First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

There will be discussion posts for this drama every week. This post covers episodes 1-9. I have posted the airing schedule below.

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Stills:

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Airing Schedule!

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Trailers and MV:

Feng Shao Feng and Li Ying duet for the opening song.

  1. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  2. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    great quality drama so far – beautifully filmed and extra points for ORIGINAL VOICES

    haven’t read the novel so it’s a big story with many characters, but hopefully will be easier to follow once more starts to happen

    the characters are interesting so far and already we see lots of conflicts. the 3rd (?) wife is so evil and she’s probably the big bad of this story. the 1st wife is very mean too but she’s less evil than the 3rd wife…

    i like ming lan’s character and her mom and the maid. the granny also seems very wise and i like her character too.

    gu 2 (the male lead) and the ming lan’s 2nd brother seems to have a good friendship so far and i liked the fighting scenes on the boat.

    my only gripe is that the pace seems a bit slow. if they speed it up a bit it’ll be better, but so far i’m quite liking this drama. the child actors are doing a great job. i’d also like to see the grown up characters and see how they interact 🙂

    • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

      i recognize some older actors too – ming lan’s dad is the emperor in nirvana in fire 2!

    • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

      Shimo, is that you? Welcome back! :)))

      • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

        thanks! 🙂

  3. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    yep it’s me! hello! it’s been a while! been so busy with life issues, only just started watching dramas now that i have xmas & new year’s holidays…

    • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

      Welcome back! Hope to see you more often here 🙂

  4. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    Just done watching first 2 episodes. Like it so far, the novel itself was very long with lots of characters but i guess they are not speeding up much for adaptstion sake. So it remains very slice of life. The casting is pretty spot on except i feel the second wife do not really exude the 楚楚可怜very pitiful vibe which is essentially her biggest weapon. I do like that they gave some screentime to mum because she will be the reason for Minglan’s change in attitude since the time travel element is removed.

  5. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    Too early to tell but here’s my thoughts so far. They’re trying to work the whole childhood thing in for the OTP, which gets a little cliche. He’s literally there first, before the supposed childhood sweetheart Qi Heng. What I liked in the book is that he’s the surprise ML whose interaction with her didn’t start until much much later. But I get it, mainstream viewers need their OTP fix. The other change is that Minglan is rather precocious here whereas she was way quieter in the book. I think this change makes sense because the novel Minglan is essentially an adult trapped in a child’s body whereas if you’ve removed the time traveling aspect drama Minglan is still just a child. The third change is that they’ve combined Concubine Wei with Minglan’s mom into one character. I guess that’s fine too. They were similar and minor enough in the book. This book takes a lot of influence from Hong Lou Meng so the pace explains itself. If it’s any faster or its web of characters any simpler it would lose it’s essence. I’m fairly pleased so far.

    • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

      I actually prefer that they introduce Gu Ting Ye earlier. I felt a little annoyed waiting for the male lead to appear in the book. Its like one quarter or one third gone only I get who is the male lead. I did like her other suitor (the doctor if i remember correctly)…I think they removed him and adding Gu’s scenes instead. Also like that they beef up QiHeng’s role. For me, he didnt do much to deserve her….and I never felt that MingLan had any feelings for him. I am a little upset eldest brother’s charcterisation is quite different…he is supposed to be nerdy and wooden…and it was so nice to see him approve of minglan despite him being from main branch. That said they remove the part where minglan wowed both bigbro and qiheng in class ….*sadface

      • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

        I saw a glimse of the doctor guy in the trailer actually, so he probably wasn’t cut from the drama.

      • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

        It’s just my opinion but I like it that they didn’t meet until later in the book. Realistically most of us don’t meet our match until later in life. But dramas always makes it seem like if you haven’t met him by the age of 5, sorry no OTP for you.
        It’s been a while since I read the novel so I can’t recall details but my impression of Qiheng is that he’s the pure first love back when you like someone just because you like them, before you start thinking kids and finances. At that stage there is no expectations or responsibility. His feelings for her and thus his actions towards her are simple and uncomplicated. That’s why I don’t think I dwell much on whether he was deserving or not. When you were young and naive, love didn’t have to be deserving; it just had to exist. Ofc this kind of love usually doesn’t work out. Because people grow up, to the aforementioned expectations and responsibility. Which is why he isn’t a viable suitor. But 2nd MLs don’t have to be viable. I appreciate his role simply for what it is – young first love. TBH I also don’t think he is Minglan’s first love. She is his first love. And he sorta holds that torch alone. I ache for him and I ache for youth. But it is what it is. Minglan’s too smart and too guarded to have allowed herself to have feelings for him. She snipped that one in the bud.

        • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

          Lol I agree that GTY appearance later in the story is more realistic…I got annoyed because i kept shipping the wrong ship lmao. QH was a lovely first love character..pure and good. I suppose because minglan was so careful to put distance between them i never felt it would work. I feel the doctor is the one minglan first love..from the way she threw caution to the wind and made an effort to salvage their relationship. Too bad it didn’t.

        • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

          @Maymay
          Oh, I didn’t get the feeling at all that Minglan had feelings for the doctor. She was a little touched by Qi Heng’s sincerity and pure adoration, but like @Anon said, she was too realistic to believe it could come to anything (given their differing family backgrounds), so she guarded her heart well. I vaguely remember a short scene in the book, when Minglan heard about Qi Heng’s upcoming marriage (meaning he hadn’t managed to convince his family to be allowed to marry Minglan) and she seemed a bit downcast, but it wasn’t real heartbreak. She hadn’t let herself love him.
          And with the doctor–well, for many years she knew he was the boy her grandma had picked as her future husband; she had years to get used to the idea that she was going to marry him when she grew up. But from the way she didn’t show her true self to him (trying to pretend she wasn’t passionate about books–because she thought ancient men didn’t appreciate women who put too much effort into pure studying as opposed to studying the traditional feminine virtues only, i.e. sewing, cooking etc.), and especially from her attitude when the doctor’s biaomei appeared and struggled to become the doctor’s concubine (it almost seemed as if Minglan was watching that whole charade as a detached spectator; not completely indifferent but also just letting things happen without really struggling to turn the tide, as if she didn’t have what personal stake in how things turned out)… well, it never came looked as if she was in love with the doctor. She was disappointed when he caved in to pressure and accepted the concubine, but like with Qi Heng, there was no true heartbreak. If anything, her calm acceptance of marrying the doctor anyway, even after all that, proved how little she expected from a marriage with him. The most she could have achieved with him was that so-called “respecting one’s spouse as one would a guest” and not a true meeting of hearts and minds. Also, the moment she had a better offer (from the ML), she gave up on the doctor without looking back and married the ML instead. So yeah, Minglan didn’t love the doctor either. Whereas he (same as Qi Heng) never got over her for a lifetime. They were both strangely pitiful in this regard, yet without actually being deserving of pity because they had brought it on themselves: They both had a real chance with Minglan (the doctor more so than Qi Heng) but were to weak to hold on to it when it mattered and so ended up losing it permanently. Whereas the ML got his happy life with Minglan, and her love, because he wouldn’t be deterred. He schemed and struggled to get her, and once he had her, he treasured her and never broke faith. In the end, the one man who managed to obtain Minglan’s heart was the only man who deserved her love, and I’m glad she guarded her heart with the other, undeserving men who did love her, but not enough. Or not how she wanted to be loved.

        • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

          @adnana,
          After reading your comment I recalled more from the novel,…lol its been quite a while. Ming Lan never loved anyone until ML….and even when she did it was later in their marriage when the ML pointed out how she kept heart guarded. I probably felt Minglan had felt a little something for the doctor becuase of how she’s accepted that he was her match…until the biaomei turned up.

          Oh and I stand corrected …saw the preview where bigbro was impressed with minglan. Lol though GTY also there. They are trying hard to make his presence felt..he was never in their class if i remember correctly.

        • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

          @Maymay
          Yep, even with the ML Minglan didn’t open her heart until quite late in the book. Or maybe more accurately said (as she admits right at the end of the book, when h/H are finally completely honest about their fears and end up crying in each others’ arms like wronged children after admitting how much they actually love each other), she did love him, probably quite early on in their marriage–she wasn’t immune to how well he treated her; how he gave her all the support she needed to stand firm in their home and in their society; how he didn’t touch other women but couldn’t get enough of her etc.–but then she realized he was withholding essential parts of himself too (with the events around the birth of Minglan’s first son, when she was almost killed), so she reinforced her own emotional shields. So yeah, she did love him, and deeply, but for the longest time, she was more afraid of how much he could hurt her and couldn’t quite trust that he wouldn’t do so (hurt her, that is), so she controlled her heart to the point where readers and the ML himself thought she didn’t actually love the ML deeply.

