Garnering positive feedback since premiering, heavyweight period drama A Dream of Splendor <夢華錄> starring Crystal Liu Yifei (劉亦菲) and Chen Xiao (陳曉) has reached the 1 billion mark!
Trailers Criticized for Serving the “Entire Course”
The storyline entered its climactic stages after broadcasting for ten days, and sensational kissing scenes between the leads in episodes 19 and 20 saw ratings soar.
As early as the tenth episode, publicity by streaming platform Tencent kicked off for the first upcoming kissing scene in episode nineteen between the leads. From breathless pressing on the door kisses, to a surprise smooch during their clandestine night meeting, to romantic kissing on a boat beneath the moonlight, trailers streamed by Tencent featured various anticipated kissing scenes. Viewers were caught off guard by the intensity of the kissing in trailers, evoking criticism that the trailer has spoilt the surprise – feedback which only intensified when the same thing occurred with the later kissing scenes.
Viewers also voiced unhappiness that the initial dramatic focus on central character Zhao Pan’er’s journey of growth and empowerment through overcoming obstacles was blurred due to over-emphasis on the leads’ kissing scenes, causing the cast’s acting abilities and hard work to be overlooked. While the story was branded as that of an independent woman fearlessly pursuing her ambitions, clumsy editing made it seem like a brainless romance instead, negatively impacting the production, said netizens.
Leading Cast Wins Praise
Despite this, most agree that the two leads have done a remarkable job at portraying the main characters with their authentic, “immersive-style” acting, with Liu Yifei’s display of diverse art forms from tea brewing, punting, cuju and fan dancing sparking viewer interest and helping to bring up the ratings.
Buzzworthy for being Chen Xiao and Liu Yifei’s first onscreen collaboration, netizens took the chance to point out that Chen Xiao had once expressed opposition on Weibo at Liu’s version of Nie Xiaoqian versus the original which was portrayed by Joey Wong (王祖賢), when the 2011 remake of the original classic A Chinese Ghost Story <倩女幽魂 > starring Liu Yifei was released.
Recently interviewed about his co-star’s performance on A Dream of Splendor, Chen Xiao responded, “She was already Zhao Pan’er the first day I did my scenes with her.” The actor also said that Liu Yifei never broke away from her character and “appeared like (Zhao Pan’er’s) very person” no matter what she was doing on set, in a positive affirmation of her acting throughout the production.