A mystical and compelling xianxia drama that has indeed done the original novel justice. Throughout the course of this drama, it will take you on a journey that is both heart-warming and heartbreaking, thanks to its amazing cast, breathtaking cinematography and fantastic decisions made post-production. Such components make Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms possibly one of the best C-dramas in recent years.
Hello everyone and welcome back! Today I am super excited to share with you my thoughts on this amazing C-drama Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms which I had finished a while back. I do hope that once this drama is released with complete subtitles, that it will gain even more popularity amongst Asian drama fans, because this is indeed an example of what Chinese dramas are capable of. I will admit, I’ve been quite reluctant to write this review since I am exhibiting severe withdrawal symptoms, but it is indeed about time I shared my thoughts on this beauty I came across by accident.
Let’s finish this.
Name: Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms/Eternal Love (三生三世十里桃花)
Broadcasting Dates: 30th January 2017 – 1st March 2017
Number of Episodes: 58
Note: Marathoned 40 or so episodes within a week and then followed the drama on a daily basis
Synopsis (Credit to Kappy as sourced from AVirtualVoyage) :
Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms is the drama adaptation of Tang Qi Gong Zi‘s novel, depicting the lives of two immortals as they are torn apart in one lifetime and given another chance to meet through another form of themselves.
I’ll be honest here and say that this drama initially was never on my radar. Being someone who wasn’t familiar with either leads’ previous works, I just had no interest to check this out at all. However, being subscribed to the YouTube channel that released General and I as well, I couldn’t help but be curious about the drama. I just clicked on a random episode (which happened to be Episode 26…for those who have watched it, you should know which one I’m talking about) and just thought “Wow…how the hell does it get to that?!” and then I randomly decided to watch from the beginning.
One thing that I love myself when it comes to watching dramas, is that if I wish to have the memory of a goldfish, I totally can. And so, what I saw in that episode was erased from my short-term memory and by the time I reached that episode again, I felt every single emotion that I should of 😉
Anyway, I digress. Let’s talk about my first impressions about this drama.
They were impressively great. More so than I would have ever imagined. Perhaps it was because I had no expectations for the drama and with little knowledge about the novel or story; I have no clue. Regardless, I loved the opening. Yes, it was a little slow but nothing that caused concern or boredom for me. I instantly shipped our Si Yin and Mo Yan; Yang Mi and Mark’s chemistry is flawless to say the least. Although I was confused about the backstory for these characters (as well as about the story of the drama), what they showed me on-screen was definitely worth watching alone.
Aside from our main leads, our side characters are just as great. Characters such as Li Jing and Zhe Yan were people that I absolutely adored immediately, and I knew that they both would play some big roles later down in the track. Other people that perhaps shouldn’t have caught my attention, such as Die Feng, did catch my eye too. Like seriously, where can I find a senior disciple like him to be a big brother of mine? WHERE?! *clears throat* My point is, the acting and writing of characters is just great in general.
And of course, the visuals. The costumes and cinematography were something that caught my eye instantly. The amounts of detail they’ve made, and efforts placed to ensure that the drama retained a mystical vibe is evident, and I’ll go into more details about this later on. But, even without the need for CGI, the drama uses some really amazing locations to film the drama, which I totally appreciated.
Overall, the opening to the drama really set some expectations for me and I knew that I had to follow through with it, for sure. And I can certainly say it now, thank the heavens that I did.
Opinions about the drama:
As always, let us take a moment to really appreciate all the individuals who worked behind the scenes for this drama. This C-drama will forever be one of my favourite dramas of all time, and I can thank our directors Lin Yufen, Yu Cuihua and Ren Haitao for working together with the cast to create such an amazing drama. In particular, the wonderful Lin Yufen receives the most thanks in my opinion, since in practically all of the BTS for this drama, she is always there guiding the cast along with how certain scenes should be presented, and allowed our characters to really come to life. Writing was quite solid, pacing was fantastic and the entire drama really flowed together very easily. It didn’t feel strained at most bits, and it all left a great story for us to follow. For that, I graciously thank each individual involved with the production of the drama. Yes, there is controversy behind the origins of this story, but looking at this drama as a product by itself, it was just a joy to have watched.
Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms was a drama that did everything it set out to do, and never diverted from it. It never tried to be something it wasn’t. At the end of the day, it was a story that explored the hardships individuals can encounter, especially when fate plays in the mix against such platonic love. Although it was all fantasy and fiction, there was still much to gain and learn from this drama. The basis of what this drama tried to state is that there is nothing wrong with acknowledging your feelings for someone, despite what anyone else says. If you want to be with someone, and they reciprocate the same feelings, why should anyone stop you two? Of course, this drama took it to an even greater scale with much more at stake but hey, at the end of the day love is love, and we can’t exactly control it.
