After pulling numerous all-nighters to review study guides for the upcoming exams, I like to reward myself by pulling all-nighters (once again) to binge-watch my favorite film series. The majority of the films I watch are either Chinese, Korean, or Japanese (I haven’t found a good Thai series to get me started) — pretty much all the Asian dramas.
A show I highly recommend to anyone is the 50-episode Chinese drama “The Untamed.” I cannot use words to describe how much I love this drama — everything from the actors, costumes, CGIs, and even the soundtrack – everything is mesmerizing.
The enticing plot
Let me give you a brief synopsis to get you started. “The Untamed” is a 2019 fantasy/historical drama adapted from the novel “Mo Dao Zhu Shi”, a.k.a “The Founder of Demonic Cultivation”. The show follows our two main characters: Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian, who are cultivators from different clans that pair up together to solve a series of mysteries and murders linked to a tragic accident in the past.
As they go on with their adventure, they discover the evil mastermind from the Wen clan who is trying to destroy peace from the land because of his thirst for power. This story is indeed based on a romantic relationship between the two main characters, but due to the media censorship of LGBTQ+ portrayals in China, the drama simplified their relationship to be a “bromance” instead.
In the present time, Wei Wuxian is known to be a practitioner of the dark arts, who had already died 16 years ago and was deemed too evil to exist. He is then revived in the body of Mo Xuanyu, who wants him to get revenge on his enemies. And in the present time, Wei Wuxian (in the body of Mo Xuanyu) once again met Lan Wangji, the person whom he feels complicated about as they solve one mystery to the next to uncover the culprit.
How the show tugs on your heartstrings
I guess I truly understood the meaning of “soulmates” after I completed the drama. The way how the two have different personalities, with Wei Wuxian’s cheerful and mischievous charm and Lan Wangji’s righteous and strict demeanor, they fit together like yin and yang – aka “opposites attract”.
Wei Wuxian is what you would call an “anti-hero”. Even though he sacrificed so much for the good and the common people, he is labeled to be evil by those in power just because he practices the forbidden dark arts. After one misunderstanding leads to the next, the next thing you know the whole world is against Wei Wuxian and wants him to be dead.
Catch it on Netflix
This series is available on Netflix and YouTube with English subtitles, so you should check it out because it will not disappoint. If you’re interested in more, the original novel “The Founder of Demonic Cultivation” written by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu is also fully translated into English, so you can indulge yourself with a more in-depth approach to the two main characters’ relationship.
I feel like I can’t even do this series justice with my explanation, but I highly recommend you watch “The Untamed” — the characters and the plot will get you hooked.
Featured image from: Netflix