Drama Review: Goodbye My Princess

Funnily enough, the drama premiered on Valentine’s Day, and ended on Qingming Festival (Tomb-Sweeping Day).

Goodbye My Princess is yet another example of the typical Chinese drama that starts off as a pretty engaging show, starts falling apart in the middle, and can barely hold itself together by the time it reaches the finish line.

I was totally captivated by the drama during the first couple of weeks, where the story was more focused on the Li Dynasty’s plans to conquer the Western Provinces after the Crown Prince’s untimely death. Xiaofeng is a bundle of cute, and Peng Xiaoran manages to portray the naive princess as a likable and innocent young maiden, rather than as a spoiled and foolish girl who doesn’t know any better. The young princess also gets a growth arc, as evident from her decision to remain princess consort. Xiaofeng realised that no princess can ever escape the fate of a political marriage, and finally understood the gravity of the situation when confronted with the harrowing truth of the conflict between two kingdoms.

Behold, the male lead that treats his wife like trash in the name of protecting her.

Chen Xingxu has a tendency to overact in key emotion scenes, but I am giving him a pass because he was stuck with a badly written character in Li Chengyin. In the novel, Li Chengyin is heartless, selfish, and power-hungry, and he isn’t afraid to admit it. In the drama, Li Chengyin goes from being an affectionate and merciful romantic to everyone except Xiaofeng, to a hypocritical, unforgiving and jealous scumbag without any warning. Towards the end of the show, the screenwriters had completely forgotten they had already watered down Li Chengyin’s personality, and there was no logical progression of events that warranted such a change in temperament. I don’t see a problem in toning down a character’s personality when adapting them for another medium, but the incompetent writing meant there was no smooth transition when it came time to integrate the two different personalities.

The ill-fated romance during the first 10 episodes between Xiaofeng and Gu Xiaowu in the Western provinces was the highlight of the show for me, and the gorgeous scenery and lovely instrumentals by composer Feng Da was icing on the cake. I was hoping there would be some good political conspiracies to help pad out the rest of the show (the Crown Prince’s rebellion was child’s play), but it turns out my expectations were just too high.

Rating: 6.5/10

“The fox waited and waited, but the maiden never returned.”

Images credit to: 一只帅桃, Azure-epic, 依依哟-

14 thoughts on “Drama Review: Goodbye My Princess

  1. I had to stop watching at the 13th episode as the plot line was making me sick and it was apparent that there was not going to be a decent humanitarian ending to this story. So it’s not okay for someone to kill your mother but It’s okay for you to lie and cheat and kill a whole tribe including the grandfather of the woman you claim you love. And then on top of that you want her to marry you. Psycho Creep!!!! No way!!! And I can’t believe there’s still a whole 40 plus episodes left. I rather waste my time watching some other less toxic material.

  2. I see this drama till the end, what make me sad princess xiao feng just passed away. Prince Li chieng yin truly love her. It make me feel so hurt and very sad to see this. Im really salute and support who make a story like this.

  3. Everyone who is commenting are experts on acting skills. Lol I found the drama to be very exciting and the leads are awesome. I dont understand why these experts would said that the lead hero is over acting on sentimental scenes. He did a great job. Love it

  4. I love this drama but everyone has different preference. For newbie actors with a few works, their chemistry was good enough. Peng xiao ran is a better actress than some of popular actresses nowadays. She’s even prettier. I hope to see her in many other dramas. While for chen xing xu, omona.. I love his acting. Yeah, he was kinda creepy in the beginning episodes but i like him after that.

    I think i love the story the most. Yeah, love is just never enough, no matter what. I like it cuz it seems more realistic for me. With all those things happened, it would be weird to get a happy ending. But there are some modern epilogue videos on weibo. Gonna check it.

  5. It’s an okay drama no wow factors or anything for me it’s just the acting the leads tends to overreact a lot and they both cannot act emotional scenes well. It’s overall okay like it’s angsty and all but sometimes I get distracted because when they have to be emotional it looks fake or just downright funny. I would say though they’re doing okay as first time leading but pretty disappointing in the whole drama like how they downplayed LCY character and just emotional scenes again are ruined.

  6. IMO the Li Cheng Yin of the drama is different from the book, but certainly not worse. The sudden change from his affectionate side to his ruthless side is 100% in character. This is how he betrays Xiao Feng as Gu Xiao Wu, and how he uses Zhao Se Se, and how he destroys his adopted mother, his cousin, etc. As sweet and kind as he can be, he’s always capable of doing terrible things and you can never really trust him, which Xiao Feng herself points out.

    Tbh, the first 10 episodes were the most uncomfortable to watch for me because Li Cheng Yin as Gu Xiao Wu felt incredibly psychopathic to me. Then I found myself liking the drama more and more as I fell into the trap of forgiving him, or even pitying him. I did also find Chen Xing Xu overacted sometimes during the early Gu Xiao Wu arc but it got better later. I thought his Li Cheng Yin was spot on.

    My biggest problem with the drama was the arc with Gu Jian pretending to be Gu Xiao Wu, but otherwise I honestly liked the drama more than the book. I’m so glad they omitted the rape tbh…

      • In the book it’s heavily implied that Li Cheng Yin rapes Xiao Feng. The writer has a tendency to write stories with rape.

        • But they really omit it, in the drama when xiaowu stormed in the garden when xiaofeng was on the swing with her bandage on (head wrap thing). Xiaowu carried her off into their quarters while xiaofeng was hitting him and … I believe the rape did occur.

  7. she’s a princess after all, seek attention and pity for some of her clans injustice massacre.
    not a heroine. cannot expect much for political issues–

    also cannot expect the 5th prince would have a battle standard for crown prince position like we saw in old drama bu bu jingxin, or in rises of phoenix, etc.

    i mean…she tried to suicide on ep10 and he followed her, but both survived.
    and then both lost memory from ep 11 – 51 (she remembered on ep47 while he at the end of ep51)
    and in ep 52 she suicide and asked him to live on.
    i was like … nothing has changed.

    the good thing about this drama is only the visual.

  8. I get that there are flaws with GMP, but for some reason this drama got me hook, line, and sinker. For me, it’s the angstiest, star-crossed romance cdrama I’ve ever watched (yeah, I know) and I cried buckets of invisible tears at the story arc and inevitable ending. I still feel semi heartbroken over the ending now.

    I didn’t give much weight to the drama initially due to the unknown leads, but they really impressed me with their chemistry and acting ability (for beginners). CXG was magnetic as LCY/GXW and PXR did quite well with the emotional scenes.

  9. Oh you’ve said everything I thought about the drama esp on the weaknesses but overall it’s pretty okay-ish drama. Xiaofeng was pretty annoying though in the beginning of her new life in the Li state. But Peng Xiaoran’s certainly a good actress. She brings the emotional scenes really well.

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