Princess Jie You: Ep. 1 and 2
I love these first two episodes of Princess Jie You. For starters, I got a chunk full of laughs several times in each episode. Second, there is a good amount of kick butt fight scenes that should be expected in a Chinese historical drama.
Princess Jie You is a story about the political tensions among Han, Wu Sun and Xiong Nu people. The Xiongnu are considered the violent nomads at that time, killing and stealing from innocent neighboring civilians. In history, they formed a great tribal league that was able to dominate much of Central Asia for more than 500 years at the end of the 3rd century BC. The Wusuns (Wu means “crow” and Sun means ‘descendants”) are semi-nomadic steppe people living in the northwestern China. In this drama, the Hans and Wu Sun enjoyed peace and strong alliance from a five year political marriage alliance between royalties but that relationship is now threatened when the Han princess died pregnant from questionable reasons.
Our main characters are introduced in these two episodes. Jie You from was an orphan found and raised by a small performance troupe’s leader when she was only two. She she grew up traveling and performing magic tricks with the troop to earn a living from place to place. Her wit, wild streak, strong sense of independence and stubbornness constantly cause her trouble. Oh, did I forget to mention she’s very tomboyish?
Weng Gui from Wu Sun is the smart, highly self confident, smooth talking chieftain of Wu Sun tribe, who is also a professional fighter. In front of others, he likes to puts up an image of a carefree man who drinks and dotes on women to draw away unnecessary political jealousy.
Other characters introduced in this episode are Ah Cai is Jie You’s BFF who is also the star of their troupe. She’s loyal to her bosom friend but tends to be petty at times. Kunmi (below) is the ruler of Wu Sun tribe who lost is Han princess wife recently. On the surface he appears to trust Weng Gui enough to give him important assignments but deep inside Kunmi feels somewhat threatened by Weng Gui’s strong capabilities that could potentially become a threat to his throne. Aside from Weng Gui, there is also Weng Hou who also advise him on different political matters. He secretly conspires with the Xiongnu and tries to influence Kunmi to form stronger alliance with them instead of the Hans whom they’ve historically been in alliance with. Kunmi is a wise and perceptive ruler and get be unpredictable.
The first two episodes gave an excellent job at introducing Jie You and Wen Gui. They are two fun characters that would drew me in naturally and made me want to keep cheering them on. Kudos to the casting team for choose Zhang XinYi and Yuan Ding for the leading roles. I really love the way Zhang XinYi portrayed the role here and can’t wait to see her other works. I was almost misled by the posters. She looked gentle in it and made dreaded her character was going to be as boring as Virtuous Queen of Han drama but thankfully it’s exactly the opposite of that. whew!
The two leads undeniably have great screen chemistry. I was a bit hesitant from watching this drama at the beginning because neither were familiar to me but it’s proven so far to be a very good decision. Not only that, the plot kept me at the edge of my seat. A series of crazy encounters brought the two personalities together. Jie You and her troupe members helped Weng Gui heal from a poisoned wound. Ah Jie has started showing interest in Weng Gui and volunteered to help even though she is terrified of blood. The Director did a very good job at showing the clear distinction between the two women. Ah Cai is very feminine and gentle towards him and Jie You is a cute tomboy always poking and provoking him.
Ah Cai gently wrapped his wound after Jie You aggressively dug the knife to his wound.She thought this would catch his interest more as it would to a typical. Oops. Too late. Weng Gui seem like his woman a little feisty. His eyes followed the Jie You who was smiling sheepishly back at him looking victorious with his knife in her hands. The two always banter with each other but is clearly attracted to one another. Here’s my favorite scene from the two episodes. Weng Gui and Jie You whispers while everyone’s asleep on the floor next to them:
Jie You: You were pretending to sleep! [grinning]
Weng Gui: I’m protecting myself from lustful women like yourself”, are you peeping at me?
Jie You: Between two of us, who do you think is more like a pervert? Are you not letting me go?
Jie You lifts her fingers as if she’s going to poke his eyes, he quickly lets go. Jie You continues to pesters him to tell her who he is although he said she wouldn’t believe it even if he told her.
Wen Gui: I’m from WuSun. I’m a family business. I travel a lot for business. Not sure why we got attacked by bandit this time.
Jie You: “You lying” [smiling]
Wen Gui: Why would I lie to you?
Jie You didn’t believe that he could be that good in martial arts if he was just a merchant. He downplays his fighting skills…
Wen Gui: Those fighting skills are small potatoes. I learned it from my Dad.
Jie You: wow! Your Dad can fight too! You have a very impressive family background!
Wen Gui: Actually, business hasn’t been great since my Dad passed away and now this incident…
Jie You: As long as your life is spared, there’s always an opportunity for a come back. It’s a blessing that your life is spared. She smiles sheepishly…
Wen Gui: Aren’t you sleepy??
Jie You: No I’m not…Oh I am.
[Spoiler Alert] Later, they decided to travel together out of the dessert with her troupe where she “trained” him and run into Xiongnu’s General whom they managed to outsmart.
The costumes of the show are very unique to me because most of the styles I see in Chinese dramas are Hans. This series will showcase fashion styles of people from the grasslands. The beaded accessories are larger and the variations are more colorful.
This drama is currently overly underrated perhaps the celebrities are not popular and there’s not any site that has English subtitles. But really if you are looking for something binge-worthy and hopefully can understand Mandarin, I highly recommend checking out Princess Jie You.