Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

1) The Crowned Clown (Kdrama): Disappointed. Such a waste of talents! When they kill the bodyguard within the last ten minutes, I’m like… why? Why? WHY? You make no sense show! If you were gonna be a badass and killed the tyranny king at the mid-way point, you should have the balls to end it with a bang. There was nothing at stakes so I didn’t feel invested in our main characters anymore.

2) The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix TV Show): Thriller. Family Drama. Horror. Check! Check! Check! I finished this show within two days even though it has only 10 episodes. Hell, after episode 5, I needed to have a break, and mentally and emotionally gather all my heart pieces again. Brilliant directing and casting choices. BUT, yes, there’s always a but. The ending didn’t satisfy me. It’s hard to end a show like this.

3) The Legends (Cdrama): I haven’t started this yet….epic fail. *___*

This is so cute. “Yo bros, this cave is nice and dark, come join me.”

  1. 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

    Besides The Legends (Lu Shiqi is damn cute >_<), i’ve been rewatching older stuff.

    Watched Mao Xiaotong cuts in 刀客家族的女人 on youtube. Would have to be my favourite role of hers. May be small and looks sweet but she is damn capable. Wish she took on more roles like this.

    Which led me to skim through the Magic Blade, but didn’t finish.

    Just realised Mao Xiaotong and Baron Chen reunites in The Lost Tomb and Zhu Yilong was Fu Hongxue in Border Town Prodical.. Ye Kai from The Magic Blade and Fu Hongxue from Border haha

    Also rewatched The Fox’s Summer, but stopped somewhere at 2nd season currently on hold.

    Korean – Come Back Mister. Really enjoyable, would recommend.

    Youtube – Flying the Nest. If you haven’t you should check them out. Watching them just makes you want to travel to all these places.

  2. 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

    TW : The Masked Lover
    – Old show but chanced upon cuts on YT, watching just for the second couple since I have a thing for mafia romances

    CDrama : HSDS
    Too charmed by Yang Xiao, ironically not so charmed by Wuji. Anticipating Zhou Zhiruo’s evilness. Saw a comment on YT criticising that Wuji became too wishy-washy / cowardly after the appearance of Zhao Min which I do agree for the previous versions, but still hoping that this version will have him man up a bit

    CDrama : Exclusive Memory
    Such a sweet and pure love, I even bought the book ♡♡

  3. 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

    YES TO HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE! It’s sooooooo good! Can’t wait for season 2!!

  4. 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

    Haven’t really been watching much.

    Legends: Currently keeping up with the broadcasting schedule. It’s pretty decent. IT was a lot stronger in the beginning, but like most cdramas in like, the last 5 years, plagued with a weak plot. Not to say it’s scripting isn’t still better than average, since at least the novel itself has a very strong and tightly woven plot compared to a lot of other adapted “yan qing” novels (aka like, romance webnovels…general imo not the greatest quality …sorry Poison Consort, + a whole slew of imo other weak novels that got adapted to even weaker shows). But honestly they could’ve done better. It’s really good with visuals and I think the cast was chosen really well. It’s original enough and also very addicting so I definitely think it’s a win for starting 2019 off well, but also admittedly, a lot of my disappointment toward the 2nd half is bleeding through. I speculate that it definitely has to do with the pacing of the script. They added some “tropey” stuff to pad it to 50 eps (like yes the novel was 60-ish chapters but is was narrative and also short chapters) and so the “big overall plot” isn’t coming together as nicely as it could…
    — Idk I don’t wanna sound too negative…I still really like it and it’s a good watch; definitely worth your time. But I think it starts much stronger and could have legitimately been a GREAT show instead of GOOD show.

    HSDS 2019 : I honestly haven’t been keeping up since ep 12 except a brief glimpse of a teaser around ep 19 and then ep 23. The pacing is actually very true to the novel so ppl who talk about the slow pacing and complain about Zhao Min’s late entrance…I mean that’s how Jin Yong wrote it. The novel itself is very strange in that it did spend literally like, half the book focused on Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu so when ZCS died ppl were legitimately confused because they thought he was the main character. And it’s true that in a 40-something chapter novel, Zhao Min didn’t appear until ch 23…soo it just means ppl got used to adaptations doing the thing that fits tv shows better and choosing to focus on ONE main story (cuz lol why only ZWJ’s parents matter…). Anyways. That said, this adaptation has made me really invested in the older generation (YAS to YangXiao here and also the bb!actors). In term I no longer really care about the second set of main characters (aka everything that follows). I’ve heard Zeng ShunXi gets much better later on…but having stopped while he was still hanging with the Zhu girl before he calls down the cliff/canyon…I’m not currently in the right mood to stay invested long enough to check out the rest of HSDS.

