Beauty World


Reviewed by: sukting

January 04, 2014

Rating: three

Chinese Title:
Tang Gong Mei Ren Tian Xia 唐宫美人天下
 
Year produced

2011

How long
35 episodes

Foreword
The mysterious death of Wu Mei Niang's newborn daughter sparked a vicious rumor that it was a murder committed by the childless Empress Wang Ni Jun. To help clear the Empress' name, her former lover Ming Chong Yan and her old friend Helan Xin Er came to the palace to investigate the mysterious death. They soon found out that the child's death was only the tip of the iceberg to a sinister plot to usurp control of the palace. The drama is split into three sections according to Chinese mythological characters of man, ghost, and demon.

Story/Introduction on characters
1. Zhang Ting as Wu Mei Niang She walks on the political stage due to love. She becomes ruthless to protect Zhi but she is shocked to know that he doesn't love her but is only making use of her all the time. When she wants to rebel against him, she has nothing else to stake. She has to fend for herself by working with her enemy. It is sad that she and her enemy falls for the same man. However, she gives in to them to become a lonely queen.

She is calm and swift in making decisions. She is eager to be a simple woman but fate doesn't let go of her. She has to become Wu Ze Tian due to her husband and son. Yet, she realises that all are different from what she thinks and she suffers from the harsh fact that Zhi is her daughter's killer.

It is weird for me to see that Mei Niang can be so tame and forgiving towards Xin Er or Wu Ji. The poor actress only acts according to the half-baked script and fails to leave a convincing impression.

2. Li Xiao Lu as Helan Xin Er She is often bought and sold as a slave. Thus, she can never forget how Ni Jun rescues her. After Ni Jun becomes the empress, Xin Er continues to fend for herself. She can never believe that Ni Jun kills Mei Niang's daughter. Thus, she wants to save her to sneak into the palace. Being involved in the power struggle is far from her expectation – from becoming a palace maid to get tortured to the Head of Food & Beverages Proceedings to tread on a wire.

After she knows her identity of the long lost Princess Chu Yun who falls off the cliff, her life changes again. She feels guilty towards Shao Qing to deceive him repeatedly just to rescue Ni Jun. In the end, they are together after fleeing from the palace. Xiao Lu is quite pretty and she plays the role well – to be gentle and also determined at the same time. Her role is definitely more successful than Chun Hua in 'the emperor's harem'.

3. Ming Dao as Ming Chong Yan / Ming Yi
Chong Yan is a mysterious magician who looks sorrowful all the time. Many love him but he loves little. He is a martial arts expert and has great conclusion skills. He is in love with Ni Jun when young and he comes to the palace due to her. He is smart and needs time to get through the love loss. He takes some time to accept Qi Lin.

Yi is Chong Yan's elder twin brother. He is cruel and works as Tu jue's spy to poison Chong Yan to assume his identity to gather court secrets. He is cunning, shameless and will do anything to achieve his aim. This is Ming Dao's first period drama but he shows potential in this. Playing twins is a big test but he never lets us down in the acting or looks department.

4. He Cheng Ming as Pei Shao Qing He comes from a rich family and is a high regarded general. Still, he chooses to guard the palace gate due to Xin Er who gives him a kiss under the blossom tree. He is deeply in love with her but she chooses to dump him to sneak into the palace to disappear on their wedding day. The poor man asks himself repeatedly what goes wrong but gets no answer. He is delighted to see her again but sad to see how she is bullied in the palace.

He is smart, accommodating, forgiving and mature. Many ladies love him but his heart only allows Xin Er to enter. When Xin Er lies that she leaves due to a grave illness, he takes time to look through the medical books to seek a cure for her. It alarms him whenever her pulse is irregular – actually there is nothing wrong with her but she is too worried for Ni Jun.

After knowing that he is being deceived, he is angry with Xin Er but not for long. When seeing her wounds after Feng Niang pulls off her finger nails, he rushes to bandage them. He worries more for her safety and dashes to her aid when she needs him. I like Cheng Ming's performance here as compared to 'Gong'. He injects lots of feelings into the role.

5. Zheng Guo Lin as Li Zhi Many have thought of him to be a weak king but he has plenty of schemes in his sleeves. He vows to get his ruling power from the equally cunny Wu Ji to strengthen his position. He is actually Ming Zhu's son and is switched at birth with Yuan Xiu. He frames Wu Ji for killing Mei Niang's daughter. He makes use of everything and everyone, including the women who love him to get what he wants.

Mei Niang is shattered to know that she can't see through him although she is in the harlem for 13 years. She has forgotten that Zhi is in the palace longer than her. Actually, he really loves her but using the wrong method. This character is supposed to be weak so I am clueless how he turns so vicious in the director's hands.

6. Lv Jia Rong as Yu Qi Lin She is the commander of the troops but she disguises as a man. She is tomboyish and is Mei Niang's bodyguard. Shao Qing learns about the truth from Mei Niang and helps to conceal the fact. If not, Qi Lin will be beheaded by Wu Ji for deceiving Zhi. She falls in love hopelessly with Chong Yan to take the initiative to woo him and both are finally together. He is moved when she is disfigured while trying to seek a cure for him when he is poisoned. Her acting is quite convincing.

7. Zhou Mu Yin as Wang Ni Jun She is a simple woman but her empress position causes her to sink into darkness. She marries Zhi as her family runs into debts. She has to give up Chong Yan in order not to implicate him once she is out of the palace. She doesn't want him or Xin Er to risk their lives again. She chooses to be with Zhong, her adopted son born by Concubine Liu who dislikes Mei Niang. Their love is like a broken crystal which can't be picked up anymore but is still glaring to the eye.

