Thursday, September 15, 2011

Most Recommended Ancient Chinese Drama Series 2009 - 2011


I have a more intense obsession when it comes to ancient or traditional Chinese drama series, with majority of them originated from the Mainland, other than Hong Kong and Taiwan. My favorite ones would be those produced and filmed in China, and better yet starring by brunch of famous actors and actresses from all three countries. "倾世皇妃" is the latest, which I found it addictive with big line-ups like Ruby Lin (she looks forever young and beautiful, doesn't she?!) and Wallace Huo. I really wish to see them being together again, on the screen.

后宫 / Hou Gong / The Emperor's Harem / The Royal Harem
Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
Title: 后宫 / Hou Gong / The Emperor's Harem
Also known as: The Royal Harem
Genre: Period, Romance
Episodes: 46
Broadcast Period: 2011-Nov-06 start (Completed)

Cast:
Ady An (安以轩) as Shao Chun Hua (绍春华) / Li Zi Yun (李紫云)
Feng Shao Feng (冯绍峰) as Yang Yong (杨永)
Tavia Yeung (杨怡) as Wan Zhen'er (万贞儿) (Imperial Consort Wan / 万贵妃)
Patrick Tam (谭耀文) as Wang Zhi (汪直)

Synopsis:
Ming Emperor Xian Zong had yet to produce a male heir. The worried court officials pressured the Emperor to take on new consorts. Thus, the door to the Royal Harem opened to four women who would later cause havoc in the palace.

倾世皇妃 (Qing Shi Huang Fei)
Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
Title: 倾世皇妃 / Qing Shi Huang Fei / The Glamorous Imperial Concubine
Genre: Romance, Period
Episodes: 35
Broadcast Period: 2011-Sep-30 - 2011-Oct-20 (Completed)

Cast:
Ruby Lin (林心如) as Ma Fu Ya (马馥雅) / Pan Yu (潘玉)
Yan Kuan (严宽) as Meng Qi You (孟祈佑)
Wallace Huo (霍建华) as Liu Lian Cheng (刘连城)
Tony Yang (杨佑宁) as Liu Lian Xi (刘连曦)

Synopsis:
Fu Ya was an exiled princess who married three ambitious kings. The first marriage protected her from being executed with her family. The second marriage gave her shelter to heal her broken heart. The third marriage saved her people, but killed the man she loved. Although her husbands loved her, they were equally keen on using her to consolidate power. Their betrayals pushed her to become an avenging angel who would kill anyone in her way.

步步惊心 / Bu Bu Jing Xin / Startling by Each Step
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Title: 步步惊心 / Bu Bu Jing Xin / Scarlet Heart
Also known as: Startling by Each Step
Genre: Period, Romance
Episodes: 35
Broadcast Period: 2011-Sep-10 – 2011-Sep-29 (Completed)

Cast:
Cecilia Liu (刘诗诗) as Zhang Xiao (张晓) / Ma'ertai Ruoxi (马尔泰·若曦)
Nicky Wu (吴奇隆) as Yinzhen (胤禛)
Kevin Cheng (郑嘉颖)as Yinsi (胤禩)
Lin Gengxin (林更新) as Yinti (胤禵)

Synopsis:
Zhang Xiao, a contemporary, ethnically Han Chinese young woman from the 21st century, accidentally travels back in time to the Qing Dynasty during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor after experiencing a deadly combination of traffic collision and electrocution. This results in her reliving the life of one of her previous avatars - Ma'ertai Ruoxi, the teenage daughter of a Manchu nobleman who also had a near fatal accident in her own time zone.

Zhang Xiao becomes stranded in the past in the body of an earlier incarnation of herself. Many of Ma'ertai's family members and friends believe that the sudden change in her behaviour and her memory loss are due to the head injury suffered by "Ma'ertai". Zhang Xiao is aware that there will be a power struggle between the Kangxi Emperor's sons, which will eventually result in Prince Yinzhen succeeding to the throne as the Yongzheng Emperor. Zhang Xiao attempts to change the outcomes for the better and prevent bloodshed without interfering in man's destiny, while concurrently seeking a way to return to her own time. However, Zhang Xiao ultimately realises that not only did she fail to alter the course of the approaching events, but also, under a predestination paradox, she is fated to become an instigator of the tragedy she has been trying to prevent from happening. This is a consequence of her actions in the past, as well as the princes' romantic affections towards her.

