Review it: The Legend of the Condor Heroes (Cdrama, 2017)

Time to put in your two cents!

Click To View Pretty Pictures

Final Pictures:

Our main couple - Li Yi Tong and William Yang Xu Wen - was caught on a dinner date. They were celebrating his birthday together. From my stalkery, they are very close friends. I really wouldn't mind either way.

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Final moments between Guo Jing and Genghis Khan, where the latter laments his age, having missed the condor for the first time in years. Yet, Guo Jing still calls him a hero, but in the years of war, he asks whether the leader is aware of the piling white bones all over their land. "How many tears orphans and widows have dropped?" Genghis Khan is shocked but Guo Jing continues, a hero is not one who fights left and right, he is someone who cares about his people and his country. A man with a compassionate heart, who is respected when he's alive, and remembered when he passes away. Genghis Khan takes in his surrounding and asks, "Hero, what is a hero? What kind of person becomes a hero his people respect?"

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Final moments between our OTP. They also discuss about heroism and Huang Rong says that a hero saves his people from the ire of fire and suffering. Guo Jing then regrets that he couldn't take Huang Rong and escape the wars of jianghu but to her, as long as she's beside him, she doesn't have any other wishes. She promises to listen to him going forward (heh) and wonders where they're headed. Guo Jing is very optimistic, even if they can't defend the whole country, they can at least do their part and protect the wall of Xiangyang (now Xiangzhou District).

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Fanmade MVs:

Ripped some fanmade Mvs. 🙂

General Questions You Might Want to Ponder About In Your Review:

1. Did the drama do a good adaptation of the Novel?
2. Did Yang Xu Wen and Li Yi Tong portray Guo Jing and Huang Rong with their own take?
3. What is your favorite thing about the adaptation? Naturally, Least favorite thing?
4. With the rating never breaking 1 on Dragon TV, do you think Wuxia themed-series are no longer appreciated?
6. Would you recommend this version over previous adaptations? How would you rank them all (1983, 1994, 2003, 2008)?

/su_spoiler]

  1. 8 thoughts on “Review it: The Legend of the Condor Heroes (Cdrama, 2017)

    1. Did the drama do a good adaptation of the Novel?
    The adaption is good and there are slight changes that does not affect the storyline.

    2. Did Yang Xu Wen and Li Yi Tong portray Guo Jing and Huang Rong with their own take?
    They both do make the character their own. But I like to add, both their acting skills are good but it is not outstanding. I enjoy watch both their chemistry towards each other. But they both could not make Guo Jing and Huang Rong unforgettable characters. Thus it is a drama I will not repeat again. Good to watch once but not one I will repeat.

    3. What is your favorite thing about the adaptation? Naturally, Least favorite thing?
    I do love the computer generated graphics. I really do like a couple of cast that I feel was not rightly suitable.

    4. With the rating never breaking 1 on Dragon TV, do you think Wuxia themed-series are no longer appreciated?
    Of course not! It is not the themed. It is just not a impressive adaptation. Wuxia will always have it place but we are just swarmed with lots of poorly written stories or inexperienced cast actors. There have not been good Wuxia dramas in a while.
    Lang Ya Bang is not Wuxia drama but it is so well cast, it was amazing to watch.

    6. Would you recommend this version over previous adaptations? How would you rank them all (1983, 1994, 2003, 2008)?
    2008, 1983, 1994

    Hu Ge made the most impressive Guo Jing , we can see the growth of Guo Jing as a innocent and clueless young kid till he became a highly respected and admired leader.
    Barbara Yung created the most memorable Huang Rong. Witty, extremely beautiful and complete adoration towards Guo Jing.

    • 8 thoughts on “Review it: The Legend of the Condor Heroes (Cdrama, 2017)

      Please remove the first comment Kappy. There was a message on my system that stated first comment did not go thru. Rather strange that it did. Please remove the first top comment as I added more comments on the second I just posted. Thanks

  2. 8 thoughts on “Review it: The Legend of the Condor Heroes (Cdrama, 2017)

