*I apologise for the lack of organisation for the points below – thoughts are not the most coherent right now because my soul has a large void atm – basically each new point starts off at a new paragraph
I loved the show. Love loved it. It was captivating, enthralling, some humour, full of love (and kisses!), and the action was top notch. The acting was good, the sets were incredibly realistic, there were good values, it made one think – there was nothing I didn’t love about it. It was amazing.
美人为馅 is based on a 悬疑言情同名小说 by 丁墨, and I first read the novel some time last year. Having read the other titles in the same genre by her (namely 他来了, 请闭眼 / followed by 如果蜗牛有爱情 then lastly this one), I was originally incredibly impressed by the novel. (If you ask me to rank them it’d be this > 蜗牛 > 他来了)
I’ll write about the novel another time – perhaps after I refresh my memory on it. But for now I’ll talk about what I liked and what I didn’t particularly enjoy about the tv series.
What I was confused about:
There was this scene – probably the last few episodes of season 3, when K was going to pick up 韩沉 & 苏眠, something dropped and K stared at it for very long. It’s made of metal and I can’t really tell what it was/what was its significance to the storyline.
Is 司徒熠 part of the 字母团? If yes, why was he completely omitted from the picture afterwards? If no, how did they make him confess/what’s their relationship?
What I didn’t enjoy that much:
徐司白’s hairstyle oh my GOD HAHAHAHA WHAT ON EARTH
And this AWFUL coat he wears (韩沉 also has an awful coat but it’s not this bad):
It does somewhat reflect his character after he lost his memory but I had a hard time getting used to it. After he remembered stuff (+ all the flashback scenes) here’s how his hair looks like:
I mean just look isn’t he so much cuter here!! Undeniably he does have slightly feminine features (esp. his lips) but I don’t really have a problem with that. I think the actor did a splendid job in bringing this character to life!
He also had too much makeup in some episodes (foundation that’s super cakey) which was 😦
冷面’s partner was supposed to be a doctor in the novel, and how he pursued her was also portrayed differently in the show. I don’t like how this actress looks… she wasn’t how I imagined the character would be! (definitely a personal preference, but damn because 冷面 was pretty good looking, so I didn’t find them 配 :p)
I didn’t particularly like 白宇’s voice as the male lead. (in my head 韩沉 had a deeper, sexier voice – but his is just kinda hoarse haha – again, personal preference)
How they (韩沉 & 苏眠) eventually 相认 was slightly anti-climatic for me. In the novel it was more dramatic hahaha but here it was a bit more gradual. But the process was more or less the same as written : )
In S1: the victims in the rape cases had dreams but they actually took the effort to freaking film the dreams – I applaud them for their effort but I don’t think it changes the plot in any way so I felt that was very cringey and redundant.
When the name ‘许慕华’ first came up there was no explanation to who he was! I mean yea they explained that he was the 犯罪心理学教授 who was working with them to solve the case 5 years ago, but they didn’t mention that he was 苏眠’s prof! (it was only illustrated later on)
There was a strangely strong focus on 催眠, and in some parts it was done so subtlely you’d start wondering how is that exactly scientifically possible. Esp. when S was making 林主任 suicide – ALL HE DID WAS WHISPER ONCE to tell him to go and die as a 心理暗示 (then called him on the phone once), I don’t think it’s true that people who do 催眠 are able to make their targets so incredibly vulnerable & 听话 in such a short span of time(??) Plus when K put L into a trance and made him shoot S, who was his 信仰… that’s also strange. They made it seem like 催眠 was a superpower, so I raised my eyebrows at that.
季白 who had a cameo appearance in the show was NOT played by 王凯 and I am undeniably disappointed HAHA
What I liked/loved/tremendously enjoyed:
I can’t remember the novel super clearly, but based on what I can remember/know of, the show stayed true to most of the elements in the novel. The plot was of course edited (slightly), but I can safely say that the team did justice to the novel. This is so important to me because as a book lover, there is nothing more disappointing to see a show that’s based on a book, ruining it. And this novel definitely belongs to my category of my favourite novels ALL TIME – so thank the heavens yay
As I mentioned (probably repeatedly, haha), I loved the show. The team truly brought the stories and the characters to life. The thing is – the original plot is incredibly long/might seem confusing, so for the team to be able to make things clear for an audience who has not read the book before, it’s something very heartening. :’)
The cast were very suitable for their individual roles! Be it the main leads/the villains. Wouldn’t imagine them any other way! Ok perhaps 韩沉 was slightly more buff in my head, aha. (白宇’s so slim omg – but luckily he’s very manly, which fits) – Overall the 颜值 was very high for this show HAHAHA everyone was so 养眼 👀
I loved it that they used their original voices for the show. In China FOR SOME GOD DAMN UNKNOWN REASON THEY ALMOST ALWAYS USE VOICE ACTORS IN TV SHOWS (and boy, the voice actors are incredible i don’t know how they do it) but I’d really much prefer to hear the voices of the ones acting. So yes, 美人为馅 you’ve fulfilled this for me (at least for the main couple and a few others) :p And one thing to note – I was incredibly impressed because when they were doing the 5-years-ago-flashback, 杨蓉 actually made herself sound young(er). Super professional!
Speaking of being professional, 杨蓉 had SO many fight scenes/running scenes in high heels. Every time I see them my heart aches on behalf on her ankles lol
& Speaking of the flashback, I was once again impressed that they actually paid attention to small details – ie. not only did the main cast look incredibly different (which i believe, is basic), when 韩沉 was making a phone call, he used an older phone! Still touchscreen, but a significantly older model. Thumbs up!!
