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
Lady Warriors Of The Yang Family
Yang Men Nu Jiang (Mandarin)
Yeung Moon Nui Jeong (Cantonese)

There is something really funny about this series, that is how many different titles that it has. First it was Legendary Fighter-Yang Heroine, you can even see this title in the official wallpapers, then it became The Yang Heroines for lazy people like me and Seagull who hates to type such long title and now, in a recent promotion in Singapore, it became, officially Lady Warriors of The Yang Family. Even its Chinese title is not spared. First it was Shih Shih Nu Ying Xiong - Nu Er Dang Zhi Chiang which actually translated as "14 Female Warriors-Power To Women". Now it is simply Yang Men Nu Jiang which means what else but "Lady Warriors Of The Yang Family". This series has a serious identity crisis.

Description
A joint production between Singapore, China and Taiwan, set in the Song Dynasty about the famous women in the Yang family who helped to protect the Song Empire from the enemy (in this series the Liaos). Directed by famous director Li Guoli.

Produced By
Definitely NOT TVB.

The Difference
Modernized and retold in a different style. As most of the men in the Yang family were martyred in the war, the Yang ladies learnt martial arts to protect themselves. Through their prowess and bravery, they exposed the plots of their enemies and managed to protect their country from invasion. Shot in China, this drama also boasts spectacular sets, sceneries and elaborate costumes, this big budget Mandarin series boasts a very prolific cast from all these countries. Most Yang stories focuses on Mok Gwai Ying, one of the wives of the Yang Generals, this series you'll see a fresh perspective, from the character of Yang Ba Mei, the only daughter of the Yang family. And you get to see the perspective of the Liaos as well, represented by the story of Yin Jing, Mu Yi/Si Lang and Jin Ling.

Length
40 episodes

Status Of The Voices
100% dubbed in Mandarin

Basic Story & Some Spoilers Revealed
Read Seagull's review. Rumour has it this series will have tragedies, unfulfilled love and some disowned some other. Tragic stuff.

Unanswered Questions
1. Why Yin Jing's mom, I assume a Queen which Seagull told me is the ruler of Liaos would let a nobody (like Si Lang) marry Yin Jing?
2. Who Si Lang really really really loved?
3. If the whole story shifted to Ba Mei, why then add in Mu Gui Ying?
4. Did all the Yang Generals died in the beginning or is there a flashback on how these women lost their husbands in the war?
5.What is the ending for all the characters? Will Yang An die?
6. What does Cheng Pei Pei do in here? I know she is the matriarch of the Yang family but any story for her?
9.Who are the Liaos? Where are they from?
10. Who plays the Song King?
11. Does Si Lang know any Kung Fu or is he the bona fide Yang wimp?
12.Why must Si Lang and Yin Jing's son have such ugly hairstyle? Liaos have no barbers is it?
13. How can one cure ones own illness by eating someone else's hair?!

The Answered Questions
Seagull raised some pretty interesting questions in her review. I haven't seen this series, only an episode or two but I will try to answer her questions from a logical point of view.

Why the heck Liao mommy sent younger daughter to be a spy and not big daughter instead?
Strange huh? Probably she loved Yin Jing more than Jin Ling. But the truth is, Jin Ling was not sent to Song as a captive but she went there as a spy and nobody knew she was a Liao right? RIGHT? And Yin Jing is destined to be the future Liao ruler, right? RIGHT? So if you're mommy, will you send the rightful heir to die or the "spare part" to die? Huh? RIGHT! Exactly. BUT if Jin Ling is sent to the Song as a political captive, then it will be a bit strange because usually to assure the Song that Liao will not do anything hanky panky stuff like war, Liao would probably send Yin Jing since as Song, would you want "spare part" as the hostage or the rightful heir? Huh? RIGHT! Exactly! The question is, who is more important?

Why must there be war?
Seagull was screaming this, probably because she liked Jin Ling and she died. Poor thing. But the truth is, I would say there are two types of rulers; one who wants peace and is contented and the other are those that create great empires by crushing all enemies and creating a glorious empire for HER descendants to rule over. If there was never Shih Huang Ti, there would be no unified whatever. I believe war to establish ones own power is essential in being a great leader. Daughters can be sacrificed because country is first. But there comes a price, like your own people suffering and you may have to sacrifice your own flesh and blood. The first ruler were those that create bloodshed and the later ones will be those hailed as the greatest and most peaceful ruler because since grandpapa crushed all enemies, you would have no enemies to threaten you right? Empress Siao probably chose to conquer the world, at whatever cost for the sake of her future descendants. War is inevitable, when you have useless King calling the shots at the enemy land when YOU know you could do better. Whether you could do better is a different stuff. And frankly, if the Liaos did not attack the Songs, wouldn't Song have attacked the Liaos first? It's a matter of who acts first. Did Song lose to Liaos? Will research on that.

