With Chinese palace drama series Story of Yanxi Palace in its final week of airing, the Wallace Huo and Zhou Xun-headlined vehicle, Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace, another Chinese imperial palace drama series, had an unsurprisingly weak debut yesterday. 

Ruyi was touted as a strong contender for Yanxi as both shows are based on the same Chinese dynasty and feature the same characters – albeit with different storylines and cast members. The drama began production in 2016 and has been in post-production since May 2017; it was originally due to air in December but its telecast date was later pushed back.  

After a long wait for the series to air, viewers were unimpressed by its first two episodes yesterday. 

As Zhou Xun and Wallace Huo also play the younger, teenage versions of their characters in the drama, viewers were divided over the lack of dubbing for Zhou Xun’s 15-year-old character.

They felt that her voice was “too raspy” and “mature” for a teenager. One commenter even sarcastically asked if 15-year-old Ruyi has a raspy voice because she started smoking at the age of 10. 

However, some viewers paid no heed to it and argued that the characters will grow up and eventually mature as the series progresses. 

Comparisons between Ruyi and Yanxi’s palace setting and costumes are, unfortunately, unavoidable as well. And the former has been called out for its lack of aesthetics that is often seen in big budget productions. 

“Are these costumes left behind from the days of ‘My Fair Princess’?” read one such comment, referencing the show’s choice of using deeper colours of green and brown. 

Viewers were also unhappy with how Qianlong Emperor (Wallace Huo) appears to be enamoured with Ruyi from the start, alleging that it differs from historical facts. 

Photos: PBE Media

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