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Series / Justice Bao

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Poster for the 1993 series

A popular Chinese TV series based on Bao Zheng, a Song-era official of Kaifeng who was known for his justice and fairness. The 1993 Taiwanese show (starring Jin Chaoqun as Bao) ran for total of 236 episodes. A previous 1974 Taiwanese series ran 350 episodes. A partial remake Chinese series later aired in 2008 for total of 61 episodes and a sequel in 2010 for 120 episodes.

As an aside, there are actually many movie and serial adaptations of Bao Zheng since 1967. Jin himself played Gongsun Ce in the 1974 TV series, with Fan Hongxuan ('93 series's Gongsun Ce) as Emperor Renzong in the '74 series.

This work contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: The princess from the 2009 remake of The Execution of Chen Shi Mei is portrayed as being kinder than her original counterpart and even acknowledges her wrong ways.
  • Berserk Button: Justice Bao is usually calm and stoic, but woe betides any accused who goes too far in denying their crimes or committed acts which are particularly heinous.
  • Eye Catch: In the 1993 show, it shows Bao's face with the show's logo in the left.
  • Dark Action Girl: Cai Yun
  • Disney Death
  • Disposable Woman: The series itself played around with this trope. In any case that the woman survived then she'll be the key witness of the case.
  • Flower Motif: Pai Xiamei is named after Mei (Plum) Flower.
  • Girliness Upgrade: Xiaoxi, who had been wearing tomboyish outfit since the start of episode, started to wear more girly outfit and taking care of her beauty after a romantic night with Zhan Zhen.
  • Heel Realization:
    • Many of the cases have the culprit(s) realizes their wrong way before being executed by Bao.
    • Cuicui realized that everything that went wrong was because of her jealousy toward Yea Niang and let herself be brought back to the court and be executed.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold:
    • Many of the female characters that worked in the brothel only did so for daily life expense and helping their family. Justified since women didn't have much choices for job in that era. Many of them are also Broken Bird.
    • Li Xiaowan, the Mistress of Fengii, is a notable Brothel Owner for treating her workers with respect and doesn't order them to serve the guests they didn't want to. When the truth that Yea Niang's family defied the Royal Decree that forced her to marry Tianlun, the man she didn't love, Xiaowan tells her that she rather had him burns down her brothel than let Yea Niang dies as she sees her as her own daughter.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Bao Zheng. This is what led to Gongsun Ce, Zhan Zhao and the four brothers serving him.
  • Kangaroo Court: Of course, subverted with Bao. Played straight with other villains.
  • Love Quadriladeral: The main point of "The Dream of Mandarin Ducks and Butterflies Case".
  • Love Redeems
  • Off with His Head!: Bao Zheng uses a set of three guillotines to execute criminals, all bestowed unto him by the emperor. The guillotine with a dog's head is used on commoners; the one with a tiger's head is used on government officials; and the one with a dragon's head is used on royal personalities.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Xiaolian.
  • Mistress and Maid: Yea Niang and Cuicui.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: In a world where corruptions run rampant, Bao Zheng is one of the few who is this.
  • Red Baron:
    • A lot of the people got one, particularly those involved in the jianghu world. Of notes are "The Seven Heroes" - of which Zhan Zhao are a part of - and "The Five Gallants", with each member having a name to themselves.
    • The four Wen Brothers have title with dragon in their name.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang:
    • Zhan Zhen and Zhan Ping.
    • Also Consort Lee and Consort Liu. While Lee is unambitious, Liu is very power-hungry.
  • Shipper on Deck: A partly justified example. Wen Xin, who risked being executed due to harming a child in the carriage (who he thought was Bao) but turned himself in. Bao, not wanting him to be executed nor the Wen Family Line to end, managed to find Fengyin(Wen Xin's lover) and persuade her to marry him.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Xiaoxi is pregnant with Zhan Zhen's child at the end of The Tale of the Twin Brothers.
  • Temporary Love Interest: Oh, poor Zhan Zhao. All three of his love interests are dead; in some way that is very sad.
  • The Voiceless: Wang Shunxiang. It is a plot point that she was kidnapped and poisoned to frame her brother in-law, Xiaju, that he killed her. She is also unable to appeal to Bao because she can't write. Zhan Zhao eventually uses his power to purge poison out of her to save her and her child.
  • True Companions: Bao Zheng, Gongsun Ce and Zhan Zhao.
  • Undying Loyalty: Gongsun Ce, Zhan Zhao, Wang Chao, Ma Han, Zhang Long and Zhao Hu to Bao Zheng.