“Nothing Gold Can Stay” 那年花开月正圆 Chinese Drama Review
Wow, if someone told me from the start that Chinese TV series get this long nowadays (I swear the norm used to be 30-40 episodes)… I may have been too intimidated to watch it. Glad I ended up “trying it out” as the show started airing. From the trailer, I was captivated by the interesting dynamic between the Sun Li and Chen Xiao duo, but more on that later. Without further ado, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” has been on my mind since the moment I completed the 74th episode (??). It was, CAPITALIZED LETTERS, AMAZING. Chinese audiences seem to agree with me.
Reasons you should be watching “Nothing Gold Can Stay”:
- Storyline is about a #girlboss (named Zhou Ying). In the freaking Qing dynasty era. Can someone say, badass? It’s not easy starting your own business in modern times, never mind being a woman battling the traditional Chinese patriarchal society and changing up entire industries! At this point, you’ll realize youwant to watch the show, not just for the well-crafted love storyline, but with business dealings and empowerment for females in a “lead by example” sort of way. Zhou Ying, played by Sun Li, is innovative, resourceful, smart, kind, rule-defier and saucy. What more can you ask from a heroine?
- Solid acting. Usually if the drama works as a whole, I’m usually not one to complain about minor acting or storyline flaws. With this drama, I found myself not having to skip any scenes (until the later later half of the show). With that being said, I didn’t feel super thrilled to know that Peter Ho, Chen Xiao and Yu Haoming were in it. ONLY because I based it off off their mediocre acting in the past. Ahem Love in the Aegean Sea, ROCH remake, and the Chinese Meteor Garden. But I don’t know if it’s Sun Li’s stellar acting chops motivating the cast, but suddenly all the characters took me right into the story! Character development was phenomenal, especially with Chen Xiao’s Shen Xinyi character. Haoming’s antagonist characterization of Du Mingli was on-point, that sometimes made my blood curl. They were all really good!
- *Spoiler alert, proceed with caution* I came into this drama with no expectations. I didn’t get a chance to read up on the show, just Cfensi announcing the release of the trailer, so I based my expectations on what I saw from the trailer. I loved the ‘human’ aspect of the series, that people could change, which is rarely developed in many other series. For example, the Wu household members changed from being rigid and harsh to loving and supportive, but realistically so. I loved how Zhou Ying tactfully unearthed secrets and revealed how she was wronged (something similar to the Salem Witch trials happened to her, where they almost drowned her). I loved what Zhou Ying did for the laborers who rioted and destroyed her textile machines, and got them to her side. I loved how men began to finally respect her for her business acumen rather than just see her as a female object. I loved Wu Pin (Peter Ho’s character)’s kindness to Zhou Ying and unconditional love. I loved that Shen Xinyi turned from a spoiled brat to a man who would take responsibility upon his shoulders. I loved the righteousness of Zhao Baishi, a third man vying for Zhou Ying’s love. I loved Zhou Ying’s adopted son (later on)… his wit, potential, and caring nature is adorable. There is so much that I love about this series… that 74 episodes was not enough. Even though with any series, there are drawbacks… I choose to remember the good ones. Thanks for reading, hope you get a chance to watch this one and maybe enjoy it like I do.