后宫甄嬛传, the third and last (I hope) of Qing Time Traveler’s Tales

I’m still ragey I may never get to see this IF that stupid ban of time traveling drama is put to effect because of Goong. The more reason I can hate Goong irrationally now, as if I didn’t hate it with my every thinking braincells.
This is the Qing Time Traveler’s Tale I’m MOST looking forward to, way more than BBJX and that’s hard to beat with my out of control Loverboy love and =the last lovey dovey soiree of YH+LSS on set and off (I’m sure a lot of their coworkers have to rinse their mouth fr puking out of the saccharine PDA)

Why am I soooo interested in this?  One thing obvious: MY Chen JianBin as Emperor.   Truth is, this is a whole cast of truly solid awards winning thespians. This is going to air on CCTV8 IFFFF it gets an airdate, ie this is BBC equivalent of Good.  You can easily tell fr the trailer even without understanding a word. But my main squeeeing is fr PD 郑晓龙 Zheng Xiaolong, he’s the godfather of modern Cdramas.  One of his seminal works is A Native Of Beijing In New York.  It’s one of my earliest modern Cdrama, I can’t say I loved it, but it’s groundbreaking.  I loved his 贫嘴张大民的幸福生活very slice of modern Chinese life.  I was glued to the TV.  His latest bona fide hit is the 2007 金婚/Golden Marriage, chronicling 50 years of ebb and flow in married life under all the political currents.  It’s not my thing, but my older Gens loved it and had been on the dining table discussions for many months when it aired. PD Zheng is very precise with his human dramas, little storms that’s stirred up in the teacup.  I can’t wait when he moves his drama to the stage of the Qing Imperial Court.

And here I’m, with mixed feelings towards the trailer.  The acting is amazing! But this is WAY too long, what’s with Cdramas and their fascination of voracious over-indulging trailers?!  Less is more, my comrades.  I  haven’t read the novel this is based on, and I’m shocked of the spoilers overload.  It’s turning me off, actually, knowing what’s going to happen before getting invested in these characters.  

But all in all, this is nth disastrous and I’m surely praying and burning incense to dramagods please let this air.  It’s Chen! Jian! Bin!!!!

ETA: I’m updated by dearies this has nth to do with time traveling *phew*, mianneh, my bad!  *blush* I guess the time traveler will be MOI!  ^^


16 thoughts on “后宫甄嬛传, the third and last (I hope) of Qing Time Traveler’s Tales

  1. Is it really time-travel though? From what I’ve read about it, the change they had to make from internet novel was to change a fantasy time period to a real one and they chose Qing (with approval) but it’s not a “person from one time goes to another” story, is it?

    1. I do hope so. This is the drama that is working closest with The Bureau and all.

      I’m not sure how far they r going to rewrite it. The novel is no doubt time traveling. We’ll see. I was much more hopeful it has nth to do with time traveling, and just a straight Qing melodrama/romance, till yesterday when the trailer is out, but this was taken off Sina within minutes it’s posted. Is it hint on everything is not smooth sailing?! I dunno :/

  2. I heard about the time travel ban (so weird!) but I didn’t know it was because of Gong. Is that true? Why? I really don’t get the mainland drama indudstry sometimes…

    1. It is about Goong if u ask me. What a timing, if not. Cdramas need authorization to start filming and every piece of paperwork under the sun, if it’s just the excess of time traveling dramas, why do they get the initial green light to start filming in first place?!
      I’ve read official articles pointing on fact of time traveling dramas being a rape of the history and the only one I can think of timely garnering that title is Goong
      IF Yu would’ve admit of him slaying and bastardizing history to point nth resembles anything Qing. He’s deviant and playing innocent. Thus, rubbing the censors and the Cdrama’s tptb very wrongly.

      I want to squeeze every drop of air out of Yu’s lying lungs.

