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[Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] The Rise of Phoenixes 凰权·弈天下


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21 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

Oh I didn't know that... what is the Spring and Autumn period? I always just thought they used fictional names based on Chinese history and that they were related to territory, as each title seemed to come with a territory. 

Goddamn. It's the warring states period like you said, Spring and Autumn is the period before that, with even more countries. They are strung together in Chinese, spring and autumn warring states, so I always forget they are two separate periods LOL. They probably do come with territory, though I always get the impression they wouldn't be allowed to go back to their territory unless the throne fight was settled, since you'd be able to gather your own army and people, but I don't know if this is accurate or where I got this idea from! The title is just whatever the emperor like though, 10th prince gets something entirely unrelated. 

 

Investiture of Gods' posters look gorgeous. They are doing casting calls for all oversea asian actors for the leads though, and they are looking to start filming this year (?). I think Chen Kun is still filming Yin Yang Shi/Onmyouji? The director have previously worked with Chen Kun on Moji: The Lost Legend, which was partially based on the Candle in the Tomb series, it was pretty well received iirc.

 

Re: soundtrack, it's officially available here https://y.qq.com/n/yqq/album/003vUii73ljNPo.html#stat=y_new.song.header.albumname which might be region locked now that I think about it, I'm not sure if they'll put it up on itunes or something anytime soon. (where else do people buy music? everyone I know stream OSTs)

 

Re: Shaoning, yeah her mum is the empress. She looked down on Ning Yi because his mum was just a consort, but she has no tact and said it in front of Ning Sheng, which is just hella awkward. She also indicated at some point Crown Prince is her only relative which confirms her lineage. Princes and princesses are usually numbered separately, in the novel, she's the youngest iirc, she calls 10th prince older brother. I can't remember if they ever talk to each other in the drama, I need to check.

 

The drama presumably just doesn't show people that aren't relevant. Ning Chuan and Ning Sheng are presumbly 30 or close to that, there's no way they wouldn't be married and have kids. Honestly Ning Yan should probably be married too, Ning Yi only gets away with it because he was imprisoned for 8 years. We only ever see/know like three of emperor's consort, 3rd, 5th and 10th prince's mother doesn't even get a name.

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I'm going through Phoenixes very slowly and am only up to Episode 20. Life's busy and one can only do what one is able.  Fascinating show and as a whole I find it worth persevering through. When it's

If there is anyone who is 100% fluent in Chinese, please make corrections to this! I had trouble translating since a lot of the lyrics draw from ancient poetry. Chinese also doesn't have tenses and in

I think somewhere down the the director forgot that this is called the RISE of the FREAKIN PHOENIXES, not the FALL of the FREAKIN PHOENIXES.     

1 hour ago, skibbies said:

Goddamn. It's the warring states period like you said, Spring and Autumn is the period before that, with even more countries. They are strung together in Chinese, spring and autumn warring states, so I always forget they are two separate periods LOL. They probably do come with territory, though I always get the impression they wouldn't be allowed to go back to their territory unless the throne fight was settled, since you'd be able to gather your own army and people, but I don't know if this is accurate or where I got this idea from!

I think they do have territories, because I remember, the first time the rumor about the remnant being alive was spread, Ning Sheng said he knew about the remnant rumor because Yanzhou was his territory and that the royal guards had followed Bloody Pagoda towards his area, so he had it investigated. And I guess I just took it for granted that titles come with land... 

 

Now that I think about it, Ning Yi must be really something to gain the title of Prince of Chu before he was 18... But thinking about the eight-year old Ning Yi holding hostage the child and wife of Gu Yan makes me shudder a bit. Now that I think about it, the film never revealed that Gu Nanyi was Gu Yan's son right?

 

1 hour ago, skibbies said:

The drama presumably just doesn't show people that aren't relevant. Ning Chuan and Ning Sheng are presumbly 30 or close to that, there's no way they wouldn't be married and have kids. Honestly Ning Yan should probably be married too, Ning Yi only gets away with it because he was imprisoned for 8 years. We only ever see/know like three of emperor's consort, 3rd, 5th and 10th prince's mother doesn't even get a name.

Actually, I don't know about Ning Chuan, I took for granted that he had concubines (but no head wife and children?), but Ning Sheng was married before and his wife died. This was explained during the Emperor's birthday. I don't know about Ning Yan, it is weird that he wasn't married.

 

I am not sure about irrelevant princes but I assumed there wasn't anymore because, although I am not sure of this (because I didn't re-watch episode 64 and onwards... too painful to watch) but I think I remember the Emperor stating to Ning Qi that he only has Ning Yi and Ning Ji left as brothers so he should take care of them (this was when he thought to name Ning Qi his heir).

 

As for consorts, during the Emperor's birthday, we see that he has 4 more concubines alive (not including Yale). Noble Consort Chang was sitting to his left while three other concubines were sitting at his right.

 

It bothered me though that no matter how I count, I can only see 4 princes (not including Helian Zheng) and he mentioned 5 wives and 5 marriages... was one of the princes supposed to marry 2? But when Helian Zheng joined, there were only 5 pcs of paper in the tray... so there was supposed to be 4 only without him included... might be translation error.

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4 hours ago, morganian said:

Try The Expanse series. It’s based on humans colonising the asteroid belt and Mars in the not too distant future. Slow starting, somewhat like RotP, carefully constructed society (it was based on a series of books that are also interesting to read) and morally grey characters. Lots of political machinations between Earth, Mars and the outer planets, themes about race, socioeconomics, power, etc. Production and special effects are good, some of the space scenes are beautifully rendered.

