Currently watching this:
Yes, never thought this day will come, but I am actually watching and recommending a show from China. People who knows me well knows that I am a fan of historical shows; and people who knows me better knows my love-hate relationship with anything China. Love the history, but the people, erm, not so much. Love the products because they are so affordable, but always skeptical about the quality I am getting.
But anyway, this show is nice! It's about a modern day woman named Qing Chuan who accidentally time-travels to the Qing Dynasty during the reign of Emperor Kangxi, who I heard was a really great emperor, right into the thick of the palace politics and struggle for power. In the midst of trying to adapt her modern beliefs and behaviour in a time entirely different from her own, she also has to deal with scheming concubines, mercenary servants, as well as being torn between two princes contending for her affections and the emperor's trust.
I love such plots! Especially when it's set in the ancient times. People in history just seems so much more fascinating. Probably because they don't waste their time sitting around, hitting away at board with 105 keys.
And I thoroughly enjoy the love story arc with Qing Chuan and the two princes, namely Prince 4 and Prince 8. There is another dude who is totally in love with her, but we all know he is just a minor distraction. There have been lots of comparisons with Boys Over Flowers, and I totally agree.
Qing Chuan initially likes Prince 4, with his quiet, deeply intelligent demeanor, and despises Prince 8 who is essentially a spoiled brat who bullies his way into whatever he pleases. But she will later fall for Prince 8, though I am not sure how yet. I am still at the point of the story where I think Prince 4 is better, although it's clear right from the beginning that there is this unyielding, cruel streak about him. Oh well, dark streak or not, I am forever a Hanazawa Rui supporter. Just gotta like the quiet, tortured soul types.
So anyway, if you have time, give it a watch. It's a pretty well-paced show without too many boring moments. The leading lady is rather adorable and somehow manages to make the character of a modern day woman adapting so quickly to life as a palace maid believable. And while I don't find the two princes particularly handsome or charming, the scenes with Qing Chuan and Prince 4 always make me feel a little whimsical, while those of her with Prince 8 always makes me laugh.
One thing the show lacks though is the mind-blowing strategical schemes that Queen Seon Deok had. I am always cheering and/or applauding while I was watching QSD. Now that is some good television.
Note: Just for the record, I have nothing against China. My grandparents were immigrants from China, so by default of direct lineage, China is sort of considered my ancestral land. And I love those Hong Kong shows about ancient China. I find the landscape beautiful and the stories fascinating. I just have more unpleasant experiences with people from China than I care to remember. Try getting stuck at an immigration customs full of China people and you will know what I mean. But that said, I also understand how people can be really discriminating towards them. I am constantly being mistaken as being from China, and some of the incidents I had were not so pleasant. People can be really rude and arrogant towards you if they think you are from China. So well, I guess I am both sides of the coin. What to do.