The Flame’s Daughter (烈火如歌) is essentially a wuxia drama, except there is one character who is so incongruous with the rest, he made the drama fun to watch, if not a little addictive.
This drama is filled with so many wuxia tropes that they stack up like a perfect Lego castle. Obviously, I’m not watching it for the plot.
I’m watching it for the pretty faces. I’m watching it for the characters development. This drama bumps up the watchable factor by casting actors who can manage subtle expressions of emotional upheaval.
Lie Ruge has the making of a good leader: Honest, attentive, thoughtful, assertive. What she lacks is cold calculation and cunning maneuvers. But no worry. She got plenty of people who would help her out in that department. Cuz she is the title character and everyone is in love with her. *wink wink*
Hence, we got ourselves first wuxia trope: Everybody is passionate about the hero/heroine. They either love her to death or hate her enough to want her dead.
It is very hard to identify why I’m addicted to one drama and not the other. But with Eternal Love aka. 3 Lives 3 Worlds 10 Miles of Peach Blossoms I can pinpoint exactly when both my analytical mind and my sentimental heart became one. That moment is when Ye Hua asked Tian Jun’s permission to remove Su Su’s eyes himself. It sounds morbidly grotesque and I would never list it under the “Most Romantic Moment in a Drama” category, but in that moment I thought, this man truly and deeply loves his wife.
The easiest thing for him to do is let someone else perform the terrible deed, then comfort his wife afterwards by painting himself as her savior. But Ye Hua is anything but a cowardly delusional man. If his wife must surrender her eyes to keep her life, then he will be the last person she sees. She will know that he is the one responsible for what happens to her. He will swallow his own shame to look her in the eyes and bear her anger, her confusion, her hurt, and her terror. And he will accept that she will hate him for it. And, THAT takes no small amount of courage.