    Sadly, that’s kind of all I’ve been watching.

    Watching a few reality shows, might start my Netflix subscription again and check out on some western shows I’ve been hearing about…

    Fell REALLY deep into the TKA novel and fandom (The King’s Avatar) and currently still stuck down this rabbit hole. However, the deeper I get into this new obsession, the more I’m dreading this live-action adaptation with Yang Yang. Like, I can kind of see some of the other cast fitting into their characters…but YY and Ye Xiu… T.T please no. I was skeptical but withholding judgement at first, but then going back to rewatch that trailer… I can’t omg. Like at least 60% is the production’s fault cuz it’s just REALLY got that idol-sterile-clean-white-setting-everything-looks-like-a-prop thing going on…but also the other 40% is definitely YY. He’s…still so…showy in his acting. Like very look-at-me-I’m-a-hot-idol-and-I-know-it kind of pose-y. That scene where he’s staring intensely at his monitor and does a weird dramatic running-his-hands-across-his-keyboard thing…like that just not Ye Xiu. Sorry I could go on about this forever. Like look at Legends! The plot has fallen apart, the script is subpar, but the characters are very much on point at least in feel if not actual plot-arc!

    Anyways…really mellow few months from me.

    • 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

      So one of the reasons ZM appeared so late even though she’s a lead is that JY had intended for ZZR to be lead lady but the more he wrote the more it organically evolved to be ZM. I wasn’t familiar with the novel when I watched my first adaptation (1986) and actually thought it’s such a pleasant surprise/plot twist to get a character like ZM late in the show. And honestly I don’t get the hate for ZWJ. I knew knew knew the moment he interacted with Zhao Min that he likes her. But she was framed and he was stuck with doing right by his cousin, his godfather, and ZZR. When he found out the truth, he left the Ming Cult leader position, jiang hu, the revolution, and possibly the throne of a new dynasty for an enemy princess. That’s a man who absolutely knows what he wants and puts the woman he loves above all else. Not many wuxia heroes can claim the same.

    • 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

      Similar thoughts on the live-action adaption of TKA, which is why I am holding back from reading the novel or watching the anime. I’m pretty sure I’m going to love the original source material (love gaming related C-novels), might even like the anime. But seeing that live-action trailer made me cringe at all the idol-y lights and corny slow-mo scenes. Thus, I plan to watch the drama and then reward myself with the novel. 😅

      • 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

        The animation is really good does the novel justice. In fact the animation led me to start the novel. Both are good, if you wanna start them anytime.

  5. 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

    You should definitely start Legends Kappy!~ Suddenly realise maybe we’ve spoiled a lot, but like watch it! It’s cute and so is my little puppy Xu Kai!

    Besides that I’m also still watching Good Bye My Princess… I honestly don’t know why I’m still watching.

    I was watching Touch Your Heart (K-drama), but I feel as though I’ve dropped it… Like I haven’t really bothered to check out the new episodes for a while.

    And going to start HSDS soonish I think, like when I have the time to.

  6. 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

    The Haunting of Hill House was so spot on with the casting, esp. the younger cast who really resembled their grown up versions. And the sisters all looked like each other and their mother (kept mixing up who was who at the start). The series wasn’t scary enough for me but what made me love it was the acting and the family’s relationships and dysfunctional love for each other.

    Finishee The Umbrella Academy. It was very quirky! Felt too much like an extended intro or prequel to season 2 though. But still worth a watch.

    I’m a week behind on Legends now cos it’s continued on a downward spiral…If they had aimed for 30 eps and been able to tell the whole story then would’ve been a lot better.

