I had high hopes for Lady & Liar after seeing the trailer and wonderful stills that it released a while back and that really amped up my anticipation of the drama. It made me eager to watch it and I did. I am so glad that it did not disappoint and lived up to my expectations. It finished production in late 2013 with more than a year to perfect it and while it is not a perfect drama it does stand out to be one very well-fleshed out drama whether that be in the acting, cinematography or the writing. It’s dramatic for sure and something that I well-expected and while this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it was mines. It’s one of those types of tea which you initially don’t like very much but after a few cups you come to taste the sweetness of it.
Lady & Liar is all about a romance that is sweet but one that comes at price. As sweet as the romance is between Jiang Xin (Tiffany Tang) and Bai Zheng Qing “Bai Lang” (Hawick Lau), there was a huge price that they had to pay in order to live their happily ever after. It was love-at-first-sight for Bai Lang who fell in love with Jiang Xin the very first moment he laid eyes on her and with that he went searching for his Cinderella and persisted to pursue after her despite knowing that her heart is with Sheng Jie Wen “Sheng Shao” (Tony Yang). They only met for a few brief moments but he just knew that he had fallen for her and for her kind sincere heart and bravery. She saved him from the brink of death when there were people out there to assassinate him placing her own life on the line. Just that alone was more than enough to win his heart and make him fall head over heels for her. After finding her in an amnesiac state, he took advantage of it to take her under his care and won her heart once and for all while allowing her to fall for him. And she did after learning about the man he is at heart.
It was cruel and selfish of Bai Lang to just whisk Jiang Xin away into his world and keeping her to himself. He might have done that out of love but it is selfish of him to do so, especially knowing that she has a boyfriend and family waiting for her. He just doesn’t want her to get hurt and he doesn’t want to risk losing her, especially after he went through so much just to find her but in the end by doing so he caused her many missed opportunities. He is selfish for keeping him to herself but he does take good care of her and doesn’t force her to fall for him or doing something that she doesn’t want to. I really love that he respects Jiang Xin for who she is as an equal while secretly looking out for her but not crushing her dreams. She wanted to work and earn some money to at least buy a ring for him and he allowed her to do so but little did she know that he was the one who gave her the work and issued her pay. I thought that was pretty sweet of him with the way he went about it.
Jiang Xin is so lucky to find herself in the arms of two men who will go above and beyond for her. And they also happen to be brothers. Looks like Bai Lang and Sheng Shao both have the same taste in girls but only one of them can truly win Jiang Xin’s heart and in the end that was Bai Lang. Why Bai Lang over Sheng Shao? I was shipping her with Sheng Shao all the way but she didn’t end up choosing him. Bai Lang has the power and authority that Sheng Shao doesn’t have and that eventually bought Jiang Xin closer to him. There is no doubt that both Bai Lang and Sheng Shao loves Jiang Xin but Jiang Xin has made her choice and Sheng Shao respects that. Jiang Xin has always treated Sheng Shao as a friend more than as a boyfriend even before she lost her memory. After learning that he was her ex-boyfriend, she feels like she has wronged him which is why she started distancing herself from Bai Lang but her heart is already with him regardless of how she tried, she knows that deep down he has truly won her heart over.
The standout star of the drama for me was Du Xiao Han (Yang Rong) who added intensity to the drama. She stole Jiang Xin’s identity of being the missing heir to the Ye family and was determined to live it out impostering as Jiang Xin. That was until she was eventually pushed to a dead end. Xiao Han is a lady who will do anything to achieve what she wants. She has high ambitions and as soon as she achieves what she wants, her expectations only grows higher and higher and this is what landed her into hot water. She knows herself that she is not the real deal and that her identity will be blown sooner or later but she isn’t going to let that happen without a fight. She got rid of people in her path and she didn’t hesitate to do so. She is so fierce and evil and I love the fire that she brings to the drama keeping me on the edge of my toes wondering what her next move is.
Xiao Han is actually quite a nice girl at heart. She just didn’t grow up in a pleasant environment which is why she has so much evil inside of her. She lacks the motherly love which she never received from her own mother which is why it means so much to her to have the motherly love from Mummy Ye. She genuinely does love and care for Mummy Ye treating her as her very own mother and even after having her identity discovered, she genuinely took care of Sheng Shao and came to terms with the mistakes that she made and eventually losing out to herself. She chose the path that she took but she also learnt a lot on the way and we also got to learn about her.
How weird must it have been for Tiffany and Hawick to film their scenes together, especially their intimate scenes seeing as they have a wild connection with one another with Tiffany being the best friend to Yang Mi who is Hawick’s wife. But they’re professional actors and they not only managed to film through that comfortably, but they also managed to create a nice chemistry together. I prefer Tiffany and Tony’s pairing and chemistry but overall Tiffany shares wonderful chemistry here with both Hawick and Tony that is wonderful because it really helps with creating a compelling romance.
Hawick is amazing as Bai Lang giving Bai Lang that power and authority. Hawick really carried Bai Lang well portraying him as a fierce leader but at the same time a loving man. I thought that Hawick gave a nice balance between these two and I actually really enjoyed watching him more that I thought I would have. Initially, I thought Bai Lang would be one of those legit mafia bosses with cruel intentions but he was actually not the type of person that I thought he would be. He has a very genuine heart, especially towards Jiang Xin. I also love the righteousness in him and how he stands up for his fellow brothers despite not having any blood relationship with him. The drama has written out Bai Lang in such a way that makes him fierce on the outside
Tiffany is off on a high with three of her dramas airing consecutively one after the other and all being juggernaut hits and raking in the ratings. Fresh off My Sunshine, I thought I would be seeing the same thing or at least something similar from Tiffany’s portrayal of Jiang Xin to her portrayal of Mo Sheng but I was wrong and instead what we got was two very unique characters and this only allow me to come to like her more as an actress. She has a very nice charisma that really shines through with her acting. I really like the way she gives life to Jiang Xin allowing her to grow as an independent and strong woman.
There was a lady and there was a liar but Lady & Liar is so much more than what the title suggests. Despite the genre not being up my alley, I really enjoyed what it offered. It was probably a bit too long and a bit too draggy for me but despite that it was very interesting to watch. It was definitely worth the year wait because it was of high quality not just acting and visually wise but also through the writing which shines through on-screen.
[Credits: Pictures from here.]