Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

So many big guns dramas have come out or are coming out in the next month but yet I have no motivation to watch anything at all. What hidden gems are you guys into these days?

My good friend is watching Ashes of Love aka Heavy Sweetness Ash-like Frost and this is the iconic scene she’s currently a blubbering mess about at home. Should I give this series a go?

  1. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Hi, Kappy;

    I am watching Guardian. I have nine more episodes to go. It took two weeks to view the first thirty episodes (about two to three episodes per day).

    I tried Bloody Romance, but took a break at episode 10-ish. I tried Sha Sha (Tomb of the Sea) but the subbing halted at episode 8.

  2. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Ashes of Love is the only drama I’m watching. Ashes of Love is passable coz it mostly followed the progression of the novel with some additional scenes that did not distracted too much from the main story. My only beef is ironically with Deng Lun as Fire God Xu Feng. I feel the role is a bit too big for Deng Lun to fill. Deng Lun simply does not have that charisma or aura of a heavenly Fire God prince. Because of that, the role of Xu Feng felt muted and less impact-ful, which affected the supposedly passionate, possessive and fiery chemistry he was supposed to have with Jin Mi. The other actors and actresses did well and shone in their role. Whenever they’re around, Deng Lun’s ‘aura’ got suppressed even though he’s supposed to be the male lead! He didn’t shine like them. His screen presence is mediocre at best. I felt like I was watching a young man playing pretend while wearing an elaborate bulky costume! The main saving grace of the drama and the reason why it’s successful so far is the story. It has an addictive story. And because of that, despite Deng Lun’s weak portrayal of Xu Feng, he gets the recognition for being the male lead in the drama. That’s just my humble opinion. Goes to show you how sometimes it’s not about how good an actor you are, but how good you are at picking the right project!

  3. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    C drama – Ashes of love but on hold until JM starts redeeming herself then i’ restart again. Meteor Garden as guilty pleasure. Oh my emperor as the in between episodes drama
    J drama – Hana Yori Dango S1, S2 and finale- cause Meteor Garden made me nostalgic and wanted to rewatch the J version
    K drama – 30but17.

  4. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Bloody romance…took a break at episode 9…dread the coming whiplash.

    Story of yanxi palace…I can watch all the palace plotting and machinations without being taxed emotionally. And pretty addictive.

  5. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Currently binge-watching Legend of Yun Xi! So far a very pleasant surprise since I was unfamiliar with pretty much all the actors/actresses.

    Dropped Fu Yao after 30 episodes. Nothing terrible about it but I kind of just lost interest and it was turning into kind of a chore to watch. Plus every time I saw Yang Mi I just missed her with Mark Chao lol.

    Waiting for more dramas to finish airing before I jump in.

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      I enjoyed Legend of Yun Xi very much as well! Isn’t their relationship refreshingly innocent, pure and so cute! It was a lot lighter compared to other cdramas and just overall fun, primarily because I am also unfamiliar with most of the cast. Just something about that ice box main lead that starts believing in the power of love and falling in love for the first time that just gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME!

      I should have dropped Fu Yao too, but I was so in love with Ethan’s acting. I cannot believe this was his first period/costume drama and in all honesty, the drama could have wrapped up nicely after the first 1/2 it really did not need to keep going. Haha

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        First half of Legend of Yun Xi was a lot of fun. I totally agree with what someone else said on another forum: “There’s always something very attractive about watching a man fall for a woman that’s almost his exact opposite in personality… against his better judgment, against his will. 😀 He has a lot at stake and a myriad of reasons not to trust easily but watching her disarm him little by little with her liveliness of spirit and glibness is the sort of thing I live for in these dramas. Her unerring optimism, cheerfulness accompanied by natural intelligence is precisely the antidote for the bleakness of his existence. There’s nothing new about that trope of course but it’s nice to see it done well here.”

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Well said … I like Legend of Yun Xi a lot … the beginning half more than the second half but all interactions between the two leads were great for me … both actors are unknown for me but now Zhang Zhe Han and Ju Jing Yi are my favorites … they are both sweet kids doing good work … you really got to watch the two fall in love in all their silliness and they weren’t even met to but the way they worked together and fought for each other … perfect …

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      I’ve enjoyed the main actress from Legend of Yun Xi. First time watching her and I’m impressed by how she balances the innocence/purity of the character without being too annoying
      Like that the character isnt all about looks, she has the brain to go with the whole package. This was my drama of the summer, until my sister old me the ending…kinda cliffhanger-y. (My sister totally shipped the second ML.) Because of the ending, I kind of put this show on hold, waiting for the English subs. But I like the idea of skipping all other parts and just watching the OTP. I love how sweet they are, and overall, supportive of one another. (For example, the ML actually stands up for his wife and defends her against rumors, villains, etc.)

      My mother is binge watching that Palace of Ruyi (?) drama that’s 70 episodes. I can’t stand it for the life of me. I can’t stand the harem and political maneuvering. The king? What an a**hole. See my comments above about what I think a ML should be like. Not a guy who has hundreds of women and is petty and jealous.

      Was excited to with Yang Yang’s new drama but…yeah…haven’t heard great reviews. (Which is why I appreciate the episode recaps from here. Don’t have to commit to this show, especially if theres a season 2.) I am simply going to have to wait for her other gaming drama. Looking forward to that one after how much I enjoyed Love 020. I totally prefer dramas with little to no angst. ^_^;; I think this summer’s dramas just simply aren’t meant for me. Will just wait and bide my time.

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        My favorite parts of Legend of Yun Xi were also just the watching the OTP. I did end up fast-fowarding through some of the other stuff during the second half. I started watching mainly on Youtube but found English subs on other sites when it started getting wonky (https://www4.dramacool9.io/drama-detail/legend-of-yun-xi) There’s actually 2 versions of the ending, so yeah, open to interpretation.

  6. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    So far my number one vote goes to Tomb of the Sea. Not sure what happened with the subbers, but I’m more than happy giving my language skills a workout to follow this series. Hoping Zhang Ming En and Yang Rong’s characters reunite soon. Or at least just see more of Zhang Rishan’s tattoo. 😀

    Also doing the same for Accidentally in Love. So bummed the channel that was subbing that one got taken off YouTube, but still watching the raw videos to see how it all wraps up.

    In Korean shows, I’m slowly finishing up Life on Mars and thinking of binging either Gangnam Beauty or Familiar Wife, but waiting until they finish airing. (I can’t do just two episodes a week. C-dramas have gotten me trained to watch 6-8 a week.)

    Otherwise I’m just impatiently waiting for Eternal Love 2, Let’s Shake It 2, The Wolf, Age of Legends and The King’s Avatar (more Lai Yi – yay!). Also rewatching Guardian, Go Princess Go, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms and Love 020.

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      I saw the trailer with Zhang Rishan’s tattoo, by accident. I loved his character in Mystic Nine, which is one of reasons that I started watching Sha Sha. I eventually found the episode. and watched it with no subs. I hope that the subbers come back from their summer recess, and continue with the drama.

  7. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    watching rise of phoenixes – dug a hole for myself and fell for chen kun. ni ni and the rest of the cast’s superb portrayal of their roles is a super big plus. cinematography is big screen worthy. love the dark colour palettes of each set. chen kun and nini’s characters are very interesting but i’m kind of worried that they will dim down ni ni’s strong, witty character from what its meant to be in the actual book (due to censorship probably :/ ). I would say the pace picks up at around episode 11. right now, it’s going back to a lot of political talking, but i might stick to this to see chen kun and ni ni’s pulling at each other’s pigtails, teasing remarks and the political play. i heard the book was wayyy sadder than the drama. i’m going to stay for the fun times and see if i can cope with the torture.

    ashes of love – super hilarious! i watch this to lighten up my mood. a good relaxation drama. the main couple is so cute together. though why the heck does the character’s costumes sometimes look like cosplay. It’s a great drama with good storyline though. stopped at ep 26 because of rise of phoenixes.

    bloody romance – stopped at episode 10. it started off good but then kind of drag for me afterwards. once i stopped watching, i didn’t have the urge to come back to it. maybe because the theme is so dark (about assassinations etc) so it’s not really my cup of tea, and i’m not invested in the couple’s chemistry. though the main couple acts well in this drama.

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      I read comments online from C-netizens that the director felt having Feng Zhi Wei appear too smart straight off the bat seemed unrealistic. So they’ve made her alot more innocent in the beginning so the drama can develop her progression from innocent to cunning and smart. The contrast and growth will help make her character more realistic. Which makes more sense because if you think about it the female lead in the novel did seem too smart for a 15 year old. We’ve still got 70 episodes so I’m sure we’ll start seeing her smarten up. I think just like in the book she’ll fully change *spoiler ahead* once her mother dies.

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        @Nessie Ohhh, yeah that’ll show more dimension to her character development. Can’t wait until then now!

        @windy omg yesss! They made rolling around look so hot! In my head I wanted to push him down to kiss her already XD

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      Don’t know if you are up to episode 25 of the DVD version yet for Rise of Phoenixes, but I have not yet recovered from the first scene in that episode. The sexual tension was off the charts to the point where I felt indecent watching. Don’t watch it in public because I am still trying to regulate my breathing. I have seen way more explicit scenes in American TV shows, but none have felt as intimate to me.

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        Please do you know anything about subs for Rise of Phoenixes?

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          It looks like it’s coming to Netflix Philippines on the 14th but I don’t know about other countries.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I heard it’s coming to netflix on the 15th september. i think netflix will have subs but not sure how it works

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Sorry I don’t know of anywhere that has english subs. I can’t even find the DVD versions of this show anymore. Ever since yesterday, all the good sources have been down 🙁

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          i think it’s just been confirmed that the first 14 episodes will come to any netflix outside of china on the 14 sept, and to be updated every friday yayy! looking at the trailer, there are english subs!

          @windy, have you tried watching it on iqiyi? If you have the same problem of the video been blocked like me, download this extension and that should fix the problem 🙂 : https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/unblock-youku/pdnfnkhpgegpcingjbfihlkjeighnddk

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Netflix just released a trailer with subs! September 14! I am so excited even though I don’t need subs lol

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Oh my god Moochiball bless you it works for me now.

  8. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Omg yesss! Its good and go for it. I love the OTP..so much chemistry. You cant blame Jin Mi because her mother put that unfeeling pill inside her. Even with that she is just clueless on love..but no t a cold hearted person. And during the mortal trial she doed open up to the main lead, Xu Feng.

  9. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Yes. I’m currently watching the Legend of Runyu?!!

    It started out as funny,
    then sweet,
    then sad,
    then shocking,
    then bitter,
    then rage,
    then sad,
    then even more rage,
    then bitter,
    then sad,
    then a sweet moment
    and then depression kicks in.

  10. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Of course my crack drama this year is Bloody Romance! It’s also the only one that I’m religiously following — from watching subbed and raw episodes, rewatching the subbed, checking blogs and Twitter, to reading weibo and following discussions in douban (thank God for Google translate!). I’m OBSESSED with this. It’s dark dan depressing, but since I dropped Fuyao quite early and just occasionally checking random episodes of Ashes, the angst (in BR) isn’t really exhausting for me. And despite a few plotholes, a couple of questionable fashion choices and the most annoying villainous character ever (because Jill Hsu can’t act, sorry), I practically breathe BR these days and tell whoever listens to watch it, LOL. I’m in awe with Li Yitong.

    I’m at episode 5 of Rise of the Phoenixes. Haven’t continued because I’m all about BR now, but once BR is over I’m planning to continue. The cinematography and the acting are quite drawing, although as yet it is not as addicting as BR (most likely because of the lack of sub — and this is the kind of drama that one HAS to understand the dialogue).

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      Sorry, just replying here because it may be easier – nooo only one day left!! (Though I can’t wait for Chan Luo to meet her end, her treatment of Liu Guang was rage-inducing) Lol re: Chang An’s hair. Maybe… xD

      Completely agree, BR has its flaws (and the editing/continuity in the latest eps has been a bit choppy) but it’s sad, and exciting, and the leads’ acting is so good (the emperor too), and the colours/music are gorgeous. Even tried the novel but hightailed it out of there when the first scene turned out to be a gang rape…

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        I am so torn between waiting until at least ep 30 is subbed or just watch the last 3 episodes raw. I want to hold on a little longer cause this drama is so precious to me :))). But I know I won’t be able to resist the temptation to watch, or read spoilers after they air.

        Yeah, I don’t even know why I’m so invested in BR. Sure it’s gorgeous, great cinematography (like Tribes & Empires, the director has photography background), the tight pace is kinda refreshing (some drags here and there notwithstanding), fantastic music, and acting and chemistry between actors are top notch. But Wan Mei is actually very Mary Sue and the writing for Chang An (characterization and plot) is pretty weak — and I don’t know why these don’t even bother me! Oh well, but I’m glad, because I’ve missed my drama watching — and this year I have one that I can be emotional about!

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Same here. Sometimes I question why I’m even watching this drama but I can’t help it. It’s not that I have nothing else to watch either. Maybe it’s the acting. There’s this one specific scene that had a great impact even though words were barely exchanged. It was their reunion scene and I think I got goosebumps just watching that.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          The acting, particularly by the 3 main leads, is definitely one of the strengths of Bloody Romance. I never knew before Li Yitong has such broad range. She’s also the most consistent acting wise. Qu Chuxiao can emote with his eyes only — and sometimes they barely move. I don’t know how he does that! I saw some clips of his previous works and I thought he was okay, but here he definitely kills it. And like you said, he’s not conventionally good looking. But he’s charismatic in camera and his acting makes him attractive. Wang Duo is much more than a pretty face. He exudes this coolness and aloofness that really fits with Ning Gongzi character, while in BTS he’s very goofy and playful!

          The other strong point of the drama is the cohesive story writing, despite some plotholes and editing can be improved. Events across episodes are related to one another. I missed some events in the previous episodes and later on when another event appears in the later episodes I was like, whoa — didn’t realize that there was reference to it before. It didn’t help that the English sub is painfully slow, although I’m so grateful to the Caravan subbers for allowing us to enjoy Bloody Romance.

          And of course, the music. One of my most favorite opening songs in recent years. The BGM is very on point as well.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Finished it today! In spite of its flaws, I still enjoyed watching and am sad it’s over. The drama had everything I love, as you’ve already mentioned. I agree it’s probably the acting that’s the most appealing. It made me really feel for the characters, which is something I think a lot of dramas struggle with. Keen to follow the main leads’ future dramas, they did well!

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I am on ep 22 so I still have a long way to go but I don’t want to read spoilers like I do with other series, haha.

          Don’t know when we’ll ever get another series like this where the leads mesh well and the story is different and intriguing. I do agree that I’m looking forward to the leads’ future projects now.

          Yes, the opening song is so pretty and suits the series.

  11. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Rise of the Phoenixes! I’m taking a break from all the colour and adventures that most of the summer dramas are giving. Acting, cinematography and soundtrack are all so high quality. i feel like I’m watching a very long movie. It’s great!!!!!

  12. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Just finished Yan Xi and it was an enjoyable 70 episodes, just that the last 10 episodes of the 太监 controlling and scheming everyone was just too unbelievable and too draggy… But overall love the drama! Good acting, great costumes and nice tone!

    Currently watching Tomb of the Sea & Bloody Romance.
    Stopped watching Bloody Romance at ep 11.. Idk, even though everyone says its really good, I thought it was just okay.. Not really fond of the female lead’s character.. Too whiny for me. So i just skipped all the way to Ep 30+ lol.

    Tomb of the Sea, oh god, this this this is the 盗墓笔记 adaption I have been waiting for! SO GOOD?! This is why having 三叔 as the scriptwriter is the best, he follows his novel and even though there are changes, the purpose of it is to make the whole drama flow better. Which he did it! The whole drama flows so well and captivates my attention at every single episode. Did not even skip anything. Now I am just dreading the every week wait for new episodes sobs. Great acting, great plot, 5 stars!
    张副官 is so damn handsome and charismatic inside omg helps!

  13. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    I’m…honestly not really addicted to anything right now. Actually, I’ve barely watched anything this summer. All the big dramas this summer, I’ve either dropped pretty early on, or just wasn’t interested in watching at all.

    Dropped Fuyao out of complete disinterest by ep 24 I think.

    Liked Bloody Romance but for some reason I just sort of lost motivation around ep 5 (tbh I have no idea why I lost interest…I was loving it and then suddenly just wasn’t thinking about it at all).

    Guardian is most definitely on my watch list, but I just haven’t been in the mood.

    Dropped Yunxi after 3 eps. The plot was just too…generic Chinese web-novel for me? Not really the adaptation’s fault, because the original novel plot was pretty bad too. I read it occasionally to pass time but it’s not really…attention-holding at all to me.

    Dropped Concubine Meng by ep 5, because although it was funny, I REALLY wasn’t a fan of Jiro. The drama/plot itself wasn’t really holding me either.

    Also dropped Ashes of Love after 3 eps. Again, story is very simple? I hesitate to say childish, but that’s a vaguely accurate description of how I feel about it. Like, novels like Heavy Sweetness Ash-like Frost and Poison Consort (Yunxi Legend) work for me because they’re very shallow/surface-level and novels are very easy to skim and sort of skip ahead in. It doesn’t work at all with drama adaptations for me, even when they’re true to the novels because I’m just tired of having the fast-forward, and if the plot originally just isn’t addicting for me, watching it getting acted out onscreen makes it even less so (for me).

    Interestingly enough, I quite enjoy Yanxi Palace. Admittedly, I skipped 41 full eps in the middle (lol, I dropped it ep 8 and picked up again on ep 49), and this goes against everything I’ve said about Yumama (and how I still dislike him and have 0 respect for him as a human being), but Yanxi Palace is reasonably well done? I’m not a huge fan of Qing palace dramas anyways, so I don’t LOVE/ADORE this, but it’s entertaining enough, I rather like Wu Jin Yan, the older female actresses are GOOD, the plot moves fast, and generally speaking I love the style. The color palate is very muted and almost vintage/painting-like, the costume and hair styling (while apparently completely historically inaccurate for QianLong’s reign) are simple yet look beautiful and quality, the music is very awesome (very traditional, accurate, understated but on point, has the same feels as the entire style/theme). Most importantly, I love that overall I feel like it’s not really ONE character or ONE concubine taking up the whole show. While YinLuo/Ling Consort is clearly the main character with increasing amounts of screen time, the other concubines (at least quite a few of them) are rather well fleshed out, sometimes root-able/understandable, and until the end, Ling Consort isn’t like “the only one I love” for the emperor, who’s actually rather asshole-ishly-but-smart believable as an almighty emperor who regularly loves having like 500 concubines and 100% power.
    Idk, I definitely don’t love it, and scheming-plotwise it’s FULL of flaws and FAR from airtight or even particularly interesting, but everything else about it makes this pretty palatable/addicting for me. (That and even though it doesn’t work out, I’m 100% behind the FuHeng/YinLuo ship that sunk like ages ago.)

    Basically, with me being essentially not watching much except popping in to check out Yanxi at the end, I’ve been rewatching NiF2 (recently) and NiF 1 (last month) with vigor. Clearly everyone’s prob seen my takeover rants in the cbox, but by far NiF1+2 are still my star shows of all time and probably (to me) masterpieces that won’t be overtaken (maybe ever). Obviously not saying there aren’t just as quality dramas out there, but emotionally nothing else feels like it will ever come together as epically and feels-y as NiF (and to me, NiF2 as well).

    That’s me, signing out.

    Oh wait, also casually checking out The Dark Lord. It’s not anything new, by far, but I like the classic fantasy-RPG-wuxia adolescent drama feel with the budding hero, especially when it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. Because it’s not trying particularly hard, this gives me Chinese Paladin 3 feels, or even kind of like Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei? Lighthearted casual watch that’s, as AvenueX puts it, my Ikea-drama of the summer. Also Song Zu Er is freaking adorable.


  14. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    i have been watching this till ep 46 … still thumb’s up for me! i cried twice as of now… ep 45 – 46 is too hurt .. i cried the most.. I gave up Fuyao .. i gave up Yanzi palace, and i also gave up Ruyi.. the only drama i am still watching is THIS! seriously.. Deng Lun yet to fail me so far…

  15. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Legend of Fuyao – I enjoyed it up to ep. 30 or so. Then plot holes started to appear. Overall, it’s a good drama but the rushed ending kept it from being a great drama. Oh, and Lai Yi. 🙂

    Legend of Yunxi – the OTP draws you in but the rest of the cast bores the heck out of you. I started to fast forward a lot of the scenes that didn’t feature the OTP.

    Ashes of Love – I tried a few episodes but I just couldn’t get into Deng Lun. I’ve never seen him in anything before and am surprised that he’s the lead. Hm …I don’t find him attractive nor charismatic. Not that the male lead has to display both characteristics but it’s written that he’s the most handsome in all of the heavens. And then there’s the excessive green screen. It’s as if rainbows and unicorns will jump out of my screen.

  16. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    I’m watching Bloody Romance and I love it (Li Yi Tong is amazing !)

  17. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Bloody Romance!

    The Evolution of Our Love – I just finished this and ugh ITWY was so much better. They made the characters/relationships so unlikeable (Ai Ruo Man was essentially bullying Lu Fei, and don’t even get me started on Ding Yu Yang lol), dragged out the conflict, and *magically* resolved everyone’s issues in 1 episode? I was half-hoping for them to pull a twist and have ZRY’s character end up with single-mum love interest because their relationship seemed so much healthier/more equal. But no, of course not. Just… UGH

    Was planning on starting Yanxi or Rise of Phoenixes but I’ve seen mixed reviews on both (and it’s a lot of episodes to commit to) – not sure which people think is better?

    Yu Zui – In the midst of my indecision I doubled back and FINALLY started on Yu Zui (two years’ late!). It and BR together are quite the dose of excitement lmao, not good for my heart.

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      If you like palace drama, Yanxi would be a good watch!

  18. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Bloody Romance: Fav cdrama of the year so far. Some of the angst was heartbreaking, some of it was frustrating but it’s been an enjoyable watch. The cast interactions on weibo are cute! Hope there’s a happy ending for Wan Mei and Chang An, plus Gong Zi and Yue Ying.

    Ashes of Love: Dropped but easy to follow what’s happening from the promos (don’t think I’m missing out on much lol). Yang Zi is doing really well as Jin Mi. For Deng Lun, in the lighthearted scenes he and YZ are cute enough but once you get to the more serious scenes, I feel like something’s missing in his acting. Might start watching again now that it’s up to the main turning point of the story.

    刺客伍六七/Killer 7: Finished this earlier but some spin-off/back story episodes came out recently so I ended up rewatching this animated series. The story is about a guy with amnesia who can transform into anything and works as a hairdresser plus cheap assassin (but fails for various reasons). It’s hilarious and heartwarming with a Stephen Chow style humour. Some of the characters even speak Cantonese or with a Canto accent. Can’t wait for season two!

    The Rise of the Phoenixes: Up to episode 14 now. It’s a heavy drama with lots of dialogue so I am watching slowly. Chen Kun could tone down his acting a bit but overall I am enjoying the performances of the whole cast.

