A Dream of Splendor

Full disclosure – I am a rapt viewer when a rich Chinese drama features handsome and beautiful actors as leads. This time, I share my comments (as a viewer) about the 2022 / 9.4 rated A Dream of Splendor starring the handsome Chen Xiao as Gu Qian Fan and the beautiful Liu Yi Fei (Crystal Liu) as Zhao Pan Er. In 2020, Liu Yi Fei played the main character in the Walt Disney film, Mulan.

A Dream of Splendor mesmerized me for many evenings and sometimes during daytime breaks too. Charisma? Yes. Plenty. Here’s why I loved this drama although I did stop occasionally to watch other dramas, those that caught my fickle eye or recommended by my filmista sister, poet Nellie Wong. She is definitely MOXIE about international films and Asian dramas. 

Back to A Dream of Splendor, a romance and costume drama that takes place in the early 11th century in the Capital of Bian Jing. Zhao Pan Er and her two female friends, one a skilled pastry chef and the other, an exquisite pipa musician, open a tea house. They eventually gain the attention/affection of wealthy (many lascivious) male patrons against the back drop of a sizzling on/off romance between Pan Er and Gu Qian Fan. 

The empress of the kingdom was a pariah, meaning that she was, at one time in her past, a musician or a worker in a profession that the snooty upper class held in contempt. This is something that Pan Er and her tea house sisters had in common with the empress. They were all exquisite women shut out of the kingdom’s upper crust. These sister pariahs all had something to overcome in spite of their impressive talent and skills in this male-dominated kingdom. 

Oh, the supporting cast is filled with scene stealers, especially the wealthy owner of many guilds who was magnificent in his ridiculous role, the scholar who needed prescription eyeglasses, the young female teahouse worker, the scholar, the heinous first love of Pan Er, the fiancé who revealed his sniveling personality as the drama progressed.

The costumes were stunning, especially those donned by the teahouse sister pariahs. The palatial palaces – exquisite. The two streams of the plot kept the narrative going, trauma upon trauma due to sexism and to crooked officials and more. 

Was I happy to pick up A Dream of Splendor after neglecting it for sometime? Of course. On this watch, I paid more attention to the handsome eye-candy Chen Xiao as the devil administrator who killed many of his victims. Then, again, I loved the way his eyes honed in on his love, Pan Er. Those moments when they drifted on the canal, cuddled in their sensual revelries, stole my heart. I marveled at the thespian/dancing skills of Liu Yi Fei. Would I recommend this drama? Yes. Of course. Should I go on in praise of this entertaining drama? No, because it’s your turn now to be charmed by this drama where feminism gets a foothold in the kingdom where Pan Er reigned.

Artist/Poet/Educator Flo Oy Wong’s first Asian drama was the 2003 Korean “Jewel in the Palace” featuring Ji Jin Hee and Lee Young Ae. Since being enchanted by “Jewel . . . “ Flo has kept moving forward to watch and dissect multiple Asian dramas that catch her fancy.

You Might Also Like

Sorry this site disable right click
Sorry this site disable selection
Sorry this site is not allow cut.
Sorry this site is not allow copy.
Sorry this site is not allow paste.
Sorry this site is not allow to inspect element.
Sorry this site is not allow to view source.