 

OHHH I'm so happy to meet a fellow expanse fan!! But don't you think its a little too dry for those who aren't into sci-fi to begin with? Personally I could watch anything with space or time travel. Especially time travel. Its only recently that i've begun to be a little tired.

But from a mainstream perspective its very gritty. No humour, and the so called love interest holden has is so empty. No chemistry at all. I can watch and appreciate it because of everything else the show has going for it but I also empathize with the perspective that craves for a love story or a light hearted moment.

Having said that I don't like happy go lucky cheesy plots. I'd prefer a story to be drier and darker than happier and gooier.

 

Of the shows I don't regret watching there's two types ;

1) Where the story, plot and characters are pretty good. Its memorable, you feel like you've learned something or grown a bit after watching and are deeply satisfied. Basically well made shows that usually have good ratings.

2) Shows that enter your heart and you're obsessed with it irrationally. Most shows are in the above category but ROTP was one that really made my heart sing. I was so happy watching it I looked forward to it everyday and thought about it constantly! It's not very often that this happens. I have a thing for romance stories (even suggested ones) that happen in the background of a more important and serious cause or plot. I like this dynamic because the love story then has balance and a foundation to anchor itself to. Makes it more meaningful. Of course characters have to be complex too.

ROTP really hit a subjective sweet spot for me in this regard. I wish I could forget it and experience watching it again. :/

 

I'm watching Mr. Sunshine now. Its very beautiful visually (soundtrack too) and the story is progressing well (while holding my interest). I can't objectively pick out any faults but it doesn't make me feel for it the way ROTP did.

 

Last show I remember being super obsessed with was the Outlander series. Really recommend that, its very different from this but with good characters (especially ones played by Tobias Menzies) , also historical themed with a vague sci-fi element. The sci-fi aspect isn't very smart its just to drive the plot to its eccentric setting and the focus is how our characters are affected by it.

 

RE: Being confused by the princes - I felt the same way. So many characters and names introduced in the beginning. Their faces were easy to distinguish but it was hard to follow the dialogue with so many names especially with the prince of yan/ning yan bit. Had to rewind and replay to figure out who they were talking about. But I got it soon enough and it wasn't a big deal after that. I don't mind the number of princes, I think it adds scale to the plot. I just wish the prince of wei was different. His character and plot (all that incense stealing bit) was very boring. His mother was interesting though. Idk if its the actor's deficiency or the way his character was written. 

 

RE: Douban comment about Chen Kun's bad acting and Ni Ni being ugly - That is straight up Blasphemy!!! Who in their right mind could think that? Let alone post it online. We've already established Chen Kun's acting prowess. Ni Ni IMO is one of the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. I found her so striking, even in plain clothes she stood out miles ahead of her ornately dressed peers. And with makeup and jewellery on she was straight up a goddess!. Not to mention she rocks a hanfu and that hairstyle like no other! I also noticed her jewellery (earrings in particular) had a different style from her co-stars. Less intricate more contemporary (in my eyes anyway, maybe that was an alternate style that was popular then ) but it suited her well and made her stand out. Good choice from the design department.

Beauty aside, she is a terrific actress too. If her character was written to be as flamboyant as ning yi's I think she could've pulled it off. We don't immediately notice how well she plays her role because of Ning Yi's more attention grabbing persona but she manages to effortlessly pack a lot of depth and nuance into a mostly simple character (in the beginning). And that is why our OTP is so mesmerizing.

 

I really hope this show gets its due and ratings/reviews start to improve. IMDB rating is good. Maybe this will be a slow crawler. I wish there was more attention to this now that its over. I'm going to do what I can to personally spread the word online.

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21 minutes ago, Pollen Ainne said:

Now that I think about it, the film never revealed that Gu Nanyi was Gu Yan's son right?

 

WAIT WHAT?? Is that true? I did wonder if Nanyi's surname mean he was Gu heng or Gu yan's kid but why wasn't it revealed? Gu yan reuniting with his kid would've been so beautiful! But I Also remember him telling zhiwei that he was family. They also have the same birthmark so I wondered if that meant something. Bah...

25 minutes ago, Pollen Ainne said:

It bothered me though that no matter how I count, I can only see 4 princes (not including Helian Zheng) and he mentioned 5 wives and 5 marriages... was one of the princes supposed to marry 2? But when Helian Zheng joined, there were only 5 pcs of paper in the tray... so there was supposed to be 4 only without him included... might be translation error.

 

This bothered me too! How was there 5 princes without Helian Zheng? It was Ning Sheng, Ning Yi, Ning Qi and Ning Ji. 4 Princes.

Loophole?

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RE: DVD

 

I would love to buy the DVD and OST too. Hopefully with Netflix licensing it, will make the publisher more inclined to release an English sub version too.

 

There's a couple other drama I want in DVD too. And, I also noticed that the DVD release for most other recent drama takes about 1-2 months after broadcasting the final episode.

 

Also, I would use yesasia.com for purchasing Chinese drama (if it any version other than US) because people upscale the pricing on Amazon since the DVD is sold from the marketplace and not exactly from Amazon. Like, Ten Mile Peach Blossom DVD with eng sub (only the Malaysian version have English sub) is priced ~$80 on Amazon, but ~$50 on yesasia.com.

 

I have also wondered if there's other site other legitimate site like yesasia.com that sells asian produced entertainment media too.

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1 hour ago, Pollen Ainne said:

I think they do have territories, because I remember, the first time the rumor about the remnant being alive was spread, Ning Sheng said he knew about the remnant rumor because Yanzhou was his territory and that the royal guards had followed Bloody Pagoda towards his area, so he had it investigated. And I guess I just took it for granted that titles come with land... 

