I conclude that this is one of those times when a generally well-respected, well-liked show just isn’t working out for me the way I want it to.
I’d only heard positive things about The Advisors Alliance, and those who took the trouble to recommend it to me, all said that it was a good show that was worth the watch. For a while, I kinda rather enjoyed it too.
But 19 episodes into Show’s 42, I think it’s time to admit that this one just.. isn’t for me.
I thought it would be good to state for the record, that I am not well acquainted with Chinese history at all.
This means that while watching this, I had no previous knowledge or context to help me fill in any blanks that Show might have left, perhaps assuming that viewers would already know the content of those blanks because it’s considered basic stuff.
This also means that I approached this show purely thinking of it as a drama working to tell a story, rather than, say, a retelling of history.
I do think that these factors affected my ability to enjoy this drama like the rest of its fans, at least somewhat.
STUFF I LIKED
Yu He Wei as Cao Cao
I feel like among the entire cast, Cao Cao (Yu He Wei) is the most interesting character, to me.
Sometimes, I hated him because he appears so heartless, cruel and amoral. At other times, he actually seems humane, full of thoughts and feelings.
This made me feel that Cao Cao is not fully evil, nor is he fully good. Instead, he seems to be so many different shades of grey, and for that, I found him interesting. It helps that Yu He Wei is pretty excellent in his delivery.
Despite his flashes of humanity, cruelty is often Cao Cao’s modus operandi, so here are two instances where Cao Cao’s cruelty astounded me extra.
E7. Cao Cao purposely setting his sons up to fight each other for the crown is pretty cruel, to my eyes.
He knows that Zi Jian (Wang Ren Jun) won’t fight Zi Huan (Li Chen), so he lets Zi Huan marry the woman that Zi Jian loves, to create enough deep-seated discontent in Zi Jian, to provoke him to fight Zi Huan.
And he does this, knowing that when brothers vie for a crown, one of them tends to die. It blew my mind, that a father would knowingly set up his sons to very likely fight each other to the death, even when one of the sons has no interest in fighting.
E16. Cao Cao instructing Minister Xun (Wang Jin Song) to kill himself, is something I can’t forgive, coz I love Minister Xun, and I was really disappointed that he was no longer in our story.
Plus, Cao Cao knows that he’s doing an unforgivable thing to a friend, but goes ahead and does it anyway, and then, has the gall to make a huge show of mourning him. Ugh. I found that utterly disgusting.
The battle of wits between Sima Yi & Yang Xiu
Fittingly, I found the strategists most interesting, among Show’s various arcs.
Because Cao Cao sets up his sons Zi Huan and Zi Jian to battle each other for the position of Crown Prince, it makes sense that the true battle of wits is really between their respective advisors, Sima Yi (Wu Xiu Bo) and Yang Xiu (Zhai Tian Lin).
Consistently, the two advisors’ ways of looking at the same situation are completely different, and I found myself curious to see how each of them would break down and interpret the same information.
Of course, I was more interested in Sima Yi’s points of view, since he’s our protagonist. I found myself feeling curious about Sima Yi’s way of looking at the world and his way of breaking down the information. I found his approach wise, and his analysis, often piercing.
It really isn’t often that I find politics more interesting than romance, so I feel like this must be this writer’s strength.
Here are just two instances where I enjoyed Sima Yi’s perspective.
E11. Despite a lot of time being spent on a romantic arc this episode (more on that later), I found myself much more interested in the fight between Zi Huan and Zi Jian – something I never thought I’d say, since I’ve always favored romance over politics.
But I literally felt more engaged over what the deal was, with the race of the flag, than with the romance.
I really liked Sima Yi’s angle, that the challenge was really about being able to distinguish between right and wrong, and not about who managed to bring the flag to the appointed destination first.
E13. I thought Sima Yi’s perspective of Minister Cui’s rebuke of Zi Huan insightful; that Minister Cui’s expectations basically meant that Minister Cui was not disdaining Zi Huan, but looking to him to act like a crown prince in the absence of his father.
Wang Jin Song as Minister Xun
I have a pre-existing fondness for Wang Jin Song, for his lovely turn in Nirvana In Fire, and I similarly loved him in this show, as Minister Xun.
Character-wise, I like Minister Xun because he comes across as a very genuine and sincere person. I feel like he’s living according to his principles, and not being swayed by all the politicking, despite often being in the thick of it.
Also, delivery-wise, Wang Jin Song is just so good. I loved having Minister Xun on my screen.
