Heads-up Wang Kai fans! It has surely been a long wait since 2015’s Nirvana in Fire, but the actor is back for another historical drama in Serenade of Peaceful Joy 清平乐, previously known as Held in the Lonely Castle 孤城闭. Wang Kai has wrapped filming yesterday after more than five months in Hengdian. Maggie Jiang Shuying takes up the role as the empress and his leading lady.
Serenade of Peaceful Joy is a 55-episode drama that follows the story of Emperor Song Renzong as he struggles to maintain his principles in ruling the country. It has a lot going for it with Zhang Kaizhou of The Story of Minglan directing this and Daylight Entertainment having had a record year with its string of hits in the past six months alone.
Emperor Song Renzong, finds out the truth about his parentage and learns that his birth mother Li Lanhui, is a servant of the Empress Dowager Liu E. Filled with guilt towards Li Lanhui, he considers marrying off his favorite daughter Princess Huirou (Ren Min) to Li Wei, a descendant of the Li family.
As the emperor struggles to maintain peace and order within the royal court, he is also greatly troubled by his daughter who harbors feelings for another man, the eunuch Liang Huaiji (Bian Cheng). Unwilling to accept the arranged marriage, Princess Huirou breaks the rules enforced in the palace, thus forcing the Emperor into a difficult situation.
I haven’t actually seen The Story of Minglan, but it seems that many are comparing the two in terms of how aesthetically similar they are. I do remember Wang Kai’s performance in Nirvana in Fire fondly as one of my favorites. Wang Kai has been quite selective with the projects he’s been in given that he only filmed one drama, Daylight Entertainment’s Like A Flowing River, last year which turned out to be a hit. Nonetheless, he really does look majestic in royal robes even better than in modern outfits, and it’s about time he made his way back to the genre.
Other casts include Yang Le, Ye Zuxin, Yu Entai, Wang Churan, Liu Jun, Feng Hui, Wang Benyu, Wu Yue, Amelie Xu Lingyue and Cao Xiwen.
Release Date: April 7, 2020 Hunan TV, Tencent
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