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[Mainland Chinese Drama 2017] The King’s Woman 泰时丽人明月心

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10 hours ago, divethereal said:

I skipped majority of episodes 44-47 and I first watched the final episode then went back to the previous episodes just to find answers because I need answers! First of all, may I say that that writers did a great  job on the plot development especially for the OTP BUT they seem to just couldn't wrap up the ending well. Some fans commented that they got lazy, they did not really think about the consistency of the events leading to the finale leaving us all confused. They can't justify the ending and I'm also not convinced. Here are things that are NOT consistent with the plot development.

 

1. Yin Zheng using TM to keep Li by his side - Remember the event when Li was tortured because she helped escape the hostage prince? YZ was READY to let Li go for her sake. He actually allowed her to leave the palace because he knows that letting her go will keep her safe from the schemes in the palace that can endanger her life. He let her go together with TM. This is one act that shows he truly loves Li. So I just don't understand why in the last episodes he stooped down to using TM to keep Li by his side when previously, he had allowed her to leave and moreover, Li already proved her decision to stay with YZ when she returned to the palace after rescuing him in the forest.

 

2. Yin Zheng appointing TM to be crown prince for him to be killed - Okay, YZ is overly jealous over JK even if Li already loves him. I'm not surprised YZ wants JK dead. But seriously,  if he harbors hate for TM, he had 10 years to eliminate him and STILL keep Li by his side. And if he wants to use TM to challenge Fu Su, then he could not have given TM to Li after he allowed her to leave the palace.

 

There are many other inconsistencies but these two are the ones I questioned the most.

 

I believe that even though Li's role was not portayed that excellently as Yin Zheng, she has a more consistent character. She has a big heart and always willing to help anyone in need. She's forgiving and does not harbor hate.

I believe she loves YZ but also still loves JK as a senior.  She believes in the ultimate goal of YZ to unify the states and have long lasting peace but she does not want war and more casualties. This conflict between them is intrinsic since YZ is offensive while Li is defensive. All her life as a warrior she stood with her grandfather to protect their place from the invading Qin armies. And the solution Li made was to die in the hands of YZ to teach him what it means to love. She had planned it all along. She does not really mean to kill Yin Zheng she just said things to YZ like "you must die", "I'm going to continue the plan of my senior", "I'm doing a favor to the world" to provoke YZ to lift his sword. But honestly, I don't understand yet what she's really trying to tell YZ, "what it means to love" is just too vague. It's certain that she wants him to learn a lesson which is to learn how to trust since he did not really trust Li and now she's gone.

And of course, the fact that Li chose to die just to teach him a lesson is the ultimate proof she indeed loved him. Telling him to be empathetic in order to be a good ruler equates telling him she loves him and wants him to succeed in his ultimate goal. In her last breath, she did not even think about her TM, in her final moments, she proved her love to YZ which is why YZ was so devastated as you can see in the final episode. 

Thanks  - this is insightful.

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Of all the things I was traumatized by, it was YZ’s brutality towards LiZhong’s loyalty. Was that really necessary? I understood then that he’s a complete psycho and ZBB the actor made me downplay Yin Zheng’s utter ruthlessness. That scene however was akin to having cold water splashed over my head. YZ is indeed one crazy mofo!

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On 05/10/2017 at 2:51 AM, rosamundekingsley99_stv said:

@renaoh I don't think that love is linear but your points are well taken and I have often seesawed back and forth about LIer and her love for JK and YZ.  Maybe it was the lack of chemistry between Lier and JK, but I often thought that their love was more brotherly/sisterly and she honestly did not have a lot of choices when it came to the men around her.  With respect to the virginity issue, I kind of shrugged my shoulders at that one because she did not seem too pleased when she learned that she was pregnant and her attitude toward TM blew hot and cold.

 

With YZ, everything was an issue because he fundamentally did not trust anyone and why would he?  He became king at the age of 13 and then somehow managed to survive to take the reins of the kingdom in his own hands.  He loved Lier as much as his suspicious nature would allow him to love anyone and as he stated several times, he did not choose to king of Qin but he is and therefore, he has to do what he needs to do even if others disagree with him.  He does not necessarily derive joy from killing others but that is what is expected of him and so that is the image he tries to maintain at all costs because fear = power in his book.

 

With YZ, everything began with his cape/cloak and it ends there too - when he descends the stairs after killing Lier, and then he falls to his knees and screams, we are back to the beginning when the narrator stated that the world would begin to hear his tiger's roar.  And of course for effect, a raven flies over him.  Very appropriate.

 

The writers and DD contributed to a lack of complexity within Lier but this role and this character had the potential to be more than just a warrior or a beautiful concubine - Lier, I think, was supposed to represent nobility and lack of greed - her needs, as stated, are supposed to be simple and she wants to protect everyone whom she loves.  YZ had to accept that love is limitless and that Lier could love others without impinging on her love for him - not sure that the drama ever reached this understanding or projection because Lier was not very good at communicating any of this.  @shimshimae said that love without trust could not survive and ultimately that is what happened here.  

 

As for Lier and JK, their love is more based on the "one that got away" and familiarity.  It feels too forced and part of it is probably due to the fact that the actors shared no chemistry and it was painful to watch.

Great post and very good catch calling back to the beginning of the drama

 

On 05/10/2017 at 8:10 AM, briaes said:

@raziela 

Hahaha. Hide in spoilers cos dont wanna be a party pooper to those who pretend it ends at ep 37. And also cos it's my broken alarm clock rant. Lol :)

I think I can find consolation in your thoughts that "we should know".  I never doubted YZ as I feel he's consistent throughout. It's only Li that's causing all the confusion. I thought a love that started out so beautifully should end just as meaningfully. Sadly, the last fews eps is so savagely butchered - how YZ and Li's love is in an infinity loop of trust and betrayal again, how there's no connection between JK and Li's love and what and whom is she really protecting. Initially, I thought she would die to protect her one true love, but as the series progresses i thought hmmm maybe she would protect their love. But naddah... now I'm more inclined to feel that she's protecting her chivalry and noble ideals. And at the same time trying to teach YZ a lesson or 2 on how to truly love and how it feels to kill your most beloved. I'm certain about YZ's love as he's prepared to die together with her.

