Modern Romance C-drama Lighter and Princess with Chen Fei Yu and Zhang Jing Yi Wraps Solid Run with 7.3 Ratings on Douban

When I love or hate a drama it’s soooooo much easier to write about it. The words just come pouring out because my FEELS are so vivid either way, but for recently wrapped modern C-drama Lighter and Princess I’m having a tough time writing about it but still think the drama is worth devoting a post to. Starring Chen Fei Yu (Arthur Chen) and Zhang Jing Yi, the drama is adapted from a popular romance novel and the two leads are age appropriately cast and visually a near perfect coupling onscreen. She’s an idealistically grounded but obstinately stubborn girl with eyes only for him and he’s a tightly wound coding genius who somewhere learned how to kiss like a bandit. I watched 90% of the drama, skipped the inevitable separation and betrayal by others angst because fast-forwarding to the present was a better use of my time. The drama is actually good, decently directed, minimal plot stupidity and the side characters are nicely used to advance the plot as the requisite friend/rival/enemy/coworker roles.

The chemistry between the leads was there, some scenes more than others, but the drama felt like one long detour that didn’t need to happen for two people who clearly want each other then and now. They could have battled the evil betraying classmate together even in the present time and got the same conclusion, so the staying apart ultimately felt superfluous which lessened the final catharsis when they do get back together. But the ending was nicely done as some issues are not resolved but everyone moves on. I wanted to watch the drama to see what all the hype around Zhang Jing Yi was as one of the shining stars of the new gen and she’s really good but has room to improve, her limitation being her dialogue reading is a bit muted and she stares too much in scenes that don’t need it. Chen Fei Yu was the surprise for me, he’s really improved (and matured nicely from the really green youth he was in Ever Night) and whatever acting room to grow he has to do is buttressed by his natural onscreen star charisma.


Modern Romance C-drama Lighter and Princess with Chen Fei Yu and Zhang Jing Yi Wraps Solid Run with 7.3 Ratings on Douban — 47 Comments

  1. This drama was a flop. It didn’t even reach 2 on Datawin. Not that it matters. Daddy will keep buying roles for him. Or he will cast him in his own movies. After all, we already know he is the male lead in his daddy’s next one. I would ask how either one of them isn’t embarrassed by now but got to have some morals for that. And whoever frequents Chinese socials knows plenty about his father’s.

      • He is Chen Kaige’s son. Daddy has been trying really, really hard to make him happen. Take this Weibo visual conference.

        He gets a seat next to Xiao Zhan which is absolutely impossible due to his lack of both fame and works unless daddy opened up his purse, then he spends the night buying black drafts how hotter he is than XZ, a better actor, better everything. This is linking, a well known tactics in Cent.

        It didn’t work for him because even Wang HD was more popular on the night, never mind XZ who is completely out of his league but the point is he tried, with underhanded tactics. His fans here needn’t worry though.

        Daddy already cast him in his next big film and is currently shopping around for a big acting name to carry his kid to stardom. Got to love nepotism.

      • @Laura I have no clue what hate you have for this boy and I have absolutely no clue who is father is but with those visuals alone I’d watch him watch paint dry. He’s like Song Kang and Cha Eun Woo. So gorgeous to look at that his acting skills make zero difference to me. As long as he isn’t a rapist or sexual predator I’d be obsessed with him for just being handsome. Being good looking is good enough you don’t have to be super talented also.

    • chen feiyu has topped datawin several times and even broke past 9 points. only other actors who have broken 9 are heavy hitters like xiao zhan, wu lei, yang yang, etc. the drama is a sleeper hit, far from a flop.

      • Drama didn’t reach 2 on Datawin. Sit down.

        If you can’t reach measly 2 then it’s a joke. BJT’s new drama broke 2 and it started airing after LAP. There is no such thing as a sleeper hit. You fans might as well say that in an alternate reality it is a hit.

        In China, anything below 2, flop. Past 3, a small explosion = a small hit. 4, a big hit. This is why dramas like Crime Crackdown last year were considered successful, it got just over 3.

