First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

Alrighty, Wuxia Lovers, here is your remake, led by rookie and fresh faces! Let’s hear your thoughts and impressions!

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The Cast: Costumed VS Modern Selves

Our male lead, Ding Guan Sen, as Linghu Chong. A rookie actor you might remember in Yesterday Once More and recently The Devotion of Suspect X.

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Xue Hao Jing as Ren Ying Ying.

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Ding Yu Xi as Dong Fang Bu Bai.

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Liu Jia Tong as Lan Feng Huang. Leader of the Five Immortals Cult, becomes male lead’s god sister later.

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Chen Xun as Lin Ping Zhi.

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Jiang Zhuo Jun as Yi Lin. Daughter of Monk Bujie and Mute Granny. She falls in love with our male lead after he saves her.

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Airing Schedule. VIP accounts get to watch more episodes (EX. Week 1: 1-8)

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Synopsis from Wiki: The plot’s initial development revolves around a coveted martial arts manual known as the “Bixie Swordplay Manual”. The manual is an heirloom of the Lin family, who run the Fuwei Escort Agency, a private security service, in Fuzhou. Yu Canghai, the leader of the Qingcheng Sect, leads his followers to massacre the Lins and attempts to seize the manual for himself, but does not find it. Lin Pingzhi, the sole survivor from the Lin family, is saved by Yue Buqun, the head of the Mount Hua Sect, which is a member of the Five Mountains Sword Sects Alliance. Yue Buqun accepts Lin Pingzhi as an apprentice and trains him in swordplay.

The novel’s protagonist is Yue Buqun’s most senior apprentice, Linghu Chong, an orphaned, happy-go-lucky but honourable swordsman who has a penchant for alcoholic drinks. He befriends the notorious bandit Tian Boguang and saves Yilin, a nun from the (North) Mount Heng Sect, from Tian’s lecherous advances. In the meantime, Liu Zhengfeng of the (South) Mount Heng Sect announces his decision to leave the jianghu (martial artists’ community) and invites his fellow martial artists to witness his retirement ceremony. The event turns into a bloodbath when Zuo Lengshan, the chief of the Mount Song Sect, and other orthodox sects accuse Liu Zhengfeng of being unfaithful to their code by befriending Qu Yang, an elder of the “evil” Sun Moon Holy Cult. Liu and Qu are cornered by Zuo and his men and eventually commit suicide. Before dying, Liu and Qu give Linghu Chong the score of Xiaoao Jianghu, a musical piece they composed together.

Trailers And Episodes.

Episode 1. Music by S.E.N.S. Project?!! I love them! Most of TVB’s background/instrumental music is taken from their albums. Lol.

Via: 01

  1. 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

    First impression? It’s not good sis…

    The plot jumps all over the place, even as a novel fan, I have trouble keeping up. Maybe I’m just getting old. lol But seriously, in my opinion, the plot is a mess. The events are switch around and out of order. Characters just come and go, with little introduction, if at all. Linghu Chong is quiet and serious. Where’s the witty wisecracking Linghu Chong I know? 🙁

    I’m not feeling any of the chemistry either. The acting is a bit stiff, the fight scenes are lackluster. The background music is unfitting in most scenes. Sometimes it’s even louder than the people’s talking.

    State of Divinity 96 is still the best XAJH adaptation in my book. It seems Linghu Chong gets another short end of the stick. Guo Jing and Yang Guo get much better treatment.

    New Smiling Proud makes me sad. *fanboy cries*

    • 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

      I loved State of Divinity! Do you know if we can find it anywhere with subs?

    • 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

      Well said Wuxia Rocks.
      4th episodes in and I feel like they have a check list to check off. There are no proper introductions to the characters or build up to the storyline. Things happened for the sake of happening. There are way too many things happened at once. I’ve no idea what are they going to talk about for the remaining episodes. I don’t like this Linghu Chong, the actor doesn’t have enough charisma and looking too young to play the role.

      • 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

        Thank you,
        You also hit the mark, they’re just going down a checklist and not actually tell a coherent story. I don’t mind changes as long as they keep the essence of the source. It seems the producers here don’t understand the theme of the novel at all.

