Let’s Shake It was the first C-drama I ever watched without benefit of English subtitles (and after only six months of studying Mandarin) and I fell in love with the show right away. I’m so excited to get to see the second season of this romantic comedy and, since I watched the first season without translations and managed to follow it along pretty well, I decided I’d recap the second season without subs for those fans out there who want to know what happens and don’t want to have to wait for subs. Please let me know in the comments what you think about the series and what you are enjoying or wishing was better.
So bring on the Scavenger assassins, the chili peppers, the bricks and more braised pork galore. Let’s begin Week 01 of Let’s Shake It: Trouble on Planet Duo!
(Please note that I’m not fluent in Mandarin so apologies now for any mistranslations.)
WARNING! DO NOT OPEN FOR SPOILERS!
Chinese Title: 颤抖吧阿部之朵星风云
Genre: romance, comedy, sci fi
Broadcast Source: Mango TV, iQiyi
Airing Schedule: Thursday, Friday, Saturday – 2 episodes a day
Current Progress: 02/26 (Season 2)
A lively alien who disrupted the order of the universe. In order to adapt to life on Earth, she got caught up in many incidents and fell love with an earth ape, Tang Qing Feng.
Zheng Yecheng as Tang Qing Feng
Raised by a general, but secretly the eldest son of the Emperor, Tang Qing Feng is handsome, smart, strong and reliable. He has no interest in ruling the world and only wants to save his people, love his woman and keep everything very, very, very tidy.
“For the peace of the universe!”
For those of you who didn’t watch Season 1 (or maybe forgot some of it) here’s a quick recap:
Abu Cha Cha, an alien who used to sell earth apes to other aliens like pets, and Duo Miao Miao, a spaceship captain, were attacked by space pirates and crash landed in Ancient China during the Tang Dynasty. Not able to breathe the air, Abu ended up taking over the body of Tang Qing Ye, the second daughter of Senior General Tang and the secret girlfriend of Prince Li Yi, who was assassinated. Duo Miao Miao ended up taking over the body of a man who had committed suicide who turned out to actually be a Furball Alien whose normal form is that of a cat, but who could change to human form if… he engaged in some backdoor hanky panky.
Tang Qing Feng is the (secretly adopted) son of Senior General Tang and has followed in his footsteps to become a well-regarded general in his own right. When the spaceship crashes on Earth, he ends up running into one of the former prisoners, Zero. When he finds out that his sister, who died, has come back to life, he is suspicious that she may be the same creature in disguise, but eventually decides she just had some brain damage from being dead for a bit. Of course once he finds out that he’s actually the son of the Emperor, who was hidden when his mother was falsely accused of plotting against the empire, he’s very happy to realise that he’s not actually related to the sister he’s been crushing on for a bit now.
At the same time, Zero, the leader of the alien space pirates, is trying to find a special artifact that crashed with the ship as well, the Eye of the Universe. He ends up recruiting an old friend of Abu’s who convinces her to kill Tang Qing Feng for them. They know he is trouble because he has a jade necklace that somehow is able to repel alien attack. But Abu is starting to like Tang Qing Feng a lot and refuses. Sadly, to save him, she finally has to reveal her alien powers and a freaked out Tang Qing Feng tells her to leave and never come back.
Prince Li Yi finds out about Tang Qing Feng’s real birth parents and, obsessed with becoming the next Emperor, plots to keep this news a secret, eventually killing a member of the royal court. And in the midst of trying to convince Tang Qing Feng that she’s not a threat, Abu ends up witnessing the murder and attacks the Prince. Unfortunately Tang Qing Feng believes the Prince’s lie that she was the murderer and, realising she has no way to convince him otherwise, she ends up impaling herself on Tang Qing Feng’s sword and disintegrating…like you do…when you’re an alien who doesn’t really die and you just have to take a break and put yourself back together again.
Tang Qing Feng eventually finds the clues that prove the Prince was the murderer. Then Abu reappears, now as the Princess of a neighboring (secretly alien) kingdom, and she’s ready to get back at Qing Feng for being a jerk. But he’s too smart for her tricks and also very happy she’s back.
Prince Li Yi, however, has struck an alliance with Zero and is working with him to overthrow the Emperor and steal the Eye of the Universe. But it turns out to not be working because it’s missing a vital piece, the core of the Eye of the Universe. When Li Yi ends up killing Tang Qing Feng, the general discovers that his mysterious necklace holds the missing core and it ends up bringing him back to life.
