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Lynne

[Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] The Story of Ming Lan 庶女明兰传 / 知否?知否?应是绿肥红瘦

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I have watch this drama three time already and with each time I watch it gets better and funnier.. Love when Shitou tells Gu Ting Ye (Them people from there have come) WTF :w00t::w00t:

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On 3/7/2019 at 7:04 PM, arcchidus said:

Did anyone else wonder if the author/screenwriter got inspired by reading Pride and Prejudice? There are so many parallels:

- The high number of daughters in the house

- ML indecent behavior is similar to Lydia

- Both mothers are shortsighted and a bit silly

- Main character married above her situation, and is envied for it

- Guy is really rich and has a title that can be inherited and a bit unlikable in the beginning

- Girl actually said that she would never marry the guy before actually marrying the guy

- A father who is not very involved with the education of his daughter, whose behavior allowed at least a few of his daughters to act shamefully

 

Obviously there's a lot more in this story than P&P but the similarities!!

 

Lol that's actually how I introduced it to my friends and family at first, "the Chinese version of Pride & Prejudice". I don't know if the author was inspired by P & P per se, but I agree with the similarities you listed. 

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On 3/13/2019 at 5:28 PM, valerie savage said:

I have watch this drama three time already and with each time I watch it gets better and funnier.. Love when Shitou tells Gu Ting Ye (Them people from there have come) WTF :w00t::w00t:

 

Lol, I've rewatched it 5 times myself, from beginning to end, and some episodes much more than that. Every time I get to the ending, I just feel sad and wish so much that they took their time. There are certain scenes that seemed rushed, such as the baby's first month celebration and the very last scene...you only caught glimpses of people who were there but some of them didn't even get a full shot. It's as if the camera just didn't have time to focus on them.

 

I would've even liked to see the emperor talk to Ming Lan at the end when he is showing them his harvest. I think someone mentioned in the novel that ML and GTY regained their title and even got a promotion? I would've loved to actually see that. I know it's inferred that it's a happily ever after ending, but after journeying with them for 70+ episodes, I think we deserved more than just guessing what happened to certain people. I wished that they would've done a small time skip and showed us Ming Lan's second baby's birthday, where all of her families and friends were together again. 

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@Razberry, I actually could have written your post because everything you said is exactly what I've done and felt. This is truly one of my favorite dramas.  There are so many little small things I picked up on each time I rewatch it. There are also scenes where I wished the camera had focused more or given a little more backstory behind an action.

 

For example, I would have loved it attention was given to the fact that each time Gu Tingye rescued Ming Lan, he always took her with him and not back to the group she was traveling with. When he rescued her from the pirates, he took only her back to his camp.  When the funeral procession was attacked, he took her back to his army post, not back with the rest of the group. Even when he rescued her when delivering the decree, he made time to spend with he before leaving. He could have had and Shitou take her back home immediately, but he didn't. Gu Tingye wanted to take every opportunity to spend time with her. 

 

I also wish we had a little more camera time in ep 25 when after rescuing Minglan from the funeral procession chaos, Shitou arrived and he realized it was "Sixth Miss" at the army post having tea with Gu Tingye, he told him, "We are quite fated with Sixth Miss."  The expression on Gu Tingye's face was hilarious--as if Shitou and exposed his secret in front of Minglan. I wish the camera had focused more on him. 

 

Just love this drama. I wish I could find another one just like it--good quality writing, with a love story behind it.

 

@valerie savage, agree with you, each time I watch I see something new or I really get the humor that I missed the first time. The fact that he liked her years ago, only truly unfolds in the conversations he had with Minglan and with the guy she used to like.  He told Minglan that he wanted to marry her after he rescued her from the pirates. However, when he's talking to her first love, we see that it was before that. He didn't want to come between them--he was determined to support them.  I personally, think when he first joined their "school", he was intrigued in Minglan and wanted to know what she was thinking--he remembered how she was as a little girl when he let her win the arrow throw (he did the same thing again years later at the polo match).  Her first love only saw the outer facade of her, Gu Tingye saw the deeper side of her. He wasn't surprised by anything she did, because he knew she was capable of so much.

