A Merman and a Mannequin Gets Me Back into C-dramas Thanks to The Blue Whisper and Allen Ren’s Perpetual Gaze

It’s been FOREVER since I wrote about C-dramas which equates to how long it’s been since I watched one. When I do write about C-dramas its because one has made the broader news for good or bad reasons but I really haven’t seen anything that has drawn me to click on more than one episode. So I am shocked that what looked like the cheesiest story with a male lead I’ve never been inclined to check out and a female lead I have never warmed up to actually made me marathon this sucker for the last week. I am talking about you The Blue Whisper, argh this is so much crack mixed with cringe I cannot even recommend but must explain why I watched. The drama is adapted from a fantasy novel titled Yi Jiao Ji (驭鲛记 Taming the Mer-person) but has two different drama titles for the two halves of the drama that drew me in initially. The first half is titled Yu Jun Chu Xiang Si (與君初相識 First Time Meeting the Gentleman) and the second half is titled Qia Si Gu Ren Gui (恰似故人歸 Like a Familiar Person Returning). It’s so lyrical and I was curious but the romance between a demon tamer and a mer-man just didn’t appeal to me, and neither did Dilraba Dilmarut who emotes as much as a white wall or Allen Ren who I have never seen in anything but just did not appeal to me. But towards the end of its first half run I was seeing tons of chatter about it so I clicked on the last episode of the first half and was hooked because OMG angry, power, hot as flames Allen Ren as Chang Yi the mer-man turned ruler of the North was NNNNGGGGG. He was so mad at Dilraba and I didn’t know why but he was so hot being mad I had to keep watching. And this is how I ended up watching a kinda crappy drama for a really hot mer-man and then decided to watch a really good drama after.

So The Blue Whisper as a mermaid/merman themed fantasy C-drama is nowhere near as bad as the other recent one Mirror: Twin Cities. But the fantasy building is pretty flimsy here and anytime there is fantasy world building I compare it to the perfect Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles Peach Blossoms, and here it’s like a 5/10. The only 10/10 is Allen Ren as Chang Yi, the mer-man captured by an evil goddess and falls for the demon tamer girl tasked to bring him to heel. Unfortunately Dilraba continues to be completely devoid of any emotion no matter how hard she tries, she’s actually acting and I can see effort and sincerity but she radiates and exudes blankness in emotion. And it’s hilarious (kinda) because Allen Ren (who is a new bae of mine thanks to this performance) as Chang Yi is shooting fucking laser beams of rage, intensity, interest, concern, affection, love, betrayal, anger, and conflicted everything towards Dilraba’s character Ji Yun He and she’s just……there. I’ve seen this playbook a few times before, where one actor/actress is carrying the entirety of the world’s emotional load in this story and doing it so well I can’t look away and the object of his/her affection is just there to absorb the waves and waves of emotion like a black hole. Anyways, this drama as a whole is not the stupidest story and has decent supporting characters (both performance and the writing) so if you’re bored it’s not a total waste of time and definitely worth it if you want to see Allen Ren burn up your screen especially when his character thinks Dilraba betrayed him and wants to lock her up forever. I wish I can explain but watching it works and thinking about it doesn’t haha.


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A Merman and a Mannequin Gets Me Back into C-dramas Thanks to The Blue Whisper and Allen Ren’s Perpetual Gaze — 63 Comments

  1. Pingback: A Merman and a Mannequin Gets Me Back into C-dramas Thanks to The Blue Whisper and Allen Ren’s Perpetual Gaze - Kpopnchill - All About K-pop News

  2. Ahh, Miss Koala, you should watch One and Only (周生如故)! It’s a beautiful masterpiece. I wasn’t a huge fan of Allen Ren until after I watched it, and I think he shines in serious roles (he plays a patriotic general in the show). Now I have the biggest hots for him, swoon! Forewarning, though, the show gave me near BBJX level sadness toward the end, but it’s worth it.

    • Totally agree on this. One and Only is one of the best C-dramas of last year. It’s also a bonus that he sang one of the OSTs – 如一。 Allen dances really well too. You can pick up one of his dancing competition reality show on 新舞林大会!