美人心计 (Schemes of a Beauty)
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Title: 美人心计 / Mei Ren Xin Ji / Schemes of a Beauty
Genres: Period, Romance
Episodes: 40
Broadcast Period: 2010-Mar-15 – 2010-Jun-11 (Completed)

Cast:
Ruby Lin (林心如) as Dou Yi Fang (窦漪房) / Xian Liang (Dou Yi Fang's mother)
Sammul Chan (陈键锋) as Liu Heng (刘恒) / Emperor of Han Dynasty
Wang Li Kun (王丽坤) as Nie Shen Er (聶慎兒) / Wang Zhi / Ping Hua (Shen Er's mother)
Yang Mi (杨幂) as Mo Xue Yuan (莫雪鸢)

Synopsis:
During the early Western Han Dynasty, the young Dou Yi Fang's mother was drawn into a palace conflict which resulted in her entire family being executed. When she grew up, she unexpectedly entered the palace as a maid. She displayed extraordinary talents when she arranged for Consort Li's child to be swapped under the care of the Empress. Her intellects impressed the Empress Dowager, and she was ordered to marry the King of Dai so she could spy on them.

In order to rid the world of further sufferings under the regime, but at the same time earn the trust of Empress Dowager Lu, she suggested to her husband Liu Heng to start training his army under the guise of building his grand ceremonial tomb. People, believing that she was bringing downfall to the kingdom, pleaded for her to be put to death. But none the less, Liu Heng trusted her completely and subsequently made her his queen.

Their alliance finally led them to ascend to the throne of the glorious empire. But at the pinnacle of her power, she realized that her personal life was slipping away from her. In order to regain the love of her husband, in order to stop her children from killing one another, she weaved her womanly tactics to overcome every obstacle, and forged one of the golden ages in Chinese history known as the Rule of Wen and Jing. Her name is recorded in history, for us to marvel; she is Empress Dou of Wen.

宫-锁心玉 / Gong-Suo Xin Yu / Palace - The Lock Heart Jade
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: 宫-锁心玉 / Gong-Suo Xin Yu / Palace - The Lock Heart Jade
Genre: Period, romance
Episodes: 39 (TV) / 35 (DVD)
Broadcast Period: 2011-Jan-31 to 2011-Feb-19 (Completed)

Cast:
Yang Mi (杨幂) as Luo Qing Chuan (洛晴川) / Guo Luo Luo (郭络罗) / Hua Ying (花影)
Feng Shao Feng (冯绍峰) as Yin Si (胤禩 / 八阿哥)
Mickey He (何晟铭) as Yin Zhen (胤禛 / 四阿哥)
Sonija Kwok (郭羨妮) as Consort Xi (僖嫔)
Tong Li Ya (佟丽娅) as Nian Su Yan (年素言)

Synopsis:
Luo Qing Chuan is a modern day girl with a love of history who accidentally travels back in time to Emperor Kang Xi's era of the Qing dynasty. She becomes embroiled in the princes' struggle for the throne and is torn between her love for Yin Si, the eighth prince, and Yin Zhen, the fourth prince and future Emperor Yong Zheng. Caught in the crossfire of political intrigue, her wit and historical knowledge serves her well in her bid to stay alive as she begins to realize that true history is much darker and uglier than books portray.

