Light on Series: The Long Night is a highly-rated, dark, and suspenseful crime thriller. I really enjoyed this Chinese series and finished in two or three days.
Synopsis: Zhang Chao creates a scene at a subway station, and the bomb squad is called. When they open Zhang Chao’s suitcase, they find that there’s no bomb, but a body inside. On the surface, there is overwhelming evidence that Zhang Chao murdered the victim, Jiang Yang. There is a problem: Zhang Chao was hours away from the time of Jiang Yang’s death. To make matters worse, an anonymous person is sending a piece of a photograph to the media every few days; a building will explode if the media refuses to print it. To unravel the cause of Jiang Yang’s death, Yan Liang is called to help the police force. He must learn everything about Jiang Yang before the complete photograph is released to the public.
The show alternates between three stories and time periods.
Story #1: In the modified reports, Hou Gui Ping raped a woman and killed himself out of guilt. This story tells what actually happened.
Story #2: Jiang Yang and Zhu Wei investigate the true cause of Hou Gui Ping’s death.
Story #3: Present day; Yan Liang and his team investigate Jiang Yang’s murder.
I’ve never seen a story told in this format. You get to know all three stories in-depth, and I felt attached to all the characters.
Bai Yu plays Jiang Yang. I’ve seen a few of his earlier dramas (Detective L, Guardian, Fairyland Lovers, Love O2O) and this drama is nothing like them. It’s serious, dark, and more realistic. His acting is brilliant in this one.
If you are like stories about a person dedicating their entire life to something, this show is for you. To clear Hou Gui Ping’s name, Jiang Yang pours his life into this case. He meets so much resistance and pushback from different parties. He is stubborn, so incredibly stubborn. He loses so much, yet he never gives up. There were many times when I wondered if it was even worth it. He wasn’t even close to Hou Gui Ping, but he believes in his work. He believes in justice.
This is not a “happy” show, but it’s still very suspenseful and entertaining to watch. The show is artful in how they split up the three stories. You don’t learn everything at once, as it switches back and forth between the stories. Like the photograph puzzle mystery, you don’t learn the complete story until the end of the series.
Last year, I wrote a post about Aimi’s fashion style because I was inspired by her outfits. Lin Xia from the Chinese drama, Fairyland Lovers, is another fashion inspiration of mine. Her style is completely different from Aimi’s style.
These are my favourite outfits from episodes 1-29. (I’ve only watched up to 29, hahaha)
I love how comfortable her outfits are. I’ve always liked baggy clothing.
I like that her hoodie has different colours.
Bai Qi (Lin Xia’s boyfriend) has incredible style, too. He has a more sophisticated style, whereas Lin Xia’s style is more cute.
Different-coloured hoodie again. I love her necklace. It’s so simple yet elegant. I want a necklace like that, hahaha.
This is one of my favourite outfits. I love her beret. She’s jumping to kiss him, hahaha. They are matching!
Her closet consists of simple and cute patterns. It’s a pretty colourful and light-coloured closet. *Looks at my closet full of black clothes.*
Another favourite outfit of mine. They are matching again. Bai Qi made the flower crown for her. XD
Jade Cheng, the actress who plays Lin Xia, is so beautiful. Bai Yu (Bai Qi) is too. Fairyland Lovers is an underrated drama. I recommend it! You can find the episodes with English subtitles on the official YouTube channel.
Marry Me, or Not? is a Taiwanese romance comedy drama. I am currently on episode 6.
I haven’t read a synopsis that actually tells you about the plot so here’s what happens:
Cai Huan Zhen and Hao Sheng Nan’s rivalry dates back to 10 years ago. At a class reunion, Hao Sheng Nan tells everyone that a man named Justin is her boyfriend. Justin is actually her older brother.
When Hao Sheng Nan’s finds out that Cai Huan Zhen is about to marry her relative, she schemes to make her look bad at her wedding. To her surprise, Cai Huan Zhen calls off the weddings and vows to take revenge.
