Panda Impressions #8: King is not Easy, The First Half of My Life & Lost Love in Times

Thanks to everyone who sent in their write ups (you guys rock!). I'm reading the positive reviews and seriously tempted to watch everything, except for maybe The First Half of My Life which looks so good but seems so heavy. If like me, you gave up on Lost Love in Times after a few episodes, then check out a quick first impressions below about what happens post the time jump.

King is not Easy

King is not Easy Panda First Impressions

King is not Easy is a light Chinese body switch comedy set during the Western Zhou Dynasty where a female chef, Da Xi switches bodies with the emperor, Ji Man. In love with palace guard Shao Yong, Da Xi becomes a palace maid hoping to get close to her crush but in an expected turn of events, her soul swaps bodies with the emperor and hilarious scenes occur. Ji Man, albeit young has a stoic personality, a consequence of his upbringing and his relationship with his mother. Da Xi on the other hand is lively and mischievous, always getting into trouble in her attempts to see Shao Yong. 

Body switching is an old overused premise in drama land but here, it is set during ancient China with a real emperor, emperor Muwang Ji Man who ruled for 55 years, the longest reign in the Western Zhou Dynasty. The comedy primes for a good script that enable the young talented cast to showcase their acting skills, the visuals and the post-production that tied the drama together. It’s a really breezy C-Drama for the end of the summer! - Contributed by Patricia.

The First Half of My Life

First Impressions The First Half of My Life
The First Half of My Life caught my attention after a friend of mine, a Beijing native, recommended it to me. Four episodes into the drama and I was wholeheartedly committed to watching all 42 episodes. The main factor that makes this show captivating is that, like a revolving restaurant, we continually and slowly get a panoramic view of the characters. There is no black and white, your opinion is always shifting, and although it deals with some heavy topics, it's served in a balanced way.

Of course, the acting, cinematography and story is stellar. Jin Dong recaptured my inner fan girl with his strong performance as He Han. There are some powerful scenes in the drama from Xu Di, who plays Luo Zijun mother, and her acting is some of the best I have ever seen. She left me breathless early on in the show with one particular scene, having me rewatch it several times (if you watch, you’ll know exactly which scene I’m talking about). Ultimately, this isn't a drama to watch to unwind with, but rather one to become engrossed with. I can already predict drama withdrawals when this one finishes. - Contributed by Andrea Kurzee.

Lost Love in Times

Lost Love in Times Panda First Impressions
I love the drama after the time shift. This is where Feng Qing Chen and the 4th Prince's relationship slowly develops and it is very enjoyable to watch. Feng Qing Chen awakes to find that the world after the time jump is completely different. The mages are being rounded up and imprisoned. She sets out to free them but gets mistaken as a spy by the 4th Prince. He apprehends her and she isn't afraid of him even though he's threatening her. 

All the while, Qing Chen saves him from poisoning, she ties her life to his, flirtatiously telling him... everything that happens to him, happens to her and vice versa. This leads to some interesting situations and brings them closer while trying to outwit the enemy, uncovering a conspiracy that leads to the power struggle in the palace and the dark mages. - Contributed by Judy.

Lost Love in Times Panda First Impressions

Volunteers Wanted: Just a shout out that we are on the lookout for volunteers to keep this section alive. Panda Impressions was initially meant to be a place to share first impressions or talk dramas, but there are too many undiscovered dramas that need some love. 

If you would like to share your thoughts on a particular drama (old or new, c-drama or k-drama), please send it to us via the 'contact us' form (rightmost link on the menu bar) and we'll use it in the next post if we can. Just a paragraph or two usually works, no word count required. Thank you!   

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  1. Of the modern dramas, Ode To Joy, Ode To Joy 2 and First Half Of My Life are my favorites.

  2. Those are my favourites so far too! All of them are mature, with wonderful scripts, cinematography and three dimensional characters. I've had major withdrawal from Ode to Joy 2 and The First Half of My Life. At the moment I'm watching Surgeons which is pretty good except for a few small flaws.

  3. The First Half of My Life is amazing!! I finished it about a month ago but I'm still having withdrawals and I rewatch some of my favorite parts all the time. Superb acting and awesome storyline.

    I totally agree with the other comments, The First Half of My Life, Ode to Joy, Ode to Joy 2 are my favorite modern dramas as well.

    on a side note, Lost Love in Times has become incredibly boring with mediocre acting so I've dropped it.

    1. Can totally relate! What are some of your favorite scenes from "First half of my life"?. The one where the mum goes into the office to confront Ling Ling, was such incredible acting!

  4. Does anyone have other modern drama's to recommend, I also love both Ode to Joy's and The first half life. Any other good modern ones???