes since her return to dramas with A Dream of Splendor in 2022 and Meet Yourself in 2023. Many are eagerly anticipating her next remaining unaired project, the Republican series The Love of Hypnosis opposite Jing Boran, who recently appeared in Regeneration. Produced by Tencent and NCM Television, The Tale of Rose is already their third big hit this year, following The Legend of Shen Li and Joy of Life 2.

Lin Geng Xin's Fang Xie Wen and his daughter

The Tale of Rose: A Quick Review, Highlights, and Key Characters

Crystal Liu’s portrayal of Huang Yimei is captivating. She plays a woman whose beauty can sometimes bring trouble. The story delves into realistic relationships, starting with Peng Guanying’s Zhuang Guodong, her first love, with whom she shares a passionate relationship. Their numerous kissing scenes frequently trended, with some viewers even finding them a tad excessive. Then there’s Lin Gengxin’s Fang Xiewen, Mei Gui’s husband and the father of their daughter. He initially seemed like a perfect partner until his controlling nature is revealed after marriage—going so far as to quit her job on her behalf, shackling her in a an unhappy marriage with an insufferable mother-in-law. After their divorce, she meets her soulmate, played by Wallace Huo, but he dies from illness. The scene where Huang Yimei dances in mourning clothes is particularly beautiful, a moment only Liu Yifei could truly bring to life.

Wallace Huo
Liu Yi Fei mourns thru dance

Huang Yimei’s growth throughout the series is compelling, making it understandable why all the men in her life remain in love with her. Even when Zhang Guodong returns after Wallace Huo’s character dies, and Fang Xiewen wants to get back together, she remains steadfast, always looking forward. And of course, there’s always her family, her big brother played by Tong Dawei, her boss turned sister-in-law played by Wan Qian, friends like Zhu Zhu and her loving parents who are with her in every chapter of her life.

Tong Da Wei and Wan Qian

Director Wang Jun’s Vision and Ending Explanation

Spoilers ahead! Lin Yi who’s been promoted as one of the four love interests from the start actually doesn’t appear until the very end. His part was not in the novel but was added by the showrunners. He appears in episode 36 and stays until the final episode, 38. Lin Yi, who is 12 years younger than Liu Yifei, visually complements her well, fitting the story of a younger man enamoured with the heroine. As a pilot giving her flying lessons, their scenes together bring a heartwarming closure to the series. Due to his past, He Xi is at rock bottom when Mei Gui meets her, but Mei Gui inspires him to chase his dreams again, even if it means going abroad for a year.

The drama ends with He Xi kissing Mei Gui’s forehead at the airport as she sends him off, and when he talks about returning in a year, she tells him not to talk about the future. The final scene shows her riding her motorcycle into the sunset, declaring, “I no longer seek happiness, I am happiness myself.” It’s an inspiring message.

Lin Yi as a pilot

Director Wang Jun explained the reasoning behind the ending. Originally, it was meant to be an even briefer encounter, as he didn’t want to start a jiedilian relationship in the story. The open ending allows for more possibilities in Huang Yimei’s life. In the future, He Xi may come back a year later and start a new relationship with Huang Yimei, anything is possible. While some might think this ending hints at a sequel, there won’t be one. The open ending intentionally leaves Huang Yimei’s future up to the audience’s imagination.

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