Not only does Cai Huan Zhen start working at Hao Sheng Nan’s workplace, she also plots to steal Justin, “Hao Sheng Nan’s boyfriend,” away from her. Justin has his own motives for “dating” Cai Huang Zhen…
These two women are so petty! All of the main characters are power-driven and Cai Huan Zhen admits to being a b*tch in the first episode. I’ve seen far too many dramas of an “evil” character scheming against the innocent and naive character. In this drama, both women are horrible. That’s what makes this drama so much fun to watch.
Although these characters have pretty bad personalities, you can’t help but love them. Justin is charming, Cai Huan Zhen is smart and knows what she wants, and Hao Sheng Nan is hard-working. I think that deep down, they have big hearts.
The scenes between Cai Huan Zhen and Justin are hilarious. They both have their reasons for dating each other, as they are both cunning people. I haven’t laughed this hard while watching a drama in a long time. They have amazing chemistry, though.
Episode 1 screencaps:
Cai Huan Zhen and Justin’s first meeting as strangers and they are already arguing.
Cai Huan Zhen and Hao Sheng Nan show up at the class reunion with the same outfit…
Same outfit again.
Episodes with English subtitles are on YouTube. I recommend it.
Based on the novel Mo Dao Zu Shi by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu.
Elle: So there was once a tweet and then there was a reply to that tweet and that is how this collaboration started.
We totally did not plan to post this on Xiao Zhan’s birthday but here we are. It’s just meant to be. Like Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji. (I rhymed).
It’s quite awesome how we started drafting right away and we just happened to finish the post in time for Xiao Zhan’s special day. Without him, Wei Wuxian’s character would not have come to life the way it did. So thank you for being born Xiao Zhan ❤
Rose: Happy birthday Xiao Zhan! We love you so much and we dedicate this post to you. ❤
HOW DID YOU GET INTO MDZS/THE UNTAMED? The story of how you fell into the rabbit hole.
Elle: I just recently got on the train that is Mo Dao Zu Shi this July when I got home after the quarantine and it was a fun ride! I watched the drama first (The Untamed). 50 episodes in 3 days. Can you imagine? That was some ride. Then I immediately looked for an english translation of the novel. Yes, I am that kid who often wants to compare to the source material. The book vs movie kid. And I found that I appreciated the series even more after reading Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. Special thanks to the fans who translated the novel! The characters were fleshed out properly in my head after that and thus continued my descent into their world.
I only heard about the drama because of Wang Yibo and now here I am knee deep into the different adaptations of the series. After watching the drama and reading the novel, I immediately started the donghua. I just could not wait! By the way, this is my first ever BL series and it did not disappoint.
Rose: I’m impressed you finished The Untamed in three days! I started watching The Untamed by myself. I think I was at 12 episodes. I went on a trip to an island with two friends and we ended up watching The Untamed during the trip. They had no prior exposure to the show and were willing to watch where I had left off. To my surprise, they were immediately hooked! We ended up watching it on Day 2 of the trip. Afterwards, we watched it over voice chat every weekend until its completion. The Untamed is special to me for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is because I was quite touched that my friends expressed interest in a show I liked.
After I finished The Untamed, I started watching Mo Dao Zu Shi and Mo Dao Zu Shi Q. In fact, Mo Dao Zu Shi Q is still airing! It’s a chibi donghua, kind of like Attack on Titan Junior High.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to the soundtrack. A lot of the cast sing their character songs which makes it so meaningful. The actors and actresses that starred as Wei Wuxian, Lan Zhan, Jiang Cheng, Wen Ning, Lan Xichen, A-Qing, and the youths sang songs on the soundtrack. Isn’t that the coolest?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG FROM THE SOUNDTRACK?
Elle: I think hands down it’s Wuji. The WangXian song. The one Lan Wangji composed in the turtle cave for Wei Wuxian and it’s also the one that made LWJ able to recognize WWX when he returned. This song is very meaningful in a lot of ways.
