The Story of Minglan
|The Story of Minglan|
|Also known as||Legend of the Concubine's Daughter: Minglan|
|Based on||Don’t you know? The green should be plump and the red lean by Guanxin Zeluan.|
|Directed by||Zhang Kaizhou|
|Country of origin||China|
|No. of episodes||73|
|Executive producer(s)||Hou Hongliang|
|Production company(s)||Daylight Entertainment|
|Original network||Hunan TV|
|First shown in||China|
|Original release||December 25, 2018|
|The Story of Minglan|
The Story of Minglan (Chinese: 知否？知否？应是绿肥红瘦) is an upcoming 2018 Chinese television series adapted from the novel Don’t you know? The green should be plump and the red lean by Guanxin Zeluan. It stars Zhao Liying, Feng Shaofeng and Zhu Yilong. The series premieres on December 25, 2018 on Hunan TV.
Set in the Northern Song dynasty, the story revolves around Sheng Minglan, the unfavoured sixth daughter of an official. After being mistreated by her legal mother and bullied by her half-sisters, Minglan learns to hide her skills and true intentions, and ultimately succeeds in avenging her biological mother’s death. She meets Gu Tingye, who initially dislikes her but after witnessing her wits and intelligence, decides to help her. They eventually fall in love with each other. After Gu Tingye becomes a powerful official, he successfully makes Minglan his wife. As his wife, Minglan helps guard against his unpleasant relatives and purges the court of corrupt ministers. The couple eventually earned their happily-ever-after, and Minglan rose to prominence as an influential figure of the Sheng family.
|Zhao Liying||Sheng Minglan||Sheng Hong's sixth daughter, by his concubine Wei Shuyi.|
Despite her intelligence and bright nature, she is the least favoured child of the family. She is often put into dire circumstances and has to fight for survival while avenging her mother's death.
|Feng Shaofeng||Gu Tingye||The legal second son of the Marquis of Ningyuan, by his second wife Lady Bai.|
He is known for his hedonistic ways after being tricked by his father’s concubine, yet eventually turns over a new leaf and becomes a trustworthy subject of the eight prince.
|Zhu Yilong||Qi Heng||The legal only son of the Duke of Qi, by his wife the Princess of Pingning.|
Minglan’s childhood sweetheart. However they eventually separate as his family pressures him to marry a lady of noble birth.
|Cao Cuifen||Old Mrs. Sheng||The only daughter of the Marquis of Yongyi. The matriarch of the Sheng family.|
She adopted Minglan’s father Sheng Hong, who is the son of her husband's concubine Lady Chun, as her own. She takes a particular liking to Minglan, and raises her after her mother's death. She is often irritated by Sheng Hong's inability to control the women of his household or give his official wife due respect. Old Mrs. Sheng is an adept player, able to easily side-step malicious schemes and get her way gracefully, but prefers to stay out of the way and live quietly.
|Liu Jun||Sheng Hong||The master of the Sheng family.|
He puts Lin Qinshuang over everything else, thus straining his relationship with his adoptive mother. He is tactful and sensitive, but dislikes confrontation and turns helpless and ineffectual at the conflicts between his wives, often choosing the path easiest for him. He is fond of all of his children, but easily swayed by complimentary words and often believes surface evidence over the truth, making him particularly susceptible to manipulation. The Sheng family's public reputation is of great importance to him.
|Liu Lin||Wang Ruofu||The legal youngest daughter of the Left Vice Minister of Revenue. Sheng Hong's official wife.|
Her explosive bad temper hides her reasonable and kind side, and also causes her husband to avoid her or assume she is the villain in situations. Wang Ruofu has reason to be resentful: she spent the early years of her marriage struggling alone with a baby while her husband was far away on business, and when he returned, he made Lin Qinshuang his concubine. Though she does not mind Wei Shuyi, Wang Ruofu openly hates Lin Qinshuang. Wang Ruofu has a very direct, proud nature, which makes her a poor match for Lin Qinshuang's emotional manipulations. She often finds her plans to finally oust her husband's concubine flipped by Lin Qinshuang's hand into making Wang Ruofu look bad. She is a very devoted mother to her children and longs for her husband's undivided attention.
|Gao Lu||Lin Qinshuang||Sheng Hong's favorite concubine.|
She has a gentle and weak appearance, but is particularly vicious and good at scheming, thus allowing her to establish and secure her position in the household despite being a former servant of Old Mrs. Sheng. When given temporary control of the household management and budget, Lin Qinshuang embezzled Wei Shuyi's allotment, and her later actions regarding Wei Shuyi's medical care contributed to Wei Shuyi's death. Lin Qinshuang frequently uses tactics such as bribing or framing servants, planting false evidence, dramatic emotional displays, and pretending to be ill to escape the consequences of her scheming.