1. The great chemistry among the cast, especially between Mark and Yang Mi
Where do I even begin with this first point? For me, this was indeed the greatest aspect of this drama which has certainly convinced me that this will be one of my most favourite C-dramas of all time. The overall acting quality of the entire cast, from main characters to minor ones, are definitely commendable. For me though, it was most definitely Ye Hua and Bai Qian’s fantastic and amazing chemistry that allowed me to enjoy this drama greatly, more so than our Feng Jiu/Dong Hua pairing.
I can’t describe properly in words why I adored this pairing. I believe is due to several reasons. For one, Yang Mi and Mark both had such amazing chemistry both on and off-screen. Whether it was that spark they have when they stare at each other, or their endless NGs that erupted laughing fits for ages, they just evidently seemed to be comfortable with each other, which sold this couple for me.
The next aspect about this couple was indeed their characterisation. Despite these two main leads needing to act out 3 or more different characters to represent different lives, I loved the fact that certain traits and aspects were embedded into their characters, regardless as to which ‘life’ they were in. For Ye Hua, he had the habit of using the back of his hand to caress Bai Qian’s face. For Bai Qian, she either taps on the table with her fingers, or plays with her fan by tapping it on her nose. Such small habits gradually defined who they were as a character, and I loved that; I loved that they took such notice for these small details.
Finally, it’s the amazing talent both leads had that made these characters just come to life. Even though each character was slightly different from the other (in reference to their different lives) the slight changes in personalities really convinced me that each life was a different person indeed. Simply look at Bai Qian and Su Su. Bai Qian is just one badass immortal who can stand her ground, while Su Su is innocent and naïve. As for Mark acting out as Mo Yan and Ye Hua, there is an obvious difference between them despite their similarities in appearance. Mo Yan is more mature and is someone who remains calm regardless of the scenario, while as Ye Hua, although also serious most of the time, is more a tsundere sort of man; one that is cold with a first glance but once you become some who he deems important to him, he will cherish you forever.
And so thank you to the amazing Yang Mi and Mark for bring us this memorable couple. Forever will I remember the eternal love (ahahah…get it?) these two shared, and I’ve gotta finally thank this drama for bring Mark into my life…honestly, how has he not been in more dramas??! I feel so embarrassed to admit this, but at least now I will be following his works very closely.
2. A well developed and fairly well-paced story that is multi-layered
To avoid giving too much away, I won’t delve into the story too much as I personally believe that it would ruin the experience. It is best to enter into it blind, and just hop on for the ride. However, what I can say about it is this; rarely do I ever a drama present a story that isn’t patchy, full of plotholes or fillers completely unnecessary to the main story. And would you believe that this drama avoids most of that? *mindblown* Sure, it ain’t perfect but in this case if I were to pick on them, I’d be insanely cynical.
The plot isn’t complicated and is very easy to follow. The overarching story is always present, yet the smaller plots involving numerous characters allows the to be multilayered and keeps the drama very interesting. From my knowledge, the original novel had a more simplistic story, but the drama has taken the story into its own hands and expanded on it yet not to the degree where the story feels dragged (once again, mindblown)
The idea about mortals and immortals colliding between worlds or lives is not exactly any new concept indeed, but the way that this drama has executed this idea made it so enchanting through both its style and execution. What I love most about this drama is that it the drama took us on a journey, and every moment whether heart-warming or heart-wrenching were all an inevitable part of each characters’ journeys. The show played with our emotions so well, and ensured that even though it was an exhausting journey nonetheless, it made sure that we were satisfied from start to finish. Never did the drama try to give us a water-down version of any events oh no no no; they gave it straight on a platter for us to rave on for days while awaiting for the next upcoming episodes.
So thank you, for tearing my heart out and stitching it back up when necessary 3L3W…thanks xDDD
3. Cinematography, costuming and OST screams production value to the max!
Everything visually chosen for this drama earns so many brownie points for this drama. There are just so many things I can comment on for this (which may end up reading like brain scramble) so I’ll try my best to keep this section structured. Firstly, the cinematography. Pretty sure not much needs to be said there. The CGI and green screen done for this drama was executed quite nicely in comparison to so many other fantasy dramas out there. So many C-dramas get this factor completed so poorly that it just distracts you from the drama itself. However, I really was able to ignore any of it really easily, which is definitely saying something (if unsure where I’m coming from with this point, check out my General and I review) So many things could have gone wrong with the CGI alone, so I’m so grateful that someone has done this right for one.
Not to mention the sets they used to film. HOW BLOODY GORGEOUS ARE THOSE LOCATIONS?! And It’s not even just the settings. Even with the sets such as the Heavenly Palaces are just amazing to look at, and screams “We took a lot of effort to make this!” Just every single detail did not pass by them, which is something I can indeed appreciate.
