It was past time for me to start another Chinese drama and of course it was going to be Princess Agents. Zhao Zanilia is my all time favorite Chinese actress/girl crush so this drama was a must watch for this fangirl. But how does it stack up to her previous dramas? Would you find it entertaining or unbearable? Come join me as I chat my first impressions of Princess Agents and share whether I think this might be the next drama for you.
The story takes place during the chaotic times of Western Wei, where innocent citizens are often kidnapped and turned into slaves. Slave girl, Chu Qiao was thrown into a forest along with other slaves and becomes the next hunting target for the rich lords. She is saved by the Prince of Northern Wei, Yan Xun. Afterward, she is brought into a powerful family of Yu Wen and witnesses their bloody power struggle.
- Zhao Zanilia
- Does there really need to be any other reason to watch a drama? I am always amazed at how much screen presence she posseses. Not to mention, that they can somehow make me believe that at 100 lbs soaking wet, she can kick ass… or in this case, kill three maneating wolves in the first 30 minutes of the drama.
- The plot
- I am really enjoying how brutal and intriguing this storyline is. Before we go farther, let me warn you that the people in authority treat their slaves really really badly. Like, a level that is rarely shown in dramas, bad. While I find this enhances the intensity of the story, I know for a lot of people it can be off putting. Keep that in mind when you are watching and if you have violence to women triggers, you might want to sit this one out.
- The Cinematography
- While not at the level of many of the other fantasy/historical dramas out there, this drama has its moments. I especially thought the sand dune wolf scene was well done. I usually hate CGI wolves, and while these were CGI to the nth degree, I still was kept entertained and on the edge of my seat. Not to mention Chu Qiao (Zhao Zanilia) looked stylish, athletic, and totally bad ass during the scene.
- The Case of the Botoxed Hotties
- I am not sure if they are just CGIing their faces smooth or literally have a doctor on hand to botox every inch of their features. Either way, all the princes are pocessing the smoothest faces I have ever witnessed in a drama. I am pretty sure you could bounce a quarter off their tightened visages. I don’t know who was the genius who thought this was the perfect look, but to me they all look a tiny bit plastic and the facial movements are unnatural.
- Manes of No Glory
- Obviously the same person who botoxed their faces decided that their hair needed a similar treatment. Now maybe I am just spoiled by the amazing locks in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, but to me, the princes’ hair is atrocious. They look like plastic, it’s almost a CGI cartoon hair effect, and I for one am not a fan. There is no way I would want to run my hands through that shiny stiff mess.
- Dubbing Distaster
- This isn’t a dealbreaker for me, however I know that it bugs a lot of drama viewers. This drama is completely dubbed and you can easily tell that the sounds don’t match the lips. If this is something that bugs you, this is not the drama for you.
- The Men All Suck
- I really wish that I could have any kind of crush on either of the princes. But so far they are entitled killers who have barely a sliver of sympathy for those beneath them. They participated in a slave hunt in episode one for crying out loud. Who does that? Sure the leading man is not as bad as the other princes, but that doesn’t make him a shining example of manhood. It just means I want him dead a tad bit less than the others. Keep in mind that this is only an first impression post (I am on ep 8) and there is always the chance that the jerk might grow on me. But so far, I wish Chu Qiao would embrace her inner lesbian and slaughter the whole lot of them because men obviously suck in this story.
This drama is not going to be for everyone. The dubbing and violence is going to probably scare a lot of international viewers away. And if this is you, then there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone’s tastes are different. However, if you enjoy Zhao Zanilia and want to see her portray another intelligent, tough, intriguing character then join me as I try to binge the next 30 episodes and play catch up.
See you when my next Chinese drama obsession hits,