Boyband Trend in China?

Ok, first of all, my original reason for starting this blog, to translate articles and improve my Chinese, has really not panned out the way I thought it would. I find myself translating less, and putting more of my own commentary on articles. But if you haven’t noticed I focus a lot on entertainment trends that are happening in Chinese-speaking regions. Because especially mainland China, is very immature in terms of entertainment and it’s exciting to see how it’s changing as the middle class grows. Like I said in my “What is the point of Cfensi” page, economic boom happened there later and only now are we feeling the maturation of that industry. I also predicted there would be boybands and other frivolities and whatnot in 2020. Well, that particular trend has started a bit early…

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Not enough actresses to go around in the PRC?

Zhang Junning spending whatever precious few screentime he has in Fit Lover with Karena Lam
Zhang Junning spending whatever precious few minutes he has in Fit Lover with Karena Lam

Those criticizing the one-child rule can look no further than upcoming films in China for support. “Fit Lover” is going to star 12 guys chasing after one girl (a spin-off of the 2007 Lunar-New-Year comedy where 10 women chased after one guy), and the upcoming Superboys musical will have all 13 region winners. It doesn’t matter how bad these films turn out; I will probably watch them more than once. It’s going to be cracktastic.

The cast list of Fit Lover with more pics under the cut, and pics from the press conference of the Superboys musical.

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Han Geng and Zhang Junning Start Filming Dancing Drama

Today there was a lots of news all semi-related to each other and all involving hot guys so I’ll take this one at a time.

First of all, CCTV is starting the production on a new autumn drama (basically fun, non serious drama like the lunar new year movies, but for tv), called Stage of Youth, which may as well be an idol drama, with its cast. It is about competitive dancing, with Han Geng, the only Chinese member of the Korean boyband Super Junior in the lead as a dancer. Zhang Junning is playing his rival. Both have dancing experience, with Han Geng having graduated from a dance academy and Zhang Junning having learned dance for the series that brought him to fame, “Five Star Hotel”, and was a contestant on “Strictly Come Dancing”. He didn’t win that but I’ve seen him dance on variety shows and I think he’ll definitely be able to pull off this role. And the fact that he’s one of the hottest guys I’ve ever seen doesn’t hurt either. The drama will be twelve episodes.

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Joe and Ariel’s Press Conference for New Drama

Joe and Ariel had a little press conference for their new drama, “My Love Bread”, which was formerly known as Trillionare Bread, which I think I had translated as something totally off before. Whatever. They had finished all of the shooting in Taiwan in the last months three months, and have gone to the mainland for a 3-day shoot, in Hangzhou, so this may actually be airing quite soon.

Wu Jianfei, who got famous through the 2006 “My Hero” competition in China is going to be part of the cast as well, playing Ariel’s character’s ex. Wu Jianfei already has a budding career in Taiwan, with his latest CD being released there and having Selina (of SHE)’s sister star in his MV but to be honest, it’s not sold that well, and hopefully this will give him some more exposure. Unfortunate that he doesn’t act as well as he sings.

The curious thing about this is that Taiwan has, or at least had, a policy banning mainland actors being in Taiwanese movies or dramas. I wonder if this has changed gradually since Ma Ying-Jou has stepped into office and what this means for the future of collabs between the two. I think it would do both places some good actually because mainland dramas can be a little too serious at times, and Taiwan’s a little too silly.

Red Chamber Cast Goofing Off in Secret

So I decided that this complete hiatus thing isn’t going to work because China has such interesting entertainment news all the time. I’m just going to update slower (once per day?) and see how this goes.

Anyway I found these pics of the young cast. This was from the place I had mentioned before, with the old red guards. The public photos of them had them smiling like they didn’t really know what they were doing but in the woods away from the cameras (except a surreptitious one I guess), all seriousness was gone and they were just being goofy kids which is the most endearing thing I’ve seen them do.

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Short Film: XXX

Budding Taiwanese director, Alexi Tan (Chen Yili?!?), who’s first feature film tanked critically, and yet gave those who watched it a gleam of hope for the future of Taiwan cinema, has tapped into less examined aspect of Chinese cinema, the short film. He’s nabbed stars Liu Ye and Gao Yuan Yuan for the leads in his 10 min short for a clothing brand.

And no it’s not porn.

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New ‘Red Chamber’ Cast Goes Red

The barely legal cast of the 2009 version of “The Dream of the Red Chamber” went to every young Chinese’s dream vacation spot, Jiang Xi’s old red guard district, where the red revolutionaries used to live.

Some of the elderly in this still underdeveloped part of China told them to read the novel many times and other sound advice that probably isn’t going to make much of an impression on them since filming is already well underway. This seems like a gimmick by the producers to ingratiate their cast to the seniors of China, who will probably be a large chunk of the viewership for this drama. They want to send a message, that these kids are not hip and cool, and can of course play these classic characters.

An unknown, graduate of the People’s Liberation Army School of Arts Dance Department , Yang Yang is playing Jia Baoyu. I had my doubts before but the picture of him looking slightly amused yet bewildered below really seems to suit the role. Chinese netizens are still torn over this, and can’t make up their mind whether he’s ugly or not.

More pictures of them mingling with the older folk and fake red guards…plus a picture of Yang Yang doing ballet just for good measure.


Surprising Cameo

Ok, I said I was on hiatus, but if something interesting pops up I am going to post. Thanks to the wonders of Chinese movie piracy, I was finished watching last night the “mystery thriller” <<The Equation of Love and Death>> which only came out in Chinese theaters three weeks ago, and complete with English subs. I hypocritically despise piracy so much. Anyway, this film boasts an impressively solid cast of Zhou Xun, who’s always good in whatever, and the two male leads of the Assembly, which I thought was the best Chinese film of last year. It’s also got a nice score penned by Dou Wei, the cheating ex of Faye Wong. So with that in mind, who was I most pleasantly surprised to see?

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Chinese Paladin 3

Just a pic from the prequel to Chinese Paladin, which also follows the plot of the 3rd game in the Chinese Paladin series, hence the 3. This stars Hu Ge and Yang Mi, who were also a couple in one of the shorts in “The Strange Tales of Liao Zhai” but Hu Ge does not play the same character he did in Chinese Paladin. Yang Mi is filming this at the same time as “Dream of the Red Chamber” so if you see her getting skinnier then that’s probably why.