31 Comments
Aug 27, 2023Liked by 40somethingahjumma

I just love how you explained these thoughts that have been in my mind for a while! Glad I found your blog ♥️

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Aug 28, 2023Liked by 40somethingahjumma

Thanks so much for this post and highlighting such wonderful points!

*whispers* Am I the only one around here shipping TSJ with XY? Honestly I quite surprised myself here because I've found similar or comparable characters in other dramas boring. There's no doubt that Xiang Liu is a very compelling character, but I just couldn't ship him and XY together. Believe me, there were moments I was tempted. Ultimately, I simply couldn't set aside how abusive (physically and emotionally) he was toward her in the beginning. She was still pretty scared of him deep into the drama when they've been friendly and flirty for quite a while. Her fear was still there, and that was the nail in the coffin for me.

As for TSJ, his sincerity toward XY was what won me over, and because I think he's what XY needs. That said, your points about him are all spot on. It makes me wonder if he's that (annoyingly) nice and passive toward his family situation simply for the sake of the plot. Since that's the main thing keeping him and XY apart, maybe the writers felt that element couldn't be addressed too early. If so, it's backfiring because as TSJ drags his feet, so does the show.

I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Part 2 ... and hopefully by then, no one will still be telling you to read the novel ;)

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Aug 28, 2023·edited Aug 28, 2023Liked by 40somethingahjumma

WOOHOO! Okay, long time no talk/see/lurk. Hi Lily! I haven’t watched as many of the same dramas as you, or much to be honest, but when this article of yours popped into my inbox, I was thrilled to see your discussion of LYF. It cracks me up that people told you to read the novel, because I am here to tell you, you’re not missing out. You don’t need to read the novel to understand TSJ! I feel if you had ventured into the novel, it would just make the case worse in my opinion for TSJ. LOL. In fact, reading the novel would only prove, in my opinion, why XL was the best character of the men in the author’s story. And to me, who loved XY the most. Anyway, there are so many frustrating things about TSJ that I won’t even bother writing out since I feel you absolutely nailed in this analysis of the men, and why he’s such a frustrating character to me. And the fact that you had mentioned in your post how TSJ feels like a scoundrel…same, same. Some of his trusted people around him are manipulative to XY in the way they tell her about his (TSJ) love for her too. His devotion also doesn’t seem genuine to me, but I think that’s what the author tries to present…Or I am just insanely bias and colored in my view of him and absolutely can’t stand him.

I usually don’t care for toxic guys either, so when you broke down your thoughts with amuse-bouche regarding the way XL was towards XY at the beginning, HOLY SMOKES, THANK YOU. I think my shipper heart was already assuming they would have a close relationship, so I totally felt his actions could be forgiven later on. But this makes my heart happier now that I totally missed how he was seeing her as an enemy initially and makes sense the way he treated her. Like she did try to poison his pet! But many of his actions in the book made him my favorite. When the drama came out, I knew I couldn’t put myself through the heartbreak of the story, so I was joking with a friend that the story sure “lost me forever” too. Thank you for spending time writing this. I chose not to watch, but another friend of mine watched it and would text me almost daily about why she loved XL, so I felt at least with her, I had that camaraderie without having to endure the show. I am glad there are no regrets for you watching, and while I am not, I sincerely look forward to hearing your final thoughts down the line. Here’s to hoping our paths will cross again on another drama so I can join in on your discussions, because I do miss being on the same drama with you! 😊

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Sep 6, 2023Liked by 40somethingahjumma

Right from the start, I hated the fact that this is an adaptation because without any justification for it, the book readers all insisted we must love Tushan Jing (because apparently, he is a walking green flag). While CX is the supposedly the devil's incarnate, XL is the ultimate boyfriend. I had to rewatch the first few episodes because I thought I was missing something. All I saw was a "brother" that didn't recognise the sister, another guy is forcefully biting her without her consent, and a guy who walks around with a mopey smile on his face.

If I had to read a book to fully understand a character then either the actor was given little to work with, or the actor couldn't fully bring out his characterisation and all he could do is this bland imaginary boyfriend with no depth.

I just got frustrated that there was oomph from the other guys in the harem than the one that is supposed to be the master strategist.

