C-Drama: Legend of Zhen Huan

English Title: Empresses in the Palace

Genre: Palace

Episodes: 76

Released: 2011

Language: Chinese

Synopsis: Zhen Huan, a young, innocent woman enters the palace for the selection of new imperial concubines. She, having no desire of being one of the Emperor’s many wives, gets chosen. Initially a kind-hearted, young woman, Zhen Huan begins to adapt to the harem’s way. In order to survive her days in the palace, she too, must be manipulative and calculative.

Comments: I haven’t completed this series yet and I don’t intend to, because it seemed to be a drag. I didn’t really enjoy this drama and the cast weren’t to my liking. The actors here, delivered their lines in a rather boring tone, so it would be rather difficult to continue watching the rest of the 76 episodes. Sun Li (who’s playing Zhen Huan) has the good looks, but her character wasn’t as I expected it to be. I’ve always envisaged Zhen Huan to be good-natured and righteous. But, here I thought Sun Li’s portrayal of Zhen Huan wasn’t very convincing, that this elegant, fragile image was all just a facade, that something malevolent is hidden beneath it all. She just doesn’t appear all that innocent to me. And, there’s the king – not very satisfied, but that’s just how it is back in the days, right? Despite the negatives, I do have some positive remarks. The costume is amazing! And the headdress is just wow – such an amazing range of intricate designs.

Look how amazing it looks!

C-Drama: Legend of Lu Zhen

  • Another name: The Female Prime Minister
  • Language: Chinese
  • Episodes: 59
  • Released: 2013
  • Main Cast: Chen Xiao (Gao Zhan / Prince Changguang), Zhao Li Ying (Lu Zhen), Qiao Ren Liang (Gao Yan), Yang Rong (Guan Yin)
  • Genre: Romance, Period
  • Synopsis: Originally from a well-off family, Lu Zhen is forced to leave her home due to a false accusation made by her stepmother of murdering her father. Habouring feelings of vengeance for her father, she enters the palace, in hopes of obtaining a position as a high ranking minister to re-investigate and bring justice to her father’s death. Once she steps through the gates of the palace, she becomes involved in a series of events of the royal harem and gets intertwined in a relationship that is disapproved and envied by many.

I’m actually enjoying this drama a lot – so much that I watched it without English subs when there was none available. Don’t worry, I understood a bit of it. I don’t know the historical side to the story so I’m not sure if the drama portrayed it accurately. But the plot is quite interesting, compared to other dramas. Yes, you still have the scheming women of the royal court, manipulating people and using them at their own disposal – a lot of evil plots and betrayal – all for the sake of love and power. However, Lu Zhen, staying true to her nature and holding tightly to the belief that women are just as capable as men, uses her own abilities to climb to the top and garners popularity and trust through her kindness. As you can see, you don’t get the average, weak girl that you normally see in dramas, which is a refreshing change. Despite all the chaotic misfortunes that they encounter, Lu Zhen and her partner’s love remains strong and true.

I love their chemistry!

In the end after all that they’ve come across, they stood together, hand-in-hand.

It took Guan Yin a while to notice Gao Yan’s unrequited love for her, and she figured it out eventually.