    1. Did the drama do a good adaptation of the Novel?
    I think it started out really well and there were a lot of effort put into the start, but somewhere along the way the drama never made it pass the pages of its book, it neither alleviated the source material nor shamed itself. So a good adaption but not a great one.
    2. Did Yang Xu Wen and Li Yi Tong portray Guo Jing and Huang Rong with their own take?
    I think they overplayed the heroics of GJ and sage like personality of HR, they lack the ‘young’ feel that the characters are required to have at the start. HR was a bit too tamed for my taste, too much like the 2003 version of HR. Their acting was actually very good, they were believable as their characters but I think their likability has more to do with the characters being well loved than their own natural charisma. I’ve not read the revised edition of the novel so I don’t know if there were changes to their personality but they don’t feel like the characters I had learned to love as a child. In the scheme of things though, I think the entire drama was made to feel more mundane then epic so it extends to its characters.
    3. What is your favorite thing about the adaptation? Naturally, Least favorite thing?
    Favorite thing would be their commitment to making a just adaption, but least favorite would be their lack of imagination. I watch every new addition of Louis Cha’s novel because I want to see their take on the story, not a rehashing of old things with no new input. I’m not asking for change but I’m asking for a different perspective. I’m not a book purest so I would have appreciated some insight into characters. For instance, the 2008 version was pretty bad but I liked their extra perspective on one of the villains. I don’t want Yu Mama but I do want more than barebones.
    4. With the rating never breaking 1 on Dragon TV, do you think Wuxia themed-series are no longer appreciated?
    I don’t think it’s the Wuxia theme that scored it so low, it’s the remaking of a popular series that everyone already knows and the lack of outstanding visuals. Not talking about lead but cinematography and costume wise it is a very bland film. Most of us a very superficial, we like to look at a pretty picture with good looking leads in an epic romance.
    6. Would you recommend this version over previous adaptations? How would you rank them all (1983, 1994, 2003, 2008)?
    I an one of the few that did not like the 1983 version, thought it was so long winded and too many changes. I actually liked the 1994 version the most because the leads were attractive and the drama went by pretty quickly.

  3. 8 thoughts on “Review it: The Legend of the Condor Heroes (Cdrama, 2017)

    1. Did the drama do a good adaptation of the Novel?
    I think it stuck to the novel, and that can only be a good thing.

    2. Did Yang Xu Wen and Li Yi Tong portray Guo Jing and Huang Rong with their own take?
    They were pretty good. I don’t know about the “own take” part though, because I’ve pretty much forgotten about how it was previously acted out, plus I really am not particular about acting (unless it’s really awful).

    3. What is your favorite thing about the adaptation? Naturally, Least favorite thing?
    Favourite thing other than it being a loyal adaptation will be the casting of the leads and the acting of Huang Yao Shi, Hong Qi Gong, Yi Deng, and Ouyang Feng. There were a couple of negatives though: the colours, the makeup (Guo Jing’s drunk makeup was ridiculous), Mu Nian Ci, etc. I also appreciated their salute to the 1983 version, but I think the opening theme is completely outdated and plays on the nostalgia factor.

    4. With the rating never breaking 1 on Dragon TV, do you think Wuxia themed-series are no longer appreciated?
    I think it’s partly because the cast is relatively unknown, and also because it looks very Yu Zheng even though it’s not. Thus, people are inclined to think that it’s not a serious adaptation.

    5. Would you recommend this version over previous adaptations? How would you rank them all (1983, 1994, 2003, 2008)?
    2003 > 2017 > 2008. I’ll only rank the ones I’ve watch. I think the leads from the 2008 version do not suit their roles at all. There’s also the fact that the story has been changed so much. The previous wave of adaptations are clearly better in terms of production value. If 2017 looked as good as 2003 I’ll probably put it above that version. Alas, it looks too colourful.

  4. 8 thoughts on “Review it: The Legend of the Condor Heroes (Cdrama, 2017)

    1. Did the drama do a good adaptation of the Novel?
    Didn’t read the novel. So, I’m not really sure how loyal it was to it.

    2. Did Yang Xu Wen and Li Yi Tong portray Guo Jing and Huang Rong with their own take?
    Honestly, I thought both of them did a good job portraying the main characters. Yang Xu Wen was awesome as Guo Jing because he was able to portray the innocent personality of Guo Jing really well. And, to be honest, I really liked Li Yi Tong as Huang Rong. She was beautiful, witty, and very bright. I thought she was even better at playing Huang Rong than Yang Xu Wen was at Guo Jing. I’ve definitely become a fan of Li Yi Tong because of this role (and also Yang Xu Wen’s).
    Special mention to Chen Xing Xu (Yang Kang), Michael Miu (Huang Yao Shi), Zhao Li Xin (Hong Qi Gong), and, of course, Liu Zhi Yang (Ouyang Ke) for great portrayals of their characters.

