liddi

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  1. Kingdom Feels Like a Nightmare of Now By Matt Zoller Seitz@mattzollerseitz Photo: Juhan Noh/Netflix/ Picture a nation already gripped by political chaos that finds itself afflicted by a plague so new that no one understands its properties yet. Its ruler is a demented senior whose underlings use his decline as camouflage for their own agendas. As citizens turn against each other, medical experts operating on the scientific method study the pandemic and present their latest findings to officials at every layer of government. They are met with indifference, stupidity, naked self-interest, and craven pandering to higher-ups. Things keep getting worse. The body count rises. There’s no end in sight. This is the world of Kingdom, an engrossing South Korean zombie series set in the 16th century. Watching its 12-episode, two-season run right now is an eerie experience, because although it was shot in 2017 and 2018 and debuted on Netflix last January, it seems to have predicted the future. On top of being a fast-paced horror epic in historical garb, Kingdom mirrors the disastrous mishandling of the 2020 pandemic (particularly in the United States) with such withering irony and pitch-black humor that it seems to be riffing on headlines you read five minutes ago. Written by Kim Eun-hee and directed by Kim Seong-hun, Kingdom starts in the royal palace at night. An underling is commanded to slip a bowl of blood through the crack beneath the thick wooden door of the king’s sleeping quarters. We hear guttural grows and animalistic shuffling and scratching. Then the underling gets yanked through the feeding slot by the king, who has become a flesh-eating ghoul subsisting on servants and peasants. We soon learn that the king’s inner circle has been keeping his condition a secret and presenting their own schemes as the king’s wishes.The main focus of their treachery is Crown Prince Lee Chang (Ju Ji-hoon), the king’s son and anointed successor. The Queen Consort (Kim Hye-jun) is pregnant with the king’s child; if the prince gets whacked or imprisoned, her baby will assume the throne and allow her and the traitorous Chief State Councilor (Ryu Seung-ryong) run things on the infant’s behalf. The prince and his bodyguard Mu-yeong (Kim Sang-ho) travel to a remote province to investigate reports of a strange disease that’s been spreading at the border, and meet two physicians, Seo-Bi (Bae Doona) and Yeong-Shin (Kim Sung-kyu), who have been researching a phenomenon that they identify as zombiism (although they don’t use that word). It’s here that Kingdom distinguishes itself as more than a rehash of the usual elements. This is a story about a pandemic that could be contained were it not for the selfishness and thickheadness of the people running the country. Its real villains are authority figures who fail the people they’re supposed to protect. [snipped] But what makes Kingdom stand apart is its spooky prescience. Like all zombie stories, it’s a moral tale about society imploding because of a “disease.” And it’s about the choices the uninfected make to ensure the survival of their loved ones and civilization as a whole (or protect their own interests). But because the standard ghoul-flick elements are framed by political satire and misanthropic humor, you come away thinking of it as the story of a plague made worse by officials’ corruption, incompetence, and refusal to listen to science. Despite the swords and horses and stovepipe hats, it feels a nightmare of now — or a premonition of where we’d be just one year after its U.S. debut. It’s as if George Romero had started making movies in the late 1950s, and debuted with a zombie film about an insular, reactionary, violence-driven society that commits to an endless, unwinnable land war in Asia. In Kingdom, doctors study a new disease’s victims, separate fact from speculation and rumor, and come up with suggestions that they believe will slow the infection rate. Then they present what they’ve learned to functionaries and military people, who thwart, ignore, or undermine them. When the doctors figure out that flesh-cravers have to be locked up to prevent them from biting the living, they’re laughed at, which of course leads to a zombie attack. One of the same men who ignored their advice tries to blame them for the carnage and jail them. When the doctors figure out that the zombies hibernate during the day, they recommend reducing the zombie population by beheading and burning them in their sleep. They’re told that this is an impossible request because, according to faith, a dead person enters the afterlife with the same body they had when they passed on. After a long, increasingly desperate argument, the authorities offer a compromise: They’ll burn the bodies of the peasants, but bury the nobles. These scenes are as agonizing as they are appallingly funny — not just because we know from watching zombie films that certain things just aren’t done, but because we’ve seen our heroes putting in hard work only to have it ignored by fools. Men and women of reason keep getting kneecapped by laypeople who are in thrall to “gut feelings,” or who cling to existing laws, customs, and rules because they can’t accept that the world they once knew is gone. [snipped] True to science, the heroes also learn that, like all diseases, this one mutates in response to human countermeasures, changes in climate and terrain, and other factors. Which means that what was true last week might change, necessitating a shift