Fans of television dramas that air on mainland China’s popular television station, Hunan TV, do not know whether to laugh or cry at the station’s current set list this season. Produced by first-time producer, Nicky Wu (吳奇隆), the 30-episode wuxia epic, The Bride With White Hair <新白发魔女传> airs six episodes a week during the prime time hours of Hunan TV, and stars Nicky Wu, Ma Su (马苏), Jenny Guo (郭珍霓), and Louis Fan (樊少皇). Although the drama has delivered ideal ratings thus far, it is heavily criticized by viewers, and has been receiving consistent backlash since its premiere on September 14.
Viewers first criticized the drama’s poor visual effects and underwhelming casting choices for the characters. Nicky Wu explained that the later episodes are still undergoing post-production, and the crew is rushing to turn in the tapes to Hunan TV. Several of the drama’s production crew voiced out their complaints on Weibo, exclaiming that it is near impossible to finish the post-production in time by the broadcast date.
Plot is Too Dramatic
Aside from the drama’s technical complaints, the drama’s poorly written story line is also getting bashed. Viewers expressed that they do not know if they should laugh or cry at the drama’s overly dramatic plot. Some viewers even insisted that the drama’s scriptwriter is secretly Chiung Yao (瓊瑤), a famous Taiwanese novel writer known for her melodramatic plot lines, in disguise. A netizen sarcastically commented on an online discussion board, “When viewing the drama, please prepare your own tissues!”
On last weekend’s episodes, a major character was killed, and several of the main characters were psychologically tormented. Almost every major character in each episode would have an “epic long” crying scene, and many viewers unanimously exclaimed, “This isn’t a wuxia drama! It’s a tragic love story!”
Even Ma Su herself did not seem to think that the drama she was filming was a wuxia drama. While The Bride With White Hair was still in filming, Ma Su posted on her Weibo blog, “Are we really filming a wuxia drama? It seems more like a tragic drama. [I’m] crying everyday, and I almost have no more tears left to cry.” She then added that Nicky Wu should be responsible for giving her back her tears.
Too Much Crying
The main female protagonist Lian Nichang, also known as the bride with white hair, is portrayed by Ma Su. The actress was previously slammed for being a poor casting choice for the role, and that she is not charismatic nor beautiful enough to do the role justice. The criticism, however, did not stop there. After last weekend’s episodes, the viewers concluded that not only was Ma Su’s Lian Nichang uncharismatic, she was also too weak.
Viewers claimed that Lian Nichang cries over every matter. She cried when her father died. She cried when Mu Jiuniang died. She cried some more when her master died. She even cried when her identity was exposed. In her tearful reunion with her lover Zhuo Yihang, she cried some more. No wonder the viewers suggested audiences to prepare tissues before viewing!
Loyal fans of The Bride With White Hair novel, literally translated to The Legend of the White-Haired Demoness, are unhappy with Ma Su’s portrayal. They claim that she makes the character appear too weak with her constant crying, and that her back story is too unrealistic and melodramatic, “This demoness is a bit too woeful! All of her closest friends are dying one by one! Who can endure that?” Other viewers remarked, “This is too depressing. I can’t take it anymore!” Some even said, “This is so bad, but I can’t stop watching it!”
Aside from Ma Su, Jenny Guo and the drama’s two male leads, Nicky Wu and Louis Fan, are also required to be expert criers. They cry when they discover the truth, cry when they get depressed, and cry when they get hurt. Viewers joked, “Men are also made from water, especially heroes of the Jianghu. When they cry, the whole world literally shatters! They definitely are not losers to the demoness.”
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
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