        Everyone just wants to kill, kill, kill, and on to the next.

        Smiling Proud Wanderer? More like Lonely Sad Wanderer. 😀

    • 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

      yikes, i was hoping it would be good, like the legend of condor hero 2017 adaptation.

      • 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

        I was hoping the same. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

        Looks like we’ll have to wait 8 more years.

        That’s two XAJH adaptations botched in a row. (2013, 2018.) 🙁

        • 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

          sigh…with no online links to a lot of the old versions, it’s back to the 2001 version it is…

    • 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

      Actually is really confusing tho…I thought it was just me cuz I was never a really fan of Xiao Ao Jiang Hu as is (I’ve only ever started with the 2001 version…I think my family watched one of the old versions from the 1900’s but I don’t remember) because I didn’t know how I felt about Linghu Chong (basically, Li Ya Peng) and I actually liked Linghu Chong’s sect-sister in the 2001 version (the one who gets with Lin Ping Zhi). So when the plot got really weird, I thought I was just confusing myself since I’ve also never read the novel…I couldn’t recognize many of the scenes!

    • 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

      My fav the adaptation from ’96 too, with Jackie Liu. He’s the best LHC till now hehehe

    • 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

      I say not to compare this version to the previous versions…this one brings new vibe to the plot, and to the characters. I like how the director/writer and whoever are responsible wangled the story into 37eps, its not dragging, each episode has something going on vital to the progress of the storyline.
      After watching 20 eps, I personally like this drama, I love the fresh faces of the characters, they are dynamic and there is definitely great chemistry between the lead male & female characters. The costumes are just right.

      The first few eps may not be satisfying to others but as you go on you will appreciate how the storyline builds up. For me, this is worth staying up late at night!

  2. 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

    ARE THEY SERIOUS ABOUT THE ENDING THEME SONG???
    Anyway, yeah same feeling like everyone here…they got the right color and stylings (they know how to wear purple, don’t make it look barney (eye-ing at Nicky Wu’s productions) ), although the actors are not that good looking at least they are non-plastic, but the storytelling part of it sucks a lot. Everybody was like robots, nobody has a personality that is different from one another.

  3. 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

    I, however, quite like this version so far. You must treat this as a separate product and one that will end within 37 eps., hence the need to re-arrange and fast-forward certain plots and character introduction. They literally dived right in into the story. At ep. 4, Ling Hu Chong’s character was indeed downplayed but remember, he wasn’t really outstanding in the beginning – he was just the eldest disciple of Hwa San Sect who ended up as a victim of greed and power play. He didn’t have famous parents, born royal, a missing child of some good and evil sects’ leaders, has a powerful grandfather, leader of a sect etc. The spotlight initially wasn’t on him. He was a nobody who eventually became a somebody. He has a glib tongue, devil-may-care attitude and strong sense of righteousness which was really the reason why many women in the novel fell for him. So, I am withholding my final judgment of his character in this version until further into the story. I am hoping that by downplaying LHC’s initial character, the director is leaving space for his growth in character. He didn’t started out as a hero. He became the hero. That said, I must agree that this version sees a new interpretation of LHC’s character. Perhaps he didn’t start out as carefree but learned how to be carefree after experiencing all the things that will happen to him. He learned to let go and just live his life as a carefree wanderer. There’s also a ‘dark’ tone to the series – from the costumes to lighting etc. Hence, I am treating this as a different product and simply watch it to see what sort of product the director will churn out in the end.

    I must admit though that I quite like this style of directing – a mix of modern and Chinese theater/traditional. I like that there’s more wire work, hand-to-hand combat choreography and the more “rustic” feel of the series. This brings us back to the good ol’ days of wuxia series but with a modern twist with the CGIs. I’ve been waiting for a director brave enough to go against the current trend of idol and CGI/visual infested series and to bring back more ‘real’ combat scenes with the staple wire-work that us born before the 1970s would appreciate. The current generation’s inundated with visuals so I can understand how the younger audiences might not react well to this version. Maybe the target audience this time around is not the young adults but those of us who could still remember the good old days of black and white wuxia series where CGIs are almost non-existent and wire-work and “real fighting” scenes gave us the adrenalin kick.