    • 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

      YES~ last show I watched in completion was Umbrella Academy on Netflix. Got my sister to sit down with me and we binged the whole show during a weekend. Although clearly a set up for another season, I like the many mysteries that remain unsolved and hopefully to be answered in season 2. It’s been awhile since I completed a series in full. Good mix of mystery, character building, and a bit of superhero action. ^_^

      So far in 2019, no Chinese dramas have caught my attention. I’m waiting for when I’m in better spirits to attempt watching HSDS 2019. Skimmed the first episode and the slow-mo fighting was painful to watch. I just need to get past the slow-mo scenes and get into the story. >_>

  7. 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

    I’ve had a lot of time on my hands recently so I marathoned The Legends up until its latest episode. So while I’m happy for the main leads, I’m actually more intrigued by the secondary couples like Gu Hanguang and Shen Qianjin, Qin Qianxian and Lu Shiqi. I’ve never read the novel so I don’t know if it ever focuses on their stories, but I did end up reading the epilogue for QQX and LSQ out of boredom. It was cute and I hope we get more scenes of them in the drama.

    The new adaptation of HSDS has been one heck of a ride. Like many others, I’ve been charmed by Yang Xiao but I think I’m more interested in the actor himself. I’ve looked up random clips of his past series and seems like he’s just as good with charming people as he is in HSDS. Lol. Zeng Shunxi is growing on me as well. I think he does get better as the series progresses and now that Zhao Min is finally in the picture, I’m looking forward to seeing them interact.

    • 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

      Thank you for bringing up Second Time Around. I’ll keep an eye on that one. STA is from director Jeff Lau, I liked JL’s A Chns Tall Story. ACTS is charming in parts, though Charlene Choi is not like Anita Yuen at being cute. I like Joe Hisaishi’s melody for the (ACTS) OST too. ACTS has some highlights and lowlights. From description, ACTS seems a lot goofier than STA. STA doesn’t sound like it tries to be silly at all.

      Have you ever watched (classic movie) The Third Man? Viennese residents always recommend visitors to watch it. It’s a bit of a dark thriller though. I don’t remember much of it now. It is highly recommended in Rotten Tomatoes too. I didn’t have a very hard time watching TTM at least. I remember it took me 4 different tries to finish La Dolce Vita. Kept falling asleep.

      I’m waiting to find more free time to watch The Legends without skipping.

      • 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

        Ah, you’re right. STA is produced by Johnnie To. I always thought he was the director for some reason. I can’t remember if I ever watched ACTS .

        All the talk on HK movies made me really miss the classics from the 90s. I think the last HK movie that I truly enjoyed and would recommend is Echoes of the Rainbow from 2010, and before that was Lost in Time in 2003. Have since shied away from a majority their films unless I’m on a long flight or if I’ve heard fantastic reviews. From time to time I do check out Ann Hui’s works. Have you watched any of hers? One of my favorites from her is Summer Snow, released in ’96.

        I actually don’t watch a lot of movies to begin with. Luckily there’s Netflix now so I can catch up on all the Western classics I’ve missed all these years. Recently just watched The Pianist. For some reason I’m always drawn to wartime themes if I have to sit through an English-speaking movie.

        Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll keep an eye out for The Third Man.

        I only skip whenever the antagonists have their scenes. Don’t care for them at all.

        • 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

          Thank you for the recommendations. fyi, I often forget to say thanks. I get so distracted when I need to think in 2 languages to the point that I forget to say thanks altogether at the end. So 1 track mind. lol.

          I remember correctly EotR has Sandra Ng. I remember it had good reviews. Just haven’t come across it to watch it. I remember I like “The Pye Dog” with Eason Chan was a quiet but pleasant film. Probably nicer than ACTS. I saw bits of Eason Chan movie once on a plane and was afraid to watch another Eason C movie. But TPD had decent review and I saw the DVD. I also approach Ekin Cheng, Cecilia Cheung movies carefully.

          In ACTS, they pummelled Nic Tse too much near the end. A tad excessive. Pandering. I haven’t watched Canto films in recent years. All memories are vague.

          Goodness. I just looked at Wiki for Ann Hui. I have merged some of her works with Mabel Cheung’s in my head. It’ll be hard to separate them out in my brain again. I’ll be forever mixed up. lol. I thought Ann H also directed (MC’s) A Tale of 3 Cities (which I didn’t like ATo3C much – story, topic & style. Too self-important. It didn’t help that the topic is Jackie Chan’s parents. Cast: Tang Wei, Sean Lau). I just looked up the various Pang directors yesterday. Today I’ve forgotten which Pang directed which movies again.

