fujiko: (lotus)
[personal profile] fujiko
A few dramas that were left out of the last post for the simple reason that they are not kdramas. Here are three historical cdramas (okay, one is hkdrama) for you. All of them deal with the life in emperor's court, but duuring three different dynasties in three different millenia.

Schemes of a Beauty

40 episodes

The story is a fictional take on the life of empress Dou during Han dynasty. It takes over a long period starting when she and her friend/rival Shen Er are kids and ends when during her grandson's rule. When Dou Yi Fang is little her mother gets in trouble with empress Lü and ends up dead along with Shen Er's parents who tried to help her. Yi Fang and Shen Er make it to Yi Fang's uncle on their own, but his wife refuses to take Shen Er in and she is abandoned on the street. When they grow up, they both enter the palace as maids and treat each other as sisters again. Clever Yi Fang catches the empress's attention and she gives her a new identity to send her to become prince of Dai's concubine and spy on him and keeps Shen Er with her as a hostage. However Yi Fang falls in love with her husband and switches sides. Now she has to scheme to fool both sides. Over time her relationship with ambitious Shen Er changes till they find themselves as enemies. The plots in the palace never end and later she has to deal with the intrigues between her children and her son's women. I found it interesting how even though Yi Fang is depicted as loving and kind she is the titular beauty with schemes and she never admits to her husband that she came to him as a spy. I wonder if he ever suspected. If he did, he loved her enough to never bring it up.

Beyond the Realm of Conscience

33 episodes

The main characters are friends Sam Ho and Kamling. The story is about their life in the imperial household, their love lives and relationship with the prince who survives life in palace by pretending to be a fool and eventually becomes the emperor. Sam Ho is almost sickeningly sweet character. She always does the right thing, treats everyone with kindness and always gives the benefit of a doubt. Kamling starts out as a bit ambitious, but a good sister to Sam Ho till after losing her baby something in her cracks and she would do anything for power. I was a bit surprised by how many characters dies and the the bittersweetness of the ending. Maybe I shouldn't have since sweet lotus seeds as "sweetness in bitterness" came up quite often. Overall it wasn't bad, but I would have liked it much better if Sam Ho wasn't such an embodiment of virtue, Kamling was much more interesting even if she got a bit murderous in the end. Also I still need t get used to the sound of Cantonese.

Jade Palace Lock Heart

39 episodes

It's kind of like Hana Yori Dango in Qing dynasty with time travel. It has a lot of issues, but has certain kind of charm that makes it still fun to watch. An ordinary girl Qing Chuan, who has a thing for stories about emperor Yongzheng is about to marry according to her mother's wishes when she suddenly falls through time and finds herself in 18th century where she meets her idol while he is still a prince and not quite the man she thought he was. She encounters various other princes and deals with the life in court. The story doesn't take itself too seriously, there are quite funny moments. There are many similarities with Hana Yori Dango. They even had the scene where the boyfriend's mother finds him another bride and he tries to escape with the heroine and later discovered he grabbed the wrong girl etc! There's love pentagons, fighting for the throne, plots and crazy things like teaching an imperial concubine roller scate or making ice sculptures with martial arts. Oh, and the crown prince believes the heroine is a fairy.

I just finished the last one two days ago and got really confused with the ages. At first they really didn't indicate how much time has passed since her arrival. A few years maybe. Then she got married and 14 years passed, soon afterwards four more years passed. That would mean she spent at least 20 years in the past. Then she travels back to the future. Some time has passed, but it doesn't feel like 20 years, for example her fiancé is still around. So she got young again? Nobody is surprised she has aged twenty years? I just don't get it. The fact that they didn't even try to make the actors look older as the time passed doesn't help at all.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-29 05:51 am (UTC)
ditch_gospel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ditch_gospel
I was looking at the list of taiga dramas the other day to see if anything else looked interesting. Mary Sueish, huh? That Mary Sue turns up everywhere!

It's annoying when an actor's age doesn't match the age of the character they're playing.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-29 06:28 am (UTC)
ditch_gospel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ditch_gospel
These days with good special effects and makeup, it should be possible for a younger actress/actor to change their appearance that way. Of course an adult shouldn't try to play a child, though, or vice versa. That would just be weird.

Wow. In that case, I can kind of see why they would change the ages of the characters so drastically. Since the children are behaving in a very mature way anyway, I guess it wouldn't seem really out of place to just up their ages. But from 10 to 40 is quite a huge difference!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-29 06:53 am (UTC)
ditch_gospel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ditch_gospel
I guess it's harder to decrease age by using makeup.

They didn't up their ages, just used too old actresses.

Okay, then that's just really odd. Maybe they couldn't find any children who could act well enough to fit the role? Surely they could have handled thngs differently so that it was at least semi-realistic.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-29 07:11 am (UTC)
ditch_gospel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ditch_gospel
Maybe they wanted to attract audiences by using the well-known actresses from the start instead of waiting half a year till you get to the part when the characters are old enough?

That reason makes the most sense. In the end, I guess they were willing to sacrifice realism in order to attract viewers.

In the next episode 5-6 years had passed and they used adults for everyone.

This is starting to make my head spin! Talk about confusing.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-29 07:18 am (UTC)
ditch_gospel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ditch_gospel
*laughs* I can see how some may not appreciate tuning in every week for that.

Flowcharts would help!


fujiko: (Default)

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