仙剑奇侠传之灵珠神剑 / Xian Jian Qi Xia Zhuan Zhi Ling Zhu Shen Jian / Chinese Paladin 3
Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
Title: 仙剑奇侠传之灵珠神剑 / Xian Jian Qi Xia Zhuan Zhi Ling Zhu Shen Jian / Chinese Paladin 3
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Romance
Episodes: 37
Broadcast Period: 2009-Jul-01 to 2009-Jul-20 (Completed)

Cast:
Hu Ge (胡歌) as Jing Tian (景天) / Long Yang (龙阳) / Fei Peng (飞蓬) / Li Xiao Yao (李逍遥)
Yang Mi (杨幂) as Tang Xue Jian (唐雪见) / Xi Yao (夕瑶)
Wallace Huo (霍建华) as Xu Chang Qing (徐长卿) / Gu Liu Fang (顾留芳) / Lin Ye Ping (林业平)
Liu Shi Shi (刘诗诗) as Long Kui (龙葵)

Synopsis:
This is a prequel to "Chinese Paladin" and takes place 50 years earlier.

Jing Tian is a mischievous pawnshop assistant who because of the power of a mystical jade, crosses paths with the spoiled and sassy Tang Xue Jian. Xue Jian is the beloved granddaughter of Tang Manor's Tang Kun, who meets with danger when an evil cult tries to take over control of the Tang Manor. Xu Chang Qing, the eldest disciple of Mt Shu Sect aids the pair in defeating the cult and rescuing the Tang Manor. Meanwhile, Chong Lou, ruler of the evil world, breaks into Mt Shu's Suo Yao Pagoda to retrieve a magical sword. He passes the sword to Jing Tian, claiming that it belonged to latter when he was a deity in his past life and forces Jing Tian to battle with him. The 5 elders of Mt Shu Sect call upon Jing Tian and Chang Qing to attain 5 mystical pearls to seal up Suo Ya Pagoda and destroy a powerful force of evil so as to save the world from destruction. Together with Xue Jian, the group set off to accomplish their mission. On the way, they overcome various obstacles and must solve mysteries pertaining to their pasts...

Long Kui, a 1000 year old ghost emerges from the magical sword Jing Tian possessed. She claimed to be the princess of Jiang, and that he is her beloved brother. Later, Jing Tian realizes that Long Kui is telling the truth so she journeys with them. Next, Xu Chang Qing meets Zi Xuan, a 200 year old descendant of the Nuwa goddess. Chang Qing discovers his memory of her was sealed and she was in fact the love of his life in two lifetimes. Struggling to deal with his feelings and carrying the burden to save the world, he initially rejects her. Jing Tian also comes to realise he was Fei Peng (2,000 years ago) and Long Yang (1,000 years ago). Xue Jian also finds out that she was originally a fruit created by Xi Yao, a goddess who guards the tree in the heavenly realm. It blooms a flower in 500 years and grows a fruit in 1,000 years. Eventually, Xie Jian Xian takes over the world, and is in control of all 6 realms making him close to impossible to defeat. Jing Tian combines powers with everyone, along with Chang Qing to defeat him. Long Kui sacrificed herself by sealing her spirit into the sword to strengthen it.

怪侠一枝梅 (The Vigilantes In Masks / Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei)
Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆  
Title: 怪侠一枝梅 / Guai Xia Yi Zhi Mei
Also known as: The Vigilantes In Masks / Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei
Genre: Martial Arts, Adventure
Episodes: 30
Broadcast Period: 2011-Jan-01 - 2011-Jan-03 (Completed)

Cast:
Wallace Huo (霍建华) as Li Ge Xiao (离歌笑)
Liu Shi Shi (刘诗诗) as Yan San Niang (燕三娘)
Ma Tian Yu (马天宇) as He Xiao Mei (贺小梅)
Shi Yan Neng (释延能) as Chai Hu (柴胡)

Synopsis:
Li Ge Xiao is skilled in martial arts and has the brain to match it. In his former life, he was a high ranking Marshal with great law enforcement authority. But after his enemy framed him with false crime and executed his family, he went on the run. Years later, he came out of hiding to help a former colleague recover stolen gold for disaster relief. With his new partners, thief Yan San Niang, grafter He Xiao Mei, and muscle Chai Hu, they formed a bandit called "Yi Zhi Mei" that robs the rich and the corrupted and gives to the poor and the helpless.

