He’s Coming To Me (เขามาเชงเม้งข้างๆหลุมผมครับ) is an additive supernatural BL mystery about a guy befriending a ghost and solving the true cause of his death.
The Legends (招摇) is a xianxia dramedy about a badass villain, a dead badass villain, possessing the body of a girl from Team Good Guy to seek revenge against her villain-usurper. In the process, she ended up falling in love with him and they lived happily ever after. It’s a crazy setup and it’s fantastic!
The Legends is definitely one of the better adapted dramas based on supernatural novels. It navigates around the Chinese censorship on ghost genre by offering a different spin on how our favorite baddie is able to stick around to haunt the people she should be leaving behind. For those deep-rooted ghost mythology the show can’t get around, it doesn’t try to twist them into something they are not, it simply skips over them. It’s a sad but necessary evil to pass Almighty-CC’s ban on all-things-supernatural. And I accept the changes with a nod of approval.
I admit that the drama’s action department requires a major overhaul, but their inability to seamlessly integrate actors with their stunt doubles does not take away from the sparkling chemistry between the major characters. Since their juicy goodness happens after Zhaoyao is dead, feel free to skip to episode 6 when she officially begins her afterlife journey to get her villainy groove back.
Tang Dynasty could tout having the first and only female Emperor in Chinese history, but Song Dynasty gave women the most legal rights. It was the best of time and the worst of time for female in ancient China. The Story of Ming Lan (知否知否应是绿肥红瘦) will tell you all about it.
To fully appreciate the awesomeness of SML, you first have to have basic knowledge of ancient Chinese society and women’s place in it. If you have seen a proper period drama, like Dream of the Red Chamber (红楼梦), feel free to skip this part. If the closest you came to period drama is Scarlet Heart (步步惊心), a crash course on ancient Chinese culture may help avoid the dreaded impression of “I don’t get it. Why is the show so slow? Why isn’t there any catfights?” Cuz’ the best part of the show is knowing what the characters must do, can do, and should not do, and debating if we would make the same choice if we were in their position.
Check out here for 11 things about Song Dynasty you should know.
- For most of Chinese history, it was a patriarchal society. As such, women’s social status was between medium high to non-existent. They were expected to be seen but not heard, especially for a low ranking new wife in her husband’s household.
- Filial piety was codified into law. Not performing the duty would result in job demotion, exile, and even beheading. Mourning period for parents was mandatory 3 years, in which the family was prohibited from marrying, holding public office, hosting celebratory activities, attending banquets, etc.
- A wife could be divorced by her husband (as in dishonorably dismissed) for one of 7 reasons: Unfilial conducts; Barrenness; Promiscuity; Jealousy; Severe chronic illness; Gossip; Theft.
- On the other hand, she could not be divorced for 3 reasons: She had no other place to go; She had observed the mourning period for her parent-in-laws; She had married her husband when he was poor and now he’s rich.
- While a wife could ask for no-fault divorce (as in honorably separated) in any dynasty, it was more commonplace in Song Dynasty. Once granted, she could get back her entire dowry and remarry without restriction. Sometimes, she could get child custody as well.
- In Song Dynasty, a husband could only have one “Wife” (spouse), but he could have many “Qie” (concubine).
- In Song Dynasty, the law forbid promoting a Qie to a Wife. While both types of women were considered legally married to the husband, the Qie was essentially a glorified maidservant and could be sold like a property. A man was a “bachelor” if he never had a Wife, even when he had many Qie and children at home.
- A Qie was different from a Tongfang (maidservant who served her master in bed). And a Tongfang was different from a Waishi (mistress). Qie and Tongfang were women pre-approved to sleep with the man by his family, and Waishi was not. To turn Tongfang or Waishi into a Qie, paperwork had to be filed with the government.
- In Song Dynasty, women had property rights and could inherit their parents’ money. Although a daughter was only entitled to half of what her brother got, it was better than none, especially her husband had no claim over it. What was hers remained hers.
- In Song Dynasty, there was a social difference between children born of a Wife (“Di”) and those born of a Qie (“Shu”). The Di children had priority in inheritance order, job choice and marriage candidate. The Shu daughters normally marry the Shu sons. If they happened to marry men of higher social status, they were expected to be a Qie.
