Hi everyone! Today we are reviewing Tian Wai Fei Xian or Seven of the Sky or Fairy from Wonderland! (there are many variations of the title) An ancient Chinese series that I happened to stumble upon after watching Hu Ge and Ariel Lin’s amazing chemistry on Legend of the Condor Shooting Heroes. I was like – What? It’s not their first time on screen together? They’ve been together before?!?! I have GOT to see this series!
First of all, guys, don’t be turned off by the word “fairy” in one of the title translations. Chinese immortals in folklore are not all high up gods and goddesses worshipped by mortals, some are guardians, warriors, scribes, sons and daughters of other higher deities, and some can be referred to as fairies if we’re using western folklore rhetoric. So I’m going to go with the term “immortals” to refer to the heavenly beings.
The story is about the seventh daughter of the Jade Emperor Xiao Qi (loosely translated as Little Seven) who’s little tricks and mischief results in her banishment from heaven. Only by doing one hundred good deeds on earth can she reclaim her immortal powers. She is sent to Dong Yong’s family to learn the values of mortals and the meaning of virtue. Through her time on earth, she comes to love the life of mortals, with its many difficulties, emotional struggles, and rewarding joy, much more than her never-ending life in heaven. However, it is forbidden for her to stay on earth longer than necessary, and with the friendships and relationships Xiao Qi develops with Dong Yong and others, she learns the value of love, the consequences of sacrifice and the inescapable will of Heaven.
Generally, dramas of the romantic comedy genre are not rated very high due to the social drama between characters that weighs down the speed of the story. However, this series not only focuses on Xiao Qi and Dong Yong’s story, but also on two-three other storylines, of Shangguan Hao Qi, a schoolmate of Dong Yong who eventually falls in love with a village girl named Li Sai Jin but due to an inescapable bond of fate with Xiang Xue Hai, is led down a different path. Also, underlying the main story is the tragedy of the relationship between the Xiao Qi’s second sister (who is also an immortal), and Dong Yong’s teacher that took place fifty year prior to the present story.
All of this above might sound like a cheesy rom-com drama that action, fantasy and suspense lovers should avoid like the plague, but what makes this series stand out from the rest is the themes of philosophy, life, pre-determinism, free will, camaraderie, sacrifice and love incorporated into the story. The emotionally charged storyline left me constantly in tears every few episodes. My heart kept breaking for the character’s ordeals and I felt as if I was there with them the entire time. This is largely due to the amazing writers as well as the outstanding performances of Hu ge and Ariel Lin. If you’re a fan of the couple as am I, or even of either actor or actress, give the series a try, if not for the heart wrenchingly beautiful story but for the thought provoking philosophy that comes up in the script and the series as a whole…! And of course, a series is the significantly more dramatic due to its musical accompaniment and score. Even if you don’t check out the series, check out the tracks; with a mixed palette of Chinese instruments and modern melodies, it tells a story all on its own and is worth a listen to. You will be blow away by the score itself.
At this point, you’re probably thinking “Cloudy, if I don’t speak or understand mandarin, how am I to even watch this?” Well, a great aspect of Chinese Entertainment Shanghai productions is its overwhelmingly positive response from a wide-ranging audience. Because of its popularity, Tian Wai Fei Xian has been fan-subbed and is available on quite a few forums online. Thanks for reading and hope you guys enjoyed this review!
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