        Platforms didn’t decide to hide views or introduce nebulous heat indexes for no reason. It’s obfuscation of facts. Datawin even called out Tencent this summer for LLG manipulation. Anyway, this is not any kind of a hit. Don’t cry. Daddy will try again and again.

      • @Laura i don’t need to address anything when you’ve already discredited yourself. unclench a bit and stop acting like these celebrities spat on your face.

      • @Laura i stand corrected but i still love the drama, and appreciate the actors. you can keep crying nepotism i guess. it’s your own breath you’re wasting.

    • People are seriously over-exaggerating Chen Feiyu and this drama. I wouldn’t call this drama a flop, but it definitely isn’t anywhere near popular. Chen Feiyu’s name breaking 9 points is more due to the intense marketing his team did for him. His acting isn’t as good as what they say either.

  2. Didnt watch L&P but the reeeeing over Arthur’s nepotism is silly. With his specs (he looks too much like his Dad for me yikes), even if he didn’t have celeb parents, he couldve made it as a celeb or model with his looks and 1.88m height. He is one of the less egregious nepo examples and looks like he belongs onscreen, his less handsome brother is not an actor.

    Everytime I see an actor that makes me think “How did they get lead roles with their visuals”, I Google if their parents are rich or famous. Nepo celebs are so common and some are straight up unattractive but still thickskinned enough to act or model.
    – Guo Qilin, Guo Degangs son
    – Mason Lee, Ang Lee’s son
    – Josie Ho, Stanley Ho’e daughter
    – Annabel Yao, Huawei heiress
    – Dong Zijian, son of top Cent agent Wang Jinghua
    – Ouyang Nana, daughter of Ouyang Feng
    – Lin Yushen, son of a producer
    – Zhang Ruoyun, son of director father Zhang Jian
    – Koki, Takuya Kimuras daughter
    – Lily Rose Depp
    – Western celebs like Bryce Dallas Howard, Drew Barrymore, the Baldwins, the Copollas, Will Smith’s kids etc etc etc

    • I agree about CFY. He would’ve been scouted if he wasn’t already in the industry. Straight up the type that fangirls go for nowadays.

      Same for Ouyang Nana from your list.

      I actually really like GQL. He does a lot of stuff but acting-wise thought he really fit some of his roles rather than audience having to pretend he’s something else.

      • Ouyang Nana is not that pretty, and not good at acting. Her 蚂蚁竞走十年了 is infamous, Taiwanese dislike her for being blatantly pro-CCP and Chinese fans dislike her for giving up on cello and music to become an actor without any training despite her so-so visuals, bad pronunciation, and awkward acting. Recently she started selling expensive white bathrobes and towels under her own brand Nabi and Cnetz balked at how she was trying to rip her fans off. People cite Nana as proof that celebs earn too much, she pretended to be some cello prodigy to get famous in China then quit music studies to start acting full-time despite criticism and now sells bathrobes for 900rmb a pop. Her family is very Kardashian like, same as Big S, and Nana is very moneyminded/greedy despite being young. She should get formal acting training like Arthur, Chinese audiences are mocking her for her lack of skills and shamelessness to take the role of a top beauty in her upcoming drama with Jeremy Tsui.

        Guan Xiaotong and Nicholas Tse also have actor parents but I didnt mention them because they have proven themselves. Arthur is trying to prove himself in drama roles when he could easily do movies only like Nicholas Tse, Josie Ho, and Dong Zijian because he doesn’t want to be called a nepo idol lol, too bad it won’t work

      • On Guo Qilin, i didnt have an opinion of him although he got the lead role in Joy of Life and Heroic Husband thanks to his dads connections but around July 2021 some 网红 vlogger revealed that he contacted her for sex 约炮 and then ghosted her, but because it isn’t technically prostitution he isnt in any trouble. It’s rumored the Deyun Crosstalk variety gang have messy personal lives and screw around with 外围女 and 网红 a lot, so…

      • @Lol why is ouyang nana so popular (apparently she has the highest number of brand endorsements for female celebrities?) if she’s not considered pretty or talented…?

        any particular reason you say it won’t work for chen feiyu? he seems to be doing very well, actually putting in the work and not just enjoying the easy fame that came to him so easily for being chen kaige’s son.