“wén dí shēng dú chóu chàng/
Listen for the melody of a flute, alone in sorrow
yún shēn yè wèi yāng/
The nights in the clouds are long”
“Hear the flute, alone in its melancholy
The night is still young at Cloud Recesses (LWJ’s home)”
The instrumental in the beginning, the way the track began, was already a beautiful introduction and then added to it the deep and melodious voices of Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo which makes it all the more alluring. The first time I listened to the track, it felt like heaven in my ears and it is still the same even now. Interesting twist that the rapper, dancer and actor Yibo can also sing so well! And some notes in the song are quite high too so I was really impressed! Xiao Zhan, I understand, is also an idol and he is definitely a talented vocalist. This was my first encounter with Xiao Zhan and I’m already in love with his acting and now his voice in the OST too. I want more! It was quite a deviation from his voice in the drama which led me to research about the voice actors who lent their voices to Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian. Dubbing is fairly common to Chinese dramas and I admit it adds to the performance of the onscreen actors too.
But more on the track.. Lyrics wise of course it was also on point. The soundtrack already packed a wallop even without the lyrics and so when you add the meaning behind it, it just hits you differently. More deeply. I had to rely on translations but I think they delivered the meaning really well. But of course some meanings are lost in translation and some fans said that the lyrics are really beautiful when understood properly in the original language. But no matter, because the way I feel about the song just proves that music really transcends barriers. ♥️
“yòu wén qín xiǎng/
The Qin (Wang Ji zither) can be heard again
chén qíng wèi jué/
Chen Qing (Wei Ying’s flute) is still sounding”
The lyrics also mentioned Wei Ying’s thoughts and what he told Wangji when everyone shunned him for his supposedly crooked path. That he will follow what he thinks is right and his heart/conscience will be the judge of whether it is right or wrong. It also echoed Jin Guangyao/Jiang Cheng’s words in the series about how he is The Untamed hero at best but also someone that can be despised by others if he doesn’t conform with their ways.
“hóng chén zhōng huǐ yù dé shī rú hé qù liáng/
In this world, how do we measure praise and condemnation”
There are also references in Wuji about some scenes in the series and also about the two main protagonists. It was interesting to see different translations and the meaning behind the lyrics. The drama as a whole emphasized on the music part because the characters also used instruments as their weapons.
Ultimately, Wuji is the theme song of the series and it helped tell the story of two people who lost and found each other again, and how these two consider each other as their soulmate.
Side note: The OST album as a whole really sounds great! Even the character tracks and the way it tells the story from their own perspective, really adds to the depth of each character.
Rose: I love how you broke down the lyrics like that. My favourite song is also Wuji. I love all of the versions – WangXian duet, Lan Zhan solo, Wei Wuxian solo, the version by Bibi Zhou, the instrumental version, and the piano version. In fact, I bought a kalimba so I could play this song!
Of the different versions, my favourite would have to be the WangXian duet. While the solo versions are still beautiful to listen to, it feels complete listening to the duet. After all, this is their special song. I listen to this song several times a week. It’s one of my top five favourite songs of all time. I love that the background uses traditional instruments. When I listen to this song, I think of The Untamed and all of the memories resurface. Every time, I am reminded of how much I love this series.
Elle: Same! And whenever I listen to Wuji, it makes me want to watch or read the series all over again. I wonder if you already have a Kalimba post? Or are you planning on sharing something soon? ^_^
Rose: I feel the same way. I’ve posted a video of me playing Wuji (badly) on my Instagram. I learned the second half of the song right after I posted but I don’t remember the tabs. I’ll have to learn it again…
That’s it for Part 1! Elle will be posting Part 2 on her blog so be sure to check it out! It’ll be longer than this post as we will be discussing deeper topics. Thanks for reading.
In my last post, I reviewed a drama and gave it a lower rating. I thought that I would review an amazing drama this time. Someday or One Day is a Taiwanese drama.
