First Impressions of “The Double,” Which Brings Wu Jinyan Back as the Vengeful Heroine

First Impressions of "The Double," Which Brings Wu Jinyan Back as the Vengeful Heroine

If you’re a fan of compelling revenge dramas and stunning period pieces, then you need to check out Yu Zheng’s latest drama, “The Double” (墨雨云间). There were doubts about whether he could deliver, given his tendency to make grand claims. Now, the general consensus is that he’s done that and more. In fact, people are now saying Yu Zheng had it planned all along. He first stated he wanted his show to compete against “drama king” “Joy of Life 2” for it to count as a real win, but not following through. Meanwhile, Wang Yixu’sFox Spirit Matchmaker: Red Moon Pact,” which aired against JoL, hasn’t fared so well.

A Strong Premiere and Rising Popularity

Now that “The Double” has been released, it has even topped “Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Red Moon Pact.” This series has quickly captured the hearts of many viewers. It’s achieved top ranking on Youku’s drama list for 2024 upon premiere that caused some to question if the numbers were true. The show’s popularity has risen even more, becoming the fastest drama this year to hit 10,000 on Youku’s heat index.

Wei Yingluo is Back

Once again, Wu Jinyan shines in a revenge-driven role, reminiscent of her breakout performance as Wei Yingluo in “Story of Yanxi Palace.” Her ability to portray complex, vengeful characters is exceptional, bringing depth and intensity to her character in “The Double.” She has a lot of enemies, and they are spiteful, like the crazed Princess Wanning played by Li Meng.

As for the women, even Yang Chaoyue, who appeared in the first episode and was often criticized for her acting, shined, with some saying she often does well in guest roles. But the most notable has to be Joe Chen’s portrayal of the evil stepmother, as we don’t often see her in such roles. She’s once again dubbed by seasoned voice actress Ji Guanlin, known for voicing heroines in “The Legend of Zhen Huan” and “Eternal Love.” She also voiced Joe Chen’s Dongfang Bubai in “Swordsman” years ago.

Wu Jinyan finds a new love interest in Wang Xingyue’s Xiao Heng who is equally capable and calculating. The young actor’s performance is noteworthy, especially considering he didn’t use dubbing for his lines—a rarity in historical dramas. Newcomer Liang Yongqi, playing the heroine’s ex-husband, also dubs himself. There have been some criticisms of the male leads’ being less memorable compared to the women. However, Liang Yongqi trended for resembling both Zhu Yilong and Tony Leung. Meanwhile, Wang Xingyue is also gaining attention as the male lead.

What Makes “The Double” Work

Chinese short dramas have been doing well for their bold and to-the-point stories. A number of revenge/rebirth themes where the heroine takes down the villains one by one have done well. “The Double,” which is a full-length drama, feels like a short drama on steroids. It thrives on a story that focuses on the female lead’s journey from rock bottom to triumphant revenge. We all want to root for the underdog, and that’s so satisfying to watch. She’s essentially “The Double,” a woman killed by her ex-husband, who has come back taking her late friend’s identity to take back what’s theirs.

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  1. avarachika

    June 5, 2024 6:04 PM
  2. Lisa

    June 6, 2024 10:08 AM

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