太子妃升职记 || 2015
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Go Princess Go is an adaptation of the web series of the same name by Xian Chen. Considering how China has restrictions concerning time travel and LBTQ+ themes, I’m amazed this was even made. Saying that it’s not a surprise that a third of the drama was forcibly censored.
Go Princess Go had a low budget, as well as only 70 days of production. This does translate into the visuals, but once you get used to the sets and props, and how it actually does work well with the story and acting, it isn’t noticeable – at least it wasn’t for me. There are some really pretty sets and colours. A lot of the outfits though… choices were made 😂
What I would highly recommend doing, even if you don’t want to watch Go Princess Go, is listening to the soundtrack!
I really enjoyed Miss You But Can’t Say by Cui Zige and I couldn’t find a great video for Peter Sheng’s song Whirlpool, but I found this Spanish lyric video (I don’t understand Spanish or Mandarin, but it’s beautiful and you should listen to it anyway!) ♥ They also do a song together which you can see here (again with Spanish subs).
Just as a side note: I do use he/him pronouns for Peng Peng.
After drowning while trying to escape three angry women, playboy Zhang Peng (Zhang Zhiyuan) awakens in the body of a royal princess 1000 years in the past. Inside Peng Peng’s (Zhang Tianai) body, he goes through a lot of emotional turmoil coming to terms with being in a woman’s body and trying to learn about the woman’s life he is now leading. After some bumps, Peng Peng begins to enjoy his days flirting and getting friendly with his husband’s concubines.
However, Peng Peng soon realises that his life is in danger and that being the royal princess is not as simple as just looking pretty. Her husband Qi Sheng (Peter Sheng) is in love with his brother’s wife and is not afraid to show it, no matter who is hurt by his actions. Over the years he has gained enemies due to his distant personality and the special treatment he was given as a child. Peng Peng joins forces with Ninth Prince (Yu Menglong) to try and protect himself. But, along the way, Peng Peng goes through several realisations that unexpectedly changes where his loyalties lie.
There are certain parts of the plot that I don’t know if I can truly moan about, as this drama did go through censorship. However, I do think that the pacing of the story was not handled well.
The first half of the drama is more slapstick, with a lot of innuendos. We do see more serious moments, with the beginnings of Peng Peng and Ninth Prince’s pact and the palace drama. Most of which was bogged down by Ying Yue (An Yongchang) and miscommunication. The first half was enjoyable due to it’s sheer ridiculousness! Peng Peng’s behaviour and how he bemused everyone he came into contact with was hilarious.
And then the second half – while still being humorous, has more serious aspects. We see Peng Peng’s feelings about being inside a woman’s body and his feelings for Qi Sheng develop. There is more of an emotional impact to the second half, that I wish was intertwined more in the first half. There are serious moments throughout Go Princess Go, but the ones that mostly matter are in the tail end which means that some felt a bit forced. And with the lack of expansion on several important plot points, some of these moments just feel like they come out of nowhere – the ending certainly comes to mind!!
I found it hard to see where Peng Peng was coming from with regards to Qi Sheng as I didn’t realise until I was told later in the series that he was behind the attempted assassination… I should know this from the get go. If he wanted his wife dead, why did this man nearly die himself trying to find Peng Peng?!? I needed so much more interaction and conversations between the two leads and I understand that at the beginning this wasn’t what was essential, so their relationship does feel rushed.
What does make watching Go Princess Go the most enjoyable is the characters. And for having relatively unknown and new actors, I think Go Princess Go isn’t badly acted. There are times that are a bit painful to watch, but as a whole and in the context of the drama it kind of feels like it’s on purpose. Also, Zhang Tianai’s comedic acting is so good! ♥
Peng Peng is hilarious. He starts off being just plain ridiculous and causes trouble wherever he goes. This doesn’t change throughout, but we see him grow into his womanhood and the position and responsibilities that he has as a royal princess. I do wish Peng Peng wasn’t so dumb at times and actually thought about things rationally before charging forward. Peng Peng’s relationship with his maid Lu Li (Hai Ling) is a bit odd at the beginning, but I really like how they become true friends. Lu Li is so cute too!
Qi Sheng needed more development. He’s distant and hates Peng Peng in the beginning, but we’re made to understand that he’s a good leader. I think the problem with Qi Sheng is that he tends to have a lot of cryptic lines and doesn’t really emote much, apart from disdain and annoyance. And yes, these feelings are mostly directed towards Peng Peng 😂
Ninth Brother is probably the character with the clearest motivation and arc. His intentions and feelings towards Qi Sheng and Peng Peng are already well established and he makes them clear. His friendship with Yang Yan (Guo Junchen) is also pretty funny and endearing. And talking of Yang Yan, I do love this idiot. His friendship with Peng Peng was also really fun to watch – he’s like Peng Peng’s little brother.
Overall, this drama is a wild ride that you just have to get on board with to enjoy it to it’s full potential. There are a lot of flaws, but I’m still happy that I finally got round to finishing it.
Lastly, I want to talk about the ending, so there are obviously huge spoilers ahead!
Qi Sheng literally went, I want to just spend time with my wife, so I’m going to leave our child to run the country… really?!
We see them be happy, dumb and cute together. And then they die?! We had no build up to this moment. Qi Sheng and Peng Peng are just chilling and doing their own thing, so why are people out here trying to have them killed? Does this mean their little boy Hao Er is in danger? Is this meant to be retaliation from the Tartar’s? Ninth Prince was spared and still loves Peng Peng, so he wouldn’t have got them assassinated, right? It came out of left field.
There are three endings, one is the original and was just sad. The second had a more optimistic ending with potential to give the audience space to imagine a happy ending for our mains. The last ending, which was filmed quite a while after Go Princess Go aired is meant to be a parody of a trope ending for historical Chinese dramas.
The first one was the one with the most impact. Seeing Zhang Peng in the places where he was Peng Peng and him dancing on his own 😭 And despite always wanting a happy ending, I did prefer this to the other two options. If the second one was done better with Zhang Peng seeing Qi Sheng in the hospital, then I’d probably like that more. I will take the breadcrumbs of potential happiness for my leads so that I can daydream about, but it just felt weird… Like Peter Sheng has pretty eyes, but he was staring so intently…
What was your favourite ending of the three?
- Plot: 5
- Production: 4
- Acting: 7
- Enjoyment: 7
Overall Rating: 5.75/10
- Director: Lu Hao Ji Ji
- Writer: Qin Shuang + Shang Menglu
- Network: LeTV
- Release Date: 13th December 2015
- Episodes: 35 (36 with second ending)
What were your thoughts on Go Princess Go?
Mr Queen is the Korean remake of the web series, do you think this is worth watching and/or better than the Chinese adaptation?
Thanks for watching!
I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying safe ♥