Why the heck wimpy Si Lang married Yin Jing?
I also want to know. I have read some said it was because of a threat. Some said it was gratitude. Seagull said gratitude, fear and at last, because they had a son together. Thanks to Seagull, I saw a clip on the two women fighting and some screen captures had English subtitles on it, so I guess I know 90% of the story to enable me to give an answer. I feel Si Lang being a Yang must have been an honourable person, because I belief everybody else being so patriotic he must have been one. Then he was injured, presumed dead and was saved by the enemy's princess. Perhaps at first it was the fear, fear of dying, fear of never being able to see his wife, fear of everything that stopped him from killing himself. So he married poor Yin Jing, who never realised their marriage was a sham from the beginning. But WAIT! Many years later, he saw his wife again but he finally chose Yin Jing, voluntarily. WHY?! Seagull said they got a son, and son played an important part. I think however DUHHH Roger looked as Si Lang in that clip I saw, you could see a bit of guilt whenever he looked at his ex-wife, not affection. I feel he stayed with Yin Jing because he truly loved her. I am not sure if the series showed this or not, but imagine this. He has got plenty of opportunity to write home, volunteer to be a spy, assassinate the queen but he didn't. Why? Probably because he loved Yin Jing and wouldn't do anything to harm her. I have read how many fans were really angry with him when he stood by when Liaos attacked the Songs with his own Han people fighting there for their country and all he did was cry. What would you expect he to do? Charge at the Songs? Then we would call him a traitor. Rush and kill the Liaos? Then we see him as someone who forgets the kindness that the Liaos showered upon him. Hey! He was a nobody but mommy let daughter, precious daughter marry a nobody and the Liaos, not exactly bad people accepted him, I assume with no questions asked! So when he stood by and did nothing, we call him a wimp. Poor guy. Move left, he dies, move right, he dies. Don't move, die also. Poor guy but still a wimp. It didn't help he had this big eagle as his head gear.

Why won't Song King just give some moustache to Paifeng?
I read in Seagull's review that the king ran away when he was asked to snip off a few of his moustache to give to Paifeng as a cure. And Seagull couldn't understand how this king can be so useless and spineless. What I couldn't understand is what gave the Yangs such a brave heart as to ask the king to snip some of his moustache to give to a servant girl???????? Remember, he IS the Son of Heaven you know. What Yang did for him was a must being patriotic but what the King was asked to do was optional. So the King is useless and spineless but he had every right to decline such request. Remember the saying? If the Emperor wants me to die, I shall die. No questions asked. You don't have sayings like "If my people wants me to die, I will die. No questions ask." It just shows what a bad king he is but the truth is, he will probably kill everybody first before he kills himself.

What gave the Monks the right to interfere?
Actually Seagull asked this with regards to Madam White Snake and I know that story well. I asked the same question too. Everybody has their own opinion. True, if no harm was done, why poke your head into other people's affair? Let me tell you a real story which will illustrate my answer, though it does not represent my views. I agree with Seagull by the way.

One fine day a bunch of police barged into an apartment looking for something and found something interesting instead. They found a tape and a bunch of doctors and professionals were indulging in some perverse act of sexually depraving acts, like you know, using a sand paper and rub you-know-where and used nails to you know, nail themselves. Some were doctors, so no harm was done, they were all consenting adults, the tape was filmed for private viewing, all done in a private place. If the tape was never found, nobody would have known. Well, the police arrested these bunch of people, the court upon seeing the tape convicted them on the moral basis; that if you're doing something immoral in the eyes of the society, we the courts will be like your parents and impose restrictions and punishments on society's behalf. A moral ground was used to convict them.

Poor people eh? True story you know. R V Brown, the best legal case I have ever read, because it was so sadistic. Now what gave the courts the right to impose their own values on other people? No harm was done right?

Same as in Madam White Snake. Some things are not meant to be, some are unnatural, so what is not meant to be, can't be. The monk had his own point of view. Snakes and humans cannot mate and have off springs. That will be against the law of nature as in against the law of species. It's like that guy in Madam White Snake is a sick zoophiles you know! I feel if no harm was done so why bother this happy couple though I am against sex with animals like in Madam White Snake which is sex with reptiles in human form but still reptiles in true form (YUCKY!) but some people just had to bother about other people's affairs. Like your own mom saying; "Why are you going out with that no good punk? Why? Don't go! Stay home!". Same old thing. Luckily I am not doing a review on Madam White Snake, if not I'll go on and on and on about sickos and reptiles!