Huang Yu Xuan is a 27-year-old woman who misses her boyfriend Wang Quan Sheng, who went missing two years ago. She is unable to accept that he is gone and is still searching for him. One day, she receives a walkman and cassette from a mysterious sender. As she listens to the music, she wakes up in the year 1998. She is now a 17-year-old girl named Chen Yun Ru, who looks exactly like her. In Chen Yun Ru’s body, she meets a schoolmate who looks exactly like her missing boyfriend, except… he’s not her boyfriend. His name is Li Zi Wei!
Huang Yu Xuan soon discovers that Chen Yun Ru will die in the year 1999. She needs to find a way to prevent Chen Yun Ru’s death before she dies in her body.
Three words: Just watch it.
For you anime fans out there, I know what you might be thinking. It’s kind of like Erased, right? Kind of! It’s different from Erased in some ways because Huang Yu Xuan goes into someone else’s body instead of her own. I think that this is really unique. There is also a heavy romance component in Someday or One Day, which is done extremely well.
You’ll most definitely like this series if you like the Taiwanese movies, Our Times and You Are the Apple of My Eye.
What I like about this drama is that it is not predictable. As someone who has watched a lot of anime and Asian dramas, I can practically guess how shows will end. This drama kept me on the edge of my seat.
When I watched the first episode, I felt like I was watching a movie. The cinematography is on-point, the music is memorable, and the acting is realistic. I felt very emotional and balled my eyes out… just by the first episode.
This drama covers mature themes so I wouldn’t recommend it to younger audiences. It covers topics that are taboo in Asian culture and you don’t see many dramas talk about these topics.
As mentioned earlier, the music is memorable. The songs are so good. A lot of the scenes are pleasing to the eyes and look really aesthetic.
Final verdict: 9.5/10 This is hands-down one of the best Asian dramas I’ve seen.
Note: There is an extra scene on YouTube, which is meant to be watched once you have completed the series. Be sure to watch it after you’re done!
Synopsis: Mi Xiao Qi drops from the sky and lands in Bei Yue Kingdom of Kun Peng Continent. She’s a young woman, except she’s turned into a fat cat. When she transforms back into her human form, she must meet her fated lover and make him fall in love with her. Together with her fated one, they must find the four pieces of the magical jade. Otherwise, she will die!
Thoughts: This kind of drama seemed like my kind of show. I really enjoyed the historical comedy drama, The Eternal Love, so I thought that I would love this one too. The first couple of episodes were funny, but it became less funny later on.
My main problem with this drama is that there is no flow. The writing is all over the place. Things progress quite quickly and it seems so unrealistic. I feel like the characters do have good chemistry, but the drama does not do a very good job at portraying that. I understand that this drama is meant to be fun and silly, but the flaws take away from the enjoyment of the show.
On the flip side, I really like the characters. Xiao Qi in her cat form is adorable. The idea of the drama is hilarious, but the execution was poorly done.
I recently finished the Chinese drama, The Untamed. I’ve watched many Asian dramas. According to MyDramaList, I’ve watched over 1000 episodes. Most of the time when I finish a drama, I just move on and watch the next thing… but I have to write about The Untamed. The Untamed is an exceptional drama. I give it 10/10.
Throughout my life, I’ve heard people talk about shows in a negative light.
“It’s just a show.”
“Everything is fake.”
“Watching TV is a waste of time.”
It’s really not just a show. I think that we all know that dramas are fictional. Is there anyone who doesn’t know this? I think that people who really appreciate dramas and anime are cognizant of the amount of time and the effort that went into making the show. Actors, directors, producers, scriptwriters, voice actors, camera crew, costume design team, those who work on the sets, those who work on the props, and subtitles, the editing team, the animation team, the list goes on… Pre-production of The Untamed took two and a half years. Saying that watching TV is a waste of time is almost disregarding all of these things.
