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Cdramas vol 1

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.
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Maybe she came back to the future exactly to the point where she left? But it still doesn't explain why she didn't age. Unless it all happened in her head.
It wasn't exactly the same point, it is commented that she has been gone for a while and it wasn't in her head, her husband from the past followed her. Some random people saw him too and thought he was shooting a movie or something with his outfit and shaved braid and all.
Now I wonder where is logic here .__. Maybe I should expect none...
Also I still need to get used to the sound of Cantonese.
I will NEVER get used to the sound of Cantonese. .______.

With actors/actresses I feel like sooner or later you must have suspension of disbelief regarding ages. XD Schemes of a Beauty sounds kind of interesting, but cdramas have rarely held my attention for long. XD
No hope for me then?

It's one thing if I don't notice the ageing, that's natural considering they use the same actor/actress, but if the other characters don't notice 20 years worth of ageing, something has to be off somewhere. And if she did not age, which is totally possible, she just time travelled, why not mention it?

Schemes of a Beauty is the one I liked best. As yo can see from the number of cdramas in this post as compared to kdramas, I have trouble finding interesting stuff with subs.
Hahahaha, perhaps you still have hope. Might be because I'm so used to Mandarin myself in the first place.

Yeah, the characters def ought to notice, but those are little things that I think slip past directors easily.

Me too, I find kdramas more interesting than cdramas anyway, based on their description.
Hm, getting used to the sound of Mandarin wasn't that hard. Cantonese seems to have this singsong quality to it that has proven distracting for me.

That seems to sadly be the case. I have this weird habit of checking the characters ages and comparing with historical data if there is any involved in series that take place over a longer period of time and got really confused when the things stopped making sense.

As you can see from the number of dramas in this post, so so I. :)
It is, it is! Oh well, it's not like I must hear Cantonese all the time. :P