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Cdrama: Sparrow Episodes

Another drama… My projects are never gonna end this year, is it?

English Title: Sparrow
Chinese Title: 麻雀
Cast: Li Yi Feng, Zhou Dong Yu, Zhang Ruo Yun
# of Episodes: 60…
Airing Days: TBA
Broadcasting Station: HNTV
Synopsis: Li Yi Feng plays an undercover agent with a mission to infiltrate the headquarters under Edward Zhang’s to obtain intel about a secret plan that could destroy China during the 1940s. During his journey he meets both friends and foes, building trust and witnessing betrayals from those closest to him. [Credit: Kap]

Note: Video files are encoded by me in 540p resolution. File Size = ~400MB
Subbing Group: Viki

♦ Episode 1
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Episode 2
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♦ Episode 3
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Episode 4
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♦ Episode 5
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Episode 6
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♦ Episode 7
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Episode 8
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♦ Episode 9
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Episode 10
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♦ Episode 11
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Episode 12
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♦ Episode 13
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Episode 14
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♦ Episode 15
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Episode 16
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♦ Episode 17
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Episode 18
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♦ Episode 19
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Episode 20
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♦ Episode 21
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Episode 22
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♦ Episode 23
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Episode 24
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♦ Episode 25
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Episode 26
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♦ Episode 27
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Episode 28
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Episode 30
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Episode 32
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Episode 34
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♦ Episode 35
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Episode 36
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♦ Episode 37
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Episode 38
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♦ Episode 39
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Episode 40
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Episode 42
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Episode 46
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Episode 48
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Episode 50
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♦ Episode 51
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Episode 52
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♦ Episode 53
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Episode 54
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♦ Episode 55
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Episode 56
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♦ Episode 57
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Episode 58
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♦ Episode 59
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Episode 60
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♦ Episode 61 FINALE
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***173rd COMPLETED PROJECT!!**

Kap: I’m in love with the opening intro of Sparrow. So hauntingly subdued and melancholic, reminds me a bit of the intro for Nirvana In Fire. And that’s always a good thing. Let me know of your thoughts below! 🙂

Our Seashell’s First Impression Rating Chart (added entertainment value b/c something can be bad but entertaining!)
– Story:
– Chemistry:
– Acting:
– Directing:
– Entertainment Value:

Use this star symbol ✪✪✪✪✪. Half a star = ½

78 comments

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  1. creidesca

    I was impressed when I saw the music composer to be S.E.N.S (Japan).
    Even more impressed that Vietnamese subs are out for the 1st 2 epis. But I’ll wait till the weekend to marathon the week’s worth of epis.

    1. Kappy

      SENS is always an added plus!!

  2. Yui

    Is this drama having the same airing schedule as smile is alluring? 2 episodes a day? Wow.. 60 episodes.. But for a good drama, im sooo ready. Now i only watch Yang yang. I need more handsone C-actors lols

    1. Kappy

      From what I see, M-Th, 2 episodes each day. Fri-Sun, one episode each day. These hectic airing schedules….

  3. creidesca

    Huh, what’s up with YoYo Entertainment Television Esclusive on Youtube…the “uncut” is the TV version (has the HunanTV logo) w/ previews (and only avail up to 720p), whereas the “TV version” doesn’t have the previews nor does it have the HunanTV logo and it’s avail up to 1080p!

    1. creidesca

      Scratch that…no previews in the “uncut” version, will just mean the “TV version” will have more epis by the end of broadcast.

      1. creidesca

        I guess that’s to the advantage of HunanTV where they supposedly can show about 10min more of video ahead of the online broadcast.

        1. Kappy

          Last night when I posted the links, they were uncut! Don’t know what happened. Lol. As long as the encoded videos are fine, everything else is okay.

        2. creidesca

          @Kappy as long as I don’t find out there were scenes cut (not too happy when HunanTV did that w/ 爱你,万缕千丝. Thank goodness, Vietnam had bought broadcasting rights and I finally got to see the drama in its entirety. Things that didn’t make much sense or continuity did after seeing the full version.

          And I’m already crossing fingers for a DVD release for Novoland: Castle in the Sky, hoping they include scenes they decided to remove (based on watching the documentary videos)

  4. Tusu

    So many dramas to watch, kap! Chusen… Mystic nine… Weiwei… And now this.

    Would watch this for LYF but 60 episodes! Meh

    1. Kappy

      So many to encode for me! I’m not watching that many like you guys! Lol.

  5. chasingpolaris

    Read a couple of unfavorable reviews over at Baidu, saying that it doesn’t even measure up to Decoded, let alone Disguiser. Yikes.

    Hope to read more reviews here so I can decide if I want to take the plunge.

    1. creidesca

      Didn’t Decoded have unfavorable reviews at the beginning too?

      Anyways, Zhou Dong Yu and Zhang Ruoyun don’t even appear in the first 2 episodes. I have yet to truly watch the drama, but I’ll be watching for everyone else except LYF.

      1. chasingpolaris

        Pretty much. Let’s see if they can be proven wrong.

        I hope LYF surprises us. The supporting cast is more appealing than him right now.

