Princess Pearl

Princess Pearl
Princess Pearl
Huanzhugege.jpg
Also known as My Fair Princess
Genre Costume drama, historical fiction, romance
Developed by Ouyang Changlin
P'ing Hsint'ao (Season 3)
Written by Chiung Yao
Directed by Sun Shupei (Seasons 1 & 2)
Li Ping (Season 3)
Ding Yingguo (Season 3)
Starring Zhao Wei
Ruby Lin
Alec Su
Zhou Jie
Theme music composer Chiung Yao
Country of origin China
Taiwan
Language(s) Mandarin
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 112
Production
Executive producer(s) Wei Wenbin
Producer(s) Liu Xiangqun (Season 3)
He Xiuqiong (Season 3)
Location(s) Prince Gong Mansion, Xicheng District, Beijing (Season 1)
Running time 40 minutes
Production company(s) Hunan Broadcasting System
Broadcast
Original channel Hunan Satellite Television
China Television
Picture format 576i PAL-D (SDTV)
Original run 1998 – 2003
External links
Website
Princess Pearl
Traditional Chinese 還珠格格
Simplified Chinese 还珠格格
Literal meaning Princess Returning Pearl

Princess Pearl, also known in Singapore and the Philippines as My Fair Princess, is a television series adapted from Chiung Yao's novel series of the same title. Produced by Hunan TV, the series centres around the legend of Princess Huanzhu during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. Although some characters, the plot premise and certain sections of the story are based on historical events and figures, considerable artistic license was employed. Fans may often abbreviate the series' pinyin name of Huánzhū Gégé into "HZGG".

The series was split into three seasons. The first season was produced in 1997 and broadcast in 1998.[1] The second was broadcast in 1999,[2] and the third in 2003.

Princess Pearl enjoyed the highest viewership in Chinese television history. Seasons 1 and 2 received up to 54% and 65% of audience shares respectively during broadcast, and became the television series with the most reruns broadcast from the 1990s to today.[3] It went on to receive similar phenomenal popularity in other countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand. However, Season 3 suffered backlash in popularity, partly because most of the original cast had been replaced by different actors and actresses.[4] A majority of the cast decided not to renew their contracts and left the series, which led to a major recasting of characters for the third season.[5] The third season flopped outside mainland China.[6]

Contents

Plot

Season 1

Huanzhu Gege is the story of an orphan whose life changes after she is accidentally named princess.

Introduction

It starts off with the tale of two sworn sisters: orphaned adventuress Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei, a talented young lady with an interesting history. Ziwei is actually the illegitimate daughter of Emperor Qianlong. Eighteen years ago, Qianlong had an affair with her mother, Xia Yu He, at Lake Daming in Jinan. Because of political reasons, Qianlong left Yu He, promising to return for her. However, Yu He was already pregnant with his child and waited faithfully for his return. On her deathbed, Yu He asks Ziwei to find her father, Qianlong.

With her servant Jinsuo, Ziwei travels to Beijing, only to discover the challenges of entering the Forbidden City. While trying to find a way in, they meet Xiao Yanzi, a clever and daring girl around their age. Having been abandoned at a young age, Xiao Yanzi lives with her friends Liu Qing and Liu Hong in the Da Zha Yuan. Ziwei and Xiao Yanzi become close friends, with Ziwei moving in with Xiao Yanzi as she runs out of supplies and money. The night after they take a vow of sisterhood, Ziwei tells Xiao Yanzi her mother's last request and her secret mission.

Xiao Yanzi agrees to help Ziwei, and they plan to meet Qianlong during his hunting trip to a local mountain. However, the climb proves to be a challenge for the frail Ziwei and Jinsuo, and Ziwei decides instead to send Xiao Yanzi as her trustworthy messenger. She gives Xiao Yanzi a fan and painting, both gifts that Qianlong gave Yu He years ago.

In the chaos of the hunt, Xiao Yanzi is shot with an arrow by Fifth Prince Yongqi. Wounded and barely conscious, Xiao Yanzi cannot explain her mission to Qianlong, and seeing Xiao Yanzi carrying his fan and painting, he assumes Xiao Yanzi is Yu He's daughter. He treats Xiao Yanzi kindly as she heals, and with having had a parentless childhood, she decides to "borrow" Ziwei's father for a few days. However, she is soon overcome with guilt.

