Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

I can’t believe the last post of this series was in April! WHY? I’m sorry for the lack of updates. I have been so wicked with busy and personal life, it’s hard to stalk weibo news for drama updates. T_T What I did watch during my exercise sessions in the morning is an old TVB series called Angels of Mission with Charmaine Sheh, Sonjia Kwok, and Shirley Yeung. When I was younger, I loved this series and hated the ending, but now I dislike it and still hate the ending. LOL. The way the men and women treat each other in this series makes me lose hope in humanity and love. xD

In any case, just saw the trailer for live-action movie Mulan with Liu Yi Fei! Check it out after the jump!

  1. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    Not really feeling that Mulan trailer. Idk, I feel like I’m too cynical and should just see it as improvement, but I honestly just feel like it doesn’t look that good? And visually it looks like such a mish-mash of styles I don’t really know what it’s trying to portray, like what setting…like the Tang Dynasty? But even there I feel like some things just look visually off. Idk, I’m definitely being too picky. But also, I think LYF is gorgeous and yes she’s a good choice bc she’s a face that Hollywood likes and is familiar with. But that scene of her with her family at the table…her acting is so awkward? Ehhh I prob won’t watch it, or will watch it with the expectation of not liking it and just enjoying the nitpicking process lmao. Honestly, personally I am pre-inclined to hold western-adaptations of Chinese stories/dramas/movies to a higher standard just because I’m skeptical they’ll do a good job, just on researching culture, history, and I totally get that’s not always the point, that either way this is a very good step in social-politics and all that. But I accept that bias in myself so ehh Disney, deal with the insignificant criticism. Everyone else on Youtube seems to be loving it so yay there’s that I guess.

    Have been watching a lot of variety shows lately. The Coming One season 3 bc it’s out and I like the judges (esp HuaHua as always), Heart Signal season 2 (lmao I totally didn’t watch season 1), We’re Real Friends (that’s like my personal literal translation, but it’s the one with 大S,小S — basically og tw Shan Cai and her sister and friends).

    Was watching When She Falls in Love (I totally don’t remember the official English title, but that’s also my own personal literal translation), but it was pretty meh. A lot of things bugged me but I kept watching anyways??? I had a rant somewhere in cbox about how ridiculous the friend is, just not a good person, no morality, etc, and how the whole thing was kind a disgusting caricature of society but not in a self-mocking/good way…but was still weirdly addicting. But I caught up with what had been broadcasted and then forgot/too lazy to keep up with new eps so it’s currently dropped.

    Currently kinda watching Young Blood (kinda bc I also sometimes forget about it) and it’s REALLY good. It’s the best representative of everything awesome about idol period dramas and why we used to love them when the genre first kicked off. It’s spunky, adventurous, the plot is KEY, the pace is fast, it’s really just about a group of friends and how they try to save their country. Idol period dramas when done right have the fantastic group-cast with no singular most important character really, and when done right you love them all. All the main characters are lovable and unique and have personality. And all the characters are very human and real. As in, some of them embody a “trope” or a “type”, but Young Blood shows that you can be tropey and STILL be totally real and lovable and NOT 2D and hatable. Low budget kinda, but other than the limitations of that, definitely no real flaws I can point out.

    I started Untamed and couldn’t get past the first like, 15 min. I’m possibly the only person I know who actually dislikes the drama, even when I look at it as a standalone drama. The plot/pace is pretty ok. The biggest failure for me is the lack of chemistry. It’s hard (imo at least) to pull of bromance that really is also “hint hint subtly a little more and everyone knows it”. It can work even with rookie actors if they somehow just naturally have great chemistry. But Idk, I’m not feeling it here, and they definitely aren’t good enough actors to pull it off even without natural chemistry. Lan WangJi is like, dead (yes I know his character in the novel is described is impossible to read, but translated to live action doesn’t mean you’re actually supposed to be dead-face) and imo WWX is trying a little too hard and it’s not coming off right for me. They’re definitely very genuine actors and you can tell they’re actually working really hard and stuff, but it’s not working for me. I know ppl have said if you can hold out to ep 10, they NOTICEABLY improve by a lot and the chemistry starts clicking and acting is coming along well. It’s just, personally I’m not sure if I want to hold out for 10 eps of “just ok”? I’m probably just not in the mood right now so I have even less patience for “meh” than usual. So so far it’s on my list somewhere as “need to try again and give it a second shot— a second shot that lasts at least 10 eps).

    I have Bureau of Transformers, Longest Day in Chang’an on my list and I definitely will watch them but haven’t been in the mood quite yet. Excited for Go Go Squid!

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

      One of my main criticisms of the adaptation is that Disney could’ve given some Chinese or Asian actors their big break but instead went the easy route of having a cast that’s already well-known in China. Can’t exactly blame them cos all the $$$ is from the Chinese box office nowadays anyway, but still…

      The live-action movie is not doing anything groundbreaking for Asian representation, nor for the story of Mulan, so it’s frustrating that they’ve decided to omit the music and characters that made the animated movie so good in the first place.

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

      LYF’s acting at the table isn’t the only awkward one, all the people at the table’s acting is very awkward! I think they are portraying people at a very robotic monotone and style, which will be so boring. They need to make people act more lively. Even the animation can make the characters feel so much more alive. The real human are acting so dead…and that’s what I’ve been seeing in every C-dramas today. It’s a Chinese thing. This mindset that ancient Chinese are robots need to go away seriously. It looks like that became a big influenced to this movie, it makes me wonder who directed it? They really need an outside person (Westerner) to help direct with different perspectives. It doesn’t have that Disney feel to it. It doesn’t have any fun and amusingness feeling to it. It only feels like those boring-boring C-dramas we usually watch. Too conservatively-monotoned. No, making something overly quiet and slow and boring does not mean it will look more serious or realistic. It’s boring, that’s it. Action please. I am harsh on this, especially this is Disney.

      Even the kids version is so much better, the acting is very on point. It’s interesting, lively, realistic, and very Chinese too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6pcR2M0tzk

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

        FYI: The live-action Mulan director is Niki Caro, a Caucasian woman from New Zealand.

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

        I agree Chinese dramas esp scripts have been really weak lately, but I wouldn’t say “real human are acting so dead…and that’s what I’ve been seeing in every C-dramas today. It’s a Chinese thing. This mindset that ancient Chinese are robots need to go away seriously.” I think that’s a very huge generalization to make? I don’t think anyone actually thinks ancient Chinese are robots except maybe in the western community so I would say they definitely don’t need a Western director/influence. They already have that. None of the directors, screen writers, or producers are Asian. I’m going to quote someone from a discord server, “I know they wanted a female director, but that didnt matter to them for any of the OTHER Disney movies, and she like, had to take “martial arts lessons” because she didn’t know anything? Would trade for Chinese director”. I totally agree with that.

        I think this whole live-action Disney thing is a disaster because they’re doing a really bad job of juggling serious-historically-accurate-legend-adaptation and fun-nostalgia-of-Disney-animation (and the latter is basically what non-Chinese-American Americans want). Their audience wants the fun she-cut-her-hair/Shang/Mushu scenes, and in a live action if they tried to make it that similar to the animation…frankly I loved the animation but as a live action parts of it would be quite insulting and a little infuriating from my personal Chinese-American perspective. But if they wanted to go the “social activism representing Chinese culture” route, they’re also doing a fairly terrible job at that too so I honestly would just tell Disney to either go full historical-legend and hire an Asian director, or just go full musical and at least satisfy part of their audience.

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

        “The real human are acting so dead…and that’s what I’ve been seeing in every C-dramas today. It’s a Chinese thing. This mindset that ancient Chinese are robots need to go away seriously. It looks like that became a big influenced to this movie, it makes me wonder who directed it? They really need an outside person (Westerner) to help direct with different perspectives.”

        The production crew for this Mulan movie is mostly all westerners, with a couple of Asians in costumes/art department.

        As for the comment about “Chinese robots”, it’s incredibly ignorant. I’ve already only seen that type of portrayal in western media. Chinese media tends to portray Chinese people as multidimensional human beings.

        Are you working for Disney by any chance?. Seems like a PR firm stepping in to do damage control whenever criticism of this movie shows up on the internet (have seen similar comments on another cdrama fansite)..

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

          LOL you are crazy to think I’m doing PR. If I work for Disney I would be praising this thing highly, wt heck damage control you talkin about and quite sure you didn’t read me correctly.
          Chinese people are the ones making themselves look “robotics” in the first place all over their dramas. Today, the slower and the more robotic the drama is then the more people like. Give you one example, TSOML is what all Chinese today consider the most classic and historical thing of all. That is why Westerners see Chinese robotic, that’s what Chinese enjoy watching. You think people made up labels out of nowhere? I believe stereotypes happen for a reason, such as you might really want to say white people are ignorant and that’s because most of the time they are – at least that’s my experience.
          If I knew who directed this all along I wouldn’t bother asking. All the actors are Chinese soo that made me think that they got a Chinese director. And also, they really made this look like another regular Chinese show. All other Disney movie has humor except this , there is no music no fun. Totally a Chinese style (to me) – I don’t know how you see Chinese dramas today enjoyful and tridimensional, but I can always sum up 20 episodes into 1 short episode so that’s why I think Chinese directors are slow robotic. I was assuming Western would direct this in a fun way but I was wrong, you could explain angrily I don’t mind but I don’t appreciate your PR assumption about me.

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

          Website won’t let me reply to your comment directly.

          To bibo:
          Check the production credits on imdb, let me post the link here so you can see for yourself:

          Look at each name carefully. Google it if you have to. Do you see any Asians working as directors and scriptwriters?.

          The answer is NO. It’s a Disney movie bankrolled by American studios with Americans and other westerners in all the prominent production jobs. Yet for whatever reason you seem to think the Chinese are the ones calling the shots over this film LOL..

          “Chinese people are the ones making themselves look “robotics” in the first place all over their dramas. ”

          Of course, keep doubling down on your ignorance. I don’t even know why you’re on this cdrama fansite considering you hold this deep-seated bias. Better check out other sites.. Less ignorant trolls on this website, the better it is for everyone else.

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

          @passing by

          Thank you for clearly showing us how some Chinese are so close minded (I’m from asia btw) and will only talk to people who think the same like them. One different opinion really deserves national punishment (driven away). I already said I made one wrong assumption, ok my fault on assumptions but I cannot believe I get accused from being troll all the way to shizy stuff based on one opinion when I already said my assumption came from stuff I watched.

          I am a casual Chinese drama watcher too so I witnessed how they hype around these robotic scriptings like it’s the hotest trend ever. I already prove it with how TSOML is the most popular thing. Guess I should have gave up C dramas a long time ago, I have no more hope in it long time ago already. Thanks again to people like you who open my eyes that yall don’t want to admit and fix these dramas because it needs no fix, it’s good enough for y’all opinion. What I see as robotic, you see it as fast motion. So I finally understand why C dramas are so horrible these past years (to me). They’re only actually satisfying your new trend after all, they’re not the wrong one, it’s the majority of the audience and I don’t think the same way like the majority.

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

        The shy/reserved/stoic Chinese, especially of the female persuasion, is an image which has persisted in the collective Western mindset. A capable actress/actor can do shy/eserved/stoic without being felt as “robotic” (aka suffering from “facial paralysis” or “emoji acting”). To me, that means their eyes must be expressive. LYF’s eyes often look blank which is a huge negative.

        A truly capable director is supposed to be able to get the right acting even out of not-so-talented actress/actor. What did the director want? Even more fundamental, after digging a little into the four 50+ year-old non-Asian screenwriters, I feel their screenplay isn’t likely good one. Also, the trailer (indicative of the entire movie or not?) is not visually appealing. So… Right now, the trailer fails in every department.

        Back to “robotic”. Main problem is Chinese entertainment industry in the past decade has spent a lot of resources promoting pretty faces/personalities who could “go viral” and maintain a huge following, especially teenage girls. More and more of them, who never seriously studied acting, are being put on the screen as leads or 2nd leads by their agencies (which tend to have much more clout/money than average drama production companies). Question is “Aren’t there plenty of pretty aspiring actors/actresses attending performing arts/drama schools?” Some industry opinions believe there has been a disconnect between the market and school admissions in this aspect.

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

      Definitely agree about Mulan. I loved the Disney animation and am willing to give the live action a chance but everything about it just looks horrible. Horribly filmed and everything seems out of place. But this is what happens when an all-White production team takes on an Asian folklore. They should have gone the route that Crazy Rich Asians did by hiring an all-Asian production team. At least there would be more authenticity.

  2. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    Haha I remember hating Angels of Mission cos the characters were such jerks to each other.

    Finished War of the Genders recently. Watched some eps when I was younger so it was good to finally watch it all. Such a good ensemble cast and so funny!

    Watching 最佳利益 Best Interest – a TW drama about lawyers, and 噬罪者 Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner – about a guy who is released after 12 years for the murder of a teenage girl. For Best Interest, I didn’t like the male lead at first as he’s very righteous and naive about the world and the legal profession. But he’s learning and his mentor is really cool (so far no romance between them and I hope it stays that way). The cases and the acting has been pretty good so I think I will finish this drama.

    HTSLTS is depressing. I’m curious to find out what actually happened in the past. Seems like he took the blame for his younger brother (just my guess, not a spoiler).

    The latest season of Stranger Things is out so I watched it all over the weekend. Very satisfying and still as good as the 1st season. Love the whole cast and would’ve liked to see the whole squad together more. The different groups were still great together!

  3. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    The Untamed is taking over my heart. Xiao Zhan is perfect as Wei Wuxian. Can’t wait to see his future projects xD

    Anticipating Go Go Squid as well.

  4. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    I am literally watching many dramas.

    Cdramas : river flows to you and deep in my heart. Funny that the 2nd lead in river flows is the 1st lead in deep in my heart…lols. havent got hooked with both dramas but let’s see later. And i need to finish 6 last episodes of princess silver.. sigh… i lost my interest since ep 40.

    Tw drama : before we get married. A HIGHLY RECOMMENDED DRAMA!!! Puff and Jasper are totally rocking this roles.

    Kdramas : arthdal chronicles and search www are my top list kdramas this season. But im also watching ine spring night, mother is mine, designated survivor and will try ‘watcher’.

    Thai drama : fleet of time, an adaptation of tw movie starring eddie peng.

    Well, i’ve tried many other dramas this season but honestly arthdal, www and before we get married are my fave. And im totally addicted.

    I’ve watched some episodes of longest day in chang an but i just didnt understand..lols. im currently so into romance. I used to love revenge, crime and thriller story, but now… romance is kind of my fave. Young blood, emm.. i couldn’t get passed 10 mins of ep 1. The acting was meh and not to mention their expressions. But i guess, it’s preference.

  5. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    I’m quite excited for Mulan. I know there are some comments floating around about why Mulan didn’t chop off her hair and honestly I always found that kind of strange to begin with. Considering how filial piety was such an important theme and if Disney had done their research for the animation, they would have realized what a big mistake that was. On top of that, the heroines in Cdramas wanting to dress up as men would just tuck their hair into a man bun, dress in oversized garments and that was that. =P

    Did anyone also notice the tulous? Am I missing something or was Mulan from Fujian?


    Back to the original topic. I am watching Before We Get Married and am liking the character development for the leads. Acting wise, I think Puff is still a little weak compared to her costar Jasper. Most of the time I feel like he’s the one carrying them through each confrontation scene.

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

      The tulous have been a side topic for Mulan. “Variety” website ( /2019/film/news/mulan-disney-crystal-liu-yifei-mushu-china-1203264522/ ) discussed it too. Mulan isn’t supposed to be from the South.

      I don’t think I like this Mulan director and some of the team members they use. The head snap in trailer looks corny. The Mulan with makeup scenes look a lot more garish and cake-y than comparable looks from typical C costume dramas. I think this production could have benefited from using more consultants who are more familiar to the subject and culture.

      I wonder if Disney will still go with Fa (Cantonese) Mulan (Mandarin).

      I just finished watching a couple of older dramas. I didn’t like Eagles and Youngster that much after ep 11. Good production values, acting, direction but the plot really needs work. It lacks logic and gets worse after the first half. You have to forget some things in the preceding episode when you’re watching the current ep or you’re going to get irked by the lack of logic or plot holes.

      Happy to read AVV recs on Put Your Head On My Shoulder. I’m watching it with STEM majors and surprisingly no one complains. They don’t show much physics and that may have helped.
      I’m still watching it.

      Did you finish Princess Silver? I have mixed feeling about it. Doubt I’ll watch the whole thing. But I did like reading about how serious the first time producer Zhang Meng is about this production and why she picked Zhang Xueying, Aarif ,,, Lee, Jiang Chao as her leads. Ah. I always confuse Jing Chao and Jiang Chao. I dislike the other Chao more. The one not in Princess Silver. To me, the production isn’t bad, but the topic isn’t really my cup of tea.

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

        Heh lol as a stem major who almost majored in physics, I took a screenshot and confirmed with a friend and most of the time he’s just writing the schrodinger eq and some classic solutions for the eq so tbh technically he’s not wrong bc they never specify exactly what he’s doing — kudos to the production team lol. I was a little bugged in ep 1 ish? 2 maybe? with the classic stereotype of “well-studied stem major must be good at fixing computers, hardware with fixing phones, and basically just be good at all STEM you can think of no matter what their actual major is bc they’re a genius”. But he was too cute so I got over that pretty quick lmao.

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

        Despite all the things that may be wrong with it, I’m still looking forward to seeing this version of Mulan. I have a soft spot for Liu Yifei.

        Let’s hope they keep the pronunciation of her name consistent.

        Eagles and Youngster wasn’t on my list so I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I can’t even remember who is in it. The rate that they are releasing dramas in China makes it very difficult to keep up with the cast list unless I am waiting for it to be released.

        Put Your Head On My Shoulder was so refreshing. 24 episodes, a simple plot and with equally uncomplicated characters. It was such a nice break from all the other dramas airing these days. Hope you enjoy the rest of it.

        I could not finish Princess Silver. Initially I was drawn to the female lead’s character, but then she and the rest of the characters became too irritating to watch. I still listen to the music from it, because at least that’s good. Also found some appreciation for Aarif Lee.

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

          I’m not separating out replies below.

          The tulou issue, apart from being from the wrong region for Mulan, the timeline is also wrong. Mulan pre-dates tulous.

          Yes, they don’t write enough on the board in Shoulders that you can find something wrong with it. I think generally experimental physicists, electrical engineers can be reasonably adept at fixing electronics though maybe not every one of them. Of STEM dramas, I remember Suddenly This Summer, Bai Yu’s college classmates had problems solving linear system of equations. US drama, Numbers, wrote out all entries of each matrix from the most basic least squares equation just to put a lot of stuff out on the board without showing any meaning. But at least they didn’t get anything wrong either. I hear there were Hollywood behind the scenes ppl who asked around at USC or UCLA to get technical consultants to figure out what stuff to put on the board.
          The thing that STS got more wrong is that they gave the impression that Caltech has ocean view when it actually doesn’t. US cities are still huge enough, many neighborhoods within coastal cities do not have ocean view.

          Ah, it’s not easy to find dramas with a decent plot and a good cast. Some have decent plots and then have a few actors with over the top acting.

          Aarif Lee does seem like a pretty solid actor, though I didn’t want to check his drama out when he was in FBB’s Empress Wu. Zhang Fengyi (also in FBB EW) looks to be a solid actor too. LYF is easy on the eyes. Sometimes I watch her stuff, sometimes I don’t. More in the don’t category for me.

          Does Ni Ni Chang Chen’s Love & Destiny look promising to you guys? I’m not hopeful of that drama. Looks too much like a Chasing The Money drama, riding on past gravy train. Crossing Hua Qiangu with TMOPB?

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


          Yes, by a lot.

          Physics and science in general is not my cup of tea, so I have no idea what they’re writing on the boards most of the time. They could fool me quite easily.

          The Caltech blunder reminds me of Love Me If You Dare episode that supposedly took place in Hong Kong. Actually, I can’t remember if it was the drama or the book, but they could have used a fact checker. According to them, Tsim Sha Tsui has a beach. I don’t think most people caught that detail, but I’d just returned from visiting my family in Hong Kong and hung out in Tsim Sha Tsui enough to know that there’s no way a packed urban area would have a beach.

