Goody Feed is a place full of drama fanatics. My boss is in love with 5566’s West Side Story (西街少年) and is still listening to Titanic’s “My Heart Will Go On”, my handsome colleague loved Powerpuff Girls and the rest of us are absolutely crazy over Ben 10.
So when Descendants of The Sun (DoTS) aired, all of us watched it fervently. While my handsome colleague went gaga over Song Joong Ki, the rest of us (normal) guys fell in love with Jin Goo.
And we thought, there’ll never be a better drama than DoTS. Never. Well, you know what Justin Bieber said: Never say never.
Because a new drama sensation has landed on the screen of viewers from around the world.
1. What Exactly is Yanxi Palace?
The Story of Yanxi Palace (延禧攻略) is a 70-episode drama series set 18th century Beijing, China.
Wei Yingluo’s (Wu Jinyan) older sister was killed and she entered the court of the Qianlong Emperor (Nie Yuan) to find the killer. Believing that Fucha Fuheng (Xu Kai), an imperial guard, to be the killer, she got close to him and his sister, Empress Fucha (Qin Lan).
She realised her suspicions were wrong and fell in love with Fucha Fuheng instead, while Empress Fucha took her under her wing.
After Empress Fucha died, she became the Emperor’s woman and became embroiled in palace politics.
Boring? Well, read on.
2. The Reason People Fell in Love With The Story of Yanxi Palace
Pretty girls, handsome hunks and hilarious dwarfs might improve a show but the thing that’ll make or break a show is the storyline.
For the Story of Yanxi Palace, the amazing storyline’s the reason the show is taking the world by storm. First, you have the main heroine who isn’t afraid to fight fire with fire.
Every character is fleshed out so much you’re able to understand and empathise with them, even the villains.
Like Noble Consort Gao, who was brash and vicious, but had a tragic past. Or Consort Xian who got more vicious and lonely as she rosed up the ranks.
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And the impressive banter, backstabs and politics between concubines and other officials will never fail to keep you glued to the screen.
3. Some Numbers to Back Up The Claim
Okay, so I said, “take the world by storm”.
But is that true, or just my perception? According to a report on South China Morning Post (SCMP), the show has a cumulative view of 15 billion views by the finale episode.
(By the way, it’s BILLIONS, not millions hor)
And the numbers only belonged to the domestic market (China).
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The drama is also the most widely distributed drama in the world, available in more than 70 markets.
And here’s one for the Singaporeans: Hong Kong’s TVB recently bought the distribution rights for the show in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia.
Similar distribution rights were also made with TV channels and platforms in South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
4. The Costumes Are A Work of Art
Believe it or not, details make the world go round. For the Story of Yanxi Palace, the costumes used in the drama are painstakingly made for the show.
They are embroidered according to the person’s rank during the Qing dynasty with techniques from the Qianlong era.
Even the hair accessories were made according to the era’s fashion, based on existing designs in the Palace Museum.
5. It Helped Increase Number of Visitors To The Palace Museum
After the show aired, the visitorship to the Palace Museum in Beijing increased drastically.
Soap opera fans are visiting the Palace Museum where all the characters in the TV show used to live in.
A video claiming to show the “best route tour” of the Forbidden City even went viral on the Chinese internet.
6. Cinematic Scenes Just Made The Entire Series Even More Gorgeous
If you’ve watched the Chinese drama series in the past, you’ll know that their shows look like normal TV series from around the world.
But not the Story of Yanxi Palace.
The number of cinematic shots and beautiful arrangement of scenes just made the entire series more addictive.
Just see some of their shots below:
And it doesn’t hurt that the set was painstakingly created by artisans and craftsmen.
7. The Second Half of The Story of Yanxi Palace Might Be Disappointing to History Buffs
So, 70 episodes, you’ll think it’s long enough but according to Harpers Bazaar, the producers did a rush job towards the end of the series.
So much so that many parts of the story were left out of the show. And it’s not the producers’ fault.
China limits the number of episodes historical dramas and media companies can air in one year, which is why the producers had to leave out so many parts for the show.
8. Most Interesting Part Left Out: Noble Consort Gao’s Connection To Yingluo’s Sister
Consort Gao, a brash and vicious character actually had a connection with Wu Yingluo’s sister.
She had taken a liking to Yingluo’s sister and took her under her wing and protected her. It was also said that Yingluo’s sister sewed all of her stage costumes, which was why she was affected by the burning of her costumes.
But don’t worry, because…
9. There’s a Sequel To The Story of Yanxi Palace
According to a report, the Story of Yanxi Palace is getting a spin-off and a sequel.
In fact, the production for the spin-off, which remains untitled for now, has started. It will reveal the true identity of Fuk’anggan, Fuheng’s son.
Fuk’anggan believes Yingluo’s daughter, Princess Shaohua to be his mother’s killer and works to get his revenge.
Yu Zheng, the producer of Yanxi Palace stated that he will be producing a sequel.
And Charmaine Sheh, the main villain in the show, said she’ll be interested in returning for the sequel as well.
10. Someone Preferred Watching The Story of Yanxi Palace over Jay Chou Singing on Stage
Okay, this isn’t exactly a fact but it has to be said. Because for Goody Feed, this was the incident that brought the awesome drama to our attention.
A girl who attended Jay Chou’s live concert decided to spend her time doing something more entertaining than listening to him sing.
She watched the Story of Yanxi Palace with both earpieces plugged into her ears.
Unsurprisingly, she pissed off many die-hard Jay Chou fans, who lamented that her seat and ticket were wasted on her.
You can read the full story here.
So, are you #TeamJayChou or #TeamYanxiPalace?
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