    3. What is your favorite thing about the adaptation? Naturally, Least favorite thing?
    My favorite thing about this drama was Guo Jing and Huang Rong. They were SOOOOO cute and adorable together. I just wished to see more of Mu Nian Ci… I’ve always kind of liked her character, so it was a bit disappointing not to see her as much. I did think the actress who portrayed her was pretty good. She was very pretty.

    4. With the rating never breaking 1 on Dragon TV, do you think Wuxia themed-series are no longer appreciated?
    I think that people just enjoy fantasy-themed dramas more because of how better technology is nowadays. But I still really prefer watching wuxia dramas over fantasy dramas because it’s more realistic.

    5. Would you recommend this version over previous adaptations? How would you rank them all (1983, 1994, 2003, 2008)?
    I haven’t watched the other versions, so I cannot say….

  5. 8 thoughts on “Review it: The Legend of the Condor Heroes (Cdrama, 2017)

    1. Did the drama do a good adaptation of the Novel?

    It’s less faithful than 1994 and 2003, but still very faithful. I think it’s about 90-93% faithful to the novel. The changes that they made didn’t alter the storyline too much, but they were aiming to emphasize and to add more depths to the emotional aspect and the relationship between the characters . They made simple scenes into a touching / meaningful one. Some are being overly dramatic, but scenes like that are not many. The 1994 is very closely to the novel, but it is like literally following the novel. Don’t get me wrong, coz I like the 1994 version too, but the 2017 followed the novel, while making the scenes more memorable/impressive.

    Yes, I think the 2017 is a very good adaptation.

    2. Did Yang Xu Wen and Li Yi Tong portray Guo Jing and Huang Rong with their own take?
    Yes, they did.

    They gave their own fresh version of the characters, but still in the coridor of the novel. YXW was lively, innocent, adorable, naive, slow, stubborn and brave. He had all the traits that Guo Jing should have, and you could feel that his Guo Jing was so genuine and honest. LYT was pretty, cute, bright, smart, intelligent and witty. The love of Guo Jing-Huang Rong’s felt ‘young’, strong and innocent, and the novel indeed said that they were both very naive and didn’t understand the mature relationship between men and women.

    Some people complained that she lacked the visciousness and cunningness of HR, but I think it’s because people are used to the classic performance of Barbara (1983 version) and made her as the role model of how HR should be. That made LYT’s performance felt too tame for some people’s taste, while I think she actually has the beauty and the character that HR supposed to have in the novel

    3. What is your favorite thing about the adaptation? Naturally, Least favorite thing?

    Favourite things :

    a. The casts, the acting, the directing
    Love all the casts, especially Yang Xu Wen(Guo Jing), Michael Miu (Huang Yao Shi), and Liu Zhiyang (Ouyang Ke). I think YXW is very good. I can’t believe that he’s a new actor of 22 years old, since he nailed almost every scene well. Some parts were made more dramatic here, but he could gave a decent performance while not being overly dramatic. Michael Miu is very charismatic, stylish and elegant as Huang Yao Shi. He has that screen presence that attracted people’s attention and he really gave the vibe of one of the Greatest character in the novel. Liu Zhiyang is a charismatic bastard. His Ouyang Ke is evil, lecherous, and a pervert, just like the novel, but he had the charisma and funny himself. One of the main attraction for me was watching him fighting and bickering with Guo Jing/Huang Rong. His Ouyang Ke was charming and sympathetic while still being villaneous, without having to stray away from the novel, and I don’t know how he did it.

    The others and the supporting casts were good too. The only ones that I don’t really like was the Iron Palm chief and Sun Bu Er (the 7th priestess of the Quanzhen), coz they lacked the charisma like the others. And, this drama had a good directing that made the story flew nicely and the characters interacted well.

    b. The fighting scenes
    For a fast-paced wuxia lover Jin Yong crazy fans like me, I think that the fighting scenes were done very well. They mostly used more wire-fu and real martial art’s moves, with limited CGI to enhance the dramatic effect. Too many CGI will make a drama felt like xanxia / fantasy drama instead, and loose the epic feeling as well.

    c. The background music
    The show had a very good background music that is not just nice to hear, but it is used well, in order to increase the dramatic feel of a scene. It’s a combination of a good directing and a good music score.

