If the first thing you think about is the (in)famous line in c-fantasy drama The Journey of Flower (花千骨), high five!
I’m usually not into fantasy dramas, mostly because of the cringeworthy CG effects and out-of-the-world makeup / costumes but Hua Qian Gu is an exception for me. It has high production values, a competent and endearing cast, a great story and the CG effects are pretty nice. Okay I guess I’m pretty shallow, but I need my dramas to look nice (not just the characters). The fantasy realm (and their interior design) is great in this one.
At first I was quite cautious about the storyline (supposedly a loveline between master and disciple) but I find myself so aggravated by the male lead and his one-track mind of “right is right, wrong is wrong” and I can’t be bothered with him anymore lol. The side characters and their relationships with the female lead Hua Qian Gu are sooo much more awesome. Instead of having one-dimensional evil villains vs the good guys / justice, the story explores a grey area where the audience (or at least me) find themselves rooting for the supposedly ‘bad’ guys in the end. Sha Qian Mo is one of my favvvvv characters ever 😀 I can’t believe every time he’s fighting with Bai Zi Hua, I want him to win over the male lead so badly. I don’t blame the male lead for wanting to stick to his principles, but he’s really the most stubborn character EVER. I don’t think going against your principles is necessarily a bad thing, nor is changing your mind or making your own life a little easier. Not like you are totally abandoning your principles, but just give yourself a little leeway and flexibility!
In most dramas, the side characters are simply there for plot purposes but I really like how each character really shines in Hua Qian Gu and aren’t forgettable at all. A few of my favorites:
- Dong Fang
- Tang Bao
- Shuo Feng
- Ru Zun
If the drama manages to deliver the story so well, I can’t wait to see how awesome the original novel would be! Wanted to borrow from the library but all loaned out, possibly cos the drama’s so popular now.
I’m not really into writing about dramas / character analysis, so I won’t ‘review’ the drama, just that I highly recommend this! The right mix of laughs, tears, poignancy and epic-ness that grip your heart.
If I have to give one single reason why this drama is going to be in my TOP 5 c-period/fantasy drama, it would be the OST. I love a good OST and it does seem like c-period dramas have amaaazing songs.
地老天荒 is THE song for me. A good c-period song for me has to be stirring / sweeping / epic, with poetic lyrics. Better if the lyrics is very much relevant to the story. This one goes one step further (or two) by managing to weave in a number of characters’ names/places into the lyrics seamlessly and having my favorite character in the show, Dong Fang (portrayed by 张丹峰) sing it. ♥♥♥♥♥♥
I need the OST on iTunes! Currently the OST out is mostly instrumentals :/
地老天荒 – 张丹峰蟠桃花满枝桠跌落前它绽放让钦慕沉醉在这杯酒盏一场梦美如画却轻易碾成沙（啊）爱随着风变成牵挂绝情水漫天是非路阡陌蛮荒中惦念情与劫是否在东方飘来紫熏香墨色如冰悲凉怎说千古纠缠必成伤地老天荒啊…唯有痴恋不愿遗忘正邪的两端只有爱是最荒唐耳畔独留宫铃残响地老天荒啊…不负苍生又负了她说执念已断抵不过最真的谎近在咫尺何处天涯绝情水漫天是非路阡陌蛮荒中惦念情与劫是否在东方飘来紫熏香墨色如冰悲凉怎说千古纠缠必成伤地老天荒啊…唯有痴恋不愿遗忘正邪的两端只有爱是最荒唐耳畔独留宫铃残响地老天荒啊…不负苍生又负了她说执念已断抵不过最真的谎近在咫尺何处天涯近在咫尺何处天涯
The person who wrote the lyrics is a genius. It’s times like this that I really find the Chinese language amazingly beautiful. I’m so so so glad I understand the language and also ashamed that I didn’t put in more effort in studying it in school. But it’s never too late (: I can’t say that my Mandarin is improving via all these books/dramas since I’m only getting better with all the archaic phrases used in period writing lol. My personal favourite? 我定要护你周全。I think all the guys who say that are so swoon-worthy hahahaha.
Fangirling aside, I find myself thinking often about translation and how it’s really very difficult to convey that exact meaning / feeling in another language. For example 我定要护你周全 can be loosely translated as “I will definitely protect you” but something’s missing. Oh well, I will just enjoy the beauty of the words in its original language <3
I cannot stop listening to the song. ♥ All the other songs in the OST are amazing too! There’s a duet by the two leads which I love too.
Baidu is now one of my most go-to websites. It serves me a lot better than wikipedia in Chinese haha.
Can’t wait to get my hands on the book! No spoilers please! (:
I’m finishing one c-novel every 1.5 days on average and my mum thinks I’m crazy lol. I guess that’s the obsessive streak in me.
I’ve created a new page on Chinese Novels Recommendation and put in some of my favorites for both C and TW novels. Will possibly add drama recommendations to it next time! I always welcome c/tw-novel recommendations! Please let me know what are your personal favorites ^^