|Liu Xiyuan||Wei Shuyi||Sheng Hong's small concubine.|
Unlike her husband's official wife, or other concubine, Wei Shuyi has no powerful family connections or wealth to aid and protect her. She is from a poor family who needed her to become a concubine to aid with expenses and debts. Wei Shuyi is a gracious, long-suffering woman who dislikes causing fuss or drawing attention to herself, preferring neglect over the negative consequences of standing out. She taught Minglan how to ride horses and play pot-arrows. She often tries to teach Minglan the benefits of accepting what is given without demanding more, and to hide talents in order to pass without notice. She died giving birth to Minglan's stillborn younger brother.
|Wang Herun||Sheng Hualan||Sheng Hong's legal eldest daughter, by his wife Wang Ruofu.|
She becomes Yuan Wenshao's wife. Though considered a good and ideal daughter, her higher status in-laws mock her lack of palace refinement and her husband installs 4-5 concubines. Wang Ruofu worries for her eldest daughter, and Hualan's marriage, which her mother opposed but her father fought for, is a point of contention between Wang Ruofu and Sheng Hong.
|Wang Renjun||Sheng Changbai||Sheng Hong's legal son and second child, by his wife Wang Ruofu.|
He is knowledgeable and well-learnt but humble. He puts his family's interest over his own welfare, and is seen as a dependable sibling and son. Friends with Gu Tingye.
|Ren Wanjing||Hai Zhaoyun||The legal second daughter of the Hai family of Jiangning. Changbai's wife.|
|Zhang Xiaoqian||Sheng Changfeng||Sheng Hong's illegitimate son and third child, by his concubine Lin Qinshuang.|
Changfeng nearly causes a shameful disaster for the Sheng clan at Sheng Hualan's wedding when he became drunk and began gambling away the bridal gifts. He is easily discouraged in the face of hardship or embarrassment, and favors partying and drinking with his higher-status friends over advancing himself, but is very loyal to his mother and will defy great lengths to save her when he can.
|Shi Shi||Sheng Molan||Sheng Hong's fourth child and illegitimate daughter, by his concubine Lin Qinshuang.|
The most academic of the sisters, Molan is highly intelligent and enjoys composing poetry. Molan was raised by her mother to stand out and always strive to be the best. Molan deeply resents her own lack of status and can become cruel, violent, and vengeful when denied. She often uses her mother's low tactics to antagonize her 5th and 6th sisters and gain her father's favor. Desperate to improve her social status and harboring an ambitious crush, with the help of her mother, Molan uses an underhanded method to become Liang Han's wife.
|Zhang Jianing||Sheng Rulan||Sheng Hong's legal daughter and 5th child, by his wife Wang Ruofu.|
Childish, pampered, and impetuous, as a legitimate daughter, she has a security her illegitimate sisters do not share. She is honest and forthright, and her pride does not allow her to back down when she feels she is in the right, even if it means more suffering for herself. Rulan lacks ambition and wants to live an easy, happy life enjoying things. Though she normally has a kind heart, she enjoys maliciously needling 4th Sister about their respective statuses, especially when 4th Sister calls attention to Rulan's lack of intelligence or skill.
|Zhu Huaixu||The elder Old Mrs.||Sheng Wei's mother.|
|Wang Gang||Sheng Wei||Sheng Hong's cousin.|
The master of the eldest branch of the Sheng family.
|Zhang Hanyun||Sheng Shulan||Sheng Wei's legal eldest daughter.|
|Xu Yue||Sheng Pinlan||Sheng Wei's legal second daughter.|
|Hu Shuoyu||Sheng Changwu||Sheng Wei's second son.|
|Shi Yan||Mother Fang||Old Mrs. Sheng's servant.|
|Dongrong||Sheng Hong's servant.|
|Hong Hua||Mother Liu||Wang Ruofu's servant.|
|Wang Yi||Caihuan||Wang Ruofu's servant.|
|Ma Ding||Zhou Xueniang||Lin Qinshuang's servant.|
She is faithful to her master and uses all means to ensure her safety, no matter how underhanded.
|Lu Yanqi||Xiaodie||Wei Shuyi's servant.|
She is framed for theft by Lin Qinshuang. Wei Shuyi manages to save Xiaodie from being beaten to death, instead having her dismissed from the household, and gives Xiaodie a precious token in farewell.
|Yuan Yuan||Zhulou||Lin Qinshuang's servant, later sent to serve Wei Shuyi.|
|Zhang Shuwei||Lümeng||Lin Qinshuang's servant, later sent to serve Wei Shuyi.|
|Wang Ziwei||Xiaotao||Minglan's servant.|
The two girls are of the same age and grow up together as companions.
