Rumor: Jiang Wen to star in English-language Netflix series Midnight in Peking

Edit: Netflix has said this is false. Not sure if it’s The Paper or Paul French who made the error.

Paul French, the author of novel Midnight in Peking, has revealed in an interview to The Paper that actor-director Jiang Wen has been spending three hours per day practicing English for an upcoming Netflix series based on the book.   Jiang Wen,  known to the English-speaking audience as Baze Malbus in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, will likely play the Chinese detective of the leading pair of a detective duo.

Summary from Amazon:

Chronicling an incredible unsolved murder, Midnight in Peking captures the aftermath of the brutal killing of a British schoolgirl in January 1937. The mutilated body of Pamela Werner was found at the base of the Fox Tower, which, according to local superstition, is home to the maliciously seductive fox spirits. As British detective Dennis and Chinese detective Han investigate, the mystery only deepens and, in a city on the verge of invasion, rumor and superstition run rampant. Based on seven years of research by historian and China expert Paul French, this true-crime thriller presents readers with a rare and unique portrait of the last days of colonial Peking.

Wan Qian, Liu Mintao, Qin Hailu, Li Qin appear as guests on The Sound Season 2

A round of applause for The Sound Season 2, guys. The variety show has invited four of my favourite actresses – Wan Qian (Tribes and Empires, Lost in 1949), Liu Mintao (The Disguiser, upcoming The Love of Hypnosis), Qin Hailu (Red Sorghum, White Deer Plain) and Li Qin (White Deer Plain, Princess Agents)– to participate in the fourth episode, which airs on the 15th.

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Music Monday: Super Vocals

Super Vocal 声入人心 is Hunan TV’s third variety show to focus on the voice (more specifically bel canto in this case) as an instrument after The Sound and Phanta City

36 music students / singers / musical actors alternate between being apprentice and cover based on recommendations from producers Liao Changyong, Henry Lau and Shang Wenjie. The final 6 apprentices will go on a national concert tour and release a full album at the conclusion of the show.

(Playlist of my favourites so far)

Zhang Ziyi, Wu Xiubo, Xu Zheng sign on as judges for season two of acting variety show

The controversial acting variety show I Am An Actor 我就是演员 (previously Birth of a Performer) is back for a second season. Zhang Ziyi is the only remaining judge from the first season, and is joined by dependable uncle actors Wu Xiubo (The Advisors Alliance) and Xu Zheng (Dying to Survive). The variety show airs every Saturday night on Zhejiang TV beginning tomorrow.

This gorgeous promo features Zhang Ziyi looking back on her characters (Wu Xiubo, Xu Zheng):

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Zhu Yilong, An Yuexi duet for upcoming romance series

100 % ready to ship these two. Just look at how cute they both are.

Potentially thanks to the newly-found stardom of Zhu Yilong, Promising you a fleeting and dreamlike life 许你浮生若梦 (literal trans.) , a romance of three lifetimes with An Yuexi, is finally airing!  The series streams on Youku on the 7th and on Youtube on the 12th. 

Here’s the two’s duet / theme song:

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Ren Suxi’s live mini- musical is Phantastic

Ren Suxi’s live performance in Hunan TV’s new live musical show, Phantacity 幻乐之城,is full of childhood wonder but also made me cry like an idiot at the airport.

The series features Faye Wong as she overlooks the production of four 10-minute mini-live musicals per episode. Episode one featured Yi Yangqianxi and Hu Xianxu, Huang Xiaoming, Ren Suxi, and Lei Jia. Yi Yangqianxi and Hu Xianxu’s work with Peng Youlun was visually stunning and a decent watch, but the breakout performance was definitely director Xin Shuang and actor Ren Suxi’s “Time Machine.”

Kimberley Chen covers Ariana Grande on Produce 101

The Chinese version of Produce 101 创造101, a competition aimed at forming a girl group, began airing last night and this cover of Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea’s Problem  was head and shoulders above every other group.

Kimberley Chen, Lucia Wu, and Mimi Lee  are all ethnically Chinese but born and raised in three different countries. Kimberley Chen is Australian, Mimi Lee is Thai, while Lucia Wu was born in Brazil. I don’t know the other two well, but  I’m a big fan of Kimberley Chen, and I’m psyched to see her getting more recognition on the mainland.

The other fun group performance last night was Plain Disco from what’s left of girl groups A’N’D and KOGirls.  Not sure how I feel about the show yet, but it’s always great to hear more from Kimberley!

Jessie J, Coco Lee, and KZ win Singer 2018 with Bang Bang, Dragon Fist, and pipa

Jessie J, Coco Lee, and KZ Tangingan won Singer 2018 this weekend with the help of an awesome pipa arrangement of Bang Bang and Dragon Fist.  I thought this season was lackluster in general, with even Jessie J having boring song choices and arrangements, but this was easily one of the best performances of the show.

Luhan, Tao lead separate street dance reality shows

Yi Yangqianxi, Show Luo, Han Geng and Huang Zitao’s Street Dance of China 这就是街舞 will have a few weeks’ head start, as the first episode is scheduled to premiere on Youku tonight.

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Variety Show Recap: The Sound, Episode 3

The Sound 声临其境, as the name implies, is a variety show where viewers are treated to a feast for the ears as actors showcase their voices and prove just how important line reading is to acting. Dubbers’ contributions to Chinese dramas should not be overlooked, but it makes a huge difference when you have good actors who are able to use their own voices.

Each week, four actors are invited to dub a wide variety of characters behind the stage, and the two most popular guests make a brief appearance before all four of them prepare a short stage performance.

Disclaimer: This may look like a Zhu Yawen fangirling post, but it’s not, I swear.

Episode 3: A Gentleman’s Voice (one-off recap)

Guests: Li Jianyi, Gao Yalin, Zhu Yawen, Zhai Tianlin

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