In this drama, the guy really respects Lu Zhen (the girl) and it was nice to see how they treated one another as equals, which is rare based on the fact that this was a historical drama. So I really liked that. I also liked how they made me change minds about certain characters. It allowed me to like some characters overtime such as the emperor's wife who he called Gui Fei. There were a lot of situations where people tried to harm Lu Zhen, which is normal considering it is within the palace. It kept you on a edge a lot of times.
This drama had a great cast who knew how to act, I just wish there were more scenes allowing us to fall deeper into this story. It was a good drama and I enjoyed watching the amazing chemistry between the main couple. I would've liked more characterization of the more important characters allowing the drama to reach full potential. Mainly because this drama was captivating in its own way but the actors can act and they all do a great job at it. I would've liked them to be able to show that a bit more. However, I got to say, I was pretty satisfied with this and the chemistry was crazy! The main characters are just so likable.
Lu Zhen is the daughter of a wealthy merchant. She helps her father around a lot and is doted on. Her stepmother despises her although her stepsister looks up to her. When her father passes away, she runs away to escape her stepmother and tried to flee into the palace to hide from assassination attempts. She's a smart, well-taught girl and enters the palace as an attendant through much trouble. In this process, she meets a guy named Gao Zhan. In episode 3, she throws a fit to make him take care of himself since he was upset about an injury on his arm. It was that moment that he was caught off guard and began to fall for the kind-hearted Lu Zhen. They help one another. They later on meet in the palace, where she is a palace maid.
She has a lot of skills including making pottery, making clothing and stitching, and she has a great personality and attitude allowing her to make friends. However, she gets promoted often and climbs up the palace hierarchy causing some problems. For one thing, she is watched over by Gao Zhan. She does not know who he is for he lied to her saying that he's only someone minor in the palace but has relations. She falls in love with him as he is in love with her. However, she refuses him to help her wanting to take care of things herself. But as she faces problems, he comes to her rescue over and over again.
The emperor only has one love which is his beloved "Gui Fei." Gao Zhan is his brother in a way and is next in line to the throne. However, Gao Zhan and the emperor have a great relationship. The emperor, Gui Fei, and Gao Zhan had a history together. When they were little, they became acquainted with one another. Gui Fei was a princess and so the emperor's mother constantly pushed him to approach her. The emperor and Gao Zhan both liked her. However, the princess (Xiao Guan Yin) liked Gao Zhan and so the emperor only watched from afar. The Princess and Gao Zhan become lovers but Gao Zhan is heartbroken when she marries his older brother. However, she still loves Gao Zhan and doesn't quite understand when he says that he loves Lu Zhen. Gao Zhan explains everything to Gui Fei to let her understand. The emperor, knowing Gui Fei didn't love him, gave her everything. He only married others because he was forced to but showed them no interest. That sort of devotion was extremely sweet to see and eventually Gui Fei gave in.
There were many people causing problems. One person, Ah Bi, liked Gao Zhan and did everything to make Lu Zhen miserable. Gao Zhan was also heartbroken as he only loved one woman and that was Lu Zhen. The emperor's mother also did a lot of things, sending people to do dirty work, and doing horrible things that the emperor couldn't believe his mother did. The emperor and his empress were happy now and she was now pregnant with child. But his mother wants to continue to use her son for power, and in her desperate attempt to reach her son, she ruined their starting family. She also ruined Lu Zhen's chances to be with Gao Zhan due to political reasons that came up in the future.
Lu Zhen and Gao Zhen were devoted to one another. However, due to many opposing parties and situations not working in their favor, Lu Zhen could not be with Gao Zhan as his wife and empress. There was a social status difference and many political issues from before that did not allow Gao Zhan to claim her as his wife, who he did wed with only the emperor and empress present. For political reasons, they were not allowed to be together or let him bestow her any title such as the empress.So he appoints her with the highest position in land, as the female prime minister. And their love story continued on this way.
I found this drama interesting, mainly for the chemistry between the main couple and for the emperor and empress love line. The chemistry between characters were amazing whether it was hate or love. I was a bit frustrated with the ending, because like always, I wanted a particularly happy ending since Lu Zhen and Gao Zhan went through so much and suffered to be together. However, I was a bit upset with the ending. But I was happy, that at least, they were together. I feel sad scenes were portrayed extremely well between the main couple and also the way Xiao Guan Ying (Gui Fei) portrays sorrow when she realizes the man that she loves will never love her again. And the way she portrays her new-found happiness as she falls in love with the emperor.
This is a drama that I think would be a good choice to check out.