First and Second Impression
Name: Goodbye My Princess
Date: February 2019
Number of episodes: 52
Genre: Romance, Drama, Historical
Based on book/manga?: Goodbye My Princess (东宫)by Fei Wo Si Cun
Why did I press play? Looking for something to watch and with very little expectation and apprehension of bad dubbing I gave it a go. Glad I did!
The first quarter blew me away and I made it into my top favorite recent dramas. Here are some reason why.
- Color palette
- Incredible use of camera angles
- Contrasting colors and refreshing use of color.
- Chen Xing Xu facial expression – no vanity & powerful. Particularly his expression looking Xia Feng after decapitating her granddad. What is more striking and took me off guard, is that he is shameless enough to sit with her, hold her hand, and then breaks down and cries with her afterward. It was so good I watched this several times. He is in love with her, but based on his personality he is quite possessive – what’s his is his. These two scenes are some of the most memorable scenes.
- I was completely mesmerized. Up to that point, this is a striking drama that I had a have that something special.
Then we reach the palace phase. This shift feels like a different drama. The worst part is with new imperial roles, their emotional range is limited and the actors’ talents go to waste – part from the occasional excellent expressions. Li Cheng is at his in inhibited almost wild roles (similar to Arthur Chen in Every night). His constant snapping and execution of plotting feel childish.
He is a total jerk towards Susu. This is one positive thing about character consistency. It reflects his selfishness in Danchi. He used anyone then and will use anyone now. Although Susu is incredibly annoying – it’s quite brutal what he puts her through. He (again) becomes smitten with Xiao Feng. But it really makes no sense, because despite past erased memories he has no feelings for her and then all of a sudden her does. Then proceeds to protect her by treating her like dirt. Was he planning to shield her from palace politics and leave in her what perceives as a loveless marriage? How long would that go on for? Her whole life?
I understand they came on strong the romance in the first part, but the lack of romance between them in the palace is just boring. It reminds me of Love Lost in Times. I came to watch the show to see a wonderful love story, not never-ending palace politics and concubine drama. An incredible original plot turned predictable… Why!!???
Can we also talk about General Pei. I’ll be honest, I ship him with the princess. It’s unclear who he actually loves, but he’s the one who looks out for her and never really betrayed her. He didn’t use and love her at the start, – he really was a soldier doing his job. He is the most mature and understands reality and situation better than everyone. He is our rock!
The big “reveal” that she learns her future husband killed her grandpa is just so lame – major let down. Once she regains her memories and they have the third big “reveal” .. well the magic would have worn off.
Also, the Xi family tragedy goes to unacknowledged. It feels as if the whole state had vanished, but then the envoy arrives. It just feels like Xi and their imperial family turned into a tumbleweed.
Shifu/Gu Jian / after arriving in the capital and becoming an alcoholic just makes me cringe. He also tells Xiao Feng that he will make her fall in love with him. Then he doesn’t do anything romantic – unless you count looking into her quarters from a tree. He should be making her laugh, going on adventures… you flirt a little!
The queen’s fashion, I dig the very unique look. She seemed kinda easy-going at the start and I was annoyed to discover that she a conniving plotter. I thought all the ladies would support Xiao Feng, i guess most of them do. I do love how sweet the two princesses are!
I don’t know how this will end. I’ll treasure episode 1- 12. Hopefully, there are redeeming episodes towards the end. Although with only 10 episodes left. It seems far too short to have a memorable final love. To me, it would be better to cut the palace drama and spent more time in the third part. But it is based on a novel, perhaps most of the story does take place in the palace and slow regaining of memories, in that case, the drama followed the original plot quite well.
Who are the main characters?
Li Cheng played by Chen Xing Xu
Xiao Feng played by Peng Xiao Ran
Gu Jian played by Shawn Wei
Theme: There are so many! Navigating self-induced amnesia is tricky.
What is it good for? Becoming absorbed, passionate, and highly opinionated about a drama.