THE LEGEND OF ZU (2015) Review – When quantity tried to overcome quality and failed

蜀山战纪之剑侠传奇

Titles: 蜀山战纪之剑侠传奇 (Shu Shan Zhan Ji Zhi Jian Xia Chuan Qi) / The Legend of Zu, The New Shushan Knight Errant Swordsman Biography, The Gods and Demons of Zu Mountain and The Legend of S.

Cast:

  • Zhao Li Ying as Yu Wu Xin
  • William Chan as Ding Yin
  • Nicky Wu as Lu Pao / Shangguan Jing Wo
  • Janice Man as Zhou Qing Yun
  • Li Jin Rong as Zhuge Yu Wo
  • Han Yu Qin as Su Yin
  • Ye Zu Xin as Zhang Xian Bing
  • Gao Wei Guang as Dan Chen Zi
  • Liu Si Tong as Zhuge Zi Ying
  • JJ Jia as Tu Mei
  • Wu Hua Xin as Jiu Du Shen Ju
  • Wang Xi Chao as Wu Gui Tian Wang
  • Louis Fan as Gongsun Wu Wo
  • Zhang Tian Lin as Tu Ba
  • Yu Yue as Tu Meng
  • Wei Chun Guang as Monk Miao Yi
  • Cui Zhong as Bai Cao Xian Ren
  • Wu Li as Xiao Ru Zhen Ren
  • Wang Xiu Qiang as Bai Mei Zhen Ren
  • Zong Feng Yan as Tai Qing Zhen Ren
  • Yang Shi Han as Xiao Wu

Directed by: Huang Wei Jie, Liang Guo Guan and Su Fei

Written by: Ma Yan, Li Jing Ling, Jiang Lai and Ling Yi Ying

Produced by: Nicky Wu-Beijing Straw Bear Films Ltd., Liu Shi Shi, Liu Xiao Feng and Gong Yu


Plot (from Wiki):

The Zhu sect has been a powerful and righteous leader in the martial arts world for quite some time. To save the world from the evil that is Lu Pao (Nicky Wu), the sect leader of Zhu places a magical blood stone inside the body of our hero, Ding Yin (William Chan), in order to enhance his already gifted talents. As a result, Ding Yin stays at Zhu Mountain, working on building and controlling his powers. In a chance encounter, he meets Lu Pao’s daughter, Yu Wu Xin (Zhao Li Ying), who is the spitting image of his deceased wife (Xiao Yu). They initially use each other – she wants to steal the blood demon, and he wants to use her to get to her father. Unfortunately, close proximity brews feelings and complicates everything else. Things build up to many majestic battles between the good and evil sects involving betrayal, sacrifices, and deaths.

16-59-55-21-14.png


Review:

Note: This is the first drama I reviewed while watching, so my impressions about the series are very recent (✿◠‿◠).

TLZ has 56 episodes, divided in 5 different arcs. I kinda like this separation. Each arc has its own openning and ending song, and the progress from one arc to another isn’t abrupt or precipitate (if you skip the openings you wouldn’t even realize). I admire the additional effort and cost this supposed to the producers. In the following video you can check the whole series’ OST:

The scenography is okay, and I pretty like the effect they achieved with fluorescent lightings in some scenes (like the cave where they chained Yu Er and tortured her, the lightings are just beautiful). In this sense, the special effects are good and appropriate as well.

005D0pgegw1ew495wydcfj30qe0eu42u

(SPOILERS) William Chan plays the role of our hero, Ding Yin. Am I the only one who thinks he looks too “plastic”?  His flawless and strangely smooth skin reminds me of Jiro Wang in “Drama Go Go Go”… Probably it’s just a perception but William Chan usually seems more natural.

Although I felt like I should have adored him, I didn’t… Most of the time, Ding Yin was horribly dumb and his behavior wasn’t coherent ಠ╭╮ಠ Ding Yin acts like a pendulum, changing his mind every single second. Watching his mood swings was incredibly boring and frustrating. I know he’s a poor little guy who is manipulated by everyone and I should feel pity for him, but seriously, he’s just a big trunk, as Qing Yun likes to call him.

