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Moses ck
59 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Mai 20, 2024
36 of 36 episódios vistos
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Captivating story, Strong character development, well-crafted plot twists, and stunning filmography!

"Joy of Life Season 2" is a captivating Chinese drama that continues to impress viewers with its intricate plot, compelling characters, and stunning visuals. The second season of this series delves deeper into the life of Fan Xian, a character who is not only intelligent but also incredibly sly in his actions.

One of the standout aspects of "Joy of Life Season 2" is the character development of Fan Xian. Throughout the series, we see him navigate through various challenges and obstacles with his sharp wit and cunning strategies. His intelligence shines through as he outsmarts his enemies and maneuvers his way through complex political situations. Fan Xian's ability to think quickly on his feet and adapt to changing circumstances makes him a truly fascinating character to watch.

In addition to Fan Xian, the supporting characters in "Joy of Life Season 2" also add depth and complexity to the story. Each character is well-developed and contributes to the overall narrative in a meaningful way. The interactions between the characters are engaging and keep viewers on the edge of their seats, wondering what will happen next.

Furthermore, the production value of "Joy of Life Season 2" is top-notch. The costumes, set design, and cinematography are all beautifully done. The attention to detail in recreating this historical period is truly impressive and adds to the overall immersive experience of the series.

Overall, "Joy of Life Season 2" is a must-watch for fans of historical dramas and intricate storytelling. With its intelligent and sly protagonist, compelling characters, and stunning visuals, this series is sure to keep viewers entertained from start to finish.
I'm loving every moment of this drama.
I highly recommend giving it a watch.

UPDATED
**A Satisfying Conclusion**

The highly anticipated second season of "Joy of Life" has come to a close, leaving viewers with a sense of fulfillment and closure. The series maintained its high quality throughout, delivering a captivating story with complex characters and stunning visuals.

The ending was particularly well-executed, providing a satisfying resolution to the main plotlines while leaving room for future exploration. The characters' arcs were brought to a logical conclusion, with each individual facing their own challenges and triumphs.

The production values remained top-notch, with stunning cinematography, elaborate costumes, and a soundtrack that perfectly complemented the emotional journey of the characters. The cast delivered exceptional performances, bringing depth and nuance to their roles.

Overall, "Joy of Life Season 2" was a triumph that exceeded expectations. It provided a satisfying conclusion to the story while leaving viewers eager for more.

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tsuyoi_hikari
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36 of 36 episódios vistos
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Chess Game Within Chess Game, Maze-Like Writing, Intricate Plots With Compelling Characters

Finally, after waiting for nearly 5 years, the much-anticipated Joy of Life Season 2 comes with a bang. While the first season basically one of the best written scripts in the past 10 years in Cdramaland, the 2nd season as expected still managed to retain the same quality, vibe and layers with new interesting characters and stories.

Again, the things that made Joy of Life stand out among the sea of Cdramas is the maze-like writing and compelling characters. The depth and layers the script possessed are truly one of the best I've seen in the past years. I love how the writer have trust in the audience to interpret and understand the depth of the script on their own -- without telling us via monologue or dialog between the characters. It was so smartly written, with intricate and complicated plots also with so many layers for every characters. The Emperor's wisdom is the greatest example of this -- there are always layers to his words, not just 2 but sometimes 3 to 4 layers. Take example the lunch meeting between him, Fan Xian and his 4 sons -- the Emperor's always want his government clean as he took pride in them but at the same time, 'You can investigate, but not until it threaten my position and my ego.' -- he likes Fan Xian bold enough to make that accusation regarding 2nd Prince's treason, but at the same time, he throw Fan Xian's batch into the lake to save face towards the 4 of his sons but behind the scenes, he gave Fan Xian the Tiger squad to assist him with the corruption case. He is very calculative with everyone and there is always wisdom in his action -- he gets things done without dirtying his hands. He plans, make use of someone and still get what he wants in the end.

Some people might confuse it with plot holes or out of characters behaviors but when we decipher the scene that happened, it proved how we can’t simply interpret the scenes from the surface only. Like Fan Xian poisoning the 2nd Prince. It is truly deliberately done on purpose to mess with the 2nd Prince -- it wasnt because he is reckless or stupid. Fan Xian wants the 2nd Prince to taste his own medicine as he simply treats the 2nd Prince's life as worthless just like the 2nd Prince's view of everyone else's lives. But look now how his life is in danger, look how he behaves -- scared like everyone's else -- very embarrassing to witness. If Fan Xian really want to kill him, he will not purposely show him the poison and later give him an antidote. This is all part of his mind games. He never intended to kill the 2nd Prince. But, he achieve his purpose which is to send the 2nd Prince a message on how his life, just like everyone else is fleeting and can be gone at any time. This served as a warning to him. Also, this again to highlight that Fan Xian has always been petty with a Slam Dunk reference ''Sorry, my hand slipped'' when he threw the wheelchair to the 2nd Prince -- the pettiness that totally mirrored Rukawa & Sakuragi. XD

Also, how upon rewatching, you discover more thing about existing scenes from before. Like how we can view certain characters differently upon knowing more about them like the 1st Prince for an example. It is after all not about pissing contest against Fan Xian during his entrance to the Capital -- but more towards he wants to test Fan Xian's character as he is the man who is going to marry Wan'er and in charge of Treasury in the future. Then later, his future alliance with Fan Xian comes as no surprise as he is a man with moral and just because of that, he will help Fan Xian with his mission to create a better world for everyone.