In episode 15, Minister Xun’s scenes were the most interesting, to me. Minister Xun’s conversation with Cao Cao feels pained and deep. He simply cannot continue to support Cao Cao’s quest for power, and it’s just so courageous of him, to actually articulate that.
In addition, he speaks the truth with such earnestness and good faith; his good intentions are crystal clear. And Wang Jin Song’s delivery of the scene, is just wonderful; he’s quietly restrained, but completely arresting. I was captivated.
Therefore, I was heartbroken when Cao Cao ordered Minister Xun to kill himself, in episode 16. Sob.
The relationship between Mr. & Mrs. Sima Yi
In a drama world where I found it hard to get behind the romance as a general rule (more on that in a bit), I was pleasantly surprised to find that I rather enjoyed the bond between Sima Yi and his wife (Liu Tao).
I found their disagreements believably rooted in deep-seated concern, and their rare sweet moments, quietly endearing. I don’t think I ever minded spending screen time with this husband and wife duo.
It helped, that Wu Xiu Bo and Liu Tao share a warm, believable sort of chemistry.
STUFF THAT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME
Unfortunately, despite enjoying good chunks of my watch, there were various other things that I didn’t enjoy.
To make things worse, some of these issues became more pronounced, the deeper I got into my watch.
Li Chen as Cao Pi / Zi Huan
This one was quite a big issue for me: I found that I didn’t really like Zi Huan as a character. Considering that he’s a major character – and the one that Sima Yi is working to put on the throne, to boot – this was a Problem.
Essentially, I often found myself dissatisfied with Zi Huan’s lack of wisdom and foresight, and I also found myself feeling extremely frustrated at his often misplaced stubbornness.
He didn’t seem much like Crown Prince material to my eyes, and I sometimes actually felt sorry for Sima Yi, for having to deal with Zi Huan’s blockheadedness. It also doesn’t help that I didn’t find Li Chen’s delivery of the character very well done at all.
I found Li Chen’s delivery rather flat and uninteresting, as a general rule.
Putting those things together, I found myself fighting a losing battle, trying to like Zi Huan enough to actually want to root for him.
Here are a couple of examples when I found myself struggling with either Zi Huan as a character, &/or Li Chen’s delivery of the character.
E13. Zi Huan is so frustrating. Minister Cui’s rebuke about the hunting makes sense, and Zi Huan knows it, but he rejects it anyway, on principle that Minister Cui is Zi Jian’s father-in-law.
And then, to make things worse, he plans for another hunting trip right away. How shortsighted and stubborn. At this moment, I felt tired for Sima Yi, having to work so hard to talk sense into Zi Huan.
E14. Zi Huan is so shortsighted and self-centered. This episode, he refuses to ask Cao Cao to bring Zi Jian back to the capital, despite pleas from just about everyone.
And then later, he rejoices in Zi Jian’s blunder, without thinking about Sima Yi’s brother, whose life is now in danger because of said blunder, even though he claims to see Sima Yi as more of a friend than a servant.
E16. Li Chen is not a very nuanced actor. In this episode where Zi Huan is wrongfully imprisoned, there is a huge opportunity for Li Chen to flesh out Zi Huan’s inner conflict and outer bravado, but everything is just.. flat, and I don’t feel anything when I watch him.
All I see is the outer bravado, but there is no inner conflict that is visible. There is just a flatness in his eyes that’s always there. Sadly, I am bored by this actor.
E17. I still can’t find myself to feel for Zi Huan, even though he’s been framed and is being beaten in prison. There’s just something about Li Chen that just feels inaccessible, to me.
I feel like Zi Huan has a stony sort of mask that prevents me from feeling like I really know him as a character, and I blame that on Li Chen’s delivery.
The loveline between Zi Huan & Ah Zhao
I personally don’t find the lovelines in this show believable nor engaging.
I don’t have any feelings invested in the lovelines, mostly because the lovelines feel perfunctory, generally speaking.
Specifically, I find the loveline between Ah Zhao (Tang Yi Xin) and Zi Huan odd, because it feels even more random than connect-the-dots storytelling. Additionally, I don’t feel chemistry between the actors.
Because of the random introduction of their loveline in the earlier episodes, I found it hard to believe the supposedly strong bond between them, in later episodes.
Every time this couple appeared, I felt distracted by how hollow I found their connection, more than anything else. This.. wasn’t a good thing.
Overall, it feels like this writer is most comfortable writing about political strategies, and maybe he was arm-twisted into shoving some romance into the story. It also feels like he has no idea how to flesh out a romance, and just threw some stuff in there to meet the requirement.