2HOJL095S8SI
The skin of a plastic Barbie

Ding Yin is first known as Ding Da Li (literally, “Great Strength Ding”), a good-natured and cheerful guy married to a girl named Yu Er. He is said to have an odd illness that sometimes makes him go crazy, hurting people. One day, his village and his beloved neighbours (including, allegedly, Yu Er) are killed by Evil Sect’s soldiers. He’s saved by Zhu’s disciples along with a homeless person he gave refuge the night before (Zhang Xian Bing, bro Xiao Zhang). Later, he loses his memory and stays in Zhu Mountain as another disciple.

Ding Yin was born in a particular day which makes him special, being able to carry and purify the magical blood stone (I will simply call “Stone” that damn stone). The Stone is a demonic object with great powers (conquering the world, resurrecting people, shit alike…), and if the bad guys obtain it the world will end in a terrible way blah blah blah… On the other hand, the “good” guys want Ding Yin to carry and purify it, so it doesn’t become a problem to world’s safety.

In this sense, William Chan’s character reminds me of his good bro Li Yi Feng’s role in Swords of Legends. They both have to control their inner-evilness and they both “died” heros (Ding Yin is later revelead to be possibly alive. Well, he must be alive because season 2 is coming).

61e7f8b0jw1euzo27w92tj20p00ef0wh
I liked the broken sword thing

Another thing is that everyone says things like “oh, he’s awesome, the best Zhu warrior of our generation blah blah blah”, but I couldn’t notice his awesomeness ^( ‘-‘ )^ I don’t think Ding Yin is outstanding at nothing except being a pendulum.

People say he’s too naive and caring, but I neither share this perception. Okay, he was kind and understanding with Xiao Zhang in the beginning, even when he stole their money after all they did for him. Most of the times he trusted Yu Er (even when it was obvious that she was going to betray him), I thought of him more as dumb than naive. Like, okay, you can give her another chance (I would have also), but if the betrayal is THAT obvious, you should at less be a little careful. Instead of having any prevention, he just stays there (like a big trunk) waiting for disaster to happen (not only to himself, but also to people surrounding him). I prefer a hero who know show to prevent a problem than one who limits to solve the problem after it has appeared.

290143-5629cf1d8cdcb.jpg
“You are my everything…” until I get irrationally mad about something (?)

Moreover, I slightly (but significantly) blame him for giving hope to Qing Yun. I’ve always thought there’s not right or wrong in love, and probably I wouldn’t have blamed him if his character wasn’t a pendulum, but I couldn’t stand his “love” to Qing Yun or even Yu Er. One day he’s all sweet and “nothing will separate us” but the next day he acts like he has nothing to do with them. That’s why I couldn’t entirely ship him with any one.

Very likely it’s not a problem of William Chan’s acting, whose swing moods felt brusque and extremely baseless, but script’s failure. Basically, throughout the whole drama, they couldn’t stop creating problems from nothing in order to extend the series until it became utterly absurd.

1885_36242
Evil always has flawless hair from shampoo commercials

For these reasons, I prefer Evil Ding Yin, but his evilness only lasted a few episodes… It came up as fast as it disappeared. I know the point is supporting the idea of love as the greatest power in world, but it felt kinda rushed. Also, Ding Yin’s look at Zhu’s major was, in my opinion, pretty awesome. He successfully achieved a mischievous attractive look.

1280x720-grZ
Longest on-screen kiss in ZLY’s career

ZLY’s participation was the main reason why I wanted to watch this show. As for many people, she’s one of my favourite actress and I tend to enjoy all her performances. The stills released of ZLY’s character (Yu Wu Xin) were so beautiful that I couldn’t wait for this series (✿ ♥‿♥). Some of the costumes (the one in the picture below and especially the red one she wore in marriage) reminds me of Liu Shi Shi’s blue outfit in Sound of the Desert (series I absolutely love).

