“The Long Ballad” Airs Finale to Criticism


After an engaging run, The Long Ballad <长歌行> aired its finale on May 3. Despite the happy endings for the two main couples, there were also drawbacks which made viewers difficult to consider it an ideal finale. The ending was largely criticized for leaving some loose ends and poor CGI effects.

The main couple Ashlie Sun (Wu Lei 吴磊) and Li Changge (Diliraba Dilmurat 迪丽热巴) once again experience life and death together. Changge is captured by the villain Princess Yi Cheng as she vows to bury her in the fire. Running to save Changge, Ashlie Sun bursts into the burning palace and heroically carries her out of danger. While it is meant to be an intense scene, the bad CGI effects of the fire made it appear cartoonish.

Furthermore, there was huge disappointment on how their happy ending was illustrated. Faking their deaths after the fire, Ashlie Sun and Changge return to the grasslands to pursue a free lifestyle of their choice. Although they promise to be together and even talk about marriage, Changge and Ashlie Sun are shown separately staring at the far distance by themselves up at the open sky. After the tribulations and separations the couple endured throughout the drama, viewers yearn to see the couple happily married or at the very least, standing beside each other in the final frame together.

Instead, the only wedding scene depicted was between Li Leyan (Zhao Lusi 赵露思) and Hao Du (Liu Yuning 刘宇宁). Since the beginning of the series, they had adoring dynamics and underwent significant character developments with Leyan maturing and Hao Du gaining more empathy.  Happily tying the knot in a sweet marriage ceremony, Leyan and Hao Du receive blessings from their respective fathers.

Despite given the happy ending, it was unfortunately not a gratifying one. Apparently, the screenwriter also shared the same feelings, as she posted photos of the script on the night of the finale and commented that the producer kept on compressing the scenes between Hao Du and Leyan, characters which were not found in the original comics and were created for the television adaptation. The producer allegedly wanted the scriptwriter “to hurry up and get it over and done with,” which seemed like he was very displeased and did not care much for the details in the production.

Source: ifeng

This article is written by Minna or JayneStars.com.

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  1. I’d yet to see that fake fire but the photo sure looks hilarious HaHa!

    When I first saw Dili Reba’s photos in Li Change’s clothes, it reminded me of Ning Jing who also have really big pretty eyes. It’s too bad that there are no good martial art compositor like the past. I always remember a classic scene where Ning Jing faked a death in the fire, here’s a short video clip of how to properly do that with real fire. They didn’t even use that much fire, it’s still way better than CGI.


    1. @yoyo I believe the photo above is fake. ahhaa lol…She was not leaning towards the male lead I think it was taken from a scene of the series her shoulder was leaning towards this slave girl Mimi character from the show. haha Lol…
      The ending was quite disappointing but then I think the 2nd half of series became quite draggy and slow towards the last 10 episodes as well. It had so many unnecessary filler scenes and the last episode indeed ended abruptly and it was just really weird how it pasted scenes together that did not seem smooth at all especially the leads were not even in the same frame perhaps they followed the manga to a T but I haven’t read it so I am sure if that was their original ending. The leads did not have alot of scenes together as is but the 2nd lead who I heard is pretty popular had more scenes w her romantic arc than the leads which was really weird. The CGI fire effect was not good that is for true since they incorporated animation scenes to it they should just use anime fire instead. haaha lol..Just like the lame birds french kissing due to the male lead did not want to kiss onscreen or something then just use anime kissing that’s probably better than stupid birds kissing. ahha lol.
      But all in all, it was a pretty interesting series that did not have a bad ending but an open ending that just did not seem as satisfying to the viewers.

      1. @wm2017 The creator of the manhua for Changge had disputes with her studio over who owns the copyright, so publication of the comics abruptly stopped and there is no ending. The TV adaptation had to write their own ending, which is why the second half of the drama may seem weaker.

        For the drama adaptation, more romantic scenes were added between Changge and Ashile Sun. To emphasize his heroic side, he also “saved” her more frequently in the drama than the manhua. Some fans of the original manhua also feel that Changge’s character in the TV drama was too impulsive which landed her in more trouble than the manhua, which depicted her as a more brilliant strategist.