        1. shimokuren

          Don’t believe the reviews u hear cuz most of it is just haters trash talking

          Watch the series and you’ll see it’s just as good as Disguiser (if not better cuz of more power/political struggles)

          Many compare Sparrow and Disguiser but that is unfair because the stories are totally different. Disguiser focuses on family amidst a background of political unrest while Sparrow is focused on the political struggle and espionage (only using family and personal relationships as a substory)

          The scriptwriter for Sparrow knows what’s he’s doing and it’s pretty damn awesome so far. He’s expanded on his original novel but he still focuses on the main storyline. The expansion adds to the story rather than distracts from it.

          Also the cast for this series is doing a damn fine job so far. The veterans like Duke Yan (from Nirvana in Fire), Li Xiaoran, Zhang Luyi, etc. are AMAZING, and even our young characters like Zhang Ruoyun and Li Yifeng are great too. I’m especially impressed with how much LYF has improved his acting. Compare his performance in Sparrow and the first 10 eps of Chusen to when he first started out in dramas/films and his improvement is almost exponential. I mean, he’s no Tony Leung but at least he’s working hard and improving, which is what I like to see in a young actor. Even book fans and regular audiences praise his performance and I think that says a lot…

        2. chasingpolaris

          Welcome back, shimo! 🙂

          I’ll trust you on this one. . The cast looks great tbh but you know how these days one can’t solely rely on a star-studded cast.

        3. shimokuren

          Oh and the background music is AWESOME in this series! Well it’s SENS so what can we expect 🙂

        4. lenje

          Wow, shimo, you’ve been missing for a long while, and now that you’re back, you’re in fire. LOL. Welcome back!!!

          I was not that interested in Sparrow, as I’ve been looking forward to Rookie (because of the 3 leading actors, of course :D) but now you’ve intrigued me. I might take a peek, although if no sub is available I will surely be lost. Especially with Viki’s new policy that doesn’t allow fan sub *sigh*. (Unless Sparrow is licensed by Viki).

        5. shimokuren

          Aww thanks, Lenje 🙂

          I’ve been so busy with classes this semester I haven’t had time to follow dramas and drama news as much as I’d like to.

          However, because Chusen and Sparrow were series that I wanted to see from the moment I knew about them being filmed, I had a peek at them during my lunch hour (LOL)

          TBH I was a bit unsure about Sparrow at the beginning, but after watching the episodes, I liked the series more and more

        6. shimokuren

          Aww thanks polaris 🙂

          I agree. The most important thing of any drama, books, movie, etc. is the SCRIPT. If the script sucks then no Oscar actor/actress can save it.

          With Sparrow, the script is actually quite decent … well IMO anyway … I realize that this sorta story isn’t everyone’s cup of tea cuz it’s so political and kinda pro-Communist, but as I said in the other thread, this is based on an important part of Republican/modern Chinese history so generally attracts middle-aged+ audience, although of course there are younger ppl who also watch this. But I’m enjoying this series way more than I thought I would so at least there’s something for me to enjoy rather than puke blood at the way my beloved Zhuxian has been butchered… *sigh*

  6. Pong

    OP intro actually reminds me more of All Quiet in Beijing than NiF. Not expecting anything from LYF since in the trailers and MV he still has that absent-minded looks, like he’s ‘acting’ but not immersed to his character. Is Decoded good? Check movie.douban and it got really bad rating :/

    1. Kappy

      I haven’t watched AQIB so no comparison notes from me! Heh.

    2. anon

      Decoded is a bit mixed. The director turned out good performances from almost all of the actors. Cinematography and music are fine. Cinematography appeared a bit jumpy at first. Plot/script has some weaknesses. It’s not good with technical contents. The numerous older supporting actors are very good. Chen is fine as the leading actor. Plot is its weakest aspect.

  7. kupu2menari

    @creidesca May I know where you got to see the 1080p.. I want to collect them and play it over and over again in a huge screen > ^ <. Still waiting for the sub since this is not my native language. It is killing me. Been waiting for a long time too..

    1. creidesca

      For the 1080 version, you would go to the Yoyo Television Exclusive Youtube playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvpAVnYN4lb3B3W0SEGJpxFXo_rpk1fzx

      1. kupu2menari

        THANKS!!!! ლ|・∀・ლ|Will save them. So many series I am currently watching..my laptop is going to be too full by the end of all of these series.

        Ice Fantasy, Chusen, Mystic Nine, and now Sparrow. o|≧∀≦。|o

        Why most series are more than 50ep.. T ^ T Just finish Novoland & Love 020. Saving these series in 1080p is an OCD of mine.

        #mybodyisreadybutmysoulandwallerisnot

  8. nash2y

    For anyone who has read the novel (Shimokuren and others ) :):):):)
    please enlighten me (spoiler please please please)

    does the main lead Li Yi Feng die at the end? or Li Yi Feng and Zhou Dong Yu character happy ending together at the end?
    This being a 60 episode drama just want to make sure the ending is not too heartbreaking 🙁 🙁 L( 🙁 🙁 Otherwise I will cry for weeks.

    1. shimokuren

      According to novel (not sure if they’ll change this in the drama), Chen Shen almost died and ruined his face (to the point of being unrecognizable) but he survived and kept being a spy for as long as he lives or until the day comes when the Chinese people are free from foreign occupation. Everyone thinks he’s dead and nobody knows he’s still alive.

      Xu Bicheng and Chen Shen are the only main characters who survive. After many years XBC becomes a senior Kuomintang agent who is bent on taking down all the Communist agents. We audience only know Chen Shen survived because he showed up to help a young Communist agent escape from XBC and her goons.

