Thankful for the Remaining Years / Joy of Life 庆余年 is an upcoming historical drama starring Zhang Ruoyun (Sky on Fire) as Fan Xian, a lost prince who reenters the royal court twenty years later as a renowned politician. Mao Ni’s original novel is currently being translated into English here.
In the twilight years of Eastern Jin, Liu Yu usurps the throne to become the founding emperor of the Liu Song dynasty. Consort Ye’s newborn son is the only royalty to survive the bloody purge, and is adopted by the Imperial Secretariat Fan Jian. At the age of eighteen, Fan Xian’s impending political marriage with a princess makes him extremely popular among the ambitious princes, though he is carefully avoids joining any of the factions.
Fan Xian is lauded for his loyalty to the emperor during two successive rebellions, though later discovers he is the biological son of the tyrannical ruler, and that Liu Yu was the one that sent assassins to kill his mother. For revenge as well as the peace of the kingdom, Fan Xian engages in a deadly political struggle with the emperor, and eventually succeeds in forcing Liu Yu to abdicate.
I’m hoping this drama will be able to stand out from the crowd when it airs, and breathe some fresh air into a drama landscape dominated by female-centric period dramas. The 50 episode series is directed by Sun Hao (Bad Guys Must Die) and written by Wang Juan (Legend of Southwest Dance and Music, Turbulence of the Mu Clan).