 

This series is actually beautiful on its own dissected parts. Its just not beautifully and logically put together.

 

And thank you so much for sharing about the novel. 

....

 

Btw, does anyone here know what are the general sentiments of the mainland chinese viewers on TKW? 

Very much how I feel.  There is a lot of good in this series too and I don't want to disparage the whole drama and I can see what the writer and directors were trying to do but as I said in a previous post there is such a big disconnect between the earlier parts of the drama and the last few episodes which I think is why so many of us are unhappy.  I think your earlier analogy of buying a ticket for one drama and ending up with another is exactly how a lot of us feel.  I'm not disappointed by a tragic ending.  I expected a tragic ending!  I just didn't expect to end up confused,  frustrated, disappointed and annoyed with the events leading up to that ending.

 

Answering your question: from what I can see on the posts on the show's official weibo.  A lot of the mainland viewers were as disappointed and confused by the ending and who Li Er loved as many international fans were.  There are way more defenders of L Er's character and DD's acting among the domestic audience though I think because DD is very popular and the majority of people watching and posting are DD fans so comments towards her acting are much more complimentary than on this thread!  I've seen criticism of the drama with the same issues we have but overall ZBB and DD's acting is getting lots of praise and the finale night the drama broke 1% which is good and a nice jump in ratings.  (Remember I'm using Google translate so this is not a 100% accurate.  Anyone who speaks Chinese please feel free to correct me ^_^)

 

On 06/10/2017 at 12:11 AM, tudorrose said:

I will really watch that very famous ep 37 one of these days. It's not only you but others say the same thing. I am at ep 43 and will continue until the last but will go back and continue to watch where i stopped at 24 so i will end at 38, that way i will have a happy ending. It's just a trick but it will still not hide the reality that their love affair ended sadly.

 

By the way, so many interesting posts that i want to answer but can't due to work. I haven't check the previous pages too but i'm sure more very good reactions were posted there. I don't know when will i be able to read them but i'm grateful for the members who post them. Their usernames are in my mind and i hope to meet them, and all of you, again in another drama's. Will be back here, will just finish these reports screaming on my table right now but will visit for a minute or two in between. :blush:

Totally agree with you about the wonderful posts and members on this thread.  :blush:

Another ending suggestion I saw on weibo that I think was a good idea suggested that the drama should have ended in the episode where YZ takes TM back to Li Er and leaves them there because he believes he cannot protect her.  Thus we get a bittersweet end which doesn't undermine their love or leave us confused about their actions but realistically shows their values are too different (as @divethereal stated Li is defensive and YZ offensive) so they choose to be apart.  She loves him from afar and lives the peaceful life she desires whilst YZ commits the selfless act of love by letting her go, loves her from afar and goes on to achieve his dream. Though obviously because it was a book adaptation and everything was leading up to the JK assassination attempt they couldn't stop there.

 

On 06/10/2017 at 3:44 AM, rosamundekingsley99_stv said:
Spoiler

 

Maybe we are thinking too hard about who Lier loved - she can love both just in different ways.  Frankly, neither of her "relationships" with YZ and JK ever truly blossomed - both were hindered by external events as well as emotional trust issues.  I am certain that Lier was always conflicted about her love for YZ because he was so ruthless but my sense (when you take away the Lier as a character's terrible contradictions and inconsistencies) is that there was a unwilling respect for his capabilities and intelligence.  She is extremely well-educated for a woman of her era and she shares a love of reading with YZ - I suspect that DD had been a better actress, she probably would have conveyed that unwilling and uneasy attraction that she had for YZ despite her better instincts (kind of like Scarlet Heart where the heroine had loved both men, just differently, and one of them had disturbed her more but she initially could not put her finger on why - that probably should have been conveyed more in this drama too but it did not really get fleshed out).  YZ listens to Lier and values her opinion, but at the end of the day, YZ acts on his own.

 

With JK, it is more a maternal/sisterly/advisor love - she is constantly telling JK what to do and how to do it.  It's only when she leaves him that he stops listening to her.  I do not quite understand JK's character but it also probably has to do with how it was written and conveyed.

 

TM is important to LIer but I never got the sense that he was THAT important; it was more of a tool for the writers to use to push the plot along.

 

Lier did not seem to understand or to know really either JK or YZ; as someone pointed out, she died for her chivalry.

 

 

 

On 06/10/2017 at 7:04 AM, xohelen said:
Spoiler

 

Ahhh, finally finish watching episode 48! 

I feel relieved now knowing that JK lost in the battlefield due to poison which was Li’s fault hahah. She technically killed her own senior. 

 

Now it all makes sense. She is torn between the two men. When one is not around she loves and cherish that man in front of her. She wasn’t shocked that JK died because she knows he will. 

Also YZ did not intentionally killed her, he was only testing her to see if she would kill him. Yet, she turns the dagger around and ran straight for his sword. We know she ran straight to it! Well well, not mister King’s fault she died. She aimed her body at his swords when she cause the distraction in his eyes by turning her dagger around! That was epic! 

I honestly did not feel sorry for her death. I’m more satisfied she is gone even though I know he loves her wholeheartedly! What he say to her was she didn’t know him well enough. Unifying the world cannot be done by sit and talk. Bloodshed has to occured in order for unification to happen. She didn’t understand that part nor does she believes his words for it because she knew nothing about political power and peace thru political affair. 

 

One thing that annoyed me this final episode was she felt that king killed many people and brought chaos to the world but yet she went out of her way to killed or injured all those soldiers who were just standing to block her from getting by. What makes her actions in that part any different than king giving order to his soldiers to kill enemy? She’s contradicting herself here lol. The soliders even told her king gave us orders to go easy on you and not use force. Well where is her love in this? She obviously didn’t care and harmed those soldiers to save one life. 

