VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE

A must read, if you don't already know ...








Written by Funn Lim


This review was posted many years ago, exactly when I am not sure but it should be within months from the original broadcast of this series. I am posting it as I have posted it originally.


SPOILERS ... SPOILERS ... SPOILERS



Title
Zhen Zhu Cai Yi

Also Known As...
This is the worst ever English title for a Chinese series that I have ever seen. Who was the bloody person who gave this bloody series this bloody title ? BLOODY PEARLS? It has no connection whatsoever with the Chinese title though it has some connection to the plot. But I was shocked...Bloody Pearls? What sort of a bloody title is that?! Totally unimaginative. I hereby declare, I Funn Lim will refuse to call this series Bloody Pearls. Let it be ZZCY.

Directly Translated As...
A direct translation from the Chinese title, perhaps Colourful Pearl Dress, Colourful Pearl Costume or more accurately, Colourful Costume Adorned With Pearls.

Should Be Known As...
Much Ado About Nothing.

Length
VCD Version - 41 episodes

Casts - Characters
Yue Ling -Choo Die Yee / Li Xiao Qing
Tian Xin - Xia Ming Zhu / Li Xiao Yu
Qiu Xin Zhi - Buo Er Tzi Tzi Ter Shou Shan / Ling Er
Tuo Zong Hua - Liu Wu Xin
Pan Yi Jun - Jing Ge Ge / Xiao Jing Tzi
Long Long - Buo Er Tzi Tzi Ter Ah Tzi Tsang / Mr BETTT
Xu Gui Ying - Mama Die Yee ( Jiang Huey Zhen/Xi Niang)
Meng Ting Li - Empress Dowager (Old Buddha)
Shen Shi Peng - Zhu Zhi
- Li Xiang Ying
- Lan Xin / He Sho Ge Ge/Mrs BETTT
- Dr Choo
- Ah Tung
- Ah Nan
-Mama Ming Zhu
-Godfather to Ming Zhu/guardian of Wu Xin

If you know the names of the actors who played the miscellaneous characters, do E-Mail me their names. Some characters' name above I am not so sure so the above is subject to amendments.

Special Note
BETTT referred to in this review is the my word for Buo Er Tzi Tzi Ter.

Summary
A simple tale of how two young women after all obstacles found their long lost mother, met wonderful men and discovered they were actually sisters in blood, and not just in faith.

Set I assume late in the Manchurian rule, Qing Dynasty.

Storyline
It is actually quite a simple tale but made complicated by human actions. Come to think of it, we human beings always complicate our own lives by making decisions that were detrimental to our own happiness, though we know we may be forced to do so. But in TV, that sort of a situation was often taken to the extreme, though in the end there was always a simple solution to it. But looking at this series in the point of view of an observer, and a modern person, that solution may be made so simple by TV-dom that somehow it just didn't compute.

20 years earlier, a Korean official and his entourage were killed by unknown men whose aim was the 14 glowing pearls that was supposed to be a gift from Korea to the then Qing Emperor. However 2 of the pearls got lost during the fight and was actually stolen by a passerby who was a tailor. He used the 2 glowing pearls to adorn the wedding dress he has made specially for his only daughter, who was about to be married. On the day she married into the Li family, her father set his own house on fire, thus killing himself to protect his child from prosecution by burying the secret that he was the one who has stolen the pearls intended as gift to the Emperor. However a year later, after the birth of her two daughters, Xiao Yu and Xiao Qing,the Li household came under heavy attack from a man who masterminded the theft of the pearls 20 years earlier, Ah Tzi Tsang, a member of the royal family with the title (Lord ). Everybody was cruelly murdered except for who escaped with her two young daughters tucked securely in her arms. However the killers were relentless and she had no choice but to tearfully leave one daughter by the woods with a glowing pearl and she ran off with another. However one false step and the other daughter with the remaining pearl fell into the deep gorge and tearfully she ran but seeing no hope of escape, she jumped from the gorge and right into the sea.

20 years later, the story continues with the opening scene of Die Yee being treated for illnesses by her father who was a doctor. She had a glowing pearl around her neck and we knew she must be one of the girls. She was brought and she had lived all her life in the little shack in the woods, too weak to travel as she was sick most of her life. However fate would have a cruel twist to her peaceful life.

One day a young man named Shou Shan came and begged the Dr Choo to go with him to his house in the city to treat his mother who was suffering from a strange illness that disfigured her face. Dr Choo who refused at first finally agreed after some persuasion and trickery on the part of Shou Shan and he left with the promise that he will be back soon. But after he arrived at the Buo Er Tzi Tzi Ter household, he could not leave though he wanted to because Lan Xin, the mother with the illness was difficult to treat in terms of her strange illness. So Die Yee went to the city to look for Dr Choo but on the first day she arrived at the city she was almost burnt to death for openly questioning the tactics and the medicine used by the leader of the Red Sect that was holding a congregation in the open. But she was saved by a man in black clothings though she couldn't see his covered face before she fainted. When she woke up she was in the company of the very man who saved her, named Liu Wu Xin and his friends, the young Zhu Zhi and Zhu Zhi's farmer father. She explained her predicament and said she didn't know where to start looking for Shou Shan (a name she didn't know nor recognise) and that she only had a blue pouch belonging to this man as a guide. They promised to help, on the insistence of a love struck Zhu Zhi. The next morning she went out to the market for a walk when she encountered Ming Zhu and they had a little misunderstanding. Ming Zhu though used tricks to make a living for her crippled adopted mother and 3 adopted brothers and sisters were actually pretty righteous and she misunderstood Die Yee's refusal to pay for a bun that she had one bite as stealing (Die Yee bought the bun on the recommendation of the bun seller and she refused to pay because she felt the bun was tasteless and therefore the bun seller did not live up to his claim) and had a fight with her, but Wu Xin came and save the day for Die Yee. They went their own way and somehow Die Yee found her way to the BETTT household and the first person she met would change her life forever.

The first moment Ah Tzi Tsang laid his eyes on Die Yee, he made a promise to himself that he will marry her, whether she was willing or forced. So he created a lie that Dr Choo was never there and that he will search for him whilst she stay on as a guest. Die Yee, who was extremely naive to the world around her said yes. But what she didn't know was that her father was just a few gardens away (well, it was a rather big house).

One night Wu Xin came and attempted to kill Ah Tzi Tsang but failed miserably. He escaped by holding Die Yee hostage and they ran to Ming Zhu's house who by now was their enemy turned friend. They hid there whilst Die Yee, a skilled doctor like her father attended to Wu Xin. At the same time Ming Zhu asked Die Yee to treat her crippled mother and she agreed. But one day, Shou Shan who by now already met Ming Zhu whilst she was performing her acrobatic skills on the street and fell instantly for her came to say hello to her. Die Yee who was hiding with Wu Xin in the big black jar didn't know he was the man she was looking for. After Wu Xin was deemed cured, Die Yee went back to the BETTT household, but she left having a deep affection for Wu Xin (who by now was madly in love with her) and Ming Zhu whom she now called her sister.

However, little did she know that she will return to the BETTT household to severe consequences.

Why Where What Who Huh and Ah??
I have wanted to do this in paragraph form like in the above but after so many "and", "whilst", "anyway", "therefore"....I can't think of any connecting words for my sentences anymore. So being a failed paragraph type of a reviewer, I shall revert back to my tried and tested style, which is ask myself a question and I will answer that question.Ah yes, a schizophrenic in the making, though of course this sentence is not meant to ridicule the seriousness of this psychological illness. Sighhh.. must I from now on include a disclaimer clause to everything that I say? Even to myself?

Ok..cut the crap. What severe consequences?
Ah Tzi Tsang who lusted after Die Yee planned to marry her as I've said above. But Die Yee clearly did not intend to be the second wife of a man who has a son about the same age as her. When she saw her father again in that BETTT household purely by accident, they didn't immediately but Die Yee stayed on using her talent to cure Lan Xin's strange illness which was caused by 2 seemingly harmless things, that when put together was poison that will cause slow death. Nobody knew who was the culprit though Lan Xin suspected her estranged husband. When she knew her own husband lusted after Die Yee, she did her best to deprive him of Die Yee as a way of getting back at him for the years of emotional and probably physical neglect. She made Die Yee into her god daughter but unfortunately even before there was an official recognition of her as her god daughter, Die Yee was almost raped by that despicable Ah Tzi Tsang. She ran away to Wu Xin and Ming Zhu with the help of the kind hearted Shou Shan who received a good beating by his heartless father. Out of sheer desperation,and Dr Choo knowing that Wu Xin loved Die Yee he made them marry. Die Yee was a glowing bride but Wu Xin was a worried an sulking groom. The marriage never took place and out of sheer anger, Die Yee after much persuasion by Lan Xin agreed to go back to the dreaded BETTT household.

Wu Xin refused to marry her is it?
Exactly. The more important question is not why but WHY NOT?

You see Wu Xin was the only descendant of the cruelly eliminated Liu household who were officials to the Emperor. Wu Xin's father was murdered by Ah Tzi Tsang due to the theft of the pearls and as to why I am not so sure. So Wu Xin thought Die Yee was into a bad deal by marrying him because he intended to kill Ah Tzi Tsang even if he had to die for it. Die Yee couldn't understand why can't he let things be (very naive of her). He nobly thought that 'Hey ! I am not going to marry her and then make her a widow. She won't be able to marry again. I can't be that selfish.". But what he didn't realise was or too blind to see was that by rejecting Die Yee, he may have been the reason why all the mess continued on. He cried for rejecting Die Yee again and again and again but this coward couldn't be brave enough to acknowledge Die Yee was that kind of woman who could go through thick and thin with him. A very stupid coward.

Then Die Yee married Ah Tzi Tsang then?
Nope. She went back and Mrs BETTT had this brilliant plan of Die Yee marrying her son, Shou Shan. She even told the Empress Dowager Old Buddha about her intention. So she rushed the wedding preparation whilst Mr BETTT was out doing official business.