  19. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Ashes of Love was really good at first then it started deviating from the novel. Right now I am holding judgement until it ends. I am unhappy with all the changes since I liked the original book so much, but that is what happens in all adaptations.
    So far that is the only drama I am watching. I still like the otp and feel like YangZi and Deng Lun are doing a great job.

  20. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    – Ashes of Love. I talk about it so much in the chat box and might come across as annoying so many apologies in advance for that. Despite the angst, I have not given up on the OTP and now that we are finally at the turning point, there is no way I’d give up watching JinMi doing the chasing now. She has tortured him for so many episodes already, it’s about time. Acting-wise, I feel like they picked a good cast. Deng Lun is questionable for me sometimes, but he has such a great voice to listen to that sometimes I find myself rewatching some scenes where he talks in that low voice of his with JinMi. =P But really, what I look forward to the most is the BTS. He and Yang Zi are so funny.
    – Bloody Romance. The color palette of this series is absolutely gorgeous. Love the dark greens, reds, purples, everything. The story is something new so I appreciate that along with the chemistry between the two leads. Chang An does not have the most flattering looks but he makes it up with the acting.

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      I am really looking forward to both of these! Do you think any of these drag too much?

      I’m asking because I had put off Princess Agents because of all the bad reviews and finally got around to it (total binge-watcher so I like to wait until something is almost done airing or completely done before I start) and let me just say that it dragged so much! I had to hit that 10 sec FF so many times because there was just so much unnecessary, dragged out scenes (i.e. a whole minute of watching her walk up to the temple in the final few episodes)! That drives me bonkers!

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        Just want to let you know that people have been discussing there’s some PA-like politics going on with HSALF. Some fans of the lead OTP and screenwriters are not happy with how the second male lead has been getting more screen time than the main OTP. There’s more than 1 group involved in script-writing. Some people said halfway through PA, some concubine gets more screen time than the OTP. I only saw the first half of PA. I guess there was a concubine that had a lot of inexplicable screen time. I forgot about her until 3 minutes ago when I think back hard. Can’t conjure up the image of her face.

        Thanks to chasingpolaris, I’m intrigued by HSALF and have started skimming HSALF some. I’m piqued by the cheesy syrupy love involving the OTP. I wish the HSALF color palette is more muted. Kathy Chow’s acting here looks a bit off.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Yes, the colors in HSALF really bothered me at first. Too peachy, too pink. But then again, I rarely watch xianxia so I’m not sure what the common color palette is supposed to be like. I will say I love everyone’s costumes.

          Kathy Chow’s lips are very distracting when she speaks. Her exaggerated expressions remind me so much of Li Yixiao. I definitely don’t remember Kathy Chow being like this back when she was in TVB.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          It’s not just that it’s a pink palette, it’s electric pink mixed with electric magenta and e-lavender hues. I guess they are creative with colors.

          Chasingpolaris, Thank you for your HSALF comments. Do you notice how a lot of older TW, HK actors end up being major villains in C dramas these days? That older TW actor 金士杰 has been a major villain in Surgeons, PA and a number of movies. Ada Choi was also quite evil in Zhen Huan wasn’t she? Irene Wan in Across the Sea to See You. Charmaine Sheh in Yanxi. I think there are many others but I can’t recall that fast. I find KC’s lips here very distracting too. And they use dark red lipstick on her to exacerbate the situation. I think this is how she acts evil in this drama. It’s similar to Ian Wang Yan Lin’s acting. Except Ian smirks sideway more and he does that in many dramas. KC’s acting wasn’t like this in TVB dramas.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I guess the colors live up to the Heavy Sweetness part of the original title, haha.

          Perhaps they got tired of playing the same old Mary Sues that they did in TVB. Time for a change for something with more substance.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          We have lots in common, don’t we?
          Another HSALF actor that bugs me is the actor for PuChi Jun.
          Does Li Yixiao bother you more than Wang Ziwen? I remember you don’t like WZW much in OTJ. I’m mostly ok w WZW, like in When Snail Falls in Love. Unlike a lot of Wang Kai fans, I actually find WK a bit too stiff. Incl in Snail. I like WK in Suspect X movie.
          idk why directors direct LYX that same way in many dramas. Fortunately I didn’t like any recent dramas w LYX . Dugu, Closet Beauties, Fuyao. I’ve noticed she was kind of irritating in The Bund too. I’m not sure why Gao Xixi used her several times. Some producers like her perhaps?
          You don’t like thrillers much?
          We’re among the few who are anticipating Let’s Shake It 2. Still waiting for AYueXi’s Floating Dreams. Like you, I can’t remember the long title.
          Did you like Siege In Fog overall? I typed Fox at first. I decided to skip. I prefer HDJ in Wuxin and Sun Yi in Migratory Birds.
          Always nice chatting w you.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I just remember that the HSALF color palette reminds me of rainbow bubble gum! 😛 I think they also use e-turquoise, e-teal colors.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          It’s always nice chatting with you too!

          The actor who plays PuChi Jun does have an unnatural looking face to me.

          I like Wang Ziwen in certain roles, just not that annoying one in Ode to Joy. In retrospect, I think it has more to do with the character than the actress herself.

          My guess with LYX is that she’s friends with many directors and producers so they keep hiring her.

          Wang Kai was great in Disguisers and NIF, but I do have to say even as a fan that I didn’t find his projects after that to be impressive. Do you think it has to do with the roles he plays? Most of them seem stiff, like NIF and Snail.

          Thrillers are okay. If it has an interesting plot and a cast I like then I’ll check it out.

          An YueXi has a big presence on the screen despite being so petite. I just wish she doesn’t keep picking all the cutesy roles. And yes I’m missing Abu Chacha and Tang Qingfeng!

          Siege in Fog started to drag so I gave up.

          Haha, now that you’ve mentioned it, the colors do look like rainbow bubble gum. It’s more pleasing when they have scenes in the immortal world!

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I may have read once that LYX was trained in either dance or martial arts. That may explain why she gets roles in period dramas. Unsure why she also appears in non-period ones.

          WK was perfect in NIF. (A pity Prince Jing isn’t a very multi-dimensional character). I have a weird reaction to Disguiser. A bit OTT for me. JinDong being the among the top economist, J “consultant”. In leadership position w both CCP and KMT. It makes for good entertainment but that seems as likely as winning a $1 B powerball ticket twice. 🙂 The whole thing comes across to me as some hyped fiction.

          WK’s roles are not different enough from one drama to the next. His drama characters are a bit too much like his own personality too? And now with him getting older, he’s not going to have a chance to get playful, light or flirty roles. In OTJ interview or BTS, he did say he was a bit uneasy being playful or light. I can never tell if it’s the actor choice to do mostly role X. Or the directors keep offering the actor role X. Beyond the Suspect X movie, his most recent roles haven’t appealed to me.

          I see. Genre-wise, I try to be a bit open-minded. Like when taking a vacation. I want to see the local best. “Eat the best or better local dishes available, rather than insisting on having the local rendition of my fav dishes at home while I’m on vacation elsewhere.”

          An Yuexi seems to shine the brightest w cutesy roles. idk how or what she’d do when she looks older. AYX, Yu Menglong etc are around Zhu Yilong’s age but ZYL has a more mature aura. Mature enough to be college professor Shen Wei. AYX doesn’t give out a research professor vibe. Your visage determines a lot of your fate, don’t you think?

          HSALF’s flower realm landscape scenes are the most bubblegum palette inspired. Did you see side-by-side pic of YuMa’s Wallace Huo’s Linghucong’s colorful outfit vs a parrot? There was a string of these back then for the whole Smiling Proud Wanderer cast. It was hilarious back then.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Hmm if that’s the case I’d rather see her as a dancer than an annoying character.

          With Disguiser, I think having someone like Hu Ge who is a good actor and already famous from his previous works contributed to the success. The chemistry between the siblings was also a selling point. I can’t say I enjoyed the story or Disguiser but I think the production company successfully hooked some of the younger audience members. Maybe it’s a commercial success?

          WK has a lot more freedom choosing his projects now. Actually, after he starred in that Chinese version of Ugly Betty, he was repeatedly offered similar roles and he turned them down as he didn’t want to be typecasted. These days, though, I think the quality of scripts have sunk to a new low so perhaps it’s hard on the actors to choose something that appeals to them that is not the same type of characters they’ve played before. Audiences just love a certain formula for leading characters, right?

          With so many series these days, I tend to read reviews and/or watch fan videos before deciding if I should start one.

          AYX has a baby face which will put her in a disadvantage since she’ll most likely be offered the same type of roles. I hope she’ll come across a challenge someday so we can see her in a different light. ZYL reminds me of a young Tony Leung. Their auras are similar.

          I haven’t seen that parrot pic but it sounds hilarious.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          it’s not just scriptwriting either. You can tell by the way they re-make Youth aka Age of Youth. It’s not that C doesn’t have any college students. They remake another country’s college life-drama just bc they think they can earn more money from remaking a known, previously-liked drama. The same thing can be said about many sequels. The acting etc in Youth don’t look bad, but I’d rather watch other things first. They put biz calculations ahead of everything. I’d rather watch a drama where the producers etc have their own good story that they want to put forward. And try their best to turn that story into a compelling drama. I also dislike producers & directors who have no respect for their own work and just keep editing/stretching their dramas longer just to get more money. Why would audiences bother watching if the directors don’t even care enough to make up his mind which version is the best version for his own drama? Some directors are way too “flexible”. I hear that’s why Tribes & Empires look bad. The directors make the drama a lot longer to recoup shooting costs.

          The average script may not be a lot worse than before. It seemed like a few years ago there were a lot of dogblood dramas like
          锁清秋, 如意 (my BFF rofl at the baby throwing scene in the trailer), 大丫鬟, 被遗弃的秘密, 国色天香, 重生門, 菩提树下. A number of dramas w 刘恺威, 何晟铭 from that era. Even Wallace Huo’s 胭脂雪, 新一剪梅 w 吕一. Was the early 2010s/late 2000s a really dog blood-script era? Or was I just super unlucky to come across those names? I didn’t watch most of these dramas. And there are lots of those Republican gun-heavy dogblood dramas too.

          But I very much agree that currently there is an insatiable appetite for the same drama plots. Typically beautiful, well-dressed Mary Sues with Prince or CEO Gary and a few backup Gary’s. lol.

          When I saw ZYL in Border Town P, ZYL didn’t remind me of T Leung at all, but I was constantly reminded of TL when I saw ZYL’s Shen Wei. A lot of people say especially from the eyes down. ZYL’s facial feature looked more “angular” in BTP and 情定三生. A lot less so in Guardian. Shen Wei is also a bit of a quiet and calm introvert, which kind of describes TL too. I’m not as sure whether it’s Shen Wei or ZYL that exudes a thick TL aura.

          I’m not aware of WK’s Ugly Betty. Was it any good? His portion of Green Hills isn’t bad. But it does seem like Jin Chen gets a broader spectrum of roles than WK, despite JC seems to have had less industry experience.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I wish producers would focus more on choosing a solid cast and a good script rather than spending a fortune on sets and other superfluous items. And really, there is no need to stretch a story. If it’s a good drama, people will notice and talk about it. It makes my blood boil when I learn of how much they budgeted on certain things when the story isn’t even well-written.

          The number of dogblood dramas have died down. Or at least that’s what it seems like to me.

          I think ZYL himself has the TL aura. Especially when he smiles. I remember seeing an older photo of him that I assumed it was TL when I took a quick glance.

          I didn’t watch WK’s Ugly Betty, have only seen a short clip of it somewhere. The role made him uncomfortable if I can recall from an interview.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I know. I get wary when I see those pre-broadcast vids that emphasize how many sets of costumes, hairpins, embroidery, props they use. Which do you think are biggest recent disappointments? Despite having some decent actor names, I haven’t started watching Secrets of 3 kingdoms. The last thing TangRen did I watched was Wuxin S1. So3K showed a lot of robe pics derived painstakingly from ancient museum artifacts before broadcast.

          That’s why I mentioned in chatbox how little the scriptwriters’ pay is compared to many other things. The rest is almost like putting the lipstick on the pig, isn’t it?

          i feel as if you, Skibbies and I need to work on a machine learning program to cut off unnecessarily long dramas into something more reasonable. lol Why didn’t Love 020 characters do that?

          Actually, I’m hopeful to read this part
          from an article titled
          on baike baidu. Googling the title will show the link to the entire article.

          I quite like 代旭’s slow descend into pure evil in 《无证之罪》. I didn’t expect that from ep 1 or 2. The acting is quite good overall.
          These aforementioned drama plots aren’t perfect, but they are quite a bit better than the average. And they are a lot shorter than average too.

          Isn’t it obvious directors producers are aiming for mostly for max profits once they put in AB or whoever is the flavor of the month in celeb variety show in their “quality drama production”?

          The boasting of total # of views is another pitfall. It compels some to cheat with (inflated) rating numbers and also boost the number of episodes.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Most of what I’ve managed to watch in Cdrama land are disappointments or they don’t draw me in. I feel like they could take some lessons from Jdramas where they manage to make everything look beautiful and classy but the focus is still on the story and development of characters. Instead I see Mary Sues who are supposed to be poor sport designer handbags. You don’t have to dress poor but the logic of carrying a designer bag when you’re supposedly stressed out about paying bills isn’t quite convincing in a drama series. Maybe that’s just me?

          Perhaps, you, Skibbles and I should just form a committee where we watch the series and determine where it should have ended before it gets broadcasted. I recently felt that way while watching Janine Chang’s drama with Zhang Han. I stopped at ep 28 because they reunited at that point and there was really no need to add all that extra stuff. 28 is already quite long!

          I’ve never heard of 无证之罪 . I should check it out sometime.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          It may have started from K drama? But if you read Viki comments at all, or watch c dramas w Eng subs with friends. You’d notice many, maybe even he majority of, viewers want to see beautiful people in glamorous clothes.. kissing. And C drama gods just aim to please.

          My c drama BFF complains a lot about the abundant Gucci coats, bags in YM’s Interpreter. I forgot other brands. Louis Vuitton… It started before that. It is ridiculous. Even YM’s purple skort set was Gucci. She’s probably the number 1 example for your last point. Back then, they listed all her major outfits and brands in Interpreters. The only cheap one was a Uniqlo white shirt or something for when she worked at the wine cellar. The rest of her wine cellar outfits were designer brands.
          But that’s why she needed to date HX in the drama. lol. Help pay for Gucci.

          I have learned to avoid ZH. His 1 drama that was worth my time is Queen of SOP. Joe Chen was not bad in that one. Likeable even. Unusual, considering her other C dramas. He has been cited as idol actor with facial paralysis a few times.

          Among recent dramas, Mad House, is above average. The leads are not very experienced but the supporting cast is good.
          Suddenly This Summer is ok. I’ve only watched a few eps. The FL looks genuinely young, so it helps with the ML being a bit old for the role. I didn’t like Bai Yu in Memory Lost, Grow Up. Many actors attended school and became actors right after. Other than being student or actor, they haven’t done other jobs. It shows YR, BY never worked as cops. They looked like idols in Memory Lost. I stopped watching ML. Fortunately, all actors had been students. So school dramas have better acting than some other genres. Esp if the directors didn’t botch it.

          Things like Accidentally In Love. I only watched a bit. idk. Despite the FL’s charm, I do find too many cdrama FLs are a bit too loud, squeaky, or screamy. A bit too much like fictitious manga characters in books. That reminds me, as I was reviewing j travel vids, I saw an Amer expat vid that warned his subscribers who practically all wanted to move to J a few things. 1 of the general issues was that he found female chars in media are all inferior to lead male ones. Being slow is cute. Being smart will get you in the “anti-cute” territory. Shunned from social circles. So a lot of women want to act younger than their age. Some apply funny voices. For Western males, they find JFLs a major minus. But maybe there are (plenty of?) exceptions? I think they get bothered bc it exacerbates the reality for them? idk if this is related to some CFLs sounding & acting very cutesy. How are you with J-cutesy?

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I took a brief look back into YM’s Interpreting brands. A lot of Chanel, Gucci, Marc Jacobs. Maybe Givenchy too.

          ZH in Boss & Me was very well-rounded in brand names from cars (Ashton Martin, Bentley, Benz…), accessories (Vertu cell phones in 5 digit prices in USD, designer rings, fashion walking sticks) to clothes. They researched the brand names quite extensively.

          In Interpreters, a lot of people pointed out quickly that YM HX were doing French interpreting work in Zurich, a German-speaking city of Switzerland. It doesn’t make sense. I think eventually they did take a quick shot of Lausanne. Place de la Palud. At least they speak French there.

          Some C dramas really spend a lot more work researching fashion brands than subject matter. ZH seemed to like roles in contemporary dramas where he gets to wear brand name outfits.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I don’t watch anything with English subs so I miss out on those comments. No Kdramas for me either. But every now and then I catch a glimpse of a Kdrama my family is watching and the leads are always impeccably dressed, so I guess I’m not surprised. Don’t you also feel that a lot of the modern Cdramas, specifically romance ones, is a mishmash of Kdramas? Well, Kdramas back when I watched them in the early 2000s to 2009 or so.
          Ah yes, I remember there was a discussion about YM’s wardrobe in Interpreters either here or on weibo. It’s wild that they think people can’t recognize designer stuff especially since many Chinese these days also buy from the same brands.
          A few of my friends who live in Europe were confused when they heard YM speaking French instead of German in that series. It was such a lazy move by the production team.
          Zhang Han seems to have switched to being a producer these days. He has a new series with Kang Qingzi.
          My perspective on Bai Yu changed after Guardian (I didn’t finish this either, despite it being uber popular). He has come a long way since Grow Up.
          I avoided Memory Lost solely because I didn’t like the book.
          J-cutesy seems to be quite common. It’s been the center of a lot of discussions with my friends. Their society is still quite patriarchal. Women are given advantages, like evidenced in sporty game shows where women are allowed to perform at a lower level than men. What they think as chivalrous behavior sometimes comes off as condescending to someone who didn’t grow up in that culture. But for women over there, some of them seem to take advantage of this and they know very well that if they act cute and younger, they will be treated better. It’s quite sad.

          I have learned to avoid ZH. His 1 drama that was worth my time is Queen of SOP. Joe Chen was not bad in that one. Likeable even. Unusual, considering her other C dramas. He has been cited as idol actor with facial paralysis a few times.
          Among recent dramas, Mad House, is above average. The leads are not very experienced but the supporting cast is good.
          Suddenly This Summer is ok. I’ve only watched a few eps. The FL looks genuinely young, so it helps with the ML being a bit old for the role. I didn’t like Bai Yu in Memory Lost, Grow Up. Many actors attended school and became actors right after. Other than being student or actor, they haven’t done other jobs. It shows YR, BY never worked as cops. They looked like idols in Memory Lost. I stopped watching ML. Fortunately, all actors had been students. So school dramas have better acting than some other genres. Esp if the directors didn’t botch it.
          Things like Accidentally In Love. I only watched a bit. idk. Despite the FL’s charm, I do find too many cdrama FLs are a bit too loud, squeaky, or screamy. A bit too much like fictitious manga characters in books. That reminds me, as I was reviewing j travel vids, I saw an Amer expat vid that warned his subscribers who practically all wanted to move to J a few things. 1 of the general issues was that he found female chars in media are all inferior to lead male ones. Being slow is cute. Being smart will get you in the “anti-cute” territory. Shunned from social circles. So a lot of women want to act younger than their age. Some apply funny voices. For Western males, they find JFLs a major minus. But maybe there are (plenty of?) exceptions? I think they get bothered bc it exacerbates the reality for them? idk if this is related to some CFLs sounding & acting very cutesy. How are you with J-cutesy?

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I don’t watch anything with English subs so I miss out on those comments. No Kdramas for me either. But every now and then I catch a glimpse of a Kdrama my family is watching and the leads are always impeccably dressed, so I guess I’m not surprised. Don’t you also feel that a lot of the modern Cdramas, specifically romance ones, is a mishmash of Kdramas? Well, Kdramas back when I watched them in the early 2000s to 2009 or so.
          Ah yes, I remember there was a discussion about YM’s wardrobe in Interpreters either here or on weibo. It’s wild that they think people can’t recognize designer stuff especially since many Chinese these days also buy from the same brands.
          A few of my friends who live in Europe were confused when they heard YM speaking French instead of German in that series. It was such a lazy move by the production team.
          Zhang Han seems to have switched to being a producer these days. He has a new series with Kang Qingzi.
          My perspective on Bai Yu changed after Guardian (I didn’t finish this either, despite it being uber popular). He has come a long way since Grow Up.
          I avoided Memory Lost solely because I didn’t like the book.
          J-cutesy seems to be quite common. It’s been the center of a lot of discussions with my friends. Their society is still quite patriarchal. Women are given advantages, like evidenced in sporty game shows where women are allowed to perform at a lower level than men. What they think as chivalrous behavior sometimes comes off as condescending to someone who didn’t grow up in that culture. But for women over there, some of them seem to take advantage of this and they know very well that if they act cute and younger, they will be treated better. It’s quite sad.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I think the majority of C dramas just do a MeToo drama. I’ve only watched 25 hours of K dramas in my lifetime, but cdramas like to copy what worked in Tw, HK, K dramas…(?)
          They are too good with profit calculations. They know if they make this drama and they should make money if the budget is low enough. Just put in a few standard formulas from the last 5 dramas that were big hits. And just change the OTP.

          That’s why I like supporting & watching dramas where the directors seem to try to be more than just a MeToo drama.
          《你好,旧时光》《无证之罪》导演)、《河神) were all pretty good. The last one was a bit weird in parts with its “zombies”. One of the FLs isn’t consistently good, but the drama does have its novelty and charms. Mad house is a bit like these 3 too. It’s not some combo-meal made out of K and Tw dramas.
          《你好,旧时光》has very good acting direction. Plot has a few minor inconsistencies. I think《你好,旧时光》has better acting direction than Suddenly This Summer. Some STS supporting actresses are only ok.

          Most of the names above are much better made than most Zhu Yilong dramas.

          Float Like a Dream is just average. Several badly written characters. Several actors are quite poor. Like the ones for Xu Xingcheng and Luo Cheng’s characters. The director should have done more work on them. The actor who plays An Yuexi’s “brother” is sometimes quite bad when he does his wide-eyed acting.

          I have only watched 2-3 eps of Eagles & Youngsters. But it looks better than average.

          I think one indication of drama quality is the supporting actors. They use a few of reasonably good older actors in E&Y.

          Some directors, writers, producers aren’t particularly spectacular. So they don’t aim high. As long as they can pay their mortgage and feed the family. ;- D

          Typically, the “better”, more serious C productions are not in the romance genre. Though there are some OK to above-average ones in the romance genre.

          For romance, the last decent one may be “Nothing Gold Can Stay”. My drama BFF dislikes Peter Ho and I’m still not fond of Myolie Wu. So I didn’t watch much of it.

          I’m afraid of watching J dramas partly bc I’m afraid I’ll get put off by J-cutesy overdose. Sometimes I think it’s already getting close with c dramas like Accidentally In Love. I’m not too crazy w dramas that feature cutesy girls with funny voices or with characters fully clad in designer clothes. A bit too … shallow..?

