One and Only (2021) (CDrama)

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Profile:
Drama: One and Only
Original Network: iQiyi, Tencent Video
Aired: Aug 18, 2021 – Aug 27, 2021 (Wed, Thur, Fri)
Episodes: 24
Duration: 45 min.
Country: China

Main Cast:
Allen Ren – Zhousheng Chen
Bai Lu – Cui Shi Yi
Wang Xing Yue – Liu Zi Xing
Li Yi Ru – General Hong
Ethan Yao – Cui Feng
Su Meng Yun – Feng Qiao
Zhou Lu La – Xiao Yan
Liu Wei Wei – Cui Wen Jun

Review:
I heard a lot of great reviews about this drama last year that’s why I really put this on my watchlist. Finally had the time to watch in Dec 2021. This story started slow, I almost dropped at episode 6 but glad I listened and kept on watching. I did however, take several weeks until I was able to finish this. I couldn’t wait until ZSC and Shiyi’s romance starts (which was around episode 10) and I was hooked since then.

Zhousheng Chen and Shiyi’s forbidden love was heartbreaking! They never even held hands or kissed or confessed their love, but every gaze and every tear showed how much they long for each other and wished that things were different. I loved their “dates” and how they just connected so well and knew what each other wanted to do or say without telling the other person. One of my favorite episodes were during the time ZSC and Shiyi stayed in Long Kang Academy. It was there that they really started to feel more than just master-disciple. That scene when ZSC was kneading (?) her shoulders was filled with so much tension, and they weren’t even naked or hugging each other. Huan Yu (and later on Shiyi) asked ZSC if he ever regrets making his vow not to have a family. But he said every decision he made was worth it. Huhu. He is faithful, loyal, courageous, but also stubborn. I remember even when ZSC was set up, Feng Qiao cried to ZSC, “for once, just be selfish!”, but he still refused to yield.

Bailu also so pretty as Shiyi and when she cries, I can feel every emotion — when she hugged him so tightly because she was getting married to the Prince and knew she will never be with ZSC, when she found out his death, I was crying with her!!, and when she jumped to her own death 😭 OMG!!! I couldn’t stop crying in the last 3 episodes! 😭 Especially the final episode. I had to watch her final scene 3x and still I cried. I understand how she felt. What’s life without ZSC? Without freedom? Trapped inside the palace by a selfish prince? As long as she lived and refused the prince (now king) advances, her family will always be threatened. I think she took a courageous decision. In modern times, suicide is not the answer, but during the old times, someone always had to sacrifice themselves for the greater good and to achieve peace. Gah!! I just feel sad that Zhousheng Chen and Shiyi never saw each other for the last time before their deaths. ZSC’s final letter to Shiyi was the final thing that broke Shiyi’s spirit “Throughout my life, I never let down anyone except Shiyi.”

I wasn’t that interested in the politics, esp in the early parts where they introduced so many characters, I was getting confused who was who, who was siding with which family, and what they were fighting for. I hated the empress dowager and pushing her off the lake to drown wasn’t enough to punish her for all her crimes, including killing the emperor. She should have been beheaded or displayed in from of the capital. It was during these episodes that I started to like the politics side of the story, and this intensified and the story became thrilling starting from episode 16. But of course, there were too many collateral damage from the struggle for the throne. the emperor died, the grandmaster died, the loyal general was forced to betray the Nanchen army, 2 of Nanchen’s generals were injured, and 1 died.

One of the best things about this drama is the focus on the Junior Prince Nanchen army team. Let me break down the key characters in ZSC’s army:

I loved the story between Cui Feng and General Hong. It was also a forbidden love kind of romance. When Gen Hong cried when Cui Feng had to marry Princess Xinghua, when she learned that they got divorced, Cui Feng and Gen Hong were already planning to stay together. But then Cui Feng got kidnapped by Jin Rong’s army and she almost had to kill Cui Feng (as promised — good thing ZSC arrived in time to stop the arrow), and Cui Feng crying when General Hong was killed during a battle. It was funny though that there were so many troops attacking them but Cui Feng, Feng Qiao stopped to hug and cry over Gen Hong, while ZSC was left alone to fend off the attacks from all fronts.

Other characters I liked were Xiao Yan (the monk), although I didn’t like his interactions/semi flirtations with Feng Qiao. I find Feng Qiao annoying and dense sometimes – she couldn’t read the room and always looked clueless. I also loved Prince Pingqin, who was loyal to Western State and Shiyi, and was ready to take her away in the last episode. Huan Yu from the Long Kang Academy was a cutie with long straight flowing hair and small dimples. He tried so hard to play cupid between ZSC and Shiyi; and I also liked Gen Chou. You know what? I love everyone in the Western State. The whole Nanchen army were so loyal and dedicated to ZSC. It’s so unfair ZSC had to die of dismemberment 😵 when he was the only one who didn’t want to partake in the throne grabbing. Special mention to Yang Shao, who I thought was one of those annoying characters, but he redeemed himself later on by helping ZSC and Shiyi in their final moments.

The person i hated the most was Luo Zi Xing. First, he had this weird obsession with Shiyi just because he grew up being told he is arranged to be married to her. He doesn’t know her at all, but thinks he loves her and he felt unfair that the engagement was cancelled. I thought he treated her more like a possession than a human being. If he really loved her, he would have tried to understand her and not trap her into a marriage that made her unhappy. But in the end I dont feel bad at all or angry at him. Because of his hunger for power, he killed the Liu family (his relatives), Shiyi killed herself, he barely enjoyed being the king because he died young, sad and alone, and without an heir.

And now I’m off to watch the sequel Forever and Ever 🥰

Rating: 8.5/10

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