 

Their love story was certainly beautiful! Too bad it didn’t gave us happy ending with them having babies etc... I will not watch any of db movie but certainly will watch more of zbb movie. Going to miss him on screen. 

 

 

 

20 hours ago, divethereal said:
Spoiler

 

I skipped majority of episodes 44-47 and I first watched the final episode then went back to the previous episodes just to find answers because I need answers! First of all, may I say that that writers did a great  job on the plot development especially for the OTP BUT they seem to just couldn't wrap up the ending well. Some fans commented that they got lazy, they did not really think about the consistency of the events leading to the finale leaving us all confused. They can't justify the ending and I'm also not convinced. Here are things that are NOT consistent with the plot development.

 

1. Yin Zheng using TM to keep Li by his side - Remember the event when Li was tortured because she helped escape the hostage prince? YZ was READY to let Li go for her sake. He actually allowed her to leave the palace because he knows that letting her go will keep her safe from the schemes in the palace that can endanger her life. He let her go together with TM. This is one act that shows he truly loves Li. So I just don't understand why in the last episodes he stooped down to using TM to keep Li by his side when previously, he had allowed her to leave and moreover, Li already proved her decision to stay with YZ when she returned to the palace after rescuing him in the forest.

 

2. Yin Zheng appointing TM to be crown prince for him to be killed - Okay, YZ is overly jealous over JK even if Li already loves him. I'm not surprised YZ wants JK dead. But seriously,  if he harbors hate for TM, he had 10 years to eliminate him and STILL keep Li by his side. And if he wants to use TM to challenge Fu Su, then he could not have given TM to Li after he allowed her to leave the palace.

 

There are many other inconsistencies but these two are the ones I questioned the most.

 

I believe that even though Li's role was not portayed that excellently as Yin Zheng, she has a more consistent character. She has a big heart and always willing to help anyone in need. She's forgiving and does not harbor hate.

I believe she loves YZ but also still loves JK as a senior.  She believes in the ultimate goal of YZ to unify the states and have long lasting peace but she does not want war and more casualties. This conflict between them is intrinsic since YZ is offensive while Li is defensive. All her life as a warrior she stood with her grandfather to protect their place from the invading Qin armies. And the solution Li made was to die in the hands of YZ to teach him what it means to love. She had planned it all along. She does not really mean to kill Yin Zheng she just said things to YZ like "you must die", "I'm going to continue the plan of my senior", "I'm doing a favor to the world" to provoke YZ to lift his sword. But honestly, I don't understand yet what she's really trying to tell YZ, "what it means to love" is just too vague. It's certain that she wants him to learn a lesson which is to learn how to trust since he did not really trust Li and now she's gone.

And of course, the fact that Li chose to die just to teach him a lesson is the ultimate proof she indeed loved him. Telling him to be empathetic in order to be a good ruler equates telling him she loves him and wants him to succeed in his ultimate goal. In her last breath, she did not even think about her TM, in her final moments, she proved her love to YZ which is why YZ was so devastated as you can see in the final episode. 

 

 

 

@rosamundekingsley99_stv @xohelen @divethereal   Sorry to spoiler your posts but my post was getting too long.  I think all your posts bring up great points particularly about the different types of love Li Er had for the two men and the obvious inconsistencies in the plot and in Li Er's actions. 

 

There have been so many great and interesting posts.  I will definitely give TKW credit for trying to be more than the typical Mary-Sue idol period drama but unfortunately some of the writing particularly in the later episodes and some acting was not up to par with the production's ambitions.  Regardless thank you to the cast and crew for their hard work because as we can see from the videos @meifang89 kindly posted everyone worked hard on this project.

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15 hours ago, peanutbutterjellytime said:

Sorry I do not mean to offend anyone by saying this but I'm consistently amazed by those that dismiss - if not outright defend Ying Zheng's issues, actions or instability throughout the drama.  Only because he's a swoonworthy handsome King portrayed by Zhang Bin Bin, does not change how messed up he is. Dude is an immense prick I feel no sympathy for who essentially drove everyone away and reaps what he does. The price of being a ruthless leader who accomplished something no other has done I suppose.

 

 From the moment he used a method as backhanded as poisoning Jing Ke -a childhood friend who also saved him- to blackmail Gong Sun  Li to become his concubine I have a hard time rooting for this OTP.  If YZ is not a handsome young thang with serious bad boy vibes, but is old and fat, people would be finding it creepy instead of "romantic". Half the people wishing for Jing Ke to leave them alone would be singing a different tune - instead rooting for him to reclaim his lady love and whisk her as far away possible from the palace. :lol::lol::lol:   

 

Ultimately, all is fair in love and war.

 

The price you pay is when the truth is revealed.

 

I don't defend or think what YZ did was great, but I also think they're VERY consistent based on his inner makeup, AND understandable.

 

It's like Hannibal from The Silence of the Lambs. I don't condone or love what Hannibal does, but I can see where he's coming from and I can understand him based on his inner makeup, so he comes across as an empathetic character.

 

Empathy - I can understand that dude

Sympathy - I can not only understand BUT feel for that dude /like that dude

 

BTW - Empathy is absolutely necessary in order to create sympathy. But sympathy is NOT absolutely necessary for someone to enjoy a drama/book/movie. But they must have empathy for at least one or more characters. 

 

You can create a drama / movie filled with horrible people, but if they can create empathy, viewers watch because they can follow the journey and derive some enjoyment out of it. (Again, The Silence of the Lambs or Godfather)

 

My biggest problem with Li is that her inner makeup is VERY inconsistently displayed, so I couldn't empathize with her, therefore I felt no sympathy for her even though she's supposed to be a nice girl. Since the show has no main lead I felt strong sympathy for, I had to root for a character I felt empathy for, and that ended up with YZ. 

 

And even if ZBB is a hottie, if he'd been poorly portrayed with inconsistent inner makeup, I would've been annoyed with him too. There are tons of movies and dramas with hotties. I need more than a pretty face to root for a character. 

