Episode 1|How to tell a good story when an online IP is adapted from ancient puppets?

    Editor's note: The "First Episode" series to help you watch the drama is here. Is the recently aired drama worth getting into? Good-looking and weird, let’s play together on the weekends.

    Maybe some dramas will get better gradually, and some dramas may start high but then slow down, so this article only represents the author's opinion on the first few episodes and is for reference only. If there is any subsequent slap in the face, we will inform you at any time.

    "Peaceful as a Dream"

    First broadcast time: November 7, 2023

    Broadcast platform: iQiyi

    When watching this drama, the author only had one thought: Who is this? Who is this? Where is she? What is he doing? What the hell am I looking at...

    It is difficult to describe the impact "Ningan Like a Dream" had on the author. After watching the drama for so many years, I suspected for the first time that I had a problem with my IQ. After watching two or three episodes, I really didn’t understand what everyone was busy with.

    I reopened it and watched it carefully again, and communicated with my friends and neighbors, and confirmed that it was really not my problem as a viewer. Everyone had no idea what the show was about.

    After more than ten episodes, the relationship between the male and female protagonists is still that of teacher and student.

    In terms of subject matter, it is another book-travel story. The heroine travels back to the time before she became a queen. She wants to redeem the wrong things she has done and live a new life.

    Many plots of the heroine's first life can only be supplemented by flashbacks and narration.

    After time travel, various characters come to the scene one after another. Every time the heroine sees someone, she flashes back to their intersection in the previous life. Sometimes this life will lead to strange directions. For example, because Jiang Xuening was loved by a princess while disguised as a woman in her previous life, so in this life the princess will be best friends with Jiang Xuening dressed as a woman? Or the kind of best friend you choose from heaven? this……

    What's even more explosive is that the director may also know that the amount of information is too much, so he designed the opening theme to be a replay of the heroine's previous life story. ah? This is the first time I have seen that even the opening theme song is included in the plot.

    In the second life, Jiang Xuening and the princess became best friends.

    Putting aside the overall pacing issue, the protagonist's character design is also strange. The heroine Jiang Xuening likes to talk to herself endlessly every day. I don't quite understand. Is this because she doesn't even bother to use lines to advance the plot and just reads the novel in the first person?

    Of course, if you watch it carefully again, you will end up being spoiled by more things, such as lenses, lighting, transitions, etc. This aspect has been publicly exposed on the Internet, so I won’t go into details.


    First broadcast time: November 6, 2023

    Broadcast platform: Tencent Video

    Relying on the support of peers, "Le Youyuan" is not too bad. Xu Kai and Jing Tian's looks are good enough, and all the actors are dubbing, so there is no need to worry about lines. It is a standard ancient puppet drama.

    After watching nearly ten episodes, if I have anything to complain about, I really don’t. The story is well paced and there is nothing that I can’t understand, or it’s too jumpy or too draggy. If you need a background sound, this is the show for you.

    "Leyouyuan" stills

    The main character is that of a strong man and a woman. In the early stage, they flirt with each other during cooperation and enjoy the relationship between enemies. The whole script is very internet-style, with the male and female protagonists having a lot of roles. The two of them account for 60% or more of the scenes in one episode. This is normal for an internet novel. After all, it relies on the interaction between the male and female protagonists to attract people. But for a TV series, It's a bit strange, as if apart from the emotions and interactions between the male and female protagonists, the other characters and backgrounds are just a joke.

    In a drama with ancient puppets mixed with intrigue, the interaction between the male and female protagonists is still an ancient romance plot. They pretend to be a farm couple, call each other "little liar" and become happy friends, save each other's lives and quarrel... To be honest, it's quite boring.

    Although "Le You Yuan" and "Ning'an Like a Dream" are of different levels, they have a common problem, that is, do these types of online IP adaptations increasingly only consider the feelings of book fans? Have the needs of the general audience been ignored?

    As an ordinary audience, what they want to see is a wonderful story, the charm of the protagonist, and the development of emotions is a process. Maybe fans and the main creator understand the changes of the protagonist after thousands of experiences, but ordinary audiences do not know and have no obligation. Read the book first.

    Thinking back to those wonderful high-scoring costume dramas, which one didn’t catch the eye right from the beginning? The protagonist is also showing his character's charm step by step, and does not require the audience to "make up lessons". Of course, if the creators and producers really think it was filmed for fans, then just pretend I didn’t say anything.

    "At This Moment"

    First broadcast time: November 10, 2023

    Broadcast platform: Netflix

    Thanks to this drama for saving me from the work-related injury of ancient puppets, but I really want to ask the screenwriter, who has a husband like Wu Kangren who is full of sexual tension, who would cheat on his jawline without looking too long? The chefs are all gone? See for yourself if this makes sense? !

    "At This Moment" is a new Taiwanese drama released by Netflix. It brings together a group of celebrities and 10 people to tell the story of love among Taiwanese urbanites during the epidemic. There is a story in each episode, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to continue, but similarly, you don’t have to look forward too much to how long these big names will appear.

    I selected the last four episodes that are highly topical. Among them are the underground love between Wu Kangren and Xiao S, Ruby Lin and Lin Xilei's Lily Love, and the sister-brother love between Alyssa Chia and Zeng Jinghua.

    "This Moment" Poster

    Discuss the pros and cons objectively. Although Taiwan is good at making urban dramas, the script is a bit impatient and the story is relatively shallow. It basically follows the routine of an urban love soap opera. The core is not outstanding, but the form and topicality are designed better.

    For example, after Wu Kangren and Xiao S discovered that their partner was cheating on them, they fast-forwarded to the sex scene out of revenge. The focus was on the two people's psychological states in their unfaithful love, and the different situations of men and women in different marriages after being cheated on. The gimmicks are sufficient and the emotional pull is good, but the relationship in marriage is not explored enough.

    The relationship between brother and sister is even more gimmick. Zeng Jinghua’s canine brother is very cute and sexy, but why is he silent amidst the unreasonable accusations of sexual harassment? Judging from his character, he doesn't appear to be timid or afraid of getting into trouble.

    Stills from "At This Moment"

    Lily's Love is touching, but too idealistic. Can we really fall in love again immediately without any grudges after being separated for so many years? Even friendship is difficult to achieve. However, this plot jump may also be limited by the length.

    But fortunately, the actors' acting skills are relatively good, and the 50-minute story can already make the audience sympathize with the drama. The plot is light and interesting. I took time to watch one episode during my meal time and drank Taiwan's refreshing chicken soup. The working man's mood did indeed improve a bit.


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