|Han Ye||Danju||Minglan's servant.|
|Li Yuanyuan||Cuiwei||Old Mrs. Sheng's servant, later sent to serve Minglan.|
|Tian Luo||Mother Cui Ru'an||Old Mrs. Sheng's servant, later sent to serve Minglan.|
|Cao Ying||Jiu'er||Wang Ruofu's servant, later sent to serve Minglan.|
|Yinxing||Mother Liu's daughter. Wang Ruofu's servant, later sent to serve Minglan.|
|Ke'er||Changfeng's servant, later sent to serve Minglan.|
|Mei'er||Changfeng's servant, later sent to serve Minglan.|
|Yang Xiaodan||Lady Guan||Head of Kitchen.|
|Liu Qing||Lady Wei||Wei Shuyi's younger sister.|
She convinces Old Mrs. Sheng and Wang Ruofu to care for an orphaned Minglan, and is very paranoid of the Sheng family's intentions.
|Ning Xiaozhi||Zhuang Xuejiu|
|Yu Nannan||Granny Kong||An imperial tutor brought in to instruct the Sheng sisters in feminine graces and imperial court manners.|
|Mu Liyan||Old Mrs. He||Longtime friend of Old Mrs. Sheng, Mrs. He is an expert in medical matters.|
|Liu Yue||He Hongwen||Old Mrs. He's legal grandson. Hongwen is an excellent doctor and intelligent man. He has a calm, solicitous, and gentle personality, which makes him Old Mrs. Sheng's preference amongst Minglan's potential tutors.|
|Li Hongtao||Gu Yankai||The Marquis of Ningyuan.|
With a surly, military, and unyielding disposition, Gu Yankai was very fond of his first wife, but bowed to family pressure to divorce her and marry the much wealthier Lady Bai. He takes his resentment out on Lady Bai, and later her son, Gu Tingye. He dislikes shows of wealth and impropriety, and is the only one of his brothers considered a gentleman.
|The elder Lady Qin||The elder daughter of the Marquis of Dongchang. Gu Yankai's first wife.|
Her husband's family took advantage of her sickly physical health to force him to divorce her. She kills herself due to their pressure.
|Wang Jingyun||Lady Bai||Gu Yankai's second wife. Gu Tingye's birth mother.|
Lady Bai was from a very wealthy merchant family who only recently became lesser nobility. Her excellent reputation and massive dowry made her a target to the aristocratic Gu family, who had significant debts. Her parents initially refused their matches since the Gu sons offered had very poor reputations as gambling womanizers, and the only son of the family they'd consider worthy of Lady Bai, Gu Yankai, was already married. Lady Bai's family was persuaded to arrange a match between Lady Bai and the newly, and conveniently, widowed Gu Yankai, but the marriage was an unhappy one. Lady Bai was mocked for being lower class and her husband ignored and resented her unwitting role in the death of his first wife and the power her family's money had over his family. Lady Bai was unaware that the sole reason her husband married her was for her dowry, and demanded a divorce once she learned the truth behind his mistreatment. She went into labor over the upset and died before she was granted a divorce.
|Wang Yinan||The younger Lady Qin||The younger daughter of the Marquis of Dongchang. Gu Yankai's third wife.|
She married her late sister's husband shortly after the death of Lady Bai. She is even-handed among her step-sons, and a calming influence on her husband, but privately favors her own son's advancement.
|Gao Zifeng||Gu Tingyu||Gu Yankai's legal eldest son, by his first wife, the elder Lady Qin.|
Gu Tingyu has been a sickly, frequently-ill person from birth. Though he presents himself as virtuous, he resents Gu Tingye, knowing his younger brother will likely outlive him, and was raised to villainize Lady Bai for usurping his mother.
|Li Yixiao||Zhu Manniang||Gu Tingye's outside mistress.|
Despite coming from desperate poverty and working as a street performer for a time, her goal is to become the legal wife of the Gu Tingye. She is manipulative and guileful, using both her wits and schemes to try to marry into the Gu family. She bears two children for Gu Tingye.
|Yue Xuantong||Gu Rong||Gu Tingye's first daughter, by his mistress Zhu Manniang.|
|Deng Hanyu||Gu Yanchang||Gu Tingye's second son, by his mistress Zhu Manniang.|
|Liu Zhehui||Gu Tingwei||Gu Yankai's legal third son, by his third wife the younger Lady Qin.|
|Ye Zicheng||Gu Tingbing|
|Hu Yuanjun||Gu Tingbing's wife.|
|Liu Mianzi||Gu Tingdi|
|Chen Xi||Gu Tingdi's wife.|
|Yang Xinming||The master of the fourth branch of the Gu family.|
|Cui Yi||The fourth master's wife.|
|Tan Xihe||The master of the fifth branch of the Gu family.|
|Wang Lele||The fifth master's wife.|
|Shen Chi||Shitou||Gu Tingye's servant.|
|Kang Qunzhi||Granny Chang||Gu Tingye's nanny.|
Gu Tingye is extremely fond of Granny Chang and purchases her a house and servants to care for her in her old age. Gu Tingye later installs his mistress, Manniang, and children into her household. Granny Chang is unimpressed with Manniang and easily sees through her acts and manipulations.