          Thanks for your tips on Luo Yunxi. He’s not too bad in HSALF. Did you see him in Fox… Screen…? Huang Junjie in The Big Boss doesn’t look as cringe-y as in Fox… Screen.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I agree w you. Memory Lost’s plot is poor. I was skeptical when I read double-amnesia in drama synopsis, but gave the drama a try bc it was a dry drama month. There were illogical plot holes & inconsistencies surrounding the double-amnesia and other themes.

          I thought that was the most plot-hole ridden Ding Mo TV adaptation.
          I want to make sure TV adaptation isn’t botched first before I read a C novel. I’m a slow reader. Certainly not reading that novel after that drama. Which are your fav novels & authors?

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        The pace at the beginning for HSALF is quite fast and I think it only starts to drag a bit towards the later episodes. Bloody Romance is not draggy at all. I feel like they really don’t waste too much time, but there aren’t that many side characters like HSALF so the story moves along fluidly.

  21. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    (hi i’m kind of new, i think i’ve poked around the site around when NiF was airing but never posted and I needed to ramble about Rise of Phoenixes and other cdramas so here I am) I’ve stalled Ashes of Love at ep 7 and staring at the long episode count, Stalled Fuyao at ep 24 but I do think the palace segments are funny, better than the tournament arc. That arc was technically fine by itself, but dragged on for bit too long and made Pei Yue too one dimensional, pls let female antagonist have depth (well she got a bit in ep 23 I guess). I was not a huge fan of the two lead’s casting but I like both actors(‘ face) enough to watch it, they aren’t Wuji and Fuyao but I dealt with it okay I guess. Liu Yi Jun’s Qi Zhen is fucking ace though. I will eventually pick it up when I remember how multitasking works again.

    I’m in the middle of The Rise of Phoenixes but I’ve been catching it on TV and keep missing episodes, also the editing is apparently subpar according to Douban so I need to watch bunch of episodes to really say where I’m up to. I think initial 10 episode can be hard to engage if you don’t care about politics? There’s fun bits here and there (bits that involve Feng Zhi Wei/female lead usually) but it’s lots of politics, it’s not particularly fantastic scheming either, but it’s decent, and when I only see decent political scheming once a year, I’ll take it. The pace isn’t slow per se, it packs a lot of information into the show, it’s just not shown in a way that might hook you, maybe it’s Hunan TV’s editing, I’ll come back once I’m done with catch up on DVD ver. (It hooked me but I loved the book enough to buy it so I would have watched this show for acting and production value and seeing how they adapt it alone)

    The book is more depressing in tone because both Zhi Wei and Ning Yi aren’t really happy people, they carry a lot on their shoulders, and they are both cunning, black-bellied and ruthless and the story is about them repeatedly testing and outsmarting each other. Hell, the first meeting (which the drama changed! I know why but so sad!!) was *spoilers*Ning Yi stubmling into Zhi Wei murdering someone. That’s hell of a first impression for a book and the two characters! I think it’s fine they give Zhi Wei more time to grow as a character but first impression of her was a little too “bumbling fool”, it’s getting better since circumstances is forcing her to be more cautious and consider things (also because they are now back to book plot.

    My family watch bits of them with me and my mum couldn’t get into it because “the crown prince is ugly and he keeps popping up.” (LMAO rude but also true.) Can I also complain about all the moustaches? None of the characters are particularly young, but who decide to put all these moustaches on the princes? Why is the second prince the youngest looking one? What else, mhmm Gu Nan Yi is definitely different since he talks more but I think they kept the soul of the character well enough? I’m surprised how much of the plot they kept, considering they said they only kept the frame work and it’s 90% different from the book. I’d say it’s 60% different from the book tbh? Compared to Fuyao’s 50% (yes I just pulled the % out randomly)

    In the middle of Madhouse, a Youku webdrama that have like no marketing budget. It’s a thriller/mystery drama about some guy looking for a patient who turns out to be in a mental institute, so he pretends to be an intern to get in. The episodes are two episode arc based about some kind of supernatural phenomenal that’s caused by some kind of character drama. It’s one of those hard to find genre in cdrama because it hits close-ish to superstition that’s strictly forbidden and it’s hard show to write. There’s no subs at the moment which skfhskdfjsf I WANT TO SHOW IT TO MY FRIENDS skhfskdjskd. p.s. also the director is newly married to NiF’s director’s daughter so there’s fair amount of supporting & guest roles & crew are people who worked with Daylight Entertainment. (e.g. photography is by one of the NiF2 cameraman, post-production is by director’s wife who did post production for NiF I & II, Candle in the Tomb, Ode to Joy)

    I’ve been sitting on Duan Nao/Die Now for like months, a Sohu webdrama, I watched the dong hua awhile ago and it’s terribly paced but the drama is paced pretty well. THIS HAS SUBS. COME. WATCH IT. It’s about a college kid whose girlfriend went missing and he ends up being caught in bunch of death games that range from escape room games to battle royale. I love these kind of stories, the closest thing is Liar Game?

    To round off, I watched this awhile ago but I loved it so goddamn much and I don’t think it even has a first impression post here due to it being a iQiyi webdrama. My Huckleberry Friends, it’s a youth drama that focus on about 10 kids. It’s a realistic-ish drama set in early-mid 00s and everyone are so damn precious and painfully real and good god, THIS is how you adapt a web novel, not page by page but sticking to the soul and adapting to the medium. It’s currently my second favourite cdrama after Nirvana in Fire, that’s how much I love it 🙂 I watched With You, the drama set in the same school, produced by the same team for Liu Hao Ran first, it was very cute but I didn’t really care for the main couple, the drama original second lead was too distracting and the ending too rushed for me to be in love with it so rip. (I didn’t love the book much either but it’s relateable story)

    People who want shorter cdramas, come look at my webdramas! I think the three I mentioned are 24 (12 ep/season), 20 (?), 30 episodes. Watch them and tell me if you liked them please!!

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      I enjoyed reading your post, Skibbies.
      I overlap with a few of your favorites. I have only skimmed through the first episode of Die Now. I may watch it later if I have time. Same with Madhouse.

      Still at ep 9 of R of Phoenixes but liking it so far. I may be able to watch this one without skipping until the end.

      I finished watching and liked Tientsin Mystic, MH Friends, Surgeons (I would have liked the characters to be a bit less black and white. The main OTP is a bit too didactic for me).

      I skimmed through 2 hours of Fuyao, but I don’t really like Ethan Ruan in Fuyao and only lukewarm with the lead character Fuyao. Far too many eps and too Mary Sue for me. I actually like Yunxi better. But I mostly enjoy watching Yunxi’s OTP and skipped other scenes a lot. And still haven’t finished watching it.

      I finished Guardian (Guilty pleasure. I like Zhu Yilong’s acting out his multiple characters best).
      I’m tempted to watch Ashes of Love/HSALF. I wish they have invested in better OST. I dislike the ending OST. The HSALF opening OST also sounds too much like some of the OSTs from White Snake, Glory of the Tang Dynasty.

      Drama not on your list that I like is Burning Ice. I like the acting. The plot is also not the usual drama tropes.

      I like that most of these dramas don’t have long scenes with petty, backstabbing women.

      ____Eh Kappy, Did you ever watch Siege in Fog? You said you might watch it before but I didn’t know whether you actually did. What was the last 3 C dramas you watched? I didn’t watch SIF.

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        No, I never got the chance. I have a list of dramas I want to watch. T___T Just a lot going on in real life that I haven’t gotten the chance to settle down and immerse in a drama.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I see. I was in Boston for a few days earlier this year and wondered if you needed free piano lessons or something. But I wasn’t feeling well the day after I arrived, and ended up mostly just stayed in in Boston. I did get to see blooming cherry blossoms (also magnolias and tulips). And no crowd. I was so happy about that. That was my first time seeing these plants flowering in Boston.

          I don’t think SIF needs to be high on your list. I watched a few random eps. I think Wuxin and Migratory Birds better made. SIF’s drama gods are a bit too commercially minded. SIF didn’t come out too well overall. Though they tried to milk lots out of MB too and had 1-2 whole episodes of flashbacks at the end.

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        Surgeons’s supporting characters were more compelling I think? The director and deputy director (??) of the hospital were more multi-dimensional than I expected, the main characters were more…tropey-ish, they had depth but they were predictable depth. Though I liked that drama for decent medical drama (high heels not withstanding) and competent female characters, some character development and what not. Jin Dong’s character was bit too static, and the romance was reserved (I liked it that way tbh).

        Fuyao book was even more sue-ish I think, so they sort of did a good job adapting it but the first arc took far far long. I don’t think you are losing anything by skipping it, and Ethan can definitely come off looking sleazy.

        Guardian I think I’ll just read the book, eventually, because I don’t think I can sit through the terrible plot for the actors alone. LOL. Thanks for mentioning Burning Ice! I was eyeing it, and filed it for after Black & White I think. I always feel like I have to be brace myself for serious dramas (and long dramas, so most good dramas), but Burning Ice is super short so maybe I’ll finish it pretty easily.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Sorry this will repeat my post to Chasingpolaris above. (My has not yet appeared at this time).

          Other than Daylight Entertainment that produced NIF, another production group worth looking out for is this one.
          Search for this article title on the baike baidu website. ” 《匆匆那年》《最好的我们》的小糖人,代表剧集生产的变革可能性 ” This firm is related to a few dramas that you like.

          Some companies just take their work more seriously. Interested in and take more pride in producing a good drama rather than just using drama production as a pure money-making vehicle. Produce max financial profit using the minimum cost.

          I haven’t seen much Die Now. I do have slight doubt after watching some of ep 1. But it typically takes at least 4-5 eps to make up my mind.

          I do like a few of iQiyi dramas. There’s a pattern to some of the quality dramas. iQiyi is a Baidu spinoff. Baidu, Alibaba (and Tencent too maybe) are more serious firms with international reach. They are more capable of producing quality dramas.

          Unfortunately some of these works are hard to find. I haven’t been able to find “Tea Pets” from Alibaba Pictures. I like their previous animated film, “Door Gods”. T Pets only showed at the Seattle Film Fest when I searched for it.

          I also look a bit into Wu Xiubo’s more recent productions. He seems to care more about his drama scripts than the average actor/producer.

          fyi I didn’t like Black & White much. It’s better if you’re Taiwanese. Vic Zhou isn’t well suited for the action genre. Though he didn’t have to do much action, and the actors get better in later eps. TW isn’t so great with action sequences in general. It’s no match for Johnnie To. (There are exceptions. Like Ang Lee is a great director). Canto actors like William Chan, Bosco Wong … usually do a better job with action sequences. William Chan’s acting is not great but he showed a lot of improvement in Only Side by Side with You (I don’t recommend this drama. I didn’t finish it). I didn’t like Kingone Wang in B&White either. If you’re a fan, that would help you like B&W.

          C actors and actresses with dance training also do action sequences better than the actors in B&W. An Yuexi, Yuan Quan (Last Tycoon, some of the director Benny Chan movies), Huang Xuan.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I agree with you on Surgeons too on the supporting characters. Other than the ones you mentioned, I like Lan Yingying’s nurse a lot too. I don’t think every character needs to be a super Mary Sue or Gary. Even a supporting character can shine with a good script, acting, direction.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I’ve watched 最好的我们 and 匆匆那年, they are decent, though Back in Time second half makes me want to throw it in the bin. I’m too in love with My Huckleberry Friends to touch youth dramas for a pretty long time I think.

          Die Now spends quite a bit establishing protag and his girlfriend’s relationship iirc, and it feels like an entirely different drama lol.

          I haven’t actually seen any of Wu Xiubo’s dramas tbh, I should fix that. I have a pile of long period dramas in backlog though oops.

          Dammit I misrememered title, not Black & White, which I did consider watching around the time it was airing, so thanks for the mini review! I meant Day & Night 白夜追凶. I generally poke around Douban and limit it to cdramas then sort by recent and look for 7+ dramas and see what looks interesting, it works pretty well for me especially for smaller productions like web dramas.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I didn’t watch much of 《匆匆那年》at all. Not sure I like Yang Le, He Hong Shan. I’m currently barely neutral on them.

          And I just skimmed through With You. I often dislike dramas with slow-thinking lead girls acting cutesy. I feel like there are too many such dramas already. They call them 白傻甜 or something?

          I’m looking forward to see how the future productions from this firm will look like.

          I was at a bookstore this week and surprised to see they already have DVDs for Mad House S2.

          Wu Xiubo’s recent dramas have pretty good supporting cast. Yu He Wei’s recent Cao Cao was half-mesmerizing to watch. I was bored by YHW’s Liu Bei in 2010’s 3 Kingdoms. It was fun to watch Li Chen’s Cao Pi too. CP was captured by a small minded, evil guy with one eye. CP says “一目了然” to this evil torturer’s face and laughs at the torturer while winking at him to taunt this evil guy. That Cao Pi has character. But AA is a very long drama.

          I didn’t watch Day & Night. Somehow my mind kept wandering off when I tried to watch it. lol

          I esp like your earlier description for Mad House. I didn’t know anything beyond the episodes.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          That’s probably for the best, Yang Le looked so much older than the rest of the cast so he stuck out like a sore thumb in the high school scenes. He Hong Shan’s eyes distracted me quite a bit lol and their characters were timid shy girl + popular charming guy (who came across like an asshole in the drama tbh).

          傻白甜!Her character is closer to a plain normal girl than that, but I’m not huge on regular girl + two popular guys love triangle, the drama got a lot of details right and the supporting characters was great, and the main characters’ performance were great, the premise just didn’t really work for me. IDK if she’s really slow, more unsure of herself and they can’t really date so. Everyone looked really cute in it though. I like my protags to be smart or quirky or something.

          hahahha Madhouse DVD? I guess someone ripped it and mass produced it, it’s technically still airing too lol.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I liked the 2 young male leads in With You.

          I saw Tang Song Yun in Tornado Girl (a boring drama) first. That was a very cutesy-bumbling female role. It was difficult to watch WY after that. A year after that, dramas are pouring out everywhere. Now it’s hard to find the motivation to go back and watch it completely.

          M Huckleberry F has a much more natural feel to the entire story development I think.

          In many C dramas, the female leads pale in comparison to the male leads. Making the whole drama experience less enjoyable. Young leads are actually nicer to watch. Less melo. The older female leads sometimes go through periods where they get hysterical, embroiled in deep misunderstanding and stab their CP etc. So melodramatic.

          I’m not sure what to think of Wu Xiubo’s next drama w ABaby though. It’s almost funny that Chen Daoming supposedly withdrew after AB signed up with this project. Sounds like this is airing this month.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I watched With You first for Liu Hao Ran so I was mostly pleasantly surprised. My Huckleberry Friends is definitely the better of the two dramas, the production team had more experience and the book was better (but I’m hella biased on premise alone, personal coming of age/ode to childhood would top high school memories largely filled with unrequited love musing so.)

          Writers either don’t know how to write female characters, forget to, or just stick them into tropes. I prefer watching female protag stories because there’s highly likelihood of well written female characters but there’s just…not that many that’s not…fluff. I can’t handle too much misunderstanding these days either, I need my characters to communicate!

          Oh god rip Wu Xiubo, I don’t think I can watch anything with Angelababy.I almost watched The General and I for Wallace Chung but it was heavily photoshopped iirc and just got lot of bad reviews. It’s for the best because I read the web novel not too long ago and it was lot of misunderstanding + love > everything else, I almost stopped reading it multiple times 🙂

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          WC dramas need approached carefully these days I suspect.

          After My Sunshine (not exactly my fav but ok), Imminent Crisis. W Chung has been in a long string of peculiar dramas. Either his role or his CP’s role is really melo. General & I, Memories of Love w Jiang Shuying, All Out of Love.

          His latest one, AOoL, has this description in cfensi. ” Melodrama that features a wishy-washy female lead and two male leads who take turns suffering from terminal illnesses. ” And 72 eps!!!

          As WC is in his 40s, his age limits him from some roles. He may be cornered into specialty roles these days.

          I disliked both the General and the “I” in G&I. The title may as well be “All About Mary and Gary.” lol
          Some people just write about their own idealized alter ego and elevate it to a whole new level.

          I already really disliked the scriptwriters who sent Yang Mi and her mom to the hospital for surgery one at a time in les interprètes. This AOOL will try to do one better and do a double-terminal disease. Geez.

          I hope WXB is not following WC’s footsteps. Or going down other slippery slopes.
          I don’t want to be biased, but a lot of celebs who are very active on reality shows tend not to be in good dramas. AB, Li Yifeng, EXO, Luhan etc. WXB is getting more active in singing shows.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I watched 1 episode of Mr Sunshine and backed out because the Wallace’s dubber really irked me + it started with love triangle. I thought I’d eventually go back but 40 episode for 120k characters novel is definition of stretching it and then I realised the plot itself irked me a lot too. Imminent Crisis I liked a lot, despite the sometimes laughable schemes and terrible cheesy romance, worth it for his performance! I think in my backlog is 来不及说我爱你(?)which is probably a melo so it’s hard to find motivation to pick it up and 六月围城 which is…long serious drama about something i’m not super interested in. Like you said, his more recent dramas are just ?_____? what are you doing, pal? That goes for a lot of actors though.

          Terminal illness are so last century melo!! I could just watch the classics! You seem to watch so much more cdramas than me! I think I watch like 5 or 10 cdramas per year or smth.

          WXB have wider range (in terms of roles) than WC I think.
          I think cnetizen call those 流量?Younger and more idol-y, they tend to have large online presence and steady fanbase which is how they get cast in things, since they bring in guaranteed money and buzz, but doesn’t have enough acting chops to have really reel in people that doesn’t run in fandom. I don’t think I ever watched any of the people you listed lol.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I didn’t watch these all. Imm Cris may be the only WC drama I watched 100% of. Watched about 3 hours of 4 of his other dramas. I watch maybe 10-13 cdramas a year. These days I skim about 40+ dramas a year. Dropping >60% of them after 3 hours.

          I’m surprised 10月围城 has high Douban score. It looked weird when I skimmed. I liked Nicholas Tse’s acting in the movie version.

          In retrospect, I made the mistake of trying to watch some Mary Sue dramas w Liu Shishi, Zhao Liying… that others really liked in the past. There were always a lot of enthusiastic fan talks while they were broadcasting. I rarely ever liked them. I’m glad there are less-Mary dramas the last couple of years. These days I skip all Dilraba, Sheng Yilun, Zheng Kai, Hu Bingqing, Ma Ke, Qiao Zhenyu, Raymond Lam, Guan Xiaotong, Zhang Yunlong, Zhang Rui, Li Sheng, Zhang Han …. dramas. lol. I only watched Dilraba once (and I started from ep 7) and that was enough. I quit even sooner with AB. Actors like Deng Lun, I usually limit to one drama per 1-3 years. Zheng Shuang, Feng Shaofeng once in 10 years. lol.

          Fortunately I never touched Luhan, Bea Hayden, Ouyang Nana … ones.

          I hope slice of life drama will become more popular. Few people talk about them.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I’ve somehow not learnt the power of the skip button or 2x speed, I just multitask while watching a drama and have completionist tendency, so I’m terrified of long dramas, so I just rarely start them.

          Oh dammit I misremembered its name, lol. I think the score is because it’s a serious story (compared to fluff piece or 抗日神剧) and the characters aren’t too dumb? Also not many people rated it, so I’m guessing there’s fair amount of Wallace fans rating it too, skewing it higher?

          Liu Shishi I’ve still only seen in Chinese Paladin 3 hahahha because I dropped BBJX really early on (I have strong aversion to melo and I KNOW everyone’s fate is suffering. I went to watch Gong with Yang Mi instead, which was a terrible terrible mistake and eventually forced myself to drop it.) Zhao Liying I still haven’t seen a drama of because…Journey of Flower didn’t seem like my thing, and Princess Agents I just refused to watch because the novel was plagiarised (and the drama second half crashed and burned anyways apparently). Did you watch the Boss and I or something? hahaha, I wanted to watch that because I liked Love O2O (despite Zheng Shuang), but uh, another novel that was extended/dragged out as a drama.

          Dilraba I saw bits of Piao Liang de Li Hui Zhen/She was Pretty adaptation, but the scriptwriters made her too dumb so I was like like LOL bye, the original didn’t have enough plot as is and you dragged it out even more? Raymond Lam I’ve only ever seen in HK dramas, which is probably for the best, since he probably can’t get his hand on good scripts in China. I honestly wouldn’t mind fluff dramas by these actors if they were 20 ep or something when I just want to turn off my brain and chill, but no, they are all at least 40, 50 episodes. no can do. Deng Lun have been doing really well lately huh.

          Slice of life are hard to be profitable though because it’s low tension, which isn’t enough to bring BUZZ!! I think I’ve only seen jdramas do slice of life? For a pretty long time, I refuse to watch contemporary romance cdrama because they either involve dog blood, subpar female characterisation or bad acting. Wait, I guess I still kind of do because all the ones I’ve watched is either no romance or light on romance lol.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I think Hua Qian Gu was quite terrible w the plot.Production was ok, esp if you blot out the ending. But with Xianxia fantasy setup, you’d think there’s a chance to get away from the usual Mary Sue tropes. Instead they have Wallace Huo and a dozen other men obsessed w HQG. Then there are 2 ladies who didn’t seem to have much to do except getting crazy jealous over HQG. Get hysterical and shrewy. One of them was immortal Jiang Xin who has an decent immortal (Yang Shuo) who dotes on her. She could have been a great kicka55 character. Instead Yang Shuo sacrificed himself for her. It’s a great waste of an immortal – lol, although I don’t like Yang Shuo or his character. There was probably a 3rd crazy jealous girl too, Qing Shui. A non-expressive actress I cannot remember. Every story aspect was quite repetitive. People complain about the ending, but the stuff above bugged me before the ending. The ending itself seemed schizophrenic.

          My fav ZLY drama was the one she made before she got famous. Cuo Dian Yuan Yang, “Mismatched”. Low budget costumes and set.

          My fav LSS drama was Strange Hero YiZhiMei. I think that was a slow drama year. I just prefer a more expressive actress than LSS. I saw her LOCH version because I like Lin Yichen, Hu Ge. Similarly with General Yang. Not crazy about BBJX. I don’t like Nicky Wu’s acting either. I thought BBJX is 1 major impetus for many Mary Sue dramas that followed. With Imperial Doctress and Interpreters, Huang Xuan’s acting was more expressive. I didn’t finish ID.
          ZLY’s Minglan may be more watchable than a whole bunch of her recent ones. My guess is ZLY’s high ratings and large fan base are attracting bad attention from greedy biz men. She’s stuck in ugly entertainment politics after attracting bad elements. As in Mary story, she needs Gary to come to her rescue from the politics?

          My experience with TY and YM are about the same. May be a bit worse even. TY was in the ShaBaiTian world for a while?

          You may be right about that WC drama. One thing I noticed is the drama has higher score, but there were a lot more people who rated the movie. His other drama you mentioned had Li Xiaoran doing an identically-faced (sisters?) role. The logic may have been biologically impossible. It’s been too long. I forgot. Kind of a middling drama iirc. LXR seemed better in Sparrow, which I didn’t finish either. Zhang Luyi can be quite good in some dramas. He was in Sparrow.

          I haven’t watched more than 5 eps of Raymond Lam cdramas. Saw his TVB ones. Like WC, he’s not suitable for teen roles that he sometimes had. I have Cantonese friends who watched RL cdramas.

