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. 32 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!

    • 32 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.

    • 32 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

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

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

      • 32 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.

      • 32 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)..

        • 32 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.

        • 32 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:
          https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4566758/fullcredits/?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

          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.

        • 32 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.

      • 32 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.

    • 32 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. 32 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. 32 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. 32 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. 32 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.

    • 32 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.

      • 32 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.

      • 32 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.

        • 32 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?

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

          @an

          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.

  6. 32 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.

    • 32 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).

      • 32 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. 32 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. 32 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.
    https://m.weibo.cn/5372858389/4391393126580414

    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.

    • 32 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. 32 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. 32 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. 32 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.

    • 32 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.

      • 32 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.

        • 32 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

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