mollyringle

My official review of The Untamed

Ordinarily I’m not one of those people who leaves really long Amazon reviews. But for The Untamed there’s not really anywhere else notable to leave one, and it deserves one! So here is what I posted. Let’s hope Amazon approves it. If not, it's here, anyway.

Short review: 

YES, WATCH THIS SHOW! I’m picky about shows. I don’t enter into obsessive fandom mode lightly. But after watching this series last year, I immediately went back to the beginning and watched the entire thing again. And joined an Untamed fandom group on Facebook. And read loads of fanfic. And watched in wonder as Wangxian (the Wei Wuxian/Lan Wangji ship) shot straight to the top of my list of favorite fandom ships ever (for now, anyway). This height of fandom for me is RARE. So yeah, you should give it a try.

Long review:

I first heard about The Untamed when a friend said on Twitter, “Maybe I should watch that show people are talking about with the two insanely gorgeous East Asian guys with long hair.” And I thought, “Hello, that sounds like something I’d like.” But I didn’t actually know what show that WAS. That is, not until Netflix turned it up in my list of suggestions one night, and I saw that cover shot of, yep, two insanely gorgeous Chinese guys with long hair, and clicked on it to learn more.

And learned: Oh hey, it’s fantasy, AND based on a BL (boy love) novel? Even more up my alley! 

So I started watching. The first couple of episodes confused me, as many others reviewers have said, what with the multiple names per character and the general “What the hell is going on” vibe. But I stuck with it, because a) that Wei Wuxian fellow seemed actually rather cute (this was soon to be upgraded to “dear gods, he’s unearthly levels of beautiful”) and b) I wanted to see what this gay-but-subtly-so-because-of-Chinese-censorship love story would look like.

As to THAT:

As early as episode 5, we get Wei Wuxian overdoing an apology to (future eternal love) Lan Wangji by saying “I’ll even kneel down before you,” with a naughty little smile, and I went, “Oh, ha, so the gayness is NOT in fact subtle.” (Just to hammer the point home, shortly after saying that, he pranks Lan Wangji by slipping him some classic ancient Chinese gay porn. Soooo subtle.)

But it’s not all adorkable boys being unsubtly in love! Not at all.

It’s about a gold-hearted troublemaker who becomes a necromancer—for well-meaning and unavoidable reasons—but never stops being a cinnamon roll. It’s about magic-wielding clans trying to slaughter each other, marry into each other, undermine each other’s power, and/or save each other’s lives. It’s about the grumpy one falling for the sunshine one. It’s about an entire society turning against a scapegoat in circumstances so unfair you want to summon some demons yourself and exact revenge. It’s about magical music being used for tremendous good and tremendous evil. It’s about very crafty people pulling some unbelievably long cons. It’s about realizing the rules you thought were so important are actually making you miserable. It’s about cuddling bunnies and eating lotus seeds and drinking wine from pretty white ceramic bottles. And it’s extraordinarily romantic even though the leads weren’t allowed to kiss or say “I love you.” 

Also, even though the show isn’t afraid to kill off good guys—which is utterly brutal at times (and kudos to all the actors for their heartbreaking crying skills!)—it does end on a happy note.

So. You know. Yes, you should watch it!


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