How did I get here?
Sherlock-Watson shenanigans in ancient China? Lan Jingyi outside Cloud Recesses, poor and without his headband? Color me intrigued. My WangXian and JohnLock heart is here for all of it.
TikTok and its algorithm got me here, as usual. While the novel isn’t originally danmei, there were rumors that the drama was BL-themed. China’s danmei censorship, however, wasn’t gonna let that happen… I think? Because I’m already 5 episodes in and the main characters interacted with each other but doesn’t have chemistry. *kicking and screaming in no CP*
Zhang Ping, a destitute scholar, regrettably found his aspirations constrained by poverty. Consequently, he resorted to selling noodles to sustain himself. On the other hand, Lan Jue, also known as Peizhi, held the esteemed position of Vice Minister of Rites. His dead father was infamous for treason. Driven by an unyielding determination to redeem his family’s honor, Peizhi embarked on a resolute mission to clear his father’s tarnished reputation. As fate would have it, Zhang Ping and Peizhi’s paths intertwined when Peizhi orchestrated an elaborate scheme to retrieve the secret message stolen from him by Hong Luo. With Zhang Ping’s detective skills, he figured out Peizhi took advantage of his dispute with Hong Luo. Hence, he obsessively tried to find a proof that Peizhi was the culprit for the next three days. However, his nosy self only got involved in yet another case to solve. This time, it involved more government officials and the Empress Dowager herself.
I’m here for the plot not the UST. Why? Because THERE. IS. NO. UST. The main characters have no chemistry. The side characters have more chemistry with the main characters than the main characters between themselves. Maybe (a.k.a I really hope), it will improve after episode 5.
Five episodes felt like two episodes. The plot was intriguing and the characters were charming, it does compel my attention. Also, it became more fun when I realized it wasn’t Sherlock-Watson shenanigans kind of drama as I understood from TIkTok videos. It’s more like gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss, Peizhi and then there’s Zhang Ping. LOL.
Lan Jue / Peizhi
My first thought when Lan Jue appeared on the screen was, ‘What shade of lipstick is he using?’ because it looked so good on him. Is that because of the camera filter? Also, where can I buy it? His character was shrouded in mystery and I’m here for it. I look forward to seeing the layers of his character. Who was helping him? Why were they helping him? Who was the recipient of his letter? Does he plan to betray his own country? I’m also interested in his backstory. the whole Zhang-Ping-is-an-orphan agenda is giving off a Korean drama vibe, a.k.a. long-lost childhood friends. IJS.
He was an intriguing character. Idk what they did to his hair because why the hell does it look like that? Although his character does fade into the background, I think it’s by design. He’s not as memorable or as charming as other characters. Yet, he captivates the room when describing his thought process and sleuthing. I like the magic water bowl thing, too. It did make sense he didn’t want to rely on it as it makes him sleep for two days every time he uses it. He’s naive and I’m looking forward to his character development. I’m also curious of his origins because that magic water bowl might just be the tip of the iceberg of his magic.
Although their meet-cute was cute-cute, I’m still sitting here patiently waiting for the bromance between them because Lan Jue and Mowen have more chemistry together just as much as Zhang Ping and Chen Chou.
S/N: Chen Chou was like Lan Jing Yi reincarnated in another era. He’s so adorable! His WangXian dads would be proud.
Can’t wait to bingewatch this show!