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On 3/16/2019 at 7:11 AM, lclarakl said:

 

@valerie savage, agree with you, each time I watch I see something new or I really get the humor that I missed the first time. The fact that he liked her years ago, only truly unfolds in the conversations he had with Minglan and with the guy she used to like.  He told Minglan that he wanted to marry her after he rescued her from the pirates. However, when he's talking to her first love, we see that it was before that. He didn't want to come between them--he was determined to support them.  I personally, think when he first joined their "school", he was intrigued in Minglan and wanted to know what she was thinking--he remembered how she was as a little girl when he let her win the arrow throw (he did the same thing again years later at the polo match).  Her first love only saw the outer facade of her, Gu Tingye saw the deeper side of her. He wasn't surprised by anything she did, because he knew she was capable of so much.

 

I actually disagree with you there on the timing.

 

Although he found her kind of interesting before, I don't think he had romantic feelings for her until after the river incident. I think before that, he was too busy with his family drama to really see clearly (and for a while, she was just too young anyway).

 

I think after she told him to raise his girl better, he started seeing her in new light, and actually took extra care to make her life as easy as possible. Before that he just treats her like a friend. 

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On 3/16/2019 at 7:11 AM, lclarakl said:

@Razberry, I actually could have written your post because everything you said is exactly what I've done and felt. This is truly one of my favorite dramas.  There are so many little small things I picked up on each time I rewatch it. There are also scenes where I wished the camera had focused more or given a little more backstory behind an action.

 

For example, I would have loved it attention was given to the fact that each time Gu Tingye rescued Ming Lan, he always took her with him and not back to the group she was traveling with. When he rescued her from the pirates, he took only her back to his camp.  When the funeral procession was attacked, he took her back to his army post, not back with the rest of the group. Even when he rescued her when delivering the decree, he made time to spend with he before leaving. He could have had and Shitou take her back home immediately, but he didn't. Gu Tingye wanted to take every opportunity to spend time with her. 

 

I also wish we had a little more camera time in ep 25 when after rescuing Minglan from the funeral procession chaos, Shitou arrived and he realized it was "Sixth Miss" at the army post having tea with Gu Tingye, he told him, "We are quite fated with Sixth Miss."  The expression on Gu Tingye's face was hilarious--as if Shitou and exposed his secret in front of Minglan. I wish the camera had focused more on him. 

 

Just love this drama. I wish I could find another one just like it--good quality writing, with a love story behind it.

 

 

re: GTY wanting to spend time with ML: I love that you noticed that too! First time I saw the funeral procession scene, I was laughing my butt off because at first I couldn't understand why he was carrying her off with him when the procession and her family was much closer and probably could've used his help. Of course later on it became clear why and how sweet all this gestures were. I love that with this show, once you watch it through once and then go back to rewatch it, you appreciate every little gesture and expression even more and you realize you've been clued in on certain things way earlier than it was revealed. 

 

I've been trying to find another drama like it but with no luck whatsoever. I've watched many Cantonese dramas as well and nothing compares. Usually with chinese dramas whenever there's comedy, they usually overdo it to the point where it's not even funny at all. But what makes TSoML stand out from others is that the comedy is usually very lowkey and therefore much more successful. Some scenes you don't even realize it's played for comedy until the music kicks in. Love the score for the show as well. Fits every scene so perfectly. And of course I've been playing the ending credits song on repeat. i especially like the cast version, and I really appreciate the fact that it replaced the regular credits song in the episode where they got married. I love little touches like that, lets you know the creative team behind the show cares and pays attention to even the smallest details.  

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On 3/15/2019 at 6:27 PM, Razberry said:

I would've even liked to see the emperor talk to Ming Lan at the end when he is showing them his harvest. I think someone mentioned in the novel that ML and GTY regained their title and even got a promotion? I would've loved to actually see that. I know it's inferred that it's a happily ever after ending, but after journeying with them for 70+ episodes, I think we deserved more than just guessing what happened to certain people. I wished that they would've done a small time skip and showed us Ming Lan's second baby's birthday, where all of her families and friends were together again. 

@Razberry  Hopefully theres a season 2 and we get to see how things play out after the old schemers are gone bringing in new ones.. 

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On 3/18/2019 at 2:00 AM, arcchidus said:

 

I actually disagree with you there on the timing.

 

Although he found her kind of interesting before, I don't think he had romantic feelings for her until after the river incident. I think before that, he was too busy with his family drama to really see clearly (and for a while, she was just too young anyway).