Also, the foreshadowing is really strong in this season! Like how Fan Xian check the pulse of Prime Minister and the mirror scene where he checks it again in front of the Emperor. Or the foreshadowing that the Prime Minister keep telling Fan Xian to learn how to be cunning like The Emperor or to never to trust him -- like he predicted Fan Xian will oppose the Emperor in the future. Or First Prince's faceless paintings to Princess Royal's saying 'There is someone who doesn’t appreciate her beauty' -- all these are hints for the coming 3rd season that’s about to come. I love how conversations between the characters are either laced with poisons or secrets and that the ''joy'' of watching of Joy of Life. All the little details in the drama makes the story -- I love to catch all of these as it usually served as hints on which characters we should trust or not. For an example, the way it always emphasis how the 2nd Prince use human as stair when he took the carriage while Fan Xian's Dad, using a normal stool. Also the special feature on Chan Ping Ping's chair -- it shows how he is still after all still guarded against the Emperor. Same with how even before the revelations, I knew it was the Crown Prince who brunt the village down and it wasn’t the 2nd Prince. This is effective storytelling as when you combined all the hints one by one and understood the nature of each character, you know what to expect from them -- like the Crown Prince already show his fangs since the first season and only this season we know how dark he truly is -- probably darker than the 2nd Prince.

I love how 95% of the casts are still the same. And it awe me how they didn’t seemed to age except Zhang Ruoyun did lose a lot of weight from the previous season. And again this season, he returned more kick-ass than before -- Fan Xian is still literally one of the most layered, rich and brilliant character I have encounter in Cdramas. He didn’t lose all the characteristic that made him so spell-bindingly shining -- almost like a sun, in fact, this season he just further confirm why he remain my most favorite fictional character -- with how colorful, how unyielding, how he didn’t seem to care for anything but actually care too much, and how he is very uninterested with the power game, yet very good at playing it. He is like a male lead I always want in my dramas -- the one that I always root since he never ever makes any stupid decisions, like ever. I guess I watched too many dramas with the leads yielding to the bad guys' request when they are put in the corner so Fan Xian, is a refreshing case since you can threat him with his love ones, yet he still won’t follow your requests since he is playing the game better than anyone. I'm so happy that all my favorite veteran actors; The Emperor, Chan Ping Ping, Fan Jian, Prime Minister, Fei Jie all reprising their roles and in this season and we get to see many layers of them even more.

And even the new actors, I actually enjoy them -– it’s actually very rare for me to actually love mostly 95% of the characters in one single drama but how can you not? They are all written with little quirks that makes them interesting like the charismatic 1st Prince, the nervous but funny Beiqi Princess and some small supporting actor such as the 2nd Prince Guard -- on how dumb he looks, and always seemed to judge the Prince and how he is studying for imperial exam. Or the even the new Yan Bingyan -- I adore him. I love how he will always try not to laugh everytime Fan Xian did something funny. And it is the best where he finally let a big smile after being trolled by Fan Xian to pay for the whole breakfast.

And with Joy of Life, I find all the villains fascinating instead of hating them. I don’t root for them, but I like them as characters. I don’t remember I dislike any villains in the drama -- and we have a lot -- actually a lot of really grey characters. There are always endearing part of them and that includes the very hateable character The Royal Princess. But I like her a lot -- there is some wickedness in her that screamed deranged but all hide in this beautiful and alluring façade. Or the 2nd Prince -- how he seemed all unserious and casual but at the same time enigmatic and mysterious.

While I always love Joy of Life for the menacing storylines and their intrigue plots, Fan Xian's family dynamic is still one of my very favorite parts of the story. I love how the writer explored the Fan family dynamics to the fullest this season; his Dad is the one who takes him home and pretends not to care but we all know he cares the most. Then his step-mum, how Fan Xian honoring her during his wedding. Then Ruo Ruo's blind faith on Fan Xian and the ever adorable Fan Sizhe, he has finally grow up! I love the part where he finally gets those words of care from the Dad. What a wholesome family! Then we have Wan'er -- I adore adore Fan Xian and Wan'er's relationship. Wan'er represent the life that Fan Xian really wants and he finds calm and tranquility with her -- something that he didn’t get from anyone else. Reminds us that despite the world might be chaotic for Fan Xian, he can always return home where he can finally let his guard down and trust his family fully.

What made Joy of Life simply brilliant is how both the good and bad guys are EQUALLY intelligent and brilliant. It wasn’t a one-sided battle of wits. It is a chess games within chess games kind of story -- we always thought Fan Xian control his destiny (even when he act in his own free will) but no, all these are calculated as he is simply a chess piece as they predicted all that moves from him -- even the controversial ones. However, I love the very fact that Fan Xian truly live a very fulfilling life with no regrets so it isn’t frustrating to watch or root for him. One thing in dramas that I dislike when characters always holding back and wait for their next life to change their fate but not Fan Xian. He truly lives his life to the fullest and loving all the people in his life at the best of his ability. Thus, even if he dies in the middle, he lived a fulfilling life with no regrets and stay true to his ideals and principles -- the best kind of life -- suit the drama's title to a T.

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31 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
21 dias atrás
36 of 36 episódios vistos
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No geral 9.0
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Musical 9.0
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You only live twice.

Fan Xian is back!!! There are no words to describe the pure joy I felt after what was for me, a three year wait. I never expected S2 to be as strong as S1 and as much as I enjoyed it, it is not quite at the same level. To begin with, killing a character onscreen is never easy to unwind and their walk back of the S1 cliffhanger was long winded, cumbersome and comically farcical. What saves it is that most audiences are so grateful to see the whole gang, villains and all, back together again they willingly suspend disbelief.

