The Long Ballad
This is a marathon of a drama. It’s got a rich and heavy plot. You almost can’t watch this drama to chill out, but rather to get absorbed into a story. The casting for this drama would have been tricky because the two mains have very distinct individual roles within their worlds and the romance is slow burn, therefore they cannot merely be casting based on chemistry, but pulling off the characters individual goals and work. Fortunately, both Dilraba Dilmurat and Lei Wu are casted well for their individual characters, but unfortunately their romantic chemistry isn’t strong. We have to rely on A-du and the princes for the romance fix, but you hardly see them. The story shifts quite dramatically about every quarter as Chang ge moves to a new place and has a new purpose. I checked out the Manhwa and the male lead has a sharp warrior face. Wu Lei did a great job acting wise, but aesthetically, he doesn’t suit the role. He has a modern look to him. I keep going back to how perfect he was in Crossfire. Dilraba deserves an applause for her performance, she stays in character the entire time and makes it all so believable. Definitely check this one out, even if you forward the parts you find boring (I did).
The Imperial Coroner
The thing that most fills me with admiration for this drama is the script. Prince An is supposed to be wise and insightful and he actually is. His conversation with Chu Chu in episode 13 is so poignant and reveals so much of his intelligence and inner thoughts. I rewatched the talk of him in bed and then him sketching the hairpin several times. You can trust that this drama is in good hands. There is one thing I strongly dislike and that is the villain. I find him quite revolting, so much so that I have to mute his scenes and sometimes cover the screen to only listen and read the dialogue. I wish they would choose a more palatable villain. The comedy is subtle. Such as when Chu Chu randomly explains in a deadpan voice that before there was a bridge, they had to climb a rope (like monkeys) to get across and Prince An’s expression simply stayed neutral, but you can tell through that he thinks that is so random. Brilliant acting! He also has fabulous flirty looks.
Miss Crow with Mr. Lizard.
The first 15 episodes are fantastic, then it plateaus, then it just totally sinks. Although episode 18 is pretty good. My main four qualms are Gu Chuan’s fashion style, it doesn’t suit the character and he looks awkward. The guys friendship – they talk more like girls and not how two guys would. This makes many of their interactions cringeful instead of intriguing. About half way the two actors: Fair Xing’c acting becomes stiff and with that the chemistry totally dwindles. Ren Jia Lun’s acting makes me cringe in the later half of the drama.You become so aware that they are acting, instead of getting lost in the story and characters. But the first quarter is worth checking out to get a good dose of warm and fuzzies.