Yu Wu Xin won’t be my favourite ZLY’s character, but I felt her sorrow and her joy, and was sorry with each of her tears.

12
Gorgeous

Yu Wu Xin is Lu Pao and Su Yin’s daughter. Since her birth day, she thinks her father hates her because she caused her mother’s death. She believes that’s the reason why Lu Pao doesn’t like her and avoids looking at her, and as a consequence, she only lives to fulfill his father plans of avenging Su Yin. My heart broke especially when she talked with Su Yin, telling her she deserves how bad Lu Pao treats her because Su Yin’s death was her fault  ಥ_ಥ 

Lu Pao named her Yu Wu Xin because he wanted her to be heartless like cold jade. He even force her to eat pills which would make her unable to feel any emotion (including love). 

1-150Q2224F4.jpg
My poor precious baby

As I said before, one of my favourite moments in the series is the time Yu Er spent in Zhu Moutain. I loved her talk with Miao Yi, saying she’s just she, and in front of Ding Yin she’s Yu Wu Xin and not Lu Pao’s daughter or an evil woman. She doesn’t care about right or wrong and wants to take the risk of getting close to Ding Yin. These words are very significant because they explain why she loves Ding Yin.

Ding Yin is the one with whom she can get rid of all her “duties” and the burden she always carries. By his side, Yu Er can be whoever she wants and is able to forgive her hate (the hate that has been instilled in her since ever). That’s why I felt so heartbreaking the moment when she said something like: If I can’t revenge mum’s death, I don’t deserve caring about relationships“.

13991620_995480
By Ding Yin’s side, Yu Er can be the person she really are, not the one his father or the world want her to be

However, alike what happens to William Chan’s acting, I think ZLY’s was also affected by script’s absurdity. They overfilled the drama with ridiculous conflicts and problems, and the actors couldn’t change their mood and expressions as fast as the events were supposed to occur.

My favourite scene of this couple is the one in which Ding Yin has to choose between saving Yu Er or Qing Yun, and Ding Ying chose to save Qing Yun but die with Yu Er. I utterly loved that scene, because that’s what I think love should be. Also, that scene is surely Ding Yin’s best moment: for once the annoying pendulum makes a choice (a great choice, indeed).

20160214102055110
The pendulum and Yu Er

If unlike me, you fell in love with Ding Yin and Yu Er’s story, you will be really pleased because there’s plenty scenes of them kissing and hugging (also a bed scene). Although I don’t see them as my OTP, their scenes when Yu Er stayed at Zhu Mountain were incredibly sweet and adorable ♥‿♥ And because of that episode I really hope they could have not ruined their love story (◕︵◕)

MAIN201504071634000082950905442.jpg
Daddy, leave hate and embrace love, pretty please

Many of you may know that Nicky Wu and Liu Shi Shi (a lovely real life couple) produced TLZ: another reason why I wanted to watch the series.

Nicky Wu plays the role of Lu Pao, the leader of the Evil Sect, turned evil because he was betrayed by Zhu Mountain. He craves to obtain the Stone, for reasons why I will explain after. He used to be Shangguan Jing WoZhu’s best disciple of his generation and Zhuge Yu Wo‘s best bro. He deeply loves Su Yin, another outstanding disciple of Zhu. He has demon blood in his veins, and that’s why he wants to obtain the reconnaissance of Zhu’s leader.

1428384095322
My second name is Revenge

For this purpose, he imprisons Tu Ba (the evil ruler and leader of Xi Yu, the dwelling of demons). Firstly, he achieves the trust of the Evil sect by approaching Tu Mei, Tu Ba’s beloved sister. He even slept with her, although madly loving Su Yin and knowing he’s betraying her. Thanks to Tu Mei, he gets into Tu Ba’s den and is able to trick and lock him up.