 

Now that I think about it, Ning Yi must be really something to gain the title of Prince of Chu before he was 18... But thinking about the eight-year old Ning Yi holding hostage the child and wife of Gu Yan makes me shudder a bit. Now that I think about it, the film never revealed that Gu Nanyi was Gu Yan's son right?

 

Actually, I don't know about Ning Chuan, I took for granted that he had concubines (but no head wife and children?), but Ning Sheng was married before and his wife died. This was explained during the Emperor's birthday. I don't know about Ning Yan, it is weird that he wasn't married.

 

I am not sure about irrelevant princes but I assumed there wasn't anymore because, although I am not sure of this (because I didn't re-watch episode 64 and onwards... too painful to watch) but I think I remember the Emperor stating to Ning Qi that he only has Ning Yi and Ning Ji left as brothers so he should take care of them (this was when he thought to name Ning Qi his heir).

 

As for consorts, during the Emperor's birthday, we see that he has 4 more concubines alive (not including Yale). Noble Consort Chang was sitting to his left while three other concubines were sitting at his right.

 

It bothered me though that no matter how I count, I can only see 4 princes (not including Helian Zheng) and he mentioned 5 wives and 5 marriages... was one of the princes supposed to marry 2? But when Helian Zheng joined, there were only 5 pcs of paper in the tray... so there was supposed to be 4 only without him included... might be translation error.

You are right! He did say that, I totally forgot, I should really rewatch the thing. Considering how smart and adored Ning Yi was at 8, I'm not surprised. I'm bit surprised the emperor didn't strip his title tbh. Gu Yan's family died in this drama I think, there's a scene where he's kneeling before plague or something in the making of documentary.

 

Shrodinger's wang fei! Ning Sheng's wife was actually mentioned before, his mum wanted to give her some make up? or something, I can't remember. But then like you said, they mention she died, and the word they used was "she died early/young". Maybe she's like 20 and died inbetween these two episodes? Oh I don't think there's any other prince's alive, I'm mildly surprised so many of his sons survived to adult tbh. I totally missed the other concubines!

 

That...wasn't meant to be 5 marriages, did they translated it to that? It was meant to be 5 happy events together so it's even happier! One of them is emperor's birthday lol.

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5 minutes ago, niniandkun said:

 

OHHH I'm so happy to meet a fellow expanse fan!! But don't you think its a little too dry for those who aren't into sci-fi to begin with? Personally I could watch anything with space or time travel. Especially time travel. Its only recently that i've begun to be a little tired.

But from a mainstream perspective its very gritty. No humour, and the so called love interest holden has is so empty. No chemistry at all. I can watch and appreciate it because of everything else the show has going for it but I also empathize with the perspective that craves for a love story or a light hearted moment.

Having said that I don't like happy go lucky cheesy plots. I'd prefer a story to be drier and darker than happier and gooier.

 

Of the shows I don't regret watching there's two types ;

1) Where the story, plot and characters are pretty good. Its memorable, you feel like you've learned something or grown a bit after watching and are deeply satisfied. Basically well made shows that usually have good ratings.

2) Shows that enter your heart and you're obsessed with it irrationally. Most shows are in the above category but ROTP was one that really made my heart sing. I was so happy watching it I looked forward to it everyday and thought about it constantly! It's not very often that this happens. I have a thing for romance stories (even suggested ones) that happen in the background of a more important and serious cause or plot. I like this dynamic because the love story then has balance and a foundation to anchor itself to. Makes it more meaningful. Of course characters have to be complex too.

ROTP really hit a subjective sweet spot for me in this regard. I wish I could forget it and experience watching it again. :/

I actually don't mind light series or dark series as long as it has interesting characters. Plot is really important to me, but no matter how good the plot, if the lead is not someone I can get invested on, I am not watching. I am actually more of an anime lover, although I also watch a lot of tv series, they are mostly western ones like Suits, The Mentalist and my favorite Supernatural. I love dark animes like Death Note or Ajin. 

 

As for the romance genre, I am more picky when it comes to it. I rather prefer films because I get bored of couples really fast. No way would I watch a 70 episode romance centered show, I even have a hard time watching a 15 episode one. If it has to much drama where they keep on fighting, I just get frustrated and stop. When they are always lovey dovey, I get sick of them really fast. It is very rare that I can finish a romance centered drama. It's not that I don't like romance because I do. I just have very particular tastes.

 

I agree with romance being in the background. It makes you not get sick of it and leave you wanting for more instead. tRoP just hits all the check boxes of what makes me crazy obsessed. Oh wait, all except one, a great ending... ugh!

 

28 minutes ago, niniandkun said:

I'm watching Mr. Sunshine now. Its very beautiful visually (soundtrack too) and the story is progressing well (while holding my interest). I can't objectively pick out any faults but it doesn't make me feel for it the way ROTP did.

 

Last show I remember being super obsessed with was the Outlander series. Really recommend that, its very different from this but with good characters (especially ones played by Tobias Menzies) , also historical themed with a vague sci-fi element. The sci-fi aspect isn't very smart its just to drive the plot to its eccentric setting and the focus is how our characters are affected by it.

I have been debating about Mr Sunshine since I watched tRoP but the main character seems old in the picture... 

 

I have seen Outlander although I couldn't finish it. My interest just died out after the first season. Yes, I am very hard to please when it comes to shows.

32 minutes ago, niniandkun said:

I just wish the prince of wei was different. His character and plot (all that incense stealing bit) was very boring. His mother was interesting though. Idk if its the actor's deficiency or the way his character was written. 