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@peanutbutterjellytime said:-

Quote

 From the moment he used a method as backhanded as poisoning Jing Ke -a childhood friend who also saved him- to blackmail Gong Sun  Li to become his concubine I have a hard time rooting for this OTP.  If YZ is not a handsome young thang with serious bad boy vibes, but is old and fat, people would be finding it creepy instead of "romantic". Half the people wishing for Jing Ke to leave them alone would be singing a different tune - instead rooting for him to reclaim his lady love and whisk her as far away possible from the palace. :lol::lol::lol: 

 Well first of all I agree with what you said LoL:tongue::lol: Second of all, it is Bin2 after all eheh (yea I'm shallow) And it's a fictionalized retelling of a part of Chinese history, so for those reasons they had to cast pretty people otherwise who's goin' to watch right?!?? Then again, nobody's perfect. Ying Zhen definitely abused his powers as a King to get what he wants sure...but I guess Love really makes people do foolish things...

:w00t:I'm just LoL at the handsome young thang with serious bad boy vibes AHAHAH:lol:

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OY This Drama just kept gettin' messier as ep. went on.

Lady Li took on 3 I repeat THREE batches of Army troops and still manage to emerge from it with NO blood splattered on her opulent costume or even appear disheveled HA. Ridiculous I tell ya:rolleyes: And damn it that lady-in-waiting Qing was not so innocent after all! Typical of Ying Zhen to use dirty tactics to get the upper hand. No wonder Jing Ker was overpowered, he was poisoned:crazy: 

God there's just too many martyrs in this Drama, Han (why must he die!?), then Li Zhong (WTF) and Jing Ker (could care less but still) with Li bein' the biggest martyr of them all... the irony bein' all fought to keep Ying Zhen alive only to have him kill them in the end aish~ friendship indeed pffft. Somehow Lady Chu's bittersweet end had more impact than Li's supposed sacrifice.

And so after 48 looOoOng ep. The King never truly trusted Li - ever<_<

I do believe he loved her, whereas for Li she simply pitied him. It's probably the crappy writing or poor acting from Dilraba but I was never convinced Li was ever in love with Ying Zhen. It didn't help that Li's many poor and foolish actions fed Ying Zhen's existing paranoia further. Basically the ending was a major letdown for me. I think Wang So's loneliness in Scarlet Heart in the finale struck a chord with me more than Ying Zhen. This felt so rushed and all over the place. 

Geez maybe Ying Zhen and Wang So from Scarlet Heart should start a Lonely Kings Club or somethin' LoL:lol::tongue: What a waste of a Drama! So many what ifs and so much untapped potential. I am glad however I got to meet some really interesting people in this thread:D I had fun reading and exchanging ideas with you all. Hope to see some of you in Dilraba/Bin2's next Drama endeavor. Hope Bin2 gets to play the lead again and get the girl for once. 

Until then, take care XO:heart:

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@divethereal

Thanks for sharing your great insights. Really refreshing and gives me more to think about. And most definitely agree with you on Li's warrior aspect, as I've also shared in an earlier post on her chivalrous nature. I can understand her character but not necessarily her actions as sometimes her actions do contradict her character. 

 

 

18 hours ago, peanutbutterjellytime said:

Sorry I do not mean to offend anyone by saying this but I'm consistently amazed by those that dismiss - if not outright defend Ying Zheng's issues, actions or instability throughout the drama.  Only because he's a swoonworthy handsome King portrayed by Zhang Bin Bin, does not change how messed up he is. Dude is an immense prick I feel no sympathy for who essentially drove everyone away and reaps what he does. The price of being a ruthless leader who accomplished something no other has done I suppose.

 

 From the moment he used a method as backhanded as poisoning Jing Ke -a childhood friend who also saved him- to blackmail Gong Sun  Li to become his concubine I have a hard time rooting for this OTP.  If YZ is not a handsome young thang with serious bad boy vibes, but is old and fat, people would be finding it creepy instead of "romantic". Half the people wishing for Jing Ke to leave them alone would be singing a different tune - instead rooting for him to reclaim his lady love and whisk her as far away possible from the palace. :lol::lol::lol:   

 

I feel for YZ's character role primarily because ZBB breathes life into YZ, despite the fact that he's a tyrannical king. ZBB wears the character and he's able to beautifully emote/express/convey all the varying sentiments in different situations and circumstances. And because there's a substantial and continuous development in his personal story arc (his childhood, parents, upbringing, ambitions, visions, beliefs etc), ZBB humanise YZ rather than just protray himself as a plain brutal king. There are some emperor roles that are supposed to enchant and intrigue, mostly kangxi and qianlong roles, but not all actors nailed them successfully. Its takes more than a swoonworthy hottie to bring life out of these characters so viewers can emphatically feel and experience them. Any half decent actor can play the role of King of Hearts and not be hated, but it takes a competent, talented and capable guy to play the King Of Hate and still be loved and adored.

 

Also because YZ is an actual figure, his character and actions have to stay consistent within the works. Whereas for Li who's fictional, there's more leeway for the writers to work around her character. She is the Queen of Hearts who has got the creative license to conveniently be whatever the writers want her to do and be. Sometimes she's so inconsistent she leaves me confused.

 

As for JK, I feel his biggest shortcoming would be the lack of character role development and transformation. I do not understand his purpose simply because his screen time is wasted on wallowing in self pity. When he mourns, i mourn for him too. Plus the fact that he can't act, i don't and can't feel for him emphatically, even though I do find him aesthetically pleasing. If given a chance to address these flaws, I believe JK would be likable and have some of us rooting for him too. After all, JK is supposed to be the protagonist and YZ the antagonist according to the novel. 

 

 

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18 hours ago, peanutbutterjellytime said:

 

 From the moment he used a method as backhanded as poisoning Jing Ke -a childhood friend who also saved him- to blackmail Gong Sun  Li to become his concubine I have a hard time rooting for this OTP. 

 

I so agreed with your POV!

