6 reasons ‘Yanxi Palace’ is the best Chinese drama you’ll see today

I can't stop watching.

Chandel Tan | September 10, 11:58 am

You’ve probably heard of Yanxi Palace.

It’s a 70-episode Chinese drama that recently ended its run.

It was streamed over 15 billion times during its run in China alone.

So, why does this historical epic stand above all the other historical epics?

Here are 6 reasons why.

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

Amazing actors/ Charmaine Sheh

Yanxi’s amazing cast of actors all pull their weight in this ensemble drama.

But even among those amazing cast of characters, Charmaine Sheh leads the pack.

Image from Re-mony Tumblr
Gif from Guzhuangheaven Tumblr

Viewers might remember her last time from a Qing palace drama back in 2003 called TVB’s War of Beauty.

It’s about time she starred in a similar drama again. And disappoint she did not. Kudos to her sick acting skills as a psycho power-hungry Empress, but whom we all share a soft spot for because, well, Charmaine Sheh.

Here’s a video of her nailing this acting thing.

Gorgeous, historically accurate costumes

The costumes are rarely over the top.

Images from Huanyu’s Facebook

Which fits into the more grounded themes being portrayed in the series.

But the less colourful ensemble does not detract from the intricacy in design at all.

HZGG connection

Huan Zhu Gege (My Fair Princess) is another iconic Chinese drama about palace intrigue, and imperial drama.

A lot more light-hearted of course, but no less iconic.

Qin Lan, the actress who potrays Empress Fuca in Yanxi Palace.

Gif from Guzhuangheaven

Well, she was also Zhihua in My Fair Princess 3.

Photo from Lutouwang

Another My Fair Princess alumni who received a role for Yanxi Palace was Dai Chun Rong, who played Empress Ulanara in My Fair Princess.

Image from Virtual Voyage

She now plays the mother of Yanxi Palace‘s iteration of Empress Ulanara.

Cool.

Super detailed set designs

The costumes aren’t the only intricately designed aspect of the show.

Just take a look at these props.

Images from Huanyu’s Facebook

Images from Huanyu’s Facebook

Exquisite.

The strong character development

There’s a lot more than just changes in rank to take note when one talks about character development.

But just take a look at this progression.

Gifs from GuZhuangHeaven’s tumblr

Plot twists and shiok death

Everyone in the palace put on a mask and has their secret agenda.

And we don’t want to spoil the show too much but one particular betrayal stands out.

Screenshot from ETtoday

Chills.

Image collated from LWX72 _ and ETtoday

About Chandel Tan

Chandel has severe ornithophobia. Her greatest fear is falling down a flight of stairs into a bed of hungry pigeons.

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