Netizens Complain of Jessica Hsuan’s Garish Makeup in “Curse of the Royal Harem”

Although Myolie Wu’s (胡杏兒) new series, Curse of the Royal Harem <萬凰之王>, may have averaged 31 points in its premiere broadcast and peaked at 34 points, the audience reactions were mixed.

Netizens criticized Myolie’s exaggerated acting and the concubine makeup as too strong.  In addition, netizens noted that Jessica Hsuan’s (宣萱) character, Consort Tsuen, was in fact 18 years younger than Myolie’s empress in history. It was also questioned how could a concubine in the royal harem dare to openly express the hope that the empress would soon die?

Producer Chong Wai Kin (莊偉健) explained, “Myolie will not remain evil for the entire series; she will slowly turn into a good soul and her facial expressions will tone down. The audience needs to wait patiently. The heavy concubine makeup serves as a metaphor, Jessica’s makeup will become more concentrated as the series progresses.

“In the filming of Curse of the Royal Harem, we consulted Qing dynasty historical experts in mainland, China, to advise on the actors dialogue, deportment, etiquette, and dance. Prior to filming, the cast received  special training.”


Jayne: The thick makeup in Curse of the Royal Harem is almost Chinese opera-like, where the thick eyes are drawn heavily to emphasize the characters’ personalities.

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  1. I don’t have any probs with the make up, but please, can TVB actresses stop acting roles that half their age when they do not look that young? Jessica look good for a 40, not a 22.

    1. Well, it is normal for ancient series…. There is always video editing software that can solve the problem if TVB editors know how to edit.

      1. And if they are not too stingy in these troubled times 🙂

    2. I think Jessica’s character is more late 20’s. She looks ok to me.

      Is myolie supposed to be about 20? She seems quite immature by the way she talks in front of her mom. And hand puppets, really?
      Her acting isn’t exaggerated yet but in the trailer, her evil laugh was so over the top. I want to see that scene to judge.

      The only thing I’m surprised about the make-up is why they wear hot pink lipstick instead of red.

      1. Yeah agreed with you that Jessica’s character in this series look like in her late 20s. Even with those garish makeup applied to her, she still looks older alot compare to Myolie. But plz correct me if i’m wrong, I always think Garish makeup will make someone less noticeable because they are not heavy apply. Which also known as Plain.

      2. I think u are mixing up garish w/ scarce.
        Garish means tacky and ugly. Think of 80’s blue eyeshadow and bright lipstick. Or “female pig wear earrings”.

      3. lol thanks for the explanation. Yeah i got confused with the meaning of garnish hehe.

        Then again, I dont find Jessica’s makeup garish at all but she looks rather sick pale looking which make her looks ill.

      4. @Veejay,

        Jessica’s makeup will change as her character changes and gains power… (we could see the garish makeup from the trailers). In these early episodes, her makeup colours are very pale and rather “plain” – to illustrate her vulnerability and innocence and lower ranking.

    3. Fully agree with you. Jessica doesn’t look in her 20s, she does look in her 40s

  2. Debut episodes were ok. Im not entirely focus on this series yet.

  3. I enjoy watching the females on the show interact more than the other parts so far.

    I don’t really think Myolie acting is that exaggerated here though. That’s just how her character is. It’s not like she’s supposed to be a calm person and she’s acting like that.

  4. I find it funny that Myolie is calling Jessica Mui Mui.. even though she is indeed so much younger than Jessica hahahaha 🙂

    Of course I know while she is calling Jessica mui mui since she is the queen and Jessica is just the consort….

  5. As far as the episodes that aired, I don’t find Myolie’s character to be evil enough. Her character is quite immature and childish. So I am hoping she turns even more evil as it goes on, so when she turns good, it is a bigger contrast.

    The makeup is a little too strong but it matches their colorful costumes. I have no problem with it. But I do find it funny that Jessica’s character supposed to be younger than Myolie but I guess TVB wants to promote her.

    1. I don’t like the thick make-up either and Jessica Hsuan’s face does not belong in this ancient period.

      I don’t think Myolie’s character is supposed to be very evil or cruel in nature. I think as the drama unfolds, it is Jessica who will turn evil. I am actually more interested in watching this over FH3.

