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!