The Untamed cast practiced posture, calligraphy, martial arts, musical instruments, and more. Since The Untamed takes place in ancient China, they went through training to learn these skills.
Several of the cast members sang their own character songs. They’re really talented.
Wu Ji – sang by Xiao Zhan & Wang Yibo (Wei Wuxian & Lan Wangji)
Wei Wuxian’s theme song – sang by Xiao Zhan (Wei Wuxian)
Bu Wang (Lan Wangji’s theme song) – sang by Wang Yibo (Lan Wangji)
Chi Zi (Wen Ning’s theme song) – sang by Yu Bin (Wen Ning)
Hen Bie (Jiang Cheng’s theme song) – sang by Wang Zhuo Cheng (Jiang Cheng)
Bu Wang (Lan Xichen’s theme song) – sang by Liu Haikuan (Lan Xichen)
Gu Cheng (Yi City group’s theme song) – sang by Sun Bolun & Chen Zhuoxuan (A-Qing)
The youth group also sang their theme song. The rest of the character songs are also really nice. I think the songs really convey the characters’ feelings.
This is not a goodbye post because there’s still the Mo Dao Zu Shi donghua, novel, and manhua. Maybe I’ll rewatch The Untamed one day. I think it will be interesting to compare the different versions. I think that The Untamed did an amazing job at portraying the relationships, given China’s heavy censorship. I think they made it obvious and clear.
Missing: Wei Wuxian nendoroid (It’s out of stock… I really wanted it…)
Full episodes with English subtitles are on Netflix and YouTube.
I never had this “problem” before, until recently. I’ve finished some shows, but other shows… I am close to finishing them (just 2 or 3 episodes until completion) but I’ve stopped watching them. I like the shows, too. See below:
Eternal Love of Dream 53/56
& I’m trying to figure out the reason(s) for why I do this. Do you guys do this too? I have a few ideas:
1. You don’t want the series to end. You aren’t ready to let go of the characters and the series. If it never ends, you can avoid feeling the post-series “void.”
2. You are afraid of a bad ending, or a rushed job.
3. The show already gave you everything you wanted… whatever that was.
4. You lost interest in the show.
I’m sure there are more reasons. If you can think of more reasons, please let me know. I feel like none of these are exactly it for me.
I started a Chinese drama called The Eternal Love. It’s not to be confused with Eternal Love or Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, which is an entirely different Chinese drama (the latter is one of my favourite dramas, by the way – go check it out).
In The Eternal Love, Qu Xiaotan from the modern world is isekai’d into historical China. In other words, she time travels and occupies the body of Qu Tan’er, the second daughter of the Qu family. The catch is that whenever she tells a lie, the real Tan’er wakes up from the body. Xiaotan and Tan’er basically switch back and forth and do not retain memories of each other.
Now for the plot. Xiaotan/Tan’er is forced to marry Mo Liancheng, the eighth prince. Xiaotan does not like the idea of marrying a stranger, while Tan’er is in love with Liancheng’s brother, Mo Yihuai. However, she marries him with the intention of spying on Liancheng. Xiaotan is left in the dark about these schemes which is really confusing for Liancheng.
Tan’er is proper and follows the traditional norms of the time period. Xiaotan, on the other hand, is rebellious and unapologetic. She is infuriated that she experiences mistreatment from her father’s consort and that she was forced to marry a stranger. She makes several attempts to return to the modern world.
This drama is hilarious! Xiaotan cracks me up. Since she is a character from the modern world, only we can understand her references to certain things (i.e. the toothbrush, modern slang). Her and Liancheng have great chemistry. He always has her back, cares deeply for her, is good-looking…
I’m definitely going to keep watching because this drama is so funny and because I love both the main leads. A lot of historical dramas have a serious tone to them and they are quite long… Time passes so quickly when I’m watching this drama. For a romantic comedy historical drama, this one is done really well.
