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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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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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.”

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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A Bite of China Season 3 to air during CNY

“Taste life through food, taste China through film.  A Bite of China returns.”   – Season 3 slogan

Season three of the documentary series that tells the story of China and its people through their food, A Bite of China 舌尖上的中国, has released a trailer. The series will air during the 2018 Chinese New Year to maximize the number of ugly cries they get from those of us who are away from our families.

After a four-year hiatus, the series was revived under a new producer. Like the previous seasons, it’ll feature eight themed episodes, each directed by a different director. Based on the trailer, the most interesting food so far is the fried chrysanthem. Hopefully the new season will live up to the previous two.

National Treasures come alive in new CCTV program starring Tony Leung, Wang Kai and more

National Treasure 国家宝藏  will showcase 27 historical artifacts from 29 different museums across the country with the help of “protectors” (listed below), who will then present the story behind each piece in a short stage performance.

Actors / hosts featured: Zhang Guoli, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Wang Kai, Liu Tao, Li Chen, Duan Yihong, Wang Gang, He Jiong, Ma Su, Qin Hailu, Chen Xiao, Jackson Yi Yangqianxi, Liu Yijun, Guo Tao, Lei Jiayin, Guan Xiaotong, Sa Beining, Cai Guoqing, Ren Zhong, Ning Jing

Theme song: A Thousand Years in One Glance 一眼千年 – Na Ying

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I Am A Singer Season 4: Haya Coco Lala… are names of contestants on this show

hwangchiyeol

Hwang Chiyeol does a lot of clapping on this show.

After presumably blowing all of this season’s budget on last years’s A-list lineup, Hunan
TV’s I Am A Singer returns for a fourth year with a stable of more—ahem—”affordable” singers.

The I Am A Singer crown has always gone to a Mainland Chinese act. Yu Quan in 2013, and the Hans Lei and Hong in subsequent years. Of course, that’s not a risky bet to make when five-out-of-seven singers are Mainlanders. This year, things are a bit different. There are only two Mainland performers in the starting lineup, and both tied for last place in this episode. A non-Mainland singer could very well take it out for the very first time, and Taiwanese diva Lala Hsu and Cantopop legend Hacken Lee are both in with a good shot.


Haya
Wolf Earth 苍狼大地 by Tengger

Haya is something of a folksy, Inner Mongolian Nightwish. Lead singer, Daichintana,
plays a Native American flute in this performance. Oh, they’re a very worldly bunch.

Coco Lee waves as the band enters the green room. “Oh, Haya!” Coco remarks (though she might just have been saying ‘hiya’). Continue reading

eeMedia, SM Entertainment collaborate for new talent show

aka how Li Yuchun's team scared the other team to tears before the other team even got a chance to perform.

aka how Li Yuchun scares her opponent to tears with her awesomeness

If you want to watch an example of how to pull a boyband together, X Fire 燃烧吧少年 is it. From eeMedia and SM Entertainment ,  you’ll think the show is a freak show after episode 1,  you’ll fall in love with the same people after the team work their miracles on them in ep 2.  Two weeks later in episode 3, you’ll be filled with team spirit and wish  Li Yuchun’s team would debut already.

Joining the show to create eeMedia and SM’s new boyband are opponent team leader Shu Qi,  eeMedia CEO Long Danni, song arrangement and choreographers from both eeMedia and  SM Entertainment,  and Su Mang, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar China and CEO of the Trends Group, which publishes the mainland versions of Cosmopolitan and Esquire.    Host-actress Yi Yi and singer Bai Jugang round up the group.

The show is best watched as a whole to get a true sense of the transformations of the boys (and the magic of Li Yuchun). Their dancing in general are pretty week, but here are a few of my favorite performances so far:

Gu Jiacheng (23) 谷嘉成X伍嘉诚 Wu Jiacheng (22) – Two time first-places and one-time second place. I love the opening of this arrangement (Li Yuchun’s idea).

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This 11-year-old girl will make you feel woefully inadequate about your karaoke abilities

Thong Junjin’s performance of “Dawn” has been viewed more than 230 million times.

It seems nary a week goes by without some super talented, small Asian child making me feel deficient as a person. And I was feeling pretty good about myself this month, so this was probably overdue. Enter Thong Junjin 汤晶锦 (I’m about 80% sure the ‘h’ is silent).

Thong, an 11-year-old from Selangor, Malaysia, is a recent ‘graduate’ of China’s top-rating children’s talent show, Let’s Sing Kids 中国新声代, where she belted out Mandarin and Taiwanese hits by some of the biggest voices in the Chinese music scene, including A-mei, Han Hong and Tan Weiwei. If those names don’t sound familiar, Han Hong was described by one leading music critic as the Chinese-Tibetan love child of Celine Dion and Elton.

(It was me. I am the self-described leading music critic.)

Praised for her mature vocals and lyrical interpretation, this pint-sized powerhouse is also a viral sensation. Thong’s rendition of Han Hong’s “Dawn 天亮了” has received over 230 million views in just two months.

And it wasn’t even her best performance.

Watch more performances from the show, including some adorable musical child prodigies, and take part in our readers’ perceptions of adequacy poll, below. Continue reading