Qing Shi Huang Fei (倾世皇妃) – First Impressions

The first thing I really noticed about Qing Shi Huang Fei (QSHF) was the bad dubbing. I haven’t minded the dubbing of the few Chinese dramas I’ve watched since the voice actors had been so in sync with the actors’ lips. But the late lips movement in QSHF is a little too distracting.

The main character, Chu Empire’s Princess Ma Fu Ya (Ruby Lin) who is her father’s favorite girl, is a helper of the poor and the needy, which gets her into a load of trouble when she frees innocent prisoners and the like. It’s a little funny how she meets one of the male main leads, Northern Han Crown Prince Liu Liang Cheng (Wallace Hu), while running from trouble. Fu Ya seems very naive though her intentions are pure, because she is not aware of court politics and the way to both achieve her goals and survive in this game of chess. Hopefully, we’ll see her character grow throughout the series into the much darker “avenging angel” who does not hesitate to kill those in her way.

Fu Ya has a sister who looks like she’s going to be a major antagonist since she’s not all there upstairs. Princess Ma Xiang Yun (Jennifer Hong) is for all intends and purposes the complete opposite of Fu Ya: while Fu Ya is kind and innocent, Xiang Yun is heartless and cruel. She’s introduced as she is performing a very complicated dance on a stage and makes a mistake that causes her to fall just as a servant enters the place. Xiang Yun calls the guards for the maid to be beheaded instantly, telling the begging maid that she can’t allow her to spread the news about her fall. No, God forbid someone finds out the perfect Xiang Yun made a mistake. The poor servant is dragged away by the guards then.

The two extremes presented in Fu Ya and Xiang Yun does not bode well for the drama’s characterization since they’re too white or black. I would have loved it if the characters had more shades to their personalities.

Liang Cheng finds a kindred soul in Fu Ya as they’re both trying to escape from something: “You tried to escape for your life. I tried to escape from Heaven’s Will.”  Due to the similarities between their characters, they quickly bond. Liang Cheng has some idealism in him but he’s much more bitter and resigned about losing his freedom due to his position than the optimistic Fu Ya.

I have only watched the first episode so far but Qing Shi Huang Fei is interesting since there’s still potential for Fu Ya to go dark. This is the first time I see both Wallace Hu and Ruby Lin in a drama and they’re both gorgeous when it comes to the looks. Their acting hasn’t wowed this episode but it just might if I see them in more emotional scenes.

It’s a great start overall though we still have not seen the other male lead, Crown Prince Meng Qi You (Kevin Yan).

Qing Shi Huang Fei’s OST by Ruby Lin:

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