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In Blossom



Shangguang Zhi/Yang Caiwei - Ju Jingyi

Pan Yue - Liu Xueyi

Bai Xiao Sheng - Wu Jiayi

Zhuo Lan Jiang - Li Geyang


A Ze - Qi Pei Xin

Ling'er - Ding Jie


Native Title: 花间令

Director: Zhong Qing

Screenwriter: Yu Hai Lin, Zhong Jing

Genres: Detective, Thriller, Historical, Romance, Fantasy



Pan Yue, recently promoted to the rank of Imperial Censor is in the city of Heyang in search of his betrothed Yang Caiwei who has fallen on hard times. He is the lesser but more talented son of a prominent family. Pan Yue is determined to marry his childhood sweetheart against parental objections but Caiwei who now a despised coroner's apprentice thinks herself unworthy. At that moment she is framed for the murders of an entire family and he offers to help. The beautiful but deadly Shangguang Zhi is resolved to be Pan Yue's wife by hook or by crook so she organizes a body swap. On the night of their wedding, the body of Yang Caiwei possessed by the soul of Shangguang Zhi is found dead. Foul play is suspected. Pan Yue is chief suspect. Meanwhile Yang Caiwei who now possess Shangguang Zhi's body returns to the city to investigate the real cause of the other woman's death.



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Currently Watching: Queen of Tears, In Blossom


"Love is not an affectionate feeling but a steady wish for the loved person's good as far as it can be obtained." -- CS Lewis.

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Initial Impressions after 10 episodes...


I don’t think I’ve ever come across a human caused transmigration event in my drama sojourns but it does serve the same sorts of purpose here. It’s a second chance story that comes with a reset button. Moreover there’s a vague sense of Heaven’s timely intervention in the dirty deeds men. Yes, Shangguang Zhi did this awful thing in stealing another person’s identity but irony achieves a resounding win in so far as her actions leads to her own demise. She reaped what she sowed. Furthermore now that Yang Caiwei is living as Shangguang Zhi, she is free to sniff around clues regarding her parents’ deaths.


Despite the high production values and intriguing storyline I have mixed feelings about this one. After 10 episodes I can safely say that while I like it and have great anticipation for the general shape of things to come, I don’t love it as much as I would like to. I am, however, overflowing with love for Liu Xueyi, last seen by me in The Blood of Youth. The 33-year-old actor who has made a career playing villains and grey characters is a genuine acting powerhouse and by far the best thing about this. He smirks and smoulders in the best ways possible. Here he really does a fantastic turn as a crusader with two faces. In this he’s a bit of a Zorro. And perhaps an Edmund Dantes. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s strikingly handsome as well. Ju Jingyi is decent enough in the dual role of bad girl Shangguang Zhi and Yang Caiwei pretending to be Shangguang Zhi but often falling back on old habits. The chemistry between them is good but I’m still of the view that visually Ju Jingyi and Zhang Zhehan have something together that’s unique and can’t be replicated.


My other issue with the show is how the show moves along — the pacing is slower than I like. At this point in the story I can’t decide if this is a criminal investigation show with rom com elements or a romance that just so happens to have some crime fighting elements in it. Perhaps that’s a good thing for drama normies but not for someone like me who prefer these shows to err on the side of having “too much” crime solving. My own sense is that there’s a good detective show waiting to unfold that’s being interrupted by romance tropes, side characters and clunky humour. It presents itself as a serious show or at the very least takes itself quite seriously and demands that the audience to do so as well. Yet, the personalities of the supporting cast are stock standard cliches that routinely find their way into a show of this kind.


I keep reaching for The Imperial Coroner comparisons repeatedly. Although the leads in Blossom are generally better actors and have better chemistry, for me at least, Imperial Coroner has more of the “crack” factor. The direction is better, the characters are more interesting and the script feels a lot more rigorous. A fun vibe pervades the storytelling all throughout. I was drawn to the Imperial Coroner within the first 5 minutes. Blossom feels like work. Not arduous work but more effort than a person who loves the genre should have to put in.

