A comedy trying too hard to be a crime/mystery series. Identity crisis anyone?
- Nicky Wu as Liu Ao Tian
- Liu Shi Shi/Cecilia Liu as Lu Yun Fei
- Emma Wu/Gui Gui as Song Wen Wen
- Ye Zu Xin as Fan Da Tong
- Huo Zheng Yan as Nie Wen Xin
- 44 episodes
- Original run: June 4, 2014 – June 21, 2014
Hong Wen Academy is now accepting female students for the first time! Nothing is that easy though. As new students swarm in, so are undercover agents from both the supporting and opposing sides. Who will win this battle that is more than just about gender equality but more about the emperor’s throne?
The first half of this series presented itself as a comedy and while it tried to remain semi-humorous all the way to the end, it lost a bit of charm when it started to take itself too seriously. I understand that the premise is supposed to be all about finding the undercover secret opposer to the new policy, but that plot was full of loopholes and silly exaggerations that I felt it would have been better if it continued to stay in the background. I loved the adorable characters and their banters so I wish there is more of that, instead of the focus on “catching the bad guy” towards the end.
As Nicky Wu and Liu Shi Shi (also Ye Zu Xin)’s second onscreen performance together, it is completely different from the bittersweet tragic tone of Bu Bu Jing Xin. I enjoyed seeming them again, but do not mistaken this series as any sort of acting masterpiece. The characters lack depth and most of them are just caricatures meant for comedic relief, which is probably why it felt particularly ridiculous when they were all about being super serious later. There are a lot of subplots and really cute minor love lines; my favorite will have to be between Fan Da Tong and Song Wen Wen (oops, is it too late for spoiler alert? ;P)
In any case, I think this series would have done better if it is condensed into half its length. I got so bored towards the end that I had to fast forward more than a couple of times. I liked all the little inside jokes and random references to modern luxuries even though it is set in the past (it is clear its a fictitious dynasty), but the draggy ending really dampened my interest. There’s talk of a sequel though, so maybe I’m the odd one out!
This & That:
- Nicky Wu entered the entertainment business as a part of Taiwanese boy band The Little Tigers in 1988 when he was 18. He spent the next fourteen years (until 2002) devoted to the industry in order to repay the debt his father incurred. In 2006, he married actress Ma Yi Shu, but the couple divorced in 2009. He is now dating actress Liu Shi Shi.
- Liu Shi Shi is of the Hui minority group in China. She rose to fame after starring in Bu Bu Jing Xin and Sound of the Desert, both based on books by Tong Hua. She studied ballet in college.
- Emma Wu/Gui Gui started off as a regular cast in Tawainese variety show Hei Se Hui Mei Mei. She was coupled with Ok Taecyeon in 2013 We Got Married global edition. She’s going to star in 2015 romcom Lan Ren Mei Shi Ri Ji.
- Wallace Huo cameos as a love interest for Liu Shi Shi’s character. Wallace’s onscreen nickname was “Si Ye” which was the same as Nicky’s in Bu Bu Jing Xin.