          I think Zhang Jiayi and a few others did a lot of slice of life drama, but it’s too time-consuming to sort out the better ones. School dramas are similar to s-o-l dramas.

          Readers here always talk about Disguiser. I wonder how that compares to Lurk.

          i saw 4 eps of Mad house. It’s good so far.
          I liked love 020 too. That’s the 1 ZS drama I saw in 10 years.

          I know what you mean. I had to take a break and watched other dramas when I watched Zhen Huan, 3 kingdoms, Advisors’ Alliance.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Thank you! I’ll check it out.

          Did you ever watch director 沈严’s other dramas? Other than tRoP you like, his 我的前半生 also has great production values plus good acting from the whole cast. 袁泉’s 唐晶 is a lot better than a lot of career woman character in cdramas. But 唐晶 has a tragic love life. Her dream man 靳东 wants to run off with her BFF. And BFF loves him back. Face palm.

          吴越 is a decent actress. She is in both 我的前半生 and E&Y. So E&Y seems to have at least some good supporting actors.

          Weird how 靳东’s dramas sometimes have all-around good production values. But sometimes mixed or poor, like 守卫者-浮出水面.

          Any idea why that company ended up transitioned into Zhengwu? Like they are trying to be a bigger firm? Or trying to acquire expertise in X or get easier funding?

          Another thing I like about cdramas is that you sometimes find some that have a huge cast of very good actors. Like Nirvana. The best US actors don’t usually end up on TV dramas, esp in ensemble cast.

          In fact, cdramas with a large number of good supporting actors tend to be a lot better than the ones with idol-ish supporting cast like 方逸伦, 朱鉴然 … in 许你浮生若梦.

          btw E&Y’s budget is a lot bigger than 浮生若梦. But idk why your grandpa specifically prefers Wu Lei’s over E&Y. :- )

          I think c ladies come in at least 2 major skin tones. Pinkish vs slight olive/yellow-ish. The former is easier with Western products. But Clarins, for example, will clash with the latter tone.

          The c-box chat made me wonder. What sort of environment makes some people feel pressured to put on fake lashes. ; -) Just my idle curiosity. Not judging.

          The bowing Azn lady issues and their position in the society made me think of lines from 吴秀波’s cdrama character.

          A woman [in that situation] is at her most valuable while young and pretty. As she ages every year, essentially she’s a depreciating asset as her beauty and age will only fade while a man with a solid career will just get paid more over the years as his experience builds.

          I had a flash vision of my dozen(s) of aunts who were all stay-at-home moms. I hope people have the wisdom to choose their life paths carefully.

          I think women in certain situations need to learn how to figure out how to change the status quo. It seemed like many young ladies there were taught in elementary school during how-to-handle-lecher lessons to minimize risks of harming accused lecherous men who may lose their jobs and get their lives ruined.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Typically, the more inaccessible an area, the better the artifacts are. lol. Treasures near & in old capitals are always ransacked in wars, fights. It can get “scary” when they build fast rails to a historic site.

          LongMen seemed to have more headless statues left vs Yungang.
          YG has more big caves left. LM has a lot more total caves it seems, but a lot of the smaller ones don’t seem so awe-inspiring but the main cave is great.
          I’ve only seen a couple of Mogao pieces in the West.

          I’m not good at appreciating the super ancient C cultures like the ~4000+ BC 半坡文化. Do you get it? ;- ) I haven’t seen 三星堆文化, so idk… I think I start liking cultures from ~春秋战国文化 ~2000 BC.

          Hantavirus related cases were in Chongqing, Yunnan, Gansu. I’m surprised w Chongqing’s hantavirus. I thought it’s considered a relatively “modern” area ~Minguo times.

          It’s a big headache for me to visit any of those places. Most people who travel w me don’t speak any C at all. I only hear C from dramas. I don’t have a chance to converse in it the last few years. So I’m v clumsy at toggling back n forth translating the menu into Eng and then order in C. Once I get a cold or cough, it gets v terrible to keep talking that much. I cannot buy any souvenir either. Locals want to charge me 老外特价 once they hear people around me speaking lol.
          Food vendors are super friendly though. ” 刚才我有一个法国客人用剪刀来吃面条。你们需要剪刀吗?” Frenchmen are sure creative?

          Even in the West, I minimize going to places w chemical & other interesting loos. Even Jiangnan (villages) have interesting loos. Many train stations are super shiny, but the loos … oh dear. There’s supposed to be a loo revolution for C tourism purposes until ~2020. I wonder how that’s going.

          Are there any specialty dishes in Dunhuang area? How was the food? 只听过兰州拉面. They eat more lamb (beef?) there? People say XiAn is a foodie paradise but I find XiAn dishes so salty. I tried most Must Eats, but mostly only liked their persimmon pastry and their local version of 八宝粥. I forgot what they name their version.

          I think the average logic in Xianxia is poorer compared to wuxia. I’m not planning on reading any xianxia books partly bc of it.

          Have they actually decided which actors end up in the effeminate category?

          我的前半生’s strongest point is the cast acting. It’s not a drama where you’ll learn anything about being a career woman. Not aware of any c drama that does. It’s just not something they are good at. Sometimes C ppl 看不得别人活得好?都会在鸡蛋里挑骨头?
          华人也比较会对陌生人给意见? 在公交上也会有陌生人跟我大嫂子说 她家人 长得丑。
          Leftover old Confucian habits? 以前家人做错事会被灭九族。所以家人都会管的很严. 然后现代人又怕如果孩子们不孝,其他人要买单? 但每个人都有这么多意见 我们也听了很幸苦啊..

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          They tend to build bullet trains to outside of the city, Shanxi does okay with them so Gansu does fine too I guess. I haven’t been to Yungang, should go someday. Wait I just remembered I think Longmen was actually partially protected because it was under government protection, there’s still damage, but lot more were done during republican era/war and I guess erosion too.

          I think most people are similar to you and interested in Chunqiu and later, largely because potteries and coins and such from Shang dynasty aren’t very interesting. Chonqing is pretty modern, being under direct administration of central government helps, and it’s a major transportation hub. But well, most tropical areas haven’t quite eliminated Dengue Fever either so work in progress?

          Oh yeah it’s rough being sole translator, and sometimes people kind of straight up give up doing any research so you are tasked with all the things. I think there’s apps that Chinese use when travelling, you could use those for quick translations? Sometimes I struggle to find the exact word I’m looking for. I had a friend being huffy at me for translating korean dukbokki as rice cakes because they didn’t really get it, I’m like, but that’s what it’s called!! Maybe you could buy your souvenirs online because they are cheaper that way anyways LOL I’m really bad at bargaining in general so I just avoid buying stuff. lol at Frenchmen, could just bite the noodle to break them like the rest of us plebians!

          Most busy tourist places have okay toilets IMO, they get cleaned very often especially the resting stop on highways, Jiangnan water towns a little tricky since they can’t build too many giant stalls to accommodate all the people but I think they’ve been decent last few years? As long as you are used to squatting, I wouldn’t go to a sitting toilet with THAT MANY people going in and out anyways, but some people aren’t.

          Donkey meat noodles? They are similar to Xi’an where there’s lots of different kind of noodles, being near Qinghai means there’s lots of beef and lamb bbq skewers and stuff like that, but those are kind of everywhere these days, so are Lanzhou la mian (it’s a franchise and not necessarily by lanzhou people elsewhere, the noodles I had in Lanzhou were def cheap + tasty). Qinghai had all kind of Yak products, yak jerky, meat, and yogurt (which was pretty good), though they are on the pricey side. I’m Cantonese so I find all other kinds of Chinese food over flavoured LOL. When we got sick of noodles, we usually looked for Sichuan restaurant but order mild spicy or non spicy food + rice, because Sichuan restaurant are everywhere.

          Wuxia only has firmer logic because we had magazine serialising authors that helped shaped the genre, whereas xianxia/xiuzhen had…online serialising, which isn’t a great conduit to logic.

          No news on who’s included in the ban, since it’s not really official word, just nine percent who was previously invited was removed from 春晚.

          Sugeons sort of feature career women, I guess? Largely why I liked it. cdrama rarely do decent medical dramas, let along legal dramas. It does ok police dramas every now and then but women aren’t focused usually.

          I think those people just feel like they are “trying to help” so they would get all up in your business. It’s apparently not just a Confucius thing, because my Israeli friend have indicated that’s how it goes where she is too, might be a “more community centric society” thing? (compared to individualistic) I largely find Chinese people are harsher towards other Chinese people, they have this bar for them, even if you grew up completely different, somehow by being Chinese, you are obligated to be nice/help them/listen to their advice/whatever. (Guys! STOP walking up to all asians and start speaking Chinese, I know plenty of asians, who might be Chinese but doesn’t speak it! Unless you are 50+) 说别人长得丑是什么鬼?关你什么事??碍着你了?好没礼貌啊啊啊。

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          10 years ago, I didn’t even realize Chungking is Chongqing. I’m always confused by Tw romanization like Lukang for 鹿港 .

          Some of the very tightly knit cultures/regional groups can be full of very personal comments. Some get gossipy, some judgmental. I met a Srilankan in the west who met someone from her hometown. She was afraid she’d appear on her hometown headline over having coffee with a guy classmate in a cafe.
          In the West, some regions give a sense of an uncomfortable “populism” vibe too. Ran into too many who (said) “tell me about _your_ culture in detail so I can give you my comments from _my_ (must be heard) perspective”. Not convenient when you’re rushing to make an appointment. That sort of long discussion is often not interesting if you’re a STEM person. More interesting to sociologists.
          Plus some of us visited the location where they associate with this “culture” they have in mind as a tourist only. So their demand is very weird. Sometimes you’re stuck in a long train ride with them, so it’s not as easy to avoid. In the future, we’ll tell them to watch Netflix tRoP lol.
          一般老中现代人还比我家的老长辈好一些。我还没听过老长辈们赞过别人呢. 只骂不赞,觉得不平衡啊.
          苏杭(糖醋鱼,螃蟹 )闽菜 (薄饼,佛跳墙 )应该还算比较清淡吧? 虽然有些菜肴像鳗鱼味道是挺重的. 鲁菜北京烤鸭,山东鸡, 我都还喜欢吃. 煎饼,肉卷饼很多地区都有。不清楚到底是哪里来的。川湘菜,东北菜都比较咸不是吗?我很怕云南川菜里的红油。

          paulstravelpics blogspot has a pretty good travel blog. I read him sometimes but I often forget about it for months (or a full year). I think he speaks Eng, Mandarin, J.

          I saw Grow Up a few years before Surgeons. Grow Up may be slightly better?

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          ahhh yeah small town communities are like that.
          I’m interested in other people’s opnion and thoughts on culture but I generally don’t appreciate it from people you mention? Because often it’s white people who THINK they know everything, and I’m sorry, no can do.
          I feel Chinese aren’t very used to positive reinforcement, it’s always yelling when you did something wrong. Super ingrained and tend to resort to it when angry I think. I find I’m sort of like it too and I have to remind myself that negative reinforcement all the time isn’t helpful.

          Yeah Fujian and Suhang also lean freshness of ingredient and light on flavouring, but only selected dishes made it out of the province so to try their food, you basically have to go there. 烤鸭会油腻但我挺喜欢吃的。全国各地最多的是川菜,然后是湘菜,所以哈哈哈哈。

          I find Asia’s style suit me better too, not a huge fan of the more simplistic or overly flowery pattern look (tiny flowers make me think of clothes my grandma wears). Well that and I’m skinny so size fit me better too. Thanks for the travel blog read 🙂

          ooh I’ve never heard of Grow Up, I’ll throw it on the backlog.

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          I was criticized so much in 18 (school & detailed music) subjects that I thought I was really dumb until I was in college and they started posting the exam score distributions in class. It took me a couple of years to confirm that I wasn’t super dumb. The first year or 2, I thought maybe I got lucky? It never came naturally to me to praise people bc my parents only said something nice to me ~3 times in my lifetime. My sis in laws are always debating w people in so many topics. I’m amazed and not used to it at the same time. At times they seem rebellious to me by comparison lol. My parents ever let me have a chance to put a word in even on v major issues. While I see others argue over clothes, snacks, or how learning any foreign language at all is useless. A lot of my Tw friends have parents like mine. Some Jewish iirc. My parents’ sweeping criticism wasn’t helpful. No specific suggestions, just “Why can’t you be smarter like …” No troubleshooting or problem solving. They even made comments about my handwriting aesthetics regularly. My sitting pose while I did HW. I didn’t have time to get rebellious.
          Idk why Chuan/ Xiang cuisine is so ubiquitous. The problem I have w Xiang is it’s hard to order a meaty enough dish. A lot of chopped up, very skinny chicken like “Bandit Chicken”. Near me, Chuan is the most common. Next are hot pot restaurants. Now they even have a combination of the 2. Sichuan hotpot. It would have been easier to be raised as a vegetarian. Once I picked up doing cardio exercise, I get distractedly hungry until I eat meat. Otherwise I get brain dead.
          Dukbokki seems nearly identical to Shanghai/Jiangnan Nian Gao to me. But if your friends aren’t SH-informed, that wouldn’t help.
          It’s dicey to be cultural ambassadors. Voluntary or not. One time I was at a Tianjin restaurant that serves Tofu Nao, Jianbing Guozi, some hot pot stuff. A guest came in. He only had Canto food in C food before. He asked a server which dishes are most like Canto HarGao, Siumai. When he didn’t get an answer, he went ballistic. Later he wrote a nasty review on the internet. It’s a headache to have to rephrase everything in terms of Canto stuff for me too. Is there an answer to “which animal is most like the rose”? It’s almost as challenging. Plus I’m not even a native Canto speaker, so there’s an added challenge.

          Some C film directors got asked a lot of political questions when they attended international film festivals.
          My internet is finicky today. We’ll see how this goes…

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          omg rip. *patpats* I got relatively lucky where my mum were usually pretty reasonable and didn’t demand a lot from me and wasn’t around for most of my high school and university days, and my dad was such an absentee parent that I swear he doesn’t remember what I major’ed in at university. I do find it lot easier to talk back or argue in English though. In Chinese I struggle to debate. My younger brother gets criticised for handwriting and posture though (largely because handwriting is a first impression from teachers and exam markers so teachers recommend you write super neat and stuff)

          Xiang have cured meat dish that’s just preserved fatty pork I think? I’m not a huge fan though. I’ve grew up with chopped up meat + vegetables dish that I struggle to think of pure meat dish unless they are whole chicken or bbq or something? Oh yeah hot pot, how can I forget hot pot lol. and yeah my friend weren’t familiar with nian gao either.

          OMG lol. I wouldn’t even expect yum cha food from regular Cantonese restaurant, let along Tianjin one. Most people probably can’t rephrase stuff like you did so you did a pretty good job! What kind of question is “which animal is most like the rose?” ????

          Rip film directors, that must be awkward. I get asked political questions with awkward assumptions sometimes. East Asia’s history and politics is very complicated so pls don’t ask why doesn’t China recognise Taiwan as a country, mate. I know gazillion people who would go ballistic at that question.

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          About Grow Up vs Surgeons. I prefer the leads 白百何,陆毅 in 长大 . But I disliked 江疏影 and 白宇’s characters. I forgot the rest. After a couple of years, my recollection is vague.

          Have you finished Mad House? My progress is v slow bc I prefer to watch it during the day and when I’m not alone lol. That makes it soooo slow.

          I think some people, when they chat w others, they mostly already made up their minds on most topics. Whatever you say, they mostly just cherry-pick the things they want to hear. They may not hear much beyond their own loves & hates. From the outside, if you chat w them, instead of getting an account of what happened, you may just get a lot of personal opinions and very few facts.
          The sad thing is though, so much of your experience is determined by your outer appearance like skin color. So for 2 people with different skin colors, heights etc, hearing another person’s personal worst or best experience may have very little relevance. Sometimes it’s easier to go places with a group of friends w all kinds of skin colors. Rainbow group has its conveniences. lol.

          Have you ever visited Sichuan? I haven’t. I have a ChenKun colored friend who visited Chengdu and had a horrible experience. I wondered if the locals weren’t nice to him bc of his darker skin. He speaks very little Mandarin. He understands more than he speaks.

          Are you aware of Cantonese cancer like NPC (Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma)?
          I met a Canto cardiologist. Despite the seemingly mild-flavoured Canto cuisine, somehow the general diet still includes a pretty high sodium, salt intake to cause health problems like cardiovascular issues and such. Preserved meats are carcinogenic too.

          Oh. I quite like Beggar’s Chicken and I’m too lazy to try making it. I dread having to clean a splattered oven. And it’s so hard to find in restaurants.
          I want to find a good recipe for the Hangzhou vinegar fish.

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          I haven’t touched Madhouse since because I’m neck deep with tRoP, or some days I just don’t watch dramas at all. rip. I’m almost done with tRoP though, and I want to write a review but I don’t know where to start, I like it a lot and do want people to watch it but darn, there’s so many things that would put people off or it straight up does terribly LOL.

          Ahh yeah it’s difficult to find people who are open minded and willing to listen and engage. I do like the internet for that, you can find people who share your maybe somewhat niche (or not) hobby but they might have vastly different experience with you so you can at times get to know other culture, other country’s particular history/hot button issues and such.

          I’ve travelled in Sichuan before, mostly when I was young and they were with tour groups most of the time. I think I’ll go in couple of weeks to a particularly pretty place, 稻城亚丁.

          ChenKun isn’t quite…brown yet so I don’t think that influence as much? I think it’s much more likely he looks Chinese so they presume he speaks Mandarin really well but he doesn’t, and a lot of Sichuanese speak with accent that might be hard for your friend to decipher and they could just get impatient with him and such. This is just my baseless assumption though because sometimes rude people are just rude.

          I looked it up, yeah I know the disease but I didn’t know it’s much more common amongst Cantonese 😮 I think there’s couple of dish that’s high in salt (salty fish, 腊味 for example), leftover from the olden days when everyone were poor and preserving meat was necessary maybe?

          When I had to cook, I could never be bother making overly complicated things because my cooking was pretty terrible and I basically just follow recipes. Beggar’s Chicken would definitely been too much hassle for me.

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          Also we move around a lot more than centuries ago. Now long flights are common. People attend grad school more. And get more specialized jobs. If you’re in specialized hi tech, you can’t just get a job at your neighborhood restaurant. I have a lot more friends outside of my current city than within the city. And I’ve met more people in my city who were all born elsewhere than those who were born within 100 km.

          No country seems to do its own media well. You pretty much have to read different countries’ news (not just the stuff you get from CNN either) and then take the average of them. The truth is somewhere in between.

          Science reading usually contains more facts. Typically less blatant racial, gender slant. Though just yesterday, I read that a lot of journal peer reviewers etc are from US, EU. And predominantly done by White males. You know. That’s kind of the slant that world news has too. That also accounts for a large part of world economy. This becomes like a world gravity like force in our world. It can be tiring to deal with on days when you’re not feeling tiptop.

          US, Canada and China are 3 countries w huge land swatch. A lot of ppl travel within their own countries until they are old enough to travel for jobs. By then, some opinions are already in place. People in tiny-scale, regional old industries & 1-shop business can be v different from those with modern tech jobs.

          The difference is even more dramatic among women. C has a lot more women who had jobs in early 1900s compared to other places. North Amer has a lot more school teacher jobs for women until ~1980s. It can be v vexing for hi tech female researchers to be confined to typical beauty, housewifey, housekeeping talks that a lot of women want to engage in. Or worse things like family or town gossips. The men, at least, can talk about their profession or something else.

          C cultural baggage is a whole different scale. C funeral customs is a multi-day long event. Western ones have a lot fewer steps & days. When I saw 3Kingdoms, I felt like the funeral custom in my hometown hasn’t changed much from the 3K period. It’s almost scary.

          It’s hard to meet modern day demands and still pass the C cultural demands. Western work pace in US is really fast in decent paying jobs. ~3 yrs ago, there was a survey out. US took the least amount of time for lunch. People joked, if not for the drive through fast food lines being slow, Americans would have been even faster. lol.

          tRoP is a long time commitment.

          Do you still use travel group in recent years? Are they open to non-PRC residents? I doubt I’ll ever go to Qinghai. I’m not sure about Gansu.
          Sichuan, Yunnan interest me. I was in Yunnan for 6 days with a tour but I didn’t like the tour. My friend had us joined a shopping tour. It was bearable but not too fun. (Sights were fine. I just disliked the tour.) Food was particularly bad. The tour paid y100 for a table of 10.
          I’m always impressed by the C tea culture. They get so many flavors out of just 1 species of Camellia sinensis. No artificial flavors.

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          tbh, I’ve sort of stopped following US news for the most part since trump got elected, which sounds kind of odd since I’ve never actually lived in US. But US politics and economy influences the world a lot and I have fair amount of US friends, we all find it too depressing to follow too closely. Can’t really read most news about US in Chinese because it’s similar to US news about China, the comments are too biased. That’s what I get for reading internet comments!

          Mhmm yeah academia as a whole is pretty (straight) white male dominate, as do most of society like you said. It’s definitely rough, which is.probably why people band together and complain about these kind of stuff. Sometimes it’s big enough problem and they blow up online and they do lead to consequences. Like #metoo and #blacklivesmatter. Women being confined to stereotypical “women talk” can definitely be bit too much, sometimes you can talk about specific job task or tv for chit chat, but that’s dependent on your coworkers.

          On the one hand, I find some cultural practice tedious and befuddling, on the other hand, China have already lost SO MUCH of its cultural practices that it’s heartbreaking. My generation probably can’t keep a lot of stuff that my grandparents’ generation would know. Women being forced to work AND responsible for housekeeping is absolute bullshit but I think there’s more pressure for men to also do their fair share.

          I usually travel with mum who prefers joining tours because they are cheaper and less hassle (don’t need to find transportation mostly), the downside is of course you have limited time. So it depends where you are going and if you think the time is sufficient enough, I think opting for longer tours are generally okay enough, unless you really like taking photos with optimal lighting or something. I’ve travelled with her where we did day trip tours at most and they were largely the same, more rushed even because she does last minute booking a lot LOL (booking hotel we are staying at while on the bullet train kind of thing)

          Some of them are open to non-PRC residents, you just have to call them to double check beforehand. The reason they are even restricted are usually because sometimes they book cheap hotels that might not meet standards for foreign guests to stay and they are afraid of police coming to check and such. Being oversea Chinese make it less of an issue because there’s less reason for them to check. When I was in Xi’an with a noticeably foreign friend, I’ve actually booked guesthouse (it’s apartment studio being used as rooms tbh) and the owner freaked out a bit but it was fine.

          Shopping tours are definitely blah, I think the only one I was on, the tour guide was pretty transparent about it and told us we just had to stay for half an hour or whatever and it was done. There was a supermarket with bamboo charcoal products, a tea place and a silk place? Only the last one was bit aggressive in selling stuff. Most tour groups’ food are pretty average to bad, it’s just to fill you up, sometimes people go for late night snack or just request to add food. My Gansu + Qinghai trip didn’t include food but when you aren’t in the city, there aren’t actually too much choice lol.