          I saw AH’s Jade Guanyin. It was ok. Ditto July Rhapsody (Didn’t dig the topic. Good acting/direction). I prefer JG’s story but JR’s direction.

          I usually avoid films where directors are aiming to international film awards and focus on LGBT topics. It does seem easier to win awards in that genre. Has that “desperation” vibe makes me uneasy. AH’s All About Love may be a bit that way? Taiwan made one recently with Roy Qiu, Dear Ex. It’s film award affirmative action? I feel like there are always some such entries every year.

          It’s memory intensive & time-consuming to discuss C movies as I often forget either the C or Eng titles too.

          Within the last couple of years, I like Mainland thriller film, The Dead End. Deng Chao.

      • 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

        That’s like me, except in my mind I’ve said my thanks.

        Yes “Echoes” has Sandra Ng and Simon Yam. The movie is set in the 1960s and I loved the way they portrayed the tightknit community. It’s quite hard to find a community like that in an urban setting these days. It’s also the same era that my parents grew up so I enjoyed watching what their lives might have been like in Hong Kong.

        Hmmm I think I’ve only seen Eason Chan in “If U Care”. I don’t go out of my way to watch his movies, same with Ekin. The latter just happened to be in a few 90s and early 00s movies that I watched. But if it’s Cecilia Cheung, I would be more inclined to check out her movies. She’s comfortable to watch.

        Not a fan of Ann Hui’s “July Rhapsody” either. I did like her “The Golden Era” and “Our Time Will Come”. TGE had a solid cast and story, but I don’t think it ever reached popularity because people weren’t familiar with the protagonist. She’s not widely read. I only found out about this author through the film. Oh, have you watched Ann Hui’s “Eighteen Springs”?

        I’m actually glad that more films are being made on LGBT topics. Whether the directors are appealing for awards, I do not know and certainly hope that’s it’s not the case, but I applaud directors that make a statement through their films. In my opinion, Hollywood is always criticized for not being diverse enough and I don’t think it should only apply to racial diversity. Unfortunately, not many LGBT films make a huge splash in international news so if receiving an award is the way to spread their message then I can see why they would want to apply for certain awards and such.

        Mainland films are dominating these days but I don’t remember half their titles.

        • 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

          Sorry about my disastrous editing on my previous post. Tried to edit to make it shorter but ended up with numerous confusing sentences & paragraphs. idk how I missed them until now. Just so busy this month. Although I’m just skimming for now, I still don’t get past ep 30 with The Legends.

          I sometimes think about my replies before actually typing them. And some things ended up only in my head. Not actually get typed out. So I know what you mean.

          Good directors can make non-great actors show good film performances. But I’m still afraid to check out movies where FSF (for example) is the lead. There are subsets of Cecilia Cheung movies that I hesitate to watch. She likes to act in tragic and/or sappy love stories. I heard her say that herself in a short interview. Some of them are really not my cup of tea. Chen Kaige’s The Promise comes to mind. Her performance there also didn’t appeal to me. Plus her film with Richie Ren/Jen. Fly Me to Polaris. But to be fair, I’ve forgotten which things I disliked about it. Maybe it’s not too bad? I’m not crazy about RJ’s acting in general. Though I may have liked some of the costume & Johnnie To films.

          HXM has that problem with overbearing CEO roles. HXM says he loves playing those roles, but they tend to be hard to watch if he’s not under Gao Xixi’s direction. The Bund was ok (but Chen Shu and the actor for Sun Li’s dad looked better). But Cruel Romance was cruel to the audience.

          I know what you mean. 60% of my neighbors here keep moving out every 1-3 years. None of them had been here >3 years at this point. I would prefer a non-revolving door community, but it’s not up to us.

          I think Benny Chan (also Dante Lam? Jackie C, Tsui Hark too?) likes to film movies before some HK neighborhoods get torn down.

          China won Best Actor & Actress for So Long My Son @ this year’s Berlin Film Fest. I don’t think I know these actors.
          Mainland’s LGBT film A Dog Barking at the Moon*, 再见南屏晚钟 by Xiang Zi, won special jury award at the same event. I think it was featured in a special LGBT category or something.