 

I think after she told him to raise his girl better, he started seeing her in new light, and actually took extra care to make her life as easy as possible. Before that he just treats her like a friend. 

 

@arcchidus, after having watched this drama, what seems like a 100 times (literally more like 20+......:lol:), I actually think she was on his radar long before the river scene--he just never dared to dream or hope that he even had a chance with her nor wanting to cross the boundary of friendship with the young duke. I go back to when he was talking to the prostitute at the polo match. Although, had admiration for Ming Lan and Ms. Yu; however, the things he said pointed more to Ming Lan than to her friend; however, his goal was help find an out for his mistress.  Later when he went to angrily speak to Ming Lan after his proposal was rejected, he baited her saying that he should have proposed marriage to her instead.....

 

Not only that, at the polo match there is a clip that was purposeful in that it showed the prostitute in purple taking note of the way Gu Tingye was looking at  Ming Lan when she got into the match.  We later learn more about this prostitute, she's very good at observing people and know more about what's in their heart than they do. That's why I think this clip of the prostitute was added. It also shows during the match before Gu Tingye joined, how interested he was in watching the match and MingLan play. After Gu Tingye "lost" the match, she even asked him if he was  interested in Ms. Yu or Ms Sheng. Gu Tingye said he wanted to make both of them happy.  

 

When he later told Ming Lan that he wanted to marry her after their discussion on the river, I don't think those are just random thoughts that come out of nowhere. I actually think in his heart of heart, there was a seed already planted. When he was getting gifts ready for his potential engagement to Ming Lan's friend, he didn't want to part with the kneepads she had given him when they were children. He asked Shitou to keep the knee pads, despite being old and cheaply made.  

 

One last thing. When Ming Lan's brother went to visit Gu Tingye, after his father had died and after his argument with MingLan over his mistress,  Gu Tingye' mistress came in to offer food, but Changhai told her that the "My Sixth...I've brought him some fish porridge."  Gu Tingye waited until after his mistress left and said, "Hey, let me have a taste of that fish porridge."  Gu Tingye then said after tasting the porridge, "The culinary skills of your Sixt Little Sister are indeed outstanding." 

 

At the river he made ups his mind, but in his heart, I think she's always had a special place there from the time they were children. She was off limits due to his friendship with the young duke and her brother.

 

 

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Ok so since I can't get over this drama, I started reading the novel (which was fully translated in my native language, Vietnamese). The last chapter was very satisfying; it really explained why Gu Tingye and Minglan are the way they are. Since the English translation for the novel is only up to chapter 78 (there are 219 in total), I translated key excerpts from the last chapter here, hopefully it gives you some closure/entertainment as it did me :) The full doc has translation footnotes etc., but I'll put here the very last conversation that they had (it'll be more impactful if you read from the beginning! But if you're pressed for time, this convo will suffice). See under spoiler tag:

Spoiler

Note: Beard = Gu Tingye. By now he has grown a full beard and Ming Lan nicknamed him this way (she was also nagging him to shave lol)

 

He remembered when he saw Manniang in West Liao, she was holding a wooden cane, hitting people left and right, each hit both precise and cruel, no one dared approach her and Chang’er. He knew her for many years and thought that she had a weak constitution; who would have thought she even knew a bit of martial arts.

 

He felt chills down his spine when remembering that year Manniang fought with his pregnant wife. He had thought it was just the anger of a desperate woman who wanted to bet it all, now in retrospect, if Manniang used Chang’er, she could have hurt Minglan while protecting herself. He felt ice in his heart thinking about this.

 

“It was my bad luck to have met her; it was her worse luck to have met me.”

 

Time has changed; he could even explain his story with Manniang this calmly.

 

Ming Lan bent her back that had become stiff, her brain numb. She didn’t know what to do or say, only felt saddened looking at his cheerless face.

 

“That year when I sent Manniang mom and son to Mianzhou, you reproached me…” He said with difficulty, “You were right to reproach me.”  

 

Ming Lan started to say something, but Beard raised his hand to signal her to wait: “Let me finish.” Ming Lan resigned to patiently listening some more.

 

“I didn’t mean to explain myself. You said I wasn’t fully sincere with you - this is not wrong. But I wasn’t born heartless, I was devoted to another, but in the end I was deceived, insulted, wrongly accused, with nowhere to go and no one to trust...all that was left was to leave for the outside world, leaving behind the title of the Marquis second young master, jade seal, my name, starting over.”