Meanwhile, Ziwei is frantically worried about Xiao Yanzi, afraid that she was captured and executed as a female assassin. One day, Ziwei sees Xiao Yanzi parading the streets with Qianlong in a palaquin with the title "Huanzhu Gege" and believes Xiao Yanzi has deceived her. Hurt and confused, she chases after the palaquin, screaming Xiao Yanzi's name and causing a commotion. The emperor's guards rush to restrain her, but when Fu Erkang, one of the Emperor's bodyguards, hears hints that she might be telling the truth, he rescues her. The Fu family soon learns the full truth.

Life in the Palace

Ziwei and Jinsuo are persuaded by the Fus to live in the Fu household, Xue Shi Fu, temporarily. Around this time, Xiao Yanzi learns she could be beheaded for lying to the emperor if the truth comes out. Because both Yongqi and Ertai are infatuated with Xiao Yanzi, they ask Ziwei to keep quiet about her secret.

Slowly, Erkang and Ziwei begin to fall in love. Erkang realizes their marriage is impossible, however, because he cannot marry Ziwei if she only has the status of a commoner. Meanwhile, Xiao Yanzi has her own troubles in the Forbidden City. Her outlandish behaviour and lack of sense of propriety shock and offend the Empress, and one day, even Qianlong becomes overwhelmed with Xiao Yanzi's disobedience and outspokenness. Punished by him with twenty beatings despite pleas from Ling Fei, Yongqi, and Ertai, Xiao Yanzi briefly dreams of fleeing palace life. However, Qianlong and Xiao Yanzi soon mend fences and become even closer.

Sensing the romance between Ziwei and Erkang, Erkang's parents, Fu Da Ren and Fu Jin, kindly ask Ziwei to give up Erkang. Heartbroken, Ziwei and Jinsuo leave Xue Shi Fu without notice, leaving Erkang in panic. Unsuccessful in his search, he calls for the help of Xiao Yanzi, who finds out where Ziwei is from Liu Qing and Liu Hong. When the friends finally find Ziwei, they decide it is perhaps best to sneak Ziwei into the Forbidden City as well.

Ziwei, along with Jinsuo, enjoys an excellent start in the Forbidden City. Although only a court maid, she quickly attracts Qianlong's attention with her talent, intelligence, and kindness. This arouses the jealousy of the Empress, who views Ziwei as a potential political threat. She secretly brings Ziwei to her palace, Kunning Gong, and pierces her with needles. Ziwei nearly dies but is rescued by Qianlong, Xiao Yanzi, Erkang, Ertai, and Yongqi. The incident impresses Qianlong with Ziwei's inner strength, and his love for Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei becomes so great that he takes them on his Wei Fu Chu Xing.

Traveling outside Beijing (Wei Fu Chu Xing)

Qianlong uses the time to enjoy life outside the Forbidden City. Hoping to reveal Ziwei's true identity without angering the emperor, Erkang, Yongqi, and Ertai plan to find a chance to request a special order from Qianlong, promising that he will never execute Ziwei and Xiao Yanzi.

During the trip, feelings between Xiao Yanzi and Yongqi begin to arise. Yongqi had begun to develop a crush on Xiao Yanzi after discovering she is not really his sister. However, their relationship is awkward because they are currently considered brother-sister. When Yongqi first admits his feelings to Xiao Yanzi, she is confused and bewildered, but quickly becomes jealous when another girl likes Yongqi. She returns Yongqi's feelings, and in the meantime, romance between Ziwei and Erkang grows deeper. Unfortunately, Qianlong, subconsciously recalling Ziwei's mother, falls in love with Ziwei as well. Throughout the journey, Xiao Yanzi fights injustice, rescuing many civilians.

Qianlong's Wei Fu Chu Xing is abruptly put to a halt when an old woman tries to assassinate the emperor. Ziwei shields Qianlong from the knife, and though the others get rid of the assassins, the damage is done. Thinking she is on her deathbed, Ziwei asks Qianlong never to execute Xiao Yanzi, which he agrees. She then asks Erkang to marry and thus provide for Jinsuo, her loyal servant and friend.

Miraculously, Ziwei surviving the stabbing, and Qianlong admires her all the more for her remarkable bravery. After returning to the Forbidden City, Qianlong hints that he wants to take Ziwei as his concubine. Meanwhile, the king of Tibet and his daughter, Princess Saiya, have arrived in Beijing.

Arrival of the Tibetan Princess and Conclusion

Saiya and Xiao Yanzi quickly develop a rivalry, as Saiya's kung fu skills stir up feelings of competition. After fighting against Erkang in a match, Saiya develops a crush on Erkang. Her father asks Qianlong if he can arrange a marriage between Saiya and Erkang. Although Qianlong originally intended to save Erkang for Xiao Yanzi, he agrees, creating huge dilemmas for Ziwei and Erkang.