    Least favourite things.
    a. The cut scenes
    I heard that they were shooting for 60 episodes, but ended up having 52 episodes. I think that this series should have, at least, 55-56 episodes instead. If you are a fan of the original story, then you’ll know how the series missed some interesting story. Then again, if they insisted to cram everything in 52 episodes, then they could loose the chance to emphasize some scenes instead.

    b. Some changes of the story felt unnecessary
    For example : the closure of Zhou Bo Tong’s arc. I don’t understand why they had to do that (fans of the novel should know what I mean).

    c. The OST
    The OST are all nice to hear, but the drama don’t have a killing song to boost the epic dramatic feeling of the Legend of the Condor Heroes. The 1983 OST were the best. They made the battle scenes felt epic and classic. The 2003 had a great opening song that really suit the story. The 2017’s decision to use the 1983 instrumental song is good, plus they have a very good background music.

    4. With the rating never breaking 1 on Dragon TV, do you think Wuxia themed-series are no longer appreciated?

    I think the rating is due to the fact that :
    The story is already well-known and being adapted many times AND they were using new unknown faces. People were sceptical and didn’t even bother to watch. I myself wasn’t even interested at promotional pictures in the beginning. Plus, some people also have become loyal fans of the previous adaptations (or the actors/actresses) and prefer similar vibes. Others prefer romance /fantasy dramas

    5. Would you recommend this version over previous adaptations? How would you rank them all (1983, 1994, 2003, 2008)?
    Yes, I would. It’s a very good drama and it’s worth watching.

    My rank is : 1983/2017 > 2003 > 1994 > 2008

    I understand that people’s tastes are different. 1983 is a classic and the 1st thing that I watched, so it’s hard to forget. Plus, they had wonderful casts, and the drama managed to make all the characters felt impressive and memorable, eventhough it was only 60-70% faithful to the novel. The 2017 had the same memorable casts, fast-paced, and the story is flowing nicely.

    The 2003 has the best sceneries, great fighting scenes and gave the best natural epic feeling, but I like the casts of 2017 better. The 1994 followed because I wasn’t impressed by the 2nd leads and it seemd to have less budget. I don’t really like the 2008, but once again, I understand that people had different tastes

  6. 8 thoughts on “Review it: The Legend of the Condor Heroes (Cdrama, 2017)

    1. Did the drama do a good adaptation of the Novel?
    Never cared much about the real story, but heard about its faithfulness to it. So, a good adaptation on its own? Not bad but definitely not the best and not too memorable. I really feel no chemistry between Rong’er and Jing ge ge.

    2. Did Yang Xu Wen and Li Yi Tong portray Guo Jing and Huang Rong with their own take?
    YXW, at least he didn’t annoy me anywhere so I would say pretty good. I agree with the many comments he is a pretty boy. His naiveness was not exactly as dumb as Hu Ge and he also have better looking hair style.
    LYT, sad to say but didn’t meet my expectation. I wasn’t too fond of her modern dancing skills…and it didn’t help her fightings as they are extremely smooth and overly slow motioned. What I like is something like Liu Shi Shi’s style, or even the non dancer Ariel Lin who did very awesome. LYT excelled in cuteness but she needs the spice, it seems that she overcooked herself with the wrong ingredient of sugar instead. Spicy sour soup VS Cake? Big difference. Her cruel scenes are unconvincing, it feels like trying hard to decorating a cake with pepper sprinkles but those two things don’t match. I didn’t like the change, what she played was not a taste of the character Huang Rong, what she played was like a playful Situ Jing from My bratty princess who I don’t really call smart but courageous.

    3. What is your favorite thing about the adaptation? Naturally, Least favorite thing?
    Favorite thing is OST OST OST OST OST, best OST ever! Least dislikes are changes in characters, HQG was too scary-strict and not fun to play around with. Again, the changes in Huang Rong. And the last thing, my god, OYK’s hair.

    4. With the rating never breaking 1 on Dragon TV, do you think Wuxia themed-series are no longer appreciated?
    I don’t think so, Wuxia is still probably the most beloved genre. But there just happen to be no good directors making good things for so long. No new storylines, or if remaking old ones, they were just not very impressive. If compare to Xianxia, I don’t think Xianxia are being all that loved either, they are just currently new and have a bit more polished storylines (not the best but better than what is out there now) and always have very famous people doing those shows. Like, would there have been success in Journey of Flower without Wallace Huo participation, Legend of Chusen without Zhao liying, and Eternal love without Yang Mi, they were the idols who drew in viewers in the first place to gain attention on rising actors.