in tactics — and a new round of conversations with officials who belatedly accepted the last set of observations, and believe that a change in the pandemic’s narrative must mean that the doctors didn’t know what they were talking about the first time. The application of basic science to nightmare imagery lets Kingdom continue into a second season after reaching a satisfying stopping point at the end of season one. Of course, like any second season of a TV show, this one only exists because the first was a success. But if you know anything about real-life plagues, it seems plausible that the ghoul disease would go dormant for a while and then return, because that’s what diseases do. Just ask polio. A sustained critique of inequity binds the drama together. Disparities in social class and political influence let one group help itself to resources that were supposed to benefit everyone — as illustrated by a grotesquely funny scene where a band of peasants flees a zombie horde and runs to a dock in hopes of boarding an escape ship, only to discover that nobles have already set sail in it. Ignorance, self-interest, and moral cowardice keep eclipsing science and reason. Kingdom’s greatest horror is its belief that plagues may come and go, but you can’t cure human nature. cr. vulture.com Full article here
  2. @Hanyeoun For a moment I thought I stumbled on to the wrong forum, with the change in interface! Thank you very much for your hard work. Am opting for Evolution Mode as Dark Mode strains my eyes far too much (I'm showing my age!). Thus far, Night is still a strain for me, but I definitely look forward to experiencing Day and Sunset/Dawn. It's probably a subtle hint to sleep earlier and post during the day I await the day when Soompi Light mode makes its entrance, which perhaps will then see a return of night posts. Thank you once again. Now to re-learn the interface!
  3. @Hanyeoun With regards to Instagram posts, how then does this work if we were re-posting a credited article which references an Instagram post? e.g. today's Soompi article about Park Ha Sun. Does it only apply to embedded IG posts? Does it also apply to screenshots of said posts? Do we need to backtrack all forum posts over the years to hide / remove anything IG related?
  4. Thanks to real life demands, it has taken me more than a month to finally put down my thoughts again, during which time, I have had the time to complete my rewatch, appreciating anew details and nuances in the drama that may have eluded me during my initial watch... and finding myself with such an unexpected sense of loss when it finally drew to a close once more. Can I say that after we get past the harem arc, the last 20 or so episodes are excellent. Wang Kai really embodied Zhao Zhen from his youth all the way to the end of his life, and his performance is absolutely on point. I started off loving Huirou despite her wayward ways, but her arc post-marriage really repulsed me with her behaviour and treatment of her husband. While it is historically accurate, still watching it play out was infuriating, and in that sense, I lost any goodwill I had for the younger couple. The fact that Li Wei is consistently portrayed as warm hearted and generous to a fault, browbeaten in the presence of his lofty wife, makes Huirou's behaviour all the more unforgivable, shallow and mean-spirited. Still the scene when she begs to be allowed in at the palace gates breaks my heart for a moment, when in that instant, all I see is a broken child who is trying to return to the only safe haven she has ever known. What follows is a fascinating push and pull of power between the emperor and his court, him holding them ransom with the deliberate uncertainty of Zongshi's status, even as they, especially the incessantly dogmatic 司马光 Sima Guang continue to badger him to force Huirou to do her duty and punish Huaiji for his perceived part in her abhorrent behaviour. I cannot begin to describe how many times I wish I could reach into the screen and drop a boulder over Sima Guang's head, and was sorry he was not allowed to carry through his threat of committed suicide right in the court It is also heartwarming to see the royal couple finally able to enjoy a harmonious, loving relationship after the wasted 20 or so years. His death scene moved me to tears - how fitting he was reminiscing about her and the moment he started caring for her years before they finally understood each other. How poetic too that when the jar of wine accidentally spilled over the paintings and caught fire, he would stop her from saving them since these were mere material possessions which could not be measured against the actual person behind the events of the paintings - the wife in whose arms he finally died. Her devastated cries of "Don't go! Take me with you!" never fails to move me to tears each time I rewatch, and it is to Jiang Shuying's powerful performance that she embodied every nuance of the empress' desolation and her innate strength of character that would allow her to forcibly pull herself from the depths of her grief to set in motion events that ensures the nation does not fall into chaos at the emperor's sudden passing. Bravo. The drama deviates from the book in more ways than one, and is arguably kinder to the characters, compared to the book, and even history. As initially feared, Qiuhe of the book was, the historical Consort Dong after all, choosing to forego Cui Bai's love by staying back and supporting the empress in her capacity as part of the harem. While Qiuhe's children paralleled