I feel exactly the same. And it is bad because he actually did the most damage, but unfortunately I feel sleepy when I see him on the screen. lol. I think it is the combination of the role itself and the actor playing it. They basically wanted to make a bland prince who is able to do so much damage. But as an actor, playing bland roles does not mean being bland on screen. You still have to own your screen time, otherwise people will fall asleep. It is weird that despite being a major player in like almost half of the show (more than any of the other princes), he still feels less significant to me.

 

I can re-watch epiosde 1-47 without skipping a single scene. But when it comes to the prince of wei plotting, I skip and skip some more when re-watching, otherwise I will fall asleep.

 

40 minutes ago, niniandkun said:

RE: Douban comment about Chen Kun's bad acting and Ni Ni being ugly - That is straight up Blasphemy!!! Who in their right mind could think that? Let alone post it online. We've already established Chen Kun's acting prowess. Ni Ni IMO is one of the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. I found her so striking, even in plain clothes she stood out miles ahead of her ornately dressed peers. And with makeup and jewellery on she was straight up a goddess!. Not to mention she rocks a hanfu and that hairstyle like no other! I also noticed her jewellery (earrings in particular) had a different style from her co-stars. Less intricate more contemporary (in my eyes anyway, maybe that was an alternate style that was popular then ) but it suited her well and made her stand out. Good choice from the design department.

Beauty aside, she is a terrific actress too. If her character was written to be as flamboyant as ning yi's I think she could've pulled it off. We don't immediately notice how well she plays her role because of Ning Yi's more attention grabbing persona but she manages to effortlessly pack a lot of depth and nuance into a mostly simple character (in the beginning). And that is why our OTP is so mesmerizing.

I love how NiNi acts manly. Sometimes when she is together with Ning Yi, I feel like she is the man and he is the woman. And for some reason that doesn't make me dislike it because this tandem changes like lightning from one moment to the next. I really love them together. Even without the romance aspect. In fact as I once said. I would watch an episodic show of Wei Zhi and Ning Yi dealing with politics.

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37 minutes ago, niniandkun said:

 

WAIT WHAT?? Is that true? I did wonder if Nanyi's surname mean he was Gu heng or Gu yan's kid but why wasn't it revealed? Gu yan reuniting with his kid would've been so beautiful! But I Also remember him telling zhiwei that he was family. They also have the same birthmark so I wondered if that meant something. Bah...

 

This bothered me too! How was there 5 princes without Helian Zheng? It was Ning Sheng, Ning Yi, Ning Qi and Ning Ji. 4 Princes.

Loophole?

I think it was mentioned in the novel ending translation that he was Gu Yan's son. I think they didn't have enough time to do a reveal? I mean they did lessen Zhiwei's involvement in Minhai, killed off Hua Qiong  and acted as if she never existed, and made a PowerPoint presentation of the ending (I still laugh at the accuracy of this term) so I guess they don't have time to expand on Gu Nanyi's heritage. Or they just decided to make them not related.

 

12 minutes ago, skibbies said:

You are right! He did say that, I totally forgot, I should really rewatch the thing. Considering how smart and adored Ning Yi was at 8, I'm not surprised. I'm bit surprised the emperor didn't strip his title tbh.

But since his mother "died" when he was eight, Ning Yi had lost his father's favor. So unless he got that title before he was eight... wow.

 

13 minutes ago, skibbies said:

 Gu Yan's family died in this drama I think, there's a scene where he's kneeling before plague or something in the making of documentary.

Which is weird because when he first talked to Ning Yi, Ning Yi was still looking for his family and suddenly they are dead? Hmmm...

 

14 minutes ago, skibbies said:

That...wasn't meant to be 5 marriages, did they translated it to that? It was meant to be 5 happy events together so it's even happier! One of them is emperor's birthday lol.

Oh, now that makes sense!

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8 minutes ago, skibbies said:

That...wasn't meant to be 5 marriages, did they translated it to that? It was meant to be 5 happy events together so it's even happier! One of them is emperor's birthday lol.

That makes more sense! In the translation it seemed like there was to be 5 marriages. 

 

7 minutes ago, Pollen Ainne said:

I have been debating about Mr Sunshine since I watched tRoP but the main character seems old in the picture... 

 

He's supposed to be old like 40yrs old. And woman playing opposite him looks so young. But I still find him interesting and the leads are alright. The most stunning thing about this show is how it's edited. Very dramatic and intense and seems like a character unto itself. The plot and setting so far been very interesting. 

 

12 minutes ago, Pollen Ainne said:

It is weird that despite being a major player in like almost half of the show (more than any of the other princes), he still feels less significant to me.

 

I can re-watch epiosde 1-47 without skipping a single scene. But when it comes to the prince of wei plotting, I skip and skip some more when re-watching, otherwise I will fall asleep

 

You've echoed my sentiment perfectly! Even ning ji was more interesting. Another issue I had with the show 'after minhai' lol. 

18 minutes ago, Pollen Ainne said:

I have seen Outlander although I couldn't finish it. My interest just died out after the first season. Yes, I am very hard to please when it comes to shows.

Oh that is just too bad! Although now that I look back I only really got into it in the second season but when I did I really loved and appreciated the groundwork of season 1. I rewatch S1 fondly now. 

 

25 minutes ago, Pollen Ainne said:

I love how NiNi acts manly. Sometimes when she is together with Ning Yi, I feel like she is the man and he is the woman.

I wouldn't call it manly. I thought she was very feminine, just assertive and didn't act seductive or rely on her female charms to prove her point/solve problems. Except in the end when she tried to fake seduce ningyi to negotiate for her subjects but that was pretty out of character for her. 

