Solid Ratings for “Deep in the Realm of Conscience”

As one of most anticipated series of 2018, TVB’s grand production costume drama Deep In The Realm of Conscience <宮心計2深宮計> managed to premiere at 29.3 points, becoming this year’s highest rated premiere.

Averaging over 400 million viewers in Mainland China as well, the cast and crew finally let out a sigh of relief and urged viewers to stay tuned for the future episodes as they offer even more intensity and action.

In the most recent episodes, the Crown Prince, Steven Ma (馬浚偉), uncovered Alice Chan‘s (陳煒) habit of abusing her powers as a princess to torture a palace maid for over 20 years. However, coming to Alice’s defense was her husband, who then became a scapegoat for her crimes and was executed by Steven. Vowing to take revenge against Steven and his wife Nancy Wu (胡定欣), Alice causes an uproar and schemes behind the scenes. Alice sends Chrissie Chau (周秀娜) to win the favor of Steven after Nancy’s sudden miscarriage.

When talking about the positive reception the series has received so far, Nancy expressed, “Really? It’s been a while since I’ve heard numbers like that. I’m so happy everyone’s watching – congratulations, to [Producer Mui Siu Ching (梅小青)].

Some reporters with good memory asked about the promise she and Steven made last time about releasing a photo from the bed scene if the series hit 30 points. Immediately, Nancy said, “We have to get to 30 points first. If we get 30 points, tell Steven to upload the one he has first.”

Disclosing that Mui Siu Ching will host a big celebration if viewership numbers hit 1 billion in Mainland China, Steven said viewers should continue watching as the palace troubles worsen. Steven said, “The scheming gets scarier as the story progresses. Nancy and I will face a lot of obstacles that eventually takes a huge toll on our relationship. There are a lot of characters to be introduced as well, so everyone should continue supporting us.”


This article is written by Su for

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  1. Steven and Nancy’s relationship in this series seems too flawless so far which is unrealistic in ancient times where there are countless beauties at his disposal….

      1. @peanutbutterjelly
        I’m implying that based on history of princes/kings within the palace where countless women, countless concubines. OFC they won’t be faithful and do not need to be…

      2. @jimmyszeto Not being faithful and not needing to be are two entirely different things. And since when do we look for historical accuracy in tvb dramas anyway. Homosexuality and male lovers of the emperors and kings of ancient China are a pretty normal an occuring phenomenon in Chinese history but I never see TVB go there, sadly so I might add.


    Not sure how the whole point system works, but do the ratings often correlate to the overall value of the storyline/production, or does it simply reflect its hype/popularity (which doesn’t always indicate quality)?

  3. I don’t get the big hoo ha over Princess Tai Ping torturing a palace maid. Weren’t they like perfectly disposable and worthless creatures in those days? Especially if the torturer happened to be none other than a princess? Why is the crime punishable by death. Seems like much ado over nothing . It was however intriguing getting to the bottom of the mystery .

    1. @passingby Have the same question as well though have yet to watch the show and my knowledge of Chinese history is limited. Seriously, death penalty for torturing a palace maid seems over the top.

    2. @passingby The plot is very superficial. You are correct. Maids and eunuchs are disposable and basically slaves. The masters can do whatever they want to them, especially the royals. Princess Tai Ping was right in saying that her consort’s sacrifice was worthless as there was nothing they could do to her as she was the Princess. I really don’t see how the torture of a palace maid (considering no life was taken) was equate to the execution of a royal. And Princess Tai Ping was at the height of her power during this time.

      There are other inconsistencies in the plot like how the dress of the Princess Consort was made before the person was finalised. I would get it if they did the design beforehand, but to make the dress beforehand is stupid since Sharon and Nancy have a different height and built and there is no way that an official costume can be made to a one size fits all.

      I am watching it because my dad wants to. The series is better than what I expected but still not very captivating. Alice and Savio are doing the best so far.

      I don’t like how they try to rhyme the sentences, especially when the department head talk. It is like copying “Heart of Greed” rhyming and it is severely annoying in an ancient-theme drama. And don’t like how the fighting is in slow motion.

      1. @elizabeth ” Princess Tai Ping was right in saying that her consort’s sacrifice was worthless as there was nothing they could do to her as she was the Princess. I really don’t see how the torture of a palace maid (considering no life was taken) was equate to the execution of a royal. And Princess Tai Ping was at the height of her power during this time.”

