Review: Ever Night Episodes 1 – 12

The two leads’ daily interactions are adorable.cr: 不吃菜XBS

Pros:

  • the leads are super cute together
  • stylized fight scenes
  • original soundtrack by Roc Chen ( A Bite of China)
  • Song Yiren is perfect for the role
  • Chen Feiyu is charming and has some acting potential
  • Tong Yao’s gorgeous
  • the scenery
  • a couple of the supporting cast is great. My favorite is  Yin Taosheng as the head of the outpost at the beginning
  • first female director + scriptwriter for a male-lead Xianxia drama

Despite clear shortcomings, Chen Feiyu has some acting potential.

Cons :

  • weakened female characters, especially the Princess and Sangsang
  • Chen Feiyu’s got to work on his lines
  • the side plots are boring
  • many of the supporting male characters look the same after a while
  • Leon Lai needs a dubber, and maybe some facial expressions
  • it looks like they spent all their budget on the scenery, so the sets often look too clean and fake
  • only like two dozen people live in this city of a million

 

50% of the budget was spent on a field trip to Xinjiang and Guizhou.

First of all, props to the director and editors for actually trying to edit. Even if it doesn’t always work, you can tell they at least tried by doing things like editting two different fights together for effect. The three major fight scenes are also very well-choreographed and editted for a drama.

Male lead Ning Que is your fairly standard young, talented orphan with the burden of revenging his family. First time TV actor Chen Feiyu makes up for what he lacks in experience with a natural young, cocky feel. Plus he definitely looks at the female lead with loving eyes, and looks great in the fight scenes. His lines are noticeably weak, but I think he has potential if he works on it.

The stylized fighting edits replace the magic hand-waviness of the usual xianxia films.

Ning Que’s companion, an orphan he found as a child, Sangsang, is soooo cute. She is obsessed with money, loves food, and is often smarter than she is willing to work to be.  I love all the little details they put into her, like sleeping with her money box as a pillow and not giving guests eggs with their noodles. Song Yiren fits the character perfectly lookwise, and her acting is very natural.  The only bad thing is they seem to have taken some agency from her. In the book, she felt more of an equal with the male lead. 

Tong Yao looks great in a tiara and her acting’s always been decent, but her characterization was pretty inconsistent here. She’s supposed to be a beloved benevolent princess who also has her ruthless side, but most of her actions don’t show that. Despite people saying she is wise in the show, she is easily provoked and often acts impulsively. Even worse, instead of befriending the female lead like in the book, she seems to have instead fallen for the male lead instead.  It’s unfortunate because her role was such a rare dimensional character who is both really good and really cruel. I think it says a lot that the opening scene changed her from murdering her husband to asking her maid to die in a sacrifice for her husband.

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Clearly the rightful heir of the land

The side plots are very dull and so far the only interesting non-lead is Yin Taosheng as Ma Shinang,  the head of the post in the beginning.  Hopefully once Ni Dahong’s character and Sangsang starts interacting it’ll be better.  It’s like they have a different scriptwriter because the leads’ interactions always feel so much more human, while everyone else’s feels flat. I’m going to admit I fast-forwarded through most of them.

   

10 thoughts on “Review: Ever Night Episodes 1 – 12

  1. Finally caught up with the first 14 episodes of this drama. The scenery is great and the fight scenes and CGI are well done. T&E still wins in the props and costumes department but the script and editing for this one is much better done.

    Now, I never thought that I would say this but I’m kind of wishing the actors were dubbed. Some of the line reading/ pronunciation/ emotion is quite terrible…..which is annoying because it includes Chen Feiyu who is the lead.

  2. I think this is a very good fantasy drama, better than others, I think..from production quality point of view. I cant say much about whether it’s a good adaptation or not, since I dont read the novel in detail. It seems that they followed the main story, but the detail was rather different. Well, I love it so far .

  3. Thank you for the review.

    It feels as if there are multiple teams working on this drama. The Tang Kingdom, the Ma woodcutting and the academy team(s) seem better than the Xiling and the other team(s). The acting ability is also very different. Many of the actors that do not appear in opening/closing credits are weaker in the acting department. Some of the villains like the Yan and other princes’ acting level is similar to Guardian’s Dixing villain acting.

    I have problems distinguishing a few of the villains too. I got more adjusted to L Lai after a few episodes. His first scene was a bit weird when he ordered “Kill… A long pause.. without mercy”. He didn’t have much conviction in his voice either. But it’s not uncommon in dramas to see the actors improve in later episodes.

    Overall, the drama plot is still compelling. The rest of the drama is still enjoyable to watch. The good parts of this drama keep it interesting.

    • Probably because it does not matter. The boy is a natural. I discovered another – intimated – well-connected thespian, Karlina Zhang, not too long ago. While some would want to spend time tittering about how they got their roles, I am grateful that they are able to appear on screen. If there is no talent, there is no point putting the same good-looking deadwood in front of audiences. Who am I talking about? The idols from girl groups in K-dramaland.

  4. I’m really enjoying this show as well (albeit with some fast-forwarding through scenes without Ning Que and/or Sang Sang, or fight scenes).The fight scenes are looking solid. And CGI is pretty good too (when compared with what we’ve seen in some other dramas this year).

    It’s a shame Sang Sang’s character has been weakened a bit!

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