A young woman born of Eigh Banners family marries the Emperor. After surviving through many murderous scandals and betrayals, she prevails as the most powerful woman in the Emperor's harem, the Empress dowager. In the process, she transforms from a kind-hearted, clever girl to a power hungry, manipulative woman. (source: dramawiki)
Cast & Credits
The story comes in waves, at times there is a feeling of melancholy and helplessness of the situation while at other times you will be jumping in your seat from excitement!
Intrigues changes all the time, what was once a dear friend or ally becomes an enemy and vice versa. It's a very complicated story with a big cast which might make it difficult for some western viewers to follow if the series is not watched at a high frequency.
Watching the acting in this series is a treat, the characters become very much alive and they are deeply written. You will always understand why a character behaves as he or she does. There are always motives behind their actions, and even if you might hate a character for some action they did, you will often find yourself later also feeling pity for them because you will see their reasoning behind it.
One of the most popular series in China, give it a try you won't regret it!
I'll try to explain why Legend of Concubines Zhen Huan is so special to me and why eventually it left me speechless but I know that won't be easy job, still I want to write about this drama cause I want to always remember all the things I experienced while watching it and remember how it was a real inspiration for me. First I need to say that it instantly became one of my ultimate favorite dramas, it was totally addicting, interesting, entertaining, and even more informative than any other Chinese historical dramas I've watched about Palace (palace intrigues and palace etiquette) especially about concubine ranks (from Daying to Huanghou), how they have to behave and follow the proper etiquette when meeting the Emperor, Empress, Empress Dowager or concubines with higher rank and even also how concubine's parents have to salute and address them very strict conduct. it's like I've learn lot of things only with that drama and made me want to read a lot more about Qing Dynasty. This drama impressed me on so many levels that I hardly have words to express the beauty of this piece as everything is simply perfect from the writting of characters and story to the costumes which are so exquisite, make up, sceneries, music, poetry … In my opinion the costumes and make up in this drama are the best I've seen, all the concubines look so graceful and sublime in all these different dresses with their make up and headpiece which make them so unique and different from each other, but of course for me the Queen of the Palace is Zhen Huan, she's so dazzling and the most beautiful woman the emperor ever has in his harem and somehow I totally understand why he fell for her, why he wanted to always be in her company and asked a lot about her opinion for private matters because of her superior education and great cleverness.
Now I'll write about Zhen Huan and her story just if you plan to watch this drama I don't really know if what's coming can be considered as a spoil so just in case do not read the next lines, only about Zhen Huan's part though), so it deals with her story and how from an innocent and pure hearted girl she becomes one of the most powerful and scary women in the harem. What I liked about her when she entered the palace is despite that she was very young she was not careless but very cautious, in the very beginning we can see that she does not want to gain the emperor's favor to stay away from all those schemes/plot and I have to say that it was her most peaceful moments, living in harmony with her two dearest friends. But of course it did not turn like she wanted it to be and after all the sad things that happened to her what she then did was not because she wanted fame and power or favor from the emperor but only to survive and protect the ones that are dear to her, parents and sister, her love, her children, her best friend. Even if people would say she became heartless and greedy I can't really agree with them and I can't hate Zhen Huan either, on the contrary I think she was so smart, strong and daring, all what a woman in the harem needs if she wants to live and survive. After finishing this drama I realise how I love Zhen Huan, she automatically became my favorite female character because she always manages to remain unscathed no matter what's happening to her not showing her true feelings to her opponent, I admire her so much for that, I also love her imposing character, her braveness, her heart and her scary face as well.
I've always liked Sun Li and found her incredibly talented but in this drama she showed another facet of her acting, in my opinion she delivered her most outstanding performance In LOCZH. A Stunning Actress indeed <3.
In this drama I generally like Zhen Huan's relationship with all other characters, I'll talk about some of them :
-Mei Zhuang her sister of heart, the only woman in the palace with whom she could be fully herself and tell all of her inner thoughts, I like so much their bonding and their conversations it was always so genuine and so adorable how they care for each other and help the other when necessary and I can't even count the number of time they tried to help each other in dire situation, her best friend and her best confidant in this awful palace.
-Jing Fei one of Zhen Huan's Jie Jie in the Palace who was always here for her, I love seeing them together and despite their age gap I found their friendship so beautiful, as much as Jing Fei did a lot for Zhen Huan, Zhen Huan always helped her in return and gave her one of her most precious thing in life, one of the most wonderful present ever.
-Duan Fei, I love so much those two, I don't really know why Duan Fei decided to go near Zhen Huan and approached her (maybe I'll understand more when I rewatch the drama) but for sure they have one of the most incredible friendship in this palace, I also love the way they always salute each other, and only both of them do that in the Palace making them look so cool and unique. Duan Fei is such a respectful and dignified woman and I'm glad I could see more of her in the second part of the drama.
-Hua Fei, ahaha what an incredible and hateful relationship they have those two, such a threatening woman Hua Fei is but Zhen Huan never showed her feelings towards her I mean she never ever showed her weakness and so it was so hard for Hua Fei to attack her and destroy Zhen Huan however she's for me one of the greatest villain I've seen in drama, Jiang Xin did a really great job in portraying the cruel and scheming Hua Fei, SUPERB !
-4th Prince, he is cute and very well educated I'm glad Zhen Huan paid attention to him and decided to take care of him and keeping him company.
-Ning Pin, this woman is so unpredictable and dangerous and we love her like that (at least I do), she never ever showed some attention about all those scheming in the palace nor for high position or favoritism cause after all she was like lost in an empty island , a place she was not meant to be and maybe I think that befriending Zhen Huan made her life a bit more positive and interesting, love love so much those two together and all the things she did for ZH . Definitely a character I will never forget since she made such a great impression on me when I first saw her.
Generally I liked all of the different characters even those I haven't cited above (Guo Jun Wang, Zhen Huan's maids especially Liu Zu and Jin Xi, Doctor Wen...)
Frankly speaking there's not a character I truly hated, I rather sympathize with some of them nevertheless there's one exception and that is the emperor whom I just couldn't like and totally hated all what he did to all the concubines, how he treated them like merchandises, shows favoritism to some of them and doesn't even look at the older ones arousing jealousy of each other. I particularly disliked that he couldn't trust them and believe his favorite women and not look for evidence and punish them whe he thought what he had before his eye were crucial proof. I won't say more but yeah that's pretty much what I think.
The Music also was so beautiful, another one of the aspect of the drama I truly enjoy and that's true that at first I did not really notice it I would even say that I did not like it either especially the op and end songs which I found pretty boring but honestly I realised after some time that they fitted perfectly with the tone of the drama and I even started to like them and enjoying listening to those songs that we can hear in some sad and memorable scenes in the drama. I also love so much the instrumentals.
Personally I enjoyed every second of this drama and I know the beginning is a little bit slow I would say the first 15 episodes but it was necessary for the comprehension of the story and the main characters. After that everything was so addicting and all I wanted was to watch the next eps and follow Zhen Huan's and her friend's adventures, how she will evolve throughout the drama and what would she do. I'll definitely rewatch this drama for sure, I'm not scared to rewatch the entire drama as it is one of those dramas we know no matter how much we rewatch them we won't be bored and at least maybe it'll give me the opportunity to understand more the characters and their difficulties.
without any doubt I would recommend it to everyone and especially for those who aren't afraid to watch a long drama and wants to learn more about palace etiquette and how it worked at that time.
This is one of those rare drama I knew I would love and yes it totally lived up to my expectation and even more than that since I loved it much much more than I expected.