How come Die Yee and Shou Shan just said yes?
Shou Shan was bound by his duty as a filial son, though he was madly in love with Ming Zhu. When Ming Zhu found out, she was heart broken and she blamed Die Yee for being the other party and Die Yee coldly admitted that accusation though it was a lie.

Die Yee was bound by threats of bodily harm to her imprisoned father, courtesy of Mrs BETTT.

Then they married is it? Yippee!!
For me it could have been interesting to show them marry. But they didn't. Mr BETTT came back in time but he couldn't stop it. Lan Xin and Ah Tzi Tsang had their usual argument and Shou Shan who was prepared to confront them and say "NO!" overheard them say that Lan Xin wasn't his real mother and that she was the one who caused the death of his real mother named Li Xing Ying and that she was now as selfish and cruel as before for using Shou Shan to hurt Ah Tzi Tsang. Lan Xing in turn accused Ah Tzi Tsang for being unfaithful and having a sordid affair with Li Xiang Ying who was married at that time and giving birth to Shou Shan and the only reason he didn't kill Shou Shan was that he thought he could be his son though deep down Ah Tzi Tsang didn't believe that and that he wanted Die Yee to give him a real son. Shou Shan who heard it all was shocked. The parents saw him out there but he pretended he didn't overheard the truth. He went into emotional overload and realized now why his own father never bothered with him, never loved him and never hesitated to give him a good kick over all trivial matters. It was then he decided to play his cards right and get back everything that should have been his. So first he told his parents he won't marry Die Yee and helped Die Yee escaped. This time his mother was on his side.

Wait. I don't get it. Who is Li Xiang Ying?
The mother of Shou Shan, sister in law to and thus first aunt to the twin girls, and Shou Shan should be their cousin.

So happy ending then?
Nope. For the 3rd consecutive time, Die Yee had to wear that darn red wedding dress again when Ah Tzi Tsang used Die Yee's father (who was still in the dungeon) and Wu Xin against Die Yee. Die Yee who was now staying with.. the owner of a local brothel (Ming Zhu was working for her as a servant girl) begged this lady who had a personal agenda against Ah Tzi Tsang to take her to Ah Tzi Tsang. was very willing to do so so that she can gain Ah Tzi Tsang's confidence in her which will make killing him easier.So off Die Yee went to BETTT household (AGAIN!) to marry Ah Tzi Tsang.

Wait!! Wasn't that brothel owner, Huey Zhen the woman with the original Zhen Zhu Cai Yi?
Did you really observed that or maybe my own question woke you up?

YES! In fact Die Yee was her daughter but neither knew this yet. And of course use being the intelligent viewers knew from the star Ming Zhu was the other sister but let us pretend we didn't know that yet and we do our own style of acting when the truth is revealed, we do the "Oh My God! Really?!I didn't expect that!". Yes , it was that predictable.

So Die Yee became Mrs BETTT No. 2?
Not really. You see 2nd wives and so on and so forth never really had to marry to go into the man's household but I guess this series didn't see it that way. When Die Yee walked in through the front door, she saw the men that she loved was beaten half to death (very bruised kind of looks) and though her father begged her not to do it (he should have killed himself there and then to prove a point but alas, he didn't because then we won't see a much more dramatic scene after this), she went ahead with it. But Shou Shan suggested that they couldn't acknowledge their marriage in front of the Heaven and the Ancestors in the main hall because Die Yee was the 2nd wife. in a way this was Shou Shan's way of helping her in the sense that there was any marriage at all.But Mrs BETTT didn't see it that way. She wore the mourning dress and even slapped Die Yee. But for once Mr BETTT did something good; he slapped her back, Who cares that she was He Sho Ge Ge? And of they went into the room for some hot action.

So Die Yee became Mrs BETTT No. 2 is it???
Nope. Whilst in the room she planned to kill Mr BETTT and herself. But Mr BETTT was a shrewd man and so he used the fact that Die Yee was kind hearted against her. He gave her a sword, placed the tip directly in the position of his heart but all she could do was cry. So in the end she resigned to her fate.....

SO DIE YEE BECAME MRS BETTT NO. 2 RIGHT????
Aiyor! Wait lar!

She resigned to her fate and laid on the bed with Mr BETTT "I'm so old I could have a heart attack" Ah Tzi Tsang on top of her, slowly removing her clothes. If he knew what was going to happen in a short while, he probably would've ripped her clothes off.

Anyway, meanwhile at Ming Zhu's place Ming Zhu had with her the glowing pearl by Die Yee. I forgot how she got it. Anyway, saw the pearl and when she knew it was Die Yee's, she dramatically fainted. When she woke up, she kept crying hysterically and blaming herself for "delivering her own child into the mouth of a tiger" when Dr Choo told her he found her in the stream, seriously injured. She went to BETTT house with the hope of salvaging the situation but alas they were locked out.

At the meantime Ah Tzi Tsang was now slowly moving downwards to kiss Die Yee who was silently crying but in her mind she was begging Wu Xin to save her from the evil clutches of the lusty old man who was painfully slow in wanting to kiss her. And I can't understand why he was even interested in a woman who was lying there like a corpse. Anyway, right at that moment when his darn lips was millimeters away from her quivering lips (ok, maybe not quivering, this paragraph reminds me of those Mills and Boon stories), Wu Xin burst in carrying the dead body of Dr Choo. Shocked, Die Yee ran to the body half dressed with an even shocked Ah Tzi Tsang and Die Yee walked way tearfully. Ah Tzi Tsang whispered "Die Yee, you can't leave.." and Die Yee looked at him with hatred and said "If you could bring my father back I'll serve you for the rest of my life. Do it now! Make him alive again! But you can't!".

Wait!!! How did Dr Choo died?
Like I said they were waiting out there and then Wu Xin and Dr Choo burst in and sa the left and right hand man of Mr BETTT, Ah Tung and Ah Nan, names which you must remember because I'll comment in their odd behavious later in my review. Anyway they beat the carp out of Wu Xin (do remember Wu Xin was supposed to know great kung fu) and one slight push, Dr Choo's head banged the wall and before he died he begged Wu Xin t take care of Die Yee. And the rest as I have described above.

So no more Ah Tzi Tsang lusting after Die Yee then?
I don't think I can stand another episode of Die Yee in the red wedding dress anymore, so luckily no more because Mr BETTT was a very shrewd man and so he knew when to let go and move on, except when it came to his pearls, glorious pearls unfortunately. Now we have an even worse plot; Shou Shan pining for Ming Zhu whilst married to Jing Ge Ge.

Who the heck is Jing Ge Ge?
The daughter of the murdered Korean Official and was adopted and cared for by her god grandmother, Old Buddha. She was her favourite one amongst all.

How come she was in China? Shouldn't she go back to Korea?
Perhaps she had no family in Korea and Old Buddha felt an obligation to take care of her since daddy died delivering the goods to the Emperor, her son. But they never really say why.

Why is it that they always show the favourite whatever to a powerful person is a girl?
Can't imagine a guy going "Old Buddhaaaaaaaa....I want I want I want....". Anyway, same situation as with Ming Zhu. She by accident went into the carriage of the righteous Police Commissioner and was cute enough that she became his god daughter. And this man brought up Wu Xin so now you know how everybody knows somebody in here.

So what about the plot of Jing Ge Ge and Shou Shan?
Very interesting and reminiscent of Ah Tzi Tsang and Lan Xin perhaps when they were younger.

Jing Ge Ge heard of his reputation as a filial son and was already madly in love with him before she met him, more so when you have Qiu Xin Zhi as the whole package. Anyway, Ming Zhu who was really stupid wanted to kill Ah Tzi Tsang and dragged Zhu Zhi with her.She dressed as a prostitute, hid behind the curtain and waited for Mr BETTT. Mr BETTT went there after receiving their unsigned note talking about the whereabouts of the 2 pearls that he so wanted and the first thing he thought, strangely was Li Xiang Yin. A very strange connection as I shall elaborate somewhere below.

Anyway Ming Zhu failed because Shou Shan came in time. She begged him to help her (which was again a stupid move) and Shou Shan wanting to win the trust of his father and to save Ming Zhu's skin, beat the crap out of MIng Zhu but we all know he must have been crying inside. Ming Zhu couldn't forgive Shou Shan then and he ordered her to be arrested. Mr BETTT was impressed.

Poor Ming Zhu. How Shou Shan saved her then from the death sentence?
Attempting to murder a royal relative was punishable by death. Shou Shan having found out Jing Ge Ge had a pardon from death sentence .... seduced her and even promised to marry her. And then he went to see Wu Xin who by now can't stand the sight of him simply because he was public enemy No. 1's son, explained to Wu Xin his brilliant plan. The next day Wu Xin saved Ming Zhu from the gallows and in exchange he would die in her place. Mr BETTT was more than happy to get rid of this sulking eye sore and a thorn on his butt...... I meant heart.

Then dramatically and painfully slow Jing Ge Ge appeared and holding the she proclaimed that this "permitted for use only once" on Wu Xin and Mr BETTT had no choice but to let go of a smiling Wu Xin and cheering crowd. Then they all went home.

So Shou Shan had to marry Jing Ge Ge?
He avoided that for as long as he could. But at the meantime, Die Yee was reunited with her mom and everybody forgave the mom for delivering Die Yee to Mr BETTT, though Die Yee was the one who knelt and begged to be delivered to him. Anyway, now that they had the pearl, they wanted to deliver this pearl to the highest authority, because supposedly Ah Tzi Tsang delivered the pearls to the Emperor but those were fake. The real one, as Shou Shan discovered was with Ah Tzi Tsang in his not so secret chamber. So with the real pearl they will have evidence that Ah Tzi Tsang was a liar. But en route to the desired destination, Shou Shan appeared and took the pearl and literally flew off.

