of Yanxi Palace (延禧攻略)” is a 70 episodes palace drama set in 18th century Beijing. It is the
story of Wei Yingluo, a young woman who enters the court of the Qianlong
Emperor, as a seamstress/servant to find out the truth behind her older
This show is worthy of your time for the
duration of the full 70 episodes. Unlike other dramas (Rise of Phoenixes so
disappoints) Yanxi Palace is fast paced, every two to three episodes shit goes
down and get resolved while the main arc continues on in the background. It is
beautifully shot, edited with excellent cinematography. The cast is excellent
across the board. And the women, oh gods, the women are amazing.
Wei Yingluo is smart and cunning, and 100%
committed to vengeance and retribution. She discovers information that led her
to believe that the imperial guard Fucha Fuheng was her sister’s killer. So,
our badass female lead set herself up to be noticed by his sister the Empress
Fucha. Her mission is a success and gets transferred to Changchun Palace as a
maid/servant to Empress Fucha. Except the longer she interacts with the Empress
and Fuheng the more she realises the two are actually really good people. She
basically ends up worshipping the ground Empress Fucha walks on, and starts to
fall for Fuheng.
Here is Empress Fucha; she is kind,
intelligent and beautiful. She teaches WYL how to write, read and try to teach
WYL how to be kind and righteous person, um, with relative success. WYL worships the ground she walks on, and will CHOOSE HER OVER ANYTHING AND ANYONE. Like, screw the men, this is her true love. I kid. Sort of.
Here is her brother Fucha Fuheng. He is
righteous, smart and strict, but there is a sense of humour hiding beneath his
pretty face. He and WYL theoretically have the tragic romance, but they are SIGNIFICANTLY different than other tragic romances because BOTH OF THEM ARE STILL INTELLIGENT. They recognise their position and their responsibilities and WYL’s vengeance. All women either love or hate him. We love the character, the
actor is currently up in the air.
WYL ends up running into Emperor Qianlong
on several occasions, all of them leading to the Emperor coming out of it the
loser. So, you can imagine the Emperor is not exactly a fan of WYL. But she is
saved from punishments through her
smarts, luck and the fact she is the Empress’ favourite.
Here is Emperor Qianlong. I fucking love him, he isn’t technically likable but he is an Emperor. You go through eps where you
hate him and then eps where you want to hug him. At the end of the day he is
the Emperor and that influences everything he does and how he reacts to the
world. Half of my joy in the later eps is watching WYL and QL figure each other
out and their back and forth in an attempt to get the upper hand.
Warning: Qianlong is not a nice person, he is
a good Emperor.
Worthy of mention:
Hoifa-Nara Shushen, Consort Xian; the kind and neutral consort who doesn’t want to choose a side between the Empress and Consort Gao
I FUCKING LOVE THIS SHOW.
This show is beautiful from set designs to costumes to the damn lighting. The story is so damn fast paced, and I have never seen a female character like WYL on the screen before, that’s include Western media. Her single minded focus on vengeance and choosing the women in her life over the men is something so damn refreshing. I call her my little rage murder machine… except she is willing to wait for decades to pull her plans. WEI YING LOU!!!!!!
I WANT TO WRITE A POST ABOUT EVERY CHARACTER BUT I DON’T HAVE THE TIME.
IF YOU CAN ONLY WATCH ONE CHINESE DRAMA THIS YEAR, STORY OF YANXI PALACE IS THAT DRAMA.