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On 10/6/2017 at 10:18 PM, divethereal said:

 

2. Yin Zheng appointing TM to be crown prince for him to be killed - Okay, YZ is overly jealous over JK even if Li already loves him. I'm not surprised YZ wants JK dead. But seriously,  if he harbors hate for TM, he had 10 years to eliminate him and STILL keep Li by his side. And if he wants to use TM to challenge Fu Su, then he could not have given TM to Li after he allowed her to leave the palace.

 

 

I had thought that because YZ loved Li that was why he had the love for Tian Ming as his own child. In Ep 51 Li was very clear to him that she did not think TM was suitable for being the Crown Prince, yet YZ insisted!!
Did YZ really hate Tian Ming that much enough to want him to be killed?

 

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One thought I had was that Tian Ming can mean the Mandate of Heaven- a Confucian  idea that heaven confers directly upon an Emperor  (the Son of Heaven) the right to rule. This right was conditioned by the personal behavior of the ruler, who was expected to be righteous and benevolent. If the emperor's personal life had become immoral or his rule tyrannical ,Confucius taught he had  not only lost the right to rule but should be removed by revolution if necessary.Interesting to me because Qin Shi Huang (YZ) banned Confucian thought/thinkers in favor of legalism.it can of course be a justification for getting rid of a ruler you don't like.

 

I do not want to make too much of this-but this series has been so full of hints and allusions that I wondered if Li was maybe on that side of the argument-which called for nobility/chivalry/righteous behavior as against ultimate obedience to the Emperor (YZ) and his rules. if you lived by those rules you would be protected and he'd make sure you were okay. The opposing view is to be guided by all that's best in you. Of course, the very obedience demanded means that someone may have to watch you to make you obey. It is NOT a good recipe for trust.I wonder if it is a coincidence she called her son TM.

 

I did go back and watch the last episode.I noticed he told JK that he knew about his plan, and asked if he was ready to abandon it. JK said no-and added fuel to the fire by showing YZ the picture Li had drawn of the sea-and said that she had drawn it as she wanted them to run away there together. YZ always felt with Li that JK was the one he should be jealous of so was goaded by this.WhenLli came to carry on with the assassination he said he'd drugged her because he loved her (and probably I guess he wanted to control her to stay out of his business). she said she came to complete the task and something like "You think I would not (?) know you killed so many people " and she was determined to take up where JK left off .She checks her sword at the last minute and says (i think ) that she thought that if he personally kills the person he loves the most, only then would he know how that person feels. I am not sure my mandarin is good enough to pick up the nuances, so not quite clear on her reasoning.

I think i got hooked into the romantic melodrama as half of the series was about that-and it popped up again in the lovely and sad 37 which was the last time they appeared to have some chance of happiness.But it seems to me that it was about romantic love  and about fictionalized  history and moreover perhaps about the the tension about having your own moral compass and having some one "protect" you but you have to do what they say.

Li's domestic and internal life seemed to be turning out that way.

 

It must have been that way in a time of conflict and chaos.YZ learned that lesson well-and his behavior killed everyone who loved him,was loyal to him, worked for him (LBW) because he could not trust  the best of and /in anyone, as suspicion and mistrust kept him alive..He perhaps in the end did not have Tian Ming-in more ways than one (the living one as well as Heaven's blessing). But we do understand why not-e.g. reasons for massacre in Handan, killing LBW, killing Lao Ai and followers. Killing may be necessary, but it's why and how you do it. I got that there were times that he was not able to control himself from extreme acts of savagery (the Wolf Tiger as LBW put it).He was certainly not guided then IMO  by the best in himself.

I applaud the writers if this is what was lurking in the back of their minds.It was very broad in scope and ambitious even if patchily executed and inconsistent.We in the forum are still trying to find meaning in this show and puzzling over the meaning of the  end-and we've offered lots of pov-all very relevant.

And yes-as @rosamundekingsley99_stv says, does it matter whom she loved-after all noble people can include many in that love.Hopefully  she lived and died  by her own moral compass or tried to , as her dying grandfather wanted her to,however patchily she was written/interpreted.

I think I want to watch a comedy next-if anyone is still out  there and reads this lonely post -any suggestions...?

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11 hours ago, dramalover1 said:

 

Ultimately, all is fair in love and war.

 

The price you pay is when the truth is revealed.

 

I don't defend or think what YZ did was great, but I also think they're VERY consistent based on his inner makeup, AND understandable.

 

It's like Hannibal from The Silence of the Lambs. I don't condone or love what Hannibal does, but I can see where he's coming from and I can understand him based on his inner makeup, so he comes across as an empathetic character.

 

Empathy - I can understand that dude

Sympathy - I can not only understand BUT feel for that dude /like that dude

 

BTW - Empathy is absolutely necessary in order to create sympathy. But sympathy is NOT absolutely necessary for someone to enjoy a drama/book/movie. But they must have empathy for at least one or more characters. 

 

You can create a drama / movie filled with horrible people, but if they can create empathy, viewers watch because they can follow the journey and derive some enjoyment out of it. (Again, The Silence of the Lambs or Godfather)

 

My biggest problem with Li is that her inner makeup is VERY inconsistently displayed, so I couldn't empathize with her, therefore I felt no sympathy for her even though she's supposed to be a nice girl. Since the show has no main lead I felt strong sympathy for, I had to root for a character I felt empathy for, and that ended up with YZ. 

 

And even if ZBB is a hottie, if he'd been poorly portrayed with inconsistent inner makeup, I would've been annoyed with him too. There are tons of movies and dramas with hotties. I need more than a pretty face to root for a character. 

@peanutbutterjellytime first, I love your Stitch photo - he is one of my favorite Disney characters.  Second, I appreciate your opinion; I am not sure though anyone really condones any of YZ's actions or think of him as a lovely man or even "like" him or rooted for him and Li because of ZBB's good-looking face.  @dramalover1's analysis hits on the head - because YZ's inner makeup, actions and character are for the most part consistent, we can empathize with him even if we do not have sympathy for him.  With respect to JK, we have neither - the characterization did not work, and with Li, even though she was the heroine and we were supposed to believe that she was constantly wronged, you did not "feel" for her at all actually.  You ended up questioning many of her decisions.

