Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pretty Girls in Pretty Costumes (Part I)

While Chinese dramaland remains dormant with no exciting news, I will drift off to other random topics.  Though I sometimes pretend to be profound and philosophical in my drama rant, I certainly possess a superficial side, which makes me nonimmune to all things pretty, particularly pretty people in pretty costumes. Hence, you all understand my attraction to Female Prime Minister, which has two gorgeous main leads. I have always been a big fan of period dramas because I feel they offer more visual stimulation than modern series. In period dramas, more exquisite details are given to props, sets, and costumes.  Add some pretty faces to this formula and the aesthetic effect of the production automatically magnifies.

For leisure, I would often read Chinese entertainment news about upcoming ancient series to scout for any new pretty faces and costumes. Sometimes I would even follow a series I have no interest in the plot and care naught about because I'm drawn to the aesthetics of the production. I would encounter some breathtaking images that make me in awe with the physical beauty of some actresses and the entire physical vibrance of her characer. 

Below is only a partial list of actresses whose pretty face left a deep impression on me. It also includes the name of the drama series with the costume/hairstyle/makeup I think they look best in. I actually never watched some of these TV series but only read about them. I'm sure many of you will feel I left out a lot of other pretty actresses. Don't worry. I may include them in a subsequent post. Despite how good some of these actresses look in ancient clothing, some of them are actually quite mediocre in their acting skills. They just manage to leave a strong enough impression for me to remember their pretty faces/costumes in the listed work.

Whose looks do like most on this list?
If I have to name some actresses whose beauty I feel doesn't belong in this world, I would probably choose He Qing and Jiang Qin Qin (a.k.a. Shui Ling). These two actresses are blessed with good acting chop, captivating screen presence, and ethereal beauty in their prime.

He Qing  (born 1964) in Green Grass by the River (1993)
played a wealthy "new" modern woman
Bodyguards 3 保镖之天之娇女 (1998) - played Princess Tianfeng who wandered out of the palace and embarked on many adventures

Jiang Qinqin 蒋勤勤 (born 1975) in Heaven in Tears and Secret Adventures of Kangxi
Zhen Huan Biography fans, Jiang Qinqin is actually the real wife of the actor who played the Yongzheng Emperor.

Bai Qinglin 白庆琳 (born 1984) in The Long Ballad of Zhenguan 贞观长歌 (2007)
Ashinayun - Princess of Eastern Turkic Khaganate
Despite her short screen presence in this 84-episode drama, I absolutely love the character of Ashinayun! The rather low-key actress Bai Qinglin never really made it big in the Chinese television industry, but I still love her performance as the boyish, intelligent, and bold Turkish princess. She can look rather demure or feisty. The costumes and fluffy hair pieces spiced up Bai Qinglin's refine features with a touch of exoticism. (Note: you may have seen her act in The Secret History of Empress Xiao Zhuang as Dayu'er's younger sister and The Secret History of the Crown Prince as the crowned princess.

Zhang Lanlan 张澜澜 (born ??)
The Long Ballad of Zhenguan 贞观长歌 (2007)
An Kang -Princess of Tang Dynasty

Tong Liya 佟丽娅 (born 1984) in Mother of the Empire 母仪天下
Zhao Feiyan - infamous seductive concubine of Han Dynasty Emperor

Jing Tian 景甜 (born 1989) in Biography of Sun Tzu (2010)孙子大传
Yi Luo - a noblewoman
I find Jing Tian pretty, but not breathtakingly beautiful. I guess I love the her costumes too much in Biography of Sun Tzu not to include her on this list. 

Gan Tingting 甘婷婷 (born 1986) in All Men Are Brothers 新水浒传
Pan Jinlian - infamous adulteress who plotted with her lover to murder her husband

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