At this point, Xiao Yanzi, Ziwei, Yongqi, Erkang, Ertai, and Jinsuo decide it is time to reveal their secret. Qianlong is shocked to discover Ziwei is his true daughter, as he had once considered taking her in as a concubine. He is hurt to know that Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei, two people he trusted most, had tricked him. The Empress takes advantage of the situation to tell Qianlong that she always knew something was wrong with Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei. Under pressure from the Empress, Qianlong agrees to imprison Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei in Zhong Ren Fu, even though Ling Fei pleads that he reconsiders. Jinsuo, wanting to risk her life rather than Ziwei's, joins them.

Hoping to finish Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei once and for all, the Empress conspires with Liang Da Ren, the man in charge of Zhong Ren Fu. She orders him to force Xiao Yanzi, Ziwei, and Jinsuo to sign a statement that their disguise was for an attempt to murder Qianlong. Refusing to sign such a ridiculous document, the three girls are whipped harshly. Knowing that the three cannot survive long in such conditions, Yongqi, Erkang, and Ertai risk their lives and break into the jail to free the three girls. Because they have broken the law, the six decide to run away forever.

At the same time, Qianlong begins to regret his actions. He realizes how much he has grown to love Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei. His officers and Ling Fei also beg that he release them. Qianlong goes to Zhong Ren Fu and decides to let them go, but is aghast that they had already escaped. Furious, Qianlong orders that they all be found and executed.

Feelings of guilt arise as Xiao Yanzi and her entourage run away. Ertai decides to return to the Forbidden City and explain matters to Qianlong. Knowing that Ertai would most likely be beheaded, Ziwei begs that they all return and face Qianlong. They soon agree and return to the Forbidden City.

Despite his original intention to behead them all, Qianlong is heartbroken to see that the three girls have been whipped. He orders them to return to their house (Shu Fang Zai) in the Forbidden City to rest, but they refuse to go until he has forgiven Yongqi, Erkang, and Ertai. Feigning reluctance at first, Qianlong soon admits the entire matter is actually his fault for getting involved with Yu He in the first place. As he also cannot bear to kill his favourite people, he forgives them all. At Shu Fang Zai, Qianlong recognizes Ziwei as his daughter. He hand-feeds her medicine and the two share a father-daughter hug. Despite not being of royal blood, Xiao Yanzi keeps her title as the beloved Huanzhu Gege.

Only the Empress and Rong Mo Mo are displeased with these developments. The Empress reprimands Qianlong for being tricked by "some eighteen-year-old girls." Qianlong ignores her and questions her on her involvement in conspiring against the girls. Angered, Qianlong orders the Empress's and Rong Mo Mo's immediate removal to Zhong Ren Fu. Yongqi begs Qianlong to reconsider: it is inappropriate to punish the "Mother of the Country." In her desperation and fury that Qianlong no longer considers her thoughts, the Empress snatches a nearby scissors and cuts part of her hair off, intending to flee to the monastic Buddhist life. Ziwei pleads mercy on their behalf, hoping to make peace with the Empress. Qianlong relents, and the rivalry seems to have ended.

The last obstacle, the proposal between Saiya and Erkang, is solved when Ertai courts Saiya as a favour to Erkang, and the two fall in love. The story concludes with a ceremony, during which Ziwei is proclaimed Ming Zhu Gege (明珠格格, lit. Princess Bright Pearl). Qianlong also announces a betrothal between Xiao Yanzi and Yongqi, Ziwei and Erkang, and Ertai and Saiya. The three couples and Jinsuo end the series by riding on horseback through the countryside, singing with joy.

Season 2

The sequel to Huanzhu Gege mainly revolves around Qianlong's newest concubine, Hanxiang, unwillingly sent as a gift from Uyghur leader Alihezhuo. Hanxiang was born with a natural scent that attracts butterflies. She has long loved another man, Mengdan, whom she had unsuccessfully eloped with several times.

Xiao Yanzi, Ziwei, Yongqi, and Erkang meet Mengdan at the restaurant and hotel recently opened by Liu Qing and Liu Hong. There, they learnt of the love story of Mengdan and Hanxiang. Ultimately, they decide to help Hanxiang escape the Forbidden City and escape with Mengdan.

