LOVE BETWEEN FAIRY AND DEVIL – Review by Dana Ziyasheva (Guest Post)

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Sorry, Hollywood, but I’m cheating on you!

“I want to see the sun,” Orchid whispered to Moon Supreme. She had just plunged a magical sword into her heart, releasing vital energy that resurrected 100,000 petrified soldiers. Now, after witnessing this ultimate, earth-shattering sacrifice, we were watching the intimate farewell between Orchid and Moon Supreme. Just the two of them against the enormous disc of a setting desert sun. He cried and clasped her in his arms until a wisp of wind dissipated her in a handful of petals. He had hurt and betrayed her, and her way of paying him back was to save him and his tribe at the cost of her primordial spirit. My T-shirt was soaked with tears. What Hollywood show has ever had the same impact on me? Not a one.

The Chinese show Love Between Fairy and Devil is such a carefully choreographed ballet of emotions and thoughts on the nature of love, power, and society — hammering home its points with an impossibly attractive cast and a highly addictive soundtrack — that I, a bone-weary middle-aged woman with grown-up kids, found myself pledging all my time (and the entirety of my soul) to it.

Finding the Netflix release schedule too slow for my aching heart, I unearthed all 36 episodes of Love Between Fairy and Devil online and binge-watched the show in low res, late at night, reading subtitles until my eyes hurt. Now I’m re-watching it on Netflix, never skipping the opening credits, with their exquisite, hand-painted fairyland scenery. If this show told me to jump off a cliff, I would. Luckily, it never did. But it commanded me to become a fangirl of the 22-year-old lead actor, Wang He Di, aka Moon Supreme. It had me swooning over him in the show’s behind the scenes footage, not to mention his vlog, TikTok, and Instagram. Continue reading on THE FEMALE GAZE

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and About.com. She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association in the Film, Documentary and TV branches and a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).