Rise of the Phoenixes

I’ve learned nothing!

I began a Chinese drama last week, longing for a world vivid, lush, and extreme. But, I didn’t check the episode count first. Somewhere around the 20th episode, wondering how much longer there would be until a kiss, I looked.


Anyway, I got what I was looking for, albeit too much. And considering my admittedly obsessive tendencies, ended up spending entirely too much of the weekend in front of the TV.

Via Soompi.com

Which doesn’t mean that my new health goals fell by the wayside. It means I read a lot of subtitles upside down while doing “angels” on a pool noodle, and a lot of subtitles shakily bouncing around as I was. Thankfully I have all kinds of new sand ball gadgets and exercises that need only a chair or some such, but it was all pretty funny.

Rise of the Phoenixes, thankfully for all that trouble, was well worth watching, although I want to be careful to say that what hooks me into something like this may be quite different from what others are seeking.

  • There was a great deal of 3 or more layered strategy, some of which required a great deal of patience to play out. I personally found that rewarding.
  • In some of the non-historical Chinese dramas I’ve seen, the writers have been very hesitant for the hero figure to not win every time, even in the small things, but this was more complex, perhaps being based on a well-loved book.
  • Considering how many of these ‘princes battling for the throne’ story lines I’m familiar with, it is not easy to surprise me at all. I was often surprised. 🙂
Kun Chen, via Pinterest, from “Flying Swords of Dragon”

On the shallower side, I was mesmerized by Kun Chen‘s beautiful, yet somehow odd, face. Or, maybe it was the way his face was so different from moment to moment, which is hard to find captured in still shots. I know this because I didn’t the terribly difficult labor of searching for quite a while. >ahem<

Almost all the actors in this series were fantastic. I’ve gotten a too used to watching shows with a blend of levels of talent hanging off of one or two main super talents, I think, because I kept stopping to consider just how good they were.

From Xin Zi Yan to Ni Ni (who is also, incredibly gorgeous), each showed themselves multifaceted through several shifts and character transformations.

Ni Ni, via scmp.com

If I could change anything, I would smooth out the pacing, distribute the energies more evenly. The first half was slow to show its hand, but the last several episodes felt like a different drama, trying to fit too many plot lines and character shifts in before the clock ran out. This meant that although I have no qualms with the ending itself, I felt just okay when sending these characters off into the void.

And maybe more kissing. 🙂

If you’d like a more thorough ‘recap’ type post, I enjoyed this one.

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