The Legend of Zhen Huan: Eps 32-35

Chinese DramasDrama Reviews

The tides turn yet again when Zhen Huan finally makes her comeback with the help of Mei Zhaung. 

“You really can’t put down the child, still blaming me.”

I’m actually glad Zhen Huan had the miscarriage because otherwise she wouldn’t understand the implications of not being favored by the emperor.  She needs to experience first hand so that she knows what’s at stake.  But at the same time it’s really sad to see her so desolate over her baby’s miscarriage, and on top of that, she has to endure the humiliation of losing the emperor’s favor.  It was pretty painful seeing her getting bullied by Fucha & the Pin of Regularity and not even resisting one bit. (the mother of 3rd prince)

Again, the emperor really annoys me because he purposely avoids Zhen Huan, as though he thinks she’ll just magically forget the whole incident eventually.  He thinks everything will be hunky dory with just a simple “Let’s have another kid!” and “I’m not gonna see you until you stop moping!”.  It’s moments like these that make me think the emperor really doesn’t make an effort to understand Zhen Huan’s feelings.

Interestingly enough, Mei Zhuang is the one that finally brings Zhen Huan out of her depression and back to her senses.  I was a bit surprised because Mei Zhuang never really reentered the harem life or forgave the emperor, and yet she’s the one that tells Zhen Huan to get it together.  I guess the difference between Mei Zhuang & Zhen Huan is that Mei Zhuang already secured herself a safe spot by the Empress Dowager, so she doesn’t need the emperor’s favor to survive.  On the other hand, Zhen Huan depends on the emperor’s favor for her power. 

Anyways I thought it was both funny and gorgeous when Zhen Huan stuffed butterflies under her cape so that they would all flutter around her.  But the even funnier thing is that the emperor completely falls for it.  Is he easy or what?  And part of me thinks that if Zhen Huan hadn’t been the one to initiate their “reconciliation,” the emperor never would’ve come around..instead he’d just be waiting forever for her to come back while distracting himself with other concubines..

Ling Rong could be a more interesting character if only the actress portrayed her in a more compelling way.  She’s supposed to be this sort of quiet yet deadly, timid yet cruel character that rises up from her lowly status and does anything to survive.  Sounds awesome, but in reality, the character falls flat for me.  She just does not have that kick-butt quality that Hua Fei & Precious Cao have.  However I do feel kinda bad for her because despite all her hard work, she will never be able to steal the limelight from Zhen Huan. 

I could not wait for Hua Fei to come back.  The harem is just not the same without her in the game.  And while I disliked her pride and impulsiveness before, now I’m kinda sad to see how much she has changed.  She can no longer return to the old days of her glory & prestige…her future is pretty much ruined and everyone knows it.  But the even sadder thing is that she doesn’t even care about her title anymore, she just wants the emperor’s love, which is the one thing she will never attain.  *shakes fist at emperor*

I cheered when Precious Cao switched over to Zhen Huan’s side because Precious Cao + Zhen Huan TOGETHER = AWESOME.  These two are so smart and calculating that it’s scary to see them paired together.  Like I said in the comments on my last post, it would be awesome if Hua Fei & Zhen Huan teamed up, but obviously that’s never gonna happen.  So Precious Cao & Zhen Huan together is the closest we’ll ever get to that! 

Overall

A reader, Rose, posted this awesome comment on my previous LZH post.  I just had to quote it:

“I’m very glad too that they made LZH into a drama, for me it’s such an empowering drama for the girls; You don’t have to be a tomboyish super swordmaster or kungfu master to be able to defend yourself or use sex to get what you want from a guy. I mean of course they have to be beautiful and of course they have to captivate the Emp but they don’t do that by just ripping their clothes off; they have to show their sincerity and impress him with remarkable talents, but they are also sipping from their tea, eating their snacks, reciting poems, playing some instruments, sewing complicated patterns, smiling to each other while they are plotting each others DOOM! If that’s not girl power, I don’t what is…I like the fact that our heroines do some bad stuff too, not out of necessity but out of revenge and it’s up to you to decide whether they’re justified or not ( even freaking Ling Rong has some awesome scenes which tbh, totally gained my respect) and omg the plot! There are so many storylines unfolding before us but somehow they all come together, gearing to something big ( I think) . All in all, LZH is an awesome drama ( and those settings, costumes and hairdo are amazing) and they have the subletly and nuances that BBJX didn’t have, but I still miss those sappy moments”

heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • Glad you’d liked my comment ^_^;, I’ve never thought LR in that way, she’s doing a pretty good job in the whole ‘woe is me and yadayada’ thing , but how AWESOME would she be if she was the kind of character you’d just described…I do agree though that ZH, HF ( and to a lesser degree for me the queen and Cao gui ren) have that, je ne sais quoi vibe that LR doesn’t have…I was thinking though; I’ve seen a lot period dramas with pretty costumes in the Han, Tang and Song dynasty, the Joseon dynasty but never one in the Heinan or another ancient Japan perio ( sorry my knowledge in Japan is almost…non-existent *_*)and I kept thinking, how pretty and settings would their dramas be! ^^

    • Exactly she could be much more than a self-pitying character…I think Ling Rong could be a much more awesome villain but she just doesn’t match up to Hua Fei & Precious Cao.

      There are lots of Japanese taigas but I don’t watch them. They are usually super long and have tons of characters. I also wish Japan would make some more creative period dramas!

  • Oops I meant of course the Heian period ( i keep having bloody typos >…<) Ah, guess I have to waiting for a taiga you would recommend 😉

  • Hmmm…as for the emp…he’s my least fav character that’s for sure, but somehow i’m glad too that he isn’t some perfect loveable wise king, it adds to the realism of LZH but yes, he can be a exhausting person to watch >..<

  • Hmmm….I’m going to be careful with what I’m writing now…Comparisons are tricky for me: comparisons have to have a common ground: they’s why I don’t understand why e.g people compare JK Rowling with Meyer, yes they both write for ‘ young people’ and HP and Twilight ( but even their target group differs) are both ‘fantasy’,but other than that the similarity stops. The story, plot, the message is different, but you can compare the components seperately, like how detailed, how complicated was the plot? How rounded and complicated their characters? How well built their imagined world and mytholgy? and blabla…( Although *cough* *cough*didn’t dig Twilight and I’m afraid I never will *_*, no offense to Twilght lovers) I think it’s the same with BBJX and LZH; it’s maybe easy to compare the two because they are both cdramas and they both are in the same era, but on it’s whole; I don’t think you can completely because the mood, the story and message differs ( ultimately, BBJX is a love story and LZH is bit more like Darwisnism applied to the harem of Yong Zheng O_o), but you can compare ( obviously) the costumes, the music, the setting, plot structure,…And Yong Zheng of course. He was a real historical person and they both appeared in the dramas and I prefer the 4th of BBJX ( eventhough he scared the crap out of me with the body ripping by horses and alive steaming thing *_*). In history, Yong Zhen actually had the least concubines ( compared to Kangxi, his dad and Qianlong, his son) and while he was despotic ( yet, which ruler wasn’t despotic in that time? Despotism wasn’t even a real Asian thing) he also refilled the empty treasury his father left behind and he despised offical corruption and dealt harsh with it too. In other words, the fact that the 4th was strict, calculating, hardworking and even ruthless or cruel made sense (maybe to a fault? O_o), how else do you deal with other calculating opponents , with an empty treasury and corrupt officials? The emperor in LZH, however, is a whole diffrent story. He uses and toys with and manipulates people for a cause alright and that cause is…Himself and he’s cruel because he can and will and that makes him of course a complete and utter ass T_T ( It’s a pity that the male characters in LZH aren’t as well developped as the female characters, but hey, it’s a plot gimmick >.<, if the emp wasn't who he was in LZH, then most concubines in LZH wouldn't gone as far as they did o_O)

    • Lol, the joke on the Chinese forum is that Empress Chun Yuan is actually Ruoxi. That explains why the Emperor is so in love with her. The reason why she was so perfect was because she was a time traveler. After Ruoxi/Chun Yuan died, Yongzheng was so depressed that he aged overnight (that’s how Nicky Wu became Chen Jian Bin). 😀

    • Yay another great post from Rose!! I think it’s logical to do a contrast & comparison of some sort because both dramas cover the same time period, with the same emperor, but have a different tone & focus.

