Historical mainland Chinese drama Legend of Fei <有翡> aired on December 16 with much excitement and anticipation. Although it was expected to be a major hit with popular actors Zhao Liying (also known as Zanilia Zhao 趙麗穎) and Wang Yibo (王一博) starring as the leads, the production failed to impress the general public.
Legend of Fei is a drama adaptation of the novel Bandits <有匪> written by Priest. The original story heavily revolved around the heroine and her journey of growth in the martial arts world. However, novel fans are unhappy with the heavy spotlight on the male lead in the drama, which understandably cost the heroine significant screen time. In sum, viewers complained that the female-centered martial arts story turned into a cliche historical romance one instead.
Additionally, viewers disapproved of the stars’ performances. While the audience was excited to see Liying return to the small screen after giving birth and believed that her tough and persistent personality suited the character of Zhou Fei, they noticed that the actress was not in her best condition. A netizen said, “Her tired face and eye bags are obvious. Zhou Fei is a character who is youthful and energetic, but Liying seems to look a little old for to [play her].”
Her on-screen partner Yibo is also facing criticisms even though he is one of the hottest rising stars after participating in The Untamed <陈情令>. The audience did not think the actor portrayed the character’s complexities well enough, as his performance was overtly one-dimensional and bland. More specifically, he was unable to bring to life Xie Yun’s free-spirited yet brave and righteous soul. “The fighting scenes were good, but he played the character too frivolously,” one netizen commented.
Moreover, the production details were problematic, particularly the strong-accented dubbing voice of Liying. The roughly-made costumes and artificial trees and mountains were also not up to standard. These issues made it difficult for viewers to immerse themselves in the story.
This article is written by Minna for JayneStars.com.