        It’s not to execute her. No one expected that anyway. It’s more like kicking her out and force her into retirement and cutting her power source. Which will be easy by simply waiting for emperor to die. The princess isn’t backed up by powerful husband or general though impliedly she has her own army but that’s easy to deal with since Lee Long Kei will control the army so to speak. True the maid is nothing. But this new emperor wants to rule with mercy so had to show he has mercy. So technically if the husband never came forward Tai Ping would have been stripped off her title BUT will probably be allowed all the luxury but locked up in house arrest which was what I think our hero wants. Unless he really is so dumb to expect his father to execute her.

    3. @passingby Not punishable by death. On paper yes. Over the history there were princesses and concubines punished for torturing maids. Technically these maids probably came from good families, they are not slaves per se. Usually house arrest, deduct wages, etc but never chop off heads. After a while of demotion will be promoted again. But demotion happens.

      1. @funnlim in history no but in the drama yes lol. That’s why I said it seemed to be much ado over nothing. It’s not as if it was an act of treason.

  4. I am enjoying the series more for the male costumes and the very odd Kenneth Ma stony faced performance is perfect but his puppy dog looks spoilt it a little. Edwin siu doing fine. It is the other things I find odd and unpleasant, like no one greeting anyone in a proper way, can’t they wait for the king to die before disposing off the princess, why no one cries for poor fu ma of the princess who was a nice guy, why can’t Nancy just let the princess have her way with the celebrations instead of saying stupid stuff and thus making her angry, why is everything so pastel and bright and why are the maids so free and happy when everyone should be miserable?! Is this a palace intrigue or a Dynasty plus Dallas style family drama?

    And why the rhyming? What’s with all the rhyming? I enjoyed Alice’s scenes because she is the only one who doesn’t rhyme or doesn’t have dramatic music on each every second she is in the scene even if I find her princess tai ping a caricature.

  5. Alice Chan’s Princess Taiping is definitely stealing the show for me as well. I’ve always found her to be a solid actress and she truly looks great for her age! Annie Liu is enjoyable as well and her chemistry with Edwin Siu is definitely there.

    Steven Ma is unfortunately wasted here. His character is boring and he doesn’t feel important. Not sure about his chemistry with Nancy Wu either. They feel unnatural and I’ve sick of their awkward bath/bed scenes. Nancy on the other hand is doing a pretty good job so far – a little dull as her normal self but a lot more interesting when the scheming comes in. Interested to see how she continues to control her performance here.

    Also thoroughly enjoying the 20+ year continual fighting between Candy Lo and Angie Cheong!! Their love triangle from Kindred Spirit was one of my favorite story arcs.

  6. Why is no one complaining about the fake looking backgrounds and ugly cgi in this thing? Makes the whole show looks cheaply made and dated.

  7. Now watching ep 18. Is it just me or Princess Taiping suddenly has weird winged eyebrows? It’s so annoying.. The only cast I really enjoy here is Annie Liu. It was interesting in the beginning, but since ep 15 onwards, I feel like it’s getting weird. Especially how the Princess never really greeted the Emperor properly and how the Emperor looks so idle, kept visiting everyone and without the company of a gong2, the crown prince looks so much busier. I don’t really know about Chinese history, but this one is so different from other ancient drama; like how the maids are not afraid of the royals and are so free, the princess is so powerful and dabbles too much in the administration, the emperor is too timid and kind of dumb. So the emperor really cares for his family, but he keeps doubting his son, and he cares too much about the princess. The emperor feels like someone unimportant in this drama, doesn’t have charisma and doesn’t look powerful. I was so excited when I found this drama since I really liked BTROC, but I’m kinda disappointed, I just keep watching for Annie’s story, I somehow have a feeling that Chrissie would be her sister.

  8. one more thing, does anyone notice that Prince of Song keeps wearing the same robe, and that it looks too big on him? lol

  9. So far 3 times a partner has sacrificed himself/herself to save a loved one. All so predictable!. It’s one thing recycling plots from old series but pathetically lazy script writing to recycle the same plot multiple times within the same series…..

  10. @jimmyszeto Not only that the very first “case” about the bird took the jewelry is an exact copy of Can’t Buy Me Love series. At first I thought it was an ode to the old series but now I believe it was more of very lazy writting like you said.

    @ppp91 I remember seeing the synopsis saying they are sisters.

    I agree with everyone that rhyming is annoying AF!! And there’s no om screem chemistry at all between Steven and Nancy.

  11. Twice after stumbling Edwin and Annie manages to coincidentally lock lips together. Twice a Stephen partner suffers miscarriage. The mother and Stephen has distraught scenes afterwards. TVB lazy writings at its best…….

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