Up to Ep9 and it’s great! Just the right balance of archaeological adventure, mystery and bromance! Not much romance here yet (Joe Chen only appears in Ep 5 ) but that element is not missed when everyone is totally rocking it! It also helps that the drama is beautifully shot (those snow and desert scenes!), thoughtfully produced (no strange editing or fanciful posturing) and the CGI effects are actually passable! Never read the book on which the series is based on but I love the details which straddle between fact and fiction – they all exist but the fact that not much is known about these ancient kingdoms totally allows the imagination to grow wild within the confines of plausibility. Jingjue Kingdom, Xiye Ruins, Ancient Peacock Trail, the Karakoram – the drama brings it to life!
Wu Ba Yi is your typical world-weary, war hero turned treasure hunter with his heart in the right place but Jin Dong brings an understated gracefulness and elegance to the character – he can be a knuckle duster who has his wits about him but retains his nobility and integrity throughout. Fatty Wang (who is really not that fat!) is the more avaricious of the two – but still really just a big softie (don’t want to give spoilers so can’t say more!) and a true friend. Their bromance is well done – earthy, genuine and steadfast. Haven’t seen Zhao Da before but he meshes well with Jin Dong (but then again who wouldn’t!)
Joe Chen is Shirley, an American born Chinese pursuing her father’s dreams to unearth the lost Jingjue Kingdom and unravel the mystery of his dissapearance – oh how I like her here! She is smart, able to handle herself and can hold her own against the men (of which there are many in the archaeological team). Please move on to shows like these instead of idol dramas with over wrought emotion and melodrama! (cough cough Stay With Me) . Special shout out to Zhang Yi Shang who plays Ying Zi, a young country lass who was a guide to Wu Ba Yi and Fatty Wang in Niuxin Shan – she is tough and vulnerable at the same time but totally not a damsel in distress; hope to see more of her !
Definitely continuing and am really grateful for the subbers on this show – all the details make it double the fun (I so do love adventure shows!) and can’t wait for more!