Those of us who enjoyed watching “Story Of Yanxi Palace” will surely find “The Legend Of Hao Lan” just as entertaining, if not more. Some of our favourite actors in “Story Of Yanxi Palace” are back in “The Legend Of Hao Lan”. Of course, the most interesting returnees are Wu Jinyan who plays the main role of Hao Lan and Nie Yuan (who reminds me of former TVB actor Kong Wah) as Hao Lan’s great love and benefactor, cunning merchant Lu Bu Wei.
Set against the end of the Warring States Period where the Qin are fighting the Zhao (pre-Shi Huangdi), the beginning episodes are about how Hao Lan enters the Zhao court as a lady-in-waiting to the Queen who by the way, is magnificently portrayed. The Queen of Zhao is one of the most clever Queens I have ever come across in any Chinese period drama. This is one Queen who really knows how to play the survival game.
In ever episode so far (have watched up to episode 16), Hao Lan must outwit those who seek to harm her, even her own stepmother and stepsister are always plotting to bring about her death. The Queen of Zhao’s only daughter, Princess Ya is also very Machiavellian and has more than once plotted against Hao Lan.
The other central character in this drama is the Prince of Qin who has been held hostage in the Zhao court. He is always very calm and clear-headed under any circumstances. There’s a love triangle between him, Hao Lan and Lu Bu Wei. It’s interesting to watch how Lu Bu Wei struggles against his true feelings for Hao Lan. He initially intended to use her as a pawn for his great ambitions of gaining more riches, power and prestige but slowly and gradually falls for the feisty and clever Hao Lan. It’s nice to watch a heroine who can outsmart her opponents even when faced with death on many occasions.