Tang Qing Feng and Abu Cha Cha, along with their friends, work to stop Li Yi’s plot while also trying to defeat Zero. Of course the couple keep wanting to prevent each other from getting involved, with Abu finally giving herself up to Zero to keep Qing Feng safe. But when the core saves him from death a second time, Qing Feng becomes the core and knows that the only way to save earth is to have Abu kill him. She does, but then takes his body back to her spaceship and, in the finale, she and Duo Miao Miao (who had used up all his human lives and could only take on his cat form) were flying alone through space, waiting for alien technology to help bring Tang Qing Feng back to life.
“The timeline has been broken!”
The opening of the premiere episode of Season 2 begins with a recap of Season 1 with animation that is similar to the style of Hu Cong Mi Suan and then we are reintroduced to our main characters. Tang Qing Feng is still in his coma as Abu Cha Cha and Duo Miao Miao travel the universe alone. Abu makes money by delivering her famous braised pork around the galaxy while taking care of Tang Qing Feng. As she talks to Duo Miao Miao about the possibility of finding another Tang Qing Feng in a parallel universe to take his place, he finally awakens, insisting that only he can be her Tang Qing Feng, while Abu is certain that him waking up is just a dream, until he finally hugs her.
Of course the reunion is short lived as they suddenly find themselves being chased by the Magistrate from the Space Time Administration. She’s in trouble for bringing Tang Qing Feng through time and space and damaging the timeline. As a battle breaks out (kudos on the awesome CGI for this space battle), they try to run, eventually crash landing on Earth again (they had sold their escape pod for money).
On Earth, a couple is trying to run away and elope when they are stopped by Tang Yuan Chang. He has been sent by Chu Guo Gong to get back the woman he likes, Hong Yi (which means “red cloth” like her very red clothing), though she loves someone else. But before Yuan Chang can stop them, the ill-fated spaceship crashes behind him, burning off the backside of his clothing and knocking him out, allowing the couple to escape.
When Tang Qing Feng and Abu take Yuan Chang back to Tang House, they find that the house has a different sign and the guards don’t recognize Tang Qing Feng. But they do recognize Yuan Chang’s boxers and let them inside. As the couple tries to guess why Tang House is no longer Tang House (“Your dad definitely committed a crime.”), a revived Yuan Chang runs to tell his master of his failed mission.
Chu Guo Gong is upset about his failure and determined to see Yuan Chang punished. When reminded that he already has so many beautiful women, Guo Gong insists that he loves all of them whole-heartedly. Or course once Abu Cha Cha barges in, he suddenly is enthralled with this new woman and isn’t interested in hearing from Tang Qing Feng at all. But he hasn’t completely forgotten about his servant’s failure. When Yuan Chang asks for Guo Gong to punish Abu and Qing Feng for help Hong Yi escape, he opts to throw both Tangs in prison instead and keep Abu for himself. When Abu tries to hit him with one of her trusty bricks, she suddenly becomes weak due to lack of food. This is also when they first hear that they have gone backwards in time to the Sui Dynasty.
While in prison together, Qing Feng is trying to learn more about Guo Gong and Yuan Chang. When he hears that Guo Gong plans to keep Abu and has imprisoned him to keep him from eloping with her like the last girl, Qing Feng gets upset. But then Abu appears to save Qing Feng. Yuan Chang is a bit distracted, certain that he deserves to be punished for his failure, but he finally agrees to escape with the couple, though promising afterwards to go back to Guo Gong for punishment while Abu questions his sanity.
But Yuan Chang runs… well, walks really… into the guards, who surround him while telling Abu and Qing Feng to buzz off. Abu tries to get Qing Feng to leave with her, but he is worried about Yuan Chang, so they stick around. When he hears that he is going to be killed, Yuan Chang flinches, but still goes towards his doom. When Qing Feng tries to save him, he is suddenly transported out of the prison leaving Abu Cha Cha alone and very confused.
Tang Qing Feng appears in Qing Chu Kong Jian (translates as “a space in which to get rid of things”). He’s now in blue, ragged clothing and in the midst of a cold, dark forest with some funky light sculptures. At first it seems he’s alone until a crowd of people appear and knock him over as they run in terror. Chasing after them are the Scavengers, robot assassins with huge, curved blades they use to kill people.
While hiding, Qing Feng asks another man where they are and finds out that the reason it is called Qing Chu Kong Jian is because anyone dropped into it is completely wiped out of existence. Worried that Abu is also stuck there, he tries to go find her, despite his companion telling him that it’s pointless since everyone who ends up here is killed. When he asks if there is a way to contact the real world, the man just laughs maniacally and runs to a tree where he ends up getting killed by a Scavenger, but not before Tang Qing Feng notices one of the trunks glowing when he touches it.
