Long time no post! I’ve been busy trying to catch up on American entertainment and non-Internet life so I haven’t been keeping up with my dramas, but I had a lot of surprise solo time this holiday season so I decided to do a quick binge watch of something on Netflix: Triad Princess!
Triad Princess (极道千金) is a Netflix Original rom-com. Ni An Qi (Eugenie Liu) is the only daughter of top gang leader Ni Kun (Michael Huang). She is obsessed with top actor Xu Yi Hang (Jasper Liu) and has a habit of taking revenge on her exes by tornado kicking them off a bridge into a river. (That’s how the triad deals with everyone who gives them problems). After her sixth failed relationship in five years, her father decides that it’s time for him to take her love life into his own hands and arranges for her to marry her childhood friend, Jin Yan Bin (Tsao Yu Ning), who also happens to be the son of his old friend, a top Hong Kong triad boss. An Qi longs for independence and runs away from home to work for Kuang Jing (Tien Hsin), a talent manager and old friend of the family, as a bodyguard-disguised-as-an-assistant to top actress Ling Yun (Cecilia Choi), who has been receiving blackmail threats. Kuang-jie also happens to manage Yi Hang, which puts An Qi in prime position to cozy up to her favorite celebrity.
For a six episode show, Triad Princess covers a LOT of ground. In addition to a dynamic, heart-warming relationship between An Qi and Yi Hang, we also get a glimpse into Ling Yun’s troubles, Kuang-jie‘s past and personal life, and an ADORABLE romance between An Qi’s good friend Ding Hai Lun (Sing Hom) and henchman-friend Lin Gui (Chang Tsai Hsing).
To be honest, what first caught my eye about Triad Princess was Jasper Liu, because I love him and he basically just plays himself in this show. I’ve been a bit skeptical and weary of Asian dramas for the past year (also part of the reason for the radio silence) BUT I was so pleasantly surprised by this random pick! (Thank you Netflix for making it appear on my screen.)
Usually, I hate these types of dramas that feature a celebrity-fan relationship. The female leads usually seem SO vapid and airheaded and the drama is usually just TOO weird (in a cringey way) for me to handle. An Qi is one of those celebrity-obsessed female leads, and her daydreams and fantasies made me cringe, but she also has the tough girl vibe that balances out her moments of weakness as a fangirl. The show does a great job of building out her relationship and chemistry with Yi Hang.
I also just really liked the plotting and character dynamics overall. The antagonists are literally just evil (evil gangsters!) but it is a comedy and the show never gets too dark. An Qi’s triad family is primarily there for the humor — some of the henchmen are laughably incompetent — and all the characters, even the romantic rivals, are just so likable! (Other than the actual bad guy, of course.)
Plus, I totally did NOT expect to see an actual gay relationship in an Asian drama of any sort, because even though most dramas love their bromances, they never want their male characters to actually have romantic relationships with each other because most Asian countries have conservative cultures. It really speaks to how progressive Taiwan is in terms of LGBTQ rights and how momentous the May 2019 legalization of same-sex marriage is (and Netflix’s flexibility and ability to do whatever the hell they want) that we actually have a same-sex relationship in this show!
Don’t expect too much from Triad Princess — it never really gets too deep. It’s cheesy and silly and you can’t take it seriously at all, but if you want all the good feels and some real laugh-out-loud moments and don’t mind some extremely bizarre scenes, give it a watch — it’s one of the better ones in this genre!
Also, how can you not love this face?!