Asian Dramas, Television

Why I Dropped The Empress Of China (Drama)

Hey, and good day! In all the years of blogging, I have not reviewed an Asian drama yet on this blog. I occasionally watch Asian dramas, mostly Korean and Japanese. I’ve never watched a Chinese drama until now. The Empress of China has been on my radar for a couple years, and I finally decided to watch it. I made it halfway through the drama and let’s just say that I am highly disappointed.

Alright, this drama is based on the first and only female emperor, not empress, of China. Her name was Wu Zetian. I haven’t had the chance to read any historical books on her, and I’ve only watched a documentary based on her life. I’m not an expert on her biography, but she is an interesting historical character. From what I’ve learned, she was suppose to be evil and cruel as described by historians. Clearly, she’s painted in a bad light. She’s also a controversial figure.

empress of china.jpg

With a title like The Empress of China, I expected that the drama was going to focus on her Wu Zetian’s reign as emperor. This drama is very  long, and it’s not till the very end of the drama when she finally gets that position. I made it to episode 54 and then I skipped to the last episode. At first, I didn’t mind the length, but I wanted Wu Zetian to become an emperor already. I can understand why some time was spent on her concubine days, but I had enough.  Most of the drama was filler and it focused on the relationships Wu Zetian has with both emperors. The drama focuses a lot on her time as a concubine rather than her reign…which is rather unfortunate.

Now, I would call this drama something else: Scheming Concubines would be a far more accurate name for this drama. So the emperor’s consorts are so evil towards each other and to the concubines. Wu Zetian is a special snowflake for most of the drama. She is clever and intelligent, good and kind, and she is overall perfect in the eyes of the emperor. The other concubines are extremely jealous of her. Wu Zetian is a victim and most of the time the other women are trying to kill her. Though Wu Zetian is not alone in her struggle. She has a best friend named  But because she is so perfect, it causes jealously towards  This drama is far more fictional and it focuses far more on the romance. I’ve read this this drama was very costly to produce, and it is one of China’s most expensive dramas, but was this drama any good?

The beginning was entertaining, but I felt it became repetitive for me. Far too much time was spent of Wu Zetian the concubine than Wu Zetian the emperor. What I really liked about this drama was the costumes. The gorgeous costumes everyone was wearing. Absolutely amazing. This drama is very pleasing towards the eyes, but the storyline kills me.

empress of china costumes.jpg

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️ (2.5)

4 thoughts on “Why I Dropped The Empress Of China (Drama)”

  1. I had my eye out for this drama because the stills and costume designs look amazing. It’s unfortunate that the story was too romanticized though. And I totally get what you mean by the inner palace catfights; that trope was never for me even though I’m huge fan of historical/period dramas. Anyway, great review! I hope your next Chinese drama will give you a better experience.

  2. I get so tired of “palace intrigue” if it starts to take over a drama and that can and has caused me to drop a drama and never go back to it. And of course ” palace intrigue” is just the term I use for too much political/business/romantic scheming done in a drama whether historical or modern. Too much gets soo boring to me.

  3. 54 episodes (and counting?), woah that’s quite the commitment. The longest drama I ever watched was East of Eden, that was 56 episodes (but I loved all of it). I love Chinese (and Korean) period dramas though. The costumes and customs are very interesting for a foreigner like myself. I wish they were shorter though, or even like a special or a movie. My attention span isn’t what it used to be haha.

    That said, would you be interested in sharing your thoughts and opinions on Movie Pilot? I’d love to invite you to join the platform, and to hear from you so I can to expand on what that means. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail, my contact details are on my “About” page. Hope to hear from you.

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