The Rise of the Phoenixes

I´m currently enraptured by Chinese Television drama. The last being The Rise of the Phoenixes on Netflix. It has more kung fu and battle sequences than Yanxi Palace or Empresses of the Palace but the clothes and colour combinations are even more beautiful, the images better designed. It´s very melodramatic. People love but no one will will let them be and the love is impossible to begin with due to family, class, obligations. Letters are carried back and forth, sometimes wrapped up in little wax balls and hidden in the immense nests that are part of the hairdos. Everyone is drop dead gorgeous, except some of the bad guys. Life is a violent chess game with people used as pawns, sometimes knowingly. No one is happy but all is beautiful. It´s all very romantic, very sexy even, but the characters barely touch throughout the whole show. It´s blissful viewing.

José Arroyo

PS The show has a really interesting narrative device, where little capsule summaries are offered throughout when characters are reflecting on current dilemmas (as a way of reminding the audience how they got there all those episodes ago). Also, It’s a restful show. The viewer can just sink into it. And it´s made up of so many episodes that  for weeks on end you won´t need to worry about finding anything else when you´re too tired to see anything that actively requires thinking

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