          Re:the changes from book to novel, with the scriptwriters increasing the ML’s presence from so early on… I really don’t like it. In the book, with his stepmom trying to destroy him with overindulgence (捧杀) and his dad not managing to communicate with him, I understood how the ML didn’t wise up until life beat him up, and how his emotionally precarious state made him susceptible to Ma’niang in his naive youth… because he just hadn’t known better at that time. And remember, the first time his eyes are really opened that Ma’niang has deeper issues to her is due to Minglan’s enlightenment. After which he starts to investigate Ma’niang and confirms his worst suspicions. But in the drama, by bringing Minglan so early on in the ML’s orbit, aren’t the scriptwriters shooting themselves in the foot? How can the ML know Minglan and still let himself be manipulated by someone like Ma’niang, and even let her bear him two freaking children? And I don’t even mean that it’s wrong in a romantic sense (Minglan was still young, after all), just that the ML had the chance to meet a clever, funny, bright girl who showed him that there are good girls in the world, but then he went and got entangled with a very bad girl anyway. It’s not un-realistic, sadly, but it’s definitely more realistic than I prefer in my romantic tales. And that he will then end up going back to Minglan… I don’t know, it could make him look more tarnished than he was in the book. Which is why I actually hope they won’t give him any meaningful interactions with Minglan before he goes off and takes up with Ma’niang, because that would just cheapen in retrospect the earlier moments with Minglan.

    • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

      I’m pretty sure Concubine Wei is Minglan’s mom in the book.

      • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

        You’re right. I confused her with the other concubine who is mother to her younger half brother. I haven’t seen those two appear.

    • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

      I’m pretty sure Concubine Wei IS Minglan’s mother in the book.

  6. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    I am up to episode 5. Really loving it, watching what little Ming Lan had to go through , breaks my heart.

  7. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    Watched the first 6 episodes. So far it’s pretty good and don’t have any complaints. Should be a quality production as expected from Daylight Ent since the budget’s not just spent on CGI or the main actors.

    Felt so sorry for poor young Ming Lan and her mother Concubine Wei, props to the child actress (I remember she was in Legend of Miyue!) Concubine Lin is such a conniving two-faced villain, and her daughter Mo Lan is definitely following in her footsteps. Surprisingly main wife has turned out to be normal (as in not bad, just a product of her time) – she’s easy to read and doesn’t set out to hurt anyone. Likewise, the father is not a good person but understandable why he trusts the words (and tears) of Lin – they married for love and he doesn’t want what happened to him & his birth mother , to happen to Lin & her kids.

    Zhao Li Ying looks heaps younger in this drama (the styling and natural makeup is on point). I like her as Ming Lan. For now, she can only lay low and be defensive. I’m looking forward to when she can go on the attack.

    With Feng Shao Feng, I haven’t really warmed up to him as Gu Ting Ye yet. The younger version was pretty cool.

    Zhu Yi Long is really cute as the sweet summer child Qi Heng. He’s crushing on Ming Lan so much but she’s understandably guarded and there’s no chance of a happily ever after for them.

    70+ episodes is awfully long, I’ll try to keep up with the eps over the next few weeks and see how it goes! Hopefully this will be the 1st ZLY drama I’ve finished properly haha.

  8. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    Watching this. Great quality drama. Here’s to hoping the story holds till the end.

  9. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    I’m the only one with tons of complaints.

    I can live with the ugly bangs but the wig is so bad, the hair line above the wig just look too fake.

    The style is totally Ruyi Royal Love in Palace. Everything is slow motion and quiet, still better than Ruyi overall. But the camara actions are so less, everything only rely on the acting. So people were really quick to seem pretentious in acting, after a short while. There is just no mood and rythm to the pace, it’s like watching a silent film with no continuous flow.
    The pace definitely moved fast once they turn into grown ups, not that I have anything against the young actors (I like them more) but the pacing and storyline for their sections was hellish, no way in hell I’ll spend 45min per episode on something that is so slow like that.

  10. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    Hello, does anyone know how the rating goes for this drama ?? Because i feel like by lying to her fans about marriage and pregnancy, ZLY probably got a lot of criticism right ??

    • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

      Pregnancy, what pregnancy..did they confirmed this?, i will only believe this when it is confirm by the couple or either party..in an interview, FSF had said that it will be a happy moment so when that time comes he will definitely let his fans know.

    • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

      ? she didn’t really lie to her fans about her marriage? she just didn’t announce it. I saw fans being disappointed because they don’t think FSF is a great match but most have sort of been resigned? People who would actively hate on her for that enough to do something to the rating probably isn’t a fan anymore?