With the Empress Dowager returning to the palace, the Empress and Nanny Rong plot against Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei creating tension between them and Empress Dowager by continuously pointing out the imperfections of the two. Empress Dowager, being extremely traditional, takes an immediate disliking to Xiao Yanzi's lack of education and proper manners, while being extremely suspicious and dislikes to acknowledge Ziwei's status as her grand daughter as it is unclear if she is actually Qianlong's illegitimate child. Ziwei also had a near death experience at the torture of Empress Dowager after being accused of plotting to kill Qianlong after the Empress had a voodoo type doll planted in her bedroom. QingEr, Qianlong's niece and a favorite companion of Empress Dowager, ultimately figures out the doll could not have been made by Ziwei or Xiao Yanzi. Xiao Yanzi also temporarily escapes the palace where she is kept as a slave at in a Chess shop because she could not take the rigid rules and Yongqi repeatedly emphasizing the need to be more educated. She mistakes his good intentions as him being ashamed of her when he has all along loved her for who she is. Yongqi does this at the insistence of Qianlong as Empress Dowager has repeatedly threatened to end both Yongqi's and Erkang's respective engagement as she believed that Xiao Yanzi is not good enough to be Yongqi's wife and that Erkang is better paired with her favorite QingEr, who is without doubt of royal descent. After Xiao Yanzi's return, Yongqi and the others plead to Empress Dowager to accept Xiao Yanzi for who she is and to not force the rigid rules on her for she can never meet the Empress Dowager's expectations for she is not a real Princess. Empress Dowager has no choice but to accept their engagement after Yongqi and Erkang both reveal that they would rather live as a commoner with Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei than remain as a Prince and a royal imperial guard.

QingEr serves as a rival love interest between Erkang and Ziwei at Empress Dowager's insistence but despite QingEr's actual feelings for Erkang, she does not want to get involved between Erkang and Ziwei after realizing that he would never be able to love her as well. She becomes good friends with Ziwei and ultimately helps Ziwei and Xiao Yanzi out of trouble when the Empress Dowager is furious at them for their various actions that does not meet in accordance with proper lady like manners.

After several attempts to resist Qianlong who was trying to force himself on her, Hanxiang accidentally cuts Emperor Qianlong's arm. When the Empress Dowager finds out about this, she secretly forces Hanxiang to drink poison as punishment. Xiao Yanzi, Yongqi, Ziwei, Jinsuo, and Erkang rush back but were not able to make it in time. Hanxiang is said to have died. Before she "dies", the aroma emitting from her body strengthens and tens of hundreds of butterflies fly to her side and circle the room. They leave and so does the aroma. In the end, Hanxiang is saved by the repeated attempts from Xiao Yanzi. She is ultimately saved by eating the life-saving medicine that her father gave her, in the case of an emergency. After this affair, Hanxiang loses her scent.

After Hanxiang's escape, the group lies to Qianlong that Hanxiang had turned into a butterfly and flew away. As a result of Nanny Rong and the Empress plotting against Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei, they are subjected to torture at the hands of Empress Dowager and ultimately renounces Ziwei's identity as a Princess because of the Empress paying off her aunt and uncle to create a story to deny her birthday, making it incompatible with the year Qianlong supposedly met Ziwei's mother. When Qianlong finds out the truth, he sentences Xiao Yanzi, Ziwei, Yongqi, Erkang, and Jinsuo to death. However, they eventually escape with help from their friends, especially QingEr and Consort Ling. They decide to leave the Forbidden City permanently and travel to Dali. They are temporarily reunited with Mengdan and Hanxiang and witness their maritaal union before ultimately traveling to Dali separately. This is the last time these two characters appear in the series.

On the trip, they encounter many incidences where they lend a hand to save the weak such as stepping in to prevent the burning at the stake of a local girl who was impregnated out of wedlock and saved her life. On the road they encounter Qianlong's men who were intent on capturing them alive and to not hurt them at Qianlong's orders. Xiao Yanzi and Jinsuo were captured and taken away separately while Ziwei falls out of the carriage and temporarily loses her eyesight. Xiao Jian and Yongqi rescue Xiao Yanzi and are horrified to find a reclusive, terrified, and blind Ziwei while keeping the emotionally strained Erkang at arms length after being afraid of becoming a permanent burden to him. At Erkang's insistence and reassurance, Ziwei finally accepts the reality that she may be permanently blind and that she can still live a fulfilling life with him by her side. The five of them travel together to the next city while leaving behind markers for Liu Qing, Liu Hong, and Jinsuo as they search for doctors able to cure Ziwei's blindness. Erkang leaves Ziwei in the care of Xiao Yanzi temporarily as he goes on to ask for directions to the next doctor, Xiao Yanzi becomes preoccupied with a game of Chess going on at a near by table in the middle of the street and completely forgets about the blind Ziwei. As a result, Ziwei is taken by a local thug and is sold to a local brothel while a frantic Erkang and a deeply repentant Xiao Yanzi search the streets. Ziwei is ultimately found with the help of Xiao Jian's connections in the city and was able to save herself with the threat of suicide as Erkang saves her just in time. Erkang forgives Xiao Yanzi at Ziwei's insistence and they are finally reunited with Jinsuo, Liu Qing and Liu Hong. Liu Qing and Liu Hong had traveled to rescue Jinsuo and ultimately hide in a rural village where Jinsuo was to recover from her injuries. Jinsuo and Liu Qing fall in love as he takes care of her and are later married after being reunited with the group.

