Synopsis: Fu Rong (Ju Jing Yi) is the second daughter of the powerful Fu family. But after a terrible mishap and a painful illness, she is granted the gift of foresight. Able to look into her own future, she can see great wonders – and unspeakable sadness. She sees herself marrying a dashing duke named Su Xu Jin (Zhang Zhe Han). But she can also see that a tragic and untimely destiny also awaits her. She begins to think that her untimely end may be linked to her relationship with the duke, so decides to avoid him at all costs. However, destiny will not be so easily dissuaded: A number of dastardly plots threaten to dethrone the royal family and cast the realm into chaos. Eventually, Fu Rong realizes that the only way she can help bring peace to the land is to join forces with the duke – and attempt to do whatever it takes to change her fortunes!
This synopsis is kind of weak. While the romance is a part of the story, it’s kind of missing out on a big part of the plot, AKA the secret society known as Ruyi Pavilion, that essentially pushes forward most of the plot. These make it seem like a happy go lucky rom-com, which it isn’t. Definitely much more of a drama, although it does definitely have rom com moments.
I’m actually really mad at this show. The first half was great. Nothing groundbreaking, but a perfectly lovely and enjoyable drama with characters I liked and an interesting storyline. We even had interesting supernatural elements, but those just kind of disappeared.
And then halfway through it was like the director and the screenwriter got in a major argument and never made up. The second half slowly devolved into an infuriating train wreck that had me literally skipping scenes to try to find the plot and character moments that weren’t exhausting and annoying.
The main area they went wrong was with the female lead’s development (or lack thereof). Most of the second half with her went something like this:
Male lead, who has only ever been wonderful, gentle, delightful, kind, trustworthy to FL: “I didn’t do the thing. I promise.”
Female Lead: “Are you sure? For some unreasonable reason I don’t trust you.”
Male lead, remaining calm and loving: “I love you, I would never do something like that.”
Rando shows up: “HE DID THE THING”
Female lead: “I KNEW I COULD NEVER TRUST YOU.”
Male lead: definitely didn’t do the thing but now spends a few episodes tirelessly proving he didn’t do the thing, before being accused of doing something else terrible that he, of course, did not do.
This happens multiple times in the second half. Not to mention how many times people were killed and somehow miraculously showed up a few eps later, perfectly fine and healthy, with really no evidence as to how they didn’t die. Don’t get me wrong, this is fine in shows where you’re expecting supernatural or magical things to happen, like Love and Redemption, The Untamed, or Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. But we generally established that Ruyi Pavilion is pretty non-magical. And yet here were all these “dead” people, somehow not being dead.
The only redeeming element of the second half was Little Marquis and Older Sister who I would 100% watch an entire spin off show about. They were that lovely. I wanted way more scenes with them.
Fortunately we do get a happy ending for our main characters but it’s a trip getting there. And it really feels like too little too late at that point. I don’t know how Prince Su actually wants to stay with Fu Rong by the end. Anyway. They can’t all be winners I suppose. I just hate when a show starts strong and then really falls apart by the end. The opening theme is a bop though, so I guess there’s that.