Author: 公子于歌 / Gong Zi Yu Ge
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 73: Three Masters* Reunion
*Jie (杰) = it refers to a person with outstanding talents, or who is special/more than ordinary.
After Shen Jintai finished filming <The East Palace is Coming>, he disappeared for half a month. When he later started to participate in events, most questions that were asked were related to the drama.
After the broadcast of the finale* because the knife was too deep, the ratings plummeted. It dropped for about a week before it started to pick up again.
*Clarity: I’m using the finale as the episode of Li Xu’s death but it’s not the final episode in the series.
“I can accept this ending myself,” Shen Jintai said in an interview: “His beloved is still alive, and the world is still peaceful. He died on the prince’s warm and wide back, knowing that the person he loves is still gentle and kind.”
Regarding the final clip with the prince, he said: “I have communicated with Siqi. He felt that the screenwriter was kind to Li Xu, but cruel to the prince, but after he thought about it, he was able to carry the person he loves moments before his death and was able to bury him with his own hands. This kind of fate was not comforting but at least in the end, he and Li Xu were buried together so their hearts must have been at rest.”
“Shen Jintai rarely expresses his opinions on his characters, and now he’s speaking for the screenwriters.”
“How to put it… Although this ending is sad, if Li Xu and the prince recognize each other before he died, though it would be sensational, touching, and emotional, it would be too cliché. The prince’s reaction is not easy to write. But this current ending is heavy and too dog blooded. If Li Xu hadn’t met the prince before he died, his death would’ve been more peaceful. His life was magnificent. He was loved by the East Palace, the emperor’s best friend, and held the power of the world in his hands. The life and death of people who are ambiguous in black and white should be tragic. I can’t think of a more unconventional ending than this. Meng Xiaosheng is very powerful. She really loves Shen Jintai, right? After Li Xu died, Shen Jintai was fulfilled.”
“Shen Jintai is really good at talking. He said that the person he loves is still gentle and kind. This sentence is so poking.”
“Yes, when no one is willing to help, his royal highness the prince resolutely extended a helping hand. This was destiny, and it also shows that he has always been a kind and gentle person from the start. Li Xu loves him. Isn’t this love like the love between a red rose and a white rose.”
“I was looking forward to the blackening of the prince, but then I changed my mind and thought, maybe it would be the best for Jintai Qiongying to keep its original intention. Although he has been unrecognizable from the inside out, the person he loves is still the same as before.”
“Reading what you wrote, I’m going to cry again. In short, it’s hard to make peace.”
“Will the extra part film Zhou Cong’s death? I want to see him die.”
“The extra parts must have Zheng Siqi play the three emperors and Shen Jintai as Chang’an. Then show the peerless love between the emperor and eunuch to make up for the trauma in my heart. I can give the drama a high score again.”
“Before the finale, Chang’an’s blackened eyes were really good. Seeing the death of his favorite person is so tragic. It’s normal to blacken. Hurry and abuse that bastard Zhou Cong to death!”
“Are they really shooting extras?”
“The drama is so popular, and the ending is so controversial. I think it will definitely be filmed, and the ratings aren’t bad.”
Shen Jintai was reading comments left by the netizens. He didn’t dare revealed the truth about his conversation with Meng Xiaosheng when they had dinner that day: “Director Guo and I felt that we weren’t ruthless enough afterwards. In fact, we could shoot a more succinct and vicious scene.”
The TV series was too popular, and the audience was too wide. This caused a taboo net around her pen when she started writing. Even Guo Rui also caved, and many clips weren’t dared film causing the ending to be slightly choppy*.
*Clarity: they wanted to film a much more dog blooded ending but fearing it would turn the audience off too much, they had to compromise on their artistic integrity and give a much more palatable ending.
Shen Jintai was shocked when he heard that Meng Xiaosheng originally planned to let Li Xu go to the guillotine and accept the accusations of thousands of people.
Fortunately, this route wasn’t taken. He believed that it was really the screenwriter’s kindness to let Li Xu die on the back of his lover instead of the bridge section where the crown prince carried his corpse in front of thousands of curses. That would have been too uncanny and miserable.
“Fortunately, they didn’t go this route and I didn’t have to film it,” Zheng Siqi said: “I got goosebumps all over when I heard it.”
“I’m sorry,” Bai Qingquan interrupted: “I still… I really want to see it. It feels that the character Li Xu would’ve been more sublimated in that way. He’ll truly have died for the country.”
“Teacher Meng said that if she is asked to rewrite it now, she will follow that version.” Shen Jintai said with a smile.
This is the case while filming and broadcasting. The script was hard to polish and easily influenced by the audience. This model has its advantages and disadvantages.
“Are there any extras? Are you still filming? I seem to have heard people from the company mention it recently. They’ve been asking if I have time available if its shot.” Zheng Siqi asked.
