Period detective drama The Society of Four Leaves 张公案 stars Jing Boran as Lan Jue, an assistant minister from the Ministry of Rites whose ultimate goal is to overturn the ruling against his father. Song Weilong plays Zhang Ping, an impoverished scholar who starts selling his drawings on the street to pay for his education.
Zhang Ping is accused of murdering the owner of a stage troupe and thrown into jail, though is given the chance to prove his innocence by working together with Lan Jue to solve a series of cases. Zhang Ping manages to impress the emperor and court officials with his sleuthing skills, and is promoted with each case he solves, ultimately becoming chancellor of the kingdom.
Directed by Yang Fan and written by Li Lin (Great Expectations), Su Ming (A Real Blessing) and Li Qiong (Unbeatable You), the 24 episode web drama is a very loose adaption of Dafeng Guaguo’s novel of the same name.
Cannot believe I’m saying this but Jing Boran isn’t really pretty enough for the character he plays. It was strongly suggested the character didn’t receive #1 in the Imperial Exam because the emperor thought 3rd place title 探花 suited his prettiness better.
I couldn’t tell the original novel was BL. The sequel (book 2) that the author started on and off a couple years ago seemed to finally hint at something might be brewing between the male leads.
The English title suggests the early “training” cases might be glossed over. We will see how “loosely” the drama follows the novel.