I was gonna post a review for this when I finished watching it last weekend but this week has been so totally insane that I didn’t have the time, so I’m just gonna post up the email I wrote to my best friend who also watches TVB series, but wanted to hear my review before she starts downloading the Viet-dubbed version that’s slowly being released. She pretty much thought that I lost it when she read this xD
I know you said that you didn’t wanna watch this but omg, it is so incredibly good!! I mean, yes… the basic gist of the story isn’t all that original, but the characterization is so meticulously done, and the costumes are just breath-taking! You know I love series with a good strong villain, and this one definitely ranks at the very top in terms of two-faced villains. I love the fact everyone’s character is so consistent throughout the entire series; there was soOOOoo many chances for the script-writers to take the typical cliché route that you see happening with series of this length, but they didn’t for this one. What loved most though is that not one character went on the whole oh-look-at-me-i’m-so-pitiful/everybody-picks-on-me/boo-hoo/*cries in agony* route; everybody here knows the rules of the game when it comes to gaining power and status at the imperial court, so every single character here knows that the only person anyone can truly count on is themselves.
You know I can’t stand Tavia as an actress, and I wasn’t too fond of Charmaine, and thought Kevin to be pretty much hopeless as and actor, right? But surprisingly, I actually love all of them here. Tavia’s acting is top-notch. You know how there are a lot of actors who can’t act because they can’t convey the emotion that their character is feeling through their eyes? This is sooOoooo not the case with tavia here; she totally gets it!! She’s so good at playing out emotions through her eyes that you’d think she is her character in real life! My entire family was cheering for her character even when she was at her worst as a villain, that’s how twisted her character is.
As for Charmaine, the writers could have made her this poor little dainty, naive girl who everybody picks on, but who also somehow because of her pureness and virtues and whatever, winds up winning at the end of the series just because she gets saved by people she has helped in the past or by the hero. I’m soOooo incredibly happy that the writers didn’t go down that route. When push comes to shove, her character knows how to fend for herself without “crossing to the dark side”, and she never had to compromise her morals either. She wants to believe in the best of people, but she doesn’t see the world through a rose-colored glass either, and knows to accept the reality of the situation when it bites her in the face.
And Kevin.. you know how I keep complaining about how wooden his “acting” is despite being in the business for so many years? I actually didn’t mind/like him here… I guess his crappy acting doesn’t matter cuz characters like his are suppose to be all prim and proper anyways and given that it’s an ancient series, there really a lot of room for him to showcase his acting anyways, haha.
As for the main villain… omgosh… what an incredibly obnoxious, evil, power hungry, determined, and angry man… talk about anger management issues… it’s just friggin’ fantastic! At some point, you will get so annoyed with him, but then you’ll realize it’s just in the character’s nature to be like that so you just learn to love his evilness all over again. xD
All in all, I’m giving this series a 9.9/10
The acting is phenomenon, the characters are consistent, the plot is logical, the costumes are absolutely gorgeous and stunning (those hair ornaments are insane!), the tone and mood of the entire series flows really well (not like moonlight resonance where they’re all crazy and slapping the crap out of each other one second, and singing cheesy happy songs and shoving optimism down your throat the next). The make-up was really well done too, and I love how they used it as a foreshadowing tool for what the characters will go through in the episode (for instance, if Moses’ character is suppose to deal with a lot of crap in the episode, his eye make up will be darker than it usually is; if Tavia’s suppose to be extra evil/bitchy, the color of her hair ornaments and lipstick are more saturated than usual).
I especially love the ending as because it’s not one of those series where they cram everything in one ep and do the whole lame fast-forward-into-the-future thing where they’re like “oh yes, despite all the hardships we’ve been though, we’re one big happy family now!! [insert cheesy family-photo-pose with fireworks in the background]”. a lot of the scenes throughout the series were kinda unpredictable because the writers actually thought it through before writing it, and it shows. The ending really wrapped up nicely brought the story back full circle with the beginning, which I love.
The only complain I have is that there is this one character in there who seems to be only written in to cause pointless drama (seems like they were running out of plot ideas for Michelle Yim and Susanna Kwan’s character at that point), but that character was only a minor one and was really ignorant and stupid, and it doesn’t help that i just flat out don’t like the actor who portrays him… that’s where my -0.1 deduction came from, but if it wasn’t for this guy, I’d give this series a 10/10.
It sucks that i can’t really go beyond this, but there are just soOOoo many memorable/jaw-dropping/”oh no she didn’t!!”/”holy cow, did she really just do that??” scenes here; you have to watch it!! There were quite a lot of scenes that you see in the trailer that never showed up in the series actually… I think that was to help condense the story to attract audiences to watch it cuz the idea of the plot was there, but like I said… a lot of the scenes never actually shown so it was a bit misleading.
Anyways.. gotta go rush some projects now… spent the entire weekend catching up on series :s