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CDRAMA REVIEW: The Longest Day in Chang'An (2019)

I know, I know...I claim I love crime dramas and yet it took me YEARS to watch The Longest Day in Chang'An. It also took me FOREVER to finish this drama. I should have finished this drama in 2022 but here we are in 2023, finishing the drama in March. 😂 If you want to check out this cdrama, you can watch it on VIKI.

*Now as per usual with any review I write, I will not be including any spoilers in this review.*

A QUICK SYNOPSIS OF THE LONGEST DAY IN CHANG-AN - An unlikely duo team up to stop an attack on Chang'An during the lantern festival. They have to fight enemies from beyond the walls of Chang'An but also enemies within Chang'An along with the politics of it all. (There is a lot more to the story than this but I don't want to give a lot away)

I knew going into this drama that I would probably love it. There are a lot of things about The Longest Day in Chang'An that I usually love in my dramas. Everything from action, beautiful cinematography to the fact that it is a historical crime drama. A perfect combination in my opinion. Overall, I loved this drama but it also was not a perfect drama in my opinion.


THE CINEMATOGRAPHY AND LIGHTING - My jaw dropped multiple times because just when I thought this drama couldn't top itself, it does. The cinematography was shot very well. It helped show off how grand this drama was. It added to the story and made it more exciting which it should do. The sweeping shots of the city were fantastic. The lighting made everything look realistic which doesn't always happen in cdramas. You had beautifully realistic night scenes especially with all the lanterns in all the scenes.

THE COSTUMES AND SET DESIGN - I know this drama is known for this and MAN IT WAS BEAUTIFUL TO WATCH! You could tell a lot of care and effort went into this drama. You can tell the production did their research. Everything was so detailed and it just adds to the wonder of this drama. Every scene had details to look at. Every costume was beautiful and detailed. As the day went on in the story, the costumes followed how hectic the day was for our characters. The characters didn't look perfect the entire time. The costumes and sets drew the audience into the story and drama, helped the audience get immersed in what was going on in the drama.

THE CAST AND ACTING - This is a HUGE ensemble cast and they all did great. Everyone acted well and definitely gave memorable performances. I will forever remember certain actors and their characters. I became invested in some character's outcomes and I think that speaks to the acting of the cast. You had a lot of veteran actors/actresses in this drama and it paid off. I loved a lot of these actors and actresses in this drama and they just proved why I like them with this performance. I was also introduced to some new actors and actresses that I now want to watch some of their other works which is always a good thing.

THE FIGHT/ACTION SCENES - I spoke a little about this in the cinematography and lighting section but THE FIGHT AND ACTION SCENES IN THIS DRAMA WERE AWESOME!! These scenes were shot beautifully and were choreographed AMAZINGLY! I loved these scenes so much, I wished there were more of them in the drama. The scale of these fight/action scenes were incredible and really paid off. This production went all out for these scenes: everything from explosions to roof running to sword fighting to slow-mo. These scenes were some of my favorites in the entire drama.


NEED TO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION - You had to pay attention to this drama for multiple reasons. There are a lot of characters and the drama seemed to add more as the drama went on. You had to keep track of these characters and how they played a part in the drama. Since there are many layers of this story, you also had to pay attention to the plot and what was going on. You had to pay attention if a certain story point was related to something else in the plot. The Longest Day in Chang-An is not a drama that you watch leisurely but I will say you might want to binge this one because it might be easier to understand it all if you watch it right away.

SOME CHARACTER ENDINGS - I did not find some of the character endings satisfying. Some of the bad guys I didn't think got punished enough or not at all. Others I thought got the easy way out for their ending. Other characters I liked did not get the ending I thought they deserved. Since I have these feelings though, it shows I was invested and interested in the outcome of these characters. I would be curious now that we know that this drama is getting a season 2, if any of these characters are coming back for Season 2.

TOO LONG/PACING - I think a part of the reason why you needed to pay attention to this drama so much was because it was so long and the pacing was off sometimes. It was interesting that the episodes were cut at when the drama thought it was a good place to cut off the episode. So, some episodes were 30 mins while others were 45 min to an hour. I did not think this drama needed 48 episodes. I don't know how may episodes it does need but it just was long and some of the scenes were long winded. I think this also was because there were A LOT of characters and a lot of talking scenes. I still am not sure why some characters were present in the drama overall.

SEASON 2 - I am curious what Season 2 will bring. I hope it lives up to the caliber of this drama with scale, costume design and cinematography. This drama has a definite ending so, it might be a new case. I hope a lot of the original cast comes back for it. Don't be scared to watch this drama because of a Season 2. It does have a satisfying ending and is not open ended or anything like that.

If you are curious about my reaction to the drama IN REAL TIME - here is my tweets/watch thread for the drama


I really don't think I did this drama justice in this review. You just need to watch this drama and witness it for yourself.

Did you watch The Longest Day in Chang'An?

What did you think of the drama?

Is it on your list to watch?

Will you watch this drama now after reading my review?

Do you agree with my review?




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