|Zhang Jing||Xiaocui||Zhu Manniang's servant.|
|Zhao Qianzi||Mother Xiang|
|Tu Nan||Bai Tingyu||Lady Bai's cousin.|
The eldest son of the second branch of the Bai family.
|Liu Pizhong||The Duke of Qi|
|Chen Jin||The Princess of Pingning||The only daughter of the Marquis of Xiangyang. The wife of the Duke of Qi.|
A proud, elegant, and highly educated noblewoman, she is the dragon guarding her only son, Qi Heng, and believes no one is good enough for him.
|Zhang Hengyu||The Princess of Jiacheng||The daughter of the Duke of Ying. Qi Heng's first wife. The princess' family uses nefarious means to secure Qi Heng's hand in marriage.|
|Chen Yalan||Lady Shen||Qi Heng's second wife.|
|Wang Zijie||Buwei||Qi Heng's servant and companion.|
He often gets roped into Qi Heng's machinations to see Minglan.
|Shi Jingyi||Lady Shen's servant.|
|Huang Youming||Yuan Wenchun||The legal eldest son of the Count of Zhongqin.|
|Cao Yueyao||Yuan Wenchun's wife.|
|Wang Ziming||Yuan Wenshao||The legal second son of the Count of Zhongqin. Sheng Hualan’s husband.|
|Ma Yanbin||The Grand Preceptor|
|Feng Jun||Old Mrs. Yu||Grand Preceptor Yu's wife.|
|Mr. Yu||Grand Preceptor Yu's legal son.|
The master of the eldest branch of the Yu family.
|Liu Shuchen||Lady Fang||Mr. Yu's second wife.|
|Deng Sha||Yu Yanran||Mr. Yu's legal eldest daughter, by his first wife Lady Fan.|
She is Minglan's best friend.
|Liu Yanchen||Mr. Yu's legal second son, by his second wife Lady Fang.|
|Zhao Qin||Yu Yanhong||Mr. Yu's legal third daughter, by his second wife Lady Fang.|
|Wang Siyu||Lady Wu||The wife of the Count of Yongchang. Bright, sincere, and bold, Lady Wu adores Minglan and earnestly desires to have Minglan marry into her house as the official wife of her sixth son, Liang Han.|
|Wu Hong||Liang Han||The legal sixth son of the Count of Yongchang, by his wife Lady Wu. Liang Han enjoys poetry and flirtation.|
|Zhao Shuzhen||Old Mrs. Wang||Wang Ruofu's mother.|
|Zhang Yanyan||Mrs. Kang||Wang Ruofu's elder sister.|
|Li Duo||Mr. Kang|
|Du Lingli||Kang Zhao'er|
|Lu Jin||Kang Jin|
|Ma Yan||Wang Ruofu's uncle.|
|Liu Wanting||Wang Ruofu's uncle's wife.|
|Li Ruoning||Wei Xingshou||Gu Tingye's confidante.|
|Wang Yongquan||The Duke of Ying|
|Wu Xiaoyu||Zhang Guifen||The legal daughter of the Duke of Ying.|
|Yang Qing||The Empress Dowager|
|Qin Yan||The Emperor|
|Juan Zi||Lady Shen||The Empress.|
|Fu Miao||Lady Liu||Noble Consort.|
|Yang Yuting||Consort Rong|
|Feng Hui||Zhao Zongquan||The new Emperor.|
|Zhao Ceying||Zhao Zongquan's son.|
|Huo Yaming||The Prince of Huan|
|Ning Wentong||The Prince of Yong|
|Xie Chengying||The Princess Consort of Yong|
The series is produced by Hou Hong Liang and Daylight Entertainment, who has produced several hit television series like Nirvana in Fire and Ode to Joy. It is directed by Zhang Kaizhou of Love Me If You Dare and Ode to Joy 2. The screenplay of the series is written by Zeng Lu and Wu Tong, who were both co-writers of Battle of Changsha.
Casting and shooting
Pre-production started in April 2017. On May 8, 2017, Zhao Liying was announced to play the leading role of Sheng Minglan. Feng Shaofeng was unveiled as the male lead on June 20, 2017. The rest of the supporting cast was announced in August 2017. Filming began in September 2017 at Hengdian World Studios. The series wrapped up filming in April 2018.
|1.||"Don't You Know? (知否知否)" (Theme song)||Li Qingzhao, Zhang Jingyi||Liu Xuandou||Hu Xia & Yisa Yu|
|2.||"Dang Ge (当歌)"||Zhang Jingyi||Liu Xuandou||Ye Xuanqing|
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