Youth With You 2: Lu Keran appreciation post

Remember the attractive pink-haired leader from the androgynous group Acrush three years ago? She got even more attractive. This is an appreciation for Lu Keran, leader and lead dancer of Fanxy Red (the revamped version of Acrush) and the embodiment of the undefined and unlimited X factor of girl group survival show Youth With You 2.

Lu Keran exudes a sensuality that can be defined as neither masculine nor feminine, but uniquely hers. She is confident but sensitive, childish but mature beyond her age, traditional but a rule-breaker, sweet but aloft. In every performance she’s in, she is able to mend her style to fit the song without ever losing her uniqueness. The only thing that defines her is perhaps her intro to the song No Company, “if you try to define me, you’ll find no company.”

I know iQiyi videos doesn’t let you watch it embedded but this is really my favorite performance of hers yet and probably my favorite performance of the season so far: 

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First teaser for Luo Yunxi, Chen Yuqi’s And the Winner is Love

Upcoming wuxia romance drama And The Winner Is Love has given us a first look at leads Luo Yunxi and Chen Yuqi in action, and the fight scenes actually look pretty good.

The 48 episode drama is scheduled for release on all major streaming sites next week.

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Zhou Xun by Guo Puyuan

If this were a movie poster, I would go see the movie.

Wow, wow, wow. The last photoshoot this stunning was the Zhong Chuxi photoshoot, also by photographer Guo Puyuan. I feel like we use playing with light and shadows to describe photoshoots a lot, but this one of Zhou Xun is something special. The lights are dazzling and so is Zhou Xun, and the whole photoshoot feels like it’s for a sci-fi psychological thriller. I’m going to have to go back and look up all of his work.

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520 Promos Rounds-Up

Love is Sweet – Bai Lu X Luo Yunxi

Today is yet another day of celebrating romance in China, so here’s a round-up all the posters of cute people staring cutely at each other.

Also, another MV for Love and Redemption, which still has no release date despite having several MV’s already.

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Review: Serenade of Peaceful Joy

Serenade of Peaceful Joy is an uneven mix of brilliance, dullness, and utter confusion that leaves me both hating and loving it at the same time.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many TV series about Emperors who excelled in war and conquest but so few about those in times of peace? It’s easy to feel the burst of adrenaline in conquest and the suffering caused by war, but how do you get the audience to feel peace or economic prosperity? There’s no moment to declare “victory” in peace nor “winning” in the economy (unless you have a five-year plan).

This is perhaps why the ruler of one of the most economically and culturally prosperous reigns in Chinese history- – the Emperor Renzong of Song – has never been depicted as a main character before. Director Zhang Kaizhou and scriptwriter Zhu Zhu tackle this difficult subject with varying success in Serenade of Peaceful Joy (formerly Held in the Closed Castle).

The series has two main focuses – there’s the palace drama with plenty of creative liberties, and then the court drama that feels like a dramatized documentary. The family of the narrator for the original story, the eunuch Huaiji, connects the two to the outside world to occasionally show how small choices in the palace can have huge ripple effects in the real world.

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