          You can do roadtrips, by yourself or book a car/van with a driver, generally the latter is more common in more remote places though. Since otherwise you’d just go with bus or Didi (kind of like Uber). Yunnan is super gorgeous, I went when I was like 10 and I definitely want to visit again. Sichuan’s 九寨沟,峨嵋,乐山大佛,青城山 etc are all well worth it I think. I was going to go to 九寨沟 this year but it closed down again due to earthquake risk =/

          We take tea super seriously! I can’t actually taste a lot of the tea difference tbh but I’m fascinated by it too. It’s definitely something that should be passed down.

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          C skill-oriented things (dance, tea, specific arts, music …) are not nearly as well-preserved as C customs. I prefer the former to the latter.

          When times got hard, people focused on agriculture. Few ppl got proper training in skilled arts. Anyone can follow customs. Often get peer-pressured into it even.

          People who invest a lot of time and efforts into innovation (ie, often the ones who get v successful) are often not those who are steeped deep into traditions though. Few groups still widely practice the C tiered mourning that last for days and months.

          I get asked a lot of questions about Tw too. 很多人都说过 。 如果你长得像个亚洲人,都会有人问. 你到底..到底…是从哪来的。 然后就说了没完没了。
          Oh, Grow Up’s ending was a bit open and lame I think. Maybe they were hoping for a S2 but never got around to it.
          The great thing about Disguiser is it made JinDong very popular on Viki, so there are many Eng subbers for his dramas after Disguiser. Unlike Lu Yi. His 1 drama that had Eng Sub was done by ZLY fans.
          人人都爱看 Gary角色. Gary角色中文怎么讲啊? I read C v slowly and sloppily. I learned 4-5 languages from TV. It can get dangerous bc I’m not sure how rude each phrase is. One time I went into a restaurant in Suzhou and I had to order food by writing in C. I decided to give up on that endeavor and went to a different restaurant. lol. Too much pressure.
          I think only in C, 破鞋 has that special meaning. 台湾 东南亚 人家都只想起老鞋. I was confused when C people mentioned 撤 after a meal. It took me a few minutes to guess. I was used to hearing 那我把盘拿走了. My young relatives in HK don’t know what 撤 is when I mentioned this. So I can learn a lot of C and cultural differences by watching c dramas. lol.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          There were this intense desire to modernise before and after the war, and after the war, people were of course too busy worrying about basic needs to care much about traditional stuff. Stuff like festival celebrations are combo of both customs and skilled art stuff.

          I hate “where are you from questions” in immigrant heavy country because it’s so rude and presume you weren’t born there.

          Garys are 杰克苏!Learning languages from TV sounds super wild, I formerly learnt French, Italian and Japanese as a teen but only sort of kept Japanese by virtue of consume copious amount of its media + one uni class and picking it up again and again every 3 years lol. I keep telling myself I should learn at least to a functional level where I can read books and stuff but then….I just lose motivation despite it being lot easier for me to learn than most people due to Kanji background + english background + osmosis through media…oops.

          Sometimes word is polite in one region and rude in another. 小姐 is technically miss in some places (fair amount of southern coastal cities) but mean escort or something along those lines in other places. In recent years, internet lingo kind of slide into young people everyday vocabulary too and it can be really confusing. Recently, 老司机 gets used a lot, technically used to mean being very skilled at something, but most of the time it’s to imply someone is very knowledgeable about sex. (also tangently related smutty/explicit fics/stories goes from 有肉 to 开车, which nets you lot of hilarious euphemism, 玩具车,摩托车,火车 to indicate the level of content) Sometimes regional words also make it into wider vocabulary, like bus is technically 公交 but 巴士 pops up a lot too, esp if they are privatised ones.

          Wait wait, why couldn’t you just point to order? I did that in Japan and Korea LOL.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Are there specific provinces that you visited where a lot of people seemed very friendly? Kunming and parts of Yunnan, Anhui were very friendly.
          我有时候会和北美人朋友一起看中国景点。所以也是包过车。只有一次请到一位丁师傅.. 他只有个儿子. He was careless and quoted a wrong price that was too low then he was super mean.. All the time. His strategy to adjust the price is to complain non-stop for the whole 6-7 days. V chauvinistic and rude to women. Since I was my group leader, it was super tiring for me. 在车上只有我懂师傅在说什么.
          有些城市像大同,西安,在机场坐第一辆出租车都已经出问题了。师傅骗子多到有一位小保安哥发传单警告顾客可以打特别电话. 。一不小心伤到那种师傅的车,还真头疼啊

          有些城市像大同,西安,在机场坐第一辆出租车都已经出问题了。师傅骗子多到有一位小保安哥发传单警告顾客可以打特别电话. 。一不小心伤到那种师傅的车,还真头疼啊
          我有五年没去中国了. 以前邀请各市级师傅也找很久 . 我们比较喜欢还没到中国自前先准备找好师傅.
          我还没用过滴滴快车. 上次去中国我都没调好我手机来打汉字. 还好我请的师傅还能念拼音.

          Oh. Italian actually can have some of those very rolly r’s. Like CInque Terre. Are you more familiar with Canto than Mandarin?
          You can get decent practice with r sounds in Mandarin, like with ” 日”. I guess Beijingers must be really good w r. They add 儿 to everything.
          But French r is really hard to pronounce actually. I feel like they roll their r backward into the throat. That’s much more challenging to me. Sometimes the “(s)sant” and other sounds seem to head towards the nose. Like in “croissant”. I’m afraid in my effort to try to pronounce French, they may think I’m mocking them. Some Canadians get criticized in France when the Canadians said they speak Fr.

          我香港的小亲戚们的普通话,把“酒酿汤圆”年成了“九阳 x y”. “自恋”变成”自念”. 我常听不懂. Once I met a guy from Shandong who studied at Shandong Univ. He said his roommates were from Fujian and other provinces. They had to end up speaking Eng since no one understood others’ C accents. lol

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Sorry. Typo.. 上到.. not 伤..

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          None that comes to mind in particular? Might be I don’t wander around enough and they are usually pretty packed days? Or I just noticed other countries’ behaviour more? Yeah 姑娘 is pretty safe, 美女 is good too if you are in urban areas.

          OMG that sounds like a terrible experience, I’m so sorry D: 西安好像问题比较多?骗子小偷什么的, 之前有假巴士去假兵马俑???!大概是游客太多,管理得不太好。但我去了两次都还ok?不过时间都很短,两三天那种。(2015年一次,2017年一次)现在应该会更方便?有携程和其他旅游app(订酒店啊,问问题啊,看别人团的路线啊,还有包车团), 高铁和有些旅游区的交通也更多。

          Italian r seems easier than Spanish r though!! Or maybe I just imagined it. I roll my tongue fine in Mandarin but I struggle to constantly roll them them. For French “croissant”, isn’t it a nasal sound? Like pinyin ang nasal sound. I don’t remember how french r sounds like anymore omg. I’ve been told Quebec French is pretty different from France French? More archaic in vocab and just odd sounding in pronounciation. Regional difference is rough!

          “九阳 x y” lol! Not used to reading in Canto I guess. l and n and z and zh etc are often dropped or mixed up by Southerners, but HKer mix up in n and l in Cantonese too. omg speaking in english because accent issues, A++ story. I hoped the Fujian roommates eventually learnt enough Shandong accent to adopt it haha.

          Oh yeah I’m fluent in both Canto and Mando, native language is Cantonese, but I learnt Mandarin half immersive in pre-school, then formally in primary/elementary school. I speak Mandarin with a vague Southern accent with random words in a Taiwanese accent due to all the twdramas I watched as a teen, either way it’s just not…Cantonese accent which sometimes confuses people. They push Mandarin pretty hard in all regions though, my (teen) brother and cousins all tend to revert back to Mandarin when they talk with their peers, despite family all speaking Cantonese. I forget to keep to Canto a lot when talking to them because it’s natural for me to switch to a language other people are already using. I’ve had friend whose parents would talk to them in Canto and they answer in English all the time, how do they stick to it!!!

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          Oops.. Sorry! ”念成“ 不是 “年成“。 Too many things read the same in Pinyin.

          Sometimes life is like driving. If we keep looking at rearview mirror, we might hit the car in front of us. 不能只往后看 (不能只看古文化。还是要懂新技术的). Youtube has several decent vids on gene therapy. Short 5 minute version /watch?v=xOQFJJOBGM0

          Or 14 minute version /watch?v=znZVsNBkrQs
          Especially busy this week.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Thank you so much for all your thoughtful comments and replies!

          很多北美人,至少会出国旅行的人,都会为了白宫里的那位道歉 。 我也被问了好几次,我对白宫那位有啥意见。也是挺尴尬的一个问题。 我从未在政治选举中投过票。太多黑乌鸦了。没看过一个还行的。
          Maybe they shouldn’t have picked to adapt the tRoP into a drama? They have to make too many changes that it became too hard to succeed? Did you finish watching the whole drama?

          As far as liking an actor based on looks only. Maybe you have to pretend your parents are deciding your dates for you without any data except for pics for each guy. In that case, which one will you pick out of the lot? lol. For dramas, I do think it’s usually wiser to see which plot, production team, cast are used.

          I don’t think I have time for dramas in the next week or so.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Extremely late reply! Sorry, I was going to watch the videos and finish tRoP, and then…I forgot….. The videos are very educational, I liked the second one more since it goes into bit more detail.

          For tRoP, I think they initially announced that they weren’t going to change most things (initial press release?), then they realised half way through filming that some plot elements wouldn’t fly (like female lead reviving her kingdom and being a queen) so they rewrote some of it on set. I think the team were bit too ambitious. First time filming historical drama, wanted to fuse power struggle with romance and give them equal focus, wanted both the leads to get focus, wanted the characters to be realistic but still tried to keep the major book characters (and some of their characteristics). That’s a lot. They lost the balance, and I would have been fine with it if…the last few episodes didn’t crash and burn.

          I know it was hard to get it through SARFT, what with it being historical and prime time tv slot (hardest to get through, and they pulled even tighter reign over it this year apparently), but like…you could at least even out the pacing a little yknow? the first 45 episodes were slow and steady, then 5 episodes that blitz through because they had to cut 75% o the content, sort of returned to normal, a very simple short arc, another short arc that got 30% of it cut then the last arc that moved at 3x the earlier pace. If the first half wasn’t so steady, the difference wouldn’t be so jarring. The scripting in last arc was also atrocious, partially because it didn’t have enough lead up to a lot of the events. It has SUCH good acting though, and pretty good characterisations, fairly layered characters and everyone had their own agenda and were usually pretty smart. So even when it crashed, there were still nice characterisation moments.

          I sort of would watch something if I like someone’s looks, but it’s still usually after I’ve seen them in a drama, and ofc if I find the synopsis interesting.

          For trump, lol. there’s so much to say, where do you begin, and politics is kind of controversial. My dad keeps talking about him too because how he influence the world and stuff, and I think my dad likes him, which ughhh, but more importantly he have a lot of misinformation and such and i’m just like. yknow what, pls just don’t talk about this, everything i know goes against what you say so uh just talk about something else!!

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        Lmao I think the book was like that, I think a lot of WN feel sue-ish. Wait I think Hua Qian Gu had plagiarising debacle too (but I didn’t check too closely), god like half of the popular female protag dramas are based on plagiarised book, (ssss, princess wei young, zhen huan) I am SO mad they got made into dramas and popular oversea because the debacles rarely reach oversea. It doesn’t stop them from being popular in China which is super sad but at least there’s a fuss kicked up about it most of the time. mydramalist is such a bad site to look for cdramas to watch because they all like the super popular, sometimes utterly terrible and maybe mary sue dramas amongst good dramas LOL.

        Noted the dramas down! I almost watched Hu Ge/Lin Yi Chen ver but I started Zhou Xun’s, which i’ll eventually finish. BBJX kind of lead the WN adaptations trend I think. Oh I was briefly interested in Imperial Doctress based on the premise, then I forgot about it lol. I think I was too busy reading NiF and Disguiser fanfics at the time. Oh yeah, I’ll probably try Minglan because of 正午阳光 production team despite the fact I don’t really like 宅斗, but good god why is it 80 episodes. Goodness gracious I want my 40 episodes historicals back. Tang Yan was and still is? shabaitian. Zhang Lu Yi I have 红色 saved in backlog. I watched 他来了,请闭眼 where he was the antagonist and he did a fabulous job but the scriptwriters fucked it up so welp. god that drama had a lot of issues, I whined to anyone that would listen about its language issue when I was watching it. Isn’t Raymond Lam almost 40 by now?? who casted him in fluff dramas where he’s meant to be young? bluhhh. His 再生缘.(gender-bending smart protag!) and 天涯侠医 (I learnt about doctors without borders from this drama I think lol.) remain some of my favourites. Too bad there isn’t many good HK dramas these days. Maybe…I should rewatch some so I can rate them better..? I would probably die but!!

        Ooh 蜗居 and 心术, more stuff I haven’t watched. 潜伏 is better than The Disguiser I presume. (I still haven’t watched it!! rip me) The Disguiser have plot holes and OP bits with most of the characters not going through much growth (even Ming Tai undo his character development in last episode. god that last episode), a really terrible side romance for Ming Tai that makes me rage. I love the family and most of the cast a hell lot, and their performance + the fun of seeing double spies and stuff but The Disguiser is at most upper tier 谍战 for refreshing angle, but not top tier while Lurk is held up as top tier.

        More dramas I haven’t watched!! I started three kingdoms like several months ago on a whim and it’s just been sitting there 🙂 I mean it doesn’t help that I want to watch the early 90s version for a more faithful adaptation as comparison, then I found out, oh they talk in this particular way (like in plays? the dialogue have slight hints of classical chinese too) and I have to pay attention instead of multitasking to not miss stuff. I was kind of mad 2010 version fused records of three kingdoms with RoTK and spliced with different angles because now I have to watch both!! I even found a Chinese-Japanese co-produced anime that I started but it races through events. Maybe I should just suck it up and try reading the book.

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          I’m so glad you started posting here recently. Thank you for indulging me. I think my taste are a lot more like yours vs my own siblings’!

          Disguiser was ok, but I have complaints about it too. From theme music ( strong resemblance to Michel Legrand’s music. A youtube excerpt: com/watch?v=Ms7Ybfchs-g ) to Song Yi’s ala La Femme Nikita arc. Given how those 2 are both French, I wondered how much of a coincidence it was. I complained above to chasingpolaris about Jin Dong being very Gary too. The advantage of Disguiser is it has been English-subbed to the end. Lurk hasn’t.

          I like Zhang Luyi in Love Me if You Dare but I really disliked the Terence Yin part – both acting and story arc. The drama also turned more idol-y half way. I have never liked T Yin in anything out of the 2-3 things I saw. Hope I’m not mixing up LMIYD with Snail falls in love. They came out ~the same year.

          I haven’t watched TVB in a few years and my Canto skills have fallen off the cliff. I’m terrified when I visit Chinatown and shopkeepers speak Canto to me these days. My tones are off and everything. Not sure if I get the vowel parts right either. My reaction is super slow too. I cannot eat in HK. lol. Too fast-paced.

          I forgot to answer. I skimmed through Boss & Me. Google says ~90+% of reviewers loved it. It’s too ShaBaiTian for me. The moment when ZLY turned into some kind of jewelry designer genius, it didn’t convince me. Some people show ZH clips from this drama when they talk about idol actors with facial paralysis.

          You know, I’m afraid to recommend anything to most readers here. Most people love B&Me and other dramas I don’t like much.

          I watched just a small bit of YM’s 3L3W TMOPB with all that plagiarism stuff. Another drama that’s well-loved here.
          YM’s Fuyao seems very melo for you who is not so melo-tolerant.
          I peeked at Ep 66.

          Is it not weird to plagiarize for Princess WY? I found the drama annoying too. A Mary Sue and Disney Princess hybrid. Cinderella with comically evil stepsisters and stepmom. Uggh. I hope they didn’t need to plagiarize to come up with that part.

          Oh, Wang Likun, Tong Liya, Yu Hewei, Lei Jiayin are in some s-o-l dramas. I’m too busy to fish out the watchable ones. I watched that “Dwelling Narrowness” with some fast-forwarding. It’s not bad. Li Nian is sometimes good. Hai Qing’s acting is sometimes too dramatic/theatrical for me. I have similar problems with that acting style with Du Chun, Jia Nailiang, Yan Yikuan, Zhai Tianlin… and some dance-trained actors like Qiao Zhenyu, Hou Meng Yao … Some of it is stage-acting style? I’m not too sure.

          I quite dislike 宅斗 too. I didn’t even realize the existence of this phrase. ZhuYL was so rarely in a decent-budget production, so I’ll at least watch the start. I wish they had picked a different subject for the drama. I find there’s too much bickering in dramas already. Even in c families. Can you watch FSF? I will have to get mentally prepared before I can watch him.

          Back when I watched 3Kingdoms, I skimmed both the C and Eng novels some. I didn’t read every chapter though. I saved the Eng version onto my previous computer. My C reading is mediocre, so it helped me to read the Eng from free website. Don’t remember where I saved/read these English chapters from.

          I was reasonably happy with the Advisors Alliance script. It has some pleasant plot-twist surprises. (Not super major). The big minus is it tries too hard making WXB a devoted hubby, so it spends several eps on his taking a concubine. I think this gets justified if you watch S2. The future Jin dynasty emperor is the son of this concubine. So I guess you can’t just skip her. I bought the DVDs (I hope they include S2 but I haven’t started watching S2). The script is reasonably detailed and covers a much more detailed Cao Cao and Sima Yi. I don’t recall Sima Yi had that much detail in 3K. And the script is written by a lady. I wish cdrama leading ladies appear as competent as this scriptwriter. In later AA eps, there were parts where the characters recited C poems that I didn’t understand. The Eng sub translated that part as “Chinese poem”. That was funny.

          Did you watch or like NIF2? I disliked the Nirvana2 script writing.

          I saw that same Dilraba drama you saw. Some of the things I really disliked about her character is she behaved like a doormat when interacting with some people, and was too sassy – almost too annoying – while interacting with other characters. This is yet another common disease in female cdrama characters. YM’s Interpreter. Wang Likun in Across the Ocean to See You. This drama is actually not bad for a fluff drama but the Wen Bixia/Irene Wan (? I didn’t watch her tvb dramas) arc is annoying.

          Romance cdramas that I watched and didn’t completely regret are Remembering Lichuan (it has melo moments though) and Queen of SOP. That’s the 1 Zhang Han drama I watched to the end. I found Joe Chen not watchable after that drama too. QoSOP was a while ago. I may not like it these days.

          I have a soft spot for Jiao Junyan in selected dramas. Similar to how I respond to Li Landi and Liu Haoran. JJY is relatively more experienced than LLD/LHR and it often shows. All 3 somehow seem earnest to me. It’s easy for me to believe that their characters are genuine.

          Oh, there was a criticism for Imper Doc. They said LSS practically cured all ailments with bird feces. That was kind of funny.
          Some dramas do acupuncture through hanfu too. I think that’s also crap.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I really glad I finally have someone to ramble about dramas to too! My friends mostly don’t watch long cdramas and there’s not much decent short fluff piece to lure them in (and that’s not really my preference either rip)

          I think Song Yi’s was a femme fatale arc? Though I’m not familiar with the series you noted. Wouldn’t be surprised if they took and maybe rearranged music without permission though, c!ent industry can be terrible with crediting (and paying) for music. Disguiser also had a lot of actors + crew overlap with NiF that got it lot more attention than it normally would.

          I had to look up Terence Yin and I was like he was in that drama??? I totally forgot about him. I think he was sort of ok initially but since the drama crashed and burned at the end, his arc jumped ship too? It was just really weird. I think the book was cheesy when it came to romance too, but the drama was kind of bad at it and didn’t fuse the two well enough. I liked Snail Falls in Love lot better since the romance took a backseat (that’s for the best for this team) and the plot was more coherent, even though I didn’t really like the OTP, reserved romance is fine but it didn’t quite work.

          Can you read traditional chinese? The subs might help? Clearly you need to watch more Canto stuff to practice it hahaha.

          Boss & Me is very fluffy in plot, it’s idol drama so I get why it’s popular, protag is too clueless for me I think, and the long length for a minimal plot story seems like a bad idea too. LMAO about Zhang Han though. TMoPB is apparently well produced with lots of pretty people so it make sense it’s popular, but plagiarism and author terrible attitude about it + fans non-reaction means I’ll probably never touch it.

          I think Wei Young is popular because she’s ruthless, well in the drama she’s more just smart and can be mean (which is refreshing I guess), but the drama butchered it too?? I can’t remember the reviews too well. It’s one of the worst offenders in terms of plagiarism though, a whole string of author band together and took her to court. The entire book had 294 chapters with 9 chapters that’s actually original, the rest were plagiarised from 200+ books, she just lifted paragraphs after paragraphs. It’s astounding. 恶毒女配 is like a trope in WN, so I guess she just cobbled all the terrible supporting characters and stirred then served it.

          As for Fuyao, I read the book earlier this year, after being in love with The Rise of Phoenixes. So I want to watch the drama to compare. It’s actually more adventure-y than melodramatic I think? Wuji dotes and helps her throughout the entire thing. The book is very mary sue but each kingdom’s power struggle feature different genre, 武侠,盗墓,宫斗,玄幻 so it’s very addictive. There is a lot of differences between drama and book and the two leads are totally different characters but there’s some fun scenes. 刘奕君 (NiF‘s 谢侯爷 Disguiser’s 王天风) plays the antagonist too and he’s amazing. Actually I think Rise of Phoenixes is more melodramatic? That romance is 相爱相杀 but I like it because the characters are pretty equal and scheming against each other is lots of fun (and suffering later).

          Oooh lots of people I don’t know, I should probably stop adding to my list though oop.

          宅斗 is probably from 宫斗, web novel terms, I’m neck deep in web novels these days lol. (because all the dramas are adapting web novels and I get curious but most the dramas are bad or just stupidly paced!) 宫斗 as a genre probably originated from the 04/05 HK drama 金枝欲孽, like a lot of elements existed before in historical dramas, but they generally aren’t the focus and that drama bought the concubines fighting to be central plot. That drama was very good since it was more tragedy of these women doomed to be stuck in palace and human dram, I should rewatch it at some point, it’s half the length of Zhen Huan lol. I find the genre in general very tiresome to watch/read bleh.

          I think they picked it to expand their audience tbh, the genre is popular with lots of women. They’ve been doing radically different dramas since transitioning from Shanying to Zhengwu. period spy drama with family focus, historical that’s serious but with lots of heart/mass appeal, family business drama, romance/suspense, medical, tomb raiding, female ensemble cosmopolitan, and now a historical with female protag focus, which they really need tbh because they are still kind of bad with female characters. Upcoming is drama about people in army, working woman & her family, drama set against backdrop of China opening its borders.

          Anyways, I’ve only seen FSF in Gong and I don’t remember how he did anymore, he seems fine against the really mary sue and badly written plot though. I didn’t watch Prince Lan Ling though I was tempted at some point because of Lin Yi Chen. LYC pls i just want to like you in one drama. I didn’t like ISWAK and had to force myself through it after trying multiple times. It’s not really her fault, her character was just too dumb for me and I can’t handle my protags that dumb. She was in another drama with Joe Chen but I didn’t really like the plot either. Oh wait she’s in 我可能不会爱你, I should really get around to watching it.

