This drama sure is taking its time getting started. Though the title is “Story of Ming Lan,” Ming Lan appears in maybe 10 percent of each episode, if that, and so far has no active role in any of the conflicts and crises around her.
Part of this is deliberate, I’m sure. As a child, the clever Ming Lan is admonished repeatedly by her mother not to stand out in any way, but she’s stubborn and knows right from wrong and innocently wants justice, so she ignores her mother’s caution and restraint and goes to complain loudly about the injustices her mother is suffering to her father.
Her drive to make things right sets off a tragic cascade of events as various members of the household become triggered to cover their own asses, and it quickly becomes apparent that no matter how intelligent or resourceful or passionate Ming Lan is, she is only 8 and cannot outmaneuver the malevolence and cunning of desperate adults. She loses her mother.
So she learns.
And now as an adult she is the very essence of tepid mediocrity. The only thing that makes this bearable is that you know she is cultivating this image by design. She excels at nothing. She may know how to do the homework, but she doesn’t do it if her spoiled sisters don’t. The cutest guy in their social circle may like her, but because her sisters both want him, she carefully ducks him and his gifts at every turn, even though she also likes him.
She defers to her sisters every time, so while they battle each other, she pretty much stays out of the fray. Fifth Sister has clout because she is the only legitimate daughter; Fourth Sister has clout because she’s the daughter of their father’s favorite concubine. Ming Lan, aka Sixth Sister, is motherless, and being raised by her “grandmother,” who is not even blood-related to her but is wise enough to be aware of Ming Lan’s precarious position in the world and warn the girls’ tutor to avoid praising Ming Lan so the other girls don’t get jealous of her.
So I do get it, but… it’s not a lot of fun watching a meek, mincing heroine studiously stay out of trouble, hahaha. I’m waiting for her to BUST OUT!! Show ’em ALL who’s boss!! Start kicking some ass, woman! LOL. sigh. So I may be doomed to disappointment if ass-kicking is not the point of this drama despite the awesome beginning.
But at the very least, when does the story’s plot actually start to center on Ming Lan instead of everyone else and their issues?? If they’re just setting the stage for what’s to come, wrap it up already! It’s been almost 10 episodes and this title is starting to feel deceptive! Maybe I’m just too impatient…