- Occupations from most respected to least: Scholar-officials (everyone’s dream job); Farmers; Craftsmen; and Merchants.
Filial mourning, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Filial_mourning&oldid=832678676 (last visited Feb. 16, 2019).
Dishu system, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dishu_system&oldid=866127401 (last visited Feb. 16, 2019).
Four occupations, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Four_occupations&oldid=882735651 (last visited Feb. 16, 2019).
Society in Ancient China, https://www.timemaps.com/encyclopedia/ancient-china-society (last visited Feb. 16, 2019).
Concubinage, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Concubinage&oldid=883341340 (last visited Feb. 16, 2019).
Liu Shi Yu, Ancient China is One Wife and Many Concubines, https://www.aboluowang.com/2014/0319/380940.html (last visited Feb. 16, 2019).
Wu Gou, Women’s Status in Song Dynasty (2015), https://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_1375473 (last visited Feb. 16, 2019).
Now that you have read up on the basics, let’s move on to the show.
I’ve been watching some old dramas and got unexpectedly warm and fuzzy inside when I recognized a few familiar faces among them. And I went, “Oh~~ They were so adorably cute!” I’m talking about the child actors. Some have grown up to take on leading roles, such as Wu Lei in Tomb of the Sea. Others are still playing younger versions of main characters. My moment of nostalgia inspired me to write about six young actors who made a strong impression on me in one drama or another, and I hope to see more of them in the future.
I’ll start the list with Bian Cheng, who I currently use as my profile pic. He completely won me over with his portrayal of teenage Luo Chi in Faithful to Buddha, Faithful to You. The farewell scene between Luo Chi and Ai Qing tugged my heartstrings to no end. I was choking with tears when he asked Ai Qing if he could go and find her in China. There was so much emotions contained in that small, hopeful question. And at a tender age of 12, he was able to to bring out all the layers with those soulful eyes of his.
|Name: Bian Cheng (边程)|
|DOB: August 6, 2004|
|Where have I seen you: Eagles and Youngsters; Faithful to Buddha, Faithful to You; Love O2O; Beauties in the Closet; Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace; Never Gone|
May all the drama soundtracks in 2019 be as memorable and fitting as these are.
Xiang Long – Yi Sheng Zai Jian (A lifetime of goodbye) by Xu Fei.
Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace – Mei Xiang Ru Gu (The fragrance of plum is same as old) by Mao Buyi and Zhou Shen
Ashes to Love – Bu Ran (Unsullied) by Mao Buyi
Eternal Love – Liang Liang (Chilly) by Zhang Bichen and Aska Yang
I really need a new addictive drama to get over my Lusheng x Dragon x Yaya obsession.
At the start of the drama, it seems impossible that Lusheng would ever consider Dragon a friend. Never mind BFF. He only wishes to leave the Long mansion in one piece and get on with his revenge. He doesn’t have the time nor the interest to be the playmate of Dragon-the-Giant-Toddler. But Dragon always manages some heartwarming gestures that makes Lusheng feel guilty for wanting to smack Dragon to the other side of universe.
Xiang Long may have failed the Bechdel test but that doesn’t prevent me from loving the girls in this drama. Bai Lusheng and Dragon are two vastly different types of young men. Therefore, so shall the girls around them.
Yaya, oh, my Yaya… She makes the world a better place. No, she makes the world a civilized place. As the #1 enforcer of Dragon’s thug incorporated, she implements his threats in a courteous and personable manner. Although she is kind and caring by nature, she is not made of marshmallow. Dragon’s personal maid has to be stronger than the toughest tough guy and yet unassuming as gentle flowing water. She exemplifies the quiet endurance of a traditional woman.
Ailin is everything Yaya isn’t. She is an adopted daughter of a rich and powerful warlord. Pretty clothes, perfect makeup and social grace doesn’t cover up her chili pepper personality. She is smart, resourceful, and independent. She says what she means, and listens to no one except her own will. She is the very definition of a modern woman in the early 1900s.