0kuo0 in 2015: The Verdict

I know this comes a bit late but I wanted to at least finish or try to finish some stuff before I give suggestions.  I have avoided doing this in the past since I don’t really like ranking dramas.  I find that my opinion of them changes depending on what I am feeling like but I also realize that people try to read these posts as reference for what to watch.  Therefore, these are relatively “ranked” by my personal level of enjoyment… which may be inaccurate sometimes since I do click through dramas if I get impatient and may miss something good or critical…

Murder Mystery/Of Monks and Masters (侠僧探案传奇)

The top three would have to be one of the three major successes of the year for me.

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idarklight’s 2015 in dramas

Despite a weak first six months, 2015 produced some of the best dramas in years. Here are some of my top picks. What are yours?

Best Make-up and Styling: Empress of China: Wu Zetian

As the woman with probably the  most outfits in drama history, Wu Zetian’s stylist also does a great job of making Fan Bingbing look gorgeous in all outfits and ages, many of the stylings being based on history.

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Best production design: Nirvana in Fire

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Weibo Wednesday: June 3, 2015

Fan Bingbing and Li Chen announce relationship

李晨: 我们

The biggest news this week? Fan Bingbing and Li Chen announcing last Friday that they’re in a relationship. The two got close while filming The Empress of China (武媚娘传奇), though they didn’t portray a couple in that drama. This is the first time in her 19-year-long career that Fan Bingbing has publicly admitted that she was dating someone.

Their fairly low-key approach to announcing that they were dating — they simply uploaded a photo of them on Weibo with the caption “Us” — has been replicated throughout the Weibosphere in the few days since. Most of the usage has been tongue-in-cheek, such as Jiro Wang with the Incredible Hulk and a random netizen who somehow got actor Lee Pace to hold up fake marriage certificates with her.

Anyway, congratulations to Fan Bingbing and Li Chen, and I hope they don’t let all the rumors about their past relationships drag them down.

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The Empress of China, available in full body!

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Pop quiz: do you remember what this hair style is called?

After forced to watch bodiless ladies, you can now finally watch the original gorgeousness in full  because The Empress of China will be airing on TVB and CTV on March 30th.  TVB chose to PS an addition layer of cloth in front of boobs (because how can men control themselves when there are boobs), but CTV is airing it without any cuts!

To give you a refresher, here are a group of drawing of the show by @大葱君–.
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The Empress of China finally gets her coronation

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Yes, that is a solid gold tree in the background.

After over 80 episodes, Fan Bingbing‘s Wu Zetian finally becomes The Empress of China to Aarif Lee‘s Emperor. The outfits were apparently so heavy that Aarif Lee couldn’t say his lines after climbing the stairs.  He’s lucky, because Fan Bingbing still has to become the Heavenly Empress and the Empress Regent, each of whose costumes are even more elaborate and heavy.  Some photos from the extravagant scene (episode 85 and highly recommended, complete with a gold tree) below the cut.

Zhang Jane@YouTube was even kind enough to put up a cut of it, so you really have no excuse to not watch it.

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Wu Zetian whips her hair around : a glimpse at Tang dynasty hairstyles

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If you don’t love your hair as much as Shirley, Fan Bingbing sports some of Tang dynasty’s fanciest wigs to give you some options..

If you have 260 outfits like Fan Bingbing‘s Wu Zetian, then you certainly got to have the perfect hairstyle to match each one. Here are a round-up of some of Tang imperial fashion a la The Empress of China while we wait for Li Shimin to die already (Seriously, we’re over half way through the drama and the ex-husband haven’t even died yet. Shouldn’t this happen in ep 1 of most dramas?).

Note that I’m no expert at all, and the drama is no historical documentary. Plus, being a drama of the imperial court, most styles are highly decorative and not really what you would see in everyday Tang.
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The Empress of China breaks records via premier

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The Empress of China really does rule. Not only did it take over the top spot on Chinese TV in one day after a low season for Chinese dramas, but the premier broke records for highest opening day rating, and the most viewed drama per day online.

I don’t think you’ll see so many pretty outfits in one drama (the background dancers changed outfits three times in one episode) .  The dialogue between the females start off a bit weak, but the plot picks up quickly and does a good job of highlighting what makes a series about Wu Zetian unique –  one that entangles both court and harem intrigue.    The music is beautiful, and the set is amazing.  Also, baby Li Zhi has the cutest dimples ever and I totally ship him and Ruyi in a non-creepy way.

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts?

Here’s the ending MV for the theme by Jane Zhang:

image credit: yojyo

Music Monday: ZGF

Here to make Monday a little easier =)

Here to make Monday a little easier =)

While we wait for all the ancient dramas to air in the upcoming month and year, here are some melodic Zhongguofeng songs from Jane Zhang, Huang Ling, Han Hong, and Ye Yiqan  to alleviate the pain:

Jane Zhang sings the beautiful theme “Wordless Epitaph 无字碑” for The Empress of China, written by Aarif Lee and penned by Fang Wenshang. The lyrics kind of makes me more concerned that this is going to feature a selfless Wu Zetian doing everything for the sake of a narrowly-defined version of love (because of course she’s doing everything for the glory of the Tang, that’s why she overthrew it and started her own dynasty).

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The Empress of China plays with power in new trailer

No, you’re not experiencing a glitch in the matrix.  Fan Bingbing’s just so awesome that we have three posts in a row on her latest series.

Fan Bingbing‘s The Empress of China released yet another gorgeous trailer, this time themed on power and intrigue.     I think I would watch this show just for Fan Bingbing’s face.

Fan Bingbing shines at 82 in The Empress of China

Probably something close to what my face looked like when I first saw this… doing a double-take.

More stills of what looks like the palace entrance ceremony for court ladies has been released for The Empress of China, featuring Fan Bingbing, Kathy Chow, and Janine Chang.  Finally, Fan Bingbing has taken it upon herself to show us what the 82 year old (assuming in Chinese years since Wu Zetian died at 81) empress will look like before she leaves this world.

More stills below the cut. Continue reading