Culture

The Chinese ancient costume historical drama “the Legend of Xiao Chuo” is not as good as expected

On November 3, 2020, the Legend of Xiao Chuo (Chinese: 燕云台; pinyin: Yan Yun Tai) an ancient costume historical TV series produced by Shanghai Tencent Penguin Film Culture Communication Co., Ltd was broadcasted simultaneously on BTV (China Beijing TV Station) and Tencent Video, and was also launched on YouTube.

Adapted from the novel of the same name writen by female writer Jiang Shengnan, the TV series tells the story of how legendary Empress Xiao Yanyan, also known as Xiao Chuo of the Liao Dynasty, one of the most famous and powerful women in the Chinese history, put Liao Dynasty on the road to prosperity with the concerted efforts of Han Derang, Yiluxian and others with her aggressive character and far-sighted vision.

But despite the series had a large scale of pormoting campaign, the show has received a relatively poor 4.5 score on Douban, with 18,800 comments.

The current criticism of the TV series focuses on two aspects: first, as a story based on real histor, critics say the story distorts the real history and is a poor adaptation of the original novel.

Secondly, there are also criticisms on the casting of TV series, especially on the choice of the heroine, who is considered too old to play the heroine in idol dramas.

However, the supporters say the story is good enough to watch, if not regarding it as the real history but as a love story.

The director of this drama is Jeff Chiang, a Hong Kong director with rich experience in directing films and TV series. Jeff Chiang is famous for creating idol dramas and shaping female characters in mainland idol dramas. With his unique and exquisite shooting techniques, he has the courage to introduce new talents and make important contributions to the progress of idol dramas in mainland China.

The show’s scriptwriting, Jiang Shengnan, is a famous female author of online literature, most of whose works are based on famous and powerful women who actually existed in Chinese history.

Tiffany Tang in the series

Tiffany Tang, as the leading actress of the Legend of Xiao Chuo, is also the biggest star in the series. Tiffany Tang is one of the early female idol actresses in the mainland,who has gained attention in 2009 with the ancient costume series The Legend of Sword and Fairy iii. On January 22, 2011, her urban romance series My Daughter won the annual viewing champion of local TV, while Tiffany Tang won the most Popular Mainland Actress award at the National Drama Awards.

Since then, she has produced numerous works and gained a large number of fans in mainland China.

It’s worth mentioning that the Legend of Xiao Chuo is her first major TV series since she got married.

Shawn Dou in the series

Shawn Dou, the leading actor of the series, is also a well-known idol star. He has acted in both film and TV series and achieved good results. He officially entered entertainment industry in 2010 with his first film, Under the Hawthorn Tree. In 2015, the film Wolf Totem earned 697 million yuan (aboout $ 100 million )at the box office. In 2016, he played the leading role in the ancient costume series Princess Agents. In the same year, he won the Best Actor Award at the 11th Paris Chinese Film Festival for Dinner for Six.

According to the data provided by Maoyan, a Chinese film and television data platform, the cumulative number of videos played on Tencent video OF the Legend of Xiao Chuo has reached 1.196 billion. In the four days from November 7th to November 10th, the number of videos played has continuously exceeded 100 million, and it has been the the most-watched TV series on streaming media platforms for two consecutive days, which makes it become the most popular online series recently.

But due to controversy, its currently amout of play is on the decline.

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