The Ghost Bride: Taiwanese Drama Review

The Ghost Bride is a 2020 Taiwanese drama. It has six episodes and is available on Netflix. 3f1e1cdd-2854-438b-8ade-dbe7d0b0aa4d-7900-000006431a2998faSynopsis: Set in 1890 Malacca, a young woman named Pan Li Lan, is forced to marry a dead man in exchange for help with her family’s poor finances. She makes a deal with Tian Ching, the ghost she’s meant to marry. In exchange for her father’s life, she will investigate his murder. As things unfold, Li Lan finds herself in a more complicated situation than she bargained for.

Expectations: This was on my list for must-watch dramas of 2020. I love spooky ghost stories. Also, the trailers and first posters looked quite promising. I am familiar with Chris Wu. Most of his series I have seen were really good, so why I decided to give this one a shot.

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: 

From the first poster I saw, I assumed that I was going to get a decent horror thrill and mystery, but the reality of what I got from The Ghost Bride was a lot of comedic scenes, some mystery and hardly any spookiness. Which isn’t bad, but definitely not what I expected.

The first thing that I noticed once I started episode one was the background scores. Yes, they were beautiful, but they sounded quite modern in comparison to the period the story was set in. Thankfully this got better. The next aspect I took note of was the picture quality. I absolutely love the cinematography for this drama. It was clear, simple and stunning.

This is my first time watching Huang Pei Jia. She did a great job as Pan Li Lan. The scenes with her and Er Lang were fun to watch. Chris Wu also gave an excellent performance as Er Lang. Even though I wasn’t expecting so much comedy, his character was a joy to watch. Overall most of the actors were okay, but there were still a few that gave mediocre performances.

After finishing the drama, I went ahead to read some reviews. I noticed that a few people believe that Tian Ching(the ghost) sincerely cared for Li Lan, but I beg to differ. He kept on tormenting her family members, and it was selfish of him to try and keep her in the Netherlands against her will. Even though he claimed that his upbringing was messed up, I don’t feel bad for him because he showed no sign of remorse. Plus, I blame the scriptwriter for my lack of empathy towards Tian Ching. There wasn’t enough shown that would enable me to sympathize with his character. What the drama showed me was a villain that needed to be dealt with.

Now, concerning Pan Li Lan’s affection towards Tian Bai. I didn’t care much for that pairing because there was no chemistry between them. The person she bonded with was Er Lang, the heavenly guard, and that was why her decision at the end made sense to me.

Altogether nothing really stood out to me in this drama; hence I don’t have much to say. It did showcase selfless love between family members, but overall it lacked a lot. Story-wise, The Ghost Bride did not depict excellent writing skills. The only thing that will make me want to watch a second season is the cliffhanger at the end. Aside from that, I don’t see myself rewatching this drama. My rating is 6.5/10. To get a better understanding of my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

The Ghost Bride wasn’t to my taste, but someone else might actually love it. So if you need some lighthearted ghost story, then give it a chance and form your own opinion.

KINGDOM: Korean Drama Review

Finally, I have woken up from my long slumber. I am back with my review for the 2019 zombie-themed Korean series, Kingdom. I know that this is a late review, but I really wanted to take my time to do this properly.

kingdom-netflix[1]Kingdom is a 2019 Netflix Original Series set in the Joseon period.

Synopsis: The king has fallen ill, and rumours start to spread that he has actually died. Crown Prince Lee Chang is labelled a traitor by the Haewon Cho clan, which is the clan of the current Queen. Due to the political plot against him, he embarks upon a mission to investigate the spread of the mysterious undead plague that has beset the king and the country’s southern provinces.

Honestly, the main reason why I kept stalling on this drama was because of the zombie theme. I am not the biggest fan of the undead. So, going into this series, I expected some horrid scenes. I knew that I would be getting a well-written plot and delivery from start to finish. I hoped that since the series had only six episodes had to have been well planned out because of the short time provided to develop the story.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

My review on this is going to be very short and precise. Because the drama only has six episodes and ended with a cliffhanger. So there is not much to conclude on for now. I need the second season to be released as soon as possible because they cannot just leave me hanging with such an epic plot twist.