The actors also went through A LOT to film this – because it involves a 真人 CS and they actually went into the mountains to film that for the second season! Apparently when they filmed this in Nanjing it was 40+ degrees celsius every day. Poor them – my heart goes out to all of the actors who put in so much effort to make a fan’s dream come true (never have I once thought that acting is a glamorous job lol) :’)
There’s not a lot of product placement on this show. They made it into funny lame clips in between the tv shows which said “这不是正片”, and were done by 唠叨, 冷面 & 子柒.
(You know how mainland Chinese tv is like – they cut away so much stuff haha) so i am very pleased that… they (韩沉 & 苏眠) have a lot of kiss scenes! And it’s not for the sake of doing it because based on the novel – they 本来就 incredibly in love with each other + they’re very passionate/intense people so I’m glad they actually brought that aspect out in the show.
As per the novel, the minor characters (even the victims wtf) actually got significant development, and I’m glad they brought that out. If i’m not wrong they even added further character development for the main villains (字母团), which is always awesome because you get to see them for who they truly are, past all the weird cruel crimes they commit. The actors/actresses playing the minor characters also had good acting!!! Most, if not all of them!!! 辛佳/ L/ T/ A/ R/ 朱教授/ K’s dad etc!
They direct quote(d) many things from the novel! Which is what made the show very welcoming – there were significant quotes like “等你毕业就结婚” etc, which was recurring in the show (as per the novel, so yay).
If i’m not wrong, most if not all of the characters have the exact same name as the novel. (I just found out that R had a changed role – apparently he wasn’t a hacker in the novel, but I forgot about him haha)
The plot unravels not in a chronological manner (there’s amnesia and there’s flashbacks/dreams – it starts from 5 years later, retells the story 5 years ago then continues with the present) but the transition was smooth and appropriate! They actually finish/finished off things as a perfect circle. (not sure whether that’s the most suitable phrase but that’s the best way I can describe it – just watch it!)
Like the novel, the main cases were weaved in smoothly as well.
The editing’s very good! In the 1st/ 2nd season, when 苏眠 was doing analysis/ when she was interrogating people and recreating crime scenes, they actually did it somewhat like Sherlock (this scene in A Scandal in Belgravia – the one when Sherlock & Irene were transported out into the wild to solve a case), which, in my opinion, is pretty wicked.
Some scenes were so touching I cried lol (1. when 小篆 was tied to a bomb together with 徐司白 & they’re on different sides of the city, forcing 苏眠 to make a choice to save them, and 小篆 telling her to rescue 徐司白 instead), shit that was so 😭 2. when 唠叨 & 冷面 were at the front of the train as it was about to crash and they were talking about their roles & service to the society as policemen – it was truly very touching 😭 despite knowing they will survive la haha) I also felt very sad for S’s fate la but it’s his 命 you know. 男二命! ((In the novel his monologue (in the 番外) was 😭😭😭😭😭))
Ironically I didn’t cry at all for the two main leads because it’s kinda known that they are very in love and sometimes in my opinion that takes away the beauty of their sacrifice for each other/them persevering for each other. I mean yea it’s touching but you will get used to it and you will take their love for granted (because in a way it’s expected, no?), and as a result you’ll be more immune. Whereas the smaller characters will have a better chance at creating a bigger impact, i feel. Hmm (只有我这样想吗??)
The theme song 《沉眠》 (the 片尾 – they didn’t have a 片头) is fitting (&nice!) – here’s the link – it’s sung by 白宇 & 杨蓉! yay love it when the actors sing the theme song themselves :’) I was replaying it the whole time I wrote this.
My favourite characters include the entire 黑盾组, S, A, T. I love how the team + the author 丁墨 made them into characters that were so… alive and so multi-faceted. Truly 3-D! I love how genuine A is towards 苏眠 and how he will always have a special place in his heart for his 苏眠姐.
Some other things I noticed:
They actually repeated the outfits for the actors/actresses – I don’t know whether they do that very often in 现代 TV shows but it’s very distinct this time – 杨蓉 had that white dress she wore on 3 separate occasions ahaha.
Also, I was searching on 百度 for 白宇’s profile because I’ve not seen him in any other TV shows… and to my disbelief he’s only 6 years older than me and 杨蓉 IS 9 years older than him… what on earth she does not look her age AT ALL. (she’s born in 1981) Teach me your ways senpai!
There’s a LOT of politically correct stuff regarding what the police says, sometimes it’s very funny (esp. when it’s said by the older 警官s)!
Here’s some screenshots I captured hehe – (I used iQiyi’s desktop app to watch on my laptop because it has no ads):
An incredible tv show. If you like good action + crime + romance, this is something you should definitely check out. If I ever get kids i’ll make them watch this hahaha
Because of 白宇’s role in this show – I am not going to watch 微微一笑很倾城 because he plays a minor character there (and an unlikable one) AHAHAHA
P.s. – I don’t know why people online would actually ask whether S died in the show – he did not, because at the end it was clearly filmed that he left an artwork of 苏眠 on the table at the café with his initial AND THEY FILMED HIM walking past pigeons. It was clearly him ok I don’t know what’s the debate about lol. He died in the novel la so maybe that’s why people are talking about that(?) But anyway the scene was so 萧瑟 it tugged at my heart sobbies – he’s actually one of the saddest characters i’ve ever encountered. (similar to 辛佳 because they both 爱而不得, but I think his life is more tragic because he was literally taught the wrong values due to his upbringing/background – and he was never given an opportunity to ‘choose’ his beliefs – and all this monstrosity is ingrained, whereas E prolly ventured into the field because she was unhappy.) Maybe after I read the novel I’ll give another breakdown on the characters.
Boy I actually blabbed a solid 2k words on this lmao imagine if this was homework
P.p.s. I’m not the only one who found this amazing ok look at this (I got this from baidu):
I also have a strange urge to call my ex- roommate who’s in aussie just to talk about the show ahahaha