- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show received much attention from the west, introducing some viewers to Chinese drama shows, due to being chock full of Costume Porn.
- Harsher in Hindsight: On a meta level. Fan Bingbing (Meiniang) and Li Chen (Li Mu) became a couple after the filming of this series and even got engaged. Sadly, in mid-2019, they broke off their engagement, meaning that both in-universe and out, Li Mu Did Not Get the Girl.
- Heartwarming in Hindsight: On a meta level. Despite their on-screen rivalry, this series fostered a friendship between Fan Bingbing and Zhang Junning (Xu Hui). A few years after the series, and after Fan was embroiled in a tax evasion scandal, Zhang was one of a handful of celebrities who sent birthday wishes to Fan on her 39th birthday in 2020.
- Overshadowed by Controversy: The series suffered from this during its original run in China. note
- So Okay, It's Average: Aside from being the story of China's only female Emperor, many feel the series isn't that different from every other Palace Drama series.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: So much for the show to offer us about the popular historical figure who became China's first and only female emperor, when Gaozong dies, there's a time skip to Wu's usurpation, and another time skip to her deposition, completely glossing over Wu's regency and actual rule. Making the narration where it stated many times that Wu became emperor in some occasion, the build up, and how much they make it sound grand, look pointless.
YMMV / The Empress of China