I told you I am pacing up with my Chinese drama watch! And surprisingly I am in luck because my second watch for this year was very different than my first drama. Candle in the Tomb is (kinda sorta) a Chinese version of Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider. But I love it more because it feels rather refreshing (for me at least since I haven’t seen similar genres in years) and I love anything that has an archaeological aspect with a little bit of fantasy. Even my son was glued to this show!
Many say that Candle in the Tomb is a web drama but for me, it feels very regular. The production of this drama is extremely good. My husband reminded me that this drama was produced by the same production as Snails. Well, it is a winner for me. The show is heavily CGI’d, though. I saw some flaws; not sure if you will notice it. But it didn’t bother me one bit. Because I was too engrossed with the story which, I just found out recently, that it was adopted from a novel with the same title. Would I want to read it? I don’t think so. I am not very imaginative when comes to fantasy drama. I am sure the director did a fantastic job in transferring the writer’s creative idea to live. Seriously, some scenes were spooky and it really made me scared! I once switched my watch out of fear of getting a nightmare. Yeah, it was that scary!
Candle in the Tomb told a story of two good friends, Hu Ba Yi and Wang Kai Xuan aka fatty. Both Fatty and Ba Yi have known each other since their comrade time. Ba Yi inherited his feng shui skills from his ancestors. His family has been using feng shui to locate ancient tombs. Fatty always tagging along with Ba Yi on treasure hunts. It makes perfect sense! They then teamed up with an archaeological team in pursuit of searching the ghost cave. Fatty took advantage of it hoping to score gold. The archaeological team wanted to find the queen’s tomb (which I can’t remember her name). But as they went on their adventure, Ba Yi felt it is their destiny to go along the path. For every puzzle they face, it somehow ties to their adventure.
The show feels like a journey. I enjoyed the ups and down of each character. I rated 8/10 in MDL for two reasons: the pacing of the show in the beginning of the series and Joe Chen. The first few episodes were draggy and boring. It is typically designed to introduce the characters but I think they could have made it more exciting and humorous. I am glad that it got better from episode 3 onwards. Another thing I dislike is Joe Chen’s character. She was introduced to us in episode 6 but she was passive for the first 1.5 episodes. I know she was merely absorbing and listening but it could have been done better. Furthermore, Joe seemed bored. Her one-dimensional face bothered me a bit.
Despite all that, I still recommend you to watch Candle in the Tomb. Well, it may remind you of The Lost Tomb, but I heard this show is way better! Now you may encounter some ridiculous things from this show. Let’s pick one. They are on this rough mission in a rough terrain desert but Joe Chen’s character Shirley appeared clean and well-rounded fabulous throughout the show! She finally got dirt all over her face towards the end of the series. You know it is bullsh*t to be so tidy and clean after two days out in a dusty desert. Yeap, that’s my beef. Other than that, this 21 episode drama is fun, entertaining and exciting. The ending was on an open side because the producer wants us to know that a prequel is coming up next. I can’t wait!