Zhang Jiuling, Wang Jiulong bring modern humor to traditional comedy

While they look like they could be the latest boyband duo, Zhang Jiuling and Wang Jiulong are a crosstalk duo known for their poetry, high output of original works, and synchronized kuaiban.

First you slander, then you apologize.  Then, stand on high moral ground and evaluate everything, and you’ll get famous. I even wrote the press release.
“I, Wang Jiulong, has attacked plenty of celebrities and now my life is in danger, but my partner deserves none of the blame. …
Sure I’m just a comedian, but if I weren’t trying to promote our culture, increase national pride, and reduce the influx of foreign influences, I wouldn’t have been going around slandering people. On first sight, my crosstalk works are spreading joy and love, but on the grand scale of things, they’re letting the world know what is Made in China.”

-Zhang Jiuling teaching Wang Jiulong how to be famous in their satire

Meet the latest and hippest duo in town as they debuted on TV this summer.  While other xiangsheng/crosstalk artists like Zhang Yunlei specialize in traditional arts,  25-year-old Zhang Jiuling and 24-year-old Wang Jiulong are on top of the latest trends. In addition to releasing their own rap song with The Rap of China’s Hui Zi, their newest original piece is a brilliant satire of ways to get famous in the entertainment world with digs at artists who beef for fame and those who use “made in China” as an excuse for poor quality. If you follow Chinese entertainment, it’s hilarious and full of memorable lines such as  “How will people get to know your comedy if you don’t have a tragic backstory?”

Here are some random facts about them:

  • The two are great at synchronized kuaiban, but have also tried rapping with beatbox. Watch a segment of their kuaiban below and one of their best skits with kuaiban with Chinese subtitles here. More  Chinese subtitled programs here, though my favorite program of theirs is definitely their unsubtitled entertainment industry skit here.
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First stills for Wang Kai, Wang Ou’s economic crime drama Hunting

Hunting 猎狐 has unveiled an impressive supporting cast with the release of new stills. Deng Jiajia (Burning Ice) costars as Xia Yuan’s (Wang Kai) childhood sweetheart while Fu Jing (Undercover) plays Hu Jun’s sister. [Extended Synopsis]

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Daylight Entertainment web drama Yu Huanshui casts Guo Jingfei, Miao Miao as leads

Guo Jingfei (All Is Well) plays the titular lead in I Am Yu Huanshui 我是余欢水, a timid and cowardly working class divorcee who finally decides to live for himself after doctors tell him he has contracted a terminal illness.

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Review: Flowers as Matchmakers is a masterpiece filled with timeless charm

What happens when two brides show up for a wedding with the same guy? They fall in love with each other, of course!

Known for its accessibility, humor, and charm, Flowers as Matchmakers 花为媒 is often considered the best film adapted from Chinese operas. It ranks in the top 20 of all mainland films on audience review site Douban, and it’s apparent from start why the film is so highly praised.

  The script by Cheng Zhaocai and Wu Zuguang packs the story with humor, catchy lines, and updated values to make the story fit for a modern audience.  The brilliant performances by its stars, most notably its prima donna  Xin Fengxia and comedic actress Zhao Lirong, fills the film with joy. Ping opera pronunciation is almost identical to standard Mandarin, so it’s a lot easier to enjoy than other opera types for most Mandarin speakers. And you’re going to want to sing-along because the songs are very, very catchy.  

When the charming Zhang Wuke (Xin Fengxia) is rejected in marriage by the wealthy Wang Junqing, she goes to meet him to change his mind. However,  Wang Junqing’s heart is already promised to Li Yu’e (Li Yilan).  To save the potential match, his cousin Jia Junying goes in his place to meet Zhang Wuke.  Tricked into thinking Jia Junying is Wang Junqing, Zhang Wuke agrees to marry him.

Meanwhile, Li Yu’e takes things into her own hands and shows up as Zhang Wuke for the wedding.  When the two women meet at the wedding, they are immediately stricken by each other’s beauty and grace and team up to find out what’s up.

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Ne Zha to get US, Canada , Australia, New Zealand release

Currently the highest performing animated film and fourth film overall at the Chinese box office, Ne Zha will be distributed abroad. The film comes out in Australia on the 23rd and in New Zealand on the 29th. It’ll be distributed in the US and Canada by Well Go USA (The Shadow) in select 3D Imax theaters across North America on Aug. 29, followed by a nationwide expansion on Sept. 6.

Huang Bo, Zhou Xun star in Cao Baoping’s new film

Crossing the Sea of Anger 涉过愤怒的海 is the third film in director Cao Baoping’s Burning Hearts 灼心 series, and stars Huang Bo (Crazy Alien) as a fisherman who finds out his daughter was murdered while studying in Japan. Meanwhile Li Miaomiao, the victim’s boyfriend and biggest suspect, has avoided persecution by returning to China with the help of his parents.

In Laohuang’s original novel, the protagonist is a man determined to avenge his daughter, though the film will focus more on family, reconciliation and redemption. Zhou Xun (Last Letter) and Zu Feng (The Mask) costar.

Xu Weizhou, Tan Songyun wrap up filming Dear Mayang Street

Set in 1980s Guangzhou, Dear Mayang Street 亲爱的麻洋街 spans over thirty years, and is a recount ofd the stories of six families that lived on Mayang Street. Xu Weizhou plays a successful police academy student who later drops out and becomes a gangster, Tan Songyun plays the perfect daughter who is loved by everyone, while Niu Junfeng rounds out the love triangle as the sweet and responsible second male lead.

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