The problem is that during his mission, and in order to make Tu Mei trust him, he kills the leader of a good clan (who was already bound to die, so in theory he didn’t kill him). The members of this clan later goes to Zhu Mountain and demands Zhu’s leader to punish Jing Wo. Zhu’s leader tears one of Jing Wo’s arms and sentences him to be imprisoned forever. After this, Zhuge Yu Wo tries to help Jing Wo and makes Zhu’s leader change his mind, but he also confess his love to Su Yin. Knowing this, Zhu’s leader arranges a marriage between them and later dies making Zhuge Yu Wo his heir.

BDCAS2U900B70003
Shangguan Jing Wo + Hate – Su Yin = Lu Pao

When Jing Wo acknowledges all of this and is brain washed by another of his bros (Gongsun Wu Wo), he feels betrayed by Zhuge Yu Wo. He’s even more angry when Su Yin tells him about the arranged marriage. Jing Wo makes Su Yin steal the evil technique of forbidden martial arts to escape, and with this he recovers his arm and gets out of prison. Later, he tries to steal the Stone (which is in Zhuge Yu Wo’s possession) and run away with Su Yin.

Unfortunately, Gongsun Wu Wo convinces Zhuge Yu Wo that hurting Su Yin is the only way to catch Jing Wo. Zhuge Yu Wo hurts Su Yin deadly, who is already pregnant of Yu Er. Su Yin is said to be dead, and her death is the reason why Jing Wo turned into Lu Pao. (Also, Zhuge Yu Wo lives in regret since this because he can’t forgive himself).

This is odd because we get to see a very alive Su Yin, acting as a doctor and helping people harmed and hurt by Lu Pao. The story of what really happened later is revealed towards the end of the series, in a strange and forceful way (more overfilled stories…). Su Yin sacrifices herself to give birth to Yu Er, and compels Jing Wo to take care of her (something he doesn’t do). Su Yin really dies but Jing Wo uses his learnt technique to “revive” her and maintain her alive in his body. Suddenly, the writers pull the wool over our eyes and reveal that Su Yin and Jing Wo has been sharing the same body since that day… (WTF). 

201548145658247
Lu Pao watching his memories with Su Yin

Lu Pao needs the Stone because that’s the only way to separate Su Yin from his body (fully revive her). For this purpose he uses everyone (even his daughter Yu Er), no matter what it costs. In the list of people he used and sacrificed, I’m especially sorry for Tu Mei.

Tu Mei absolutely fell in love for Jing Wo when they met, and even after being betrayed the first time (causing his brother and Xi Yu’s imprisonment), he chooses to save the dying Jing Wo (who escaped to Xi Yu after giving baby Yu Er to a family who would raise her) and asks mercy for him in front of Tu Ba. Jing Wo, now Lu Pao, tells Tu Ba that he will release Xi Yu and free him; but in fact, he is only interested in obtaining the Stone. Tu Ba, who never trusted Lu Pao, turns him into some kind of “vampire” (basically, he makes him dependent of human blood: if he doesn’t get doses of blood frequently he will suffer terrible pain).

Tu Mei follows Lu Pao to help him achieve his plans. She knows Lu Pao still loves Su Yin, and is once and again rejected, but her love is persistent. Although Tu Mei is said to be whimsical and selfish, she sacrifices her dignity and her brotherly love just to stay with Lu Pao. She does everything to make Lu Pao fall in love with her, and in the end, when she learnt the real motive why Lu Pao wants that Stone (reviving her one love, Su Yin), she is so hurt that lets Lu Pao kill her by accident. While dying, she confessed that she got pregnant of Lu Pao’s child when they slept together, but she lost that child. Her death was one of the most powerful scenes of the whole series and I ended up loving her character. Hell yeah to JJ Jia (Tu Mei’s actress) for her marvelous and sorrowful acting.

CAMBIAR.jpg
Tu Mei is the most heartbreaking collateral damage of Lu Pao’s actions

When Tu Ba returns to supervise Lu Pao and verify if he’s being loyal to him, he discovers that Lu Pao is not helping at all with freeing Xi Yu. He decides it’s time to kill Lu Pao and tries to when Tu Mei is absent to avoid it. Lu Pao gets fatally injured and escapes.

