Two words, Wallace Huo. My expectations for “Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace” (如懿传, Rúyì Zhuàn) were high because he shines when playing a king. He caught my eye in 2016’s “The Imperial Doctress” (女医明妃传, Nǚyī míng fēi zhuàn), where he played one of two royal siblings in a rivalry for the throne. His character, Zhu Qizhen, and his brother both fell for the lovely Cecilia Liu, as Tan Yunxian.
I tuned in to “Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace” fully expecting to love it, but sadly no. First off, there is no build up of their relationship. We are not given enough of their backstory to care whether or not they end up together. Then, when they do get together, he legally marries another woman and takes on yet another concubine at the same time. As a viewer you expect a haram to exist in a palace drama, but by the time its introduced you usually care about the main couple. Sadly, the writers of this drama failed there. In all honesty, however, it is the rare drama that I love after one episode.
The cinematographers and costume designers, however, are on top of their game. The sets are just beautiful and what you would expect from a high-quality drama. I am also in love with the drama’s title song, 沉香流年, performed by 雷佳 Lei Jia, so much so that I have translated it into English. You can watch it and sing along now below.
For now, Wallace Huo will keep me going back for more, although so far he is not coming across all that interesting or romantic. As for the remainder of the cast, I am not feeling the leading lady played by Zhou Xun (周迅) and the other women are vicious.
In all fairness, I have only made it to episode three. I plan to give myself a little more time to form a final opinion. If nothing else, I immersed myself in the language for a few hours.
Do you watch Chinese drama’s on Netflix? If so, check out my blog post here, wherein I introduce you to a Google Chrome extension that will allow you to display two sets of subtitles at once, pause for learning purposes and so much more! Best of all its most useful functions are all FREE!