Imperial Household Bureau is responsible for managing and directing all household services to the Emperor and the Imperial family in Tong Dynasty. It is comprised of four departments, namely Jewels, Attire, Food and Furnishings. LAU SAM HO (Charmaine Sheh) and YIU KAM LING (Tavia Yeung) are introduced into the bureau in their tender age and brought up in the disciplines of the palace. The two girls are diligent. YUEN TSUI WAN (Susanna Kwan), Head of the Jewels, and CHUNG SUET HA (Michelle Yim), Head of the Attire, are both very fond of HO for she is a kind-hearted young girl. Soon, they start fighting for the fellowship of HO.
HO always remembers her mother's words left to her before she passed away, that she was told, 'Doing good deeds, Speaking good words, Showing goodwill'. She lives her life of being gracious and kind-hearted in the palace. On the other hand, LING believes her survival in palace is achieved through cruel and calculating tactics. She cheats and schemes her way to the top and finally becomes the concubine. Though she realizes that HO has fallen in love with the chess master KO HIN YEUNG (Kevin Cheng), her jealousy still arouses by HO's attraction to the Emperor LEE YI (Moses Chan). Fearing that she is losing power, she ruthlessly makes up a false allegation against HO for murdering the Empress (Mary Hon) and condemns her to death. No matter how clever she is to scheme, things do not go the way she planned. By using a strong comparison of the two distinctive characters, HO and LING, the message of the drama is that "benevolence" is the only way to gain final victory.
Cast & Credits
Charmaine (Sam Ho) and Tavia (Kam Ling) are besties, but as they grow up rivalry to excel in the imperial household (basically they are "maids" that are in charge of creating clothing and jewelry for the Harem), grows between them. Sam Ho is naturally kind and caring. Her mother was once a worker of the imperial household, and was considered one of their top jewelers, however due to a mystery she is executed for creating faulty jewelry. Kam Ling is raised along Sam Ho, but her ethics and moral are slightly different from Sam Ho and doesn't follow the teachings that Sam Ho's mother left behind for the two girls before she dies. Kam Ling eventually schemes her way to being a concubine, but cannot give up the fact that Sam Ho's kindness has "touched" many people including the emperor, so she consistently goes out of her way to "get her."
I thought this drama was done quite well. The costumes are beautiful, as well as the jewelry pieces. I also thought both leading actresses were great. Tavia is such a great evil b*tch! Charmaine can be kind of dull, but I thought she looked great in here. Kevin Cheng adds on the extra eye-candy for this drama ;)