    I love the OSTs – the traditional mixed with modern arrangements with good use of Chinese traditional instruments and Chinese theater and aboriginal style of singing (mixed with modern rap). Love how this is inherent only in Chinese entertainment industry. It’s about time the Chinese establish their own style in the International scene and be proud (and promote) of their heritage! No need to follow the highly processed staples set by the Koreans which emphasize a lot on visuals, idols and power dance and songs. The Chinese culture appreciates the melding of yin and yang which is displayed in the ending OSTs – the soft but high ‘warrior-like’ pitch of the woman singing in Chinese theater style mixed with rap and ends with the youthfulness of a child’s voice. It weaves a story in itself. The lyrics are meaningful and appropriate to the story of Smiling Proud Wanderer. The directing style and OSTs is a whole package of art and with every art pieces, you either like it or dislike it. You either get it or you don’t. So, I’ll say the director is really taking a big risk here!

    As to whether this will be the best version of Smiling Proud Wanderer remains to be seen. Though I like it so far, it has a lot to achieve in order to kick off Chow Yun Fatt’s first version of SPW off the pedestal for me. In this regard, I retain my final judgment until the end of this series. Happy Watching! 🙂

    • 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

      YES! I totally agree. I love how it’s not flashy with some wonky, garish characters and definitely has old school vibes. To be fair, I am familiar with the story (and State of Divinity ’96 is my favorite rendition) and am loving how there’s not too many episodes. I’m hoping that this version will build momentum as the series progresses and doesn’t end up being some random fanfic.

    • 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

      I definitely agree, continue to watch the episodes and you will learn to appreicate how the characters & storyline builds up. I love this version!

  4. 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

    hmmmmmm, I watched 2 episodes and it really disappointed, I have high expectations though from the trailer. XAJH & the main couple are my fav’s characters from all wuxia, I guess it’s me that have too much confidence from the main leads… sigh….

    Xiao Shimei really annoyed me, but I feel okay from Lin Ping Ze. And yup really confusing for the people that not familiar with the story, and the most lousy is the acting of the seniors, they CAN’T ACT!!!!!

    LHC so ordinary and no vibe as the male lead, but I think his acting is okay, only he can’t carried out the LHC character well.

    RYY I like the scenes when she kills, but …. her playing the music instruments ….. so AWFUL, so stiff and not graceful and elegant at all.

    The editing is so choppy and the fighting scnes so “MEH”

    By the way the remake for LOCH is good? maybe I’ll try it, huh?

  5. 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

    After reading the other comments, I feel relieved…lol..I had wondered if it had been too long since I read the novel or watched the older versions..as I couldn´t keep up with the fast pacing and most of all the really really jumbled storyline..I wonder if they want to invent some new plot because so many things happened so fast…that usually take up some time…Some scenes that I was looking forward to didn´t appear at all or were handled in a matter of minutes…
    Well…as “Aryael” mentioned above..maybe I have to treat this as a whole different story..but it will take some time getting used to..I just hope they slow down the story..so that we can get some character and relationship development.
    Are there maybe 2 versions again..a cut and an uncut one?

  6. 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

    In love the color , the natural atmosphere (costumes, hair style etc), and fighting scenes. I also feel that, appearence wise, everyone is suitable for the role, except for the main lead himself. Well, I didnt like Richie Ren as LHC either, and his performance was passable for me. If the drama knows how to make the main lead shines, then I think this version’s LHC can still be acceptable.

    But, like some people, I also have big problems with the storyline and directing. Besides what people have described in the previous comments, I kinda feel that this version has 3 main leads : LHC, LPZ, and DFBB. Yeah, LPZ and DFBB have appeared a lot in the posters and trailers, but I still expect LHC to have more highlights . Afterall, this is not Demi God and Semi Devil.