“I heard that preparations are already under way, but it probably has nothing to do with us.” Shen Jintai said: “The next step should be Chang’an, the three emperors, and Zhou Cong’s drama.” ”
“The cycle begins anew,” Bai Qingquan said: “It’s best if Zhou Cong dies and Chang’an and the three emperors have a love scene.” As soon as he finished speaking, he saw Shen Jintai glanced at him.
Bai Qingquan didn’t want to pretend to be straight in front of Shen Jintai now. He felt that gay people have a sixth sense and that Shen Jintai had long noticed that he was also the same way.
Shen Jintai raised his eyebrows.
“Is your new project about to start shooting?” Zheng Siqi asked Shen Jintai.
Shen Jintai: “I will join the crew next month, and go to the battlefield to suffer.”
“Is it for <Welcome Rain on a Spring Night>?” Bai Qingquan asked: “I heard Sunshine Media been preparing for it.”
Shen Jintai: “It’s in progress, but doesn’t mean that filming can start yet. It’s estimated that it will begin at the end of the year.”
Bai Qingquan: “Who is acting with you?”
Shen Jintai smiled, obviously happy, and said: “A movie emperor*.”
*Movie emperor/king (影帝) = someone who have won the best actor award from an authoritative association (such as the three major international film festivals in Europe (Cannes is one), the Academy Awards, the Five Chinese Film awards). They are lauded for their superb acting skills.
Monsoon Entertainment finally did a big thing for him and helped him secure actor Cai Jun to play against him.
Bai Qingquan plucked the straw and sighed.
Shen Jintai: “What’s the matter?”
“Jealous.” Bai Qingquan said: “I haven’t found the rival actors for my next movie yet.”
“I know about your new project,” Zheng Siqi said: “It’s a pity that my schedule is full, otherwise I will definitely fight for it.”
Shen Jintai looked at Bai Qingquan as he said: “Don’t worry about it. It’s not like you have time either.”
Shen Jintai: “When I talked to you a few days ago, didn’t you say you were idle for a few more months?”
Bai Qingquan: “Our company was interested in the script, but the copyright was bought by someone else, so the matter was moot. But then I heard that they were looking for actors. Although it’s not a project from our company, I thought it was a good story, so I went to audition and was casted.”
“You’re a big celebrity yet your auditioning?” Shen Jintai asked.
Bai Qingquan smiled: “Just going through the motions.”
The movie that Bai Qingquan was going to pick up was <When You’re Older>. It was adapted from an online novel <When My Lover Gets Old, I Will Still Be as Beautiful as a Flower>. He was so excited to make a gay romance drama for the very first time.
Thanks to the hit of <The East Palace>, several same-sex dramas had started to emerge on the domestic screen in the past few months. Shen Jintai had set a precedent that swayed people’s views. The team who picked up <When You’re Older> saw that this kind of drama could be a potential big hit. After discussion, Bai Qingquan decided to help them pick it up. Finally, he could star in a movie and experience a gay love scene with a handsome guy. Bai Qingquan felt that his girly desire was temporary satisfied.
The author of the original work, Song Chenchen, was the screenwriter, and the director was a newcomer who had changed his careers from commercial filming. He was a first-line director and has a very strong voice so he could choose any actor he wanted.
“What kind of drama is Siqi filming now?” Shen Jintai asked.
“Idol drama.” Zheng Siqi said: “Partnered with Yang Lizhi.” This was his benefit from The East Palace.
When it came to Yang Lizhi, Bai Qingquan couldn’t help but quip: “She’s about to die of depression recently, right?”
Despite audience rating for <The East Palace is Coming> dropping a bit in the later stage, because everyone was abused by it, it didn’t mean that the drama was bad. As the drama of the year, it set unprecedented terms in both ratings and popularity, netting it a total of 10 nominations.
Best male lead: Bai Qingquan and Shen Jintai.
Best supporting actor: Zheng Siqi.
Best supporting actress: Song Wei.
In addition, there are multiple nominations for best director, best screenwriter, best TV series etc. As the costume palace drama masterpiece of the year, the series was also nominated for best art, best cinematography, and best soundtrack.
Only Yang Lizhi’s was not nominated for best actress.
For a big drama like <The East Palace is Coming> who had so many nominations, with a little PR, the female lead would get a least one nomination. After all, she was the one with the most scenes and The East Palace was a heroine’s palace fighting drama.
Unfortunately, this year’s TV series had too much competition for female lead nomination. There were many first-tier tsing yi* in the entertainment industry and all their outstanding works were released this year. Compared to Yang Lizhi’s acting skill in <The East Palace>, it just made her look worse. Her acting skills was overturned*, as critics pointed out all she could do was stare and pretend to be fierce.
*Tsing yi (青衣) = main role in series that are solemn young and middle-aged women.
*Reminder: overturned (翻车了) = refers to could have won but lost.
The three of them came out of the clubhouse, all wearing masks and heavily covered. The three heroes of The East Palace were now the three most popular figures in the entertainment industry. Zheng Siqi was originally much weaker, but the ending of the prince and Li Xu gained him a lot of sympathy.
