DRAMA REVIEW: SECRET HISTORY OF KANGXI (康熙秘史)

Since I’ve just finished watching Secret History of Kangxi, I thought I should do a review on it while it’s still fresh in my head.

A huge thanks to Craze for recommending this drama to me or else I might miss Wallace’s best Qing dynasty look.KXMS5

This review contains spoilers!

I am gonna admit, this is one of the dramas that has the most soap opera moments that I’ve ever watched. But I still enjoyed it even though I’m a little bit confused by the timeline. Sometime it seems like only a few days have passed but all of them already have mustaches. Sometime it says 3 years later but they talked like it has only been weeks.

All the female actresses are very pretty and have the ancient beauty feel, unlike current ancient drama, where everything seems so plastic 😛 and too modern.

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Synopsis from DramaWki :

The fourth installment of the “Mi Shi” series gives a fictionalized spin on Kangxi’s maturation process and road to independent rule complete with love triangles and dramatic emphasis. After Regent Sou Ni’s death during Emperor Kangxi’s eighth year of reign, Kangxi (Xia Yu) sees an opportunity to gain complete independence as a ruler. One day while visiting the home of one of his ministers, Kangxi encounters and becomes smitten with Ao Bai’s (Du Yu Lu) beautiful daughter, Qingge’er (Hu Jing). Unaware of Kangxi’s true identity, Qingge’er tries to reject his aggressive advances. Minister Nalan Ming Zhu’s (Bo Guan Jun) gallant and talented son, Nalan Xing De (Wallace Chung), sees her plight and comes to her rescue, angering the spoiled young Emperor. This fateful encounter marks the beginning of both rivalry and eventual mutual respect.

Synopsis from me:

After seeing how Qingge’er disrespected him and ignored him even after knowing his Emperor identity, Kangxi actually fell in love with her. However Qingge’er only has eyes for Nalan. This hurts Kangxi’s ego and angered him. Despite being annoyed with Nalan, Kangxi is impressed by his talent and gallant character. Thus he decided to let him stay by his side as an imperial bodyguard. At first, Nalan questioned Kangxi’s capability and thought he is just a spoiled Emperor (which he is, most of the time).

After knowing his dilemmas and ambitions, Nalan is amazed and believed he can become a great Emperor. After several incidents, they became closer with each other and formed a brotherlybond. However Nalan’s childhood sweetheart/cousin Nalan Hui Er (Shi Xiao Qun) became Kangxi’s consort while the woman that Kangxi claimed to love the most, Qingge’er is in love with Nalan, Hence there is always some tensions between them. It is a love-hate relationship 😛 . Eventually Nalan also fell in love with Qingge’er but they did not have a happily ever after life awaiting them.

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Xia Yu as Emperor Kangxi (I tried my very best to find some good pictures of Xia Yu’s Kangxi, but this is all I got)

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Wallace Chung as Nalan Xing De (It’s totally different for Wallace, where I got some really  good pictures. I wonder why.)

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Hu Jing as Qingge’er

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Shi Xiao Qun as Nalan Hui Er

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Wu Qian Qian as Grand Empress Dowager Xiao Zhuang

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Chae Rim (Korean) as He She Li A.K.A. Empress Xiao Chen Gren

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At first I thought it’s weird for Nalan to suddenly fall in love with Qingge’er, but then I realized he had already fallen in love with her before Hui Er became Emperor Kangxi’s consort. When Kangxi wanted Nalan to reject Qingge’er in front of him in exchange for Hui Er’s exemption from entering the palace, he didn’t do it even though it means Hui Er will need to enter the palace and has the chance to be chosen as a consort. He also couldn’t admit that Hui Er is his childhood sweetheart in front of Qingge’er even thought he swore to love only her in his entire life just a moment ago. I think the reason he couldn’t do it is not just because he’s too kind to hurt Qingge’er, since he’s very blunt when it comes to what’s right or wrong. If he has no feelings for her he would have told her directly long before that.

He might think that he and Qingge’er won’t have a future together since she’s Ao Bai’s daughter and he already has his Hui Er. However, I do believe he loves Hui Er more. He might have started to develop feelings for Qingge’er when Hui Er was out of town for 3 years. Nalan might sound unfaithful here, but he rejected Qingge’er many times even when she said she was willing to be a concubine as Hui Er would be thewife. After Hui Er became Kangxi’s consort, he kinda attempted suicide.  Even though he has feelings for Qingge’er, it’s definitely not as deep as his love for Hui Er. At least not before he was assured that Hui Er was having a good life in the palace.

Until the end, I still think the person he loves the most is Hui Er. Come on she’s his first love, so nobody can beat that 😛  He just learned to let go and moved on. It’s the same for Hui Er. I don’t think she will ever look at Kangxi in the same way she looked at her Nalan biao xiong (older cousin). I mean who would fall for others (including Emperor) when you already had such a noble, kind, gentle, talented, handsome and knowledgeable biao siong? Especially when the Emperor is such a jerk.

This version of Kangxi is my least favorite Kangxi, needless to say Wallace’s Kangxi in Royal Tramp is one of my favorite 😛 Xia Yu’s Kangxi is so unreasonable, selfish and smug. Maybe this is what a real Emperor is like? I don’t blame Xiao Yu though. I think it’s the script.

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Hui Er is smitten with his biao xiong’s poems.

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Look at these two love birds.

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The “hero comes to rescue the beauty” scene.

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Nalan finally accepted Qingge’er’s love.

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Hui Er: Biao xiong, where are you? Please come to save me!

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While Lady He She Li tried very hard to get Kangxi’s love.

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Some bromance moment.

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Kangxi: Why did all the ladies choose Nalan Xing De?!

HImmy: Do you really need to ask?

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