The whole concubine thing with Ah Zhao in episode 11 feels odd to me. I guess I don’t quite buy into the strength of the bond between Zi Huan and Ah Zhao, and so the scene of them arguing about whether he was being true to her, didn’t resonate with me.
It all feels like a whole lot is being waged on the strength of not very much.
Based on a few short interactions, Ah Zhao is suddenly entering Zi Huan’s house and becoming his concubine. And there’s no ceremony about it either. He picks her up on his horse and that’s.. it? I found the whole thing hard to get behind.
After this, every time Ah Zhao is shown as being devoted to Zi Huan in other episodes, I found it hard to believe the strength of their relationship.
Show’s general handling of characters
Show has a weird propensity for suddenly killing off characters without explanation.
Like, suddenly, a relatively key secondary character would be either suddenly on his deathbed, or already dead. I found this rather confusing, because it all felt very random to me.
E6. In this episode, we suddenly see that Cao Cao’s trusted advisor, Guo Feng Xiao (Cao Lei), is suddenly deathly ill. A rather heartfelt conversation with Cao Cao later, he dies.
I found that quite random, because before this episode, Guo Feng Xiao had seemed perfectly strong and healthy, and had seemed to be a pretty key character. I thought that Show might give some explanation of why he would suddenly take ill and die, but Show doesn’t.
E8. This episode, it’s Cao Cao’s youngest son who suddenly dies. Put in such close proximity to Guo Feng Xiao’s death, it definitely feels like the writer is using a bit of connect-the-dots writing.
In this case, they needed the youngest son to die, never mind that the child had seemed completely healthy not so long ago – so that his teacher could quit, and set the subsequent chain of events into motion.
Even though it’s more elegant than the usual connect-the-dots writing we see in dramaland, it’s still connect-the-dots writing in the end, and Show lost another brownie point, in my books.
Occasionally, there are scenes or plot points where logic just doesn’t seem to apply, and suspension of disbelief is required.
It doesn’t happen terribly often, but there were definitely a few times when Show left me scratching my head.
Here are a couple of examples.
E6. Sima Yi’s legs suddenly getting cured, is hard to believe, in the sense that, how would he be able to suddenly stand and walk, without regular physiotherapy and exercise?
He’d been either in bed or in a wheelchair, literally for years, and suddenly, he accidentally discovers that he’s magically regained his ability to walk, and quite well too. I’m.. pretty sure the human body doesn’t work that way.
E10. This episode, we see Zi Huan and Ah Zhao share a friendly moment on the stage in the town square. Around them, the town is dark and deserted. Nearby, Zi Huan’s wife arrives in a carriage, and when she sees Zi Huan with Ah Zhao, she leaves.
I found this really hard to believe. It’s unlikely that as a warrior, Zi Huan would be oblivious to the arrival of his wife’s carriage and entourage, along with their horses, even if they were at a distance.
With the entire place under curfew, it’s not like there was a lot of other stuff going on around him. In that silence, it’s just not logical that he doesn’t hear or notice anything.
E19. Sima Yi kneeling in the snow overnight, that there would be a thick layer of snow on his back in the morning – and he doesn’t get frostbite, and is even able to walk, albeit with help?
That’s unbelievable. Being exposed at those freezing temperatures, for that many hours, it’s more likely that he’d lose at least several toes.
The thing is, Show didn’t do one Very Bad Thing, that made me decide to drop it. It’s just that, the things that I liked about the show were showing up less and less, the further I got into the episodes.
At the same time, the things I didn’t enjoy, seemed to be piling up, slowly but surely.
At episode 19, I realized that I just wasn’t enjoying this show as much, anymore. I mean, I could have tried to muster up some interest to keep going, at least for a little while longer, but I found that I actually didn’t want to muster up that interest.
In fact, I felt so happy and relieved to be working on this dropped post, because it meant that I didn’t have to watch more episodes of this show. That’s how I knew for sure, that this one’s just not for me.
I’m sorry, Show. Lots of folks seem to love you, but I guess you and I just weren’t meant to be.
WHERE TO WATCH:
You can check out this show on Viki here. It’s also available on YouTube here.
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Ah…I remember this historical part…..Zhang Chunhua wasn’t having any of Sima Yi’s supposed concubine business, so she basically hid both Shi and Zhao while not eating anything for a day or two.
