Dramas · Reviews

[Drama Review] Eternal Love 三生三世十里桃花 (2017)

Based On The Novel:

Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms
By TangQi GongZi

Directed By: Lin Yufen, Yu Cuihua, Ren Haitao

No. of Episodes: 58

Original Release: January 30 – March 1, 2017

Watch:
Eternal Love Official YouTube
Eternal Love on DramaFever

Synopsis:

When the immortal Bai Qian finally meets her intended husband, the heir to the Sky Throne, she considers herself in luck—until an old enemy returns to threaten everything she holds dear…

When a mortal woman enters the immortal world to be with her true love, she sparks a jealousy that ends in tragedy…

And when a war god depletes his spiritual energy, his devoted student sustains his body with her own heart’s blood until the god’s scattered soul reassembles…

Spanning a thousand years of tangled lives, Three Lives Three Worlds Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms is a story of epic battles, passion, evil, and magic. In its journey across worlds and time, it delves into the powerful forces that drive mortals and gods alike toward revenge, loyalty—and love.

(source: Amazon – Eternal Love Ebook)

Disclaimer: Before we start our reviews we want to mention that wenwen read the novel prior to watching the drama and chuanqi did not.

This review contains spoilers! Please do not proceed if you do not want to read spoilers.

Our Review: 

Performances

Yang Mi as Bai Qian / Si Yin / Su Su
Our Rating: ✩✩✩✩✩

(Bai Qian – High Goddess of the nine-tailed fox tribe & female monarch of Qing Qiu; Si Yin – Bai Qian’s alias when she was a disciple of Mo Yuan on Mount Kun Lun; Su Su – Bai Qian’s mortal identity after losing her memories from her battle with Qing Cang)

wenwen: I know many netizens complained about Yang Mi, saying she was bad or unconvincing in her role. But, I beg to differ. She portrayed her character just like how it was written in the book, but better. Haughty as Bai Qian the high goddess, playful as the young Si Yin, and adorably naive as Susu. Of the three different personalities, I disliked Susu the most when I was reading the novel. But, the drama and most importantly Yang Mi, made Susu likable. Even when she was saying the silliest things, I smiled along with Ye Hua and understood for the first time why our stoic crown prince was so in love with her. Simple-minded Susu and her world allowed Ye Hua to leave his heavenly status and overbearing responsibilities behind, even if just momentarily, for him to truly experience the joy of living. And then there’s the proud dignified Qing Qiu Monarch who doesn’t let anyone take advantage of her or the people she loves. To me Yang Mi is Bai Qian, Bai Qian is Yang Mi. It’s been a long time since she played such a good character and played it so well. I admit I am a bad fan, I never should have doubted her acting abilities. The fault was never in her, but the bland characters and scripts she’s been getting! Here’s to hoping she will continue to amaze with interesting roles in the future, cause I’ll definitely be tuning in for her!

chuanqi: I completely agree! I thought Yang Mi did a fantastic job as Bai Qian/Si Yin/Susu. She was playing one person with three very different identities and managed to be convincing in every of them. As the story progressed, we saw the character’s development from the young and daring Si Yin, to the brave Bai Qian, falling into the vulnerable and innocent Susu, and back into the badass goddess Bai Qian. I was especially surprised with Yang Mi’s portrayal of Bai Qian in the later episodes. I’ll definitely be checking out more of her work after seeing what she can bring to the table.  

Mark Chao as Ye Hua / Mo Yuan / Zhao Ge
Our Rating: ✩✩✩✩

(Ye Hua – Crown prince of the Nine Heavens; Mo Yuan – Master of Kun Lun Xu, God of War, Ye Hua’s twin brother; Zhao Ge – Ye Hua’s mortal reincarnation)

wenwen: Ye Hua is a difficult role to play, as he keeps much of his thoughts to himself and rarely shows his emotions. But, fortunately Mark Chao is a fairly good actor, with a pair of eyes that truly convey a thousand words. Throughout much of the drama, Mark acts with his eyes, nuanced at times but more than enough to make the viewer care for him. I swear the guy must have cried buckets for this drama, and I sobbed along with him every time he suffered, both physically and mentally. Perhaps another actor could have done a better job, but at the moment, I feel Mark was pretty on point as Ye Hua. Yes, his sometimes blank expressions were a little boring to watch, but that’s just how Ye Hua is! He’s only flirty and playful around the woman he loves aka Qian Qian. And I actually like drama Ye Hua much much more than novel Ye Hua because both the script and Mark’s portrayal clearly showed us the difficulties and struggles Ye Hua went through with every decision he made. While the book mentioned it all at the end, it wasn’t enough for me because the explanation came much too late, and thus I never felt a connection to him. Drama Ye Hua however, I really really like. Mark made me care and root for his happiness. Same for Mo Yuan, I didn’t feel much for him in the book, but Mark’s Mo Yuan made my heart ache and I wished Bai Qian had a twin as well! Shifu had went through so much, he deserves a happy ending too!