      1. same here, I prefer this series over FH3. I think you’re right, Jessica used to be good but after tremendous bully/treatments from Myolie, she retaliates one day and turn evil while Myolie becomes the good person in the end..

      2. I agreed that Myolie’s character is not very evil in nature. I was going to write that. You can tell by her listening to her mother. Jessica’s character at first seems innocent but then you realize she is quite smart and usually those righteous people will slowly becomes evil. FH3 is not very interesting which is kind of diasappointing.

      3. I think is because of ancient rules that those in power can simply sentence one to die without going thru trials make the whole series intense. And with Jessica fighting power with Myolie, the series become even more interesting. We get to see how myolie and jessica use their schemes to trick each other and etc. But I gotta agree with some here that Jessica in ancient costume looks a bit ackward though..

      4. I wonder how make up was back then??? I also wonder if it were made out of the same ingredients that it is made of now?? I also don’t think that thick make up looks good. However, sometimes it is required for a particular character or series.

  6. The most important is the storyline, and I even dont mind about customes or makeup. You can see BTROC is the example, the background and everything is pretty but I can’t stand watching it. I support Jessica in this series.

    1. I agree that the most important thing in a series is the plot/storyline. However, it would be great if there are nice costumes,a good script,and other factors as well. I hated BTROC and could not stand watching it… My mom also could not bare to watch it more than once…

      1. Basically we cant wiat for TVB about their invetsment in everything. TVB is cheap. Thta’s trúe

  7. “The heavy concubine makeup serves as a metaphor, Jessica’s makeup will become more concentrated as the series progresses.”

    I don’t think this metaphor is necessary. WAB’s makeup wasn’t as heavy (except for Sheren’s at times but it was only her and it suited her character) and the series is still a classic. 🙂

    1. sick of seeing actresses with a ton of makeup.

      they both seems so old in this series as well.

      1. Same here but sometimes it is required depending on the character that they play.

  8. I have this gut instinct that Myolie’s character will be the more interesting to watch and developed with more depth towards the end of this drama.

    I’m not watching either FHIII or Royal Harem Curse. Lazy me not in the mood to watch any TBB drama now(The only “drama” I’m following now is US X-Factor..hihih) 😛

  9. To be honest, I am quite neutral on this series, but the garish make up is the least of its’ weaknesses I feel.

    Does anyone know how Nancy Wu’s character develops? She ends up as one of the concubines right.

    I see that a lot of ppl complain about Jessica not having an ‘ancient’ face but I think the one who looked the most out of place was Yong Sau Wai (sorry don’t know her English name if any). But she is already killed off so I guess I can’t complain about that anymore haha

    1. I think Nancy is a double undercover who becomes concubine later.

      Vivian yeung looked ok to me. There’s one short girl that looked so out of place. Compared to Vivian and Jessie shum, she looks like maid not concubine.

      1. lol,I didnt even “notice” that short girl u described up there. I was kinda surprised when vivian’s character got killed so early though. I thought Vivian will stay in her character for another few episode and not got killed by some lame enunch.

        Yeah, Nancy is another reason to watch, I wonder how she will gain the attention from Sunny until she is made a concubine later in the series. Probably like Tavia in Beyond where TY did a seducetive massage to Moses.

      2. Yes, you’re right. In the trailer, Nancy is seducing sunny w/ back massage.

        Btw, I don’t think tavia actually seduced Moses. I think he was just doing his obligation.

      3. Actually I forgot how TY was reign a concubine..i thought she was a maid and accidentally trip on Moses and the spark just begin from there? That’s consider as seducing rite? kekekeke.

        But as an emperor in Beyond, Moses own all the palace women even the old maids he can pick any woman he wants to sleep with.

      4. I think the biggest problem with Vivien Yeo is her accent is too out of place. Glad she was killed off early.

    2. Yeah, well I thought Vivian Yeo was too tall and looked out of place and her neck somehow seemed extra long with all the headgear, etc and yes I cannot stand her accent. Most Malaysians don’t have her accent (I am one) maybe she is only a Mandarin speaker then.. but whatever, glad her character is gone..