      • @Lol know anything about Victor Qin, 秦霄贤, who is also a crosstalker/comedian from what I’m aware? I’m a fan of his but hoping I don’t see any dirt on him

    • @Lol

      Didn’t know that much about Nana but have seen her around A LOT. I personally think she’s pretty enough for some roles but just not goddess level, especially if we give so much leeway to actors and some other actresses. Interesting information but with how some commentators on this site likes to shit on some actors and actresses about anything (with or without an agenda) I’d rather not read too much into it. So I don’t know that much about CFY and OYNN and it was an opinion from a casual person who happens to see them here and there, I think both are no better or worse than the current young fare in C-ent and that’s with very low expectations.

    • I agree he belongs onscreen. He got the look and the x factor. I wished he had better script sense. He has yet to star in a really really groundbreaking drama or movie the way Longest Day In Chang’an or Better days were to Jackson Yee. “Ever Night” remains his best work so far.
      About Zhang Jin Yi I just don’t see the big deal.

      • You simps for the rich and privileged that shit on actual talented people and rob them of roles don’t need to worry. Daddy will make sure that kiddo has all the roles.

        After all, he cast son in his next big movie. And if even that doesn’t work, don’t worry. He will buy him more roles.

      • Yes. ZRY is a very good actor even though he is not very handsome like most others well known leading men.

      • So what do you want, that celeb offspring get banned from the industry? Do you feel the same way about bakery owners who inherit theor parents business, or doctors, lawyers, scientists that get a leg up due to their parents jobs?

        What about millionaires and billionaires whose parents buy votes to debut them on idol selection shows like Esther Yu, Zhao Xiaotang, Tony Yu? Or rich kids like Rosy Zhao who flunked their exams (she attended a private no name college in Taiwan and got 16 for maths, Lusi said she got advised to act) and got her parents to sponsor her showbiz career?

        Asking for actors with celebrity parents to be banned is authoritarian. You can fo the democratic thing and just not watch them, vote with your remote. I cant get Arthurs visuals (massive head) but is hardly the worst
        ..look at Jacky Heung yuck. Theres also Fan Cheng Cheng who didn’t even go to acting school and just uses his sisters connections.

        I dont expect celeb kids to work hard to gain legitimacy but getting formal acting training at a top institute, using their original voice, going from obese to slim like Arthur is more than what most idols do. Rosy Zhao went to a private Taiwan uni, became Douyin famous and dropped out to join Supergirl, Dylan Wang won an idol show and got picked to debut in Meteor Garden but never uses his original voice, Wang Yibo, Xiaozhan, Allen Ren a lot of idol-turned-actors never got much training and even some with training like Cheng Yi struggle to use their original voice. Perhaps haters who dislike Arthur probably are fans of other actors who are threatened that a child of a celebrity is more hardworking than their idol? Lol! He’s not the last one, a lot of celebrities like Huang Lei (his daughters are almost certainly going to act after attending BFA or smth), Wu Zun (he already moved to China from Brunei to push his kids into Cent), Dee Hsu’s kids, et cetera are going to be doing the same. Some of them wont even bother to get qualifications like Arthur before debuting.

      • @ Original LOL

        I think no one would say that those privilege offsprings need to be banned from the industry or any other fields. If they have the look, the talent, the qualifications to do the job well than no one would say anything. We just hope that they don’t get the jobs because they have wealthy, powerful, well connected directors, producers or production companies’parents. Hopefully That will leave the doors open for those who have the look, the talents to get the jobs even they don’t have connections that’s all.

    • @mimimi

      Ouyang Nana has a lot of endorsements because shes a young IT girl socialite and marketed as some cello prodigy in the past. Shes also a rare Taiwanese who openly sucks up to the CCP with her entire family and she performs at CCTV events (as a classical music fan her musical artistry is not that great and around university orchestra level, somewhere along the way she lost her passion and got lured into $$$howbiz), that itself makes her an appealing 2000er posterchild famous in both PRC and ROC.