chuanqi: I was actually very bored with Mark in the beginning of the drama. I thought his acting was very wooden and boring as Mo Yuan. When Ye Hua was introduced, I was still quite bored with the character, however my opinion completely changed when Ye Hua began to fall in love with Susu and we finally got a sign that there was some life in that guy! His attempts in getting Susu to fall in love with him was adorable and I couldn’t believe how much I was enjoying their scenes together. To be fair to Mark, I do think that he portrayed the characters well (I guess I’m saying that the characters themselves were pretty wooden too). My heart wrenched with every tough decision that Ye Hua had to make between his duties as the crown prince and the love of his life. I couldn’t remember feeling anything toward Mo Yuan in the beginning of the drama (and he was in a coma for majority of it) but I somehow still felt sad for him after he woke up to find that his beloved disciple was engaged to his younger twin brother. This was the first time I watched Mark in a project. Funny enough, I have a copy of his debut drama, Black and White, sitting around my house that I never got around to watching. I just might give those old DVD discs a spin.

Dilraba Dilmurat as Bai Fengjiu
Our Rating: ✩✩✩✩

(Bai Feng Jiu – A rare nine-tailed red fox, Bai Qian’s niece, princess of Qing Qiu; Consort Chen – Feng Jiu’s mortal identity when she was acting as the emperor’s consort to repay Dong Hua Di Jun)

wenwen: Dilraba is SO CUTE!! I have fallen in love with her Feng Jiu. Not many actresses can play this type of character without making me fast forward at triple the speed. Dilraba on the other hand made me remind several times instead (hehe). Feng Jiu’s shamelessness and desperate attempts at getting Dong Hua to notice her was only mentioned in passing in the “Pillow Book” but it was enough for me to… not like her very much. The way it was written seemed to suggest Dong Hua was the bad guy and we should feel sorry for Feng Jiu. But, the thing is he’s not obligated to return her affections, especially when he didn’t even know who she was! So, that bugged me quite a bit. Here though, very early on we see that Dong Hua does indeed like Feng Jiu. So, what irked me in the novel didn’t happen in the drama. Dilraba was adorable as the baby princess of Qing Qiu, young and mischievous. It saddened me to see her experience heartbreak again and again. It’s unfortunate we probably won’t ever see a continuation of this dramas’ Feng Jiu though. I wish we could see Dilraba’s jaded, yet capable and mature version of the little red fox who is now the ruler of Qing Qiu, bearing the weight of her people on her shoulders, while finally getting her chance at love… Yeah yeah that’s the story for the “pillow book” but I want to see Dilraba’s Feng Jiu, and I want to see it now! lol

chuanqi: I adore Dilraba so I’m going to be a little biased with my review of her performance. She is absolutely adorable and does a great job portraying the fox princess of Qing Qiu. Fengjiu is an adorable young lady who does as she pleases. When she meets Dong Hua, she immediately falls for him but doesn’t realize it. Throughout the rest of the drama, Fengjiu spends it trying to get close to Dong Hua. Dilraba was convincing as the naive girl in love. My heart broke for the princess as her efforts didn’t prove effective enough to change fate. Usually, I’m able to imagine other actors/actresses that can pull off characters, however Dilraba is the only Fengjiu for me! I don’t know if I even want to watch the Pillow Book drama if Dilraba isn’t Fengjiu 😥