      Anyways, TV ratings debuted with 0.6 which is fine, it’s climbing and in 0.7 last few days. Douban rating debuted with 8.2, and it dropped to 7.8, which is par for the course since ZLY garner a lot of (positive AND negative) attention, if the drama holds steady, it’ll go back up to 8+ later. Even if it doesn’t 7+ is decent score, especially for an actress that get so much attention (which means she gets fair amount of antis too). At worst, it’ll drop to 6ish, I have real hard time seeing Daylight drama dropping to 5 soooo.

      • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

        She posted on Weibo about how people were speculating baseless rumours (think eating popcorn memes) and the tone she used was sarcastic.

        Every rumour about her turned out to be true though – marriage and pregnancy. Some felt like this was a slap to the face of her fans who defended her for months.

        People were not upset about her marriage and pregnancy, both were happy news, it was more of her Weibo post and behaviour that got criticism.

  11. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    We should not judge their personal life. Love comes unexpectedly and things happen so they can only deal the best they can . We need to support them. Judge the quality on the acting and story line. So far I like it.

  12. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    Merry Christmas everyone !!!!
    Been watching this since it aired and I must say that although the pace is a little slow, I am totally enjoying the drama as it explain the story flow well. Thanks to Youtube I watched up until Episode 11 and can’t wait to watch other episodes. The child actor who played young Minglan is such a cutie and I cried when concubine Wei died. Concubine Lin is a total bitch and her daughter Molan is exactly her carbon copy. The girls are very pretty and the actors played their roles really well. I am actually falling for Zhuyilong 🙂

  13. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    It had been a long time since I watched a drama without fast forwarding any scenes or doing other things while have it playing in the background. This drama is that good, solid acting, interesting character, realistic plot and the quality is great. Most importantly, it make me think and analyze certain thoughts and characters and I am loving it. Instead of just watching a drama and seeing things happen, I would think about why she does this, what’s the meaning behind this or this scene really shows this person personality etc. ZYL is also killing me with all the sweetness of his actions and expression. I am enjoying his relationship with MingLan as it progress like watching a sweet highschool first love story unfold…of course, while it last lol And it is also good that I am enjoy a bunch of other characters as well.

    • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

      Thouroughly enjoying all the episodes so far. I am anticipating more to come. I really enjoyed this drama eventhough I don’t normally watch this kind of drama. The ladies are very pretty and I love the costumes. My fav characters so far are Minglan, Rulan, Grandma, Minglan’s aunt (I love how paranoid she was….LOL), Minglan’s maid and of course Qiheng. Actually I also like Minglan’s 2nd brother.

      I will miss LY when she goes on maternity leave.

  14. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    The drama is slow, there is nothing really smart about it,
    There are no great music, no beautifull escenaries or pretty people to compensate.
    or I get to distracted by the uglyness of the main actress. (sorry) She isent pretty, and the make up and wig make her look worse.

    The child actors were better looking than the adult leads,and they acting wasent bad.

    • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

      Zhao li ying is very pretty but here she is showing her age, definitely not selling the young maiden looks. The two male leads, forget it ah just no comments, some words better left unsaid. So i agree, i cant get into this drama, the leads are just not visually attractive enough to soend 70 eps on it.

      • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

        The naysayers are vastly outnumbered by fans who appreciate the quality of this drama and rightly so.

  15. 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

    I have a question, so the ML guy already have a mistress with kids? I thought he took her in because she was helpless. Please explain, I didn’t even skip that much.

    • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

      Yup, his mistress bore him two kids. They met and he fell for her “woe me, poor me” stuff (guys just get bawled over by tears). GTY lost his mum when he was still small so he grew up in a household where his father favours the other wive (his step-mum) and he being young and naive and a bit of a rebel took her on. In a way, he thinks of saving her from her pityful situation. But she must have known who he was right from the beginning as you can see from future episodes that the mistress was super conniving and cunning. Her objective was to get into the Gu household by hook or by crook. I am onto Episode 18 and I am very much into the drama. I do not most of the actors or actresses but I must say that they do play their roles well. It is not an idol drama but rather a family intrigue and some politics and it gives an insight into life in those era. It is a pity that there were only 1 episode during the weekend. I can’t wait…..I am already anticipating other episodes. 🙂

      • 37 thoughts on “First Impression: The Story of Ming Lan with Zhao Li Ying, Feng Shao Feng, and Zhu Yi Long?

        So the mistress ran away because she been exposed and she took the boy leaving the girl behind. It’s sad that GTY already had two kids, what if she came back and ruin their relationship when GTY and ML are prospering as a couple while using her (GTY and mistress) kids as a reason. It doesn’t seen like ML hate the little girl but you never know since they haven’t romantically been involved but I just find it sad. Does anyone think the chidden are his? I low-key hope they’re not his kids.

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