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The Glory of Tang Dynasty: Mini Review

Okay, so I’ve been in a crazy book slump recently and that extends all the way to a strange drama slump. Work’s been crazy crazy stressful and I’ve just not been in the mood for watching nor reading anything… Except for Chinese dramas. Scratch that, one specific drama to be exact. It’s the strangest kind of slump that I’ve ever been in, but well. Maybe my brain got rewired and decided that it was time for me to get in touch with my Chinese roots, again.

Can we talk about how gorgeous these posters are T___T

So where do I start… I found out about The Glory of Tang Dynasty through weibo and watched the trailer on youtube. (If you’re new to c-dramas, by trailer, I really mean a 15 to 30min sneak preview of the entire show) From the trailer alone, it looked pretty epic, costuming, cinematography, plot… And interestingly enough, there wasn’t an A-lister cast to back up the drama. You have experienced actors but the main cast generally comprised of good actors, who weren’t exactly popular, especially amongst the younger crowd. That plus the fact that the male lead is pretty much new to the scene (his first lead role!).

Fast forward to me picking up the show. After watching just 2 episodes, I was in, hook, line, sinker. Despite the lack of a well-known cast, they had quite a few things going for them (compelling plot, gorgeous outfits, cinematography) and in China, they’re kinda the black horse right now. Granted, views wise, they still lacking behind waaaay more popular shows like General and I (just ended) and the direct competitor, Three Lives Three Worlds Ten Miles of Peach Blossom. But there’s a pretty strong following in their homeland and the male lead is enjoying an immense popularity surge, thanks to his decent acting and characterization. Definitely a win on that.

Jing Tian (景甜) as Shen Zhen Zhu and Ren Jia Lun (任嘉伦) as Li Chu, Prince of Guangping


otp prz

[Possible spoilers ahead]

The drama is set in Tang Dynasty and was adapted from a novel – Legend of Zhen Zhu. The novel focuses strongly on the life of Shen Zhenzhu (Empress Ruizhen), but the drama moves the focus a little more over to Li Chu (Prince of Guangping, eventual Emperor Daizong) and the historical events during that period. Granted, they did take some liberties with the timeline, but generally speaking, the drama wasn’t too bad in terms of accuracy. The first 30 odd episodes has its fair share of romance (yay for otp moments!) and politics. The romance moved pretty quickly, and our otp had their fair share of cute and angst. Now that we’re 40 episodes in, the angst is taking over in full force and reaching an all time high. Although I hate that our otp won’t be sharing the same screen for 10 odd eps, I’m actually also looking forward to the seeing how the Anshi Rebellion is being played out. And of course, for our second female lead, Dugu Jingyao ,to finally appear, much as I hate that she’ll be THE wedge between our otp.

Wan Qian (万茜) as Dugu Jingyao (Empress 
Future Emperor and Empress T____T

I actually do want to recommend this show to everyone and anyone who would even listen to me (hence this post). I guess the biggest draw is definitely the chemistry between the lead characters, an interesting enough plot that’s generally true to history and the gorgeous gorgeous outfits. I could honestly do an entire post dedicated to the outfits of each and every character, but mostly our leads. One amazing thing about this production is that they spared no expenses on their props (300,000RMB on Li Chu’s sword, I’m speechless) and outfits, and it really does show.

Look at that glorious blue outfit.

Sadly, there’re no english subs out at the moment and I’m not quite sure if there even will be subtitles coming out any time soon. Woes of a show without a popular cast 😦 I have been toying around with the idea of doing episodic recaps, but it’s crazy time consuming and I’m not quite sure if anyone would even read them (hah). And of course, there’s also the issue of me not having written any sort of recaps before, so…

Buuuuut, if you’re not a fan of angst or sad endings, then stay far away from this drama. If history isn’t a good enough indication of how this drama would end, the cast themselves would tell you that everyone pretty much gets a bad ending. Yes, they actually said it pretty happily during the press conference, spoilers be damned.

And as a wise netizen on weibo said:

The only thing that’s angstier/more torturous than The Glory of Tang Dynasty is the next episode of The Glory of Tang Dynasty.

With that, I’ll leave you with some glorious photos, which I’ve already been spamming on Twitter.



13 thoughts on “The Glory of Tang Dynasty: Mini Review

  1. I really want to watch this show! Your Twitter screencaps totally lured my in since I’m a sucker for gorgeous visuals. Now I’m quite heartbroken that this isn’t available with subtitles.

    By the way, thanks so much for your excessive screencapping on Twitter! You really broaden my horizon with shows I wouldn’t otherwise know they existed, although I have to admit that I’m only on my second show yet. I finished Scarlet Heart Ryeo yesterday (I really wasn’t quite ready for the last three episodes so I’d put them off for quite some time) and started with Goblin afterwards. I’m only three episodes in but I’m having so much fun with this show and immediately started pushing it on a friend 😀 !

    1. Eep, Ellie! I had no idea you were even following my (barrage of) tweets XD I’m pretty sure I had plenty of unfollows after that 😛 But yes, the show is really packing on the aesthetics, especially the gorgeous outfits! I’m really hoping that subtitles are available soon, so that more people get to know about it and enjoy it!

      I’m loving that you’re enjoying these dramas. Welcome to the (asian) drama world 😛 Happy to recommend some if you’re interested! (I hope your friend enjoys it too, Goblin has some hilarious lines!)

  2. Randomly stumbled upon this site as I was crying through ep 41 of the uncut version. Poor Li Chu. 😭

    There aren’t enough posts in English on this drama so I’m glad you’ve written a mini review. Thank you!

    1. Awww, I just watched Ep41 and it ripped my heart out 😦 Pretty much preparing us for even more angst to come T__T

      Thank you for reading this short post and I do hope I managed to convey my love for this show, hehe. Still praying that it gets subbed soon so that more people get to watch it!

      1. Have you caught up with the latest episodes? I’m trying to savor each and every OTP moment before Dugu tries to rip them apart. T_T (Also trying hard not to ship them in real life but it’s so hard because he’s so obvious hahahaha.)

      2. Noooo. Like you, I’m dying from the angst and dreading the moment Dugu steps in ): I can’t believe Part 1 ended last night! (I’m already shipping them irl. I see you’ve been watching the bts footage hehehehe)

  3. Yes the BTS videos! I’ve also been lurking at this couple’s tieba too much. It’s not really healthy, hahaha

  4. Yay! Another fan. I totally enjoyed it too and it’s sad that it doesn’t reach a larger base of audience as it’s not subbed. Way better than anything that HK has produced (in terms of palace dramas) in ages!

    1. This drama is just way too underrated! I’m really sad that it hasn’t been subbed too 😦 To be really honest, HK TV hasn’t been producing anything decent for quite sometime now, while mainland series are on the rise in terms of quality. But even comparing this to other historical series, this one really stands out in terms of cinematography and the costumes ❤

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