Quick Rant of In Love with Power (Special Emphasis on Episode 27)

If anyone has been reading the comments I've been posting lately, you are probably aware of my great disappointment and utter frustration in the development of the much anticipated coupledom Hailanzhu and Hong Taiji. Though I'm quite upset over their poor story development, or to be more correctly, "lack" of story development, I was not too surprised at the poor writing of this drama series. To clarify some confusion, the writer of this drama series is not the infamous Yu Zheng, but scriptwriter from a Hong Kong named Shen Zhi Ning 沈芷凝. I heard she was also a student of the famous Taiwanese writer Qiong Yao. So don't blame Yu Zheng for the poor writing in this series. He's just a producer. I blame him for hiring her.

Anyone unfamiliar with Shen Zhi Ning should remember her work for TVB. She was also one of the co-writers for a court intrigue drama called Curse of the Royal Harem, a series which I deemed as "drama waste." (Beware Yun Zhong Ge's fans, she's also adapting your beloved novel into a drama screenplay for Yu Zheng. Be prepared to spit more mental blood. LOL Fortunately, Female Prime Minister isn't written by Yu Zheng nor Shen Zhi Ning Hooray! I have less to worry about).

Anyway, Episode 27 is a must-watch for ultimate tragedy lovers and Hailanzhu and Hong Tai Ji shippers! It was such a heart-wrenching episode. I almost wanted to shed a few tears because it was so melodramatically tragic and soo wrong!!! The poor little baby 8th Prince! Barely came into this world and then had to be thrown out of his mother's arms like some volleyball. X_X I knew from the beginning that the historical 8th Prince died infancy, which consequently led to the death of Hailanzhu. However, I TOTALLY did not expect the baby to die in such a crude manner! To further enhance the melodrama, the Mongolian fiddle music segment was used for this scene. Kudos to the sound editor/composer for using this particular music segment from the original OST. I am one big fan of the Mongolian fiddle in music pieces for drama series.

Episode 27 is definitely very climatic and packed with Hailanzhu and Hong Taiji's moments. I loved the fact that Hong Taiji finally accumulated enough authority to say "Screw you all! I'm going to promote Hailanzhu my empress." For the first time in 27 episodes, I finally can feel something from this guy's actions that show he actually "loves" Hailanzhu. I greatly dislike the fact that he acted so vague and seemed to be genuinely in love with Dayu'er at times. There were just too many "WTF" moments that absolutely boggled my mind. To be honest, Episode 27 still had some WTF moments, but I was actually able to enjoy this episode more with some excitement.

I also suspect that the Hailanzhu/Hong Tai Ji's emphasis in this episode probably helped the ratings of this series too. It finally peaked up to 1.7 points, which is quite good for a prime time drama series, and earned the #1 spot for the night. I'm just generally upset at the wasted potential of the Hailanzhu/Hong Tai Ji's storyline in this series. We have too many classic adaptations about Prince Dorgon and Dayu'er, but absolutely none for Hailanzhu/Hong Tai Ji. It clearly documented in history that Hong Taiji favored Hailanzhu over any of his major consorts, even surpassing Dayu'er. I bet if the writer fully developed the Hailanzhu/Hong Tai Ji story arc in the beginning, the ratings for the earlier episodes would have been much better. Unfortunately, she failed to capitalize on this potential and concentrated on Yuan Shan Shan's Dayu'er. I think I will be phasing out of this series once Hailanzhu/Hong Tai Ji both die in tomorrow's episodes. [SPOILER] I read that Hong Tai Ji will suffer a death very similar to the Emperor in Zhen Huan Biography. Dayu'er will give Hong Tai Ji a letter which Hailanzhu wrote and said that she only married him for revenge. So the poor pathetic Hong Taiji will spit some more blood and suffer a "not so peaceful" death [SPOILER]. I dread watching tomorrow's ending for this couple.

General comments on Hawick Lau's Hong Taiji
Hawick Lau's interpretation and portrayal of Mo Shaoqian in SWAK was near perfection. Unfortunately, this image of perfection started to crack in his portrayal of Hong Taiji. Having high expectations for such a seasoned actor, I was vastly disappointed with his performance of this founding Qing Dynasty emperor. Hong Taiji in history was quite an able ruler who was extremely skilled in using his human capital for specific tasks. He quickly learned from his mistakes and was quite malleable in contrast to his younger draconian brother, Prince Dorgon.  In today's words, he was a shrewd chairman of his corporate empire.

Though Hawick Lau's emotional performance is still very convincing, it is his rigid and forceful imperial mannerism that gave me an intense feeling of awkwardness and unnaturalness. What the heck happened to his naturally commanding presence he alluded for Mo Shaoqian? The body language of Hawick's Hong Taiji  was quite stiff in some scenes, particularly scenes where he has a face off with his political opponents or scenes which only require him to just stand still. On the good side, he still excels at depicting his melancholy.

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