An ancient prince tour the Republican Era in fantasy Prodigy Healer


When Republican-era doctor Mu Xingchen (Zhao Lusi) stumbles upon a mysterious land that hasn’t caught up with modern times, she befriends prince Ye Yunshang (Li Hongyi). Seeking to escape the court politics wrecking his family, he returns with her to Republican Era China (yikes, he might as well have stayed where he was). So begins a journey of the only prince in Republican Era China in fantasy rom-com Prodigy Healer 青囊传.

The series is directed by Hu Xuxi (New Detective Squad) and written by a team of scriptwriters. It’s set to be released late this month.

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Choose-your-own-adventure in interactive drama The Invisible Guardian

Can you survive as a spy in the Republican Era?  Find out in The Invisible Guardian.

China’s most expensive choose-your-own-adventure yet, interactive drama The Invisible Guardian 隐形守护者 is the latest espionage drama hit.  With about ten hours of gameplay, complex characters, and multiple brilliant endings, the game allows the user to take on the identity of Xiao Tu, a student who has decided to go undercover in Shanghai during the Republican era. There, you must navigate a world where everyone is out for themselves, all the while making difficult decisions that often have no right answers.

The interactive drama doesn’t gloss over the complexity of human nature and the harshness of reality. There are bad and good people in each party – the Japanese, the puppet government, the gangs, the nationalists, and the communists can be all be good, bad, both, or neither in this game. Can you maintain your original dreams when everyone around you seems to have betrayed them and you?  Even if you’ve kept your dreams, are the sacrifices along the way worth it? Will you still be you? 

The series allows you to experience over a hundred endings in five main plotlines, including some that seem cruel but logical to you, but also some that are “losses” but might make your life so much happier.  Sometimes even when you lose you might be winning.

Liu Xijun sings the theme for the Red Blossom plotline of the drama game, which is part stills and part video:

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Friday Photos

Yu Menglong, Chen Yuqi in Happiness Over Two Lifetimes.

This week it’s mostly posters for yet another one of many Chinese homophone holidays celebrating love. Posters, stills, photoshoots, and random photos that caught my eye this week.

Luo Yunxi in Princess Silver

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Zhang Tian’ai, Cao Xiwen, Wu Yue join the cast of Held in the Lonely Castle

Zhang Tian’ai joins the cast as one of the concubines of the Emperor Renzong of Song

Song dynasty drama Held in the Lonely Castle 孤城闭 announced its latest round of cast members, including Zhang Tian’ai, Cao Xiwen, Wu Yue, Xu Lingyue, Zhang Benshuo, Wen Yanbo, and Ding Jiawen.

Directed by Zhang Kaizhou (The Story of Minglan) , the historical drama is about the Emperor Renzong of Song’s struggle to balance the factions both within and outside his palace while trying to push through new reforms. The series stars Wang Kai, Jiang Shuying, Ren Min, and Bian Cheng.

Ding Jiawen plays the princess’ first love.

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The Prince of Tennis is getting another adaptation

Despite being filmed a decade apart, the two adaptations’ leading actors  (Qin Junjie and Peng Yuchang) are only three years apart in actual age.

From the bro-duo directors Zhao Xiaoxi and Zhao Xiao’ou of Let’s Shake It  comes the latest adaptation of manga The Prince of Tennis 网球少年. I’m guessing the script must be solid since the cast is quite impressive for an online drama, featuring   Peng Yuchang (Our Shining Days), former fencer Dong Li, Song Yiren (Ever Night), Zhang Yijie (Untouchable Lovers), Xie Binbin (Love Through the Millennium), Liu Yongxi (Our Shining Days), and Zhu Zhiling (My Classmate from Far, Far Away ).  Famed tennis player Li Na will also guest star. The series has already finished filming and hopefully will be online sometime this year.

I can’t think of  any competitive sports-themed drama lately out of China, so I’m really hoping that there is at least one good one among the many, many sports-themed dramas coming soon.  This is probably the best bet given the directors.

Trailer below:



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Movie news round-up

Let’s face it, all we really want is a Wu Jing vs Jackie Chan fight.

  • Ma Li will star in buddy comedy written by Karen McCullah (Legally Blond, Ella Enchanted, She’s the Man) . Eva Jin (Sophie’s Revenge) will direct.  (Deadline)
  • The story centers on an unlikely pair of alpha females — Zoe, an American tech entrepreneur who relocates her company to China, and Maylin (Ma), a local female bodyguard who is hired to protect her. When Zoe’s life is threatened, the odd couple must put aside differences and join forces in order to survive.

  • Gong Li signed on to star as volleyball legend Lang Ping in upcoming film. (SCMP)
  • Hu Ge signed on to play coach and husband Jiang Shan in upcoming Li Na epic by Peter Chan. Poster below the cut. (Sina)
  • Avengers and I, Tonya star Sebastian Stan will star in 355, the spy-thriller starring Fan Bingbing, Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o and Penélope Cruz.  Marion Cortillard has dropped out due to personal reasons.  Filming is expected to begin in July (The Hollywood Reporter)

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Legend of the Phoenix releases new trailer, set to premiere on May 28th


Legend of the Phoenix 凤弈 released new trailers and stills today as it gets ready for its premiere on May 28th. The series, starring He Hongshan and Xu Zhengxi, tells of a romance between an acrobat caught in palace intrigues and love triangles. 

Plot,  stills, and previous trailer.

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