39 comments:

  1. Great recommendations, thank you very much!

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  2. I love Bubu Jing Xin... I cried a lot... Also finished Qing Shi Huang Fei, I liked it at first but I don't know what happened that my enthusiasm was lost when I am nearing the end...

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    Replies
    1. Same here... I wanted Ma Fu Ya to be with Liu Lian Cheng but... =/

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  3. i really love chinese paladin 3..
    Hu Ge is really great as Jing Tian/Long Yang/Fei Peng there

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  4. How do you even watch theses in Australia??! :( im finding it increasingly difficult to get my hands on asian dramas nowadays.

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    Replies
    1. viki.com has some

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    2. www.sugoideas.com is the best

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  5. I disagree with your ratings. I've seen all but the Paladin one. I will give Bu Bu Jin Xin 10 stars. Gong 7 stars, The one by Ruby and Wallace 8. The Scheme of a Beauty (Ruby Lin) 7 stars because it was too long and it was a repeating stuff.

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    1. I do agree "The Scheme of a Beauty" was quite boring after the first half of the episodes. The idea of the mothers and daughters having the exact same faces and all.

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  6. i watched all of them apart from The Vigilantes In Masks / Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei and bu bu xing xing because in my opion i think they are boring

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    Replies
    1. Though both "Bu Bu Jing Xin" and "Gong-Suo Xin Yu" share very similar storyline, but I did enjoy watching it somehow, especially seeing my two favorite actors Kevin Cheng and Nicky Wu =) The Vigilantes In Masks / Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei was alright, quite funny at times...

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  7. I've watched all of these dramas and I would definitely recommend Bu Bu Jing Xin because it's so deep and sad (similar to Gong but so much better). Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei is also good because the progressive feelings are awesome. Qing Shi Huang Fei was so sad but so good I thought that Wallace Hou did a great job. I didn't finish Schemes of a Beauty and Chinese Paladin 3 cuz it kept dragging on but otherwise they're all good dramas. *You might find Gong very similar to Boys over Flowers cuz I think the director copied the script or something.

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    Replies
    1. Hmm, "Boys Over Flowers"? I think it's more similar to the HK drama series, "Beyond the Realm of Conscience" aka "宫心计".

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  8. Have you all watched Empresses in the Palace? I loved it. Especially loved the romantic scenes between Zhen Huan and Yun Li, beautifully played out by the lovely Betty Sun Li and the drop dead gorgeous Li Dong Xue. Crikey - he's truly blessed with a sexy cleft chin. Can't wait to see more of his works. He's absolutely talented & will go far in his acting career.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, that's the latest one right? I haven't had the time to check it out yet... Thanks for sharing ;)

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  9. i've only watched bu bu jing xin so far and im in love !!
    ahah ive watched the drama twice in 2 days
    im excitied to watch you recommendations

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    Replies
    1. Wow?! How you managed to do that? There are like 35 episodes of them!!! =x

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  10. good choices... i've seen most of them :)

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  11. truly agree with your choices~!
    and i just watched Empresses in the Palace. Li Dong Xue AHHH and SunLi looks the most gorgeous towards the end of the series. THE ONLY PROBLEM IS THAT ITS 76 EPISODES LONG :O *grabs bubble tea and popcorn*
    >>Did you watch Gong2? Its not as good compared to Gong Suo Sin Yu but I guess its okay to watch.
    And I think Mei Ren Tian Xia is directed by the same director as Mei Ren Xin Ji but I think that Mei Ren Xin Ji is better~!

    BUBUJINGXIN FOREVER~ (loads of tissues needed)
    Qing Shi Huang Fei !!! OH WALLACE & RUBY
    >>Did you watch Huan Zhu Ge Ge before? I think that series started the whole Ancient Drama Is So Awesome Thing :D

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  12. You forgot the Three Kingdoms...

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  13. The best is legend of zhen huan, it is a must watch drama series!

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  14. do you more drama that... is more leaning towards fantasy like Chinese paladin?

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  15. Thanks for the recommendations!!

