Drama Review: Empress of China

This drama was aired last year in 2015, but I have finally gotten the chance to watch it!

This drama takes place during the Tang dynasty. It tells the story of how Wu Zetian (Fan Bingbing) became the first and only woman emperor. A naïve Wu Ruyi acts according to what she believe is right, but her straightforwardness and righteous behavior made her accountable to the consequences of the King and the envious harem and prospective concubines. Her graceful dance and daringness attracted the Emperor’s attention to promote her to the status of Jieyu Wu Meiniang, but she is soon pushed down by the schemes of the imperial women.  Furthermore, a Taoist predicted that she will end the Tang dynasty by becoming the first woman Emperor. She learns that silence and accepting the mischievous acts are better than speaking the truth to keep peace in the kingdom. Continuously betrayed by those she loves, she battles to win the King’s heart and survive the envious harem and attentive state officials.

What really drew me in were the beautiful costumes. I love the Tang dynasty! Each outfit is very detailed and the head pieces look very intricate.

The actors and actresses played each character very well. Friendship was a theme that I enjoyed watching. Friends would stand by each other, protect one another, and even sacrifice themselves. It was a disappointment when betrayal cut between them. I felt that Wu Meiniang received too much attention.  Wu Meiniang was always able to escape troubles. Her punishments were never as grave as what her actions called for. Her submission was a bit annoying. However, her intelligence and strategic thinking were enlightening.  She is the protagonist of the drama, but I wished I could have seen more character of the Kings and the other members of the Harem. The costumes and scenes were all amazing, but I felt that the plot lacked development and meaning.

The events transitioned very smoothly. However, the censorship of the costumes and scenes was a major downfall of the drama. The censorship was a hindrance to what the drama could have developed into.

The politics and historical content are present, but not overbearing. According to my research, the characterization of Wu Zetian is not very accurate. Wu Zetian is perceived to be extremely cruel and vicious, but this drama shows a different side of her. A more innocent and kind personality.

The filming of this drama was amazing, but the plot line was not as developed. I give this drama a 7/10.

  It was evident that the men were underdogs near the ending. I HATED the ending. All the men were complete failures.

Lastly, can we take a moment to appreciate these fan art? They’re so breathtaking.


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