Finished watching the CCTV epic remake of Three Kingdoms a couple of months ago, though the show still has a lasting impact so long later. As a die-hard fan of the book (Luo Guan Zhong is an evil genius), having the characters come to live on the tv screen was certainly something very pleasurable.
The story pretty much stays faithful to the book, though the producers for some inexplicable reason decided to omit quite a major part towards the end of the show. Even so, what you see on screen is pretty much what is in the book.
But here, the producers are guilty of a very dirty trick. They peopled the cast with GQ-esque actors. And oh boy, did it work. Lu Bu, Zhao Zi Long, Zhuge Liang, Sun Quan were all drool-worthy in their own rights. In the book , Lu Bu was certainly described as drop dead gorgeous, while Zi Long had big eyes – exactly like the one in this version. Many die-hard fans of the story decried the use of what they termed as ‘idol actors’ into such an honoured story, claiming that the acting was wooden, unreal, whatever. But from a commercial point of view, it made a lot of sense – after investing millions into the production, wouldn’t the producers want to make the end product as sellable as possible? Let’s not kid ourselves – leng chais sell!
The same detractors claimed that the earlier edition, produced in 199x was truer to the spirit to the book. I must say I am tempted to check it out. But here comes the shameless confession of unadulterated shallowness – I can’t stand to watch ugliness on my tv screen. If you’re gonna be on my tv screen, you’d better look good. If I want ugly, I just have to take a walk down the street.