As an important genre of drama, Chinese historical drama emerged in the 1980s and were one of the first Chinese dramas to mature and perform best in the market. China's long and storied history provides a large pool of material for such works, and the creative approach, which is far removed from the sensitive areas of reality, also gives it a wider and freer narrative space.
"Nirvana In Fire", "The Qin Empire 1", and "Judge of the Song Dynasty" are three classic Chinese historical dramas that have been the subject of much debate among Internet users. All of them have been recognized by viewers in the TV era and have earned high scores on Douban (China's most popular movie & drama rating platform), which is mainly for young users.
In recent years, traditional historical dramas have become increasingly rare, with a marked increase in idolized historical dramas driven by film and television platforms. The industry is placing more and more emphasis on costumes, makeup and props, which is what the market demands and there is no excuse, but classic works should not just be forgotten. A good costume historical drama can recreate the spiritual world of the ancients. The history books usually only record the major events and do not care about the smallest details. But in the drama, precisely those vivid details constitute the essence of the historical figures.
Nirvana In Fire
Brief description of Nirvana In Fire
Mei Chang Su (played by Hu Ge) is originally far from the court, but there are rumors about him: "Jiangzuo Mei Changsu is extremely talented, smart, and wise, whoever gets his help will be able to dominate the world."
As the leader of the largest gang "Jiangzuo Alliance", Mei Changsu has the highest status in the Jianghu, but he is a sickly young man, weak, carrying a huge case of injustice and blood feud more than a decade ago, even behind his birth also hides a huge secret.
Twelve years ago, in the period of the Datong of Southern Liang, the Northern Wei Dynasty raised its troops to the south, and the young commander of the Chi Yan Army, Lin Shu, went with his father to fight against the enemy, leading 70,000 soldiers, but unexpectedly 70,000 soldiers were framed by treacherous people and buried unjustly in Meiling. Lin Shu survived the massacre, underwent treatment, and changed his appearance to become Mei Changsu, the master of the "Jiangzuo Alliance", the country's largest gang.
Twelve years later, Mei Changsu returns to the imperial capital on the pretext of recuperating from an illness, and from then on, he embarks on the road to revenge, to avenge his injustice, and to take over the throne. When he faced his marriage pact Mu Ni Huang (played by Liu Tao), his old friend King Jing Xiao Jing Yan (played by Wang Kai), and all the familiar past, he could only silently endure everything.
In seemingly inadvertent moves again and again, with a sickly body only hand set off waves of blood shadow shock, assisted the bright King Jing to ascend the throne, for the 70,000 red flame loyal soul washed snow stigma.
In one seemingly unintentional move after another, Mei Changsu set off shock with his sickly body, aided the bright King Jing to ascend the throne, and washed away the stigma for 70,000 loyal souls of the Chi Yan Army.
However, due to the chaotic governance of Emperor Wu of Liang in his later years, the border was in turmoil and the Eastern Wei, which had been established on behalf of the Northern Wei, took advantage of the opportunity to raise an army to the south, and no one in the dynasty was able to lead the army.
In order to solve the national difficulties, Mei Changsu, despite the weakness of his body, decided to lead the army to the expedition, with only three months, led the army of Great Liang to settle the war in one fell swoop, also the Great Liang to peace and stability. And at this time, Mei Changsu, also tormented by the last bit of his heart and soul, ended his life in the battlefield.
Reviews of Nirvana In Fire
In 2015, Daylight Entertainment's "The Disguiser" and "Nirvana In Fire" aired one after another. The former triggered a ratings frenzy as soon as it started broadcasting. The latter showed a slow trend, and the ratings came out of a curve that was first depressed and then rose.
"Nirvana In Fire" is an adaptation of the online novel of the same name. From the broadcast version, the script is basically faithful to the original novel and gives full play to the strengths that attracted fans of the original novel in the first place.
"Nirvana In Fire" is a costume drama, but it has the sense of the depth of a historical drama; it is a court drama, but there is no shortage of harem plots; it is a powerful drama, but it is also full of disputes between rivals and lakes. The actual fact is that it is very difficult to categorize this drama with a ready-made type. The positioning given by the industry at that time was: a graceful drama, like a legend.
Throughout the entire production of Nirvana In Fire, both the costumes, props, etiquette, and other external forms of expression, as well as the ideological connotations and temperament of the characters in the play, all contain a strong Chinese style.
Mei Changsu has been planning for thirteen years to help King Jing ascend to the throne, partly to clear the injustice, but the greater demand is to support the wise and wise, to reverse the decline of the dynasty, to create a politically clear and prosperous era. He is wise and resourceful, righteous, caring for the citizens, the pursuit of fairness and justice, behind the fantastic strategy has the ambition of ruling the country, which is the traditional Chinese scholar's moral character and political ideals.
