Panda Impressions #1: Legend of Dragon Pearl, Ode to Joy 2 and Ruler: Master of the Mask

Nothing beats curling up with a good drama but finding one can be a challenge. Sometimes, the experience can be like sitting through a series of bad dates in search of the one. A number of shows have recently premiered and there seems to be no better time than now to introduce a new forum for us to talk about dramas. Below are our first impressions of Legend of the Dragon Pearl, Ode to Joy 2 and Ruler: Master of the Mask.

Legend of Dragon Pearl

Panda First Impressions Legend of Dragon Pearl

From the familiar storyline down to the bad special effects, the show feels like a throwback to the pastIt may seem like a warning to stay away but it's really not because I have a lot of love for the cast who are the very same people in Legend of Chusen and Glory of Tang Dynasty. 

Case in point, Ren Jialun even makes an appearance! It's too bad his character has to deal with a father who murdered his mother in the name of patriotism. Dad is obviously a hardliner and I can already see him playing a pivotal role in turning up the angst between the rebel princess and the emperor. 

Now that the heavy stuff is out of the way, I'm expecting a lot of cute from real-life couple Yang Zi and Qin Jun Jie. She is full of mischief and he is... well, he has only appeared for a couple minutes so far but he should be a royal match for her. Moreover, I do like the story of Kangxi Emperor, so I'm definitely sticking around for some more episodes.  

Ode to Joy 2

Ode to Joy 2 Liu Tao Ep1
The production value is high, the ensemble cast is endearing and the stories are relatable. If you happen to have lingering feelings for Nirvana in Fire, then that's one more reason to tune in. I can see why people love the franchise - it has heart, good vibes and a healthy dose of reality though it's not really for me because I prefer more comedy in my rom-coms and find everyday drama too close for comfort. And the songs that kept playing at random times were just plain weird.

Even so, I think I've become a new fan at least of Yang Shuo because have you seen him? I don't actually know what happened to Andy in season one but her chemistry with Bao Yi Fan is sizzling, and they're easily my favorite couple. Andy is clearly vulnerable and closed off from her recent breakup and if any guy is going to break down those walls, it's Bao Yi Fan. Now if only Wang Kai was around too, he needs more screen time. 

Ruler: Master of the Mask

Ruler Master of the Mask

The plot was gripping and intense right off the bat and I was immediately worried for our hero who was fighting an uphill battle even before he was born. However, I might be the only one who thinks this but as the episodes progressed, my interest waned because it seemed like the journey to get there would be really long and not nearly as interesting as I'd hoped to be. I still really like the cast so if I'm going to keep watching, it'll be for them.

Are the dramas above worth watching or dropping? Do you have any other shows you'd like to recommend? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Panda Impressions -> Next


  1. I've been completely entranced by Suspicious Partner. I like both Nam Ji-hyun and Ji Chang-wook a lot, and I'm finding that putting them together makes for wonderful viewing. I'm in this for the long haul, :D

    1. Hi Lady Jaye, thanks for dropping by:) Man.. now, I'm really curious to watch it. Believe it or not, I have yet to watch a Ji Chang Wook drama from beginning to end. Did you ever watch Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms?

    2. I haven't watched Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, yet, can you imagine! I am *still* in the thick of exams. However, I recommended it to my sister, and she loooooooved it to bits. So I know I need to watch it soon, even if just so I have some context for her squeeing.

      I wasn't even checking for Ji Chang-wook in Empress Ki, that's how much I didn't even register him. But then magically and suddenly grew partway through Healer, and now he can do no wrong in my eyes, lolz!

    3. haha that's awesome that your sister loved it. Ok, i hope your exams end soon, good luck:) I think a lot of people converted to a fan coz of Healer, dunno why I couldn't get into it, maybe a second try will do the trick.

  2. All of these new dramas are airing, but here I am completely uninterested. Unfortunately, I'm still stuck with Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. It's been months since I finished TMOPB, but my brain is absolutely refusing to let any other drama in.

    1. no, I hear you:) Think it took me about a month of watching absolutely nothing before I started again. Even now, I've found new show that I enjoy but I know it's not as good.

    2. what shows are on your radar right now? hopefully I will be able to get myself back into a drama other than TMOPB

    3. I'm up to date with Fighter of the Destiny (my guilty pleasure) and occasionally watching Legend of Dragon Pearl. I wouldn't sell either in the same way that I raved about TMOPB though, coz it's just different. That said, I am looking forward to Princess Agents next month which is looking very promising. Maybe you can try watching that next?