With all of this in mind, I can tell why in Dynasty Warriors, Koei Tecmo had their portrayal of Sima Yi quite henpecked. XD
But alas, Cao Pi shouldn’t have gifted Bai Lingyun to Sima Yi in the first place in this context, since Sima Yi himself clearly didn’t even want to have a concubine. God damn Cao Pi
Hmm, I’d have to disagree with you on this one. I finished all 88 episodes of this monster (seasons 1 and 2), and I must say, not only is this an amazing C-Drama, but this may be the best TV show I have ever watched. The OST is absolutely incredible, the characters draw you in, the story has many plot twists, and the acting is sublime. Sima Yi proves to be one of the most menacing and engaging characters ever (Wu Xiubo is a fantastic actor).
Especially during the end of the 2nd season, I have to say, it probably has one of the darkest and most twisted endings to any TV show I have encountered. Seeing the Sima household turn to such darkness is really heart-wrenching to watch. I think this may be the only drama where I actually had to cry because of how twisted things became.
I really think you should give it another chance; the full 88 episodes is more than worth your attention. But then again, its ok if you don’t like it either.
This drama can’t be described in words; it well deserves its score of 10/10 from me.
Thanks for taking the time to explain what makes The Advisors Alliance a great show. I do think, though, that I would need to drastically increase my understanding of Chinese history, before attempting this one again. I believe a lot of the references and significance of various things were lost on me, which is why I didn’t last very long with this show. Maybe someday I will be able to appreciate this show the way you do 🙂
Oh my god, I agree so much with SimaYi Lover! I ended up really loving this one, too (and S2 more than S1)—especially the final stretch of episodes turned me into such an emotional wreck (as it becomes very, very twisted) , but it was just…so well put! I think one of the things about the show, in hindsight, is that some of the details in the earlier episodes come off as filler, but the more you watch, the more relevant those previous details become. There is A LOT of relevant symbolism and parallels in the show that are just…so meaningful?
(I also think that compared to S1, S2 tries a lot less to appeal to “mainstream” audiences.)
I do agree that you probably do need some knowledge of Wei history, mostly because knowing what happens prior clouds the show with an aura of tragic inevitability. And the show’s handling of the characters, in the context of these historical figures’ actions, is just super compelling to me.
Basically, if you’ve one day amassed knowledge of Three Kingdoms history, you should totally come back and watch this!
Thanks for the tip, Meizhuang! 🙂 Yes, if I manage to learn enough about Three Kingdoms history specifically, I’ll try this one again. It’s a pity that I can’t appreciate how good it is, coz those who love this show, seem to REALLY love it. And here I am in my corner, scratching my head. 😅 Maybe someday! 😀
words can not ever be enough to discribe the distant possibility of you coming to grasp what this show is telling IF you are no acquaintance to the hard core Chinese history, which is literally extraterrestrial when you are soaked in western world all life long. Every single small detail was well thought out by the hard working crew of this drama. The edictors, producer, the directors, the casting crew…everybody was determined to deliver a one of a kind show depicting the spectacularities of a small section of ancient China. As a Chinese myself I needed to seek to online encyclopedias in order to understand some plots every once in a while. I can not begin to imagine in what way a non-chinese would enjoy this show. How are you supposed to ski when you dont have garment?
Somehow I do appreciate that you took you time to watch it and wrote this. thanks for being interested
Hi there Mark, thanks for stopping by. Yes, it truly was a pity that I didn’t have enough knowledge of Chinese history to appreciate The Advisors Alliance.. I’m glad you enjoyed the show, though. 🙂
Kind of unrelated but kind of related, Secret of the Three Kingdoms finished airing recently. It’s from the same screenwriter, but it’s a lot more “idol drama”-esque with more romance, though still with plenty of politicking (though a tad dumbed down compared to TAA, though still fun for me.) I’ve only watched the first few eps, and the OTP is nice and all (the female lead’s characterization is pretty strong), but it’s still falling slightly flat for me compared to TAA (I actually ended up quite enjoying the final stretch of Growling Tiger, Roaring Dragon).
That being said, I already know that Cao Pi, in Secret of the Three Kingdoms, is 200% my favorite character already, which is pretty ironic in hindsight XD. Although given that SOTK is from the Han Dynasty’s POV (the male lead is the secret twin of the puppet emperor Liu Xie—the one whose concubine was brutally murdered by Cao Cao in Ep 2 of TAA), Cao Pi is probably actually winding up to be the antagonist, but the actor (Tan Jianci) portraying him is super charismatic. He also does morally dark really well—his character was a fairly prominent character in Growling Tiger, Roaring Dragon, and definitely part of my fondness transferred over.