      So basically Chen Shen and XBC go their separate ways

      1. Luna

        Ouch..that’s sad. Can they change that to a happy ending? :p . Anyway, I’ve been enjoying it even with the little romance here. It’s the complex interesting story that counts, glad that LYF chose this series. Luckily someone is doing recaps on this.

        1. shimokuren

          Yeah Sparrow is actually a drama LYF chose for himself which is why I think he’s got a good head on his shoulders. Working on this drama improved his acting by leaps and bounds and opened up so many new doors for him (in terms of acting/role choices)

      2. nash2y

        Thanks a million @shimokuren.
        Awwww that is a very very heart shattering ending. Hopefully they are nice enough to change the ending to a happy ending .

        Yes zhang Ruo Yun’s acting is brilliant. he can really act and has come a long way since the 15 years of Migratory birds drama. LI Yi feng’s acting is also brilliant in this drama, massively improved from his previous works. .

        1. shimokuren

          You’re welcome 🙂

          Yeah Zhang Ruoyun is a great actor and he’s just got so much screen charisma the moment he walked onscreen he was like a main character in his own right. I think he’s got a great future ahead of him cuz he’s got the talent and charisma and what it takes to make it big 🙂

          LYF has improved so much since his previous works, I’m really impressed. He’s taken the criticisms about his acting and worked hard to improve, which is something very respectable. I can’t wait to see his upcoming projects cuz he’s working more and more with great directors and veteran actors who teach him so much and he’s improving very quickly (cuz he’s a pretty smart guy)

    2. shimokuren

      I think this series turned me into a Zhang Ruoyun fan. He’s bloody fantastic and just awesome all around in this!

      1. Luna

        I love all the guys, LYF, Zhang Ruo Yan, and the villains (Edward Zhang, right?). Edward Zhang is very charismatic and cool. I love his bromance and battle of wits with LYF. And I’m so waiting for the cold ruthless new villain (forget the actor’s name). He looked mean *lol*. I hope to see intense ‘battle’ between him and LYF and Zhang Ruo Yan.

        And that senior actress (LYF’s boss) was amazing too. I wish I ould see more of her, but sadly she was just a guest star. I like zhou Dong Yu too, although I like her the least. *lol*. Then again, she has her own charm, and her naivity is a contrast compared to the cool-headed professional guys.

        1. shimokuren

          Oh yeah, Zhang Luyi is just phenomenal *_*

          Actually everyone in the cast is pretty damn good so far. Li Xiaoran is a veteran actress who is beautiful and elegant and a damn good actress too. So sad she was only a guest star in this cuz I totally wanna see more of her. Also the veteran who played Duke Yan in Nirvana … he’s just awesome.

          TBH I like everyone in this drama (except for Zhou Dongyu’s character who annoys the shit outta me)

      2. Rabbit

        His eyes <3 There's so much emotion in them .

        1. shimokuren

          Not just his eyes, his whole face and body language and everything 🙂
          Apparently he’s gonna be Huo Qubing in the new adaptation so I’m gonna be watching out for that

        2. Rabbit

          @ Shimokuren Yes! Totally agree. Can’t believe I only discovered him this year. Did you watch Zhang Ruo Yun in “Novoland the castle in the sky”? The trailer looks really good 🙂

        3. shimokuren

          Haven’t seen novoland yet but u bet thats what I gonna be watching now along with sparrow! 😁

        4. shimokuren

          LOL watched Novoland over the weekend and holy shit it’s like the most addictive drama ever

          Zhang Ruoyun was SO AWESOME. His character is such a prick but then he makes you totally love him LOL

          The drama isn’t as well packaged as Chusen and Ice Fantasy, etc. but plot and acting wise it’s SO. MUCH. BETTER.

          Oh and the instrumental music is AWESOME.

  9. Afyf

    Hello Kappy. Thanks for the links.

  10. Luna

    I skimmed the episodes because I dont understand the language. Looks good ..then I realized that viki had translated it until ep 5, so went back to watch epi 1. The story is quite interesting. Havent had the time to watch the rest and I hope the subs wont be deleted, but I’m gonna watch this with or without it.

    Then, went to check the preview / MV in youtube and fell in love with the OST, the one sung by a female (dunno who). It fits the theme of the series while having an interesting melody and music, especially the violin. Nice!

  11. Luna

    I’ve watched Sparrow with eng subs, until ep 5. It’s good! AH, I wish viki buy the license. I watched this because of LYF at first, but it turns out that the story itself is also good. I’ve always liked a drama in this era, and I like it even more when there’s a battle of wits between all of the characters. LYF’s character is very smart and charming, but the villain and the supporting characters are mostly smart too. I love watching them composing strategies and trying to outsmart the others! The story is interesting and complex too.

    Arrghh, I hope somebody recap this. And I hope viki buy the copyright soon, so that it can have english sub! I’m still continue watching even if it doesnt have english subs.

    Btw, just want to share the OST and MV. I love the song and MV.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx1YHYM5osE

  12. chasingpolaris

    I made it to episode 13 mostly due to shimo’s recommendation, haha. But I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying it.

    Li Yifeng is the biggest surprise here, at least for me. His acting has improved and I don’t feel like I’m watching an idol drama anymore when he’s on the screen as Chen Shen.

    The rest of the cast so far is amazing as well. I did come across a lot of people hating Zhou Dongyu’s Xu Bicheng. While I’ve never read the novel, I do believe her character is one that will mature over time and events. That being said, her innocence right now is far from annoying. I can’t wait to see how her character develops.

