This is your weather forecast. Today we can expect purple skies and thunder storms but none of this will deter cranes from flying around still. Palace backdrop courtesy of Curse of the Golden Flower.
Seeing the amount of attention Han dynasty dramas have been getting, I thought we needed a breather. Seeing the things that Yu Zheng gets away with and the number of installments he has added to his overdone Palace series, Lafeng Entertainment has decided to challenge this by making a sequel to their 2011 television series Mystery in the Palace. Starring Ady An, Kara Hui, Michelle Yim, Jiang Yi, Chen Zihan, and Liu Tingyu, Golden Hair-Pins in the Palace 金钗谍影(Who came up with this title?!?) is seeking to up Yu Zheng on the color palette and costume creativity, something they are starting to become famous for .
Set in the Qing dynasty, Golden Hair-Pins in the Palace seems to follow the typical story of an innocent girl as she navigates the plots and schemes in typical palace life and finds true love along the way, except with some detective stories added in like the sequel. Anyways, more stills below the cut to ogle so I guess it’s a win.
Wait!! Is this the MAID outfit?!? Even servants dress this elaborately?!? O_o
Let’s see Yu Zheng out-color that!!
According to the cut of that brown outfit, is this the Qing dynasty or Republican-era Shanghai?!?
What’s going on with that collar?!?
Having the exact same outfit in two different colors for no good reason was something spoiled people did in antiquity as well…
Since this is a Qing dynasty drama, they always throw in some Mongolian-looking outfits for diversity… -_-;;
I see they went Russian as well… wait wut?!?
These days, no period palace drama is complete without a jewel-encrusted bird sitting on somebody’s head.
Trying to look like Zhenhuan shot.
Ever since The Legend of Zhenhuan aired, the dianzi 钿子 has finally found its place, shining among all the other helicopter headdresses for Qing dynasty dramas. #takethatzhenhuanzhuan
Wait… wait… we need to fit another jeweled flower and butterfly onto that dianzi!!
Already not a fan of the costumes in these stills. T_T I heard that Mystery in the Palace wasn’t very good anyways.. >__<
Did not watch it. Could not get past the first episode for that one… DX
the first still looked normal and pretty interesting, and then it gets stranger the more I scroll down.
the outfits are a bit over-the-top making it feel like a cheap production. :S
Well, i guess we’ll have to see >>
They are a bit bizarre… especially the cuts from a historical perspective… but they’re definitely not the worst I’ve seen. Some people get hell-a carried over with the lace and frills and ribbons and plastics and pipe cleaners… I’d describe them as relatively high quality but kinda in bad taste in light of history…
I feel like the general Lafeng style of costume design is generically pretty, but it never feels like the designer put much thought into them.
The only one I like is the first photo of Ady An below the cut. Every other one has too much going on.
Yeah… they’re kinda like Yu Zheng in this regards. He makes one look and then re-produces it in a variety of colors and cloth prints and they kinda do the same. Neither of them bother to vary up the cuts a bit here and there or change up the patterns and embroidery so people will notice…
They are over-doing the elaborate-ness a bit here… High-class Chinese women during the Qing dynasty must have had very strong neck muscles to support all that… X_x
To tell you the truth, I don’t really like any of the costumes… they’re all a bit too creative… in a bad way… I like that picture of Ady An too… but I think that’s only because it crops out the rest of what she is wearing and the blue shading around the edges brings out her head pieces and the linings of her clothing… that and blue and orange are complementary colors and complementary colors work together to be more eye-catching…
btw, Kare… this is what I mean by bad… Re-posting here so you can see. I guess standards and who is doing the bad job is all relative… >.<
LOL okay, I didn’t even count these type of dramas.
Does this count as wuxia? I don’t even know, I generally tend to stay away from chinese dramas with a lot of bad CG. (psst, why is Sammul Chan in there? don’t ruin my good impression from Schemes of a beauty please Q——Q)
I don’t think these even try to be historically accurate lol.
Well, I think you should give a little more leeway for mythological creatures. THe use of strange outfits is to highlight their unhumanness.
Maybe that’s what Lafeng should do, stick with myth comedies that they’ve been having so much success with and stay away from attempts at historical dramas.
Huace should take this advice too after seeing this trailer… I was willing to give them some leeway for Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils but this is… O_O
At least Lafeng’s costumes tend to correspond more or less to the approximate time period…
For example? I feel like most of Lafeng’s outfits remind me of TVB – throw in whatever hanfu that looks good regardless of the era. But again, most of their stuff evolves myths, so I suppose it doesn’t matter that much.
Although to their credit, 唐宫燕 actually has the best breast-height ruqun’s in any drama I’ve seen.