    Im loving Gong/Jade Palace Lock Heart a lot so far... the chemistry between the lead characters really makes it a worthwhile watch, even if sometimes it pales in comparison to Bu Bu Jing Xin. I agree with your ratings, except I'd rank BBJX and JPLH the same :)

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  16. i like jade palace lock heart,its was great chinese drama

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  17. You should try Mu Gui Ying Gua Shuai.

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  18. Thank you for the information. I want to watch the Bu Bu Jing Xin then. I have watched the Qing shi Huang Fei and it was so sad,,why Meng Qi You has to die and left Ma Fu Ya.

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  19. Thank you for this list. I was looking for the info after finishing Legend of Lady Zhen Huan, which is finishing here in SG this Tuesday *last episode of all 76 episodes.

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  20. Bu Bu Jing Xin... the BEST!!! watched it 3 times hahaha..
    Any other good series anyone?? Please please info..

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  21. tq for ur recommendation! need it ALOTTT! btw if you haven't already,go watch lan ling wang. can find in youtube. damn nice but damn sad..... i love feng shao feng soooo much hehe

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    Replies
    1. yaa, i am agree. Prince of Lan ling / lan lin wang is so damn good! heheh
      i watch it 3 times already hehehe XD, so funny and romantic,,,

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  22. I've seen the majority of these recommendations and I personally think Gong is better than Bu Bu Bu Jin Xing mainly because BBJX is sorely depressing and Gong has more to look forward to. Be as it may, I did love both versions of the drama surrounding the Emperor Yong Zhen.

    I also highly recommend Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei even though I skipped over some episodes due to annoyance that couldn't be bothered with. I recently finished Mu Saga and I recommend it. Clothing the World is also a good one. Watching CTW would better help understand the Mu Saga.

    I am in the process of watching Lan Ling Wang and Swordsman. I don't recommend Swordsman if you don't have tolerance for male characters that take it upon themselves to create chaos.

    All in all, thanks for the titles. ^-^

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  23. I just love The Glamorous Imperial Concubine so much! I've watched it twice already. I'm trying to find more dramas similar to that but so far none of them are as good. I also watched bu bu jing xin. I thought it was pretty good. Mei Ren Xing Ji was a little too boring for my taste Hopefully, someone can give me some more dramas similar to The Glamorous Imperial Concubine

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  24. I love them all, especially BBJX! So touching... You should check out "Female Prime Minister" aka Legend of Lu Zhen. There are many evil plots and schemes inside the imperial palace between women. Both main actor/actress are good looking too. :)

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  25. FYI: BBJX has a sequel that just finished airing BBJQ. These 2 also just finished airing: For a light-hearted costume series, Perfect Couple (Jin Yu Liang Yuan) with Wallace Huo and Tang Yan is fine. Palace/Gong 3 with Lu Yi, Yuan Shanshan, Shirley Dai.

    I haven't watched BBJQ.

    Gong 3's plot gets increasingly weak throughout the series. Some actors and characters aren't so great. A lot of over-dramatization. (Personally, I find Gong 3 very mediocre compared to Zhen Huan. Gong 3's Lu Yi is good. The script, however, must have been written in a great hurry.)

    Ballad of the Dessert (formerly titled Da Mo Yao in Mandarin. Liu Shishi, Hu Ge, Eddie Peng) is highly anticipated. Expected broadcast date: June 2014. A related series to Ballad of the Dessert is Yun Zhong Ge with Angelababy, Lu Yi. If I recall correctly, both are based on novels of Tong Hua. Author of BBJX.

    A couple of series set in the early 1900s are also highly anticipated: Cruel Romance (Huang Xiaoming, Chen Qiao En), Lady and the liar (Tang Yan, Yang Rong).

    Chen Qiao En was fine in 2012(or 2011)'s "Queen of SOP" with Zhang Han. Contemporary idol drama.

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  26. hi all I dont know chinese.wher can I watch emperor's harem with subtitles..viki also has no subs..plz help

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Dear readers,

Thanks for all your lovely comments and continual visits.
Hope I'll see you again soon! (✿◠‿◠)

xoxo,
Christina

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