Zhao Liying cast in upcoming historical drama

Zhao Liying (currently seen in variety show 72 Floors Mystery) is confirmed to star in Daylight Entertainment’s (Ode to Joy, Nirvana in Fire, The Disguiser) upcoming female-centric period drama Don’t you know? The green should be plump and the red lean 知否知否应是绿肥红瘦**, based on the novel of the same name by Guanxin Zeluan.

The story revolves around Sheng Minglan, the unfavoured sixth daughter of a Northern Song official. After being mistreated by her legal mother (children of concubines honour their father’s principal wife as their mother) and annoying half-sisters, Minglan learns to hide her skills and true intentions, and ultimately succeeds in avenging her biological mother’s death.

Gu Tingye has seen Minglan at her best and worst, and eventually falls in love with her. He becomes a powerful official after successfully installing an indirect royal descendant as Crown Prince, and successfully makes Minglan his wife. As his wife, Minglan helps guard against his unpleasant relatives and purges the court of corrupt ministers, and eventually earns their happily ever after.

The 70 episode drama is directed by Zhang Kaizhou (Ode to Joy 2) and written by Zeng Lu and Wu Tong (Battle of Changsha).

**The title comes from the Song ci (lyrical poem) A Tune Like a Dream 如梦令 by famous female poet Li Qingzhao, and the English version below is translated by Wang Jiaosheng:

Last night there was intermittent rain, a gusty wind.
Deep sleep did not relieve me of
The last effects of wine.
I ask the maid rolling up the blinds,
But she replies: “The crab-apple is lovely as before.”
“Don’t you know?”
Oh, don’t you know?
The green should be plump and the red lean?”

Rough explanation: After a night of heavy rain and wind, the poet believes the crab-apples in the garden would be in a battered state, yet cannot bear to verify it herself. She asks her maid for confirmation, and receives a different answer. She chides her maid for giving a careless answer, and replies that the (red) flowers should have already wilted by this time of the year, leaving only the (green) leaves.

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10 thoughts on “Zhao Liying cast in upcoming historical drama

  1. I think when I first read that poem, the annotations suggested the other person in question (卷席人) was the husband, and that “The crab-apple is lovely as before” was his compliment to her, while the final line has her thinking of her own aging beauty.

    Urgh.. Zhao Liying is a great option for them, but just the thought of a 70-episode intrigue by Zhang Kaizhou makes me drowsy. Snails was a huge improvement, but his pacing needs so much work.

    • Actually that does make sense as well. XD

      Imo, Zhang Kaizhou has already made Ode to Joy 2 a snooze fest (tho the script is a let down as well).

      • His capturing of Guanguan’s relationship is super cute if cliche, though.

        The script somehow kept all of the bad parts of season 1 and the book (the voiceover that leaves no room for interpretation, the ugly QXX outfits, the awkward and boring Andy relationships, super weird BGM) and then got rid of the few good parts ( I want to see QXX’s family fallout! )

        • Bloggers at onehallyu loved Ode to Joy2! On the other hand, Chinese bloggers are so nitpicky about everything of insignificance. Wang Ziwen is petite, but for some to rag on her as ugly and short?! pffft!

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