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Daily DripEntertainment

Taiwanese Drama “Light the Night” on Netflix — Fantastic or a Flop?

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After coming to a close, the third season of Light the Night, a popular Taiwanese crime drama that’s being streamed on Netflix in select regions, has raised opposing opinions from those who invested hours of their time watching it.

The series is set in the 1980s and revolves around Light, a Japanese-style nightclub in Taipei’s red-light district that offers wealthy businessmen fun, flirtation, and companionship. The Netflix program, which premiered in November 2021, highlights the interpersonal relationships between Light’s staff and clientele.

At the time of writing, Light the Night topped Weibo’s trending topic chart with 74 million views.

light the night ruby lin

Ruby Lin and Cheryl Yang in a still from the first season of Light the Night

Praise for Light the Night often applies to its rich ensemble of female characters, especially the two leads played by Ruby Lin and Cheryl Yang. Their characters are childhood friends turned business partners.

The all-star cast also includes Vivian Hsu, Joseph Cheng, Tony Yang, Rhydian Vaughan, Wallace Huo (Lin’s husband in real life), and Chris Wu (not to be mistaken for flop idol Kris Wu), the last of whom has performed in hit Taiwanese dramas like The World Between Us and A Touch of Green.

light the night chris wu

Chris Wu in a still from Light the Night

“Although it has some cheesy parts, the characterization, storyline, and costume and makeup design are all exquisite,” reads a popular comment on Weibo. “Love, sisterhood, marriage, jealousy, money… These keywords are like a vortex, entwining the fate of women in the club. It tells the story of a group of urban women struggling with desire and pain.”

“Ruby Lin is an excellent actress, and I prefer open and sad endings. This drama profiles a group of females and clearly explains the back story of each character,” another opined.

light the night ruby lin

Ruby Lin in a still from Light the Night

On the flip side, the slow pace of the series has been the main target of criticism.

As far as murder mysteries go, Light the Night undoubtedly drags out its plot — so much so that it took the makers eight full episodes to finally reveal the main victim and 16 whole episodes before the killer was unmasked.

“The plot unravels too slowly and lacks a focus. It starts with suspense but ends like a soap opera,” said a film critic, whose opinion was liked 22,000 times on Weibo.

That said, some fans have not minded the program’s unhurried pace, which is said to provide space for equally intriguing side stories, such as shady drug deals, sordid police corruption, and stimulating female relationships.

According to Variety, Netflix and the Taiwan Creative Content Agency recently struck an agreement to promote Taiwan’s content internationally. The global streaming platform has enjoyed success with its Taiwanese content, which, besides Light the Night, includes The Magician on the SkywalkThe Victims’ GameLittle Big WomenA SunDear ExSeqalu: Formosa 1867Mom Don’t Do That.

All images via IMDb

Lu Zhao
Lu Zhao is a bilingual and multimedia journalist with a focus on human interest and social issues. Her work has appeared in USA Today, UPI, SupChina, Pandaily, Chicago Reporter, and other publications.
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