First Impressions: Princess Wei Young

Watched 5 episodes and verdict is : Cautiously good!  I liked it better at ep 4 but keeping fingers crossed Ep 5 was an anomaly 🙂

Was impressed up to Ep 4 with the pacing, storyline and character development but it went a little downhill for me [Spoiler alert!] in terms of Wei Young’s character arc in Ep  5 when she suddenly became lovestruck while being so kick ass until then. That whole scene of her dancing in the butterflies also didn’t quite work for me – it was much better executed in Zhen Huan and it would have been nice if Tuoba Jun fell hard for her for other reasons and not because she looked pweety dancing in butterflies….Wei Yang seems to have awaken from her love stupor by the end of episode 5 so hopefully this was just an aberration and her character is not a damsel in distress with fits of wit and vibrancy and instead an intelligent, calm and spunky character with fits of girlish fancies.

Ep 5 aside, loving the premise of the show! I have to say that i am not a fan of Tang Yan but her character truly rocks! I have not read the book but I dig Wei Young! As a princess forced to assume another identity so immediately after watching her closest kin and friends murdered, she grieves sufficiently without being overly super hero like – I like how she couldn’t help herself and gripped the jade amulet when it was passed to Chang Le and subsequently gave some crap believable reason to excuse her  behaviour.  It would be unrealistic if she was completely stoic considering how raw her emotions should be. And it was great character storytelling that Wei Yang retained her princessy entitled self when she smacked the maid who had the audacity to slap her and teach her to pour tea. That’s the way! Not Miss Meek Mouse!

Tang Yan is passably competent as the titular character but I do feel that she is definitely lacking in her interpretation of the more nuanced scenes – eyes widening is not repressed anger, my dear! She does however have chemistry with Luo Jin and they look good together . Luo Jin is pretty awesome at the moment as Tuoba Jun (he flies, he fights, he’s kind and even plays the fishes!) but sadly, Vaness Wu’s (Tuoba Yu )styling is really not my cup of tea. Rachel Mao as Chang Ru is doing really well – uber cute but you just kinda know that still waters run deep. Chang Le is your typical mean girl beauty and Lee Xin’ Ai (she is a quarter Russian) has the striking exotic looks to carry it off. Special shout out to Tian Li who is totally owning her role as Madam Li – loving that she is a brilliant strategic antagonist – her positioning Chang Le is not just merely female harem games but part of a bigger picture to elevate her status and wealth – even her son is under her thumb !

Am so ready for an ancient drama so please don’t disappoint! Not expecting it to be of  NiF calibre(although Wei Young’s character in the book is meant to be like Mei Chang Su per some blogs) – treating it like an idol drama so just please let us have a strong female character who forges her own path and can be wily and brazen when needed.

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16 thoughts on “First Impressions: Princess Wei Young

  1. Its fine if they do like 2 eps of her losing it for love or whatever but I need her to stay strong too!!! Also, nothing can replace the amazingness that is NiF 😍😍

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    • Oh you are so right re the amazing ness of NiF !!

      Up to ep6 now and it seems that Wei Yang is focusing her mind again. I have to say though that it’s pretty jarring when she plays around with Min De – it’s as if she forgot that her life is uber complicated and can suddenly be so carefree. Tang Yan – please be more layered !

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      • Need to watch ep 6 but agree, she needs to watch her back, her life is already complicated — maybe they want her to forget that she’s technically in danger and all her loved ones died in front of her😕

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        • I think it’s so that she is not melancholic all the time but perhaps it’s in the way Tang Yan interpreted it – she just seemed overly carefree with naught a worry in the world considering she just escaped death for the 3rd or 4th time….

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  2. I wasn’t the only one who thought the butterfly scene was awkward xD
    As someone who read a portion of the novel, I like how they added more depth to her character because she was really cold and calculating in the beginning. It was more believable that she hasn’t gain the upper-hand yet and is still trying to figure things out (exacting more satisfying revenge) since she was a pampered princess before the murder of her family. I would say her heart did hardened a bit but will still faltered. I just hope she doesn’t rely too much on Tuo Ba Jun to do all the rescuing.

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    • Great minds think alike 🙂 yes, I too liked that part as it makes the story and character development more organic. She whold definitely have survivor’s guilt so hopefully the drama allows Wei Yang multi-layered character to flourish and not take the damsel-in-distress route.

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  3. read the novel series this show is based on. theres 20+ chapters translated and u can just machine translate the raws. its MUCH better than this drama well written but with less romance and more on the revenge. she doesnt lose her head and is a focused intelligent mc. i just hope more fans of this show like it enough to try reading the novel which is much better, and i daresay almost up to nirvana on fire standards. their missing out!

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    • Hi @dgundam ! Thanks for letting us know about the novel. That’s definitely interesting to hear a reader’s perspective ! Piqued my interest now!

      i am up to Ep 22 now and happy to report that Wei Young definitely has had her moments of well plotted revenge so my concerns at Ep 5 have been laid to rest (for now!)