Throughout this time, Qianlong realizes that he truly misses the presence of Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei and he reveals to Consort Ling that him sentencing them to death was ultimately out of pure rage and that in the end, Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei would indeed ultimately be spared had Erkang and Yongqi not rescued them. The group continues to run for their life as they mistake Qianlong's men as assassins when they were really sent on the orders of the Empress. Erkang and Yongqi are hurt and Ziwei miraculously recovers her sight after being terrified at Erkang's near-death experience. Qianlong is horrified as he receives reports of Erkang and Yongqi getting hurt in the subsequent fights and Ziwei's blindness and finally sends Fulun to contact them as Erkang would ultimately listen to his father and believe that Qianlong has finally forgiven them and would like their safe return.

Along the way, they discover that the mysterious guy they met at Liu Qing and Liu Hong's restaurant who has helped them throughout this whole fugitive stage, Xiao Jian, is actually Xiao Yanzi's long lost brother after Yongqi's jealousy at his kindness to Xiao Yanzi becomes too overbearing as he mistakes it as him trying to steal Xiao Yanzi away. Xiao Yanzi and Yongqi had repeatedly argued throughout this time as Xiao Yanzi firmly believes that Yongqi was still hung up on being a Prince and could not accept her commoner ways while Yongqi would disagree with her actions and decisions. It is later revealed to Erkang that the reason Xiao Yanzi is an orphan is because of Qianlong. Xiao Yanzi's father was rallying against the government and later their whole family was sentenced to death as a result. In order to save Xiao Jian and Xiao Yanzi, they were sent away separately. Xiao Jian ultimately decides against revealing the truth to Xiao Yanzi and to give up the act of revenge at Erkang's insistence to preserve Xiao Yanzi's upbeat happiness, and to have Qianlong continue to love and adore her as his own daughter for she has always desired the love of a father.

After Fulun finds the group, they believe that Qianlong has forgiven them but unanimously decide to not return as their feelings towards Qianlong and the Forbidden City have changed. They desire the carefree life of commoners without the rigid rules and chaos that surrounded their life while living in the Forbidden City where Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei were particularly susceptible to punishment. In the end, the Emperor travels himself to convince them to return to the Forbidden City as he does not care if they helped Hanxiang escape, or if Ziwei is actually his daughter. There, he awards both Ziwei and Xiao Yanzi with a gold insignia. Each one can excuse them from 3 executions. Empress Dowager ultimately forgives Ziwei and Xiao Yanzi at the insistence of Qianlong and acknowledges them as her grand-daughters. Qianlong and the Empress Dowager later discover the Empress had been plotting against Xiao Yanzi and Ziwei sending assassins to kill them along with Erkang and Yongqi disguising it as the command of Qianlong. Qianlong is furious and commands both the Empress and her maidservant, Rong Mo Mo, to be beheaded. However, Ziwei pulls out her gold insignia and uses up two pardons: one for Rong Mo Mo and one for the Empress.

Because of this affair, Rong Mo Mo and the Empress both grow appreciative of Ziwei and Xiao Yanzi. Afterwards, Xiao Yanzi and Yongqi, along with Ziwei and Erkang, are finally married.