How come Shou Shan knew where they were heading?
Long story as to why he knew but short as to how he knew. He as we all know now was the son of Li Xiang Ying and thus...was his aunt. She recognised him by the pouch that he had around his neck, made by ... for him as a gift. The verys ame puch that Die Yee had with her when she went to the city, remember? Anyway she made him acknowledge her and the Li family (his real surname escapes me this time but I'll add it in later) but he was reluctant because he had plans and he didn't want Li Xiang Ying the adulteress as his mom, though Mama Die Yee already forgave her a long long time ago. In the end he acknowledged her and his Li bloodline. As to how he knew, Mama Die Yee told him.

So he gave the pearl to Ah Tzi Tsang right?
You are so smart! Yes!!

Ah Tzi Tsang believed him from thereon right?
You are a genius man!! Yes!! More so when he returned to him seriously injured caused by a self inflicted wound.

Ah Tzi Tsang gave him all his title right?
Not really. He became Ah Tzi Tsang's heir apparent. Actually, it was quite a touching scene you know because of the way the scene was done. Ah Tzi Tsang carried Shou Shan to receive the recognition that Shou Shan deserved (I do not know where but I assume the palace to see the Emperor) after Lan Xin kept bugging his conscience by saying "he is your son! He is hurt because of you! How long do you plan to deny him his rightful place and your title?..". Shocking isn't it? Even a man like had Tzi Tsang had a conscience more so good intelligent people like YOU eh?

So then what happened? Now that they don't have the pearls anymore. So how now brown cow?
I am not brown and I am not a cow! I amaze myself sometimes. I can insult myself and still make a joke out of it!

Anyway, they went ahead with the plan. But finally Wu Xin married Die Yee so that she could give him a child. Let us assume one time and Wu Xin could hit the jackpot. Anyway, they left, all of them with Wu Xin the only one tied with a rope (why I can't remember but probably has something to do with saving Ming Zhu) and went to see Old Buddha who was discussing marriage between Jing Ge Ge and Shou Shan with his parents. Old Buddha went to see what was the commotion about and was fair enough to hear them out and demand to see the pearls. Jing Ge Ge was the one who confirmed they were fake because they were not glowing and Old Buddha immediately ordered the BETTT house to be searched. Shou Shan led them to the secret Chamber and Ah Tsi Tsang was arrested but on Shou Shan's begging the Old Buddha (so that he appeared to be like a filial son and he may have wanted to torture Ah Tzi Tsang), Ah Tzi Tsang was demoted to the ranks of ordinary rankless folks and Shou Shan tortured him by making him stay in the old and dirty "stick" room. The funny thing was at the times of such sever hardship, Ah Tzi Tsang realized that Lan Xin was the one who stood by him and thus they became a friednly couple again with the tearful promise to love each other again.

So Shou Shan married Jing Ge Ge, Ah Tzi Tsang became a rankless nobody, Lan Xin got her man back, Die Yee and Wu Xin married, Die Yee reunited with Mommy, so what happened next?
I may be repeating things since whatever I have said above or intend to say are all in the Best Scenes and various categories. So skip this part if you like and go straight to Best Scenes and etc.

Anyway, the answer is YES, YES, YES, YES, YES and plenty more. Now we have Jing Ge Ge scheming to get Shou Shan, Ming Zhu out of guilt (she knew Jing Ge Ge and even lived with her because Jing Ge Ge invited her with the actual intent of checking her out) avoided him the best she could, including wanting to marry Wu Xin (though that was more to help Die Yee), Die Yee got pregnant but was not destined to carry the child to full term because she was physically weak to carry the child and to do so could kill her because she used poison to sustain the child and the process poisoning herself ever so slowly and at last how Shou Shan met and reunited with his mom Li Xiang Ying who didn't die but lost all her memory and was staying in the temple until Ah Tzi Tsang accidentally saw her and he went into even bigger scheming mode), how discovered Ming Zhu was her daughter when all she had was a lifeless pearl unlike Die Yee's glowing pearl, how at last Jing Ge Ge died and Shou Shan who was willing to risk all wealth and power for Ming Zhu and how at last they got married and Die Yee got pregnant again. That was the whole story but for more details they are all below.

Best Scenes
Can't say with certainty but I guess I like those scenes that has Shou Shan scheming or torturing Ah Tzi Tsang, especially those scenes where he repeatedly threw those red/green beans onto the floor and made Ah Tzi Tsang pick them up and seperate them. And once he completed his task, Shou Shan did it again and again and again.

Everytime we get to see the glowing pearls. The sound effect and the glowing effect of the pearls were such a potent combination I almost could see why Ah Tzi Tsang was obsessed enough to risk his head to steal them all and call them his own.

The volatile and loveless relationship of Shou Shan and Xiao Jing Tzi. Call me a masochist if you want but I love to see them quarrel. Add to the drama element.

The scenes where Die Yee was forced to marry that despicable Ah Tzi Tsang and she was about to give herself to him, lying there like a dead corpse (is this an oxymoron or what?) and then Wu Xin burst in carrying the dead Dr Choo. Die Yee ran to her dead father and sobbed loudly and she told that despicable Ah Tzi Tsang that "Can you revive my father? If you could I'll stay with you for the rest of my life. Can you?!" and she simply walked out. Quite an emotional scene. By the way I have the sound clips for this and the video clips for it too in MULTIMEDIA.

That scene where Ah Tzi Tsang finally relented and personally carried the seriously injured Shou Shan and Ah TZi Tsang narrated that scene by saying ," I.......hereby declare my son...... the successor and heir apparent to my title...". I almost liked Ah Tzi Tsang there because he looked like he really cared for this son of his.

The scene where Xiao Jing Tzi wanted to make Shou Shan angry, and so infront of him, openly she insulted Ah Tzi Tsang and our hero simply walked away. And Xiao Jing Tzi was shocked because Shou Shan once begged for Old Buddha to release his father and he was famous for his filial piety but at that moment he did nothing. Xiao Jing Tzi thought to herself; "I have insulted his father and he didn't do anything. He must really hate the sight of me!". The truth was he hated Ah Tzi Tsang more and secretly he was glad she tortured him. A very powerful scene.

Everytime Ah Tzi Tsang raised his hands on Shou Shan and beat the crap out of him.

The part about Die Yee being pregnant and Wu Xin made those abortion medication for her every night. And everybody was worried except Die Yee and after one lecture by the husband, and everybody else, Die Yee shut her mother up by simply saying "I am so tired of listening to you all. Wu Xin has been telling me the same thing. Leave me alone!". Something like that.

The scene where Shou Shan told Xiao Jing Tzi to leave him. Very emotional scene.

The scene where Ah Tzi Tsang was about to be beheaded and he realized Shou Shan was his real son and suddenly Shou Shan appeared dressed in his royal robe and just stood there and suddenly, to Ah Tzi Tsang's shock, he took off the robe and inside he was wearing the official dress that a family member wears when some family member died and Ah Tzi Tsang laughed and killed himself. He died a happy man because he finally had a son to carry on his name and title.

The rest of the series were only so-so. Nothing too memorable in here.

Worst Scenes
The scenes where Die Yee was lusted after by that old man and a big portion of the series were spent on how they all tried to think of a way to avoid his advances. That included marrying 3 times. Only on the fourth time she really got married without the red gown on. Anyway, those scenes were tedious and you just have this impression; "When are they going to stop with this wedding thing?". For the first time in my life I felt bored seeing a woman wearing the beautiful red wedding gown. Once ok but not three times in 3 consecutive tapes!

Those scenes where Shou Shan ran after Ming Zhu like a love sick puppy dog. Done too long and for far too many times. Boring.

Any scene with Zhu Zhi. I don't like that character because I thought he was just there for comic relief and I find nothing funny or cute about him.

Everytime that Old Buddha appeared on the screen. Horrible actress.


The Ultimate Classic Scene/Most Favourite Scenes
Collectively, they are my favourite and ultimate classic scene.

Episode one, forward 10 minutes and you'll see a beautiful creature in a bath tub. That was Yue Ling's Die Yee. That scene was almost magical, and she was so beautiful in there, ravishing and gorgeous. The dresses were so beautiful and her hair was done to perfection. Also that scene where AH Tzi Tsang was slowly taking off her clothes. Her make up there was simply perfect. That scene where ealier into the series, she was having a freidnly chat with Wu Xin by the front garden or something. One of my most favourite screen captures were from that scene, where the wind blew softly and her hair was swaying to the rhythm of the wind and she was smiling affectionately. If you were Wu Xin, it was no great wonder if you ciuldn't control yourself and fell for her. Overall, these were not scenes but rather a person. Yue Ling was gorgeous as Die Yee in those scenes. Now if only the make up artists kept up with that kind of looks for the other scenes but unfortunately, the make up then became bland, almost too natural looking. Lost that magic afterwards.

Most Favourite Look of Die Yee
The very first scenes where she first appeared, in the bath tub and whe she came out from the bath tub in that off shoulder slip on in blue. And that blue dress with the long blue ribbon after that. I loved that look of her and Yue Ling was simply gorgeous in them.

Most Favourite Couple
Can't say Die Yee and Wu Xin because I do not like Wu Xin. Can't say Shou Shan and Ming Zhu because I confess, I was hoping for Shou Shan and Die Yee. That would have been perfect match but we didn't get that. So if I really had to choose one, I would say none at all.

Most Hated Couple
That disgusting Ah Tsi Tzang and his equally despicable conniving wife, Lan Xin.

Most Favourite Character
Used to be Shou Shan but because he was the most complex character in here after a while that complexity of him turned me off big time. I could say Die Yee but I would be lying. So none for this series.

Most Hated Character
I didn't like the way Shou Shan treated Xiao Jing Tzi and yet I also didn't like the way Xiao Jing Tzi schemed her way into the loveless marriage. I would say Ah Tzi Tsang then. Who else can we hate? It was obvious the writer wanted us to direct our anger towards this loser of a villain.

Most Disapponting Character(s)
All the characters in this series were at some point very disappointing to me. Total wimps and weaklings when it came to love. But below were the few exceptionally disappointing ones.