          I probably can’t read the English version of RoTK, reading stuff with lots of pinyin makes me want to cry. My younger brother has like multiple version of the book so I’m sure there’s a kid version around somewhere too LOL. AA is still in my backlog precisely because I’m unfamiliar with RoTK. Well the drama is about Sima Yi and it’s like a different take on him I think, which is lovely because cdrama could use more varied takes on stories and people. For poems, you can note the first sentence and search it with drama title (or not since I’m sure it’s cited from elsewhere), there’s probably translation/explanation of it somewhere.

          I did watch NiF2 and liked it well enough, I liked it for the family interaction, two decent romance relationship and themes rather than the whole drama tbh. The whole thing was about them being loyal to the emperor despite having too much that threatens the emperor, very realistic but depressing. The antagonist made me rage and rage, the empress was horribly dumb. The character arc for 萧平旌 (
          刘昊然) and 萧元启 (the big boss) were interesting but the drama was kind of unevenly paced and I barely cared at the end. Very flawed series, but I think I still rated it pretty high lol.

          I dropped the Dilraba drama pretty fast so I don’t think I even see the arc that annoyed you. I usually like sassiness but they can go over into just outright rude. Remembering Lichuan is on my list I think, Queen of SOP is too because of Joe Chen. God Joe Chen, she’s somehow still one of my favourite actress because of Prince who Turn into Frog, which is a hilariously cheesy drama but I love it a stupid amount. I contemplated watching 王的女人 because of her & Ming Dao despite the bad reviews. Actually I contemplated watching basically all of her cdramas even though they were uhhh, I think a number of them were mary sue dramas too. I watched 放弃我,抓紧我 and it was a Mistake. It has all of the bad melo elements and was too long that acting couldn’t save it. She was okay in 鬼吹灯 though.

          Haven’t seen Jiao Junyan in dramas yet! LOL re: criticism about Imperial Doctress.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I think Burning Ice’s overall package has less minus points compared to Snail and LMIYD. I like actor 代旭’s slow descent into pure evil in 《无证之罪》. I’m lazy-slow w the C language. I pick up 90% of my C (and English too) from watching dramas. My C traditional reading is worse. I can only improve by watching TW dramas. But I haven’t watched it in years. It’s embarrassing, I think I read French, Italian menus better than C ones. I can manage verbal TW, Canto, Mandarin (but half-baked with Tw, Canto). Taiwanese are patient w me. I read music scores a lot more fluently than any C. But for science journal articles I need them in Eng. French may be ok with some guessing. I lived in hyper-anti-C area when I was young. The effects still linger.

          I thought you are in luck and there should be some more shorter web-dramas in the future based on current trends. But your friends like _fluffy_ short ones? This paragraph is from the article I mentioned before:

          I may prefer Snail slightly over LMIYD. I liked both a lot more than I like ShaBaiTian dramas. (Or Memory Lost.) My BFF was very annoyed at ISWAK’s Ariel. We both like Ariel in In Time With You. It’s slow-paced and it digresses into actor 金士杰 ‘s arc (I didn’t see much point to this digression). It’s a bit s-o-l actually.

          Many AVV comments here liked Memory Lost best. I’m definitely the opposite. I didn’t even bother finish watching ML. I finished Snail etc without taking a long time. I live near a police station and I don’t see any female cop behaving like YR. Her detective portrayal is so weird to me. YR seems a lot better with “woman from period era” roles. I’m also not fond of Joe Chen in professional modern lady role. Whereas her country or innocent girl charm was strong in her early roles. It’s also partly the roles. Idol/C dramas put too many women in Design-oriented roles. It’s like there are no women doing anything outside of design. I get sick of Designing women roles. Oh. Don’t watch Joe Chen in Cruel Romance either. HXM especially loves his overbearing CEO roles he said in interview, but he likes to overact when he does these dramas nowadays. I think his directors reign him in better in movies. CR has terrible plot. It’d have been better if the drama turns plotless like 2018-OSBSwY below. lol

          I think you like the story-telling part done well? A lot of AVV readers like to discuss hot guys/kisses, beautiful costumes/actresses/ colors.
          I need more than just pretty faces, clothes.

          LanLing Wang was a guilty pleasure for me. I skipped some. Stay With Me was terrible. My BFF is violently allergic of MingDao, FSF. We sometimes watch dramas together, so I usually avoid MD, FSF.

          I think you need to re-consider after finish watching 1 or a few dramas. What you liked and didn’t like about them. And look at your long list of to-watch dramas and reduce the list.

          I saw color manga-like books for all 4 literary classics including The 3 Kingdoms in a C bookstore. They seem short though.

          Oh, ZYL is a bit of a regular (“Gudai” period) girl with 2 brothers falling in love with her in “Mismatched”. Han Dong was quiet about his love and didn’t act crazy much. Some readers here complain about Qi Ji not being Gary enough. Don’t know if these are deal breakers for you.

          I only saw JJY with non-pixie hair cut in dramas twice. Once was in Lichuan. I didn’t like her pixie-haired dramas as much, though Dr Qin S1 was ok. I didn’t watch her Solaso Bistro drama. Didn’t look promising to me. So far she hasn’t been good in costume dramas. She was only in Chusen? (I didn’t check). I didn’t like LiLanDi in Wuxin2 as much as in MHF.

          As for plotless dramas, 2018 Only Side By Side w You turned ~completely plotless midway. Just Bai Baihe’s father character keeps yelling at his adult daughters, criticizing them. There are too many bad parents, uncles, aunts in C dramas.

          lol. I guess it helped I saw Dilraba starting from ep 7 then. I sometimes just listened to it from the kitchen.

          I avoid harem dramas. Didn’t watch Ruyi, Yanxi … Such dramas are bound to have some world class termagants no?

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          That’s pretty impressive though! Most of my friends grew up oversea can’t read Chinese because Chinese schools were too suffering and it’s hard to retain it when you don’t really use it, they mostly retain it verbally because using it with family. I had my earlier half education in China and I need science and more technical articles in english, because I learnt all the terms in english. Taiwan hasn’t had really good dramas lately that I know of? Besides the HIStory mini series about gay couples (? idk if they are all gay).

          It doesn’t have to be fluffy, but some of them tend to want to just chill so they will avoid serious dramas. Oh yeah if they continue to produce web dramas, it’d be nice.小糖人 just opened casting call for a Chinese adaptation of gossip girl by the way. I have NO idea how that would work because a) can’t flaunt wealth b) cdrama fashion sense is mhmmm c) i think they aged up the characters but you still can’t have all these people sleeping around and swapping partners right?? d) they will need a lot of charisma to pull off the cast, they are likely to use newbies who’s decent at acting but mhm. IDK why you would even try for an adaptation yknow??

          I think Memory Lost is the closest adaptation, they might have fused the romance bits in better? Cruel Romance and Destined to Love You is definitely on my NEVER watch.

          I’m definitely a plot person, I will take good plot with stock characters and low budget production lol. I have a decent memory, for most dramas I know why I liked or didn’t like them, my re-watch list would be hk dramas from 90s and early 00s (i stopped watch hk dramas around 04/05, and started other dramas around then so lol).

          How was Wuxin 2? It tanked on douban (in comparison to 1 so I’m curious) I recently just finished s1 after sitting on it for so long lol.

          南方有乔木! I peeked at it before but it looked uhhh melo-y so i was like lol meh. Didn’t watch Yanxi or Ruyi cos of the genre and length. If I’m investing that much time, I need guarantees it would be good (finished drama with 8+)

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Once we live in English-speaking countries, it’s hard to get a chance to speak non-Eng. A lot of the time, the only language in common is Eng once you get an in-law or other acquaintance in the group.

          I didn’t like Wuxin2. Think they did a better job directing HDJ in S1. Damian Lau’s acting was weird in WX2. LLD’s character is kind of annoying. Very insistent. Mike isn’t a great actor. I didn’t finish.

          I browsed just a bit of Tiny Times, V Love something.. They all seem boring. So I don’t see the point to see Gossip Girl either. I never saw any GG. I thought GG and TT would be in similar genre at least.

          Romance was about the 1 thing that M Lost got right. A lot of actors, directors, writers never had a full time job outside of the ent biz. The plots they come up with sometimes completely miss the point. In “Decoded” they have a grand hall full of people celebrating the cracking of enemy’s code. You actually want to keep that a secret so you can figure out what the enemy’s messages are going forward. If you broadcast out you broke their code, they’ll change their code and you have to start over. It took them 20+ eps to crack the first code.

          I think they write better, more fleshed out female chars in dramas like Grow Up. Princess dramas are too Jane Austen-y for me. And there’s a strong sense of us vs them. Often narcissistic. With a dash of entitlement complex. Anything involving us (Princess, her loyal maid, her Prince) are goody two shoes and/or brilliant. The others are all the evil stepmom/sis, backstabbing maids, traitors. The competitors are often traitors. The closer your relationship is with Princess, the more honorable your character is. All competitors are inferior to you in skills. I don’t know why if you’re OTP’s colleagues/counterparts, you have to be traitorous and/or dumb. All “great” princess dramas have to end up with a great prince.

          When they try to do contemporary dramas, most of the Gary men have to have better job qualifications or wealthier than Mary. Many Mary’s have to be in jobs that are deemed suitable for women. A lot of design and artistic ones. Nothing too threatening like Wall Street or Hillary Clinton type. The web dramas are less this way. They don’t tick all the stereotype boxes. idk why lots of people say period princess characters are such strong women. They often seem shallow, low-dimensional characters to me. How many would be able to survive had they not have a Gary? Hou Mengyao’s Mulan still had Dylan Kuo to save her. Was there a princess who didn’t hook up with a Prince?

          In period dramas, there are also overwhelmingly many medicine ladies? They have their strong preferences for feminine jobs.

          I saw 2 of the Hu Bayi’s Tomb Raiding ones. Both were watchable. The Ethan Ruan & Jin Dong ones. I haven’t watched Zhang Luyi’s “Red”. When I searched YT, it only had trailer. idk. It didn’t appeal to me at the time. I found Ethan in Fuyao was more irritating. I didn’t think either tomb raiding drama was impressive. My friend highly recommended the JinDong one. I see pinyin too frequently. Sometimes I forget which tones go with the Pinyin. I’m too lazy to open the editor for C characters frequently.

          You’re bolder than me. I want to make sure the drama doesn’t suck first before I start reading a novel. I don’t want the drama to ruin my imagery of the novel. So far, I think it’d only be interested in reading Nirvana. Strangely enough I haven’t seen Nirvana IF in bookstores near me. I see a lot of Nobel Prize winner stuff, Red Sorghum, Eileen Chang books. Bookcases of Wuxia novels, and plain history books.
          Sometimes I marvel at how descriptive some C phrases are. Like 灰飞烟灭 in Ashes of Love. In Eng sub, they had it down as “vanished”.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          IKR. I had a lot of chinese friends but we usually spoke english since not everyone were comfortable with their level of chinese (or no common tongue) + english only friends.

          I had friends who liked GG so I watched it. Tiny TImes definitely seem like they are in the same category but I’ve never watched it, all I know is they are rich people and there’s lots of drama between the girls and they fight a lot. pass. GG is messy but at least it’s not just girl bff fighting, TT might have more than that too but I no longer have patience to find out if it does lol.

          Antagonists have to suffer in princess dramas because they were mean to the protagonists, and if they don’t suffer, it’s like they won!! or something. People who say princess are strong is usually because they are smart or can fight or something, which make them easier to like compared to just bubbly protag. That definitely doesn’t mean they don’t get damsel’ed. I think it’s because by having love interest save protag, it means they care a lot about them and have some sort of power to save them which makes them attractive as LI? Everyone is swooning over the otp. Female targeted media are usually interested in selling the relationship rather than character power fantasy (like in male targeted media). You essentially have to look for very serious dramas where romance isn’t the focus at all to see that kind of character (and a lot of the time, the protag isn’t a women. there’s still some, about various Empress Dowager or something.)

          For contemporary dramas, the lack of protags with “aggressive jobs/stance” is persistent in kdramas and jdramas too. Partially because a spunky/smart but with regular jobs is more relateable and partially because sexism, it’s just harder to market and less likely the audience will like them, also they are probably harder to write, let’s be real. Andy in Ode to Joy didn’t get a lot of focus on her job but she was still very inconsistent and got criticised a lot for how much she didn’t seem like the character was meant to be.

          Jin Dong one had a good production team, that’s probably why. I think some of the CG (latter ones, I think they were done by different teams) were too fake and I was bored for some of the plot? I feel like I’d like it better if it was shorter. Didn’t watch any other ones because they seem vary in quality by a LOT.

          Oh yeah I started reading WN partially because I haven’t read Chinese for like 15 years or something, and the Chinese language is so gorgeous ahhhh. The other reason besides all the adaptation is there isn’t much MMO stories, I like them!!! I started reading King’s Avatar after the anime but it was ridiculously long so I beelined for female protag ones.

          I watch a lot of adapations (manga -> anime, manga -> live action, cross country adaptation, novel -> anime, novel -> live action) and idk i have really low expectations with adaptations? I treat them as half new productions and a different way to get people to see stories i like, and I don’t really have mental images of characters and scenes usually, they are very vague image so live adaptation don’t ruin them for me usually, or influence how I read the original. As far as cdrama goes, there are too many factors that goes into it that would ruin a perfectly serviceable adaptation, character change (plot changes are fine honestly), char image, acting, pacing, low budget prop and CG. it’s far easier for me to skim or drop novels too, They take less time as well usually (except they drag me into this never ending backlog of WN but oh well). e.g. I read 1/4 of 凤囚凰, untouchable lovers before I dropped it because I was promised a 腹黑 male lead but that far in and I still didn’t see much romance (or how manipulative he was). I think their main fluff interaction was around the middle when female lead lost her memory? I don’t know? I skipped to the ending and there was very gruesome death. The language can be pretty flowery but there were incredible amount of thoughts that was kind of boring. I watched the first couple of episodes of the drama too out of morbid curiosity. it was actually decent production with meh acting but it’s stupidly long with butchered half so lmao.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          One of the things that I watch cdramas for is you get to see an actor in various roles. That can be interesting. Another one is sometimes it gives you something to think or talk about.
          Any cdramas that make you think for a long time?

          But I have to put on my less-critical hat and think less about logic when I watch cdramas half the time. Even with the wildly popular Love020, if you look a bit deeper, you soon notice how ZS’ female friends do very little. The “guy group” is definitely a lot more impressive. I read that a small number of C female billionaires are part of the Alibaba founding-group. A few of them started working at Alibaba very early along with their husbands. I feel as if that sort of setting may be more interesting and balanced than the typical idol dramas they feed us. There are lots of impressive real-life c women. it’s surprising to me how much weaker the fictional ones are. Also, if you were to visit top univs’ STEM departments in North Amer, you’ll see a pretty strong c female representation.

          This is one main reason I tend to fast forward and not remember many dramas in great detail. If I really pay detailed attention to them, I catch a lot of flaws or issues that detract from the drama enjoyment. Some are c culture issues. 重男轻女. 三从四德. The beauty standards can be dramatically different for the 2 genders. Much more relaxed for the men. How many actresses can look like Huang Bo, Wang Baoqiang, Sun Honglei and get famous? The West is generally less severe with these issues. A lot more comments on female looks and male ones. Whereas males are more valued for their accomplishments and wealth. This bias shows in dramas and real life in multiple ways.
          All those pics of women behind A4 papers. How many men did it?

          The desire to lessen negative complications of 重男轻女. 三从四德 isn’t as strong. If the desire is stronger, they’d have accomplished more. Look at how many doctors, famous researchers, scientists or successful biz people with extremely high achievement with poor, not very literate parents?

          A lot of people focus on all the wrong things in life. Confuse Wants vs Needs. The recent FBB incident makes me think about how when you get your Want skewed far away from your Need. You can get yourself in deep trouble.

          People often simplify things too much into just black and white.
          A lot of people see successful people and want to be successful, but they focus on all the wrong variables. For example, they hear of Warren Buffet. And let’s assume WB drinks coffee. If they see WB drinks coffee, they would drink coffee too. Thinking that’s the prestigious thing to do. This sounds comical and ridiculous. But that’s often what a lot of people and dramas do. In different manifestations.

          It takes a lot of years of learning, observation, (self-)education, experience, self-honesty to improve yourself continually. You have to make a number of right, well-informed decisions to achieve success. But few people see those things. They only pay attention to the superficial stuff.

          If you see yourself as Mary or Gary, you’re not going to have an honest view of yourself. It actually doesn’t set you up for a successful final outcome. You actually have to be smart and wise to see what you’re lacking and what you’re good at. And find a suitable situation, job etc. for yourself. But instead, most people will just think my competitor just got lucky. That was the only reason why he’s successful today. And I’m brilliant, I just got unlucky that once.
          And now I’m doomed. And that often lead some people to sabotage others etc. Or build walls. lol.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I haven’t watched enough cdramas to see most actors in various roles, apart from bunch that Zhengwu likes to use. Similar reason for dramas that make me think. I read fair amount of analysis/reviews on NiF and was in the fandom for while but I don’t really think that counts? I don’t really ponder on dramas a lot mhm, last one I emotionally resonated with was My Huckleberry Friends because a lot of it was just so real, even if I’ve never experienced it, I 100% believe it happened somewhere in China. Mostly talking about the book, but the drama also captured the spirit incredibly well, elevated it to beyond one person’s coming of age to a bunch of kids’, they both made me appreciate each medium/work more tbh, and that’s such a rare thing in adapations. That probably doesn’t really count as thinking. I honestly think I have yet to watch most dramas that’d make me think. (大秦帝国,大明王朝1566,走向共和)

          Love O2O is fluff at its core though, the OTP are basically perfect..I think the drama added in the scenes for a lot of the guy roommates, you also see them more because they play the same games and later work at the same place. Whereas her friends, you only see Er Xi a lot and she gets dumped into misunderstanding plot that normally plagues the OTP.

          A drama about female billionaire would be lovely, but I’m pretty afraid it’d end up being a love story. It’s not that you can’t have both, it’s just I don’t think cdramas can balance both and I think investor will think only love story will sell. I trust early HK dramas to do so (idk about now since I don’t watch them) because they do career women very well and tend to fuse human drama (romance, family, friendship) into it pretty well. It also comes down to it probably won’t sell, tv ratings and popularity (according various sites’ trending/discussion), if anything looks too “tiring”, there’s people that would just skip it. China is ridiculously capitalistic and the audience have a lot of choice! They have kdramas, jdramas, US shows, UK shows to binge, so it sort of create this loop. Costume drama draw some people back in due to unique-ish setting that you can’t find elsewhere. (I watch cdramas historical for that reason at least)

          It’s part of 儒家文化, look at East Asia in general, everyone are sexist, one is bit better than the other at something, but vice versa at something else. I saw a topic today asking which country out of Japan, China and Korea’s women have it worst, and the conclusion is kind of we are about the same, just manifested in different ways. It’s very ingrained into society, women notice it, they loudly talk about it sometimes (amongst high ratio of women group), but goodness gracious, most men doesn’t notice a lot of blatant sexist things, let along micro aggression like newspapers always commenting on a woman’s looks whenever something terrible happens. People legitimately doesn’t understand what’s the big deal. The West is much more aware about these things because people constantly kick up a fuzz about it. I’ve seen people mock or misunderstand Black Lives Matters and feminists. The latter is partially because there’s some aggressive feminists, they straight up don’t understand feminist = equality = good for men too, also because there’s people that use it as cover for other stuff, and this is the era where a slip up gets magnified. Anyways, I just would not touch social justice (or term it anyways) with a 10 foot pole in Chinese. Political correct and white left (which I totally agree have its fair amount of issues but they use it in terms of anyone bringing up social justice) are both negative terms online, which just make me feel like I’m in a bizzaro world.

          Oh yeah, people definitely do vain thing to have more 逼格?That’s why luxurious brand is popular, it’s a status symbol. I think a lot of China’s societal issues comes from the fact it changed too fast. We went from Fedual system to a republic to war-torn to new but famished and devoid of basic modern infrastructure to privatisation + opening up borders after being closed for uhh 300 years? to astoundingly rapid growing economy. Especially the last one basically mean everyone under the age of 60 ALL want to be successful and have lots of money because look, other people can do it! (because good timing did mean a lot of people got lucky, a lot of people were also unlucky but they never get noticed) But education, laws, general standards and expectations for a number of things haven’t quite caught up, so you run into a lot of issues. The other major contributing factor is there’s lot of us! When you have enough people, anything can become a problem. 10 people being rude isn’t much, but c!netizens can turn that into thousands in a snap.

          Anyways, Mary and Gary aren’t really cdrama specialty (kdramas were pretty good at them for awhile, manga are perpetually good at them), though I’m sure we win by sheer amounts, like everything else. They have a place, for students who care far less about realistic characterisations and more about hot actors/production values, and for tired people who just want something to pass the time (though I think most young working adults lean towards a plot that feels bit different if they have to be Mary/Gary, older adults doesn’t necessarily care as long as they aren’t bored.)

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Forgot to say, 我可能不会爱你 In Time w You was good when I watched it. Just a bit slow at times. But thinking back, I don’t recall vivid details of why I found it good (The dialogues felt more genuine than many other dramas? LYC’s family was rather nice). Unlike Nirvana. So many people re-watch the birthday and other scenes.

          There are just more fluff Cdramas the last 3-5 years, it feels like.

          The reason why they make GG, TT is glossy dramas tend to sell well I guess. The Ks are pretty good at not just exporting those dramas, but also the glossy K cultures within those dramas. Makeup, snacks that the idols ate, tourism… You can get snacks that got featured in K dramas delivered to your door step. I’m not aware that Cdramas have increased ctourism yet.

          From news and things I happen to read, among CJK (alphabetically ordered), J may be slightly worse than CK? They’ve enjoyed a decent economy for the longest period, but there are some unusual looking recent headlines. Recently it’s the ~160th year anniversary of train chikan 耍流氓. 东京医学院8月8日新闻 . There’s a female tea pouring culture in offices if you’re of a certain skin color (not sure if that applies to C and K who are living in J). J worldwide ranking for gender equality is around 112-116 recently. A bit below C&K. Countries w strong economies are usually among the best. Often it’s Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland.(What may be missing is if you’re a female from an ethnic minority group, your experience may be different). J also has the lowest percentage of women in politics of CJK. My J sis-in-law was trained in how to handle 流氓 in her elementary school. In the Harvard admission lawsuit by Asian American group, one issue under scrutiny is a lot of very high-scoring C and K applicants get a lot of negative commentaries from interviewers like “very busy but doesn’t go extra mile”. NY Times article – 29 July 2018. J didn’t come up. But there are a lot of other things beyond what I read.

          An alternate way to look at the H admissions: process may be biased, possibly related to the fact that certain Asians are doing so well that they are over-represented?

          C like many others, love prestige & economic wealth. When it comes to these things, you rarely hear “Oh but we’re better than the bottom-ranked country”. But when it comes to gender and other issues, I frequently hear comments like “but we’re better than the bottom-ranked country”.

