Due to their elaborate sets and intricate plots, Chinese palace dramas have always been very well received by the public. In recent years, two palace dramas have emerged as forerunners in popularity. Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace <如懿传> featuring Zhou Xun (周迅) and Wallace Huo (霍建華), as well as Story of Yanxi Palace <延禧攻略> starring Wu Jinyan (吳謹言) and Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) received high ratings in the Greater China Region. However, Chinese broadcasting authorities were displeased with these two palace dramas and abruptly halted their rebroadcast on television in 2019. Eagle-eyed netizens recently discovered Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace and Story of Yanxi Palace have disappeared from Chinese online streaming sites.
Fans are baffled at the news of their beloved dramas disappearing from the Internet, and are also concerned about the fate of another popular drama The Legend of Zhen Huan (甄嬛传). Many worry whether they would be able to watch palace dramas in the future.
Apparently, the disappearance of these popular palace dramas was due to further restrictions implemented by China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA). Earlier, NRTA issued 20 new restrictions against dramas with overly saccharine romantic plots, overt gay relationships, and struggles for power in a palace setting. Wartime and fantasy-themes are all being monitored very closely before receiving approval for broadcast.
Believing that palace dramas can have a negative impact on society, NRTA pulled the plug on Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace and Story of Yanxi Palace. NRTA wanted to curb the admiration for an imperial lifestyle. Larger-than-life characters such as the emperor, who has power over all, should not be glorified and should not overshadow the heroic deeds of a normal person supporting his country. Dramas should not promote materialism instead of the virtue of hard work and frugality.
This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.