      Nanas popularity has been dropping ever since people realized she quit cello school to act and her acting is not good to the point of being people mocked . Visually shes pretty but not really actress pretty if it makes sense. I get what Nana is thinking, she has a lot of Chinese endorsement deals so why bother with cello practice, just do dramas in China and continue raking in ad money when young. It does tell you where her priorities lie in ($$$) and the recent bathrobe thing makes her look greedy too, i.e. shes already trying to wring money as an influencer despite having 0 notable TV roles. This is not what actors who want to be taken seriously will do (Arthur, Dong Zijian, Yangzi, Song Zuer), nepo celebs or not

  3. Hi koala!!! So glad you posted this drama. This was adapted from a Chinese novel by Twentine and is one of my favourite novel. The male lead in the novel is much stronger and stubborn but I love Chen feiyu is so handsome here so whatever works 😂 it was generally good and I enjoyed it!

  4. I’ve liked Chen Feiyu since Ever Night, and happy with the progress he’s made as an actor. He’s always had that onscreen charisma even when he was still very green.

    This is my first time watching Zhang Jingyi, and I’m honestly impressed by her portrayal of Zhu Yun, particularly in some emotional scenes.

    I find the characters’ growth in the drama believable. Must credit that to the actors’ ability to bring a different feel and aura of the characters when they’re still in college and when they’re already work, be it in their mannerism, expressions, etc.

    The drama has a lot of flaws with plotholes here and there (and I wish the main antagonist was written better), but in the end the drama still feel wholesome.

    The drama ending its run with 7.3 douban score and >100K ratings is awesome, especially for an idol modern romance. It’s decently popular as you can see in the statistics from VARIOUS platforms.

  5. @Original LoL love what you wrote! I concur!

    So what his parents are famous and super rich, to me Arthur Chen Feiyu did GREAT in this drama! Most parents will do all they can to help their children regardless of which industry they are in!

    You cannot buy charisma, feelings, natural instincts, good character/behaviour and work ethics! Looks can be tweeked with surgery but not height, body structure, confidence and charisma!

    Yeah man kiss like a Bandit he did Koala! I was like Wouuuuuuweee man can the fella kiss lol

    Always happy when i stumble upon your articles Koala – i remember you from long long ago in other forums/blogs/websites 🙂

  6. People need to fucking sit their ass down and stop lying. This is a flop are you serious? A drama with 2 actors, neither of which are top traffic stars and this is what the drama achieved against dramas like New Life Begins and SAHPH, which stars some of the most popular actors in c-ent:

    – Li Xun #1 on weibo character list for 3 weeks straight.

    – Li Xun #1 on Maoyuan character weekly list and monthly (November) character. (

    – Multiple #1 on daily Maoyuan drama list and in Top 3 for it’s entire run.

    – Li Xun #1 on Vlinkage for a couple of weeks now and first among characters in currently airing dramas to cross 9. SAHPH and NLB characters still haven’t crossed it. (

    – Still airing but earned enough to be declared an official hit in the Alibaba financial statements. (

    – In top 5 at Datawin. Someone above said a hit needs to hit #2 at Datawin? Well, here…it did hit #2, so please eat your words. ( And look #1 and that too against NLB on Datawin. ( Of course with 2 Yang Mi dramas and 1 BJT drama, it was hard to hold the spot since they have a bigger fandom but it held it’s spot at #4 well on the days it aired.

    – #1 for 2022 for highest number of active drama fans during broadcast and #6 among dramas for period 2019-2022. (

    Also, Chen Feiyu…his dad buys roles for him? Then please explain why he’s had only one S+ drama till now and that too unreleased and something he auditioned for against 2 other actors. Lighter was A before internal reviews came in and it was upgraded. Also, there’s a dozen directors/producers that have worked with Chen Kaige and Feiyu has never done a drama with them. Why? Also, if you ever read Chen Kaige’s interview, he never wanted his sons to enter the c-ent because of how dirty it is. The only reason he allowed Feiyu was because he didn’t want to do it for fame or fortune. Finally, which actor in c-ent doesn’t have someone backing them? Talent alone can’t get your anywhere. Just looks at Liu Xueyi or Luo Yunxi…you need a good backbone for constantly getting good projects.

