[Drama Review] Tian Long Ba Bu 2003 天龙八部

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Synopsis: Tian Long Ba Bu is a story about friendship, identity and perseverance. It follows the life of three sworn brothers: Qiao Feng, a strong wuxia master and chief of the Beggar’s Sect(Hu Jun), Duan Yu, a naive prince of Dali Kingdom who dislike bloodshed (Jimmy Lin) and Xu Zhu, a kind-hearted monk of Shaolin Sect (Gao Hu). As Qiao Feng searches the secret of his birth, Duan Yu must find his true love while Gao Hu gets himself involved involuntarily in the Wuxia world. Each of the three men faces different twists in their life.

  • My review: 10/10 (among the best ones!)
  • Genre: Wuxia
  • Length: 40 Episodes
  • English Name: Demi-Gods Semi-Devils
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First, the three boys meet each other at around episode 10 and sworn forever friendship. The use of alcohol obviously prevented them to see how unalike each other they are.

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Duan Yu visits Murong Fu but meets his two maiden (Ah Zhu and Ah Di) and his cousin, Wang Yuyan (played by Liu Yifei). He instantly fall for her. Duan Yu: ” I am not the prince of Dali. I am one of the girls!”

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Can you believe Liu Yifei was 15 when she filmed this drama? So pretty

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From left to right: Ah Zhu, Wang Yuyan, and Ah Di

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Our lovely OTP

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Maiden Wang is a well educated and book smart woman. As she travels with Duan Yu, she will teach him Wuxia knowledge and techniques, making him a strong wuxia master.

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When Murong Fu discover Duan Yu on his territory, he is of course not happy. Here he is, with his two lads and his cousin begging him to not kill Duan Yu. Murong Fu AKA the heaviest douchbag on Earth.

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Ah Zhu also decides to leave the palace of Murong Fu and decides to follow Xiao Feng on his quest of birth. She is kind hearted and do all in her power to lighten the heart of Xiao Feng.

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When Ah Zhu no longer can travel with Xiao Feng, she asks him a favor: protect her little sister Ah Zi (played by Chen Hao). Little problem: A Zi is a brat and always do the most irresponsible and cruel things.

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Another problem in Xiao Feng’s life (as if the poor dude does not have enough): the beautiful Qin Hongmian sets her eyes on him. However, it is not love, but vengeance…

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As the story progress, the three brothers will be extremely strong in the wuxia world will go to the Wuxia Summit together.

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At the Wulin Summit, they discover both Xiao Feng and Xu Zhu’s birth secret. Shcoking and sad relevations…

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Oh, and at the end of the story, there is a massacre. All these women are concubine and mistress of Duan Yu’s father (standing in the center). How can that go well…

Review:

I will stop spoiling the story for you guys but it is definitely a wuxia series worth watching. I mean, a ton of actors gained popularity thanks to it (Liu Tao, Liu Yifei, Chen Hao) while other household name such as Jimmy Lin did their great come back with it. Acting wise, the casting was really well chosen:

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Lu Jun plays the charismatic and heroic character Xiao Feng and definitely emits the aura of a hero. His character development is the most complex in the story as he must joggle with a multitude of complex situations and people. Known as the Wuxia mast of North Wulin and the chief of the well established Beggar Sect, he inspires fear. Liu Tao, who plays Ah Zhu, completes the character of Xiao Feng and made me root for the two. They have a subtile and profond chemistry that seems so mature and inspiring!

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Jimmy Lin plays Duan Yu, the clumsy and lucky Dali prince who learnt one of the most complex wuxia technique by mistake when he was five year old (What? how does that even happen). He plays an attaching character who serves as comedy relief. When I first watched the show, I thought he was the most charismatic character ever! Indeed, he is nice, educated, optimist, and omo… so in love with Wang Yuyan! His acting was irreprochable and really smooth but then again, this is not a particularly challenging role😛 Overall, I lover his acting!

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Liu Yifei plays the overly beautiful maiden Wang. She is book smart and knows everything on Wuxia, even though she herself does not practice. For a first big role, LYF did perfectly and her placid and calm acting charmed me to no end. As I grown up, I wanted to be just like Wang Yuyan ^^.

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Chen Hao plays the annoying and over the top character Ah Zi. She is diabolic and Chen Hao delivered a memorable performance! Oh, how much I hated her character on the show! She did everything she can to prevent happiness to Xiaofeng even if she says she loves him.

Plot wise:

The plot is of course awesome, since it is written by Louis Cha aka Jin Yong. There is a twist about every two episodes and while some may find it extremely annoying, I thought it was extremely well executed…instead of finding it stupid and cliche, I tought it was extremely funny😛 hehe. The storyline I enjoyed the most is Xiao Feng’s but all three love stories where excellent. At the end of the show, I was just sad everything is over. Through the story, one can learn the importance of staying good in front of evilness, of friendship, and of perseverance. Even though it does no longer attract the younger public, since better camera technology came out today, I really felt like it was my favorite series of all time ^^. Definitely recommended.

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