First, Love and Destiny 宸汐缘 has no association to Eternal Love, it just shares the same world setting. This is an original work by the production team of Eternal Love – they came up with the script for this while filming Eternal Love.
The best way I can describe this series is imagine you order a dish at some hole in the wall place that you stumble upon and it turn out to be the best dish you’ve ever eat. The ingredients do not go together, presentation is not impressive, but for each bite that you eat, the flavors just explode in your mouth and before you know it, you’ve finished the dish and you want to order more. That’s my experience with this series. This may be the best c-drama that I will have seen for a very long time, at least for this genre.
Like lead actress Ni Ni said in an interview, this series is a love journey, and we get to embark on it with our leads. There are no misunderstandings, no love triangle nor second lead syndrome. The whole series focus on our leads and their love journey and the other characters add richness to it. If our leads are not together, it’s very organic and makes sense. Issues get resolved fairly quickly and in very mature way.
For the role of male lead Jiuchen, I can’t picture anyone else can be it but only Chang Chen. All of the micro-expressions and the acting are just everything. I’m so glad for the long letter the producer wrote to Chang Chen to convince him to accept this role. Without him, this series will just be another series that you watch at your spare time. Both Chang Chen and Ni Ni are mesmerizing together. By the time you finish the series, you want to see more of them in future projects. Almost every character has a personality and only a couple characters are one dimensional. This series explores all kind of relationship and you’ll get sucked in by the raw and natural emotion of it. What really make this series different than other series is its ability to insert comedy in serious situation – it just make sense and not out of place or just for the sake of comedy. My only complaint with this series is they developed the wrong character as the main villain. If they focus on the female antagonist Yuantong, it’ll elevate this series to another level. At least it goes against the typical drama trope.
It takes some time for thing to kick in so you need to have some patience and it’ll totally pay off. Be warned, you’ll laugh and then you’ll cry and cry. While most series started off with high rating on review site Douban and then drop, this series opened at 5.4 and continues to climb (currently at 7.7) At least for me and a lot of people in China, we don’t know what kind of demonic power does this series as we can’t help but keep on checking Weibo and Douban and celebrate when the rating goes up.
I’ve finished watching this series and I’m on my 3rd viewing and I found something new that I didn’t noticed in the first or second viewing.
Love and Destiny is available with English Subtitles on Youtube here.