Title: Qing Luo
Genre: Historical, Comedy, Romance, Wuxia
Adapted From: 坑爹儿子鬼医娘亲
Episodes I’ve watched: 5/24
Production year: 2021
Current rating: 2/5
Seven years ago, Yu Qing Luo woke up with no memory of who she was, nor of how she ended up in a river with her feet bound to a rock. Fast forward to today, and Qing Luo is a renowned physician who conceals her identity by day, and struggling single mother of seven year old Nan Nan by night. Determined to discover who Nan Nan’s father is, Qing Luo sets out to find him and to regain her memories of what happened all those years ago.
Along the way she encounters Ye Xiu Du, a prince of Feng Cang Kingdom who she feels she cannot trust. Mysterious enemies clad in black robes start to dog her footsteps and threaten her son. Ye Xiu Du offers to protect her and Nan Nan, but can he really be trusted?
I started watching this series while waiting for the next episodes of The Imperial Coroner to come out. Both the female main characters are gifted in their chosen fields of Science but sadly the similarities end there. There will be a spoiler in the review, but not in the overall section below. So skip the next bit if you don’t want a spoiler.
Whereas Chuchu was a nuanced female character who broke a heck-ton of glass ceilings throughout TIC, Qing Luo is utterly bound up in rigid social conventions of the time (and of today). I’m frustrated by the way her character is pitched: on the one hand she is an utterly brilliant physician, and fighter. Her IQ is high, and her EQ is through the roof.
So why then does she act more like an older sister than a mother to her son? Why, when her 7 year old son is manipulated into running away to the capital with the male lead does she just act as though this is all just a minor inconvenience? If a man ran off with a child I was unrelated to but looking out for, I’d be sick with worry for the child. If it were my own child… well I posit that I would morph into a raging dragon who would not let the child-thief live.
My fan theory on this is that Ye Xiu Du turns out to miraculously be Nan Nan’s father. This is the only explanation that a script-writer would come up with to excuse the ML’s psychological cruelty.
I would write more, but did not vibe with this series at all. If I continue, this will read as a point-by-point grouch about the way the characters are written.
My issues with this series can be categorised into minor and major.
Minor issues include: subtitles that are sometimes opaque, and audio that cuts out for minutes at a time.
Major issues include: gripes with some of the characters. Horrifying instances of “he’s the ML so we’re going to tell you that what he’s doing is Good Guy stuff, even though the villain in another series could do the exact same thing and we’d flame them” . The damaging portrayal of single mothers as weak and ineffective at raising their offspring, ditto the emphasis on the nuclear family “ideal”. In short the general “vintage setting, vintage values” vibe of the series.
We deserve better, and the actors deserve meatier scripts, as they’ve been acting very well. I would absolutely watch Wang Ziwei in particular as she is brilliant at portraying a dizzying mix of emotions within just one scene but making them all feel natural.
On the plus side: the fight scenes are brilliant, and the clothing is lovely.