Vengo Gao as Dong Hua Di Jun
Our Rating: ✩✩✩✩

(Dong Hua Di Jun – Emperor Lord of the Sky and Earth, previous ruler of the Nine Heavens, he is believed to have existed since the beginning of time; Emperor Song – Dong Hua’s mortal reincarnation)

wenwen: Dong Hua was my favorite character from the 3L3W universe, but alas this wasn’t the adaption of the “Pillow Book”. So, I didn’t expect much as he and Fengjiu should only be very minor characters here. But, surprisingly the writers took the little snippets of Donghua and Fengjiu from 3L3WTMPB and created a love story for them in this extremely short 58 episode drama (I think we all agree this show breezed by way too quickly). To say I was a happy fan is an understatement. I ate up the five-minute screen time they had every episode with glee, I was addicted and couldn’t get enough of them… until they returned from the mortal realm and it felt like they’ve changed the Dong Hua Di Jun I loved so much into someone completely different. Real Donghua wouldn’t have cared about the three lives stone, he didn’t believe in fate. He would’ve challenged it and faced it head on. Heck, if something like the three lives stone existed in the book, it would’ve been Feng Jiu who hesitated, not Dong Hua. But, despite the script, I think Vengo did a very very good job in this role. He wasn’t exactly who I had in mind, but he made me turn into Feng Jiu and swoon every time he appeared on the screen. I have fallen in love with him.

chuanqi: Donghua in the drama was portrayed as an old and powerful god that did not care for the affairs of others. Donghua lived way too long to deal with everyone’s mess! I recall watching Vengo in the few episodes of Swords of Legends that I’ve seen. He looks so different in this drama and I was totally shocked that it was the same person. Vengo did a good job portraying the wise and confident Donghua, whom is above even the Emperor of the Nine Heavens himself! He feared nothing until Fengjiu came into his life. Like wenwen, I have other actors in mind who can play this role but that’s a discussion for another time!

Vin Zhang as Li Jing
Our Rating: ✩✩✩✩

(Li Jing – son of Qing Cang, 2nd prince of the demon clan, later becomes the demon lord, loves but betrays Si Yin)

wenwen: I started paying attention to Zhang Bin Bin after watching him in Love O2O as the quiet and mysterious K.O. I find him very charming and unique out of the numerous young handsome actors in c-dramas these days. Like Mark, he has very expressive eyes, which I particularly like in all performers. Before starting this drama I was a little disappointed that he wasn’t playing Dong Hua Di Jun, which I think he would be very suitable for. But, Vengo was fantastic and I wouldn’t want to change anything now! As for Li Jing, well he was never supposed to be a likable character, but he had significant screen time in this drama, and so for that I am grateful it was Zhang Bin Bin in the role and not someone else. His portrayal of the demon prince had much more depth than what was ever written in the novel. I still didn’t like Li Jing, but at least I didn’t hate him (I found him annoying at times, but no hate). He made poor decisions and ended up living his entire life in regret, a very pitiful character really.

chuanqi: I saw Vin for the first time in Pretty Li Hui Zhen (a cute drama which stars Dilraba, Peter Sheng, and Vin Zhang!) and thought he was a very cute and lively boy. I didn’t find him attractive at all in PLHZ, but he looks great as Li Jing. Vin’s portrayal of Li Jing made me fond of this character. Li Jing is a tragic character who was born into darkness as the second demon prince. He does not have a bad heart and aims to protect his people and maintain peace with everyone. It is unfortunately that he is constantly surrounded by evil and ends up in difficult situations time and time again. In both roles that I’ve seen Vin in, he plays the sad “second male” that can’t get the girl. I’m definitely keeping an eye on Vin and look forward to his first drama as the male lead (and an emperor, no less), The King’s Woman (丽姬传) with Dilraba!

Maggie Huang as Su Jin
Our Rating: ✩✩✩

(Su Jin -princess of the Zhong Lie clan, adopted into the Nine Heavens after her father and entire tribe died in battle, in love with Ye Hua)

wenwen: Ah… Su Jin… where do I even start? The most hated character, I believe? Since I read the novel, the moment she appeared in the drama I was already eagerly anticipating the moment Bai Qian would gouge her eyes out. I am not familiar with Maggie Huang, but she definitely didn’t disappoint. Su Jin was just as terrible as she ever was written to be. The role didn’t call for many expressions from the actress, but she performed well with what she was given. She presented to us a cunning, jealous, scornful woman who would always be the loser in her twisted obsession of Ye Hua.

chuanqi: I hate this character so much, but it’s also because I hated her so much that I know Maggie did a good enough job portraying her. Just looking at Maggie’s fake smiling as the manipulative Su Jin made me want to reach into the screen and choke her, haha! I anticipated her downfall for so long that my favorite episodes turned out to be the two episodes which included sweet revenge against this hateful person.