    Let’s say that I’m not fond of the director’s style and choice of ‘exploring the story and characters from a new perception’. A new perception should still maintain the original characters and ‘feel’ . LHC vs TBG, for example. Eventhough LHC was supposed to be lost and wounded many times in the beginning of the novel, he was supposed to be charismatic and fun enough to make strangers respected him. Here, their (LHC+TBG) fighting scene and bantering were too quick and flat. This was actually a chance for the drama to polish LHC and make him shined.

    Well, I’m still going to watch and see, ..although the first impressions are not very satisfying.

  7. 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

    Anym, you spoke my mind! As of Ep. 6, I was thinking to myself “Are they trying to turn this into Demi- God and Semi-Devil”? What with the emerging brotherhood/bromance line and their own separate romance arcs? I am getting an eerie feeling that we might see DFBB married in the next few episodes! *shivers* Screenplay, pacing and storyline may not be the strength of this version. So far, I am still watching it because I appreciate the “natural atmosphere, fighting scenes..” you mentioned and the “old school vibes” feeling as per Liana’s reply to my previous comment.

    • 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

      Judging for the first episodes and the promo materials, I’m also affraid that the director turned this into another Demi God (why?). This Linghu Chong could be overshadowed by LPZ and DFBB . He alreadly looked less charismatic than them, and that is so wrong. Eventhough he is poor, LHC is already well-known as one of the young heroes since the beginning of the novel. If there is only limited number of episodes, then the drama should make use of the time for the main leads, instead of making additional stories for supporting characters. With the love story and new relationships between DFBB-LFH-LHC, then will this 37-episodes-version have time to highlight LHC ( and RYY), like how it was supposed to in the novel? So far, the drama has been spending little time on each character, while jumping from one to another.

      I still continue watching because I also love the natural vibes, like you. Well, we’ll see .

  8. 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

    Very loose adaptation of the original novel. A little choppy here and there on the storytelling part, but overall I like it. Because it’s a loose adaptation, it makes me curious on how the story will ties to the key plot points of the original novel.
    It feels like they cut short the budget on people. Many secondary character is gone, some are reduce in number, like the 6 immortals becomes 4 immortals. All the main character played by relatively unknown performer, cannot be compare to seasoned veteran but not bad for a starter. I like the one who play Yue Ling Shan.
    It also cut budget on fighting scene, most fight feels like raw brawl. It has a good point that it makes the fight feels real, but might disappoint fans that expect great wuxia fight.
    It cut budget in two front, but very generously spent budget on cinematography and costume. It feels majestic and ancient.
    If only the structured the story better I might end up loving it.

  9. 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

    my main problem is dong fang bu bai. Holy crap they turned him into a wuss this adaptation. Dong Fang Bu Bai is meant to be a fierce cunning ruthless charismatic leader who is more powerful than anyone else. This Dong Fang Bu Bai has weak personality and weak martial arts. He doesn’t have that air about him which previous versions do. Remember he is still the leader of the SunMoon Sect. He comes across like an insecure teenager. Totally ruined it for me.

    I’ve actually been waiting for a modern adaptation of the novel, where Dong Fang Bu Bai is played by a male actor or real life transgendered actress, and we get to see his emotional struggle with his gender identity and how he/she copes with having a male lover in that era. One would assume how ostracized he is led him to become ruthless and vicious. Now THAT would be an amazing characterization and back story with depth! They should hire me to do the script for the next adaptation for sure lol

  10. 25 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of The Smiling Proud Wanderer 2018 with Ding Guan Sen?

    currently watching this drama. i agree that linghu chong here is a bit too young. al of them i guess. lin ping zi, dongfang bu bai.
    on a contrary, the females are a bit too old to be paired with the males, ren ying ying and the leader of 5 venom sect (i hardly remember the name. lol. Len something 😅)

    no chemestry between the actors. and yes they are stiff.

    i agree that the story leaps from side to side and not enough introductions. for me personaly it’s not a problem. i prefer quick story rather than dragging it out just to make 50 something episodes. lol. which most wuxia dramas do.

    i’m just ignoring the whole bads and still watching it

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