          It’s so hard to find a good balance in drama land. When a production company spends a ton of money on the sets and costumes, they tend to sacrifice other things. Most of the time it’s the plot that suffers.

          I liked LYF in The Four movies. She wasn’t exceptionally great in them but she was watchable. Her movie with her ex-boyfriend was also decent. I had read the original book and had doubts she’d pull off the character but she proved me wrong.

          I’m checking out Love & Destiny for the sole fact that it’s Chang Chen in a drama. I like him as a movie actor, so I’m curious to see how he does in drama land. The whole xianxia genre has been overdone ever since Hua Qiangu. If it’s not palace harem dramas, it’s xianxia. You’ve got to wonder what’s next.

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

          Yeah, I don’t remember what Tsim Sha Tsui looks like either and I have visited HK (5 times?).
          I was always with relatives and didn’t navigate myself anywhere. Had no idea which neighborhood I was in at any time.

          I do enjoy fluff dramas, but sometimes I find they can go a bit too far with the FLs. I complain about this to skibbies below.

          Cdrama FLs often created via a sexist perspective and have to fit producers’ ideal idol mold. Like Tong Nian (to HSY): “Let me know what you’d like me to wear and I’ll wear that for you next time”. FLs can come out too cutesy, OTT. The general audience likes that I presume? idk why ppl find drama Fu Yao, empresses, princesses as strong female chars. So many of them need saved by the prince. I’m more impressed by 庄小威, 吴健雄. Unique, impressive real women. These 2 actually went to the same high school in Suzhou. That school produced a lot of Sci geniuses. I always feel that the fictitious FLs always pale in comparison to real ones. 95% of the MLs are either rich, future CEOs, inherit firms, or are princes or nobles. And they usually help the FLs get ahead in the world. I don’t feel much resemblance bw Tong Nian and the 2 real women. They seem more like women from the opposite end of the spectrum. Also, so many MLs are so much more affluent than the FLs it makes the FLs seem like gold diggers? ML houses are always so much more luxurious looking than FL’s. I end up reading a lot of sci or other articles a lot or sometimes I feel like I’m getting dumber and dumber as I watch dramas. Sometimes I like to learn a couple of things as I watch dramas. It’s hard to do these days, though some dramas at least offer a new perspective.

          Yes, they have that commercial formula in that once 1 genre did really well, they like to cluster there. Afraid to be make a different product and not making money. I’m glad to see more companies are collaborating to hedge risks, so they can work on a higher number of projects. Hopefully at least some of them will be less formulaic.

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

          HK is so compact that it’s quite easy to step into another neighborhood and not know it.
          Yeah, I was shaking my head at Tong Nian when she said that to him. I’ve noticed the same about the MLs—they are always living in luxurious homes (no one needs that much space when they’re living alone) and have assistants that cater to them. It’s quite rare in an idol drama to have a ML who is actually poor and the FL is the one who’s an heiress. Sometimes both of them are rich. Otherwise, the scriptwriters just like to stick to the standard formula of rich man, poor woman. It is almost guaranteed that this formula sells. I think I read somewhere that the audience find it easier to relate to the FL if they’re on the same economic and educational level, like it’s easier to put themselves in the FL’s shoes. At least this is how it is for idol fluffy dramas. Role reversal would be nice.
          To learn something from dramas…we’d have to watch dramas with limited romance to them.

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

          Chiming in, Tsim Sha Tsui has a wharf and that’s about it. I was way way more bothered by the language issue in LMIYD to notice other things, besides the hilariously bad ending arc. Aside from one side speaking english, the other side speaking mandarin. They also spoke Mandarin in HK, but then some witness would speak Cantonese and it’s noticeably dubbed and awkward.

          Love & Destiny isn’t doing anything new I believe, but it’s surprisingly funny is what I’ve been told? If you just watch it as a fluff drama, it could be entertaining? I didn’t expect much from it because xianxia + initial trailer + 60 ep (GOD WHY DOES IT NEED 60 EP)

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

          I hear that Guardian of Beauty with Li Xiaolu has a poor boy-rich girl combo. GoB has Wu Jinyan as a co-star. LXL’s character starts off as bratty, I think. I have only browsed 1-2 eps.

          I may be wrong, but C dramas used to have less MLs in luxury homes. K dramas seem to prove that global idol fans favor actresses who look like Dilraba, Gulnazar wearing designer brands dating idols looking like Zhang Han living in luxurious quarters. After such K dramas raked in $$$ year after year, C dramas now use this formula too and we have been in this luxurious idol bubble since. Not only I feel brain-malnourished from such dramas, sometimes I feel that I may become increasingly more shallow too like the FLs if I’m not watching myself more closely. It becomes harder to watch dramas with simple sets. There’s way too much focus on style and material objects. A handful of C dramas alone don’t particularly bug me, but as a group there are way too many poor girls in modest homes dating deep pocketed future CEOs. Queen of SOP, Moonshine & Valentine, Summer’s Bubble/Desire, Go Squid, Interpreters. The list can go on forever. Hard not to see the group of FLs as non-materialistic when nearly all of them do it.

          I guess they don’t need to dub Paul Chun? He still speaks Mandarin quite well? I’m surprised to see Carina Lau’s Mandarin interview sometimes. For a Suzhou-born person, her Mandarin doesn’t sound so good?

          Drama wardrobe is a thing that’s probably the easiest/simplest thing to improve in a drama. It doesn’t interact with script, acting, directing as much. That becomes the focus for C drama improvement, along with CGI and set design. Sadly plots haven’t improved by as much.

          Yeah, Love & Destiny looks ok and could be good. It depends on what they do with the plot later. But the synopsis says Ni Ni’s character is going to be a fated calamity (like Hua Qiangu?). They said ~ “meant to wreak havoc in the world”.

          As we write Tsim Sha Tsui, I am reminded of how complicated C languages and dialects are. In romanized form alone, you can end up coming across Wade Giles, Pinyin, Poeh Oei Ji, Jyut Ping in the spelling of city names. Then there are traditional, simplied characters. (Sometimes I feel like overseas-C are overly criticized. It’s a bit of an accomplishment to be able to wade through this collection of stuff just to read and communicate. And there’s so much criticism about C immigrants in the West on all sorts of things, including being too focused on getting high scores. A lot of ppl don’t notice how many hours immigrants may put into studying in another language and adapting to their new locales, learning new regulations) I think partly my Canto suck so much is bc I never spent the time to study the Jyutping pronunciation guide, or memorize the Jyutping spelling.
          I have to explain to my non-C buddy that “Datong (City)” in China is the same as “Tatung (Univ)” in Taipei. And “Tatung” in Taipei isn’t a typo from typing “Taitung (city)”.

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


          Right? And when they said found a body or something at the TST beach, I was like, what the heck? Ah yes I remember the awkward Cantonese in LMIYD. They had people who clearly spoke Guangzhou-style Cantonese dub over the voices, but I guess the difference is not that noticeable if you don’t speak and understand Canto.

          60 episodes seem to be the norm for these type of dramas now. I blame it on the huge number of side characters in these xianxia and the number of story arcs.

          @ an

          I hadn’t even heard of the series. Typically I follow my favorite actors/actresses and/or come across clips from Instagram. I feel like most of what I’ve gotten into these days is due to social media.

          It feels like this phenomenon can be the subject of a research paper. Why must FLs all be poor but date the rich MLs?

          Carina was in her teens when she moved to Hong Kong and spent a year learning Cantonese by reading newspapers out loud to a teacher every day who would correct her pronunciation. It’s surprising to me that she can still speak Mandarin albeit it’s not perfect and can sound kind of weird sometimes. How the times have changed. It’s the other way around with celebrities learning Mandarin or attempting to speak it.

          If they only invested the same effort into their plots.

          I suppose the biggest difference between Ling Xi and Hua Qiangu is that the ML Jiu Chen was already suspicious of her “powers” from the very beginning. But I’m not sure about Hua Qiangu. I never finished it.

          Romanization is complicated indeed. I learned most of pinyin and jyutping by trial and error. There used to be a Chinese word processor that I would use to help me learn Chinese. It was very easy to look up the pinyin and jyutping for it, and now even Google translate has it easier. But I agree that the number of these methods is too complicated and confusing. On the up side, it’s easier to tell if a person is from Mainland or Taiwan based on the way they spell their surnames. Some of them anyway. Xie versus Hsieh, Xia versus Hsia, Cai versus Tsai, etc.

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

          btw, chasingpolaris, there are a lot more of these last names in other countries with unusual spellings. I’m only aware of a few like Thai Chaiyakul. Viet Quach (=pinyin Guo). Indonesian Tanoto (=pinyin Chen. Hokkien=Tan), Halim (=pinyin Lin). There are Filipino and Malaysian Chua’s etc. Supposedly the highest number of overseas C are in Thailand, then Malaysia, and followed by the US. Many people are not aware the Tw Lai’s and the Canto Lai’s are not from the same C character.

          I’m skipwatching Go Squid up to about ep 23. Tong Nian is primarily a cheerleader to HSY.
          Tong Nian is a drama FL with high commercial value. The audience likes cutesy FLs with MLs that suffer quietly and do a lot of things for FLs. Think of TN as having been super independent and accomplished lots before HSY. Now she’s focusing her efforts on HSY now that she has fallen in love for the first time. That may put you in a happier place while watching Go Squid. They are just glossing over TN’s AI project in healthcare etc. The real thing is a lot more complicated than what she says and the audience doesn’t want to watch that.

          It’s so great that we get to chat and be friends w AVV users without having ever met. It’s something that’s the opposite of idol dramas. We’re not friends bc the other party is beautiful or live in a mansion. Plus I learn more from chatting with you and the others than watching cdramas.

          Idol FLs are best suited for female audience who are living vicariously through the FLs. Imagine themselves dating special MLs and almost having the world revolves around themselves. There are still some things for the rest of us, but I think not as much. Cfensi described the novel FL in Princess Silver ~ …. ” in one of those popular novels where the FL is loved by many men despite having an unlikable character”.

          fyi, the schrodinger equation Julianne mentioned appeared in Ep 11 of Shoulders. The (failed) love declaration note in the snow scene. I only got to that part this week. I don’t think that makes any sense as a love note. The heart-shaped math graph is more plausible. But it’s about plotting that polar equation rather than “solving it” like the ML said. They are a cute cdrama couple.

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

          @ an

          Wow, I didn’t realize that there are so many variations of last names. I know of Quach mostly because we have a high concentration of Vietnamese-Chinese people here, but I would have never guessed the others. It makes sense though. My own last name is Lam (Lin) and I’m always asked if I’m Vietnamese because it’s how they pronounce the character.

          Ah, I read your response after I posted in the chatbox. I think I’ll put this series on hold for now. I’ve started Gank Your Heart, another esports series, where the FL is total opposite. She has always been independent and is continuing to be the same even while supporting the ML. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with GGS and Tong Nian but it’s just not what I’m looking for right now. I may finish it another time since I really like Yang Zi.

          I feel the same way. I don’t have many real life friends that watch dramas and have these types of conversations.

          It is difficult to find a drama that is well-balanced. We just have to keep looking for those and hope they produce more. I have to remind myself that I am watching the cutesy idol FLs to pass time lol.
          That was a cute part in the drama. I couldn’t help but root for this couple. They were so refreshing to watch.

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

          C emigrated to various parts of Asia for centuries, resulting in a rich variety of last names. Many don’t even look like C names. Are you aware that the first Filipino president, Emilio Aguinaldo, is ethnic C? Corazon Aquino is similar iirc. Only this week I became aware that some parts of the large Kalimantan aka Borneo Island was also a Qing tribute (兰芳共和国 ; wiki) until the Dutch got there. A number of countries have or had periods of Sinophobia and required residents to change names.

          I do like the various point of views we have here on AVV. C cultural elements here are almost non-existent. That’s one of the reasons why we watch cdramas, isn’t it? There are things you can’t find on Disney, CBS.

          Hope you will enjoy Gank Your Heart until the end.
          I browsed a few more eps of Go Squid. TN is still cheerleading up to about ep31.

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


      Oooh, that’s quite interesting. I would never thought they’d be ethnic Chinese just by looking at their names. I’ll have to read up on the Lanfang Republic.

      Cdramas really do make me learn more about the culture and customs. I recently purchased a writing set off Taobao to help me practice seal script, an interest I developed through Cdramas. It’s not a style of writing that’s commonly seen now but I enjoy it nonetheless. It makes my museum trips more interesting because I can read the writing on those lovely scrolls. Far from being fluent but I’ve learned to recognize some characters when I first purchased a seal script dictionary a few years ago.

      I’ve finished Gank Your Heart. Now I can focus on Love and Destiny while waiting for The Untamed episodes.

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

        If you find that interesting, you may want to read the “闽商” entry on baidu. For me, some highlights can be found under “(Section) 8.4各地的发展” , ” 6.7 泉州”. I find some of the Tables that they quoted from Forbes are quite impressive.
        On a related note, 其实,看起来挺多华人是被古代欧洲人拐到南阳的. I actually read this also many years ago, before we have internet from an older book published in that region. This book was not published in Eng or C. So there are consistent stories from at least 2 independent sources.

        I’m quite bad at reading those old scripts. My J SIL is much better than me. I think that’s the same script that’s used on a lot of 易昌号(aka 长台)生普洱茶 paper wrappers? That’s supposed to be wildly different than the carvings on turtle shells from (early?) Warring States era right?
        Do you have fav museums? The Shanghai museum workers were really nice to me when I browsed their jade seals and furniture collections. They approached me and advised me how to take a better pic and stuff.

        I remember what you said once about your dad’s comment when you saw Yang Yang in Love020. Seems like Wang yibo can qualify too. lol. I feel bad for him if he parents sent him for idol training camp when he was 14. (Not sure what happened there. Not judging.) I looked at some of his clips his fans put out on YT for Gank Your Heart, and ep 2 of Joe Chen’s Love Actually. I didn’t dare skimming LoveA before, given Joe Chen & Tong Dawei’s recent dramas.

        I haven’t watched/read The Untamed in detail, but I do like both leads’ characters. Kind, generous, chivalrous. That’s what bugs me about FLs. I’m used to problem-solve with others in large teams. I may miss some things, but generally I’m not one who want to cause trouble or drag. But many FLs almost go out of their way to get into trouble so the MLs can come save them. It’s too hard for me to relate to most FLs.
        I do think this drama 佟年’s AI accomplishment is a bit too 夸张. Seasoned AI experts like Andrew Ng, Daphne Kollers work with huge teams internationally for many years and they don’t sound like they have accomplished as much as what TN mentioned. Most also concentrate in an area. Not doing both healthcare and criminology / public security. TN sounds as if she may have gotten more things done than the IBM Watson Healthcare team or Atomwise (a firm name). I have never come across an AI team with just 2 graduate students working on a significant AI project. And still have so much more free time to sing and date. Yang Zi is cute though.

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

          Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll put that on my reading list.

          I honestly never thought about how Chinese migrated to Southeast Asia, but I figured that since there were so many maritime expeditions there that I just assumed they got there willingly.

          Yes, it’s the script on the wrappers. Small seal script is the one that was standardized in Qin dynasty. I really like the overall visuals of the characters in this script. That’s really nice of the museum workers to offer tips. Here, we don’t get that kind of service. I haven’t been to China yet but I do have a list of museums to visit once I do make my way there. Have you watched the CCTV program National Treasure Files? I haven’t watched the second season but enjoyed the first one.

          I’ve learned to appreciate Wang Yibo’s talents. It seems that he’s very quick to pick up certain skills, like dancing, skateboarding and of course his beloved motorcycle riding. Because of him I’ve started to watch motorcycle racing. I’ve always liked racing competitions but never fully developed a full blown interest or devoted any time to it until now.

          Joe Chen was interesting to watch many years ago when she first debuted, but over time I feel like she has put herself in a box and can’t find better projects.

          The Untamed is like Guardian from last year although the latter is not my cup of tea.

          I agree, many FLs seem to seek out trouble on their own. I guess the point of it is to demonstrate how helpful, kind and caring the MLs are. But it’s also very degrading at the same time.

          Since you’ve watched more than I have, do you think TN’s educational background and genius status is influential in the drama? She’s maybe only used her skills once in the 17 episodes that I watched.

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

          I’ve only seen parts of that CCTV program. Sometimes I watch “City to City” (城市?)1对1. I forget the exact name.
          The immigration issue is very complicated. I mentioned something related to that to skibbies near the very end below. It’s much shorter in C.
          Wang Yibo’s sect in The Untamed reminds me a lot of my childhood. I like the clip they show for ep 9 in Gank Your Heart. I’ll say more another time.

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

          A lot of the things I mention to you here are related to stuff I wrote to Skibbies this Aug.
          We (Sk &I) discussed Cn travel since late July below. I’m thinking of visiting Tw first. My next C trip is likely Sichuan &Chongqing. There’s a lot of places to work out the logistics for. Pls feel free to ask me if you have questions. The last time I went was 4(, 5?) yrs ago. I’ll likely visit Malta before C. Malta is tiny. Doesn’t take as much work to travel to. lol.

          I’m not good at judging the TN’s influence in GG Squid. I skipped thru the gaming part lots.
          It’s related to the article I read on vox website last year. Gaming etc addition. I don’t trust my will power.

          2 of Wang Yibo’s characters relate strongly to how I am, but I’ve never been able to express my feelings in person. It’s only this decade that I’m somewhat expressive in writing at least. If I just overlooked something when I worked with someone or whatever, I feel so bad inside that it looks just like how Wang Yibo was in ep 9 when he discovered that he misunderstood the FL in Gank Your Heart.

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

          Re: 闽商:泉州人好厉害,原来到了这么多地方发展。我们这边在15-20年前有一大批来自福建的移民,他们在这边也发展得不错,有很多中餐馆都是他们的,有很多比较贵的楼层也被他们

          Where in Taiwan are you visiting? My sister was there this past January to visit her old roommate. They stayed mostly in Kaohsiung, Hsinchu (where her roomie is from) and Taipei.

          I am a foodie and so when you mention Sichuan and Chongqing, I can only think of all the spicy dishes and hotpot. What do you plan on seeing there?

          Gaming addiction is real. At one point I was very addicted to this mobile game that I’d already spent a lot of money on it before snapping out of the phase.

          I read your response to skibbies regarding your similarities to Lan Wangji in The Untamed. 还真的是家家有本难念的经啊。还好你有互相理解的朋友。我觉得你在文字中表达的很不错,而且你懂的事很多所以我特别喜欢跟你聊。

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

          Thank you for your note on the Changtai script. 🙂

          How interesting. Only Tw has an association office 20 miles away from me, with a huge modern church within 10 miles. But my town isn’t that Tw at all. I don’t see other region-specific organization otherwise. In proximity, I’m closer to (2?) synagogues than anything else. I’ve seen a building labeled Wenzhou Guild 200+ miles away.

          Before I forget, if you watch Love & Destiny (also a small bit in The Untamed – The Lotus Cove). Note the art nouveau-inspired architecture in Li Dongxue’s building. I haven’t watched that much of either. L&D has a much bigger budget, esp on CGI, set designs. Youtube YT channel, Travel And Leisure has good videos on Austrian travel, but with robotic narration. denniscallan’s channel has good practical info, but dated images. Zheng Shuang’s River Flows to You’s opening OST is just slightly modified from Johann Strauss’ Blue Danube Waltz. In case you miss the Austrian inspired theme in C dramas.

          I’ve read from a few places that Tw has surpassed HK, Sg as a foodie destination.
          Flat(ter) areas I’m planning on visiting: 鹿港 (清代寺庙), 台南(特色小吃,清代寺庙,臺南吳園;舊振南餅店 Concept Store),台中(artsy stuff, parks 台中公園 , riverside walks (柳川 etc). The Miyahara ice cream store is intriguing). 乌来: 有温泉,瀑布和温泉酒店. Taipei has lots of Michelin mentions. At least 1 of the bakeries is also an award-winning bakery with lychee, rose amongst its ingredients. “Wu Pao Chun”.