  3. Finally a C – drama post! I’ve been waiting forever for some good recommendations! Agreed about Dilraba even though I absolutely adore her and find her stunning. Haven’t seen Allen Ren in anything yet but speaking of C-dramas it nice to see Netflix picking up a lot of good ones off late. Find Yourself was absolutely amazing and Unrequited Love is good too. Really hits you in the feels and the acting is pretty good. Would also recommend Legally Romance and Shining For One Thing. I think C-dramas have nailed the time travel romance genre. They know how to keep the world building consistent until the end. Another brilliant drama is the gender swap Becoming You with the most unexpected twist at the end. Overall I have to say I’m enjoying C-dramas more than K-dramas these days and it’s nice to see their popularity rising worldwide.

  4. If you want a stupid drama with great acting go for Fall in Love (2021). The male lead emotes like crazy and it’s basically his one man show but the female lead is such a badass Cinderella you can’t help but love her. The rest is hilariously low budget but still fun to watch and laugh at.

    • Here here! This show is such crack. It dragged a bit (or more) in the middle but the FL was so savvy and confident and the ML was the morally gray smoulderfest that I’m seeking as a viewer. ML from Goodbye My Princess playing less of a total bastard.

      The blah title had me avoiding this drama for months- my mistake!

    • I have not watched a lot of C dramas to compare, but this one really caught my eye because of the fabulous ML. Ends up loving this drama, there are some silly comedic, idol-drama-ish moments, but it has a solid overaching plot and subplots, romance and bromance, family vs patriotic love etc.

      “Fall In Love” is a silly title to market it as a romance drama.

      ML name is Oliver Chen, and from MyDramaList he has a lot of upcoming dramas, so I’m eagerly waiting for them.

    • Yes for FIL! Dumbest drama title and the only time I’ve seen rich people repeat the same outfit and hairstyle 10 times at least but still so good! The ML is insanely talented but I ended up loving the FL as well. Mostly it’s their chemistry that sold me! The plot is solid and has a clear goal but the execution is laughable especially the action scenes had me ROFLing! Would recommend this 100% to anyone looking for a gateway drama!

      • Thanks for everyone who recommended this drama. I ended up watching it. Still 15 episodes to go but i m loving everything abt it. Finally found a drama that satisfies all my cravings, from good looking actors, their chemistry , talented cast to interesting story.

  5. Hello! I’m glad to read your post as I wait for the subs to kick in for this series. If you or anyone could tell me where one can watch this with subs, that’d be great!
    Also, i actually started watching this c-drama because of Diliraba and haven’t caught any of Allen Rem’s previous works.. but after reading your testimony to his acting in this, I look forward to resuming this show with renewed interest.
    Thank you!

  6. I became a HUGE fan of Allen Ren after watching Under The Power. Wasn’t really feeling him but his acting and looks eventually won me over. He is soooo handsome! I second the person who said you should watch One and Only! Allen and Bai Lu’s chemistry is amazing!

    • I like that drama with Bai Lu but I love more the mod-version Forever and Ever.

      Blue Wispher is good. I watched the three eps of 1st part yet.

      Who Rules The World rules my heart. It is a quality drama, fast paced and the flow is the spectacular plus the leads are both beautiful. It is really enjoying to watch drama with everything in it.

  7. Lol that comment about Dilireba. Couldn’t agree more. I never understand why she’s so popular. If you think about it, Yang Mi is a bit like that too. I could never feel much emotions in her acting but she’s still better than Dilireba which says something.

    • I guess u are just a bloody hater of dilreba she is popular cause she can act well and trust me she has lot international fans for her acting and I am one so plz u focus on someone u like rather than dilreba. Cause u can only chatter can never reach where dilreba is

  8. Please do watch One and Only, i never knew who Ren Jialun is before, but after accidentaly starting to watch that drama, it is safe to say that i’m in love with him. Like wow this guy is just wow. Tbh i looovveee One and Only. As for the continuation, Forever and Ever is just so so? I mean i like it because it has Ren Jialun in it and he’s cute, and the drama is super sweet, but that’s about it. One and Only is the real masterpiece.

  9. If you want to compliment a c-drama and an actor, that’s perfectly fine. And i fully agree, Ren Jialun’s acting here is probably one of his best works.