        I’m only halfway through the drama, so can’t comment on the ending yet. I like the premise of the story, and Changge’s character reminds me a lot of Mulan. It is nice to see strong female characters in historical dramas, and the characters are all memorable (but not all necessarily acted perfectly by the artistes). I even like Wei Shuyu, who is depicted as such a weak character, but they cast Fang Yilun appropriately.

        As for the performances, Wu Lei really looked the part of a strong warrior thanks to his athleticism. He’s been riding horses since a teen in real life and looks convincing in all the battle scenes. As a romantic leading man, he always looked at Changge with love. However, Dilraba doesn’t seem to convey the same level of affection in their romantic scenes together. Even in the spoiler clips I’ve seen in the later episodes, Wu Lei seems to be having a “one-sided” crush on her, while she seems to be just happy/friendly but not truly in love with him. I think this may be the reason why viewers decided to ship Leyan and Hao Du instead.

      2. @jayne Yes, little child WL definitely shined in this role of his. His reactions w/his eyes are truly expressive. His crying scenes were also really good. One of the good things about this drama are the fight scenes and archery horse riding scenes and WL definitely made them looked easy peasy. He did not look 21 esp in his tribal outfits. I agree, FL is interesting to watch but her loving side of her character isn’t nearly as expressive towards the ML and I am not sure if that was the actress herself or the under the director’s instructions that she did not need to be as expressive due to her being a female. Honestly, Wei Shuyu character isn’t great but wasn’t that bad either to me I never even like the bodyguard that much from beg to end but I know alot of people do that’s why the 2nd leads gets just as much screen time if not more. It was funny in one of the BTS Wei Shuyu and the FL were all a bit confused by his character. haha..he himself didn’t really understand his own character and calling it a bit perverted if my Mandarin was right. lol haha but I think he did redeemed himself at the end I feel he is still a very normal character giving that period in time.

      3. @wm2017 I believe it was a deliberate choice to have her character be more hesitant towards expressing herself to the ML until later on (don’t want to spoiler but there is a moment where she finally cracks a bit). There were moments where her expressions showed that she was touched by the things he did for her but was too driven by bigger goals to acknowledge that they had anything going on. Even in the manga CG’s character was quite jaded and she was definitely less direct about her feelings than Sun. In an interview Dilraba mentioned she didn’t want to add too many extra details to her character that strayed from the mangas version as well 🙂

      4. @jintianxiayue Yeah, they are probably following the manga to a T. I remember fans were very annoyed w the FL’s hair w the 2 strands making her less attractive. I don’t like or dislike her hairstyle cuz I feel she has a cute looking face and she actually looks good in boy’s clothing.

      5. @hmmm1234 When i first saw who they casted as Ashile Sun I laughed and thought there was no way in hell this skinny young guy could pull off Sun’s character, but WL really managed to prove me wrong with his acting. I thought he did an amazing job especially for someone who had all the odds stacked against him. I felt like he brought a lot of depth to his character and have a hard time imagining anyone else pulling off this role as well as he did.

      6. @jintianxiayue I agree, maybe unfair to say cause I like Dilaraba but disappointed in her performance, felt she could’ve done better. I was impressed with Wei Leo, he’s matured since last seeing him in “Nirvana in Fire” was last time I watched him in. But now he’s grown up into a young, tall, handsome, talented, successful, buffed actor, will continue to follow him, still a fan, best of luck to him & his film career.

      7. @jayne I haven’t gone back to the drama yet but now I will since I was disappointed in the mood of how the relationship between both leads came up “empty” to me, a “lull” or just hanging in the balance where nothing was really happening. They’d find each other in one scene, then they’re gone. So I just stopped in the scene where he was shot with an arrow & it just seems like even if she found out about it, get the attitude from how she’d react like “so what?” Is what I ‘m getting. I do like both Dilaraba & Leo but something is missing.

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