The Legend of Lady Yang

Reviewed by: spcnet

May 29, 2004

Rating: one-point-five

"Legend of Lady Yang", or Yang Gui Fei, is the story about how a peasant girl, Yang Yuk Wan, is chosen by the emperor to become one of his concubines. In the course of getting noticed and trying to win the favor of the king, Yang Yuk Wan encounters jealous concubines on all four sides--all plotting to rid of the competition. Anne Heung Hoi Lam stars as Yang Yuk Wan while Kong Wah plays the king who all the women are after.

If only one word can be used to describe this series, it would have to be cheesy. First, acting-wise, Kong Wah's role as emperor is not impressive while Anne Heung as Yang Yuk Wan is even less impressive-- her acting abilities still need to be tweaked. It is hard most of the time to accept Anne Heung as the beautiful and legendary Yang Gui Fei who won the heart of the emperor. Usually when an actor or actress does his/her job well, the viewer can forget the actor's real identity for a while for the character that they are playing, however, in "Yang" almost everyone seemed to give off the sense that they are acting--even over-acting to a degree.

Then there's the music. Throughout the series, reruns of tunes heard in dozens of other series are played in "Yang". It felt as if TVB threw in whatever they had because "Yang" had the whole mix. Sets were typical of TVB films nowadays--if it's an outside scene, especially one with snow, expect computer graphics.

The plot mostly entailed how almost everyone in series was out to destroy Yang Yuk Wan. It's ludicrous how by the end, the king had only Yang Yuk Wan, since his other favored mistresses were either killed or had left. Supposedly, the producers might have thought that since it's the twentieth-first century, we wanted to see that the king truly loved only one woman (but c'mon, he's the king, at least leave him with one other woman). Yang Yuk Wan's good fortune was due in a large part to her cousin's doing--who did it for his own gain of course. Her cousin, Yang Gwok Zhong, was both the cause of her rise and her fall in the series. Perhaps the best part in the series is the ending because it was not your typical, or expected happy ending. Aside from that, the series is also somewhat historically true by the end--though historically is used loosely here since Yang Gui Fei's story is really a legend.

Screenshots:(TVB Copyrighted)

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