The 73 episodes were a surprisingly easy inhale.
Also Ming Lan is A BOSS!
That ass kicking I wanted? Got it.
The character focus I was expecting? Got it.
The clever, resourceful badass little girl in the beginning of the drama who wanted justice? GOT HER BACK!
All in all, a really well-crafted, interesting drama with two protagonists who found a home to really be themselves with each other. Ming Lan and Ting Gyu literally have the marriage I’ve always dreamed about, the one I doubt exists in real life, full of laughter and giggles, steadfast support and undying devotion. Even their fights are adorable, one ending up with two fierce, battle-hardened generals in a bar crying into their beers over their wives, hahahaha! So cute!
And then my favorite scene of all: After Ming Lan, who is usually a cool, unflappable pillar of politeness TOTALLY loses her shit in rage and grief at the palace after her husband is railroaded and sent to prison, dude is locked up in his dungeon cell begging the guards to go find him an eyewitness to describe his wife’s meltdown to him in every last detail, he’s so thrilled about it! Never mind that the Emperor could be handing down severe punishment any minute, he wants to bask in his wife’s embarrassing display of love for him. LOL. Such a dumbass. I loved them so much!
As seems to be the norm, dramas adapted from Chinese novels just have a quality, depth and cohesiveness to the storytelling that really surpasses expectations. It’s biggest weak point, imo, were the villains. All of them had motivations, however deluded I personally found them, but the execution of a couple of those characters was so O.T.T. that we were verging into arched-eyebrow territory, when imo, it didn’t need that to work. In fact I think an understated, genuine approach may have been more effective, and scarier. But that’s just one drawback in a terrific production.
I give thumbs up, way up.