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22 minutes ago, Pollen Ainne said:

I think it was mentioned in the novel ending translation that he was Gu Yan's son. I think they didn't have enough time to do a reveal? I mean they did lessen Zhiwei's involvement in Minhai, killed off Hua Qiong  and acted as if she never existed, and made a PowerPoint presentation of the ending (I still laugh at the accuracy of this term) so I guess they don't have time to expand on Gu Nanyi's heritage. Or they just decided to make them not related

 

23 minutes ago, Pollen Ainne said:
38 minutes ago, skibbies said:

 Gu Yan's family died in this drama I think, there's a scene where he's kneeling before plague or something in the making of documentary.

Which is weird because when he first talked to Ning Yi, Ning Yi was still looking for his family and suddenly they are dead? Hmmm...

 

I guess they changed that part of the story from the novel. Unless they were waiting to do a plot twist. It would've been nice cuz nanyi and yan are accomplished in martial arts so it's nice to think it was in his blood. Also poor Gu Yan deserves some happiness. He's barely done anything for himself in the story, after his family died he's just survived that's all. 

But if Hua Qiong can't even get a memorial then all this is out of the question. Ugh FZW mourned for her dacheng bro more than her wtffff.... 

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5 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

Unfortunately not. The only princess I have seen is Ning Shao (Shaoning), I have always thought she was the daughter of the Empress and Ning Chuan's biological sister, no I am sure she is. because I remember the Emperor's eunuch, Zhao Yuan said she had been visiting her cousin (Ning Sheng) frequently. The Empress and Consort Chang were sisters. The rest of the princes are supposedly dead before the show started, I believe. And I think there were only 2 more because I remember the Emperor said he had 9 sons. As Ning Ji is the 10th prince, I was thinking Princess Shaoning must be the 8th or 9th princess. The other may have died at child birth or some natural causes. 

 

 

I think they number princes and princesses separately so in total he has ten sons. Maybe you heard the line about a dragon having nine sons? It's super confusing, but it is a common saying in Chinese about how the nine sons of the dragon are all different. I had to stop for a moment and number all of them as well. 

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8 hours ago, niniandkun said:

I wouldn't call it manly. I thought she was very feminine, just assertive and didn't act seductive or rely on her female charms to prove her point/solve problems. Except in the end when she tried to fake seduce ningyi to negotiate for her subjects but that was pretty out of character for her. 

I meant when she was Wei Zhi. The way she walks and moves and talks is very boyish. She actually pulls of the young boy disguise. She still looks so beautiful while doing it. And yet strong. While Ning Yi clutches at his clothes with his other hand on his chest. He looked so vulnerable. But they looked so adorable together. It was art.

 

8 hours ago, niniandkun said:

I guess they changed that part of the story from the novel. Unless they were waiting to do a plot twist. It would've been nice cuz nanyi and yan are accomplished in martial arts so it's nice to think it was in his blood. Also poor Gu Yan deserves some happiness. He's barely done anything for himself in the story, after his family died he's just survived that's all. 

But if Hua Qiong can't even get a memorial then all this is out of the question. Ugh FZW mourned for her dacheng bro more than her wtffff.... 

IKR! Gu Yan really deserved some happiness, he had been a really loyal follower, and it doesn't seem he gets anything out of it. His brother's family that he was fighting to protect still all died. It is amazing that he still follows Ning Yi. :(

 

This show really needed at least 90 episodes. Maybe expand the Minhai arc a bit and then have like a 20 episode arc for the ending, but instead they had 7 episodes? Like what? Hua Qiong wasn't supposed to die to, I see her looking for Zhiwei during the flood on the BTS. But I guess they didn't have anymore scenes for her that can be used, so they killed her. :(

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7 hours ago, tendrilsofwind said:

 

I think they number princes and princesses separately so in total he has ten sons. Maybe you heard the line about a dragon having nine sons? It's super confusing, but it is a common saying in Chinese about how the nine sons of the dragon are all different. I had to stop for a moment and number all of them as well. 

Could be another translation error. I don't remember where exactly it was because it was after episode 47 with the Prince of Wei plots, and I just can't be bothered. Maybe my memory is just wrong.

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10 hours ago, niniandkun said:

Of the shows I don't regret watching there's two types ;

1) Where the story, plot and characters are pretty good. Its memorable, you feel like you've learned something or grown a bit after watching and are deeply satisfied. Basically well made shows that usually have good ratings.

2) Shows that enter your heart and you're obsessed with it irrationally. Most shows are in the above category but ROTP was one that really made my heart sing. I was so happy watching it I looked forward to it everyday and thought about it constantly! It's not very often that this happens. I have a thing for romance stories (even suggested ones) that happen in the background of a more important and serious cause or plot. I like this dynamic because the love story then has balance and a foundation to anchor itself to. Makes it more meaningful. Of course characters have to be complex too.

ROTP really hit a subjective sweet spot for me in this regard. I wish I could forget it and experience watching it again. :/

I'm totally obsessed with this show as well! It has a nice balance between being romantic vs. political intrigue focused. Plus Chen Kun's acting is quite good. I was put off at first when he was  "acting naive" in front of his brothers, but perhaps his "act" was supposed to seem like an "act" for the viewer's benefit.  His acting really shines in the later episodes when he's just being himself. I recently watched Babylon Berlin, and like this show it has beautiful cinematography, morally grey characters, great acting,  and an engrossing plot too. You should check it out :)

 

 

14 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

About Ning Yi being heir, to be honest, Ning Yi is totally lost without that goal. Love is good and all, but we all have to have separate dreams. It might be fun seeing him run around to make Zhiwei safe, but I would not want her to be his entire world. That would destroy his character. Ning Yi without his dreams is empty, this will become apparent later on.