Season 3

In the final installment of Huanzhu Gege, the actors were nearly completely changed. The story starts off with Xiao Yanzi accidentally losing a child. The Dowager Empress is now increasingly unhappy with Xiao Yanzi, believing she is not lady-like to be Yongqi's wife, particularly in carrying on the family line. At the same time, Qing'er and Xiao Yanzi's brother, Xiao Jian, were also in love. But Dowager Empress does not like Xiao Jian, especially after when she found that Xiao Yanzi and Xiao Jian's parent was killed by Qianlong. She thought that the sibling may want to kill Qianlong for revenge. Before she found out this fact, they went to Chen's family, where she met Zhihua. The Dowager liked Zhihua more than Xiao Yanzi, and wanted Zhihua to marry Yongqi. After returning to the imperial palace, Tai hou made a plan to separate Yongqi and Xiao Yanzi, Qing'er and Xiao Jian. She threatens them that she would kill Xiaojian if Yongqi does not marry with Zhihua, and request that Zhihua should be wife and Xiao Yanzi should be the mistress. To save Xiaojian's life, they accepted Taihou's conditions and Xiaojian is sent away.

Yonqi married Zhihua, as Tai Hou requested. Tai Hou also send many servants to come and serve the couple. First, they pretended that they really love each other. However, Zhihua really loves Yongqi, and forces him to bathe with her, which angered Xiao Yanzi.

Although Yongqi gives in and marries Zhihua, Zhihua remain as a virgin after marrying Yongqi for quite a long time. But eventually, ErKang and Ziwei persuaded Xiao Yanzi that Zhihua has that right to have a child of Yongqi. Xiao Yanzi, being convinced forced Yongqi to enter Zhihua's room. Not long later, Zhihua was found pregnant.

Not much time after the news, both Yongqi and Erkang volunteered to go into war with Burma (Chinese: 緬甸; pinyin: Miandian). In the war, when Erkang fights with the eighth 'prince', who he found that 'he', or rather 'she', was actually the eighth princess, Musha. Musha was attracted to Erkang, and planned to take him back to Burma. Musha disguised another Soldier to look like Erkang to make the Qings thought that Erkang was dead. After the war ended, Xiao Jian remained in YunNan, because he was suspicous about Erkang's death. Xiao Jian later discovered Erkang may not be dead and has been captured to Burma. Xiao Jian took the news back to Yongqi, Xiao Yanzi, Ziwei, Qing'er in Beijing. The Group travels to Burma in order to rescue Erkang. They initially ask Qianlong to let them go to Burma to rescue Erkang, but Qianlong doubts the news and refuses to let them go. They resolve to go to Burma on their own by sneaking out of the palace. Xiao Yanzi wants to stay in YunNan, and she convinces Yongqi to stay with her. Zhihua heard their conversation and got angry. Qianlong also asks to see the person who brought the news, Xiaojian, but Xiaojian refuses to see the emperor. Eventually, Xiaojian is forced to make an appearance, and Zhihua tells everything that she knows. She told Qianlong that Xiaojian and Xiao Yanzi's parents were killed by Qianlong. Xiao Jian attempt to kill Qianlong, who was rescued by Yongqi. Xiao Jian, raged wanted to kill Yongqi, but Xiao Yanzi pushes Xiao Jian out of the way. She convinces Xiao Jian that Yongqi that he was the love of her life. Qianlong, not knowing what to do, sent them all back to where they came from, and researched what really happen. Then, Qianlong called them over to tell them what really happened to Xiao Yanzi and Xiao Jian's father. After that, Qianlong decided to let them go. Yongqi also abandons Zhihua and her son, and live like a commoner with Xiao Yanzi, Qing'er and Xiao Jian. After finding Erkang, Xiao Jian and Qing'er was married. During their wedding, Xiao Yanzi announces that she was pregnant and decides to name her child Nan'er as Zhiwei first child was named Dong'er. Years later, Erkang and the emperor goes to visit them, they find that both couples are happy and they both have 4 children, and that Yongqi became a doctor. Zhihua is also not remarried and is living happily now. The season ends with both couples and their children leaving together with the emperor and Erkang, singing happily.

Cast

Main characters are Xiao Yan Zi(小燕子), Xia Ziwei (夏紫薇), Yongqi (永琪), Erkang (尔康) and Emperor Qianlong (乾隆皇帝).