 

14 hours ago, raziela said:

 

There have been so many great and interesting posts.  I will definitely give TKW credit for trying to be more than the typical Mary-Sue idol period drama but unfortunately some of the writing particularly in the later episodes and some acting was not up to par with the production's ambitions.  Regardless thank you to the cast and crew for their hard work because as we can see from the videos @meifang89 kindly posted everyone worked hard on this project.

As @raziela pointed out, this drama has been different from the usual, and maybe that is why despite all of its flaws and inconsistencies, it sticks with me, and I am still musing over it.  When I think about how I watched this drama, I am not sure that I ever rooted for YZ and Lier as a couple - I rooted against Lier and JK as a couple but mostly, I rooted for YZ to find some equilibrium and Lier to find some peace.  I rolled my eyes every time JK appeared on the screen.  In the end, Lier may have found some peace in death but YZ continues to proceed like a tiger and rules over Qin alone - as he had always thought he would (he mentioned this in episode 37 after Lier rescued him from the Han soldiers).

 

For the most part, this drama somewhat worked for me until episode 39/40 and then it became a jumbled mess probably because the writers had to find ways to go until episode 48 - it probably should have ended around episode 40 because how many more times can you really make the drama about lack of trust issues and that contributed to the inconsistencies  (per @dramalover1 and @divetherealand the feeling that two different teams of writers were writing this drama - i.e., all the 40 episodes and then from episode 41 to the end.

 

By the way, @divethereal  I loved your analysis of the ending and your identification of some key inconsistencies.

 

So I have started going back and rewatching the episodes and stand by my original opinion that there are pieces of very well-written and acted portions to this drama - it is just that when it is all put together, there are too many inconsistencies for the drama to hold up well as a complete piece.  But if ultimately, as @shimshimae & @briaes & @january1234 point out, this is about trust and the lack of trust in relationships, then there is a scene in episode 34 that encapsulates why were treated to the constant lack of trust in relationships infinity loop.

 

After YZ eavesdrops on a conversation between Li and Qing, he goes to see his mother who is cradling a pillow and believing it to be her dead child. His mother asks about Li and how only LI is kind to her.  YZ stiffens and responds that Li has done something wrong and that she is in the dungeon (this is the era of BC after all).  His mother asks what did she do that was so wrong that she ended up in the dungeon and YZ responds that she lied.  Then his mother explains to him that lying is also a form of love - you lie to protect those you love.  YZ responds that he hates liars and that how is lying an expression of love?

 

When I rewatched this scene, a couple of things struck me and this is where the empathy for YZ kicks in (empathy that @dramalover1 defined well in a prior post).  I hate liars too and I don't like being lied to.  On the other hand, to protect the people I love, I have lied on occasion as well - there are certain things that I have made a decision that they do not need to know.  But, when you are the recipient of lying, as YZ has been for years, it is hard to distinguish whether that lie has been made out of love for you and in your best interests or due to other motivations.  When you have power, when you are king, as Lier reminded YZ, you must listen to all but you must make sure that you are not manipulated by others' motivations; lying is a form of manipulation and for someone like YZ for whom trust in others is near impossible, it is also impossible to distinguish a lie made out of love and a lie made to advance one's interests.

 

For me, as a commoner, it is a great deal easier to distinguish those two lies when I am the recipient - for someone in power, it is near impossible.

 

And really, the last 6 episodes, over again, we faced the prospects of lies - only the last 6 episodes, it was YZ lying to Lier about why Tian Ming was being appointed Crown Prince and his ulterior motivations.  It almost seemed like YZ had never loved Lier the way he acted the last 6 episodes when in episode 36 and 37, he had allowed her to depart because he was not sure anymore of himself, his ability to protect her and whether he could make her happy - so @divethereal thank you for pointing out this major contradiction in terms.

 

The last 6 episodes  would have been somewhat believable only if there had been some catalyst to motivate YZ to act this way except that there was none - the episodes just kept zipping on along without any transitions that helped the viewer make connections.

 

The Korean version of Scarlet Heart generally was not great but that last scene with the 4th Prince who is now king, when he realizes that he is all alone and he has that soliloquy, that was fairly effective.  When YZ comes out of the hall after he has killed JK, Lier and LiZhong (indirectly), he kneels and roars - he refuses to let grief overwhelm him because he is king.  His expression is not that dissimilar to when he killed the dear except this time there is no smirk of satisfaction  in  killing.  This scene is fairly similar to the one in Lan Ling Wang when the King of Zhou kneels at the Qi throne and starts crying  because he has achieved what he has wanted except that Yang Xue Wu is gone.

 

So as @dramalover1 states "All is fair in love and war."  And you can't have everything you want either.

 

As Jack Nicolson's character in a "A Few Good Men" snarls to Tom Cruise's quote "I want the truth!", "Son, you can't handle the truth."
 

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9 hours ago, briaes said:

@divethereal

Thanks for sharing your great insights. Really refreshing and gives me more to think about. And most definitely agree with you on Li's warrior aspect, as I've also shared in an earlier post on her chivalrous nature. I can understand her character but not necessarily her actions as sometimes her actions do contradict her character. 

 

 

 

I feel for YZ's character role primarily because ZBB breathes life into YZ, despite the fact that he's a tyrannical king. ZBB wears the character and he's able to beautifully emote/express/convey all the varying sentiments in different situations and circumstances. And because there's a substantial and continuous development in his personal story arc (his childhood, parents, upbringing, ambitions, visions, beliefs etc), ZBB humanise YZ rather than just protray himself as a plain brutal king. There are some emperor roles that are supposed to enchant and intrigue, mostly kangxi and qianlong roles, but not all actors nailed them successfully. Its takes more than a swoonworthy hottie to bring life out of these characters so viewers can emphatically feel and experience them. Any half decent actor can play the role of King of Hearts and not be hated, but it takes a competent, talented and capable guy to play the King Of Hate and still be loved and adored.