          大溪老街 (有卖普洱茶的), 鶯歌老街. 你可能会对莺歌有興趣. They have an old kiln; produced (still producing?) good to great ceramics, like “tai-hwa ceramics”. There’s an article on “Tai-Hwa Pottery—The “National Palace Museum of Yingge” on the internet. You said you liked ceramics in the Nanjing museum in the CCTV show iirc.
          There are tons of old streets/towns to explore near 新台北,苗栗, like 南莊(老街) .

          (我以前去过太鲁阁,淡水,基隆市附近的景点. 7-8岁时去过高雄)

          Should be doable level of hilly: 文山區猫空, 石碇區 (some pretty pictures on taipeifoodie site. Site also has good pics of 舊振南餅店).
          Optional: 坪林 (Supposedly easy to drink some competition grade tea).
          Interested in (but hillier, so have to see how my feet are): 獅頭山風景區(I’m interested in the one near 南庄. There are several attractions with names looking like LHM, Lion’s Head Mtn). 九份.
          Tw’s tea scene is very lively vs HK due to lower rent, they say.
          本来是没有想要看很多风景的,但是台湾的草树木挺美的。不看好像可惜啊: 南庄神仙谷.

          Most cities come with night and other markets. I just don’t mention them here. Too many.

          There are lots I’m still considering:
          溪头, 北埔. I haven’t decided on 阿里山 或雪霸 either. Or neither.

          南投has a lot of interesting places. It’ll take a long time for me to figure out where to visit. This inn looks particularly interesting to me too: 秋山居. Tang style construction. I don’t know any such thing here. I saw a vid of a private traditional Chinese mansion with a very nice bonsai and art collection too. It’s hard to organize all the info.

          南投 area is known for its nice scenic beauty.

          Have I tempted you enough? Do you wanna go? 🙂
          There are actually a handful of famous puer boutique producers based in Tainan. I heard of 1 of the oldest tea shops there, but I find it hard to find out the true whole story. 1 of the boutique brands there is 陳遠號普洱茶.

          Sichuan YT intrigues me: watch?v= n8eulAXf1VU
          But the major sights are the pandas, Qingcheng, Emei, Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong like skibbies said.
          I do want to see the Dazu rock carvings. You can eat Sichuan every day? I think I can take the spice level, but I’m not as crazy about the 麻辣 sensation. A lot of moisture added to the respiratory system.
          我家族的女人都是家庭主妇。都很像后宫娘娘。我工作 像琅琊榜似的。还真的忙不过来. 我一点都不会演出娘娘戏的人。我家又没有顾烶烨能帮我。(我现在家里的情况是比较像“致我们暖暖的小时光”。) 我都没有一次让她们来演琅琊榜。但她们都要我去演后宫专。真头疼啊。我兄长是比我新家人像顾烶烨。因为兄长继承了家业。我都不敢跟家人拿出什么东西。我还真不懂为什么要拉我一个搞科学的人去演后宫转。每一个还跟我说她们太委屈了呢. 我们活到了这个时代,但还存在的那么多的宋代女人啊. 我找一下我以前录得我弹的钢琴曲”给你“…. 只是这方面也还是有点像 lanwangji.

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

          I feel like people from our culture tend to migrate more. But it’s perhaps it’s because there are more of us on earth.

          L&D is on my watch list but I admit I haven’t fully paid attention to it. Interesting that they used that type of architecture but I guess that’s the freedom of having a xianxia world where anything is possible. Although I think these days they try not to go overboard because of netizen criticism. Thanks for the tips. A friend of mine is heading to Austria in October and I will be living vicariously through her before I can make my own journey there.

          Taiwan is inexpensive compared to HK and SG, and not as populated so I can see that they’ve become the foodie destination. We have a growing Taiwanese population here so we have been blessed with their restaurants

          Looks like you’ve got quite a list of destinations in Taiwan. 鶯歌 does look quite interesting – all the Google images featuring their bowls and cups are torturous. Do let me know if you spot anything interesting while you’re there.

          I visited 九份 a few years back but we hired a driver since there were elderly in my group. Most likely if you visit you will take a bus or car. Do you get car sick? I remember there were quite a few hairpin turns and made me sick. Luckily the view at the top made it worthwhile.

          All the places you’ve mentioned are very tempting especially when you mention tea. One of my lifelong goals is to learn how to serve tea the traditional way and to have my own tea set. The idea of inviting friends over for tea just sounds very relaxing.




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

          For C destinations with good food, I quite like the whole Jiangnan area. Especially Hangzhou. I know a couple of great restaurants in Suzhou but they were often all booked when I was in town. Plus I don’t always want to walk back to that same area. Gusu / SuZhou is indeed a good place. I can see why many people like it. I’m envious of the 姑苏蓝氏. I admire your calligraphy skills. My C writing is terrible. Once I left a SZ restaurant when I found out I had to write all the dish names on the order sheet myself. 小时候画太多耶稣了. 还要唱好几首的耶稣歌. 没来得及练字 lol. 其实我家已经有太多书了 也很难去练字。家都满了。到处都是纸.
          我自己是喝很多茶。但我不确定我敢泡茶给朋友喝。很多不同的口味。你听古风音乐时 是挺适合喝茶的时候 。普洱茶比较适合 (more forgiving, more amenable to) ‘grandpa style brewing’. As opposed to the re-brewing method ala kungfu tea。很多喝茶者旅行时是带普洱茶的。不挑剔的话,有电茶壶煮水就可以泡茶了. 我旅行时通常只带一个手提箱。大概也不会去买茶具吧. 不如箱子一直被航空公司弄丢. 我有一位朋友度蜜月时箱子被机场保安员炸掉. 我比较容易晕船。车还不好说。至少在佩里戈尔坐车还没晕车 。那区挺美的。有空可以去看一下。去那也要包车的.
          上火时,听说喝茶不是会有帮助吗? I like the Sichuan peppercorn smell, but the red oil layer they put on top of dishes is often too thick for me. I prefer ‘ma’ in stir-fried dishes than dishes in huge bowls of really thick stew liquid. 四川抄手我还挺喜欢吃的 Do you often eat innards – like those in ‘夫妻 废(片?) ‘? These days they changed the fei to ‘ 肺’ in the menu. News said. Here, lots of restaurants serve ‘ 水煮鱼’ etc. I prefer 安徽屯溪’s 鱼跳水 with 剁椒.

          Another famous Sichuan area is Du Jiang Yan with nearby Er Wang Si/Miao. 从视频.. now you should know some of the places I visited. 🙂

          Canto doesn’t have the phrase 喝茶, only 饮茶? Minnan only has ‘lim teh’, which seems more like 饮茶. Funny how half the world goes with Cha and the other half ‘tea, teh, the’.
          I think your last name is pronounced ‘Lim’ in Korea and Min areas in South East Asia.
          I’ve also been thinking of visiting 鼓浪屿. 鼓浪屿以前也有很多著名的钢琴师. I really like the flute OST of The Untamed. A bit melancholic but soothing. I prefer it to a lot of GuFeng music that has a lot of other extra sounds.

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

          I always feel like I should book a trip to China soon after reading your comments. Isn’t there a phrase 上有天堂,下有苏杭? My impression is that both cities must be very poetic. Do you think so?

          My calligraphy is not great at all. When I was young, I had such a hard time picking up the brush to write characters. Even now I can’t do it very well due to shaky hands. At Chinese school we used to make an outline of the characters and color in the strokes. 小时候觉得书法没有用,毕竟在美国谁会用毛笔呢。长大后喜欢上古风才开始觉得要练。。。结果还是练不了,手抖得太厉害。

          你对茶有研究吗?我是傻傻分不清楚。I don’t know much about the brewing methods but it’s something I want to learn.



          喝茶确实可以降火。我的那个病症叫血热,吃了一概一年多的中药才好转。I really love the thick and spicy stew in their dishes. Recently tried a Sichuan fish dish, it wasn’t as “ma” as I would have liked but it hit the spot. Innards are one of my favorite things to eat but I never noticed that they changed the 废to肺. I always thought it was the latter?

          If you show a Canto-speaking person 喝 we will know what it means, but we use 饮. I’m not sure why this is so, but now I’m curious.

          Yes it’s Lim in South Korea and in Singapore. Maybe Malaysia too.


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

          I reply sooner bc it’s faster to reply while I see your response still appear on the bottom right panel of the first page. I just need to click there to get here.

          Re: poetic. Yes, I think so too.
          4年前又回去苏杭多看一些,但没有再做 视频了。越来越忙。而且我大哥只喜欢流行曲调。弹琴就是会听到,收到家人的很多意见。我这两天正在弹陈清玲的主题曲。但這4年来我都很少弹琴。
          我手也是会抖。脚也会。因为弹琴时我都有用到脚pedal. 若你不很忙的话泡热水澡可能会有帮助. You may consider adding some magnesium sulfate. 我在家很少泡澡。可能几年才泡一次。这里水不够用. 一般我脚比我手强一点,虽然最近好像有些变化。体育课时,被叫去打排球时,我都排不过网.
          我和练汉字没有缘吧。我们那边不止不准学汉字,连在学校讲方言也会被罚款。庆祝春节不上课也被罚。我当时还有考英国的音乐文凭. 长大了才羡慕我兄长。他们都不需要上舞台献舞考唱歌考琴,被叫去付学费,不用找富三代。我还被家人骂说没有像兄长去学电子工程。小时候看到了很强壮的小帅哥,他们家人还怕小帅哥们读书太累呢。我家人还要我去参加比赛呢。然后还说我们家很没有重男轻女。我兄长是在新加坡上学的。比我学校好多了。还能学汉字。
          I quite like walking anyway. Be it Boston, HZ, SF, SZ, whatever. For HZ, I particularly like the high number of walking trails with bridges, water features, surrounded by lush greenery. There are others that are more like nature walks. 灵隐寺区, but I haven’t had time to walk around that area. Visited the temple itself and nearby rock carvings. 我喜欢吃叫化鸡,糖醋鱼,小笼包. So HZ was great for me.
          2nd HZ visit: I walked to the tea plantation area by 十里琅珰. That was the first time I saw a tea field, so I liked it. I wanted to find a well-known tea house nearby, but was just not able to locate the tea house (龙井茶室? I forgot). Which is weird, bc it was just about finding the right house number on 龙井路 iirc. 我走到那区的时候,有一位阿姨一直跟着我走在我旁边。可能是要我去买她们家的龙井茶。不太确定。看起来不太对劲。Better quality tea are usually under fixed contracts. Fixed amount will be exported or sent to every contracted party. So best not to spend too much while there, I read. 但在当地随便配餐喝龙井茶还觉得挺享受.
          I took a longer, nature-like hike. 应该是这个吧; 九溪烟树. It would have been nice if there weren’t so many gnats. Small bugs were constantly flying before my face for ~1 hour. My tourism memory is only half as good as it used to be. There are a lot of picturesque spots I like around HZ. I’d always love to go back.

          Did you read much about Quanzhou itself? I took a quick look. Seems like it was a highly multicultural, flourishing, far-reaching port since ~Tang. With long relations with 高丽 Goryo/Goryeo. That partly explains why some of the K names and words coincide best with 闽南语 than other C languages. That’s probably also related to why there are so many successful QZ folks around the 闽南speaking-sphere?

          这~8年来,我喝了~18-20斤茶。本来是比较多喝绿茶白茶红茶的。台湾乌龙. 但绿茶过了一年就变成难喝。2-3年前开始买了一些生普洱. 去年买了~10(?)斤生普洱. 听起来好像很夸张, 但生普洱人家本来是在家里收藏了20多年才喝的。我到现在还在 试喝。 试喝了..快要两年了吧。 试喝时要泡比较浓。这样泡,若茶有些怪味才会发现。所以我泡茶泡浓了两年,也不敢乱给朋友泡茶了. 喝什么茶就要选什么茶具。比较靠近滚烫的茶水,就用铁或泥壶.. I think puer is always re-brewable. 华人比较常用功夫泡法来泡绿茶. 红茶,(武夷山)岩茶,乌龙. I don’t know yet which teas are not good for kungfu style brewing. except maybe floral teas, which are technically not teas since they are not from the camellia sinensis plant. If the tea liquid smell astringent or stale after x brews, then discontinue brewing. lol.
          我在昆明时,看到了挺漂亮的茶具。但挺贵的。4个小杯 ~us$111. Nice botanical and animal patterns and looked alabaster-like. This is what my current POV on tea. I think there’s always more to learn about tea.

          Reputation-wise, Xi An is a foodie destination for some tourists. But I only liked their persimmon “pastry”, ~8 treasure sweet soup. I like the North Amer 羊肉泡馍 (forgot the actual name), 牛肉夹馍 better. I found their 葫芦鸡 way too salty . Sounds like their 饺子 used to be very impressive in the variety in taste & look, but when I was there 4(?) years ago, it wasn’t anything to write home about. I liked a couple of fruit “dishes”. Baked apple with raisins. Papaya fruit salad with aloe (It was a hot day. It was particularly good for that weather).
          I have to “run”…

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


          Having longjing at a teahouse in Hangzhou sounds like a very relaxing day. I hope you find the teahouse next time you’re there.

          I prefer scenic walks, preferably on flat terrains, so anything like a garden, temples and parks would be perfect. There is a Chinese garden out in California that I visited. If it weren’t for the number of non-Asian visitors, I would easily thought I was in ancient China lol.

          Oh I didn’t read too much into Quanzhou yet but that does make sense. I always thought that some Korean and Japanese words sound similar to Canto and Minnan. Very interesting to see how influential China was back then in terms of culture and language.

          我平时早上都是喝咖啡的,只有晚上9点会开始泡茶喝 or when I am writing in my journals, replying to letters will I drink tea.

          Have you tried Japanese tea, like 玉露茶? I bought some tea leaves years ago in Kyoto and haven’t finished it. Kind of scared to brew it now haha.

          I haven’t come across a tea set yet that I want. Most of them are quite beautiful but still searching for the set that makes me go “this is it”.

          Xian cuisine is picking up here. In New York, there is a famous chain that sells their food, but I have yet to try it. Every time I pass by it there is a long line. In Boston, we have a hole in the wall place that sells 夹馍 and their handpulled noodles.

          Is there a specific region’s food that resonates with you?

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

          我自己都忘了。我前~3月去了波斯顿几天。我去年也是. 我‘新家人’(XJR),我二嫂,小姑子,我好朋友都是哈佛区读书的。我现在也还有2-3朋友在那去工作. ~肯德尔广场. 今年五月我在的时候还挺冷的。我穿大衣了还会发抖。我是和朋友在河边聊天。她也发抖. 我衣服不好买。在欧美,觉得号码太大。在亚洲,胸太小。台北万华或‘达到成?’区附近有布料广场和裁缝。可能我应该去打听一下,看能不能定做一些. 我若要试穿暖衣的话,是可以开车一阵子上山去。但要等到冬季才行。It’s hard to estimate how warm to pack. Given how I was shivering over there in May. If I were alone, I usually just walk faster to warm up in cold weather. One time I was stuck overnight in a foreign airport in Dec. That was tough.
          Boston bakeries, cafes (Tatte, LA Burdick etc) seem much better than here. 几年前去吃过小笼包。好像不太行啊. This last time, we tried Hunan Sumiao. It was fine. I think my friend said Amaz on’s Jeff Bezos likes it? You can tell, I try not to type brand names now.. lol
          人家说上火的话可以吃苦瓜。但苦瓜也不容易常吃吧。菇类应该会有帮助。喝点柠檬汁什么的。那些都算是凉的。Here where I am there are lots of Sichuan hotpots. So many that I haven’t tried. lol. Are they that different from Little Sheep Mongolian hotpot (LSMH)? I’ve tried LSMH a few times. I get bored a bit fast, so I tend to go for Tw hotpot. The 2 of us will order 2, then we swap half-way. 我们这里有几个餐厅有重庆烤鱼。若没烤太干的话,我还喜欢吃。我喉咙干。吃干的很疼。
          所以要和我日嫂子一起吃是比较幸苦。她们好爱吃炸食啊。Arancini, croquette. 台式盐酥鸡。泰炸鸡. 全世界的炸食物都点满啊.我哥对日料的了解比中料理好。粤烧烤人家都是 ~11点早上烧的。我哥是晚上7-8点 晚上才去点烧烤。吃了我喉咙疼死了。我哥嫂记性也不好。跟他们讲了十年多了到现在才开始记了一些. 我也不是很喜欢吃生鱼. 有些餐馆用的是freshwater fish. Potential parasite issues. 挺难跟我家人说话的。讲了好几次还是会忘.
          泡热澡还是要注意 dehydration. Some docs say that can lead to muscle cramps.

          SZ sounds quite perfect for you. HZ is hillier, but HZ is doable for you if you stick closer to the lake, Xihu, where it’s flat.
          I’ve been to a couple of J gardens in Cal, but the cherry blossoms along Storrow Dr in Boston looked much nicer. 🙂 Descanso Gardens has a good collection of camellia japonica.

          玉露的制法很像安徽的六安瓜片茶. 我是有喝一点日式的有加玉露的煎茶。中茶好像是很讲究各种地区各种制法 和味道. 日式西式都好像不会. (但我也没有去日本去研究茶)
          粤菜馆通常都给熟普茶。生普比较没那么浓。 生普的话,年纪更年轻,一般味道会更淡 。很多 生普,年纪不到5年的话,味道很会变。泥茶具我也不会买。只随便买~4个. 打破了两个盖子了. 岩茶,普洱,老乌龙,黑茶味道都是算比较重。所以通常人家都不会用同一个茶壶. 广东乌龙茶和生普 are better known for the wider variety of tastes. 广东乌龙, like some of the lighter roast Tw tea, are probably harder to brew. Can’t daydream while brewing tea. Have to pay closer attention to brewing time.

          A lot of well-known C chain restaurants are quite good, so you can usually get pretty good food in first tier cities without having to work very hard. I had a harder time with Xi’an. I think Eastern seaboard cities may fare better? Some chains I tried that were pretty good: Nanjing Impression, Kong Yiji (孔乙己?), 那家小馆. I forgot a lot of them. I like another one in Beijing – their specialties are duck soup, pear juice, (roast chicken?). Hangzhou’s “绿茶”, Zhi Wei Guan restaurant chains are also decent. Beijing has a lot of good restaurants, including some chains specializing in Yunnan cuisine, Peking duck like Da Dong, etc. But I had my Peking duck at Tang Lang restaurant in BJ. It was really good. ( 我在山西太原时吃的北京烤鸭也很好吃.) I didn’t get around to try BJ’s 四季民府 but it also seemed good. I tried but didn’t like BJ’s famous 烧卖 shop. Forgot its name.
          我日嫂很喜欢眉州东坡的北京烤鸭, 但我觉得没有我在中国吃的好吃. 我日嫂的口味和我的差太多了. 我日嫂也特别爱吃pizza & 用法国奶油制的面包。我都听了90遍了. lol. (橄榄油也必须是Napa Valley. 巧克力要法国和比利时的. 他们的很多细节我都能至少记得一大半. 但我不能吃干食他们都还没能记住) 日超级市场的货,一大半都是生或炸的。The thing I like about some Asian dishes is the wide variety of flavors, plus the flavor range. For example, for sour flavor alone, in Asia they can use kaffir lime leaf, lime, lemon, tamarind, various vinegar types etc. 意大利一般就只用番茄和醋. 面也全都是麦做的. C has a wide variety of veggies and plants that we don’t get here.
          Is it hard to get good aged vinegar where you are? We have minimal selection here. 山西陈醋挺有名的.
          加州尔湾在眉州东坡饭店附近有一家ceramic store seems to stock pretty good ceramic wares though haven’t had a long good look at their goods.

