I just watched the preview show for “The Iron Empress” (a.k.a. “Empress Cheonchu”) on my TAN satellite station. So, I'm guessing that Episode #1 should air tomorrow night. Chicago fans may still have a week or two to go before it starts there.
It was a pretty good intro show. Judging from the previews, the battle scenes should be among the most spectacular we've ever seen in a Korean historical drama. And it’s interesting that the name “Cheonchu” means “1000 autumns” . . . and that since Empress Cheonchu died in 1009 AD, the narrator made quite a point about how this show is being filmed exactly 1000 autumns since the year of her death.
But man, they’re really going full-tilt in making Empress Cheonchu into a larger-than-life figure. Seriously, her battlefield skills are right up there with those of Xena the Warrior Princess. Now, don’t get me wrong: I like strong and heroic women . . . but enjoying an obviously fictional character like Xena is one thing. I’m a little less enthused about seeing this kind of thing in a historical drama.
Of course, I’ll watch it . . . but I have a feeling that this could be another Dae Jo Young in the making. If that’s the path they’re taking, it will thrill a lot of folks, while bumming out a small number of grouches like myself. But, no matter my own feelings, I think this will be an extremely popular drama show for KBS.
One side note; Lee Duk-hwa is a pretty funny guy off-camera (though they're Romanizing his name as “Lee Deuk-hwa”).
We had the preview show last night too ,for once we are ahead of you guys in Chicago . Anyway it looks like it wants to be a bridge between Dae Jo Young and Sejong by taking elements from both but i have a feeling it will come up short . Preview Show is packed with Spoilers ,KBS go down the list in the first 10 mins you will learn who is going to bite the big one they just dont tell you how (yet ). It seems every Historical Drama has a storyline where the hero(ine)has a fall from grace or has to go undercover with the token merry band of merry munchkins and of course at some point they become Top Bannana ,Cheon Chu is no differant i just hope that KBS do not drag that aspect out like DJY and MBC's Jumong . I do think the second half of this drama will be better than the first once the hi jinks have calmed down and we get to the nitty gritty . Above all else it should be remembered Cheon Chu was not a nice lady ,history is nothing short of scathing about her ,she is like a dumb Empress Wu ,in so much Wu was super smart while she offed the oposition she kept the people happy and promoted commoners ,the people and the Army were her powerbase ,while Cheon Chu only cared about herself and that was her weakness . Despite the glowering Warrior Queen make over i hope we get to see the Infamous side of her too .
BTW Chae Sira !! That girl can fight!!!!! !"bloody hell im impressed ". She can weild a mean blade she would have no trouble turnin Chulin into Sashimi not to mention ol Sosunho as well . I would rather watch this than say KILL BILL (KILL PIL ! sorry i could not resist )(Which i dislike and find overrated compared to the films it borrows from like Lady Snowblood 1 and 2 )
BTW Chae Sira !! That girl can fight!!!!! !"bloody hell im impressed ". She can weild a mean blade she would have no trouble turnin Chulin into Sashimi not to mention ol Sosunho as well.
Boy, no kidding! Did you catch the scene near the end of Episode #1, where our Warrior Queen draws TWO arrows, shoots them at the same time, and nails two different baddies with one shot? And she even did it as she was pursuing them on horseback at full speed!
Man, I bet even Xena couldn’t have pulled that one off.
Don’t get me wrong; Episode #1 was slam-bang full of excitement . . . but I'm sure hoping they move towards a more realistic realistic portrayal of Empress Cheonchu as the show wears on.
Ep 1 started last night and i have mixed feelings on it . Its way to early to pass judgement and the next few episodes look like a vast improvement . Remember Ep 1 of Dae Jo Young ?,well KBS do and decided to remake it but unlike DJY which really drew the viewer in Cheon Chu seemed unable to do that . Aside from the opening theme which is ok the episode seemed devoid of music and thin on plot ,it was just war war war . Also like DJY all the actors seem given to overacting but where DJY pulled it off here it comes up short . On the plus side the action was great and Sira can really fight her cute Jurchen sidekick is no slouch either ditto the Parhae (Balhae )girl. And in one awesome battle scene we get Steven Colbert's no#1 threat . On one episode its way to early to judge but i had very high hopes for this and at least on the first episode its come up short ,but the trailer for ep 2 looks very promising .
It’s getting to the point that I must be careful about spoilers (it looks like “The Iron Empress” will start next week in Chicago - meaning that I’ll always be three episodes ahead of viewers in the Windy City) but here are a few last comments:
Earlier, I mocked episode #1 pretty good (where Empress Cheonchu came off looking like a Korean version of Wonder Woman) but - to my pleasant surprise - episodes #2 and 3 were pretty good! They’re still portraying the future Empress Cheonchu as a virtuous and admirable woman (something the historical record doesn’t exactly agree with) but if one sets that aside, this show could offer us the depth of “Great King Sejong” with all the action of “Age of Warriors” - a pretty promising combination.
It’s way too soon to know if this show will keep up the pace - or the quality - but I’m feeling positive about “The Iron Empress” so far.
Episodes 2 and 3 were a vast improvment this show has great potential. I Still have a couple of gripes though . (1)There is no back story at all ,we are not told why one faction hates the other or why such and such was killed ,i cant say too much but there are pending vendetta's and murders not to mention the usual backstabbing but no historical info is given on these deep seated grudges . Of course im sure all this was covered in "Dawn Of The Empire "but if like myself you never saw that than you are SOL . Of course im assuming KBS thinks the audience will know all this stuff and most Korean's probably do but its tough for the likes of us ,There is nothing of any consequence in English Language to help enlighten us either . (2)The Music or rather no music of any consequence ,shows like "Sejong "and DJY really got a major leg up with great music scores to enhance the action but here the main theme is ok and thats it the show is deviod of either rousing or hypnotic musical numbers sadly .
I Forgot CHU CHUL HO as Emperor KYOUNG-JONG is amazing he steals the whole show . He is something straight out of Caligula /Nero and its just incredible and funny as well . sure nothing funny about Nero /Caligula but you will see what i mean when the episodes air .
I Still have a couple of gripes though . (1)There is no back story at all ,we are not told why one faction hates the other or why such and such was killed ,i cant say too much but there are pending vendetta's and murders not to mention the usual backstabbing but no historical info is given on these deep seated grudges .
I won't spoil it for you now, but do you really want to know why that family/group/king got the way that they are???