          It’s a bit like Mary Sue issue for me. I don’t mind that the female lead end up having some things in common with Mary Sue. But I don’t want them to make their FL look like they crafted their FL by going through a long checklist of Mary Sue characteristics and included as many items from the list as they could. Do you know what I mean? That’s the trouble I have with some directors’ LGBT films. By now, I’m just overwhelmed by the sheer number of them.

          Semi-spoiler: The Dead End also overlaps a bit with LGBT. But LGBT is not “all that it is”.

          Interesting. For Golden Era, I know most of the 3rd to 14th name on the wiki cast list. I quite like most of them. I don’t like Tang Wei & FSF as much as no 3-14. ( idk numbers 8, 9, 12).
          I just haven’t come across this movie. Good to know you like it. :- ) Tang Wei was not quite my thing in Ang Lee’s .. Caution. (I avoid typing things that will require Frea to fish out my post from the spam folder. lol.) A Tale of 3 Cities. She was fine in Finding Mr Right.

          Is Wallace Huo’s acting ok in OTWC? His acting looks increasingly stiff in dramas over the last couple of years. He specializes in mostly “cold” roles to begin with. I used to watch his older dramas (with Sandra Ma. Or Hu Ge). Zhou Xun is a consistent actress. Rarely looks bad in any role as far as I know.

          No. Have you watched 18 Springs?

          Have you watched Amadeus? It’s reasonably well made. But I think it was filmed in Prague.
          I haven’t watched The Pianist. So many film makers seem to be very Harvey Weinstein-y. TP’s director was one of those too. TP’s director’s case may have involved underage minors.

          Do you like contemporary/modern art? It’s not my thing, but Egon Schiele is popular in Vienna and abroad. 他的艺术品我看了心慌

  8. 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

    I’m currently watching Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre and I think C-netizens are too harsh with their criticisms. This version of HSDS is evidently one of the more loyal adaptations of the novel. The 2003 version is really only praised to the skies because of nostalgia. I really dislike how the older versions are seen as unsurpassable when all they have going for them are the memories of a generation. I mean, I’ll admit that the new actors are pretty bad at acting, but the production itself is decent if we neglect the excessive slow motion scenes in the beginning. The sets are beautiful, the costumes are great, the effort they put in to recreate the scenes in the book is commendable, and the story is not limited to just romance.

    The glaring weakness of HSDS 2019 is the acting. Zhang Wuji can be pretty bad, Zhao Min’s gestures are slightly guache at times, and Zhou Ziruo has this perpetual pouting look that just makes her look like a unlikeable 白莲花 (innocent b*tch). However, the two leads (ZWJ and ZM) have exceptional chemistry. Imo, the scene in the trap was brilliantly done, and Yukee Chen really impressed me (even though she was supremely awkward with her hands in the previous scenes). I’m a girl and she charmed me. ZM is one of Mr. Jin Yong’s most popular female characters (after Huang Rong) and I think she’s more than serviceable. As long as ZWJ and ZM’s scenes are done properly, there’s no way HSDS can fail. I personally feel this adaptation has the potential to be the best so far (at least from the 1994 version onward, the others are way too ancient), regardless how the Douban ratings turn out.

  9. 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

    The Legends ( Zhao Yao) had me from Episode 1 and all for one reason – XU KAI from Yanxi Palace and his amazing chemistry with Bai Lu. The show has no ended and I keep repeating the earlier episodes ad infinitum!

  10. 23 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (21)

    I’ve been so deep into The Legends fandom. The novel is hilarious and the drama is a pretty good adaptation IMO except for all the technical editing issues (with scenes jumping around, the climax being the lead-in to the episode and then this weird gap in the middle of the episode with a lead up to the confrontation and then a time jump to afterward…) and sound quality issues.

    The best part of course are the leads – I didn’t even watch Story of Yanxi Palace but I’m now a big fan of Xu Kai (domestic violence rumors bedamned, his ex sounds shady and crazy anyway) and Bai Lu. Their behind the scenes videos are so ridiculously adorable and of course they’ve got good chemistry as they are dating (or at least were back when the drama was being filmed, dunno if they’ve split or not since).

What do you think?