    6. Would you recommend this version over previous adaptations? How would you rank them all (1983, 1994, 2003, 2008)?
    I would only recommend this to people who strictly only want to watch Wuxia but couldn’t find any good ones recently, but don’t set high expectation for good fighting scenes, it’s just the same style as General and I. But it’s the current best wuxia you’ll find out there now.

    I like 2008 the best, I don’t care about the changes of storyline because the characters personalities are correct and the story was interesting and touching. I’m not watching the drama just to see how my favorite scenes are going to turn out like, I like emerging myself with the story as it moves on so that no matter how many times I re-watch, it still continues to be enjoyable. 2008 got all the right actors on board and stay competitive in consideration of how well loved 2003 was. All these LOCH, ROCH, HDSD, Swordsman, etc reached their tallest heights and unable to grow any better after the year 2008 (cannot include HDSD 2009, it was terrible).

  7. 8 thoughts on “Review it: The Legend of the Condor Heroes (Cdrama, 2017)

    Still halfway through the whole series, but I’d like to chime in, as I’m afraid when I finish it, it will be difficult to dig into this post and write, LOL. Anyways:

    1. Did the drama do a good adaptation of the Novel?

    So far it is. There are changes, but it’s mostly faithful to the novel. From what I gather in a couple of other forums, this is also the general consensus. I agree, being faithful doesn’t always mean it’s a good adaptation. But this version keeps the wuxia vibe and feeling. It’s been a while since I last watched a wuxia adaptation that doesn’t merely rely on the romance part. Having a cast combining newbies and veterans also gives off a sense of freshness and dependability at the same time.

    2. Did Yang Xu Wen and Li Yi Tong portray Guo Jing and Huang Rong with their own take?

    They certainly do, and here’s the tricky part — I like how William portrays Guo Jing, but not so much with Li Yi Tong. William manages in being a naive and slow-learning Guo Jing, without exaggerating it. On the other hand, like many here, I think Li Yi Tong is a little too tamed and calm. It was quite like Zhou Xun’s but I fail to see Huang Rong’s cunningness. Maybe because I still hold on to Barbara Yung’s portrayal LOL.

    Can I say again here how much Chen Xing Xu impresses me? He’s no Michael Miu, but he’s pretty charismatic and brings on the dual face Yang Kang, his intelligence, his ambition, but also his emotions to the women he loves most, very well. After Michael, he’s the best Yang Kang so far. I can’t believe he just turns 21.

    3. What is your favorite thing about the adaptation? Naturally, Least favorite thing?

    My most favorite thing is probably the writing and the directing. It’s not easy to translate novels, especially those that have been adapted hundreds times, try to be faithful, and yet still add something new. I am very happy with the fighting scenes, and the musical score. I was sceptic at first when they used Iron Blood, thinking it’s a marketing gimmick, but I’m glad to say that I’m satisfied with the background music.

    Least favorite is some costume and styling, esp: Mei Chaofeng and Ouyang Ke — a bit too much for my taste, LOL. I wish they went to the 83 route when styling MCF — I mean, she’s blind, she’s got many things occupying her mind and she’s surviving, there’s no way she busies herself with hair accessories and stuff, LOL.

    I can see Ouyang Ke being an ancient period metrosexual, but I still don’t get the hair. Fortunately, Liu Zhiyang is a great actor so I can look past that :D.

    4. With the rating never breaking 1 on Dragon TV, do you think Wuxia themed-series are no longer appreciated?

    There are a lot of factors contributing to that, and I won’t be too worried about the future of wuxia dramas. Most of the main cast are relatively new actors. The drama was aired only two days in a week, and at 10 pm — not exactly prime time. If I’m not mistaken, it’s still no. 1 for its slot. Also, being the ninth time adaptation, people may tend to watch other dramas (xianxia or modern ones) with new stories. It does get good Douban rating though.

    5. Would you recommend this version over previous adaptations? How would you rank them all (1983, 1994, 2003, 2008)?

    Definitely. My rank will be: 1983 > 2017 > 2008 > 2003 > 1994.

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