Review: Love Like The Galaxy (Wu Lei, Zhao Lusi)

Love like the galaxy review

After waiting for a long time, I finally finished watching Love Like The Galaxy. I won’t bore you with the “I didn’t plan to watch it” story, this drama was on top of my list. This is a full review on Love Like The Galaxy starring Zhao Lusi and Wu Lei. Prepare something to drink or some snacks before we go any further because this is the longest review I’ve ever wrote. Don’t believe me? Let’s check it out.

First impressions.

First five episodes were a mouthful. The first episode was interesting, Ling Bu Yi (Wu Lei) came with a badass entrance and a terrifying face. As for Cheng Shaoshang( Zhao Lusi), I think we all know how she makes an entrance in a story… It’s always chaotic. Speaking of entrances, Cheng Shaoshang’s mother looked like a badass General whom I thought would be ‘tomboy-ish’ but then her character suddenly went soft. She is quite unpredictable, she doesn’t reveal a lot and she’s always plotting. The story was pacing fast, which I didn’t find annoying because I wanted to know what’s happening next.
The story itself is gold for now, Cheng Shaoshang has been abandoned by her parents from birth, she literally doesn’t know the warmth of a parent’s love. She was mistreated in her family and her aunt raised her to be “nothing” just to spite her parents. Her parents finally arrived home and things took an unexpected turn. First of all, the comedy was on point… the acting between all family members was entertaining, everyone in the Cheng mansion got sense of humor. I liked the comedy but they over used the “crying” part, everytime someone tries to make a comedic moment they’d cry.
Secondly, I loved how Cheng Shaoshang’s father connected with her even though they met for the first time, her face would brighten up everytime she sees her father. I may have not experienced what Cheng Shaoshang has experienced but I did feel for her when she kept telling her maid that she doesn’t have a family and she doesn’t have to be sad when her parents don’t show her love because she grew up without experiencing it. She is distant, she is always with her maid because her family members will end up pointing fingers at her.
She sort of reminds me of Li Yen from The Long Ballad when she said she envied Changge, just that Cheng Shaoshang isn’t a push over like her. I noticed that everytime the Cheng family welcomes or bids farewell to a guest, Cheng Shaoshang always stays on the same line as the family’s servants. I never saw her standing at the front with the rest of the family,
She’s always at the back and they always forget about her. Alright, if I don’t stop talking about her I might say something I’m not supposed to say. To conclude my first impressions, the first five episodes covered a lot and there were a couple of scandals and mysteries that might have opened up a can of worms.

Storyline.

They know what to say at the right time. Naturally each story has different sections like “First encounter”, “Mystery at the temple”, for an example but they aren’t well sequenced most of the time. In love like the galaxy, each plot makes you feel like you are watching a different season of it. Your focus is all on that plot and you automatically escape from reality and begin to think the current plot is the main storyline of the drama, that’s what I call impressive.
The plots were solid, exciting, jaw breaking… It’s definitely not what you can find in dramas of the same genre. If first five episodes are just about Cheng Shaoshang’s parents, they will only talk about them and make you believe that there won’t be any more plots in the future. While you still on that plot, they begin to mention a name out of nowhere and that’s when they move to the next plot. Originally, I thought the story will only revolve around Cheng Shaoshang and her family, and maybe bring the Emperor in the picture since he’s like a father figure to Ling Bu Yi because I saw lot of potential in that plot. I’m also glad that they didn’t hesitate to add more plots / sagas, they are the reason why people will still remember this drama in the future.

Chemistry.