Su Yin meets Zhuge Yu Wo, who finds out about all the body-sharing shit. Due to Lu Pao’s wounds, he’s too weak to support Su Yin in his body, and they split. Zhuge Yu Wo helps them escape from Tu Ba’s pursuit, but Su Yin is about to die (she can’t survive too long separated from Lu Pao) and they urgently need the Stone.

In the end, Lu Pao dies after a fatal fight with Tu Ba. This is the only moment in 20 years when Jing Wo and Su Yin are able to see each other (because before, when they split, Su Yin stayed unconscious, at the edge of death). They died happily as you can see in the picture below, in a poignant and beautiful scenario.

CqgNOlae8yyAEselAAAAAAAAAAA543.950x548
Overall, I really liked Jing Wo and Su Yin’s story, but they didn’t convince me with all the body-sharing thing…

Tu Ba is the first “real” villain of the series, I liked him a thousand times more than Gongsun Wu Wo. He’s a villain because he wants to conquer Zhong Yuan as the ruler of Xi Yu, but he loves Tu Mei and even accepted to give Jing Wo many chances. But he’s not a fool and knows perfectly that even if he doesn’t kill Lu Pao, he mustn’t trust him.

Tu Mei’s foolness and love towards Jing Wo caused him to lose her freedom and Xi Yu’s, and as a result, incredibly mad, he “kills” Tu Mei and Lu Pao’s child. But later we learnt that he wasn’t really able to kill his own cousin, the little Tu Meng, and raises her as his daughter. Tu Meng has his own story, she’s said to had born too weak (with crystal bones) to even walk. Su Yin is the one who, surprisingly, cures her strange illness, and takes Tu Meng as her disciple in medicinal subjects. Since then, Tu Meng serves as a doctor in Xi Yu like Su Yin does in Zhong Yuan.

The same way I lamented Tu Mei’s death, I was also sorry of Tu Ba’s. He died because stupid Gongsun Wu Wo came and betrayed him. Ironically, experience should have already warned him that, as he usually says, Xi Yu’s people shouldn’t trust Zhong Yuan’s (◕︵◕)

1430204131284
Tu Ba was fine as a villain, he and Tu Mei ended up owning my respect

I don’t want to talk about the real “villain”, Gongsun Wu Wo, because he’s sooooo dumb  (︶︹︺) He desires of becoming Zhu’s leader, and his strategy is based on confronting Zhuge Yu Wo and Lu Pao by creating misunderstandings between them. Deep down, he must know how useless he is, and if he doesn’t use such despicable methods, he wouldn’t be able to achieve anything ╮(─▽─)╭

I loathe weak villains or lame attempts of “villaining”, and this dude is surely a stupid villain to be hated. His “evil” laugh is ridiculous to hell and his look (imitating evil Ding Yin’s look) was so absurd that I couldn’t even stare at the screen. It’s a shame that both resurrected Jing Wo and Ding Yin “died” to kill him… ಠ_ಠ (Yes, because Yu Er uses the Stone to resurrect his father as an ally to kill Gongsun Wu Wo, who got absurdly “powerful” by learning the forbidden technique that evil Ding Yin taught him).

tumblr_o5ew7jsFWR1tnzn5zo7_1280.jpg
Meh…

Lu Pao’s Evil Sect is also conformed by two dudes: Jiu Du and Wu Gui. Jiu Du is Lu Pao’s trustworthy man, but he’s later revealed to be loyal to Tu Ba. That was kind of unexpected because Jiu Du’s devotion to Lu Pao was outstanding (I suspected something in that scene when Tu Mei asks Jiu Du if Lu Pao went to Zhu Mountain to save her or there was any other reason. Jiu Du, surprisingly, tells the truth saying that Lu Pao went there, in fact, to recover Su Yin’s love letters).