Yuan Chang is preparing to be tortured to death as Tang Qing Feng runs for his life and suddenly finds himself transported to a new area of this realm. As he is surrounded by Scavengers and they all attack at once… Abu arrives in time to save Yuan Chang and Qing Feng reappears back in the dark forest, still alive and in one piece.
Abu is certain that Tang Qing Feng’s disappearance is due to him drinking wine with Yuan Chang while they were imprisoned and she insists he bring Qing Feng back. Confused, Yuan Chang insists that it’s just ordinary wine, but Abu is certain there is a conspiracy. To prove that he’s not lying, Yuan Chang drinks the rest of the wine and passes out.
While Abu waits in the woods for Yuan Chang to wake up, Qing Feng is still dodging assassins when he touches a tree and it glows. As he watches the glow move up the tree, we see that it comes out on Earth on a tree near Abu, but she misses seeing it. When Qing Feng calls her name, however, she can hear him. Wandering around the woods, she tries to find him as he warns her about the broken timeline, but she’s impeded by Yuan Chang who keeps popping up just when she’s close to finding the source of the voice.
Tang Qing Feng suddenly finds himself in yet another realm, this one very much like the one where he and Bai Yu had met before the both times he died. It’s nothing but colorful clouds that are also reflected below his feet as if he’s walking on water. As he wanders about, he hears Abu calling his name by the side of a lake and suddenly he can see her and she can see him. She demands to know what he meant by the timeline is broken.
“How can these dishes of yours compare to Tang Qing Feng’s braised pork?”
A new season of Let’s Shake It and a new opening credits montage that, like the first season, doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the series (yet).
Abu is frantically calling out to Tang Qing Feng by the side of a lake when she hears him and sees his reflection in the surface of the water. Though he is stuck in another realm, Qing Chu Kong Jian, he can see her as well. She asks him where he is and what he meant by the timeline is broken. When he asks her what she is doing, confused, she informs him that she saved Yuan Chang, who then appears upon hearing his name, much to Abu’s annoyance. But he won’t leave, insisting that he must look out for Miss Abu though she insists that she’s actually taking care of him.
As Tang Qing Feng reviews the events since they crashed to earth, he finally remembers that Yuan Chang is one of his ancestors and that he knows this timeline. Without Yuan Chang, there will not be a Tang family and his father will not be born and won’t be there to save baby Tang Qing Feng. It is through his position under Guo Gong that Yuan Chang meets and begins to work for the Li royal family and they have to ensure that timeline is not destroyed.
Abu returns Yuan Chang to Guo Gong who is not willing to accept him back and orders the guards to carry out his execution. Abu defends Yuan Chang even though he insists on taking his punishment as it’s his fate. Abu is mad because she knows it’s not just his fate being affected. As they argue, Tang Qing Feng keeps going back and forth between the dark forest where Scavengers are attacking him and the cloud realm where he is safe. (So apparently Qing Chu Kong Jian is where you get sent if your timeline is under threat.)
Abu finally asks Guo Gong if there is something that will make him let Yuan Chang off from his death sentence. When he starts to say what it is, Abu agrees to it without waiting to hear what it is, desperate to save Yuan Chang and Qing Feng. When she does so, Tang Qing Feng disappears from Qing Chu Kong Jian with the Scavengers recognizing that his timeline has been fixed and they can stop trying to kill him.
Tang Qing Feng appears in the woods, back in regular clothes. He goes to the city to find Abu. Of course Guo Gong is trying to woo Abu with a variety of dishes, but all she wants is Tang Qing Feng’s braised pork.
As Abu wonders why Qing Feng hasn’t returned after several days, even after she saved Yuan Chang, Guo Gong has a variety of braised pork made for her. She is suspicious of his intentions, but he insists that she misunderstood him and that he’s not a bad person and just likes pretty things. Abu still doesn’t get what he is trying to say, so with a fireworks display, he declares that if what she likes is braised pork, then he will supply her with it for all her life.
Tang Qing Feng arrives in Daxing City. The town is a bit odd, and not just because they are selling Duo Miao Miao merchandise (I want!) or there are scannable Ofo rental carriages, but because people seem to be breaking out in vicious fights about chili peppers. He doesn’t notice the dark figure following him, a figure that is somewhat reminiscent of Zero, the leader of the space pirates from Season 1.
