Set during the Ming Dynasty, Lucky Tianbao 吉祥天宝 proves to be outrageous to the core from outlandish costumes to its ridiculous storyline. I reckon that heavier stuff will follow later on in the series, though I think I'll pass on this one.
Episode 1 begins with a standard introduction that is present in nearly every historical drama except this time around, the big bad is Wei Zhong Xian, a eunuch commanding two powerful agencies, Dong Chang and Jin Yi Wei, both of which are more than willing to do his biddings.
Wei Zhong Xian orders the mass killing of prisoners except for one who breaks and spills the name Wang Wen Yan after being threatened with the death of his family members.
Meanwhile, Yang Ruo Lan (Zhao Li Ying) armed with a cracking whip is wrecking havoc inside a brothel. Pleading for her to stop, the head mistress tells Ruo Lan that she should give punishment where it's due since there is an even bigger brothel operating in the city.
Sure enough, Zhu Tianbao (Kim Ki Bum) makes his grand entrance amidst a shower of confetti where he engages in a 4-way no holds barred duel. He wins the title of biggest evil man for the second year in a row, thanks to an enormous amount of foul play.
Just before Tianbao meets his harem, Ruo Lang barges in to declare her intention to become a contender. However, Tianbao blows her cover instantly and Ruo Lan vows to destroy all brothels so that Tianbao will remain by her side.
Insinuating that it's been done many times before, Tianbao turns her down again and reiterates that a good girl like Ruo Lan is better suited with his older brother, Zhu Tianxiang (Zhao Zi Xiao), who at the very moment is devising a plan to save Wang Wen Yan and expose the atrocities of Wei Zhong Xian.
First Impressions: Girl likes boy and boy doesn't, which begs the question of whether or not Zhao Li Ying really is the female lead? She gets ample screen time to say the least but Tianbao keeps raving about a girl in his dreams, who happens to be a real person and once they meet, it's practically guaranteed that they will end up together as most drama tropes go.
Ok I couldn't help it so I just sneaked a peak at the ending and my lips are sealed. For more synopsis, cast and ratings, see my 2016 Chinese historical drama listing.