    But that doesn’t mean you can slander Dilireba too. You may not remember when she started off small and unknown, so it may seem like she just suddenly and undeservingly blew up, but from then on, it wasn’t because of pure luck that she managed to climb so high in the acting industry — she puts in her utmost effort in every single piece of her work, and even after she became so popular, she never once arrogantly flaunted her fame. Instead, she’s sincere and humble and fun to work with (as you can see from the Behind-The-Scenes clips). In one of her interviews, she even says that although she doesn’t have the time to watch her own shows, she reads comments about it — especially bad ones, then takes note of the areas people find her lacking in, and continuously works on improving.

    People aren’t perfect, and so isn’t she, but the reason why she has won over so many fans, is not because she’s a “goddess” or anything, it’s because of her hardwork and humble character — how she doesn’t take for granted what she has achieved and works constantly to live up to her fan’s hopes and expectations.

    And this doesn’t only apply to Dilireba, there are many other singers/actors who are hated on by people although they have worked so hard to pull themselves up — e.g. Yangmi(as someone else mentioned in another comment), Jennie (from Blackpink), etc.

    So sometimes all of us just have to be more compassionate to others, because fame might seem like a good thing and everything in a celebrity’s life might seem perfect, but you never know the struggles they have gone through to get to where they are today.

    And if you look at this matter in the opposite perspective — think about any rising artists who you see isn’t perfect but has potential, wouldn’t you want to give them more opportunities and chances to improve instead of cutting them down as soon as they try?

    (Sorry for the long comment, but it was necessary)

    • Why the hate with Yang Mi? I watched Ten Miles Peach Blossom and she acted 4 different personalities there and there was actually a difference in the aura of all 4 – the timid human, the mischievous (but never as self-assured as her older version) disciple, the arrogant goddess and the crazy villain changing into her face.

      I can’t remember her crying there though.

  10. most beautiful drama i have ever watch the blue whishper amazing drama .evry one have their own view ..some people have brain problam so they dont get real stpry line ..if you hate this much stop watching naa ..but this person is so much intersting in this drama that why he write long note for it ?????????????????? toxic jealous people

  11. Interesting post, that’s why people always say acting is just a person’s own perspective.
    On another Chinese and Asian forum, people praise for Dilireba acting and criticize Allen Ren acting as his acting is just one dimension in every drama…

    • That’s the general consensus among people who watched the drama as well, which is why I was completely taken aback at this post. It is very contrary to the comments that I’m reading from both international and domestic forums as well as my personal conclusion.

    • @Ta. A lot of it has to do with the person. If you like the face you look at, whatever emotions he/she emotes, it resonates. If you don’t, it doesn’t. I adore Dilraba, but I don’t think she can emote all emotions well. Except, it’s not to the extent that Koalas says. I like Allen, but I don’t think he emotes emotions to the extent people give him praise for. Like when he acts with Seven Tan in Under the Power, everyone raves about his acting in the show; however, to me Seven Tan carried that show. How can an actress acts cute, sly, and cunning in such a way she’s not annoying at all! While Allen receives a lot of attention from that show, I almost feel like people over praise him for the success of that show and under credit Seven. Lol, anyway, I don’t really care to follow him as much, since to me he acts sort of “bleh”, but everyone says his eyes emote emotions so much. I stare at it, I watch him, but I just kind of think it’s same as other good actors/actress’ eyes. there’s nothing that really sets him apart, besides from looking vulnerable…

      I haven’t watched Blue Whisper tho, because I want to wait for it to complete. lol. Crack is good all at once, after all.

  12. I watched ” the one and only ” and ” forever and ever ” purely for thie actors beautiful eyes and acting.

    I’ve been in Cdramas the last 6 months because somehow Kdramas were having some crappy dramas. And its easy to watch Cdramas.

    However the beautiful doll in this 2 dramas did the ” you are my glory ” which I accidentally caught last year. My God the combination of her and Yang Yang sealed the deal.

    But seriously and honestly, so many CDramas end so badly I can only recommend a few to anyone. And so much PS galore I usually end up being turned off. However Allen Ren can act so well.

    • That is what I wanted to say, the collaboration of Yang2 and Reba in You are My Glory is very pronounced. They are both good looking and the plot is so brilliant. Hence it topped last year web dramas in terms of views. Maybe it is also depends in the plot the two artists are doing .YAMG both have these – great plot, excellent artists. And being both the eye candies, that is surely surely made the viewers satisfied.