          But I do agree on the ill effects of a few bad apples. Lots of C tourists go abroad without any incident. But a small percentage of bad apples can create a lot of bad press.

          I was like you about the TMOPB. I was not pleased at Tang Qi for attacking the original author. Did no one from YM’s studio know anything about the plagiarism before YM’s studio picked up the project?

          Do you have any favorite novel(s) with nice-sounding flowery language?

          I’ll look up your past Raymond Lam favorites. There had been too many titles over the years. And we have to remember the Eng and C titles.

          Both Canto and TW are rather useful dialects bc both get adapted into J and K words. Canto and TW dialects are from Han/Tang and Song. You can guess the period when J and K adapted C cultural elements from which version of C language/dialect gets used in the current J or K words.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          It sounds like a low key drama? I was interested because childhood friends transitioning into romance, it’s rare for adults who dated around and decide to maybe try with childhood friends, I was told it was pretty natural?

          You know, I can’t tell wtih regards to increase of fluff cdramas, partially because I only sort of looked at the market as a whole since 2016, partially because I rarely watch them. But I think combination of under 30s (under 40s?) have the control of market now and we grew up having lots of entertainment, so only fluff cdramas have the massive draw to guarantee money (due to fandom culture?), and just the people leading the industry right now (in terms of bringing in money) are people who rely on fandoms and churning out dramas, fluff dramas are easiest to draw in and keep fans.

          Then there’s the whole SARFT getting stricter and stricter, especially with historical dramas (this year’s each station allowed 70 episode of them to cut down on lengthening drama unnecessarily), and scrutinising details about history, if it’s fake, it’s super hard to get passed. There’s stupid amount of restrictions on Chinese fantasy genre (no reincarnation, ghost, genie/spirit etc that are fundamentals of the genre to cut down on superstition) and for mystery shows, you can’t show case details that are too realistic or there might be copycats, police have to be positive image, can’t be too gorey etc. I didn’t really look too closely because couple of sentences made me too mad lol. So fluff are just….easiest. Oh and there’s all the web novels used as basis to save time and money too. female targeted ones are heavy in fluff, especially when it’s just popular ones, drama audience lean towards female too. There’s been a few male targeted ones but I think overall they started later in the drama market? (tomb raiding ones notwithstanding, and that’s a really mixed genre in terms of quality and audience too)

          cdramas have lot of product replacement too, some that’s a little too intrusive. iQiyi have little ads that have randoms in drama costume to promote stuff too, There was unskippable (and I was VIP) finance apps in middle of NiF2 episodes which just took me out of the drama a lot and murdered tensions a lot. c!ent industry have been relatively uninterested in international market, probably due to sheer amount of domestic audience. Someone was complaining yesterday on MDL about how The Rise of Phoenix was bought by Netflix, slated to air Sep 14th, and thus a lot of the illegal streams kept getting taken down. “Why don’t they make subs available from the get go? I don’t really want to watch the drama anymore with all these fuss and having to subscribe to Netflix.” Like, LMAO, sheer entitlement and overestimating the amount of cdrama fans who need subs who would simulcast. I think that’s changing, especially if netflix purchases increase interest in cdramas too, and I’m sure China react faster than the Japanese anime industry.

          Japanese companies definitely expect female colleagues to pour tea even if you are having a meeting and everyone is equal rank. I think it’d apply to Chinese/Koreans tbh because they blend into the culture usually. They are also expected to give up their career and be stay at home mum when they get married. That’s not really a thing in China, partially because lmao can’t afford to be just single income household with that housing market bubble! But Japan is more open to alternative to the oppressive mainstream lifestyle, partially because of the stagnant economy that broke down a lot of things you used to be able to take for granted (salaryman at a company for life). Of course you can’t really talk about it, more open secret? and you’d still get a lot of pressure from other people. This might be there’s more english report about these people in Japan than other two countries though. Chinese I think tend to look better on the surface (have a job) but about the same when you look deeper (gender discrimination in particular field, salary difference, everyone asking when you are getting married once you hit 25)

          Re: Harvard admission, I think it’s partially expectations, and partially maybe racism (stereotyping?) I don’t really how Japanese immigrants and their kids do in the west tbh, I’ve only known Chinese and Koreans.

          Oh god chinese tourists. Every time something happens, chinese netizens explode over it because they represent our country. RIP. China have lots of issues but I also don’t really appreciate a lot of English media’s angle, they have lot of expectations for a country that developed so fast, not that I think China shouldn’t be accountable, especially one with as much influence, economic power and population as China, but it can be all critcism and nothing else. The ones that does say positive things get slanted as paid by chinese gov or whatever, which okay I’ll believe it, but surely China is good at something right? Though criticisms are usually from clueless and biased netizens so eh..

          I think they legitimately didn’t care it was plagiarised. There’s been two high profile cases, 琼瑶 vs 于正,庄羽 vs 郭敬明, the original author both won but the plagiariser are still making a lot of money and have a steady fanbase. Not to mention, ssss plagiarism wasn’t straight lifting, it was like one sentence with half of it copied + similar plot elements + similar characters, and general style of the writing, which basically make it extremely hard to go to court with. The original was also BL novel, which can’t be published so it’s somehow “lesser”. I suppose it’s sort of like, even if you want to support the original, you can’t adapt it because it’s BL, also because you would lose a huge market.

          I love using Canto for learning Japanese and picking up Korean words, wish I knew Hokkien for more frame of reference though.

          My current favourite is The Rise of Phoenix’s original novel 凰权by天下归元. I read two other books by herand she has several other longer books but this is generally agreed to be her best work. Her protags are really OP, and this one have 4 love interest. The language is little TOO flowery for a lot of people I think? It’s criticised for just piling up descriptions, I just skim it when it gets too much. Anyways I like it because the OTP meet in first chapter when protag murders someone 😀 I thought it was nice to have two smart people who aren’t really good people per se (both pretty ruthless) scheming against each other. The book is bit long though.

          I haven’t actually read that many historical (only about 20?) which are more likely to use flowery language. Those that have them, I either haven’t read because the story doesn’t seem like it or I haven’t got around to them, or I didn’t like them as well as much as other people. Like 帝王业 by 寐语者 had nice prose at times, other times I find it too much. It’s one of those books that feel historical though, she never talked to her husband before they married, the marriage was for political reasons and it was sharing of ideals that led to love. Oddly oppressive to read though, oh yeah and it’s in first person which made some sentences really awkward. People that gets rec’ed: 尤四姐,明月珰,林家成,小狐濡尾,priest (mostly BL), 米兰lady‘s 孤城闭,雪满梁园’s 鹤唳华亭.

          夜行歌 by 紫微流年还不错,魔教女和正派男的故事,前1/4是魔教的 故事,女主比较厉害,出了魔教,她相对就懒得发挥实力,而且跟周围格格不入。Characterisation is pretty nice, little awkward when half the book female lead looks like a 12 year old though (for a reason and she changes later but still, it makes any romance scenes a little UMMM) Her 一寸相思 is also really popular. Then there’s 且试天下 by 倾泠月, 半江湖/半乱世争权. It’s kind of legend-y style? Everyone is super pretty and powerful, I had a pretty hard time reconciling with female lead’s very different personalities depending on what she’s doing, everyone also love her, it make sense because she’s brilliant but ymmv (and to be fair, the major female supporting characters are also really pretty?). There’s a pseudo sequel that’s all jianghu called 兰因璧月.

          Other stuff I like are less pretty language and more I like their stories (and they can feel pretty modern since they are more rom/com style) Looking for authors that might fit the description made me stumble on MORE plagiarism, I was going to rec 桐华 (well known for BBJX and Da Mo Yao), 沧月 (听雪楼,i think there’s a drama coming out, rip.) Some of is plot elements, some of it is straight passage lifting.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Novels you mentioned don’t have intimate scenes, right? I read from goodread website, some readers said some things in HSALF were explicit. I can never tell from the title. I never read explicit books lol.

          I looked up the 2 Ray Lam dramas. They do sound good, but seem hard to find for me. So I’d likely go for low-hanging branches and watch newer, easier to find dramas instead. I still have a few (8?) older TVB dramas on DVD that I haven’t watched yet. DVD shops within driving distance from me have mostly died.

          I half enjoyed 2 fluff dramas from the last 2 years. The Big Boss. I like Li Kaixin’s comic acting in this drama. Her character is 傻白甜 though. And Let’s Shake It. An Yuexi’s joyous expression is contagious.
          I may watch S2 for these 2 dramas.

          Are you aware of TW teen actress Vicky Chen? She won Golden Horse last year and is in the current Eagles & Youngsters? I’m not planning on watching her 2 Golden Horse movies or E&Y.

          Hokkien can be partially useful when you travel to Singapore, and sections of Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines too. A lot of Xiamen area residents used the boats from Xiamen port to emigrate to Southeast Asia in late 1800s/early 1900s. I guess the Guangzhou boats headed to the US, Australia more, but the Xiamen boats went to SE Asia more.

          There are many C immigrants in many parts of the world with unique life stories actually. Sometimes I just get people to tell me some of these things. Like I never lived in C, so I’m curious about life in C.

          I think K cosmetics and some related consumer goods really capitalize it to the max. There are multiple K cosmetic shops in most North Amer cities I visited the past year. There are about as many K beauty products as there are Samsung phones here? There are some J ones too. I wouldn’t be able to find a single C one.

          I think J words keep more of the C sounds. The only K words I recognize are for medical/health-related words.
          J gives you some instant Kanji recognition, but overall, I find it easier to read Spanish, Italian, Latin, … out loud because they are alphabet-based. No extra symbols to memorize. J has hiragana, katakana and kanji. It’s time-consuming at the end when you include the total package.
          Do you read traditional C well?

          Sometimes if you wait for a few months before watching a drama, there will be multiple platforms offering it with different amounts of adverts.

          It’s just my impression that the J gender issue is more severe.
          I haven’t had time to read fiction the past few years. I read more fact-based stuff like this crazy long article on STAP research scandal that happened to J researcher Haruko Obokata on the newyorker website. ” ..Obokata’s English was good, she wanted to improve her accent, so Ross read “Curious George” books to her, and in return she made him shabu-shabu. She loved the United States; in Japan, she told him, female researchers were second class, expected to give up the microscope when a male—even an undergraduate—needed it. Yet she was deeply Japanese. When visitors came to the lab, she would take her gloves off and bow. Ross said, “I called her Princess Haruko.”

          I never met any female scientist who had done this in the last 2 decades. Most people I know can’t afford to be interrupted so frequently. Take a pause whenever there are visitors?
          I haven’t seen this myself either. And this Haruko was a PhD in a univ setting, working with well-known researchers. I don’t know what ladies in the countryside would have to do in the “worst” case scenario.

          My J medical acquaintance recommended me to read this article. He is a retired doctor.

          Hawaii, California, Texas have some significant ethnic J clusters. I don’t know other states that are dotted with Little Tokyos and Japantowns. Some of the more recent J immigrants into the US are related to Toyota’s US headquarter (and manufacturing plants?) My sis in law says, there’s low J emigration outflow in recent years. It may be a form of patriotism. Not abandoning the home country during prolonged economic hardship. Some countries like Peru, Brazil have higher J density?

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I don’t think so? They might have sex but it’s not explicit and you can skip those I think.

          For Raymond Lam dramas, I found http://www.mmhktv.com/play/206-0-0.html for 再生缘 for example. Darn online shopping have been pushing out DVD stores huh.

          Not familiar with Vicky Chen but Eagles & Youngsters seems to be doing well?

          At some point I figured the easiest way to retain maximum amount of languages was being mixed and raised partially in SE Asia then partially in Europe, lol.

          I grew up on Cantonese dramas and later scanlated manga that were usually done in traditional Chinese (they looked better in traditional so fair amount of groups did that)/Taiwanese dramas, so I read it pretty well.

          Japanese words definitely have more words that I recognise, partially because of the on-yomi/Chinese reading they kept, which generally gets used if they are part of kanji + kanji words. Being pretty into Japanese entertainment + Chinese background essentially means that’s the only other language I can sort of say I have some knowledge of. Spanish and Italian I only remember random words, lmao. I should really pick up Spanish again, it’s a pretty useful language! I prefer how Italian sounds though, likely because there’s no rolling rs to trip me up.

          Ohhh yeah even Chinese usually use Korean or Japanese cosmetics more tbh? or major European/US brands if they have products suitable for our skin/needs.

          Oh boi, Japanese bowing, it never ends. I appreciate the original intent behind it, politeness and what not but having to interrupt your work, and other blatant issues is rooough. It’s why I I really like the country, a lot of its customs and entertainment but whenever someone say they want to live in Japan because they love its entertainment, I always have this tiny voice asking “but why!!” It’s different if you are white though, or a dude, of course.

          Oh yeah Japanese have a low population to begin with, and there’s relatively little incentive to move oversea I think? Korea have a great relationship with US and it’s prestigious to study there so I suppose that’s why? Chinese of course have plenty of reason to migrate.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Thank you again! Sorry. The last time I posted, I said thank you, but I clicked on the wrong spot, so it ended up up there somewhere on the page. It’s a sign I’ve babbled on too much 😛

          With the H admission thing, I have just a simple thought. 留得青山在,不愁没柴烧. The only sad part of it is that was just the tip of the iceberg. A lot of these thoughts are pervasive (and results in excess scrutiny at TSA at airports, all levels of application processes). But often they are just thoughts in people’s mind. Not kept in file records for people to see as in the case of the H admission.

          It’ll take me a long time to go through your reading list. :- P
          I’ve only heard of 桐华 , 沧月 from your list. I thought Tong Hua has (many?) anti-fans for how she turned many historical characters into super idol guys. iirc CangYue had major plagiarism issue with at least one of the Novoland novels. I thought she has a novel that attracted interest (from Disney or …?). So there was a more serious (American firm?) website offering a free sample of a few Eng chapters.

          On a scale from 0 to 10,
          How much did like Mo Bao Fei Bao, Ding Mo?

          Did you ever read PD James, Laurie King, Carlos Ruiz Zafon? Any opinions on them?
          Trying to predict how much we’d overlap in books. lol

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          It’s ok. Look I started this string of comments by accident too! We had a lot of comments lol.

          Didn’t watch 我的前半生, but it was pretty popular last year and my friend did rec it to me iirc, I had Surgeons in my backlog at the time though. Oh yeah the douban comments were calling them 渣男贱女 which is really harsh, ugh.

          正午阳光?They split off from 山东影视 because that’s a government owned company, and mainly produce for Shandong TV, the content are more down to earth (look at 温州一家人, it doesn’t even have an entry in MDL, I almost added one till it asked me for synopsis, I’m so bad at synopsis omg.) 侯鸿亮 who’s a producer, made Daylight Entertainment to pursue more commercialised projects I think? Try out different genre (and probably make more money?). 孔笙 + 李雪 were well established directors that were also founders? Or they joined initially because of the producer, idk. 张开宙导演好像是孔笙的徒弟。They work closely with particular casting company CD Home (? 魏伟 is co-founder, he’s 童路 in NiF) and they like using familiar actors so there’s a lot of crossover (fair number of them might have been Shandong actors too lol) Anyways, can you tell I spent a lot of time looking behind the scenes? I should stop rambling about them.

          cdramas have lot of people so there’s more people who could act I guess? They have little marketing value so they are lot cheaper than idols too. I don’t think my grandpa prefers Wu Lei so much as my mum and aunt got into habit of watching Rise of Phoenixes on Hunan TV, so it was left on Hunan TV, Fight Break Sphere is straight after. (I dropped TRoP TV version as they started doing major cuts but my family got used to watching it. They don’t necessarily like it though since they didn’t pay much attention to it and then there were major cuts)

          People who put on fake eyelashes are probably in the same group as people who get double eyelid surgery or get stick on whatever that makes you have double eyelid. Lots of pressure to be conventionally attractive. oh and thin.

          It’d be nice for women could be taught and learn that it doesn’t have to be like this. But collectivist society emphasis on keeping status quo and harmony between groups/community, no rocking the boat etc so it’s little hard, sometimes hard to even realise that there’s something wrong to begin with yknow.

          I haven’t read most of whom I suggested so 😛 桐华 def have lot of anti yeah, but she’s also very popular, I mean she has to be for her works to be amongst first to be adapted into cdramas. Aside from turning into idols, she also said that her novels were historical novels, and people get all up in their arms about how she ruined x and y hero’s image AND pretended it’s history which can be so misleading to kids, gosh. I mean, I see their point, and I know there are dumb kids who would do that but most people don’t take their novels seriously and use it as jumping off point to learn tbh.

          I didn’t know 沧月 wrote for Novoland too! She’s mostly well known for female protag wuxia, and she lifted passages from a fanfic iirc. The other claims were plot elements from manga, wuxia tropes, frameworks from well known wuxia novels, which are I think harder to argue on plagiarism claims. This is from cursory search though. Novoland is something I sort of want to tackle but god, even the base series is so long.

          I’ve only read 墨宝非宝,6 novels in total, they are all pretty short (200k chars), around 5/10 probably? 电竞三部曲( 神之左手 5 +密室困游鱼 5,5 +蜜汁炖鱿鱼 4,5)last one is going to be a drama I think, Yangzi is playing protag. The first is a prequel and super short, I spent half of it figuring out timelines and all the characters relationship, and that’s it. The main book (second one) is…okay, e-sports scenes/describing how the state of industry were and now is decent, the romance is so-so. I really didn’t like how there were two female supporting characters who just did really incomprehensible things? We never get their side, and people just deal with it. One of them essentially destroyed her relationship with her ex, and while protag has moved on, it’s still something that gets central focus and I just ????? The last one is a spin off, and it’s a fluff story. Very cute, pretty tropey, Not a huge fan of protag spending half the novel being confused and getting into misunderstanding. she’s supposed to be book smart too, I wish author didn’t overstate that because it makes the dumb bits stick out more. also, I can’t relate to people who doesn’t understand super simple and common gaming terms, bye.

          轻易放火 (3.5) is fluff, bit slow, very slice of lifey and I don’t find it too fluffy. I don’t understand how ML fell in love with FL, and he did stuff that could place her under intense hate so uhhh I AM NOT A FAN. 一生一世,美人骨 (5.5) I actually like, OTP interactions were straightforward and cute, and they don’t feel like they belong in modern days, which intensify the OTP feels. ML’s family is really over the top though, not in politics or business but somehow intensely powerful, and FL know stuff is going on but she never wants to find out, so I was just like :< My favourite is 很想很想你, set around online dubbing circle, it's very fluffy. (this is 6.5 on the counts of it being tropey lol,) Her language is on the average side which is why I didn't mention her.

          I haven't got around to Ding Mo lol. Read two of Gu Man's, she writes super slow lol and they are all short. 微微一笑 is cute, everything is straightforward, OTP is perfect, the language is very simple that I was severely underwhelmed. (5. I read it after watching the drama, and in the middle of bunch of other MMO WNs. hilariously enough I rated the drama 7.5 because it was so refreshing in drama world, different standards tho.) 何以笙箫默 is from 2003 and established 久破重圆 WN tropes, the book keeps you in suspense and slowly reveals reasons things happen BUT GOD, these misunderstandings, I can't deal. It's 120k characters and I was still sorely tempted to drop it multiple times. (3.5) To be clear, I enjoy stuff I rate 5, they just usually tend to be uninspired/too tropey. I'd probably rec stuff I rate 7+? The few I mentioned before were 6 or 7 with 凰权 8 or 9 for me. I'm so glad the ratings I did for myself have come in handy!!!

          I never read those authors unfortunately. I largely read YA as a teen, and the few books I did read as an adult were usually YA too LOL. Don't expect too much from WNs tbh, a lot of female protag novels are heavily focused on romance so it's all fluff, the ones that don't still suffer from "everyone is gorgeous and amazing" syndrome, it's largely matter of how believable the author make it. Male protag novels are supposingly better BUT they are all absurdly long (fuck you qidian), and I can't handle harems and flat female love interest/characters so I never really read them and only have few authors on my to read. 蝴蝶兰 (全职高手,近战法师),天下霸唱(鬼吹灯,河神),今何在(悟空,九州),猫腻(庆余年).

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Thank you again!

          CangYue’s “Mirror” (series?) may have been the one that caught Western interest. They called it C Lord of the Rings. iirc CY was one of the authors who discussed Novoland novels during Novoland’s inception. I only took a quick internet look. I haven’t heard anything of it, so maybe that filming plan is dead?
          A blog commenter, Xingfen, was super enthused and described the Novoland background on someone’s blog (that has died). But I found that post super confusing. I suspect there’s ample enthusiasm, but I’m unsure of the novels’ quality.

          fyi. For MBFB, I met a science major lady who liked 至此终年 a lot. I have only read a couple of pages. Now I forgot how to find the source. ;- ) No big deal though. Eng ver is still widely available.

          I may wait a few months w tRoP now. See how the dust (ending etc) settles. Figure out which is the easiest way to watch it. Do you like Chen Kun’s acting in tRoP? Sometimes he’s too dramatic for me.
          Some ladies swoon over his look / long wig. They do zero for me. I prefer Han Dongjun, Peng Guanying in modern drama for looks. But both probably need a good director for their dramas.
          ZYL, Lu Yi etc are fine. CK doesn’t tip my scale lol. Just neutral.
          Your fav actors/actresses are…?

          Your family watch tRoP from local Cable/TV station’s regular programming? I think some ppl in my town subscribe to a bunch of C programming channels via italkbb. Bundled pkg with mobile phone etc. Their mobile signal doesn’t work for me. I’m on a foothill, so I don’t subscribe to any of their services.

          Minglan is the only show you’re anticipating for the rest of 2018?

          This is the first place i’ve said this much on the internet!

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Thank YOU for consistently reading and replying to my rambly comments 😛

          Yeah Mirror is a series, unrelated to Novoland though. (she wrote for the series for a bit apparently) Don’t really have news on filming (there’s drama AND movie), stuck in development limbo? She seem to have stopped publishing books since 2014, so idk what’s up with that, but the consensus seems to be the quality of her work have been going down (tbf, that goes for most WN authors, burnt out?)

          As for Novoland, it’s an epic world, but written by whole bunch of authors, with spin offs, and set in different time and what not, so it’s not necessarily consistent, then there were some huge fight (in 2007) between the founders 江南 who wrote 九州缥缈录 & 今何在 who wrote 九州海上牧云记 and now the world building between the two is bit different. There’s other founders and they were involved in the fights too but those two gets mentioned the most. It’s kind of hard to tell how good the novels are because this series was obviously created in the early days of WN, and lot of people might look at it with rose tint glasses, but I suspect initial novels are probably middle upper tier of WN.

          MBFB, like most female protag authors write for 晋江 where they can run from 200k to 1mil chars? usually? http://www.jjwxc.net/onebook.php?novelid=1353170, Lot of people doesn’t buy vip though and typing in chinese name usually get you bunch of illegal sites. It’s also trivial to find them as txt because all the kids used to (and still do) read them on their phones.