 

His husky voice was coarse, like the sound of two rough stones rubbing against each other.

 

“I learned a lot. Carefully planning before acting, analyzing the pros and cons, good and bad, cost and benefit...I learned how to fight against schemes, and how to scheme against others.” He laughed bitterly: “I had to kill the old Gu Tingye to survive.”

 

Tears welled up in Ming Lan’s eyes, her heart heavy with pain. It couldn’t have been easy for a young master from the Marquis manor who probably didn’t even know how much a bowl of noodle cost, and yet had to fend for himself with his empty, bare hands. She knew, she knew it all. .

 

“Back then, times were bad. So many people peered at us, waiting for us to make mistakes. Brother Geng was accused, brother Shen was accused, they even found fault with brother Duan who is the most upright. I can’t be close to the Emperor like they are, so I can’t make any mistake.”

 

His hand reaching out to cover hers, his voice woeful: “When I knew that you and our son were safe, the first thing that I thought about wasn’t that I was worried you were terrified, or that I should take revenge for you. I thought about how to stop the story about Manniang from spreading. When you were mad at me, scolded me, you did right! I am that kind of person, and yet I had the guts to accuse you of not treating me sincerely, I’m a bastard!”

 

He squeezed her hand tight, his knuckles white, cracking.

 

“When your grandma was in danger, you knelt by her bed, crying your heart out. You threw away everything, your life,  your wealth, repeatedly risking your life to get justice for her! That was when I woke from my dream; I have been through so much, have learned when to attack and when to defend, but I forgot the most important thing...I forgot how to treat someone with sincerity…”

 

His voice was hoarse, as if he was tearing off a page from the old book of the past; the moment he finished, tears streamed down his eyes. It was as if he had just seen the skyline at dawn, the light started to shine. Destiny had not been kind to him, his life was never a straight ride, never a smooth road, full of dangers, only when he looked back did he realize that he had left behind a precious past.

 

Minh Lan choked back her tears, holding his hands in hers: “No, it was me, I was petty, you toil away for us. I could live comfortably like this, not because I’m clever, or know how to deal with people, definitely not because I’m good at managing the house. It’s all because you made your name in court, that’s why everyone flatters me, wants to please me…”  

 

Tears fell down to their intertwined hands, burning hot.

 

“You protect me in every way, you never let anyone bully me, in this capital, who wouldn’t admire that? It was because I wasn’t satisfied, because I…” Ming Lan bit her lips, her tears falling down like rain: “Because I was afraid! I was afraid one day you wouldn’t love me anymore, what am I to do then? So I was always calculating, I did not want to lose! If such a day would ever come, I would die from heartbreak!”

 

She finally burst out crying, now that she had confessed all the thoughts and worries that she had buried deep down for a long time, she was embarrassed to realize how weak and selfish she sounded.

 

“I know your heart very well. You are very good to me, and not because you want me to manage your household, to continue your bloodline. You sincerely love me, respect me, want me to be happy, want me to live a carefree life....but I pretended not to know! Because I was afraid, afraid that…”

 

Beard clumsily used his sleeve to wipe off her tears: “Don’t...don’t cry, you just gave birth, you can’t cry…” As soon as he said that, tears fell from his own eyes.

 

Ming Lan cried even more.

 

They hugged each other tight, head to head, body to body, tears that they didn’t know they had kept falling down to their chest and sleeves, like two children who were scolded comforting each other, sharing each other’s warmth.

 

They were two people whose innocence and passion were chipped away early by their realities. They learned how to put on an act in their life, always looking at life and its people with guarded eyes and hesitation, not easily giving out their trust.

 

After climbing all these mountains, crossing all these rivers, doubts, pains, misgivings, they had traveled far, just to come back to where it all began, and realized that what their hearts longed for had been within grasp all along.

 

This was the last time Manniang was mentioned in their talk, and in their life.

 

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@insertusernamehere, All I can say is THANK YOU!  I've watched TSOML so many times, I've lost track. I'm addicted to this drama. I start reading the book too, I wish the who book was subbed in my language--English.  Thank you again for the translation, I have to say these passages give us a little more insight into our couple.

 

Loved, loved, loved the part of the story you translated. I hope they translate the book into English.