Well… there’s that Tang dynasty one that got the breast-height/empire waist level look right… and at least in 凤凰牡丹 their quju looked accurate compared to other stuff that is coming out recently… despite being badly done… DX … and I know it’s still a bit off in terms of time period here but I’m willing to give a bit of leeway…
I mean… it’s hard since Lafeng and Huace don’t seem to do too much in the strictly period drama genre but if we compare what they have put out, I think Lafeng does it a bit better, personally. They do kind of have the TVB standard but we have to acknowledge that lately, at least the TVB standard doesn’t throw something that is completely out there into a really irrelevant time period. It’s a stretch sometimes but… at least the general image of what they are wearing isn’t too hard to stomach. In my opinion, Huace is more prone to let their imaginations fly…
and at least for some of the other more fantasy-based stuff here that Lafeng does, the clothes still maintain some semblance to hanfu as opposed to going straight up the wacky route like this trailer and some of Huace’s stuff does…
I mean, comparing the costuming for Huace’s Duke of Mount Deer and Lafeng’s Golden Hair-pins since they are both set in the same era and rough time period, I think Lafeng does a better job. Their costuming seems to be more skewed-off as opposed to being… a creative interpretation. I mean the head-pieces for Mount Deer were really weird. These are a bit too much too but still bear some resemblance and believe-ability if we compare them to images of stuff in museums…
I think it’s more “fantasy” since it’s based on fengshen yanyi. More about this below.
As you can see, it has demons and magic and gods and stuff so it’s more mythology… it’s just they got WAY carried over with the element… “It’s fantasy so we can do what ever we want…” XD
Given that it is one of these ancient mythological dramas I think we can forgive the costuming (The CG isn’t the best I have seen though).
Maybe someone can make a post on anticipated (good) ancient dramas of 2014? The only one I am looking forward to so far is The Four and possibly City of Hopeless Love. Curious to see what other people are looking forward to.
Oh and Desert Melody if it manages to actually air this year…..
We’ve done some posts on “Virtuous Queen of Han” and “Long Ballad” recently… and they don’t look TOO bad so far… are those just not suitable to your tastes?
I tend to find Palace scheming dramas get repetitive and boring after a while since everyone seems to use the same plots, so I’m looking for ancient dramas not in that category.
I see. Will keep that in mind. :)
Same here! I’m looking forward to the Four the most of all the ancient dramas next year. I really like the cast for City of Hopeless Love, but I don’t know how well it’ll be executed.
Also looking forward to Hu Ge’s List of Langya.
Aw… I was really hoping that this company would be my next big obsession…
Is that a joke? Because they haven’t had a single good drama…
Well, I haven’t finished any yet and watching without subs might have something to do with it. Though anything that isn’t Tangren gets +10,000 from me.
We might just have different taste though.
To be fair, I haven’t finished any of their dramas and haven’t tried most of them … The only I watched more than the trailer is HouGong and their two comedies, all of which were too slow for me … Have you liked any of theirs that you would recommend?
I think they have many of the production standards down in terms of costuming and crap… on the productions where they’re actually trying… but they haven’t really been able to produce a story line which has kept me invested for long.
They seem to rely a lot on “OMG something happens just before the episode ends” tactics and some of their dramas start off interesting but… it never really lasts for long….
btw… it seems like Lafeng and Huace both use a good number of Hong Kong actors and actresses in their productions. Does anybody know if these two companies are started up by Hong Kongers or if they have any particular ties to tvb or anything?
Not that I know of, although Huace does use a lot of non-mainland actors in general. I feel like Huace is worse than Lafeng in terms of costumes, except Lafeng seems like they’re being cheap on purpose whereas Huace boasts of high budgets but comes up with below standard results. Did you hear that Huace brought rights to Guo Jingming novels and a stake in Guo Jingming’s company? I can’t imagine their adaptations beings good since they’ve never had a “fashionable” looking modern series.
Lafeng tends to at least get the general look right when it matters… or passably so… and when the time period is a bit generic and doesn’t matter that much, at least their costumes look like something ancient Chinese people would have worn… so I have to give them credit for that.
Huace’s stuff is just all over the place… like Virtuous Queen of Han is… well… passable but that might be because it’s done in collaboration with NowTV… but OMG WHY is EVERYBODY in the new Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils wearing CURTAINS?!?
And their latest trailer for their interpretation of Fengsheng Yanyi… I saw the trailer and thought about writing about it… since I don’t have much to write about now unless I want to start repeating material or do something that requires more research… but then I watched it. I don’t think I want to degrade myself to that level… I’m sorry…. This embodies everything I was hoping we were moving away from… >.<
Yeesh, I didn’t realise that I was a busy person.
Well, let’s see… I started 天天有喜 (if you have any opinion of it please don’t share. I’m working on ‘blind’ reviews for the episodes). I can’t complain about it so far. The CG isn’t… good, but I haven’t seen any Chinese series with good CG. Well, the attire… Let’s just say that I don’t think you’d like it. It’s quite strange but I don’t think there are many humans, so strange sometimes works – especially for viewers like me. I’m ashamed of my lack of knowledge about historical accurateness.
I’ve seen a little bit of Holy Pearl too and it doesn’t seem bad. Though, again, I watched it without subtitles.
I’d say that 仙侠剑 seems good but I’m not sure what’s happened to it.