Thursday, May 10, 2012

Official Stills and Trailer for Women of the Tang Court

At first, I didn't pay too much attention to this TV series because I was quite disappointed with the casting decision, particularly the Korean American actor, Nathan Lee, who plays Li Longji. I feel he lacks the commanding presence and regal aura necessary for this character. Hopefully, his acting chops have improved enough from his last drama I watched for me to change my initial prejudices against him.

I tend to like to watch any TV dramas that features Li Longji in his younger years, since he's one of my favorite history-inspired TV characters. However, I absolutely despise watching dramas about his later years. For those of you who is unfamiliar with the name Li Longji, maybe you have heard of his more common titles the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang or better known as Tang Ming Huang.  I only like the youthful Li Longji when he was still a hardworking and intelligent lad who climbed the political ladder to succeed the throne and stabilize the country when his ailing grandmother, Empress Wu Zetian, left a power void. Unfortunately his late reign was plagued by his infamous infatuation with Yang Guifei, nepotistic favoring of her relatives, indulgences, and negligence in state affairs, which led to the crippling An Lushan Rebellion that pretty much reduced the powerful Tang Dynasty to an empty shell. I admit I like to watch inspiring and "happy" stories and have a tendency to avoid watching dramas about the ugliness of history. I have no problems reading about grotesque details of history, but just not watch them in a full drama series. 

Anyway, I'm starting to like the women's costumes in Women of the Tang Court, particularly Annie Liu's courtly white robes (as shown above). It reminds of the Japanese Heian period, which was heavily influenced by the Tang Dynasty. The men's costumes are mediocre in comparison.
Nathan Lee as Li Longji. Somehow, he looks awkward to me. Am I too picky?
Set during the reign of the only female emperor in Chinese history, the aptly titled Women of the Tang Court traces court intrigues and women politics in the foreground! These women are wielding great political influences, even against their male counterparts, and aren't plotting behind closed doors in the inner chamber of the imperial palaces.

Compared to the women in the later dynasties,Tang women actually enjoyed relative freedom . It was very common for widowed Tang women to remarry and some even divorced their husbands. If we look at the Tang costumes for women, we can definitely feel the costumes exhibited a greater level of sensuality and sexuality. Tang dress was much more form fitting, at least around the bosom area, and the women actually showed more skin.

Trailer with English Subtitles:

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