Hi Meizhuang!! Thanks for thinking of stopping by, just to point me in the direction of Secret of the Three Kingdoms! So thoughtful and sweet of you! <3 It does sound like a pretty promising watch – it's going on my list right now. Thank you! 😘 And yes, it is indeed very ironic that Cao Pi is turning out to be your favorite character! 😂 But a charismatic actor sounds very appealing indeed – I feel like I might join you in picking him as a favorite, when I do get to this one! 😉
Is haraboji from Money Flower descendant of Cao Cao? 😂😂
HAHA!! 😂 Your comment made me giggle, Dorotka! You are so right, though! There are such distinct similarities in terms of how the 2 characters handle the politics around filling the throne 😉
Awww sorry this didn’t work out for you. I enjoyed it very much, but I guess it’s not for everyone.
I do admit that it’s the show’s amazing and well-thought out cinematography that did the most for me. Politics isn’t my thing, so ep 1 got me confused just as it probably did anyone. But that scene in ep 2 where Cao Cao marched into the palace with his loyal subordinate sent me goosebumps.
And I must say the few scenes leading up to and after
Thank you for this post regardless, and I cannot wait for your NiF2 post! (If it’s coming that is)
I’m bummed that this didn’t work for me too, since quite a few other people seem to be impressed by it. I did enjoy various bits of it, though, and Cao Cao marching into the palace was a pretty arresting scene, I agree! Cao Cao, for all of his ambiguous morality, was the most interesting character in this show, for me. So when I heard from my mum (who was watching this at about the same time as I was) that Cao Cao was going to die in just a few more episodes, I had even less motivation to keep watching, lol.
I just started on NIF2, and it does feel way more engaging for me, than TAA. So I’m hopeful that I’ll love NIF2, possibly almost as much as I loved NIF 😉 It might take me awhile to finish NIF2 though, as Real Life is very hectic at the moment, and I find that I need a little bit more presence of mind to focus, when I’m watching NIF2. So I’m probably going to take it slow. It’s on my must-watch list, though, so I will eventually get to the end! 😉
Awww, I’m sorry TAA didn’t work out for you the way it did for me! (Well, I’m still in the midst of S2.) I concur with some of your points, and I guess there is a cultural disconnection–illogical parts such as Sima Yi breaking his legs or Sima Yi kneeling in the snow the entire night are taken from well-known/popular legends surrounding him: probably not what actually happened, but I believe part of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms narrative (a lot of which is made up). I was distraught by Guo Jia’s sudden death, too, but the point is that’s what happened in history–he just suddenly died. LOL. It’s definitely difficult, trying to balance historical fact and make an engaging narrative.
As for Cao Pi–I guess it really is a good thing you dropped this, because as emperor Cao Pi just…*facepalms*. Season 2 deals with his son as emperor, and let’s just say that because of Cao Pi’s…blockheadedness…his son is all mentally crazed and delusional. D:
Hey there Meizhuang! Thanks for stopping by! 😀 I’m disappointed too, that TAA didn’t work for me, since it does seem to have its fans. :/
Thanks for clarifying, about the legends surrounding Sima Yi! That does add important context to what I felt were illogical points in the show. And yes, it really is difficult to balance being true to history, and being able to tell an engaging story. This is where I think my lack of knowledge of Chinese history got in the way, unfortunately. But perhaps it’s for the better, because Cao Pi really wasn’t working for me, as a character, and I think I really would’ve started to tear my hair out – or at the very least, want to throw things at my screen – if I was watching him be even worse, as emperor! 😝 Thank you, for making me feel better about dropping this! 😂
This has been on my radar but I was waiting for it to be fully subbed… and I was also not digging the fact that they split it into 2 parts, for a total of 80+ episodes. Which brings me to my gripe with C-dramas lately… they are getting so long that they have to to be split into parts.. and even so often times they don’t even come to a satisfactory ending. C-dramas really need to work on being able to tell a good story in a reasonable number of episodes!