    You can like or dislike the drama but hating Chen Feiyu because he was born to celebrity parents is the most pathetic thing ever. Get a life and spend some time on your faves instead of showing your insecurity here.

    • Lmao how are you this stupid.

      The index needs to be 2, the index. What place it has is irrelevant, it is the Datawin index that matters.

      Delusional stans sure are something. Lol lol lol

      • I misunderstood.

        First, the highest index Lighter reached was 1.72, which for a drama with no liuliangs, is already amazing.

        Second, Datawin is one index and is driven by weibo data. A hit or flop can’t easily be determined by only Datawin. The dramas that cross 2 index on Datawin are usually ones with liuliangs that have huge fandoms to drive the data.

        Finally, the achievements are all up there for any rational person to see. If that’s what a flop looks like in your eyes, I am cool with that. Haters can make anything insignificant to fit their narrative but imo, the fact that you are soooo bothered by Chen Feiyu and this drama tells much more.

        At least, I am a stan and I have a vested interest in seeing CFY and the team behind Lighter praised for their hard work. What’s your excuse? You want to see the drama declared a flop? To what end? Personal grudge? Insecurity for your own faves? No matter the reason, it’s all pathetic at the end.

      • @Silvy
        I want facts. That’s it.

        And yes, you are a stan because everything else you listed is irrelevant. Datawin is the only real point of reference for drama success. Everything else is related to other factors too, which can be bought which is why the platforms tried so hard to erase all the evidence for it.

        In non-stan land where we don’t try to distort facts, if you ever visited, you would see there are plenty of other flops and your fave really isn’t something special there. I am fair so yes, the person below is absolutely correct. Yang Mi had far bigger ones, both of her dramas (doctor and husband) because unlike nepo child, she has real fame. Yet lately she has been doing badly and both dramas were a major let down. Luo Yunxi? For all that his fans blow him up, much like you yours, has had flop after flop, ending with this latest rescue thing. LLTG and MHL? Also not nearly successful as their fans like to boast.

        So yeah, as a drama fan, I want facts about what is genuinely successful and what isn’t. Nobody is hating on anyone if we, you know, actually look at real numbers even if you fans go into a fit. You are just going to have to cope.

    • I am going to assume you don’t know so it’s just a little embarrassing moment instead of a gaslighting attempt. Since you will find fans referring to Datawin, it’s actually good to know what that means. I am going to just use your own links as reference.

      In the first one Lighter and Princess – Datawin score 1.451
      In the second link, Lighter and Princess – Datawin score 1.431

      So when we talk about Datawin and what a drama has achieved it is the Datawin score, not the position and I think it should be clear why, that is relevant. The person above did not lie. This drama not only never broke Datawin score of 2, it never even got close though your numbers are lower than the highest score it had (I have personally seen it go to 1.6)

      Now. This is pretty much the one objective metric left to judge Chinese dramas. It’s what everyone follows. So is Lighter and Princess a flop?

      Answer is, depends how you look at it. It is most definitely not a hit, not even close but whether it’s a flop will depend on how generous people are. Chinese market is cold. It has been cold for several years and progressively getting colder. So there are basically two groups of people – those that refuse to lower their standards (which is still the majority in China) and those that look at things within the context of that.

      So within that add-on of cold market LAP just avoided a flop, without the add on it’s a flop. Actually Yang Mi’s drama is a far bigger flop though it posted similar numbers because of her name recognition. But then Bai Jing Ting’s drama does not have YM’s name power yet it has managed to break 2 on Datawin.

      Because yes, 2 has always been that bottom line. Below and you’re what we say “rushing” or “rushing to the street”, or a flop in English and then above that we start talking about dramas making some success.