    1. Luna

      I’m so glad that this is not like an idol drama. I’ve been waiting for Chusen since last year, but the story was being butchered and made me very disappointed. I’d never expected Sparrow (and Love O2O) to be good.This is so out of expectation.

      Regarding Zhou Dong Yu’s character, I read that some people considered her annoying. But for me, she is a ‘refreshment’ among the smart characters. All other main characters are smart, cunning, sneaky and cool. She is the only one who is an amateur and reckless *lol*. She gave some spice in the story, for giving me a heart-attack everytime she did something stupid 😀 . And I love to see how she (and the guys) handle all the wrong situations.

      1. chasingpolaris

        Hahaha, I agree with you on Bicheng being a refreshment! It’s so easy to pick on someone like her when the rest of the characters are so different. Right now she’s constantly being saved by either Chen Shen or Tang Shanhai, sometimes both men, but I hope she’ll surprise us later on. She definitely isn’t stupid, for sure. Just too naïve and inexperienced, which is both an advantage and disadvantage for someone in her current position.

        1. Luna

          Yeah, Bicheng is actually smart and perspective, like the others. She noticed the suspicious relationship between Chen Shen and his sister in law, and she suspected his identity. Then again, she is still young (Chen Shen is young himself, but he was already his teacher), emotional and inexperience . she couldnt handle more complex situation or scenario. The guys should be more mature and have more experience. I also hope that her character will mature along the way.

    2. shimokuren

      LOL I’m glad you’re enjoying this drama. My mom absolutely LOVES this drama and she’s even more into it than I am! Haha 🙂

      Yeah LYF has really impressed me with how much he’s improved his acting. Looks like all the criticisms did something good cuz it motivated him to work hard and improve, and he’s lucky to work with great directors and veteran actors who teach him so much and he’s a smart guy so he learns very quickly (is what all the veterans and directors say).

      TBH Xu Bicheng pisses me off and I pretty much like everyone of the main cast except for her character. I guess I’ll just have to agree to disagree with Bicheng fans cuz I can’t stand her. Li Xiaoran is awesome but her guest starring screen time was too damn short. Xiaonan’s character is just bloody AWESOME and she so should be the main character instead. Liu Meina is awesome too.

      1. Luna

        I also dunno why Bicheng didnt too annoy me. Perhaps its because : 1. I always root for the main leads, 2. The reasons above : having an amateur between those pros makes the situation more interesting :p . I always saw perfect agents in spy movies, but this girl is ..well..worrisome *lol*. I hope to see her becoming better.

        I love Xiao Ran too. Actually, I wanna see Chen Shen’s reaction after knowing her secret *I’m dying to see that!

        Well, it’s been fun to see everyone fooling others , as well as getting fooled too 😀

      2. chasingpolaris

        Nice! I have no buddies for this drama except you guys, haha.

        I can finally appreciate LYF as an actor and not an idol. It’s the same feeling I got when I watched Wallace Huo in Battle of Changsha. Like, *finally* there is a drama that has a good cast, plot and production team that forces the “idol actor” to improve pronto. Unfortunately not every actor gets this great opportunity to work with such an amazing team, so I’m glad LYF seized it and pushed himself.

        Li Xiaoran was amazing in every scene she was in. Just brilliant. Shame that she was only a guest appearance, really.

        I’m torn over Li Xiaonan. She is so bubbly and adorable, and yet knowing who she really is blows me away because she hides it so well. On the other hand, she has the one trait in a woman that I am absolutely not OK with. The fact that she goes around telling everyone that she’s Chen Shen’s girlfriend annoys the heck out of me, especially since Chen Shen has told her repeatedly that he doesn’t feel the same way. And so I have to say I have a love-hate relationship with her character. Her tragic ending though… 🙁

        Bicheng is definitely not the most likeable character and she is so easy to pick on. Lots of rash decisions. Constantly being saved by both men. She’s a lost child in the dark underworld right now. I read spoilers that she’ll have a big change later on. Is it true? In any case, I have to applaud Zhou Dongyu. That whole “Bambi caught in headlights” look is so natural for her.

        1. shimokuren

          Xiaonan acts like an annoying air head to throw everyone off Chen Shen’s trail. The reason why she’s always acting so over the top like that is so that she can stick by Chen Shen as much as possible and cover his tracks (he’s good but there are just so many eyes on him that sometimes he misses something that could get him discovered and killed).

          Xiaonan acts like this so that NOBODY – not even Chen Shen – he didn’t find out the truth until at the very end when she risked everything to get that SECRET PLAN that Sparrow was tasked to get and the No. 76 guys caught her. Even then she had already planned everything (knowing that she was gonna die) so that Chen Shen could take all the info she gathered and his only task left was to get it to the Communist Party.

          Even under intense torture, etc. Xiaonan didn’t let anything slip and was even secretly communicating by code to Chen Shen at the end to tell him all the info she knew.