Shou Shan- my former favourite character in here but guess what? I hated his wimpish ways of begging Ming Zhu to be with him. Be a man! What did he wanted anyway? The title or revenge or Ming Zhu? Because he was confusing the hell out of me. At one point he seemed bent on revenge and the best way was to marry Xiao Jing Tzi, since she had a powerful backing in the form of the Empress Dowager. And yet he refused to until Ming Zhu rejected him and he had no other choice but to say yes, He was very cornered. That was confusing to me. Then he married Xiao Jing Tzi and yet he blamed her 100% for his woes and thus he openly ignored her and chased after Ming Zhu. Wasn't he afraid that her powerful god grandmother would know about all of the mess he was creating? And yet he went on and on and on pestering Ming Zhu. That didn't make sense. Because you want revenge and power shouldn't you treat your wife well because you have got to play your cards well. He didn't and he was lucky that his wife didn't go crying to her god grandmother. At least we must all admit that the character of Xiao Jing Tzi was careful, scheming, a bit mad considering didn't want her and she still persisted, definitely desperate and kind of considerate and well, maybe she had her pride and ego to take care of. So Ming Zhu became desperate and married Wu Xin to that Die Yee will abort her child, to give birth to a Liu child and also to end her relationship with Shou Shan once and for all. But guess what? When Shou Shan came by to see her, she dressed like a married woman and told Shou Shan what was a half truth. She married Wu Xin (though they never really marry as they never consummated the relationship and was actually trying to dupe Die Yee into an abortion). Guess what? Our hero went home drunk, went into the room of Xiao Jing Tzi's and cried like a baby. Total WIMP! And what would you think if you were Xiao Jing Tzi? Exactly! What was he thinking? That Xiao Jing Tzi WAS THAT understanding???

Ming Zhu - she seemed like a happy go lucky girl, confident, streetsmart, strong but later on she degenerated into a very weak girl with weaker resolutions. I could see why though. She was madly in love with Shou Shan and yet she felt tremendous guilt towards Xiao Jing Tzi because they spent time knowinmg each other and are considered friends. She tried her best to avoid Shou Shan but Shou Shan kept pestering her. There were times she almost succumbded. Then came the proposal but yet she couldn't do it and even considered marrying Wu Xin! Now come my all important question; what era did she live in? Because in the beginning Shou Shan intended to marry her and she was ready to marry him. But WAIT! He was the son of a relative to the King therefore a nobleman whilst she didn't even know who her mother was. What made them think their parents, and the King would approve of the union? Especially Ming Zhu as first wife? So as second wife perhaps. And yet Ming Zhu couldn't do it. Why not? Guilt? And yet the further she ran away from Shou Shan the wider the gap between Shou Shan and Xiao Jing Tzi! Running was never a good solution, she realised but she was too weak to confront him either. So what in the end could Ming Zhu do? She went deeper into the realm of uselessness. Very very naive girl.

Wu Xin - He was quite heroic in the beginning then I realize this guy can't even beat Ah Tzi Tsang in hand to hand battle. What use was he? Then the story shifted to a love story. And yet he was worse in handling his love life. He clearly loved Die Yee and yet he couldn't marry her when she was in big trouble because he wanted revenge and he didn't want to drag her into his own mess. And yet by doing so he created more mess and in a way he caused the death of Dr Choo, because he refused to marry Die Yee and because he was so darn weak he can't even fight Ah Tzi Tsang's 2 honchos! What use was he again? And when he wanted to help to prosecute that mean man, Die Yee begged him to marry her so that she could bear him a child (like one time can hit the jackpot??). Reluctantly he agreed and the next day he went about his business but surprise surprise, in one of the most disappointing and anti -climatic plot ever, Ah Tzi Tsang went down faster that he could count his beloved pearls! So Wu Xin went home happily only to be told that his wife being pregnant was not good news. He cried big time in front of his ancestors' altar, probably out of guilt that he loved Die Yee more than having children (he was the only son and only descendant mind you) he argued with Die Yee so many times over abortion and the baby. But he couldn't stop Die Yee and he made it as if it was Die Yee's fault! It was just that this supposedly heroic character wasn't heroic at all and certainly was not very good when it comes to managing his life and as well as others.

Ah Tzi Tsang - I was expecting a big time villain but in the end all this story had was the most pitiful and even more useless of a villain. We knew he killed a lot of people, we knew he was very powerful, we knew that he has got this great kung fu and we knew he must have been a very cold and violent father towards Shou Shan and even colder husband to his wife, Lan Xin the He Sho Ge Ge. But as the series progressed on, I was very very disappointed with the development of this character. For a bunch of pearls, he killed maimed murdered lied and even deceived the King with fake pearls. And in the end, his downfall was so ridiculously simple it was simply too illogical to accept. Then the story continued on and then came his even bigger downfall. I couldn't understand this once shrewd character. He got back his title, position and even his pearls and yet he was mad enough to kill Xiao Jing Tzi. Of course at that moment Xiao Jing Tzi attacked him thinking that he was Shou Shan but when she knew it was Ah Tzi Tsang and Ah Tsi Tzang knew who it was that tried to stab him, what did he do? He wanted to kill her, and do remember, her army and bodyguards were just standing outside. He was simply plain mad! And when he was arrested, he didn't try hard enough to escape though he knew he was going to die this time. He languished in prison, only to be visited by the woman he once tried to killed, Li Xiang Ying and the days before his beheading, he finally found out that Shou Shan was indeed his son. As he walked towards the place for his execution, Shou Shan came and dramatically called him his Ah Mah and even cried when Ah Tzi Tsang died knowing he had a descendant (and he was very happy about it) and he killed himself right there and then by using his kung fu to hit his own temple. I would have wished he knock himself in the head earlier for being so stupid! I have no complaints with the ending but the means to the ending was so simple it was an insult to my intelligence. The downfall of Ah Tsi Tsang was too bland, not dramatic at all and in the end the pearls he so wanted wasn't really his cause. It was his own stupidity. I call this character The Worst ( Failed ) Villain Ever.

Xiao Jing Tzi - She was quite a pitiful character. And everytime you start to pity her, she started to scheme more and more. In one of the best scenes in this series, when she was told by Shou Shan that he thought it was best they seperate and she go back to being her Jing Ge Ge, she begged him and was very willing to share her husband with Ming Zhu but he said "No Way woman!". That was when she told herself "If I can't have you, no one will" and she pretended to be nice to Ming Zhu and gave her a Ginseng to give to Shou Shan's mother who was living with her and she happily went home, only to be accused of stealing the Pearls that was given to Xiao Jing Tzi as a wedding gift by Old Buddha. Shou Shan tried to save Ming Zhu, including wanting to sacrifice himself to be truly married to her but she quite simply shut the door. And then Shou Shan brought this matter up to Old Buddha with the help of Ah Tzi Tsang being a witness that Ming Zhu didn't do anything, and in the end, it was her maid Ping Er that killed herself claiming it was she who made this whole lie up. Old Buddha let Ming Zhu go and suggested that Xiao Jing Tzi go back to Korea and seperate from Shou Shan saying she will refuse to participate in crimes or deception. This was the part that I didn't get. Blue blooded people always help blue blooded people, especially those that they loved and cared about. The attitude of Old Buddha was simply too nice for me to accept when we knew the REAL Old Buddha would have rather kill everybody than to let her poor princess suffer. In what was a potentially good story, the writers decided it was time to warp things up. I was very dissapointed in that respect. And then Xiao Jing Tzi didn't leave but went home hoping to KILL Shou Shan but she was the one who was seriously injured instead and then Shou Shan came in time to listen to her long speech before her death, about how sorry she was, about how she knew he didn't care a bit about her and loved Ming Zhu and in a surprising gesture, she gave Shou Shan her jade bracelet to be given to Ming Zhu and wished them happiness. Like as if she has finally let go when 5 minutes earlier she wanted to kill him! That was all too sudden and perhaps you might say :She was dying so she decided to play nice". Perhaps. But I find her death unneccesary and was there just to facilitate for Shou Shan to easily marry King Zhu. I would have preferred that she didn't die, go away and come back to bless their marriage and she finally get the hard fact that Shou Shan will never ever love her.

Most Consistent Characters
Two characters.

Mama of Die Yee & Ming Zhu (Jiang Huey Zhen/Xi Niang)
She was very consistent as a character. And I loved the scenes where she will slap and scold Die Yee in two major occasions because she was deeply hurt:-

1. When she was told by Wu Xin that the medication that she made for Die Yee contained poison that will harm Die Yee but will save the unborn child. She immediately slapped Die Yee hard and cried tearfully that she was all along slowly poisoning her own child to death. A very powerful scene.

2. When Die Yee's child was lost and Die Yee wanted to die with her unborn child, Wu Xin begging her not to but she kept going on and on tearfully that he wouldn't understand her feeling and she kept saying she wanted to die. Our mama Die Yee was so mad with her daughter she simply said "Let her be!' and everybody looked at her.She scolded Die Yee, saying that of all the people in the room, she was the one who could understand her feelings because she once had a pair of twin daughters, one was found and the fate of the other was still unknown. And yet she strive to live on, with the hope of one day finding them and reuniting with them, even if she wasn't sure they were dead or alive. Die Yee stopped crying and apologized and hugged her mother and all was well. I like this character because though she may be weak sometimes, she was actually a very determined woman. And with such a mother, it will be of no surprise that her daughter, Die Yee will be as strong too.

How was she reunited with Ming Zhu?
Ming Zhu who as I have said above was imprisoned thanks to Jing Ge Ge plot. Ming Zhu's adopted mother came home begging them to do something and she said better to have money to save her. So she took out a glowing pearl. The one Ming Zhu was wearing, a pearl that was dull and lifeless was fake. Adopted mama kept the real one to give it to her on her wedding day as a wedding gift. This time Mama Die Yee didn't faint dramatically like she did when she found out Die Yee was her daughter.

