If Empress of China is the drama of all time ratings-wise, Journey of Flower 花千骨 is a close second, proving once again the intrinsic appeal of the fantasy wuxia genre.
Journey of Flower can be aptly classified under sadistic romance 虐恋, not a genre per se but a term that's been coined to mean exactly what it says, a gut-wrenching rollercoaster of a love story. These kind of dramas are a dime a dozen and they keep coming because people keep watching.
Adapted from fresh果果's popular novel of the same name, Journey of Flower finds its leads in Zhao Li Ying (Legend of Zu) and Wallace Huo (Imperial Doctress) as the ill-fated lovers Hua Qian Gu and Bai Zi Hua. Hua Qian Gu is destined to be the death of Bai Zi Hua but he takes her in as his disciple anyway.
Given that the series finished airing in 2015, it's safe to say that JoF pretty much won half the battle through casting. Aside from the fact that both leads are period drama regulars with plenty of experience under their belt, they already deserve an A++ in the looks department alone, embodying what I think the novel was trying to portray.
It's no secret that I didn't enjoy Journey of Flower as much as everyone and their mother but I'm now so tempted to watch the DVD uncut version to see if I can be a convert or forever be in the minority.
For synopsis, cast and ratings, see 2015 c-drama recommendations.