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The Blooms at Ruyi Pavilion chinese drama review
The Blooms at Ruyi Pavilion
88 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
by WandereR
Nov 14, 2020
40 of 40 episódios vistos
Completados 3
No geral 8.5
História 8.5
Atuação/Elenco 9.0
Musical 9.0
Voltar a ver 8.5
Esta resenha pode conter spoilers

Reunion at Ruyi Pavilion

2 years after the much loved Legend of Yun Xi ended, the gang got together once more to give us The Blooms at Ruyi Pavilion. This is a reunion of the cast and crew, comprising:

Director - Lin Jian Long
Screenwriter - Jin Yuan Yuan
Main cast – Ju Jing Yi, Zhang Zhe Han, Xu Jia Qi (Kiki), and Wang You Shuo
Supporting cast - Lu Xing Yu, Chen Jing Yu, Tan Li Min, Tong Rong Qin, Li Rui Chao, and Jin Xiang Dong, among the notable ones

Unfortunately, Merxat isn’t part of the reunion (which is just as well, since the SML’s character here wouldn’t have suited him anyway).

UNOFFICIALLY, this is the sequel to Legend of Yunxi about the reincarnation of Han Yun Xi and Long Fei Ye. OFFICIALLY though, The Blooms at Ruyi Pavilion is a totally different story - it’s apparently an extremely loose adaptation of the novel Chong Hou Zhi Lu (宠后之路) aka The Way of Favors by renowned web novelist Xiao Jia Ren (笑佳人). This drama is essentially about LOVE in its many incarnations – affectionate love, enduring love, familiar love, romantic love, playful love, obsessive love, self-love, and selfless love (also known as the ancient Greek’s 8 types of love). Included in the mix are subsets comprising the dreaded love triangle, and the most unusual of all, love gone horribly wrong (more on this later).

This concoction of love themes is set within the context of palace politics with an underlying conspiracy brewing throughout and, to some extent, an exploration of ancient jewellery-making and commercial rivalry between diverse jewellers, chief among them being Ruyi Pavilion (in addition to other “activities” it’s involved in) and Feng Lai Yi, the royally-commissioned supplier of palace jewellery. Although the synopsis says otherwise, I really consider these as mere side stories and plot devices that accentuate the main story, which really is all about LOVE through its assorted manifestations among the various characters.

This drama is largely character driven rather than concentrated on an intricately woven plot. The plot itself is rather straightforward and the so-called villains contained therein belong to the quite harmless category. I do appreciate its unique premise that centres around the fascinating concept of foreboding dreams, much like LoYX’s distinct focus on detoxifying poisons as a healing art. Sadly, this concept was not explored in-depth but instead only fleetingly referenced at the beginning of the show. This has led to much discussion on the cut scenes involving dream sequences (particularly in episode 1) in both the Chinese and International versions of this drama. The uncut version is available on cable subscription in certain regions and, having seen the deleted footage, I can safely conclude that it does not diminish the overall storytelling. As such, viewers can be rest assured to enjoy this drama with a peace of mind and without fear of plot holes to adversely impact your viewing experience.

This is a well made production with excellent quality art direction and cinematography. However, the editing is rather choppy which is made glaringly obvious particularly during scene transitions. For the most part, the wuxia action scenes have been superbly choreographed. Interestingly, these martial arts skills (particularly the Qinggong 轻功) feature prominently during courtship and dating scenes e.g. the dashing male protagonists holding the female love interest tightly in their arms as they gracefully leap across the night sky from roof to roof or to the top of the watch tower to gaze longingly upon the constellation of stars and even the floating Kongming lanterns孔明灯 (definitely more visually stunning and stylishly romantic when compared to using the clumsy step ladder). Without doubt, the martial arts choreography reached its zenith through the spectacular display of awesome swordsmanship by the main characters of Prince Su and Prince An during the night skirmish in episode 31.

The FL Fu Rong is a character that’s supposedly written to be adorably cute, selflessly courageous, and intelligently bright. Whether intentionally or not, the character design did come across as somewhat immature and irrational at times, thus infuriating certain segments of viewers. However, seeing as all that’s well ends well, I have since resigned to the fact that the FL for this show is not written to be as consistently strong and intelligent as the character Han Yun Xi in LoYX. I’m a big fan of Ju Jing Yi and I thought she delivered what was expected of her, since actors can only work with what they’re given. The other aspect that bothers me somewhat is JJY’s heavy makeup and excessive red eye shadow (much like in In a Class of Her Own). I honestly hope that her makeup team would make the necessary adjustments to tone down the vampire with conjunctivitis look in her future projects. She did look much better in LoYX back in 2018 anyway, so sometimes less is definitely more.

