I wasn’t planning on posting on any dramas, but a new “photoshoot” of 33-year old actor Jing Dong was released and it’s not amazing, but it’s probably the first time he’s had one since he graduated Central Academy of Drama a decade ago. So to celebrate, how about a look at an obscure actor and an obscure drama? I need at least one representative of the many series, popular or not in China, that don’t get posted on outside of China and which I have no time to try to begin covering.
While Jing Dong’s acted extensively on stage, and doing bit parts in series, he’s never hit it big despite having leading man looks, and a rich deep voice. But recently he’s finally gotten lead roles, such as CCTV’s recent Te Shu Zheng Duo, but it’ll probably take a while before he actually achieves any fame.
Photoshoot pics – there’s not a lot. I was serious when I said this is probably the first photoshoot he’s done since getting his headshots out of acting school, so the fact that these picture exist is already is amazing for him.
Te Shu Zheng Duo, is another addition to the espionage/political intrigue craze that hit China circa 2006 after drama An Suan became a nationwide hit. Although no other espionage series ever quite reached that level of household popularity afterward, there was enough hits in the genre to keep it going, not to mention how it’s found renewed vigor with the medium of film, with the blockbuster The Message , whose source work has the same author as An Suan. Yes, prepare for more films of this genre in the future. There will probably have to be a few monetary losses before it dies down, although Qiu Xi, released just after The Message, failed, so hopefully sooner than later (considering this genre bores me).
However, Te Shu Zheng Duo doesn’t seem to have fallen anywhere close to the hit category, and certainly won’t propel Jing Dong to stardom. This is a bit sophmoric to analyze its popularity with baidu stats, but the Chinese television industry is so massive and complicated, and hard to find stats for that so I will anyway. At baidu, the rating for Te Shu Zheng Duo was 6.6, with only 98 votes. For comparison, Li Guangjie had to act in several popular dramas, all rated around 9 and above, with around 2000 votes at baidu, such as Sha Hu Kou (2008)and The Lancet (2007). And Li Guangjie is only slowly starting to be well-known. It’s a long road for the actors. But at least Jing Dong is getting some lead roles. Maybe he’ll achieve fame at age 40…I’ll wait.
HQ Stills. Click for Much Bigger. Some are quite lovely in hi-res, even if they do remind one of the last scene of Sound of Music (the story is how Jing Dong’s character led a group of students to Yan An).
Less HQ Stills
The good news (well, for me…as probably the only Jing Dong fan outside China) is that Jing Dong has been cast in some other series like the one shown in the still below (Feng Yu Shanghai Tan). With the way Chinese television is set up, with so so many stations, it’s a bit hard to gauge if these upcoming ones will have any impact. But even if they go under the radar, they seem to be well-produced series, unlike some that were never meant to try for nationwide popularity, and targeted very specific audiences (since the Chinese tv market is so big that they can do this and still turn a profit). Lots of C-list actors can end up acting in those for a lifetime…hopefully Jing Dong won’t be one of them.