[ T ] I did not expect to like Light The Night 華燈初上 on Netflix but I have to say it was really enjoyable.
It starts with a body being found in a forest but you won’t know who’s the victim until the very last episode. As for the killer/s, the series introduces each suspect slowly and let you be your own Sherlock.
Tales about ladies of the night, their love interests and cops are a dime a dozen. Yet, Light The Night manages to make me feel for the characters.
I won’t say the acting is great and script obviously has holes. In general, Taiwanese dramas, like Japanese dramas, still gravitate toward overacting and mixed genre.
I heard of Ruby Lin 林心如 but have never watched anything by her until now. She is a proof that some women can get more and more attractive as they age. Enough to say that if she is a real-life mamasan, I know where I will be every night.
As typical as it sounds, Lin is 100% convincing as someone with stories 有故事的人. To be fair, her sister-in-crime, Cheryl Yang 楊謹華, puts in a good shift too.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for their love interest Chiang Han, played by a wooden Rhydian Vaughan. It does make me wonder too why the bad/wrong guy always ‘wins’.
Lin is also credited as one of the producers in this series and I’m waiting eagerly for season 2 and 3 to be released.
Just like season 2 of Light The Night 華燈初上 will not reveal the murderer (sorry for the non-spoiler spoiler alert) of Sue Mama, and that the mystery will continue into season 3 (but of course), I am also puzzled as to how season 2 can be so much better than season 1.
Slowly but surely, we are getting closer to the ‘truths’ although this series seems determined to remind us that there is no such thing.
In season 2, each of the possible murderers gets a chance to tell his story and each of them seems equally guilty and at the same time innocent.
But more important is the overarching theme that loving someone and having pity are two different deals. In wanting to protect a loved one, do we not often accidentally become a show-off?
Is Rose Mama a show-off? Does she look after Sue because she can or because it makes her look superior?
And if you are at the receiving end of kindness (presumably sincere), do you have the right to be resentful?
In my quick review of season 1, I pretty much said that all the men in the show are insipid. I don’t think I can say the same for season 2.
Jiang Han, the I-still-don’t-know-why-women-fight-over-him writer), suddenly comes alive. In the episode where he is explaining the art of acting to the young Zhi-Wei and his friends, he doesn’t just look like he knows what he is talking, he already believes that he can act. Therefore he acts like a real actor.
The new addition of Sugar-man aka Ms Baby certainly adds a bit of oo-la-la although I hope there better be more than just a need to add an alternative to the already-good show.
Also coming alive in season 2 is Detective Pan who we already know has more than a criminal interest in Rose Mama.
As per the end of season 1, I am now eagerly waiting for 3. Aren’t we all?