Character Season 1[7] Season 2[8] Season 3[9]
Xiaoyanzi Zhao Wei Huang Yi
Xia Ziwei Ruby Lin Ma Yili
Yongqi Alec Su Leo Ku
Fu Erkang (福尔康) Zhou Jie
Jinsuo (金琐) Fan Bingbing
Qianlong Emperor Zhang Tielin Ti Lung
Empress Dai Chunrong Jiang Lili
Consort Ling Juanzi Chen Li
Nanny Rong (容嬷嬷) Li Mingqi
Liu Qing (柳靑) Lu Shiyu
Liu Hong (柳紅) Chen Ying
Fu Ertai (福尔泰) Banny Chen
Saiya (塞娅) Zhang Heng
Fulun (福伦) Hai Bo
Fujin (福晋) Liu Fang
Empress Dowager Zhao Minfen
Qing'er (晴儿) Wang Yan
Hanxiang (含香) Liu Dan
Mengdan (蒙丹) Mu Fengbin
Xiaojian (箫剑) Zhu Hongjia Huang Xiaoming
Nanny Gui (桂嬷嬷) Zhou Guiyun
Xia Yingying (夏盈盈) Jiang Qinqin
Chen Zhihua (陈知画) Qin Lan
Princess Musha (慕沙公主) Liu Tao
Meng Bai (猛白) Zang Jinsheng

Controversy over casting of Season 3

The cast of Princess Pearl 3 changed drastically, as the majority of the original cast declined the offer to star in another sequel. Furthermore, many of the original cast members from Princess Pearl received more exposure than before, taking and being offered additional project. Hence, their busy schedules did not permit time to star in another season of Princess Pearl. Another source mentioned that the original cast did agree to make part 3. However, the script was delayed for a year because of the author's, Chiung Yao, personal matters. When the script was finally ready, Zhao Wei, Ruby Lin and Alec Su, were in the process of filming other series and could not participate in season 3. Zhou Jie was the only principal actor available.

The decision to use new actors was not well-received by fans, who had grown to love the original portrayals of the characters.

In their place, Huang Yi was cast as Xiaoyanzi, Leo Ku from Romance in the Rain as Yongqi, and Ma Yili as Xia Ziwei.

Aside from the main characters, other supporting characters who were absent from Huanzhu Gege 3 include the strong veteran cast of Zhang Tielin (Emperor Qianlong), Dai Chunrong (Empress), Li Mingqi (Nanny Rong), and Juanzi (Consort Ling). They have since been replaced by a new set of veteran cast.

Jinsuo, Liu Qing, Liu Hong, Hanxiang, and Mengdan, were not written into the storyline for Princess Pearl 3.

One change that was more welcomed was the replacement of Zhu Hongjia with Huang Xiaoming for the titular character of Xiaojian.

Controversy of the remake

A 30-episode remake of the first series was filmed in late June 2010, and is expected to be broadcast in 2011.[10] Akin to the old version, the new remake's plot will also be separated and filmed in three seasons. However, the remake will have more comedic elements than the original.[11] The second season of the remake was approved recently by the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television; it will also consist of 30 episodes and is scheduled to be filmed in July 2010.[12] After Hunan TV announced it, millions of negative reviews from media and fans.[13] Audience said the actresses are disappointing, especially the leading actress of Xiao Yan Zi.[14] In May 25 2011, the six minutes trailer released, fans and media said the actor's performance are horrible. .[15] After airing in China, both of critics and audience said the remake version is disappointing, lead actress's performance is awful. In a poll of Sina.com, more than 96% audience love old version, less than 4% think the remake is ok.[16]

And the viewers rating failed, remake version is 1.5% in mainland china, which is the everage rating of Hunan TV. In Taiwan, the rating is 0.7%, ranking last first. It's the worst rating of Qiongyao's television series.[17][18]

Cultural impact

For the explosive in South Korea (titled Emperor's Daughter), hundreds of Zhao Wei's fans started to study Chinese.[19] In a interview, Minister of South Korea MCST(Minisary of Culture, Sports and Tourism) said South Korean audience love Princess Pearl (part I & II).[20]

The part I and II is very popluar in Mongolia and Vietnam, Zhao Wei is the most popular foreign actress of these countries. In Mongolia, the part I and part II finale episodes screened in Cinema. The reporter said in some business negotiation, Mongolian businessmen always ask about Zhao Wei's news.[21]


Soundtrack

Nearly all of the lyrics for songs in Princess Pearl were written by the writer, Chiung Yao, while other composers contributed to the music.

Part I

All lyrics written by Chiung Yao. 

No. Title Music Artist Length
1. "當" (Dāng, When) Zhuāng Lìfān (莊立帆), Guō Wénzōng (郭文宗) Power Station (QTIE)  
2. "雨蝶" (Yǔ dié, Rain Butterfly) Xú Jǐngxīn (徐景新) Li Yijun  
3. "今日天氣好晴朗" (Jīnrì tiānqì hǎo qínglǎng, Today Is Sunny and Bright) Xú Jǐngxīn Fang Qiong  
4. "山水迢迢" (Shānshuǐ tiáotiáo, Distance) Xú Jǐngxīn Fang Qiong  
5. "長相憶" (Zhǎngxiàng yì, Memories) Xú Jǐngxīn Fang Qiong  

Part II

All lyrics written by Chiung Yao. 