Also wandering around the city is Princess Nan Yang, accompanied by her maid, Shuang’er, who is worried for their safety. But the Princess knows that if she goes home, she won’t be allowed to leave again, so she insists on staying.
Abu has constructed another one of her spatula satellite dishes, this time to find Tang Qing Feng. As she runs around town, with Guo Gong following along, she is certain she detects him. Guo Gong’s bodyguards also follow along, ready to protect their master at the slightest sneeze. Abu’s search leads her to what appears to be a large fight over a very large chili pepper. Abu recognizes immediately that this chili pepper should not have appeared in China before the Ming Dynasty and wonders how it got there.
Seeing her holding the coveted pepper, the large crowd and more start chasing after Abu. When Guo Gong attempts to protect her, it’s clear rather quickly that, unlike Tang Qing Feng, he can’t withstand even the simplest punch. So Abu is left to fend for herself. Recognizing that the chili pepper is what the crowd wants, Abu tosses it and it lands in the hands of the unfortunate Princess as her maid cowers in hiding. Abu seems to be safe until someone shouts out that her body also has the “red holy fruit” and then she is running again from the now zombie-like crowd, Guo Gong still following along.
She and the Princess end up crossing paths, with Abu suggesting that she go left and the Princess go right, which of course, ends up being the same direction for both of them. But they are finally surrounded. Guo Gong declares he will use his own body to protect his beloved Abu, but she just tosses him and the Princess on to a roof and out of danger before ducking down as the crowd converges upon her.
The Princess loses her footing and begins to fall into the crowd. But she is saved by Tang Qing Feng who has arrived just in time. When the crowd hears that there is finally a new delivery of chili peppers, they run off to buy them, leaving Abu, Tang Qing Feng, Guo Gong and the Princess unharmed. Tang Qing Feng immediately ignores the Princess’ thanks as he runs to reunite with Abu. But Abu is jealous and declares that they are finished as she has a new beloved and leaves with Guo Gong and his ever protective guards.
The Princess tries to get Qing Feng’s attention and find out his name, but he only has eyes for Abu and runs after her instead. Undeterred, since the Princess finds Qing Feng so much better than all the princes, she follows him, finding out his name when she hears them talking. After Abu slams the door in his face, Qing Feng finds out from Yuan Chang that in order to save him, she agreed to be with Guo Gong. The Princess, knowing this is her opportunity, steps in and offers to help.
Abu goes to visit Guo Gong, only to be introduced to Princess Nan Yang who has come to visit. Abu at first thinks the Princess is meant to replace her and is ready to take out Guo Gong. But the Princess is actually there to see her and thank her for saving her. When she summons her new servant, Tang Qing Feng, to present Abu with a gift, Abu is surprised to see him. When she tries to to say something, the Princess instead interrupts with comments on how clever he is and isn’t he clever and of course Abu knows how clever he is so she is giving him to Abu as a gift. But Guo Gong steps in, insisting that because Abu is an unmarried woman, it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to have a male servant. When the Princess insists it’s okay because he’s a eunuch, he can’t argue.
Outside the Princess speaks with Tang Qing Feng privately. Tang Qing Feng thanks her for her help while the Princess feels rather envious of Abu for having his affections. But a jealous Abu spies on them, certain that they are madly in love. When the Princess leaves, Abu confronts him. She is mad about seeing him with another woman, but he insists that she was just helping him as a thank you for saving her. Of course Abu’s overactive imagination makes her not believe him. She demands that he not ever talk to, look at or be anywhere near the Princess again and makes him say that he likes her more than Nan Yang.
Later, though, Abu’s jealousy is forgotten as she comes running to Tang Qing Feng, having just stolen a bunch of jewelry and certain she’s going to be killed by Guo Gong. She barges into Tang Qing Feng’s room, babbling on about stealing the jewels to use to get away from Guo Gong, only to find Tang Qing Feng shirtless. But that isn’t what makes her stop in her tracks. There are these purple lights on his skin that she had seen before on the spaceship, (almost as if he’s a hologram with a glitch). She wonders if it has to do with why he disappeared from this time period for a while and she asks where he went.
Tang Qing Feng tells her about Qing Chu Kong Jian which she had never heard of before. She realises that he disappeared because Yuan Chang was almost killed and that they need to continue to protect him to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Abu, still upset about all the years she waited for him to wake up from the coma, doesn’t want to have to go through losing him again. She asks Tang Qing Feng what else he knows about his family’s history and he recounts that his ancestor eventually met the Li family and began to work for them.