 

Ning Yi is a completely political character. But as he said himself, how can he save the people if he cannot even save the woman he loves? But in the end, love is not his end goal. It was simply a path he wants to take. Take note of the "was"...

 

As for being Ning Yi's Empress, it doesn't really have to end that way, but... they deserve to be together. But Ning Yi not becoming Emperor, is Ning Yi loosing his dreams... So I don't know... I guess tragedy is the only answer? Or she can wait til Ning Yi realizes his dreams and be there at the end waiting for him... I wonder how long that would take.

This is an interesting point. I took a look at Ninja Reflections' translation of the ending for the book and they had a happy ending where Ning Yi left the crown to his younger brother and went off to explore the world with Zhu Wei. I actually feel like that is more in line with his character. We see throughout the series that Ning Yi was primarily motivated by 1) getting justice for his wronged brother Ning Qiao and the people affected by the witchcraft incident and 2) reshaping the government to be fair and benefit the people via a strong justice system. Achieving # 2 doesn't necessarily have to mean that he needs to be emperor, especially since Ning Ji had the same goals and initially sought him out for advise on ruling (in the book). 

 

One thing that I'm confused about that I wanted to get the groups' opinion on: In episode 18, why did Ning Yi have to kill the stableman? Was it premeditated or just something he did out of rage? Did he not want the stableman to confess to the Emperor that he had planned for the stableman to kill the crown prince? Was it to punish the stableman for all his previous evil deeds (basically being a hitman for the crown prince)?  

 

 

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2 hours ago, brutusthebear said:

I'm totally obsessed with this show as well! It has a nice balance between being romantic vs. political intrigue focused. Plus Chen Kun's acting is quite good. I was put off at first when he was  "acting naive" in front of his brothers, but perhaps his "act" was supposed to seem like an "act" for the viewer's benefit.  His acting really shines in the later episodes when he's just being himself. I recently watched Babylon Berlin, and like this show it has beautiful cinematography, morally grey characters, great acting,  and an engrossing plot too. You should check it out :)

I actually loved the "fakeness" of it. It was like he was mocking how fake everyone else was. Although everyone else looked sincere, they were as fake as him, but he doesn't even try to look sincere at all. I so enjoyed that. At episode one when he was introduced at Chengmin Palace, he was basically almost rolling his eyes as they heaped praises to each other. And then he came in and faked everything. I got hooked right away.

 

2 hours ago, brutusthebear said:

This is an interesting point. I took a look at Ninja Reflections' translation of the ending for the book and they had a happy ending where Ning Yi left the crown to his younger brother and went off to explore the world with Zhu Wei. I actually feel like that is more in line with his character. We see throughout the series that Ning Yi was primarily motivated by 1) getting justice for his wronged brother Ning Qiao and the people affected by the witchcraft incident and 2) reshaping the government to be fair and benefit the people via a strong justice system. Achieving # 2 doesn't necessarily have to mean that he needs to be emperor, especially since Ning Ji had the same goals and initially sought him out for advise on ruling (in the book). 

 

One thing that I'm confused about that I wanted to get the groups' opinion on: In episode 18, why did Ning Yi have to kill the stableman? Was it premeditated or just something he did out of rage? Did he not want the stableman to confess to the Emperor that he had planned for the stableman to kill the crown prince? Was it to punish the stableman for all his previous evil deeds (basically being a hitman for the crown prince)?  

I read that translation too and I loved it. However, the Ning Yi in the book doesn't seem like the exact same Ning Yi in the series. And also, the Ning Yi in the books became Emperor for some years first before he placed his brother on the throne. And even then he and Zhiwei were basically ruling behind he scenes and the prince was merely a puppet Emperor. I would have loved that ending in the series as well.

 

As for the stableman. Ning Yi lied when he said he was gonna let him live. He never had any intention of keeping him alive. "Eradicate all Evil" is his mantra, and the fact that the stableman allowed Zhiwei to live does not change anything. He was still a criminal. He was the leader of the Bloody Pagoda that Ning Chuan was controlling. Zhiwei was being naive. 

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17 hours ago, skibbies said:

 I always get the impression they wouldn't be allowed to go back to their territory unless the throne fight was settled, since you'd be able to gather your own army and people, but I don't know if this is accurate or where I got this idea from! 

 

...Re: soundtrack, it's officially available here https://y.qq.com/n/yqq/album/003vUii73ljNPo.html#stat=y_new.song.header.albumname which might be region locked now that I think about it, I'm not sure if they'll put it up on itunes or something anytime soon. (where else do people buy music? everyone I know stream OSTs)

 

The drama presumably just doesn't show people that aren't relevant. Ning Chuan and Ning Sheng are presumbly 30 or close to that, there's no way they wouldn't be married and have kids. Honestly Ning Yan should probably be married too, Ning Yi only gets away with it because he was imprisoned for 8 years. We only ever see/know like three of emperor's consort, 3rd, 5th and 10th prince's mother doesn't even get a name.

There's a comment early on (perhaps from Xin Ziyan or Zhuyin?) about how Ning Yi goes against the Emperor's command and leaves the palace to meet up with the army for an undisclosed reason; it is the official reason why Ning Yi was imprisoned prior to the start of RotP. So maybe the princes aren't allowed to leave the city because the Emperor is afraid they will rebel.

 

Alternately, it seems that the princes are all at court to curry favour with their temperamental father and gain supporters. This is where the power play is at. Ning Qi is initially disregarded by Ning Yi and Ning Sheng because he has been at the border and away from the centre of power for so long. Ning Qi's schemes against Feng Hao and Qiu Mingying succeed partially due to Ning Yi's absence; I don't think he would have been so bold if Ning Yi was still in the capital. 