 

 

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I'm on the 63rd episode... Been watching this over a few weeks. This is one of the first historical cdramas I've seen. I read the novel first (well halfway until Minglan

Spoiler

gets married)

I think I like the drama more. Gu Ting Ye was not a very good guy in the novel. I thought he was rather... annoying, which is why I dropped novel. 

I was cheering for Qi Heng the whole way. The drama makes Qi Heng super

Spoiler

annoying and it's great. now there's a clear distinction between the two people. lol. It totally bugged me that in the novel, she wouldn't give him a chance and instead went for a guy who was kinda like a pirate? Qi Heng called Minglan a coward and I totally agreed with him during the big break up. 

 

Anyways since I WFH, I've been watching this at lunch with my mom. hehe. She was trying to explain some chinese cultural stuff (which I have no idea). She calls this drama a chinese Pride and Prejudice. 

 

I really don't care about the palace scenes. I enjoy the scenes where Minglan kicks butt in people's inner courtyard.

 

EDIT:

 

I just finished this. Wow. What an ending. Tying all loose ends. Towards the end, I didn't really like the palace scenes and thought the king was an idiot. lol.  

 

My favourite scenes in this drama are when everyone falls into Minglan traps. 

 

AH I should finish the novel - it's quite different because I'm curious how it ends, but I think the drama is better. 

 

 

The acting in this drama is superb - even the servants were really good. The age gaps (or lack of age gaps) for Molan and Concubine Lin really bugged me, but at the end, I can see the resemblance between Molan and Concubine Lin. The actress was acting a lot like the mother. 

 

In the novel, I believe the characters were younger, so some of the fighting with the sisters made a lot more sense than the drama - where I think they had to act a bit younger than their age. 

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Sorry for bringing up an old thread but I believe with the global lockdown, many of us have been catching up on past missed dramas. Myself included to catch up on all of ZLY’s dramas.

 

gotta say, TSOM is a MASTERPIECE! I came in because of ZLY, came out becoming a fan of all the supporting cast as well.

 

I’m very amazed how such a lengthy and slow-paced show turned out to be not boring at all.

I went in expecting to fast forward through every non-Ming Lan scene but to my surprised I wanted to actually sit through all the scenes with the other characters!

For me, apart from the star-studded acting from Zhao Li Ying, Zhu Yi Long, Feng Shaofeng and the old folks, the story itself is beautiful. You don’t have the repeated lame schemes amongst the sisters, concubines, brothers that other shows do. The script and plot were very well written, well paced and pleasant to watch. There’s also a lot of subtle humour in this especially with the mothers and grandmothers.

I may be a little biased because I’m a Zhao Li Ying fan but every scene with her were great. She pulled off this innocent yet highly intelligent character very well. I particularly enjoyed watching all her conversations with her grandmother.

I personally learn a lot from the script. Very applicable to real life. :)


-Spoilers ahead-

Minglan is so very intelligent. She has a lot of devils trying to take her down, but she also has a lot of supporters. Grandma, cousins from Youyang, Shen family, Yanran. You could see how supportive they were when she was at her lowest. 90% of the time she is very calm, composed and smart but touch her grandmother and husband, and she will claw you without caring about the consequences.

Every 20 episodes or so, you’re introduced to a new villain. Each, more cunning than the last. Gu stepmother was the one character I never thought I could hate so much (what a good actress!)

I fully understand why everyone was raving about the main couple. They are so sweet. I’m amazed how a playboy like Gu Tingye could be so caring, sweet and somewhat attention-seeking childish when it comes to Minglan.

Yet at the same time I felt his childishness were a bit prolonged. Just arguing with Minglan for getting him a concubine lasted 5 episodes. I understand the premise, but again was abit too much of a filler. His childishness was very hot and cold. This part was the only part I didn’t like in the whole series.

The ending was satisfying. Very, very satisfying. Whilst I expected Gu Tingye to rise again for winning the war, I didn’t expect that the Emperor was behind it all along. Very well played. I was wondering why this Emperor would turn so ungrateful to his saviours.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 8/10/2020 at 3:34 AM, vankomysin said:

Sorry for bringing up an old thread but I believe with the global lockdown, many of us have been catching up on past missed dramas. Myself included to catch up on all of ZLY’s dramas.

 

@vankomysin, you are not alone. I started this drama thinking I would skip some sections, however, I was glued to every episode. I loved the fact that the main leads were a solid couple and didn't take crap from anyone--including family.

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