Consort Dong's with 3 daughters, thankfully the drama allowed her to find her own happiness with the man she loves, rather than being forever caged in the palace with a man she may respect but not care for. As for Huirou and Huaiji, there can be no happy ending for this ill-fated couple, but at least Huirou's fate is far less harsh, reverting to a child-like persona after the shock of her father's passing, no longer conscious of reality but living in her own world. Huaiji too was freed to leave the palace and be reunited with his own family, and even if they never saw each other once more, at least he was finally free from the confines of the palace. This is far better than their fates in the book, where Huaiji continue to serve in the palace at Hanlin Academy, while Huirou stayed in the palace with her mother until her nephew's reign, when she moved back to the Princess' manor with the elevated status over her in-laws abolished, meaning she had to accord Li Wei's mother the courtesy given to a mother-in-law. Each year she would return to the palace just before the festive season, and hang colourful decorative ribbons she had cut on the peach tree for Huaiji to see from far away. And every year, Huaiji would wait for that one tacit sign from her, until at last on the 8th year, after waiting in vain the whole day, he saw layers of white cloth of mourning hung up as a mark of her passing. After all is said and done, I for one would recommend this drama with its lack of extreme highs and lows despite the oft-idealised portrayal of Zhao Zhen - overly wise, far-sighted, benevolent. The politics are interesting, even if it is more often than not discourse instead of visual portrayal on policies and its implementations. We are treated to a steady stream of influential historical figures from a political and literary standpoint, and I love that these characters are fleshed out with their individual foibles and unique traits, regardless of how brief their scenes might be. I appreciate too how certain events in history are well-adapted and explained within the context of the script's reinterpretation of these characters and their relationships. One example would be how the empress stayed away from nursing Zhao Zhen after his delusional outburst about her treachery. Historically, Empress Cao stayed away because she dared not nurse the emperor after his outrageous accusations. Here, the drama gave a convincing spin on the events with her staying away for months because she was hurt by his accusations, while he was riddled with guilt with how deeply he had wounded her, but dared not approach her for fear that she would not forgive him. Production, music and performances are top-notch and memorable across the board for the most part. One surprising standout for me is Ren Min who nailed Huirou's every emotion with her portrayal and even the timbre of her voice - her willfulness, mischievous nature, her despondency and misery - even more telling that I would be impressed in spite of how much Huirou's arc infuriated me in later episodes. Well done. And as the curtain draws to a close on the drama once more, I can truly say that I was really sorry that it finally ended, and am glad that I did persevere to the end after all.
  5. @towrite I guess you interpret what is played out differently from me. I could go on in detail and explain why these are different, but that would mean spoiling the reveal and explanations at the end, which I prefer not to. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. I could go on and explain further, but honestly, it would make sense only if you finish the season. If you feel that what you are seeing on screen up to Ep3 is unacceptable, then by all means, drop the series. There is no obligation to continue a show that you dislike even if the majority feels that it is worth watching. I often drop wildly popular shows like hot potatoes as well because it just doesn't work for me.
  6. @towrite There is no inconsistency of script. If anything, scriptwriter KEH has proven herself to be totally in control of the rules of this universe, and any apparent plot hole is given a proper explanation by the end of the season. Please continue watching and you will understand why Cho Hak Ju did not transform at that point in time, as well as other questions you might have. Seo-bi herself explained in that same scene why she knows not everyone who is bitten is transformed - citing the young boy who was attacked by the king in the beginning of S1 - he did not transform as a result of the attack, but eventually did grow weak and die. As for why Ahn Hyeon's guard opted to die, and one of the soldiers who was attacked was then pushed into the river to drown - remember that their actions are based on their limited knowledge of the zombies at that time - which is, there is no hope the moment someone is attacked. One more thing. The Crown Prince never ordered the execution of his royal guard. That was the command given by Cho Hak Ju to his nephew, since the royal guard is now useless, having been unmasked as a mole. The Crown Prince did find his guard just before he died, and that display of grief was not a hallucination, nor out of character, because the Crown Prince truly did treasure the bond between them, and vice versa. In any case, if you do decide to continue watching, your frustrations over plot inconsistencies should be addressed. Hopefully you will choose to do so. I personally am thrilled by S2, which has exceeded my expectations, and reinforced my faith in KEH yet again.