          I don’t think I even remember how to write so many C characters, so C script writing will be a bit out of reach for a while.
          我也挺喜欢看王一博的演技. ZX too. I was watching 三国机密 before starting cql. Both WYB, ZX are much more in character than HDJ, MTY, Tan Jianci. Wan Qian looked best in 三国机密, followed by Dong Jie.
          The 3 guys keep falling out of characters. Sometimes they look like they are trying to do the moves to express their characters. HDJ, MTY have had multiple major roles in a number of dramas by now. So WYB, ZX look pretty good by comparison. iirc, Hu Ge didn’t look so great in his early dramas like Dandelion etc. Even in LOCH, I still didn’t think Yuan Hong’s acting was so great.
          我是有点怕变成玛丽苏. I try to focus on doing things better. lol. Please let me know if you need piano, music or other tips.

          Canto’s grammar is more different from modern Mandarin. Like in 打边炉. Mandarin should be more 炉边, I think? I haven’t thought about Minnan grammar. My waipo is from 厦门. (yeye ~Guangdong, but not your grandparents’ area I suspect.) XM is close enough to Quanzhou that I’m not too unfamiliar with the QZ dialect. QZ is the prestige dialect of the area. Hainan is also a Minnan dialect, but I understand zero of it.
          J grammar is often very close to K grammar. But I wonder if J grammar is closer to Canto grammar than other C grammar.
          One J acupuncturist I know learned Chinese terms in J for acupuncture. They do update medical terms over the various dynasties. Earliest periods are closest to Canto terms. Later, more Minnan terms creep in. Then it becomes more Mandarin-like. It’s interesting.
          I guess when J say 客, they mean 客家. He pronounces 客 as Hak too, like Canto. I forget about their kun vs on reading.

  6. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    Here I thought the women’s makeup in “The Longest Day in Chang’an” was hard to love, but the one in Mulan is truly grotesque. BTW, I highly recommend “The Longest Day in Chang’an.” I’m up to ep16 so far and it is still the best Chinese drama in 2019 in my eyes.

    “Bureau of Transformers” and “Deep in My Heart” are a sleeper hits for me. I didn’t expect to enjoy them as much I did.

    Watching “The Lost Tomb 2 / Explore the Note.” It is still “not” good but I am a sucker for Grave Robber’s Chronicles so I will watch it to the bitter end.

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

      I heard there’s an animation rumored to be in development for Dao Mu Bi Ji bc SanShu finally has his rights back! I would be SO EXCITED. I’ve been so sorely disappointed in the DMBJ dramas (except Tomb of Sea which I personally unexpected quite liked — *almost* loved) so I have like, no interest in giving the new one a second shot (I tried the first 10 min ish and found it too cringey so I dropped it and haven’t really heard great reviews afterwards).

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

        I agree with you on ToS. As for LT2, it was much better in the 2nd part if I can just wipe my memory of Lao Yang’s big reveal.

  7. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    Just finshed Guardian. Went to go read the book and now I’ve fallen into a ChineseBL novels hole. Help!! There so many good stories and I can’t help but want them made into dramas but then I remember censorship and whelp, nevermind. I mean I’m happy with Guardian drama and its probably because the actors were really great but taking out the romance is like cooking without spices. Also the plot changes suck too. The mini-arcs in the book were better written.

    I’m not feeling Mulan either. It’s missing that whimsical factor that Disney “fairy tales” are known for.

  8. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    Aah mulan.. honestly underwelmed. Hopefully story wise it’ll be good. Also wish they casted someone less known, like tokkita said, to allow them their big break. This lol https://m.weibo.cn/3054564741/4391737835735185

    Young Blood – Really recommend. I haven’t enjoyed an idol historical in a long time and yep basically what Julianne said. The scriptwriter really did a great job. Some of the things i like about it:

    Normally when there’s a group, only three characters max will be significant and you only care for some. And especially when there’s another female character, she’s basically just there on the side and/or there isn’t a bond between her and for example the male lead. But that’s not the case with Young Blood. They really are a group of six main characters that all have a presence and a bond. They’re a likeable bunch.. i’ve been fondly calling them daughter, son in law, etc haha.

    One of the CPs, Xiao Jing and Wang Kuan is really endearing. Their concern and care for one another and the way they understand eachother is really sweet.. For example she lacks confidence and looks down on herself, but he is always reassuring her and encouraging her. I like how it’s not the usual one sided affection from the second female lead.

    Xiao Jing is also a good example of a likeable 傻白甜. Although she isn’t actually 傻 but more like a part of her is simple and 呆萌白甜. 傻白甜 is more of an initial impression and the “傻 label” is what she puts on herself. I like how the scriptwriter didn’t make her just the cute, sweet one but also made her capable at handling tasks and dealing with difficult situations herself. She can rescue and protect others.

    The ending credits, you watch it and you think you’ve figured out how it’ll end and the sequence of the plot.. nope that’s not the case.

    Detective L – it was enjoyable but i felt underwelmed. When i reached the last ep, didn’t realise it was the last ep. Really like the styling. Love the visual of Republican period dramas since i’m a fan of the vintage styling in fashion and interior and historical architect. I’m always like checking out the coats they wear haha. Also like how the female is the ass kicking one.

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

      Also after seeing all the weibo and twitter posts on The Untamed, i gave in and decided to watch it. Glad I did, because I’m personally really enjoying it and also suffering lol. More suffering to come yay! Haha

  9. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    There was a lull in cdramas after Le coup for me that I have fallen into the rabbit hole that is the thai lakorns. From love destiny to padiwarada to five gentlemen series…Now it seriously feel like I’ve just opened a Pandora box. Currently watching an old one called Pope rak.

    Technically it’s a good thing because it put me off my novel binge…lol. Now let’s see if anything will pull me out of this new obsession.

  10. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    Watched first 4 eps of new IQiyi web idol drama “The Birth of the Drama King”《少年江湖物语》. It was adapted from a hilarious BL light novel. Seems like the drama literally turned novel’s two male lead characters into actual full-blood brothers. It also switched their ages. It kept most of their personality traits. Its plot generally followed the novel’s. Every character’s IQ seemed to have been lowered several points though. Production value is serviceable.

    In the novel, due to misinterpreted intelligence, the Number One swordsman from the good guys was tasked with seducing the new leader of an evil cult to obtain the cult’s plan against them. In the drama, the Number One swordsman from the good guys (long lost younger brother) was tasked with befriending with the new leader of an evil cult (long lost older brother) to obtain the cult’s plan against them. Swordsman was coached (or given a book) on what to say to the cult leader under various situations. Many of these sounded like bad pickup lines. Novel swordsman was fully aware of what they meant. Drama swordsman was clueless. Thus, to me, an embarrassingly funny “bromance”.

    Novel also has another gay couple. Drama changed one of them into a woman who looked and sounded like a man, and had a man’s body when she was not wearing makeup. Don’t know how much total screen time they have.

    Looking at Chinese viewers’ comments. One needs to be in the right mood to enjoy this stuff.

  11. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    Paging an on, I finished Burning Ice awhile ago! It was definitely very different from usual cdramas, and I like the aesthetics it was going for. I liked the focus was about evidence, and why done it rather than who done it and how done it. The two antagonists were real star of the show and I really liked them. I like our detective protagonist too, though I think it’s little mhmm that he basically got everything by gut feeling, his gut feeling was totally right, of course. It also made everyone else look incompetent. The two love birds was very facepalmy the entire time I was watching. I like the legal intern’s character development ON PAPER, since he goes from mildly confused and timid to slowly becoming a pathological liar, extortionist and pretty terrible person all around. But in execution, it felt a little forced, I don’t know is it the writing or acting (I think the acting was pretty good on most part though?) Couple of deaths later in the drama really frustrated me since it felt like they were written in for maximum drama and it felt jarring for a down to earth series. Definitely worthy effort, especially in 12 episodes. Oh and I love the ending theme!

    Day & Night I already mentioned before, the police procedural bits are alright, I do like that most of the case had links to main plot, compared to the episodic seasonal police procedural that english audience are used to seeing. That said, I’m not entirely happy with the reveal at the end of the season, or the cliffhanger, it sort of feels like a betrayal to the audience and certain characters, cool that the characters accepted it, I’m still 😐 I do like the twins gimmick quite a bit and I like most of the cast.

    Unrequited Love, the last of trilogy of books, even though it was technically written first and published second. The other two are With You and My Huckleberry Friends, but with a different production company, which turns out makes a huge difference. This one have the author as screenwriter so it’s actually most faithful to the book, the casting is….well the female lead is on point, male lead is not what I expected, especially if you compare to the other two that came before him. Both of them were ruined by bad hair in the drama, I think they mostly did okay job acting it. The problem is, I didn’t actually like the book very much, it was pretty darn long and filled with melodramatic tropes and misunderstanding because both characters were way too proud for their own good, I was super frustrated reading it, even though I like some of the writing and I actually like female lead when she’s not…with the male lead, lmao. I was wondering how they would fix it in the drama, and they didn’t, it seems little less contrived in the drama, since you don’t have to read pages and pages of how hurt female lead is. There were many other couples in the drama too, and they all have their own issues and love triangle, I KNOW it’s the to show different relationship. But I think it’s confusing for first time watchers and it lose focus, especially when no one is there to tie the relationships together into a theme. Often the drama would just jump to different cp, so the editing is just not ideal IMO. Overall, faithful adaptation and down to earth uni life romance that largely falls flat, it’s not particularly fluffy either, since the cute scenes didn’t wow me.

    Romance of Three Kingdoms 2010 was pretty great, since it humanised many characters and it wasn’t like the novel where everything was black and white. Too bad they skipped some minor arcs/well known bits. It’s much more friendly to newcomers. I also found an animated chinese-japanese co-production that was 52 30mins episodes, which was pretty faithful adaptation, but super fast paced, simple characterisation and had fair few modern terms (for places and people usually) probably because it was aimed at kids.

    Antiques of Mysteries was compelling watch half the time, the other half idk, I just kept putting it down, I was not down with the romance that was briefly featured. Very impressed with the Japanese actress that spoke Chinese in the drama like 80% of the time, especially since the dialogues could get technical. it was interesting series all around, but I’m also not utterly in love with it.

    In the middle of Qin’s Empire, and it’s fantastic but darn it took a bit for me to get into because I was very lost in the beginning. I really should get around to Advisor Alliance. Still haven’t finished Story of Minglan, and darn the family squabbling gets real tiring after awhile, and this was after I took a massive break from it. Also still in middle of Ever Night, like half way through, that’s a lot more fun and I like it enough to not just leave it on background while I do other stuff, so progress is mega slow.

    Will likely follow Go Go Squid as it airs, and probably King’s Avatar too when it comes out, they make me want to read esport web novels and this sucks because I don’t know how to play MoBA games so it’s confusing!! I could go back to old MMO WNs I guess. Young Blood and Longest Day of Chang’an are on my to watch list. Contemplating about Put Your Head on My Shoulder and Le Coup, not feeling the need for long (>30 ep) fluff dramas but they seem well received. I’m going to sit on Chen Qing Ling while it finish, might watch it if it ends well? I haven’t read the WN so I don’t feel compel to see how well it adapts, and s2 anime is coming out, and THAT production have been good all around.

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

      Good to read what you’ve been watching, Skibbies.
      I watched Burning Ice while watching 4 other dramas. And I had to pause for a few weeks here and there. Finding alternative streaming site. So that helped me overlook some flaws too. Like the lawyer character. Was BI filmed in DongBei? I haven’t checked. Qin Hao, Deng Jiajia’s acting were both pretty good. I liked the early plot twist of when *****SPOILER***** the retired medical examiner was helping the young couple get away with murder by dressing up the van in the frozen river etc.
      I tried watching D&Night 3 times but never got to finish ep 1. I’m glad to hear from you & CnDrifter you both think it’s overrated. I won’t bother trying. Despite the raves, I don’t seem to like Pan Yueming’s chars & wasn’t so impressed by his acting there. The starting plot seemed tropey to me too.

      I finished watching Eagles & Youngster. I disliked the plot starting around ep 11. During the first 25%, you think there’s hope that you’ll get explanations for some things but there are just more plot holes and illogical subplots piling on. At the end, it’s like what you said about Never Gone, the young actors are great. (The EY plot is frustrating. Then Wen Qi’s grandma character turns annoying at the end too). I think the Douban score for E&Y is also a bit too high. I have a similar opinion on Ever Night. All are uneven productions. Some parts are good, some parts are inexplicable or skippable.

      I tried watching Never Gone but quit by ep 10. Don’t like OTP’s characters. HDJ’s char is unable to communicate, immature, rough & bratty on the outside. YZS’ char is a bit too bland all around, and a bit too proud. Together they seem to have unpleasant relationship-chemistry between them in the plot. It made me wonder, if you’re in that kind of relationship, does it ever work at the end? What will it turn into after 10 years of marriage? He often expresses love in the worst ways when it comes to his OTP. Shaoxing looks pretty in the drama. I haven’t been there but I liked Suzhou, Mudu, Hangzhou. I forgot if I went to other Jiangnan towns. I forgot all about Wuxi, Yangzhou. It has been too long ago. Did you ever visit that small place in Sichuan as planned? I forgot the name of that place. Now that Zhongmei bilateral relation has gotten so bad, I won’t be visiting C for a few years.

      I may have liked Ashes of Love less than you. AoL is already a bit too dogblood for my taste.
      I browsed Unrequited Love, I probably can’t take it. My drama buddy likes Shoulders and I find Shoulders enjoyable enough. I liked The Legends and only watched it to about Ep 38. The plot already started turning weird and draggy. So I quit.

      I’m checking out the start of Secrets of 3 Kingdoms. I don’t think I can watch this one after watching Adv Alliance S2. The cast of E&Y is better than So3K.

      I browse GG Squid some. I’m a bit mixed on Yang Zi’s character. Part of her character annoys me. Not sure how I’ll feel about it later.

      It does seem like it’s easier to find watchable fluffy dramas but it’s hard to find something that’s a bit more substantial.

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

        Yeah, it was filmed in Ha’erbin, Oh yeah I like that plot twist, and it was fun to see how it changes the young couple and getting to know medical examiner. Though I wish the guy wasn’t a lawyer because how do you not think of it as self defense, how you know you murdered the guy, I mean it was probably the head trauma but… I know you panic and such but darn. Re:Day & Night, oh yeah if you don’t like Pan Yueming, it’s not worth it, since he’s basically the reason to watch it.

        I do hear that E&Y trail off as it goes, I guess I won’t bother with it, since I have fair amount of dramas lined up. I’m mildly worried about Chang’an’s score being overinflated cos of the main lead’s fans too, but it’s only s1 and not as long mhm.

        That’s a good place to quit for Never Gone tbh. since after that they go with drama original content tille like ep 22? and it’s not very interesting. Yeah I don’t think they really got the point of novel across? ******NOVEL SPOILER*******The novel was fairly down to earth and clear that they came from different environments and it made them pretty incompatible even if they like each other, and they had to do lot of growing up. Female lead should have told him to be less immature, she sometimes tells it like it is but she never really touched on small things like sharing chores, or him not being a manchild all the time, so they break up and grow up a little and mend their relationship. It’s an alright plot, even if I think some of the events are little excessive. Female lead is meant to be sensitive, headstrong and not very good with relationship since she didn’t have much time for it, it’s little hard to get across and hard for audience to like her without all the internal dialogue. Hilariously enough, the drama did the breakup like ep 21 out of 24 or something, when it should have been the 2/3 point if not middle point. So it’s just lol no all around.

        I haven’t been to Shaoxing, Yangzhou and Wuxi now that I think about it. I really like Xitang (featured in mission impossible 2), Wuzhen (featured in…some movie I’ve forgotten name of) and Nanxun (it’s not as commericalised as the other two, and therefore not as maintained) and liked all of them. Love both Suzhou and Hangzhou too, never seem to spend enough time there dammit. and Sichuan…Daocheng? Yeah I did go, it was raining and terrible weather when I went though, even snowed and it was early October, so it wasn’t as pretty as it could have been. It was still pretty nice experience, even if our flight were delayed for a day and half due to weather lol. I need to go again some other time, we got a ride back by car to Chengdu, like 9hrs trip, but it was very scenic. i see why people roadtrip, there’s plenty of stopping points and such. I didn’t think it the relationship would affect chinese visitor visa o: mhmm though visa centre are flippant so real hard to say.

        Oh yeah AoL’s plot was very dogblooded, it was weird that I liked it that much, I guess I didn’t expected much and just treated as fluff? even if it spent half of it angsting. It just executed what it set out to do pretty well. and Unrequited Love is probably not worth it lol, it’s similar level of dogblooded level as AoL, its best point as a novel was evocating feelings from unrequited love, the drama did it, but it’s covered up with so much other flaws too.

        Good luck with So3K, tell me how it goes! Yang Zi’s character is just how the novel is I think. There’s not that much depth to her character, she’s just there to look cute and initiate the relationship (be a super fan and vaguely creepy/over enthusiastic) and encourage male lead. She annoyed me in the book too, I think even more so 🙂 I’ve realised that I have to like female lead in these fluff novels or it’ll end up being a pretty negative experience. I have higher tolerance for them in dramas, maybe because there’s other things to distract me?

        The restriction on period dramas lately and all these dramas being in very uncertain state where they don’t know if they can air is really not helping. Oh I think Taiwan had a highly recommended but depressing (?) and realistic drama called 我们与恶的距离?I probably should dig through recent taiwanese dramas, all I know from last decade is like the gay mini series and that’s it.

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

          BI reminds me of some of the Johnnie To thriller films. You may want to watch some of those, if you haven’t already. iirc CN-Drifter also liked some of them. I think s/he and I overlapped on Sparrow. I’m not so fond of To’s triad films.
          Somehow I had an early vibe that despite the high Douban score, I wouldn’t like D&N much. It turned out that I had the right intuition for that one.

          I saw travel vids of those water villages you mentioned. They look nice on videos. The “Travel And Discover” channel on YT is not bad on international destinations, if you don’t mind their robotic narration. But they don’t do C much.
          I saw a YT video on Yibin Sichuan. They made Yibin look quite pretty. Green bamboos, streams, etc. I haven’t been to Chengdu or the whole Sichuan (or Hunan) area, so I’ve been thinking about visiting Sichuan some day. I dread the thought of having to eat Sichuan food every day. A thick layer of red oil on top of dishes is hard to take. I wasn’t so crazy about that in Yunnan already. Sichuan’s red oil layer seems thicker still. lol. Hunan food is also salty and uses some red oil, but somehow I think they have a bit more variety, and they don’t seem to have the mandatory red oil top layer.
          But the Culinary Institute of America has YT videos on Sichuan food, covering at least 1 famous chef. I should check out some of their general Sichuan recipes. I used to use dianping to browse and select restaurants. Now they seem to require signing in or something before using dianping. I haven’t tried hard to use it yet since I’m not planning on going within the next 2 yrs. It’s harder to visit C if you’re not well-versed in using local apps. Many locals use didi kuaiche, alipay etc. I have never bothered to install a single app on my phone. lol. Weird how both in C and North Am., there are lots of Sichuan restaurants everywhere. Maybe Sichuan dishes are the easiest to make out of all C regions? It’s easy to visit many countries without installing apps. That may not be the case for C. I found Dianping very useful for selecting restaurants in Hangzhou, Shanghai. Sometimes I used baidu map to see how many stars a restaurant gets in its reviews.
          I really like the plants in Suzhou, Hangzhou. Osmanthus, michelia alba, lotus, camphor. I hope Taiwan has a lot of these plants. Getting C visa itself is likely not a problem, but there are other issues. These days, some ppl get denied entry after their flight arrival or had their return to home country denied in certain situations. You never know when “you win that kind of lottery”. I like getting teas while in C or Tw. So I may visit Tw next time. I was in Tw twice before with parents. They liked to sit in hotels and restaurants 5-6 hours every day. I think I learn more from watching YT. lol. I like the plants in Nantou (eg, LuGu = Deer Valley, Xitou, etc), Miaoli area. Tw looks to have good plant & insect diversity. The latter can be a problem.

          I saw the 2010 RoTK around 2012. I forgot a lot of it by the time I saw Adv Alliance. I remember liking Lu Yi’s Zhuge Liang crying over Zhou Yu’s death around ep 50-something. I thought Lu Yi was hilarious. I like the 2010 version quite a bit. Though I did find they seem to come up short on budget and seem to abbreviate the later stuff more. They had characters reporting outcomes of this and that battle instead of showing them towards the last 20% of the drama. I didn’t mind. My purist friend prefers the pre-2010 version of RoTK better.