 

Also because YZ is an actual figure, his character and actions have to stay consistent within the works. Whereas for Li who's fictional, there's more leeway for the writers to work around her character. She is the Queen of Hearts who has got the creative license to conveniently be whatever the writers want her to do and be. Sometimes she's so inconsistent she leaves me confused.

 

As for JK, I feel his biggest shortcoming would be the lack of character role development and transformation. I do not understand his purpose simply because his screen time is wasted on wallowing in self pity. When he mourns, i mourn for him too. Plus the fact that he can't act, i don't and can't feel for him emphatically, even though I do find him aesthetically pleasing. If given a chance to address these flaws, I believe JK would be likable and have some of us rooting for him too. After all, JK is supposed to be the protagonist and YZ the antagonist according to the novel. 

 

 

@briaes  The actor is very important to the role - ZBB nailed it whereas the actor who played JK did not.  JK is supposed to be the hero and yet all he seems to do is to mope and to drink all the time and wallow in self-pity.  The truly good actors are the ones who can take the King of Hate roles and make us emphathize.  But not really sure that the JK actor is even aesthetically pleasing - his lips are too pouty.

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5 hours ago, january1234 said:

One thought I had was that Tian Ming can mean the Mandate of Heaven- a Confucian  idea that heaven confers directly upon an Emperor  (the Son of Heaven) the right to rule. This right was conditioned by the personal behavior of the ruler, who was expected to be righteous and benevolent. If the emperor's personal life had become immoral or his rule tyrannical ,Confucius taught he had  not only lost the right to rule but should be removed by revolution if necessary.Interesting to me because Qin Shi Huang (YZ) banned Confucian thought/thinkers in favor of legalism.it can of course be a justification for getting rid of a ruler you don't like.

 

I do not want to make too much of this-but this series has been so full of hints and allusions that I wondered if Li was maybe on that side of the argument-which called for nobility/chivalry/righteous behavior as against ultimate obedience to the Emperor (YZ) and his rules. if you lived by those rules you would be protected and he'd make sure you were okay. The opposing view is to be guided by all that's best in you. Of course, the very obedience demanded means that someone may have to watch you to make you obey. It is NOT a good recipe for trust.I wonder if it is a coincidence she called her son TM.

 

I did go back and watch the last episode.I noticed he told JK that he knew about his plan, and asked if he was ready to abandon it. JK said no-and added fuel to the fire by showing YZ the picture Li had drawn of the sea-and said that she had drawn it as she wanted them to run away there together. YZ always felt with Li that JK was the one he should be jealous of so was goaded by this.WhenLli came to carry on with the assassination he said he'd drugged her because he loved her (and probably I guess he wanted to control her to stay out of his business). she said she came to complete the task and something like "You think I would not (?) know you killed so many people " and she was determined to take up where JK left off .She checks her sword at the last minute and says (i think ) that she thought that if he personally kills the person he loves the most, only then would he know how that person feels. I am not sure my mandarin is good enough to pick up the nuances, so not quite clear on her reasoning.

I think i got hooked into the romantic melodrama as half of the series was about that-and it popped up again in the lovely and sad 37 which was the last time they appeared to have some chance of happiness.But it seems to me that it was about romantic love  and about fictionalized  history and moreover perhaps about the the tension about having your own moral compass and having some one "protect" you but you have to do what they say.

Li's domestic and internal life seemed to be turning out that way.

 

It must have been that way in a time of conflict and chaos.YZ learned that lesson well-and his behavior killed everyone who loved him,was loyal to him, worked for him (LBW) because he could not trust  the best of and /in anyone, as suspicion and mistrust kept him alive..He perhaps in the end did not have Tian Ming-in more ways than one (the living one as well as Heaven's blessing). But we do understand why not-e.g. reasons for massacre in Handan, killing LBW, killing Lao Ai and followers. Killing may be necessary, but it's why and how you do it. I got that there were times that he was not able to control himself from extreme acts of savagery (the Wolf Tiger as LBW put it).He was certainly not guided then IMO  by the best in himself.

I applaud the writers if this is what was lurking in the back of their minds.It was very broad in scope and ambitious even if patchily executed and inconsistent.We in the forum are still trying to find meaning in this show and puzzling over the meaning of the  end-and we've offered lots of pov-all very relevant.

 

@january1234  This is very interesting - "Tian Ming" obviously has more meaning than just peace or a name.  And your analysis about the internal moral compass... this is why subtitles are not reliable - you miss all the nuances!

 

If this was what the writers were aiming for - the whole tension between legalism and Confucianism - then this explains the patchily executed and inconsistent storyline perhaps.  

 

 

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@raziela

Thank you so much for answering my question. I'm not suprised that both domestic and international audience are rocking the same boat, except in DD's acting which is understandable as she has a huge fanbase in China :lol:. And my hats off to you for using google translate as I'm too lazy for it myself :D.

So yes, thank you once again.

 

Also agree with you on how TKW is trying to divert itself from the typical historical melodrama route. They're not the first to try and most certainly not the last to fail. Still, it's beautiful and never regreted investing. TKW is my real first Cdramas to completion (I've tried a few others but nothing seems to hold my interest and I end up abandoning altogether). 

 

Also, I would like to share with all historical period dramas fans to go visit the Hengdian World Studios where TKW is shot. I visited the Qin palace there 5 years ago and I remember it was such a breathtaking sight that I momentarily thought I time travelled to that era. They're a few places throughout the palace grounds that's so strikingly familiar that it brought back sweet memories of my trip back then. Other than the Qin palace, I think they also have a Ming and Qing palace too (for which i did not visit due to time constraints). Also, i remember i read somewhere that the studio has a meet and greet session with the actors /actresses (who's shooting there) every sunday at 10am (but not too sure about its present validity though). It's not suprising they're doing this as it's actually beneficial to all parties to promote themselves. And local fans would take a bus down to meet their idols. This place is actually quite far off from civilisation as they have to maintain the mountainous background way beyond the palace grounds. :)

 

 

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1 hour ago, rosamundekingsley99_stv said:
10 hours ago, briaes said:

 

@briaes  The actor is very important to the role - ZBB nailed it whereas the actor who played JK did not.  JK is supposed to be the hero and yet all he seems to do is to mope and to drink all the time and wallow in self-pity.  The truly good actors are the ones who can take the King of Hate roles and make us emphathize.  But not really sure that the JK actor is even aesthetically pleasing - his lips are too pouty.

