Chinese Paranormal Fantasy Short Drama Review: Butterflied Lover (2023)


Butterflied Lover (2023)

22 episodes, watched on Viki

Synopsis from MyDramaList

Inspired by the romance of Liang Shang Bo and Zhu Ying Tai, the story revolves around two lovers who will overcome all obstacles to remain together. 

Ling Chang Feng is an honourable general and has been in a passionate marriage with his wife for the past 3 years. 

However, a strange disturbance hits their city on their third anniversary, and "madmen" run wild in the town, attacking innocent citizens violently.

 Ling Chang Feng leaves his wife behind to protect the people, but when he returns, finds that his wife has been infected by this phenomenon. 

He refuses to reveal this, as he knows that anyone who turns mad will be killed. He keeps her by his side in secret while trying to solve the cause of this frightful phenomenon.


* * *

It's an exceptionally well made bite size drama, folks (each episode is only 15 mins). You can see they had a very tight budget but they used it so, so well. The plot is fresh, the scenes are carefully crafted and the cinematography is masterful. I watched other two short dramas from the same director, and they were both fantastic (The Killer is Also Romantic, A Familiar Stranger). So, please, don't hesitate to invest your time in this drama.

It starts with Chang Feng and Qian Yue happily married in a fictional Chinese city state. She keeps having a recurring dream about reliving the same day until it actually happens and she gets embroiled in a tragic attack by this world's equivalent of vampires. 

After that we are taken into the past, where it shows how Chang Feng met his future wife and how their relationship developed. As she says, her memory starts from him. So she herself is full of secrets and has no memory of her past, a woman who literally had to learn anew everything. 

Their relationship develops from him looking after her as this almost childlike creature until she slowly matures and finds her strengths turning into a woman who loves fiercely. Chang Feng himself is a reticent workaholic who keeps away from politics or anything that doesn't require him just to guard his city. Qian Yue slowly changes that, and it's very sweet to see them together.

For once, the second couple's love story here is also touching and very cute. Considering that last time I saw the second male lead, he was playing the main villain in Blood of Youth, and he started as an antihero here as well, I was ready to dislike him, but he went from one dimensional, cold man to a shy, confused and hilariously out of sorts young lover pretty fast, and this melted my resolve to not like him.

Phew, I don't know how I managed not to give you any spoilers! Here is a fan vid to show you the beauty of this drama, folks. I hope after this you will give it a chance. It was great. Humorous, humane and lovely. Two thumbs up from yours truly. 


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