No. Title Music Artist Length
1. "自從有了你" (Zìcóng yǒu le nǐ, Ever Since You Were Here) Charles Tso, Lǚ Zhēnhuang (呂禎晃) Zhao Wei  
2. "有一個姑娘" (Yǒu yī gè gūniang, There Is a Girl) Li Zhèngfān (李正帆) Zhao Wei  
3. "不能和你分手" (Bùnéng hé nǐ fēnshǒu, Can't Break Up with You) Charles Tso, Lǚ Zhēnhuang Zhao Wei  
4. "我們" (Wǒmen, Us) Lǚ Zhēnhuang Zhao Wei  
5. "你是風兒我是沙" (Nǐ shì fēng'r, wǒ shì shā, You're the Wind, I'm the Sand) Ruby Lin, Zhou Jie    
6. "夢裡" (Mèng li, In Dreams) Li Zhèngfān Ruby Lin, Zhou Jie  

Awards and nominations

17th Golden Eagle Awards

  • Won: Best Television Series
  • Won: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Zhao Wei)

1st Top 10 Outstanding China Television Artists Awards

1998 Taiwan Television Box Office Top Celebrities Billboard

  • Won: Top Celebrity-3rd place (Zhao Wei)

1999 China Pop Music Billboard

  • Won: Golden Melody of the Year (Zhao Wei)


22nd Radio Hong Kong Top Ten Chinese Gold Songs

  • Won: Outstanding Mandarin Song Bronze Award-"There is a Girl" (performer: Zhao Wei, composer: Li Zhengfan, lycrist: Qiong Yao)

References

  1. ^ "还珠格格". Sohu. http://data.yule.sohu.com/movie/data/14531/. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "还珠格格2". Sohu. http://data.yule.sohu.com/movie/data/14520/. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "《还珠格格》重拍变80集 郑爽或将出演小燕子". Sohu. 24 September 2009. http://yule.sohu.com/20090924/n266955067.shtml. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "《还珠3》被观众口水淹没 收视率奇高有人爱看". Sina. 20 August 2003. http://sh.sina.com.cn/news/20030820/090416734.shtml. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "《还珠Ⅲ》7月播出 琼瑶大赞该剧拍得惊心动魄". Sohu. 19 June 2003. http://yule.sohu.com/26/00/article210250026.shtml. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  6. ^ 琼瑶:《还珠格格3》在台湾输给了一个社会现象, "Qiong Yao: My Fair Princess 3 lost in Taiwan", Sina.com, July 22, 2003 (Chinese)
  7. ^ "还珠格格1". Sina. http://data.ent.sina.com.cn/tv/6537.html. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "还珠格格2". Sina. http://data.ent.sina.com.cn/tv/6538.html. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "还珠格格3". Sina. http://data.ent.sina.com.cn/tv/954.html. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  10. ^ "新版《还珠格格》开机 林心如演紫薇的妈". 022net.com. 26 June 2010. http://www.022net.com/2010/6-26/521634362762500.html. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "新《还珠格格》仍拍"三部曲"". news.163.com. 9 May 2010. http://news.163.com/10/0509/12/668AP6EV000146BD.html. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "新《还珠格格》第二部报批 主演阵容初步曝光". Sohu. 2010-07-01. http://yule.sohu.com/20100701/n273203074.shtml. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  13. ^ 东方早报:钱多,创意少,翻拍《还珠格格》? 東方早報 2009年09月25日
  14. ^ 新还珠小燕子如山寨赵薇 紫薇被指像金刚芭比信息时报2010年08月06日。
  15. ^ 琼瑶爆新《还珠》片花 网友热议直呼:太雷人 Guangzhou Daily May 26, 2011]。
  16. ^ 这是小燕子还是宋丹丹 新"还珠"开播九成观众念旧 武漢晚報 2011年07月18日
  17. ^ 《新还珠》台湾收视遇冷 网友称翻拍没必要 時光網 July 27, 2011
  18. ^ 剧情太熟主角陌生《新还珠》收视再挫 China Times July 28, 2011
  19. ^ 還珠格格是韓國偶像 亞洲週刊 February 11, 2007
  20. ^ 韩国人如何喜欢《还珠格格》 浙江在線 July 21, 2006
  21. ^ 中国电视剧让韩国人着迷 Biooin.com September 16, 2010

External links


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