          I think Chen Shen realized the truth and the sacrifices Xiaonan made for him at the end, which is why years after the main story events he wears a red kerchief around his neck (the moment he realized that Xiaonan was gonna die he thought back to every interaction they ever had: playing weiqi, Xiaonan knitting the red kerchief, etc.) and thinks of Xiaonan whenever Zhou Xuan’s songs come up – he reminisces about how once, many years ago, a young actress always loved Zhou Xuan’s songs the best…

          Bicheng turns into kind of a villain at the end. She gets away from everything pretty much unscathed because the people around her all protect her and years after the main story, she goes around terrorizing and arresting the “good guys” as one of the KMT agents (who by then are basically corrupt) in the epilogue. We readers only find out Chen Shen lived cuz he came out to stop Bicheng

          *shrug* I think it’s just personal preference but the more I read about Bicheng in the novel and the more I see her in the drama the more I hate the character TBH. Couldn’t stand her in the novel and still can’t stand her in the drama

          But yeah, we all have preferences so *shrug*

          Also it’s about time that LYF started working towards acting in better projects other than idol dramas geared at young audiences. LYF’s babyfaced and all but look at how Hu Ge broke out of the idol mold and made a name for himself as a serious actor. If anything I see LYF trying to walk a similar path… Being an idol is great when you’re young but it’s always great to develop yourself and grow as an actor.

        2. chasingpolaris

          Thanks for the background information on Xiaonan! I do admire her gutsy and bubbly nature for sure. Too bad she dies a horrible death. I thought Su Sansheng liked her? Did he kill her because of his post or was it revenge because she didn’t reciprocate his feelings? That’s one thing that puzzled me the most when I read spoilers. Couldn’t find an explanation of why he would kill her if he has feelings for her.

          I certainly wouldn’t mind watching more of LYF if he continues to improve. Just hope the plots for his future dramas aren’t flops. Actually, let’s hope for more good plots in general. They are so hard to come by.

        3. Luna

          Same here, I also have no buddies for this drama except you guys *lol*. And I feel the same way toward LYF as not being an idol. I have always hoped that he would act in a series that is not an idol drama(since I’m tired with idol dramas myself), and he finally nails it here.

        4. shimokuren

          Good plots are precious which is why lyf jumped at the chance to film this

          Xiaonan is actually zaixiang’s biological sister but only they knew about it
          Thats why she took over in helping chen shen and why zaixiang and her shared that look with each other

          Chen shen dun find out she is part of his family until the end
          In hindsight he realized how much she helped him so he remembers her like he remembers zaixiang

          Sansheng wanted xiaonan and he wanted her to give up the info she had and stay wuth him
          Of course xiaonan won’t betray her country and people not even under torture.
          Xiaonan only loves her country/people, her family and chen shen, so everything she does is motivated by that

          So Sansheng kills her slowly and in the most painful and disgusting way he could

        5. Rabbit

          @chasingpolaris Yup good to have buddies in this drama too! If you’re loving Chinese Spy Dramas also check out Rookie Agent Rouge later this month. It has Zhao Li Ying in it 🙂

        6. chasingpolaris

          Yes, that’s on my watch list too. Can’t wait for it!

    3. Luna

      Correction sorry : ‘perseptive’, not ‘perspective’

  13. Rabbit

    Is it true that Xiao Nan gets tortured to death 🙁 ?

    1. shimokuren

      *SIGH* One of the BEST GODDAMN female characters in this story dies like the most HORRIBLE death, but get this: she stuck to her guns all the way to the end and was crucial in Chen Shen succeeding in his mission. She showed more brains and guts than even the most hardened soldier. She sacrificed for mission and country and people is just so Goddamn amazing, she deserves SO MUCH BETTER.

      But if it makes you feel any better, Chen Shen and Tao Dachun (Tang Shanhai’s right hand man) takes revenge on the person (Yin Zheng’s character) responsible and tortures him to death the way he tortured Xiaonan to death. Yin Zheng’s character also was responsible for the HORRIBLE way Tang Shanhai (Zhang Ruoyun’s character) died.

      Xiaonan is just FULL of surprises and not only is Chen Shen’s secret boss/handler/informant (took over after Zaixiang, Chen Shen’s previous boss, died), but also his relative … but I guess we won’t see that happen till very late into the series (and just before she died)

      1. Rabbit

        I know she’s one of the best characters :”( The fact that Yi Zheng’s character has a love line with her and then tortures her in the most horrible way possible. I’ve read about stuffing a cloth into her stomach. That is just simply inhumane and cruel. Her ending is so sad 🙁 Misfortune in love and the way she dies 🙁

        Nooo way. So Yi Zheng caused Tang Shang Hai’s death? I saw a preview of him been buried alive. Nooo I can’t take it anymore. By the way does Shang Hai later fall in love with Meina? Cause she also apparently dies too? Nooo all my biases are dying 🙁

        1. Luna

          I skipped reading the last 2 comments because I dont want to read more about Xiao Ran *lol*. Just wanna say that I had never considered her as something special before, until I read her character description. Damn, the writer is good. (I wish I didnt read that). I hope she continues on surprising me (and Chen Shen), and I’d be waiting patiently to see more secret of her.

        2. shimokuren

          He shoved the red cloth she knitted (symbol of her patriotism) into her stomach so that it would fuse with whatever was in her stomach due to stomach acid and that he could drag her stomach out through her throat… Don’t ask…

          Shanhai gets tortured then buried alive but he was defiant to the end. Just like Xiaonan was defiant too even through her gurgled screams.

          Chen Shen heard everything while walking away and swore to avenge her.

          He teamed up with Tao Dachun and basically tortured and killed Yin Zheng’s character the same way he killed Xiaonan. Chen Shen just let Dachun do the honors cuz Dachun wanted to avenge Shanhai.