The most noticeable difference with S2 is the visible shift in the narrative from plot driven to largely character driven. After narrowly cheating death, an introspective Fan Xian who realizes you only live twice, returns to the capital. During S1, Teng Zijing showed Fan Xian that some things are worth dying to protect. This season explores what those things are for Fan Xian. He reflects upon his mother's ideals and begins to see the injustices that made her want to change the world. The plight of the common people resonates with him as he comes to understand that he is also but a pawn in a high powered chess game. He embraces his mother's legacy with a sense of purpose and a clear vision of what he means to do with it. The most exhilarating moments of this season are not action packed or full of intricate twists but pivotal moments in Fan Xian's character journey. It is less exciting if you are an action junkie but this is the season that reveals who Fan Xian really is and more importantly, who he wants to be.

With the signature Joy of Life verve and wit, important plot points or character motives are conveyed indirectly with humor. As the laughter abates, the manifold implications, often dark and diabolical start to sink in. The most chilling aspect of S2 is Fan Xian's complex, multi-dimensional chess game with the emperor, who is the grandmaster firmly in control of the board and all the chess pieces. It is not even clear that Chen Pingping is really on Fan Xian's side; after his "miscalculation", he seems just as dangerous as friend or foe. It is from such a disadvantaged position that Fan Xian plays to win even though winning could also cost him his head. While the emperor's end game remains murky, he reveals a guarded, almost resentful affection for Fan Xian that has me hopeful and fearful at the same time. Some of the emperor's schemes and motives are too intricate and have to be explained via dialogue, which is something I am not a fan of.

Inasmuch as I quite miss the rounder and carefree Fan Xian, Zhang Ruoyun's lean and mean new look lends a sense of maturity and gravitas to the role. My mouth goes dry at the layer upon layer of divine masculinity that comprise Fan Xian, the man. His scenes with the emperor where they both test and measure each other are mesmerising until the tension is broken by at times offbeat humor that has me yodelling with laughter. Every dysfunctional Li family gathering is a hilarious parody of a feast at Swan Goose Gate (Hongmen banquet/鸿门宴). There are many insanely well acted emperors in c-drama yet Chen Daoming still manages to stand out with his complex, differentiated, infuriating and utterly unpredictable portrayal. Just when I am sure I loathe him, he blindsides me with an unexpectedly moving expression of almost regret. Fan Xian has yet to get the better of this sociopath but at least he still manages to run circles around "Mini Me". The moment he scared the living daylights out of the second prince is one of the highlights of the season.

It is no small feat that they managed to reunite such a large and sought after cast and practically all the roles are well conveyed. Ye Lingér however was obviously abducted by aliens and replaced with a bot. Hopefully Si Lili rescues her offscreen and returns with the real Ye Lingér just in time for S3. I won't deny that I basked in every moment of this reunion of my favorite characters, good and evil. That said, outside of Fan Sizhe, no one really gets to do anything consequential. Many new characters including the first prince, the Beiqi princess and Fan Xian's scholars are introduced with unclear purpose. Everyone is being teed up but the punchline is put on hold until S3. This unbalanced focus on introducing and fleshing out characters and relationships comes at the cost of plot movement. This makes me worry that this leaves too many open plot arcs to be closed in S3. While I wouldn't dare to explicitly wish anyone's bestie villain dead, I think they should have closed at least one of the villain arcs instead of pushing everything into S3.

The character arc of S2 closes triumphantly with Fan Xian reclaiming his power and free will by choosing what family means to him and in doing so, he changes the game. I expect S3 to be once again more plot driven like S1. While I savored S2 and appreciate that they took the time to flesh out the characters and key relationships, there are just too many open plot threads for me to rate this the 9.5 I gave S1. Thus this is a 9.0/10.0 for me for now. If everything comes together well in S3, the series overall will easily be 9.5 or a 10.0.

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A game of wits and words; The Journey to make him determined to his life goal..

Overview of Plot:-

The drama starts with Fan Xian faking his death and discovering the truth of his identity. When he returned to the capital from Bei Qi, he realised how corrupt the government officials are. He felt infuriated yet helpless when he saw how the people holding power treats the common people.

Fan Xian discovered many secrets at the end of the season 1 which now made his trust on his backers to waver. This season is more focused on character development of Fan Xian and developing a goal for his unruly life towards changing the world, as his mother aspired to back then. He reluctantly started to walk down the same path as his mother but with a new witty way.

Will Fan Xian still be able to get his revenge after knowing who the mastermind was behind Teng Zi Jing's death? Will he be able to unveil the one who is in cahoots with the enemy country? Will he be able to stand firm against injustice and unfairness of the world? As he discovered his identity, what will he going to do now? Will he ever be succeed in uncovering the truth of his mother's death and the suspense of his own birth and memories? Will he trust again those backers of his?
Stay tuned to know more.

My Views:-

This season is highly focused on political intrigue and there is a lack of adventure. However, this doesn't disappoint me even a little. After a number of dreadful events, Fan Xian realized no matter how capable he is, he alone cannot upholds justice for innocent. He figure out if he wants to walk down on the path of fairness and justice, he needs to make alliance and his own faction.

Fan Xian becomes aware of fact that in the struggle of power, lives of common people are treated as chess piece. No one cares for them. Even his own life and actions are somehow controlled by some higher ups which makes him more desperate to get free from their claws. However, almost everyone is accustomed to this, and those who are not, can do nothing about it. They are afraid to speak up because they have no one to watch their backs and so will end up being dead eventually. There is no exception, not even the ones who sit in higher positions. The cruelty of world opened his eyes wide. There are times he felt helpless and we saw him saying that he is not brave enough, but in reality if he cannot be said brave then no other can be. There is no absolute fairness in the world, but efforts can be made to prevail relative fairness, that's what Fan Xian started to work out on.

