Have you ever sat through an entire series and thought, “Why did I do that?” Yep, I did that. Thank goodness for one good tune that sort-of-kind-of got me through it.
Linda Chung’s “Sacrifice”
All That is Bitter is Sweet is a 2014 Chinese period drama that centers around an apothecary that is shut down after the business’s patriarch is jailed for inadvertently causing his future son-in-law’s death. His daughter, Kai Kei, played by Canadian actress Linda Chung, works to solve her fiance’s death in hopes of setting her father free.
What could’ve been an intriguing whodunit quickly dissolved into what felt like just a lot of people dying (which, okay, the deaths were pretty legit), poor writing, Kai Kei’s neck scarf, and Yat Yuen’s hat. And a crappy ending. I’m oversimplifying, but that pretty much sums it up for me.
That’s not to say that All That is Bitter is Sweet was all bad. Even with the lack of writing skill, this show still manages to put out a lot of great acting from its cast. Raymond Wong’s performance in particular was fantastic as he pulls off his portrayal of two characters, with only a pair of spectacles to separate them, beautifully. Natalie Tong was so epic, as was Sammy Shum. Still, I wouldn’t recommend watching unless you walk in with absolutely zero expectations. Painful truth, but it’s accurate.
Linda Chung’s portrayal of a Mary Sue such as Kai Kei was as flat as you’d expect, but that doesn’t take away from her real contribution to the show, lending her flawless vocals to Bitter‘s ending theme song, “Sacrifice”.
And really, that’s what we’re here to do, right? It’s Tuesday Tunes, let’s listen to some good music, not babble on about a sub-par Chinese drama. This series was certainly nothing to write home about, but Chung’s performance in “Sacrifice” is perfect meld of modern and classical Chinese instruments. It was like a reward for getting through each episode! Sad to say, but… you know.
So yeah. I’m not sure how Tuesday Tunes became more of a review of Bitter. My bad. But seriously, unless you’re looking for something to drag yourself through, I’d suggest skipping over All That is Bitter is Sweet, and in this case just enjoy Chung’s vocals on their own rather than suffering through episode after episode to get to them.