          And yes Meina dies too. Can’t remember the details but it wasn’t as horrible as Xiaonan and Shanhai’s were. In the drama version they’re giving her a love line with Shanhai but in the novel Meina was in love with Chen Shen (yeah all the girls love Chen Shen). I’m glad they’re pairing her up with Shanhai here, even though those 2 don’t have any happy ending either *SIGH*

          Goddammit all my faves die horrible deaths in this story. From Zaishang in the beginning to Shanhai, Xiaonan, and Meina… @#!$#@$@#!@!##@!#@!!!!

        3. Rabbit

          Nooooo! That is just cruel. But on the other hand the actor who plays San Sheng is seriously good. Really gives of this twisted psychopath vibe. Makes me hate him so much but kudos to the acting skills!

  14. Moonlight

    https://youtu.be/L3xtfxIM8wI

    Poor Xiao Nan at 1:07 🙁

  15. Luna

    I dont understand Chinese language, so I rely on recaps in order to understand Sparrow. I hope she continues recapping, because she doesnt know how long she will keep going *crying..or perhaps there somebody here could recap it ?*

    Anyway, I have to google about Sino war, in order to understand the political situation. And would someone mind to explain this to me :

    1. Bicheng is the niece of Zhongliang’s boss (the scary guy with glasses). If Zhongliang is considered as a traitor because he is a pro Japanese, then isnt his boss the same as him? So why did his boss sent Bicheng and Shanhai as Zhongliang’s underlings, while they were an anti Japanese?

    Or , is his boss an anti Japanese too, so he needed proofs in order to arrest Zhongliang (and Chen Shen, and other traitors)? Was that why he sent Bichen and Shanhai?

    2. I know that Chen Shen is a communist, while Shanhai-Bicheng is from another party. Shanhai-Bicheng received an order to find a secret document, which is also the target of Sparrow. Is it okay to assume that the information about Sparrow is leaked to their party? Since Sparrow is supposed to be a communist (Sparrow IS Chen Shen, right?? )

    Thanks a lot!

    1. kitkat

      At the police station, they are all *supposedly* pro Japanese. Chen Shen, Bicheng and Shanhai are the spies for their respective parties, trying to get the secret document which contains the Japs plans. The uncle does not know that they are anti Japanese.

      From what I’m guessing, Chen Shen is not Sparrow, but the underling. I have a feeling Sparrow may be Xiaonan.

      1. Luna

        So the uncle didnt know that they were anti Japanese, did he? Hmm..I guess I misinterpreted him wrongly because, I’ve always had the impression that he knew. Better wait for the sub or a more detail recaps.

        Thanks for explaining! 🙂

  16. anon

    Very interesting to read everyone’s comments. Thank you. Very nice to see the improvement in LYF’s acting. I hope more actors will be on that path. I still don’t dare watch Feng Shao Feng dramas after Gong. Looking at the spoilers above, I won’t be able to keep watching Sparrow. Thank you, shimo, for the spoilers.

    For the first dozen eps, Shanhai, Bicheng, Chen Shen put personal emotion and priorities over their jobs too much. It’s a bit weird to me. A great surgeon wouldn’t be crying all week after the first patient, who may be the BFF, died. You have lots of people critically depending on you.

    I understand with every drama, you need to dramatize, sensationalize, and veer of from reality somewhat to garner a wider audience. Reality tends to be not as spectacular as, and less interesting than fiction. But i do get distracted at the conflict between fictitious drama elements and reality. The drama fiction can get too removed from reality, making it less believable. Nirvana balances the drama vs credibility aspect very well. Sparrow parallels Decoded somewhat. I think they are aiming for a range of character development for Bicheng, so that’s why Bicheng is the way she is at the beginning of the drama.

    I think I need a tutorial for watching Republican drama. My stomach churns at all that infighting. There are often a lot of “KMT vs CCP” etc type plots. Then they’d have to have traitors, etc. Why was the Republican drama “Lurk” with Sun Honglei so well regarded? What did it do differently? Sparrow still has some hints of idol elements actually. C drama doesn’t seem to do a lot of thriller type plot beyond Republican & Ding Mo drama.

  17. shimokuren

    Novel ending >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> drama ending

    WTF they took the most touching and powerful ending and made it a cheap copy with all the motions intact but none of the emotions. Yes I’m talking to you, Chen Shen. Why the F are you so calm about everything when book Chen Shen was battle-worn from his experiences and keeps the sacrifices of his family and comrades close to his heart.

    Where is the great hero of the book? The one who shows how his experiences have touched him in every word and action he takes as he continues the brave fight and legacy his comrades have left him. Why the F is drama Chen Shen just waltzing around reciting his history like lines from a book when they should be his heartfelt words?

    WHY THE F IS CHEN SHEN SO NONCHALANT ABOUT EVERYTHING IN THIS DRAMA??? I had hopes for you, Chen Shen! Where is the struggle? Where are the emotions??? Why do you just waltz around trying your best to look handsome without showing inner character??? My favorite character of the novel and you made me sort of hate him in this drama! WTF!!!

    Overall acting performance rating:

    Wang Jingsong > Zhang Luyi > Yin Zheng > Zhang Ruoyun >>>>>>>>>>>>> LYF

    Wang Jingsong and Zhang Luyi are veterans and their awesome acting shows it. Look at their body language, facial expressions, the eye language and line delivery. Freakin’ incredible.

