The Longest Day in Chang’an (长安十二时辰) is not long at all. The episodes flew by so fast leaving me with the impression of, “What? I have to wait another week for my next episode?! Nooooo!!!!”
The drama starts in the morning of January 14th in the year 744. It is the day of Lantern Festival. For the next 24 hours, residents and visitors can traverse Chang’an, the capital of Tang Dynasty, without restriction to mingle, to shop, to be entertained to their hearts’ content. On this festive day, Jing-An-Si, a brand spanking new inter-departmental counter-terrorism agency, got a credible intel that a group of foreign spies is planning an attack on the city. Their preemptive strike to thwart off the enemy’s plot failed miserably with their undercover agent lying in the morgue sans tongue. Now they are racing against time to stop the enemies from turning the biggest celebration of the year into an inferno hell of fire.
Visually, this drama is stunning. From the clothing and the makeup, the street layout and the buildings, to the furniture and the utensils, everything screams, “This is the Tang Dynasty! Chang’an is a world-class metropolitan.” The color schemes and camera angles tied all the elements together beautifully.
Story wise, this drama peels off like an onion. Just when they think they solve one problem, another even more complicated one takes its place.
Possible spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.