Die Yee
The most consistent character in this series. The only time she was weak was in the beginning where she had to go through 3 failed weddings and then that silly reason of hers as to why she wanted to die as above. Other than that, she was quite a strong willed character. If her father didn't die she would be a very weak character. When her father died, she had no more worries, and when Ming Zhu was caught for trying to kill Ah Tzi Tsang (a very very stupid move as I shall elaborate below). Die Yee begged Ah Tzi Tsang to let Ming Zhu go and that she will marry him but Ah Tzi Tsang didn't want her anymore. And then she married Wu Xin and became pregnant and made everybody worried. But she loved her unborn child and so she openly agreed to Ming Zhu marrying Wu Xin with the promise that she will then abort her unborn child . But her own plan was to continue to keep the child, give birth to the child and then die a happy woman because she thought Ming Zhu could take care of the baby and her husband. Then Ah Tzi Tsang on the orders of Jing Ge Ge went to the Liu household to kill Ming Zhu. It was Wu Xin and Ming Zhu's wedding night and they thought Die Yee was outside listening whether they were actually married to each other or was pretending, so they jumped onto the bed and pretended to sleep together. Ah Tzi Tsang was of the opinion that he didn't have to kill Ming Zhu now since she was very married now, or so he thought. And he was about to leave when he saw Die Yee and discovered she was pregnant. He was immensely jealous and he simply went in and kicked her stomach really hard. Guess what? He actually did them all a big favour. Now Die Yee didn't really have to abort the child, the child sucked all her poison and she was relatively poison free and free to be pregnant again, safely this time! But Die Yee was grieving and like I said above, wanted to die with the baby. Anyway, she and Wu Xin left for her house in the woods to further heal her weakened body and came back months later happily pregnant in the last episode. She was one determined woman when it came to Wu Xin, her unborn child that was killing her and in her perception of her surroundings.

How come being pregnant could have killed her?
Simple but I didn't understand why. Anyway she was very weak when Dr Choo found her and he almost failed to save her precious life until he tried one desperate measure, he used poison to somehow save her life. The residues in her poison was still in her when she grew up and being pregnant, the child will die of poisoning. But she used the very same poison that saved her to save her unborn child which in the process she could be poisoned to death. Just don't ask me the logic of this mumbo jumbo.

Then why she married Wu Xin and said she wanted to give him a child?
He was going off to destroy Ah Tzi Tsang and if he failed he will be killed. So Die Yee begged him to marry her so that she could have his child. At that time we the viewers didn't know she couldn't bear child without risking her life, and then we knew and it was much more noble of her to want to do so. She wanted Wu Xin, the only descendant of Liu family to have a child to carry the Liu name so that Wu Xin didn't have to be eternally sorry to his ancestors for not bearing a child. Quite a big sin as a son and as a wife for not having children to carry on the family name.

So if Ah Tzi Tsang married Die Yee as he said he wanted a son...
Exactly what I have in mind. Would Die Yee have given him a child? It would be interesting to explore that possibility since Ah Tzi Tsang could have married a woman who can't give him a son. But alas, this was a happy love story so anything dramatic or out of the ordinary were not explored.

Then how come at last she was pregnant again?
They didn't show. Perhaps while she was recuperating in the words, she and Wu Xin was extra "hardworking". Anyway, snide remarks aside,they simply showed Wu Xin and Die Yee leaving and then on Shou Shan and Ming Zhu's wedding day, she came home pregnant. Anyway, she could be pregnant again and this time safely because when she suffered the miscarriage, the dead unborn child in away sucked all her poison and thus leaving her poison free. So my question would be let's just say she had the child, carried it to full term. Wouldn't the child be born with the poison in his body, irregardless of what she tried to do to save it?

Most Weakest Characterisation of a Character
Apart from Ah Tzi Tsang, my vote would be for Shou Shan. From what seemed like a very desirable and cunning character who so happened to be perfect since he had a heart of gold, he degenerated into a small, useless, weepy, weak character when it came to Ming Zhu and heartless, mean, selfish character when it came to Xiao Jing Tzi. Though I pitied him at first, where he was beaten by his father for every little mistake he made, I understood his anger when he found out the truth about his real mother, immensely satisfied when he tortured Ah Tzi Tsang by simply being mean to him (not mean enough though), a bit sad that he can't marry the woman he loved and was stuck in a loveless marriage, loved his cunningness in solving many problems, loved that scene where he beat Ming Zhu to actually save her skin.....BUT all these simply wasn't enough when it came to the later episodes where he simply became a total wimp! I especially hated this one scene where he was drunk and crying in front of Xiao Jing Tzi and I hated the fact that he kept hounding Ming Zhu. I totally lost respect for this character and even when at the end he accepted the fact that he was Ah Tzi Tsang's son ( a scene which I considered as a happy scene), I still had no respect for him because I can't shake off that expression that he had when he was crying big time in front of his wife. And I hated the writer for screwing up this character.

Mot Pitiful Character
Three.

Xiao Jing Tzi - She thought she had made the deal of her life, marrying the man she loved. But then she knew he didn't care about her one bit. Whenever they argued, the only cogent reason she can use to attack him was that he promised to marry her in the firts place. That was a very bad excuse. She tried and tried and tried, she screamed, kicked, agreed (no choice as she dug her own grave here by suggesting that she was nice enough to let him have Ming Zhu as his second wife, just to show him now noble she was and he took her suggestion very seriously) to Shou Shan taking Ming Zhu as his wife and even helped in persuading her, cajoled, changed tactics, and even losing her life but all she had was appreciative glances. I felt she did more for him that Ming Zhu had ever done for him. I hated his reluctance to accept her and I hated his cold treatment for her. Xiao Jing Tzi may have been stupid to marry him but he didn't even give her a chance. Reminded me of that Prince Charles-Diana-Camelia mess.Sadly she died, irrespective of her treatment of the naive Ming Zhu, she was actually forced to do so not by Shou Shan but by her own unwillingness to let go what was not hers. I really do think she cried more when she was married to Shou Shan than when she was growing up in the palace.

Lan Xin - She was cruel, she was evil, she was probably pampered all her life and she was the one who ordered the whole Li family to be killed because of jealousy. She used Shou Shan when he was a baby against Ah Tzi Tsang. She threatened to kill the baby if he didn't kill Li Xiang Ying, and he was very reluctant to do so. Years later he wanted to seduce Li Xing Ying again and Lan Xin saw him doing so, and she blamed the woman and proceeded to slap and punch the confused Li Xiang Yin who was beginning to remember he was the one who attempted to kill her. Then Lan Xin looked like she was mad and ran to beat Xiang Ying again which was when Ah Tzi Tsang with one sound effect-less palm hit her on the back and she died in his arm, cursing him to eternal hell whilst he mourned for her death as he didn't mean to. That was Xiang Ying remembered everything and he knocked her unconscious. When she woke up in front of Jing Ge Ge and Shou Shan he blamed her for the murder of Lan Xin. In a way he wanted to force Shou Shan to admit that she was his mom but it wasn't Shou Shan who didn't want to but rather Xiang Ying felt too ashamed,being the cause of the whole Li clan's murder and all she refused to acknowledge him and went to stay with Die Yee and gang where Ming Zhu spent her time consoling her. Which makes me wonder; what made Ah Tzi Tsang think that putting a pitiful look anybody would believe him? Anyway poor Lan Xin though. I do not know why I pity her but I guess that the worse thing in life for a woman is to marry the wrong man as a husband.

Ah Tzi Tsang - For a moment I pitied Ah Tzi Tsang. He was the Most Pitiful Villain I have ever seen in recent series. Poor guy. He killed for power, to destroy evidence and enemies. But the funny thing was that his downfall were those pearls he so adored. He would also have my vote as the....

Most Stupidest Villain
Can't blame him for believing Shou Shan. But anyway he was such a stupid villain. The army was searching his house for the pearls and when Shou Shan suggested that the pearls were in the secret chamber (he has yet to reveal which secret chamber) our almighty villain blew his own top, ran to the door of the secret chamber and cried tearfully like a kid about to lose his favourite toy;"you can't take the pearls away from me; they're mine!!". And then the soldiers caught him and as I was watching that scene I was laughing like mad. In the beginning episodes there were scenes as to how good a kung fu man our Ah Tzi Tsang was but at that moment in that scene, he didn't even put up a single fight which was strange. Even when Shou Shan insulted him, he didn't give Shou Shan a good beating. He was controlling his anger there but it was funny how a great man who could fight so well could become like that all for the pearls.

Most Redundant Objects
The story started so interestingly with regards to the pearls and everything seemed to revolve around them. But as the series progressed on, you will realize the following:

1.
The pearls were there to serve as the thing that will reunite the mother to her two long lost daughters

2.
The pearls were also there as the cause of the downfall of Ah Tzi Tsang

3.
The pearls were there for decorative purposes, but rarely seen

4.
The pearls were supposedly there to connect Ah Tzi Tsang with the murder of the Li & Liu family but actually the Li family was cruelly and meticulously wiped out because Ah Tzi Tsang was acting on the orders of his unloved and obviously jealous wife, Lan Xin who knew about his sordid affair with Shou Shan's married mother, Li Xiang Ying and thus has no connection whatsoever with the pearls as I have mentioned above.

5.
The pearls were there as an excuse for the justification of scenes of Xiao Jing Tzi torturing Ah Tzi Tsang (her father, the Korean Official was murdered as explained above solely because he was the unfortunate bearer of the pearls).

And then the pearls became redundant as the whole story revolved around Shou Shan's questionable family background, how he get rid of Ah Tzi Tsang, how Ah Tsi Tsang used Xiao Jing Tzi to try to exact revenge on his son and to cause disharmony, how Shou Shan went about trying to get back Ming Zhu who never really left anyway and how Die Yee who couldn't be pregnant became pregnant and how to resolve the crisis; whereby being pregnant could kill her.

My question is where were the pearls then in the storyline? From being the centre of the story it became a redundant prop in the end. Disappointing. I was hoping perhaps the pearls if collected all of them would be some sort of a map to a hidden treasure or an important secret which could explain why Ah Tzi Tsang would kill for them. But they were just pearls and Ah Tzi Tsang was simply besotted with their beauty, In the end his obsession seemed childish and the flaw of the series was this one fact; the pearls were simply pearls.