"Nirvana In Fire" is the only costume drama of Douban rank that has been on air for nearly a decade, with 700,000 people giving it a high score of 9.4 in Douban. This is not only the best Douban score for Daylight Entertainment's work, but also one of the best even in the entire field of Chinese costume dramas. It is a well-deserved good episode.
The Qin Empire
The Qin Empire series has a total of four parts: Lie Bian (2009), Zong Heng (2013), Jue Qi (2017), and Qin Dynasty Epic (2020), the most popular are the first works.
Although the title of the series is The Qin Empire, it starts from the Warring States period, presents the process of the Qin state from weakness to strength through the change of laws, the struggle with the six states to unify the country, the establishment of the Qin Dynasty, and the final demise. It is an epic poem that takes the Qin state as the main point of view to show the magnificent waves of the Warring States period.
The work focuses on respecting historical facts, with only moderate artistic processing, which also incorporates a lot of the latest archaeological historical materials. In order to restore the historical truth as much as possible, the crew invited several historians to serve as historical advisors, carefully examining the characters, artifacts, and historical events in the play to show the audience the reason why Qin Shi Huang was able to unify ancient China.
A small and impoverished country was built by more than a dozen generations of Qin people to achieve the dream of a great nation through trials and tribulations. Through the interpretation of the fog of history, The Qin Empire series allow more viewers to reacquaint themselves with this period of history.
Brief description of The Qin Empire Ⅰ
Two thousand seven hundred years ago, the Spring and Autumn Period came to an end and the Huaxia nation entered the Warring States Period. Qin, then a small state in the northwest, had been devastated by the six kingdoms and was now on the verge of annihilation.
In 362 B.C., Duke Xian of Qin, who was full of ambition and vowed to take back the old Qin homeland of Hexi, led his army to fought against the army of Wei on the west bank of the Yellow River and died of a poisoned arrow.
His son Duke Xiao of Qin took the throne, but the state was already in a desperate situation, with a lack of troops and a weak state. Duke Xiao of Qin vowed to change the law to strengthen his country and called for wise men from all over the country.
Shang Yang, who had been unpromising in the state of Wei, came to the state of Qin and was reappointed by the Duke of Qin with his talent and clear understanding of the country situation. Duke Xiao of Qin appointed Shang Yang as his minister and started a twenty-year reform.
Shang Yang issued a series of decrees: private fights and brawls were forbidden, civilians with war merits could also receive official titles, fiefdoms were abolished, the Well-field system was abolished, and a series of other propositions.
These decrees, however, violated the rights and interests of some powerful ministers of Qin, they hated Shang Yang deeply. But in order to convince the people of the authenticity of the decree, Shang Yang, through real actions and rewards, won the trust of the people and burned the brand of "law" into the hearts of all Qin people. The reforms led to the prosperity of the Qin state. In order to gain the firm support of the Qin royal family, Shang Yang married Princess Ying Yu, the intelligent and virtuous sister of the Duke Xiao of Qin.
After the second batch of Shang Yang's decrees were promulgated one after another, the decree to abolish the fiefdoms of the nobles angered the nobles of the Qin Dynasty. In the subsequent incident in which the prince killed the villagers in anger, Shang Yang deposed the prince and exiled him to the mountains. After this incident, the storms in the court subsided, and Shang Yang knew his own situation and that the hatred was a situation that could not be solved.
As a master of Legalism, Shang Yang was leading the Qin state step by step closer to his ideal world of great governance. Exactly twenty years passed, the reforms lasted for twenty years, the new army of Qin was trained, the country was rich and the people were strong, but both Duke Xiao of Qin and Shang Yang were old. Duke Xiao recalled Prince Ying Si, who had been in exile for twenty years, and died. Prince Ying Si took the throne and was called "King Huiwen of Qin".
After Ying Si's accession, the old ministers who had been secretly sabotaging the reform began to act. When they heard that the new ruler Ying Si also had the idea of killing Shang Yang, they began to conspire about it. Shang Yang was forced to hand over the power and military authority in his hands and led his ministers to revise the Qin law for the last time, and was frankly arrested and divided.
It is in such a fission that the ancient Qin tribe is reborn. They burned themselves, and with a tragic story of blood and tears, love and hate, they pushed the whole era forward, merging with the six states of the Central Plains, and jointly achieving the rightful source of Chinese civilization.
Reviews of The Qin Empire Ⅰ
Classic Chinese drama “The Qin Empire Ⅰ (2009)” is a historical drama series that depicts the rise of the Qin state during the Warring States period in ancient China. It focuses on the political and military reforms of Duke Xiao of Qin and his advisor Shang Yang, as well as their conflicts with rival states and internal factions. The series has received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. It has also won 13 awards and received one nomination at various Chinese film and television festivals.
The production value of the drama is quite impressive, with excellent cinematography and set design that accurately depicts the era of the Qin dynasty. The costumes are also well-researched and lend authenticity to the characters and their environments. If you are interested in the history of Duke Xiao of Qin and Shang Yang, you might enjoy watching this series.
Judge of Song Dynasty
Brief description of Judge of Song Dynasty
Song Ci has achieved a good result as a presented scholar in the imperial examinations, and he meets with his friend Meng Liangchen in a restaurant. Meng Liangchen was appointed as the magistrate of Mei County, and Song Ci was worried about his friend going to the dangerous road alone, so he wanted to accompany his friend to the border city after the wedding.
On the day of the wedding, Song Ci's father was late in returning home, and the whole family was looking forward to him. On the occasion of the wedding ceremony, a carriage suddenly arrives, and the carriage brings back the remains of Song's father - Song Gong, who has been engaged in criminal justice and counter-insurgency all his life and has never made any mistakes, but died because of a misjudgment of human life. His father left a note forbidding the descendants of the Song family to get involved in criminal and prison work.
The sad news that Meng Liangchen was killed on his way to his appointment came soon after. Under the guidance of his mother, Song Ci went to Mei County to clarify the truth about the tragic murders of the two governors. From then on, Song Ci rose to fame and was promoted by the court to be the sixth-ranking principal of the Court of Judicature and Revision. Shortly afterward, Song Ci suddenly asked for permission to leave the capital and was appointed as a presiding judge in a foreign province.
After being appointed as a presiding judge, Song Ci, with his excellent means of examination and reasoning, solved one difficult case after another, and his fame was greatly enhanced. The then Minister of the Ministry of Personnel, Song Ci's father-in-law Xue Ting Song in the court to lobby hard to transfer Song Ci back to the capital, but Song Ci insisted on staying in the provinces.
The case of theft of 200,000 taels of silver occurred in Jiazhou, Xue Ting Song in the court recommended Song Ci to take charge of solving the case. Song Ci lived up to the expectations and the case was solved. Due to the merit of solving the case, the Emperor of Song decreed to transfer Song Ci to the capital as a presiding judge of the capital. After entering the capital, Song Ci and his father-in-law still had little contact.
At his father-in-law's 60th birthday banquet, a man named Shi Wenjun spoiled the fun of the guests. The next day, the news came that Shi Wenjun was sent to prison for fornicating with the enemy. Song Ci received the order from the emperor to review the case of Shi Wenjun, but he found out that his father-in-law was involved. To save himself, Xue Ting Song framed Song Ci and put him behind bars. Song emperor cherished talent, still appointed Song Ci as Shi Wenjun's case vice presiding judge. Song Ci was in prison with shackles to examine the case, and finally found out the truth.
Subsequently, a suspected corpse is found on the outskirts of the capital, and as the suspected corpse case is investigated, several important courtiers are involved in the case. The most alarming Song Ci's heart is the real opponent, Diao Guangdou, who served as the governor of the county, due to corruption and bribery, killed people, and was impeached twice by Song Ci, but both times cleverly evaded.
Although Diao Guangdou is now far away from the officialdom, he controls the whole officialdom with his wealth and power. He set up a trap to lead Song Ci astray and make him misjudge. Song Ci asked the emperor to allow him to wear his crime. Song Ci worked hard to solve the serial murders one by one.
Seeing that the case is about to be solved, the cowardly Song Emperor, faced with eight boxes of trial records, autopsy records, and confession testimony, said some of the helplessness and hardship of the emperor, and the eight boxes of evidence that Song Ci spent two years and six months to collect were burned.
A thrilling case of serial murder was hastily ended by the Song Emperor who was afraid of causing chaos among the courtiers. At his father's grave, Song Ci burned the book "Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified" that he had written with his life's experience and efforts. Fortunately, Ying Gu, who had been with Song Ci all his life, had secretly copied a copy of the book, so that the book could be passed down.
Reviews of Judge of Song Dynasty
Aired in May 2005, "Judge of Song Dynasty" achieved an average rating of 6.47%, making it one of the most-watched dramas on CCTV that year. The drama consists of 11 suspenseful, treacherous, and surprising cases, and is divided into three stages: "The initial fame", "The difficult in the officialdom" and "The imperial case failure".
It uses the traditional logic of solving a case, and talking about evidence, Song Ci does not have the aura of the protagonist. It sees wisdom in the ordinary, reveals human nature in the ordinary, and also tells the most simple and real truth in the ordinary.
The plot of "Judge of Song Dynasty" is cleverly set, suspenseful, interlocking, and fascinating; the visual effects and tones of the drama adopt the scenes and natural relations of landscape painting in the Tang and Song dynasties, and the folk life and cultural etiquette are all present.
The theme is chosen from the monograph Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified by Song Ci, a famous forensic scientist of the Song Dynasty who is known as the originator of forensic medicine in the world.
Most of the important episodes are based on the cases that led to various deaths and injuries as described in the monograph, from the perspective of the cases themselves and medicine, taking the path of an ancient version of a documentary mystery drama, with Song Ci's jurisprudential thought of "emphasis on evidence and people's lives" running through it.