Revenge Period C-Drama “The Double 墨雨云间” Review

The Double 墨雨云间 is a Youku’s period C-Drama adapted from the web novel “Marriage of the Di Daughter” (嫡嫁千金) by Qian Shan Cha Ke (千山茶客). The series stars Wu Jinyan and Wang Xingyue in the lead roles.

The Double 墨雨云间 Review

My Ratings: 8.5/10; A perfect blend of revenge and intrigue. It is set in a beautifully crafted historical backdrop. The show delivers a satisfying plot with great chemistry between the leads.

  • Episodes: 40
  • Broadcast Details: June 2024


Xue Fang Fei (played by Wu Jinyan) is a devoted wife who sacrificed her dream, and family for her beloved husband. However, She is betrayed, framed and is mercilessly killed by her own husband. Fortunately, she escapes this tragic incident as she’s is saved by another kind soul who gives her a second chance to redeem her past mistakes and live the life again.

Unexpectedly, the one who saved her was also killed. Xue Fang Fei becomes determined to take the revenge on those who murder her savior including those who pushed her to the hell. To do this, she takes the identity of her savior, Jiang Li and enter the capital once again to fight injustice. Gradually, Xue Fang Fei slowly rises from the rock bottom to the triumphant revenge. During this process, she also meets mysterious man called Duke Su (played by Wang Xingyue) who becomes a trusted companion in her life journey.


Xue Fang Fei/ Jiang Li

A daughter of county maigstrate Xue, and once a woman of quiet brilliance, was reborn from the ashes. After her successful revival, she returns to the Capital with a new identity of Jiang Li. Driven by vengeance, there she slowly honed her strategic mind and works her way forward.

Duke Su/ Xiao Heng

Xiao Heng, also known as Duke Su, a man as ruthless and calculating as Xue Fang Fei is equally capable. He becomes a important companion in Xue Fang Fei’s journey.

Ye Shi Jie

Cousin of Jiang Li

Shen Yu Rong

Ex-husband of Xue Fang Fei

Ji Shu Ran

Step Mother of Jiang Li

Wan Ning

The Eldest Princess

Tong Er

The maid of Jiang Li

Overall Thoughts

The Double explores themes of betrayal, revenge, and the psychological impact of extreme survival measures in a treacherous world filled with evildoers. Xue Fang Fei’s transformation into Jiang Li symbolizes a compelling rebirth, giving her a chance to seek justice and loyalty to her savior. The female lead’s journey of revenge and retribution is central to the story, making her character complex and nuanced.

To be honest, even though its screenwriter, producer, or manager Yu Zheng had been hyping this drama for a long time, I didn’t have high hopes for it at first. However, once it premiered, I decided to give it a shot and watched the first few episodes. Unlike many viewers who were immediately engrossed in the story, I wasn’t particularly impressed by the first five episodes. However, the intriguing opening in the first half of episode 1 did grab my attention. That’s why I continued watching—I was curious to see how the female lead, Xue Fang Fei, would take down her opponents. Surprisingly, from episode six onwards, I felt much more invested in the show. It truly felt like the show was getting better, and this turned out to be right. As the episodes progressed, the show indeed continued to improve. Yu Zheng’s hyping was right on the mark, and his prediction about bringing Wu Jinyan back into the limelight after her lackluster career following Story of Yanxi Palace indeed came true.

Despite taking a while for the show to grow on me, it did very well in ranking and charts since its premiere day. The Double becames the fastest show to break 10K Heat Index in Youku so far in 2024. The show was hotly discussed and loved by the audiences; both domestically as well as internationally for its intense and gripping plot line.

Here’s my review;

What’s been decent

High Quality Production

So, when the opening scene began with beautifully shot characters running in red and white, the vivid colored costumes fluttering in the air, I was definitely impressed. It was visually stunning and aesthetically pleasing. However, while the production team incorporated an interesting design element with pearls on the girls’ faces, it felt like a distraction rather than an enhancement. Overall, the evocative cinematography further enhances the visual experience. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but it served the story well.

The Double 墨雨云间 Review
Women’s accessories in The Double

Additionally, it was a plus point to have young actors like Wang Xingyue dubbing himself as Duke Su/Xiao Heng, something rarely seen in period dramas. Actor Liang Yong Qi also dubbed himself for the role of ex-husband Shen Yu Rong.

Storytelling and Script

In the world of television shows and films, the storyline and script play a critical role in determining success. We’ve seen numerous examples in recent years where, despite high-quality production and a star-studded cast, shows have performed below average. For instance, Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Red Moon Pact, which premiered at the same time as The Double, was criticized by viewers for its poorly written script.

