I finally finished watching The Prince of Lan Ling Wang in 2016, when the drama was aired in 2013. Haha. 3 years behind, but it is still a good watch!
I really love historical dramas, preferably set in palaces with feuds between concubines and emperors, and it is really hard to find such dramas with good reviews. So I finally succumbed to watching Prince of LanLing even though I wasn’t really keen in watching in the past cos I wasn’t a fan of Ariel Lin.
This drama focuses on the Prince of Lan Ling, a real historical figure who was a famed general during the Northern Qi period and touted as one of the most handsome or rather beautiful man in ancient Chinese history.
I like that the drama is quite fast-paced and draws me in quickly. After watching Taiwanese variety shows all the time, I now have a low patience for slow entertainment. I need to be entertained ASAP! No time for ridiculous and slow moving plots!
So thankfully I get the sense of the storyline within 10 minutes into the show. And I like that there is this fate and destiny arc in the storyline. Within the first half of the first episode, it makes you wonder if the female lead will defy destiny and help Prince of Lan Ling overcome his tragic fate. And this is what that keeps you watching on.
If I have to choose something I dislike, it would be that Ariel Lin’s voice is not dubbed! Come on, this is a Chinese show set in historical time, you cannot have all the actors and actresses speak in China-accented mandarin and the female lead speak in Taiwanese accented mandarin la! Not just so, Ariel Lin was quite cutesy in her portrayal of Yang Xue Wu, a character that is naive, kind-hearted and pure-hearted. Seriously, such characters make me want to roll my eyes at times. And if you add cuteness to such a character, it makes me want to roll my eyes even more. There was even once when Ariel Lin actually cutely turned back to wave and said “hi” when waving. Er… this show is supposed to take place during ancient times ok?
But other than these, I find the drama quite compelling. There is the love triangle, both for the female lead and for the male lead. There are antagonists that makes you angry. There are also political schemes.
I really like Daniel Chan’s portrayal of the emperor who fell in love with the female lead, Yang Xue Wu. This character is very realistic. He schemes, he makes use of people, he is lonely at times, but he also has the ability to love someone deeply. In fact this character is more likeable than Prince of Lan Ling who is basically a martyr, someone really heroic, very loyal to emperor etc even though the emperor is a complete idiot who deserves to be rebelled. So Prince of Lan Ling is also quite annoying at times.
But the most annoying person in the entire show will definitely be Zheng Er. A woman who loves Prince of Lan Ling and keeps trying to spoil his relationship with his wife, Yang Xue Wu. Seriously, I seldom see such a bitchy character in dramas before. Basically your blood will boil everytime you see her, and you will want to slap her and yank her hair and hope she dies a torturous death. Everyone who watched the show will understand why, and all the youtube videos of this drama are full of comments from netizens who want to kill her just as much as me.
The show doesn’t have a good ending, basically due to Prince of Lan Ling’s saintliness. If he rebelled in the past, there wouldn’t be so many problems in the end. So yes, I find it hard to feel sorry for him.
In spite of all these, I still feel that this drama is quite a good watch. Anger towards the antagonist keeps me going, cos I want to see her get what she deserves. Her ending was kind of anti-climax though.
I will say, about 7/10. I have high standards:)