The Eternal Love: The Fun One

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Not to be confused with Eternal Love/Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, this one is a fun webdrama that follows more of a Princess Go Princess style. Like PGP, Eternal Love uses the storyline of a time traveling woman (I thought time traveling dramas were banned….) who lands in the period time of Dongyue Empire. Xiao Tan inhabits the body of Qu Tan Er, a composed and reserved daughter of a high official and a concubine. Qu Tan Er, the original owner of the body is in love with Mo Yi Huai, the eventual crown prince of the empire. However, their love is not meant to be and the prince ends up marrying her older sister in order to fulfill in his ambitions. Sheis forced to marry the prince’s 8th brother, Mo Liang Chen by her family. She ends up trying to commit suicide, but Xiao Tan lands in her body instead. Xiao Tan is rash, loud, and tomboyish. Thus, when they switch back and forth in the same body, it confuses everyone else around her who they think she is going crazy. Furthermore, every time they switch, they cannot remember how they got to their current location or what has happened before their switches. Mo Liang Chen is a clever prince and is distrustful of Tan Er because he knows she is Mo Yi Hua’s woman. However, as Xiao Tan inhabits the body, he slowly begins to have affection and trust for her. Xiao Tan also begins to fall in love with Mo Liang Chen who saves her again and again which causes emotional turmoil for the two women in one body who love two different men!

Not all period dramas have to be serious angst-fests. I love this breezy and fluffy fusion piece. Liang Jie is amazing at portraying two completely different personalities. It is funny to watch Xiao Tan take revenge for Qu Tan Er whenever they are bullied. She is not afraid to fight back and be extra sassy. I love how she also pulls on her modern knowledge to add into the confusion! It also extremely steamy between her and Mo Liang Chen. He is quite good as a leading man, especially when I have only seen him in a small side role as Princess Agent’s bodyguard. I am glad to see him come into his own in this piece and be extra charming to matching Xiao Tan’s sassiness. As for the rest of the characters I could really care less. This story is about the candy sweetness, or actually the spiciness between our two lovers!

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Hwarang: Beautiful Knights, Literally

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While admittedly I do have a full drama plate right now, I am not adverse to lopping a healthy dose of dessert right on top. But if I really need this dessert that is Hwarang still remains to be seen. Hwarang is full of gorgeous eye-candy….but it hasn’t hit that addictive spot for me yet. This is not say it won’t as it continues to air. Set in the Kingdom of Silla (for once, not Goryeo!), this drama tells the story of three main characters. The first is Moo Myung, a lone wolf of sort, who is incredible at fighting. He has a heavy sense of justice and goes around helping his adoptive brother find his real father. However, they must cross into the capitol city where peasants such as them, are not allowed. While they finally sneak into the capitol, they unfortunately get into several spots of trouble to the point where his adoptive brother is tragically murdered. Moo Myung is traumatized by the death of good friend and brother and vows to hunt down the one responsible. Meanwhile, Maek Jong, the future king of Silla sneaks into the capitol and is laying low due to the great number of assassins after him. His mother is the regent of the kingdom, but seems power hungry and does not want to relinquish her power ot him. Maek Jong is bitter and feels powerless as his mother orders the people beside him to kill whoever sees his father. Unfortunately, this is how Moo Myung’s brother dies for which Moo Myung wants revenge for. Our last leg of the trio is Ah-Ro, the sister of Moo Myung’s adoptive brother. Because of her family’s fall from grace and her birth from a servant mother, she has not status in the city and goes around spinning tales to earn money. She not only encounters Moo Myung, but also Maek Jong on her daily adventures. At this time in the kingdom, the queen decides to from Hwarang, a group of flower boys or knights to help inspire the people as well as protect the future king. We will see just how many nobles will clash in this new formation.

Do I need this drama or not is the question. Although I really want to be addicted to this drama, I just can’t seem to get into the groove of it yet. The first episode was slapsticky, whereas the second gave us a heavy dose of melo. The highlight for me so far was actually the cameo by Kwang Soo! He played Moo Myung’s adoptive brother. He is always so funny to watch and reminded me of his Running Man days. His death was definitely a tearjerker for me and I had wished he could stay longer. As for Park Seo Joon, while I was not a fan of his She Was Pretty, I really really want to like this drama. I believe this is his first period piece and who doesn’t love a little angstng from him? His story is compelling enough, but as for the rest of the plot, it still remains to be seen. I feel like the search for “flower boys” feels a little slapsticky and nonsensical to me, but hey, who is to deny the feast for my eyes? I just don’t know what is is, but I feel like our trio is better suited to modern dramas? They are all capable actors and actresses for sure, but something just not quite there yet for me. However, since this is only episode 2, this is one of those dramas where I am inclined to give it another go.

