Every drama fiend has their drama crack. *shrug* Nothing new under the sun. I’ve had my share of crack drama over the years – Long Vacation, Buffy, Coffee Prince, Descendents of the Sun, and more recently This is My First Life – and I’ve never really thought too hard about it. There’s that special something that hooks you – chemistry in the OTP (or secondary pairing or a doomed ship), excellent plot, nuanced acting – despite certain flaws which may detract from your enjoyment.
Hence, it was quite an epiphany for me to rediscover the meaning of crack. Dictionary.com defines crack as “pellet sized pieces of highly purified cocaine, prepared with other ingredients for smoking, and known to be especially potent and addicting“. So far so good, still nothing new under the sun. Until I remembered that cocaine is inherently toxic, and can cause one’s brain to rewire, leading to harmful behaviour. You’d need HIGHER doses in order to hit the same highs. And you’d never be sated, no matter what you do…
Well, I guess you can guess what I’ve been up to the last week – yes, snorting drama crack, brand name: Legend of Fuyao, up to high heavens. Obsessively checking for previews and snippets (even on Instagram cos I’m too dumb to search in Chinese for Chinese sites). Oh god, is there no self- control left? And it’s not even particularly good (besides my handsome handsome Ethan)!
I totally blame Dramas with a Side of Kimchi for this latest debacle. Their discussion of Legend of Fuyao totally piqued my interest because Ethan Juan stars in this and I haven’t had a chance to fangirl over any hunks recently. Hitting 40 makes one feel a bit pedophilic if the hottie in question is in his twenties – horrors, I could’ve given birth to that delicious morsel if I’d started on sexual misadventures earlier. Shudder…
So back to the crack named Fuyao. It’s strangely addictive despite the horribly godawful flaws. You should probably stop reading and check it out for yourself if you’d like to avoid spoilers. So many issues with it, and yet I’m still watching… that’s how crack addles your brain into gooey mush… Here are my major pet peeves:
- Gaping plot holes the size of Africa.
So the doctor knows the daughter of the evil premier from childhood cos they played together but the evil premier doesn’t know that his adopted son/servant is the doctor’s brother, one of two kids of a prince he’d framed so badly that the whole family kena 满门抄斩 (got exterminated). WHAT???
Plot is moved along by random characters’ expository explanations relevant only up to that point. For example, matching tattoos that nobody sought to check up till now, birth secrets or political commentary from an itinerant hawker/head servant/martial art sect head… WHAT???
Crafty evil premier believes that Fuyao can survive a fire by hiding in some random place. WHAT???
Fuyao apparently has learnt some kickass moves, but still gets bested by imposter crown prince/now-king hottie for some delicious skinship at every opportunity. WHAT???
Fuyao claims to be an independent free spirit, but has to be saved at EVERY turn by Ethan. And disguises herself to get into the palace as a concubine. WHAT???
The WHAT??? goes on…
- A confused chimera of a plot that wants to blend every conceivable genre.
Everything AND the kitchen sink are in this hodge podge travesty they call a plot – the wuxia novel (think Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre 《倚天屠龙记》), shenanigans of conniving concubines (by way of Legend of Zhenhuan《甄嬛传》), and fantasy (wait, is Chinese Paladin like this mish mash? Horrors!!! Thank goodness for having missed the whole decade of Chinese fantasy dramas…). Oh, oh! They’ve also got that Harry Potter-Voldemort prophecy thingy going (and definitely shades of Goblet of Fire).
- Wooden acting.
From the Magic Doctor. With two expressions. Stoic. And constipated. Who can also martial arts. And has a secret revenge plan. Erm.
- The CGI, or crazy godawful imagery.
Asian CGI still has a long way to go whether it’s scenery or monsters.
- Yang Mi.
Despite all those who rave about her acting abilities, I don’t really think she’s all that great. Passable acting but all I can think about when she’s on screen is that she should probably eat more. She’s positively emaciated.
- 66 freaking episodes.
Not quite a soap opera, but getting there…
So why am I still watching?
Like what was said on Dramas with a Side of Kimchi, the flirty banter and skinship can be electrifying. Unfortunately, it is kinda decreasing as the series progresses. Also, I love the crazy ads for pads and shopping apps that the actors do. The raw version has them, but I think they’ve been taken out of the subbed ones. Plus, it’s been a while since I could just play a drama in the background and do something else in the meantime.