As he said, Jiu Du betrayed Lu Pao because his life was Tu Ba’s, but immediately after this, he is tormented by remorse and helps Lu Pao to escape. He is truly thankful to Lu Pao, he’s loyal to him and no one, but he could not pay Tu Ba’s debt. Unfortunately, Lu Pao can’t forgive someone who betrayed him and as a consequence, he kills Jiu Du. His death was terrible, and the acting was superb. Jiu Du’s eyes, particulary, and Lu Pao’s, were painfully expressive. In short, a must seen scene.

20150430112415712
Wu Gui Tian Wang

On the other hand, Wu Gui joins the Evil Sect because he fell in love with Yu Er. I adore how their relantionship evolved. At first, I thought Wu Gui only loved Yu Er superficially, but he proved many times that he’s willing to sacrifice his own life to save hers.

I tried to hate Wu Gui when he “slightly” betrayed Yu Er by tricking her, thinking that he was in fact, helping her (that was kinda nonsense btw). I also tried to hate him when he accepted to save Ding Yin if she marries him, but in both cases I couldn’t. He did all those things but, after realizing he was wrong, he still sacrifices himself to save Yu Er. However, there were some odd moments, like how he appeared out of nowhere in Xi Yu ಠ╭╮ಠ

7077dc1dgw1eqomiuwl7lj20p00efdjs
If they give me one penny each time Yu Er hits or betas Wu Gui, I would became awfully rich in one day

I felt very sorry for him when he forcibly kissed Yu Er and she rejected her, unable to accept him because she couldn’t stop loving “big trunk” Ding Yin.

My favourite Wu Gui moment was how badass he was even when he was horribly tortured by Lu Pao. His speech in that scene is awesome, because despite everything, he has the braveness to put things clear to Lu Pao, talking about how absurd was his obsession with revenge, in the most astonishing way.

2272860415752999688
Qing Yun

On Zhu Mountain’s side we have Qing Yun, our second female lead who, obviously, immediately fell for Ding Yin. She’s an orphan found by Miao Yi and raised since then as Zhu’s disciple. Her family revelation arc was kinda boring, so I won’t go into details. I think they included this arc just because they needed Qing Yun to be genetically cursed… You may be surprised of how absurd (and self-evident) her curse is.

Basically, if Qing Yun doesn’t have sex with a person she loves, she would die horribly before reaching 20 years old (WTF) ಠ_ಠ Right after Ding Yin and Yu Er almost got married, her illness got worse and guess what… Ding Yin (who was mad at Yu Er in that moment, how impressive…) decides to marry her in order to save her life ●︿● More ridiculous conflicts to fill the plot.

Zu 3
Pendulum Ding Yin “gives Qing Yun a try”

After acknowledging that Yu Er is Lu Pao’s daughter, Ding Yin decides to get over her. He lives in denial and after many events that pressured him to start a relationship with Qing Yun, he gives her “a try”. Before this I pretty liked Qing Yun’s character, she was sincere and  cutely simple-minded; but after Ding Yin gave hope to her by “trying to love her” (and so forgetting Yu Er), she became awfully annoying.

I hated her every time Ding Yin was in danger and she just stayed there, staring and doing nothing. It’s always Yu Er who comes to save Ding Yin, risking everything including his own life. The most hateful part is how after Yu Er has solved the problems, she appears suddenly by Ding Yin’s side and acts like she cares deeply… ಠ_ಠ I couldn’t understand how Qing Yun turned so despicable…

Zu 81
Precious sweetheart

As for Zu’s majors, I specially love Miao Yi‘s character. He’s funny, good-natured and loyal. His tenderness towards Xiao Ru and his disciples is heart-warming. He is willing to sacrifice in order to help others and has a wise sense of justice. I adore how his love is pure and simple, and how he treats everything fairly. He allowed Yu Er to stay in the Mount, and even after the disaster she caused (forced by the disciples who went to attack her), he still wants to help her by asking Xiao Ru to hide her parents’ missives. Someone may think he is like Zhuge Yu Wo, but even ‘though they both are sentimental and compassionate, Miao Yi has a better judgement.