 

I always thought the unnamed princes had died over the years. It's pretty common for children and wives to die young back in the day.

 

Plus if there was 8 years or more of unrest while Tiansheng and Dacheng were fighting it out, some princes might have died then too.

 

Thanks for putting up the link to the OST online. Google Translate started translating the lyrics into English as well, so that was kind of cool.

15 hours ago, niniandkun said:

OHHH I'm so happy to meet a fellow expanse fan!! But don't you think its a little too dry for those who aren't into sci-fi to begin with? ...from a mainstream perspective its very gritty. No humour, and the so called love interest holden has is so empty. No chemistry at all. I can watch and appreciate it because of everything else the show has going for it but I also empathize with the perspective that craves for a love story or a light hearted moment.

Having said that I don't like happy go lucky cheesy plots. I'd prefer a story to be drier and darker than happier and gooier.

 

Of the shows I don't regret watching there's two types ;

1) Where the story, plot and characters are pretty good. Its memorable, you feel like you've learned something or grown a bit after watching and are deeply satisfied. Basically well made shows that usually have good ratings.

2) Shows that enter your heart and you're obsessed with it irrationally. Most shows are in the above category but ROTP was one that really made my heart sing. I was so happy watching it I looked forward to it everyday and thought about it constantly! It's not very often that this happens. I have a thing for romance stories (even suggested ones) that happen in the background of a more important and serious cause or plot. I like this dynamic because the love story then has balance and a foundation to anchor itself to. Makes it more meaningful. Of course characters have to be complex too.

ROTP really hit a subjective sweet spot for me in this regard. I wish I could forget it and experience watching it again. :/

 

I'm watching Mr. Sunshine now. Its very beautiful visually (soundtrack too) and the story is progressing well (while holding my interest). I can't objectively pick out any faults but it doesn't make me feel for it the way ROTP did.

 

Last show I remember being super obsessed with was the Outlander series. Really recommend that, its very different from this but with good characters (especially ones played by Tobias Menzies) , also historical themed with a vague sci-fi element. The sci-fi aspect isn't very smart its just to drive the plot to its eccentric setting and the focus is how our characters are affected by it.

 

I really hope this show gets its due and ratings/reviews start to improve. IMDB rating is good. Maybe this will be a slow crawler. I wish there was more attention to this now that its over. I'm going to do what I can to personally spread the word online.

@niniandkun Glad to meet another Expanse fan! And an Outlander fan too! Yes, Expanse is a bit light on the romance. James Holden isn't the most enthralling protagonist, but I see the entire crew of the Rocinante providing the spectrum of morality, seriousness and humour required. You focus on them as a family, not as individual characters. 

 

Outlander does have that mix of historical drama, romance and politics. James Alexander Fraser and Claire Randall are two wonderful protagonists. Even Blackjack Randall is a well-fleshed out character.

 

However, Outlander is a bit raunchy (other side of the spectrum compared to RotP). Not too much of a fan of the later books from the Outlander series...really struggling to get through book 5, so I'm not sure how to show will play out in later seasons. So far, it's mostly faithful to the books.

 

Umm yeah, Expanse is my husband-friendly show, something I can watch with hubby, and Outlander my husband-unfriendly show, something I have to watch by myself. :P 

 

Totally agree with you on RotP. It has flaws but it gets under your skin. I also suspects the ability to binge watch 15 episodes over 2 days on Netflix has helped with world emersion - much harder to do this with other shows which only release one episode a week. :'( 

 

Since Netflix no longer has a reviews section, I've left one for RotP on Rotten Tomatoes. That's the usual place I go to find out whether something is half decent, so I figured others in my country will do the same. 

 

Mr Sunshine looks good...Saving it for when I have a bit more time on my hands... 

15 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

I feel exactly the same. And it is bad because he actually did the most damage, but unfortunately I feel sleepy when I see him on the screen. lol. I think it is the combination of the role itself and the actor playing it. They basically wanted to make a bland prince who is able to do so much damage. But as an actor, playing bland roles does not mean being bland on screen. You still have to own your screen time, otherwise people will fall asleep. It is weird that despite being a major player in like almost half of the show (more than any of the other princes), he still feels less significant to me.

Prince of Wei should have been bland on the outside but more of a schemer on the inside. He just seems so hollow and unsophisticated. How could Ning Yi be bothered by him at all? It's like a weird video game where the last boss battle is easier than the first..?

 

15 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

But since his mother "died" when he was eight, Ning Yi had lost his father's favor. So unless he got that title before he was eight... wow.

I suspect Ning Yi was his father's favourite son, being the son of the highly favoured Ya Le. I don't think he would have had to do much to get his title. Didn't his father stay at Ya Le's palace a lot while he was growing up? It would also explain why he never really bothered to suck up to his father as an adult; he was used to expecting paternal affection instead of fighting for it like everyone else in his family. In some ways, he is kind of like the male version of Shaoning, and would have been used to getting his own way if tragedy hadn't touched his mother, brother, and himself. 

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2 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

As for the stableman. Ning Yi lied when he said he was gonna let him live. He never had any intention of keeping him alive. "Eradicate all Evil" is his mantra, and the fact that the stableman allowed Zhiwei to live does not change anything. He was still a criminal. He was the leader of the Bloody Pagoda that Ning Chuan was controlling. Zhiwei was being naive. 

This is what I thought also. Ning Yi is all for 'Eradicate all evil' and he tries to explain to Zhiwei that the stableman isn't as innocent as she thinks. 

