The Legends 招摇 might be the best wuxia-ish drama with a female lead out yet (I know, low bar), and the three leads might have my favorite drama lead dynamic since The Disguiser.
The currently-airing drama is still a funny, cute
rom-com at heart, but it’s one of the few wuxia
that treats its female leads’ ambitions no different than a male lead.
It reminds me of Wicked the musical with its polar-opposite female leads who share a room and who change each other for good.
One of them is pushed into wickedness after
being called so by the leader of the land, but
the other believes in her even after the world
has deemed her wicked.
The romance plot reminds me of The Disguiser,
with the male lead being in love with not just the
female lead but her visions for the world.
update: You should stop watching the moment
Zhaoyao explodes because that is when the series
also explodes as they go into original content.
Everyone becomes out of character and the plot is a mix of cringe+boring+??? after that.
Zhaoyao (Bai Lu) starts off as a young girl fed naive visions of helping her people “become good” by her mentor and first crush.
Yet when he condemns to death an innocent youth
prophecied for evil, she is horrified and rebels against him.
Her mentor ends up killing her grandfather while
she saves the youth.
After being told repeatedly
she’s wicked by everyone, Zhaoyao chooses to become wicked.
She sets out to build a ruthless empire, killing
both her mentor and her old dreams along the way.
Five years later, the “righteous” sects gang up on her
and she is killed. The youth she saved, Li Chenlan
(Xu Kai), takes over her sect and rebuilds it in her original vision.
When she magically returns from death, she finds
that her acres of traps and torture equipment have
all been converted to pastures and tools for the villagers.
Enraged by this sign of betrayal, she goes back
to her sect undercover and spends every day
trying to seduce and/or kill Li Chenlan.
All this happens in the first five episodes!
Meanwhile, Qin Zhiyan (Xiao Yan) is the body that Zhaoyao shares after coming back from death.
When her father was murdered, the sheltered Qin Zhiyan escapes from the righteous sects to avenge him and protect herself. She is indecisive and timid and far from a hero, but once she has her mind made up she won’t give up.
She’s terrified to even talk to strangers, but forces herself to be brave for the people who she cares about。
Zhiyan repeatedly pushes Zhaoyao out of her comfort
tells her over and over again that she deserves
to be and already is loved, and forces Zhaoyao to be
true to herself.
Similarly, Zhaoyao spent day after day teaching Zhiyan how to fight, how to talk, and how to stand up for herself.
In the book at least, Zhiyan even takes over the sect in the end and continues to build Zhaoyao’s dreams.
Through their journey together, the two women learn from and support each other in a way that I haven’t seen in a female-female relationship in a wuxia-esque drama in forever.
Since Zhaoyao is partly dead, she also has to maintain strength by doing good deeds in exchange for money for the dead.
In her attempts to rejoin her sect and interactions with Qin Zhiyan and Li Chenlan, she slowly regains her belief in humanity and remembers her original dreams.
Unknown to Zhaoyao, Li Chenlan has been in love with her since she saved him.
He remembered all her grand dreams even
when she forgot them. อ่านต่อ
Tags: The Legends