Four Reasons To Watch Period Historical Drama “Blossoms in Adversity”

Youku’s production period Historical TV drama ‘Blossoms In Adversity 惜花芷’ starring Zhang Jing Yi and Hu Tian started to premiere recently. This is a 40-episode period historical drama, adapted from the web novel “Xi Hua Zhi” (惜花芷) by Kong Liu (空留).

As the title suggests, “Blossoms In Adversity”, is about reborn, blooming, or flourishing once again after overcoming hardships and difficulties highlighting key points like loyalty and unity through hardship.

So, What is this drama about?

C- Drama 'Blossoms In Adversity' Review

A well-reputed noble family, the Hua family lived a life of peace and prosperity. But all of a sudden, for some reason, all the men of the Hua family are suddenly demoted and exiled from the country. Afterward, their properties are confiscated, and the women including the children are forced to live in a remote area outside the city.

This was a big blow for the entire Hua family. The family was left with nothing but terrifying hardships and danger. Despite their downfall from grace, Hua Zhi (portrayed by Zhang Jing Yi), the young lady of the family, who was initially looked down on by her family for being straightforward, and open-minded as a girl, takes a step up to protect her family. She not only strives to restore her financially broken home but also gradually, works her way forward to save the men of the family who are exiled to an abandoned area.

During this time, she also meets the leader of the Seven Constellations, Gu Yan Xi (portrayed by Hu Yitian), who becomes her life companion.

Initial Reactions from viewers: While talking about the show’s reception, some audiences were initially dissatisfied with the lead actor’s performances but with elements like family, reunion, love, and romance; it seemed to win over them.

Are you curious about what to really expect from this drama or whether this drama aligns with your preferences, here are some major plot points to consider:

Resourceful & Smart Female Lead

Blossoms in adversity
Zhang Jingyi as Hua Zhi

Traveling the world with her grandfather since childhood, Hua Zhi has faced various difficulties, challenges, and opportunities that come with such a life. (In the first episode, we see a young Hua Zhi bravely climb a high tower to save a sinking boat,). It’s obvious, that from a young age, Hua Zhi has been always tenacious, brave, and kind.

Unlike many other girls of her age who like to pamper themselves with nice clothing and makeup, she’s interested in learning new things like literature, art, business, finance, etc., and getting familiar with the outside world.

However, Hua Zhi’s beliefs and unconventional behavior are often seen as something out of place or disgraceful by society including her family. In a world where women are seen as nothing but just mere decorations, she’s asked to be more reserved, highlighting the deep-rooted expectations put on women at the time.

However, after the catastrophe, unexpectedly the incident worked as a catalyst for Hua Zhi’s career, transforming her into a proactive leader of the family (..this was one of the most crucial or pivotal points or also can be said the best decision she ever made in her life). She made this decision because she wanted to protect her family from danger and to prevent the dire situation from escalating further.

But it wasn’t without self-doubt or occasional emotional struggles. Just like any other normal girl, when her actions are questioned, and misunderstood & outsiders’ extreme gossip affects her family life, she experiences moments of sadness and confusion.

Even if society pressures, mocks, doubts or disrespects her, Hua Zhi keeps a firm belief in herself and has a clear understanding of what she’s doing. By doing so, she slowly starts to achieve her goal by reuniting her family, becoming independent, and breaking the common stereotype of a male-dominated society (… She defies societal expectations and proves her worth and value beyond traditional beliefs about gender roles and ultimately becomes the source of inspiration for many women ).

Also, Hua Zhi is not a character without flaws. While she’s still learning and evolving, she’ll also make common mistakes as most people do. But her mistakes are not that big. Like, understanding the emotional struggle between each family member, and their differences, accepting everyone’s opinions, and all.

Overall, Hua Zhi’s resourcefulness is not just a personality trait; it’s a skill honed by her unconventional upbringing. As she takes on leadership, the story explores how she overcomes self-doubt and navigates societal pressures. Her journey showcases not just her resourcefulness but also her growth in resilience and emotional intelligence.

Multiple Female Characters

As we can see, the female lead was born into a wealthy and luxurious family. Just like the Jia family in ‘A Dream of Red Mansions (2010)’ in Jia Family, there are many members in the Hua family, as it is a large, extended family. Besides the main female character Hua Zhi, the story revolves around other multiple female characters and their stories in the series.

Like Shao Yao (portrayed by Lu Yu Xiao), the male protagonist’s sister, is a young teenage girl with autism, she has strong medical skills and knowledge about the field.

Fudong, another female character, is a maid but after the catastrophe, her cooking skills and recipes are recognized by more and more people, eventually helping boost the Hua family’s fallen financial condition and her status.

Ying Chu, another maid, is good at communication and managing business. She works as a mediator during business.

By combining their unique skills, these women make their goal of financial freedom more attainable and realistic.

Blossoms in adversity
Lu Yuxiao with her ‘Blossoms In Adversity’ costar /Lu Yuxiao weibo update

With such a large cast of female characters, a less skilled director might have struggled to give each one a distinct personality. Thankfully, director Chui Yui Bun masterfully captures the essence of each character without sacrificing their individuality.

Strong Male Character

Gu Yanxi is a calm and cool male protagonist with strong combat skills. He is the head of the seven constellations leader & a Prince of Gu Family. He meets Hua Zhi unexpectedly and the two become close friends, introducing himself as a soldier and hiding his real identity.

Actually, Gu Yanxi is someone with a dark past and is on a mission to discover the mastermind behind the murder of his mother.

Family Importance & Women Empowerment

While the importance of family is a common theme in period dramas, ‘Blossoms in Adversity’ explores it through the lens of adversity. The Hua family is forced to rebuild their lives together, showcasing the strength that comes from unity and shared struggle. Similarly, the theme of women’s empowerment isn’t just about Hua Zhi’s journey. The show explores how different women from various backgrounds can contribute and find their own voices within the limitations of the time period.

Blossoms in adversity
Hua family women

Hua Family is a large, joint family. You can imagine the dynamics of such a big extended household. Initially, Not all but most of the women in this family are arrogant, prone to back-biting, and often jealous of each other. However, after a devastating blow befalls their family, driven by the courage and spirit of Hua Zhi, each woman steps up to support, and protect each other. Even though they do not possess outside knowledge or exceptional skills except for domestic work; they help Hua Zhi to attain her goal as much as they can. (…in this part, the show is realistic and portrays the emotions well )

Blossoms in adversity

Still, the road is bumpy and full of hurdles but with each other strength and potential, Hua Zhi turns the seemingly impossible journey to full of abundance and possibilities. This unexpected tragedy becomes a turning point, teaching the whole Hua Family valuable life lessons. It not only forces them to re-evaluate their priorities but also to discover the true value of family and the strength that comes from unity.

Apart from Hua family women, there are also many female maids in the family, who’ll eventually get to explore the world of business along with the female lead with their unique skills and abilities.

Sweet Romance

In addition to the points discussed above, there is a sweet romance between Hua Zhi and Gu Yan Xi. From their initial accidental meeting to the end, they trust, accompany and slowly fall in love with each other. The best part about this pair is there is no big misunderstanding between the two leads like in other series (this is a kind of bonus point who likely doesn’t prefer too much drama between the leads).

Blossoms in adversity

Well, The on-screen chemistry between Zhang Jingyi and Hu Yitian is sweet and develops gradually throughout the series. While it might not be a show-stopping spark, it complements the characters’ personalities and the overall narrative.


Although ‘Blossoms in Adversity’ is a lengthy 40-episode period drama, its plot is not draggy. Each episode consists of 15 to 20 small plot points and 2 to 4 events, with a plot or new side character changing or introduced in every two episodes. There are no unnecessary filler scenes.

The cinematography is also commendable. The production team effectively utilizes the available resources, with many scenes taking place either in the family home or bustling cityscapes. These settings add a sense of realism and immerse viewers in the characters’ world.

Do we recommend this drama?

Yes. Those audiences who enjoy watching period historical dramas especially focused on family and women empowerment should try checking out this show.

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