THESE MALE LEADS THOUGH…
Woo! New drama to recap!!! I like how it only airs twice a week so it’s not so stressful to recap all the time. That being said, I’m still 12 episodes behind as of right now to review, because I was travelling in Asia with no device and wifi to watch it on. So if you’re like me, and you’re looking to catch up on all these episodes before watching it, here we are. This is more of a review and summary because I want to catch up to the most recent episodes – if you want detailed recaps, I actually recommend some other sites, because they’re a lot more thorough on what happens on each episode. Let me know if you would like links to other blogs with more detailed recaps.
I just do a lot of ranting and rambling.
Episode 1 was all about Huo Yun Ge (played by Angelababy later on) and Liu Fu Ling (played by Lu Yi).
First episode is pretty unbearable at first for many reasons, and you actually see a lot of flashbacks back to the first episode in the later episodes anyways, so I actually would skim it if you aren’t a hardcore fan. Pretty much, Liu Fu Ling, the Emperor, was lost in the dessert because of a sandstorm. Yun Ge stumbles across him (and how this little girl is surviving and travelling alone in the middle of the dessert is beyond me – probably the result of some terrible parenting).
VERY long story short, they get into some shenanigans with a villain whom had nothing to offer in the plot of the story other than create some obstacles for our leads to go through in order to fall in love (again, if you want the long version, there are other recaps online that offer a more detailed recap, but I’m just summarizing the main points).
At the end of it, obviously Liu Fu Ling has to return to his palace as the Emperor, and Yun Ge has to return… well, her home. These kids, whom supposedly had fallen in love within the past few days, set an arranged marriage for themselves, and promised that they would look for each other in the future. YOU GUYS ARE KIDS. YOU’RE TWELVE YEARS OLD. WHAT DO YOU KIDS KNOW ABOUT LOVE?!
Before Yun Ge leaves, she gives him her shoe that he thought looked very well-made (yes, I know. Out of all things). Before he leaves, Liu Fu Ling only leaves her the fact that his surname is Liu, not where he lives, or that he holds the single most important position in the country. No, he leaves her with the most indiscernible feature about himself and expects her to find him years later.
On her way back, Yun Ge meets Meng Jue, whom actually helped fight off the villanous woman previously. Seeing that he was hurt but had no money to visit a doctor, she gave him her other shoe, because the pearls on it could be traded in for some money.
As a result Meng Jue becomes enamoured with Yun Ge, and promises that one day, he will find her, and repay her. I couldn’t even decide on a major for university when I was eighteen but these twelve year olds are managing to establish lifelong commitments to potential spouses.
ANYWAYS, 9 years later, they have become adults and somehow managed to remember their promise that they created 12 years ago. Yun Ge escapes to Chang An to find Liu Fu Ling because her parents were arranging a marriage for her.
For the Emperor, at least Lu Yi is somewhat handsome (but not like… Hawick Lau, Louis Koo handsome, but still, I would give him a solid 7 out of 10). In the actual book, he’s supposed to be handsome but Meng Jue, the adult version, is supposed to be incredibly handsome. He is supposed to be pretty much a 男神, someone so incredibly handsome and attractive that he’s a player. But he has his heart set on Yun Ge because of many years back, how she helped him.
He, is supposed to be charismatic, charming, and handsome like this:
Instead… we get this:
And this is supposed to be a good picture of him. I didn’t even find a bad one of him. He’s not even on my attractive scale at this point, I would give him at most 2/10, and he’s not even close to the standards set by the book. Yes, I mean if you found Louis Koo to play the charismatic and handsome player of Meng Jue, then yes, I would totally buy it and I would totally be on board with this drama by now, but ugh WHY IS MENG JUE IS SO UNDESIRABLE IN THIS DRAMA!!!!!
Netizens have affectionately named him ‘Purple Seaweed’ after the noted discrepancies between attractiveness between the actor and the character in the book. I personally think that purple seaweed is very forgiving. I would give him something like Old Sock.
Anyways Old Sock/Meng Jue, still infatuated with Yun Ge, follows her to Chang An.
So Meng Jue is supposed to be amazing. Like he’s supposed to be smart, clever, and handsome, and he’s supposed to be a leader of the Liu Xing clan. I have no idea how the producers effed up so much to cast someone so uncharismatic and undesirable in Meng Jue’s role, goddamn.
SERIOUSLY? THE PRODUCERS CAST HIM IN A ROLE THAT DESCRIBE HIM AS A ‘GOD AMONGST MEN’?
There is a cantonese expression called ‘Mo La La’ (無啦啦) which is to describe something SO unnecessary and without reason. Meng Jue mo la la has a piece of bang/hair on one side and it’s possibly the most unattractive thing that you could add on him. It’s like the producers actually sat down to brainstorm how to make this Meng Jue even more undesirable.
