The Starry Love (2023) 星落凝成糖
Summary: Twin girls are born to the emperor of the human clan. The graceful older sister Qing Kui is betrothed to be the Empyrean consort while the feisty younger sister Ye Tan, who was ignored and abused her entire life, is betrothed to be the Void clan crown prince’s consort. Despite their different upbringing, the two sisters deeply care for one another.
On their wedding day, the devious Void clan 3rd prince Chao Feng swaps the two women resulting in Ye Tan going to the sky while Qing Kui ends up in the Void.
The drama follows as these two women try to adjust in their new environments while protecting each other and securing romance along the way.
Total Episode Count: 40
Initial Airing Date: Feb 16
*Note – most English translations are my own and may not exactly match Youku’s official translations
Initial Rating (12 ep in): 7.5/10 – An absolutely hilarious fantasy romance drama that is full of laugh out loud but also tender moments. The drama follows some familiar tropes while turning others on its head as the love and care between the two main sisters drive the story along. The relationship of their romantic counterparts are also extremely entertaining. Despite not being as tightly written as it could be with some less appealing side stories, it is ultimately a worthy drama to chase for those seeking a fun rom com! Oh and the main theme by Sa Ding Ding is an absolute banger of a song!
Final Rating: 7.2/10 – A solid fantasy drama with strong, healthy relationships throughout the drama in romantic, friendship and sibling terms that beat out relationships from similar themed fantasy dramas. Decent acting from the main cast also help keep viewers engaged. However, the drama, particularly the last 8 episodes suffered from an inconsistent tone and rushed storylines that detract from an otherwise solid fantasy drama.
离光夜昙 Li Guang Ye Tan – 李兰迪 Li Lan Di
A young feisty woman with a tragic past. Her birth was wrought with bad omens leading her father to ignore and punish her for her entire life. She knew she was going to marry into the Void and coupled with her unpleasant upbringing, caused her to become a fierce and feisty woman. She accidentally marries Shao Dian You Qin
少典有琴 Shao Dian You Qin – 陈星旭 Chen Xing Xu
2700 years old, the most powerful being in all the realms. He underwent intense solitary study for 1,500 years resulting in low social acumen when he returned to his family. He is betrothed to Qing Kui but ends up marrying Ye Tan. At first, he is utterly annoyed by Ye Tan’s antics but slowly warms up to this outlandish young woman.
离光青葵 Li Guang Qing Kui – 何宣林 He Xuan Lin
The kind, serene and graceful older sister to Ye Tan, Qing Kui is a skilled healer but relatively naive. She is brought to the Void clan where she awaits marrying the next crown prince. Qing Kui’s kind hearted nature helped save her sister’s life many times when they were young and helped ease her transition in the Void.
嘲风 Chao Feng – 陈牧弛 Chen Mu Chi
The unloved 3rd prince of the demon Chen Yuan 沉渊 clan, he schemes against his 2 older brothers for the throne. One of the pawns in his schemes is Qing Kui whom he swapped to marry to the Void rather to the Empyrean clan. However, his plans go slightly awry as he falls in love with Qing Kui.
No one thought this drama was going to be any good. The actors use their own voices and Chen Xing Xu (main male leads’) voice in particular was ridiculed because it was so deep and muddled. He also does not look as handsome as he did in Goodbye My Princess or 东宫. But, as more episodes came out, interest grew because after all, it is a fun drama.
Is it the best drama out there? No. Is it funny? Without a doubt. Will it make you smile? Absolutely. Some of the antics of this show are so ridiculous that you can’t help but be drawn into the story because it will make you feel happy. What’s better than a drama where the sisterhood is more important than romance? You’re not going to get extremely deep history or introspective narratives in this drama and that’s fine! The drama, at least for the first 12 episodes, knows what type of drama it is and doesn’t try to be more complicated than that. Though I will say, the characters are surprisingly multidimensional.
The overuse of average CGI and emptiness of the set do detract from making this as beautiful as other fantasy dramas. Some of the side stories/relationships are also not as interesting. If those lines were cut out, this might have been a shorter but more tightly written drama.
Overall though, I think it’s a fun romantic drama to chase.
Full review to come!