New Life Begins (2022) 卿卿日常
Summary: Set in a fictional world that is largely reminiscent of China, women from the 9 unique regions of the land are sent to Xin Chuan, the ruling region, to be selected as tribute for the princes of Xin Chuan. Li Wei tries desperately to avoid being selected but being the only tribute from Ji Chuan, she is matched to the unfavored 6th prince, Yin Zheng. This comedic story revolves around this unlikely pair as they grow together but is added unique color by the other princes and their respective wives.
Total Episode Count: 40
Initial Airing Date: Nov 10, 2022
Initial Rating: 6.9/10
New Life Begins aired with little fanfare but did quite well since, reaching over 9000 on the iQiyi popularity index in it’s first 28 hours of airing. My first thoughts from this drama is that this is a super easy and fun watch with many comedic moments that will have you burst out laughing, but the chemistry and acting of the main leads leave something to be desired.
The drama’s strength actually lies in the supporting cast as the main female lead, Li Wei, is thrown into the world of the royal family. Each of the princes of Xin Chuan is unique and many of them adorable, their wives even more so. The 5th prince is a weakling who is not a strong student nor a good fighter but married a powerful princess as wife. You can only imagine what that’s like. The 3rd prince loves to believe he is the most handsome man in the land when the truth is quite the contrary, and he has a slew of concubines that have a better relationship with each other than with him.
Because the wives or concubines of the princes come from different regions of the land, we do get to visit many different locales that are very reminiscent of different regions in China and so, it is a fun tour of the country as well. It’s almost like the Hunger Games where people are characterized by the district they come from except here, there’s no fight to the death. Because there are so many regions, the cast is quite large and you’ll recognize many of them from different dramas. Joy of Life pops into my mind immediately.
In a refreshing change, all women support each other and work together despite coming from different backgrounds and competing in class which I find very heartwarming. I’m almost more inclined to just watch a drama of their day to day rather than focus on the relationship of the main pair.
I will report back after the drama airs on final thoughts!
Yin Zheng, 6th prince 尹峥 – Bai Jing Ting 白敬亭
The 6th prince of Xin Chuan. He recognizes the challenges of gaining his father’s favor because he has so many brothers and is also wary of his 2nd brother’s, heir apparent, authority. Yet he wants to fight for more. Incredibly bright and accomplished, he brings Li Wei into his home to help secure his political future. But after spending time with Li Wei, he begins to recognize that he enjoys her company and the relationships she’s helped him build in his own family.
Yuan Ying 元英 – Liu Ling Zi 刘令姿
The business oriented princess from Jin Chuan 金川, Yuan Ying was ordered by her father to marry the 6th prince as his main wife. Yet she has no affection towards him. Instead, she helps train Li Wei to become an adequate partner to Yin Zheng and she helps Yin Zheng manage the household. She has high ambitions that are outside of household.
Hao Jia, 郝葭 – Chen Xiao Yun 陈小纭
Childhood friend of Li Wei. Hao Jia comes from Yan Chuan 胭川 and becomes the concubine of the 2nd Prince. Though she is learned in various arts and crafts, her family upbringing was challenging which turned her into someone who views marriage as a job. While she thought she was marrying someone who can take care of her, the reality is far from imagined.
Zhao Fang Ru 赵芳如 – Chen Zi Han 陈紫函
Wife of the 2nd prince, Zhao Fang Ru is outwardly cold but at her core a good person. She hails from Dai Chuan 黛川 and her family owns a number of mines。 This monetary strength made her a perfect match for the ambitious and conniving 2nd prince.
Yin Song 尹嵩, Second Prince – Zhang Xiao Chen 张晓晨
The son of the main wife, the 2nd prince is an abusive husband and ruthless brother. He treats his wife and concubine as objects and restricts them from partaking in many activities. He is also terrified that one of his brothers will impact his current political standing and tries to destroy all obstacles in his path.
Shang Guan Jing, 上官婧 – Fan Shuai Qi 范帅琦
The sister of the current ruler of Dan Chuan 丹川, Shang Guan Jing is an independent and martial arts oriented woman. She marries the 5th prince and becomes fast friends with Li Wei. She enjoys practicing martial arts and caring for her weapons while not caring much for academics. Shang Guan Jing tries her best to adjust to life in Xin Chuan despite coming from a place where women have more power than men whereas Xin Chuan is the opposite.
Yin Qi, 5th Prince 尹岐 – Chang Long 昌隆
Physically weak and not a great student, the 5th prince makes up for these weaknesses by being a supportive brother to the 6th prince and an adoring partner to his wife Shang Guan Jing. He is without a doubt the comedic relief of the cast.
Dong Hai Tang 董海棠- Liu Meng Meng 刘萌萌
The kind hearted wife of the 3rd prince, Hai Tang hails from Cang Chuan 苍川. She is left to take care of the 16 women her husband roped into their household but instead of being antagonistic, she creates a friendly environment with all of the concubines because they all dislike the 3rd prince and how he treats women.
Yin An, 3rd Prince 尹岸 – Liu Guan Lin 刘冠麟
An extremely pompous man with a wife and 16 concubines whom he named after Chinese solar terms. Problem is, apart from his wife, he cannot tell his concubines apart. He loves to consider himself one of the handsomest men in all of Xin Chuan and believes all of his actions are correct.