As this is a long awaited season, therefore, it's inevitable to compare both of the seasons. In terms of writing, this season is not as marvelous as the season 1 but it doesn't mean it's a disappointment. I loved this season as well.

Nevertheless, this season is more of character building of Fan Xian and other characters. It's the foundation of his journey of becoming most influential and powerful being and to polish his ruthlessness and wits to make him capable of surviving in the power struggle. Not everything can be done by force, by fighting, sometimes you need people and it's become a game of mind power, a game of wits. This season conveys this game perfectly. It's some of those dramas which will make you realise how important words can be, and how much necessary it is to use them in right way, at right place, with right people and at right time. Don't worry about the serious vibes, humour is there all over the drama.

Speaking of acting of the original actors from season 1, it's excellent, no more words needed. Even after 5 years, they all did justice to their characters with the same vibe of season 1. This is spectacular. However, the casting of new actors to replace old ones fell short. Yan Bing Yun in season 1 was more like a paranoid and dead serious person, but in this season his demeanor seems to change completely to a person who often smiles and not as serious as he was introduced in season 1. That serious vibe and tension between him and Fan Xian is gone completely. Coming to Ye Ling'er, the previous actress did her job perfectly as a hot-headed tomboy, but in my opinion, the new actress couldn't match upto the character's essence.

Coming to other characters, Lin Wan'er became more likable as a character to me as compared to season 1 which is quite a good thing. She finally has grown up and acts like adults in this season. In this season, I loved her chemistry with Fan Xian.

Fan Ruo Ruo is becoming the best female character in this drama, the girl was already well versed in literature and discipline, now she became a surgeon and snipper at the same time. Her character is becoming more and more strong.

My most loved characters in this season besides Fan Xian are Fan Jian, Fan Ruo Ruo, Fei Jie and Wu Zhu. They are the only ones who never left Fan Xian's side and never seek any benefit in return. I am so glad that Fan Xian never changed his surname and never left his family.

Fan Si Zhe shows the most development in his character. Sometimes it takes a moment for a man to grow up, this suits him very well.

Li Cheng Ze, the second prince, now playing on front. We now realised what his mother said about him was all true. He is not as simple as he looks like, so is the Crown Prince. Nonetheless, he always seems like an interesting character to me from the season 1. He is as crazy as his aunt.

Action is there but in the last quarter of this season and new mysteries and revelations came into picture but it's far from enough compared to season 1. As for production, colour palette is bit warmer compared to season 1 and looks really good. Camera work is awesome. Costumes are beautiful and stylish more than season 1, we got a supermodel Fan Xian here, LOL. But music was somewhat off. It feels like makers added wrong background music in some scenes which doesn't go with the vibe of that moment. For example, at the time of Fan Xian's surgery, they added somewhat light-hearted music which does not fit with serious vibe of that scene in starting. It tonned down the significance of that particular crest fallen moment.

Overall, despite its minor cons it still was a great watch for me. It's captivating enough to make me binge watched this season as well. However, I have some mixed feelings about the ending. Ending felt a bit rushed and unexplained but obviously for making a path for next season.

If you still couldn't decide whether to watch it, then go and watch, it certainly won't disappoint if you love to watch political intrigue and how crazy can people be just to gain power. This is the best choice indeed.

Hope the next season won't take another five years to air.

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23 dias atrás
36 of 36 episódios vistos
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No geral 9.5
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 10
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Dapper, smarter, fiercer Fan Xian makes justice look sexy in JOL S2!

Treachery, schemes, murder, politics and a whole lotta fun - Joy of Life’s Season 2 picks up with a bang and maintains its high quality from the first episode to the last.

✔️After the events of season one, our adorably cunning hero Fan Xian is now more guarded, more ruthless, more dangerous and a 100% more delicious. As he navigates through the capital politics with betrayals at every turn, gets numerous harsh reality checks along the way and sees the injustice that plagues the kingdom, his thirst for justice and fairness builds up in every episode.

✔️Zhang Ruo Yun is an absolute star in this show as he puts out a performance that is hard to look away from. Fan Xian flits easily from a highly intelligent edge lord, to a vulnerable broken hearted man, to a surprisingly devoted husband, to a hilarious goof, a wickedly stylish martial artist and back to being an angry God. Nobody does anger and wrath as good as Zhang Ruo Yun because when he gets mad, I am there, seated, on my knees, READY for things to go down.

His dialogue delivery is also absolutely spectacular. Seriously, you know when he wants to spit acid with his words and when he wants to caress you with them - his eyes are expressive as hell.

✔️The best thing about season 2 is the way Fan Xian’s character gets more layers. From the start, Fan Xian isn’t exactly the typical overpowered, do-no-wrong, C-drama character. That’s because there’s no secret that he is incredibly privileged and favored by the most powerful figures in the kingdom and also has the knowledge of the future as his superpower. So, there is always this question: Is he that good or is it because of all the help he always gets from others?

However, in this season, the show really dives into what that means for Fan Xian - the frustration that no matter how much he does, at the end it feels like it is always the King or Chen Ping Ping running the show or that wherever he goes, he has his mother’s legacy hanging over him like a cloud.

And, sometimes he doesn’t want to always have to be in the position to play these mind games or do the right thing. As a result, we get an extremely fleshed out, hopelessly endearing character in Fan Xian who grows in spite of himself and independently of all the elements that are hell bent on pushing him to be the person they think he should be.