      Who is the short girl you are talking about? Can’t quite picture her.

      Yeah I know Nancy ends up as a concubine and probably seduced the emperor while dancing etc (seen in previews) but just wondering if she is on Jessica’s or Myolie’s side or none LOL

    3. @Veejay – Moses was in luv in Charmaine all along… but since Charmaine only loved Kevin, Moses settled for the next best thing, her best friend Tavia… and Tavia used that to her advantage..Moses thought Tavia ressembled and possessed a lot of good qualities like Charmaine but who knew Tavia would be that evil and cunning?? 🙂

    4. Vivien Yeo was fine. Her looks and acting were fine – it’s just the accent that is bothering.

  10. What choices did TVB have?
    – Young artists do not know to act
    – Okay artists are not young

    1. Which is why TVB is going even more downhill then before. A lot of the more talented and experienced actors and actresses have left or will be leaving…Therefore, who will be left at TVB???

    2. Well, let’s not talking about actual age, TVB still has okay artists that look young LOL. The one who is getting older and older than her age is TY, she can actually act big sis of Charmaine and Jessica and it still look persuasive ^^

      1. Well. I see none so far. Fala, Tavia are kind of old now. They do look in mid 30s, not 20s

      2. Kate does somehow not suit for “house wife” roles, she is good for roles like prostitute, someone to be played.

        Yoyo Chan…nah, although only time will tell, I do not think she can step her one foot into leading role.

      3. Well, I din say Kate or Yoyo suits for this role, just about young looks. Anyway, just give young girls chances, look at Linda, she used tobe a walking vase, now she can act!

    3. Young artists will have to wait until they are okay and not young.

      Okay artists had to wait until they look old and have to act young.

      1. Firstly very few young artist are pure rubbish like some of the current fadans that don’t have any special talents in acting besided perhaps have a strong backing due to a special relationship etc.

        Furthermore TVB is afraid of investing in the artist only for them to leave “hell on earth”. That’s why most artist even talented ones have to wait up to 10 years before any promotion unless you are a godson of a major demon in hell…

  11. the producer saying “myoile’s facial expression will tone down”. My stinking a$$!!!!!!. its been the same facial expression since god damn 2003!!!!!! she can’t act, sing, dance, is a ma lull min.

      1. Just curious what horse face has to do with no expressions? 🙂

      2. No relationship, just a way of sushiroll to roll a sushi of bash :P.

  12. i enjoy watching jess and sunny’s scenes together.honestly so far i have watched 5 episodes,so far it is passable and quite intriguing perhaps it is bcuz i like to see jess.but i think it will be better than is better if the story turns out to be unexpected but convincing..hopefully it wont disappoint us like btroc,it is passable but the ending suxxx.

  13. Really, the problem here is that both Jessica and Myolie do not have a face for period series. I suspect, cosmetic is there for masking their modern features to make them look more classic. Also, Jessica’s character in real life died at the age of 31. Neither Jessica nor Myolie are convincing as early 20s. So, I think audience find it distracting to see them in very young roles and the full on makeup doesn’t help.

    I also notice Jessica’s lips are drawn in a 1910s bow shape? Two things wrong with that, the 1910s bow shape is way after the time period of this series. And they’re doing it to make her look more period-based as she doesn’t have full lips. Doesn’t suit, basically.

    Chong Wai Kin should shut up about metaphors. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Using metaphors doesn’t mean you slap the actors with cosmetic equalizers and adjust them back and forth as the story progresses.

    1. yeah, I agree.. Definitely their faces do not suit this period as they looked so out of place…

    2. Maybe its just me that doesn’t mind even if the series/story doesn’t follow the real history. Maybe I already don’t have much expectation from TVB and knew Tvb often changed storyplot that doesn’t really follow the actual history. Therefore, I don’t really care whether or not Jessica in her role is older than the actual person in history nor do I care whether her lips are of those bow shape or not. I just watch the series because I’m interested in palace fightings among the concubines, schemings etc.