Zhu Xudan as Xuan Nu
Our Rating: ✩✩✩

(Xuan Nu – originally part of the fox tribe, jealous of Bai Qian, falls in love with Li Jing, helps the demon clan in the war with the Nine Heavens)

wenwen: Another despicable role. Honestly if I was Bai Qian, I would have ripped off that face of hers a long time ago. It was pretty gracious of her to let Xuan Nu use it for 70 thousand years… But anyway, I feel Xuan Nu and Su Jin are more or less the same. They would do anything and sacrifice anyone for their own selfish gains. The actress did a good job as the evil Xuan Nu. I was surprised to see how different she looked when dressed in modern attire during cast interviews and the press con. She’s really shy and timid in real life! Zhu Xudan was so convincing in her role, I had forgotten she was only acting (lol)

chuanqi: Xuan Nu, oh, Xuan Nu! Between her and Su Jin, it was hard to pick a more hated character. Both characters were manipulative and selfish, hanging on to men that were never meant to be theirs. Xuan Nu was always insecure and angry with her own looks and background. Even when she got the man, she had to resort to changing her appearance into Bai Qian and trick the then emotionally vulnerable Li Jing. All she ever wanted was for Li Jing to love her, but she learned the hard way that you can not force someone to love you. I personally thought that Zhu Xudan was a little overdramatic with her acting, but I suppose the character did call for a little crazy.

Wang Xiao  as Si Ming
Our Rating: ✩✩✩✩✩

(Si Ming – the star prince, writer of destiny for the mortal realm, Dong Hua Di Jun’s trusted aide)

wenwen: I love Si Ming! He was intelligent, sophisticated, humorous, and loyal. I have no complaints. Wang Xiao was perfect as Si Ming! Some people have argued he wasn’t handsome enough, but that’s so unfair. Wang Xiao was so incredibly endearing as the god of fate. I was both impressed and charmed by the man. Si Ming is one character that I would really enjoy spending an afternoon with to chat, play a game of chess with… and to read that book of fate he has!

chuanqi: Si Ming is sooo likable! He was a perfect supporting character. Wang Xiao did a great job and has fantastic comedic timing. Like Vin Zhang, I first noticed Wang Xiao in Pretty Li Hui Zhen. Although Si Ming was a smaller supporting character, Wang Xiao was memorable and irreplaceable. Wang Xiao was Si Ming and Si Ming was Wang Xiao. I have no complaints!

Zhang Yi Han as Ah Li
Our Rating: ✩✩✩✩

(Ah Li – son of Ye Hua and Bai Qian, future crown prince of the Nine Heavens)

wenwen: The most innocent and adorable of them all! Ah Li is absolutely precious. Zhang Yi Han is the cutest little boy! I was expecting a younger and chubbier child actor to play Ah Li, since Qian Qian always called him ‘little sticky rice dumpling’, but Zhang Yi Han’s age is much more convincing considering he has some pretty witty dialogue (which I always felt book Ah Li was too young to say). If you can’t get enough of Zhang Yi Han and his cuteness, don’t worry, I’m sure this little handsome actor will be in many upcoming dramas!

chuanqi: I LOVE AH LI! Since his first appearance in the drama, I’ve melted every time he appears. He is so adorable and such a smart child. Zhang Yihan was first discovered through talent tv shows and displayed his talent in singing. I have been watching this cutie’s videos on Youtube and I am simply amazed by all the confidence this tiny little baby has. Who do I have to call to get this kid bigger roles?

OTP Chemistry

Mark Chao & Yang Mi
Our Rating: ✩✩✩✩✩


wenwen: I know I’m not alone when I say Mark and Yang Mi’s chemistry was amazing! Flirty Ye Hua and flustered Qian Qian made me giggle into my pillow like an idiot. They were such a joy to watch after a stressful day. Despite the fact they both have significant others in real life, they convincingly sold the romance in Eternal Love 101%! They are now officially one of my favorite drama couples!

chuanqi: I love this couple! I forgot that these two are already married to other people in real life. Mark is a little too good at playing a flirty Ye Hua. People say that a person changes when they are around someone they love. That’s definitely the case when it comes to Ye Hua and Qian Qian. The cold and stern Ye Hua melts into a ball of fluff when around his woman. The usually powerful and intimidating Qian Qian becomes flustered and soft when around her man. I didn’t think I’d like the couple this much when I first started the drama but here we are.

