“The Bride With White Hair” Too Melodramatic for Viewers

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.”

Source: 21CN.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Ruby lin didnt make herself a leading actress in her own series..and she casted others as leads.. and Nicky?

    1. Ruby Lin casted herself as the lead in her first series (The Glamorous Imperial Concubine). So, her case is same as Nicky.

      1. oh i see, thanks for the info Kidd. I didn’t really like Nicky hence never like his productions

    2. actually Nicky didn’t mean to take the role for the first time, he was just intending to monitor and watch out all the producers’ job. but, as they were trying to find a suitable one, many of the casts suggested him to take the role instead, so he played part at last.

    3. Yeah, Ruby did cast herself too. And I don’t see the issue. Their main motivation for starting up their own production company is often just to make sure they earn more money for their roles.

      1. I disagree. the reason why they set up their own production company is to find scripts they like to act in roles they like and to further their horizons. It is a no brainer to cast oneself in own 1st production, because after all she is the famous name who attracted the advertisers and investors. Not necessarily for money. It was a huge gamble for her, she used up all her money and if it flops, she would have been financially ruined as well as her reputation gone. The fact it was successful and earns her money and recouped her investment is a bonus.

      2. I think Ruby Lin is very shrewd in choosing to adapt ‘The Glamorous Imperial Concubine’. It was a very popular internet novel.

      3. Obviously, there is also higher creative control/quality attached, I don’t deny that. But I don’t believe you need to start up your own production company to get better scripts. Not when your name is Ruby Lin or Nicky Wu. As for casting themselves, I completely agree that they likely got investors onboard that way, so it’s a no-brainer. And anyway, it doesn’t sound like people are criticising Nicky for being miscast so it’s not even an issue in this show. I didn’t think Ruby was miscast either, even if some people don’t care for her acting. However, both shows seem to struggle with script issues. I haven’t watched Nicky’s but QSHF’s script was flawed at best.

  2. I hate to agree with the netizens, but Ma Su is really underwhelming both in terms of looks and acting ability.

  3. I’m reading a wuxia novel now and the male lead there cried a lot of times too. Someone told me it’s the style of olden days literature.

  4. How can it not be tragic when in the end the lead female character’s hair turn all white overnight? It is a tragic love story isn’t it? Yes it is melodramatic, tears and all but seriously, how can it not be melodramatic when the title is the bride with white hair?

    I don’t mind watching Nicky Wu. I think the complaints is not Nicky the actor but rather the production, writing and the leading actress who is admittedly has a face I can’t quite remember.

    1. That was my first thought to when I read the line

      ” many viewers unanimously exclaimed, “This isn’t a wuxia drama! It’s a tragic love story!””

      But, after reading the explanation, I can understand the complaint. Yes, it’s a tragic love story, but, no need to cry all the time. I think that’s what the viewers are complaining about.

    2. am agree with you Funn bout the melodramatic part, and plus, if we look at the Dramawiki info, it stated this Drama is Wuxia & Romance genre.

      i think the reason why this drama gets so many critic is partly becoz some of them are trying to compare it with BBJX, some can’t accept it’s not faithful to the story itself, but come on, the title is “New” Bride with White Hair.

      1. “i think the reason why this drama gets so many critic is partly becoz some of them are trying to compare it with BBJX”.

        Yes, but BBJX’s production team took their time in post-production (months and months) making sure the quality of the film was great, versus this series…post production was only two months? and not even completed before airing? What was the rush?

      2. that’s it, they are too rush for this series. am wondering why they wanna do it that way, and plus, 2 episodes in a row in the late nights OMG

    3. I remember watching the movie version with Leslie Cheung and Brigitte Lin and enjoyed it very much (nice song too). It’s a tragic love story AND wuxia. But I don’t recall that much crying in the movie. I remember both lead characters being strong willed and the bride’s hair turned white when her lover distrust her and she was so devastated by the betrayal or something like that. She then turned evil? Must go and watch again to refresh my memory – will DEFINITELY not watch these series lest it destroys the good memories I have of the movie.

      1. Well, I’ve only seen the tvb version of this, and it’s exactly like what you said, both main characters were strong will, and prejudice according to their upbringing, and then the actress got betrayed, so heartbroken that her hair turn white. The only bit of crying i remembered is when Ada was crying with rage and pain.

  5. Viewers should take it for what it is. I think the producers actually want to draw an emotional attachment from the audience. Whether it does or does not, that’s your judgment. I’m actually always looking forward to the next episode.

    And honestly, when it comes down to it, Bride With White Hair is really just a tragic love story. That’s the “summary” I give people when they ask what it’s about at least; exclusive of all the wu-lin aspects.

  6. Based on the ratings alone, Hunan TV is too busy laughing all the way to the bank than to really care about about a bunch of “netizens” who thinks they know everything.

    1. Actually, Hunan TV was desperately doing every means to promote the series week after week because the ratings were not ideal to their standards as compared to previous broadcasted series. Indeed Hunan TV made money, but not as much as the station wanted.

      1. i really hope its keeping up. Jiayi, do you happen to know the progress of the ratings? i just got to know 1st – 6th eps.

      2. According to the baidu enclopedia page.
        The series still didn’t break 1, so it’s not that good.

        ep. 7 =0.587
        ep. 8 =0.984
        ep. 9 =0.874
        ep. 10 =0.873
        ep. 11 =0.695
        ep. 12 =0.589

  7. Btw there is going to be a 3D Movie version of “The Bride With White Hair” starring Fan Bing Bing and Huang Xiaoming as lead. Wallace Huo as supporting character is still a rumor though.

  8. I can’t beleive anything can be too melodramatic for chinese viewers. This must be some ultra industrial-strength melodrama!

  9. I don’t get why people has to critize on “crying”, I was just looking through the episodes and they seem all valid. GOD, if you lost your father, mother, master, brother, you’d probably cry too! Why is it such a horrible thing to express our emotions? Esp the guys? I never understood why people has to be so against it.
    As for over dramatic, I don’t see it at all! While yes, there’s a lot of tragedy and perhaps too much for Wuxia – but that should be the main problem people focus on, not how much freaking times they cry because that’s just a natural reaction to losing someone close.

    I still stand by what I said that Ma Su is pretty and striking, I don’t see how her “looks” can be underwhelming at all.

    I haven’t seen a lot of the series myself but I just hate when people criticize something for, IMO, the wrong reasons.

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