      I think if ppl who is so concern of china history, they should watch the 3 kingdoms. I heard even the 3 kingdoms story is also fictional made.

      I could understand the dissappointment with tvb..but nothing is perfect i guess.

  14. Jessican does seem out of place in this ancient drama… to be, her acting is too subdued, I find her kind of dull. Myolie is okay… her voice and facial expressions kind of irk me. Neither are well-suited for their roles.

  15. Jessica is only well suited to modern series. she is a disaster at ancient series.

  16. Good acting is shown through eyes & facial expression plus tone of voice. All actors should study veterans like the late Tang Pik Wan. You don’t need props, excessive make-up/dressing or shout to make your intentions known. Sometimes a quick glance is enough to make the intention known. Directors/producers should take note not to make them exaggerate the acting, don’t make good actors into bad ones. At the end of the day, the audience are the best critics.

  17. I have just recorded 6 episodes of this series, will find a good auspicious day to watch because … well.. just joking. The good auspicious part by the way! Not sure if I wanna even watch but just record, record, record.

  18. Well, this drama isn’t even historically accurate. Joel Chan’s character died around 24 and he’s the fourth prince, not the third. Jessica Hsuan’s husband, Min-yi, died when he was FOUR MONTHS OLD. So I don’t know why the audience is complaining about Jessica’s too old for her role. If you’re talking historical accuracy, that’s the least of your concerns.

    But I agree that the makeup in this drama is unnecessarily heavy.

    1. I also find both Jessica and Myolie unsuitable for these roles. Sunny Chan, Gigi Wong, and Joel Chan are great though. Nancy Wu’s not bad either.

      1. OMG, sorry for spamming, but I also want to comment on the scenery. For a drama that was filmed entirely in Hong Kong, they’re doing pretty good so far.

  19. Kong Wah has better aura as ‘king’ as compared to Sunny. TVB should considered Kong Wah in ancient epic in the future.

    1. My mother said exactly the same thing! Kong Wah would’ve been the perfect Qing emperor.

  20. i feel myolie wu really do well in her roles.. please patient to see episode more long till end!!!!

  21. With TVB products, I often find they are fun at first then turn down him towards the end. Particularly for the endings, they are kind of rush.

  22. While I agree that Jessica is more suited to modern series, I have been re-watching some of her older series like ASITP and GOD and I find that she is not too out of place in period dramas provided that her make-up isn’t too heavy and when her costumes are more unique but not outlandish compared to the other female cast. Then she can fit in better.

    1. I’ve watch a few episodes of ASITP and I felt she’s out of place in this series as well. It’s not just her look. But, the way she speak the ancient language. It feels it’s unnatural.

      1. She was in the beginning but in the later half of ASITP, she became more relaxed and less stiff when being a person in ancient series, at least that’s how I felt.

    2. But, she’s ok in ‘Pillow Case of Mystery 2’ with Bobby. She doesn’t look as out of place there.

      1. Haha, I actually didn’t like her in that series. I think I only watched about 2-3 episodes before stopping. I felt she looked out of place in Pillow 2 and I didn’t like her spell/ritual costume. Also, I didn’t like the fact that they had to go and make Pillow 2 without the original cast. Killing off two of his wives and children(?) as well as not mentioning Benny and Tavia again was just weird. That’s just like what they did for WTAP 2..

    3. It is not so much that she is too modern looking (she is or rather I will say she lacks the ancient grace) but rather her acting is unfortunately the same in every series of any period of time.

      1. So far in this seris, her acting is very different. I’m not used to the soft and gentle voice she has now. I think she really had to repress her usual toughness, especially when she talks to her dad or sunny. It makes me laugh b/c it sounds like she “hasn’t eaten rice yet”.

        BTW, “game of deceit” is my fav ancient series for her. She and nick cheung were so cute.

  23. why do people even bother sending in complaints? its jsut a tv show. if people dont like it, they shouldnt watch it in the first place…

  24. haha, in fact how manny people in her really wtach this series? I think it’s a few. just post your opinion but you never knoe what actually happen in there????

