Three Kingdoms is a Chinese television series based on the events in the late Eastern Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period. The plot is based on Luo Guanzhong's classical novel Romance...
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Three Kingdoms is a Chinese television series based on the events in the late Eastern Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period. The plot is based on Luo Guanzhong's classical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms, and other related stories.Written by
Doesn't Cao Cao have that famous saying?
He said, "I'd rather betray the world than let the world betray me."
I have a saying too.
"I'd rather the world betray me, but I won't betray the world."
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It's a rare thing these days that a show would capture my attention from beginning to end, and with 95 episodes to boot! I thought the production was near perfection with only some minor nit picks here and there, which is almost incomprehensible since I don't often say this about a TV series.
This is by far the longest Asian drama I've watch to date, the production quality and storytelling edges neck and neck with another favorite of mine, K-drama's Jumong. Right off the bat you can tell the expense that they've put into this just by watching the first episode. The scale of the army is a great visual feat like no other television series I've seen. Sometimes TV series will give you perhaps 1-2 battle scenes with a handful of extras to make it look "epic" (ahem *cough, cough* Game of Thrones, I'm looking at you) but with Three Kingdoms, the line of armies/calvarias in the background, whether with real extras or CGI, really makes you feel like there are 50,000 men at the general's call.
Another thing that I see other reviewers complain about is that there is too much woman in the story, since the original novel never mentions much about woman. I for one I'm glad that they expanded woman's roles in the story however big or small, to help make the times that they lived in better-rounded. Of course there are still male dominance overtones throughout the story but that's how things were back then. I appreciate that we can see a small side of the woman perspective on things. I'm just sad that they couldn't put even more in there, since my nit pick was that there was too few woman shown. Since people will wonder how in the world are there thousands of men but no woman to raise the children that grew into soldiers? Take care of the household? Guide their husbands? Have their role in the political scheming, or marriage alliances? Men might write the history books but you can't tell me that woman never had a part in them.
Another aspect that really drew my attention was the portrayals of the characters. They are more natural and realistic and easily relatable. Okay sometimes they can be a bit over-dramatic, but that's Asian drama for ya. Overall the characters have different aspects to their personalities. They can be naïve, arrogant, stubborn, light-hearted, witty, funny, etc and evolve as episodes progresses. I quite enjoy Cao Cao's portrayal in this series. The actor has a unique air about him that makes the character memorable. His laugh, wit, insight and dominance were what sold his character for me.
But my personal favorite character would be Zhuge Liang. I love how the actor portrays him, and you can believe that the character lives up to his reputation, since it's been stated over and over throughout history that he's a master strategist with a calm composure. His first introduction made me laugh, rising up after a nap and reciting sonnets right off the bat. That was the moment where I thought "I'm going to like this character" A bit silly, but I appreciate the light-hearted moments here and there amidst the chaos and battle sequences and backstabbing political scheming.
My small nitpicks would be that the start of the series really just jumps into things during Doug Zhuo's occupation of the empire. There was only a brief summary of how things began from there. So non-history buff like myself might be a little confused as to what's going on but you quickly catch up if you pay attention to the characters and dialogue. (And believe me there's a lot to pay attention to, that might warrant a second rewatch if you miss things) Also they never really had an introduction to the beginning of Liu Bei, such a major character in the series; we never got to see how he really began his quest with his oath brothers like we did with Cao, Cao. I guess they had to cut something to keep the timeline flowing. But you get the gist of Liu Bei's major goal right away. Final nitpick was that the soundtrack didn't have a lot of variety to the music. There were maybe 5 major themes and that was it. So watching 95 episodes with the same music playing in the background gets old fast. Good thing the action and story kept my interest.
So overall it's a wonderful adaptation to a popular novel. I'll admit I'm not a Three Kingdoms buff, so I wouldn't notice if they're far off from the story or not (which after skimming through historical facts, doesn't seem like it). The only connection I have with the original story was playing Dynasty Warriors and we all know that's not an accurate representation. But if you enjoy good story and characterization then I highly recommend this series. I can forgive if the production took a few artistic liberties, but the main thing I look for in a good series is if the story flows well, the characters are in line with the story they're telling, and it has enough visuals for my eyes to feast on.
That said, I'm a happy camper.
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