The Legend of Zhuohua is a Chinese historical romantic drama with the theme of women’s empowerment. This would be great if it was shorter. Why do I say that? See the review of The Legend of Zhuohua below
Title: The Legend of Zhuohua ( 灼灼风流 )
Release Date: Aug 19, 2023
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Romance, Drama
Original Network: Tencent Video
Available On: Viki and WeTV
Synopsis and Plot Summary
The storyline of The Legend of Zhuohua follows the love story of a woman who overcomes many trials to become a female official, and a general who has overcome many hardships on his way to victory.
Mu Zhuohua was a woman who broke away from the traditional female path of her time. She then ran away from her own marriage and entered the capital to seek a position as a female official.
On his journey, he meets Liu Yan, a man who was known as the god of war but is now in decline. Liu Yan had been defeated on the battlefield, but his resolve did not waver.
When they first met, the two initially tried to use each other for their own purposes. But in the end, they joined hands for their mission to improve the nation.
Both also created a world where women could also enter the court as officials. In the process, Liu Yan and Mu Zhuohua fall in love.
The Legend of Zhuohua Ending Explained
The Legend of Zhuohua Chinese drama has a happy ending. At the end of the episode, Liu Chen arranges a surprise wedding for Zhuohua and Liu Yan. He also prepared luxurious wedding gifts for Zhuohua.
He put in a box of bars that he wanted to give her earlier when he was thinking about chasing her. Leaving the box in the gift pile was his way of letting go.
Liu Chen also changed the marriage rules for women to give them freedom of choice. The drama ends with Liu Chen appointing Zhuohua to be Head of the Secretariat to assist him in state administration.
The Legend of Zhuohua Review
It is one of the newest historical romantic Chinese drama series with the theme of women’s empowerment. The production team emphasized that this drama is a work of pure fiction, so it has no connection with anything or anyone.
I also think it would have been impossible for women to exercise the influence and authority depicted in this story in the patriarchal society of ancient China. The attitudes and values expressed are also very modern and, not surprisingly, acceptable to today’s audiences.
It should be enjoyed at face value accepting that many aspects of it are just pure fantasy. The plot doesn’t stray far from women’s empowerment, so I won’t say more.
The subplot is nothing special, but it has some prominent characters and a cast of veterans that make it lively, making up for any lack of originality.
The main character Ma Zhuohua is a woman who fled from an arranged marriage to the capital; where she must pass the imperial examinations to fulfill her ambition to become a female official.
Quite intelligent and resourceful, he saved Lord Ding, a respected war hero, when he was injured in the middle of a secret operation.
Their fates were then intertwined because he was the strongest supporter of opening scholarships and official positions to women. The most enjoyable things in this drama are the initial courtship or initial meeting of the two main characters.
Here Jing Tian succeeded in playing the character Ma Zhuohua very well. I enjoyed the smart, mischievous, and independent play of this character.
On the other hand, Liu Yan/Lord Ding’s character is also very good. He is a humble person and a good person but does not let others manipulate him and stands his ground.
Feng Shao Feng managed to bring Liu Yan’s character to life very well and was very good at expressing himself. For chemistry, the two actors Jing Tian and Feng Shao Feng have strong chemistry.
It’s refreshing and incredibly hot to see such an honest, lively, and purely adult relationship peppered with sweet dialogue.
For the supporting cast, Shi Yue Ling and Wang Li Kun in particular give formidable and almost frightening performances as Empress Dowager Zhou and Princess Roujia.
I also found Roujia’s complicated relationship with Shen Jing Hong very interesting. Unfortunately, right after the midway point, the narrative repeats boring storylines including noble idiocy, the most heinous murders, and high treason.
Similar to Destined, it plunges into poorly conceived political melodrama and predictable twists and turns. Even the stellar acting can’t disguise that this is yet another delusional end-justifying antagonist against the backdrop of the villain’s unconvincing origins.
Forty episodes are too much for the story and in the last five episodes I mostly skipped and skimmed. It was a good drama but it would have been great if it had been shorter.
I think this would have been a much better 20-episode drama that ended with the intended message that women should achieve their dreams.
As for the music and costumes, it’s great, but as usual, the white filtering is too much. For the production includes quality with some laughs it’s fun to pass the time but it won’t rock your world.
Despite some flaws, the drama has excellent humor and is so mischievously portrayed that I often found myself laughing out loud, mainly because of the dirty jokes.
The political commentary and philosophical debates are very well written, with a sophistication beyond what I would expect from a light romantic comedy like this.
Is The Legend of Zhuohua worth watching? worthy, this drama is great at its main character. They are people who are mature, think, and do not have the usual simmering attitude.
The Legend of Zhuohua Chinese Drama Cast
Jing Tian as Mu Zhuohua
Feng Shao Feng as Liu Yan
Wang Li Kun as Princess Rou Jia
Zhou Yi Ran as Liu Chen
Xu Hai Qiao as Shen Jing Hong
Ye Sheng Jia as Zhi Jian
Yang Zhi Wen as Guo Ju Li
Zhao Huan Ran as Liu Yu
Wang Jun Bi as Man Er
Zhan Yu as Zhi Mo
Shi Yue Ling as Empress Dowager Zhou
Zheng Guo Lin as Liu Ju
He Hong Shan as Sun Yun Yun
Ji Chen as Xue Xiao Tang
Zhang Yan Yan as First Madame Mu
The Legend of Zhuohua was a fun drama at first and I liked it, but as time went on, it became slow and full of plot holes. Regardless, it’s worth watching because of the great characters, chemistry, and perhaps a female empowerment theme that you don’t often see. My rating for The Legend of Zhuohua Chinese drama review is 7,9/10.