Major Xiao Ru is Miao Yi’s wife, and the responsible of Zu’s female disciples. Alike my dorky sweetie Miao Yi, she’s gentle and fair. Their love story is heart-warming and simple, something you would thank after all the complicated bullshit that happens in the show.

11168490_817051901712552_3630065001973405707_n
Major Bai Cao Xian Ren

Zu’s last major is Bai Cao Xian Ren, a renowned doctor with a strange personality. He seems grumpy and insensitive, but deep down he’s sweet and caring.

There’s (of course) another love triangle in the series. I’m not very interested in the people involved in this one, but I will shortly talk about it because it will be decisive in the following season 2.

13228781772579940294.jpg
Zi Ying is Zhuge Yu Wo’s whimsical and spoiled daughter

Zhuge Yu Wo has a daughter (who’s the mother?) called Zhuge Zi Ying, a spoiled and foolish girl who loves Dan Chen Zi, Zhu’s main disciple. She wants Dan Chen Zi to become the next Zhu leader, at any cost; and Dan Chen Zi wants to satisfy her cravings, also at any cost. Maybe I sympathize with them in a few scenes, but most of the time they were very annoying.

The problem is that Zhang Xian Bing, Xiao Zhang, Ding Yin’s good bro, fell for Zi Ying in the so-called love at first sight. Zi Ying is not slightly interested in Xiao Zhang, but he’s willing to do whatever to conquer her heart. When Zi Ying is fatally poisoned and the unique cure is Xiao Zhang’s blood (common drama cliché), he decides to sacrifice himself and I really thought he was dying in that scene but… Abruptly, they skipped the scene and the next thing we know is that Zi Ying is perfectly recovered and Xiao Zhang is alive (weird drama cutting scenes). Everyone acts like nothing has happened… (WTF).

Zu 63
Xiao Zhang

Xiao Zhang is so in love with Zi Ying that he even drugged her, thinking this drug will make her love him for half a day. Nevertheless, the real effect of this drug is causing hallucinations to its victim, making it see the other person as his lover (Dan Chen Zi in Zi Ying’s case). Basically, Xiao Zhang believes Zi Ying has fallen for him; but reality is that Zi Ying treats him nicely thinking he’s Dan Chen Zi.

Xiao Zhang is so happy of being loved by Zi Ying that ends up sleeping with her ◔_◔ The next morning, when Zi Ying awakes, she doesn’t remember anything but knows that something terrible has happened (she’s not a virgin anymore). After realizing it’s Xiao Zhang’s fault, she stabbs him and leaves him in a forest full of tigers. Then, Xiao Zhang is said to be dead.

I will admit how disappointed I was with Xiao Zhang in this arc. I really thought he was proving himself by acting honourably, rejecting the drug and conquering Zi Ying with his sincerity.

10.jpg
Xiao Zhang’s actor (Ye Zu Xin) is a good friend of Nicky Wu (and Liu Shi Shi) since BBJX, and so they usually work together :’)

Dan Chen Zi is devastated because he suspects his girl is no longer a virgin, although Zi Ying keeps denying everything. When Zi Ying knows she’s pregnant, she tries to seduce Dan Chen Zi to have sex with her (so everyone will believe the child is his), but Dan Chen Zi rejects her. These things are some of the reasons why I detest Dan Chen Zi and Zi Ying. The first one lives in denial, not willing to believe what’s obvious (that something happened between Xiao Zhang and Zi Ying, against her will). However, he unconsciously repudiates her (because somehow it’s Zi Ying’s fault that Xiao Zhang drugged her and, basically, rapped her) (╯◕_◕)╯ On the other hand, Zi Ying tries to cover everything at any cost (among other things, trying to force Dan Chen Zi to marry her by putting pressure through his daddy, Zhuge Yu Wo).