  13. Please watch “Go Ahead” (aka 以家人之名).
    It won a prize at Seoul International Award 2021, got me curious, looked it up and my oh my, so glad I did. Now I’m impressed with a C-drama!!!
    Been recommending to people and everyone thinks it’s fantastic.

  14. Youku sucks at not preparing English subs for international audiences. That said, the book is good and I get why Dilraba and Allen Ren was cast. Dilraba is a good actress and I love her dramas (Pretty Li Hui Zhen, You Are My Glory, The Long Ballad). She’s not emotionless as you’ve described her. Yunhe’s character fits Dilraba. I hate the changes in the show. It would’ve been better if they stuck to the book more but it’s better than nothing I guess.

    • I guess Tencent fares better in the subs department with WeTV providing english subs, they even have thai, indonesian and korean. Many great dramas there too, I’m particularly impressed with the Candle in the Tomb series.

      • Yup! My top 3 dramas last year were all on WeTV (though some aren’t tencent productions):
        1. Joy of Life (2019)(court politics/scifi)
        2. You Are My Glory (romance) [love the OST and BGM which I hope they also release)
        3. Go Ahead (2020)(family drama) [this one got me started watching mostly cdramas]

        A Virtual Voyage has subbed The Blue Whisper up to episode 17. They’ll stop subbing once Youku provides the official subs.

    • Youku is the most lazy in doing subs. I am so worried for Lighter and the Princess Gown of Chen Feiyu because it will be released by Youku. ?

    • I agree that the book is better. The book Yunhe appears stronger and Changyu less clingy and prouder in character. The show changes many areas that drags the story and makes the drama too sentimental by milking the interactions of Changyi and Yunhe.The book story in how Changyi finally found out who Ah Ji is at the ice wall, volcano scene- and how conflicted he was when he had to redirect the lava towards the frozen lake where dead Yunhe was- were more touching. Wish they had followed the book. Agreed Allen Ren carried the show.

  15. AH… Allen Ren. Trust his acting. He will pull you in. He can ACTUALLY ACT!

    He is one of those few actors in Cdrama land, who actually “sell” himself through good acting and sincerity. Not through cultivating fangirls with his “face” or sweet words.

  16. I also discovered the actor in “one and only” and bawled my eyes out at the end of it. He’s such a charismatic actor and really excels in serious roles when he had to convey tons of things with those smoldering eyes! I’m also enjoying cdramas nowadays and I’m currently head over heels in love with “who rules the world”! It’s so refreshing with both fml and ml being equals and badass, both characters and story is all really good so far so crossing my fingers it stays this way!

  17. I only know a big hooha this drama had was the 2nd or 3rd male lead being too ug-ly for ancient-idol (古偶) dramas, apparently there was a kissing scene which made c-netz want to buy a new pair of eyes which haven’t seen it lol.

  18. I like Reba but I don’t love her. She is beautiful but I am not into her acting. Whereas I love Allen in Under your Power. I don’t watch one and only because I don’t find a good review about it. Maybe I should check it out.

    Totally out of topic, aren’t you gonna write about Cdrama Who rules the world ??
    I am crazy about it now

  19. Personally i have more problems with Changyi character and the actor acting in certain scenes. As when Yunhe was patting his head, soothing him in her last moment, made me cry so hard, yet i couldn’t get that emotion from the Changyi. It was weird, he’s supposed to be the most hurt seeing her dying in his arms but..aish. Even I felt more from Luoluo’s pain when she pushed and yelled at him, even that was much more impactful. Honestly i felt the second male lead/senior acting much more, even his chemistry with Yunhe was more appealing. All in all i still enjoyed the drama, despite the 2nd part little less cause i just didn’t really feel the otp romance and i didn’t quiet like the tropes they used. As for Dilireba, Imo she really did a good job in portraying the strong and empathetic Yunhe and her yearn for freedom more than everything really touched me. Her action scenes are very well done too. She’s like one of few i think of as strong, powerful female lead in these types of drama. And for me when an actor could make me cry like that, she/he already succeeded. I’ve only watched ‘Long ballad’, ‘you are my glory’ and i really liked how she could bring charm to each character therefore make them unique. I’m looking forwards to her future projects and what she’ll offer in her next role.