  25. “The heavy concubine makeup serves as a metaphor, Jessica’s makeup will become more concentrated as the series progresses.”

    I hope TVB don’t use such metaphor in all future palace series. It started with ‘Beyond the Realm of Conscience’ where Tavia’s make up and dress become more and more bold because she has become more and more evil, while Charmaine’s make up remain pastel colors through out the series because she’s nice and gentle. Now, they are using it in ‘Curse of the Royal Harem’.

    WAB didn’t use such make up metaphor the it feels more natural. Audience is not so clueless that they need the characters’ make up to tell them whether they are evil or not.

    1. But Kidd, If i rmb correctly, Sheren Tang’s character in WAB was applied with thick dark makeup too esp on the eyes area where they applied black eyeshadow and really deep red lipstick on Sheren to make her look evil.

      And Gigi’s eyesbrow were drawn in a long way (sharp too).

      But you’re right that the makeup that BROC and Curse does looks thicker though to show the evilness in the concubine which is too obvious.

    2. Oh yes I remember Beyond the Realm of Conscience!! Such a pity that they want to over exaggerate everything in that show (make up, set, costume)~ >_<

  26. Finally watched episode 1. I will say this much;

    1. the costume is beautiful, looks like TVB might have ordered new ones tailered which is good news.

    2. the hairstyle reminds me of Gong, the rings of BBJX. I can see heavy influence.

    3. Myolie was terrible. Not that she can’t act, but she was too much. I find her mannerism too lacking in grace, giving me an impression her empress to be was from some lowly background rising to that of the phoenix which is impossible. She walked too fast, she talked too fast, and she looked too stressed out. Elegance is something lacking. And too modern looking.

    4. Jess is Jess. What more can I say except her acting is terribly subpar. I mean it is atypical sort of “I am bullied, I am nice girl” sorta acting. Again lacking in natural ancient sort of grace.

    5. make up is scary and I find Myolie in the bed scene looking far prettier than her normal do. I know, evil is bright red colours of explosion, nice girl is subdued, pastel ish but that much of colour did not even help with the acting. Acting should represent the colours, not the colours itself.

    6. Scenery is beautiful since it is that probably most overbooked studio in the world but wow, so red!

    7. I find the dialogue something… not right. Should a I suppose difujin refer to herself as “Lou choi”? Shouldn’t that be for the servants and she should be I don’t know.. “san chip”? Can someone enlighten me on this? Even empress to be called herself lou choi. It’s like a free for all name calling.

    8. the story in episode 1 is expectedly dramatic with never ending soundtrack. I hope part 2 will be toned down. But can I bear at least 20 episodes of these 2 women trying to kill each other to be empress? But then, is there anything new here? I will say none.

    9. All these metaphors, the director should instead concentrate on the screenplay, consistency and performance. These 3 can create more metaphors than colour. And the way none of the major characters even bow to the emperor or everybody else in certain scenes shows to me a lack of attention to the finer details that could have given this series a certain credibility. It just seems like modern day story set in olden day settings. And the Qing tombs is far away from the palace so the idea of the emperor riding a horse in full emperor’s garb is to me a definite lack of attention to the finer details. But then she was about to be buried alive and so changing the location is in this case understandable but which explains why this series at this moment is not to be considered a classic.

    10. I shall watch ep 2 to see if things toned down a bit but so far I only like the costume (and even they are a bit lacking in the effect dept-someone was kind enough to tell me on the officials’ clothes, round means royal family, square means ministers but from the dialogue TVB made no distinction) and the small blunders are well… looking big at this moment. But the acting by that 2 women is suffering. Sunny is ok, even if he lacked the kingly aura like some said but I just find his mannerism again too fast, too obvious.

    1. 1)Agree that costumes look pretty like they just order new ones. Good improvement.

      2)I’m not sure if the hairstyle looks like BBJx or not since I didnt watch this series but the hairstyle looks great with many beautiful nice hairpins.

      3)I also find Myolie’s acting as empress is lacking of the eleganceness in her. LIke she was brought up by some rough uneducated family lol. Jessica shows more elegant in her as someone who was brought up in rich family. And yeah, Myolie talks too fast.