Vengo Gao & Dilraba Dilmurat
Our Rating: ✩✩✩✩


wenwen: I love them and probably would have loved them even more if they had more screen time and a happily-ever-after… but, that would have probably reduced Ye Hua and Qian Qian’s screen time and I wouldn’t want that. Vengo and Dilraba have good chemistry, but their heart-wrenching love story definitely helped as well! They’ve both improved heaps since their collaboration in V-Love, where they also had a rather complicated relationship. I can only imagine they’ll be even better in their next drama together, which I hope will be soon because I am totally onboard this ship!

chuanqi: This couple was cute and I love the idea of them but, like wenwen, I would have liked them more if they actually had a happy ending. I really liked the pair as Fengjiu and Donghua, but not so much when they were in the mortal world. I know a lot of fans are so convinced by the two that they believe the two are dating. This is a popular ship and I’m sure we’ll see more of this pairing in future dramas.

Final Thoughts

How does this drama compare to the novel?
Our (actually, just wenwen’s) Rating: ✩✩✩✩✩


wenwen: I think it’s safe to say most fans of the book agree that this was a very good adaption. The script writers stayed true to the story. They kept all of the important components of the novel (I believe they didn’t leave anything out actually) and expanded on them to create a richer story that made the watching experience even better than the work it was based off of. Of course they made minor changes here and there, some were good (such as the linear timeline) and some not so much (i.e. Dong Hua’s personality, and the three lives stone that I’m still bitter about), but in the end, I don’t think I can ask for a more satisfying adaption of 3L3W. Especially considering how disappointing some recent book to drama adaptions have been (I mean you ‘Princess Wei Young’). And for those of you who have not read 3L3W, I don’t think you missed out on anything if you have watched Eternal Love. It’s that good.

chuanqi: Unfortunately, I didn’t read the novel so I can’t compare!

Is this drama worth watching?
Hmm… 58 Episodes…


wenwen: YES! YES! YES! I think I’ve emphasized this more than enough throughout this review. Eternal Love has a kickass heroine who gets payback on every single person who had wronged her and there exists a faithfully determined male lead who only loves her in this romance of three lifetimes. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will wish you can do it all over again. Fifty-eight hours is way too short for this compelling love story. But, if you’re still not convinced… what better way to find out if the drama lives up to all the hype, than to watch it for yourself? Go check it out! We’ve even included a pretty music video of the beautiful ending theme song, performed by Aska Yang and Zhang Bichen to lure you in ^__^

chuanqi: Yes!!!! It’s usually pretty hard for me to get through long dramas but I managed to binge watch the entire drama within about two weeks (I work full time). It’s a little slow in the first 8 episodes or so, but once you’ve gone through those initial 8 episodes you will get sucked in and begin to feel a connection with the different characters in the story. I definitely recommend this one!

Overall Rating: ✩✩✩✩✩

Comment and tell us what you think of Eternal Love!

  • Evil

    Love this drama!
    It’s undoubtedly my favorite Chinese drama

    • Same! I love this drama! Everything about it was just soooo good 😍

      • EVE

        It’s already a month but I yet get over it lol

        • lol I’m watching it again! My sister hadn’t seen it yet, she loves it so far! Honestly, I don’t think it’s possible to dislike the drama though??

  • Pingback: [Movie News] Once Upon A Time 三生三世十里桃花 Releases New Character Posters – Two C-Ents()

  • twilight

    Thanks so much for such great review.
    I take that you guys like Yang Mi more than Mark Chao in this drama (as opposed to 80% other reviewers, which is perfectly fine). I like Yang Mi too. I became her fan after this. I found her face features are very attractive and her eyes are absolutely stunning. It’s awesome that she used eye expression very well in this drama to lure the viewers.

    • chuanqi

      I actually became her fan after this too! I was always indifferent about her but after this drama I find her to be so charming!

    • EVE

      I think most people like them except some Pillow book fans because they are mad and the movie fans… Overall their performances and drama had high praises from critics and audiences.
      I didn’t care about Yangmi before either… But I slowly become a fan too after learning how she is actually in real life and how much she has been achieved by herself.

  • Lydia

    It’s highly recommended. Not been able to move on. I think Mark did a stellar job here and can’t imagine anyone else as Yehua. I would give him 5 stars. laughs. Their chemistry was off the charts. Now i want another collaboration