Peking opera-themed Republican drama Winter Begonia 鬓边不是海棠红 released its first full set of still today while announcing the full cast. The Yu Zheng-produced series stars Huang Xiaoming, Yin Zheng, Charmaine Sheh , Tan Jianci, Merxat, Ma Su, Bai Bing, Du Chun, Huang Shengyi, Liu Min. Gao Yu’er, Chi Shuai, and Tang Zeng.
Producer Yu Zheng makes his foray in adapating boylove novels with Winter Begonia 鬓边不是海棠红, a Peking opera romance period piece no doubt inspired by Goodbye, My Concubine. Although the series will be written by the author of the original novel, it’s uncertain how shippy the drama will actually be. The series stars Huang Xiaoming, Yin Zheng, Charmaine Sheh , Merxat, and Liu Min.
Set in the 1930’s, the series follows displaced Peking Opera performer Shang Xirui (Yin Zheng) as he moves to Beijing to remake his name. In his quest to make a name for himself and reinvent Peking Opera, he captures the eyes of Cheng Fengtai (Huang Xiaoming), a businessman who becomes enthralled by the world of opera. With the help of Cheng Fengtai, Shang Xirui is able to rebuild his old opera troupe and train a group of new talents. When the Japanese army takes of Beijing in 1937, the two must struggle between preserving the art that they love and the city that they love.
Despite a large portion its audience using Baidu, The Story of Yanxi Palace 延禧攻略 is the most googled show of the year all over the globe. The tv series was the only Chinese name to make it on any of the lists on Google’s Top Searches of the Year released today.
The show has shot to fame its stars Wu Jinyan and Xu Kai, and re-launched the careers of Nie Yuan, Qin Lan, Charmaine Sheh, and most importantly producer Yu Zheng. After a successful online run, it received successful runs on TV in the mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. You can watch the hit show English subbed on Viki and Chinese subbed on Youtube.
The Story of Yanxi Palace features Consort Ling (Wu Jinyan) as the main character, and revolves around her rise to the top of the harem. Nie Yuan plays the Qianlong Emperor, and Qin Lan, Charmaine Sheh, Wang Yuanke and Zhang Jiani play the main consorts. The 70 episode drama airs tonight, and will release 2 episodes on iQiyi and Youtube every Thursday to Sunday. VIP members get an 8 episode head start.
Update Aug 6th: Thanks to the show’s popularity, iQiyi will now release two episodes every day except Monday.
First it was Gong vs. Bu Bu Jing Xin, then Gong II vs. Legend of Zhen Huan, and now this time it’s Yanxi Gonglue vs. Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace. Yu Zheng may have toned down on the bright colours, but his lawsuit with Qiong Yao doesn’t seem to have killed off his bad habits of plagiarism.