 

My thoughts exactly. ZBB nailed the King of Hate which is why i can feel for him emphatically. As for the actor JK, uhmmm well...  i don't find him hateful looking. I much prefer him being a model so he can perfect his fish pout and not agonise us with his half baked acting. Lol :D

 

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@rosamundekingsley99_stv said:-

Quote

JK is supposed to be the hero and yet all he seems to do is to mope and to drink all the time and wallow in self-pity.  The truly good actors are the ones who can take the King of Hate roles and make us emphathize.  But not really sure that the JK actor is even aesthetically pleasing - his lips are too pouty.

I can't tell you how hard I LoL:lol: at the finale when Jing Ker & Ying Zhen had their face-off! Especially when Jing Ker was bleeding from his wounds & the actor was still tryin' to pull off the pouty look a la Blue Steel (Zoolander) LoL. I'm like Really?:blink:

 

@briaes said:-

Quote

 

As for the actor JK, uhmmm well...  i don't find him hateful looking. I much prefer him being a model so he can perfect his fish pout and not agonise us with his half baked acting. Lol :D

 

 

Er---that's 'cause the actor playin' Jing Ker is actually a model in life by profession, so he's just being true to himself LoL!:tongue: Also I read someplace that this is his first Drama so explains a lot huh.

 

@dramalover1 said:-

Quote

And even if ZBB is a hottie, if he'd been poorly portrayed with inconsistent inner makeup, I would've been annoyed with him too. There are tons of movies and dramas with hotties. I need more than a pretty face to root for a character. 

*Nods in agreement* But ya have to admit that when an actor is visually pleasing, they somewhat make bad acting easier to stomach, at least for me - to some degree:tongue: But I see what (your point is) you're getting at.

 

@dancingbee said:-

Quote

I had thought that because YZ loved Li that was why he had the love for Tian Ming as his own child. In Ep 51 Li was very clear to him that she did not think TM was suitable for being the Crown Prince, yet YZ insisted!!
Did YZ really hate Tian Ming that much enough to want him to be killed?

Did he?? I always felt Ying Zhen kept Tian Ming as leverage to coerce Li into staying by his side forever *cringe* That and the fact he poisoned Jing Ker the first time because he knew Li was all Miss Righteous and that she'd do anything to save Jing Ker's life. So yea Ying Zhen's really messed up LoL. The only reason why he insists Tian Ming to be Crown Prince were for selfish reasons as well - to keep Li by his side/prisoner. His obsessive love was disturbing I don't even know where to begin. Also he wanted Tian Ming to motivate Fu Su his oldest heir to be bolder in his approach to bein' a ruler because Fu Su in Ying Zhen's POV was much too gentle for the harshness of a ruler. 

He only wanted Han dead but for Tian Ming I believe he asked the army to bring him back right?

 

@Wotad said:-

Quote

so this has a bad ending? makes me not want to watch it 

Please don't let the comments here discourage you from watching LoL. It might not be so bad should you give it a try. 

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PS anyone interested in the novel series-here is a reference to Qin's Moon  by Wen Shiren including a short synopsis of/reference to  Jing Ke's attempted assassination -It's a translation that seems to use a translation app so it's not the easiest to understand. Doesn't seem to be that different to what happened here.If anyone has a better reference, i'd be grateful to know. I might watch the (mainland Chinese) series and anime one day.

 

http://novel.kailekeji.net/martial-arts/qin-moon_jjddxst.html

 

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1 hour ago, Latte_Anyday said:

@rosamundekingsley99_stv said:-

I can't tell you how hard I LoL:lol: at the finale when Jing Ker & Ying Zhen had their face-off! Especially when Jing Ker was bleeding from his wounds & the actor was still tryin' to pull off the pouty look a la Blue Steel (Zoolander) LoL. I'm like Really?:blink:

 

@briaes said:-

Er---that's 'cause the actor playin' Jing Ker is actually a model in life by profession, so he's just being true to himself LoL!:tongue: Also I read someplace that this is his first Drama so explains a lot huh.

 

@dramalover1 said:-

*Nods in agreement* But ya have to admit that when an actor is visually pleasing, they somewhat make bad acting easier to stomach, at least for me - to some degree:tongue: But I see what (your point is) you're getting at.

 

@dancingbee said:-

Did he?? I always felt Ying Zhen kept Tian Ming as leverage to coerce Li into staying by his side forever *cringe* That and the fact he poisoned Jing Ker the first time because he knew Li was all Miss Righteous and that she'd do anything to save Jing Ker's life. So yea Ying Zhen's really messed up LoL. The only reason why he insists Tian Ming to be Crown Prince were for selfish reasons as well - to keep Li by his side/prisoner. His obsessive love was disturbing I don't even know where to begin. Also he wanted Tian Ming to motivate Fu Su his oldest heir to be bolder in his approach to bein' a ruler because Fu Su in Ying Zhen's POV was much too gentle for the harshness of a ruler. 

He only wanted Han dead but for Tian Ming I believe he asked the army to bring him back right?

 

@Wotad said:-

Please don't let the comments here discourage you from watching LoL. It might not be so bad should you give it a try. 

 

do you like the ending from what ive read from everywhere its not a good ending and its rushed , i might check it out after ive watched other shows first but i hate watching like 50+ episodes for a sad depressing ending unless its Hirvana in fire which did it well. 

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@Latte_Anyday-must say Jing Ke's pouting at the (fixed) showdown, made it easier for me to watch the last episode ..ZBB/YZ was all "I'm going to kill you MYSELF even if I have to kebab Li Zhong as well" -all focused killing/red mist before the eyes  intensity whist LC/JK was "hope they're lighting my best side/does this colour suit me..?." he must've been in something good before-this is major screen time, and he's the alternate love interest. Or he must have a really good agent.

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