Most Redundant Occupation
What was Shou Shan doing to make a living I wonder?

What was Wu Xin doing to make a living I wonder?

Ever wonder what Mama Die Yee did to survive? you know her job? She was the owner of a brothel, and a brother/motel/night club were just a nice way to say Prostitute Den. Poor Mama Die Yee, she must have been a prostitute to pay for her food and lodging.

But the award will go to Die Yee's occupation as a female doctor. Very rarely do I see her healing people. In fact, the emphasis was clearly more to her love life than her talent in diagnosing illnesses.

Most Redundant Character
Not Zhu Zhi but that female leader of the Red Sect who was secretly working for Ah Tzi Tsang who was later killed by him. Her appearance did nothing to change the story and her death did nothing to enhance it either. I don't even know why and what she was doing with Ah Tzi Tsang.Clearly the emphasis of the story wasn't on Ah Tzi Tsang's secret dealings out of his official work. it could been much more interesting to concentrate on this storyline, because at least Ah Tzi Tsang won't die for a trivial reason like the pearls he loved so much. Which was why I said the English title of this stories should have been MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

Most Impossible Aspect That Was Logically Acceptable
Xiao Jing Tzi though hated Ah Tzi Tsang for killing her father but when she needed something done she went to him, which was very strange because she hated him and therefore impossible but she was desperate to get her plans to work and she listened to his advise and so it was logically acceptable. I guess hatred jealousy and stubbornness can really close the gap between two enemies, when one enemy could be of use to the other. The question now would be was who was using who?

Most Stupidest Action Undertook By A Character
The plan to assisinate Ah Tzi Tsang, courtesy of Ming Zhu and her partner in crime, Zhu Zhi. I can't believe a smart sensible girl like her could think of such a stupid ridiculous and not to mention dangerous plan! What was she thinking? That she could poison him whilst seducing him? But Zhu Zhi spoilt the who plan by shaking so dramatically and so obviously that Ah Tzi Tsang knew from the start something was amiss. And then he beat them up but Ming Zhu used a vase and knock it straight onto his head and he was bleeding when Shou Shan rushed in. And guess what, the first thing Ming Zhu did was to ask Shou Shan for help. If Ah Tzi Tsang were to be his real dad at that moment, why would she think he would help her? In a rather good scene he beat the crap out of the woman he loved, and obvously looked like he was forced. only. Ah Tzi Tsang was blind to that or perhaps the director wanted us to believe a shrewd man like Ah Tzi Tsang couldn't see through it all. And in prison, Ming Zhu blamed him and refused to talk to him, though secretly she has already forgiven him but didn't really understand why he became like that.

Ah Tzi Tsang for stealing those darn peals and not letting go even after 20 long years.

Most Confusing Aspect
I believe some scenes were edited out and therefore some parts of the story just wasn't consistent. Especially the treatment the nice ones against Shou Shan. When they knew he was helping Ah Tzi Tsang, though knew that he had already admitted he was a Li instead of a BETTT, everybody insulted him, screamed at him, saying he changed so much. Fine with that BUT few scenes later, their tone seemed to change. They were no longer hostile towards him and it was very strange because Shou Shan was still scheming to get into his father's good book. Somewhere must have been edited out.

Ming Zhu. She was really confusing me. What did she want? One minute she was happy go lucky the next she was crying big time. I know perhaps she was just depressed and all. But it was very strange. If you watch this series you'll know what I mean. Especially her treatment towards Shou Shan. One minute cold cold, next minute shy shy. Didn't fit with the other scenes shown.

Best Aspect
The dressing of Die Yee and Xiao Jing Tzi. Especially Die Yee's in the beginning few scenes which were very feminine. Even the wedding dress, the so called Zhen Zhu Cai Yi (Colourful Costume Adorned With Pearls) was made more stunning when the two glowing pearls were added onto it.

The hairs of the actresses. This is one of those few series that I did not see behind hair black and front hair (the actresses' own hair that was obviously highlighted) brown. In here all black and the head dressing was simple, (just a ribbon or some clips, the one with the most head accesorries were Jing Ge Ge and Mama Die Yee in the earlier episodes) and yet visually beautiful and elegant. My favourite would be Die Yee's simple do. Just a ribbon behind, or some clips on the side. Very beautiful and the whole effect just made her even more visually stunning and desirable.

The make up in here. Excellent! Unlike DOMD 2000 that had lip glosses even on a nun, this one had very simple down to earth make up. But the best was Yue Ling's first few episodes' make up. So beautiful. Though the rest looked like they had no make up on, we all knew they had plenty on.

The glowing pearls. Visually beautiful.

Yue Ling. My favourite actress of all time. No doubt about that.

Worst Aspect
Though I must applaud the woman who was Yue Ling's voice in here, she really sounded like Die Yee to me and her voice fitted Yue Ling's expressions perfectly, and I understood perfectly why her voice was used instead of Yue Ling's (the voice was young, like a 20 year old voice and was very feminine), but I wished that Yue Ling's voice was used instead. I know Yue Ling's voice is very deep, but perhaps when I evaluate Yue Ling's performance, I could have given a more thorough evaluation. And I do like her voice.

Too much of sets and too little of outdoor sceneries made this series somehow looking too confined and too unreal.

Some part of the storyline which were plain ridiculous, especially with regards to Ah Tzi Tsang.

Shou Shan crying like his mother just died when it came to his love being rejected by Ming Zhu. Everytime I saw him cried like that, my vote for him as My Most Favourite Character became lesser and lesser. I want a man, not a wimp!

The Kung Fu scenes. Camera swoosh-ing right, camera swoosh-ing left and they call that kung fu? The worst had to be the sound effects accompanying the kung fu. It was like towards the end the sound effects guys forgot to turn the sound back on so Ah Tzi Tsang's palm thing on the back of Lan Xin and Xiao Jing Tzi had little shock effect.

The Kung Fu of Wu Xin or the lack of it. It was like towards the end he lost all his kung fu or something. Can't even fight decently.

The reunion scene between Ming Zhu and mom. Perhaps after for so long and they were about to end the series, so the reunion scene was done with little celebration, little tears, little emotional scene. Like it was an expected scene. I would have wished more...perhaps more drama. Maybe the Director should have asked Xu Gui Ying to faint again.

The reunion scene between Die Yee and Ming Zhu which was none. Yue Ling stopped appearing in the last few scenes of 39th and 40th episodes and only appeared towards the end of of the 41st episode, where she conveniently disappeared from all the drama. Something was not right here because Die Yee and WU Xin should have been there for the imprisoned Ming Zhu and her seriously injured mother. It was funny how another doctor cured the mother and Die Yee a gifted doctor could not be seen. Die Yee should have been there.

The development of the love story of the two main pairs. Much too fast as if the writer was in such a rush to show the later parts that I couldn't feel the lovey dovey stuff in here. Perhaps more stime should be spent on the development of the liking to love instead all on how Ah Tzi Tsang tried to do this or that.

Performances Rated
A few stood out ones, who at first wasn't that great and a few that were simply hopeless.

Best Performances
Qiu Xin Zhi. I have never seen him before but when I first saw him in here, I thought he was not very good but as the show went into a more exciting storyline, I actually love those scenes where he would look demure in front of his fake mom but when he turned his back on them, he was smiling wickedly. Ahhh...such promises, of a wonderful complex character to be but alas....Not this actor's fault though. I have made some frank comments on him in my ALL ABOUT YUE LING : COSTARS site and I shall simply say; I confirm them all. What a clean shaven and good looking man. I hope to see him more, hopefully in much more well developed characters.

Tian Xin. Never seen her act but in here I actually like Ming Zhu for her vibrant and energetic personality but I hated the character's simple mind and obviously naive mind. Anyway, Tian Xin was very impressive, though she faltered a bit in crying scenes or desperate moments type of scenes, where she didn't show enough emotion. And though she displayed well he guilty and reluctant look when it came to Xiao Jing Tzi, and you could see some longing in her for Shou Shan, but for a character that became disoriented when Xiao Jing Tzi came to mess things up for her, and we all knew she obviously was still crazy about him, but Tian Xin didn't really show enough of that longing. But for someone who was somewhat new to acting, I thought she did respectable job. And her smiles were so genuine.

Xu Gui Ying. Such a soft spoken lady but she was very effective as the desperate mother looking for her children. And I thought she was rather beautiful too and I bet very young.

Long Long as Ah Tzi Tsang. He was ok but the problem was not him but his character. Very messed up when it came to the characterization of Ah Tzi Tsang.

The woman who played Lan Xin was also very good. She displayed enough of emotion on her face that you knew she was one conniving lady since she was after all a He Shou Ge Ge and you knew she must have had a privileged life and thus was spoilt and unreasonable as a young girl, enough to order for the death of the Li family. And though she may not like Shou Shan, she must have cared a bit about him with the way she spoke to him but later that love disappeared when Shou Shan betrayed her husband she was surprisingly still loyal to. They never showed us all these but from her performance, you can impute all that. An admirable job.

Tuo Zong Hua did a respectable job as the suffering and reluctant Wu Xin but he had little chemistry with Yue Ling. And his character had severe characterisation problems but for what little he had, he was quite ok. A respectable job.

Shen Shi Peng who played Zhu Zhi. He had that honest look to play the innocent and dim witted Zhu Zhi but this was one character I thought was eating too much of the screen time of this series. His character was dispensable but I am willing to give the actor this much of credit; he was good.

The rest of the minor characters were also good but but some were unnecessary.

Not So Good Performance
The woman who played Li Xiang Yin. When I saw the first episode, I thought she was Yue Ling. In fact she should have played Mama Die Yee because she and Yue Ling have the same face structure, though she was obviously much younger. Her character was involved in some really emotional and identity crisis scenes and a more matured actress would have displayed much more conflicting and confused emotion and the the emotion of guilt. But this actress was not very good at those scenes, and all she came off was a woman in denial. This character was much more than that and I was disappointed that the casting director made such a blunder with casting this actress. But the worst was..

