Tuesday, January 15, 2013

✿ Chinese Drama ✿ Su Dongpo

Mandarin title: Su Dongpo/苏东坡
# Episode: 44
Genre: Historical, biographical
Director: Wang Wenjie
Release date: May 16, 2012
Broadcasting Company: Various
Cast: Lu Yi as Su Shi/Su Dongpo, Lu Yi as Su Shi/Su Dongpo, Ruby Lin as Wang Fu, He Wei as Wang Anshi, Han Yuqin as Wang Runzhi, Niu Piao as Su Xun, Liu Wenzhi as Sima Guang, Song Haolin as Su Zhe, Shen Junyi as Fan Zhen, Wang Xiaochen as Wang Zhaoyun, Wang Shihuai as Ouyang Xiu

Introduction:
Written by a professor in Chinese literature from the People's University of China, this TV series traces the life and times of a famous 11th century Song Dynasty poet and statesman Su Shi. The story begins with his outstanding performance at the capital's civil examination in Kaifeng. Su Shi was the "Renaissance" man of the Song Dynasty. Though he was very famous for his poetry, he was also an administrator, engineer, pharmacologist, painter, talented calligrapher, teacher, military governor, writer, and gastronome. In sum, Su Shi was a genius. While the main story focuses on his political career, the three important women in his life are also featured - Wang Fu (1st wife), Wang Runzhi (2nd wife), and Wang Zhaoyun (handmaid/concubine).
 
Comments:
When I watched a mainland Chinese documentary series on Su Dongpo's life, I absolutely fell in love with this famous Song Dynasty statesman/poet. And I am no fan of poetry. For some odd reasons, I began to appreciate Chinese poetry more after learning about Su Dongpo. His political setbacks, personal tragedies, poignant verses/poems, and unwavering optimism in the face of oppression became an inspiration for me. If you are fond of historical series, then you must check out this series. All the actors and actresses are pretty decent except for one fictional character the writer decided to add - Yang Xiao Lian. She was originally created to represent the many "colorful" unnamed women in Su Dongpo's life. Unfortunately, I felt the forced romantic chemistry between Su Dongpo and Yang Xiao Lian to be awfully awkward and out of place in this rather serious adaptation. But once Xiao Lian goes "bye bye," the story picks up and gets good exciting. I love to watch the political bickering between the many famous literati/officials in Song Dynasty history. But there are times when I feel the writer get a little overboard in his praising of Su Dongpo that it becomes repetitive. Anyway, due to my love for the historical Wang Zhaoyun, I mainly focused on this female character. I skipped Ruby Lin's parts and watched the later episodes when Su Dongpo's roller-coaster life begins.

Entire drama series available on YouTube

End Theme Song

Related Links:
Personal Rant on a Su Dongo's Famous Concubine
TV Series on Famous Chinese Poet/Statesman Su Dongpo to Broadcast + Beautiful Ending Theme Song
Su Shi and his first wife, Wang Fu
Su Shi and his second wife, Wang Runzhi
Su Shi and his confidant/concubine, Wang Zhaoyun


Empress Dowager Gao, Emperor Zhezong, and Su Shi
My least favorite character, Yang Xiao Lian


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