          I’m around ep 9 of So3K. It’s ok. The director isn’t great. Script is ok, not great so far. Lots of dialogues between Ma Tianyu & Wan Qian without advancing the plot a great deal. They had HDJ putting on a grasshopper (thinking) expression a lot. The actor for Yang Xiu isn’t good. Tan Jianci (Cao Pi) is lacking some screen presence. Sun Zujun (Ever Night’s Long Qing) is not well cast and doesn’t act that well. But his character is already dead by now. Cao Cao hasn’t appeared yet. Wan Qian is pretty good. Adv Alliance is certainly a better production than So3K imo. I’m not sure how far I’ll get with So3k yet.

          I haven’t decided on whether to watch LD in ChangAn. We’ll see.

          Thanks for your explanation on Never Gone. You’re right. The drama doesn’t seem to convey the novel content.

          I agree with you guys on how cringey Xiao Mi’s acting is. I think that’s the returning gamer who was working at convenience store in early episodes right? I don’t like the flashback part of the drama and skipped most of it. That (Li?) Zhen Er who was also in Burning Ice. I’m fine with her GG Squid acting in the present time, but I don’t like her acting in flashback. Her acting/character was lukewarm to me in Burning Ice too.
          So far I only skim GG Squid. I didn’t like Yang Zi’s cousin / biaodi in early episodes. His acting is also kind of annoying. But his character gets nicer after a few eps it seems.

          My drama taste overlaps with you more than with my siblings. After a few months, I often miss chatting with you. : P

  12. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jonnie To’s thriller films mhm. I think the only one was comedy movie with Stephen Chow and Anita Mui, and I didn’t know he directed it, lol. I’ll keep the rec in mind, thanks!

    I’ve never been to Yibin and it’s gotten series of earthquakes recently 🙁 Sichuan have lots of pretty places so definitely should visit sometime, you can always opt for non spicy food, they usually have some options, since non-spicy eaters like Cantonese keep travelling there. I can’t handle too spicy either and I’ve mostly survived okay to spicy regions (in China and out of China) For Sichuan restaurants, I think it’s just sheer amount of Sichuanese working/living out of their province, sort of like Cantonese and to lesser extent Hunanese (in China anyways, out of China not so much) It’s also pretty distinctive and can’t really be lumped in other cuisines. I think the fact it’s heavy on spices might make it easier to make out of China, since you aren’t so reliant on particular ingredients? IDK, I’m not mega well-versed in Sichuan cuisines.

    China definitely have a different internet ecosystem, cos of language barrier + great firewall I guess. Do you have wechat, you might be able to get by with that, though I don’t know if you’ll run into trouble tying it with US credit card, most places that use alipay should use wechat pay too. I don’t really like installing Chinese apps because they keep asking me for excessive amount of permissions I don’t want to give, I eventually cave and install them when I have to use them.I didn’t know Dianping makes you sign in now, shows you how often I use it, I also use my weibo or wechat acc to sign into other apps sometimes to avoid remembering acc names/password. Didi is definitely handy.

    Oh yikes, didn’t know about the flight issues, that’s rough. I still haven’t been to Taiwan even though I’ve wanted to go for the food, but oh well, I guess food alone isn’t tempting me enough. I can’t really deal with being in hotel all day unless I’m in an area I don’t care for or a city?? Usually I’ll try to go to lots of places even in cities or I feel like it’s a waste.

    The 1994 version annoyed me too much because it wouldn’t give me names whenever people appear, which is HELL in a show like RoTK Especially when they sometimes change actors and you only figure out some people by the titles they use. It’s good if you know the book, if you don’t, good luck! Yeah I think 2010 skipped out on battles, and the battles that are shown aren’t necessarily as epic as they could have been, but I don’t mind, I don’t watch RoTK for battles. 2010 version also straight up cut the ending of the book/period, which is fine by me, since after Sima Yi dies, it’s really boring. So3K is like an alternate and not-serious take on the period, I think, so I wouldn’t expect it to be up to Advisor Alliance level. I might just read the book mhmmm. (It’s Antiques of Mysteries and Longest Day in Chang’an’s author)

    Xiao Mi is the guy from convenience store yeah, I think he’s little better when he’s more restrained (ep 10) Omg I didn’t realise she was in Burning Ice, darn, Wang Zhen Er. I think most of the supporting cast is alright but not amazing, which is what I expected. I’ve read the book, all three of them, where two feature appledog as a protagonist, and her personality is more my type than Tong Nian so on that level, so I like her more intrinsically.

    This is mild vent and sort of spoilery but in general sense. Stewed Squid by itself is just a fluff story, with some points that annoyed me to boot, like the fact female lead is a genius (attends university at 15, finishes double major and is doing masters at 19) but it showed that like twice, her being a cover singer is used mostly as plot convenience and level the power imbalance between them two, but it doesn’t actually help. The first half of the book (first 10 episodes) is heavily reliant on lots of misunderstandings, coincidences and lots of cringey bits (mostly from female lead). I hope the writer (who’s the author) will develop Tong Nian more in the drama, cos IMO she needs to. I like the other two books, where one is a prequel detailing some of the flashback stuff you see in the drama, and another is focused on appledog and interwines with Stewed Squid, which you also see in the drama, mostly whenever there’s esport involved, since that’s what Tempest Chambers is focused on, it’s about their dreams, and it helps to develop Gun’s character more. (It’s not in Stewed Squid since a lot of it flies over her head). Anyways, even then, I still had problems with them because of certain plot elements, I really hope the writer will correct that too, since I genuinely like the friendship and the esport dream as a theme. I think it mostly managed so far, with the flashback and all (even though you and others are skipping them XD).

    I’m always around, I just watch cdramas at such a slow rate hahaha. It’s nice to find someone that shares my cdrama taste <3

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

      darn, replied to the wrong place oops.

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

        Oops. I posted a long reply but inadvertently included 2 brand names and now it must have gone to spam folder at this point. If it eventually appears, it may appear out of order relative to this post.

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

      Ah, we even have replying in the wrong place in common. lol. The web page often puts our current reply on the bottom while we’re typing. So it’s always tricky.

      I haven’t even browsed any of the Antique Mysteries bc I’m not fond of Qiao Zhenyu’s acting. Saw him once and kind of liked him in Book & Sword with Adam Cheng. Somehow became allergic of him after that. Well, QZY’s drama Song of Phoenix with Ma Ke looked bad. Ma Ke only seemed on point in Hua Qian Gu. I only saw a random vid recently that said QZY dated Wang Likun for 8 yrs and then broke up and had a family with another lady later. I never noticed celeb’s dating lives unless ppl talk about it everywhere. For me, QZY’s acting is just lacking that last bit of juice to make it compelling to me.

      I haven’t heard anything on Chen Qing Ling at all. I’ll likely watch Le Coup later. Young Blood too.

      I didn’t watch RoTK 2010 for battles either. I think it’s the Liu Bei, Zhang Fei, Guan Yu trio characters that bothered me. LB is covetous of the crown yet want to follow all decorum (I understand you need legitimacy but the bureaucracy of it still bored me). ZF is so impulsive (GY is a bit too narcissistic) it’s frustrating. Yeah, I wouldn’t be able to figure out who is who if they don’t label the characters. Long dramas often take me a few months to watch, and I often watch it with 2-4 other dramas.

      BI has some of the Johnnie To film aura. JT’s Drug War (Wallace Chung, Li Guangjie, Sun Honglei) isn’t a particularly great movie, but it does share a lot of the same aura as BI.

      No I don’t have wechat, weibo or we-anything. lol. It’s actually not that great elsewhere either. The privacy issue. Even Roomba vacuum cleaners send customer data out. Customers’ home layout gets shared. Not sure what else. Probably home locations too. That’s indicative of one’s general wealth. At one time the “Sleep Number Bed” planned to record ppl while they are sleeping. They put that in the customer agreement form. Some lawyer actually read it and complained. Then the firm said that was a mistake. That the bed that’s actually sold to public doesn’t record. But they did consider making a version that records. Not everyone knows what to believe. It’s just my quick impression that Dianping now requires sign-in. Yeah, we get so dependent on google and its ecosystem that it makes it very hard to visit C. lol.

      Yeah, I should visit Sichuan later. It’s just such a big province. It’ll take forever to plan a trip there. And I always end up being the sole person in charge of the itinerary. And then I get tempted by the PuEr tea in the neighboring Yunnan province. I agree that Sichuan peppercorn smells nice in cooking, but I don’t like the mala, numbing spice feel. I think I can take it, but I’m usually happier having it only once or twice a year. lol. That can be tricky if visiting Sichuan. I hope it’s not hard to get Suan La, Xiang La, in Sichuan. Wuhan GanGuo dry pot dishes in North Amer is also full of red oil. Seems like the non-coastal dishes are much saltier and oilier. My Jiangxi and Anhui (near Huangshan) friends also like very salty food.
      Among Westerners I meet casually on buses etc, a lot of them like Sichuan food bc they have visited Sichuan. And it’s bc some of them were doing wife-shopping in the area. And obviously pandas are a big draw for the rest of them.
      I was shocked to see some ppl’s YT vid that says Chow Mien in their city is stir fried veggies on rice. I’ve never lived in a city where CM doesn’t have any noodle. That’s so weird. I think if your city’s chow mien doesn’t have any noodle, maybe the alleged C food isn’t worth having? lol

      Cdrama FLs often created via a sexist perspective and have to fit producers’ ideal idol mold. Like Tong Nian (to HSY): “Let me know what you’d like me to wear and I’ll wear that for you next time”. FLs often come out too cutesy, OTT. The general audience likes that I presume? idk why ppl find drama Fu Yao, empresses, princesses as strong female chars. So many of them need saved by the prince. I’m more impressed by 庄小威, 吴健雄. Unique, impressive real women. These 2 actually went to the same high school in Suzhou. That school produced a lot of Sci geniuses. I always feel that the fictitious FLs always pale in comparison to real ones. 95% of the MLs are either rich, future CEOs, inherit firms, or are princes or nobles. And they usually help the FLs get ahead in the world. I don’t feel much resemblance bw Tong Nian and the 2 real women. So many MLs are so much more affluent than the FLs it makes the FLs seem like gold diggers? ML houses are always so much more luxurious looking than FL’s. I end up reading a lot of sci or other articles a lot or sometimes I feel like I’m getting dumber and dumber as I watch dramas.

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

        Oh never seen QZY act before, he was okay in the drama I think? I watched it for the antiques tbh.I liked Xia Yu, the main actor’s acting. I have issues with the drama but it’s fresh enough for me to watch I guess.

        CQL is doing semi-okay amongst friends I think? I’m mostly debating on it because I have bad habit of watching all these adaptations to compare how they do, lol.

        Zhang Fei was written like that in the book, I believe, I agree he’s infuriatingly impulsive. I didn’t really like that trio, I liked Cao Cao, Lu Bu and Zhao Yun? Oh and the three strategists, Zhuge Liang, Zhou Yu & Sima Yi. Liu Bei was more interesting as it went on I think.

        Woof, didn’t know about the Roomba vacuum cleaners. I do feel Chinese as a whole seem to care lot less about giving data to companies. I can try to help if you ever do itinerary, I usually end up taking over planning itinerary too, unless I’m going with my mum, then she books tours. Non-coastal area needs salty food for preservation reason, I’m guessing.The spicy thing is also for colder places, warms you up and all? Also excuse me, Chow Mien without noodles? Then it’s not Chow Mien, HELLO??? It’s literally in the name? That’s rather baffling.

        tbf, that’s how Tong Nian was originally written, it’s just that cliche kind of story. I do agree with your general point and I’m equally frustrated that there’s not as much variety as there should be. Sometimes when I get a female lead that’s even slightly different, I’m happy. Fluff dramas usually have rich ML to fulfill women’s fantasy of rich hot guy falling in love I think.

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

          I had Minglan on whenever I was folding laundry. lol. I skimmed through the end by now. Yes, if not for all the nasty women, I may have actually watched the drama. idk why they don’t have more cdramas that are more in the middle of the road. Many are either fluff dramas or heavy on dysfunctional relationships (mean housewives or parents).

          Yeah, it’d be nice to see more FLs that are more realistically smart or competent, vs “idol drama smart”, wouldn’t it?
          LMIYD did have a horrid ending. Many action dramas do. Orig Sin also have inexplicable ending. Dr Qin’s ending was mediore too. Contrived.
          Didn’t LMIYD use Terence Yin as its final villain? It’s weird as he’s among the weakest actors on their cast. I’ve never seen TY doing a great job on a role.
          By comparison, BI’s ending is not nearly as bad huh? I do like that actor for the medical examiner. I’ve never come across his other dramas.

          I haven’t watched much Xia Yu. Saw 1 movie that I don’t remember much of. I like his wife’s drama acting. She seems to be near Yao Chen’s level.

          Ah, that CLQ is called The Untamed. I browsed ep 1. I keep forgetting the C name. I think the acting is not my thing.

          By ep 9 of So3k, Tan Jianci’s Cao Pi acting is actually not bad. It does look different than his acting in Never Gone. I wonder if Tangren is using different assistant directors in So3K than Wuxin S1. Wuxin S1’s direction is a lot better than So3K’s.

          My brother & his wife always travel for food and then figure out what else there is to do. I’m the opposite. I compile a list of attractions I really want to see and then look for decent restaurants in that area. My parents are really weird. Sometimes they told me to sit around with them in one hotel lobby for hours. They are the only ppl I know who enjoy sitting in lobbies as a hobby. lol. Tw foods have things I like and dislike. I dislike the fried stuff ala katsu, karaage. I like the run-bing aka bao-bing, pastries, soups, stews. Singapore has quite a diverse food selection too and is a busier hub than taipei. But Tw is said to have surpassed Singapore in the food scene. Tw is a lot larger than Sg in area. So that makes sense. Tropical fruits are good in Tw.

          Lots of firms want to collect data and sell them later. Not everyone knows how to best monetize the data yet but they all want to collect as much data as possible for now. A common goal is to try their best to entice a customer to buy a product via targeted ads. Get consumers to spend as much as possible. A lot of consumers fall prey to this. Debts in developed markets are especially high. Data can be used as surveillance tool, so it’s good to be cautious. And firms can collaborate and combine their data. So the effect can be quite dramatic. This sort of thing reminds me not to do what the general public do. Sometimes you see millions of people do the same wrong thing. The same can be said about idol dramas and their fans, more or less. Just bc millions of ppl do it, it doesn’t mean it’s right. A drama with a billion view doesn’t necessarily mean it’s great.
          C isn’t currently on my travel list yet. Pls feel free to let me know if you need travel help or tips. I’ve been around a bit. I just have forgotten all about Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, HK. lol. And am completely clueless about frontier markets and Eastern EU: Albania, Poland … I don’t visit high crime areas. Croatia was quite nice a few years ago. Now may be overrun with GoT tourists.

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

          I think because cdrama industry is extremely focused on making fast money, the two easiest target is young women (fluff dramas) or older people who just watch whatever comes on tv (older people). Not sticking to a formula or actually polishing the script requires effort! with no guarantee of return! Minglan is fine, since I do appreciate that it exists to see what slice of life for a well off family would have lived at, if only it wasn’t so long…..

          I have similar issues finding smart/competent FL in web novels too, when it comes to dramaland, even the kickass protags gets dumbed down because “it’s more realistic/relatable”, excuse me, I’m watching the drama for ass kicking. Of course, then there’s the whole screenwriters don’t get much say in cdrama world bleh.

          I forgot Terence Yin was in LMIYD, I only remember Zhang Lu Yi LOL. The ending thing is often why I prefer to wait before I start dramas since fair few having pacing problems, irrelevant bits inserted to artificially lengthen the drama or plain awful ending. Yeah, in comparison Burning Ice did pretty well, its issue is largely in polishing the script and smoothing character development.

          I only know Yuan Quan by name (and face), never seen her in anything mhm. I should really watch more movies. Oh Yeah Untamed, I always forget english name on the other hand, hahaha. It’s romance disguised as bromance and idol acting i think, probably not your thing. I quite liked Tan Jianci in Never Gone, he was sort of the bright spot in the drama for me, though that’s not saying much. Wuxin S1 and So3K have completely different directors. Wuxin S1 have the guy that directed Journey of Flower and Painted Skin + the lady that directed Love O2O, Three Lives Three Worlds Peach Blossom, Never Gone and the recent Love & Destiny.

          Ahhh, I’m similar to you, since I’ve found even if I mark down places I want to eat at, I usually end up eating whatever is near me usually lol. I also haven’t been to Singapore because it didn’t actually hold much appeal to me since it’s a city, it’s kind of like HK to me, but I don’t really care for HK (too close/way similar environment/i can get better cantonese food for cheaper at home/ambivalent towards shopping). I’m sure I’ll eventually go as a stopover to elsewhere or something.

          Yeah I’m pretty wary of data collection, even though I’m not extra careful about my own, I mostly get annoyed. I know you all collect data, please be upfront about it and more importantly protect my data properly, but that never happens. It also reminds me, if you are using something free, more often than not, you are probably paying for it later, or paying it in ways you don’t know (e.g. like your data).

          Ohhh I should definitely go to Malaysia or Thailand again. Thailand I went when I was a kid, and I only went to Kuala Lumpur for Malaysia where I spent lots of time chilling with my friend and not much travelling hahaha. Probably won’t go anytime soon though. Japan I’ve been before and planned a real chaotic itinerary that was fun to me, but death to probably anyone else, I’ll definitely go again, Japan is pretty great for travelling. I haven’t been to Europe at all, o n e day.

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

          For 3 Kingdoms, I mostly like the same characters you like. The strategists, Cao Cao, Zhao Yun are probably on top of my list.

          The drama focus on youth is also partly to help maximize corporate profits. North Amer is already trying their best to profile GenZ and figure out their consumer preferences. A lot of studies are devoted to making color, shape, positioning the highest profit margin pro duct in the most conspicuous spots at eye level to maximize firm profit. If a consumer isn’t equally as savvy or careful, it’s easy to go broke. Firms wants to zoom into & influence the young while they are still vulnerable and growing. Product placements in dramas help achieve their financial goals.

          idk why C costume dramas have to be 60-70 ep long to make profits why J, K dramas can be short and still make money.

          I haven’t really watched GG Squid yet. Esp the gaming part.So I get confused by the C vs Eng names of the various players.
          fyi, Another impressive female in the sci & tech is 苏姿丰. Some of my close friends, a sibling studied VLSI, ASIC chip designs. Definitely they are all more like each other, and almost nothing like drama characters. I’m more like them too, just not in the chip industry. Yeah, try to park your brain at the door before starting to watch fluff dramas. lol. I try but sometimes fail.

          Malaysia has some street safety issues after dark these days. I haven’t visited in a long time but I can read most of their written stuff in every language they offer. Thai food offers a lot more variety of spices than Sichuan to me. I prefer the former. Malaysian food is a bit like Thai food but with a heavier slant towards Indian food. I’m not fond of the ubiquitous use of cardamom & cumin in Indian cuisine, so I usually avoid Indian food unless I find myself in the UK. I now understand why so many Brits love Indian food. Except I think they love the British version with a lot more sugar. Like Tikka Masala. Similar to adding sugar and cream to tea. Surely no C person would drink C tea with sugar and cream, right?

          My impression is Sg spends a lot more effort in urban planning than HK. It sometimes shows. But the last few years I hear the Sg subway system has gotten super horrible w delays. Their subway has reached an age where parts have started to break down or something? Sg food courts aka hawker centers are quite good. The Sg Botanical garden is nice. Huge. I like their banyan trees, orchids. Sg also spent top dollars on some of their more recent parks like “Gardens By The Bay”. Don’t visit their old parks like the old C or J gardens. They don’t look anything like Suzhou or J gardens. Most ppl visit Sg on their way to some other destinations. Do you have fav spots in HK? My fav= Victoria Peak, Stanley area. Parents used to drag me to meet my dad’s older brothers. They only wanted to take us to Ocean Park, Jumbo Restaurant etc so my dad can pay for their admission tickets and meals. All of my dad’s older sibs are that way. They all ate fast. I was the youngest by far; didn’t get to eat much at all. I was still too short to reach food. It wasn’t until after my sibling moved there, I got to see a few sights in HK. I was in GuangZhou, ShenZhen too early. I doubt I recognize much now. I was going to re-visit J, but I read many articles on locals complaining about foreign visitors causing a great deal of inconveniences. There’s also over-tourism problem. They also seem above average in having a price differential for foreigners vs locals in hotel rooms. (Plus some taboos.) Few countries even have that. Now it’s no longer high on my list.