  7. Fashion Editor Joseph Carle, Who Discovered Liu Wen, Dies at 65 Carle was credited with discovering Liu Wen when she was a fitting model and the launch of the Chinese editions of Marie Claire and Numéro. By Tianwei Zhang on May 26, 2020 Liu Wen and her mentor Joseph Carle, who discovered her when she was a fitting model at Marie Claire China. Courtesy/ Liu Wen Fashion editor and stylist Joseph Carle, who discovered Liu Wen and launched the Chinese editions of Marie Claire and Numéro, has died in France at age 65. The cause of death was cancer. Carle started his career in Paris in the late Eighties, polishing his credentials by working with Avenue Magazine, Madame Figaro and Vogue Hommes. He then worked for Elle France for almost a decade and stayed at DS Magazine briefly before moving to China in 2005 to spearhead the launch of Marie Claire China. It was a time when fashion publications in the market began to look up to their international peers by adopting a more global point of view, as luxury spending soared in China. Dan Cui, former fashion director of GQ China, who started his career under Carle at Marie Claire China, remembered how Carle raised the magazine’s standards. “Joseph brought professionalism to China. Before he arrived, the sample room was the closet for cleaning tools, and there was no such thing as a fitting. He set the rules to have mandatory fittings three days before the shoot, and he taught me that being beautiful is not enough for an editorial, it needs to convey ideas,” Cui said. Liu Wen’s first Marie Claire China cover, September issue 2007. Courtesy Photo During his tenure at Marie Claire China as creative director, Carle also discovered the then-little-known model Liu Wen when she was a fitting model for the magazine. “It was at the end of 2006, I was doing some prep work for our anniversary December issue, then Joseph walked into the studio and saw Liu Wen,” said Cui. “He got very excited and asked me, ‘Who is she?’ I said she is just a new girl, and he said: ‘No, she is a star. The light loves her. I felt the same way when I first saw Linda Evangelista. We are going to shoot the entire issue with her!'” He later put her on the cover of the magazine repeatedly and it kick-started her international modeling career. Carle called up his contacts in Paris to make sure top designers were aware of Liu’s arrival. “In 2006, I met my most important mentor in my life,” Liu wrote on Weibo. “When I can’t express myself in French, I can always feel what you are trying to express. It was you who kept encouraging me to be myself behind the camera, to learn more about the industry, and be confident. No matter how many years have passed and where you are, I will always remember your encouragement, your support, your mentor, and your smile. I will miss you forever Joseph Carle.” Liu Wen on the cover of the launch issue of Numéro China. Courtesy Carle later joined Modern Media in Shanghai in 2010 and launched the Chinese editions of Numéro and Numéro Homme. Liu also appeared on the cover of the launch issue. Xiao Xue, former editor in chief of Elle China for 14 years, who used to work with Carle at Hachette Filipacchi, told WWD that he was one of the ex-pats who helped shape the modern Chinese fashion publication landscape. “I was very impressed with his hard-working attitude and child-like characteristics. He nurtured a generation of fashion editors and creatives during his post at Hachette Filipacchi and Modern Media, and he discovered Liu Wen. He was a treasure to us all.” cr. WWD
  8. @burgl I wish them both happiness in every avenue of their lives, but yes, I would be overjoyed if they do finally find it together. Very saddened to know that her mentor Joseph Carle passed away of cancer 3 days ago... my deepest condolences to our girl and his loved ones.
