As I noted in my First Impression post about this series, it’s been a while since I’d found a drama I was interested in watching. But given how much of a fan I am of both Bai Lu and Lai Yi, I had to watch Jiu Liu Overlord (九流霸主). The series packs in a lot, with the first half being a clash of upper class versus lower class with some political intrigue and the second half a murder mystery and palace intrigue. With a mix of drama and comedy, this series kind of has a little of everything.
It’s been a while since there was a C-drama airing that piqued my interest. But I’ve been impatiently waiting for this particular drama to start airing and it was the best birthday present ever when it started last week. I became a fan of Bai Lu after I saw her in King Is Not Easy. And I think by now everyone knows I’ve had a bit of a crush on Lai Yi since his turn as the hotty doctor on Legend of Fuyao. So I was definitely eager to see him finally take the lead again in a drama. So far Jiu Liu Overlord has not disappointed.
Jiu Liu Overlord (九流霸主) is an upcoming period drama starring Bai Lu and Lai Yi. The story takes place during the Tang dynasty and our heroine is street-smart trader, the leader of the Longzhu gang. Our hero on the other hand is a business tycoon/silk merchant in the city to showcase his fine garments. The two people of different backgrounds and social classes are forced to work together when a golden thread goes missing. As they work together, she learns the ways of trading from him, and he gets rids of his prejudices against the lower class. However, his secret identity is revealed – a prince! To protect the common people and the person he loves, he returns to the palace. Our heroine follows along, to give the higher up folks a piece of her mind.
Drama within drama! Joe Xu Hai Qiao is a badass! We all know how shady the entertainment business is and many actors are forced to accept and move or lest they offend the big boys in the biz but lookie at Xu Hai Qiao, who directly tagged the production team on weibo about editing his lines (leading to words not syncing with mouth movements) and cutting his scenes. When he was cast for the role, he read the novel and really liked the character and in the five months of shooting, had done his best to bring the character forward. He frequently sought the novel author and together they hoped to bring the wholeness of his character to life. As an actor, he usually watches his works as they air to monitor and improve for later projects, which was how he began to notice drastic lines editing and reduced scenes onscreen. The author supported his stance and stated that his performance is ideal and closest to the character written in the novel. The producer (Tang Li Jun) and one of the screenwriters (Han Pei Zhen) have spoken up, explaining that the work of post-production teams is to enhance and highlight the characters and the plot to intensify the flow of the storyline. Every decision they made was done collectively, after speaking with the producer, directors, script writers, and post production teams. Interestingly, not with the actors! Han Pei Zhen stated that the small changes are deliberately done to enrich and link with the plots later on, so that as the story reaches climax, viewers will be able to see the characters holistically and not just under one color. Whether these changes will alter his character in a negative light, we would have to watch and see.