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dramanoob8818

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About dramanoob8818

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  1. Don't you just love the colours, the costumes, the hair accessories, the sets - gosh everything! It is beautifully packaged, very well lit and shot. The colours and lighting never appear harsh but are always pleasant and muted. Having seen the palace dramas like Zhen Huan and then the fantasy C-dramas like Eternal Love, its so rare to have this drama where the wardrobe/colours etc work so tastefully. Clearly this is a case of 'less is more', something which most C-dramas tend to miss. Like you, I'm an overseas-born Chinese and gosh, how my life would have changed if I had an addictive C-drama like this back when I was studying Chinese in school! I think my grades would not have hovered round the borderline fail mark for sure. I was never interested in Chinese history until recently, but this drama really drove home how little I knew but cemented how interested I was - in the history, the culture, the architecture, the traditions. And there is a growing sense of appreciation, indeed pride, that as a Chinese, I have a tenuous link to all this. As a follow-up, I went to Youtube to watch docus on the forbidden city and stumbled onto the restoration of QL's study - fascinating!
  2. Nicely put. Didn't realise this but yes it is that rare drama where the emperor had to work really hard to win his concubine's heart. That's what this drama special too. Nie Yuan sold QL the way that Chen Jianbin could never do that Zhen Huan. In Zhen Huan the emperor gave off regal but sleazy vibes but Nie Yuan had a winning combo of power and vulnerability. He had the right charisma and presence to project authority but his little gestures (in rubbing his head, tracing Yingluo's features when she was asleep, weeping at his son's death anniversary, even the way he smacks her on the forehead affectionately) show his humanity, his vulnerability and makes him accessible to viewers not just as a 2-dimensional emperor, but as a man. Its been months since the drama ended but I can't stop re-watching random scenes, reading all the posts here, scanning for Yanxi news and not touching any other C-drama. Even k-dramas have hit a slump for me. What's with this obsession? I hope to find another drama soon that will top this one. Hard right? That's why I'm still here.
  3. In most cases, yes the eldest or principle sons usually were earmarked as obvious successors. But the Qing emperors did not practise this. They chose the son whom they felt was the brightest and the best. Hence when Kangxi passed away there was a power struggle among his many sons and much jockeying for position because it was not clear that the firstborn would automatically be the emperor. In fact Yongzhen was the 11th recorded son and the 4th prince. When it came to Yongzheng's turn to choose a successor, it was the same. Qianlong was not his eldest principle son. For him to choose Yongyan as his successor, he must have seen something promising in the boy. Of course the fact that he favoured WYL also probably had a part to play, but I don't think it was to 'protect' her etc. Its quite natural that Qianlong spent a great deal of time in the Wei concubine household since he was comfortable with her and favoured her. In doing so, he must also have spent more time with their children than with those from his other consorts. Not unusual that he would know Yongyan better or had better relationship with him than the others.
  4. Well, not unexpected for the back-to-back pregnancies and births. Royalty and the wealthy usually had wet nurses for their babies. This was so for Eastern and Western cultures. Without the hormonal protection of breastfeeding, fertility returns quickly. In WYL's case, if she was so favoured by the emperor, it is likely that she got pregnant almost immediately (within 3 months) after giving birth.
  5. For those living in Singapore, I hear that Yanxi has gone to DVD with english subs and will be available from Friday onwards at Poh Kim outlets. Not sure how true this is.
  6. What I understood after reading/researching is that Consort Ling entered the palace as a maid, not a lowly maid but a lady-in-waiting. For women in the palace, every maid/lady-in-waiting is fair game for the emperor. He has the right to select any he fancies to join his harem. Those whom he selected will then undergo 'training' by the empress and other consorts and will go on a 'probationary term' before being officially confirmed as a concubine. The key to this is WHO trains which concubine. QL had a lot of love and respect for Fuca empress. He assigned Consort Ling to be trained by her directly while the other potential concubines are trained by other concubines in the harem. Remember that both in real life and in Yanxi, Ling did not have a good education, having come from humble beginnings (this is something she constantly reminds the emperor about). To bolster her education in the fine arts, palace etiquette etc is the role of the 'trainers'. So for Consort Ling to receive training from Fuca, you know that it was likely that QL wanted Fuca's worldview to rub off on Consort Ling as well. In Yanxi, Yingluo also received education from Fuca who taught her to read/write/paint etc. So there are tiny differences but it is true that Yingluo was 'groomed' or 'trained' directly under Fuca. Also to add, it is significant that QL Yingluo to be groomed by Fuca when she could have gone to any other concubine. It suggests that from the beginning, he was already very fond of her.
  7. In real life, the step-empress died before Consort Ling. So if QL's intent was to have her buried beside him, he would have done so. So I don't think he wanted her buried there. Lots have been written about how he reduced her role and position and how he punished officials who dared request for a fairer record of her in history. His anger never abated even after many years.