 

@brutusthebear Welcome to the club! And thanks for the tip on Babylon Berlin. 

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42 minutes ago, morganian said:

I suspect Ning Yi was his father's favourite son, being the son of the highly favoured Ya Le. I don't think he would have had to do much to get his title. Didn't his father stay at Ya Le's palace a lot while he was growing up? It would also explain why he never really bothered to suck up to his father as an adult; he was used to expecting paternal affection instead of fighting for it like everyone else in his family. In some ways, he is kind of like the male version of Shaoning, and would have been used to getting his own way if tragedy hadn't touched his mother, brother, and himself. 

I actually do not find this to be true. Maybe before his mother "died". But soon after that, his father changed. Especially because of the curse between him and Ning Yi. Ning YI has mentioned it before, how suddenly the emperor has ceased to care for him. He was even accusatory when he stated this. He felt like the moment his mother died, his father also abandoned him. He didn't understand anything at that time because he was simply told his mother fell ill. But after he grew up, he understood there was something more to it. This is the reason that the 3rd prince Ning Qiao became his only solace. At that time after his mother "died", Ning Qiao was the only one who showed him affection. After he got out of prison (the temple) he was still doubtful that his father still held some affection for him. There was still a little boy in Ning Yi who craved for his father's love. But then again, I find this true with all the other princes.

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If there's anything I really want to complain about regarding the drama it's there's not enough Ning Yi because he is, IMO the most intriguing character by far. He's an antihero that you want to root for and the terrifying thing is that even though he's somewhat bloodthirsty, his reasons for being so within his context are actually reasonable. 

I certainly understand why so much time was spent playing out the Crown Prince's and Duke Chang's arc. They were the main villains behind Ning Qiao's death and a major obstacle for NY as he plods along towards the throne. But as a villain, CP/NC was your run-of-the-mill typical ambitious, weasley, promoted-above-his-ability successor. "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown" was one aspect of what drove him to plot and kill. He claimed to have Daddy issues which I believe but in the end that meant that he came across as an entitled spoilt brat throwing an extended tantrum. Which perhaps he was. ;) The observations made by the officials were right. On top of feeling entitled being the first born, he was over indulged by his powerful relatives. While he may perhaps have some claim to his father's affections and being insecure, in the end it was a fairly hollow claim in terms of everything else he ended up getting embroiled in. 

 

The Emperor seems on the surface to be a reasonable man but he's not past manipulating his own children, particularly NY to do his dirty work for him and allows himself to come out of a situation smelling like roses. On some level and as long as their interests align, NY doesn't mind doing his father's bidding. But the emperor needs to be careful about how far he intends to push NY even if he believes that he has him on a leash presently.

 

The exchange between NY and ZW during the palace coup was very telling. Compassion which is supposedly a virtue, in that setting easily becomes a double-edged sword. It can be in our time too especially in the way that it currently dominates public discourse. Compassion as a public policy has adverse consequences too... compassion not tempered by reason and a view of the larger picture can lead to terrible unintended consequences. Of course why compassion or kindness is a virtue is always assumed and not really discussed.

 

The OTP are clearly attracted to each other and perhaps on some level they shouldn't be. Their attraction is fraught with dangers. But I love the tension between them. :D Not just the UST but the philosophical differences as well. Yet it's clear that they care about each other. I knew even before she said so that ZW was trying to save NY rather than the crown prince in that courtyard scene. Even if NY doesn't realise that he's in love with her, it's obvious to most of us that he has been right from the early days. The toying and teasing aside, his concern for her well-being is absolutely genuine.

 

On 10/18/2018 at 4:21 PM, morganian said:

 

What you've said, chiefly NY's need for justice and FZW's need to protect the innocent, makes me think of the themes some comic book superhero/vigilante stories focus on. Daredevil comes to mind for some reason for me.

 

Disguise is another motif in the comic book genre that is also used in this series. Both FZW and NY have dual identities. If FZW had a superpower, it would be her intelligence. Her disguise is Wei Zhi. For NY, it is his powerful connections. NY is like the Bruce Wayne of TS.

 

Unfortunately, when either disguise or 'superpower' is compromised, there is a diminishing in character. The extraordinary individual is made ordinary. ZW loses a bit of agency and brilliance each time she is unmasked.  NY also becomes incredibly vulnerable/helpless when he gives up his royal title. 

 

It's a double-edged sword I think: the power that comes from concealment. One has the element of surprise and hiddenness but deception whatever the intention takes a toll on the soul. I haven't got to the part where she's unmasked but I don't know how long someone can maintain their mask without paying for it in some way.

I like the Batman/Bruce Wayne analogy because NY does teeter on the cusp of that kind of raging vengeance and a well-concealed propensity towards madness. He's like a man who has stared at the abyss for too long and it has taken a hold of him.

 

On 10/18/2018 at 9:30 PM, Pollen Ainne said:

 

 

As for Ning Yi, he is indeed relentless and single-minded. And also arrogant and ambitious. And you are so right, he does want to shape the world. I would like to say more... so many things I want to say... but I am fearful as you have not watched the entire show yet. :D

Haha... that's okay. :D I kind of know what happens at the end BUT hey... I'm still watching. ;) 

 

The 70 episodes put me off at first. I've lost count of the number of C dramas I've dropped this year but so far I really like this one... Chen Kun is just awesome beyond belief. He brings out so many aspects to NY that rather than being threatened, I'm constantly intrigued. I don't know if it's deliberate on his part but the way Chen Kun portrays NY leads me to think that there's an eight year old boy still lurking around inside of adult NY. A very precocious, charming 8 year old who's so angry that the world isn't how it should be.

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