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Chinese title: 热血长安 / Re Xue Chang’an
English title: Detective Samoyeds / Righteous Ardour of Chang’An
Genre: Action, Ancient, Detective
Screenwriter: 25 of them
Directors: Wang Junye
Broadcast Period: From February 15, 2017
Xu Hai Qiao
Ju Jing Yi
Zhang Xin Yuan
Cheng Xiao Meng
Liu Guan Lin
Samo is online.
After a wait time of almost 5 months after filming was finished back in Oct 2016, Detective Samoyeds greets the audience on the platform of Youku. In merely 10 hours after its release, the series has accumulated more than 100 million hits in viewing counts.
Showcasing an advanced technique of virtual filming atmosphere, a script composed by 24 script writers, and a bundle of young actors and actresses, the script sets the background back in the early reign of Li Shimin in the Dynasty of Tang, and chronicles a series of abnormal crimes, which escalates to a hidden power coup. It is also important to mention that the crimes are solved in a scientific manner. In 48 episodes, the series presents one homicidal case in each of them.
The crime-solving squad is led by Li Zhi (Li He), nephew of the emperor. It is revealed in the dialogues that the emperor would not grant him a more prestige status due to the infamous incident at the Gate of Xuanwu, where the emperor killed Li Zhi’s father in order to obtain the throne. Li Zhi is totally cool and just. Under the request of his old boss, he sets out to gather a squad of 6 persons including himself to find out the reason behind a corpse that came alive.
Other than his childhood friend and follower, the funny and superstitious Huang Sanpao (Three Canons, actor Liu Guan Lin), he first finds Shangguan Zisu (Basil, actress Ju Jing Yi), daughter of a high rank mandarin and a moving library, who won’t forget anything that she has read. Second, he finds Tan Shuangye (Double Leaves, actress Cheng Xiao Meng), a pretty forensic expert who makes her living as a butcher. Since her father was executed due to treason, she is also banned from professional practices. Lastly, it will be Samo Dolo (actor Joe Xu Hai Qiao), a young foreigner residing in Chang’An and a former consultant of crime for the law department. Why former? It should be left to the audience to find out.
In the inn where he lives, he also works for the mysterious owner of the inn, Gongsun Siniang (No. 4, actress Zhang Xin Yuan) who is a former robber. Despite of her intention, she will make the 6th member in the crime-solving squad.
The crew filmed most of their scenes indoor using the virtual technique, and it actually drives the audience to look for deficiencies during viewing. It turns out that the audience criticize 5% of the outside scenes during “day time”. Surprisingly, the audience do not recognize that the rest are also filmed in virtual atmosphere, and they are simply passed as filmed in actual sets. As for my personal viewing experience, when the scenes are supposed to be filmed under “broad day light”, the deficiency is exposed the most. Any “indoor” scene is almost perfect.
The costumes and props are vibrant, sleek and with class. The stern officers have their uniforms in black, embroidered with dark brown details. Basil is dressed in all light color free flowing silk dresses, as expensive as only 2 or 3 households in Chang’An could afford. No.4 is in a deep red tone, totally sassy with a white makeup, which looks very close to the portraits of the ladies in the ancient scrolls. Samo has free flowing locks and wears knitted informal covering dresses, to emphasize his uncontrollable personality and the fact that he originally migrated from a remote kingdom.
The pacing of story is fast, and actually a little bit too fast in the first few episodes. Then it stabilizes a bit from the 4th episode onwards. At first, I thought that I would be good and patient to digest one episode a day, so would not have to wait a miserable 6 days for another watching spree. But once the play button is pushed, it is extremely difficult to stop. Because the story is so neat and trimmed, just like their costumes. It begins with a body discovered, next the squad is called up to investigate, Samo joins in for clues, and it ends with a killer arrested. It just flies so rapidly.
Especially when Samo adds flavours like the icing on the cake, I have to admit that he distracts me a lot more than the abnormal scenarios. He is so pretty and cute and everything. Xu Haiqiao has done a terrific job in portraying Samo, a naughty smart a** who is more complex than how he looks and plays pranks. Samo Dolo is definitely a huge contradiction to his impressive performance of a bossy Feng Jing in the Revive Superstar, the role that quickly raised his popularity in 2016.
Images Via: 01