On the other hand, I’m quite pleased with some of the other main characters. The ML Prince Su initially gave me Long Fei Ye vibes, the cold and stoic military man. He turned out to be much more that that - he gave us a nuanced display of emotive expressions and glimpses of a cheeky and mischievous side. Zhang Zhe Han has done a brilliant job here and portrayed probably his most endearing moment of the show when he cried his guts out in episode 21. That visibly touching scene truly tugged at the heartstrings and you cannot but sympathise with his insufferable plight. A masterclass in acting perfection indeed.

The highlight of the entire show is undoubtedly the delightful interactions and amazing chemistry between the OTP that’s reminiscent of their time together in LoYX. It’s as if they had stayed married and never parted ways since 2018. From their hilarious first encounter, to their eventual acceptance of each other as lovers and soul mates, and finally working together hand in hand to unravel the underlying conspiracy, their romantic development is somewhat slow burn this time but still evenly paced where they finally get together around the halfway mark. Although they encounter much adversity along the way, these are promptly resolved without the prolonged angst and the OTP’s many sweet moments throughout more than make up for those anxieties.

The SML, Prince An, is played by Liu Yi Chang in what is perhaps his first serious role as a “villain”, compared to his previous roles in youth and comedy dramas. As the “third wheel” of the low angst (and highly implausible) love triangle, he is perhaps the perfect example of how “love”, no matter how one-sided, can go wrong on so many levels – by being the only guy who has ever given away, willingly, the love of his life to another rival (considered to be his bitter enemy, no less) to be married. Such a magnanimous character indeed. His version of the lovelorn and vengeful antagonist who is seemingly motivated by familial piety and misplaced sense of justice is as feeble as the basis of his motivations. What started out promisingly in the first 5 episodes devolved into a depiction of an utterly unbelievable twisted psychosis of love sickness and vengeance.

Meanwhile, the second couple is truly a pleasure to observe. Portrayed by the exquisitely talented and gorgeous Kiki Xu and the undeniably charismatic Wang You Shou (with a really captivating voice), the supporting characters of Fu Xuan and Wu Bai Qi are one of the major compelling reasons that kept me watching this show. I honestly find their individual character growth as well as their emotional connection when they eventually got together to be extremely well written and remarkably depicted. How their entire story arc unfolded, is so believable and relatable without ever being contrived, cringeworthy or OTT. Fantastic portrayal and outstanding acting! At times, I do wonder whether Fu Xuan and Fu Rong are biological siblings for they seem worlds apart. Perhaps the screenwriters would know the answer to this.

There are side characters who compete for attention in annoying the heck out of viewers. None more so than the unholy trinity of the Emperor, the Marquis, and the Princess. The Emperor, played by Chang Cheng (who was much more pleasant in Love is Sweet), antagonises with his peculiar mix of incompetence and fanaticism in matchmaking his son with what he considers to be the “proper noble wife". Lu Xing Yu’s Marquis Zhang is the perfect example of the lousy parent. Even from beyond his grave, his villainy continues to cause much torment. The Princess of Xihe, Cui Wan is one of the most infuriating characters ever created for a C-drama. Jiang Shan’s portrayal of this idiotic, bratty and loathsome airhead leaves us all tremendously exasperated and literally gasping for air.

The OST for this show is truly exceptional. Comprising 5 tracks, 3 of which were sung by JJY while Kiki sings one track. JJY’s singing, as always is enthralling, much like her OST for LoY. Her rendition of the opening theme is particularly touching while the duet, Dreams Crossing is hauntingly enchanting. Kiki showcases her soulful side through her song, Deep Feelings. Track listing as follows:

古画Ancient Painting - 鞠婧祎Ju JingYi
芙蓉Fu Rong - 鞠婧祎Ju JingYi
梦渡Dreams Crossing - 鞠婧祎·霍尊Ju JingYi·Henry Huo
意浓Deep Feelings - 许佳琪Xu Jia Qi
祈愿Make a Wish - 孔肖吟Kong Xiao Yin

The Blooms at Ruyi Pavilion is, to many, a much needed “sequel” to the uncertain outcome of Legend of Yunxi. Although we were given alternate endings then, there was a feeling of unresolved emotions that needed a proper closure. Fortunately, the production team gave us a definite happily ever after ending this time. I believe fans of LoYX would probably savour this more than those who have not watched the “parent story”. There were many references that paid homage to LoYX in easter eggs such as the puppet show highlighting the story of Han Yun Xi and Long Fei Ye, as well as the “cold poison” that afflicted the MLs of both dramas. Having said that, I think this drama provides enough entertainment value for newcomers to the romance between Ju Jing Yi and Zhang Zhe Han, who also get the value-added second couple’s romance between Kiki Xu and Wang You Shou. Despite its imperfections and not surpassing LoYX’s overall quality of script and storytelling, I still had fun watching this show, and I think most viewers would too.
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