      4) maybe i’m used with Jessica’s acting from the past, so I knew her acting will be a bit like “wood”.

  27. But I dun think myolie character’s dat good in this series. I wonder if he won the best actress awards for this drama when jessica’s far better than her. Her actings not so convincing. Give her one more years to prove her talent. Based on acting, I think cheung ho yee, jessica hsuan n tavia’s deserved to win this year.

    1. I totally support your comment and you all guys should be patient and watch more episodes, not only one and say that this series if flop.

  28. I haven’t watched this series yet but I saw the trailer, I don’t like how plasticky their accessories look! And the fabrics and colors, very obvious that it is done with modern technology (oh no they are starting to look like China dramas! o__o).

    I mean, for example in War and Beauty everything seems so real (the costume,the hair accessories,the setting).

    Haha sorry I’m very particular about such things! (fashion student here xD).

  29. Hi,
    Agreed with Funn Lim. Something is so wrong with the dialogue. Why are those concubines address themselves as “Lou choi” and the right way should be “San chip”. TVB shouldn’t have made this mistake.

    1. Pinkbag,

      Maybe TVB didn’t make the mistake on the dialogue…because tvb already did study on the Qing’s history before they start shooting this series…

      At first, I thought TVB make mistake on the dialogue too when the concubine called themselves as “servant” or “Lo Choy” but if you rmb the interview with the producer, he said he did studies, investigations etc before they shoot this series,…maybe in the Qing dynasty era, the concubine really call themselves as “LO ChoY” ?? rather than San cip.

      1. Then TVB should publish the source because Qing is steeped in rank and tradition and if a concubine is no different from a servant in terms on how to call themselves, that doesn’t make sense. All these years, TVB did not make any research and suddenly they did and this is the result? I don’t believe it until I see credible sources. No way an empress/concubine when talking to the emperor calls herself lou choi. NO WAY!

      2. Interesting. So the articles claim Lou Choi is the term used by everyone before the emperor? And it is a status appropriate term due to the Manchurian notion of I wouldn’t call master-slave but something like that?

        But I question this. Depends on which era, which emperor, which situation, which recollection, etc. I am still in disbelief that an empress will call herself lou choi in front of the emperor. I don’t question the others, but between wife and husband or rather emperor and his women, is lou choi a distinctively appropriate term considering again this is a society steeped in rank and tradition? Or did the producer referred to some texts that are either of the later dynasties (therefore may apply to this series’ but this series’ timeline is too early to call later dynasty) or perhaps some questionable sources?

    2. Hi ,
      Can anyone translate the sources from weibo?
      Don’t know how to read chinese

  30. I really don’t enjoy Myolie’s acting. She is too exaggerated. Found Sunny to be a very annoying character in past serie, too whinny. I don’t mind Nancy. I hope she gets more active roles in the future. Jessica is OK, but I find her portrayal of a younger, more innocent character a little unconvincing. But is quite acceptable, nonetheless.

  31. I think the make-up is thick so as to emphasis their character. Thought it was ok.

  32. Watch episode 1 yesterday. The character I feel most for is Myolie’s character, Empress Shen. She’s like a child who can go either way depending on who is guiding her. She was nice to Jessica’s character in the beginning. Too bad she has a bad guide in the form of her mother. Every wrong step she made, I feel more sadness for her. She’s dooming herself. She already has it all. She has the love of the Emperor and has reached the second highest station a woman can go (only lower than the Empress Dowager). But, people around her keep feeding on to her insecurities.

    It’s also interesting how people in the palace always second guess other people’s intention. Not only concubines do that, servants too. A simple pot of flower and a simple fruit, they also can think of malicious meaning behind it.

    1. Kidd, this Empress sounds like an interesting character with a lot of depth. If I’m an actress I will want to play this highly dimensional character, but this won’t make me watch this drama. Not my cup of tea, and no one is on my “bias” list :D.

      However it makes me get the view why TBB artistes and staff were talking a lot about this character earlier, and why TBB nominated Myolie for this instead of GJ.