  20. I disagree. Allen Ren is the only black hole in this drama and this is widely agreed among viewers as well. I don’t know how you came to the conclusion that he’s carrying the show. Ridiculous. I would say that he’s the one dragging the cast.

  21. There is a lot of criticism on Allen Ren for not using his own voice, and using voice-dubbers. His real voice has received criticism too. There has been criticism over the body muscle suit which he had worn in The Blue Whisper. But I must say he does have expressive eyes.

    If anyone is looking for another crack Chinese drama – Who Rules the World is pretty good. Just Yang Yang is enough.

    • Yes, I has been waiting for Blue Whisper for month, but apparently when it is out, I enjoy Who Rules the world more hehehe…
      Both the leading man make me swoon
      But I think I prefer wuxia more that xianxia, and for me the chemistry of Yang Yang and ZLS make my heart more fluttering.
      Agree with you Darren, watching Yang Yang with flowing long hair style is enough hahahaha

      • I really have fun watching WRTW of Yang and Zhao Luzi. Their combination is like the charm of combination of You are My Glory. I never skipped a scene while watching it while BW for me is quite good but the subbing sucks esp with Allen Ren. Reba is a great actress I love her and always rooting for her. Bit which I preferred to watch – Who Rules The World. I thought I would never enjoy a wuxia drama but their fighting scenes are all excellent esp with the two leads.

  22. Acting is subjective and it’s ok if you don’t like someone’s way of acting since everyone has different taste. But just because you don’t like her, it doesn’t mean she’s a bad actress. I mean, if she’s really that bad in the drama, why would other reviewers be praising her acting as Ji Yunhe?

  23. Yes, my turn in point to Allen Ren is One and Only..After watching that drama, I begin searching his older drama
    That’s why I am waiting for Blue Whisper which I understand is a big budget drama with number one leading actress in China right now..Not a fans of Dilireba, bu I admit that she is really popular..
    The story is cheesy, but I like it hehehe, I even read the English version of the novel when the drama still in shooting process

  24. well i read what you wrote and all the comments and i was like did they watch the blue whisper or talking about another drama? for me the blue whisper is one of the best Cdramas, beside of international viewers, tbw got many attentions in china, it is many rankings number 1… about Dilraba Dilmurat acting, gosh she is so good in this, her acting is improved a lot, she did so well as Yunhe!

  25. Jealous of dilreba popularity as she’s a popular even internationally. God bless u. Sending u mental peace

  26. I really like Dilraba and Ren JiaLun so I checked it out and I’m really loving the OST.
    Ren JiaLun is like Luo Yunxi to me; a weakness where I check out their dramas regardless of how bad the dramas are…and there have been quite a few doozies.

    I think Dilraba is a lot like Shin Se Kyung. While Shin Se Kyung does a good job in sageuks but struggles with modern dramas, Dilraba is the opposite. I think she does really well in modern dramas and has a lot better chemistry in modern dramas (like with Yang Yang and Johnny Huang). But her historical/xianxia dramas are usually lacking in romantic chemistry (ex: Long Ballad) and her acting is just so-so.

  27. Has anyone watched the ending yet? I have no words how much I disliked it. Okay, so I watched it raw since I read the book, and I might change my mind once subs are out. But still, what the heck was that??? Couldn’t they have followed the source material for that HEA? Ugh.

  28. Wow so much hate for DiliReba.. While all actors n actreses, producers, crews and directors loves her hardwork, attitude n her works, here a nobody ranting how good the actor n how bad the actress. Let me have a watch at how good your acting.. But you’re probably too ugly with no talent to even have a tiktok acc lol. How was it reading the hate for your work? For me, n billions of DiliReba n blue whisper’s fans this series is so much better than anything i’ve ever watched before. I also love The Long Ballad where Reba is also the lead actress. I cried so many times watching that drama. Lastly i seriously regret reading your review. One of the most shallow n biased piece of junk.

  29. It is pretty obvious to me, that, to hold to the philosophy of Ying an Yang, the demon girl must held the contenance, where the merman explodes.
    So both character play a double role, which makes the living in both areas possible and plausible. To look at it, it seems to me the world we live in.
    The series is highly philosophical as many of chinese dramas.
    I like to watch them especially in their language, with subtitles.
    I´m looking forward to see it on Netflix.

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