    TBH YZ and ZRY are both excellent. I only rate YZ a little bit higher because his character is harder to portray. YZ and ZRY are so good they made the unlikeable book characters become sympathetic and attract audience attention in the drama. All kudos to them. And extra points for using their own voice to deliver lines!

    LYF had SO MANY BODY DOUBLES it’s distracting. Holy shit. With action scenes I can understand but even with just normal scenes? WTF? Did he get paid to just show his face? Why is he so calm when his family/comrades die? It was like that with Zaixiang and now with Xiaonan. The narrator had to tell us audience how devastated Chen Shen is when the actor should’ve shown us that!

    FFS Su Sanxing was more cut up over Xiaonan’s death than Chen Shen was!!! Watch that scene with Xiaonan being tortured and Sanxing being next door after being framed by Xiaonan. Watch his struggle between love and hate. And then watch how bloody calm and nonchalant Chen Shen is about it when he was supposed to be freakin’ devastated! WTF??!

    Ladies:

    Li Xiaoran is awesome but she’s only a guest appearance so I’ll leave her out of this.
    The actress who played Li Xiaonan is amazing. Bloody she should’ve been the female lead.
    The actress who played Meina is great too but she wasn’t in this for very much.
    Zhou Dongyu was very stiff at the beginning but got better towards the end.

    So: Li Xiaonan > Liu Meina > Xu Bicheng
    for acting performance

    But holy shit Disguiser >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Sparrow

    The plot was dragged WAY TOO LONG in Sparrow. The only had about 40 eps of content but dragged to like 60 eps. The pace is slow as F and there are so many Goddamn flashbacks FFS we audience have decent memories y’know?

    1. chasingpolaris

      I thought they would spend more time on the Guiling Plan. Nope. Lol.

      LYF surprised me here. His acting is still not that great when you put him next to names like Zhang Luyi but it’s definitely a step up for him. Hope he keeps it up and picks more projects where he can work with awesome veteran actors.

    2. Chocobeans

      HAHHAHA omg I had the exact same rant in my mind (building up from maybe episode 50s onwards), but I was afraid of getting eaten alive by the crazy LYF fan girls/people who were enjoying the series. I’m so glad someone felt the same way I did. You are not alone my friend!!!!

      Also, I realize there was a barrage of series revolving around the genre released after the success of Disguiser (idols + Republican-era spy), but honestly, Sparrow was quite disappointing. A needless 60+ episode length aside, it just tried really hard to be a serious drama, but LYF couldn’t emote for his life. I would get all emotional over the deaths in the end, but then his bug-eyed stare would take me out of the show completely. Zhou Dong Yu was a little annoying as well, and I had to go watch some of her other works/variety shows to cleanse my impression of her. They really need to pick some better characters next time they’re looking at projects….

  18. Luna

    I guess I’m quite different regarding the acting. I like Yin Zheng too, but sometimes, the way he spoke was kinda annoying. I dunno whether it was his character or the acting. Other than that, he was fine.

    Regarding LYF, I was actually quite impressed by his acting here. In Xiao Nan’s story, he ran away to meet Bicheng (ignoring Zhongliang’s warning). At her place, he talked in panic about how he was affraid that he couldn’t save Xiao Nan . .and he was almost cried. He was also pretty good when he stabbed San Sheng .. with him talking calmly, while his expression slowly became scarier.

    But yeah, he had many body double *LOL*. I often confused because Chen Shen looked different at front / from the back.

    Anyway, my impression in the guys acting is :
    Zhang Lu Yi > Zhang Ruo Yun > Yin Zheng / Li Yifeng

    On the girls :
    Li Xiao Ran > Lu Meina (dunno the actress’s name) / Kang Qing Zi / Zhou Dong Yu

    I think ZDY’s acting was pretty good. She just didn’t have the chance to show it in the beginning, because her character was rather quite/ has calm nature. Kang Qinzi was having the advantage because she could express herself more in childish / cheery nature. Lu Meina did good too. I think all the 3 actress were almost equally good .. it’s hard for me to decide which one was better.

    My impression in the story is, yeah .. it’s long. I hope they could shorten the story before San Sheng showed up + after Quixia’s death. After that, I enjoyed most of it. I didn’t feel like I want to fast-forward to much. Perhaps because I love the trips and tricks that the characters were using along the show, and guessing what they would do to when trouble came.

    Then again, I wasn’t really happy with the ending. It was too short. I’ve been waiting for the ultimate battle between Zhongliang-Chen Shen, but we only have like 2 episodes for that (although it was 50 minutes long, longer than the previous ones).

    Well, overall, I find the show quite enjoyable. For a 69 episodes, that was kinda surprised. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t read the novel and I don’t have problems with the female lead? Coz I know that many people were annoyed by her.

    1. chasingpolaris

      I feel like you and I are the only ones on ZDY’s side in the English-speaking fandom lol. We’ve already talked about this before.

      From what I’ve seen, many are more receptive to Li Xiaonan’s character. You are right about Kan Qingzi getting the advantage because her character is so bubbly and cheery. On the other hand, Bicheng is too demure and introverted. Too innocent and pure. The way I see it, if this were a romcom in the modern times, Xiaonan’s personality would just be like the many cookie-cutter female leads who are hardworking and bubbly despite the hardships she has to endure. Audiences tend to want to watch female leads like her. I do, too. They are cute and admirable.

