9 November 2020 | AbyssianDarke
DREAMING BACK TO THE QING DYNASTY: Old Formula, New Magic
DREAMING BACK TO THE QING DYNASTY (Meng Hui Da Qing). This drama was way better than I was expecting, though not historically accurate. While I really liked the main heroine Ming Wei (Landi Li) from the start, I wasn't really expecting the rest of the cast to grow on me as well. There were so many good characters.
I would highly recommend this show to fans of the original Chinese drama Scarlet Heart (Bu Bu Jing Xin / Startling By Each Step) as there are some very strong similarities besides the most obvious fact of it taking place in the same historical era (under the reign of Emperor Kangxi) and having a time traveling main character from the future. Similar but not quite the same. As an old fan of Scarlet Heart, I was immediately attracted to the premise of this show, but was expecting a letdown. I was gladly mistaken. This is not a reboot of Scarlet Heart, as far as I know, so I recommend going into it expecting similarities as well as differences.
This show, however similar, had many of its own strengths and weaknesses. From the first episode you can tell there will be a love interest in the charming and quirky 13th Prince, Yin Xiang (Anyu Wang). It's cute but almost sappy, and at times the romantic music was a little much. I almost quit the show because insta-love is not my thing and it was a little too mushy right off the bat. BUT, as the show goes on, other love interests are mixed in, including 4th Prince, Yin Zhen (Qiao Ding) and 14th Prince, Yin Ti (Yunlai Xin). There is an underlying revenge/grudge plot with the character of Ming Hui (Anke Sun) that gives the show more tension, drama and adds some layers of mystery. All the characters are pretty great though.
I rated this 9/10 stars mainly because there were a few unanswered questions to some important issues that influenced the ending. Also the revenge/grudge storyline felt like it was lacking reasonable motive and resolution, especially considering it was a main plot point for most of the show. Also there were quite a few unrealistic elements that didn't fit the show and felt out of place. However, none of this made me dislike the show but only lowered believability.
Overall, it wasn't the same old thing that's been done before, but it does draw some obvious inspiration, in a good way. This was a very sweet drama, filled with new characters and familiar characters reimagined. After a few episodes I was finally drawn in and happy about it. Glad I gave it a shot. ((HEA ENDING))