My View
Personally, I saw two episodes of this series online. The starting scene was magnificent, where they began with the war that killed the Yang men. There were drums, dust, great cinematography and loads and loads of people. And then the story shifts to the lead, Carmen, how she met her future love interest, Yang An. Obviously, I didn't reach the episode where Yue Ling appears. What I find most disappointing is that the voices are dubbed and so we can't hear Taiwanese speaking in their own voices. What is even more surprising is that in the song trailer, I saw Marsha Yuen, Wan Yeung Ming and many other HK actors. I am still wondering what role Ben Wong plays. Overall, I feel the whole atmosphere of this series is very big, very crowded and yet very thrilling. However, the story does not intrigue me and the only reason I would want to watch this series is for Yue Ling. First time seeing her paired with Roger, a fresh new combination and I like her costumes in the pictures. And perhaps Carmen Lee will be another reason for me to watch because she is very pretty in here and the costumes are great, though a bit over the board with the head gear. Either too high, or too much fur or too much flowers.

Anyway, I saw one trailer that Seagull was so kind to make for me (SEAGULL, HUGGGGG), and it was the funniest. Si Niang was insulting Yin Jing and they fought and then they laughed. I wasn't impressed with those Yang women behind cheering, I thought they acted like pure bimbos, Ba Mei was not there, the voice dubbing was horrible, the Kung Fu was quite a headache to watch (CTHD THE BEST!) and frankly, the actress who played Si Niang was ok, not great but then I haven't seen all the episodes. The costumes a bit cumbersome, with over the top head gear which is a bit overdone. Anyway, in here I shall talk about Yue Ling as Yin Jing..

Saw her in 3 trailers, and I must say, she could fight very convincingly and she has aged a lot, but that's besides the point. And it was funny how she was trying to fight for her husband, legs shaking, hair flew everywhere. It was a funny sight and Yue Ling could do both action and comedy. A very cute scene. Then I saw the soundless trailer where she found out Roger was a Yang. No sound was ok since it was dubbed anyway. Her eyes, her expressions, all were well done. In fact Roger was great as well. Acted like a total wimp and he walked like one.

All in all, Yue Ling was great, from those few trailers I saw. She had the right amount of tears, the right amount of laughter. Seagull didn't quite like Yin Jing but reading her review, however spoilt Yin Jing was, if she was a Liao Empress she would have made an honourable and righteous Liao Empress. Look at the consequences she had to face for helping the Yangs.

But one thing kept bugging me. WHY CAN'T YUE LING BE ONE OF THE YANGs? WHY MUST SHE BE A GUEST STAR ONLY?

Disappointing Observation
Saw one promo where the actress who played Yang Lady Warriors were clad skimpily in either bikini or tight pants. I was more annoyed than impressed. If they're trying to make Yang warriors into some hot sexy babes, then they might as well made a 3rd Category film out of the famous story. Where is the honour when all you could see is flesh?! Selling film or selling flesh?!

And one more thing. I saw the cast list, and frankly I have this feeling the acting may not be up to my own very HIGHHHHH standards. 40% Hong Kong actors, 30% Singaporeans, the rest China and Taiwanese. No wonder they had to dub the film. This same dread I have when I saw the cast list for the all new Journey To The West. Even with Dicky, and even if it becomes a hit. I have this feeling I will hate it. Sammi Cheng as Kuan Yin? For Kuan Yin's sake, find somebody that fits the role please! And we have one who can't act! What is happening here? Why Dicky accepted such an offer? For money or because he loved his Monkey King too much? I know I am jumping the gun here but when a series gets such big big cast with big big stars, you always have a flop. Even if they earn lots of money, critics will usually hate it.

So far, Yang Heroines is doing well. High ratings, I heard.

Is It Out Yet... in VCD format?
Nope. The series just ended in Taiwan. The VCD will eventually come out but it won't be for 2-3 months. Hopefully TVB will buy the rights and so we can all rent it.

Will there be a review by you Funn?
I don't think so. I have already written my feelings in here, and Seagull wrote a really good one already. So there is no need for me to repeat what is already said. And frankly I am only interested in Yue Ling's character. I am not intrigued by this series.


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