The Worst Performance
Meng Ting Li, the woman who played the Empress Dowager, the Old Buddha. She was way too young, too western in her looks and too bad an actress to play a (I assume) a feared and respected powerful woman. Though her scenes were few, her presence was a thorn in this otherwise well acted series. What was the casting director thinking? If it was Liu Xue Hua it would be perfect.

Most Excellent Performace(s)
The honour would go to 2 exceptional actress who, by looking at this story as a whole were the two reasons why this series could be respectable if not for the storyline.

Pan Yi Jun who played Jing Ge Ge. Her every expression, her pain, her disappointment, her conniving face were all there. You could feel her desperation and you will pity her when she begged Shou Shan to not kick her out of the house but he simply refused. If he didn't look apologetic in that scene, I would have hated him. This actress has such a beautiful speaking voice and a wonderful accent. Though she may not be very pretty or young, but her performance was simply flawless, given the fact that she was given a character that could have our utmost hatred but she was so successful, she gained my pity and sympathy instead.

And how can I forget about this one reason why I bought this rather expensive VCD and sat through the rather long though not entirely pointless series? YUE LING. The subject of my website, ALL ABOUT YUE LING. Not very well known in the western countries, but very famous in Malaysia, Taiwan and mandarin speaking countries. Though this series was her ONLY series in year 2000, she was so good in it, I don't think I can forget about her even if she had zero series in year 2001. At first I was a bit apprehensive about her performance, because she wasn't my idea of a weak 20 year old girl, as I have said in my Profile on her in my site. And she is not very good with crying scenes. But as the series progressed on, and as she became more comfortable in her character's shoes, she was simply magnificent. Where can you find an actress in one series where she had such beautiful face, in wonderful costumes and a character that you'll like? More so when she could bring out all the emotion that one would expect from her character. Though I admit that she was a decade too old for Die Yee, and she didn't a look a bit like her supposed twin sister played by Tian Xin who was obviously much younger, she was in my opinion the personification of Die Yee. I didn't like the weak start and those wedding plots, but I thought her character had the integrity and the determination of steel. And only an actress with such immense talent can bring all these qualities out in one character. And yes, she still shaked her head too much when she was delivering her lines, a Yue Ling mannerism that we could see in all her series, a habit I guess she still retain apart from moving her hands a bit too much or press her lips a bit too hard or staring at a person with that "Who are you?! When are you going to stop talking? I am bored here man!" stare that she always had in all her roles. But those are minor stuff. Perhaps she may be those actors that reveal a bit of themselves in all their roles, that there was a bit of Yue Ling in Die Yee as I have said in my Profile on her. But my point is, and you should by now get my point, she was simply elegant and breathtakingly beautiful and very attractive and desirable in here. You can use the same words to describe her looks as well as her performance in here. So those who said she looked old or laugh out loud that a 31 year old woman playing a 20 year old, watch her performance in her and then take my advice...shut up.

If I Were The Casting Director....
I would give Liu Xue Hua the role of Lan Xin (though I like the performance of the actress that played Lan Xin, but I believe Liu Xue Hua could give a much more in depth performance and inject some vulnerability into the otherwise cold and calculative character). Or even Li Xiang Ying. Or even that Old Buddha.

Get another woman to play Li Xiang Ying.

Change the storyline from a pair of twin to maybe sisters a year or two apart to make Yue Ling and Tian Xin more believable as sisters.

Give the pearls much more important and serious role to play.

Give Shou Shan and Wu Xin a noticeable job instead of standing here, walking there, sitting here, squatting there and worrying about their women more, revenge lesser and lesser which made their existence rather pointless and for once, men (in terms of Wu Xin) were like ornaments in here.

If I Were The Director...
Get a Script doctor to revamp the storyline and give Wu Xin much more things to do apart from being a supportive husband, give Shou Shan more depth, make Ah Tzi Tsang into a more despicable villain and not try to score pity points for him, make Ming Zhu even more desperate for Shou Shan, give Xiao Jing Tzi a happy ending, kill off out Ah Tzi Tsang and Lan Xin in a more dramatic way, make the reunion between Ming Zhu and mom more dramatic with more tears, make the actress who played Li Xiang Ying to film that emotional reunion scene with Shou Shan again and again and again until she displayed much more emotion instead of just pressing her brows together, talk in breathless voice and cry.

Get a better cinematographer and film more outdoor scenes

Cut the budget on the sets and pump more money into perhaps a trip to China to film this series

Get a better sound effects team because apart from the pearls' sound effect, the Kung fu sound effects were seriously lacking, like the mute button was accidentally pressed

Order more costume for Qiu Xin Zhi to wear as Shou Shan

Might as well order some more costume for Tian Xin to wear as Ming Zhu

What the heck! Order more costume for Tuo Zong Hua's Wu Xin. He dressed like a pauper, as he had like at most 2 costumes for the entire series.

Fire the costume designer who saw fit to dress Yue Ling so beautifully in the first few episodes and thereafter nothing exceptional

Fire the costume designer AGAIN for not doing enough research...Manchurian weddings does not have our Han Chinese Red wedding dress, though creative marks should be given for the nice head gear won by Mama Die Yee and Tian Xin for the wedding dress but these very same marks must also be minused for dressing Yue Ling in 3 same wedding dress in 3 very different circumstances.

Fire the Make-up artist who ordered for Yue Ling's make up to be reduced to such "natural" look which is actually quite nice but since Die Yee was supposed to be so drop dead gorgeous that with one LOOK Ah Tzi Tsang proclaimed "she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and I must have her" , should have retained the Episode One make-up and hairstyle.

Fire the hair stylist for having the nerve to let me film Yue Ling who after getting married her hair was not tied into a bun and fell freely over her shoulder like an unmarried girl.

Fire the person who gave this series its English name, Bloody Pearls.

And finally fire myself for making so many glaring mistakes, especially to the characters in the script and thus made this series into an ordinary albeit entertaining but not a classic series.

If I Were A Fan Of Taiwanese Series such as all Qiong Yau series and even Princess Huai Yu I would..
Not immediately assume that this series are like all Qiong Yau series (more plot in ZZCY and Qiong Yau is even more extreme in her love stories), or even assume this is Huai Yu revisited (since ZZCY is not about a King falling for a Han girl and frankly, if compared to Huai Yu, the story of ZZCY is more possible, logical and definitely a more intelligent series than that ridiculous Huai Yu). I would watch it with an open mind, and if I enjoyed it, I'll write a glowing review and submit to ALL ABOUT YUE LING for all to read and if I hated it, I will also write a harsh review and submit it to ALL ABOUT YUE LING.

If I Am A Member Of "I HATE TAIWANESE SAPPY LOVE STORIES" Society, I would...
Watch ZZCY with an open mind and then write the best review in the net to criticise this series eventhough secretly I may buy all those ZZCY memorabillias and download every single sceneshot from the series' fansites.

If I Am The Biggest Fan of Any Of The Above Stars, I Would...
Watch this series, try not to be disappointed and be an even bigger fan of *fill in the name you so desire*.

Verdict/Recommendation
Was it worth my RM180-00 for the VCDs? For Yue Ling, YES.

I may have been too critical on this series but there was one thing that I am certain about. This was quite an ENTERTAINING series in terms of the performances. However, from the story point of view, I didn't like it as much as I should. However, no doubt there were many boring parts, ridiculous parts or even illogical parts, and there was a moment that I felt that I might have wasted my money on this rather limp storyline but it did boast some of the best performances you will see and eventhough I may have said what I' ve said about Shou Shan, I have a feeling Qiu Xin Zhi will gain quite a number of admirers due his performance in here. Overall, my recommendation to you is to watch it with no expectations whatsoever, let yourself be entertained and ignore those blatant mistakes and weaknesses that it has and accept it for what it is; it won't be a classic and it won't be loved and remembered two years down the road but if you're into those stuff, you should know that it was ultimately a love story.

Again.... worth watching if you can stomach the inconsistencies and some of the illogical aspects of this series.

Interesting Reviews & Purchase
Another interesting review, albeit a glowing review can be found in SPCNET under Taiwan.

And if you would like to purchase the VCDs, especially if you're in Malaysia, you can buy the VCDs without the boxes, just the VCDs in its original form for about $200-00 but if can go lower to $180-00. Find them in Low Yat Plaza, KL (opposite Bukit Bintang Plaza) ground floor in the only video store there.
Interesting Comparison
Amongst all those reunion type of series (where somebody found somebody else, that somebody else they once met or knew a long long time ago), which was simply the best? ZZCY? Crimson Sabre? Flying Fox on Snowy Mountain? Tattooed Flower? Duke Of Mountdeer 2000? Princess Huai Yu? GGGGBTR? Ghost Husband? HZGG I?

My vote will go to the touching series, Huan Zhu Ge Ge I. This was one very different story by Qiong Yau. ZZCY wanted to do a reunion type series but somewhere in between the focus faltered and the whol estory shifted to somewhere totally irrelevant to the main plot about the sisters who didn't know they were sisters. HZGG I talked a bit on love but the main focus of the developing relationship between a father and his two daughters, one he assumed was his and another he didn't know was his real daughter was poignant, sad, emotional, happy, exciting. HZGG I was a very colourful story. ZZCY failed because it was too ambitious; the director wanted to show too much and in the end, it was bit bland with the reunion plot. Almost forgotten in fact. Quite a disappointing factor.
Interesting Observation I
Is Yue Ling trying to be a sex symbol? After her rather steamy love scenes with Johnny Liu Zhi Han in Women's Romance, in this series she began the series with a very suggestive note; she was naked. And then she had a scene on the bed with Zong Hua, and she was presumably naked under the sheets whilst Zong Hua was fully dressed (after their honeymoon you see) since she bared her naked shoulders. And then she had another scene where she laid on the bed with Zong Hua discussing about Tian Xin's problems and then he simply turned to face her and swoosh..off the camera went to the right leaving us guessing what were they about to do. A bed, a couple and night time, what do you think they were about to do? Tian Xin the sex symbol didn't even have a kissing scene! Does Yue Ling have what it takes to be a sex symbol? Physically no but I guess if you have enough confidence in yourself, it doesn't hurt to look sexy if you feel sexy. Just don't feel too sexy for your clothes, cats, cars, whatever.

