2017 was a much better year for dramas in general (I’m actually more excited for 2018-2019, as all the movie actors are returning to the small screen), with several shows hitting it out of the park in terms of ratings and/or online popularity.
Web dramas really started to gain traction this year – in fact, I’m marathoning tworight now, and each one stands out for various reasons, whether it be high production values or tight storytelling. These online shows have become an outlet for creativity due to the strict censorship rules applied to television dramas, though SARPPFT has decided to nip it in the bud by making web dramas undergo the same rigorous process before premiering online. Hopefully the streaming sites continue to come up with quality fare in the future despite the roadblocks that are being put in place.
Here are a collection of teasers, posters and stills for Princess Agents, the upcoming period romance drama starring Zhao Liying (Duckweed) as Chu Qiao, a slave girl with big aspirations.
Lin Gengxin stars as Yuwen Yue, the noble who forces Chu Qiao to undergo grueling training to become a spy. Shawn Dou plays the ambitious Yan Xun whose family is later massacred, and Li Qin rounds out the main quartet as Yuan Chun, the princess who harbours an unrequited love for Yan Xun. The extended cast members are featured in the group poster.
Featuring an ancient drama female lead with an actual goal in mind (and to free the slaves that she was once a part of, no less), and whose romantic deal breaker is politics, this could very well be Zhao Liying’s breakthrough role to launch her out of cutesy roles. OP is by Zhang Bichen and Zhao Liying.
As one of the few time-travelling novels where the lead actually acts like she’s from the modern era and is intent on changing the social order versus being caught in a love triangle, this is definitely the ancient idol drama I’m most looking forward to, and the trailer doesn’t disappoint. Princess Agents特工皇妃楚乔传 stars Zhao Liying, Lin Gengxin, Shawn Dou, and Li Qin, and tells of Khaleesi Chu Qiao’s quest to abolish slavery in ancient Western Wei.
I’m just here for the pretty production… not for the name that still makes me shudder…
Princess Agents 特工皇妃楚乔传 has released even more stills. Starring Zhao Liying, Lin Gengxin, Dou Xiao, Deng Lun, Li Qin, and Niu Junfeng, not exactly an expert on the costuming of this time period but at least some of the costumes seem to mimic some of the images I have seen in the past for this era with more modern styling as opposed to a “generic hanfu” look (1, 2, 3, 4).
I was hoping the stylists would give Lin Gengxin a traditional topknot, because he just looks like Zhao Zilong lite here…
Princess Agents has released first stills of the leads just a month and a half into filming, and features Zhao Liying as Chu Qiao, Lin Gengxin as Yuwen Yue, Shawn Dou as Yan Xun and Li Qin as Yuan Chun. I recall being swept up in the high-stakes and torturous story of the original novel, though after a string of disappointing adaptions, I’ve learned to go into these types of dramas with zero expectations.