So, it's no surprise that his various relationships with other characters also hit you right in the feelings because of their authenticity. Especially considering how political and dialogue heavy this drama is.
Whether it is the begrudging respect he instills in his enemies, or the unwavering loyalty of his friends, the affection that comes from his teachers, the innocent camaraderie he has with his siblings or his deep deep love for Wan’Er - all of it contribute to painting this incredibly nuanced portrayal of Fan Xian and allows you to appreciate the glimpse of pure, tender human interactions and feelings on screen.

✔️That is one reason why, even though some viewers have complained about this season having less action and more dialogue - I felt like there was so much necessary character development in this show that allowed Fan Xian to grow maturely and find himself in a way that was very different than his bright faced, less darker character in season 1 and as a character focused person, I was 100% here for it.

✔️Other than Fan Xian, all the other characters bring their own flavors to the show. Every time a character from the first season comes on screen, it’s like welcoming an old friend. Especially the men who are certifiable daddies aka: the inscrutable, omnipresent king, the sly Chen Ping Ping, Fan Xian’s adorable father Fang Jian and his morally scrupulous father in law.

All of these political mavericks are an absolute delight to watch as they pull out one scheme after another to both use and help Fan Xian as they push him towards becoming the powerful man he is surely becoming.

✔️The drama is a masterclass in cinematography and soundtrack and is so sensually pleasing to watch. It seriously has some of the best camera work I have seen in a long time with an excellent music score.

✔️The pacing of the show is great with something impactful happening in almost every episode. The show beautifully balances emotional, tear jerking scenes with wit and hilarity, coupled with action and intense moments where you just want to jump and holler.

✔️Moreover, it is peppered with some excellent dialogues and you can see how both the writing and direction has been executed with a lot of thought because of the way the drama focuses on and enhances the tiniest moments to add to the overall impact and gravitas of a particular scene.

✔️The acting across the board is phenomenal and the themes of friendship, loyalty, brotherhood, slight romance, camaraderie and family are all explored with a delicate subtlety that makes the drama go down like a well-simmered pot of stew.

✔️As far as the antagonists go, while not all of them are effective, they are all 100% entertaining. Especially, the wily little second prince who is the human personification of a sly fox and the deranged princess.

✅ Overall, I lived and breathed this show throughout its airing period and was impressed with the way they were able to raise the stakes even higher from season 1 and maintained its top tier quality. It also ended with a note that was so on brand with everything Fan Xian is - tongue in cheek, wickedly fun, always having the last word and impossibly tempting you for more.

Undeniably, one of the best C-dramas ever.

A must watch.

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22 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
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36 of 36 episódios vistos
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No geral 10
História 10
Acting/Cast 10
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Joy of Life? More Like Joy of My Life

Just finished the last episode and the sense of loss hit me hard. What a truly mind blowing end to this season. I don't think there are up to 3 Cdramas that had successful sequels that have the same level of quality and story telling. I can categorically say JOL is one.

I understand why some are nitpicking and looking for faults that don't exist, this is literally the diamond of the season, the more we the fans gush about it, the more they wanna tear it apart, holding this masterpiece to such high standards but literally turning a blind eye to all the trash dramas being rolled out every week in cdramaland🙄

I also know we can't all have the same tastes, but the 2 seasons shouldn't be compared as they're intrinsically different, if Fan Xian had continued the same journey of season 1, the same critics complaining season 2 is boring will be the very ones saying how stale the story has become. Most people don't even understand the premise of this show tbh, this isn't one of those shows where everything is explicitly revealed, even an eye twitch alone here can mean the admission or rebuttal of a fact.

The depth and writing of the characters is unlike any show out there. No one is a plain bad or good character, we all know the emperor is a sadistic megalomaniac, but damn I have such a deep admiration of him, he has such presence and charisma I'm yet to see in ANY emperor, when I watch dramas with the dumbest emperors being led around by their consorts, i roll my eyes and ask why can't they be like HIM comeon! Even the scene he revealed himself as FXs dad had me teary.

I'm so proud of FXs growth this season, every character was meaningful, every episode was interesting with zero fillers and I'll miss everyone, even He Zong Wei, lol

Season 1 : 10/10
Season 2: 10/10
Season 3: 10/10 in advance hehe😜

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22 dias atrás
36 of 36 episódios vistos
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No geral 9.5
História 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 8.5
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THE WORLD OF SCHEMERS: journey of wits and humour

Joy of Life is the compelling journey of Fan Xian, the only shinning light for the common people, as they say haha. He witnesses the injustice of the world and tries to bring justice while he himself is the biggest nepotism fruit ever.

I'm so glad that season 2 kicks off as equally witty and funny as season 1 with S 2 leaning more on the darker side.

The fact that whole season 1 revolved around Fan Xian and season 2 was still all about him and him, but I'm not disappointed. Cuz characters like him are rare – Smart, funny, upright and stubborn, so stubborn that I've lost count of how many times he was about to die but guy is so good with his words and ofc his dads got his back. Ngl, he is a little crazy and thats exactly why we like him.

Fan Xian meets many companions on his way, some stay, some die, has like 4-5 dads, an amnesiac blind protector, even the love of his life- his drumstick lady but gosh boy is just lonely. I know some part of my likeness for him is pity. HE JUST WANTS TO LIVE PEACEFULLY BUT CAN HE? probably one day when all the scheming ends.

If you love palace politics, intricately written plot of schemes, backstabbing thrown one after the other, long discussions and dialogue deliveries of which one word got him killed, JOL is the right one for you.... the best quality of JOL that impresses me is how they switch from a dark, very tragic scene to a sheer comedic scene you can't help but laugh at. I was about to cry cuz smthg sad happened, my tears are still in the making but now I'm laughing on a meme. they legit used some snapchat filter on everyone's face in one scene and I'm still cracking up about it in my dreams.

