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When news of Zhang Ziyi starring in her first TV drama in her two decade-long career made headlines, many had high expectations. Some even believed that the series, titled Monarch Industry, would be as popular as Story of Yanxi Palace.

Alas, expectations soon fell flat and the show has been hit with a series of bad reviews, ranging from its many plot holes to its laughable costumes that have been criticised for being “a disgrace to Chinese history”.

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