8. Zhang Chen Guang as Zhangsun Wu Ji He lets down Xue Yi due to greed. He wants to marry his daughter to Shao Qing but he rejects it. His daughter is killed mysteriously by Zhi before getting married to a general. He is always against Mei Niang by being in cahoots with Bian Sai so he can't wait to get rid of her. He is also Zhi's uncle who manipulates him. He thinks Mei Niang kills his daughter so he sends killers to want to kill her. Unexpectedly, Mei Niang spares his life and puts him into exile.

9. Wang Li Kun as Bai He Mei He is a dancer whom Chong Yan befriends at the dance faculty as he is checking on a case. Seeing how elegant she dances, Chong Yan dances with her but she disappears after he solves the case.

10. He Sai Fei as Lin Xue Yi She is the head of Palace Proceedings. She is Wu Ji's lover in the past but he ditches her to be with a rich woman. Feeling disappointed, she chooses this path to regain her dignity. She tries hard to avoid him in the palace as she is still sore over the past. She wants Xin Er to be Zhi's woman to get rid of Mei Niang.

11. Hung Yan as Miao Feng Niang She is Head of Food & Beverages Proceedings. She is under Xin Er's mercy as the person, Ru Bing who draws the palace map knows Feng Niang's daughter's whereabouts but Xin Er refuses to tell her. Feng Niang chooses to hide in the palace as her shop is framed by Ru Bing for selling poisoned food. She has no choice but to help Xin Er in making Ni Jun escape. Their plan works and she also escapes.

Xin Er takes over Head of Food & Beverages Proceedings unwillingly to be Mei Niang's spy. I am very surprised to see Hung Yan here and she has matured so much. It is a pity that she only takes up a supporting role. She does her part of an authoritative role well.

12. Xiong Nai Jin as Li Ruo She is Ze Tian's palace maid. She is also trapped by love for Ah Qi and is Xin Er's good sister. She is gentle and also innocent. Her fate is the same as Feng Niang but she seeks redress for Ah Qi.

13. Tong Li Ya as Qing Cheng She is beautiful and is also a talented dancer. She can't love but insists of loving. She wants to get the man she loves and yearns for freedom. She is willing to give up wealth for exchange and is very smart.

14. Guo Zhen Ni as Empress Zhangsun Wu Gou She is Emperor Li Shi Ming's empress from a palace maid by chance. She has the wits and the beauty. Zhen Ni presents a perfect empress in 6 scenes. Natural acting from this actress.

15. Yang Mi as Qing Luan She is a spy who is cold and unkind but is touched by Zhi's love for her. She is cruel but is also confused by Mei Niang's friendship. Her beauty is unspeakable but her heart is empty. She pretends to be a white fox that Zhi saves when young to try to kill him.

Yet, she is entangled in his love for her. She is unsure if he seriously loves her but she has forgotten that she is a spy. She is killed by Zhi in the end when her identity is discovered. Stirring acting offered by Mi here although it is a guest role.

16. Gao Yang as Princess Cai Die/Princess Cai Yu Cai Die is Mei Niang's cousin and Cai Yu's twin younger sister. She is cute and adorable but actually she is a scheming person. She is first in love with Zhi but later likes Xiao Bao, a general. She is killed by Yi and Xiao Bao kills himself to prove that he doesn't kill her. Cai Yi likes Li Ruo's lover Ah Qi and kills him as he doesn't like her. Mei Niang poisons her to death.

Interesting facts
Awards won in 2011 :
Le Guan net most female looks forward to of drama obtained Oriental TV most by TV fans welcomes episodes title douban obtained Supreme popularity support episodes family shopping share community fruit fruit Street obtained monthly MOM were most love episodes award Winter Sohu Video Festival program award

The shooting process heavily built super luxury Tang Palace by Purple Jun television. They showed many photos of Tang Palace of gorgeous views and fine makeup capacity and bright China clothing, let audience ahead of exposure which to feel beauty world under atmospheric Grand, and beautifully of Datang Prime.
Domestic top produced team and foreign talents helped to build water Shang Tang Palace. Each Department scene was with features or fresh elegance with no repeat. Besides, actor of styling costumes also strived, from makeup capacity to costumes all gorgeous fine, according to different of figures on its build unique of styling makeup capacity.

The cast transformed several sets styling and costumes to tie different scenes. Many were reluctant to see 《美人心计》 end. Producer Yu Zheng was pleased with the "ratings plus word of mouth" double harvest success. Thus he came up with 《唐宫美人天下》. It shifted from Han dynasty to Tang dynasty and shooting involved billion renmingbi.

Most favourite character
Shao Qing – he is not only forgiving, he is also self-sacrificing. He does so much for Xin Er – how can she be so heartless to reject or deceive him repeatedly? This woman must be having a heart of stone.

Most hated character
Zhi, I doubt he loves any woman. He only loves himself and hurts all of them.

Songs
The theme song is "Fallen Flowers" (落花) performed by Li Xiao Lu. The ending theme:"Tang Song" (唐歌) performed by Cheng Ming. Both sing quite well for this drama.

Conclusion
This drama is different from the usual only palace struggle element as it also includes the segment on ghost and fox demons. Yu Zheng has selected suitable actresses for the drama and they look glamouous. Acting wise, they also give in their best. It definitely cuts a level higher than other normal dramas. It throws some suspense but all will be stunned in the end that all incidents are caused by men and they only want to kill the emperor.

Yu Zheng breaks many Jin Yong fans by the choices made for 'Return of condo heroes'. Actually, we have seen something differing from history in this drama but it is still acceptable. Will there be another segment on 美人 beauties? I am looking forward to it.

Sukting's ratings :
On acting : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)
On story : *** (Scale of 5)
On song : *** (Scale of 5)


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