  9. 520 greetings on Weibo from both of them... was her photo taken at the airport? So good to see her looking happy... which appears to be supported by her message. Wonder who the flowers are from 最后一刻送大家一束520的花,有爱不会孤单! Sending everyone a bouquet of 520 flowers, there is no loneliness where there is love! --20 May 2020, 23:05 520快樂! 想你們 ♥️ Happy 520! Missing all of you -- 20 May 2020, 21:11
  10. @larus While I'm sure KEH has an idea where Kingdom S3 will lead after that cliffhanger ending she left us with, it has not been greenlit yet so I am currently not as concerned. I have no idea whether she has writers helping her with the scripts. However, I know that in Signal, she walked around and did her own research for months, while in Infinity Challenge - Company Employees in Crisis (Eps 495-497), the script she delivered was very uniquely hers, replete with vivid descriptions, which the members commented was like reading a novel. Definitely, it does sound from previous interviews that she had already begun to map the plot out for Signal S2, and Mount Jiri is pretty much a confirmed production so hopefully both scripts can be ready in time for production in the latter half of this year. I did read reports though that Joo Ji Hoon may not be able to film this year due to his previously scheduled activities, so perhaps Mount Jiri would be pushed out, which gives KEH more of a breather to work on Signal S2 script? Whatever the case may be, please let it finally work out this time, with the same cast and crew. Perhaps KEH might find a way to revive Jang Hyun Sung in S2 too... after all it is Signal where everyone can come back to life, as evidenced by every single one of our trio
  11. @larus Please please please let this news be true after all the false hopes we've had over the past 4 years! But... I'm concerned how it's gonna work out since Mt. Jiri, KEH's next drama with Joo Jihoon and Jun Jihyun is rumoured to be released early 2021? Either way... please reunite us with our trio once more!
  12. @tendrilsofwind The scene with Justice Bao is arguably the most dramatic and hilarious of all the court sessions that we've seen. I've not seen the ministers so vigorous and energetic in their actions - blocking the emperor, yelling at his face, pulling his leg, interrupting the prime minister's meal - since Fan Zhongyan led the ministers outside the gates to protest the emperor deposing Empress Gao way back in Ep8 Easily one of the highlights of Ep54! @skibbies Exactly. While Huirou does not necessarily comport herself in accordance with the etiquette and norms of her time, she mostly earns a thumb's up from me because she often expresses what I wish someone would say to the characters involved, our mouthpiece within the context of the drama as it were. At the same time, I feel really sad for her too, because this very same spiritedness will be the reason she suffers so much in a marriage she never wanted, unable to break free from the stifling confines of a princess and a woman in that era. Last night's episodes left me with mixed emotions... EDIT: Just caught tonight's Hunan TV episodes, and just have to express my awe over Wang Kai's spectacular performance towards the end of Ep58, nailing the emperor's condition in that moment perfectly. Bravo!
  13. @skibbies I never went on douban and won't for this drama, after hearing what you described. It is bad enough on the drama official Weibo, seeing what appears to be shouting matches between fans of different actors, cheering their biases on while quarreling with or trying to drown out the rest. It is a real shame, because there is much to appreciate about this drama despite how frustrating it can be, and criticism towards a character's actions and behaviour should not be taken as dislike for the actor in any way. @crackaddict Well said about the patriarchy and the injustices suffered by women during those times. The emperor now seems to always be doing one of two things where his harem and family is concerned - blinded by guilt and perceived punishment from heaven over his lack of filial piety, which in turn leads to his increasingly irrational decisions, and clutching his heart every so often. Historically did he die of heart failure? I like Huirou's character thus far and find that she often expresses what we want to say regarding the injustice and unfairness of what we see unfold and what is regarded as norms during that period. For now, she is far more likeable than what is described of her historical figure, so I am waiting to see how they would portray her life post-marriage. One of the trailers for Ep56 shows a declaration of war between the princess and the father she once adored, so I wonder whether that would be used to explain why she behaved the way she did in her marriage - as a form of rebellion against the father who forced her into it.
