“Rebirth” Series Review (Ep.1 to 6)

It does say that it’s based on an unknown king in the past—so fascinating.

Although I’ve been seeing this series pop up on my feed quite frequently, it was not until a few weeks ago that I watched it on YouTube. It could’ve probably been the blurb describing the series—‘evil woman character’ alert!—that kept me away from it.

Rebirth (also referred to as Legend of Long Yang) was released as a full-length movie in 2017, and also as a series with 6 episodes, each episode being about 10-12 minutes long. The series belongs to the genre of historical fiction and time-slip fantasy and is inspired by the life of Lord Long Yang, who is speculated to be the lover of an unknown king during the Zhou dynasty.

The series opens with the crown prince Ji Yu (played by Chen Dou Qi) returning to the palace from battle, where he is attacked by assassins. Although a mere footman back then, Long Yang (Eric Wang) attempts to save his life, in vain. Just before he dies, he witnesses the assassination attempt on Ji Yu, after which he is transported back to a year before the attack, almost as if he is being given a second chance to save Ji Yu’s life. He meets Ji Yu again and is promoted to a personal guard—a decision in which a previous encounter during their childhood plays a major part. They grow closer and fall in love with each other, and spend almost all of their time together.

However, he encounters another problem at this juncture—that of Ji Yu’s fiancée, Princess Chang Qin (Huo Meng). On-screen, she’s your typical “evil woman in every BL” kind of character, but you realise why a lot of people are the way they are after you figure out the systems of oppression in place, I suppose. The same goes for the rebels and their reasons for wanting revenge, which forms the other part of the plot.

Ji Yu’s ever-growing fondness for Long Yang doesn’t sit well with Chang Qin, and she decides to get rid of Long Yang for good. There’s a lot that I don’t like in terms of the storyline, from the evil women getting in the way of Ji Yu and Long Yang’s relationship to how the series seemed more like disconnected snippets from their lives and didn’t seem cohesive enough to enjoy as a whole.

Despite all this, the series seems to end on a happier note than I’d expected (not spoiling anything here). There were some really beautiful moments, and the actors did a good job trying to make do with whatever time they had to build chemistry between the characters. The series, however, suffered a lot because of the production, a lot of the acting didn’t hit the mark (to put it lightly), and the length of the series certainly didn’t help the plot. I wish that there had been more time to explore the plot as well as the characters better.

Rating: 3.5/5

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