Last updated on January 25th, 2023 at 07:53 pm
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I am back with another Chinese drama review and this one is called My Sassy Princess (祝卿好). Originally, I wanted to schedule this blog post later since I posted the Oath of Love drama review only a mere few weeks ago.
But since My Sassy Princess finished airing in 8 days, I wanted to publish this drama review as soon as possible while it’s still fresh on my mind.
My Sassy Princess Synopsis
A bratty princess named Liu Ling (also known as Changle) falls in love with the cold and heartless male lead (Shen Yan). She does everything she can to make him reciprocate her feelings.
Our Female Lead, Liu Ling
Within the first episode, viewers can already tell that Liu Ling, played by Yuan Bing yan (袁冰妍) is interested in Shen Yan, played by Zheng Ye Cheng (郑业成).
She makes her interest in him obvious too. It was amusing to see her being seductive and making the first move all the time. After some point though, it was getting real childish.
It went from cute to almost disturbing. I even thought about stopping watching the drama completely because some parts felt unbearable.
She was too bold, throwing herself at him every moment. And embarrassing both of them in public.
According to the drama, her character is 20 years old but she acted more like a teenager. She was shameless about pursuing Shen Yan.
In historical times, females were supposed to act modestly. There were strict rules to how daughters of a wealthy family/royal family should behave. Reputation was EVERYTHING.
It’s so extreme that some commit suicide because they don’t want to bring shame to the family.
For comedic effect, I understand the team was going to bend the rules a little but it got too much. While some might find it endearing (I did at first), it gets tiring after a while.
Thankfully, her annoying behaviour doesn’t last this entire series (I was also frustrated with how the main female character in Ashes of Love, Jinmi, acted in the beginning).
She does tone it down later on in the drama but her mischievousness does still pop up here and there. I mean, she got the guy already. No need to go so far anymore.
Our Male Lead, Shen Yan
It’s typical for our male lead in Chinese dramas to be cold on the outside, warm on the outside. Shen Yan is exactly like that.
He explains why he has a cold personality pretty early on the show as well.
If Shen Yan acted the way Liu Ling is, it would probably be a huge turnoff for the viewers. The female lead was outrageously straightforward.
It was clear how Liu Ling felt about him. At first glance, you might think he’s uninterested but once you pay close attention, you’ll realize he’s not as unaffected by her as he seems.
I guess being pushy and obsessive does work?
He does flirt back with her but his actions are more subtle. He’s more private, conservative, and shy. You need someone to balance out crazy, I guess.
I really enjoyed him teasing her. She does it so often that you almost shrug it off. But since he doesn’t do it as often, you look forward to those scenes more.
Their Chemistry in My Sassy Princess
Having chemistry with your co-star isn’t something you can explain. It’s just there.
Bing Yan and Ye Cheng have pretty good chemistry. Chemistry is so important in a romance drama (I mean, that’s kinda the main focus).
I can’t help but think that one of the reasons is because the actors are close in age (Bing Yan is one year older than Ye Cheng).
Hopefully, long gone are the days with a decade or more age gap romance dramas. No matter how young the actor tries to look, you can obviously tell within certain angles and lighting.
The most addicting part of the drama is their scenes together. The story focuses a lot on them, which I’m glad for. Some dramas have too many supporting characters and side arcs.
Several scenes are completely addicting to watch. I would go on YouTube to rewatch their scenes over and over again.
My Sassy Princess Favourite Scenes
1) Episode 5
She was thirsty as usual but he doesn’t entirely push her away (spoiler alert: this is when their first kiss happens).
2) Episode 7
- She thought he doesn’t care about her. She stomps away just for him to tease her. He’s getting back at her for all the times she was being flirty with him. It was a pretty heart-fluttering moment.
- At the end of the episode, she leaves the palace party. He goes to find her and comforts her.
3) Episode 8/9
She’s playing hard to get and trying to act like a shy and refined upper-class maiden.
4) Episode 18
She makes him jealous before they share a moment (she’s always running after him so it’s only fair when it’s his turn).
1) Shen Ao Ao
I can’t believe I’m writing this but my favourite supporting character is the pig, Shen Ao Ao.
It’s absolutely adorable (especially when they dress it up). I knew that the animal had a role to play in the drama. Before the show aired, I came across several behind-the-scenes clips with Bing Yan playing with the pig.
Unfortunately, the pig wasn’t on the show for long enough.
I also love how there was a disclaimer at the end of the episode with the crew sharing no animals were harmed in the process of making this series. I’m glad Shen Ao Ao is safe.
(I do not recall any historical dramas I have watched with pets (maybe a horse but I don’t really count that). By association, when I think of pet pigs, I’m probably going to think of My Sassy Princess.)
2) Liu Ling’s Grandpa
Is it just me or it is rare that a grandpa is close to his granddaughter in historical dramas? If anything, it’s usually a sweet grandma-granddaughter relationship.
Grandpa dotes on her and is pretty much on her side all the time.
Liu Ling is probably closest to her grandpa out of all family members.
She lost her mom when she was young and her relationship with her dad isn’t the best. Her relationship with her granddad is sweet and you can tell the love they have for each other.
Yuan Bing Yan’s Performance
I was almost worried that Crystal Yuan (Yuan Bing Yan) couldn’t pull off this kind of character but she played her role well.
This was Bing Yan’s first historical drama since Love and Redemption. I got to know the actress through L&R and wanted to see other roles she would take on.