Suddenly Abu remembers that Duo Miao Miao has not been seen since the crash and realises he did not survive. She makes a little grave for him, sad to have lost her friend. When Tang Qing Feng holds her as she cries, Guo Gong sees them and is suspicious. He turns to sneak away and runs into two servants which leads him to cry out that there are assassins. The servants are confused when he says he is going to deduct their salaries and then angered. They tie him to a tree and are trying to attack him when Tang Qing Feng saves him. As Guo Gong has the servants punished, Tang Qing Feng shows him a chili pepper that one of them dropped on the ground, surmising that their reaction was due to their addiction to it. As Abu watches Tang Qing Feng talking to Guo Gong, she wonders what purpose the chili peppers serve.
A decree is made that the bulk sales of chili peppers to the common people are now banned. As demand increases for the “red holy fruit”, everyone runs to the chili pepper shop to buy more, but the salesman is out of stock. Tang Qing Feng gives him money so he can get more and then follows the shopkeeper to find out where he gets his supply from. At a house in the woods, he finds the shopkeeper being choked by a cloudy, black figure as he insists that he doesn’t know why there suddenly is such a high demand for chili peppers.
Of course the figure knows Tang Qing Feng is outside and goes to fight him, but then disappears when his mask is pulled off and before he can see his face. As he wonders who the dark figure is, we see that same figure retreat to a cave with a giant chili pepper floating in it. It’s revealed that the figure is also a scarred Tang Qing Feng, or at least looks like him, as he declares to himself that Tang Qing Feng is toast (or screwed, it translates both ways).
This definitely isn’t a show to watch without seeing the first season as a lot of the little references made (Tang Qing Feng’s OCD, Abu’s braised pork obsession, the references to the Li family, the mysterious dark Tang Qing Feng) do require some previous knowledge of the series. I also love how the throw in new silly scenes and items as well. (The chili pepper obsessed crowd was cracking me up.)
I like how they just jump right into the story, leaving some mystery as to exactly what is going on for both the characters and the viewers. It’s nice not being spoon-fed information. Often I feel like some of these producers think the audience isn’t smart enough to remember or understand what is going on (I’m looking at you “Martial Universe”), so this is definitely a nice change. I’m also enjoying the fun the writers have with language. Last time they did a lot of interesting puns and, as I learn the language, it’s fun to recognize those little play on words when they appear.
So far the production value, given how quickly they turned this season around (it was just filmed this summer), has actually been a bit better than the first season and as always I like that the majority of the actors dub in their own voices. (Just one of my own preferences.) Zheng Ye Cheng and An Yue Xi were so good in this series last time and I was not disappointed at all this time around either.
I don’t have a good sense for the rest of the cast in just these first two episodes though from clips it looks like Xu Muzhen is going to be a good rival for An Yue Xi’s Abu. Overall though they seem to be doing well at being humourous without going too over the top in their performances. (One of the things I appreciated most about this show the first time around was it’s very dry and subtle sense of humour.) I am glad that some of the original cast are returning in this one as well, though I really wish Wang Yangyang had reprised his role as Duo Miao Miao as I would have loved to have seen a reunion with him and Xiao Ruyi. (My dream is that they would surprise me with one in the finale, but that probably won’t happen.)
It’s a good start so far to Season 2. I’m very interested to see if this dark Tang Qing Feng really is one of his incarnations or if it’s really Zero returning to get the Eye of the Universe. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this series ever since I heard there was going to be a season 2 and I’m so happy it’s finally here.
Coming next: Duo Miao Miao is reincarnated and finds a new mom and we meet the Li family ancestors.
Abu, Duo Miao and Xian Tian try to see the Emperor.
Abbreviated translation since Mango TV has not yet approved the subs I submitted:
Guard 1: You are?
Abu: We are representatives from the Painted Blackbird National Assembly and we’ve come to see the Emperor.
Guard 1: Why are there only three of you?
Xian Tian: Uh, well there were 3000 of us. But then we ran into a…sandstorm.
Abu: Right. And then there were just 1000 people left.
Xian Tian: And then we ran into bandits.
Abu: Yeah, and then there were just 500 people left.
Xian Tian: And then a lot of them got diarrhea.
Abu: Then there were only 100 remaining.
Xian Tian: (whispers) I can’t think of anything else. You go.
Abu: And then they realized that they hadn’t brought sunscreen and they were afraid of getting sunburnt so they went home and it’s just us three.
Guard 1: What did they say?
Guard 2: They seem to have lost a bunch of their people.