Nothing prepared me for Ever Night!
I discovered Chinese dramas in the wake of the news about ‘The Most Googled Show On Earth’, and I admit, Yanxi Palace was my gateway ‘drug’.
Since then I’ve watched two other 60 episode series, neither of which prepared me for the gloriousness of Ever Night.
Arthur Chen is undoubtedly the star of this piece, and despite his stunning youth (18 years old), he turns in an insouciant, endearing, impressive performance.
He captured his character’s braggadocio and swagger perfectly, and his fight sequences, from the first to the last, are incredibly well choreographed and edited incredibly well. Everyone admits he is a scamp, but he revels in it. (Doesn’t hurt that he’s adorable either.)
Ireine Song, who plays my darling Sang Sang, a tiny little girl with a BIG HEART and a sharp tongue also turns in an adorable and heart warming performance.
The chemistry between Chen and Song on screen goes from brother/sister to cameraderie to romantic, and they both do an incredible job with their characters.
The narrative, simple and uncomplicated, but with enough ups and downs and thrills, is a story well told. I thoroughly enjoyed the set up, and the long arc of development Ning Que (Chen) and Sang Sang that allowed me to invest in them…
Every time Ning Que gained in experience and advantage, I cheered a bit. When he and Sang Sang fought over The Bookworm Maniac, my heart hurt a bit too… because SANG SANG! And I knew pretty early on that Sang Sang was never going to be ‘The Little Maid’. She isn’t.
And mi dears… the lead up to the final battle, with its bit of a shocker (about who Ning Que really is), and the final, epic battle between Ning Que and Xia Hou, is like NOTHING I’ve seen on a TV screen.
Maybe I am old and corny now, and I don’t watch anywhere near the amount of anime I used to in my 20s, but the final battle sequence was one of, if not the best fights I’ve ever seen on film.
Beautifully acrobatic, with some moves I’ve had to watch on replay five or six times to fully catch just how badass Ning Que really is (he’s an original Badass, I said it, OG!), and its heart breaking, frightening end, it is worth watching this fight over and over… deeply rewarding it is.
After the relatively straight forward palace intrigue story lines of the last three dramas I watched, Ever Night’s story, fight sequences, special effects (industrial light and magic) and the unaffected performances of Chen and Song (and others like the actor playing Chen Pipi, and several others I just loved, like Yan Se, and Brother Chao) make this show just good, without qualification. This drama was thoroughly entertaining, from beginning to end. I liked the world created for it, and the magic in it, and I am FAN of Ning Que and Sang Sang. I ship ‘em!
I am pleased there will be another season (because ‘the darkness is coming’, but I am heart broken Chen won’t be back as Ning Que. I’m looking forward to the continuation of the story, but I’m not sure I can buy anyone else as Ning Que. Chen possessed that role. His little side smirk and that thing he does with his mouth will forever be etched on the fabric of Ning Que for me.
A note here on the character Long Qing: Piss in his pocket! Arrogant, over praised, over pretty, twaddle head! Of course Ning Que will cut his ass eventually too, but his character arc in this season left me despising his ‘butter can’t melt in his mouth’ ass. And instead of learning, he just descended even deeper into the morass of his mediocrity. All that he did to make him myself powerful, in the end it will be his undoing. And let me also add: I think HE is the Child of Hades. Trying to malign my boy Ning Que? NO! It is Long Qing!! When S02 drops, bet me money that is what is revealed.
I watch on Viki, but for English speakers a warning: These subtitles are almost hilarious in how they interpret English. I understand that some of it is cultural, there are things that are purely Chinese in character, that’s lost in translation. I get that completely. But is a turns of phrases employed, that often remind me of how difficult English can be to understand. Also because the translation is being done by a team of people (I appreciate you Ever Night Team!) sometimes definitions change from episode to episode.
So if you watch, you will need to understand proper English yourself so you can extrapolate. It’s not terrible, but definitely not perfect. Mildly entertaining in and of itself. So expect a bit of a work out, feel the burn! It’s worth it.
*** rubs hands gleefully ***
Season 2 is just around the corner! I may rewatch all 60 episodes and do some short summaries for The Goddess Room Trakt playlists, because this is definitely going HIGH on my list for Game of Thrones withdrawal fare. And I’ve been recommending it to ERRRBODY!
Watch it. You won’t be sorry.