      I do think that it would take a very good actress to flesh out the Wei Young role in the book (per your description) as she would need to be truly multi layered and still remain a rootable protagonist (something Hu Ge achieved with his Mei Chang Su) and I suspect Tang Yan would not be able to pull it off. There are definitely quite a few incongruous moments in the drama where It seems like Wei Young is two different people in separate scenes as the characterization doesn’t flow through. In fact I think Chang Ru (Rachel Mao) is doing even better for a novice scheming lady! So it’s good that the Wei Young in the drama is inherently tender hearted as that fits Tang Yan’s interpretation more.

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      • you may be right about tang yan not being able to play the novel wei young. novel wei young is like mei chang su but can also act like an innocent young lady (faking it), can also be cruel to her enemies but still rootable and justified since the people she faces in the novel were out to destroy or kill her (so eye for an eye).

        i was reading the books and only just recently found out that there was a drama series. i watched the first 2 episodes and i was kinda disappointed at how they adapted the origins of her revenge.
        in the novel, it starts with wei young (age 36 also the empress), imprisoned by her husband the emperor tuoba zhen (3rd prince) for the past 12 years who also killed their child. they had married when she was 16 and for 8 years she had given her all in helping him fight for and claim the throne. but as soon as she became empress he discarded her and went with changle. he then orders her execution….
        she then gets rebirth as her 13 year old self, when she was sent to live in the countryside as a mistreated peasant, by her father the prime minister for being the daughter of a concubine.

        That is why there is a very DEEP hatred and thirst within wei young for her to get her revenge on all the people who wronged her. with the main one being tuoba zhen. so she sets out to stabilize her position in the prime minister’s residence and later helping tuoba yu (7th prince who also falls in a one sided love since shes really focused on revenge) to beat tuoba zhen (who also falls in love with the strong woman not the weak wei young of the previous incarnation). also li minde helps her (hes adopted, and he has a crush on her in the first half of the series. later blooms into love in the 2nd half of the books but i doubt the drama is even going to cover that part.)

        throughout the first half she is strong, cunning, intelligent, and determined character unmatched. everyone underestimates and gets beaten by this young 13 – 16 year old girl who is full of wisdom for her age (since she has all those years experience and knowledge from her 36 years of life). she later meets her equal in pei hua the second half of the books when the setting takes place in the west country where she moves for her next revenge targets after the tuoba one is wrapped up. unfotunately i dont think this second part will happen since they are making this drama into a romance and looks like she might end up with a tuoba which is amusing since in the novels it wasnt never in her character to fall in love with either of them since it conflicted with her set determined goals.

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        • Wow! No wonder you feel shortchanged 🙂

          After your last posting it got me thinking as to perhaps the reason why MCS or even the Count of Monte Cristo was more focused and singleminded in their revenge plans (to the point of everything else being secondary) was because they too were personally grievously harmed unlike Wei Young who witnessed her family killed and her kingdom subjugated managed to escape reasonably unscathed physically. Now that you mention that novel Wei Young was imprisoned and killed, it totally makes sense as to why the characterization and storyline of the two Wei Young’s are quite different. It does seem that aside from the similarity in the characters’ names, the drama is completely different from the novel !

          I tried to read up a little about the Northern Liang and Wei kingdoms (never studied Chinese history so all these fascinates me!) and Hexi Wang did indeed exist and was essentially an exalted hostage-of-leisure of the Wei Kingdom but Wei Young is a fictional character (or not mentioned). Tuoba Jun however is a real figure who became Emperor Wencheng of the Wei Kingdom and had 2 empresses in which the first empress was made to commit suicide. I do wonder if the changes to the drama was also made because of SARFT restrictions (I have no basis to say this and it’s completely pure speculation on my part) to maintain a semblance of historical accuracy and the novel background of a reincarnated character maintaining her memory of the previous life may not have passed muster through their strict guidelines.

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  4. I am loving this drama so much <333 It will probably be my favorite drama of the year if it keeps it up. I read that she is really cruel in the book so I am glad they made her a bit less cruel but still super badass.

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  5. I must disagree with you in one point. Tuoba Jun did not fall in love with Wei Young “just because she was dancing with pretty butterflies”. I think he fell in love with her way before that and he had many reasons to do so that have nothing to do with her beauty (strength & talent with the zither f.e.. The flower scene was only used to emphasize her looks to him and probably made her more memorable, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that he fell for her because of that. The original plot from the book does seem interesting although I never read it, but I’m glad they turned this novel upside down because I’m not sure how I would feel about vengative, blood-thirsty demonic kind of Wei Young. Tuoba Jun is a nice addition to her tragic hopeless plot. I hope to see more subs soon. 😀

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  6. Hi! That comment about the butterflies was tongue-in-cheek 🙂 but I do think that that was the defining moment for Tuoba Jun. Prior to that, Wei Young had not really done anything to demonstrate her intelligence and was quite a typical meet-cute-damsel-in-distress scenario (he rescued her twice and her rescuing him was really just being in the hole first) who exhibited some inner strength to accept a painful treatment. If there was any attraction, it would definitely be more from a physical/superficial perspective for Tuoba Jun and oh-my-hero-he-saved-me for Wei Young. The dancing in butterflies at the inn was just too much like that scene from Zhen Huan that i could not resist! 🙂

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  7. happy begining but sad ending.i wish he could neva die,stay with her forever as he promise…is a nice film that i ever watch in my lifetime.am from nigeria

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