It was only after he finished filming that he realized why Monsoon Entertainment had left his schedule vacant before the finale episode premiered. In just a single scene, he ate more bonuses than several idol dramas. His traffic suddenly exploded, and the favorability of passersby was overwhelming.
The big killer of the ending had laid the foundation for Jintai Qiongying CP fans who loved and hated it. It dominated the super talks taking the number one throne as the fans continue to burn as if they were full of chicken blood.
Such is the power of tragedies.
“There will be a chance to get together again in the future.” Bai Qingquan said as he hugged Shen Jintai. He wasn’t sure if he was seeing things, but he always felt that after filming The East Palace, Shen Jintai’s body had been shrouded in Li Xu’s shadow. It was like it became much quieter all of a sudden.
“Hurry up and start your new project and change your mood! If you end a previous relationship, you just hurry up and start the next one!” Bai Qingquan smiled and looked at Shen Jintai, then hugged Zheng Siqi.
Zheng Siqi originally wanted to hug Shen Jintai, but when he moved his arm, he held himself back. Filming this kind of love drama with strong feelings and special meaning made it particularly hard for people to come out of, causing him to dare not hug Shen Jintai. When he hugs him, it made him very uncomfortable as his heart was filled with affection.
Shen Jintai smiled and wave goodbye as he got into the car.
<The East Palace is Coming> had strong holding power. Just two days before the Guohua Awards were held, the extras were launched on a video website. Those episodes detonated the internet as soon as it went online.
As soon as the first episode started, it showed this scene:
Silence as no music played. Only the sound of the grass rustling in the wind. The back of a man slowly appeared on screen. His hairband flew back and forth from the wind. The one-minute closeup seemed to be the crew’s silent mourning for this relationship. He was sitting in front of the grave with a jade pendant on his waist. It was the double mandarin duck jade pendant that was inlaid with gold.
A white rose was planted in front of the grave as music slowly flowed.
The barrage burst in an instant, covering the screen. Although the man did not show his face, everyone could tell from looking at his back that he was the prince Zhou Ying.
Wild roses spread all over the mountains and fields staining them in colors of white and red. The figure was no longer there, only a single monument.
It’s completed. It’s the end. This one shot was enough.
The figure of a back fulfilled all the love and the piece of jade made up for all the drama.
The plot of the next two episodes was also very refreshing. It was like a movie. The beautiful eunuch and the prince joined forces to overthrow the brutal emperor and drove Zhou Cong crazy, finally vindicating prince Zhou Ying.
Chang’an wandered through the East Palace that was now full of roses.
The crew had the intention to make up for all the dog blood. The scenes of Chang’an and the three emperors were warm and moving. They could be seen as the shadows of Li Xu and Zhou Jing, as well as Li Xu and Zhou Ying.
“Do you think Shen Jintai is a better match with Zheng Siqi or with Prince Yan?”
“Why bring up Prince Yan? Isn’t the CP fight always between Jintai Qiongying and Jintai Meijing?”
“I inexplicably think that Shen Jintai is Li Xu’s reincarnation in the afterlife, and Prince Yan is the reincarnation of the prince. Don’t you think Yan Qiuchi’s eyes are a bit like Zheng Siqi? He is also called Prince Yan by his nickname and is the prince of a business empire. The Prince of The East Palace and the beautiful little eunuch, the traffic idol and the iceberg prince… aren’t these too similar?!”
“Did you go crazy after watching the drama that you’re in the afterlife? If you pull Shen Jintai and Yan Qiuchi, the gold powders will tear you apart when they see this!”
“Don’t pair Shen Jintai up with anyone. Tomorrow night will be the Guohua Awards ceremony. Come, come, come and bet. Who will get the golden bell*?!”
*Reminder: golden bell [shidi] (视帝) = award for best actor in a television series. Winners are referred to as “emperor”. || It is similar to a movie emperor but for TV series instead of movies.
The author has something to say:
Yang Lizhi: I knew the heroine had no human rights (smiley face).
Who will get the golden bell, only the judges can decide.
I won’t write such a sadistic play in the future. It will really be very sweet, su, cool and flirtatious! Trust me!
Kinky Thoughts: Oh, so in the end the two endings they were planning were either dog blood or more dog blood.
Ahhhh~~ Called it. I knew it would be Cai Jun.
Yes please! I really want to see Bai Qingquan act in <When You’re Older>. I’m willing to bet that the new director for this movie is the same director for Shen Jintai’s underwear commercial shoot.
Can I trust you author? After you made me into an abused dog, you better give me some GOOD QUALITY DOG FOOD*!!!
*Dog food (狗粮) = internet slang meaning public displayed of affection. It’s a term singles people use that they are forced to “eat” it.
As mentioned before Song Chenchen has his own transmigration story. See my Kinky Thoughts in chapter 69 for more details.