Through being in Chang An (again, this is not in chronological order. it’s what has happened thus far in the drama, in case you just want to catch up on the whole thing) our dear Yun Ge somehow mistakes Liu Bing Yi as Liu Fu Ling. How?! I don’t even know. I mean, when they were younger, the whole time, Yun Ge called him ‘Ling Ge Ge’, like ‘Brother Ling’ affectionately, so how she derived an entirely different name without a Ling is beyond me.
Of course, since Liu Bing Yi isn’t the one that she’s looking for, he’s also already got a significant other, Xu Ping Jun.
Now Liu Bing Yi, as much as I hate him, because he’s good for nothing and he has no real job, is really important to this story (apparently).
Liu Fu Ling’s father, the previous Emperor, had suspicions that one of his princes were planning against him for the throne. Therefore, the previous Emperor thought it would be a great idea to kill off the entire family, except one little one had gotten away – Liu Bing Yi. It’s also highly debated within the country on who is the rightful owner of the throne, so Liu Bing Yi’s existence threatens Liu Fu Ling’s position on the throne.
Yun Ge is devastated, thinking that Liu Bing Yi is her ‘Ling Ge Ge’ even though she’s just basing it on a jade that literally so many other people could have had. She never actually asks Liu Bing Yi directly if he was that kid 9 years ago, so it’s actually pretty infuriating and frustrating to see her dumbly just assume that her heart is being broken by this guy who isn’t even her Ling Ge Ge. I mean, ok, yes, this is following the book, so I forgive this drama.
Yun Ge is apparently amazing at cooking, and manages to become a head chef at her local restaurant. Because Meng Jue is supposedly such a powerful businessman (yet unfortunately remarkably physically similar to an old sock) he pulls strings to make Yun Ge one of the most famous chefs within Chang An.
Throughout these episodes, Liu Fu Ling keeps having these ‘encounters’ with Yun Ge, like those Korean dramas where the female and the male lead never meet. One thing you’ll keep seeing is that Liu Fu Ling will try out a lot of Yun Ge’s dishes, not knowing that she made it, and somehow the ‘taste of food’ weirdly reminds him of meeting her in the dessert when he was 12.
It’s absolutely infuriating to watch him eat. Like he LITERALLY eats a strand of that and he chews that little strand like it’s something substantial that he could not have just swallowed, and exclaims that it’s delicious. YOU HAD ONE-SIXTH OF A BITE.
It’s also infuriating to see all this ‘fei 廢’ useless servant to Liu Fu Ling who FAILS to see Yun Ge despite all the ‘encounters’ that they’ve had, this servant whom have seen them both together fail to put two and two together and understand that she’s the one that he’s looking for. C’mon.
I would also like to note that they have TWO different types of writing in this drama. One that’s probably several hundreds of years apart from the second one.
So pretty much 2 out of our three male leads are sh*theads. Pardon my French but Meng Jue not only goes for Yun Ge because of his childhood infatuation, but somehow he would gain more power from his stepfather, which I didn’t understand (please explain if you do), and he also goes for Huo Cheng Jun, who is played by Yang Rong, who also starred in Lady and the Liar.
Huo Cheng Jun comes from the powerful Huo family, so Meng Jue intentionally charms her to meet her father and tries to get her liking of him to move up politically.
Yes, apparently this old sock can charm.
Yes Meng Jue/old sock goes as far as ditching Yun Ge (and Yun Ge catches him ditching her for Huo Cheng Jun) and pretending not to know her when bumping into her on the streets while Huo Cheng Jun is there. That would be an absolute deal breaker for me – how Yun Ge manages to still stay friends/fall in love with Meng Jue is beyond me. Ladies, if a guy ever pretends that he doesn’t know you in front of a girl, that is a red flag. Turn around, and RUN.
BTW both the male leads creepily carry Yun Ge’s old shoe in their big sleeves, periodically take it out of their sleeves to reminisce and think about Yun Ge.
Since the shape and size is most similar to a pair of TOMS shoes, I assume that they are the same weight, which is yeah, light for a pair of shoes, but damn heavy to put into your sleeves ok. Very impractical and questionable practice.
At one point Liu Fu Ling pulls out his flute/recorder out of his sleeve because he wanted to play.
Like… that is very unhygienic to put something that goes near your mouth in the same place where you put that shoe. And how do you even get everything to stay in that sleeve?! And is it necessary to carry everything in your sleeve? You can get your servants to carry them, like how Anna Wintour gets her assistants to carry everything.
Liu Fu Ling has an Empress (whom I couldn’t catch the name of) but Liu Fu Ling affectionately calls her Xiao Mei (which means little sister) and she calls him Emperor Brother, which is so cute. She is so cute and pretty, and their relationship is so sweet. They knew each other from a young age, and Liu Fu Ling promised to be her family in the palace because she was so lonely, being married in and separated from her family so young. She obviously loves Liu Fu Ling, but only gets brotherly affection from him. As of right now though, I really like her character, and I don’t mind her at all – even though I’m pretty sure she’s going to turn into an antagonist in the future.
