Weibo Wednesday: April 17-24

Celebrities flocked to Weibo this week in order to call followers’ attention to the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Ya’an on April 20th. Whether it was sharing ways to help, urging fans to donate their money or time, or simply posting words of comfort, a bunch of stars made noteworthy Weibo posts. We unfortunately can’t reproduce all of them, but hopefully we’ve gotten some of the more memorable ones.

Please keep the people of Ya’an in your thoughts!

何炅: 刚刚看到的图,和大家分享,我们为美丽的四川加油!

Not sure who first came up with the idea for this photo, but He Jiong posted it on his Weibo, along with a message of support:

I just saw this picture, and want to share it with everyone. Let’s jiayou for the beautiful Sichuan!


Liu Shishi Shows Off Pixie Cut for “Bu Bu Jing Qing”

After seeing the character posters and trailer for Tangren’s Bu Bu Jing Qing (步步惊情), the upcoming modern-era sequel to time-traveling drama Bu Bu Jing Xin, a lot of people’s first reactions were “What on earth happened to Liu Shishi!?” Because leading lady Liu Shishi, who had previously won over viewers with her lively and youthful depiction of Maertai Ruoxi, looked so ridiculously drab with her pale coloring and matronly hairstyle.

Fortunately, the media was recently allowed to visit the set and shared some photos of Liu Shishi sporting a sharp and cute pixie cut, a welcome change from the lifeless hairstyle she had before. Since Liu Shishi will be playing twin sisters in Bu Bu Jing Qing, I’m guessing this is how the two characters will be differentiated. I’ve never imagined Shishi having short hair, but I think she looks good! At least she no longer looks the same age as male lead Nicky Wu (who is 17 years her senior, but looks young for his age).

Check out some more photos of Shishi, Nicky, Jiang Jinfu, Damian Lau, and Sun Yizhou.


Most Popular Cdramas Online from 2009 Onward

When judging the popularity of television dramas, the go-to statistic has always been the drama’s ratings (收视率). Also known as audience measurement or television viewership, a drama’s ratings show how many people tuned in — the higher the number, the more people turned on their TVs to catch the latest episode.

With the rapid development of new media, however, ratings can no longer illustrate the entire picture when it comes to drama popularity. More and more, people are turning to online streaming or downloading in order to get their drama fix, which means a shift in criteria may be necessary.

Recently, Sina published a list of findings from Vlinkage, a Shanghai-based consulting company that monitors data regarding videos and new media in China. Founded in 2012, Vlinkage has amassed what they call China’s most complete information database on actors, movies, and TV dramas, which they then use to evaluate the entertainment market.

In their article, Vlinkage lists 48 dramas that have received more than 1 billion views online. To put this in perspective, that’s how many views Psy‘s “Gangnam Style” MV reached on YouTube five months after it was uploaded. That’s one video. This is 48 dramas, and the one topping the list has almost 7 billion views.


Weibo Wednesday: April 3-10

Welcome to Weibo Wednesday! With this new feature, we’re hoping to expose readers to some of the cuteness, funniness, and downright weirdness that sometimes pops up on Sina Weibo. Even if you don’t have a Weibo or don’t understand Chinese, you can still follow along. And if you have your own favorite Weibo posts from this past week, feel free to share them in the comments!

This week:

于波: 二郎有情!三郎有意!今朝有酒今朝醉,今朝没酒喝"白开水",有时候有时候,宁愿选择不放手,等到风景都看透,也许你会陪我看细水长流。晚一天的愚人节快乐!于波敬上。

Period war movie Saving General Yang (忠烈杨家将) opened in theaters this past Thursday to much general excitement, due to all the hot guys in it. All of the Yang family sons got along very well on set, but Vic Chou (third son) and Yu Bo (second son) get bonus points for fanservice.

Erlang [second son] and Sanlang [third son] are good friends!* If there is wine right now, then right now is when we’ll get drunk. If there is no wine right now, then we’ll drink plain water. Sometimes, sometimes, I would rather choose not to let go, and wait until I see beyond the scenery. Maybe you will keep me company as I go about this little by little. A belated Happy April Fool’s Day! Sincerely, Yu Bo.

* Can also be interpreted to mean they’re interested in each other.


Tang Yan Opens Fire in Upcoming Action Drama “Agent X”

Tang Yan reminding you to count the number of shots fired in the trailer (aka once every other scene).

After a tragic romance in A Beauty in Troubled Times (乱世佳人), Tang Yan and Luo Jin team up again, this time as secret service agents in the upcoming action drama Agent X (X女特工). The drama will begin airing on March 26th.

The drama is centered around three female characters — Zhong Li (Tang Yan), Tan Ruiling (Lv Yi from Fairy in Wonderland), and Luo Yifei (Wang Di) — who are chosen to become special agents. During their training, the three become close friends and develop into cool-headed, experienced, and tenacious secret service agents. Luo Jin plays military instructor He Junfeng, a stern man who can be at times domineering and at times profound.

Check out the two trailers below, although the first one doesn’t reveal much of the plot and is mostly just action. The second shows more talking scenes, but they seem a bit haphazardly thrown together. I can’t imagine the plot being too terrible, though, since the script was polished over the course of two years. On the action side, Luo Jin and Tang Yan reportedly did the majority of their stunts themselves in order to make their scenes more realistic.

Trailers for “Agent X” below, thanks to cfs82 and lalalaiTzME @YouTube:

Second trailer and a few more stills behind the cut:


“Saving General Yang” Releases Posters, Stills, and New Trailer

The real reason everyone wants to see this movie. (But how come we don’t get to see any of the other brothers like this?)

After releasing an international trailer last year, upcoming war movie Saving General Yang (忠烈杨家将) recently released a grittier new trailer, along with promotional posters and stills. The film, which is based on the legend of the Yang family, in which the seven sons brave death to rescue their father, will air on April 4th, which I find depressingly appropriate.

As expected, the trailer is full of fighting and killing and yelling and horses. On average, the crew had to use about 500 horses each day when they were filming. Check out the trailer below, as well as more stills behind the cut:

Trailer for Saving General Yang, thanks to luozhelin @YouTube:


Preview and Stills from Qi Wei’s Upcoming Drama “Love Destiny”

First rule of thumb in idol dramas: if you’re the well-to-do daughter of a well-to-do businessman, it’s probably too good to be true. Especially if you’re Qi Wei.

In Love Destiny (爱情自有天意), Qi Wei stars as Cheng Xi, the daughter of the president of Landscape Corporation. In reality, though, her last name is Tang and her real father is the owner of a small restaurant. Due to an accident more than twenty years ago, she got mixed up with Tang Zheng (Malaysian actor Melvin Sia), although I’m not really sure how…? Anyway, this, of course, leads to all sorts of trouble when twenty years later, the now grown-up children meet and fall in love.

I wish I could provide a more informative synopsis, but the trailer is pretty much just people dramatically yelling at each other, while dramatic music plays in the background, so it’s not of much help there. Love Destiny is set to begin airing on February 11th, and it’s helmed by Taiwanese director Chen Hui-ling (Autumn’s Concerto, Material Queen), so at the very least, we’ll be getting a lot of prettiness. Check behind the cut for the recently released preview and for a lot of stills.

Jacky Xue Releases New MV and Mini-Movie

“My love for you has nothing to do with you.”

This doesn’t seem to make any sense, at least not until you watch Jacky Xue‘s new MV and mini-movie. In his first single after signing with a new company, Jacky writes about a love that doesn’t ask for reciprocation. The related mini-movie, titled Right Beside You (最熟悉的陌生人, literally “The Most Familiar Stranger”), tells of a man named Yang Xi, who falls in love with a girl with face blindness. When her boyfriend leaves her and she gets sent to the hospital, Yang Xi decides to pretend to be her boyfriend and protect her until her illness can be cured. Although she must depend on a photograph to remember his face, he nevertheless remains devoted to her.

In order to ensure that his song aligned with the mini-movie’s plot, Jacky secluded himself for half a month to find inspiration. At one point, he refused to board the plane to Beijing, where filming for the mini-movie would take place, because he hadn’t yet found the melody that would generate the most feeling. After all, “if this song can’t emotionally move me, how can it touch viewers and listeners?” Although he had to start over many times, he hopes that everyone will approve of and like the result.

The MV for “Within Your Circumference” (方圆几里), composed and written by Jacky, and English-subbed at Cfensi’s subbing channel.

Watch the mini-movie with decent English subs at PPS.TV.


“Forever Love” Soars in Popularity On 2013-1-4

If a “good friend” invites you to the theater to watch the recently released Forever Love, don’t be surprised if it’s followed up with a proposal — or several. The movie, also known as 201314, gets its name from the corresponding date, i.e. 2013 January 4. In Chinese, the numerals (er ling yi san yi si) sound similar to “love you for life” (ai ni yi sheng yi shi), causing January 4, 2013 to become a prime date for proposals, weddings, and general proclamations of love.

The plot of Forever Love revolves around three couples and a series of stories that occurs between Singles Day (11/11) and “Love You For Life” Day. Fresh out of a break-up, Wen Xin (Gina Jin) meets Wen Xiaogu (Guo Xiaoran) at a nightclub, and the two get into an interesting relationship after a wine spill incident. We also follow two of Wen Xin’s close female friends and their love entanglements. The cast is mostly made up of unknown or newbie actors, but 8090 fans will want to check this one out for hottie Jiang Chao.

Behind the cut: the movie’s theme song, sung by He Jie, as well as some simple but pretty stills.