          I looked up the price of the Poseidon Suite at Atlantis Sanya in GG Squid. HSY’s room costs ~US$14,450 a night!!! I thought his firm isn’t making so much money right now, and he’s stayed there a few nights. In 4 nights, he can buy a fancy 7-foot Steinway grand piano. lol. Or GGS’ opening scene shows the Merlion statue in Sg, near Fullerton Hotel. I’m not bad at identifying landmarks in cdramas. lol.

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

          Yeah very true about maximising profits. A lot of young Chinese are overspending due to credit cards and alipay credits etc which is problematic, companies can be so exploitative.

          I think cdramas having bigger market means it has lot more money involved. Everyone wants the big bucks, and in order to get it, they spent lot more money promoting? Maybe? I also think it has to do with how the tv schedules are structured. K/J/TW are all weekly dramas, at least the ones we watch, their daily dramas are long and cater to different audience too. cdramas have far more daily dramas and even the weekly ones are at least 4 or 6 episodes per week. Which means you have to grab attention in a very short amount of time and hope it does well. Of course, I still think 60+ episodes are excessive unless you are going for epics, It’s like no one knows how to tell a concise story anymore.

          They fly through the actual gaming bits anyways so it’s okay. and the subtitles showing everyone’s chinese names definitely throws me off, I believe the credits have everyone’s internet handle which is bit more helpful. K&K has: Gun, dt (his cousin), grunt (the one with glasses), 97, demo, One. SP has: Solo, appledog, Xiao Mi, All, inin, Huati, following, where the first four were in team solo with gun before. Also omg the suite is so expensive, I expected expensive but not THAT expensive. I believe K&K China are losing money right now since it’s fairly new, but other regions are making it even.

          “I can read most of their written stuff in every language they offer” wow you are really good! I liked the Malaysian and Thai food I tried, even though my spicy is like baby spicy to them lol. I think I’d like the British Indian food too mhmmm. and YES sugar + cream in tea is abomination, unless it’s milk tea WHICH ISN’T TEA, UK, stop lying to yourself!! Thanks for the travel tips! I don’t think I have favourite spot in HK? the walk along victoria harbour is nice I guess. I should go to Ocean Park again, according to my mum, my dad made me line up for all these rides for him, that I can’t get on because I was too short LOL. I went to Disneyland when it was relatively new as a teen but it was pretty small and unimpressive? Guangzhou and Shenzhen changed fair bit, but it’s just cities, there’s not a lot of MUST SEE to it. You can now take high speed train straight from HK to both cities, so that’s convenient I guess.

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

          I was surprised to read how much money, time, and research ppl put into just deciding the color of a pill. It has its own logic to it. Analgesics, sleep meds tend to be blue. The famous Viagra pill is blue because that’s the firm’s flagship product and the firm logo is also blue. They want people to associate the two together. And they avoid colors that are other rival firms’ logo colors. A lot of products are just very carefully designed. Then marketing is also super aggressive to maximize product sales. Wish cdramas have as much deep thoughts going into them sometimes.

          I forgot which drama 我们与恶的距离 is. I had browsed the start of it. I find it too serious for me. I have to do an image search of 我们与恶的距离 to see which pic shows up.

          Some Tw pseudo news vid seemed to imply that there was insanely much $ involved in producing & starring in super long dramas. At least back when YM & FBB were making them. That may also be a reason. idk if that will improve after they put in some pay caps for actors etc.

          Thank you for the name list for GG Squid. I think drama version of Tong Nian is still too cutesy for me for a lead who is a genius. But I agree w you, in reading/watching fluff novels/dramas, you don’t want to be critical or it’d take the fun out of things. It may leave you with no or few reasons to keep going. lol.

          Oh, you did the right thing too by not spending too long in HZ and Suzhou. Weekends always some with extra tourist crowds, making it even harder to enjoy the attractions. I like the C high speed rails. It’s so much faster to get to places. France, for example, is big enough that if you want to visit cities that are only served by regular trains, it can take many long hours going through sections that are not that interesting to see. Daily expenses are also higher there, so making it more costly to take regular train through a long distance. Or sometimes you have to stay overnight in a city with few options for tourists and can’t find a comfy hotel rooms for the night.
          I met people who wanted to save on hotel room fees once. They decided to travel Europe by taking sleeper train every night. They visit cities that are far apart deliberately. Some ppl are very creative. 😀

          Language maintenance takes a lot more time investment as I get older. With TVB not making decent new dramas, my Canto will only get worse. My nearest Canto friend still lives >900 km away.

          I saw a vid on CQL that mentioned that CQL’s Douban scores greatly improve from 4 to 6. It said CQL’s start is problematic but it improves later on.

          It looks like some drama directors let their actors film the early episodes with lowered expectation and then try to improve the actors’ acting as they shoot later episodes.

          So3K is kind of watchable, but not too captivating at the same time. But at least it does have a plot. *Semi-SPOILER******* But it’s weird how Liu Ping (the emperor substitute) can leave the palace suddenly and reaches Sima Yi super fast. Not very careful logic in the plot at times.

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

          that’s pretty cool to know. i’m not surprised since i always knew marketing took a lot of money. dramas still take fair bit of marketing money, but it’s focused on promoting it, rather than the actual production sometimes. I think it’s just sometimes even if you put a lot of time and effort into making your piece of work, it can be ruined by other parts of the work (acting, writing, timing of release, personal drama of actors etc), c’est la vie. I think actors do get paid a lot, and plenty of them are paid per episodes, but companies also sell drama by episodes, so it goes both ways.

          I nitpick at Go Go Squid a lot because the female lead isn’t my type and the core romance/plot have too much for me to nitpick. So while I think the main people’s acting is good and the production is pretty great, it’s probably not going to be my favourite or rated that highly.

          Oh yeah, I think I tried to avoid weekends for touristy spots. The sleeper train idea is super smart, I’d probably do the same thing too. I do like the high speed trains a lot, I appreciate it’s an option and that for a lot of people it’s far more convenient to take it compare to a plane just due to time and hassle. US pls import them, or you could just import regular trains, just anything besides your current terrible and often non-existent inter-city travel.

          Practice your canto with me!! I think I would just rewatch old dramas and old movies tbh. You can also watch documentaries or something in Canto? I was watching 中国通史 for awhile and found it had a Cantonese version on bilibili.

          I didn’t know CQL opened at 4, I thought it was 5ish, that’s a fairly big improvement. I’ll wait for it to finish and see how I fare with my current batch of dramas I guess. I think later episodes acting being better is pretty nice, now the matter is how to retain your audience till then.

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

          I forgot to mention, they picked blue for analgesic and sleep aids because blue gives a sense of calming.

          Yes, I think with the weekly release schedule of J Tw K dramas, they can’t let the episode count go to 70. How many ppl would follow a drama for over a year?

          Having worked in multinational projects, I do think sometimes your final product quality is almost as good as your weakest link. If one department sucks, the immediately upstream and downstream departments from it can only help a bit in lifting the dept that sucks. You have your own boss to answer to, and do not have the authority to meddle in other depts. You see some of the same things in dramas. Like the acting for some ppl in Ever Night, CQL.
          This reminds me of a recent biz headline, “Boeing’s Max software [mess that resulted in 2 jet crashes] outsourced to $9-an-hour engineers [in India]”. No headlines that pointed to lack of internal procedures to maintain quality. Or the executive decision to outsource to cheaper workers to fatten firm profits. It’s similar to the Dieselgate. The first VW ex-employee who got a prison sentence was engineer Robert Liang. Some reports said he was the lowest ranked executive that got a prison sentence.
          It’s pretty common for execs to decide to outsource to cheaper workers (often less educated, less skilled, less experienced) to fatten profits. Then the rest of the team has to work longer hours to smooth out the problems. You basically have to work overtime provide free job training for your colleagues in the other departments. Then they are often across the ocean from you, so you end up working horrible hours. Then the management complains about how nothing is fast enough.

          Plotwise, So3K is better than Ever Night. The So3K plot is at least more ambitious than many other dramas, so it’s trickier to have a flawless plot. EN is better at the visuals, esp Ning Que’s fight scenes. Ma Tianyu’s acting isn’t bad, but I think the character is just a bit more complicated than his acting depth. His character is also a goody 2 shoes, so it gets preachy sometimes.

          I hear there are some nice scenic train rides in North Amer with glass viewing panels. I have to find out where they are. One time I took a day-long train ride and was surprised to hear that we actually had to move to a bus for one part of the “train” ride. I had just assumed when I bought my train ticket that it would be a train all the way.
          One time I stayed in a small town in Fr to break up a very long train ride. There were no real hotels in town. I was half terrified when I got to the inn to find that we all had to dump our belongings in a giant pile in the inn lobby and can only take a few toiletries and pajamas upstairs. The lobby reeked of sweat and toil. There were brochures about fleas. The inn primarily caters to pilgrims (eg, ‘Pilgrimage of Compostela’). They also charged for using each towel, bed sheet. I paid for breakfast and ended up not finding anything to eat. Just old slices of bread I’d rather not eat. So yeah, sleeper trains should be a step up from that. lol.

          Supposedly the aquariums in Singapore and Chengdu are top 5 largest in the world. I haven’t been to either. I’m not sure of the “quality” yet. Largest doesn’t equate to “best”. Let me know your favorite places in Sichuan. I started looking at attractions in Chengdu before, but I keep forgetting about them once I work on another destination. It’s always tricky to find a friendly driver. There are a lot of interesting Sichuan villages. Seems easier to visit them using a private car/driver.

          Personally, I like Tikka Masala every now and then. It’s sweet and is only very remotely Indian. I do find authentic Indian food in my city very salty, so I can’t really eat the authentic fare. Sg food is slightly less spicy than Malaysian and Thai.

          I agree with chasingpolaris & Julianne. The FL in Zhao Yao is a lot more pleasant than the FLs in many other dramas. I want to try read that novel later.
          I may check out The Dark Lord, Age of Legends later. idk when though. Both have OK douban scores.

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

          Capitalism at its finest when something wrong goes wrong, blame the low wage worker who works across the ocean from you!

          Mhmmm, I like Ever Night quite a bit, for some reason. So I guess I might check out So3K later. Ever Night was easier to follow and engage compared to Novoland. I’m on ep 11? Novoland’s three young main actors are pretty good, as are plenty of the supporting characters. I’m having difficulties caring about some of the politics though, and the worldbuilding isn’t expositioned that well? Maybe I wasn’t paying close enough attention. Or maybe it’s cutting from 68 (?) episodes to 56.

          The changing to a bus for a “train ride” is kind hilarious. The inn story is utterly terrifying. Definitely nope. I’m mildly curious about the aquarium, but it probably depends what their biggest attraction is. As is, regular ones don’t hold much interest to me anymore. For Sichuan, the Panda research centre. Emei/Qing Cheng if you like your Jin Yong novels/wuxia, they are both pretty nice mountains by themselves, Leshan Buddha which is the giant buddha that’s size of a hill, Three Gorge Dam might be interesting but I haven’t been there recently, Jiuzhaigou + Huanglong for gorgeous scenery, even though I think they’ve been affected by earthquakes, it’s been reopened but idk how much the earthquake damaged. There’s whole bunch of mountains and whatnot nearby Chengdu too, but I think I got the well known sights?

          I really like the FL in Zhao Yao too, definitely read the novel. I wish the drama didn’t bomb its own plot, since I heard it opened really well, such a shame. The Dark Lord doesn’t focus on romance much iirc so that should be decent. cdramas just seem to do better when it doesn’t focus on female characters. But I like watching female characters, even if they are only half way decent, so I just suffer I guess. I forgot why I passed on Age of Legends? Might have been the episode count mhm.

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

          Using travel tricks need a lot of research. Some ppl buy cheaper plane tickets and use only a small portion of it and paid a lot less than the usual airfare. I forget if this is what they called Hack Fare. But some ppl run into trouble after using it a few times, or had their ticket cancelled. I haven’t actually tried using any special tricks I heard.
          Browsed some trains with glass ceiling. The more promising ones seem to be the ones near Banff Canada, Colorado US. I tend to sightsee C destinations first, bc there are many interesting temples with hundreds of steps. I figure I need to prioritize and first do things that we can’t do when we get old.
          Whenever I visit a city/area, I get quite thorough with it. Like when I was near Huangshan, I visited nearby Tunxi Old Street area, Bamboo Village (forgot the name), waterfall, ~a dozen old villages, nearby old towns, old mansions, and spent about a week there. Fortunately the driver I had there was great, so he really helped fill my entire itinerary. Ended up going to 4 more places I didn’t know anything about.
          I actually know most of the famous places you mentioned in Sichuan. I think the thing that always takes me the most time is to find other attractions that are not as famous to fill up my whole week in 1 area. I think a lot of attractions that local C don’t find interesting, I still find interesting. We don’t even have a single tea house with C decor here. There are a lot more ppl selling boba tea. A lot of drinks are probably made from powder and not tea leaves too.

          For now, I’ve just been letting my Canto go to seed. I think it’s only useful for speaking to seniors in a handful of old Chinatowns here. Most C restaurants here are bilingual now. The thing is if I don’t have someone to speak with regularly, it’s just going to take a lot of hours watching Canto programming, or it’s going to keep going bad. It’s like fighting gravity. lol.

          Emei reminds me of WuTai. I only spent a night on Wutai. I went either in spring or autumn. There was only 1 restaurant that was open anywhere within walking distance from where I stayed. It was a bit eerie. Our hotel there was very basic and looked a lot dirtier than basic Jinjiang or Hanting rooms. That was the only hotel room I found listed on elong. But I really liked their old temples. The restaurant had interesting vegetarian food. “Vegetarian meat” dishes were interesting. They had some from Tang. It’s too bad the Wutai temples are spread all over the place. We only had a chance to see a few. I spent a few weeks in Shanxi. I also liked visiting MianShan Cotton Mtn although none of their temples seemed authentic. It’s not a place with many visitors. It’s definitely a place to visit while you can still take a lot of steps. Seems like every temple has at least 200 steps leading to it. On side trails, there are some trails going up and down the mountainside that only have hanging metal chains. I didn’t have the kungfu skills for that trail.
          Oh, I thought Jiuzhaigou is still closed. That’s one attraction I’m a bit afraid of visiting. I hear the crowd is seriously overwhelming. I don’t think there are a lot of trail choices to choose from. So it’s hard to avoid the main crowd.

          I skimmed Eagle Flag up to ep2. It has some of that Tribes& Empire aura and approach. For me, the speech in LD in ChangAn harder to follow than Eagle Flag. I think I’m terrible with Tang-speech.
          What do you like most of CQL? I actually like the Zhou Bichang Wuji OST.

          I wish Douban keeps a graph of the average score. A few months ago I watched Chef Fang. I think the Douban score was a lot higher last year.
          YT vid said Huang Jingyu’s The Thunder dropped from ~8.8 to ~7.1. Sounds like one of the female characters is particularly annoying.
          It’s informative to see how the score is trending over time.

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

          I only know ones where you do stopovers and catch special deals or try to fly on standby (they let you on if there’s empty seats, if not, you wait?), but I’m not too clear on that. Banff looks super gorgeous and I really want to go, but it’s a roadtrip kind of place, and trying to find someone who would roadtrip with me is pretty hard.

          Looks like you are pretty good at planning trips and finding places you might like 😮 For China, I usually travel with family so it’s usually more well known places. I did muse with my friend before that you don’t really get teahouses oversea, because it’s not popular enough? I do believe most milk tea places uses powder, but certain franchises uses real milk, probably not actual tea though. Milk tea isn’t that dependent on good tea leaves anyhow.

          I haven’t been to wutai yet, would definitely be interested in trying various vegetarian food. The trails on MianShan with only metal chains sounds cool, I kind of want to go, even though I’m afraid of heights and have no muscles/athletic skills. With Jiuzhaigou, you definitely have to try pick not vacation, it’ll still have fair amount of people I think, but not overwhelming? Crowds is always an issue for more well known sites, especially mountains where there’s only so much space. For accom, I’ve gotten accustom to booking guesthouses 民宿, but I think a lot of them can’t accomodate oversea guests due to legislation. There’s always airbnb, and I know there’s similar chinese sites but I don’t know them, since I use ctrip to book accom. In bigger cities, would definitely go for franchise hotels 快捷酒店, my mum always told me try to find ones that’s opened within last 2 years and it should be good.

          I haven’t actually seen CQL, it was just on my to watch, I started way too many dramas recently. Oh I finished Qin Empire 1, it was pretty good showing how Shang Yang and Qin Emperor met, pushed a legal system countrywide and enforced it rather strictly. It was little hard to get into in the beginning because my history is basically non-existent for Warring States period. There were few female characters that started out pretty awesome, but ended up serving to prop the male lead up more, to the point where some of their actions don’t really make sense, oh well, they weren’t the main focus anyways.

          A history for douban score would be interesting, I think some of the more popular dramas usually have fans keeping track of them. Chef Fang is high 7 or 8 isn’t it, that’s pretty good. The Thunder bombed the last few episodes/ending arc I believe, I’m not sure if it had messy/stupid romance, can’t remember. Such a shame, I was going to watch it. It’s not easy for cdramas to stick their landing it seems.

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

          I tend to plan my trip a few months in advance to make sure I have flights, hotel rooms lined up in advance. For me, the most efficient is to figure out main places you want to visit and get a hotel that’s ~ in the center of it. That’s most time-efficient. That’s a bit of an issue when it’s in the middle of pedestrian zone old town. So it’s hard for me to get great deals. I browsed lastminute website before. Never found it great for places I visit. Haven’t browsed others.

          Oh, near Huangshan, I spent a day walking on Qiyun Shan. Taoist mtn. It was quite nice, leisurely and had some historical buildings. I spent months studying the area before going there. I visit a lot of non-famous places and like them. The nice driver asked the ticket counter if we could get tickets for river rafts. He tried to get me an authentic C experience. I was scared. I used to swim ok, but now I get foot cramps a lot. You know, one reason I’m postponing C trips is bc I often visit w non-C. So ppl always ask me where I come from. Lots of school kids stopped us to take pics together. On QiyunS, we ran into a schoolmaster and his deputy. They too, stopped us to take a pic together after we had group pics w their students. lol. Now that trade wars are going on every day, it feels awkward.

          Sorry, whenever I edited or added a sentence, I often end up putting it in the wrong place. I meant Tang temple. Not Tang veg dish. lol.

          The closest the US has to Banff is Yosemite? I visited Yosemite twice. It’s a bit scary bc the steps are quite high. Big irregular rocks. (And no railings!!) Not like the smaller steps C mtns have. The big steps are better suited for >175 cm high person. But at that height, it’s easier to tip your head around and wobble. The trails w big steps are not wide and it’s cliff on 1 side w nothing to hold onto. I was trying to go up carefully, but ppl behind me keep wanting to pass me quickly. I find it unnerving.
          Seriously, my SIL’s BFF who was an experienced hiker fell off. It took them days to find her. My sis in law was depressed for weeks. Generally, the older US national parks are a bit less impressive. They are in more towards the Eastern US and tend to be smaller. One of my BFFs is really into nature walks. One time BFF wanted to hike Mt Rainier visible from Seattle. It looks benign like Fuji. But apparently there had been a decent number of casualties too. Not as docile as it looks. This BFF&I were in Yosemite together. I didn’t dare go as far or fast as BFF did. It’s a lot of pressure to go with someone who is a lot more skilled? I have a couple of friends in Seattle. That’s as close as my friends are to Banff. Vancouver also looks nice. I missed a lot of attractions when I went with parents. These days I’m also postponing re-visiting Vancouver. Locals have protested in several ways about ethnic C buying houses, driving up home prices to nose bleed level high. Many ppl claim Vancouver is where you find the best dimsum in North Amer. Some C visitors have pbms w customs. Some say they were wearing their old diamond engagement rings and got told by customs to pay a fee for bringing in valuables into Canada. Some have pbms for drifting across the US/Canada border while boating. Be very careful near the Niagara Falls. idk where the exact border is either. Can end up getting held up in a cell for days to months until the paperwork is sorted out. I try my best to find out local laws & rules to stay out of trouble.

