First Impressions: The Glory of Tang Dynasty

Started watching this because the trailer looked kinda cool and was totally in the mood for an imperial court drama after dropping General & I and not completely satiated after Princess Wei Young – totally hooked on this now and at Ep13. Despite the fictional liberties, the drama is rooted in a fascinating time period of the Tang Dynasty where the aging emperor Yuanzong enamoured with Yang Guifei is blissfully unaware of two powerful sycophantic powers General An and Yang Guizhong circling him while his heirs-in-waiting tread the waters gingerly navigating the political landscape. Amidst this turbulent time is also the disappearance of Emperor Daizong’s beloved Consort Shen, the former at this point in the show is still Guangping Wang, Emperor Yuanzong’s grandson. I am watching this without subtitles which results in some healthy guesstimating on my part in terms of the political alliance strategies and tactics (still have no idea what Murong Lingzhi discovered about the Crown Prince’s health!) but also leading me to the good ole internet to find out more about this era which is totally cool for a history buff!

First time watching the OTP and its hard not to root for Guangping Wang/ Li Chu (Allen Ren) and Shen Zhenzhu (Jing Tian) despite me being partial to Mao Zi Jun who plays An Qing Xu (General An’s son) and is Shen Zhenzhu’s childhood friend who loves her too. Allen Ren is not classically handsome and is of an average stature as well but he carries of the role of an intelligent, shrewd prince well – definitely grew on me and he delivers angst well; not too much as he is a busy man with many affairs to attend to but sufficient for the cauldron of feelings bubbling underneath! Jing Tian is also rocking it as a courageous, intelligent young lady (but not unbelievably so) who looks so elegant in the Tang hanfu – again, I wouldn’t say typically pretty but definitely very attractive. Knowing what happens to Shen Zhenzhu in history means a sad ending for the OTP (unless the artistic license is stretched really far!) but I am quite entrenched for now – they look good together and are not nauseatingly lovey-dovey but are so sweet in their tender moments!

Mao Zi Jun is second lead again (give this guy a lead role!!) and is the antagonizer (again!) as history dictates his father would lead the rebellion and him eventually ending up as king of Yan. He definitely pines well (shades of Chusen!) and is actually better looking and more built than Allen Ren so it really does speak volumes of the OTP chemistry that I am not having second male lead syndrome although I do feel sorry for An Er Ge ! Qin Jun Jie and Shu Chang is Li Tan (Li Che’s younger brother) and Murong Lin Zhi (Li Tan’s wife and Shen Zhenzhu bosom buddy) and they are a cute couple for now but suspect that they will be embroiled in the palace intrigue and battles in the later episodes based on the trailer. Shu Chang, too looks really pretty and is the calming partner to Qin Jun Jin’s carefree and prince – am enjoying all their cute interaction before all the carnage starts!

The lack of subtitles may make the later episodes more difficult for me to follow but for now, am sufficiently invested to follow through. The dresses are beautiful, everyone can act well and the story is riveting – I am sold!

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6 thoughts on “First Impressions: The Glory of Tang Dynasty

  1. Murong Lingzhi discovered that the Crown Prince can no longer make babies. The presumption was that he was still young and healthy enough to do so. The truth would be branded a heresy and incurred serious ramifications.

    I kind of like this drama because Guangping Wang is not a typical brave, intelligent male lead but somehow has a huge blind spot. That is, he figured out himself that Shen Zhenzhu was dressed as a man without all the cliche “accidents.” Not quite sure about Shen Zhenzhu yet. Not a fan of the type of blind devotion like she had about the boy who saved her.

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    • Thanks @keekeepod @4zyx for letting me know re Murong Lingzhi’s diagnosis!!

      And yes, totally agree with your analysis on Guangping Wang and Shen Zhenzhu . I wanted to cheer when he noticed that Shen Shiong doesn’t have an adam’s apple and such smooth fair skin !! always wondered how come other male protagonists seem oblivious to that when they are unknowingly attracted to a female dressed like a male. 🙂

      Re Shen Zhenzhu, she was definitely hung up on the boy who saved her donkey years ago while he clearly didn’t even remember that (although as adults he obviously loves her a lot – credit to Allen Ren who interpretes Guang Ping Wang to be a faithful man in love but not the kind who only has love on his mind). If I had Mao Zi Jun around me growing up (ie not in a cave or a convent and hence no male interaction) don’t think I would remember the boy who saved me once so distinctly and decide to marry him only! For a smart girl, that part does make her silly. Hopefully no overwrought noble idiocy in the later parts of the drama!

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      • Someone sent out a weibo regarding Princess Weiyoung saying that a male lead in drama often suffers a unique blindness- not able to tell that the female lead is dressing as a man.

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        • That is too hilarious ! Esp when they are so clearly female ….

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        • I also wanted to say that i liked that Guangping Wang, despite his obvious attraction to Shen Zhenzhu, did not foolishly pursue her “to follow his heart” but went ahead with his wedding to the two women anyways in accordance to his strategies. I really liked how happy he was on his wedding night when he saw that the Shen daughter he was marrying was the girl he liked !

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  2. When Linzhi was examining the Crown Prince she discovered that he is unlikely to have more kids.

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