Bing Yan’s character in this drama could not be more different from L&R. She knew what she wanted, the male lead, and went for it.
Her character in Love and Redemption, Xuan Ji was forward as well but she was clueless about it.
Because I had one of her older shows to compare to, you could tell she improved with her crying scenes. One of the common complaints about L&R was that her crying scenes weren’t touching enough.
She was paired up with Cheng Yi (成毅), who was exceptional with his crying scenes. When you put the two of them together, it only emphasized her emotional scenes were not up to par.
I’m glad that Bing Yan finally had her time to shine. She was overshadowed by her partner in her last historical drama. She has more or less equal footing with the main male actor, Zheng Ye Cheng in My Sassy Princess.
I’m a bit surprised that she took on this role. After acting in L&R, My Sassy Princess almost seems like a downgrade. This drama is far from what you call a poor quality show. However, as an audience member, you can see that My Sassy Princess’s production is not as grand and elaborate.
Yuan Bing Yan’s Appearance
There were quite a few comments where people were being judgemental of Bing Yan’s appearance. People were saying how she’s not pretty enough. And that her nose is too large.
Man, people are certainly critical of celebrities, aren’t they?
She might not be an absolute stunner but she’s comfortable to look at and has a cute vibe.
Not all female celebrities have to be this sexy diva. There’s also the girl-next-door type celebrity that’s pretty popular as well. Most Chinese dramas love the girl next door as the main lead character.
Bing Yan is good at choosing roles for herself. Her appearance matches the roles she takes on.
She also looks better in historical dramas compared to modern dramas. So I can see why she keeps filming historical dramas.
I’m officially a fan of Yuan Bing Yan.
Zheng Ye Cheng’s Performance
I’m not as familiar with Zheng Ye Cheng compared to Bing Yan.
I have somewhat watched his dramas in the past such as Sword of Legends and Journey of Flower but he only played supporting roles then.
As the main lead, I started watching the Sleepless Princess and Love of Thousand Years (his partner was Zhao Lusi, lead of the Romance of Tiger and Rose) but didn’t finish either of them.
Zheng Ye Cheng does have a very serious vibe going on. But after watching several BTS (behind the scenes and not the boy band) videos, he seems like the opposite of his character in real life.
Also, seeing him wearing contemporary clothing would not hit me that he looks good in a uniform. He got the vibe of a commander/general down pat. I liked watching his fight scenes and of course, the romance scenes.
As for his acting, I’m still not fully convinced.
When I saw his first crying scene, I was touched for a bit. For a guy that has a reputation for being cold-hearted, you soften up when you see him break down. But it wasn’t necessarily moving.
There was another scene where Ye Cheng looks at Bing Yan lovingly but I couldn’t help but think he looks sick? He looked pale and was about to faint. I giggled a little because it was supposed to be a romantic scene but I just found it funny.
Two main things drew me in. 1) His chemistry with Bing Yan (especially when he flirts back) and 2) His vibe fit the role (cold and good at martial arts).
Shen Yan could have been played by another actor but I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the drama as much. He definitely grew on me.
Although the Chinese entertainment circle is huge, it tends to be the same handful of actors and actresses on rotation when it comes to romance dramas.
I am almost 100% positive that I’ll watch another one of his dramas down the road.
My Sassy Princess Cinematography
Two scenes wowed me with their cinematography.
1) In episode 5, Liu Ling and Shen Yan get stuck in this forest/cave. During those scenes, you see all these trees and branches. The way they curve is so pretty.
2) In episode 13, the two lovebirds go on a date by boat. They’re writing their wish down on a piece of paper before placing it on a lantern and letting it float around the water. The way all the lanterns are lit up is beyond beautiful. It reminded me of the Disney movie Tangled (do you know which scene I’m talking about?).
Interesting Facts about My Sassy Princess
1) I thought it was interesting that My Sassy Princess was broadcasted at the same time as The Blue Whisper. The female lead in the Blue Whisper is Dilraba Dilmurat (迪丽热巴).
Did you know the two female main leads in the respective dramas were university classmates?
If we’re talking solely based on popularity, Bing Yan is currently lacking still but she’s climbing her way up. 加油。 看好你。
2) I have no way of knowing if this was done on purpose but Yuan Bing Yan’s character name in the series, Liu Ling sounds very similar to Love and Redemption’s name in Chinese, Liu Li.
Final Thoughts – My Sassy Princess
My Sassy Princess is a short Chinese drama (22 episodes) that you’ll want to watch at home after a long day. It’s a show that doesn’t require much thinking.
It’s a light-hearted drama, similar to Unchained Love and A Familiar Stranger.
I would even compare it to Dance of the Sky Empire (except with less CGI and fantasy) due to the straightforward plotline.
The story moves pretty quickly in the beginning, which I liked. It caught my attention right away. Some dramas take a few episodes before the plot gets going.
The first part of the drama was all fluffy and sweet (can be excessively cheesy).
However, you might find yourself losing attention after episode 9. The second half felt a bit draggy. The mood also started getting heavier.
The series can improve on its bad editing. Also, their storyline doesn’t make sense sometimes. People were saying they cut down on the episodes so maybe that’s why?
If you can forgive a drama for all of the above and give it a shot, you might find yourself liking My Sassy Princess (the chemistry of the main leads really does carry the show).
And you can totally binge-watch this in one night.
Now to You – My Sassy Princess
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