      It has been a long time since anyone broke 4. This is related to the thing I spoke above. Just to be clear, the market in China got cold because people got sick of bad acting, low quality dramas and backdoor plays where people got screwed over. Still, a good drama always has the chance to get to good numbers.

      I don’t really bother remembering all the dramas numbers but in the last few years only a few managed to go past 3. Only one almost reached 4. Dramas are passing 2 on a pretty regular basis except for the last couple of months.

      Anyway, that’s a short summary (or not so short, I am sorry Koala!) about Datawin and what you should know when you try and talk about drama Datawin score. This is well spread information even in international fandom so saying things like you did above just puts you in hot water needlessly. Better to know. Anyway, Chinese entertainment or cent is difficult to know, especially if you are a new, international fan, so good luck!

      • @Silvy

        I think you are too new and don’t understand some specifics. Please stop.


        This was a good explanation but I want to add something. Please correct me if I am wrong but datawin numbers are dependent on platform views (only Chinese versions), right? And Youku dramas rarely perform well because the Youku subs are very low, iirc about 10/20% of the subs for Tencent/iQIYI? The only way a Youku drama goes over an index of 2 is if the actors are heavy hitters. I believe the last youku drama that reach 2 was Immortal Samsara with Cheng Yi and Yang Zi. Even Shanghe Ling, which I think was one of the most successful dramas of 2021 never crossed 2 on Datawin index.

        Also, this topic happened on weibo recently. How Lighter and Princess has way more illegal watchers than most dramas. For comparison, there was a screenshot of one website and it showed New Life Begins with 52K illegal watchers, She And Her Perfect Husband with about 48K while Lighter and Princess had over 400K. None of these viewers contribute to the Datawin score.

        The reason I mentioned this is because maybe Datawin index 2 is the most common measure but it is not foolproof. It misses a lot of data.

        @ all those who are fighting over hit and flop
        Seriously, if you like the drama. Does it really matter?

        My personal opinion. I love the drama. Chen Feiyu has shown so much growth in this drama. From Gold Panning to this, his acting has improved tremendously. I was new to Zhang Jingyi but she was a pleasant surprise. While the plot is nothing new, I love the execution of it. The CP is very warm. They made me fall in love with love. I do not care if this drama is a hit or a flop, for me it’s been one of the best Chinese dramas of this year.


      • thanks for sharing these details. i’m fairly new to cdramas and am only able to keep up with the industry through translated updates/news via twitter. that said, i am not sure these details are well-spread, especially among viewers who don’t know chinese. it’s a given that fan circles will always highlight the successes of their favorite actors/dramas, and i make a concerted effort to stay away from haters so perhaps that’s why i’ve never seen this. in any case, i doubt op was trying to gaslight anyone so i appreciate you giving them the benefit of the doubt.

      • @sandstone i agree with you and ultimately, it does not matter to me if it’s a hit or not. both leads seem to have gotten some boost so i’m happy to hear just that.

        but it’s just crazy to me that there are people like the commenter above who like to shit on other people/works like they’re getting paid for it. i thought it was a hit, and turns out it wasn’t really. i’m happy to stand corrected. but their increasingly erratic responses suggests they wouldn’t be so flexible.

  7. Chen Fei Yu had me shooting hearts from my eyes as I binge watch. Sorry but not sorry, dude is really my type.
    I like the bad boy with a closed heart and a rich girl with an open heart trope anytime. He nailed it hands down and she is not the prettiest but very very likeable.
    Oh and I dig that they had University times and then the present. That explains the bandit kisses that are adult like – I like.

  8. Chen Feiyu seems like a very nice young man and well-grounded from what I can judge from watching the variety show ‘have fun”. Agree that he has an unfair advantage, but he is soooo handsome and tall, a perfect hero.

  9. I just can’t stand the hypocrisy of the female lead, which made me drop the drama. She’s constantly showing pickme vibes while outrightly saying she’s not interested in the male lead. It’s so cringe and making me feel secondhand embarrassment for her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.