Virtuous and beautiful? What, a, catch!
- Wang Luo Dan as Wei Zi Fu
- Raymond Lam as Liu Che
- Niki Chow as Princess Pingyang
- Xu Zheng Xi as Duan Hong
- Shen Tai as Wei Qing
- 47 episodes (uncut version)
- Original run: August 20, 2014 – Sept. 2, 2014
When a lowly servant girl gains the favor of the king at a dinner party set up by his sister, what is waiting to happen? She is clever, well mannered and deeply devoted to the king, the ruler of thousands. Will she help him become a better leader or will she cultivate his destruction?
We all know historical dramas are always super exaggerated and dressed up, so I went into this fully expecting lots of fabricated material, but it was actually fairly accurate (aside from a few minor storylines here and there). The storyline was about how virtuous the queen was, and how she was able to maintain the king’s interest in her for so many years through admiration, not through her ability to flirt and gain favor. (Of course, they didn’t show the end of her life because it got more tragic later on…)
This drama was branded more as a love story rather than the other 宫廷戏 (dramas set in the royal palace) which typically focus on the concubine fights (宫斗) or politics. This show zoomed in on the relationship between Wei Zi Fu and Liu Che as they meet, fall in love and rule the kingdom together. We also play witness to Wei Zi Fu as she uses her wisdom to aide the king in his political intrigues, helping him to become a better ruler and eventually rise to power as the queen at his side. There are a few minor bad guys in the show, but they are easily dismissed in a few episodes of time which made the watching enjoyable (good trumps evil without the long turmoil and agony). If you do like a few tough characters in the series or enjoy long arduous fights against evil, then this might not be the show you want to catch.
Wang Luo Dan did well as the calm and smart Wei Zi Fu. To be honest, I was quite surprised because I’m usually not a fan of her acting, probably because she is often cast in series where she is screaming or yelling all the time, and I just find her too noisy (lol). But this time, she did exceedingly well playing a collected and respectful woman who rose from a talented servant girl to the highest position of power a woman could be at that time.
Raymond Lam was also pretty good as the king, Liu Che. The series wasn’t about him as much as it was about Wei Zi Fu (hence the title), so his acting was limited to expressing some words of love to the queen and making some commands here and there. I can’t say there were any highlights in his acting, but he did contribute to the overall watchability. Needless to say, if he was terrible I wouldn’t have been able to watch 10 episodes, let alone 47.
For someone like me, who don’t normally enjoy historical dramas or those with more than 16-20 episodes, to sit through this feeling like it was actually very good, is a miracle. So take a peek if you are into this genre, or if you are in the market for a breath of fresh air.
This & That:
- This year Wang Luo Dan starred in Taiwanese drama, Fall in Love with You Again with Korean actor, Choi Si Wu. She was in the TV version of the famous tragedy Under the Hawthorn Tree and in the WWII timepiece Hong Nian Zi.
- Raymond Lam is a well established Hong Kong actor who was recently in Line Walker. He previously was in Detectives and Doctors, and movie Hello Babies.
- Niki Chow is a Cantopop singer who signed on with TVB in 2011. She was most recently in A Change of Heart.