You need to be watching Yanxi Palace right now.
Don’t say we bojio, but this period drama that’s already in the middle of its broadcast is getting viewers everywhere feeling all kinds of emotions, amidst the politicking and betrayal in a total of 70 episodes.
We might be living in the 21st century, but sometimes some of us like to revisit the 18th century every once in a while. Okay, make that all of us. The latest hit mega-drama to hit our screens could possibly be making a new record - the greatest amount of political rife in a period drama. And that’s the kick that its viewers seem to be getting.
Since we are more than mid-way through the series on StarHub TV+, it’s high time we look at why this Chinese drama set in the 1700s during the Qing Dynasty is a smashing hit with the young and old alike, so here’s 4 reasons why you are missing out if you haven’t hopped onto the bandwagon.
1. Not your regular female lead. She's spunkier, with more attitude.
What’s better to watch than a female lead who avenges the death of her sister, and enters the royal palace to uncover the truth? If you’re a fan of the occasional period drama, even this plotline should be enough to get you hooked and binge-watch the entire series.
No spoilers here, but the story depicts how a palace maid rises up the ranks to become the Emperor’s favourite concubine.
Quick-witted and cunning, female lead Wei Ying Luo (played by Wu Jing Yan) goes against the usual portrayal of “damsels in distress needing to be saved by a white knight”. Instead, Wei Ying Luo employs ways and means to remove her opponents in the smartest ways, even acting like a retard to save her life. The trepidation felt when she encounters (and then gets out of) these near-death incidents is what really keeps us watching with our teeth clenched.
Put her alongside the Empress (played by Qin Lan) and Consort Gao (played by Tan Zhuo), and we’ve got a 70-episode formula for sleep deprivation (don’t say we didn’t warn you!).
2. Dramatic plotlines weave in and out of the storyline.
Scheming concubines, rampant backstabbing and an abundance of conspiracies makes Yanxi Palace that much more attractive, and we all know someone (other than ourselves) who appreciates a plot twist or two. Add to that a Sherlock element, where we become detectives ourselves as pieces of evidence are revealed bit by bit, like that piece of jade her sister left behind… We won’t reveal more.
With death as a centerpiece of the drama, branching out to several rifts between characters in the palace setting, the drama goes beyond just exacting revenge and justice. Every story has a happy ending, or do they?
Also, there is a plotline involving the destruction of lychee trees. Intrigued yet?
3. This is as real as it gets to imagine life in the palace during the Qing dynasty.
History buffs, you’re in for a treat. The gorgeous, elaborate costumes and impeccable set are based on actual historical depictions of life in the palace, which makes it that much more relatable to the period Yanxi Palace is set in.
Many cinematography enthusiasts will comment on the impeccable colours that Yanxi Palace adopts. The amazing thing about Yanxi Palace is that it somehow evokes a sense of nostalgia in us, as if we actually belonged to that era of the Qing Dynasty.
4. 130 million views. And that’s per episode.
The popularity of Yanxi Palace has outgrown the borders in which it has been produced in. According to South China Morning Post, a cumulative 5.6 billion views since its release two months ago!
The appreciation for Chinese drama series has grown considerably since 2 years ago, and the numbers certainly don’t lie. Even as we start to appreciate shorter series with more “efficient storytelling”, it seems that 70 episodes is not too daunting for a majority of audiences across the globe.
FOMO? Don’t miss out then! Watch it FREE on StarHub TV+.
StarHub TV+ makes binge-watching easy. The Story of Yanxi Palace is now available for FREE* on Starter. Watch it anytime, anywhere and stream to your heart’s content! The best part, you don’t need a contract to enjoy it, and a subscription to StarHub TV is not required. Plus, if you are a StarHub mobile customer, you can stream data-free^ on-the-go!
*FREE 1-month subscription is available to new subscribers of Starter who charge to their StarHub postpaid bill.
^Customers are required to set their mobile data access point (APN) to ‘shwap’ in order to enjoy streaming with no data charges.