      And like you said, one of the most glaring differences is in their portrayal of the emperor. Honestly although I enjoyed 4th’s character in BBJX, and I know Yong Zheng was an excellent emperor, I think he was portrayed a bit too sympathetically. Or maybe it was just fangirls or SOMETHING but I felt like a lot of people could not see past 4th’s good qualities to acknowledge his faults. On the other hand LZH takes Yong Zheng’s character to another extreme–we see his bad qualities to the point where we think he’s horrible.

      So I think it’s interesting to see how these differences in interpretation led to two radically different dramas..some people take offense but I think it’s just a fact that hey, they did things differently, and both sides worked! It’s all a matter of what you want in a drama, and it’s quite possible to be a fan of both LZH and BBJX 🙂

  • Screw my post; that theory is just brilliant! ROTFL! ( And the way Nicky Wu portrayed the 4th, it is even quite possible haha) You’re right of course, comparisons are always inevitable, especially since those two dramas aired in the same year and all. You know I still can’t figure it out; is it mostly due to the writing or Nicky Wu himself? I mean you’ve got this prince framing his brothers ( despite knowing ALL the possible consequences), torturing peple painfully, ordering painful deaths ( horses and steaming and all O.o) AND he still is a brooding, moody Bryonic Hero/Puppy Yearning for Love O_o. I admit, I was a true 4th fangirl in the first part, but after he ramed 8th prince, it did put me back in retro inspect ( although he still stayed a Puppy for me o.O) big time. You’re right of course; the fact that Yong Zheng was regarded as a excellent king, doesn’t exempt him from having bad traits, it’s a good thing that LZH truly focusses on how messy and dirty politics can be and how it changes people, but I felt like BBJX showed us a little bit more why Yong Zheng was a good king while trying to us his ‘bad side’ ( that was glossed over) and LZH only showed his bad sides without a bit of redemption if I make sense o_O

    • I think it is probably because of Nicky Wu. Or if it was a different hot actor, the result would probably be the same. It lets people think that he’s not THAT bad, because at least he’s also a handsome sorta-gentlemanly guy as well. T_T

      On the other hand, like you said, the emperor in LZH doesn’t have many redemptive qualities so it’s harder to root for him. But I think both Yong Zheng’s have a sort of twisted love…4th in BBJX was borderline-obsessive and way too controlling of Ruo Xi. Yong Zheng in LZH is also unable to let go of the former empress..plus he’s possessive of his concubines but only views them as pawns.

  • Hmmm….Personally,Nicky Wu is not the sort of guy I automatically go *_*, (was more impressed by his presence) but it’s unfortunately defintely true we forgive those dark, handsome guy with an dangerous edge way too many times >..< I think that most girls know ( or becomes more aware) that the whole mythe of that dark, dangerous guy with an tragic, haunted past is waaaaaaaaay less romantic and desirable in real life 😀
    P.S ( spoiler!) fast forwarded to epi 66?( i think) and I hated and pitied the emperor at the same time O_o

    • *goes to ep66* [SPOILER] Hmm I didn’t feel that bad for the emperor if you are referring to the Yu Rao incident. But I guess he must’ve been disappointed that he can’t have a pure, innocent girl by his side.

      Anyways, I agree Nicky didn’t quite have the looks in his Qing get up but he definitely had the aura. And at times he did have a hint of that “bad boy” vibe going on too. >.<

  • Oops, not that ep ( *smacks forehead*) Spoiler!! The one where his mum dies and he wouldn’t fulfill her last wish but then just after she dies he kowtows and ask her to sing a nursery song for him ( because she never sang it to him)…I almost cried for him… *_*

      • If you do some comparison between LZH and BBJX, you would have realised why the Empress Dowager was so sad on her death bed.

        She actually has two sons (4th aka YongZheng and 14th). In BBJX it was said Kangxi favoured 14th to be the next emperor but 4th manipulated the will and became the Emperor instead. He then sent 14th to guard the mausoleum (dying scene of Ruoxi in his arms?).

        So basically Empress Dowager wanted Emperor to get 14th back so she could say her last farewell but Emperor gave some excuse that he had to do his job to guard the place (in his mind, he did not want/could not risk 14th coming back incase the whole fight-for-the-throne issues resurfaced *spoiler alert – why YongZheng’s 3rd Prince was struck off the list of his official lineage in later episode).