  3. thoughts

    I’ve read part of the novel (less than half of a whopping 7 vol book), and can assure you it has nothing to do with time travelling, though it is set in an imaginary era rather than during the Qing dynasty. It’s for this reason that the director transposed the time to YongZheng’s reign. So I don’t think you need to worry about censoring where this specific drama is concerned. (Bu Bu, on the other hand…thanks Yu Mama!)

    Me, I hate the transposition, and I’m not even a Qing buff or a lover of the book. Poor YongZheng really gets the raw end of the deal here and gets turned into an old old lecher (er, no offense to Chen Jian Bin). The book I hated for its hypocrisies (the author’s sympathies are just so so transparent), though, yeah, it has its trashy pleasures (ancient fashion fetish+beautiful looking people behaving badly). Looks like the drama goes in a different direction here, prizing acting ability and a feel of authenticity in its art direction. In fact, this is looking like a very well made drama. Production values are clearly high. Ada Choi (and her voice actor), Jiang Xin, Sun Li, and Chen Jian Bin all shine at different points in the trailer. The only one that sticks out like a sore thumb here is the 17th Prince, the main character’s love interest. Of all the cast he sticks the closest to the source novel’s conception, the perfect lover/dream man (except he’s not as pretty as written), so of course he looks like he’s wandered in from another set. Also, his cheekbones and chin scare me.
    Sigh. I’d like this so much more if it’s not married to such an ahistorical soap-opera plot–the combination is just bizarre.

    I don’t get the giving away of the plot either, but apparently it’s very common over there, with whole synopses printed on book jackets and DVD covers.

    1. Re: thoughts

      O thank you!! Thanks for clearing it up for me!! ^^

      I have read only couple chapters of the book and I’ve stopped not because I’ve gotten to any meat of it to get offended, but the writer’s style is a bit longwinded for my taste. Somehow I’ve lumped Goong, Bubu and this tog as triumvirate of sorts (I know soosooo wrong of me ;P)

      I will have no prob with all the acting, that I know before any bit of watching the trailer, but still with watching it, they all blew me away at some point like you said. I’m not as critical of the 17 though he’s clearly not in the same league. He’ll be our damsel for sure. 🙂

      I’m fine with any take on YongZheng, my impression of him is always in different shades of grey, a very competent Emperor in state’s affairs, but I would be shivering in fear to be in any close association with him in RL. Chen Jian Bin has been thrown bricks at since the casting and yes, he looks like a boar/bear more than anything, and really he shouldn’t be cast as a romance novel lead and fr the trailer this is clearly not going to be in the most pleasing light on the emperor…but to me, it’s not a bother. I’m very convinced you can’t survive the Qing court with any niceties alone and all the love showered on the most powerful man in the kingdom really has a very miniscule wt to do with looks. I love when emperors look like ape’s arses but can convey all that charisma of power and authority to make his ladies weak at knees. *slurp* and no one in the acting C thespians fit that bill more than CJB! 🙂 I’ll have more prob to not be shallow if they go historically accurate on the looks of the concubines. lolz

      tbh, what peeved me most is the pirated use of music throughout the trailer. I rem hearing Bubu’s using Last Emperor’s soundtrack very liberally, at least it’s a cheeky wink. I’m rolling my eyes when I heard the theme of Once Upon a Time in America…and some dearie said Twilight’s used in the beginning?! I wouldn’t mind it AT ALL on a Yu mama’s anything, but in sth so clearly well done and serious in production, those things jarred out.

      1. hey, my post finally showed up

        Oh, it’s not Chen Jian Bin’s looks I’m complaining about, not at all. IIRC YongZheng was in his forties when he ascended the throne, so he fits the part agewise. The book fans were threatening to commit seppuku b/c they had hoped for, say, Huang Xiaoming, i.e. a hottie in his late twenties with whom the main character could believably fall head over heels in love at first sight, as described in the book. The “old lecher” (sorry, low blow) was really a response to how he looks with Sun Li, which somehow makes me much more uncomfortable than Wu Qi Long/LSS in Bu Bu.

