The Story of Kunning Palace Becomes Collateral Damage to Misbehavior

The Story of Kunning Palace Chinese drama

So this costume drama has been postponed for like eternity. 😂 Hopefully, this will be finally aired in 2024 and will resolve whatever issues the production encountered this year. 

Originally, this was slated for a May 2023 release but within hours before it premiered, it was pulled out. The production and iQIYI suddenly announced it would be postponed due to technical issues, something they did not elaborate. 

The Story of Kunning Palace Chinese drama
Wang Xingyue, Zhang Linghe, Bai Lu, and Zhou Junwei. The Story of Kunning Palace

The culprit

Because they did not provide an explanation as to why it was not aired as scheduled, people began speculating for possible reasons, digging into issues that entangled the production and cast members. And discovered that Zhou Junwei, who played Yan Lin, one of the major characters in this drama, had issues with authorities in China.

Zhou Junwei

In the late part of 2022, the Chinese government implemented a strict measure to curb the resurgence of coronavirus in major cities in the country and ordered another lockdown in Shanghai. 

People began protesting with this strict health protocol due to the inconveniences that the lockdown brought to daily life. They began posting a blank white paper on social media as a silent protest. 

C-entertainment said the government launched a crackdown on people who made the protest online and discovered Zhou Junwei as one.

The Story of Kunning Palace controversy
Zhou Junwei as Yan Lin in The Story of Kunning Palace

It appeared that Junwei was one of the "silent protesters" who posted a white blank paper on his social media account. Public protest is prohibited in China as it is considered a "revolt" against their government, thus, Zhou Junwei committed "misbehavior". And so The Story of Kunning Palace became collateral damage.

We assumed the production was ordered to undergo a re-edit phase, perhaps to cut the scenes of Zhou Junwei in the drama. They cannot just simply remove him as he portrays one of the major characters in the story. 

It seems like a painful rework but we are hoping everything goes out well and this drama will finally be given approval for airing in 2024.

By the way, Zhou Junwei played Rou Yu in Love and Redemption (2020). He frequently appeared with Sifeng (played by Cheng Yi) in many scenes as they came from the same sect (Lize Palace) in the story.

The Story of Kunning Palace controversy
Zhou Junwei as Rou Yun in Love and Redemption

Here's the plot summary of The Story of Kunning Palace:

The Story of Kunning Palace is another drama that might irritate our nerves as the two main lead characters (played by Bai Lu and Zhang Linghe) seem at odds with each other at first. 

This is directed by Zhu Ruibin, the director of popular costume dramas: The Long Ballad, Ashes of Love, The Starry Love, and The Blue Whisper among others, so expect an exciting play on the small screen with this drama.

The Story of Kunning Palace controversy
Clockwise: Bai Lu, Zhang Linghe, Wang Xingyue, and Zhou Junwei

The Story of Kunning Palace, also known as Granting You a Dreamlike Life, is adapted from Shi Jing's novel, A Lady's Tranquility. Main cast: Bai Lu, Zhang Linghe, and Wang Xingyue (male lead of The Scent of Time).

It follows Jiang Xuening (Bai Lu) who started out as a bad character,  greedy and power-hungry. She had gone to great lengths to become empress. 

Xie Wei (Zhang Linghe) forced the palace to rebel and slaughtered the entire city. They held Jiang Xuening under house arrest after the emperor was overthrown and died. 

Zhang Zhe (Wang Xing Yue), the honest minister who Jiang Xuening really owed and cared about, was also imprisoned because of her. 

Jiang Xuening then received the decree to be buried with the emperor, an ancient imperial edict where someone close to the emperor must be killed and buried with him to accompany him in the afterlife. She was forced to commit suicide. 

The Story of Kunning Palace controversy
Zhang Linghe and Bai Lu

But suddenly, she woke up, as if everything was just a dream. In this rebirth cycle, Jiang Xuening got a second chance at life and changed her fate by not entering the palace service.

However, by mistake, she joined the palace as a tutor and became a student of the imperial master Xie Wei (played by Zhang Linghe). While in the palace, Jiang Xuening secretly plans  to stop Yan Lin's (played by Zhou Junwei) upcoming "Blood Crown Ceremony." 

With Jiang Xuening and Xie Wei's plan, the Yan family's lives were saved. After the "Blood Crown Ceremony," she became inadvertently involved in the imperial court's plan to eliminate those who rebel against the Pingnan King and infiltrate the enemy camp with Zhang Zhe (played by Wang Xingyue). 

The Story of Kunning Palace Chinese drama

Then the enemy country, Yue, came to invade. In order to save Princess Shen Zhi Yi (played by Liu Juning), Jiang Xuening went north with Xie Wei to invade Yue. 

In the midst of many crises, Xie Wei protected Jiang Xuening even at the risk of hurting himself, and the two of them grew to love each other. 

However, a bigger conspiracy gradually surfaced, which pointed to the truth of the Pingnan King incident twenty years ago. Jiang Xuening and Xie Wei teamed up to uncover the truth of that year.

If be given the green light for release, The Story of Kunning Palace will be streamed exclusively on iQIYI.

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