For the acting, it felt like everyone must have matured little or less in the gap of these two seasons, they all served us with amazing acting. Specially impressed with Li Xiaoran and Liu Duanduan who acted Princess Royal Li Yunrui and Second Prince Chengze respectively. And its less no matter how much I praise Zhang Ruoyun for being the perfect Fan Xian. Was he born for playing this role or what? xD.... I look at him and think "I get it Wan Er. I get it gurl"


Overall, with fine storytelling and wholesome family and peer interactions, moments of subtle bromances, Joy of life was like a fine game of chess where everyone is a pawn. you make a move but are you sure you made it alone? its complicated yk.

Totally recommended!

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Period_addict
22 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
25 dias atrás
36 of 36 episódios vistos
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No geral 6.0
História 5.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 5.0
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I just wanna cry. So disappointed

(spoilers about the divine temple and his mother (long recap), WuZhu, the emperorand his death, and the ending. Check the comments)

After finishing the last episode of Season 2, I can't help but feel a mix of surprise and disappointment. While I did enjoy some moments, overall, I found myself questioning some of the creative choices and missing the magic of the first season.

Season 1 holds a special place in my heart. It's at the top of my list. I was so invested in it that I ended up reading the novel, which spans 746 chapters and over 5501 pages. To my delight, I discovered that Season 1 stayed true to the novel, accurately portraying the characters and the story. The martial arts scenes were executed well, although not as detailed as the novel, and every character was perfectly cast. Season 1 truly stands out as a masterpiece.

Season 2 sadly did not reach my expectations. Everything was rushed. The arcs completely changed. They were mixed. I did not recognize the main characters like a second prince or the crown prince. The villainess character of the story, the eldest princess, appears only in the last part of the season when she is THE main villain of the story. I am trying to think of one character who did not change, and I found one, Fan Jian, his father. Okay, let's make two, his father-in-law, the prime minister. And three with Da Bao (Kudos for this incredible performance! Not easy to play with realism a simple mind).

Fan Xian character went from being an arrogant mastermind to a submissive, almost tearful figure in the first part of the season. His actions, such as begging and kneeling in front of the emperor, were a far cry from the Fan Xian in the novel. I missed the strategic genius who could outmaneuver his opponents and exploit their weaknesses. Despite the change, he remained lovable, thanks to the acting skills of the ML (Zhang Ruo Yun). I felt relieved that his true personality returned in the last part of Season 2. But it was a little too late; I lost the excitement of watching the drama. Plus the unnecessary comedic elements introduced by the screenwriter detracted from the season's enjoyment even if some, I admit, were funny, it was too much. But too much change, too much difference in personalities. The magic of season 1 was not there.

The last 2 episodes were rushed. And where was the grand apotheosis expected in the last minutes of season 2? Those special moments that ended and left us all on our toes just like season 1? He got back his zhenqi. So what?

I am SO SO disappointed.

I understand the reasons. The TV producers wanted to create a period romance (A) even though the novel is a period thriller drama (B), so the focus is completely different. The TV producers started with B in season 1, and then switched to A in season 2 with no transition or logic. It was as if season 1 was following the novel, and in season 2, they got inspired but created a brand new storyline. It was brutal.

It was all talk, unnecessary talk, but no action. Where was the tyrannical zhenqi that took a considerable place in the novel? Yes, he touched here and there with his fist to show that his meridians were messing with his body, but no cultivation, no practice, and no fight except the big one in the season, which was very well choreographed. But only one? Did the production cut the budget in half? Because that's precisely what I'm thinking after the end of season 2. The teasers/previews were so good though… *sigh*

Yes, the story is quite extensive, spanning 746 chapters filled with numerous events, making it challenging to condense into just 3 seasons. I'm perplexed why the first season was a success, but the second season fell short. What could have gone wrong? Did the screenwriter lose his touch or encounter some personal issues? Was it a lack of budget? Was it a change of executive producer? Was it production executives' pressure that led to the decision to rewrite the arcs completely? I ensured that it was the same screenwriter for both seasons, but I'm uncertain about the involvement of the art producer and other staff members. Don't get me wrong, the actors and actresses were equally good in both seasons. It's the material they were given that made season 2 chaotic. Yes, reducing the number of episodes was an issue 46 vers 36. But then why not negotiating a S3 S4 and even S5? S1 was a mega-hit, I cannot believe budget was the issue, was it?

The screenwriter made too many changes to the stories and arcs, which was the main problem. It was like stuffing an elephant into a mouse pit. It just did not work. Events that were supposed to happen at the end of the novel were added in the middle of season 2, such as revealing that the emperor was a grandmaster. I understand that a TV drama differs from a novel and that not everything can be included. I also understand that some characters may be missing, such as Sisi the concubine. However, it felt like the show was all over the place.

I'm grateful I only had to wait 3 months, not 5 years, to watch season 2. I also found a fantastic novel and discovered several talented Chinese actors I now follow. However, I'm disappointed that season 2 didn't have the same "wow" factor for me as season 1.

I didn't notice much effort put into the soundtrack, either. There wasn't much difference in the original soundtrack (OST) except for the generic and epilogue. I even recognized some of the music from season 1. However, one piece of music that I hope never to hear again is the Swiss yodelling. It was used, reused, and overused. One or two good jokes are funny, but several become clownish. I can't forget how the screenwriter mocked Jing Ge, the general of the black guards.

