My Take on Dramas & Animes!

Drama Reviews: New Life Begins (卿卿日常)




Starring Bai Jinting and Tian Xiwei, New Life Begins is set in a fictitious real composed of 9 countries. In this land, it is tradition for women of age from all 8 of the countries to travel to Xinchuan, the most powerful country of the 9, and wed to Xinchuan princes. The story tells the story of Li Wei, an gluttonous girl of low birth from Jichuan, and Yin Zheng, the 6th prince of Xinchuan.


First a few things I loved about the drama: the eye candy. Bai Jinting and Tian Xiwei are both very pretty, and overall, the drama was well executed from an acting and directing point of view. The secondary characters were also very interesting and had their own storyline. Unlike other dramas of the same genre, there was no evil second female lead. This leads to one of my favourite things about the drama: it really emphasized on equality and girl power, despite being set as a period drama. There is little jealousy, or gossip, or conniving, or whatever else scriptwriters think women do behind closed doors. Rather, the wives of the princes gather together in genuine friendship and get into business together to make money.

I really liked that the storyline didn’t focus on girl power only for the male lead to come saving our heroine at the last minute. Rather, it emphasized on the importance of self-sufficiency. All 9 of the countries in the fictitious land range from patriarchy, to matriarchy, to egalitarian, causing some comedic relief in the way princes interacted with their brides. Also, a friendly warning to not watch this show at night while hungry, because the cooking scenes can definitely make one’s stomach growl!


Now for the negatives.. while I think Tian Xiwei is absolutely adorable, I find her speaking a bit too breathy? It’s as if she is exhaling the entire time as she speaks. In terms of the storyline, I felt that it did falter in the second half as the story dragged on a bit and I found myself losing interest. For those looking for an in-depth of reflection on patriarchy, this is not the drama for you. The show is meant to be watched as a light-hearted and wholesome romance drama.

Overall, I would rate it a 7.5/10. Would have rated it higher if they had been able to keep the same momentum as the first half, but alas…


Yin Zhen

As the 6th prince of Xinchuan, Yin Zhen has a calm demeanour and a hidden ambition. Despite this talents, he is not favoured by his father, the emperor of Xinchuan. He voluntarily ask for Li Wei, who did not come from a prominent family, as his wife as to not raise attention. With Li Wei’s help, Yin Zhen starts to make a name for himself in politics, showing everyone his talent. Through this process, Yin Zhen and Li Wei also begin to develop feelings for each other. However, his father, the emperor, also agrees to a political marriage with the princess of Jinchuan…

Li Wei

Born from as the daughter from a non-prominent family in Jichuan, Li Wei was chosen as a potential bride-to-be as part of the nine chuan marriage liaisons. Jichuan is known for practicing monogamy, while husbands in Xinchuan were allowed multiple partners. Therefore, Li Wei is set on failing and returning to Jichuan. Unexpectedly, she is chosen as the bride for Yin Zhen. Under the promise of helping her return to Jichuan, Li Wei stays and helps Yin Zhen, falling in love with him throughout the process.

Hao Jia

Haojia is a potential bride-to-be from Yanchuan, and is Li Wei’s childhood friend. In order to help her family at home, Haojia gives up the opportunity to be the fifth prince’s consort. She chooses rather to become the crown prince’s concubine since he already is married. She sees marriage as a business deal and treats the crown prince as her employer rather than her husband or lover.

Yin An

Yin An is the third prince of Xinchuan is a narcissist and is a bit face blind. Every time he meets a pretty girl who seems to be down on her luck, he brings her home as his ‘soulmate’. Over time, he ‘collects’ 24 concubines. Despite having good intentions, he has never asked any of them if they would be willing to live this way. Even though he is an enormous narcissist, Yin An is skilled in politics and in commerce. Yin An eventually realizes the error in his ways and becomes a strong ally for Yin Zhen.

Yuan Ying

Yuan Ying is the elder princess of Jinchuan, known for its blooming commercial business. She is both beauty and brains, with extreme self-discipline and political aptitude. Unfortuantely, Yuan Ying becomes just another unwilling participant in the political marriage between Jinchuan and Xinchuan. She reaches an agreement with Yin Zhen to help him secure his position in court and be a teacher to Li Wei in exchange for a divorce.

Yin Song

As the crown prince of Xinchuan, Yin Song is the son of the emperor and empress of Xinchuan. Due to his status as crown prince, he receives a lot of attention from his father and believes himself to be superior to his brothers. To gain further power, Yin Song is always calculating and conniving. He marries Zhao Fangru, whom he did not love, because of her family’s power. Beyond his calculations, his ability to be a ruler and govern was far inferior to Yin Zhen.

Song Wu

The adoptive daughter of Consort He, Yin Zhen’s mother, Song Wu is the orphaned daughter of a war general. While spoiled, Song Wu is not mean-spirited. As she does not get along the eleventh prince in the palace, she lives in Yin Zhen’s manor. She had a crush on Yin Zhen growing up, which is why she would try making things difficult for Li Wei- though with little success.

Yin Qi

Yin Qi is the fifth prince of Xinchuan who looks like a playboy of no ambition. Yet on the inside, he is very clear about he wants and is not interested in participating in the struggle for power at court. He initially did not get along with Shangguan Jing as he did not find her to be feminine enough. However, over time, he was able to see a different side to Shangguan Jin, and begins to fall for her.

Shangguan Jing

A princess in the matriarchic Danchuan, Shangguan Jing wears her hair in a high ponytail and brandishes her weapon with her at all times. She is forced to marry Xinchuan’s fifth prince, Yin Qi, as a political alliance. Due to her tomboy attitude and differing ideals, Shangguan Jing is constantly fighting with Yin Qi, though that begins to turn into a love-hate relationship.


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