Plot: The mysterious death of Wu Mei Niang’s newborn daughter sparked a vicious rumor that it was a murder committed by the childless Empress Wang Ni Jun. To help clear the Empress’ name, her former lover Ming Chong Yan and her old friend Helan Xin Er came to palace to investigate the mysterious death. They soon found out that the child’s death was only the tip of the iceberg to a sinister plot to usurp control of the palace. The drama is split into three sections according to Chinese mythological characters of man, ghost, and demon.
So after seeing 7 episodes of this I decided to drop it. The reasons why I dropped it was I started disliking the main protagonist, Helan Xin Er more and more as the drama progresses. I went into this drama thinking Wu Ze Tian/Wu Mei Niang was going to be the lead character and was actually pretty excited about it. I have always been interested in the story of Wu Ze Tian and seeing how she used her wits and even ruthlessness to rise as China’s first female emperor. But the drama focused more on Helan Xin Er and Wu Mei Niang ended up being the main antagonist instead. Albeit the disappointment, i watched on since I thought Helan Xin Er was a quite an interesting character. She was introduced as a bounty hunter with guts and brains which really intrigued me since I prefer female characters with more maturity than the usual innocent and naive ones. But it was as if she transformed into a different person as soon as she entered the palace. I mean she still kept her smarts as well as her guts but she became all sweet and cutesy, unlike the character I was first introduced to and even her makeup changed which was really dramatic for me. I get that as a palace maid it wouldn’t be realistic to have on thick makeup but still the transformation was too big.
Emperor Gaozong and Wu Mei Niang
Mickey He as lover boy Shao Qing
And yes Ming Dao is playing Chao Yan
I couldn’t follow the sequence of events as well. She was basically running about getting stuff but I’m not sure why or what for and even if I did I wasn’t exactly convinced by its necessity. Maybe it was due to the lack of english subtitles but I found the schemes on Wu Mei Niang’s side much more interesting and logical. And there was the old cliche of having the main lead attracting everybody’s attention and suddenly becoming the main person everybody wants or is rooting for. Urgh…I really can’t stand the female guard as well. She has serious issues. Like the head maid has already let her off when she dropped that painting (although they never explained why) but the female guard refuses to let her off and becomes suspicious and overly aggressive towards her like what the hell is her problem? The romance in the drama was pretty weak as well. I couldn’t feel the romance between Shao Qing and Helan Xin Er. Though Mickey He is definitely a great actor, I love his charisma and his voice but his character, Shao Qing was more of an annoyance than an essential character. The romance between Chao Yan and the former empress wasn’t developed as well yet but it pushed the story forward gave motivation for Chao Yan to help clear the former empress’s name.
Li Xiao Lu as Helan Xin Er
But I loved how cleverly Wu Mei Niang manipulated the king and the scene when she successfully thwart off the leader of the court officials on behalf of the king. It is obvious who holds the most power in this kingdom.
Overall the costumes were really pretty and the set was good. The scenes were done well with no awkward cuts and the acting was good. I just wished they made Mei Niang the sole focus of the drama but I guess having a protagonist as evil as her wouldn’t be very well-received. Maybe this drama just wasn’t meant for me.