        I’m not a Qing buff, though my conception of the historical YongZheng is in fact similar to yours: capable ruler, scary man, not a hunk to all intent and purposes. But he was known for keeping a rather staid household, w/ relatively few wives and even fewer anecdotes about them that have managed to survive. (This in sharp contrast to his son–why didn’t the screenwriters set the novel in the Qianlong era?)
        And not to give anything away (since the trailer did that for us all nice and dandy), but according to this vision the future Emperor Qianlong is the bastard child of the royal doctor, out of a clutch of bastard children sired by fathers other than the king. That’s just a little much for me to swallow.

        But enough yammering on about discrepancies. I will say that the book is a good source for a 30+ ep adaptation as there’s plenty of melodramatic plot, and it looks like most of that’s been kept and dramatized nicely. The theme (feudal society f-s women up) may be trite, but it’s carried through strongly. My irritation with the novel has more to do with the writer’s tone (I call it First Person Narcissistic) and word choice (entire phrases lifted from other writers’ works). In third-person celluloid form this may be ameliorated.

        -anon1 (hope my sig shows up this time)

        1. Re: hey, my post finally showed up

          O!M!F!G!H!X!M!?!??!?!?!?!? lol
          Of coz I’m not blind and I have nth bad to say about his gorgeousness but acting in sth this CCTV serious?! He’s forgotten how to, sadly.

          I’m VERY fine with CJB+SunLi, maybe I am sooo crazy head over heels crushing him in Qiao’s grand courtyard and he’s coupled up with an even younger looking/prettier (imo) JiangQinQin/ShuiLing back then (I’ll be frank CJB has always been an Uncle in looks, he’s just hit 40, and SunLi looks like her age~30. I just trust my ahjusshi crush to deliver and swoon us not with his looks but pure manly authoritative charm like his CaoCao, despicable, but me have the hots for.

          I don’t have a prob like a lot of peeps with Nic Wu + LSS. Again, emperors have new concubines every couple years and the only constant: the concubines are always fr the same age group as time passes…yet we have the same emperor until he draws his last breath.

          Oh! Since my very first major ‘historical’ novel love is Book and Sword of Louis Cha, it really started my whole obsession of Wing. Fr what I’ve read YongZheng has about the normal # of wives and concubines, he just died younger in a sudden death of unknown causes(hence up to a lot colorful ‘interpretations’), and has a much shorter rule than KangXi, his father, and QianLong, his son. Also historical records r commissioned by the emperor, with the longest reign in China’s history, QianLong has an abundance of written records, and much less ‘leeway’ for dramatization so to speak. He’s also not as multi-faceted or extreme a character as YongZheng, who really is so qualified for emo prince supreme with his traumatic childhood with his ‘mother(s)’, and his notoriously cutthroat ascension to the throne in his 40s.

          It’s actually not absolutely groundless to question the birth secret of QianLong. He’s the most written about emperor in historical records, but also one of only 2 Qing emperors that has no definite record of his birth place, just hints here and there, many times by his own prose and none pointing at the Imperial palace proper. The other one is the founding emperor Nurhaci who is understandable as the written Qing records haven’t started at his birth.

          Also on historical records, in QianLong’s case HE did many of his own revisions and for some reason he revised the name of a YongZhong’s concubine, his mom’s maiden name.