  8. I also think that while Fuheng has his knight-in-shining armour identity by doing the secret sweet stuff for WYL eg replacing her heater, making sure she is okay and generally watching over her etc, sometimes this can walk the fine line between true concern and overbearing "I know what's best" attitude, ignoring or not understanding WYL's true motivations and character. There are two instances where I saw this happen: 1) He married Erqing to 'save' WYL. Even Fuca empress knew that WYL would rather have gone the distance (even if it meant death) than to squirrel out of it with this marriage. Fuheng thought he knew best, that he was acting in WYL's best interests but in truth, he did not understand her at all. He was the Noble Idiot. But WYL is not your average submissive maid who needs rescuing, at least not in that way. Hers is a fierce "take no prisoners" type of personality. She would have found another way; to her, their relationship was too precious to just give up, no matter the threat. In her eyes, and to her disappointment, he gave up on their love too easily. That scene in the snow was beautiful because of that double message - there he was standing there with ErQing, a picture of the compromise 'deal with the devil' that he willingly made. But there she was - WYL who would rather walk/kowtow for hours in the freezing snow than to compromise her feelings for Fuheng. Hence, when she said that this would be the last thing she would do in acknowledgement of their relationship, that they would henceforth go separate ways permanently, she meant it. It was a great contrast between her and Fuheng. And the scene ended beautifully - with her collapsing and the emperor picking her up in his arms (almost like a foreshadowing and confirmation of a 'handover' in a way, of the next phase of WYL's life - this time with the emperor. One stood to let her pass (albeit in pain to watch her suffer) and the other picked her up. 2) He 'forced' WYL into compromising her ideals/mission to avenge her sister with Prince Hong's insincere apology for sexually assaulting WYL's sister and his subsequent callous (without any sincerity or true remorse) offer to 'marry' WYL's sister. Here, I think is the strongest example of how Fuheng completely did not understand WYL's character/motivations. What she wanted was not 'compensation' or acknowledgement of the crime and a cover-up. What she wanted was justice and no less than Prince Hong's death and punishment. Fuheng thought a compromise and an apology would be sufficient. How wrong he was. Avenging her sister was the driving force behind WYL's entry into the palace. It was her consuming mission to seek revenge that drove her. Fuheng underestimated that or maybe never even truly understood the depth of her single-minded hatred/desire for justice. Given all this, while I think Fuheng is a real sweetie-pie, he does border on the overbearing and not in a good way. He might have been WYL's first love (cos who can resist his sweetness and overall goodness?) but certainly he would not have bee the right match for her. She needed a strong character who respects her views, understands where she is coming from and really, a largeness of character to match hers. In this, QL ticks all the boxes. He is regal, powerful, authoritative as a king should be, shrewd and discerning enough to see through most of her nonsense and will yet allow her enough free rein and latitude not given to any other concubine. The closest comparison I have is the relationship between the classic Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. Wilful, strong-minded, obstinate and smart Scarlett met her match in Rhett, who loved her, indulged her and yet had the power to rein her in if needed.
  9. Same same. I love all the eps after YL became a concubine. But I guess my favourites would be those that she bickers with QL like an old married couple. That scene when they were both asleep and she sleepily grabbed the blanket and told him to stop moving about cos he "disturbs her rest" and he drily responded, "Is it you serving me or me serving you?" and her sleepy response is gold: "You've been saying the same thing for the last 10 years, aren't you sick of it already?" It just speaks volumes of their comfortable relationship. They have been sharing the same bed, having the same bedtime squabbles and conversations that it has become so familiar. I don't think QL has the same comfortable relationship with his other concubines. And their fight is hilarious - how many concubines would have the guts to kick QL in bed and walk out in a huff? Love all scenes with her and the naggy Yongqi. Yongqi is serious and disapproving of his foster mom's childish antics but secretly has so much love for her. It's lovely to see how she treats Yongqi as her own son. @lyserose I feel you and share the same thinking - I find it so hard to tear myself away from Yanxi and hard to get into or feel for another story. Which also explains why I am lurking/stalking this thread. I feel thrilled everytime someone posts in this thread. It extends the shelf-life of my Yanxi love. Just wondering why not more people are coming on board. Toying with the idea of starting a blog/recaps of Yanxi - anyone keen to join me?
  10. I totally agree. I almost wish there are off-cut scenes that show the relationship between Ying Luo and Qian Long. Too cute. Can't get enough of their bickering behaviour. So much love/fondness and understanding between them. I want a sequel just based on this! And yes I thought the scene where she boasted of this to the step-empress was gold. She's confident of her position enough to push for 'truce'. I like the badass way she tells the step-empress that she's not someone who will back down from a fight, and how she's willing to 'accompany her step for step' if she (the step empress) wants to continue the fight.