By the way, Yue Ling is now in another big production and she will play a Princess and yes, it is a costume drama. Yippee!! Can't wait for that one. Thank you to Lee Yian who was kind enough to share this news with me.

Interesting Observation II
This is probably the only series in recent memory with Yue Ling in it that have forums dedicated to it. Quite positive and very encouraging towards the promotion of this series to the world market. But it didn't really make a splash in Taiwan, not as much as it should have as Princess Huai Yu was shown somewhere during the same time.However, this certainly wasn't Yue Ling's best series. Some still say Ghost Husband whilst I still say For Better Or For Worse. This ZZCY series is just like icing on the cake. If she is not better than in FBOW, then I shall say she was as good as she was years ago as she is now. And I think considering how high a compliment I paid to FBOW as a Taiwanese series (and I usually have nothing nice to say about Taiwanese series), I guess this is my best compliment to Yue Ling.

Interesting Rumour
It has been circulating around the net for some time now, that Qiu Xin Zhi and Yue Ling was once an item a long long time ago where they dated when they were filming a series with Liu De Kai. The only series that I can remember having Liu De Kai and Yue Ling together is Xin Yue Ge Ge. That series had very few people, apart from Liew Zhi Wei, I can't remember seeing Qiu Xin Zhi in it. Unless he was that little brother of hers which would be defamatory for me to say so. Maybe there was another series.....

Interesting Concept
Why is it that Ah Tzi Tsang died a happy man when Shou Shan wore that brown fish net dress and then he killed himself, laughing happily when he should be crying and kicking? Was was he so happy about even if he knew he had to die?

If you're a Westerner, you may not understand the Chinese thinking that exists even now. You see, a man must have a son for primarily 3 reasons; to take care of him when he is old, to carry on the family name and the most important of all, to be the one to carry that white lantern or something that looks like a lantern when he died and is about to be buried. This is to indicate you have a son to escort you to your final moments, even after death and so that every year there's someone to clean your grave, "visit" you, etc. And if you have many sons, the responsibility lies in the eldest son.

Why not a daughter? A daughter is considered, I guess a temporary good thing you will have, because she must marry one day and from thereon, considered to be gone since she will marry the man's family and die as the man's family. She can't carry on the family name nor carry that lantern. I truly believe this is what most men would want, especially Chinese man, which is why there is a general favouritism for sons than daughters. However, some also believe that by your daughter marrying a man, you gain a son rather than losing your daughter whilst by your son marrying, you lose your son because he has a family of his own now. Remember the very true saying? Father takes care of the son, and the son in turn takes care of his own son. Who then takes care of the father?

What about an adopted son or you remarried with step sons? If no sons of your own, adopted son will do. If you remarried with no sons, step sons will do. But if you have your own sons and even with step sons and adopted sons, no matter how estrange you may be with your real son, the responsibility lies with you real flesh and blood son, though he may not even contribute a single penny to the funeral expenses.

Anyway, some more interesting concept. Ah Tzi Tsang was probably 50 plus when he died? Well if such was the case, do notice whether Shou Shan was wearing a blue ribbon around his waist or somewhere. Why some lanterns had blue words, and some had red words? Why some ribbons are red and some blue?

I tell you Chinese has a bunch of rules when it comes to the dead. Anyway, blue is for those who died before a certain age, and these people are considered to have left us much too early. Blue is the colour of mourning in Chinese funerals. Red on the other hand, if you noticed are used in Chinese weddings. So it means auspicious occasion, even a happy one where we rejoice. Well in death, if you reach a certain age and you die at that certain age, you get to have a happy funeral, because to Chinese you are supposed to die years ago and whatever years of living left until your death are considered a bonus. So everybody wears red and nobody really cries because you are considered to have lived a full life, more so if you have great grandchildren, and so on those death notices, they will certainly write when you were born and when you died like in western funerals. But the more important details in those notices would be how many generations you have when you died, you as the one who died is considered the 1st generation and the age when you died will be added 3 years to the final age of when you die.

I used to think that the cut off age was 60 years old, which will be when most old people have their golden jubilees type of banquet. But I was told that 100 is the correct number, though nowadays, those that died when they're 80 or more are considered happy death and thus will have all the red colours. Of course theoretically you're supposed to rejoice in the funeral but in real life,...you know what? Chinese funerals, especially those old ones are quite a spectacle. Family cries, true but I have seen others playing mahjongs (best game ever invented!), cards, eating, drinking, laughing. It could almost be like a family gathering.

By the way, when I say rejoice, I am not saying that people celebrate your death. It simply means that people celebrate the fact that you once lived and that you have lived it well.

By the way, if any immediate family member that died younger than you, like God forbid, your children, you're not supposed to escort the burial of the casket. Chinese believes that "black haired person should be the one to escort the white haired person" and a white haired person is forbidden to escort a black haired person because dying earlier than your parents of whatever circumstances is considered an act of an unfilial child. Even if you really want to escort the child, whatever his/her age may be, Chinese believes that by doing so you will only aggravate the sin of your child even more and thus more sufferings in the after life.

All these are relevant if you're Chinese and of the Chinese religion but not if you're Buddhist though. And I guess that this modern world today may have eroded a lot of Chinese tradition but 2 very fundamental one remained unchanged and even young people still observe; they are the gathering for dinner on the Chinese calendar of the 30th night for Chinese New Year dinner and funerals, Ching Ming (Clean Your Ancestors' Graves Day) included.

Did you know in Chinese calendar which is the most important festival of all? People like to think it is Chinese New Year but the actual one is when you eat those "Tong Yuen" or ginger soup with those colourful flour balls (I do not know how to translate it). We always say "Gor Tung" when the day comes. I am not sure what you would call it in English. Every one ball eaten is believed to add a year to your age. I hope it is in terms of maturity and not real age because if it is, I should be of the ripe old age of about 80 or so by now.

And what about those chinese sticky rice in the triangle shape? What's so special about that day called, and I hope I got the festival's name right, "Tuen Ng Jit"? Chinese has this word, "wat" used in the context of being framed and only found in the Cantonese language. I was told that this word has its origin from this festival and the person they commemorate. Once there was a gifted scholar named Wat Yuen and he was framed for something I can't remember (thus the word "Wat Yuen Yau Wat"-framed again and again). Out of sheer desperation, he jumped and drowned. To commemorate him, in the olden days Chinese are more superstitious than now, they made and threw these sticky rice in pudding leaves into the river for the fishes to eat so that they don't eat his dead body. Quite sentimental bunch of people.

For Malaysian Indians, it is not Deepavali (Festival of the Lights) but Thaipusam (commemorating the triumph of Lord Murugan over evil) and you should come around this time to experience the over crowded festival at Batu Caves where the battle was believed to have taken place and where Lord Murugan finally rested. By the way Lord Murugan is the son of Lord Shiva, the most important God in the Hindu religion who is the God of Destruction. There is a Lord Ganesan, that elephant God though I am not sure if I got the spellings right.

For Malays I guess Malay New Year, you know Ramadhan month where they fast for a month and then eat their hearts out on the day of the new year?

For Christian I guess Christmas though Jesus Christ wasn't born on Christmas Day.

Interesting eh? For once I have something Interesting for my Interesting answer to an Interesting Question, even if I asked myself and answered it myself.

Interesting History
Totally fiction in some parts of the story, but there was one historically real character in here.And this is one real person whose own self named title was used in many series from various Qing period but Old Buddha was the only name ever been used by one Empress Dowager in the history of China and that was Cixi.

I am not sure what was the great fascination with the tyrant Empress Dowager Old Buddha but these days we have a lot of series that if set in the Qing Dynasty and all portrayed her as powerful, influential, definitely plays favourtism but with one very apparent deviation from the historically correct Empress Dowager; that she is fair, reasonable and just. HZGG II and ZZCY included, plus many more in resent memory. Would she have acted the same as the Old Buddha in ZZCY when she knew her favourite god granddaughter was playing scheming games and falsely accused Ming Zhu who could be beheaded because of that one lie that she stole the pearls? Let me ask you this.

If you have someone proclaiming herself as Old Buddha, what kind of person do you think that person is?

Arrogant? Check. Pompous? Check. Harsh? Check. Unrealistic? Check. Power crazy? Check. Exceedingly vain? Check. Narrow minded? Check. Hyprocrite? Check. Cruel? Check. Stupid? Check. Fair?.....Nice?....Follows the law?...Has a conscience?..Uncheck these last few items.

Do remember this was the very same woman who usurped power from her very own son and nephew, rumoured to have poisoned the Queen who treated her like a sister, on his deathbed the Emperor her husband wrote an edict that gave the Queen the power to kill her if she had to, kicked her pregnant daughter in law to death (or did she tried her up high and then released her and thus she fell to her death?), asked his favourite eunuch (rumoured lover as well) to throw his own niece, her nephew the Emperor's favourite concubine down the well, forced her own nephew (Emperor Guang Xu) to depression and thereafter die of ill health unloved and uncared for, practically ignored the corrupt eunuchs and let them be and single handedly destroyed the already weakened empire by being ignorant of the people's woes and hardships.

For such a wicked evil ignorant egoistical tyranical person, I do wonder how can I ever believe a character called Old Buddha to be fair, just and to my shock, nice? I guess the first lesson in life is to never ever use a title/name so engraved with a real person onto a character in a series/movies with a totally opposite personality. It either showed that writer was ignorant or trying to imply that us the well read and well informed viewers are so naive and possibly stupid so as to believe that fiction can be distinguished from facts even if the fiction is partly based on a fact. But you may say "Funn, it was only a name". Yes, and try making a movie with the very real Adolf Hitler as a nice fair misunderstood man who loved Jews and never really meticulously murdered more than a million Jews during WWII and guess what? You could be lying dead in the gutter the next day.

Some things just can't be altered.


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