        After she breathes her last, he then sings the nursery song which he claimed earlier that she sang to 14th but never to him. It’s as though he was never the favoured child.

  • Love reading your review, please continue. Love Sun Li. She acting is truly extraordinary! Too bad they didn’t give her the Best Actress Award! 🙁 🙁 🙁

        • I also think Jiang Xin’s (Hua Fei) performance was quite memorable, I would’ve given her an honorable mention or an award for supporting actress or something.

          • In fact, (Hua Fei) did receive the Best Supporting Actress. I forgot to mention it on the previous post. Overall, LZH received 5 awards; Best Drama, Best Producer, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress from Sohu Video Drama Festival.

  • Personal option; I really believe no one can portray Zhen Huan as well as Sun Li. She truly deserves the Best Actress title!

  • I’ve finally made some progress. I took a break to watch some modern dramas because they are 100000000x easier for me to understand without having to look up words. On the plus side I now know the story of the 人彘 concubine which was…uhhh…disturbing. I like that ZH is standing up for herself a bit now and will be interesting to see her and Cao paired together.

    • Yup things are just getting started with Zhen Huan gaining power in the harem! Heh I’m sure the modern dramas must be much easier to understand T_T If you know of any good modern c-dramas let me know! 😉

      • I’ve bounced around between a lot of them. I’m not huge into stories that focus primarily on relationships which eliminates a lot of the more popular shows I have heard of. Right now I’m watching Queen of SOP because the main character is working in a marketing department and I’m hoping to glean some new vocab (my field is advertising). Interestingly Queen of SOP is a joint venture between Taiwan and China so the subs are in simplified Chinese but it is set (at least for the time being) in Taipei. I also tried watching Taiwan’s Love Now because the lead in that also works in advertising but it probably won’t have enough advertising goodness for me.

        I’ve also been slowly making my way through the sitcom iPartment which is described as the “Chinese version of Friends”. It has had some pretty funny moments so far and is set in Shanghai but it also has a laugh track which ruffles my feathers. I’m so picky!

        I’m still searching for my perfect show which would be like a darker drama or mystery set in China, I have a couple in mind to watch from Taiwan. I’m starting my Korean lessons on Tuesday and I know Korea has more of those type of shows easily available so I’ll be opened to a new wealth of material, hah.

        • I gave up on the Queen of SOP, although it was very polished and I loveee Zhang Han it didn’t make me want to watch every single episode. I heard about ipartment but I’m kinda skeptical about whether or not it is really funny O_O Maybe it is just my odd sense of humor?

          I think Taiwan actually has more serious dramas than China, but they tend to be about romance and not mysteries.

          • Yeah to be fair a lot of jokes my Chinese friends find hilarious I find a bit cheesy, particularly “cold jokes”. And a lot of puns fly right over my head unless it’s two words I already know. I sometimes leave Eng subs on certain shows just because the translators will make note of when there are puns or the meaning of certain idioms which is super helpful!

            Because of the sheer amount of different shows that are out there I have a lot of trouble committing to shows especially since a lot of shows are 40+ episodes long. LZH is my record for most episodes watched out of any C-drama so far.

  • I know that Fucha became crazy. But what exactly was Zhen Huan say to her? As usual, the subtitle deserted me. Is it some comparison to the history of past concubine in the palace?

    • I think ZH was basically threatening Fucha by comparing her to a character in a scary story. Fucha was easily affected by this because she knew the tables were turned on her and she was all paranoid.

    • The story which Zhen Huan told her was about a once-favoured concubine in a past era who fought with the then-Empress for the Emperor’s favour. After the Emperor died and the Empress became the Empress Dowager, she locked up and mutilated this concubine badly (e.g. cut off her limbs, blinded her, cut out her tongue).

      The thing is, I don’t think Fucha’s reaction was unexpected. Zhen Huan was back in the Emperor’s favour now and clearly she is smart enough to continue in her current position. Fucha was never particularly favoured and only gained attention momentarily because she got pregnant. Considering how Hua Fei was able to order Xia Chang Zai to be crippled at the beginning of the series without the Emperor batting an eyelash over it, it is not unreasonable to assume that Zhen Huan can eventually do something similar to Fucha if she gained enough power to do so.

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