          Chen Kun I’ve only seen in 金粉世界, I don’t remember it well enough to compare. His acting in tRoP initially seem too much, he was playing up an act for in character reason, which can be very jarring. Generally speaking, he can seem bit over the top, like stage acting at times. I like him fine though but I feel like I have very low standards regarding acting, you have to really piss me off for me to dislike your acting. I think he look too old to be 26 (Ning Yi’s age), but the entire cast except for Ni Ni and Bai Jing Ting look too old to be their age so whatever. I actually don’t like the long hair look (not like that anyways) but it’s for story reason so I’ll deal lol. An actor’s look is usually influenced by characters I’ve seen them play so it’s hard for me to say who I like by looks only.

          Probably best to sit on tRoP, it’s looking like a very flawed series I think, too much pacing and editing (to pass SARFT and also just not very good editing at times) issues, the script have problems too but it’s more mixed bag that’s debatable. I’m in China actually so it’s just regular TV.

          I don’t think I’ve watched enough cdramas to say so and so are my favourites? which sounds really weird because I’ve had people won me over in hk, tw, k, jdramas, like I’d just go and look for more of their dramas to watch, and later deem them as fav. They also have smaller ent industry though so you see lots of familiar faces after 5 or 10 dramas. I definitely look out for certain actors in cdramas too but there seems too many ways for the script to be fucked up that can’t be saved by actors that I usually sit and wait.

          I’m starting to suspect Minglan might air during Jan-Feb, around holidays for maximum ratings, providing that it passes through SARFT fine. I’m usually very clueless about upcoming dramas because I don’t keep up with news, it helps to keep hype in check and not be disappointed by dramas (which is common and I’m not investing that many episodes to be disappointed!) At the end of last year, I basically went, okay I should really do something about my backlog, started watching them, poked a bit on douban for last year’s 8+ dramas and watched some and that’s it. I only anticipated fuyao & tRoP cos I happened to read the books in Dec/Jan then I found out they had dramas coming out.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I see. It’s been a very long time since I really read the news on CangYue.

          Did you read Eng authors much? Eng authors offer a bit more variety?

          Other than the 3 authors I liked to read that I mentioned, I also liked this book for fun reading. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke 苏珊娜克拉克 . This novel is very thick but not hard to read.

          I haven’t read this non-fiction but it sounds good. The Emotional Life of Your Brain, Richard Davidson 理查德戴维森 (大脑情感生活?)

          Book is similar to food? The ones you enjoy the most may not be the one that’s best for our brain and body. ;- )

          Smart academics like reading Michael Crichton 迈克尔克里顿, Kurt Vonnegut 库尔特冯内古特 . More men read MC, KV. I actually haven’t read these 2 authors because I read more mysteries.
          I don’t think any of these have been accused of plagiarism.
          The last few years I read a lot more science-related articles. I learn more new things that way. I google some topics and end up reading articles from scientificamerican website. NY Times Health section.

          Yes, CK looks older than 26. I think he looks worse next to NiNi. CK is the darkest C actor I know? Maybe except Louis Koo. lol.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I thought I posted just now, but it’s slow to appear. I’ll check back tomorrow.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I mostly read YA and children’s books hahaha. Last book I was reading was Lois Lowry’s the Giver series? Then I broke my kindle, and haven’t got back into reading in English. Thanks for the rec, I’ll add it to my hilariously long backlog. Why do I have massive backlog for all medium I consume?! I have Kurt Vonnegut on my to read, because slaughterhouse-five pop up on all scifi recs. My taste leans scifi and fantasy, I like mystery too but I haven’t actually read many mystery books, to the point Agatha Christie is still on my backlog. Science articles are really informative and fun to read, I have friends that like them too, but I’ve never got into habit of reading them.

          Oh yeah Ni Ni definitely make him look older AND darker lol. also omg Louis Koo, he has so many fans online who reminiscent about his looks from Return of Condor Heroes days. It’s such a popular adaptation but I barely remember any of it and never rewatched it oops.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I’ve been watching 暗黑者 S1 until ~ ep 15. Despite 豆瓣’s score of ~8, the logic has gotten quite poor by ~ep11. I’ll stop watching it. It’s worse than Dr Qin S1 or anything we discussed like Snail, LMIYD, Mad house. Did you ever watch 暗黑者? The average c thriller has improved a lot.

          I usually don’t like Xianxia and watch very little, but I watch about 6 eps of Ashes of L and AoL’s Xianxia’s logic is a lot more coherent.
          I read some of Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog. A softer version of sci-fi. It’s promising.

          A lot of my closest friends already read and loved Slaughterhouse 5. One of them just loaned me one. I’d better start reading soon so I won’t be hogging the book. It’s a very thin book.

          I know what you mean. I have a long backlog of sci/med reading even in non-fiction. Ion channel electrophysiology with application to epilepsy. I’m anticipating to keep up with the news updates from EUretina meeting next week. I like to watch short vids on Youtube on gene silencing / rna interference …. too.

          Just a pity no one has a complete version. Part here. Parts there and other places.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Douban can be very lenient if it exceed their expectations, which often happens with web dramas. 暗黑者 and 心理罪 were both on my list though. Shame about its inconsistent logic. I’ve seen it rate chinese donghua really high too because they “want to support the industry/encourage creators.” which is fair,

          Ashes of Love is pretty darn cute from the few episodes I did see, if only they didn’t extended the series 🙂 I like the concept of incoporating gods and such into stories, but for some reason, xianxia usually didn’t really appeal to me, I guess because a lot of them lean towards melodramatic? Maybe they are older ones though because the current trend in general is more rom/com.

          More recs! *scribbles it down* Youtube is incredibly good for consuming short burst of information, it’s super amazing.

          I’d say I like culture, rather than art. It’s not that I don’t like art, I just don’t feel like I have enough background to fully appreciate it a lot. Luoyang’s Longmen Grottoes is super cool though! I think fair amount of them were destroyed/damaged during cultural revolution or transporting elsewhere.

          Oh yeah super tangently related, 2 weeks ago, I went to Gansu, and got a chance to see Mogao Caves, absolutely stunning! I should probably look up some documentary about it, since most of it isn’t opened to the public for preservation reasons. They had a..show? let’s call it that, which depicted its history through various people that had connections to Dunhuang city Like 文成公主,张骞,the taoist monk who discovered Mogao Caves and subsequently sold a lot of the documents and paintings to foreign explorer. It was super neat since the audience had to move around to follow the show, which made it more immersive and it’s super neat. The stage ranged from stands around three sides where they read bits of history, to a catwalk stage where these historical people showed up, to when taoist monk’s story where the actors stood on giant boxes all around the audience, to an enclosed space where underneath is glass panel that showed them “living their lives” then to a regular stage that had some neat effects and stage design. It was super creepy at times due to the way they performed, it’s meant to enhance the haunting feeling of being alone in Northwest + painfulness of lost artefacts + wistfulness of history? I’m not very good at describing but definitely super cool experience. I really like the area in general though since there’s other cool things, like remains of great walls + Jiayu pass, then there’s Zhangye which has a national park that have colourful soil/hills and so on. *babbles about travelling*

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Wow. Whom did you go to Gansu with? I’m afraid to get to such a remote place. You also have to exercise a bit more caution. There are some very hard to treat diseases there. I think there was a case of hanta virus death or something.

          I’m fascinated by the Silk Road culture and its melting pot nature. I’ve watched short vids here and there & read some wiki articles. But it’d be nicer to sit down and compile a list & watch things systematically. But I think there are a lot of scattered documentaries about them too.

          The Europeans are sure classy. Even their EUretina meeting has Art Nouveau design in their programme. I’m searching for a particular update from an eye gene therapy program. I don’t think that’s particularly interesting to others. lol And their programme alone is very long. I haven’t even started looking for their synopsis yet.

          Biotech and tech are both flooded with innovations the last decade. Even C is interested. Machine learning is supposed to be one of the fields where separation bw C and the West is the narrowest. But every one has secret programs, so the exact relative positioning is hard to say.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          I went with family, joined local group tours that were day trips, but the whole route is so popular with tourists it’s pretty easy to just go by yourself. We flew to Lanzhou and there’s now bullet trains (2hrs?1.5?) to Zhangye then (3hrs?) to Jiayu Guan, to Dunhuang is bus (4hrs), idk if they are building bullet train tracks for Dunhuang since the other two are new I think (opened in last 5yrs), then overnigght train back to Lanzhou. They were all cities, some smaller/mid-sized and some regular size, pretty comfortable compared to travelling in Qinghai tbh. Qinghai largely have to do with having to spend a lot of time sitting in bus to get to places, a lot of people do road trip by themselves which is pretty nice too, but there’s no city stopovers, it’s all small towns, toilet can be yikes if you aren’t in service areas and it’s just dry toilets built by locals. (my brother was terrified of those toilets lmao. I’ve seen them before when I travelled in late 90s)

          Oh yeah it’d definitely be cool to find a compiled list of silk road documentary. I kind of want to travel the silk road too, but it’s out of my scope at the moment.

          Biotech is a fascinating field, I feel like they just pulled them out of scifi novels at times.

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      I had really been interested in Die Now, but after I watched the first couple episodes, I wasn’t that impressed. But I may check it out again later as I finish some of my other shows.

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        I’m pretty sure I like Die Now based on just the premise. The arcs do get better so I think the last arc is the best? I’ve been on episode 8 for several months then all these dramas started oops.

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      I watched Die Now earlier this year and liked it! The acting wasn’t amazing but the story and production made up for it. It reminded me too of Liar Game. Loved the “find the NPC” arc the most. Would be cool to see a season 2!

      Tried the first ep of Madhouse – didn’t make me want to continue esp with the male lead actor. Does he feature less in the later eps haha? I reallly don’t like his acting.

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        Oh yeah, the acting is average but they don’t drag me out of the scene which is good enough for me hahaha. There’s enough story for more story but it wasn’t explosively popular and I don’t know if Sohu would make a sequel. I mean WuXin’s sequel was apparently pretty bad..so I’m also wary.

        Unfortunately he’s persistent throughout the drama I think hahaha rip.

  22. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Omg yes start ashes of love! I decided to watch it on a whim (never read the book) so it’s great so far, binged 48 eps this weekend #noregrets! The two leads are great at acting and the character arc of the 2nd male lead was unfolded realistically

  23. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Hi. Forgive me for write this in the wrong thread.
    But I don’t see any ZLY little corner.. I miss it!

    Is ZLY/FSF dating? once again FSF and Liying was spotted shopping holding hands.
    I guess this confirm their relationship indirectly. Congratz to the happy couple!

    Now wonder why this past month my baby liying look so beautiful, happy and radiant.

    But why still no announcement?
    FSF had an open relationship with NiNi.
    I wonder is liying the one who does not want to announce?

  24. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    I’m watching the New Meteor Garden!
    I’ve watched all the different versions so far, and am currently enjoying this version 🙂
    although this cast is younger and are newbies in acting…and yes it shows here and there throughout the show…

    However the show is just so sweet! Enjoying it very much 🙂

    Lots of modifications added here and there…most for the better for this modern generation of dramawatchers… some changes… ehhh…

    Special credit should be given to this version’s Dao Ming Si…Dylan Wang…he totally embodies DMS! He has such a strong aura and totally carries the show!

    If you are looking for something light and sweet to watch, try this!

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      I am going to start this drama next and so looking forward to it. I’ve only seen the Korean version so I have high hopes for this one. Would you say it’s on the lighter side or denser side? After finally watching Princess Agents and Legend of Fu Yao, I’m not sure I can handle something so heavy/dense.

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        It’s definitely a light, sweet show!
        Watching it for the sweet sweet moments between the main couple =)
        The show just aired its finally last night!

        Its not the most Wow drama, with the best acting, but I just feel so Awwww after watching the main couple interact together. To be honest, did fast forward some of the side characters’ storylines, cause I just wanna get back to the main couple’s romance…

        This drama sets unrealistic expectations for romance, like in reality, will there really be such a guy like Daoming Si who loves a girl so so much? I need to find one like him!

  25. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Currently watching RUYI. I am actually enjoying it very much despite all the less favourable comments and critics. However, I am not a fan of ZhouXun’s voice. I find it too mature and therefore makes her unconvincing as a young girl. But I like her acting and she is very pretty but her hair style should have been made to adapt to her age in the drama. But I am enjoying it. Currently watching it on Youtube. I hope someone download it so I can keep watching.

    Otherwise, I am faithfully waiting for ZLY dramas.

  26. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    I’m watching Ashe it is filling my TMTPB fix. I’m also enjoying Legend of yunxi a lot enjoy the main couple and second lead. In between I go back in forth with Fuyao, Meteor Shower and Guardian.

  27. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Love Ashes of Love. Never thought I would like Deng Lun, now I am a fan! He has so much charisma! His chemistry with Jin Mi is what makes this series so popular! I love the way he let out his little smiles here and there. Great great show! The only show I liked this year so far next to NIF2.

  28. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Ashes of Love for real tho. I never thought Deng Lun was handsome or charisma but I am a total fan after this drama! His smirk and laugh is so swoon-worthy. Haha. I am mad that there’s so many scene of the 2nd lead, Night tho. I find his character boring and the voice acting is odd to me… so I usually skip all his scene. Looking forward to more Deng Lun in the later half of the drama

  29. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    I’m watching:

    Ashes of Love: I really like it except I wish DL & YZ have more screen time . I think DL picked really good projects for himself. I also like the 2nd male lead’s acting.

    Meteor Garden 2018: I like it.

    FuYao: I like it, but not as much as I like 3L3WPB.

  30. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Struggling to watch the last few episodes of Ashes of Love. It’s weirdly melodramatic and draggy for the past episodes. Jin Mi x Xu Feng scenes don’t delight me like I expected it to. Run Yu, whom I has always enjoyed watching, is also acting pretty out of character for the past episodes. Still don’t understand whats the deal with Demon princess and her Mu Ci. Sui He is the only character left that doesn’t annoy me. Still, the first 40 episodes were enjoyable for me so I would say this ties with Moonshine & Valentine as my fave drama of 2018.

    Came across an interesting tidbit for the casting process of the drama on Douban: https://www.douban.com/group/topic/97748012/?start=0. Even though I am okay with Yang Zi and Deng Lun, can’t help but think that Li Qin with Chen Xiao or Zhang Binbin would have been a perfect casting in terms of both visual and acting ability. Them along with the actors for Run Yu, Sui He and Liu Ying would have been the most perfect visual combination for xianxia dramas….. ever since Swords of Legends and Chinese Paladin 3.

    Started watching Ruyi out of boredom and up till episode 21. Its pretty flat in terms of plot because there isn’t really a plot climax (yet), but still mildly entertaining especially with so many familiar faces around.

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      Great find! OMG Zhang Bin Bin would have been amazing! I like Deng Lun but he is not strong in this role. He’s OK but he does not have the visuals, charisma or gravitas for Xu Feng and I find his chemistry lukewarm with Yang Zi.

      I feel like he’s making good drama choices which will continue to maintain his popularity but he’s risen too fast and his acting has suffered as a result. It’s the same issue I’ve noticed with Dilireba. They are just churning out drama after drama with barely a few days rest between projects, shooting commercials, endorsements, variety shows and their acting is very shallow and static.

  31. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Lately, I’ve seen the term mary sue pop up frequently in the drama forums and I can’t help but think that it stems from sexist gender norms about women. Why is there not a similar term for men? A lot of male centric dramas have male characters that are pretty mary sue, and yet no one has coined a term for this.

    I feel like it’s become a stand in denigrating phrase for female characters that people don’t like.
    Truly boring and one-dimensional female characters escape this because it’s it’s considered ok for women to be a prop to men. Immediate examples I can think of where the characters are susu in eternal love and xiao long nv in return of the condors heroes.

    • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

      There is a similar term for men, Gary Stu/Jack Sue. They are terms from the fanfic world and the biggest offender were usually self insert, since the fanfic world have higher percentage of women, mary sue gets sling around more. Somewhat similar idea for dramas, there’s more female fans who tend to watch female targeted show (with a female protag), so the term gets fling around more.

      cdramas at least does create a lot of characters that doesn’t have much depth or can seem too overpowered, having a reverse harem (but the audience doesn’t necessary like her) which can all be filed under Mary Sue. They exist because these characters are familiar, easy and guaranteed to sell because who doesn’t want to be pretty, smart, popular and all around awesome? It’s what made web novels popular after all. Of course, sexism comes into play too, women ARE analysed far more critically in media in general.

      Mei Chang Su was called a Jack Sue because he was very OP due to sheer amount of preparation he did and the way NiF sometimes skip the process of him taking down antagonists + antagonist aren’t on par with him. I find the explanation reasonable enough and the drama’s theme wasn’t about how badass he was so it’s easier to handwave. I feel similar towards web novel female protags I tend to stumble upon, if you give me a reasonable enough explanation and I like the character enough, I will handwave it.

      • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

        Take for example a drama like fuyao, where the male and female characters both have a lot of screen time, with such an overpowered male character that netizens have taken to joking about it renamed as legend of wuji. Most of the comments I’ve seen have been calling fuyao a mary sue, but where are the comments just calling everyone in the drama a mary sue? Like it’s very clearly a YA type drama, and it was a similar experience for me to watching avatar the last airbender. If that’s not your cup of tea, then just say that the characters are one-dimensional or very YA? If I were to estimate how often someone calls wuji a jack su to fuyao a mary sue, I would say it’s waaaaaaay less often. And fuyao doesn’t exist in a vacuum, she is accompanied by other, sometimes male characters in her universe despite that fact that the main audience may be female.

        Seriously, when I watched Eternal Love (which I presumed had a large female base), susu was in at least like 15 episodes and she was the most boring character ever and their love story was so cringe worthy. If a female character is one-dimensional but submissive, she is not really a mary sue, but if she’s strong-willed and one-dimensional, somehow she is a mary sue? And I’m not saying that no one called susu a mary sue, I’m saying it’s waaaaay less, and both stories are equally not very complex.

        You’re right that c-dramas often succumb to less developed, idealistic characters, but I feel that male characters are so easily forgiven as long as it’s ~true love~. What Mark Chao did when he met susu? Creepy as fuck. Not an idealistic character, but Zhang Bin Bin in the king’s woman? Major ass fucking creepy as fuck. Basically a stockholm syndrome story about pardoning people who don’t respect your boundaries. If the roles were reversed, I’m sure people would actually wake up to how disturbing these story lines were. The handwaving seems to be a lot easier for people when the characters are male.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          For fuyao, it’s partially because she IS the main character and the drama is very clearly opting for semi-serious fantasy drama rather than just a fluff one (like ashes of love is more fluffy). Main characters are subject to more criticism because they have more screen time and very often it’s difficult to like a drama if you don’t like MC. People have also seen a lot of dramas with similar characteristics, so they might have higher expectations.

          The other bit is she’s OP without the audience feeling like it’s earned, like her fighting skills, she just dreamt it, in what seem a couple of days too. In the book, the martial art bits have more focus and she had to go through life and death situation to level up each time. She kind of accidentally end up influencing all the kingdoms, I’m only 1/3 way through but a lot of luck play into it, so sometimes it feels like “plot want it to happen so she can be awesome so it’s happening!” which is sign of bad writing, but can be filed under mary sue (awesome because author want her to be). I’ve seen people mention she has bit of reverse harem going on too, but the drama decreased number of love interest for her, so eh, I guess if you don’t like her, it can feel forced? (Book fuyao is so much more OP but it also goes through a lot of effort in showing why and how she is awesome to justify all her cool powers, friends and achievements)

          People don’t call Wuji Jack Sue because he’s not the main character, he’s the love interest. He’s the too perfect to be real love interest that’s common in romance, There’s female version of him too but they don’t really make it into dramas, the ones that show up in dramas are usually rival girls in older kdramas or sweet innocent (and probably damseled) love interest to male protag.

          The predatory/aggressive love interest is also a common romance trope! Definitely creepy and persistent in romance novels and manga too. I don’t think people handwave it because they are male, they handwave it because these are love interest + common toxic trope. It’s not that it doesn’t have to do with sexism, it’s just really tangently related.

          Just want to be clear, I do agree with you that people are too harsh on female characters/female centric dramas because society somewhat condition us to, and some people probably do just fling mary sue around for female characters they just don’t like for some reason rather than the character actually being a sue. I just feel there’s more nuance to it besides that.

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          In the Fuyao case, Fuyao has such a long list of male admirers, the drama has to combine them to produce a shorter list of admirers. Legend of Yunxi does the same thing. Half the male characters in Journey of Flowers were in love with Hua Qian Gu. This also happened in Introduction to the Princess aka Glamorous Imperial Consort and a long string of Ruby Lin, Fan Bingbing, Tang Yan princess dramas.

          A lot of the times, the Mary or Gary lead is so amped-up in writing, the supporting characters become nearly imbecile characters. Say, backstabbing, jealous, female love rivals etc. As in the case of Fuyao. Li Yixiao has that crazy jealous female role.

          The writers are too eager to make all such female leads princesses too. In that case, they always have to get matched with a prince. Then the other ladies in the drama have to get the lesser men. It can get rather condescending.

          You can write a story about a team of experts where the lead is not 99% more superior in skills, looks, princess birth over the rest of the female characters. Do a drama with some female doctors or lawyers.

          Sometimes I think Mary Sue can be written to be more irrational than Gary Stu. Female lead in General and I, Glory of the Tang Dynasty, Ashes of Love (maybe also Princess Weiyoung? and several others) all stabs the male lead. I don’t think there are as many male leads stabbing the female leads. Also, hero saves the distressed damsel more than the other way around. The writing is not completely symmetric. So it’s not too surprising sometimes Mary comes across more annoying than Gary.

          I didn’t watch Fuyao but it sounds like Fuyao gets saved by various men more times than she saves them. Does she save mostly just her lead male?

        • 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

          Just want it noted that I dislike Gary too. Not just Mary.

          Few writers and productions can pull off a good Mary or Gary. Real-life ones like Zhuge Liang, Sima Yi are good to watch. Many fictitious ones just suffer in comparison to the well-written ones.

  32. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Finishing Ashes of Love has left a hole in my heart. I miss the drama a lot and although the ending is good, it doesn’t completely satisfy me. The conclusion was a bit melancholic if you ask me and has definitely steered away from the ending in the novel, but has otherwise remained pretty similar to the book. Ahhhhh, I just want more.

    I do want to see Deng Lun again, but his next few projects are partnered up with ladies that I’m not a fan of. And his upcoming role sounds wish washy as heck. Sigh.

  33. 148 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (18)

    Oh Ashes of love is definitely on my watching-next-drama but i’m currently watching Bloody Romance i really love it and loving the ML and FL nd look at this photoshoot video so adorable hh ( https://youtu.be/kYT5e5D_2UE ) and ooh i know the end is sad so i’m going to cry so much at the end xD
    and i’m putting legend of yunxi on hold i watched till 34 nd i’m going to finish it for sure these days i’m really in love with the couple and their interactions i’m now a fan of ju jingyi i watched her song MVs and her performances she is really amazing she sang the opening and ending theme song she has a beautiful voice
    Mmmm story of yanxi palace i’m skipping episodes bcz there’s no subs after EP 4 i think sm1 said he’s going to sub it but bcz yingluo is not going to end up with fu heng so hmm i’m not sure if i’m going to watch it
    “Mengfei comes across” i’m waiting for subs of ep 7 and more it’s really a fun drama and thank god someone said is going to sub it even if it’s just 1 EP per week but at least it’s going to be subbed

What do you think?