Renée (rogueslayer452) wrote,

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The Untamed

You know those shows that you saw in passing when it came out initially, everyone was gushing over it, but it didn't capture your attention at the time until somehow, suddenly, one day your curiosity gets the better of you and you sit down and start watching and then get sucked in completely? Yeah, that has been me with The Untamed over the last few weeks. I have become quite immersed with the show and I absolutely love it.

The Untamed is a live-action Chinese historical fantasy drama that is an adaptation of a novel, Mo Dao Zu Shi, that was released last year in China and is now available on Netflix. It has fifty episodes total.

I only vaguely knew some aspects about it initially, and I kept wondering whether or not the show actually was gay that people were saying or if it was just merely exaggerated through fandom interpretation. But I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it is, in fact, actually truly gay. It is based off of the novel which is absolutely 100% explicitly gay (it's a BL novel, after all), but due to censorship laws in China the live-action could not do that so instead they made it subtext, but it was very deliberately done subtext. It's a clever way of getting around the censorship without sacrificing much of the importance of the relationship between the two main characters, and trust me there are a lot of suggestive scenes that weren't subtle at all (just read the TV Tropes page for examples). This is why there's a difference between queerbaiting, subjective subtext, and intentional subtext, and The Untamed does the latter incredibly well to the point where even some fans of MDZS say that they preferred the subtext, and I can understand why after watching it. Sure, we don't get the explicit nature of their relationship as it's presented in the original novel, but it is still heavily implied through the way scenes are filmed, framed and presented.

The show as a whole is filled with a lot of interesting stuff besides that, of course, political intrigue and a mystery to be solved and tons of complicated and complex characters with equally complicated relationships with other characters, and it gets emotional, so painfully emotional and heart-wrenching and tense that sometimes you do need a breather because as lighthearted and silly as it gets, it cuts through the heart deep in other moments.

So yeah, I'm really deep into this show.

I definitely ship Lan Wangji/Wei Wuxian (the main characters, the main focus and the main relationship of the show), but I'm also Xue Yang/Xiao Xingchen trash as well because the Yi City Arc utterly and completely destroyed me in the best and worst possible way. Lan Wangji and Xue Yang are my favorite characters. The theme song has been stuck in my head. I'm obsessed.
Tags: television
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