Panda Impressions #3: Rush to the Dead Summer, Advisors Alliance and A Life Time Love

DramaPanda Taiwan
I came in with low to medium to high expectations for each of the three shows and was pleasantly surprised to find them to be enjoyable in their own way. I really wouldn't mind watching the rest of the episodes if I have the time but if I had to pick one, it'll have to be Advisors Alliance

On another note, I am back! I went to Taiwan and immersed in the complete tourist experience (pictured above). Truth is, it was raining too hard for the lanterns to get very far but you can't tell, right? Without further ado, below are our first impressions of Rush to the Dead Summer, Advisors Alliance and A Life Time Love.

Rush to the Dead Summer

Panda Impressions Rush to the Dead Summer
Awww, the drama packs on the good vibes without being too cheery, which seems fitting for a story with a nostalgic feel to it. The show lingers on simple moments that we can all relate to and reminds us of their significance in our lives, and the lantern was a nice touch. 

From the looks of it, I'm probably going to be hit with a terrible case of second lead syndrome because Bai Jing Ting is coming across as ten times more likeable than Cheney Chen's stoic main lead. Zheng Shuang is endearing as the typical schoolgirl and even her role as the protagonist/narrator brings back memories of Just One Smile is Very Alluring

Advisors Alliance

Panda Impressions Advisors Alliance

Watching this feels as though I just opened a big fat history book and started reading through endless prose between people whose names or faces I couldn't remember. I almost gave up trying to decipher the dialogue especially in the absence of pretty idols who typically serve as a good motivator. However, if you somehow manage to make it to the second episode, the story gets so much easier to follow and it turns intensely gripping as you would expect from a large scale historical epic. I literally hung onto every word because it's the kind of show where you need your thinking cap on. 

A Life Time Love

Panda Impressions A Life Time Love

The pacing is a double-edged sword. I love that it breezes through plot points but I also get the sense that I'm watching a hastily edited version of a drama that was cutdown so much that it has lost all the transitions required to make the story flow.

That aside, I actually enjoy the story in spite of the cringeworthy moments. Huang Xiaoming is such an exaggerated Tarzan with tacky special effects to match, but I find his overwhelming confidence and dedication towards the heroine irresistible charming. Truth be told, he has been playing the same alpha male throughout his career and yet I fall for it every time. Furthermore, there's enough mystery between the two lovers and the amnesia from ten years ago to keep us guessing as well as plenty of fantasy and action to go around. And really, all of the above is enough to keep me hooked.

Lastly, I just wanted to add a quick note that I'm still catching up on posts after my vacation, so please watch for the c-drama ratings post tomorrow (usually I'd have it up by today but sleep beckons). Sorry for the delay.

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  1. I am having a terrible second lead syndrome in both A Life Time Love and Rush to the Dead Summer. Can't bring myself to like HXM and Cheney's portrayal of their respective characters.

    1. Definitely agree when it comes to Rush to the Dead Summer. As for A Life Time Love, does that means you like Sheng Yi Lun's portrayal? Somehow, I don't find his character appealing at all, maybe I need to watch more episodes coz he hasn't been interacting much with the heroine where I left off. Actually I'm very behind on this one and a little scared to continue coz of the ensuing angst :(

    2. I think I am bias because Sheng Yi Lun's character looks so princely! But yeah from a more objective POV, his character does seem too selfish!

  2. @Anne J where I can watch The Advisor Alliance ?? I know it has premiere but i cant find this series online ??

    1. It's on Youtube.
      No subs though.

  3. Welcome back!

    Thanks for sharing your impressions. I wanted to watch Rush to the DEad Summer but I fear I may get second lead syndrome especially if it's yet another stoic boring male lead.

    I've been anticipating THe Advisor's Alliance. The trailers looked amazing but I doubt it will be subtitled :(

    1. thanks :) lol.. i think your fear is warranted. I noticed that Zheng Shuang and Bai Jing Ting (the second lead) were both on the celeb rankings while Cheney Chen is not.

      I doubt it will be subbed too, I wanted to write a recap but when they busted out the poems and ancient lingo I had a hard time understanding it myself, let alone recap.

  4. Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed Tw. Thank you for your nice write up.
    1. You like ZS much better than I do. I'm allergic to her deer in the headlights acting. Love020 was pretty well-written so I was able to finish it. I'm having a few problems with Rush TTDS. CChen's speech is sounding robotic in this drama. Plus I think CC's character is Guo Jingming's alter ego. GJM is a bit too egocentric for my taste. CC was watchable in Decoded. The Decoded role suits CC best, I think. Bai jingting was pretty good in a coming of age movie. I forgot the movie title. I hope BJT will continue to develop into a fine actor.

    2. I hope some kind group will do Eng sub for Adv Alliance. I have only watched the trailer so far, which is very well done.

    3. I have gotten increasingly allergic of HXM since around his Cruel Romance era. He's overdoing his alpha male role. There was a bit of that too in Yue Fei, but at least that was appropriate for the role. Doing it in every role is a bit much. I also hope he is not going to pair up with teenage, or increasingly younger and younger actresses like Guan Xiaotong, Jiang yiyi next.

    There was a "DramaPanda" writing comments on Princess Agents on another website, saying that she likes Yan Xun's character a lot more than Yuwen Yue. That sounds very different from what you said on this website. That "Dramapanda" wasn't you?

    1. thanks! I did, but I wish we stayed longer haha

      And thanks for your comments.. I did not know that CC's character is similar to the author but he is really written up to be quite egocentric which is not so likeable. I've pretty much dropped the show and caught up with Advisors Alliance. I know a lot of people want subs, hope it gets subbed for you guys coz it's good!

      As for HXM, think we'll just have to agree to disagree haha I loved him in Cruel Romance and yes, it's the same overdone alpha male role. I wonder if he'll ever act opposite Guan Xiaotong etc. too, It's certainly a possibility but you're right, it's gonna be weird.

      And nope, the other dramapanda is not me, I might have mentioned in other posts that I'm slowly falling for Shawn Dou's charms but I'm still team Yuwen Yue all the way. What about you?