With that said, I have one word for this drama, INTENSE. This was such an action-packed series. A big thumbs up to all the actors for the fantastic range they showed throughout this drama. Their acting was very believable, most notably from the zombies. From the way they ran to their reactions, every move was made to look as real as possible. Their acting really sold this story for me because I usually do not enjoy zombie movies, but I was glued to my screen throughout the six episodes.

I noticed immediately from the start that there was a shift from the usual Korean drama series style of storytelling. Typically with Korean dramas, the audience is provided with some sort of back story to better understand the characters, but this drama did not have much of that. So my initial reaction halfway through the series was that the characters lacked depth. This caused me to be unclear on why precisely the Crown prince decided to rebel against his father for the throne. I know that he had enemies and therefore needed to do anything within his power to survive, but I still want to know more about the relationship between him and the king. Even with that lack of depth, I have nothing against the writer for not providing a backstory for the characters. This is because, as I watched to the end of the series, I realized that the main focus was on the zombie epidemic itself and not necessarily the characters. So on that note, I concluded that this drama was not too concerned with character development and in-depth storylines. It had a definite plot, which was Zombie apocalypse, and it was well executed.

As already mentioned, I expected a good number of horrid scenes, and from the very first episode, I got it. Not even ten minutes into episode one and someone’s head was already on the floor. Now since we are discussing horrid scenes, let us look into how the epidemic began to spread in the first place. I get that the people were starving, and the need to stay alive can make anyone take drastic measures, but did Young Shin really have to cook a dead person as meat for sick people to eat. I was so grossed out by that. Did he not think about how unhealthy that will be. He started the entire zombie apocalypse. If he did not serve them that meat, they would not have been infected. I still want to know what his story is because, as of now, I am not his biggest fan. He might have helped keep people alive, but I just cannot seem to overlook the fact that he escalated the situation due to his rash decision.

That aside, I enjoyed the comedic scenes that we got to see in the first half of the series. Especially the bickering between Crown prince Lee Chang and his royal guard. But by the end of the series, I began to suspect his guard. I hope to be proven wrong in season two because if he is really a spy, it will be a big blow to the prince. In episode six, it was revealed that the Haewon Cho clan had planted a mole on the crown prince’s side, and the only person who had been with Lee Chang from the beginning was the guard. So who could this mole be?

Now a little talk about the Queen, I had a strong feeling from the start that she was not pregnant, and I was right. I also feel like she cares about the crown prince. As of now, her character seems quite mysterious and complicated to me. So I really want to see more of her story in season two in hopes of understanding her better. My radar might be wrong about her feelings towards Lee Chang, but one thing I know for sure is that she does not enjoy being controlled by her father. I feel like she might even betray him to keep her position and power intact.

Finally, I would like to discuss the cinematography for this series. It was simple, detailed and fitting to the Joseon period. The landscape shots throughout the series were breathtaking. I also noticed in episode one that the lighting indoors at night was executed perfectly. It was actually portrayed like they had only lamps and candles on set. My reason for mentioning this is because most historical kdramas tend to fail in the lighting department. They make it so evident that they are using electricity to film, but this drama was an exception, so props to the director for that. Also, the background scores really helped in creating the right effect for each scene. I believe that each instrumental piece helped the audience stay more intuned with the intensity of the show.

To wrap up my review, my rating for this series is 8.5/10. I am willing to give the remaining 1.5 points once I see the definite ending for this drama and some character depth. Overall, Kingdom was perfect. I did not find much fault with it because it was so well produced. I really hope that the second season provides answers to the few questions that remain unanswered for me. Also, I am praying that season two lives up to the hype of its predecessor. If you have not seen this TV series yet, you need to go check it out. If you have seen it, please let me know in the comment section if we share any similar opinions and what you noticed that I might have missed. That is it for this review.

I know I did not do my usual character analysis and notable scenes for this review. Here is my reason – I currently do not have enough information on each character to do that. Hopefully, by the end of the second season, I should be able to do my character analysis. As for the notable scenes, I simply could not decide. It was such a short drama, and almost every scene was essential and captivating.

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

So until my next post, take everyone.