Synopsis: Shen Jin (Tang Min) is the daughter of powerful nobles who hold prestigious positions in the imperial court. She has lived a life of luxury and is used to all of the fineries of life at the palace. But her life changes forever when the Emperor arranges a marriage for her: She is to marry a highly successful general named Chu Xiu Ming (Caesar Wu), and live with him at his army’s military camp. Although she falls for the dashing soldier at first sight, getting used to life in the military will take no shortage of effort on her part. She struggles initially, but eventually uses her resourcefulness to adapt – and slowly wins the confidence of the generals’ forces. But back in the royal court, a shift in the balance of power finds both General Chu and Shen Jin’s family fall out of favor. Things go from bad to worse when the Emperor orders her to spy on her husband. Can true love help the duo reverse their fortunes – and resolve matters at the palace?
I’ve been on a historical/period piece C-Drama kick lately, and while General’s Lady is definitely more like a fluffy modern soap opera put into pretty historical sets and costumes, it’s absolutely worth watching. It’s exactly what the trailer looks like: sugary sweet, frequently very funny, with a feisty (and sometimes very annoying, unfortunately) female lead, and a patient, noble, and lovely male lead.
Our two leads get married as strangers after a decree from the emperor, and then of course, they fall in love as time goes on. Shenanigans ensue, many times of a completely silly and unrealistic nature, making this one of those shows that you just get to sit back and enjoy. One thing I’m glad they didn’t shy away from was the emotional resolution of the main conflict at the end. Many times fluffy c-dramas like this gloss over a big emotional moment, denying the audience the follow through of what could have been a majorly cathartic moment (I’m looking at you Romance of Tiger and Rose), but fortunately General’s Lady leans into the emotion and gives us an exceptional moment near the end that elevates it from just “fluffy and cute”. But the majority of this show is fun, silly, and entertaining.
Another strength that I enjoyed about this show was how comfortable the leads were with each other on screen. Frequently in these historical dramas, the physicality of the romance is stilted and awkward, which makes sense for certain characters of storylines, but if you’re portraying characters in love in intimate settings, working to get that physicality right tells the story better. I’m NOT advocating for explicit scenes here, just believability in body language that the characters actually like each other and are at least a little bit comfortable around each other. The General and his Lady were 100% believable in this regard. So if you’re a swooner, you’ll enjoy this one.
Also have to give a shout out to our second couple. I honestly wish Xiao Su had been a bigger part of the story cause he was adorable and super cool and he didn’t get to do much. But his story with Rou Rou was the cutest.
I’ve seen a few reviews of this show that HATE the female lead because she’s immature and annoying. I would agree that occasionally I was over her behavior, but if you imagine the house she grew up in (father with multiple wives, horrible sisters always bullying her), most of her actions make sense. I think that’s one of the reasons her relationship with the general is so lovely, because she is broken, and he understands her, and works to love her every day anyway. Not to mention, it’s fun to watch how excited he gets when he realizes whatever scheme she’s up to, and he starts planning a counterattack, or when they combine their powers to take someone else on.
Anyway, this one is a lot of fun, and perfect if you’re looking for some sweet, adorable romance to pass the time. Plus a teensy bit of court intrigue, and putting bullies in their place. Fluffy and cute, and totally unrealistic, but hey, who cares? This is entertainment!