          Some trails near Xin Taibei also have pretty challenging part(s) with ropes hanging off the side of the trail (which looks like a ridge for that portion). Forgot the trail name for that section.
          I remember there’s also a 硬汉(子?) trail in 观音山 a bit north of Taipei, meant for tougher hikers.
          I haven’t been to those. My parents mostly wanted to sit in hotel lobbies. I do want to do some of the easier trails in Tw, so I’m still studying these intermittently.

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

          The challenging Tw trail name is 皇帝殿.石碇老街 part of tonyhuang39 site. This chap is like a human encyclopedia when it comes to Tw sights.

          CQL intriques me a bit at a glance. I seem to be half Wei Wuxian, half Lan Zhan, but without their orientation. Once a new colleague asked me out to lunch. It turned out that he wanted to ask me about my boss’ orientation. I was tempted to pretend to be dense and asked if he wanted to know whether my boss’ window was East facing. lol

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

          Don’t feel awkward! Most people wouldn’t blame regular tourists. When I travelled with my two non-Chinese friends, we didn’t get stopped, I think because we were mostly in big cities and heavy tourist areas, got some stares here and there and that’s it. We were stopped when we travelled in Japan though, some really extroverted kid just came and said hi and wanted to take a picture with my friend lol.

          I haven’t been to Yosemite but it does look super gorgeous. Wanted to fit it in when I went to US but didn’t get to, next time I’m in San Fransisco maybe. Steps on side of cliff with no rails does sound quite unnerving! OMG, what happened to your SIL’s BFF in the end? Didn’t hear about US citizens running into so much trouble crossing the border, darn.

          You totally should have pretended to be dense, it would have been funny 😛 CQL sitting at 7.2 on douban now which has crossed my “maybe watch” threshold, I just need to finish/catch up on dramas first. I liked the characters in donghua/anime that I watched. Most of the other popular dramas are hovering at almost 7 these days, poor Novoland, it’s getting ripped by book fans and shipping fans and character fans. King’s Avatar is being downvoted for the way drama promoted, I think the drama itself is fine, better than expected even with debateable character changes. Love & Destiny started at 5.5 and is at 6.9, which is kind of wild, I’m watching it, but I don’t expect much from the writing. Well, Chang’an is still at 8.5. My drama watching group (fellow Rise of the Phoenixes fans) mostly all dropped it, but I’ll probably watch it still, eventually. The 5 minutes I saw tells me I’ll be willing to watch it for the cinematography for fair number of episodes.

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

          Yes. I find it hard to find the right or enough travel partners to travel with at times. Esp since my siblings and I don’t overlap at all in travel interests. Some things I had done in the past include visit overseas cities or (smaller) countries where I have friends, especially those with 2-3 friends. Once in a blue moon, my high school friend contacts me to arrange to visit some country together. I’m currently waiting for my foot issue to resolve. I haven’t gone anywhere in a while due to it.

          I know SF better than the average person living outside of SF. Some of the places I enjoy visiting there= the Palace of the Legion of Honor, Sea Cliff / China Beach, Presidio areas. Walking up the steps like Lyon Steps, Filbert Steps. I like walking at random around the Marina Green, Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights, Telegraph Hill neighborhoods. Walking up Coit Tower from Levi Strauss Plaza (~ Filbert Steps). This is what I can remember for now without staring at the map. I don’t linger around Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square that long. Embarcadero is among the nicer place that most tourist buses go to. SF Chinatown food isn’t as good as LA’s. LA even has 那家小馆宫廷菜. But I like SF >>> LA.

          I get asked to take pics a lot when I travel with nonC in C. I feel as if they feel that their camera is safer with me? lol.. When school groups keep approaching us for pics, they sometimes remind me of Zhen Hua, whatever that school name is in Huckleberry Friends.

          So3K: Started considering quitting the drama by ep 22. SPOILERS__: Caocao’s advisor, GuoJia, is trying outwit Sima Yi in an unconvincing, complicated plot
          “Emperor” has gotten outside of his usual lair again. This time accompanied by the Empress, Cao Pi no less. Embellished by some idol-esque love triangle situation involving the 3. Both men seemed smitten by the Empress. The Emperor cooks, preparing the bed for Empress for the duration of their journey.
          Sima Yi is also being an idol, involved in yet another contrived, related subplot to save his OTP, Dong Jie, from prison. All 5 are in or around Yecheng, getting close to Yuan Shao. Does it make any sense to you at all?
          Doesn’t CaoCao need the emperor in-house with the “Cao mansion” as much as possible to pacify the public, using the Emperor as a justification for the legitimacy of Cao’s rule? How can he afford the Emperor being killed or lured away by YuanShao to Yuanshao’s camp?
          Caocao still hasn’t appeared. Emperor & Empress have to move in with the Cao’s pretty quickly at the start of the drama after a palace fire.

          I mentioned a bit of Untamed & GG Squid above to chasingpolaris.

          fyi, sometimes I stop abruptly bc sometimes I have to run off to keep appointments etc.
          And I have a bad habit of getting too comfortable with friends I find close in that I don’t say Sorry and Thank You’s as much.

          My SIL’s BFF died. I think they fished her out of the “river”. I forget what they call that body of water. I have another friend whose officemate was found elsewhere. Had a heart attack while hiking up Mount San Jacinto. They started hike at 4 or 5 am and some ppl still suffered from heatstroke too, in addition to the heart attack case. The guy with heart attack suffered the same fate as my SIL’s BFF. You really have to be careful being outdoorsy. Some ppl get lost in the rocks.

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

          Oh yeah, I’ve gone to countries/cities to visit friends too. It’s a good way to travel. I haven’t been out of country for awhile too, shame. So sorry to hear about your friend and SIL’s BFF, that’s terrible.

          I definitely like SF more than LA, LA doesn’t hold much interest to me? When I was there I sort of just holed up at airbnb. I mean, it has beaches and farmer’s market but I didn’t really care? I think I spent 3 or 4 days in SF and enjoyed walking around, even with the hills and all. I should really write down all these places for next time I go there.

          ???? lol I don’t even remember GuoJia much from RoTK. But yeah CaoCao needs the emperor around, otherwise he would have had lot less trouble just murdering his way through to be honest.

          Re: FL always damseled, yeah, even with source material that don’t do that or original script that don’t need that. Sometimes they add that in “because it’s popular with the audience” or something.

          I’d like to believe Tong Nian has more than two people on her team, and she only leads the criminology side, while Zheng Hui leads healthcare, but who knows! It’s also meant to be about improving the system, but ehhh. Now that the drama is almost finished,

          I can safely say, I don’t care about the romance, it’s rather cliche setup and I vented about its initial problems. The nice thing is there’s no dumb love triangle and the conflicts are all pretty reasonable, and the OTP’s acting is decent for their characters. I cared about the e-sport bit, and I was okay with its flaws in the beginning. During last quarter though, the flashbacks are used little too much/repetitively, some pretty important matches like National semi final/final was cut, so it was anti-climatic. A very important payoff match for Team Solo was straight out skipped, you got the lead up and nerves, but not them actually sitting down to play, let along anything about the match itself. The journey of mending old relationship is pretty good and there’s some nice emotional scenes, too bad lot of people don’t care for them, and only want the romance.

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

          I know. I should do something similar w Sichuan. I have a Greater China travel book. I should tick off sights on your list against those I can find in that book.

          I was not expecting how much CQL will remind me of my early years; it’s too easy to relate to GuSu Lan Sect & Lan Zhan:
          我搬到哪里住都还是小数民族。我家人特别传统 (整个城市社会都是)。 在(小学)学校必须修15堂课。5-6岁时,课都有包括国家管理。还上了另一家特别音乐学校。同学都说我像个日式salaryman. 学校也特别严。考很多” 天主教大主教管区结构“. 教皇头饰的结构, 哪一层有几个宝石. 每星期都要交一份天主教艺术品。又要交出一幅画 (不能有剩下白纸的。 整幅画都要有颜色才行.) 每天都会用到两三种语言.做艺术品特别花时间。要做像桌子一样大的一个海报。要用绿豆一颗一颗贴上去的。做出一个大十字架. 绿豆也要弄出一横一横地。 没做完就受重罚 . 我到长大了才懂以前是夹在几个“组织”中。身不由己。我学校有很多笔记本书皮画图,腰带,校服,规定。我妈比较懒。我妈没买到适合的,我又必须去领罚了我妈心慌就带我去寺庙。这种情况下要考那么多神经考试也是不容易。我音乐学校每星期也有好几堂课。我没一两个礼拜都会有什么表哥的堂姐的婚礼要参加。每星期 只有一天不用上课。我5岁时,忘了做一堂课的作业,就差点被脱衣服。我同学有两个被脱衣服过。还有几个没考好,结果 受了重罚,被叫去 把考卷吞掉。 我小时候住的哪个城市每年都会有人杀人放火。
          我姑妈是像顾烶烨的朱曼娘. 我妈的性格挺像明兰里的王若弗 。但我妈对我的态度比较像半生缘里的顾曼璐对顾曼桢那样 。我是觉得很吓人。我妈真的还比我老师还可怕. 我姨妈是像甄嬛传后宫里的安陵容,鹂妃。她女儿,我表姐,是像将欣的华妃。我另一个表姐跟我说过我华妃表姐拿着刀追过我另一个表姐。嫉妒愤怒时。我不敢问是哪位表姐被追杀。其实现在想起来姑苏蓝派的规则比我家的简单多了。没我家的random,conflicting & all-encompassing all at the same time. 我才四岁我妈就要我上台表演献舞。十多年后才懂原来她要我去追富二三代。但同时还不让我在学校交普通朋友。她对全世界的生物都过敏. 我兄长不在家住. 从小就要为家带荣耀。我哥又怪我不会顶嘴,不像我几位嫂子。我就是心软。顶嘴的话自己比别人还觉得难受。顶嘴也没用啊. 我朋友们说活都比较像姑苏蓝派地。我就是跟朋友比较互相了解。跟家人反而…

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

          It felt funny-ish looking at my major typo above. It should have been ” 圣经”.

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

          Oh wow, that’s…I’m speechless. I mean, I sort of understand/expect certain aspects, like strict school or strict traditional family. But the combination is beyond what I can imagine. The school + extracurricular is over the top to begin with, combined that with your rather over the top family members, yiiiikes. I think it’s totally understandable that you connect better with your friends under your circumstances, or if you live far away from home. I totally would, to get away from toxic environment.

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

          Being the most traditional in X isn’t exactly an end in itself.

          It’s a weird phenomenon, but once I read this book, Snow In August – Pete Hamill. Often, ppl who leave country X want to retain as much from country X as possible. End up more traditional than those who remain in country X. Some examples are in how Tw, HK use traditional scripts. Is it a coincidence that both Hokkien and Canto that are used over there are much older than the modern Mandarin?
          Sg is an outlier. Former Sg prime minister chose simplified characters in consideration of future economic expansion, some have said. US may be another outlier due to its leading position in world GDP and relatively shorter history.
          But for ppl in my hometown,they seem to want to be as traditional as possible. My parents acted as if I have be as traditional as possible and yet have all the modern skills, even though half the time the modern vs trad issue is in direct contradiction. (And there are only 24 hours a day.) Classical Confucian values are not going to help women in advancing their careers. C J K are all in a cluster around 110-120 in the ranking of gender equality. J 舞姬 is also open to interpretation. Ethnic C women are among the few that stand out in the award winning scientists though. Like those 2 we mentioned earlier. I’m pretty sure they won’t meet all classical Conf values either. There’s this kevinmd blog that said even among docs, female docs only get paid 70-something% of what male docs get paid. And that survey was done in a country that’s ranked way above 110. J & K are the bottom 2 among more developed economies in terms of gender wage gap. C hasn’t gotten far enough in econ development to be considered in that same pool of comparison. Generally, I also see that the stronger the focus is on female beauty, appearance, typically the worse the gender equality is. Financial independence is related to gender equality.
          Last year, there was a major dating app study results that got published. ~187,000 people’s dating data got analyzed. Data from 4 major US cities. Men are considered most desirable at 50. Women at 18. For men, the higher the education the better the dating prospects. For women, the most desirable educational level is BS. After that, the higher the educational level, they are seen as less desirable. It tempts one to read between the lines. People want older men for more money; Younger women for looks? These are roughly aligned with c idol drama values. Poor beautiful girl, rich guy pairing.

          To me, the most commonly held values can be whacked. There’s a lot of peer pressure for us to do the “wrong” things. The most commonly done things are sometimes really not ideal.
          It did feel like my brother sees things as my parents (and his wife) are the way they are. So I have to be the only one who adapts. And the only thing he can think of is no matter what horrible things they do to me, as long as I talk back, that will solve all my problems whenever they are behaving badly. I’ve met a lot of ppl who think that way. I’m surprised not more ppl are disappointed at the asymmetry, one-sided relationship bw Confucian seniors vs jr. Ppl are satisfied feeling unfulfilled?
          Seniors are allowed to be as proactive as possible in attacking juniors, while juniors can only at best talk back in self defense. I have to say, in my experience that has zero possibility of working out as a 4-5 year old. Even now, it still will not work. Seniors have gone thru decades of not losing face. They will not tolerate starting to lose face now. I can’t seem to make this paragraph sound softer….

          My travel book contains all the Sichuan places you mentioned. Which places did you personally like? Did you visit Langzhong? I was previously interested in the Shunan bamboo forest.

          Forgot to mention earlier,
          Boldt Castle, Thousand Islands area ~ US & Canada border area is also nice. To be safe, US/ Can residents should bring passports along whenever traveling near the border. Tourists from farther away need to get visa for both countries before visiting. Some ppl also drive near the border and ended up getting lost and having to drive across the border without meaning to. You don’t always find ways to turn back when you need to.

          I saw a live (grizzly, I think) bear outside my hotel room once when I was in Stockbridge, Mass. I was glad I wasn’t out for a morning walk alone. That’s the largest wild animal I’ve gotten close to. I was so happy to have my hotel room wall between the bear & me. I did visit Yellowstone Park w my parents & siblings. We ended up driving next to bisons. They are huge. At first when I only saw them backlit, I thought they were men wearing fashionable shaggy, long capes. lol. In parks with bears, they usually advise tourists not to leave food in the car. Some bears can tear up cars looking for snacks. They have very sharp sense of smell.

          I can’t tell how bad my C typing really is. So let me know if I need to get a C tutor, so you don’t need to suffer reading my C gibberish. 🙂 我小时候只学过90小时的汉语课。在我家哪区学汉字是违法的.这跟美政府,媒体,外交部有关. 60年代时亚洲人还不能太随便的移民到北美. ~65年才开始换法规. 但冷战时到现代美政还是继续的卖兵器炸弹给有些南洋地区国家. 哪区里,今年有一位总统候选人以前是在美军参加培训的. 他杀过了百姓. 也有包括华侨.他是一位战犯.他名字挺长的. 今年选举后也又死了几个人,但没有以前的糟糕. 老挝土地里还埋了好多美炸弹呢. 以前的冷战都过去了~50年。但每年老挝百姓还有几十个被炸死.

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

          You are absolutely correct that emigrates tend to be even more traditional, I think it’s to retain your unique culture against the majority? Which makes the dissonance between different culture clashing/ampilifying feeling of third culture kid a lot more. For Cantonese + Hokkien being used in HK and TW is regional thing? I mean both languages are still alive and well in mainland too. The aggressive push for mandarin and simplified script for higher literacy rate + easier communication also make sense, although I would rather they don’t stamp out the dialects.

          I think Chinese parents in China also want their kids to be traditional but have all the modern skills, albeit at much lower level compared to your parents. It’s an odd wish you could have it all without considering how realistic the possibility of it is. My dad is kind of like that, he also doesn’t care to invest money + time + energy but sort of “why can’t you be x?” which is wild. Thankfully he stopped expecting anything from me since I haven’t really lived with him since I was very young and tends to not take his shit, he mostly does it to my brother.

          I sort of get why your brother think that way. Because to him and a lot of people, that’s the only way you fight. I do think it’s better than just quietly dealing with it or avoiding it, and a lot of times talking back doesn’t really solve anything, it’s rather helpless. I think effectively, they know and feel that it’s powerless to fight against the wider cultural norm, and it’s pretty difficult to change mentality of older generation. Not to mention the whole, your elders are always right and don’t disobey them is SO ingrained in us that it can be hard to do more than just feebly fight back when something happens.

          The dating site research is hella creepy, and do align with what I expect from society. It’s so depressing. and yeah, I’ve heard more than once (from my relative at one point) that “girls don’t need higher education than bachelor or it’d be hard to find guys who’ll marry you.” ???? I know it’s similar to mentality that men feel inferior + gets more gossip if they date a woman who earn more than them, but it’s SUCH bullshit, fuck fragile masculinity.

          I haven’t been to Langzhong and Shunan unfortunately so I’m no help there. I think my personal favourite is actually Jiuzhaigou and Leshan Buddha lol, haven’t been to lesser known places in Sichuan tbh. Oh I know about Thousdand Islands, it was on my plant to visit list for awhile, till I realise it’s more a roadtrip place and I can’t drive. Yellowstone was gorgeous when I briefly visited, I should definitely go back. The close encounter with grizzly sounds terrifying but also pretty darn cool 😀

          Your Chinese typing is pretty great! I’m actually pretty surprised, it’s fairly close to native level, I’d only notice it’s not native due to word choice or some sentence feel like it’s translated from English, but it’s not really noticable unless I look for it. I didn’t know it was illegal in some places, yikes. Not only Laos, but doesn’t Myanmar and Vietnam have similar problem? I learn so much from conversation with you, this is awesome, you are awesome <3

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

          Before I forget. Have you gone to see Chongqing’s Dazu Rock Carvings? I’m quite interested in that one. Wondering what else are around it that are intriguing to visit. I actually saw a big hotel in Chengdu that I like. It has a cavernous lobby with traditional style tea house etc. It’s near the South end of the North-South subway line maybe. (I wonder if it’s near the aquarium. I’ll have to look again. Leshan I’m actually considering skipping.. There’s this old-ish temple near the water/river in Sichuan I think. I forgot if it’s near a dam..)

          The thing I got lots of from dad was my ~100 jin weight. He really repeated practically every 30 mins. At the same time, he was obsessed w… 你付了你小姑子的学费了吗 literally every time he had a chance. 我小姑子也没有比我小啊. 而且我爸也没有帮我嫂子付学费.我哥也没有付. 我小姑子当时才开始读哈佛博第一年。古文专业的。可能到八九年才毕业呢。结果遇到了对象没读完就结了。( 我16岁开始读大学.我妈都一直催我。”都5岁了还 在家里坐” [不如呢 ? 我应该去打工] ) 我当时刚开始第一份工作. 还要付一大堆的移民律师牙医费。房租也特高。我爸就是这样宠坏他兄姐的. 他们都直接去我爸公司要钱。我爸不在也一定要拿到. 我都没看过他们工作过呢. 我家复杂情况真没有比明兰顾家简单。但我家没有顾烶烨。他比较像郑辉-我们都是全职搞研究的. cdramas in general are a lot more like my SIL & aunts/mom. idk what it is w C women (drama or not). Trad ones like to get alpha-male-like, brag / compete over kids’ accomplishments. Whenever they lose, they get so ticked off. Was your dad doing that? I dislike seniors who have no desire whatsoever to be a decent human being. I feel bad just talking back to bad in-laws. Being in the same yard alone make me feel like baby rabbits in (mad?) tiger’s den. And bunnies get lectured over the whole story that led to the tiger’s insanity. In reality, the bunnies were staring at the sharp tiger teeth. Speechless. The whole thing just seems futile. I suspect they invest time to scheme before family meetings.
          Really. If you’re a Minglan in a Gu mansion. With no grandma, GTY, assistants to help you. How do you find the energy to hang around w a whole bunch of ppl whose full time job = to play alpha-male games full time?