Xiao Zhang’s child dies before being born, protecting Zi Ying. It’s in this moment when Dan Chen Zi acknowledges she was pregnant, understanding why she tried to seduce her that night. He’s very angry but covers everything, not denying that the child isn’t his.

Things don’t happen as Zi Ying wants, and Dan Chen Zi doesn’t marry her, even after his father’s death. Evil Ding Yin uses all of this to manipulate Zi Ying, making her think it was Dan Chen Zi who murdered Zhuge Yu Wo. Finally, Dan Chen Zi dies because of Evil Ding Yin and Gongsun Wu Wo, helped by Zi Ying. With his final breath, Dan Chen Zi apologizes to Zi Ying, saying how much he loves her (which doesn’t feel convincing because of all the things I stated before).

bg_01_jfs52343.jpg
Zhuge Yu Wo makes Dan Chen Zi promise him that he would marry Zi Ying and take care of her after his death

Later, it’s revealed that Xiao Zhang is still alive (no one is really dead in this infernal show). He’s now the leader of a group of (good-natured) mountain thieves. When Xiao Zhang reencounters with Zi Ying, she’s horribly sorry and depressed due to Dan Chen Zi’s death. Gongsun Wu Wo captures Xiao Zhang and drives him crazy by inserting a piece of the Stone in his body. Xiao Zhang, possessed by the Stone’s power, ends up killing Zi Ying.

In series finale, after resurrected Lu Pao and Ding Yin had killed Gongsun Wu Wo, it’s announced that Xiao Zhang still has that piece of the Stone in his organism (making him the most powerful person alive, now that resurrected Lu Pao and Ding Yin are imprisoned). He’s furious and hurt by Zi Ying’s death, and surely blames everyone. So, season 2 will very likely focus on his revenge, turning into the next big bad guy.


Conclusion:

I’ve spent an undeserved amount of time reviewing this show, so writing a conclusion feels kinda liberating. I would only recommend TLZ to an extremely patient fan of ZLY, William Chan or Nicky Wu. Most of the time, it was really difficult to keep watching the series. As I’ve said before, the script creates obsessively problems and conflicts in order to extend the lenght of the show (remember there’s a total of 56 episodes). Thus, most of the arcs and stories are a bunch of nonsense which ruined the whole series. The writers should have remembered “it is quality rather than quantity that matters“.

Still, there are some good scenes and positive elements that shouldn’t be ignored. In my opinion, the acting was good, especially in the case of ZLY, Nicky Wu and JJ Jia. There are some beautiful scenes as the time Yu Er spent with Ding Yin in Zu Mountain, and some epic moments like Ding Yin choosing to save Qing Yun and dying with Yu Er. The effort they made with the OST is also remarkable.

1280x720-1qe

However, I think I won’t watch season 2. I’m totally sure that Ye Zu Xin will make a better villain than Gongsun Wu Wo’s actor (everyone could), but I won’t be able (and don’t want) to bear more deficient scripting.

The show could have been awesome and far more better if they hadn’t use 56 episodes, with a lot of stuffing, for a story that could have been carried out in 30. A pity, indeed.

1-16010616043U21


Others:

Appearance of the cast in program Happy Camp: The main cast (Nicky Wu, Zanilia Zhao and William Chan) were incredibly adorable alongside the promoters of the game Clash of Clans, 部落冲突 (JJ Lin, Gao Yuan Yuan and Jimmy Lin).

In the beginning of this second Happy Camp program, the main cast (Nicky Wu, Zanilia Zhao and William Chan) sweetly takes part in different games.


  • Plot: 12/20
  • Cast: 17/20
  • OST: 10/10
  • Scenography: 8/10
  • Costume: 9/10
  • Overall: 8/10
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “THE LEGEND OF ZU (2015) Review – When quantity tried to overcome quality and failed

    1. KasisKaz

      Hi! I haven’t watched Mystic Nine. Maybe one of these days I’ll watch it. Did you like it? Would you recommended it to me? Thanks for your comment! 😀

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s