Sunday, March 18, 2012

Female Prime Minister: A Romanticized Glimpse into a Turbulent Piece of History

Prince Gao Zhan and Lu Zhen

Besides Da Mo Yao and Beauties without Tears, Female Prime Minister is the next TV series I'm really looking forward to watch. This series, once again, is produced by Yu Zheng....BUT, he's just one of the producers, and luckily, he isn't doing the writing. The other producer is one of my favorite Chinese TV directors, Gao Xixi (New Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Tian Mi Mi, and Shanghai Bund). Based on the photos, I feel this production is quite grand in scale since I can see some exquisite details put into the sets and costumes.
 Love the feel of these posters
Female Minister is set against the backdrop of the a very turbulent and violent period in Chinese history, Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589 AD). This chaotic period is before the opulence of the Tang Dynasty (a.k.a. Golden Age of China) but after the famous Three Kingdoms era. There hasn't been many Chinese TV series about this particular historical period. I think this "unpopular" time period largely attributed to the fact that TOO many of the rulers/leaders were known for being tyrannical brutes/murderers or psychologically warped sexual maniacs than for their political shrewdness/governing talent. Therefore, not much to glorify about compared to the other more well-known eras in Chinese history.

Anyway, Female Prime Minister gives a rare cinematic glimpse into this historical period by fictitiously chronicling the life of Lu Zhen, who becomes a female prime minister of Northern Qi Dynasty. The character of Lu Zhen is loosely based on a real female minister, Lu Lingxuan, who dominated Northern Qi government for eight years and precipitated the demise of Northern Qi. She first appeared in history records as the wife of a treasonous general, then turned palace slave, then became wet nurse of a future king, and finally an officially titled female minister of Northern Qi. This is what I call "identity transformation"! Of course, the drama will definitely spice down the ugly truth and glorify/beautify the love story between the main characters. Lu Zhen is no longer the wife of a treasonous general. She enters the palace to save her politically condemned father, and she meets/falls in love with Prince Gao Zhan (also pronounced as "Dan"), who will become the King of Northern Qi. So when I watch this drama, I'll just pretend it's a new piece of history. LOL. The two main leads look too good together for me to skip this production. =D
 
Female Prime Minister also features a good-looking fresh cast I like, but don't know much about. Zhao Liying (Qing'er from new My Fair Princess) takes the lead role as Lu Zhen, and the rising new star Chen Xiao plays a Northern Qi prince who falls in love with Lu Zhen. Other famous cast include TVB artist, Maggie Cheung, veteran Taiwanese actress, Liu Xuehua, and Yang Rong, the female antagonist from Gong 2.

This series is expected to broadcast on Hunan TV this summer.







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