      But I also appreciate Bicheng because it’s usually her type of personality that people tend to overlook. Oh, she’s too quiet, too bland, too boring, etc. It’s hard for people to see that she’s a hidden gem. I’m fine with the female lead being this way as she’s a breath of fresh air. She fits with that image of Republican dramas. The only problem is that she’s really in the wrong career path. And yet, she’s stubborn. She wants to help Chen Shen, Tang Shan Hai, etc. She’s tough on the inside. But people tend to dismiss all of her good qualities and turn a blind eye. It’s frustrating to see this on weibo and folks tend to drag the actress herself into their rants. They say she’s flat and one-dimensional, but I have to wonder if they realize that they’re looking at her character through myopic lens.

  19. Luna

    “The only problem is that she’s really in the wrong career path.”

    => lol..exactly! I chatted with my friends about how pretty and elegant Bi Tai Tai was (Zhongliang’s wife), and one of them said,”Yeah. I think Bicheng would be like that if she wasnt an agent”. Hahaha. You are right. She was too innocent, too naive, and too ..well..honest? And the drama Chen Shen said, once, that he fell in love with her in the academy because he saw his innocence and strong faith in her eyes(based on what my friend translated for me). That’s how she was. ZDY’s acting was somehow overlooked because her character wasnt as ‘interesting’ as other girls, with her contant mistake making and everything, and too bias towards Chen Shen. She didnt look tough at all as an agent. That is her character, not the acting. And it’s frustrating for people who like a strong girl character.

    And she is the character that really grows during the story, because I saw her as a mature woman in the end. She looked calmer and more confident. Despite the propaganda issue and the changes from the novel, that is one of the things that I like.

    My friends also told me that there were a lot of harsh comments directed to ZDY. They even attacked her physical appearence, saying that she was ugly etc. That was too bad. Her character is indeed not a popular one, among the sassy arrogant female leads in other dramas, but hating an actress that bad because of her character was too sad. The show wasnt even focusing on Bicheng. The boys shone more, and there were Lu Meina and Xiao Nan too. From the middle of the series, Xiao Nan appeared more and more, so it’s not that Bicheng was the only one hanging around there.

    1. Luna

      Sorry..this is supposed to be a reply for chasingpolaris 🙂

    2. chasingpolaris

      Yeah, I’ve read some horrible things about ZDY online from netizens. It’s a pity that they can’t separate the actress from the character.

      I’m glad she chose this project or else I would have waited longer to discover what a good actress she is.

      1. anon

        I have watched a number of Zhou Dongyu’s movies in the past. She is generally a pretty good actress. I only watched Sparrow up until where Yin Zheng’s character started to appear. I didn’t have problems with ZDY’s acting. ZDY is usually pretty good at showing genuine emotion. Bicheng is not a Mary Sue who does many things perfectly. That doesn’t go well with the audience. It’s good for an actress to take on a variety of roles even when the characters are far from textbook perfect. I appreciate ZDY for taking on the less popular role.

        I agree the popular taste usually favor the flashier, highly competent, cool, glamorous, flamboyant, bubbly and outwardly very beautiful characters. While these characters have a lot of appeals at first glance, I’m more attracted to characters that are loyal, rational, kind, and sincere. Also, the former type of characters is very common in C dramas. It has become very formulaic. Characters with flaws allow for more character analyses. They may have deeper psych depth to their character than the usual leading ladies.

        Different characters come with different set of problems and story lines. It’s interesting to see story lines that go a bit beyond the standard fare.

        C drama audience is too picky about looks. Especially when it comes to actresses. Typically less great-looking actors are under less scrutiny than the actresses. Actresses are often judged by harsher criteria. It is not fair to women and is a very unhealthy attitude. Comments are also often too harsh and too personal. It’s likely many audience who write very harsh comments do not particularly excel in doing their own jobs either. They may be just fortunate that their work product is not out for every one to see and judge in public.

        1. Luna

          @anon, @chasingpolaris so agree with you .. especially this part :

          “I agree the popular taste usually favor the flashier, highly competent, cool, glamorous, flamboyant, bubbly and outwardly very beautiful characters. While these characters have a lot of appeals at first glance, I’m more attracted to characters that are loyal, rational, kind, and sincere. Also, the former type of characters is very common in C dramas. It has become very formulaic. Characters with flaws allow for more character analyses. They may have deeper psych depth to their character than the usual leading ladies.”

          I agree that the comments sometimes become too harsh and too personal. Some people don’t seem to be able to differentiate an artist(and actor) and their characters, and they expect to see the same characters like they usually watch in other dramas. I’ve never watched ZDY before Sparrow, so I don’t have any special feelings toward her. I’ve only heard that she once played in a drama with Lee Junki (one of my fave actor), and I noticed that she looked innocent and pure. I saw the same pretty smile in the flashback of Bicheng-Chen Shen, but too bad, she didn’t smile a lot in the ‘present’ time. Still, I think that she is pretty. Even if I thought that she was ugly, then I think it was harsh to critize someone physically like that, while she was just trying to do her job according to the script.

          Anyway, I just feel that her character was different than the usual female leads in Asian dramas . I also like other females, like Xiao Nan, Lu Meina, and ZHongliang’s wife. I think that different types of characters made the show more alive and interesting, because they would act and react differently, according to their characters. For me, expecting every character to be the same (as what other dramas usually have) will make a show become too typical and predictable, because you can easily guess what they are going to do or where the story will go. And each actors/actresses in Sparrow had represent their characters quite well..

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