The Story of Ming Lan
Episode Length: 45 Minutes
Genre: Historical Romance
I love strong heroines. They are like the drug (a proper play on words in my opinion), addicting, exhilarating, unpredictable, and surrounded by an endless array of drama because most of the time the characters are placed in a setting in which their disposition is seen as a abnormality that will destroy the entire ordered foundation of said setting. Sheng Ming Lan, the female protagonist, doesn’t disappoint in being a perfect example of a strong female, and the credit in the portrayal of the growth of a character so complex is given first to the author of the novel this show is based off of, then the creators of this show for translating an internet novel character into a live action persona, and last but never least, to the beautiful actress Zhao LiYing who I became obsessed with after The Legend of Chusen.
To those interested in watching this show but not intending to read through most of my review which will contain spoilers and a little too many words because I have too many opinions after 80 episodes of laughter, sobbing, flirting, murderous intentions, swooning, yelling, and the occasional smirk from Mr. Feng ShaoFeng himself, I will try to give you an idea of this show in a short paragraph. This show might start off a bit slow, but it’s like watching humans grow into the responsibilities of adult life, some younger than others. This show, to me, is greater than the explosions of cars or one-week romances of protagonists. The Story of Ming Lan is a web weaved of expertly formed subtleties that show you an accurate portrayal of gender roles in ancient china, political upheavals and ingenuities, sincerity versus politeness, and no matter how cheesy it is, staying true to one’s self. Even those not interested in the historical aspects of shows will appreciate the effort of every crew member in reflecting the sophistication and gruesome reality of the Northern Song Dynasty. I recommend this drama to anyone of any age as you will find some small part of it relatable.
The show isn’t perfect, as I will go through what I find lacking or amazing, but it’s heartfelt. And to me, that is the most important value of any show I watch.