The Double, however, serves as a contrasting case. Here, a well-written script formed the backbone of the series’ success, working alongside high-quality production and strong acting performances.

Even though it was fast-paced, the story flowed smoothly. We see this from the beginning, where the heroine takes time to collect herself after the devastating blow. She then constantly faces dangers and complicated situations. Taking a new identity was a double-edged sword for her. Through her actions, the main female character not only provides justice for her savior but also paves the way for her own goal, step by step.

Aside thirlls, there is humor which makes the series even more lively and enjoyable. The best part is that, unlike many series that use the transmigration process these days, The Double’s script utilizes identity change, which keeps the tension high throughout.

Wu Jinyan & Wang Xingyue Chemistry

The Double 墨雨云间 Review
Wang Xingyue & Wu Jinyan

After her breakout role as Wei Ying Luo in Story of Yanxi Palace in 2018, this is another successful drama under Wu Jinyan’s belt. Her transformation from a helpless housewife to a tactful and vengeful avenger after betrayal was very satisfying to watch.

On the other hand, Wang Xing Yue has been steadily making a mark in the TV series world. Despite being a very young actor, his charm and talent shine through, allowing him to pull off any kind of role with his female co-star. This time, as the cold, domineering, and ruthless Duke Su, he delivered another captivating performance in The Double.

While discussing their on-screen chemistry, I’d say this duo is definitely my surprise favorite couple of the year. Their connection or interaction is engaging, even though it might not be sizzling or mind-blowing. Interestingly, Wu Jinyan (33) and Wang Xing Yue (22) have an 11-year age gap. Many couples with a large age difference fail to capture the audience’s attention, but that’s not the case for The Double. Despite the age difference, the chemistry between Wu Jinyan and Wang Xing Yue is magnetic, leaving you wanting more screen time with them.

Many Antagonist That Will Keep You Hooked

The Double 墨雨云间 Review
Princess Wanning & Step mother of Jiang Li, Ji Shuran

In Double, viewers will be introduced to countless evil characters from the very start. Perhaps because it’s a female-centric drama, the main antagonists in this series are all women. There are many villainous male characters as well, but they don’t pose the same lasting threat or don’t linger for long in the drama. These villains are indeed cruel and obsessive, as befits their roles. They’ll relentlessly challenge the main female lead, never giving her a moment of peace. This continuous pressure is one of the reasons why The Double is so interesting to watch.

These villains have clear motives and ambitions. For example, Ji Shuran, the stepmother of Jiang Li, never misses an opportunity to torment her stepdaughter. Eldest Princess Wanning, on the other hand, is both obsessive and never bats an eye to kill someone with her power. She believes she deserves anything she desires, and will stop at nothing to obtain it. When these villains work against the sole female protagonist, its simply thrilling.

What Could have been better

Overly Dramatic

While creating impactful scenes is important, I believe the production team went a bit excessive in certain instances. A prime example is the music competition in Episode 11. Since this is a Period drama, the scene’s inclusion of fantastical elements made it feel more like a Xianxia drama. When the two heroines, Jiang Li and Jiang Ruo Yao, played their musical instruments, strange visuals were used, commonly seen in Xianxia dramas. Jiang Li’s image was shown floating in the air as a powerful fighter or deity. Honestly, these elements felt unnecessary. We understand the production team wanted to show what that music was trying to tell, but it just felt the scene could have been just as effective without resorting to such overt displays of mysticism.

The Double 墨雨云间 Review
Special Effects used in Episode 11 during music competition

Another scene that raised an eyebrow was in Episode 15, where the focus shifted to the Ye family. The scene depicted two women crying and yelling upon seeing a new arrival at the house. The funny thing is, these two characters even didn’t bother to ask who this woman was. But just started throw tantrum thinking that she was a mistress. Come on, does that make any sense? This scene significantly reduced the show’s overall realism. Not only these two characters but the whole Ye family’s reaction was unrealistic and over the top when this family was initially introduced. I believe toning down these overreactions would have benefited the scene.

The Double 墨雨云间 Review
Ye Family intro in The Double

Limited Screen time for Male Lead

Since this is a female-centric drama: it’s understandable for the male lead, Xiao Heng, to have less screen time compared to the female lead. However, the male lead’s presence is too minimal, which greatly hinders his character development. It’s like he’s shown as nothing more than just a supporter in the female lead’s journey.

My Verdict – Worth Watching!

Well, If you’re into revenge theme story especially those set in the historical period, then this might be the right pick for you. Personally, I enjoyed watching it. The pacing is fast but not confusing, the script is well-written and well-executed. The chemistry between the two leads is decent. There are enough thrills and excitement to satisfy anyone who craves revenge stories.

Note: The drama is still ongoing, more points will be added later.


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