  14. @tendrilsofwind I won't complain either if they did decide to totally disregard history and give every character we care about a happy ending, though I think that's probably a pipe dream Am so glad that we have not seen the last of Maoze, at least from last night's episodes and hoping that we will continue to see him all the way to the end. Considering that historically he would serve the empress through her tenure as empress dowager to two kings, I am hopeful that would be the case. What I would really love to see is them together in a scene again after all's said and done... truly miss their interactions. Can I just say again how much I adore Qiuhe? It's such a joy to see the easy camaraderie she enjoys with the empress, and I love how she speaks so much sense to the royal couple, far more than how everyone else who cares for them has ever done. One trailer of Ep53 indicates that the emperor himself had arranged for her to be married to Cui Bai, but I've not seen that scene at all in the Hunan version. In any case, whichever episode it does show up, please don't let her somehow get stuck in the palace at the last minute as yet another woman in the harem. In the same Ep53 trailer I mentioned earlier, upon seeing how he goes that extra mile to bring about Cui Bai and Qiuhe's union because they clearly love each other, Huirou tries to convince herself that her father who clearly loves her, must have his reasons for insisting she married Li Wei whom she does not love. How would she feel once she knows the truth - that her father is trying paying penance for what he deems to be Heaven's dissatisfaction with him over his lack of filial piety, by using her happiness as collateral. Looks like the emperor is finally in Consort Zhang's bad graces after he tried to persuade her not to go against the empress, and got kicked out of her quarters even though he told her clearly he wanted to spend the night, clutching his frail heart as he did so. Guess we finally identified his real punishment from Heaven, and that is always fated to be ejected from his consorts' quarters - first for 15 years with the empress, and now with his once most favoured concubine @skibbies Well said about the emperor and the scriptwriter not trusting us enough to understand or even sympathise with him, without it trying to elevate his character to an absolutely polarising one - politically astute and benevolent yet totally irrational when he chooses to be. Your analysis of what he is in the drama, vs what he was historically, highlights regretfully what his characterisation could have been. As for the empress, I love her when she is interacting with everyone else except him because she then expresses the requisite adoration that everyone is supposed to feel under the thrall of this amazing man. Gah. Great insight into how the historical situations are merged together into the palace rebellion arc. I didn't realise that Lantiao is adapted from an actual historical person after all? Which wiki did you get all this from? I've only been reading up on Baidu and Wiki. In any case, thank you for sharing what you found out. Had a good laugh reading that you find wiki more interesting than the actual drama sometimes Fingers crossed the remaining 16 episodes will be more riveting than wiki! One of the things I like about this drama though... is the fact that character backstories, main and supporting, are often fleshed out, which does help for us to empathise with them, even those who are less than likeable. There is no absolute antagonist thus far... and I don't expect there to be. Still waiting for 包拯 Justice Bao to show up, and curious what the Khitan prince arc will be about.
  15. @skibbies Much respect and gratitude to you for compiling a historical timeline for the drama, broken down by events and episodes. The timeline is something that I struggle to get a grasp of in the midst of everything else, so your painstaking efforts has made it so much clearer for me - thank you! A brief point to note - At the beginning of Ep46, it is mentioned that Li Wei will turn 16 that year (1048), yet historically, he was born in 1035 - 3 years older than Huirou, so he should only have been 14 (by Chinese age) at the time. Is the show trying to increase the age gap between Li Wei and Huirou, or are they hoping to show that Huirou is coming to 13 (regardless of how the years don't match up). I'm not sure... EDIT: The latest episode states that Huirou is already 14. Since this takes place soon after Su Shunqin's death, it is still 1048, which would indicate the drama has made her older by at least 4 years, and retained the 3-year age gap between her and Li Wei. Historical events seem to be changed to fit the narrative. One event in Ep52 (Hunan TV version) took me very much by surprise, because historically (if it is indeed referencing said event), it should have taken place not in 1048, the same year Su Shunqin died, but 1056. If indeed it is adapted from this event, then I guess this might mark the exit of arguably my favourite character in the whole drama (yup @crackaddict, Zhang Maoze's scenes are what I look forward to most too!) and I will be very sorry to see him go. After 49 episodes, we finally see the relationship of the royal couple take a turn for the better and become that of a real husband and wife, all thanks to Qiuhe. At last, we see the loving interactions that seemed like it would never come, and I am glad for the empress, after the years of suffering that she lived through. However, what should have been cause for rejoicing, is terribly marred by the way the script persists in idealising Zhao Zhen, serving as an apologist for his actions, irrational or otherwise. Perhaps it is just me, but I am put off by the high-handed way that he is portrayed - always superior in terms of intellect, far-sightedness and his immense capacity for benevolence. Maoze's latest scene with him leaves a really bitter aftertaste in the way he prostrates himself in shame and gratitude before the emperor's superior judgment and forgiving nature. To make it worse, I feel that now even the empress becomes a blabbering mess in the presence of such perfection, tearfully admitting that she was wrong, and pleading with him not to blame himself for his own wrong decisions in the past. Whatever happened to the strong, intelligent Cao Danshu of the past? Seriously? And lest we forget, he is clearly not that wise and lucid, especially in his irrational insistence to marry Huirou to Li Wei, and his sweeping disapproval of the flamboyant, far more capable Cao Ping. Incidentally, based on the Hunan TV trailers for tonight's episodes, it would seem that Qiuhe may end up not becoming Consort Dong after all. Will know more when I do watch the episodes in full.