          QianLong is also considered a wise brilliant ruler (in his earlier rule for sure) but he did make many many trips to visit the Southern part of the empire and these trips r unusually costly, uncharacteristic of his rule (and the example set by his dad YongZhong, praised for his unadorned habits) and it’s been rumored he’s there to investigate his birth secret (Louis Cha did a lot of PI on that part of the history and did a great deal of intriguing interpretations of his own)

          1. Re: hey, my post finally showed up

            Hahahaha, HXM would have changed the drama’s tone all right…

            “with the longest reign in China’s history, QianLong has an abundance of written records, and much less ‘leeway’ for dramatization so to speak.”
            I was thinking of the 野史 (folkloric) tradition re: Qianlong vs. Yongzheng, I guess. With the former you get the Fragrant Concubine and plenty of other paramours Qianlong supposedly romanced on his southern rounds; with the latter there’s political intrigue (e.g. his supposed assassination at the hand of Lyu Si Niang) but not much in the romance department that I know of. The “Hou Gong” source novel’s tone slots into the 野史 genre much more easily than straight history, hence some of the jarring incongruity for me. I can buy the idea of Qianlong as a playboy womanizer (the way the king’s conceived in the novel) better than for Yongzheng.

            But you’re right. Ignoring the original’s tone and considering the drama on its own (with some leeway for plot), and it becomes a lot easier to swallow–they’ve pulled off the transition to straight drama vibe much better than I expected. Huzzah for good acting. And good production values.

            1. Re: hey, my post finally showed up

              “it has nothing to do with time travelling, though it is set in an imaginary era rather than during the Qing dynasty. It’s for this reason that the director transposed the time to YongZheng’s reign.”
              Just realized I wasn’t being very clear here…was referring to the gov’t censors (as we’ve seen, they’ve got bees in their bonnets about imaginary/superstitious story elements that don’t hew to the party line of atheistic materialism). The scriptwriters wanted to change it to the Tang dynasty at first, but that was turned down, and so Qing was next choice.
              Just hated that the script got changed based on such a political decision. But you know, leaving aside all that, the end product may indeed be better than the original (tone is def. less romance novel/soap-opera-y). I’m curious to see it.

              1. Re: censorship and atheistic materialism

                HOW, on earth…did YZ’s dramas get greenlighted?! It’ll be the greatest mystery. I’m much more interested in the behind the scenes of YZ’s productions than his drama reels.

                1. Re: censorship and atheistic materialism

                  I think the biggest mystery is that YZ is still going ahead to film his Gong 2 movie, to be directed by Jingle Ma and starring Yang Mi and Ming Dao as leads. Filming will start in July. It’s also a mystery how he can still market it as a Gong sequel now that we hear Yang Mi won’t be Qingchuan but a scientist.

                  1. Re: censorship and atheistic materialism

                    ARGHHH just knowing that painssss me!! NOOOOOO!!!

                    Movieland is a whole different ballgame…YM and MD is going to be in a MOVIE on top of that awful drama?! MY head just exploded. Jingle Ma is an ok writer with stories more slice of life, but he’s all over the place as a movie PD. This one, I’m counting out on MingDao alone. YangMi has been sucking in too much of YZ’s poison to rem how to not ham…and gosh YZ’s script. *shivershivershiver*

                    Gong sequel has nth to do with Gong AFTER the time traveling drama ban..which he sparked it all. Actually historical Cdramas are also suddenly on decline in getting the greenlight atm.

                    I’ll blame it all on YZ, I can’t be wronger than he is assholery!

            2. Qianlong vs. Yongzheng

              I lap up ALL 野史/folklore! 🙂 I’m way more skeptic on the commissioned historical records to be truths. It’s the same opinion I have on autobiographies and biographies. I read them with an opposite mindset. I read 野史 contemplating how passable they can be even though I know it can’t be, where as I keep doubting how much brownnosing is done on everything written in the records.

              I’m not sure how much of a playboy they’ll make Yongzheng out to be, hopefully not much of a romantic, and I’ll be good. I just can’t picture him falling irrationally in love when I thought of him as the quintessential schemer, master of mindgames, decrepit in love and trust, a character that never lets you in, into his deepest thoughts and truest feelings. And that’s what make YongZheng a much more fascinating character than Qianlong to play with. I like Qianlong a lot, he’s bright and shrewd enough as a ruler, but his actions r quite clear and explanatory, and his downfall has all the signs and bells

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