    2. Not only second guess, rarely anybody ever greet anybody else properly. I also dislike how Jess question her actions. I was quite happy she slapped Jess when she was banished from the palace. Anyway I find her empress shen not just childish or stupid, but improbable. She goes seeking problems for herself anyway. I don’t find her sad nor am I sad for her. I just find her character rather poorly written and worse, poorly acted. Why set this in Qing Dynasty> Cut our suffering and set it in modern times. Then it will be more suitable.

      There is no depth to her character. Just pure silliness. Sorry but I just feel this is one of the worst series every produced by TBB and the costumes whilst beautiful clash heavily with the obvious newly dyed head ornaments and the backdrop.

      1. You’re hard to please lol. I think Myolie’s acting is great although Jessica is a bit boring

      2. Kidd, I just have expectations. CORH was childish. Pure and simple. But yes the costumes I am spoilt. I mean CORH’s costumes look good, but somehow doesn’t stand out. Something missing. As for Myolie, if that sort is acting is great, TVB can close shop. I know Myolie can act, but her acting in CORH so far is borderline painful to watch. She’s good but in that series she simply overacts or maybe, just maybe underwhelming. Crying, throwing stuff, banging your head on the wall doesn’t mean good acting. It takes more than that.

        Jess is… Jess.

      3. Watch more episodes. Now, I start to like Concubine Chuen (Jessica) more. I like that she’s not a doormat. She might be nice and doesn’t fight with other concubines. But, she doesn’t take bullying quietly. She is very resource in getting herself out of the troubles Empress caused her. I like how she show off subtly the Emperor’s affection for her to Empress when Empress tried to oppress her with words.

        I also don’t find the make up that awful. Myolie’s make up is more natural than Tavia’s ‘I AM EVIL’ make up in BTROC. She’s a younger girl who just became Empress. So, it’s logical that she would try to dress up as one. Her being somewhat immature, maybe she thought this kind of make up makes her look beautiful. Concubine Chuen’s submerge herself in studying Buddhism and planting flowers. So, her make up and dressing following her state of mind is also understandable. She’s also kinda in semi-moaning mode at the beginning of the series because of her missing husband.

  33. I notice another departure from usual Qing series. Jessica’s Concubine Chuen always call her late husband by name. But, in other ancient series, the wife seldom call the husband by name, especially in series about royalty. In Sentinel, Natalie called Kenneth ‘Wong Yeh’ right?

    Maybe because she grew up with the 2 princes, so, even after marriage, she called her husband by name? It shows their closeness?

    1. No, it shows TVB has no consistency. I also notice Joel’s wife Sire refers to him as believe Seung Kung or equivalent which means husband when she should have referred to him as Wong Yeh or something like that. It is not a departure but poor writing. However close you never ever ever ever call your husband of royal blood by name, unless maybe slip of tongue or once in a while. But then in private she can call him anything she wants.

      1. I am still disputing and sore about the whole lou choi issue but as I watched a bit more, I am beginning to care less about that and more about Jess and her horrible make up or Myolie’s somewhat I don’t know how to describe sort of acting. Even Nancy. Even everyone else. But Joel was quite good, except next to Myolie he looks so tiny.

      2. I’m up to episode 6. So far, I find Joel’s character a very likeable character. This character seems to be written with the intention to endear him to the the audience. His character is nice but unconventional. An attractive combination. But, I don’t find Joel’s portrayal that good. Sunny is still the better actor.

        Later on you will see him change I suppose. He seems to be doing everything for Myolie without antagonising his brother, so it means he is genuine towards his brother but tries in his own ways to help myolie. I stopped until that cave scene. Then saw a little bit of the next and next episode and found myself sniggering. Typical. TVB, never surprises me at all.

        Later one of the concubine will suffer a miscarriage and become a bit crazy. If you see that part, do tell me who’s the actress? She was the fierce wife in CBML. I thought she was rather good.


        I find Joel too skinny. He doesn’t make a believable general. But acting wise, I thought he was fine. To think he threw away his blooming career for a rich girl, what a pity.