The next thing of course is the costuming. Nothing screams production value more in a historical or fantasy drama than the costuming. What the characters wear plays such a huge part in dramas, and certainly they did justice for this one. I mean come on, not much needs to be said here; just look at the spamming of my pictures below xD
Yeah like I said, not much needs to be said there.
And finally, of course is that OST. The importance of these OST is not just simply the song, but where they chose to play them, at what scene and of course the timing of the song with the scene playing on screen. The production team has definitely taken these aspects into account and has produced a drama that uses their resources wisely. By far my favourite track from the drama is certainly “Bracing the Chill 凉凉” by Zhang BiChen and Aska Yang. This song is just simply beautiful, and so well written for this drama. If you haven’t already done so, I’d highly recommend you check out the English translations for this song too (thank you to Tranzgeek for the translation!) as it certainly speaks for itself.
1. The slightly ridiculous lovelines our main leads have
Alright, here comes cynical me with a couple of pet peeves. This is just because like I said earlier, not every drama is perfect and I indeed can’t say that this one was 100% so.
One thing that really got my blood boiling at times was the ridiculous amount of people involved who were attracted to either leads during the course of the drama. Sure, they’re immortals and all but really? That many of them were attracted to them? I believe at one point, there were about 5 women who were interested in Ye Hua at the same time. This is the same with Bai Qian as well, but at least with some of them they had a fighting chance; some of Ye Hua’s love interests literally had none. And so, if you get slightly irritated about such useless characters trying to steal the limelight for a little while, here’s just a heads up.
2. The lack of satisfying closure for some of our characters
This is perhaps the main letdown for most fans who, like me, followed this drama with such dedication. As a heads-up, this section is indeed not spoiler-free since I will be commenting on the ending, so if you’re not keen on being spoiled about the ending, please skip this section all together.
Yes, I completely understand that this drama plays around the overall idea that fate is something out of your control; that for some individuals, you must place your duty before your own desires and wishes, and not be controlled by your inner urges. However, it just seemed unfair for certain couples in this drama.
Of course, I need to comment on Feng Jiu and Dong Hua. The fact that these two could not be open publically about their love for each other is just so sad. I honestly felt that even if she was the new female monarch of Qing Qiu, she could still be together with Dong Hua…oh Dong Hua, why did you have to go ahead and create such a mess? “Why?!”, cries all heartbroken fans of the couple. Fate is just a sick joke at times when you’ve got a scenario like these two had. It indeed would have been nice to have seen a better ending for these two, just like the continual novel did.
The other couple that I’m kinda sour about is the ending for Yan Zhi and Zi Lan. What I could never comprehend is why Zi Lan was so adamant about not being together with Yan Zhi, when clearly they share such longing feelings for one another. Yes, he may be a disciple of Kun Lun Mountains which means that he must keep his distance with the Demon Tribe, however times have changed and everyone is encouraged to get along with each other now. A future is possible more than ever before, yet he still remains so stubbornly bound to Kun Lun as a disciple. Some would say their relationship is forbidden, but in my honest opinion, it isn’t as strict as before; he just needed the courage to step closer towards her, not place more distance between them. So, it’s a bittersweet ending for them, which I honestly felt was unnecessary.
To say that this drama had captured my heart and soul would be an understatement, and it is so disheartening that I must let go of this drama once and for all. The last couple of weeks have not been easy, especially when you’re dealing with severe withdrawal symptoms. Even though I came across this drama by purely coincidence, I couldn’t have been happier to have been given the chance to have watched this drama.
Personally, I felt this drama did so much that most current dramas struggle to achieve. This drama made me regain faith in dramas of the modern age, and it is so refreshing to see a drama, especially a C-drama, really go all out and successfully present to us a story that captured so many worldwide. What the drama taught me was that no matter what life brings you, being confident in your own skin and to fight for what you want, and not what someone else wants, is your true purpose. Life should not be for the sake of bring satisfaction to someone else; everything needs to start from Life should not be for the sake of bring satisfaction to someone else – everything needs to start from and finish with you.
Oh, and also that I need to go hunting for my own Ye Hua >///<
*clears throat* So, borrowing the rating system from the lovely goddesses of Kdrama reviews themselves Javabeans and Girlfriday, I would rate Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms as:
How much I liked it: 9/10
How good was it objectively: 8.5/10
Thank you to the cast, the production team and to the original creators of this story, for bring us such an amazing drama. Like I’ve said, I’m so grateful to have come across this by accident, and now I will forever keep this drama up in my heart, and will still perhaps keep returning back to it to watch all of my favourite moments (which seems to be quite a lot honestly!)
Thank you all so so much for reading this really long and slightly draggy review, and I’ll talk to you all real soon hopefully!
❤ Hyunnie ^^~