I have been looking forward to watching this 30 episodes TVB period drama starring Myolie Wu as Empress Xiao Shen Cheng and Jessica Hsuan as Quan Fei. Sunny Chan acts as Emperor Dao Guang who is torn between his 2 beloved wives. "Curse Of The Royal Harem" is one of 3 grand TVB productions used to celebrate the channel's 44th anniversary, the other two being "Super Snoops" and "Forensic Heroes 3". This drama started showing in Hong Kong on 31 October 2011 and i feel that it pales in comparison with "Forensic Heroes 3" as i find the plot not as interesting and exciting as the latter although i'm watching it because i have always like watching Myolie's dramas and she is one of my favorite Hong Kong actresses. You can watch it online at (http://www.jacinda1st.org/2011/11/curse-of-the-royal-harem-chinese-subtitles/) or (http://www.mysoju.com/hong-kong-drama/curse-of-the-royal-harem/).
Myolie plays an evil empress in this drama which is a vast difference from her usual sweetie pie roles and she is constantly plotting to harm Jessica's character in the drama. I have been looking forward to watching this drama since i saw its trailer awhile back and i was curious how she will portray the character. Tavia Yeung received alot of praises for her role as an evil empress in the 2009 period drama Beyond the Realm of Conscience and hopefully Myolie will also win the hearts of the Hong Kong viewer with this challenging role. She is also nominated for the TVB best actress award for her role in this drama.
However the drama has been criticized by Hong Kong viewers since its broadcast and there are viewers who feel that Myolie's make-up in the drama is too heavy and the story plot is not refreshing. The drama has also not gotten as high ratings as popular drama "Forensic Heroes 3" which is also showing in Hong Kong currently. Hopefully the ratings will improve as the drama progresses and Jessica's character starts turning evil in retaliation against Myolie's character's constant attack and threats on her unborn child and position.
"Curse Of The Royal Harem" is set in the mid-1800s Qing Dynasty and is loosely based on the reign of the Daoguang Emperor of China and tells of the drama and romantic intrigue in the court's Manchurian royal harem. While Emperor Dao Guang is about to crown Yun Yuen (Myolie Wu) as Empress Hao Sun, Empress Dowager Kung-chee (Gigi Wong) is forcing Yee Lan (Jessica Hsuan) to commit suicide for her husband (the late eldest prince).
To rescue his sister-in-law, Emperor Dao Guang puts the coronation ceremony on hold and even takes Yee Lan as his concubine, sparking off a series of wrangles and power struggles inside the royal harem. Caught up in all of this, Emperor Dao Guang is utterly exhausted, and becomes even more so when the affair between Yun Yuen and Prince Sui (Joel Chan) begins to surface. Through years of oppression, Yee Lan turned from a simple kind-hearted girl into a sophisticated vicious woman. Refusing to be a victim of fate, she follows the evil path and is now crafty enough to play tug-of-war with anyone in power…
Jessica Hsuan as Niohuru Yee Lan (鈕祜祿·伊蘭), the Consort Tsuen (全妃) — the Dao Guang Emperor's favourite consort and childhood crush. She was once married to Dao Guang's older brother Min-yi; however, he went missing after he went to control a rebellion in Northwest China a few months after their marriage. Yee Lan is forced to become a human sacrifice for Mini-yi's funeral ceremony by the orders of Empress Dowager Kung-chee, who sees Yee Lan as unfortunate and cursed. Dao Guang saves Yee Lan from her death and announces that he will take her hand in marriage. Although Yee Lan agrees to become his consort, she still holds the belief that Min-yi is alive, and once escaped palace grounds to search for him. Yee Lan eventually falls in love with Dao Guang, who honoured her as an individual and wife.
Myolie Wu as Tunggiya Yun Yuen (佟佳·沅宛), the Empress Consort Hao-sun (孝慎皇后) — Dao Guang's first empress consort and Yee Lan's main rival. Her coronation as Empress is disrupted by Dao Guang when he goes to save Yee Lan from burial. Jealous of Dao Guang's favouritism towards Yee Lan, and a fear of losing her title as Empress, Yun Yuen attempts to strip Yee Lan from power by dispatching a spy to Yee Lan's palace chamber. Yun Yuen becomes desperate to conceive a son and is later deposed of her title as Empress after Dao Guang discovers her illicit affair with Prince Sui.
Sunny Chan as the Dao Guang Emperor (道光帝) — the benevolent Qing Dynasty emperor who naturally became the successor due to the death of his older brother, Min-yi. He has had a crush on Yee Lan since youth, but because Yee Lan and Min-yi were in love, he decided to forgo his pursuits. Dao Guang interrupts Yun Yuen's Empress coronation in order to save Yee Lan from her burial, and soon announces to take her hand in marriage, much to the dismay of Yun Yuen and Kung-chee. Dao Guang is extremely close to his brothers and muses that if Min-yi hadn't died, he would have been crowned instead.
Joel Chan as Min-yan, the Prince Sui (瑞親王綿忻) — Dao Guang's younger half-brother and best friend. Min-yan is extremely respectful of his older brother and purposefully presents himself in a much harsher and militaristic image in court to highlight Dao Guang's more sincere and benevolent image. Min-yan was Yue Yuen's lover before she married Dao Guang. Though he still harbours feelings for her, Min-yan is disgusted by Yue Yuen's calculating and cunning schemes for power. Yue Yuen later seduces Min-yan, and he sires a son with her. Influenced by Kung-chee and Yue Yuen, Min-yan begins to develop a growing dissent towards Dao Guang's rule, and ultimately decides to overthrow him.
Gigi Wong as Empress Dowager Kung-chee (恭慈皇太后) — Dao Guang's stepmother and Min-yan's mother. Although Dao Guang is not her biological son, he is the most filial. Kung-chee believes Yee Lan is creating tension between her and Dao Guang, and finds her power in court to be weakening. She later convinces Min-yan to start a coup to overthrow Dao Guang.
Nancy Wu as Choi-lam (彩藍) — born Borjigit Ching-yu (博爾濟吉特·静瑜), the maiden spy Yue Yuen sends to spy on Yee Lan. Choi-lam later changes her loyalty to serve Yee Lan, but is unhappy with her ambiguous relationship with her two masters. She later wins the emperor's favour through her evil scheming and becomes known as Noble Consort Ching (靜貴妃).