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Jan 18Liked by 40somethingahjumma

Just wanted to pop in to give this post some love. LOL. I had referenced it on a reddit thread for someone who was having a hard time wrapping their head around the fact that XL was even called the 3rd male lead. I sent the person here to your post, and the person wrote back on reddit instead, but thought you should know :) https://www.reddit.com/r/CDrama/comments/197h8tg/comment/ki3s2h0/?context=3

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Feb 20Liked by 40somethingahjumma

Omg you've spelled out exactly what I've felt with Tushan Jing...

To me it seems like TSJ and XY is a love story that exists in theory and not practice?

I often feel like she's most naturally attracted to xiang liu and keeps trying to suppress it. Also it seems like they have a stronger personality connection/bond despite Xiang Liu being an asshole to her a lot of times. I feel like they both could relate to each other more than TSJ and XY.

even as wen xiaoliu I could feel her attraction towards him. and she seems most happiest with him.

Tushan Jings love is sort of like a response to the care she gave him and for saving his life. It seems like an obligation or debt. And when she proposes to her in the beginning she seems to just considers it pragmatically. and sort of wills herself to love him because he pledged himself to never abandon her. Otherwise she's only ever seen him as the guy she saved and a good companion. And on top of the red flag that he proposed to her without a solid plan to break his engagement, he never told her that he knew she was a woman. I don't get the vibe that he's enraptured by her personality. More like he was grateful she saved him and that because she was a woman he sort of imprinted on her (borrowing twilight vocab lol) . And over time his gratefulness to her is what makes him love her.

and yes...i thought it was hilarious too that he's supposedly the best chess player in town but can't seem to use any of those skills in real life.

and from Xiaoyaos side it seems like she's trying to make the love happen because on paper tushan jing is such a good guy . i can't see the passion or chemistry. it feels like an arranged marriage where both parties try their best to like the other. Whereas with xiang liu their connection is palpable. I get the feeling that xiaoyao is lying to herself and doesn't realise how much of her own feelings she suppressed.

I don't like that he mistreated her a lot in the beginning but they have a lovely chemistry...

with cangxuan, it's sad. I do feel for him. it's pretty clear xiaoyao will never see him in that light. But at the same time her loyalty to him is the strongest. It was nice seeing beautiful sibling love. Also while it's hurtful for cangxuan, he has strong sibling love and attachment towards her. and I like that they show that, that sort of love is not inferior to romantic love. People think it doesn't exist but I've seen it in my own family. My dad is very close to his sister. Unfortunately my mum suffered because he always put her first (they had an arranged marriage. I think you can guess my ethnicity hah ).

I think it's beautiful and a testament to how pure cangxuans love is that he loves her and protects her as a brother.

and they're in a catch 22. to protect her he needs to marry many women from powerful families and can't be her one and only. if she accepts him, he can't give her the life she wants.

I really like his portrayal. despite desiring her as a romantic partner, he doesn't seem lecherous. I can feel brotherly love from him for the most part.

tushan jing also comes across as spineless and overly polite.

when he was ye shiqi and came to know xiang liu was bullying her, he'd sort of just accept it and be tormented by it. I just don't like that reaction...maybe someone else can explain it better.

overall I really felt nothing for him. when he died, when he had a kid ...nothing...

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I am glad I saw your post. Honestly, you will probably hate Jing in the novel more lol. Jing is really an unlikable character, he is quite manipulative and two faced. He appears to be good but just a scoundrel who will never let XY grow without the need to be in control. He wants her to be within his reach. But his character was improved in the drama, so it kinda made it worst again. The acting was not giving for this character.

As for Xiang Liu, he got downgraded. Portrayed as harsh but XL is an aloof type and quite cold but definitely the warmest inside. I wished this drama didn’t remove all XY and XLs pivotal moments because in the book XY actually loves him and just uses Jing to cover her feelings since she knew he is not the man suitable to dream. But she dreamed of him.

The author loves Xiang Liu and I can feel it by the way she develops his character from ground to up. You’re right they are people who are called to make greater sacrifice. And in this book, it is XL. He is meant to end the war and conflict to bring security and for people to move forward.

I wished the drama made a back story of the war far more. People will get the story better. XL is a bred of war and has witnessed death.so his decisions doesn’t revolve to one person.

XL is the second the general of Chengrong the first was XY’s biological father. Which he happens to know as well.

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