Set in 1930s Shanghai, Detective L (2019) is a Chinese detective drama that follows Qin Xiaoman (played by Una You Jingru 尤靖茹 ) after she graduates from police academy.
She happens to live the same apartment building as Luo Fei (Bai Yu 白宇), a former policeman turned private detective who is an outstanding investigator.
The duo often clash with each other but eventually find themselves making a great team when it comes to solving cases.
It has been one of the highest rated Chinese dramas for 2019 and after watching the series, we at KajoMag understand why.
Here are five things to appreciate while watching Chinese drama Detective L:
1.The fascinating cinematography and camera transition
First of all, let us talk about the beautiful colour palette used in Detective L. The dark gray and different blue tones of the drama manage to set the mood and transport viewers to 1930s Shanghai.
In order to tell the story better, different camera transitions are used throughout the drama.
For example, the camera would shift from the back of the main actors while they interview a suspect. This gives the viewers the impression of being in the same room with the characters, walking around and watching the whole conversation.
2.The intriguing story-line with plenty of (sometimes unpredictable) plot twists
Fans of detective stories, sometimes have a tendency to try to solve the mystery in our minds ahead of the next plot unveil.
But things can get boring if the plots get predictable. Thankfully, most of the cases featured in Detective L are not that easy to crack even for devout fans of detective stories.
However if you pay close attention throughout the episode, you might be able to ‘catch’ the culprit.
3.The grandeur of Shanghai French Concession architecture and attention to detail filming sets
The events in Detective L actually takes place in the Shanghai French Concession. Although some of the buildings are clearly CGI-animated, some of the shooting takes place at historical buildings and sites.
Even for Luo Fei and Xiaoman’s apartments which are clearly studio filming sets, one can’t help but notice the props used in the drama to depict that era.
The production team’s attention to details is definitely worth our thumbs up. So much so, we bet you would never find a Starbucks cup anywhere in the camera frame in this drama. 😉
4.The stylish costumes in Detective L
Since Detective L is set in 1930s Shanghai, the costumes carefully depict the fashion of that era.
China in the 1930s is considered the golden age of the cheongsam (qipao). This Chinese traditional dress became slimmer and more skintight during this era. In 1933, a slit was added to the dress, giving it the look that we are all familiar with today.
And you can observe the beauty of these cheongsams in Detective L, especially on Luo Fei and Xiaoman’s landlady Wang Susu (Dong Weijia).
Besides the filming sets, the production team also pay great detail to costuming the characters.
You cannot help to appreciate their outfits (men and women alike) while getting caught up with the storyline.
5.It somehow reminds you of Sherlock Holmes, but in an Agatha Christie book
Speaking of storyline, you can’t help the similarity between Luo Fei and Sherlock Holmes.
There are some quirks and eccentricities of Luo Fei which reminds you of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes.
Furthermore, Bai Yu’s acting as Luo Fei in this drama is indeed impressive. It is a complete deviate from his previous roles such as in Love O2O.
When it comes to the flow of the storyline, some of the cases seem almost taken out or inspired by Agatha Christie’s books.
So if you are a fan of Doyle and Christie, you will definitely enjoy Detective L.