In the drama, there were many inconsistencies and changes in the characters' personalities. For example, Wan’er, who wanted to kill WuZhu, the most powerful character, and Cheng Ping Ping, a strong supporter of Fan Xian, became a suspicious foe, even though they are two genius soul mates in the story. Additionally, the second prince turned evil without really taking any action. Many characters needed more screen time for proper understanding. Sweet relationships never developed, such as the first prince (not that I read many in the novel, but after the naive bland outburst at the meal 3+3, I expected to see her again!), the alcoholic empress (invented), and the undeveloped boring and useless Ming episodes(few dozen chapters in the novel). WuZhu acting like a crazy robot and demanding assistance from his sister were also confusing. Every single scene was full of confusing moments for me. I wanted to recognize the big moments in the novel, not a poorly executed remake with no depth and no logic. Production should have spent less on the flower's eldest princess and more on martial arts choreography! Where was the magic of the 300 poems? Where was the tension and puzzle of who was a friend and who was a foe? Gone. All gone.

The drama made quite a few changes to the original events. I constantly compared the show to the novel, trying to understand why the screenwriter made such extensive alterations. Some plotlines were easy to follow, while others left me very perplexed. I'm thinking about re-watching this season soon, hoping to gain a new perspective. I'm not entirely convinced, but I'm open to the possibility of seeing it in a different light.

After reading various reviews and comments, it seems that this season is not universally liked. However, there are also many outstanding reviews. I will check the reviews in a few months when the dust has settled. That will give me a better idea of whether this drama is a success or a failure. Considering there is a season 3 (confirmed during the press conference for season 2), I hope they will make the necessary adjustments!

Until season 3... FL said during her farewell interview that it will be Chapter 7.

S1: chapters 1-2
S2: inspired by chapters 3-4-5-6 (no events or scenes or dialogues seen on drama can be found on novel)
S3: chapter 7 (lot and lot of martial fights, 2 mega battlefields… hope they'll get the budget!)

if you want to read the spoiler about Fan Xian's mother and the Divine Temple. Check my comments :)

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JustAnotherFan
3 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
21 dias atrás
36 of 36 episódios vistos
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Acting/Cast 10
Musical 8.0
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“You cannot do this alone”.

Con; A lot of talking, politics, might bore you to death if that’s not your cup of tea. Old men converse in riddles that you won't understand if you don't pay attention.

Pro; 1) Acting, production, story, intriguing if you like politics, deep scheming. 2) The twists are just so good, even if I had read the novel, the acting really played it all out for me. 3) Old men converse in riddles that when you pay attention, it rewards you with the wittiness of the conversations. It’s a great drama honestly. Even side characters had great performances. Other reviewers will have better adjectives than I do lol.

=====

I liked season 2, although it did contain much more politics than season 1. It would be the same versus the novel. They did change and modify some events and people, but I guess in the grand scheme of things, it made sense for the drama adaptation. Many viewers indicated that the new season is more like a detective/crime solving cases and corruptions, which they didn’t like. That part is correct. It seems like the drama combined some events here and there. In order for Fan Xian to consolidate his power, he uprooted all corruptions and went head to head with most officials in Jingdu, which made them either fear him or hate him. It follows the novel in this aspect. While doing so, he gained a lot of respect and allies, whom would then join his rank for the later part of the novel. These cases are important to build the story and allies, because they play a major role in the third season.

If season 1 was introducing us to Fan Xian and the story, then season 2 provide us with insights on how Fan Xian is establishing and consolidating his powers, all the while dealing with Palace politics and hidden enemies. Just like Chen Ping Ping said “You cannot do this alone”. Season 3 should be much darker, because there will be alot of killing involved, I hope that is one thing they do not change.

Some things I wish they kept throughout the drama; 1) the subtle darker tone from the novel. 2) Some of Fan Xian’s arrogance and ruthlessness. I think in the novel besides the Emperor, there aren't any enemies that Fan Xian wouldn’t dare beat the hell out of lol. He basically fought with everyone, physically or mentally to establish himself in Jingdu. 3) Fan Xian had operatives under him that were fearless and ruthless, abiding his commands and orders. They were especially scary during the night because you don’t know when they’ll come for you. It is the unknown fear that Jingdu is so afraid of Fan Xian, and afraid of the Bureau. I guess hiring a bunch of people dressed as assassins just to follow him around might be too much ($$) lol. But that's the beauty and fame of the Overwatch Council and how they operate, unpredictable, powerful, and inducting fear.

Several things I did like: 1) they made Yan Bingyun to have more character/flavor to him. The nature of Yan Bingyun is the same as the novel, unyielding, goes by the book and only for the goodness of the Qing empire. No one likes Qing more than Yan Bingyun. A true patriot. In the drama, they made him likable and had comedy bits. I like that change, it humanized him. 2) the drama does a good job at giving viewers subtle hints or foreshadows via character expression, POV frames, and etc. You really don’t get that perspective from reading novels unless it is specifically written out.

Example spoiler: Emperor having a conversation with Fan Jian and Chen Ping Ping about Fan Xian not registering his name within the Fan family, and he commented “Good, good, etc”. The camera then pans to Fan Jian and Chen Ping Ping expressions, which hide hints of mystery/slyness. It’s these little moments that the POV, Camera works, allow the audience to maybe speculate “Why is the Emperor saying that..?” and “what does the expression of those two really mean?” If viewers hadn’t read the novel and hadn’t read spoilers yet, it’s a great hint. There are many subtle hints and foreshadowing throughout the drama, Season1 as well as Season2.

And 3) the antics from the 2nd prince, crown prince, and Fan Xian were great. It is like they are acting out a play, very comedic. Other characters were great too.

If you don’t enjoy politics then I wouldn’t recommend this show for you. However, IMO even with the politics it was still entertaining. The Characters are sly and scheming, even with the ‘little’ (side characters) guy. So it made it that more interesting. For those novel readers out there, just remember that this should be an adaptation, so change is unavoidable. Enjoy the drama and acting!

I love Haitang in the novel, and fell in love with her again due to actress Xin Zhi Lei portrayal. Mao Ni isn’t good at romance, that is the only downside from his novels. Damn you Mao Ni!!!!

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Shae
4 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
25 dias atrás
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Enjoyable and Slightly Disappointing

Just a short critical review among all the moonbeams and rainbows....lol
Before the rabid fans jump in on my opinion with the 'nu unhs" and "I disagree", I will say I enjoyed the heck out of this show but it still had its rough parts and all the actors brought their A-game.

But,

They should have written in a 5 year time jump to explain some of the slight personality changes.

1) Since its been some years since season 1 aired, many of the actors have become "bigger" (and thinner) actors. Which has lead to contract negotiations for more screen time, unnecessary closeups and input as part of agreements.
The most distracting in changes is of the second prince's feel, overall character and his personal guard. His overall vibe is just wrong somehow in season 2.
Runner up: Ye linger. Yes, they changed the actress but she became a matured version of her former self the moment she walks on screen; I would've liked to see the gungho and slightly unable to read the room Linger to have grown into what we are handed

2) Strange editing with no excuses for a drama that's been so anticipated; it should've been on-point. And, inline commercials with the characters without a breakpoint

3) Too many "who the heck are you?" again moments. took 2-3 episodes for one mid-season pop up to be recognizable as to where they fit in the story.

4) Nearly bored me to death in episodes after a fight scene in the final half.

5) That damn yogurt!!!

6) Misses a "that moment" that was achieved in Season 1. Even though they give one to chicken girl, it falls slightly flat with her scene partner's lack of tears (and he was really trying) and its almost identical mirroring of Season 1.

Is it worth a rewatch to me, nope. Would I recommend, yes with a warning on the vibe on the 2 characters mentioned above and to not watch without viewing Season 1 first.

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Frich007
9 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
25 dias atrás
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História 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 10
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A masterclass in storytelling and character development .

If you're looking for a drama series that will leave you both entertained and satisfied, look no further than this gem of a show. Season two raises the bar once again with its engaging storylines, well-developed characters, and exceptional performances. The show's ability to evoke both laughter and tears is a testament to its phenomenal writing and direction. I'm excited to see what the next season brings, and I highly recommend this show to anyone who wants to experience a truly captivating drama series.
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Zogitt
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More of the same with odd stumbles

I, like many fans, were looking forward to S2 with great expectations. It pains me to make the next statement. I like aspects of S2 but I don’t love it in totality. It improved on some bits, kept a lot of "what is not broken" but also created some new problems.

On the positive side, the ML has matured into his role even though technically no time has passed between Seasons. He does look very thin in some scenes which is concerning. He is no longer a young buck who needs rescuing all the time. The ML has become a real player in the power game. It is great to see him go toe-to-toe with his foes and even some of his mentors. The downside to this is that he is given even more screen time to the detriment of other actors. This diluting of some character interactions really hurt elements of the original story.

I’m glad to see some storylines are still engaging. However, it is not all good news. There are stumbles in the narrative that left me scratching my head. Such as the whole episode devoted to selling Treasury Bonds. It fits into the overall narrative, but it feels like the cart pushing the horse. It is odd.

This also includes the exaggerated use of comedic elements. Some actors overact for cheap laughs which feels incongruous. The worse offender is the use of the yodelling song. Why? It is so jarring.

If S1 has a big cast, S2's is downright bloated. Most of the returning characters resumed their old roles but with developing plots, there are changes. It was quite a neat revelation at the end of S1 when the 2nd prince was revealed to be the hidden antagonist. He was intriguing in S1 but now he feels a bit lame once he openly challenges the ML.

Speaking of expanded cast, Several characters from S1 took on more prominent roles. Rou Rou is definitely one of them. Her role changed substantially. However, I’m not sure about her training to use the Ultimate Weapon. Is that a breech too far?

Another one is Ye Ling Er. Gina Jin took over this role. I'm not 100% sold on her visual and the "changed" characterisation. There is even a hint of a tragic love line brewing. I'm not sure I'm onboard with this but we shall see.

As expected, the story becomes more convoluted as schemes and counter schemes are minted. This does slow down the overall pacing noticeably. The revelation of the link between Xian and the Emperor certainly stirred up a lot of high emotions and opened old wounds. Nothing was resolved by the end of S2 so it is up to the writer to tie in the game of throne plots with the underlying sci-fi theme.

Speaking of ending, I’m happy that we don't have another cliffhanger. It was surprisingly positive and even a little cheeky. Maybe this is because S3 is already in the works so we don't need to force the issue. However, the last few eps did feel a little out of sorts for me. The "invention" of a banking system and the three workshops plot feels a bit awkward. The Ming family storyline is disturbing. It feels ham-fisted though. We become numbed when the body count of faceless victims balloons.

Production quality is decent but a bit inconsistent. There are silly mistakes which should be caught in post production. I know, they must maintain continuity, but you'd think improvement would be universal after 5 years plus a bigger budget.

I certainly enjoyed the drama, but it is not a slam dunk for me. There are some striking visuals and more depth to some plots but at the same time, not every subplot fires. Ditto some roles feels watered down or sidelined. May be there are too many cooks in the kitchen. That is a typical malaise of palace/political dramas. In the end, I'm happy to have watched S2 but I'm not blown away.

Finally, the elephant in the room. There are rumbling from netizens that the adaptation is drifting further and further away from the source novel as the series progresses. I don’t have a strong opinion on this, but it could explain some of the plots, characters and pacing issues.

Bring on Season 3!

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