 

 

The Princess Weiyoung

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My tastes in tradition Chinese dramas are very specific. I love the ones where the heroine surpasses her peers in either intelligence or martial arts, or even better, both. Princess Weiyoung hits all of those points and has a perfect cast to match. Tiffany Tang plays Xin Er, the princess of the Northern Dynasty whole is loved by all for her intelligence and kindness.

However, one day, the Jiang Clan of Northern Wei decides to take it upon themselves to overthrow Xin’er’s family so that they can enjoy the power instead. Much blood is spilled and Xin’er’s entire family is completely wiped out except for her and her personal bodyguard. While on the run, Xin Er is saved by the illegitimate daughter of the Imperial Tutor. Weiyoung is shunned by the Jiang family because her mother is of low birth. Her family tries multiple times to assassinate her so that she is unable to go to the main house. Thus, she lives her life in the countryside and ends up dying while defending Xin Er from harm.

As a result, Xin Er decides to take over Weiyoung’s identity and get revenge both for her friend and the deaths of her family. She survives numerous attempts on her life by the Jiang family and eventually moves into the main house under the fake identity. There, she encounters much resistance from the main madam and Chang Le, her rival in love and status.

The Jiang family tries every which way to discredit her and kick her out, but she is able to outsmart them all and even gain praise for the Emperor himself. With her kindness, she manages to gain loyal supporters by her side even in the tiger’s lair. She also manages to catch the eye of Prince Gaoyan and Prince Nanan, potential heirs to the throne. Prince Gaoyan moves her heart as he has saved her from several difficult situations. However, she must keep her distance due to her real identity and her quest of revenge. Of course, Chang Le also has her eyes set on Prince Gaoyan and plots with her mother on how to get rid of her rival. It is a game of cat and mouse where a wrong step could mean one’s life.

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Go Princess Go: The Other Genderbender

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A parody, but also not really. We always see dramas genderbending girls into acting like boys, but not often do we see the other way around. This time, like BuBuJinXin, we have a time traveler who ends up in the era of Chinese dynasties. However, this time, it is a guy who becomes a woman! After suffering an accidental drowning in the pool, Zhang Peng becomes Royal Crown Princess Zhang Peng Peng as he is thrown back several hundred years. He ends up in the body of a very beautiful woman, but still has the mind of his past life as a player whose only goal in life is to eat good food and fool around with beautiful women. At first, he tries to kill himself again in order to go back to the future. However, he ends up lusting after all the beautiful women he encounters in the palace, including his own maid and the crown prince’s concubines. It becomes hilarious since he is still in a women’s body and they are oblivious to his advances. However, she soon becomes sand-whiched between the Crown Prince Qi Sheng that she is married to and his brother, 9th Prince. In the beginning, Qi Sheng had no romantic feeling for his wife, Peng Peng, and was having an affair with another brother’s wife. The past Peng Peng just became embittered and jealous as time went on. However, after Zhang Peng took over, she gave Peng Peng an entire personality change. She was empathetic to the plight of the men and didn’t even mind all the affairs and concubines as she was too busy enjoying herself with all the beauties. At one point, Qi Sheng tried to assassinate Peng Peng when he thought he was unable to control her and thought she was a danger to him. This pushed her into forming an alliance with 9th prince and his friend. She wanted revenge on Qi Sheng and to grab hold of power for 9th prince or even stabilize her own position in the palace. However, as time wore on, Qi Sheng become more and more interested in the new Peng Peng and even fell in love with her. Their intense emotions for each other vacillated daily.  She became more and more entrenched in palace affairs and eventually even bore Qi Sheng a child. However, this vicious cycle of them lying to each other eventually came to a head as they constantly tested each other on their feelings. Peng Peng also became feminized as she fell in love with Qi Sheng.

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Mu Gui Ying Gua Shuai: A Different Kind of Power

