For me Love and the Emperor was a surprising drama. From the first episode and the trailer I thought that it would be a really fluffy sweet drama about food and everything will go relatively smoothly and the focus would just be on food and the fluffy romance between the OTP and the second lead couple but turns out I was so wrong.
Instead it focuses on a love that is destined to be doomed and how the characters react to that when they are faced with that situation underneath the jokes and fluffy exterior. Unfortunately it’s not marketed and packaged in that way and hence it’s a little heavier and serious than a drama that you were planning to watch without using your brain and that’s also why I think it has such low ratings.
The plot focuses on Li Xiao a girl who has just realized that her crush and also her boss from the VR game company she works for has just been using her and doesn’t care about her at all. So to prove her worth she decides to go for the hardest level in the game they developed in the first test run. Things go wrong with the gaming system so now she’s stuck in the gaming world where she loses a life in the hands of the Emperor’s evil consort but is luckily saved by the Emperor. However despite she and the Emperor loving each other, Li Xia knows that it’s just a game and she will have to leave so she never dares to accept him properly. The other couple is the Emperor’s elder brother and Li Xia as good friend the female general and again because they hold so much military power each they cannot be together either. To back this all up is a conspiracy that threatens the security of the Nan Ting kingdom that the ML rules over.
I really like the acting of the actress who portrays the FL. I think she really expresses the pain and the hesitancy very well throughout the drama it was a big contrast to the acting of the male lead who is a little….. inexperienced. I think one of the things that is putting me off a little is that he seems to have more chemistry with his fiancée (not the FL) even though he’s not supposed to love her.
It’s evident that it’s a low budget drama so everything is kept to the minimal, hence most of the characters only have a few costume changes. However the color scheme is quite pretty and I suppose they used some of the money on the VR effects.
The plot is quite simple, a love triangle and the powerful handsome male lead falling in love with the cinderella female lead who has a unique skill. However what I like about it is the execution of it. Everything seems to make sense except the end which was a little rushed and I especially like the short monlogues of the FL at the end which adds a nice touch.
You can find the subbed episodes here: https://productiveprocrastination.site/category/love-and-the-emperor/