  11. Actually I think QL loved her way before that, perhaps without even knowing himself. Remember the first time he met her and the hilarious and preposterous story she made up about the tree? It intrigued him so much that a mere palace maid would have the wit and the temerity to make up such a story that he sent Li Yu hunting for her just based on the sound of her voice. I think that was when it started for him. That first interest, attraction which later grew to deeper feelings the more he saw of her and the more he knew of her exploits. I always enjoyed seeing the way Yingluo would yank QL's chain 'figuratively speaking'. She knew all the buttons to press to keep him interested, to win his heart, to make him laugh, to difuse his anger. She could cajole him and tease him and be impertinent (the scene of her dining with QL sitting down at table is one example. In history, this was a big no-no and I'm glad the show mentioned this too, but Yingluo disregarded the social rules and the emperor let her, again a sign of his love for her) She is smart and shrewd and her playbook is spot-on. Interesting that she never used her smarts to keep Fuheng interested in her, rather used against him to find out about her sister's death. Also taking into consideration what she told the Ulanara empress at the end: "the one who first admits to love is already the loser", I find it interesting that with Fu Heng and her, it was always Fu Heng that was the first to declare his feelings, the one to fight to keep the relationship going, to persuade her of his love etc. It was never her. Yingluo never took the lead in that relationship. So I almost wonder if she was as invested in that relationship as Fuheng was.
  12. If we want to sub, how can we sub? Is there a site we need to access?
  13. I also thought it was very generous of Fu Heng to go to Yuan Ming Yuan to ask her to return to the palace. He was the one who warned her that the emperor was infatuated with Chen Bi. For him to encourage her to go to another man, to put her interests before his feelings, that is also the sign that they have both moved on in their relationships and are now seeing each other not in a romantic light, but in deep trustful friendship where both understand and support where each other is coming from. I also agree that her last promise to Fu Heng is fair - she will have the emperor in this life and be with him in the next. Not a question of who she loves more, but just two very different loves at very different times of her life. And to me, that's why I enjoyed Yanxi Palace so much. It showed her development as a character over time and the maturation of her personality after she grew from an impulsive, vengeful lowly ranked maid to a gracious Imperial Consort at the end.
  14. Yes exactly how I felt. I tried watching Mr Sunshine too and also could not connect. Yeah, I heard lots of impressive stats but somehow something was off for me. I also could not get past 1 episode of Mr Sunshine. What can I watch now? Short of re-watching Zhen Huan and Yanxi!
  15. Loving this all the way. So sad its come to an end. For this drama, I had to grapple with my crappy Chinese and watch without subs (where was it when I was in school!). I liked Yanxi because it had that nice balance between fact and fiction. Overall, the plot lines remained true to what happened in history. The speculative gaps were filled in with fiction - ie the relationship between Fu Heng and Ying Luo, or the coup by Hong Zhou, or Yuan Chun Wang's character. But overall, it told the story of the concubine who came from nothing and became one of three empresses in Qian Long's life. I thought that premise was very interesting. Some criticise Wu Jinyan's acting as 'wooden' but I think she is meant to look inscrutable and without expression at least in the earlier half because of her position as a maid. Maids cannot show too much personality in public. However her scenes with her fellow seamstress maids showed her real forceful personality though. Overall I thought her acting was pretty good and she was very well supported by the rest of the cast. A lot of people tend to ship Ying Luo with Fu Heng and while I agree their love was bittersweet, kinda like a pure first love that is more idealistic than real, I think her relationship with the emperor was also warm and lasting. I loved the way she could yank his chain and literally say stuff that others cannot/dare not say and he would humour her. She was also smart about how she handled him. For example: By the time the story ended, I was quite happy with the ending. Sure, she didn't end up with Fu Heng but she did not have an unhappy life with the emperor either. In reality, she bore him 6 children, the most of all the concubines he had. He honoured her at the highest level both when she was alive and after she was dead. Her posthumous title of empress was not granted by her son the Jiaqing Emperor (as usually was the case when a new emperor ascended the throne) but by Qian Long himself. In the last scene, they appeared happy and comfortable with each other. With the end of Yanxi, I tried to watch Ruyi to cope with post-Yanxi withdrawal symptoms but Ruyi was a real let-down. I couldn't even get past one episode. Ironic because I was looking forward to Ruyi for the longest time and only picked up Yanxi as a stopgap while waiting for Ruyi! They may have the big budgets, but I am guessing that came from star salaries. The costumes and the overall art direction did not have the elegance that Yanxi had. And regarding budgets, I thought Yanxi's budget was not that small either - about 300million yuan? I just hope they sub it so I can re-watch and fill in the gaps where my Mandarin fell short - usually the part when the emperor was going on about the military and political stuff - haha.
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