Short Dramas

《念念无明》 The Killer Is Also Romantic – Chinese historical Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Main Cast胡丹丹,杨泽,肖然心,王钧浩
Length18 episodes (12 min each)
GenreHistorical, Romance, Comedy

Short Chinese historical period costumes are one of the best media for Chinese learners to familiarise themselves with historical setting entertainment content. But not all would fit the bill as some will have more indicated plots and stronger usage of historical language than others.

《念念无明》 “The Killer Is Also Romantic” is one that is perfect for Chinese learners! It’s lighthearted and funny, with an easy-to-follow, straightforward plot that is comprehensible even without understanding every dialogue.

Many call this show the Chinese historical version of the American movie “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”. There is a very strong resemblance, but with more romance and the addition of a second couple.


Si Xiao Nian, the graceful garment shop owner, and the gentleman, Yan Wu Ming, tied the knot. However, neither of them showed up on time on the day of their wedding. It turns out they were both on a hidden mission and hiding their true identities.

Faced with love and secrets, they fall into a life of navigating a normal marriage while hiding their identities and any evidence that could put an end to their happy marriage.

The Watching Experience

《念念无明》 “The Killer Is Also Romantic” is set in a non-specific historical time period. Most of the story occurs in the main characters’ residence and local town.

Similar to many short dramas, there are only a few characters: the two main characters, their sidekick (who are also the second couple of the show), and a few other not-so-important smaller side characters.

As mentioned previously, this short drama is essentially a Chinese historical version of the American movie “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”, which starred Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

The main couple, who are assassins, are betrothed to each other. Unaware of each other’s identities, they go about their marriage, pretending to be someone else and hiding any evidence from their missions (i.e., weapons).

Unlike in “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” the couple starts to fall in love before their identities are revealed. It was hilarious to watch them navigate their marriage, go on romantic dates, and pretend to be normal, sophisticated people.

The second couple of the show is one of the biggest highlights; they are super sweet but funny. In fact, I prefer them over the main character and wanted more scenes of them.

Short dramas like this one simply don’t have time for fillers, which is why short dramas make great entertainment mediums. 《念念无明》 “The Killer Is Also Romantic” is jam-packed with romance, comedy and light fight scenes not a single dull moment.

The pacing and narration were generally good and well thought out throughout most of the show. Unfortunately, this fell short towards the end. The ending was weak, confusing, and rushed, which was a little disappointing as the rest of the show was done extremely well.

Production Quality

In terms of quality, this one is very good for a short drama. Short dramas are often low-budget productions.《念念无明》 “The Killer Is Also Romantic” is definitely on the higher end of the low-budget spectrum, with some short cinematic fight scenes and lovely costume designs.

There were a few odd cuts between scenes that were a little difficult to follow, but most were done well and were easy to follow.

Difficulty for a Chinese learner

《念念无明》 “The Killer Is Also Romantic” is an approachable historical Chinese drama for Chinese learners, particularly those who have seen the movie “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” as the plot is very similar.

Given that this is a lighthearted romance comedy, most of the language used throughout the show has a light touch of historical flavour and does not often go into detail on complex subject matters. This is a brilliant show for newcomers to Chinese historical period costume dramas.

The narration is easy to follow even without grasping every dialogue, as the plot is simple and straightforward.

The last few episodes delve a little into politics, which could be challenging and confusing. Having said that, these few episodes are the weakest of the whole series as the closure was very rushed without much detailed explanation, which is confusing nonetheless.

Final Thoughts

I really want to rate this show a 10 out of 10, but sadly, due to the weak and confusing ending, it’s only an 8.

The episodes are 12 minutes long (but if you skip the opening and ending songs, it’s only 9-10 minutes long), so I binged the whole show in two sittings. The MangoTV app also automatically skips the opening and ending song, so I quickly found myself halfway through the show without even noticing it.

I really enjoyed 《念念无明》 “The Killer Is Also Romantic” and would recommend this to anyone looking for a short, lighthearted Chinese historical period costume drama. It’s a great drama after a stressful day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *