From classics like Daming Palace/Palace of Desire and Chinese Paladin to recent films like The Legend of Demon Cat and Cry Me a Sad River, Tencent’s new acting competition Attention, Actors 演员倾就位 combines the best of I am an actor and Phantastic by capturing the actors for a TV performance rather than on stage while still maintaining an one-take rule. Featuring directors Chen Kaige, Li Shaohong, Vicki Zhao Wei, and Guo Jingming, the resulting segments are on average far more watchable than the other two.
Plus, they have some great stills and posters that are better than many dramas and film posters that are wallpaper-worthy. You can watch episode two English subbed here. Zhang Yunlong and Chen Xiaoyun act out Romance in the Rain:
More posters, not in the order of recommendations.
The best part of this show is seeing how the actors improve after Chen Kaige gets involved – my favourite so far is definitely Niu Junfeng and Lang Yueting’s Ocean Heaven, followed by Zhao Wenhao in The Mortal World.
I probably have rose-coloured glasses on, but I do think Peng Xiaoran has improved since Eastern Palace (even though she hasn’t been in any projects since?) + her line reading is great. Although I completely understand why Guo Jingming chose Huang Junjie – take off the wig and ancient garb, and he could totally walk onto the set of Tiny Times.
Everything about the Chinese Paladin performance is so bad it’s funny.
I only watched a few episodes of Eastern Palace, but I think her performance is one of the best ones so far, and her line-reading especially exceeded my expectations.
In fact I would go so far as to say she and Ren Min are the only young actresses so far who nailed their performances, but Ren Min had months of guidance to get into her character.