saddleblasters Loved it!! Haven’t really watched any other Chinese TV so I found it a lot of fun. I watched it this year so, uh, I had a lot of free time, but I think even including that I watched 95 hour long episodes extremely quickly. It chugs along in places but I think based on what I’ve read online that may be more because they chose to stick closer to the literature than many adaptations, with mostly minor character revisions. It makes the overall story, as long and complex as it is with so many characters, easy to follow and engaging. They really knew how to lead you through all the twists and turns.
I’m always conscious of what it means to say something had “good acting” when it’s in a language I don’t even remotely speak or understand and have to trust the translator, but at least with that perspective, I loved a lot of the characters and I think no small part of that was due to some great, highly charismatic performances. I watched the fansub by a a seemingly defunct group called Jiang Hu, it’s up on nyaa .si as well.
Only major criticisms I have of it are that the fight choreography is often goofy looking with what may be cool martial arts and stuff that is heavily obscured by lots of too-close and too short shots, which is a shame because if they had managed really slick fight scenes with lots of cool choreography it would be just about a complete an unimpeachable package. Oh, also, if you’re sensitive to the idea of animals being mistreated on filmsets, unfortunately I have read (rumors at least) that the production of that show was not kind at all to a lot of the poor horses in it, and some even died. I don’t remember anything outright purposefully cruel being shown but some of the stuff looks pretty damn rough for the horses, so when you watch it it’s hard not to think about the rumours.