I commend you on watching this without any prior historical knowledge… I don’t think I would’ve! Hubby made me sit through all whopping 95 episodes of Three Kingdoms with him because he likes that time period. And while it was well done and I felt like I learned a lot, it was rather painful at times. I’m a little worried about this one now, I guess I’ll let the hubs decide whether or not to watch together. Plenty more fun fish in the drama sea for me to watch on my own 🙂
You are right about Chinese dramas being so long, for the most part! Even the lighter rom-com type dramas seem to be split into 2 seasons for no other reason than to stretch out the story. That was my beef with A Fox’s Summer. I sat through 2 whole seasons of that, only to find that now Season 3 is coming out – even though it feels like Show has run out of story to tell. 😛 It’s all about making more money, unfortunately. I read about how Tribes and Empires was purposefully stretched out in order to make more money – and how the story suffered from terrible and extreme drag as a result, in the second half.
Kudos to you, for sitting through 95 whole episodes of Three Kingdoms with your hubs!! That’s dedication, I say! In terms of story.. I think you would probably like this one more if you’re more acquainted with Chinese history. As a drama working to tell a story – and purely on that level – this one didn’t work for me, I’m afraid. 😝
I knew from the outset that this probably wouldn’t do. Gave it a fiew epis and gave up. Nope, not for me. Politics as the main feature of a show tends to bore me to tears, especially in historical settings.😁 Well, there are exceptions, e.g. political comedies. If made well, that is.
Lol. You are ever so good at sifting out shows that you know won’t work for you! In this case, I think you definitely weren’t missing out; the politics that I saw wasn’t even that exciting, even though at times I found it mildly interesting. But then again, I’m usually not one for politics anyway. 😅
My long and illustrous “carreer” in watching tv shows from various countries has made me pretty good at picking what to watch and what not. 😁
Heh. And that skill is certainly serving you well! I think I’m getting there, bit by bit. For one thing, I’m pretty sure Hwayugi isn’t going to float my boat, and I’m pretty sure Laughter In Waikiki is going to make me cringe more than laugh. But.. since both shows are getting pretty good reactions from viewers, I’m still curious to dip at least half a toe in. 😋
Weelll… in all honesty I have to say that when I was still a kdarma noob and everything was shiny, I did watch plenty of shows I doubt I’d even give a secondary glance these days. ;D
I had no interest in Hwayugi, so I wasn’t even tempted to try it out. But I did watch the first epi of Waikiki and knew right off the bat that I would be going any further. The korean brand of ott slapsticky humor is SO not my thing. I don’t find it funny at all. Slightly off kilter, whacky, weired or even somewhat crazy works fine but the balance has to be right. Jdramas generally know how to do that, kdramas… not so much.
I originally had no interest in Hwayugi (the synopsis didn’t appeal to me, plus I’ve found that I’ve cooled to the Hong sisters, of late), but I saw a lot of comments about Lee Seung Gi being surprisingly sexy in it. And you know I do have a very shallow fangirl side, ahem. 😅 So I want to check out Hwayugi to see if I will feel the LSG sexy too. 😛
As for Waikiki.. sigh.. I haven’t dipped my toe in yet, but I already have a sinking feeling that it’s not going to work for me. I’m with you in not feeling the typically OTT slapsticky humor that kdramas tend to use. When other people are laughing out loud at these shows, I often find myself cringing at them instead. And so.. even though I haven’t verified it yet, I suspect that it will be a similar thing with Waikiki. Lots of folks seem to find it funny and endearing, but it’s very likely that I’ll bail partway through E1, HA.
As always, kudos to you for sitting through 19 episodes. I found some clips online (mostly of Liu Tao’s character, and one of Cao Cao), and decided this wasn’t the kind of show I wanted to sit through. Also, it seemed there were a bunch of historical inaccuracies, so it was a pass.
Heh. I probably wouldn’t know, if the historical inaccuracy was staring me in the face, that’s how unfamiliar I am, with Chinese history! 😂 But I was up for a good story told well, and went into this hoping that it was a good story. I guess that was the problem, though. This wasn’t really accessible as a good story, for someone without prior knowledge of Chinese history. 😛 When Show started killing off the characters I found interesting, that was when I decided it was time to bail. 😅
Actually, if it can’t sell you on the story regardless of whether you have prior knowledge of Chinese history, then it’s usually a pass. I agree having a general idea of the Three Kingdoms period would help in appreciating certain details that might escape the casual viewer, but the drama should have enough engaging characters – and there are quite a few in this era – to draw in even those without Chinese history 101.
That’s what I expected as well, actually. I figured that even though I wasn’t familiar with Chinese history, that Show would still be able to engage me on a purely story level. I was pretty disappointed on that front, but to give Show the benefit of the doubt, I rationalize that possibly if I’d known more about Chinese history, that I might’ve taken to this one differently. I do still believe that writers should make their stories accessible to even the biggest noob, though! 😅