TV Series Review: Maiden Holmes

Thirty-two episodes of adventure, romance, and detective work. Not nearly as long as a lot of Chinese costume dramas, which can often run 50 eps plus. I approve of this one being shorter, though, specifically because every episode – every last one – ties into the overarching story of “who murdered an entire clan, and why?”

Almost an entire clan. Which becomes critical later, in many different ways. A few of those ways you need to have done a little cultural background research to pick up the cues. For example, at one point Detective Su Ci is praying to her deceased parents’ memorial tablet. Normal enough… except 1) the tablet is hidden away, not out in the open, and 2) the tablet is blank.

Meaning she can’t get caught doing this. Meaning just having something with their names on it would be dangerous.

(Lethal, in fact. Familial extermination is a Thing, and given the crime they were accused of, even years later she’d be executed without a moment to defend herself.)

The characters are great, the costumes are gorgeous, Xie Bieming in particular is a well-meaning if sometimes way too naïve pure-hearted Hero, and almost everybody has a secret. Yes, even people you’d never dream had a secret. One recurring character, you don’t find out until the very last two eps that there’s a secret at all – yet it doesn’t feel like a cheat, because to even survive with that secret you have to hide so very well.

A couple of things I specifically liked on the romance end. First, while there are misunderstandings between Su Ci and Pei Yanzhi, they are based on plausible reasons (I heard a voice that was there when my relatives died!) and generally cleared up within an episode or two, because these people actually communicate. Way to show healthy relationships, thank goodness. Second – it’s made clear over and over again that while it’s natural to want revenge for an injustice, what you must seek is justice. Su Ci has dedicated her life to reopening a closed case to clear innocent names. Others so wronged take bloody revenge into their own hands, and they usually murder innocent people along with the guilty before they’re stopped.

There’s also a serial killer case in the mix of murders, treason, and old conspiracies. It’s an interesting change from the rest. Especially since, with the deaths being presented in the context they are, you get the chance to see how hard it is for cops to sort out “normal” suicides and deaths from, “Oh heck, we have a madman on the loose.”

And eventually it turns out that a seven-year-old case is the key to the murder of one emperor, and the attempted murder of another….

Maiden Holmes Playlist on YouTube:


25 thoughts on “TV Series Review: Maiden Holmes

  1. One thing I have been struggling with is the best site to watch these types of shows. There doesn’t seem to be any one site. They seem to be scattered everywhere. Lately the free ones on YouTube have so many ads taking up space I can barely see the show. And since you introduced me to c-drama via The Long Road I thought I would ask you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d actually recommend getting Adblock Plus for computers. It should block YouTube ads as well as the only time I see them is if I’m watching something on my phone (which doesn’t have Adblock Plus).

        It’s a free program, though they do ask for donations (of your choice) from time to time. As in a singular message once a year kind of thing.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. If you like this kind of amusement, you can always spend a few hours reporting the ads, and complaining in the “this wasn’t helpful” box that the ads are driving you away from the merchants advertised.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Use Brave browser! Built in adblock; I’ve used it for so long that I’ve half forgotten YouTube even has ads, and so do double takes when other people mention them. Haven’t seen a YouTube ad in ages, or anywhere else for that matter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. is a great source. You can watch with ads for free or pay a subscription. They are often the source for subtitles and have a huge catalogue. If you can muddle through with source languages there are even simulcasts but mostly the translations take a few months to be completed unless it is the ss tier popularity. USD but I think the service is based out of japan and south korea mostly

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A show like this is EXACTLY what I need right now as I deal with ‘water main broke and dealing with insurance’ and ‘water main collapsed the ceiling on me and now I have busted ribs’

    I’m looking forward to watching this, as I love this sort of story

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, wow, that stinks. I’ve had the ceiling crack and stuff, but that was snowmelt getting in through cracks or bad pipes next door, not water mains.

      Don’t laugh too much with busted ribs. I understand it is not pleasant.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, doesn’t help this was the second time in 2 weeks that the main busted (and this one after the plumbers assured everything was fine)
        Not a pleasant way to wake up by any stretch, although thank GOD it fell up near my chest and not down near my legs where the dogs were. they, thankfully, are unharmed. …everything ELSE I own is ruined, much beyond saving, but the dogs are okay.

        No it really isn’t. I’ve broken ribs before, but I keep forgetting how much it sucks =_=

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Just finished episode ten with my aunt. We are both enjoying ourselves immensely, and enjoying all the speculation we can toss about the various cases.

    So much going! On! So good! Everyone likes each other, Xie Bieming is such a good guy even when Su Ci keeps effortlessly acquiring Rushang’s romantic attention. Before he figures out that Pei Yanzhi and Su Ci have a thing. (Side note, so much of the gender disguise shenanigans they get up to when talking are explained by the fact that in Chinese the words for ‘he’ and ‘she’ sound identical. And in fact only relatively recently have they had a separate character. Had to explain that to my aunt.)

    Pei Yanzhi really, really liked needling her about her secret, but was really good about helping her keep it. I’m also desperately trying to keep track of who knows what about Su Ci, Pei Yanzhi, and the both of them collectively.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Very nice series to relax with. It’s good to get writing/characters that model good communication skills. I think I started laughing the second or third time Pei Yanzhi is (wrongfully) accused of trying to overthrow the emperor because there was a pattern being built of “Pei Yanzhi is accused of trying to overthrow the emperor in front of an audience; Pei Yanzhi and emperor meet up without an audience to discuss who is trying to cause them problems and how to deal with it”.

    In a very real way, the thing that frustrates the actual traitor the most is that his enemies managed to keep communication channels open long-term and they made very good use of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Speaking of the Emperor, I especially loved the scene where he was clearly buying his brother time to return by being very picky with his tea. It was such a small moment but showed that while he may be constrained to act in certain ways, he still supported his brother when possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I finally got around to watching this based on your review and I loved it!

    As with anything I love, I went to see if there was fic, but sadly there is a dearth of it.

    So now I just have to think of my own to write.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s on my list!

        Currently just mentally thinking if I can make a good Su Ci the Vampire Slayer story happen.

        Maybe with “the dragon throne” having a bit more of a literal connotation.

        While also dealing with some of the plot holes and story issues I felt there were, especially at the end. Obviously I loved the show, but the last four episodes had some plotting issues in particular that bothered me.

        Liked by 1 person

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