When I talk about chemistry I’m not talking about romance only and I’m not certainly talking about a subject/course, never done that. I’m referring to the connection between characters when they interact with each other. Personally, Cheng Shaoshang and the Empress had the best chemistry compared to all the characters even Ling Bu Yi. The Empress is a friendly person, she never used her status to oppress other or for her own personal gains.
When she first met Cheng Shaoshang, I didn’t feel any deep connection between them but they suddenly grew on me. Their relationship kept growing with each episode and I honestly loved their dialogues. At first, it was just a “Empress and Ling Bu Yi’s fiance who needs training” and then moved to “Empress and Cheng Shaoshang”. Their relationship then became a mother and daughter relationship which was actually nice because Cheng Shaoshang was getting the love she always wanted.
The Empress started to confide in Shaoshang, she admired and envied her. The Empress respected Shaoshang and accepted her for who she was, the same thing applies to Shaoshang. I loved the way the Empress was patient with Shaoshang when she first entered the palace. She didn’t rush her to become something she isn’t. She just gave Shaoshang the freedom to do whatever she loves and used that to teach her. She never shouted at Shaoshang even when she made a mess, she would talk to her nicely and advise her. If Shaoshang could name her three people who are very important to her, the Empress would be the first one followed by Ling Bu Yi and her father.
Then there’s the chemistry between our leads. I would have started with them but the Empress and Shaoshang stole the spotlight. Ling Bu Yi and Cheng Shaoshang look good together, I don’t want to imagine them dating in reality but I seriously want to watch them in another drama. Maybe that time Wu Lei held a knife on Zhao Lusi on The Long Ballad, they plotting to be on love like the galaxy 😅. I just loved how their relationship started with a little bit of hatred and coincidental encounters.
Not to forget that Cheng Shaoshang publicly to everyone that Ling Buyi was in love with her and she didn’t even know who’s Ling Bu Yi. Their conversations were well scripted, they were relatable. Whenever they talk it feels like you are watching and listening to a conversation between real lovers. Did you all notice the eye contact? I bought a note book just to make notes on what Ling Bu Yi was doing, that’s what I call learning from the experts.
Shaoshang and her father hit it off from the beginning. They just clicked the moment they met and it felt like they known each other for years. Shaoshang’s father is just a carefree man who loves joking around with his family.

Characters.

Consort Yue.

Consort Yue is one of my favorite characters. She came on screen as a badass with a sharp tongue. Whenever she speaks, I pay attention to every word because I know someone is going to be her victim. She is one tough nut to crack and always tells the truth the way it is. If you want someone to tell you the truth without sugarcoating it, talk to Consort Yue.
One of my favorite scenes is when she attended the death anniversary of General Huo and started dissing everyone, the Emperor was also quite. She doesn’t take shots at anyone, her victims are those who deserves it. Her son (The third Prince), inherited lots of traits from her, they both don’t mind exposing your evil deeds even if you’re related to them by blood. I won’t talk a lot about the third Prince because I didn’t get to know him very well, he’s just one of those characters who will show up when it’s necessary.

The Emperor.

Now we are talking about the coolest Emperor ever! He was also an Emperor in A Dream of Splendor. The Emperor made the palace scenes more entertaining with his comedy. He’s a very nice Emperor who just wants peace in the world. He has a very big mouth that doesn’t shut up every time someone mentions Ling Bu Yi. Every dialogue that involved the Emperor was gold, the acting and the comedy made him one of my favorites.

Shaoshang.

With Shaoshang, we can talk the whole day. Favoritism aside, even if Zhao Lusi wasn’t in this drama I would still love this character of Shaoshang. She is basically the only one with a perfect character development. I went back to watch episode 1 of this drama and then I watched the last episode just to compare Shaoshang’s character in different timelines.
In the beginning, Shaoshang was just a naughty girl who was smart but she needed a lot of guidance, not miltary punishment! She slowly grew on me and my screen. I’m saying grew figuratively, not with the time skip or age but in terms of maturity. Everything she encountered pushed her to grow up on her own, she did have the Empress to guide her but she became who she is because of what she experienced. When they started saying Shaoshang is finally growing up, it wasn’t just for the story.
Shaoshang’s growth is visible to anyone who has eyes. There’s no need to wonder who’s Shaoshang, she is who she says she is and she never hides it from anyone. She treats you the same way you treat her. If you’re good to her, she will always look out for you. We saw how she used to defend the Empress even in a life threatening situation, that’s how she is. If you’re bad to her, she will not forgive you.
The best example I can find is her Grandma, she used to treat Shaoshang badly and that made Shaoshang hate her. Shaoshang once wanted to reconcile with her but she couldn’t face her. Shaoshang’s mother can also be a perfect example, Shaoshang wanted to leave her family from the first episode because she didn’t feel like one of them. Things got worse when her mother came and she had a knot in her heart. There are many scenes where Shaoshang showed little care to her mother. She even decided to spend five years with the Empress without visiting home. She just respected her mother because she gave birth to her and we can’t swipe mothers right?

Ling Bu Yi.

The ruthless General who is feared by all. Ling Bu Yi didn’t need any development, he was a fully manufactured product from the beginning. His encounter with Shaoshang may have soften him up just a little bit but they always reminded us that he can be ruthless if he wants to. Oh he’s a great storyteller, his story made the Cheng family follow his orders. His other story made the court shed tears and it I nearly cried too.

Shaoshang’s mother.

I’m really not convinced by the character of Cheng Shaoshang’s mother as her biological mother. She is more like a stepmother to her, I don’t care about the reason behind her treating Cheng Shaoshang the way she did… she just didn’t give out the motherly vibe.They did give out a hint that she does care about her daughter but they built her character as a villain with each episode, First of all, you left your kid alone with the evil aunt and grandma who doesn’t even give a d*mn about her.
You come back after 15 years to a daughter who doesn’t even know a mother’s love and you expect her to be the perfect daughter you always wanted? You haven’t witnessed what she went through while you were gone for 15 years. She really doesn’t have the right to criticize Cheng Shaoshang for being the way she was, it’s not her fault that her parents left her with useless family members. I can give her credit for trying to change Cheng Shaoshang into a fine lady but why they tough love?
Cheng Shaoshang grew up in a tough situation and when she finally thinks her mother’s return will change the situation, she gets the same treatment. She is already used to being punished so what’s the point of punishing her again? Turn her into a masochist? She even used miltary punishment on her own daughter! You can say what you want to say but nothing will make me see Cheng Shaoshang’s mother in a positive way. She should have treated her the same way she treated Yang Yang, Cheng Shaoshang always listens to those who are good to her.
It was clear that Cheng Shaoshang’s mother had a soft side judging from the way she treated Yang Yang but she still failed to treat her daughter well. The worst part is that Cheng Shaoshang’s mother never sat down with her daughter and asked her about her life, things like that just to bond with her and get to know her before she criticize her but No! All she does is make her daughter feel like no one in the world wants her! I was fine with everything until she trashed her own daughter in front of the officials and their families.
I know some of you might defend her and say she was protecting her or she wanted her daughter to copy Yang Yang but you’re wrong. The Cheng family had zero threats in the beginning until Ling Bu Yi stepped in but they were barely targeted, so what is she protecting her from? When Shaoshang’s mother returned, Yang Yang was already well mannered. Shaoshang’s mother just came in and reaped someone’s work and compares it to one of her own work. After Shaoshang finally learns from the Empress, her mother starts trying to get closer to her… reaping someone’s work again! Guys, I’m going too far with this and my chest is filled with anger, I’ll just pause this section here but I still don’t like Cheng Shaoshang’s mother! Shaoshang doesn’t even have a happy moment with her mother, it’s all sad moments whenever they do flashbacks.

Perfect ending.

This is how a story should end. Family members having fun together after all the troubles they encountered. Yes, there were some who were not fortunate enough to see their wish come true but you get a feeling of relief when you see their friends and family rejoicing. Such moments just makes you enter the fantasy world with the characters and be like “if she was here she would be proud of you”, that’s how effective the ending is. Before the last episode, there were some quick plots / segments which really made me get more and more interesting and not feel like I’m approaching the last episode. In most cases, I skim through the last episodes because they don’t have anything interesting to tell, they just add unnecessary scenes just to push it to the final episode but it was totally different with Love Like The Galaxy.

Conclusion.

One thing that makes me happy about this drama is how they avoided family feuds. Most historical dramas will have some royal family members fighting to the death for the throne. They could’ve made Shaoshang fight with Yang Yang for her mother’s love but they chose to be different. Love like the galaxy is one of the best historical dramas I’ve ever seen in recent years, it’s not like the usual dramas we see. It’s highly recommend, if you haven’t watched it then I’m advising you to do so. I’m going to give it a rating of 10/10, it’s a fantastic drama, awesome cast, action and storytelling. This review has been long, thank you for reading up to this point, next review will be longer… I’m kidding.

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