  34. I am watching this as I am watching Yongzheng Wang Chao and I realise the problem with this series is ultimately the script. It’s the small things that they did not pay attention to. It is like must every woman in this series been previously engaged in some relationship with some other men? And that scene where empress and concubine crossed path each with servants following them and you know what? Not one servant greeted either party. Like this is not an imperial palace, it is an office and even in an office however much you hate your boss you will at least greet him. Jess not greeting Myolie I understand but the servants? And when the low ranking concubine dared accuse the higher ranked concubine of something like adultery, when the empress dowager and empress left, I was surprise she didn’t stop that rude girl and slap her. This is not the time to be kind. I just find this series so dramatic for all the wrong reasons and forgotten that sometimes the small things matter.

    For example I was watching Yong Zheng Wang Chao and there was this very very simple scene that I don’t think I have ever seen being done that way before that explains so many things at once and yet it was a scene without drama or any of such nonsense like this cursed series. It just shows a young eunuch singing and scrubbing the floor of the throne room with a candle by his side. Immediately you will know this must be so early the eunuch dared to sing whilst scrubbing and the fact that he is still scrubbing clean the floor. Then we see the emperor walked by, chatted with him and permitted him to sing as he quietly left and the light was slowly shining in, and then we see 2 more officials walking in greeting the emperor who told them they don’t have to be so early next time. This shows whilst it is so very early the emperor was already up and dressed and in the throne room waiting for morning and for ministers to arrive, showing how hardworking he is and the 2 ministers who arrived so early was as hardworking. It was also an amusing scene, eunuch singing scrubbing the floor in the dark.

    Such a simple scene and yet manages to say so many things and maintain decorum, faithfulness to the settings and in the end the integrity of the story.

    This cursed series is like just all out series; it doesn’t make sense and the more I see it the worse I think it is. Everybody is just so damn rude and the emperor just huffs and puffs and what does he do? I don’t see Yongzheng facing the same problem. In fact he just told his mom to stay out of politics as they should. I suppose by this cursed series’ emperor’s time, things have declined badly. And as I watched how the actors portray their roles and their stories being told (dear lord-a stranger/man in the palace at night!!), if it was the way they showed, no wonder Qing dynasty fell in the end.

    That simple scene still stuck in my mind. I find it so memorable, as memorable as when Kangxi laid on his bed lamenting how his sons were plotting against one another. Or an even simple scene to show deceit, the true character of a person; on the outside such a noble guy, chilvarous, etc and yet he gave advise to his own half brother not to proceed with war which could be won even then. That simple advise shows this character to be of dubious character. But then it is unfair to compare the 2; one is a classic even in today’s standard and the other, this cursed series, I doubt it can stand the test of time.

  35. One thing I’ve notice for a long time. Ever since ‘War and Beauty’, the costume dramas set in Qing Dynasty didn’t use the rectangular shape hairpiece/hat anymore. Not only TVB dramas, Mainland dramas too. Just watch BBJX and I see Consort De’s hair set in a big rectangular shape. Now they used hair to create that shape instead of wearing a hairpiece.

    1. It depends which era, which year and which production. Gong was something like that cursed series. Yes BBJX used hair, instead of black cardboard thing. I suppose this is where the stylists can choose to be creative. And less heavy for the stars.

      1. Actually, I think most series after WAB use hair. That Curse series also use hair. No cardboard piece. The only newer series I know that still uses the cardboard piece is the New HZGG. But, it’s decorated more nicely now with lace.

  36. I’m on episode 19 or 20, Jessica is still in her goody role..does anyone know if she will gets evil later Or just remain smart in the entire series? I’m getting a lil sick watching jess always get bullied by almost everyone even the king himself LOL.

    1. I think she will remain goody two shoes. She has already did her evil thing by wearing hot red lipstick.

      I am at where Joel just returned. Messy messy messy. Still so rude the people; nobody EVER says “ji xiang” to anyone in this palace and everyone gets punished by a production of a simple letter. Even Yongzheng needed more excuse than just a letter! And I can’t stand Jess; Will she ever speak more than breathless whisper tone? And Myolie, will she reduce the OTT way she speaks with her very juicy red lips?

      And when will these women just give birth?!??!

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