The 2018 Taiwanese drama is also known as HIStory 2: Crossing the Line. I started the show this morning and was immediately hooked. There are 8 episodes and I just finished the show, haha.
The show makes me so happy. In 2017, same-sex marriage became legal in Taiwan. I’ve been a BL (Boys Love) fan for many years but felt frustrated at Asian dramas because of the censorship. For example, in China same-sex marriage is not legal and in the BL series and films I’ve watched, the kiss scenes were deleted. Doing this made the shows confusing to watch because key scenes were removed, and sends out an unfortunate message to everyone. One of the series I enjoyed was discontinued.
The legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan was a great thing (and still is) for people in the lgbtq+ community and for the country. Now in 2018, we have great BL dramas and the kiss scenes are not deleted.
Xia Yu Hao and Qiu Zi Xuan
Xia Yu Hao and two of his friends, Wang Zhen Wu and Wang Zhen Wen, enrol into a new high school. Yu Hao was kicked out of his old school because of a fight. Yu Hao reluctantly joins the school’s volleyball team after being coerced into joining. He becomes close with Qiu Zi Xuan, a senior student who is the team’s manager. Due to an injury in the past, Zi Xuan is unable to play volleyball.
Wang Zhen Wu and Wang Zhen Wen are step-brothers and later join the volleyball team as well. Zhen Wen starts to ignore Zen Wu and it frustrates Zen Wu a lot. Zen Wu and Zhen Wen are the secondary couple in the series and don’t get as much screen time as the main couple. I like that there is more than one couple in the series because it mirrors a lot of BL manga. Yu Hao actually reads BL manga (probably for research), hahaha.
Although this is a BL romance drama, volleyball was a huge component of the series. There was even a Haikyuu!! reference! We get to know some of the other volleyball players and I liked that the show was not just about the two couples. While the couples are certainly the main focus, there are other things going on with the plot. I also loved the other characters in the series, like the captain of the volleyball team. This was a problem I had with the shojo manga, Dengeki Daisy. I dropped the series because I didn’t like how there wasn’t much plot apart from the couple.
Wang Zhen Wu and Wang Zhen Wen
This drama was a refreshing break from disturbing BL manga and webtoons. If you’re a reader of Korean BL webtoons, you will know that they have a lot of disturbing ones out there. Maybe that’s your thing, and I’m not going to judge! But for me, personally, I hate webtoons like Killing Stalking. The relationship is not healthy. For manga and webtoons in general, consent is important to me. If there is no consent, I will probably not like it.
In this series, both couples are so gentle with each other. When one person is sleeping, the other covers a blanket over him and does it in such a lovingly way. The way the characters look at each other is so cute. It’s hilarious when the characters get jealous.
In comparison to other romance dramas (including straight couples), it is less dramatic because there aren’t really any threatening people trying to sabotage their relationship. I liked this about the show a lot because it feels more realistic this way. When a drama gets too intense because of an evil person getting in the way, it’s usually not as good. I like it when all the characters are fairly decent and understanding people.
None of the characters displayed discrimination against people in the lgbtq+ community. Unfortunately, it happens way too much in Korean webtoons and Chinese manhwa where a male character feels “disgusted” by the boys’ love. -.- Both couples talk about liking another boy and it’s clear that they do not see anything wrong with it because love is love. They also don’t like it when another person discriminates against lgbtq+.
One of my biggest pet peeves in BL series (manga, webtoons, anime, dramas, movies) is when a female character tries to break up a couple between two gay men. The female is aware that they are gay but “refuse to believe it.” -.- Rest assured, this does not happen in this show.
Other notable aspects of the show:
I loved the character development in Xia Yu Hao because he goes from a delinquent student with a cocky attitude to a sensitive and caring person who is passionate about volleyball. Maybe he was always like this, but it is less obvious in the beginning.
Overall, I definitely recommend this series. It’s a great BL drama because of the reasons mentioned above, and the volleyball team side to it was enjoyable to watch!