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An oldie, but a goodie. In the same of vein as Mulan, Mu Gui Ying Gua Shuai tells the story of young girl who has the smarts, beauty, and physical prowess as much as or even more than any guy during her time. Born the daughter of a rich bandit, she has lived her life to the fullest doing as she pleased, but also gaining skills that surpassed most men. When her father tried to marry her off, she proposed that she will marry any suitor that can best her in martial arts. Of course, no man in town could even match her level until she managed to offend the heir of a family of generals. It then becomes a vicious cycle of Gui Ying provoking the heir, Zhang Bao, while he tries to take a valuable wood sculpture from her. They are well-matched in martial art’s prowess, but Gui Ying exceeds him in intelligence and craftiness. As they duel back and forth, they slowly fall for each other. At first, Zhang Bao hates her for besting him at each encounter, but slowly he becomes enamored and impressed by her. The line is thin between love and hate. Even though his family opposed the relationship, he can’t help but go to her and she has similar intense emotions for him. Eventually, they end up marrying each other, but end up encountering just as many obstacles against them even after their marriage. She had to endure many competitions against family or friends just to prove that she was good enough to be part of the famous Zhang family. However, it seemed like Gui Ying had a way to solve each one of their problems and continued to impress all her family and friends. She even became involved in the royal palace after placating the Royal Princess who had been pursing Zhang Bao before he married Gui Ying. Eventually, she even managed to lead the royal army in defending the Emperor’s territory from the Khitan nomads.

Mu Gui Ying is actually a legendary and real figure in Chinese history. She was famous for being a woman beyond her times and playing a big part in defending her country. While I haven’t seen the lead actress, Miao Pu, in any other drama before, I am very impressed with her acting. She was very natural and endearing. Her martial arts choreography was also on point. She also had such an addicting laugh paired with her country accent. As for Zhang Bao, played by Jin Luo, I really enjoyed his acting of intense emotions. He played the angsty role brilliantly and had a great comedic side to him as well. However, unlike traditional dramas now, the supporting characters of the drama did not have as big of a role as I would have expected. They felt more like add-ons and I would have liked to see more of their story and interactions with the main leads. Furthermore, as this drama is more obscure, to the point where it doesn’t even have a wiki page, it is not subtitled at all. So watchers beware, with the accents and royal speak, it was a struggle even for me at times. However, it is an amazing drama that really spoke to me as it featured a strong female lead which I love. Hopefully it will be subbed one day and more people can enjoy this drama!

The Imperial Doctress: Female Physcians

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I am extremely picky with my Chinese period dramas, versus ones from other eras. They tend to be 40+ episodes, so it has to be really riveting for me to stick with it for that long, especially if much of it will include political intrigue. Lucky for me, I found a project that two of my favorite actors/actresses is in. I have the pleasure of watching Liu Shi Shi (Bu Bu Jing Xin) and Wallace Huo (Love Me if You Dare)! The Imperial Doctress is a drama about the first female physician in the Ming dynasty to become well known. In an patriarchal society, women were basically to do nothing but the arts at home. Our main character, Yun Xian’s whole family use to be imperial physicians for the royal family. However, due to the naiveté of Yun Xian when she tried to help her family with the medicines, she ended up accidently cause d her whole family tragedy. She was tricked by a mysterious person as a child to put extra medicine in a broth that was to be given to the empress. Thus, her grandfather ended up being put to death and her family exiled. During this hard time, her brother who was to take up the family tradition ended up dying as well due to Yun Xian not having the knowledge to help her brother at her young age. Years later, the father finally manages to change the family name and rise again as an official. However, he forbids his only daughter to study medicine with her grandmother. Her grandmother does not want the long passed down knowledge of medicine to die out, but the father is adamant about his daughter not repeating the same mistakes. However, Yun Xian is unable to watch anybody die in front of her and takes any opportunity possible to exercise her skill. By chance, she manages to save a prince, Qi Yu, who is being hunted down by another faction of the royal family. They of course fall in love with each other. Because we need a love triangle, she also manages to attract the emperor’s attention as well. However, she does not know Qi Zhen is the emperor as he is loudmouthed, brash, and mischievous. He has a deep heartache and is trying to go against the empress dowager due to a tragedy involving his birth mother in the past. Meanwhile, the empress dowager is going against the emperor and wants to put Qi Yu on the throne instead as the ‘son’ she raised isn’t listening to her. With this politic mess and Yun Xian’s persistence to practice medicine as a woman, I am looking forward to the drama it will bring!

I’ve always adored Liu Shi Shi in ancient drama settings. She has an elegant look about her that fits well with that era. I also love the spunkiness that her characters have. As we all know, Liu Shi Shi attracts all kinds of princes and emperors like she does in Bu Bu Jin Xin. As for Wallace Huo, I can attest to his acting from Love Me If You Dare and enjoy the brash character he adopts in this drama. However, it does make me sad that he is not endgame in our drama. Wallace and Liu Shi Shi are on fire, and most stills we see have them together. However, this is not to say that she doesn’t have good chemistry with Huang Xuan, prince and future emperor. They are also pretty adorable together. Though it does feel different than your usual dramas where the girl ends up with a “second lead type of guy” rather than the usual “brash” one. Or which one will she end up with really?