“Eternal Love of Dream” Gets Bad Reviews

The official spin-off sequel of 2017’s fantasy hit Eternal Love <三生三世十里桃花> may have broken one billion views in just a week, but it doesn’t seem likely that it’ll attract new fans.

Eternal Love of Dream <三生三世枕上書>, also known as Three Lives, Three Worlds: The Pillow Book, stars Dilireba (迪丽热巴) as Bai Fengjiu, the only known nine-tailed red fox spirit in all the lands, who falls in love with the heavenly emperor Dong Hua, portrayed by Vengo Gao (高伟光). Both characters were already established in the 2017 series.

Much like its predecessor, Eternal Love of Dream is the token example of a Chinese xianxia series—an innocent fairy or spirit with a mysterious past falls in love with a powerful clan leader or ruler, changing his cynical views on life and their fates become forever intertwined, either to stay together or stay apart.

But story arcs like this are far from being unfamiliar. Eternal Love of Dream follows such a predictable story road that many netizens are saying that they can already predict what’s coming next—in their first life, they fall in love; in their second life, they reincarnate as mortal humans and rediscover their love for each other; in their third life, fate tries to tear them apart.

This road map was already done by 2009’s Chinese Paladin 3 <仙剑奇侠传三>. The Shu Sect practitioner Xu Changqing and Zixuan, a descendant of Nu Wa, had been lovers for three different lifetimes. 2017’s Eternal Love follows the same trope, but the added subplots of deception and sacrifice attracted viewers to watch on.

Even 2018’s Ashes of Love <香蜜沉沉烬如霜> and 2019’s Love and Destiny <宸汐缘> followed a similar plot.

By the time Eternal Love of Dream aired, audiences have already lost interest of being  able to predict what happens next. Even the villains of all these xianxia series are similar—in Eternal Love of Dream, Princess Zhi He pretends to be a bride to break up Dong Hua’s wedding. This plot is similar to Ashes of Love’s Princess Suihe, who also has unrequited love for the male lead. Coincidentally, both characters are played by Wang Yifei (王一菲).

Eternal Love of Dream currently sits at a 5.6 out of 10 on China’s biggest media rating site, Douban.

“Eternal Love of Dream” Trailer

Source: HK01.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. i think they need to portray stronger female leads in dramas instead of being naive and dumb. i was watching the roaming earth the other day and thought the 16 (who looked like a 26/30 yo btw) was acting like a kindergartner. i think this is toxic femininity, if you know what i mean. girls growing up watching this type of stuff think this is how the way women should behave. same goes for this drama, dilreba is acting at least a decade younger than her actual age to the point where i am suspecting is she is “flower gaje” (charmine sheh’s role).

  2. Dilireba really does not suit such genre. With so many much better newer Chinese actress in recent years, I doubt she will be as popular in coming years….
    But I really like her as a person. She is a very humble and beautiful woman but sadly not a great actress.

    This script is written badly, such a waste

    1. @hohliu I thought so too. I really wanted to like it and all and theres no doubt that shes absolutely gorgeous! But her exotic looks [in my humble opinion] are too modern for a xianxiaaaa

  3. I knew this show would be crap. I didn’t even like their scenes in Ten Miles Of Peach Blossom. They were just trying to squeeze money out of TMOPB. Dilireba is not a good actress in my opinion. She’s pretty and a hardworking woman but lacks the acting talent.

    1. @myden26
      I agree that she is not a good actress but is pretty and works hard. Sadly some just have the innate talent to act well even after years of acting. It is like singing, if you are not born with a good voice then regardless of how hard you train and how many years you sing, you still cannot be good. But it is not just here but many actresses and actors are like that these days.

      1. @hetieshou Yes, exactly. That is why acting is considered an art. Sometimes you have to be born with the talent and then work on improving that skill. Some people just don’t have what it takes. Hopefully she will improve before she is deemed “too old” for these types of dramas in the harsh entertainment showbiz.

  4. I blame it on the execution of the drama. It’s slow and boring. The director is known to be horrible anyway. If done right, the drama could’ve been amazing. However, characters wise, I prefer Feng Jiu over Bai Qian any day. Feng Jiu is a good cook, knows how to fight, skilled in weaponry, goes after what she wants. That’s a strong woman who happens to be madly in love, which I find nothing wrong with. Although, Dilraba isn’t a strong actress but she’s perfect for the role. She doesn’t overdo the cuteness and it doesn’t come out cringey. The way her innocence, sincerity, and profound love towards Dong Hua gushes out is touching. Vengo isn’t a strong actor either but when they both come together, they have good chemistry and that’s what drives the drama.

    The script isn’t too bad. I’ve seen worse. There are some lines that were memorable and sweet. If they had capped it at 40 episodes earlier, there wouldn’t be so much filler nonsense and the story would flow quicker and smoother. I’m not impressed but it’s a decent enough drama to follow every week.

    1. @lynn90 Completely agree. Reba and Vengo are perfect for the roles of Feng Jiu and Dong Hua. There’s lots of subtle expressions for DH’s role, and for FJ it’s easy to go over-cute or annoying if they don’t handle the character well. Their acting has actually improved a lot. But the scriptwriter added too much filler and unnecessary parts for the 2nd 3rd 4th leads, making it a lot less interesting. I just fast forward the parts that don’t have Reba or Vengo.
      If they followed the timeline in the book, they may have better ratings/reviews. But going in chronological order was probably meant to not confuse people who haven’t read the book.
      Most of the bad ratings are probably from people who haven’t read the book and assume Pillowbook is a direct sequel to Eternal Love, so they’re confused why the story is different. Pillowbook should be treated as an entirely new drama, then people won’t get confused.
      Now that the mortal realm arc is done, it should get a lot more interesting, can’t wait for the new episodes!

    2. Maybe because i already captivating with Reba and Vengo chemistry as Fengjiu n Dong Hua in TMOPB eternal love, so i really cant accepted if other actress n actor will play this role for Pillow book. They already suited for this role. Maybe i will not watch Pillow book if they change the main role. But yeah, the script writer n the producer for pillow book drama is not really good compared with TMOPB eternal love, especially for the mortal realm arc. Eternal love plot is more exciting n written well. Hope the plot will become more better after they back to god realm when Donghua started chased fengjiu n fengjiu try to avoid him, also in Aranya’s dream arc. The mortal arc plot kinda awkward n draggy

  5. I’ve been following this drama and I do find Reba fitting the role perfectly. She is cute and yet not over acting. Even in the first installment. And Vengo fits the role well too. I cannot imagine another actor playing Dong Hua. I’m not sure those who condemned them so much actually followed this drama. Both their emotional acting is very good. I can’t understand what is she actually feeling. It’s just annoying each time she responds to Song Xuanren’s love. And when they come together, they have great chemistry. They portray their feelings so well just by looking at each other’s eyes. I believe the bad ratings was due to the mortal story plot that is a bit draggy amd lack of storyline. And Reba didn’t really portray her emotions well in the mortal realm story. She did a better job in the Heavenly realm as Fengjiu when being with Dong Hua. But not with Emperor Song Xuanren in the mortal realm. But Vengo did a good job as Song Xuanren. I could actually feel how hurt he was when his love was unrequited by Xiao Jiu. So I hope the Aranya’s dream plot would be better and I can’t wait for the Heavenly realm story to be continued. I think it’s all because of the script writing. I’m not sure those who condemned Vengo’s acting actually watched him in Candle in the Tomb: The Wrath of Time. He handled his role so well. He totally forgo his model image and I was surprised he could actually carry such a role.

  6. I’ve seen TMOPB and thought Reba as Fengjiu and Vengo as Dong Hua were great! Then read the book and could only see them as the lead.
    I’m been following Eternal love of dream and really enjoy it! Vengo and Reba are really good in their role. Actually enjoy the fact that it’s in chronological order. Really enjoyed the mortal arc, it set the basis for their love story and helps us understand what’s to be unfold. I am looking forward to the next episodes. This drama doesn’t disappoint!

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