          My Tw BFF2 got offered a PhD scholarship. Her mom wanted to take it but she told her mom no, saying that she’ll have enough trouble with MS. Now there are actual data backing that up. 其实呢如果一位姑娘去读科学博士的话,如果能上到全专业排第一到第5的话 (Better yet if it’s 1 to 2),通常都不会难找对象。我研究生是,同学一大部分都是男的. 一般科学最强的还是男生比较多.若女生还能没有比他们差太多,找对象也不会难.因为这种女生不多. 斯坦福那类的学校,学生人口数高。所以排到第5的话,女生就已经比较多了.
          I didn’t realize how much my character, appearance were shaped by childhood. 小时候很内向. 我老师都以为我怀恨在心 (当时也觉得没人懂我). 我老师都好奇怪。我一直被大人骂想我是什么大魔头. 我小学的一大批老师都挺奇怪的. 到底有几个小学生能怀恨在心啊??? 我10岁那年,我班主任看我不顺眼。她一开学就说女生都要轮流带花放她桌。我家没有花园。我妈不是对 全世界生物过敏吗。 全都嫌麻烦. 我妈就去市场买了康乃先.我就被老师骂说他不喜欢康乃先. 下一次我妈买了玫瑰. 然后有人跟老师说我妈是在市场买的. 那有被骂了. 我也没办法呀. 说一我也就会对注意一点。怕得罪了人。然后又被骂我怀恨在心. 我有一次起把铅笔盒弄了太满。关不上。我试关两三次。 哪位老师就爆炸了。整个前臂和北大丢到天涯海角。我又被重罚了。老师还写上记录本呢. 她还说她很委屈呢。我遇到好多这种破事。(我10岁)那年我破了我自己和老师之间的冲突记录.
          Fast forward x years…
          到了高3还是被两三的老师大骂一顿说我给了他们反抗叛逆的脸色看。我还真没有。我都在紧张出国后上大学会不会亭栋教授讲的课。 真心说,回头想童年时,每次被罚都是蒜皮鸡毛的事。就不懂我童年为什么就那么怪?
          到了北美就没有再遇到这种情况. 人家现在说我高冷什么的. 扑克脸. 朋友是不会这样觉得吧. 我和有些朋友,一见就觉得很亲切. 但也遇到了一些笑里藏刀的.
          我头脑太简单了。每次都到最后才发现笑里藏刀者, 伪装者。 我是变成了比较慢热. 我生活中,人家给我的安全感不够多啊. 但普通时若我没被吓到,其实我不会去故意做什么出格的事。但我也看到了我朋友很体贴,做事很周到。很想跟他们多学一些。跟我家人没学到那些. 其实我做事不够周到的话,然后自己发现,之后都会觉得很难过。That’s the part that I have a lot in common with that Lan Wangji, Lan Zhan from The Untamed. 我感觉是若我真做错了事惹你们生气了,那我很抱歉。要罚可以随便罚。我还真跟蓝二公子一样。碰不得酒。有一次喝了一小口apple cider.菜单没写说有酒精啊. 朋友说那么便宜不会有酒精吧. 差点要去医院了. (人家香水若喷到我,我皮肤也会变红) 和蓝公子最大的区别就是他能把他的内疚和后悔表现出来。从我脸上是没人会有办法看出什么的. 我的负担都埋在心和脑海里. I do wish I had more rules written in stone, instead of weird ever-changing ones I had.

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

          No i haven’t, I haven’t really been to places around Chongqing tbh.

          Wait why are you responsible for your sister in law (?)’s school fees? OMG you are an overachiever, 看到学霸瑟瑟发抖,although I guess that’s understandable considering how you grew up. Damn your family is definitely complicated. I definitely would just minimise my contact with people who obviously have too much free time on their hand and aren’t in the same world as you. My dad does brag/compete over kids’ accomplishments somewhat, it’s kind of sad, although I know it’s super common amongst parents.

          The research about graduate students is pretty sound. I have friends who come from average backgrounds but their family worked super hard to send them oversea for good education for similar reason, since you go to a good school, you’ll be surrounded by people with similar backgrounds.

          I don’t get why being introverted = you dislike everyone??? that’s some mental leap. ????? why would teachers request kids to bring flowers, and criticise 10 year old for not living up to their standards. God, some adults shouldn’t exist. I thought you grew up in US, my bad. Mhmm, tangently related, this reminds me of My Huckleberry Friends’ book. The book follows Yu Zhouzhou from 6 to 18, and when she’s in primary school, she encounters some teachers with favouritism and whatnot, nothing as terrible as your experience though.

          Be proud and glad that you grew up fairly well adjusted and still know how to be kind to others and to yourself, considering your childhood. A lot of people spend a lifetime undoing childhood damage honestly. It’s indeed very difficult to deal with people and society since no one have set rules, don’t be too hard on yourself, you are doing far better than you realise.

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

          Do you have fav C vacation spots? I may visit Shandong, Hebei (~Dongbei). The huge Qing temples in Chengde were very nice once. But looks $$$ to keep and will not be worth it to visit if not well-maintained.

          ~ SF area, I also like Marine Headlands. Drove up once to Point Reyes. Super foggy and cold. It’d be very different if you could see the coast. Mendocino (~small town) is quaint-ish. Lake Tahoe is quite nice but not easy to get to. Usually combined w Yosemite.

          South from SF has some nice areas like Monterey Bay (with a nice aquarium, but not among world’s largest). That area also has free-roaming, cute sea otters. Sometimes you see them floating on their back, feasting on live sea urchins. Otters behave like ocean puppies. Near Monterey are Big Sur, Pacific Grove & Salinas. Salinas is a small cutesy town w some great restaurants. BS is peaceful in the winter. Can offer quite a sight; somehow it seems the ocean waves hit the shore “wall” at a perpendicular angle in the winter, resulting in unusual white foam explosion the moment the wave hits the shore. PG is famous for its ocean-view golf course and (seasonal migratory) monarch butterflies. Sometimes the area can have wildfires. So always need to check fire conditions from the last 1-2 years. Santa Cruz has nice “Roaring Camp Steam Train Ride”. Beautiful redwood trees. (Farther South:) Heart Castle is famous and looks nice, but the admission is $$$. May need advance reservation. While LA may appear like an intimidating city, there are some sights: Descanso Gardens (not a must see), Getty Museum, Huntington Library/Pasadena. Pepperdine Univ is not bad looking. South of LA has Corona Del Mar, Laguna Beach.

          For east coast areas I like Vermont (Woodstock, Grafton, .. Burlington was ok too. The area also has some nice furniture woodworking, ceramic & glass-work to look at). Hanover (New Hampshire). Boston’s life science industry has really exploded the past few years. Multiple pretty univ campuses. Many ppl also comment on how different it feels from the West coast. Cambridge oozes old charm and old money aura. lol. (Some day, I want to make time to see the famous glass flowers at Harvard.) Unlike the more recent pseudo-Mediterranean villas on the W coast. Lots of stuff to see in New England due to denser, older, more established population. I considered going to Arcadia Park, but my friend said it’s “skippable”. Farther south I like Wilmington. Some people like Savannah. Not great for ppl with pollen allergies.

          Definitely easier to do driving trips while younger. Don’t postpone too long. To me at least, life just gets busier as one gets older; & increasingly harder to focus while driving. My brain keeps wanting to switch off and use the unreliable “auto-pilot” mode instead. I have to turn back after missing my turning points.
          Flixbus is still kind of new & expanding its routes. The buses look very nice right now. I don’t think I’ve taken Greyhound buses.

          I haven’t been to Banff but many friends have. I get to Toronto a bit more. Quebec is nice ( > Ottawa). Prince Edward Island is nice. I ended up in some cities on school trips.
          My parents were very much into bragging, comparing kids. Comparing within our own household vs other households. Can get distressing. Academic achievements=dad’s fav. Mom’s ~everything else; so it’s worse for girls bc you get hit from all fronts, including a lot that only pertain to women. Then both will complain how men perform so much better, not mentioning that their task list for women is twice as long as men’s.

          Sexism is surprisingly common in many ways. Many execs point out women end up having to spend a lot more time on appearance, bringing food for potlucks (a whole bunch of stuff not related to career advancement), get criticized for being incompetent more. Thomas Page McBee changed gender to from female to male. People paid a lot more attention to h i m after the gender transition. I’ve read several accounts on how some customers were getting mad at some restaurants for opening later than scheduled. When a restaurant first opened after ~20 minute delay, whenever the muscular waiters served dishes, the customer kept holding in his temper. But when finally the small-built waitress started serving this customer’s table while the muscular waiters were in the kitchen, the customer exploded very fast.
          一般女生也对女生比较残忍。想把我吃掉的老师都是女的. 也没有几个男生在办公司被非礼的啊.

          I’m just a lot thinner-skinned than my Azn in-laws and many colleagues. My parents only say “Why can’t you be smarter” (“get the highest score or salary in x”). So I always had to problem-solve on my own to get things done. How to get higher X given my mountain of other “responsibilities”. Adults were unforgiving with me. My Azn in-laws are used to asking ppl to help or buy them this or that, do this or that. It took me decades to notice this. lol. Even when on vacationing, I plan routes etc. My J SIL: “ppl were always so nice when I got lost”. I try not to get lost in the first place. Many ppl may miss this, but “you reap what you saw” also applies to this sort of thing. You can learn a lot more if you do things on your own rather than asking someone else to do A-G for you. 挺多(华)人会稍微占人家便宜,觉得赚到了。其实可能还有点害到自己呢。我还是比较喜欢真心一点对人.至少我心不会觉得不舒服. 我只是不会像我朋友会照顾人。小时候不能跟别人玩。I’m light years behind in that area. 我大哥继承了家业。但大嫂觉得大嫂还是亏了,一直想从我这边补回去。所以碰到家人会有像碰到高利贷的感觉。一直被追。华人家庭比较头疼啊. 华人家庭主妇特爱喊我命是最苦的了。白养孩子了。其他民族比较没那么严重. 我大嫂也还是这类的. 想在北美养感恩节的火鸡似的. Very little progress on that in 10 centuries? There was lots of that in All Is Well too. / Yes, it was better for me to be away from home asap anyway.

          vox (actually a decent site)’s science and health section had an 2018 January article with ” /willpower-overrated-self-control-psychology ” on the title. Nothing groundbreaking but I find it interesting nevertheless. I had been doing a few things they mention there since childhood before reading this article. I avoid watching too much gaming stuff. Unsure how good I am at not getting hooked.

          So3K: Actually it was CaoPi who hunted and cooked rabbit for Empress. Emperor only made Empress’ bed. I got it wrong before.

          Another thing I have in common w Lan Wangji is in the 琴艺 .

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

          I haven’t been to places enough to really have a favourite vacation spots? Haven’t been to Shandong or Dongbei or Chengde now that I think about it. Thanks for all the travel destination suggestions!! <3 I did wanted do a roadtrip down Monterey Bay and Heart Castle, but alas no time, and I can't drive.

          ahhh sexism seeping through your everyday life. My dad also liked to blame my mum whenever I or my brother did something he didn't like (not necessarily something wrong but he sees it differently). Thankfully my mum were pretty fair and open minded, neither of them expects much from me. Those research you mentioned are surprising but also depressingly not, honestly. Internalised misognysm is definitely pervasive too.

          OMG I can't handle relatives or acquaintances asking you to get stuff for them. Because they are usually very picky/complain even when you go through lot of trouble for them. I also prefer being more independent, I guess that's just how I grew up? I'm not opposed to asking help, it's just more my instinct to look it up/find out myself when I encounter a problem.



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

          SF, Boston are a couple of cities where you could use the subway to get around some. SF has ok network of buses. Actually I heard buses w Canto announcement there before. Most large cities have safer vs less safe areas though. I get bothered less while walking with at least 1 other person. Generally you don’t want to be out too late at night. 反正我也不能喝酒所以也没去酒吧 Some ppl really love NY city for museums but I find it stressful. SF may be increasingly getting less friendly w the skyrocketing rent, compared to SF from earlier years. More smokers in the city too; unsure if it’s stress related.

          Sorry I have a lot of typos. My editor likes to use 想 vs 像 in all the wrong places. Sometimes it’s me, writing 不如 for 不然. Not to mention the Eng ones.

          I wasn’t explicit before, but driving trips ~the New Eng area is likely the best bang for your buck. Denser towns. Also, fyi, I haven’t visited myself, but you can browse Newport, Rhode Island for mansions ala Hearst Castle. Different scale, but ….
          I went to some random towns not too far from Newport, like Litchfield in Connecticut. There are too many to recall. My EU friends complained a lot in the past about how boring North Amer countryside is to them. Sometimes it’s just plain flat land for hours of driving.
          日本本来小规矩就非常的多。 新闻说很多 日本住的外国人回收垃圾都弄得一团糟,还了房东北伐一大笔款. 在日本有喜事时,各种喜事有各种包红包的方法。好像是不能乱包的。好像有整本书来讲这话题啊。有些男生都会跟女生说,你怎么没有像日小姑娘那么可爱啊?然后我有一位台灣學姐就去买了一本日姑娘手册。也是一大本。每一个生活小细节都有一大本的手册。 新闻也开始说现在广州区有点开始”流行了“整容?
          the kevinmd blog I mentioned pointed out how there had always been a certain amount of anti-intellectualism here. Related to that is also how in recent years, fake news are (a lot) more popular than real news. Even when certain opinions or fake news don’t make sense. (The docs are frustrated by the anti-vaccination movements). It’s hard for a lot of people to think independently. Hard to tell what is right or wrong. So many ppl just do things that are commonly done. A lot of people decide and take actions based on gut-feeling and that doesn’t always work out. Like the anti-vax. They say there’s freedom of speech. But you can get into so much trouble for stating an unpopular opinion. I think this can be true regardless of where you are.
          The staunch supporters of classic Confucianism can also get very vocal, although often it’s hard to make ancient values work in many modern contexts. And in some situations, it can get abused and turn into a form that’s far from its original content. But there will still be eager supporters who will say it’s always right no matter what.
          People are a lot more eager and quicker to state an opinion than to really sit down, digest, understand what’s going on and make an informed decision. I’m afraid that is a fact of life.
          Hence you see a lot of ppl make quick decisions based on outer appearance & beauty. Beauties, fashion can be transient trends. It’ll be interesting to see how long our lifetime’s beauty standards stay in vogue. Deriving pleasure from beauty is indeed a life enjoyment but it’s also not everything. Some ppl rely a lot on beauty in their youth. As beauty starts slipping, they can get insecure and turn mean. Surely you get a bit of sense of that sometimes, no? My friend’s SIL says 若我老公跟我离的话,我就跟他一起同归一尽.
          btw, despite how many women use cosmetics, recent biz news says most luxury products & cosmetic firms’ ceos are men. Estee Lauder, LVMH aka Louis Vuitton .. Men are well-positioned and better groomed to succeed. Also strategize better and end up more in the production side when it comes to consumer goods production. Women end up on the consumer side and not earning well enough. Generally speaking.
          While it sounds harsh, but the Wu Xiubo’s Divorce Lawyer line that said “Women … can be …seen as depreciating asset … while men’s assets and salaries increase with age” rings some truth.
          Women don’t like the sound of it, but at the end of the day, it’s the gender that earns the higher salary will have more power.
          I see that as partly related to how in modern world, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The society doesn’t help the weak or poor with the societal pressure that’s applied to the general public. Women are already at a disadvantage at the start. In the family or career setting. Then the society adds further burden by demanding beauty standards that are only applicable to women. You don’t see men wearing heels etc. A lot of people participate in this situation and not seeing the effects? Men already make more in salary, have better career advancement opportunity, and don’t have to spend extra time and $ on heels etc.
          On the other hand though, I was a bit surprised to see a young Asian guy wearing makeup last month. Apparent lip color or gloss. I didn’t stare.

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

        Just noticed that the “held up in spam” reply is still not showing up. So just summarizing a few things here. Here’s the short version:

        For non-driving destinations: SF, Boston both have subway system. SF bus system is ok. (I never took the bus in Boston. Streets in many areas of Boston & Cambridge are not in grid pattern. Always pay caution to your surroundings. Some areas are safer than others)

        Best option for driving trip is probably the New England area due to higher density of towns.

        If you’re interested in castle-like destinations in the US, you may want to check out Newport, Rhode Island. I haven’t been to Newport myself. But there’s a cluster of mansions there.

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

          Hey An, I tried looking through the 19 spam comments (full of porn-related stuff, lol) but didn’t see any comments left by a human being. Brand names are fine, there’s no restrictions there. Restrictions are usually more than two links/urls (usually porn websites….) and some provoking vocabs.

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

          Wow, Kappy. You are so attentive. I would have easily missed things like these. Sorry that you have to look through all the racy posts. We may just have had an electronic glitch. I happened to mention 2 luxury brands before, so I thought that may have gotten it spammed.

          I used the luxury and cosmetic brands as illustrations for how men tend to strategize better than women. Men end up in the money-making and production side of consumerism. Even in beauty products, the ceos are dominated by males. Male ceos get only higher wages as they get older. While women commonly end up on the consumption side. Other than a few AB’s, few of these women don’t produce huge amount of income from consuming products. These more feminine-dominant lines of work like cosmetic social influencers are also much shorter-lived than those enjoyed by older male executives. Being easily or overly attracted to glitter, glamour, outer beauty can turn into a pitfall, and hurt women more than men. Women already earn less than men across the board in every country they studied gender wage gap. A lot of people overlook this. And a lot of people like to criticize how improper, sub-par or plain other women look. The general public can get can kind strange and pushy sometimes. Too many actions based on gut feeling that at times can be far off from ideal.

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

          Chiming in here to say that as Bostonian, it’s true that we don’t have a grid pattern and it’s highly advisable for any visitors to take public transit (we call it the T) and/or walk. Parking is a pain and extremely expensive.

          Newport is worth visiting for the mansions. They are all close in proximity so it’s a great day trip from Boston. During the holidays, the mansions are usually well decorated and they host parties that are open to the public.

  13. 88 thoughts on “Drama-Binging: What Are You Watching? (23)

    I’m currently hooked on The Longest Day in Chang An and of course, Novoland Eagle Flag. Super, super excited for both silently making it to our screens — and boy, they don’t disappoint at all. At the moment Chang An is more exciting for me — everything is well done, from the script, the acting, the editing, cinematography and the attention to details. Like many others, I had anticipated this and been worried because it’s helmed by Cao Dun. But having watched 18 subbed episodes so far I’m relieved that the issues plaguing Tribes & Empires are non-existent in Chang An. I must say I’m quite impressed with Jackson Yi. I read comments about his acting greenness, but honestly I think he does pretty well. It helps that he has a mature appearance (I’ve always thought he looks the oldest out of all TF Boys), although his character is a child prodigy. All the characters, from the main to the supporting, are layered. The show deserves very much its 8.6 douban rating.

    I haven’t gone too far on Novoland, only up to ep 4. I’m loving it, although it’s not yet as addictive as Chang An for me. The cinematography is great, story is intriguing and captivating — and surprisingly pretty easy to follow considering I never read the source novel. There are some notes, but they don’t ruin the whole drama (SPOILER: such as how it feels like Asule/Lv Guichen easily bonds with his biological father, wants to contribute something to Qingyang tribe while the tribe annihilated & enslaved the Zhengyang people, those who raised him; also Yu Ran gets her hair down & everyone is shocked that it’s not a male — very Cdrama cliche!). I like the characters, they’re not yet a standout like in Chang An, but the potentials are there. Yu Ran is annoying me at this point, but I’m looking forward to her character growth. Favorite character now: Ji Ye — and I love that they gave Chen Ruoxuan proper tanning!

What do you think?