I don’t often comment about lighting in my reviews as I’m no expert on technical matters but this show tends to be unnecessarily dark looking. I didn’t particularly like the lighting on Ju Jingyi when she was doing her Shangguang Zhi stint and I wondered more than once if she would keel over as a result of an overdose on eyeliner.


Finally I don’t really think the body swap/transmigration does much for to enhance the romance. There are no complex consequences to it. Its primary purpose is to prolong the push and pull and prevent the romance from making any headway too early. Thematically (and arguably) it could speak to Pan Yue’s devotion — he’s a one-woman man. Regardless of how she looks — whether disfigured or in the body of an unlikeable woman, he will always be drawn to her like a moth to a flame. However, in terms of the trope’s impact on how the romance plays out, it’s neither here nor there. It also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me too that Pan Yue would keep Shangguang Zhi close at hand in the courthouse just because she sounds ambiguously penitent. Yes, he is suspicious of her and there’s an element of “keeps your friends close and your enemies closer” but as far as he knows she’s still an entitled spoilt rich young woman. To my mind the set-up is too fast and loose for my comfort.


At this point I intend to keep going because of 1) the larger conspiracy hovering over the leads as well as the backroom deals and 2) Liu Xueyi who is just absolutely brilliant in these types of antihero roles. The man is a criminally underrated performer. Despite sounding more negative than I intended there are a sampling of very good moments in the show. The sequences at the Life and Death gambling house, for instance, demonstrates that the show can be a good detective story and the leads make a good investigative team. That’s the kind of stuff I want more of.

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Currently Watching: Queen of Tears, In Blossom


"Love is not an affectionate feeling but a steady wish for the loved person's good as far as it can be obtained." -- CS Lewis.

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@40somethingahjumma so glad you opened this....I am almost at the end of the show. I am still very much invested - I just didn't have time to comment since I got sidetracked by The Legend of Shen Li . Can you believe it ? I am watching 3 cdramas all at once. This is uncharacteristic of me but why do all the actors I love have ongoing shows all at once?? LOL


I have so much to say but it's late and I will write more tomorrow but I must talk about  Liu Xue Yi as Pan Yue. Seriously how GORGEOUS is this man. This is the first time I am watching anything that he's done and oh my word, what an actor. Nuanced & refined.   Why isn't he getting better roles on with bigger budgets? Is this show considered low budget? Some say this was an A rating show that was upgraded to an S rating as it somewhat became a sleeper hit Youku. I don't even know what that rating meant but I just guess it meant that the drama was getting a lot of buzz. LXY has been receiving  a lot of love for his role as PanYue &  was the biggest winner from this. 





Got to post this here. He has so many beautiful looks and costumes - I guess all the budget went to his wardrobe  :laugh:

I will share more of my thoughts soon about the cases, plot in general and the romance. Also about the 2nd CP . 

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Mon-Tues: Nothing Uncovered  Wed-Thurs: Blood Free - Fri-Sat:  Chief Detective 1958  Sat-Sun: Queen of Tears C-drama: - Will Love In Spring

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  • 2 weeks later...
37 minutes ago, NiteWalker said:

hmmmm....i love to start however im scare hahaha cause im not in favor of JuJingyi, did she improve?

I finished this. I think she improved. This series focused more on the investigations in the 2nd half. The romance was there but not the main focus. Liu Xue Yi is so handsome throughout and such a good actor. 

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Mon-Tues: Nothing Uncovered  Wed-Thurs: Blood Free - Fri-Sat:  Chief Detective 1958  Sat-Sun: Queen of Tears C-drama: - Will Love In Spring

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Just now, rocher22 said:

Jiang and Xiaosheng, also had their own drama in the modern era...that was so funny...:laugh:

I also like them....felt super sad about what happened to Ah Jiang though he always had this tragic arc written for his role. The promo the actors  did was so cute. 

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Mon-Tues: Nothing Uncovered  Wed-Thurs: Blood Free - Fri-Sat:  Chief Detective 1958  Sat-Sun: Queen of Tears C-drama: - Will Love In Spring

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