Yun Ge finally meets her ‘Ling Ge Ge’, Liu Fu Ling, when he goes out of the palace to look for a famous doctor that could cure him of his allergies. He gets hives for no reason, and this is problematic because he is the leader of a country. If he seems to be unwell, there will be unrest in the rest of the country and his disciples may take it as an opportunity to rebel.
He meets Yun Ge during this trip and his hives were conveniently the only thing that she knew how to treat, and conveniently there was herbal medicine just sitting around in the nearby area.
There they also meet an old lady and a little boy, whom they always visit. Yun Ge, whom cures Liu Fu Ling’s hives, leaves a lasting impression on him because of that, and also her beautiful appearance and her similarity to well, the young Yun Ge.
SO how did he not figure out that it was her?
Well Yun Ge ‘mo la la’ (again, refer to several paragraphs back for the meaning of this) pretend to be the old lady’s granddaughter but does not tell Liu Fu Ling her real name, even though he repeatedly hints and alludes to that he is looking for a person like her. I know. It’s infuriating. They probably won’t realize until episode 30.
Liu Bing Yi is a pretty important character, considering that his appearance could threaten the current Emperor’s position. This is why he needs to keep his identity on the down low, and that he doesn’t really try to draw attention to himself and to be spectacular.
In a side story, Meng Jue is actually working with a one of the royalties to kill off Liu Bing Yi in a subtle way but since Meng Jue hates the current Emperor (and knows of his arrangement with Yun Ge), he pretty much has his own plans.
More infuriating things:
Meng Jue is relentless in pursuing Yun Ge, and Yun Ge understandably falls for him slowly too. I guess, she, thinking that Liu Bing Yi is her childhood lover, has let go of her strong convictions about her own arranged marriage and is ok with accepting a new love.
Meng Jue in this drama is so uncharming and gross that it grosses me out so much when he kisses Yun Ge forcefully in order to disguise her identity from another powerful man. I mean, I could like him more if he wasn’t so despicable and was trying to seduce Huo Cheng Jun at the same time. I probably would have swooned if it was Bai Lang from Lady and the Liar forcing a kiss on Yun Ge.
Like think about it… Imagine if Hawick Lau used his Bai Lang persona to play Meng Jue. HE WOULD BE PERFECT. THEN I would totally buy this whole childhood infatuation, the player persona, so good looking that he could be a prince, the charismatic and intelligent charm, and the businessman mindset. He would be perfect *__*.
Meanwhile Liu Fu Ling simply just accepts that the woman that he’s met (who’s so similar to the Yun Ge in his mind) is not Yun Ge, despite his gut, and resolves to not speak to her since his ‘heart is reserved for Yun Ge’.
Yes. Wait until Liu Fu Ling finds out that she actually is Yun Ge, and his mind will be blown.
Meanwhile this 廢 useless servant still has not put all the clues together and after numerous encounters with Yun Ge, he doesn’t help in the tiny bit in stringing them together.
Yun Ge’s cooking got so famous that she manages to get on the Princess’s radar. The Princess hires Yun Ge to cook for the Emperor Liu Fu Ling (and somehow, this food manages to ‘remind’ of Yun Ge) and man the way he eats is so damn infuriating. Like, he’s not even taking a bite, and he’s exclaiming how great the food is.
I would like to note that this is apparently the same dish but at different angles. I just had to screenshot because it’s so ridiculous because it’s so obvious that it’s taken at different times and they are different dishes.
How is that a bite. How are you able to even taste anything from that. I know it’s probably a prop that’s been sitting there for hours but could you at least look like you’re tasting it?!
Liu Bing Yi is still being also an infuriating character. He is literally good for nothing. He has no career (doesn’t try to), and does nothing all day to improve himself. He’s what you could call… a deadbeat. He has the audacity to get mad at Meng Jue for talking to his dear Ping Jun, when HE HIMSELF has no plans to get married to her ok?!
Regarding Angelababy allegations of surgeries, I think I’m going to do a separate post on it. Although I actually don’t think she did big surgeries but I’m pretty sure she probably did some injecting and small cosmetic stuff with her eyes. I’ve been following her since her xanga days and she looks pretty similar.
I mean, I look really different with and without make-up too (you have no idea how important eyebrows are) and circle lenses make a huge difference in how your eyes look. Plus that and make-up changes really help too. A few acquaintances that are trying to make it big in TVB right now actually look so much better than when they started out because they got some actual professional make-up artists. Some food for thought.
Now that we are nearing the end of this post, you can see this isn’t really a recap but more like a summary of all 9 episodes that I’ve watched. If you want more detail recaps, I can definitely link to some other blogs with actual episode-to-episode recaps.
Episode 9 ends with Yun Ge sitting on a tree (there is no rhyme or reason on why she’s there, and there’s no explanation how she got up 10 feet off the ground when that tree obviously doesn’t have any large branches lower down the trunk) and she overhears Liu Bing Yi considering to marry Ping Jun. Yun Ge is heart broken, thinking that her ‘Ling Ge Ge’ is off the market now.